Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yen Press: The God of Nishi-Yuigahama Station by Takeshi Murase, Translated by Guiseppe Di Martino

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

St. Martin's Press: Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen

Quotation of the Day

Indies: 'You Have to Have a Real & Genuine Voice'

"Well, it's all about place. I'm not just a retailer. For me, it's the sense of community and I think that's a part of the formula. The formula, it's not something you can manufacture. It has to come from a place, real and genuine. It's almost like being a writer. You have to have a real and genuine voice. As a retailer, you have to have a genuine voice as well. I think authenticity is really what people respond to."

--Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan in an extensive q&a with Racked Miami, answering the question: "What is your formula for creating an engaging independent bookstore?"

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


AAP Sales: Summer Boost

In July, total net book sales rose 2.8%, to $2.61 billion, representing sales of 1,206 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first seven months of the year, total net book sales were down 2%, to $8.2 billion.

Bolstered by sales gains among religious presses (up 14.6%), children's/YA (up 11.5%) and adult books (up 10.9%), the trade category was up 0.3% for the year to date--gaining for the first time this year.

Hardcover book sales were down 6.6% for the first seven months of the year, while paperbacks grew 13.2%. E-book sales for the year to date were down 11.2%, dragged down by children's/YA e-books, whose sales are off 44.7% compared to the first seven months of 2014.

Sales by categories in July:

GLOW: Torrey House Press: Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell's Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River by Zak Podmore

Potential Owner for Redmond's Paulina Springs Books

Kaci Aslamov recently launched a $25,000 Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to help purchase Paulina Springs Books, Redmond, Ore., which was put up for sale last May by owners Brad Smith and Cynthia Claridge, who also operate a branch in Sisters. The Bend Bulletin reported that "because of technicalities involved in separating the two businesses," Aslamov has not been able to receive a business loan, and "that's where she hopes book lovers from Central Oregon and beyond come into play." Smith and Claridge have agreed to carry the bank note, but are asking for $25,000 down payment from Aslamov, a Redmond native who plans to rename the shop Herringbone Books.

"We knew going in (to the sale) this could be a problem with lenders," Smith said about the two stores sharing one set of books. "Kaci had a lending officer that was really supportive who worked really hard with me. We tried to come up with ways that met their needs, but in the end their supervisors passed on it. We needed to come up with another plan, and Kaci came up with this idea."

"This (project) is exactly what crowdsourcing is for," Aslamov said. "The challenge we're facing is that even if people understand crowdsourcing, they don't always understand why we're having to resort to it." She added: "I really want to continue what they've got going. Author events and maybe even more community events like literary workshops and bookbinding classes.... Just giving people a place to go where they don't have to go to Bend."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

White Rose in Holyoke, Mass., Closes

The White Rose Bookstore, Holyoke, Mass., which opened in late 2013, has closed. Betty Kaplowitz, who owned the store with Kristen Bachler, told the Republican, "I think we're ahead of the curve in Holyoke. Maybe in a few years, it could have survived."

The store sold a range of titles with an emphasis on leftist political books, the Republican wrote. It also hosted many events, with groups "watching documentaries, discussing politics or listening to an author discuss their latest work."

But sales were slow, and the bookstore never broke even. "We tried hanging on as long as we could," Kaplowitz said, "but you have to keep buying books and we couldn't keep doing so with our own money."

Although the pair plan to sell their 6,000-square-foot building, they will continue hosting community events at other locations in Holyoke.

On its Facebook page, the store wrote that the White Rose "started off as a bookstore and has become a place where people throughout the area feel welcome to come study, discuss and share their view points about what is happening all around us whether that is sexism, racism or gun control; a place to undertake community organizing and analysis of local political issues. We have been privileged to host speakers, poets and musicians, book groups and political discussions. We have been happy to assist in establishing the annual Holyoke Pride celebrations and contributing to National Hispanic Heritage Month, hosting meetings for the Holyoke Community Market and conducting a regular standout in defense of Black and Brown lives. We have been honored to participate in community efforts and demonstrations to improve the quality of life in Holyoke."

Egypt's ALEF Bookstore Chain Opens London Branch

ALEF, one of the biggest bookstore chains in Egypt, with 30 branches and 20 points of sale in gas stations, has opened a store at 219 Baker St. in London, Daily News Egypt reported. Company general manager Rahmy said London was the ideal choice for ALEF's first international branch: "A study was made three years ago comparing international expansion options. This study concluded that England, Germany and Saudi Arabia are on top of our expansion choices.... After agreeing on the location, we spent exactly one year and a half in market study, location selection, team selection, operations and logistics."

Amazon Seeks Bricks-and-Mortar Connections in India

Amazon has launched a project, code-named Udaan, in India "to go offline across the country." The Times of India reported that, "apart from tying up with small traders in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu to launch Amazon-branded stores that will help people with sketchy or no Internet connection to shop from the online Amazon store, the world's largest e-tailer has recently signed a deal with the Rajasthan government that may help it open 36,000 such stores or point-of-sales in the state."

Customers can walk into any Udaan point and shop from the Amazon store, but the online retailer will not own any of these bricks and mortar stores. Amit Agarwal, v-p and country manager for Amazon India, said, "Across the country, there is a huge ecosystem that already serves customers with services such as Aadhar cards, bill payment and mobile recharges. We wanted to take advantage of that service-based industry.... The store owners will earn commission on sales. Udaan points also integrate well with Amazon pick-up, which is a full-fledged program in 70 cities now. Later, we may take this model to other markets."

Obituary Notes: Carl Llewellyn Weschcke; Edward Soja

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, chairman of Llewellyn Worldwide and a leader in New Age, metaphysical, self-help, and spirituality publishing, died on November 7. He was 85.

He was referred to by many as "the father of the New Age" because of his early sponsorship of astrology, magic, metaphysics, paganism, parapsychology, tantra, wicca and yoga. He and the company contributed to the burgeoning New Age movement in the 1960s and 1970s, sponsoring Gnosticon Festivals, opening an occult school and bookstore, and publishing the occult newspaper Gnostica. He is a former wiccan high priest and played a leading role in the rise of wicca and paganism during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1973, Weschcke helped organize the Council of American Witches and became its chairperson.

In addition to book publishing, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry, furniture manufacture and real estate management. He also co-authored 10 books with Dr. Joe Slate.


Edward Soja, the "acclaimed urbanist and radical geographer," died November 2. He was 75. Verso noted that Mustafa Dikec, professor of Urban Studies at Ecole d'Urbanisme de Paris and LATTS, announced his passing on the Critical Geography listserv, calling Soja "one of the key figures associated with 'the spatial turn' in the 1980s, and his writings on space, spatial justice, and cities have inspired many since then. He will be sorely missed by his friends who knew his warm and generous personality." Verso celebrated Soja's life and work by sharing an extract from Postmodern Geographies: the Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory


Image of the Day: Agent, Author, Novel, Bookseller

Last Saturday at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y., Peter Golden read from and signed his new novel, Wherever There Is Light (Atria), for an enthusiastic audience. Pictured (l.-r.) are his agent, Susan Golomb, Golden (holding a copy of his book) and Susan Novotny, owner of the Book House.

'Sorting Smackdown': Seattle Librarians Beat NYC

Seattle's King County Library System materials warehouse staff avenged last year's loss to their New York Public Library counterparts in a "sorting smackdown" yesterday to see who could sort the most books in an hour. The Seattle Times reported that the KCLS team became the 2015 National Library Sorting Champion with 12,572 books, topping the NYPL's 12,371. With the win, KCLS regained the overall lead in the annual series, 3-2.

Tony Miranda, manager of materials distribution at KCLS, "gave his staff a quick early-morning pep talk and off they went, hustling from 9-10 a.m. sorting more than 200 books a minute," the Seattle Times wrote. After the results were tallied, he told his staff, "I know everybody wants to have a break, and I'm happy to say you deserve this break, because we won! I can go home and be a normal person again."

Last week, as his NYPL team prepared for the contest, deputy director of BookOps Salvatore Magaddino told the New York Times that he planned to "crank up the Rocky theme song and deliver a pep talk" before the contest, adding: "The adrenaline is outta control."

Personnel Changes at HarperCollins, DK

At HarperCollins, Shawn Nicholls has been promoted to associate publisher for Avon, mass market, Impulse and Witness and will continue to oversee marketing plans for all HarperVoyager titles. He has overseen publishing programs for those imprints for four years.


At DK:

Jay Franco has been promoted to associate sales director, book clubs, premium and custom. He joined the DK special markets team in 2011.

Ana Giovinazzo has been promoted to associate sales manager, digital, premium and custom. She has been with the company for nearly two years working in online and digital sales.

Kathi Gadow has been promoted to sales coordinator, online and digital sales. She joined DK more than a year ago and has worked with the special markets sales team.

Media and Movies

TV: Stephenie Meyer Developing O'Malley's The Rook

Twilight series author Stephenie Meyer and Lionsgate are developing a TV project titled Rook for Hulu and an unnamed U.K. broadcaster, Variety reported, noting that Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer "disclosed the news Tuesday during the studio's earnings call with analysts, but gave no other details other than noting that the studio has a well-established relationship with Meyer." Meyer's Twilight Saga series has generated $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office. wrote that Meyer will executive produce the project. The Rook is based on the novel by Daniel O'Malley, published by Little, Brown, "which introduces a strong female protagonist named Myfanwy Thomas with extraordinary powers who is employed by a mysterious British government agency responsible for defending the U.K. from supernatural threats." Our review called it "a fast-paced paranormal spy thriller filled with smart flourishes." The sequel, Stiletto, is due out next year.

Media Heat: Jeanine Pirro on the View

Fresh Air: Shonda Rhimes, author of Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person (Simon & Schuster, $24.99, 9781476777092).

Live with Kelly and Michael: Ethan Hawke, author of Rules for a Knight (Knopf, $18, 9780307962331).

The View: Jeanine Pirro, author of He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice (Gallery, $27, 9781501125003).

CNN's Fareed Zakaria: Joe Klein, author of Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451677300).

Diane Rehm: Simon Van Booy, author of Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories (Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780062408976).

Books & Authors

Awards: Warwick; International Dublin; Samuel Pepys

Phil Klay has won the £25,000 (about $37,810) Warwick Prize for Writing for Redeployment. Awarded every two years, the Warwick honors a substantial piece of writing in the English language.

Quoted by the Bookseller, Chair of judges A.L. Kennedy called Redeployment "a scaldingly affecting book. We were all held by it. There is remarkable control, delicacy and subtlety in the spare style of prose here and a real grip of various psychologies and voices across the collection. Within his own terms, the author has reflected a wide range of experience and has translated personal knowledge into living fiction. Redeployment addresses--with remarkable frankness and nuance--one of the defining conflicts of our age. We were delighted to give the prize to Phil Klay."


Nominees have been announced for the €100,000 (about $107,165) International Dublin Literary Award, which honors a single work of fiction published in English. The 160 nominations for 2016 include 53 novels in translation, with works by 44 American, 25 British, 10 Canadian, 10 Australian, six German and three South African authors. The shortlist will be released April 12, and a winner named June 9. Check out the complete longlist here.


Paul Slack has won the £2,000 (about $3,025) Samuel Pepys Award for The Invention of Improvement: Information and Material Progress in Seventeenth-Century England, the Bookseller reported. The biennial prize is given to "the book that makes the greatest contribution to our understanding of Samuel Pepys, his times or his contemporaries."

Lizi Boyd: Book Brahmin

photo: Cary Hazlegrove

Lizi Boyd was given her first desk, Danish modern, when she was 12. Her mother, a potter, filled the top drawer with sketchbooks. This was the beginning of making books. Her children's picture books include Inside Outside, winner of the Please Touch Museum Book Award; Flashlight, winner of a BolognaRagazzi Award and one of NPR's Best Books of the Year; and Big Bear Little Chair (Chronicle, October 6, 2015), a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2015. She lives in Vermont.

On your nightstand now:

I could never fit my reading collection on a nightstand. I have two small trunks, tail to tail, with stacks of books. What's waiting for me: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George and Hold Still by Sally Mann. There is also a copy of The Best of It by Kay Ryan. A newish habit: a poem or two or three before bed.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Mistress Masham's Repose by T.H. White. This book is worth finding and reading aloud. I was enchanted as a child, and I can still hear Pop's cadence. His voice lives on in these childhood books.

Your top five authors:

This is an impossible question, but here goes from the top of my head: Zora Neale Hurston, E.B. White, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust.

Books you've faked reading:

One-Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse. I read it but had absolutely no understanding of it. I was trying to impress my eighth-grade English teacher. It was the first and last time I chose a book to impress someone.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Letters on Life by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Ulrich Baer. These are relatively new and unknown translations of Rilke's correspondence and writings. Wherever you open the book, you'll be stirred and embraced.

Book you bought for the cover:

I'm all visual, and I'm often in the bookstore describing the cover, having forgotten the title. The most recent cover that I was taken by: The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits. Julavits turns herself inside out for the reader. It terrified me, but I admired her too.

Book that changed your life:

The Diaries of Paul Klee (1898-1918).

Favorite line from a book:

"Art is childhood." --Rainer Maria Rilke

The five artists you most admire:

Paul Klee, Matisse, Jean Arp, Noguchi, Picasso.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda.

Favorite reading roost:

In bed with so many pillows and plenty of books.

Anywhere with hot sun and lapping water: dreamy, slow book days.

That's the Spirit! Holiday Picture Books

It's holiday time, and that usually means a festive, non-threatening avalanche of holiday-themed picture books. Here's a handful of 2015 highlights, and stay tuned for a sleighful of Santa books in next week's Shelf holiday roundup.

Tom's Christmas Fish by Rita Törnqvist-Verschuur, illus. by Marit Törnqvist (Floris Books, $17.95, hardcover, 9781782502210, 32p., ages 5-8, September 17, 2015)
Grandpa and his grandson Tom go to the market in Prague to buy a Christmas tree and a carp, the fish many people eat for their traditional holiday dinner. Grandpa goes to get the tree, and Tom, in his bright red hat, races off to the fish stalls to choose a carp: "I'll call you Peppo, and you can swim in my bathtub with my sailboat and pretend to be a whale," he says. And, later, into the bathtub plops Peppo! Tom and Grandpa make Christmas bread and carp-shaped cookies, but Tom gets worried about Peppo's fate as dinnertime approaches. All ends well--even for Peppo--in this heartwarming Swedish import with lovely, expressive watercolor paintings of Grandpa, Tom and Peppo in one of the world's most beautiful cities.

The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, illus. by Suzanne Raphael Berkson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $17.99, hardcover, 9780374300944, 32p., ages 5-8, September 8, 2015)
It is the eighth day of Hanukkah in a family's Brooklyn home, and a silver Hanukkah lamp is flickering on the windowsill. A boy named David, the narrator's son, shouts "Papa, look!" and points to a parakeet peering into the window. David and his father shoo the poor freezing parakeet inside. It perches on David's head, eats, drinks, speaks Yiddish and even pushes a dreidel with its beak. They know they must find the bird's owner, and they try, but David says, "Meanwhile, let's call it Dreidel." More than nine years later, David finds the parakeet's true owner just by chance... and marries her. Suzanne Raphael Berkson makes her picture-book debut in this warm adaptation of a story that first appeared in Newbery Honor author Isaac Bashevis Singer's Hanukkah collection The Power of Light.

The Reindeer Wish by Lori Evert, illus. by Per Breiehagen (Random House, $17.99, hardcover, 9780385379212, 48p., ages 3-6, October 6, 2015)
Anja, who lives "far to the north and high in the snowy mountains," wants a puppy more than anything. One Christmas Eve, a talking cardinal leads her not to a puppy, but to an abandoned baby reindeer. She becomes his "reindeer mama" and names him Odin. As the seasons unfold, Odin starts to miss his own kind. It is with a heavy heart that Anja takes her antlered friend to the North Pole to join Santa's reindeer, but Santa's gift of a squirming puppy cheers her up considerably. Tailor-made for animal lovers, this visually dazzling companion to The Christmas Wish and The Tiny Wish is illustrated with creatively composed photographs of Anja (the author-photographer team's daughter) and Odin frolicking through gorgeous Nordic landscapes.

Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook based on the story written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, illus. by Kim Smith (Quirk, $18.95, hardcover, 9781594748585, 40p., ages 5-8, October 6, 2015)
The hugely popular film Home Alone is now a happy-ending Christmas picture book about the eight-year-old Kevin McCallister who, banished to bed, angrily wishes his family would disappear--and they do! The Home Alone storybook, with artful, energetic illustrations by Kim Smith, is a kinder, gentler version of the movie. (Spoiler alert: Kevin misses his family and is elated when they reappear, and not just because he was scared by burglars while home alone.)

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illus. by David Ercolini (Orchard/Scholastic, $16.99, hardcover, 9780545391122, 32p., ages 4-8, September 29, 2015)
Yes, there are dozens and dozens of picture books based on Clement C. Moore's classic 1823 poem, but illustrator David Ercolini gives it a fresh, satirical spin. Here, "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" because the mouse has stuffed himself into a stupor eating bits of gingerbread house. Every square inch of this Christmas-obsessed family's house--from a giant inflatable rooftop Santa to a Rudolph nightlight--is festooned with some sort of bauble, usually with eyes. All those little eyes widen when Saint Nicholas crashes through the chimney... and his eyes get big, too, when he sees not a few cookies on a plate, but an entire banquet table of "For Santa" desserts. Ercolini's laugh-out-loud visual sendup of holiday excess--combined with the mannered 19th-century language ("As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly...")--makes for a rather brilliant juxtaposition. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Wrong by Jana Aston
2. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
3. Kian by Tijan
4. Rogue (Relentless Book 3) by Karen Lynch
5. The Game Plan (Game On Series Book 3) by Kristen Callihan
6. Seized by Love (Love in Bloom: The Ryders Volume 1) by Melissa Foster
7. Dragonlands Omnibus by Megg Jensen
8. Sweet Nothing by Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert
9. My Lady, My Lord (A Twist Series Novel) by Katharine Ashe
10. Lev: A Shot Callers Novel by Belle Aurora

[Many thanks to!]

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