Also published on this date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015: Maximum Shelf: The Sound of Gravel

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Overlook Press: Bad Men by Julie Mae Cohen

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

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

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley

Akaschic Books, Ltd: Go the Fuck to Sleep Series by Adam Mansbach, Illustrated by Ricardo Cortés

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta

Quotation of the Day

Understanding Indies 'Necessity for a Civil Culture'

John Evans

"I want to see more public understanding of independent bookstores' purpose and, perhaps, necessity for a civil culture. I would like this front-of-mind in the media and in the minds of readers. Also, in the minds of governing officials and publishers and authors. We are great at doing this for ourselves and like-minded publishers, authors, and customers, but less good at those wider afield."

--ABA board member John Evans, co-owner of DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland, Brentwood, and Larkspur, Calif., in a Bookselling This Week q&a

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


BAM Boost: Proxy Advisory Firm OKs Takeover Plan

Institutional Shareholder Services, the independent proxy advisory firm, has recommended that stockholders of Books-A-Million vote in favor of the plan for the Anderson family to buy BAM and take it private.

Under the plan, the Anderson family, led by executive chairman Clyde B. Anderson, would buy the approximately 41.8% of the company that it doesn't own for $3.25 a share. The proposed purchase price is 18% above the initial offer of $2.75, made on January 29. The transaction will be financed through a combination of the contributions of the BAM shares owned by the Anderson family and any management rollover participants and borrowings of approximately $21 million under the company's existing credit facilities.

In July, the BAM board voted to approve the takeover (Anderson family members didn't vote), and a special committee of directors independent of the Anderson family also approved the proposal.

In recommending a yes vote, Institutional Shareholder Services cited the special committee's approval, the higher second offer and the takeover being contingent on a "majority of the minority" vote requirement.

BAM shareholders can vote proxies on the transaction until the end of the day, December 7, in advance of a special stockholders meeting.

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Englewood's Isis Books & Gifts Vandalized

Over the weekend, a vandal threw rocks through a sign at Isis Books and Gifts in Englewood, Colo., which specializes in metaphysical titles and products, and was named for the ancient Egyptian goddess. Denver7 News reported that owner Karen Charbonau-Harrison said the name of the store has been the same for 35 years and she has no plans to change it.

"We're about peace. We're about healing," she noted. "We're about people finding their own spiritual power, and to have someone throw rocks at us--how would it make you feel?"

"We're all very heartbroken (about the Paris attacks) so I don't know if somebody walking down the street just saw our name on the sign and kind of lost it for a moment and threw a rock through it," she told Fox31. "Or if it was an ignorant person who actually thought this was a bookstore for terrorists, I don't know."

In a Facebook post, the bookseller wrote that "the name Isis is that of the Egyptian Goddess of women, marriage, magick, healing and more. However, with our media and politicians constantly using the word to name those in the Middle East who are the source of such horror, some people seem to get confused."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Booksellers Make Plans for Indies First, Part 2

With 10 days to go until Indies First, to be held Saturday, November 28, booksellers across the country are finalizing their plans for the event, which began two years ago and is supported in a major way by the American Booksellers Association.

Octavia Books in New Orleans, La., is bringing in a dozen local authors to work as booksellers on Saturday, November 28. The store will open an hour earlier than usual, and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., the authors will work in two-hour shifts, mostly in pairs. Co-owner Tom Lowenburg is unsure if his store will offer any food or drinks, but in the past it hasn't seemed to make a difference. The most important part, Lowenburg said, is having the authors there.

"It's certainly grown each year. Indies First has been wildly successful," continued Lowenburg, who has participated in the event since 2013 and in Thanks for Shopping Indie even before that. "Our customers enjoy having the authors in the store. They're understanding what Small Business Saturday is all about. They're responding to the idea of shopping locally, that it's a much better kind of shopping experience. The whole Black Friday thing is largely about herd manipulation, treating people as if they're herds of animals. We treat our customers individually."


Sparkey wants you to shop at Parnassus on Small Business Saturday.

Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., the store will follow a playbook very similar to last year's, with some adjustments, according to social media director Mary Laura Philpott. In addition to bringing in local authors as booksellers throughout the day, Parnassus Books has partnered with other local businesses and the Nashville Independent Business Alliance for an initiative called IndieNashGiving, in which participating indie businesses plan to give 5%-10% of their revenue on Small Business Saturday to charity. This year, Parnassus Books has pledged to donate 10%.

Explained Philpott: "Basically, we want to make what we know will be a successful business day extra-meaningful, to take it beyond commerce to compassion, and to make a local impact on the folks and organizations around us who really need a boost."

In Los Angeles, Calif., Skylight Books will have six local authors in store throughout the day to recommend books to customers and write shelf talkers. And from 3 to 4 p.m. that day, the store will open its new, redesigned children's section with a party featuring cake, juice and balloons. Over the past few months, the store has completely reworked the children's section, with help from a James Patterson grant.

"With the redesigned children's section, we have vastly improved display space and better organization, and we're hoping that leads to a particularly good holiday season for that section," said general manager Mary Williams. Participants in Indies First since its beginning, Williams and her colleagues have learned the importance of knowing in advance what titles the authors plan to recommend. "They, of course, recommend other books from our shelves, but knowing we have a short stack of all their favorites makes it a lot easier for them and us."

As for the holiday shopping season, Williams is hoping for a strong finish to what's been a good year for the store. She's concerned about this year's El Niño weather pattern, which could bring heavy rain and flooding to southern California, beginning in January.

For Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Del., the busiest time of the year is the summer, and the holidays fall in the store's off season. According to assistant manager Amanda Zirn, this necessitates advertising very early. And in years past, Bethany Beach Books has run sales and promotions on Black Friday as well as Small Business Saturday. This year, though, there will be sales only on Saturday.

"It seems to make sales better and people know to just come in on that day," said Zirn. "It's more exclusive and exciting."

Bethany Beach Books will have two authors in store for Indies First, along with assorted sales and promotions. The store will also take part in an initiative to raise money for a local school's library. For $5, the store will be selling tote bags full of coupons to stores in downtown Bethany Beach, and proceeds from the tote bags will go to the school. Looking ahead to the holiday season, Zirn and her colleagues are putting particular emphasis on their Book Drop subscription service, which sends a new book to subscribers each month. In an effort to sign up customers not in the Bethany Beach area, the store is offering coupons and gift subscriptions to current subscribers. Explained Zirn: "We're trying to push that as a great gift."

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich., will have six local authors in store on the 28th, but it faces an unusual challenge for Indies First this year. That Saturday is the same day as the game between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State University Buckeyes, a college rivalry that dates back to 1897.

"I believe that many likely shoppers will be watching the game instead of walking around town," said Hilary Gustafson, co-owner of Literati Books. "But to entice those Michigan fans, we will have signed copies of John U. Bacon's Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football on hand for sale in store and ready to ship out to Michigan fans across the country."

In addition to the signed copies of Endzone and the guest booksellers, Literati Bookstore will offer baked goods from local stores throughout the day. And less than a week after Indies First, Literati will take part in Midnight Madness on December 4, an all-night shopping and dining event in downtown Ann Arbor organized by the city's Main Street Area Association. Literati has done both the Midnight Madness and Indies First before.

"We have fantastic turnouts for both events and it really underscores how supportive this town is for small business," said Gustafson. --Alex Mutter

L.A. Dedicating Branch Library to Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman
(photo: Susan Carpendale)

The Los Angeles Public Library will dedicate its Ascot Branch library to poet Wanda Coleman, who died in 2013 and was considered the city's "unofficial poet laureate," Jacket Copy reported, noting that "friends, fans and family had advocated for a permanent remembrance." The dedication will take place November 30, with the library installing a plaque in her honor.

Coleman's widower, Austin Straus, had requested that the L.A. Public Library honor her memory at the Ascot branch, "one of the branch libraries she visited as a child," Jacket Copy noted.

Obituary Notes: George Cuomo; Alix Nelson-Frick

Author George Cuomo, whose "careful observations of urban surroundings informed his books, no matter where they were set," died October 26, the Boston Globe reported. He was 86. His books include A Couple of Cops, Among Thieves and Becoming a Better Reader & Writer.

Doris Kearns Goodwin said Cuomo "was a wonderful writer. He wrote such great books. What I care about so much is storytelling, and he always had a story to tell, and it often was about families."


Alix Nelson-Frick, an author, book editor and book advertising executive, has died. She was 77. She began her publishing career working for Bob Gottlieb at Simon & Schuster and ended as CEO of the New York advertising agency specializing in books, Franklin Spier (now part of WKP-Spier). She is credited with publishing early works by Tom McGuane, William Hjortsberg, Diane Wakoski, J.D. Reed and Jim Harrison, among many others.  


Image of the Day: Booksigning Crime Scene

Author Lorenzo Carcaterra appears to have suffered the fate of one of his mob characters, winding up lifeless on the floor of a New Jersey warehouse after signing 5,000 copies of his book The Wolf for Barnes & Noble's Signed Editions program. Customers will be able to purchase 500,000 autographed copies of books from more than 120 authors--Mindy Kaling, Andy Weir, Bill Nye, Rick Riordan, Paulo Coelho, Diana Gabaldon, Khloe Kardashian and many others--in stores only beginning on Black Friday, November 27.

Northshire Debuts Electric Vehicle Charging Station

The Northshire Bookstore is one of two businesses in Manchester, Vt., that now feature electric vehicle charging stations, thanks to a partnership with Green Mountain Power. The stations are being officially unveiled today in a ceremony attended by state and local officials.

"Tourists come to Vermont for many wonderful reasons, and being able to offer them a convenient way to charge their electric vehicles makes Vermont even more attractive," said state commissioner of tourism Megan Smith in commending the Northshire, Zoey's Double Hex Restaurant and GMP "for their efforts to bring this option to tourists as well as the local community."

Chris Morrow, managing partner of the Northshire Bookstore, said, "We are so excited to partner with Green Mountain Power to bring a new NRG EVgo Freedom Station to Manchester. Manchester is already an appealing place to shop, and this is a great way to help the environment and also help attract more people downtown to our great shops and restaurants."

The charging station at the Northshire has an ABB fast charger that is capable of providing approximately 80% of a battery charge in 25 minutes when using the DC fast-charging option and that serves all electric vehicles (Tesla owners need an adapter), and a dual port Level 2 station. 

Happy 10th Birthday, BooksActually!

Congratulations to BooksActually in Singapore, which is celebrating its first decade in business with a "10 Years of BooksActually" exhibition at the Substation Gallery.

Today noted that "the bookstore has become a popular haunt for writers, book-lovers and all sorts of creative types (not to mention cat lovers, thanks to its popular resident felines Cake, Pico and Lemon, which also have their own Facebook page)... But the physical bookstore is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to BooksActually's support for the local scene. Its publishing imprint, Math Paper Press, has released at least 140 titles to date."

Owner Kenny Leck told Scape--which described BooksActually as "a store that restores your faith in books"--that it "has been a journey filled with challenges and personal sacrifices, not just myself, but the people running the bookstore with me as well. It has been very fulfilling too, being given the chance to know so many people and forging lasting friendships. This has been a journey that I won't ever trade it for another." 

Personnel Changes at Hopkins Fulfillment Services

Effective December 1, Terence Melvin is joining Hopkins Fulfillment Services as customer service supervisor. He replaces Melinda Kelly, who is retiring after 31 years with Hopkins Fulfillment Services and will stay on through the end of the year.

Melvin is currently distribution services manager with the Brookings Institute Press, where he began in 1978 and has managed the distribution division and internal bookstore.

Book Trailer of the Day: Constellation

Constellation (Princeton Architectural Press), the companion book to Melissa McGill's outdoor, large-scale art project: 17 solar-powered LED lights that simulate stars above the ruins of Bannerman Castle on the Hudson River in Beacon, N.Y. The stars will light up every night for the next two years, outlining where the rest of the Castle used to be before it was destroyed in a fire.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Strahan on the View

The View: Michael Strahan, co-author of Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life (Atria/37 INK, $26.99, 9781476775685).

TV: Read Bottom Up

ABC is developing Read Bottom Up, a comedy project based on the novel by Neel Shah and Sloane Crosley (under a pen name Skye Chatham), reported. The co-authors will write the TV adaptation and executive produce with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Fake Empire, and Ben Karlin. Fake Empire executive Lis Rowinski will co-executive produce and oversee the project for the company.

Books & Authors

Awards: Costa; Royal Society Young People's; Melbourne Lit

Shortlists for the 2015 Costa Book Awards have been released. Category winners, who each receive £5,000 (about $7,606), will be announced January 4, with the overall £30,000 (about $45,638) Costa Book of the Year winner named January 26. The nominees:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
The Green Road by Anne Enright
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison

First novel
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
Things We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanagh

The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding
John Aubrey: My Own Life by Ruth Scurr
The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf

Physical by Andrew McMillan
The Observances by Kate Miller
40 Sonnets by Don Paterson
Talking Dead by Neil Rollinson

Children's book
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls
Jessica's Ghost by Andrew Norriss


Robert Winston has won the £10,000 (about $15,212) Royal Society Young People's Book Prize for a third time with Utterly Amazing Science. The winner was chosen by more than 1,500 young people on judging panels around the U.K. Chair of the adult judging panel John Burland said the winning title "brings to life topics that our young people will be learning about in schools in a colorful and fun way. The best way to learn about the scientific laws that govern our universe is to get out there and experiment."


Poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe won the A$60,000 (about US$42,701) Melbourne Prize for Literature, presented every three years to a Victorian author "whose body of published or produced work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature, as well as to cultural and intellectual life," Books+Publishing reported.

In addition, Andrea Goldsmith was awarded the A$30,000 (about US$21,350) Best Writing Award, presented for "a piece of published or produced work of outstanding clarity, originality and creativity by a Victorian writer," for her novel The Memory Trap

Book Brahmin: S.C. Stephens

photo: Tara Ellis Photography

S.C. Stephens's debut novel was Thoughtless, about an angst-filled love triangle. She's been writing ever since. She also enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest. Stephens's new novel in the Thoughtless series, Untamed, was recently published by Forever Romance/Hachette.

On your nightstand now:

I just started The Fires of Heaven, book five of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I read about half of the 14-book series years ago, but I got sidetracked with children and work, and wasn't able to finish it. Since there are so many details and characters to remember, I started over with book one last year, and I'm determined to make it through all of the books this time. At 800–1,000 pages per book, it's a big commitment, but it's completely worth it. The world Jordan created is absolutely amazing.

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was young, I was completely obsessed with the Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin. I read as many of them as I could get my hands on, and most of them I reread multiple times. Even back then, the romantic bits were always my favorite parts.

Your top five authors:

It's hard for me to narrow down my favorite authors, because there are so many I love! Fantasy is my favorite genre, so Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin and Terry Goodkind are always at the top of the list. My next two favorites would have to be Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer. Both of them are so talented at writing compelling characters that grab your heart and refuse to let go.

Book you've faked reading:

I wish I could remember the name of the book, but back in high school I had to do a report on a book that I hadn't finished; I think I had only read the first few chapters. Not only did I get an A on the report, but the teacher commented that I had made her want to read the book again! She made me wish I had read it!

Book you're an evangelist for:

I'm always trying to get people to read The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, but I'm horrible at explaining what it's about, so nobody ever actually reads it. I love it, though. It's so rich and detailed, you feel like you've been transported back to that time period. Definitely one of my favorites.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I always read the summary before I buy, but right off the bat, the cover of Frostfire by Amanda Hocking sucked me in. Even though my to-read list was a mile long, I picked it up and added it to the pile.

Book that changed your life:

This one might sound strange, but it was really Stephenie Meyer's Twilight that changed things for me. After reading that book, I was so inspired to write. I wanted to create characters as compelling as the characters in Meyer's world, and I spent every waking moment daydreaming. Eventually all of the fantasizing led to Thoughtless, and after I wrote and released that book, my life was never the same.

Favorite line from a book:

My favorite line always seems to change, but right now it's "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills," from the Wheel of Time series. When things get hectic, I find myself repeating it, and it actually does calm me down. My second favorite line is "Winter is coming," from A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, just because it's fun to say to people.

Which character you most relate to:

I most relate to Kiera from my Thoughtless series. She was my first female character, so I gave her a lot of my own quirks and insecurities. While I believe I would have handled the situations she found herself in differently, I probably would have a lot of the same reactions.

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

Since it altered the course of my life so dramatically, I'd love to read Twilight again for the first time. I'd love to be inspired like that again, and I'd love to fall that deeply in love with a fictional character again.

Santa Baby: A Sleighful of Picture Books

Santa coos like a baby, loses his elves and runs from ninjas in this very merry sleighful of Santa books for 2015.

When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey, illus. by Geneviève Godbout (Tundra, $17.99, hardcover, 9781770495562, 32p., ages 4-8, October 13, 2015)
"When Santa was a baby, he was soft and round and cuddly." Even back then his dimples were merry, his little nose was like a cherry, and his "HO, HO, HO!" rattled the windows. When Santa got a little older and his adoring parents gave him birthday presents, he would rewrap them to distribute to the neighborhood kids. When his hamster had eight babies, young Santa harnessed them with ribbons to a matchbox full of presents and trained them to pull it around the house. "As for the rest of the story, well, you probably know it... Santa followed his childhood dreams." Quebec-born Geneviève Godbout's cozy, warm illustrations are positively edible--the perfect accompaniment to this charming, well-told holiday story about a generous-spirited little boy who was born to be the beloved man in the red suit.

Where's Santa? by Bryony Jones, illus. by Chuck Whelon (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, $12.99, hardcover, 9781481406192, 32p., ages 5-8, September 22, 2015)
Santa needs help! It's four days before Christmas and 10 of his elves are missing. In this Where's Waldo?-style search-and-find picture book, readers help locate Santa and his elves in colorful, comically detailed throngs around the world: "A Snowy Village" in England; "Safari Sensation" in Africa; "Christmas Market Mayhem" in Germany; "At the Beach" in Australia; "Alpine Adventure" in France; "Santas Galore" at a Santa Convention; "Family Feast" in the United States; "At the Ballet" nowhere obvious; "Festive Fiesta!" in Brazil, "Ice-Skating" at New York City's Rockefeller Center; and "Home Sweet Home," back at the North Pole. Where's Santa? promises hours of contented searching.

Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, hardcover, 9781481430579, 40p., ages 4-8, September 22, 2015)
It's Christmas Eve in a little mountain town with Seussian trees and "Yukio had never seen such BIG snowflakes. They seemed full of magic." He decides to round up his fellow ninjas for an epic snowball fight, but they all say "NO!" because they want to stay on Santa's good list. Yukio is not happy with Santa's fun-crushing influence. That night, he decides to run Santa out of Ninja Village. When he spots Santa, he wakes everyone up with a loud gong and they all chase "the bright red intruder" off. The next thing he knows, a Samurai appears with an army of snowmen, and an epic snowball fight erupts between them and the ninjas. Hey, isn't that what Yukio wanted for Christmas? But... did they chase Santa off before he could deliver gifts to the village? Rubin Pingk's dynamic, stylish red, gray and black artwork captures this clever story of over-hasty action and happy endings, making for a "Very Ninja Christmas" indeed.

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer, illus. by Christine Davenier (Doubleday, $17.99, hardcover, 9780553510614, 40p., ages 3-7, October 20, 2015)
Rachel Rosenstein loves everything about Christmas, from the "gi-normous Christmas tree in the town square" to the piles of shiny presents. She is Jewish, so she has plenty of holidays year-round and eight days of Hanukkah, but when Christmas comes around, she feels like she's missing out. When Rachel's letter to Santa doesn't bear fruit on Christmas morning, even a lovely walk in the snowy park and salty dumplings at the Chinese restaurant don't cheer her up. Happily, three of her classmates show up for dumplings, too, and Rachel realizes she's not the only one with a different holiday tradition. (But that doesn't stop her from dreaming of shiny Christmas presents!)

How to Catch a Santa by Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish (Knopf, $17.99, hardcover, 9780553498394, 32p., ages 4-8, October 20, 2015)
It's easy to understand how a child might want to catch (and possibly interrogate) Santa, the red-suited man of mystery. The creators of How to Babysit a Grandpa and How to Babysit a Grandma offer a few tips on how to lure Santa and what to do with him once he's captured: 1) Prepare your questions in advance, such as "Do you really eat cookies at everyone's house?" 2) Things to give Santa, such as "A headlamp for going down dark, dark chimneys" 3) Ideas for how to catch Santa, such as distracting him with a giant candy cane or tying nets between palm trees. This lighthearted Santa-catching guide is already a sackful of silliness, but Lee Wildish's cheerful illustrations up the giggle factor even more. --Karin Snelson, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

If you missed last week's roundup of 2015 holiday picture books, you can find it here!


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