Also published on this date: Monday, November 23, 2015: Maximum Shelf: And After Many Days

Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 23, 2015

Blackstone Publishing: An Honorable Assassin (Nick Mason Novels #3) by Steve Hamilton

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Running Press Kids: The Junior Witch's Handbook, The Junior Astrologer's Handbook, and The Junior Tarot Reader's Handbook by Nikki Van De Car

Scholastic Press: Ruin Road by Lamar Giles

Quotation of the Day

Are E-Readers 21st-Century Fondue Sets?

Lincoln Gould

"There's a new buoyancy in the market and booksellers are feeling a lot better about prospects for the future.... We joke that people are putting their e-readers on the top shelf along with their fondue sets."

--Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould, quoted in a Bay of Plenty Times piece headlined "The book strikes back"

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!


Paris Embraces Hemingway's Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, his nostalgic memoir of life in Paris in the 1920s, has been a surprise bestseller in the French capital in the 10 days after the Paris attacks, Bloomberg reported.

"Orders surged after a BFM television interview on Monday with a 77-year-old woman called Danielle, who urged people to read the memoir as she laid flowers for the dead," Bloomberg wrote. "The video was shared hundreds of times on social media."

Publisher Folio told the news service that orders rose 50-fold after the TV spot and that copies of A Moveable Feast, which has the French title Paris est une fête, "have been laid among the flowers and tributes at the sites of the massacres, and people are reading the book in bars and cafes."

According to the Guardian, last week Folio received orders for 8,500 copies of the book, which usually sells 6,000-8,000 copies a year. The house is printing another 20,000 copies and plans for another reprinting.

In a similar phenomenon, after the Charlie Hebdo killings in January, sales of Treatise on Tolerance by Voltaire jumped, and Folio has sold 100,000 copies of the book this year.

Village Books Opens Second Location, in Lynden, Wash.


Congratulations to Village Books and Paper Dreams, Bellingham, Wash., which opened a second location at noon yesterday, in Lynden, about 20 miles north of Bellingham. The store is in the historic Waples Mercantile Building, which after a bad fire in 2008, is in the process of being rebuilt.

Village Books is the first business to open in the renovated building, which will soon house an inn, a café, a taproom and the Drizzle Olive Oil and Vinegar Tasting Room. The businesses are planning a joint grand opening celebration in January. Owner Chuck Robinson commented: "I'm remembering this process being a bit less exhausting at 32 than it is at 68!"

The two-story, 3,000-square-foot shop is on the first floor and basement (with an open center stairway) and features books and gifts.

Binnacle Books Makes Debut in Beacon, N.Y.


Binnacle Books, a new and used bookshop owned by Kate Ryan, Annmarie Nye and Corey Eastwood, has opened at 321 Main St. in Beacon, N.Y. This "isn't the trio's first experience selling books," reported. "All three met in New York City and have worked in various bookstores. Eastwood, who hails from the Hudson Valley, continues to own other bookstores in New York City [including Book Thug Nation in Williamsburg] and Madrid."

"People are so excited and supportive," said Ryan. "The community is already giving us a lot of love. A lot of people have been coming in and telling us that this town needed a bookstore. It feels really good to have that kind of symbiosis....

"I'm a born-and-bred New Yorker, but we were feeling increasingly alienated and pushed out by gentrification. We were looking for a space to spend time in that was less intense, and had more of a feeling of community and possibility. We like the mix of things that Beacon has. It's very urban, but it feels small. The main street feels like a community, but it's not a homogenous community. It doesn't feel isolated from the areas around it. There's interesting stuff going on here."

The store's inventory is about 20% new books and 80% used, on shelves that "were custom built to be pushed out of the way to accommodate readings, performances and film screenings that will be projected on the storefront window," noted.  

"We're trying to listen to what all members of the community are interested in," Ryan observed, adding: "We're always thinking about what's happened down in the city, where changes have happened. When those changes work, what's making them work? I think it works when people know what they want in their community and make that happen."

New Owners for BookHampton's Southampton, N.Y., Store

Charline Spektor has sold the BookHampton store in Southampton, N.Y., to Daniel Hirsch and Gregory Harris, who are both former employees, the East Hampton Star reported.

"Having a bookstore means so much to this community, and we didn't want to see it go," Hirsch told the newspaper.

He and Harris are making a range of changes: they've renamed the store Southampton Books, are adding rare, collectible and signed books to the inventory, speeding up special orders and plan to launch a local delivery service.

In October, Spektor said she would close both BookHampton stores at the end of the year if she couldn't find buyers, and she is still seeking a buyer for the BookHampton store in East Hampton. She reiterated her plan to devote herself to fighting gun violence.

Spektor told the Star that BookHampton is a "very healthy bookstore" that has been affected by the national shifts in bookselling, as well as demographic changes in the area. For a while, the paper wrote, the store had "a devoted summer and weekend customer base that would visit the shop 'every summer, all summer, and nearly every weekend of the year.' " They were wealthy enough to have a second home in the Hamptons, but now many more people in the Hamptons are so wealthy they have third, fourth and fifth homes scattered around the country and world--and thus are less connected to the Hamptons. Combined with more people visiting for short periods via Airbnb, "Instead of spending the summer or every weekend of the summer, people are coming for short visits and buying one or two books. The next stop is Martha's Vineyard or Palm Springs."

New Owner for Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, N.Y.

The Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, N.Y., has been bought by Kira Wizner, the Millbrook Independent reported. "I feel lucky to have found the Merritt Bookstore at a time when it was looking for a new owner," she told the newspaper. She thanked former owner Alison Meyer, who is staying on and will continue to produce the Millbrook Literary Festival, for her help and support.

In March, Wizner plans to close the store for "extensive remodeling," the Independent wrote. During that period, the store will open a pop-up location elsewhere in Millbrook.

Wizner's family live in New York City and have a weekend home in Millbrook. Her husband, Jake Wizner, is a middle-school teacher and author of YA books, the most recent of which is Worth Writing About: Exploring Memoir with Adolescents (Stenhouse Publishers).

The Merritt Bookstore was put up for sale earlier this year. Longtime owner Scott Meyer died July 19.

Deep Vellum Books to Open in Dallas, Tex.

Deep Vellum Publishing, the translation publisher and literary arts nonprofit in Dallas, Tex., is taking what founder Will Evans calls "the next step in my grand plan for Deep Vellum" by opening Deep Vellum Books, a bookstore/cafe/cultural center in the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood that inspired the publisher's name.

The store, which will host a launch party on December 9 and be fully open for business in February, is located in a 900-square-foot space at 3000 Commerce St., according to the Dallas Morning News. Besides Deep Vellum's books, the store will stock only indie-published titles, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, handmade books and literary journals and magazines, with an emphasis on translation. Altogether it will stock 2,000–3,000 books.

Evans said that the store aims to have programs every night, including readings, translation and creative writing workshops, school visits, bookmaking classes, as well as music, art, film and other cultural events. Deep Vellum Books will also offer coffee, beer and wine.


Image of the Day: An Honorable Man at the Bulgarian Consulate

The Bulgarian Consulate on Manhattan's Upper East Side was the venue for a party last week for Paul Vidich's forthcoming debut novel, An Honorable Man (Emily Bestler/Atria, April), a 1950s Cold War spy thriller. Pictured (from l.): Vidich, Jayne Anne Phillips, Dawn Ryan and Brett Duquette of Sterling Publishing. All three were students of Phillips in the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program.

Waterstones Returning to the Black

In a long Guardian story about Waterstones's "extraordinary turnaround" in the past four years, managing director James Daunt listed several key changes that brought the U.K. bookselling chain back from the brink after many layoffs at the beginning of his tenure.

One of the most important changes: Daunt allowed staff to buy titles that fit their stores rather than relying on publishers to purchase space in the stores. "The Piccadilly store, for example, has a range of books on Chinese history and travel titles from Eland Books that are not available in other locations," the Guardian noted. Daunt observed: "If you did that in Middlesbrough, they would think you were bonkers. But in London that table sells absolutely massively." As a result, over the past four years the company's returns rate to publishers has dropped to 4% from 23%.

Waterstones has also stopped requiring staff to wear uniforms, ended three-for-two offers and put an emphasis on "what a bookseller should actually do," particularly handselling.

This year, Waterstones should earn its first annual profit since the financial crisis. The rebound in printed books has helped. At the same time, as the Guardian put it, "the digital revolution has stalled. Sales of e-books to consumers are falling and demand for the Kindle e-reader has fallen so much that Daunt has removed them from most of Waterstones' 280 stores."

Daunt explained: "I always believed there would be a natural point of equilibrium with digital reading--that it would overshoot, then come back and settle down. That made intuitive sense, and that indeed has happened.

"If you go on a plane or a train on holiday, you will see many more people reading a physical book rather than digital. [Reading an e-book] is a very different experience. You don't remember it as well. I know it's not just me. You don't have the physical relationship. You don't know where you are in a book. It may say 62%, but it doesn't mean the same thing. You can't remember what it's called because you haven't had the cover."

Daunt also had more comments about Amazon Books, the e-tailer's first bricks-and-mortar location: "I would be surprised if that is anything other than a Seattle phenomenon. It would clearly be a major difficulty for us if it isn't that. If somebody chooses to try to replicate what you do and is quite prepared to lose massive amounts of money doing it, that can cause untold damage. But I can't see what possible commercial reasons they would want to do it. It doesn't help them." He added: "It doesn't sound very nice. Five thousand titles is really not very many [and] it has the presentational sophistication of Tesco."

Fox NFL Sunday: Eagle Eye in Motion

Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, Ga., made an appearance yesterday on Fox NFL Sunday, serving as the setting for Rob Riggle's picks and usual comedy shtick. The store closed on Friday so the crew could set up and film. The Colts beat the Falcons in nearby Atlanta yesterday.

Sign of the Times: McGill Bookstore Rebrands

The McGill University Bookstore in Montreal, Que., is asking McGill students, professors, staff, alumni and parents to vote on a new name. The store's current name--Bookstore--it says, is "a description of what we were initially created to do, and it is what most universities call their store. However, we all know we do more than just sell books; we sell clothing, McGill-branded products, gifts, technology hardware and accessories, stationery, food, frames, etc. We also host events and facilitate event registration. Bottom-line: we provide many different things to our very diverse community."

After a long process of evaluating options that were "logo-ized," tested and otherwise evaluated, the store came up with these two choices:

Magasin General Store, which the store said "by definition" is a general store and "leverages the tradition of another time, and evokes the concept of a gathering place."

Le James: Bookstore/Librairie, which is a tribute to founder James McGill and "enables us to put a unique name and face on the store, to tell great stories about McGill and honour all the great people who have graduated from McGill." Le James also "makes the store a real place, with a nod to our identity as an English institution in a francophone province."

Media and Movies

Movies: The Danish Girl

A new clip from the film adaptation of David Ebershoff's novel The Danish Girl "is set at a costume party and features [Alicia] Vikander gracefully remembering how her and [Eddie] Redmayne's characters first met," Indiewire reported. Directed by Tom Hooper, the movie opens in select theaters November 27.

TV: Cat's Cradle

FX has put in development Cat's Cradle, a limited series from IM Global and FX Prods. based on Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 novel. reported that the project will be written and executive produced by Noah Hawley (Fargo), who "has become a go-to drama writer at FX. In addition to writing/executive producing the second installment of the Emmy-winning series, he recently was tapped to write/executive produce the X-Men-themed pilot Legion for FX and FX Prods."

Media Heat: Karl Rove Campaigns for William McKinley

CBS This Morning: Karl Rove, author of The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters (Simon & Schuster, $32.50, 9781476752952). He will also appear today on NPR's Morning Edition and Fox News's O'Reilly Factor and tomorrow on Fox & Friends, Fox News's Varney & Co., On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Fox Radio's Alan Colmes Show and NPR's On Point.

Fresh Air: Peter Guralnick, author of Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll (Little, Brown, $32, 9780316042741).

Diane Rehm: James Kaplan, author of Sinatra: The Chairman (Doubleday, $35, 9780385535397).

Tavis Smiley: Sasha Abramsky, author of The House of Twenty Thousand Books (New York Review Books, $27.95, 9781590178881), and Kathryn J. Edin, co-author of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544303188).

Live with Kelly and Michael: Pharrell Williams, author of Happy! (Putnam, $19.99, 9780399176432).

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Ted Koppel, author of Lights Out: A Cyberattack, a Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath (Crown, $26, 9780553419962).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Sarah Palin, author of Sweet Freedom: A Devotional (Regnery, $19.99, 9781621574637).

The Late Late Show with James Corden: David Spade, author of Almost Interesting: The Memoir (Dey Street, $27.99, 9780062376978).

Diane Rehm: Harriet Washington, author of Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316277808).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Judah Friedlander, author of If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons (Hachette Books, $16.99, 9780316306959).

Conan repeat: Jason Segel, author of Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic (Delacorte, $16.99, 9780385744270).

Books & Authors

Awards: Poets & Writers; New Mexico-Arizona; Pacific Northwest

Poets & Writers magazine has announced the winners of the 2016 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards, which recognize "authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community," are Elizabeth George; Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Christopher Soto and Javier Zamora, organizers of Undocupoets; and Erin Belieu, Cate Marvin and Ann Townsend, cofounders of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Paul Slovak, executive editor at Viking Books, will receive this year's Editor's Award. The winners will be honored March 22 in New York City at Poets & Writers' annual benefit dinner, In Celebration of Writers.


The winners of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards include Laguna Pueblo: A Photographic History by Lee Marmon and Tom Corbett (UNM Press) for best book; Hoe, Heaven & Hell by Nasario Garcia (UNM Press) for best book on New Mexico, and Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona's Wildflowers by Paul Gill and Colleen Miniuk-Sperry (Analemma Press) for best book on Arizona. See the winners in more than 50 categories here.


The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association has chosen its 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Awards shortlist. The six winners will be chosen from among these 12 titles in early January.

Book Review

Review: Drawing Blood

Drawing Blood by Molly Crabapple (Harper, $29.99 hardcover, 9780062323644, December 1, 2015)

If anyone has visually captured New York City's post-9/11 zeitgeist, it is artist, illustrator, ex-Suicide Girl, burlesque queen and political activist Molly Crabapple (née Jennifer Caban, which she legally changed to the nickname inspired by her "sour disposition"). Drawing Blood is packed with enough energy and edge to make Patti Smith's Just Kids seem like a field trip to Disneyland.

Raised in Far Rockaway in Queens, N.Y., by her artist mother, Crabapple committed to art at age four, accepting that it "was neither exotic nor unattainable... as prosaic in its way as fixing cars." Bored in school at age 12, she consoled herself with punk rock; she recalls how she "stalked through school hallways, a brat in shredded black.... I pierced my ears with safety pins.... I worshipped Kurt Cobain." At 17, she was already on her way to Paris, alone, to find her idol Toulouse Lautrec's Moulin Rouge. Broke and vulnerable, she found company and a place to flop at the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore--a place with "all the dark romance of Miss Havisham's wedding dress... as perfect as a stage set, dirt and all."

Splurging on a leather sketchbook, she drew everything she saw--becoming "nothing but an eye, soaking up the world." When she returned to New York in August of 2001, she had a portfolio of work and a calling. A month later the city she left was no longer the city she knew. Sharing a "junior one-bedroom" dump in Alphabet City in the East Village, she was an artist without an audience and without a penny.

Drawing Blood is the story of how Crabapple survived poverty and insecurity to become a successful artist and illustrator, with work in MOMA's collection, contributions to the New York Times and Paris Review, an editorship at Vice and several published books, including The Art of Molly Crabapple, Vols. I and II. She posed for art students at $10 an hour with "all the fascination of sitting on a cross-country bus ride with no book." She lounged provocatively for sleazy amateur photographers. She posted nude photos on the semi-pornographic Suicide Girls website. She joined burlesque troupes. She introduced bands at CBGB's. She wiggled her way into the notorious downtown club the Box, which became "My muse. My Moulin Rouge." And through the hustling and degradation, she kept drawing--including up-close scenes of the Occupy Movement in Zuccotti Park and, with increasing political activism, visits to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Dhabi labor camps.

Candid, earthy, romantic, funny, omnivorous, Drawing Blood is the story of a young artist on the make in a New York City where the headbands and Lennon wire-rim glasses of a generation ago have been replaced by infinity scarves and Warby-Parkers. Illustrated with many of Crabapple's drawings, Drawing Blood is a portrait of a tough woman winning (finally) in a tough profession in the toughest of cities. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: New York City artist and writer Molly Crabapple's autobiography is a candid portrait of a focused woman who has hustled and scrambled to pay the rent and feed her talent.

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