Also published on this date: Wednesday, December 7, 2016: Dedicated Issue: DC Entertainment

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 7, 2016

S&S / Marysue Rucci Books: The Night We Lost Him by Laura Dave

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao

Tommy Nelson: Up Toward the Light by Granger Smith, Illustrated by Laura Watkins

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

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


In Brooklyn, a Bookstore to Close, Another to Open

BookCourt, the beloved Brooklyn, N.Y., bookstore that has been in Cobble Hill for 35 years, is closing at the end of the year, owners Henry M. Zook and Mary B. Gannett announced yesterday. The two, who founded BookCourt in 1981, said they are retiring from bookselling.

"BookCourt has truly been a family business," they wrote. "Our accomplishments were supported by our parents (especially in the early years) and our children. Our son Zachary was BookCourt's events manager and general manager through the crucial 2008 expansion, and in many ways he is responsible for solidifying our reputation and making the store what it is today. He dedicated his 20s to the store. As he moved on to other pursuits in 2014, we are now doing the same."

Customers and neighbors were shocked and unhappy about the closing of the store, known for its wide book selection, strong events programs, deep children's stock and strong ties to the community.

Emma Straub
(photo by Jennifer Bastien)

But minutes after the BookCourt announcement, author (and former BookCourt employee) Emma Straub and her husband, Michael Fusco, offered hope to BookCourt fans. The couple has been working on opening a bookstore to be called Books Are Magic in the general area since they learned in October that BookCourt would close. (Straub told the New York Times that, at the time, they asked to take over the store, "but that didn't work out.") As they wrote on Straub's website, "We've spent the last few months looking at spaces, getting our math together, and thinking about light fixtures. We have secured initial funding and crossed our fingers. And so, dear Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Columbia Waterfront, and beyond... you won't be lonely for long. Books are magic, and we want to make sure that this neighborhood is positively coated in bookish fairydust for decades to come."

Zook and Gannett thanked "our Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill neighbors for their loyal support. Against many odds, BookCourt grew and flourished in a time when many independent bookstores closed. It's important to note that in addition to your support, BookCourt was able to thrive through economic and industry turbulence because we invested in the neighborhood and the real estate which housed the bookstore. We could not have survived the challenges of rent increases, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon otherwise, and we are thankful that we were able to provide this community with an independent bookstore for many years.

Henry Zook
Mary Gannett

"Along the way we were committed to reinvesting in the store and expanded it three times, most recently in 2008 when we built the 'greenhouse,' which includes our event space. Gaining that venue gave us the opportunity to host authors, from the world renowned to local favorites, helping to establish BookCourt and Brooklyn as literary destinations. We are proud that all our events--from a small, intense panel discussion to a celebrated, standing-room-only book launch, to our legendary Harry Potter Midnight Release parties--were always free and open to the public.

"We realize that BookCourt's closing leaves a void in the neighborhood and the industry. We especially want to tell the neighborhood children that we will miss you. Your enthusiasm has been a big part of what made our jobs and the store so wonderful. Seeing you curled up on the bench, the couch, or on the floor reading, brought joy to all of us every day."

Straub and Fusco lamented the impending closing of BookCourt, writing, "In addition to being my former employer, and the site of all five of my book launch parties, BookCourt is a part of our daily family life. Our children know its every corner as well as we do. We've fallen in love countless times within its walls--with Jennifer Egan and Colson Whitehead, with Elaine Dundy and Paula Fox, with Iggy Peck, Architect and Ounce Dice Trice, with the right book for the right moment, over and over and over again....

"A neighborhood without an independent bookstore is a body without a heart. And so we're building a new heart."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Stax Discount Books Opens in Marlborough, Mass.

Stax Discount Books has opened in Marlborough, Mass., in Hannaford Plaza. The store specializes in "new books, always discounted" as well as publisher closeouts, overstocks, and remainders. Current hardcovers and paperbacks are discounted 20%.

The owners are Michael Joachim, who started in the business as a bookseller and then book buyer for Hudson News and most recently was the book buyer for the Paper Store, and Tracey McCrea, a publishing professional who is a project manager at Pearson.

The two say they "share a passion for reading and wanted to provide other readers a place to buy books without spending too much money." The store's selection includes fiction, biography, science fiction, history, cooking, mystery and a large section of children's books.

Stax Discount Books is located at 193A Boston Post Road, Marlborough, Mass. 01752.

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

Authors United Merging with the Authors Guild

Authors United, the group of more than 1,000 writers that author Douglas Preston set up two years ago to battle Amazon's treatment of writers during the period the online retailer was restricting the sale of Hachette titles, is merging with the Authors Guild, the Bookseller reported.

Doug Preston

Preston has told members that he is concerned that the incoming Trump administration could make things "very, very much worse" for authors and wants to fight for author and press freedoms.

The Bookseller quoted Preston: "The Guild is extremely concerned about potential high-level appointments in areas that affect writers: copyright, anti-trust, libel law, and freedom of the press. The Authors Guild cannot and will not stand by while the livelihood of authors and press freedoms are under attack."

Preston said also that by taking legal action when necessary and employing a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., the Authors Guild is making sure that copyright laws are "not whittled away by the scorched earth lobbying efforts of Google, Amazon, and their ilk."

Another major concern, Preston continued, is falling authors' income, particularly for debut and midlist authors, writers of serious nonfiction and freelance journalists. He attributed this to the digital revolution, which has led people to expect more information for free. "We prevailed against Amazon once but the struggle is far from over," Preston said. "This is going to be a long effort and the Goliaths are only getting bigger and more powerful."

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

PRH and Chronicle #Give Greatly

Random House Children's Books president and publisher Barbara Marcus (right) with Nicola Yoon, author of The Sun Is Also a Star (Delacorte ), participating in this year’s #GiveaBook campaign outside the PRH office in NYC. (photo: Sean Sime)

Penguin Random House's third annual #GiveaBook campaign is prepared to donate up to 600,000 books to children in need across the country through First Book.

Until December 31, the publisher is tripling the impact of every donation made to First Book. For each $3 pledge, enough to buy one book, PRH will give an additional two books, up to 500,000 books.

And for the third year in a row, PRH also has invited readers to claim five of 50,000 books for their hometown through First Book. This quickly passed its initial goal, and within three days of launching the campaign on Giving Tuesday, November 28, PRH doubled its initial pledge from 50,000 to 100,000 books.

"It is vital that children have access to books in order to succeed: in their homes, in their schools and after school programs," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Penguin Random House, we have an opportunity to boost our reach to the 32 million children--44% of our nation's young people--who are growing up in low-income families where books, the most essential tool for learning, are scarce. We're grateful that they are joining us in our shared mission to invest in the future."

Last week, PRH celebrated the launch of #GiveaBook and the giving season by distributing books as gifts to readers at locations in New York, Maryland, Indiana and California.


The fourth annual #GiveBooks campaign from Chronicle Books began November 2. For every pledge, the publisher is donating one book to a child in need via First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to giving books to neighborhoods and schools in need, with a campaign goal of 30,000 donations.

On November 28, Chronicle expanded its charitable efforts to include We Need Diverse Books, to which the publisher pledged donations of books featuring diverse characters and creators. These titles are:

Green Is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illus. by John Parra
Round Is a Mooncake by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illus. by Grace Lin
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper, illus. by Raul the Third
Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell, illus. by Christian Robinson
Ganesha's Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes, illus. by Sanjay Patel
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan, illus. by Mehrdokht Amini
You Can Do It Too! by Karen Baicker, illus. by Ken Wilson-Max
I Can Do It Too! by Karen Baicker, illus. by Ken Wilson-Max
Bintou's Braids by Sylviane A. Diouf, illus. by Shane W. Evans
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. by Frank Morrison

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

NYC Perseus Publishers Moving to Hachette Offices

Perseus's New York City publishers are moving into Hachette's Manhattan offices this week. As of today, Basic Books, Public Affairs and Weinstein Books will be located at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10104. All Perseus staff are now using Hachette e-mail addresses, which follow this construction: New York City-based Perseus imprint staff also have new phone numbers reachable through HBG's main New York City number, 212-364-1100.


Image of the Day: Silver Anniversaries at PGW

At sales conference this week, PGW celebrated the 25th anniversaries with the company of two lovely book world people: Jon Mayes, long-time rep in the Southeast, and Elise Cannon, v-p, field sales.

Portugal's Livraria Lello: Model for Hogwarts?

The Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal "is often featured as one of the world's most stunning bookshops. Its architecture is so stunning, it's rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling's depictions of Harry Potter's Hogwarts," Travel + Leisure reported.

The bookshop, which was opened in 1906 by brothers José and António Lello, "became a prominent hangout for famed writers and avid readers, and that reputation continued through the years.... Rowling was a loyal customer at the bookshop. Customers have often noted the resemblance between the shop's architectural features--like its twisting grand staircase--and designs in Rowling's imagined Harry Potter world," Travel + Leisure wrote. Customers have said the space resembles the Flourish and Botts bookshop.

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster Children's

Jessica Harold has joined Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing as marketing assistant. She was previously an intern at Galt & Zacker Literary Agency.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Megyn Kelly on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Megyn Kelly, author of Settle for More (Harper, $29.99, 9780062494603).

Daily Show: DJ Khaled, author of The Keys (Crown Archetype, $18, 9780451497574).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Taraji P. Henson, co-author of Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501125997).

TV: The Handmaid's Tale; The Kissing Booth

Indiewire featured first look photos of The Handmaid's Tale, a Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel that "might just be the original drama that pushes them to the next level." Directed by Reed Morano (Meadowland), the project stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd and O-T Fagbenle. The 10-episode first season premieres in April.


Netflix has ordered an original feature-length film adaptation of Beth Reekles's YA novel The Kissing Booth. Komixx Media is producing the drama with Vince Marcello (Teen Beach Movie) directing from his own screenplay. Deadline reported that Komixx "specializes in identifying IP with commercial potential for pre-school, family and young adult authored content, which is develops into TV and film properties. The Kissing Booth is the latest of its bestseller adaptions which includes The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr, YA thriller series ITCH and the Emma Pass novels The Fearless and Acid."

Books & Authors

Awards: Grammy Nominations; Center for Fiction First Novel; Canadian Nonfiction

Among the nominations for the Grammy Awards, which will be held February 12, are some book-related ones. In the Best Spoken Word Album (which includes poetry, audiobooks & storytelling) category:

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Simon & Schuster Audio)
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett (Penguin Random House Audio)
M Train by Patti Smith (Penguin Random House Audio)
Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk by John Doe with Tom Desavia (various artists) (Penguin Random House Audio)
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello (Penguin Random House Audio)


The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter by Kia Corthron (Seven Stories Press) has won the $10,000 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

The Center described the book this way: "On the eve of America's entry into World War II, in a tiny Alabama town, two brothers come of age in the shadow of the local chapter of the Klan, where Randall--a brilliant eighth-grader and the son of a sawmill worker--begins teaching sign language to his eighteen-year-old deaf and uneducated brother B.J. Simultaneously, in small-town Maryland, the sons of a Pullman Porter--gifted six-year-old Eliot and his artistic twelve-year-old brother Dwight--grow up navigating a world expanded both by a visit from civil and labor rights activist A. Philip Randolph and by the legacy of a lynched great-aunt. The four mature into men, directly confronting the fierce resistance to the early civil rights movement, and are all ultimately uprooted."


The B.C. Achievement Foundation has named four finalists for the $40,000 (about U.S. $30,145) B.C. National Award for Canadian Nonfiction, Quillblog reported. The winner will be announced in Vancouver on January 26. The shortlisted titles, which receive a $5,000 prize, are:

Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War by Taras Grescoe
A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices by Sandra Martin
On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor
Invisible North: The Search for Answers on a Troubled Reserve by Alexandra Shimo

Reading with... Neal Holman

photo: Floyd County Productions

Neal Holman is an art director and producer for Floyd County Productions, the animation studio behind Archer, Unsupervised, Chosen and other works for the FX Networks and Fox. Before joining the production team on the pilot of Archer, Holman's credits include work on the animated series Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021. The Art of Archer, an illustrated and highly visual guide to everything Archer, was just published by Dey Street Books.

On your nightstand now:

Cochrane: Britannia's Sea Wolf by Donald Thomas
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross
Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

Your top five authors:

Ken Follett, John Banville, George R.R. Martin, Elmore Leonard and Bernard Cornwell.

Book you've faked reading:

Moby-Dick--I've tried. A LOT. It's just not happening. Pretty sure it's about whales though? Or possibly knots?

Book you're an evangelist for:

It changes from year to year, but the last book I really pushed on people was The Martian by Andy Weir. The movie pretty much does that job for me now, so I'm in search of another love.

Book you've bought for the cover:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. It was well before the HBO series had begun--I think around 2005. I wanted some escapism, a fantasy book to read on a plane. For the first 60 pages or so, I thought I was reading a by-the-numbers sword and sorcery slog. Then, the book took this very young, precocious child and threw him out of a very high window.

My tropes critique fell away shortly thereafter.

Book you hid from your parents:

I don't think I ever actually had to hide a book from them. They are pretty great.

Book that changed your life:

As a kid, I must have read The Hobbit 20 times. The school library had a version with utterly gorgeous Alan Lee illustrations that I can still recall to this day. I was obsessed with it and, later, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Even later, I tried to be obsessed with The Silmarillion, but that was a bit much.

Will Eisner's Comics & Sequential Art changed the way I viewed comic books. Up to that point, they were just superheroes punching each other (and I loooooved them for it). This book was the first real art and writing lesson that stuck with me. I still have it.

Reading Joseph V. Mascelli's The Five C's of Cinematography was my film school. I majored in computer animation at the University of Georgia, but had neglected to take any actual film classes. I think I took volleyball instead, because who needs a film education when you have a killer jump serve, right?

Anyway, during preproduction for Frisky Dingo, I decided to spend every night studying film and animation until I could at least pretend to know what I was doing. Five C's was my foundation.

Favorite line from a book:

"Jackie Brown, at twenty-six, with no expression on his face, said that he could get some guns." --The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins

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

John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. I first read it in Kay McSpadden's English class in 1997. (Hi, Mrs. McSpadden!) I loved the structure, THE VOICE, the humor mixed with heart-rending sadness. Possibly because of my impressionable age at the time, it was an entirely new experience and one I'm not sure I've had since.

Favorite screenplays:

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by William Goldman
Hard Times by Walter Hill
Raising Arizona by Joel and Ethan Coen

Favorite Archer script:

Episode 605, "Vision Quest." 605 is just perfect Adam Reed, with the cast stuck in an elevator for the entire episode. There are no big chase sequences or fight scenes, just the cast bickering and bickering for 22 minutes. I love it.

Book Review

Children's Review: A Greyhound, a Groundhog

A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins, illus. by Chris Appelhans (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 1-5, 9780553498059, January 3, 2017)

"A groundhog, a greyhound,/ a grey little/ round hound./ A greyhound, a groundhog,/ a found little roundhog."

Tongue-twisting wordplay abounds in this charming read-aloud romp by Emily Jenkins (Toys Go Out; Toy Dance Party; Toys Come Home; Toys Meet Snow) and Chris Appelhans (illustrator of Jenny Offill's Sparky!; Flight series). Here, Jenkins pays tribute to a 1954 Caldecott Honor book illustrated by Maurice Sendak. She writes in her dedication: "A Greyhound, a Groundhog owes a debt of inspiration and rhythm to A Very Special House, by legendary children's author Ruth Krauss."

This winning picture book begins with a watercolor image of a sleeping greyhound, curled up in a ball, elliptical and stone-like: "A hound./ A round hound." On the next spread, the dog breaks out of his roundness, raising his long neck to look around, smiling. From a round hole nearby, a goofy-looking groundhog pops up, stretches short cute arms and yawns. The stubby rodent snaps to attention at the sight of the gangly greyhound, who is now chasing his own tail. When the cheerful dog enthusiastically greets the "roundhog," the little creature visibly flinches. The tension evaporates instantly. The dynamic duo circles around each other playfully: "Around, round hound./ Around, groundhog!"

As the new friends whirl and twirl, the artwork does too, dizzyingly. The type curves to further heighten the whirlpool effect: "Around and/ around and around/ and around./ The ground and a hog/ and some grey and a dog." As the kinetic illustrations of groundhog and greyhound blur, the words start to blend as well: "grey dog," "greyhog," "a hog little hound dog." The mad revelry stops only when they are both distracted by a butterfly, then a whole sky full of butterflies, then a bog, then, naturally, a log. In the end, the boisterous buddies collapse, panting and exhausted.

Preschoolers will delight in the sound of the words that rhyme and repeat and mirror and mix, qualities sure to render it a bedtime favorite. Appelhans's watercolor illustrations are both adorable and artful, ranging in composition from an appealingly framed sculptural greyhound on a creamy white background to the splashy double-page spread where multiple greyhounds and groundhogs bounce and race and chase. The fluid style beautifully complements Jenkins's story of unlikely friendship, joyful rambunctiousness and wordplay. A round, a mound, the sound of applause! --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: A greyhound and groundhog rumble and tumble in this splendid adventure in wordplay by Emily Jenkins and Chris Appelhans.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in November

The following were the most popular book club books during November based on votes from book club readers in more than 35,000 book clubs registered at

1. A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
2. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
5. The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club) by Colson Whitehead
6. The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedman
7. The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
8. A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles
9. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
10. The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Rising Stars:
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

[Many thanks to!]

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