Also published on this date: Monday, January 3, 2017: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Egg

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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

Resolution: 'Read More Books this Year'

"In the bookstore, we buy, sort, describe, locate, sell and read books. Through them, we reach places distant in space, time and mind. We build ourselves from experience. Readers can choose from the whole of humanity. Books use words, the same things we use to think. Words mean things, otherwise, krith bowrnie dasgep nimjorg blix. To dismiss meanings is dyscognitive--one might as well grunt....

"A democracy cannot be expected to be better than the wisdom and intelligence of its citizens. I am fortunate to work with books, the most influential invention ever. Read more books this year. We'll help you. Talk with persons who disagree with you. Thank you for letting Weller Book Works supply you with the nutrients with which you grow your knowledge, your mind and your soul. We'll also help you cook, dream or simply color."

--Tony Weller, co-owner of Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, Utah, in a New Year's message to customers via the shop's e-newsletter

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Wild Geese Bookshop Opens in Franklin, Ind.

Wild Geese Bookshop, which opened in November at 107 S. Water Street in Franklin, Ind., "is filled wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with a hand-curated selection of bestselling fiction, local history and current events," the Daily Journal reported.

"It's been in my heart for decades," said owner Tiffany Lauderdale Phillips of her dream to open a bookshop. "I've needed the people of Franklin, and they needed a bookstore. I'm tickled to be here.... I think what we provide is a unique experience. Any time we have an opportunity to be part of our communities and have conversations about books and meet each other--allowing a book to find you--I think that's a different experience altogether."

Phillips also observed that independent bookstores "are not just about the books, it's about the experience of being around ideas and places you've never been before (through reading); it gives us a chance to find ourselves in others and understand each other's perspectives. We want people to feel part of something special--you can't replicate that experience online."

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

Afterwords Books Moving Across the Street

Describing the relocation as a "business version of a do-si-do on historic Route 66," the Belleville News-Democrat reported that Afterwords Books and Bailey Cakes in Edwardsville, Ill., are exchanging buildings "as Afterwords moves into Bailey's building and Bailey moves into Afterwords' building."

This will be the third move in five years for Afterwords, but owner LuAnn Locke described her new space in the historic Wheeler House as a "forever home" for the business: "This is it. This location is going to have to work, because I don't have it in me to move again."

Bailey Cakes owner Laura Lynch purchased the Hotz House, where Afterwords was located, from the landlord, and Locke purchased the Wheeler House from Lynch. "I think it's going to be a wonderful thing for everybody," Lynch said. "I think LuAnn's going to be super excited, and she's been so wonderful to work with. I can't imagine this would have worked out with anybody else."

Locke plans to reopen January 14. "I'm not excited about moving again, but I am excited to be putting down roots, to buy a building and not renting anymore," she said. "Hopefully people will see it as our commitment to the community.... We are here to stay. We're not going anywhere."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

NYC's Crawford Doyle Booksellers Closing

Crawford Doyle Booksellers on Manhattan's Upper East Side is closing. In a New Year's Eve Facebook post, the bookshop said: "Thank you for your patronage for the last 21+ years. It's been great!!! An extra special THANK YOU to all of the amazing members of staff over the years. We couldn't have done it without any of you! Thank you to our neighbors on the UES--we'll miss you."

A sign in the bookstore's window announced: "Crawford Doyle Booksellers is closing. We thank you for your patronage during the past 21 years. We are grateful for your loyalty and support--and for the opportunity to have served you during these interesting times. Farewell."

Some Protest Threshold Signing of Alt-Right Title

The news last week that Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster's conservative book imprint, will publish a title by alt-right hero Milo Yiannopoulos has led to an angry reaction, particularly on social media, where many have protested what they see as a move that makes acceptable racist, neo-Nazi views. Some S&S authors have said they are protesting to the company. The Chicago Review of Books plans not to review any S&S titles this year. Some have gone so far as to call for a boycott of the sale of S&S titles.

A Breitbart senior editor who has been permanently banned from Twitter for harassing African-American actress Leslie Jones, Yiannopoulos is receiving a $250,000 advance for Dangerous, which Threshold will publish in March; the book has generated significant pre-orders online. Even for a group that makes wild and nasty accusations of all kinds, Yiannopoulos has an outsize reputation. As Ruth Ben-Ghiat wrote on CNN, "Positioning himself as the defender of victimized white males, [Yiannopoulos] goes after those he sees as their antagonists: feminists, people of color, and immigrants, cloaking his hate speech under the mantle of the right to free expression."

And Alexandra Schwartz wrote in the New Yorker: "As my colleague Hua Hsu has noted, Yiannopoulos's motivation is not so much ideological as it is fundamentally adolescent; he spreads his bile for the sake of seeing just how much bile-spreading he can get away with."

Simon & Schuster responded last week: "We do not and never have condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form. We have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions, and appealing to many different audiences of readers. While we are cognizant that many may disagree vehemently with the books we publish, we note that the opinions expressed therein belong to our authors, and do not reflect either a corporate viewpoint or the views of our employees."

Many major U.S. publishers indeed put out a range of political titles, and most, like S&S, have conservative political imprints. HarperCollins has Broadside Books; Penguin Random House has Sentinel and Crown Forum. Threshold was founded in 2006 with Mary Matalin, the Republican political consultant, as its editor-in-chief. In its 10 years, Threshold has published books by, among others, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump.

Luckily, booksellers everywhere have a variety of ways to respond to a book that some might find repugnant or objectionable. As in similar past situations, they can opt not to stock it, because they have limited space and want their stores to reflect certain values, and special order if customers request it. Or they can stock the book because they want to offer a range of titles and serve all their customers, regardless of their personal opinions. They can take the proceeds from the sale of such books and apply them to organizations and projects that work against the views they don't approve of. And, in this case, they can promote the many other titles S&S publishes that run counter to the Dangerous message.

Rakuten Kobo Becoming Technology Partner of Germany's Tolino

Effective January 31, Rakuten Kobo is buying the Tolino Alliance e-reader platform technology from Deutsche Telekom, which founded Tolino in 2013 with German bookselling chains Hugendubel, Thalia and Weltbild as well as Club Bertelsmann, according to The deal must yet be approved by German antitrust regulators.

Tolino includes e-readers, an app and cloud services and now has more than 1,500 bookstore partners via wholesaler Libri as well as the Mayersche and Osiander bookstore chains.

Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn commented: "This acquisition allows us to bring Rakuten Kobo's experience collaborating with book retailers around the world to the Tolino Alliance... We look forward to making the strong Tolino offerings even more competitive and, as Tolino's technology partner, to attract more people from German-speaking countries to digital reading."

Obituary Notes: Tina Moore; Richard Adams; Carrie Fisher

Tina and Peter Moore

Tina Moore, founder (with Peter Moore) and co-owner of Blue Marble Books, Fort Thomas, Ken., died December 28. The announcement was made, with "very heavy hearts," on the shop's Facebook page, which noted that Moore "was one of the Tri-State's most prominent children's literature experts, and friend of a great many children's book authors and illustrators. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Children's Booksellers (ABC) and was a founding member of the trade organization. She was recognized for her contributions to area literacy with the Silver Gertie Award (1989), and she was named one of the Women of the Year in Northern Kentucky (1995). In lieu of flowers, the Moore family has requested that memorial donations be made to literacy organizations such as the OKI Children's Literature Conference or your local library."

Children's author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand, who knew Moore for more than three decades, told the Cincinnati Inquirer that she "was a life force for this genre of books. Her passion was as deep on the subject as anyone I've ever known. She just didn't have books, she knew books. And if she knew you or she knew a child, she could find a perfect match." He added that the Moores created a community around their shop: "There was just a collection of people who were crazy about books and crazy about people who made books. They created those environments. They, of course, had many author events in their store, but their enthusiasm was beyond what just those walls could hold. They held a lot though.... The measure that we have of how deep a loss is, is the measure of how great the gift was. Her gift was a great love."


British novelist Richard Adams, "who became one of the world's bestselling authors with his first book, Watership Down, a tale of rabbits whose adventures in a pastoral realm of epic perils explored Homeric themes of exile, courage and survival," died December 24, the New York Times reported. He was 96. Although the novel was rejected by literary agents and publishers, in 1972 the small press Rex Collings Ltd. printed a first edition of 2,500 copies and it went on to win the Carnegie Medal in Literature in 1972 and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1973. Macmillan published the first U.S. edition in 1974.

Watership Down "quickly topped the New York Times bestseller list and remained on it for eight months," the Times noted, adding: "Avon paid $800,000 for the paperback rights. It eventually became Penguin's all-time best seller, a staple of high school English classes and one of the best-selling books of the century, with an estimated 50 million copies in print in 18 languages worldwide." Other works by Adams include Shardik, The Plague Dogs, Traveller, Tales From Watership Down and his autobiography, The Day Gone By.


Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter "who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie franchise," and "went on to use her perch among Hollywood royalty to offer wry commentary in her books on the paradoxes and absurdities of the entertainment industry," died December 27, the New York Times reported. She was 60. Fisher's books include The Princess Diarist, Shockaholic, Wishful Drinking, The Best Awful, Delusions of Grandma, Surrender the Pink and Postcards from the Edge.

In the Los Angeles Times, author John Scalzi wrote: "Fisher's four novels were based to some extent on her own life--as an author, 'write what you know' was something Fisher took seriously--but the books were more than veiled tidbits of the life of a Hollywood scion. They announced the arrival of a writer whose voice--witty but vulnerable, willing to push her readers to the edge of their comfort zone with the same lines that made them laugh--was both all her own, and part of a literary tradition that included writers like Dorothy Parker and Elaine May....

"Fisher's memoirs were not universally loved... but it's possible that in the final accounting, the openness in which Fisher addressed her struggles with mental illness, pills and other drugs may have been the most important thing she'd done.... There's no doubt that Fisher's fame comes from Star Wars... But Fisher's legacy includes her written words--cutting, clever, observant, self-aware and unbowed."


Indie Bookstores 'See Surprising Retail Plot Twist"

"Retailers across the country are adding up their holiday receipts. Among the businesses that were expecting an increase in sales this year were mom-and-pop bookstores," CBS Evening News reported over the weekend.

"It is a really good time to be a bookstore," said Jessica Stockton-Bagnulo, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. "There's only so much that digital can do, and we're human...  we want that interaction with the physical world."

Yesterday, Greenlight posted on Facebook: "Thanks to the folks at CBS News for spending some time at our Prospect Lefferts Gardens store for this piece on how and why indie bookstores are thriving! We especially love seeing and hearing from our customers about what bookstores mean to them."

Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: Inkwood Books N.J.

From the Facebook page of Inkwood N.J. in Haddonfield: "We have our 2017 Reading Resolutions set. Come on in and let us help you meet yours! #downtownhaddonfield #readingresolutions #shoplocal #shopsmall"

Most Popular Library Check Outs of 2016

Noting that more than 25 million items are circulated through the New York Public Library's network each year, the NYPL featured a list of its Most Popular Check Outs of 2016, which included "both expected front-runners and a few interesting surprises." The list includes "books borrowed from our 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, as well as from our growing e-book catalog (which currently offers nearly 320,000 books)."

Topping the charts last year was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, followed by Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. You can also check out an interactive map to see which title was number one at each branch.


For a wider perspective geographically, Quartz surveyed 14 metropolitan libraries to showcase the "most popular books at US public libraries this year, mapped by city." Among the findings: The Girl on the Train was also "the most checked-out book at eight of them, and the most checked-out work of fiction at 11."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Oprah Winfrey on Colbert's Late Show

Today: Hilaria Baldwin, author of The Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life (Rodale, $25.99, 9781623366988).

Also on Today: Dr. Travis Stork, author of The Lose Your Belly Diet: Change Your Gut, Change Your Life (Ghost Mountain Books, $25.95, 9781939457592).

Live with Kelly: Dr. Wendy Bazilian, co-author of Eat Clean Stay Lean: The Diet: Real Foods for Real Weight Loss (Rodale, $21.99, 9781623367893).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Taraji P. Henson, co-author of Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501125997).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Oprah Winfrey, author of Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life (Flatiron Books, $35, 9781250126535).

Tavis Smiley repeat: Trevor Noah, author of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780399588174).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Kevin Costner, co-author of The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala (Atria, $18, 9781476727400).

Tonight Show repeat: Steve Harvey, author of Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance (Amistad, $25.99, 9780062220356).

TV: 'Most Anticipated Literary Adaptations for 2017'

"It's time to re-stock your shelves, fire up the old cable (or streaming device of your choice) and settle in for another copascetic year of books on TV," Electric Literature noted in featuring its picks for "TV’s most anticipated literary adaptations for 2017."

"This year we'll see more Neil Gaiman and more smart comic book stories, but don't worry, there's going to be something for everyone: the kids, the crime fanatics, the vampire devotees, the historical fiction nuts, the book-ish liberals wondering what's become of their country, and the Ian McShane lover residing in all of us," Electric Lit wrote. "Is 2017 going to redeem the year that just passed? No, almost certainly things will get worse. But the marriage of good books and good television holds strong. High quality, thoughtful entertainment is a daily event now, and dammit, even the bookish people need their opiates."

Books & Authors

SIBA's Winter Okra Picks: 'A Flavor-filled Collection'

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced its Winter Okra Picks, "a flavor-filled collection" of new books chosen by Southern indie booksellers each season as the upcoming Southern titles they are most looking forward to handselling:

The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis (Hogarth)
The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish (HarperCollins)
Eveningland: Stories by Michael Knight (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland (Chronicle)
Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata (St. Martin's)
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King (Henry Holt)
One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain (University of South Carolina Press)
Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit and Whiskey by Troy Ball (Dey Street Books)
The River of Kings by Taylor Brown (St. Martin's Press)
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers (Algonquin)
Signals: New and Selected Stories by Tim Gautreaux (Knopf)
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin's)

Book Review

Review: Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith (Pantheon, $24.95 hardcover, 272p., 9781101870730, February 7, 2017)

The stunning Autumn is the first of a projected quartet of seasonal novels by Scottish author Ali Smith, whose earlier novels Hotel World, The Accidental and How to Be Both were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Set in the factional, jingoistic post-Brexit United Kingdom--where "what had happened whipped about itself as if a live electric wire had snapped off a pylon in a storm"--Autumn is a compact story of the unlikely friendship of two neighbors: Daniel, an iconoclastic old man with a house full of art, books and music, and Elisabeth, an impressionable, lonely young woman, 70 years his junior, who harbors a festering grudge against her annoying, self-serving mother. A marginally employed adjunct lecturer in art history, Elisabeth has returned to her mother's house to spend time with now 101-year-old Daniel. He lives in a nursing home where he sleeps through flashing images of his life more often than he listens to Elisabeth read Dickens to him--although he processes enough to conjure his own darker version of A Tale of Two Cities.

In a vibrant, unsettling dream sequence, Smith opens Autumn with Daniel's vision--"It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times"--before shifting to a scene with Elisabeth reading Brave New World while waiting in the bureaucratic passport renewal office. From there, Smith launches a sobering chapter that highlights the alarmingly fractious British social climate (e.g., "All across the country, money money money money. All across the country, no money no money no money no money.... All across the country, the country was divided, a fence here, a wall there, a line drawn here, a line crossed there.")

However, Autumn is hardly a polemic. Lush, lyrical, smart, funny, erudite--like the season itself, Smith's startling novel is a beautifully colored mosaic of time passing and life recycling. It references Dickens and Huxley, as well as Joyce, Keats, Plath and Dylan Thomas. Smith effectively weaves in historical allusions to classic films, the Christine Keeler scandals and 1960s British pop artist and collagist Pauline Boty, who died of cancer at age 28. Daniel introduces Elisabeth to Boty's work and in the process opens her eyes to the importance of seeing the world as an artist might, of hearing how words' meanings might mutate through puns and rhymes, of healing oneself by caring for others.

The backdrop of Autumn might be social disarray, but the story is one of life going on and the seasons passing. As Smith writes toward the end of her novel: "Here's an old story so new that it's still in the middle of happening, writing itself right now with no knowledge of where or how it'll end." If fall is the twilight of the year, what will Smith's long cold winter bring--and better yet, her spring and summer? --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Ali Smith's first of a projected quartet of seasonal novels is a triumphant story of a May-December friendship within a divisive Britain.

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