Shelf Awareness for Monday, January 9, 2017

University of Texas Press: Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating Loss by Lisa Keefauver

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!

Berkley Books: The Hitchcock Hotel by Stephanie Wrobel

Queen Mab Media: Get Our Brand Toolkit

Ballantine Books: Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me by Glory Edim

Ace Books: Rewitched by Lucy Jane Wood

Graywolf Press: We're Alone: Essays by Edwidge Danticat

St. Martin's Press: Runaway Train: Or, the Story of My Life So Far by Erin Roberts with Sam Kashner


Sisters Buy Block Island's Island Bound Bookstore

Island Bound Bookstore on Block Island, Rhode Island, has been bought by Susan Bush and Laura Parsons, who are sisters and had been interested in the store since founder Cindy Lasser put it up for sale last February, Bookselling This Week reported.

Bush is the owner of Albany Records, which produces "uncommonly classical" music and was manager of the Albany, N.Y., symphony. Parsons is a child psychologist. Bush is a full-time resident on Block Island, and Parsons has a home there.

Bush plans to apply her experience in the music business to Island Bound Bookstore. "I know about managing inventory and I know about running a company," she told BTW. "If loving to read books and being big consumers of books is any advantage, then both my sister and I are at the top of the heap on that."

Bush will attend Winter Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Paz & Associates workshop beforehand. She's also working with Paz & Associates on a facelift for the store.

BINC: Click to Apply to the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships

Amazon Books Planning N.J. Store and Second Mass. Store

Amazon's Seattle bookstore

Amazon is planning to open several more Amazon Books stores this year, including a second in the Boston area and one in Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., a New York City suburb. Only last week plans for a store at the Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan became public. The stores are listed as "coming soon" on Amazon Books' home page.

Since opening its first Amazon Books location in Seattle, Wash., in late 2015, Amazon has also opened bookstores in San Diego, Calif., and near Portland, Ore. Last year, it confirmed plans to open stores in Chicago, Ill., and Dedham, Mass.

The second Amazon Books location in Massachusetts will be in Lynnfield, on the North Shore, at MarketStreet Lynnfield.

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

B&N Closing Nicollet Mall Store in Minneapolis

The Barnes & Noble on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, Minn., is closing this spring, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported. B&N isn't renewing the store's lease, which runs through May. B&N opened the 25,100-square-foot location in 1994.

Late last year, B&N opened its second new concept store, in Edina, Minn., a Twin Cities suburb. That store, which includes a full-service restaurant, has some 21,500 square feet of space.

Obituary Note: Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff, the author, journalist, "jazz critic and civil libertarian who called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, elegant riffs and the sweet harmonies of the Constitution," died December 7, the New York Times reported. He was 91.

In addition to writing for the Village Voice for 50 years--along with dozens of other publications--Hentoff published more than 35 books, "works by a jazz aficionado, a mystery writer, an eyewitness to history, an educational reformer, a political agitator, a foe of censors, a social critic," the Times noted.

His titles include Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men Who Made It; The Jazz Life; Boston Boy: Growing up with Jazz & Other Rebellious Passions; The Day They Came to Arrest the Book; Speaking Freely: A Memoir; The Nat Hentoff Reader; The War on the Bill of Rights & the Gathering Resistance; and Free Speech for Me--But Not for Thee: How the American Left & Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other.

January Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for January was delivered to more than a third of a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 86 independent bookstores, a combined total of 357,295 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case Emily Fridlund, author of History of Wolves (Atlantic Monthly Press).

For a sample of the January newsletter, see this one from the Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, Colo., which just began sending the e-version of the Indie Next List.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Remember You Will Die
by Eden Robins
GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

Despite the title, Eden Robins's Remember You Will Die is a joyously enlivening masterpiece. Only dead people inhabit the pages of this novel, their stories revealed predominantly through obituaries ranging from deeply soulful to hilariously delightful. As Christa Désir, editorial director for Bloom Books at Sourcebooks, promises, it's "a book about life and art and loss and being human and messy." By 2102, the singularity has long happened, and an AI called Peregrine learns that her 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, is dead. Unraveling this requires a three-century excavation of relationships, cultures, science, history, and brilliantly sourced etymology. Désir predicts "a cult classic" that readers will want to "immediately pick back up... to find more Easter eggs and clues." Eden Robins could have the singular bestseller of the year. --Terry Hong

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99 paperback, 9781728256030, 
October 22, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Most Popular Library Check Outs 2016: Canadian Edition

Last week, we shared the most popular books checked out in 2016 from the New York Public Library as well as 14 other metropolitan libraries nationwide.

In Canada, Quillblog featured the country's largest library system's "lists of its most-borrowed titles of 2016. A number of the year's biggest Canadian books proved to be just as popular with Toronto Public Library patrons as they were with retail customers and award juries."

And the CBC had "the scoop on the Vancouver Public Library's most in-demand books of the year‚ which include Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, Wab Kinew's The Reason You Walk and Justin Trudeau's Common Ground."

Pennie Picks Girl Waits with Gun

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart (Mariner, $14.95, 9780544800830) as her pick of the month for January. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"This month's book buyer's pick is a great example of early 1900s girl power: Amy Stewart's Girl Waits with Gun.

"The novel was inspired by the true story of a silk factory owner destroying the Kopp sisters' buggy in a traffic accident. When the factory owner refuses to pay for damages, the town prosecutor says he won't help. The county sheriff, however, teaches all three sisters to shoot, and the oldest one, Constance, becomes one of the first female deputy sheriffs of the early 20th century.

"I can't help but praise Stewart not only for how she fleshes out the events in this story, but also for the way she brings to life these highly unusual sisters and the times in which they live."

Media and Movies

The Golden Globes: Red Carpet Book Winners

Book-to-screen adaptations made their mark at last night's Golden Globe Awards, with TV miniseries The Night Manager and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, as well as the film Elle, garnering multiple honors. Winning productions that started as books or have book connections included:

Elle, based on the novel by Philippe Djian: Best motion picture, foreign language; Isabelle Huppert (actress in a motion picture, drama)
Nocturnal Animals, inspired by the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (supporting actor)
Fences, adapted from August Wilson's play: Viola Davis (supporting actress)

The Night Manager, adapted from John le Carré's novel: Tom Hiddleston (actor in a limited series or motion picture made for TV); Olivia Colman (supporting actress); Hugh Laurie (supporting actor)
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson: Best television limited series or motion picture made for TV; Sarah Paulson (actress)


On the red carpet last night, Bryan Cranston, who was nominated for best actor in the HBO biopic All the Way, told People that during his tour last fall for his memoir, A Life in Parts (Scribner), he bought copies of his books in bookstores, put the receipts in them and left them as gifts to whomever browsed and opened them.

"I did that in every bookstore on my tour," he told People. "I did that and just put the receipt in there and put it back on the shelf. So if anyone was looking at my book, they'd see on the receipt it says 'open me.' But I left the receipt so they didn't feel like they were stealing."

At least one fan found a note from Cranston, reproduced on Twitter, which read, "Hi. Hey, thanks for taking a gander at my book. Take this book for yourself FREE! Really I just bought it--see the receipt. I hope you enjoy the read. Have a nice day. Bryan Cranston. Dallas Airport. Oct 19 2016. 9:45 AM."

Media Heat: Lisa Servon on Fresh Air

CBS This Morning: Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas (Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316098762).

CBS This Morning: Bret Baier, co-author of Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062569035).

Fresh Air: Lisa Servon, author of The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544602311).

Conan: Jamie Lee, author of Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride (HarperOne, $22.99, 9780062455604).

Books & Authors

Awards: Edward Stanford Travel Writing

Finalists have been announced for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. A shortlist for the £5,000 (about $6,145) Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, in association with the Authors' Club, will be announced January 17. Winners of all categories, as well as the Lonely Planet Travel Blog of the Year, Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year, and the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing, will be revealed February 2. A complete list of finalists is available here.

Book Review

Review: The Lonely Hearts Hotel

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill (Riverhead Books, $27 hardcover, 400p., 9780735213739, February 7, 2017)

Heather O'Neill (Daydreams of Angels) weaves a magical story of two talented orphans who live outside convention and survive the Great Depression in the author's native Montreal.

In 1910, two infants are in the grim care of strict nuns at a Catholic orphanage. The first, a boy, barely survived his birth. The second, a girl, was found freezing in the snow by a factory worker. The nuns name them Joseph and Marie. Because they also call every child in the orphanage by one of the two appellations, they nickname the boy Pierrot after the sad clown of the Commedia dell'Arte, and the girl Rose, for the pink spots that appeared in her cheeks after she thawed. Pierrot and Rose are drawn to one another from their earliest days, but the nuns mercilessly keep them separated, determined to squelch any possibility of future romance between the two. However, their talents for music, comedy and acrobatics make them a natural double act, and by their teen years, the Mother Superior is grudgingly allowing them to perform in rich homes to help support the orphanage.

As feared, the two fall deeply in love, but when a wealthy man adopts Pierrot, Sister Eloise causes a misunderstanding that breaks up the blossoming romance. Rose becomes a governess in the household of the organized crime boss McMahon and quickly graduates to the position of mistress, but he scorns her efforts to become the talent manager in his nightclubs, turning abusive when he cannot tame her spirit. Pierrot's idyll with the rich gentleman ends in sorrow, poverty and addiction. Through their highs and lows, neither forgets the other, but even a second chance at realizing their dreams is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Rightfully compared with Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus for its eccentricities, thwarted love affair and whimsical imaginings of a circus-like revue, O'Neill's fairy tale spins a bittersweet spell. While flighty Pierrot drifts charmingly through life, Rose's ambition drives her to seize life with both hands and bend its shape to her will. Though she sometimes beats her wings helplessly against the cage of her gender and time period, she finds ways to rebel against the norms and carve out her own niche. O'Neill's acrobatic prose sweetens the experience, liberally dusted with confections of phrase such as "the leaves were like poems that had fallen to the ground." Brazen, offbeat and thoroughly bewitching, The Lonely Hearts Hotel mixes the sacred and profane into an effervescent love potion. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Two orphans, each graced with vaudevillian talents, come of age in Depression-era Montreal.

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