Shelf Awareness for Monday, February 27, 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


AAP Sales: September Inches Up; Trade Books Up 1.3%

In September, total net book sales rose 0.7%, to $1.471 billion, compared to September 2015, and represented sales of 1,207 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first nine months of the year, total net book sales fell 5.8%, to $11.131 billion. 

Trade book sales in September rose 1.3%, to $735.6 million, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth for trade books. For the year to date, trade book sales rose 0.6%, to $4.992 billion.

In September, adult book sales slipped 0.7%, to $493.1 million, while children's/YA rose 4.6%, to $187.5 million. Trade e-book sales fell 14.9%, to $96.2 million.

Sales by category in September:




BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Bookish Oscars: Many Nominees, Theatrical Ending

At last night's Academy Awards ceremony, five of the nine best picture nominees were book-related, and there were plenty of other bookish category nominations as well. But gold statues turned out to be a rare commodity for book-to-film adaptation fans. There were, however, still reasons for readers to celebrate in the face of the La La Land juggernaut and the theatrical--two winning movies were adapted from plays--surprise twist ending. Among the Oscar winners:

Moonlight, based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney: best picture, supporting actor (Mahershala Ali), adapted screenplay (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney)

Fences, adapted from August Wilson's play: supporting actress (Viola Davis)

Arrival, based on Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life": sound editing

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the book by J.K. Rowling: costume design

The Jungle Book, based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling: visual effects

Many book-related movies earned Oscar nominations, but left empty-handed. These included Lion, adapted from Saroo Brierley's memoir A Long Way Home; Hidden Figures, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Elle, based on the novel Oh... by Philippe Djian; Florence Foster Jenkins, inspired by Jasper Rees's biography; Nocturnal Animals, inspired by the novel Tony & Susan by Austin Wright; Silence, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô; My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de Courgette), based on the novel Autobiographie d'une Courgette by Gilles Paris; I Am Not Your Negro, inspired by James Baldwin's uncompleted manuscript Remember This House; and Life, Animated, based on the book by Ron Suskind.

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

Crowdfunding Updates: Lit. Bar, Land Library

Noëlle Santos

Congratulations to the Lit. Bar, the bookstore and wine bar that Noëlle Santos is planning to open in the Bronx, N.Y.: the store's Indiegogo campaign has surpassed its goal of $100,000 and still have almost three weeks left. As of yesterday, some 1,433 people had contributed almost $107,000, which is about a third of Lit. Bar's estimated startup budget.



With 39 days to go, the Rocky Mountain Land Library's Kickstarter campaign has raised $28,500 of its goal of $125,000, which will go toward helping transform a historic cattle ranch in South Park, Colo., into a live-in library and art space and a site for workshops, residencies and retreats. The Kickstarter funds will be used specifically to complete the renovation of the Cook's House, one of the six main structures at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.

The nonprofit Land Library project is being led by Jeff Lee and Ann Martin, who have worked at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver for more than two decades and have collected some 35,000 books that feature the American West.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

The Bookstore in Elko, Nev., Is Closing

The Bookstore in Elko, Nev., closed on Saturday after 26 years in business. The Daily Free Press reported that Sandy Wilson launched the shop, which sold new and used books, in 1991 "and developed longtime relationships with customers," then Tammi Santistevan took the reins from her mother in 2006, "but recent trends in brick-and-mortar retail and reading habits are causing her to close the store."

"We cannot compete with Amazon and the Internet," said Santistevan. "We can't be a showroom and not have people buying.... Our elderly customers are really upset. They came in all the time and traded used books; the younger generation not so much. They read on their phones and tablets."

She cited customer interaction as the best part of her years as a bookseller: "I truly appreciate all of the business over the last 26 years. A lot of loyal customers. I'm going to miss them."

Obituary Note: Jerome Tuccille

Jerome Tuccille, who wrote one of the first manifestoes of the American libertarian movement and the first biography of Donald J. Trump, died February 16, the New York Times reported. He was 79. Tuccille wrote how-to books on investing and a series of biographies, beginning in 1985 with Trump: The Saga of America's Most Powerful Real Estate Baron.

His other titles include It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand: A Libertarian Odyssey (1971); Radical Libertarianism: A Right Wing Alternative (1970); It Still Begins With Ayn Rand: Part Two of a Libertarian Odyssey (1999); Hemingway and Gellhorn: The Untold Story of Two Writers, Espionage, War, and the Great Depression (2011); and Heretic: Confessions of an Ex-Catholic Rebel (2006).


Image of the Day: Tell Me How It Ends

Green Apple Books and 826 Valencia (in San Francisco's Tenderloin district) co-hosted an event with Valeria Luiselli last week. Coffee House Press had copies of Tell Me How It Ends, Luiselli's new long essay about her work with undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, overnighted from the printer for the occasion.

Oblong's Suzanna Hermans: One of '5 Women Trailblazers'

In honor of Women's History Month, the Poughkeepsie Journal spotlighted the accomplishments of "five women who made--or are making--history in their own ways in Dutchess County," including Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books in Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y.

"The Oblong stores have a strong sense of place, with a large display of Hudson Valley guidebooks as well as books, some rather obscure, on Hudson Valley history," the Journal noted. "And there's a huge selection of cookbooks, highlighting Rhinebeck's proximity to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. The store is also reflective of current politics. Hermans recently launched a Social Justice Book Group at Oblong to encourage the community to come together to read and learn in a safe space."

"In this political climate, we're all stressed and on edge," she said. "A bookstore is a good place for people to come together to talk about things."

Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: Eagle Eye Book Shop

From the Facebook page of Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, Ga.: "Philosoraptor philosophises... If money can't buy happiness, why are books for sale? #dotsale #philosoraptor #booksequalhappiness #booksforall #independentbookstore #sandwhichboredcreationsbyjamille".

Personnel Changes at Clarkson Potter, Little, Brown/James Patterson

At Clarkson Potter:

Natasha Martin has been promoted to senior publicist.

Carolyn Gill has joined Clarkson Potter as marketing manager. She formerly worked at the New York City Wine & Food Festival and earlier at the International Culinary Center and Disney Publishing Worldwide.


At the Little, Brown team that publishes James Patterson:
Bill Robinson, editorial director, is promoted to director, brand development.
Erinn McGrath, publicity manager for James Patterson, is named associate director of publicity, James Patterson.
Sabrina Benun is promoted from marketing & publicity manager to senior marketing manager.
Sean Comstock, marketing assistant, is promoted to marketing associate.
Shawn Sarles, sales & marketing associate, is promoted to sales & marketing analyst.

Book Trailer of the Day: Make Trouble

Make Trouble by John Waters (Algonquin), an illustrated version of the author's 2015 Rhode Island School of Design commencement speech.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: George W. Bush on Today

Today: George W. Bush, author of Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors (Crown, $35, 9780804189767).

Fresh Air: Joel Sartore, author of The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals (National Geographic, $35, 9781426217777).

CNBC's Power Lunch: Tony Robbins, author of Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501164583). He will also appear on CNBC's Nightly Business Report and Fox Business Network's Intelligence Report.

Books & Authors

Awards: Walter Scott Historical Fiction Longlist

A longlist has been unveiled for this year's £25,000 (about $31,155) Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which will be awarded at the Borders Book Festival in June. A shortlist will be announced in March. The longlisted titles are:

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Crane Pond by Richard Francis
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson
The Good People by Hannah Kent
Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

For the first time this year, the prize organizers are publishing a further list of 20 books recommended by the Walter Scott Prize Academy, "comprising new historical novels from Australia, Canada and Africa as well as some unmissable books published in the U.K."

Book Review

Review: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (Scribner, $27 hardcover, 384p., 9781501154829, March 21, 2017)

Lisa See (China Dolls) pays homage to the enduring bond between mother and daughter while also illuminating the fascinating world of small tea farms in China during the economic reforms of the 1980s and '90s.

Born of the Akha people in the Yunnan province hills of southern China, Li-Yan knows her future by the age of 10. Her culture places its faith in ritual, spirits and destiny. Though her gender makes her less valuable than a son, Li-Yan is nonetheless necessary for preserving family tradition. Like her a-ma, she will become the midwife and healer of Spring Well Village and marry a boy from a neighboring tea farm. A hidden grove of ancient tea trees and medicinal plants makes up her dowry, passed through the generations by the women of her family.

When Teacher Zhang, embittered and displaced by the Cultural Revolution, suggests that Li-Yan has the intelligence to become the first person from her community to go to college, she sees a way out of her narrow existence. Then Mr. Huang, a Hong Kong businessman, arrives in Spring Well looking for the source of fermented Pu'er tea, an up-and-coming Hong Kong trend said to have health benefits. Between translating her family's words to Mr. Huang and sneaking away to meet San-Pa, the boy she loves, Li-Yan misses her opportunity to test into college. Worse, after San-Pa leaves to earn money for their marriage, Li-Yan realizes she's pregnant. When he does not return, tradition dictates she must kill her fatherless daughter at birth, but Li-Yan rebels and leaves newborn Yan-Yeh at the Menghai Social Welfare Institute. While her life continues to unfold in surprising ways, Li-Yan never stops grieving for her lost child. Meanwhile, Yan-Yeh is adopted by an American family and struggles to understand why her birth mother abandoned her.

Meticulously researched, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane explores the link between tea production and an ethnic minority's survival and customs. See, who has Chinese heritage, never misses a chance to ground the action in historical context, and Li-Yan's fortunes closely parallel the changing economic landscape of the late 20th century. Through a series of doctor's notes, letters, homework assignments and group therapy transcripts, See probes the challenges of adoption across racial and cultural boundaries. An intimate portrait, this family drama will dazzle book clubs eager to watch a woman rise above her circumstances against an uncommon and captivating backdrop. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: A young woman of China's Akha people rises through the tea industry but never forgets her infant daughter, whose life she saved by giving her away.

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