Also published on this date: Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Dedicated Issue: Bill O'Reilly's History Series

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 28, 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


Strand to Pop Up for the First Time in Brooklyn

The Strand bookstore has long operated kiosks in Manhattan, notably on Fifth Avenue and Central Park, but soon will be operating a pop-up shop for a month on weekends in Brooklyn, its first foray into the borough, reported.

The shop will be located in the Artists and Fleas market in Williamsburg and be open every weekend from March 11 through April 16. Stock will feature contemporary fiction, used and bargain books, and Strand merchandise.

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

Amazon Bookstore Opening Today in Dedham, Mass.

The Amazon Books store in Dedham, Mass., the first Amazon bricks-and-mortar bookstore in the Northeast, opens this morning, the Boston Globe reported. The store is in Legacy Place, an upscale, outdoor shopping center southwest of Boston.

The store will have about 5,800 square feet and resembles the Amazon Books stores that have opened in Seattle, San Diego, and near Portland, Ore., selling a mix of books and electronics.

Amazon also plans to open stores in Lynnfield, Mass., Walnut Creek, Calif., New York City, Paramus, N.J., and Chicago, Ill.

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

Changes on the Menu for Purple Tree Books

Emily Clare, owner of Purple Tree Books in Cheboygan, Mich., closed her café, Purple Tree Coffee, last weekend, but it will reopen March 10 with new ownership and a new name. The Daily Tribune reported that Mix & Mingle Bakery "will continue the traditions of Purple Tree as an open space where community members are welcomed to gather, hold meetings, share positive ideas and enjoy a cup of coffee in the heart of downtown."

"I feel so good about this transition. It's very positive for me, for the Lange family, for our businesses, and very importantly for the community," said Clare, who had approached Brian and Sharen Lange several months ago about working together to launch a plan that would retain the spirit of what Clare had started, while letting her focus on the bookstore.

"This is going to allow me to focus all my efforts back on the bookstore to improve it," she continued. "The bookstore was what brought me to Cheboygan and I want it to be the best bookstore that I can make it and this transition back to just Purple Tree Books will allow me to do that! I cannot express how fantastic Brian and Sharen have been. I have loved having the coffee shop in addition to the bookstore but I am confident that it will be in the best of hands and the space will continue to be a place for the community."

Obituary Note: Theodore J. Lowi

Theodore J. Lowi, a political scientist "who challenged conventional scholarship on presidential power and identified the emergence of what he called 'interest-group liberalism,' " died February 17, the New York Times reported. He was 85. Lowi "popularized his theories with an evangelical zeal and a Southern drawl in lectures, television appearances and groundbreaking books."

Among those titles were The Personal President: Power Invested, Promise Unfulfilled; The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States; The Politics of Disorder; American Government: Power and Purpose; and Hyperpolitics: An Interactive Dictionary of Political Science (with Mauro Calise). He also edited The Pursuit of Justice, Robert F. Kennedy's book about his tenure as attorney general.

Lowi was named the nation's most influential political scientist in a poll of the American Political Science Association's members in 1978, the Times noted. Ilter Turan, APSA president, said, "Lowi's scientific personality was a unique mix of extraordinary empirical knowledge and bold theoretical vision."


Tulsa, Okla., Bookstore a Natural Fit on 'Nerd Row'

Kris Rose told Tulsa World that Bound for Glory Books, which she co-owns, "is part of 'Nerd Row,' a collection of unique shops located west of the 11th Street and Yale Avenue intersection." Her neighbors include "a gaming store (Dice Addiction), a toy store (All Star Toys), a comic store (Mammoth Comics) and a store (Good Mischief) that offers weird resale items."

"The first time I heard the term was after I had already moved in, when I met Good Mischief owner Michael Easter," Rose said. "He welcomed me to Nerd Row, and we started laughing about how apt the name was for our little strip of shops. If you like one of the stores on our strip, chances are you'll also like another store as well, if not all of them. We definitely cater to different breeds of nerds: Sci-fi nerds. VHS horror movie nerds. Vinyl nerds. Indie movie nerds. 1960s underground comics nerds. Feminist nerds. UFO nerds. Art nerds. You name it.... We look out for each other and drop in and chat, have a drink, buy something now and then, (and) talk shop. It's very cozy."

'12 of the Biggest Bookshops in the World'

In showcasing "12 of the biggest bookshops in the world for when you want to lose yourself in literature," Bustle noted: "Maybe Instagrams of tropical beaches or snowy mountaintops didn't make you jealous--but reading about the biggest bookshops around the world is sure to get you itching for a trip. These 12 bookstores are big, beautiful, and magnificent; within their walls you can lose yourself in books for hours at a time. Just don't blame me when you spend all your rent money on books, OK?"

Personnel Changes at Duke University Press

Jennifer Schaper has joined Duke University Press as sales manager. She was formerly senior manager for international rights at Perseus Books Group.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kay Redfield Jamison on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Kay Redfield Jamison, author of Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character (Knopf, $29.95, 9780307700278).

Tavis Smiley: Slavoj Žižek, author of Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism (Melville House, $19.95, 9781612194448).

Movie: Radioactive

Marjane Satrapi, author and Oscar-nominated director of Persepolis, is set to helm Radioactive, a Working Title production based on the 2010 graphic novel by Lauren Redniss, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout. Deadline reported that the film adaptation of the National Book Award finalist will be a "live-action, image-driven film." It is being adapted by Jack Thorne. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster are producing.

"Marie Curie was one of the great female scientists of the 20th century," Bevan said. "Between the originality of Laura Redniss's book, the freshness of Jack Thorne's script and the visual imagination of Marjane Satrapi's direction, I think we have the opportunity of making a very original movie about her life's work and its consequences."

Satrapi added that Curie's "life, love, passion, science and death is a singular story. Beyond the fact of being a two-time Nobel Prize winner, she herself is an epic character. This film is not just a biopic about this exceptional woman. It tells the story of radioactivity from its discovery until today, the humanist approach of the Curie couple with their discovery, the cynicism of some about its use and the effect it has had on our world until today."

Books & Authors

Awards: Montana Book, Blue Peter Winners

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has won the 2016 Montana Book Award.

Judges called The Immortal Irishman "the epic story of Thomas Francis Meagher, an Irish rebel turned American hero. The author details Meagher's leadership during Irish uprisings, service with the Irish Brigade in the Civil War, and achievements as the territorial governor of Montana. His death has long been a mystery to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence."

Four honor books were also chosen:

A Bloom of Bones by Allen Morris Jones (Ig Publishing)
The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield (Gallery Books)
The Names of the Stars: A Life in the Wilds by Pete Fromm (St. Martin's Press)
Yellowstone: A Journey Through America's Wild Heart by David Quammen (National Geographic Partners)

Presentations will be made March 29 during the Montana Library Association conference in Billings.


Winners were announced in two categories for this year's Blue Peter Book Awards, chosen by more than 400 schoolchildren across the U.K. to "celebrate the best authors, most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children." This year's winning books are:

Best story: Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by David Wyatt
Best book with facts: Survivors by David Long

"It's been a pleasure to see the children walking the corridors with their books in their hands, especially the boys," said teacher Sarah Newman from Porth Y Felin school in Conwy, Wales. "Pupils say being Blue Peter Book Awards judges has given them a purpose to their reading, and opened their eyes to books they might not otherwise have chosen."

Ewan Vinnicombe, editor of Blue Peter, said "school children across the country, along with our distinguished judging panel, have chosen two exceptional books as their winners."

Learning About Ireland Through The English Daughter

On the eve of St. Patrick's Day comes The English Daughter by Maggie Wadey, first published in the U.K. last July by Sandstone Press and released in the U.S. in January by Dufour Editions.

In the book, Wadey, who has a distinguished career as an English playwright, novelist and screenwriter-adaptor (Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, The Yellow Wallpaper), tells the story of her mother, who Wadey remembers as being different from the rest of her very English family--and that it had something to do with her being Irish. For most of her mother's life, Wadey had only sketchy knowledge of her mother's working-class childhood in Ireland--she left home in a hurry, at a young age, taking a ferry boat alone to England.

In her 80s, Wadey's mother, Agnes, began suddenly to speak about her childhood. But before Wadey could ask everything she wanted and before her mother could fill in the many gaps, Agnes died. After that, Wadey traveled repeatedly to Ireland and did a striking amount of detective work about her family there. She learned, for example, that her grandfather was illiterate and her uncle was an alcoholic and had a "catastrophic" marriage. She also discovered an explosive secret known only by the women in her family, a secret whose uncovering was helped by a cousin Wadey didn't know she had. Going back several generations, the family's tale encompassed famine and civil war, "fallen women" and adoption, all of which Wadey recounts in The English Daughter.
In an interview, Wadey recalled, "It wasn't that I felt my mother had kept any particular dark secrets from me or that what she'd told me was all moonshine. But instinctively I knew I hadn't been given the entire truth. Now she was gone, I felt free to go back, to find out for myself the reality of her youth. Of course, I wasn't just finding out about her, I was finding out about myself, and at the same time I hoped to put right my shocking ignorance about Ireland."

She called her mother's story a universal one of "a young person's struggle to find herself, about the forces that both create and limit each of us in our journey to independence.

"In my mother's case, it is an Irish story, a story of emigration and the pain of exile--for her a double exile, because she chose to have nothing to do with the Irish community here [in England], and because she felt the need to keep quiet about the past. It tells what happens to us, to our memories, and to those closest to us."

Wadey's life and her mother's life "could hardly have been more different," she continued. "She wanted me to have every English advantage, including four years in boarding school. So although this is a story about Ireland and an Irish emigrant, it is seen at an angle: that of her English daughter."

That angle has been widely appreciated. As Yeats biographer Roy Foster wrote: "I found The English Daughter subtle, moving and engrossing."

Book Review

Review: No One Cares About Crazy People

No One Cares about Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America by Ron Powers (Hachette, $28 hardcover, 384p., 9780316341172, March 21, 2017)

In the opening line of No One Cares about Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America, Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and co-author of nonfiction such as Mark Twain: A Life and Flags of Our Fathers, writes: "This is the book I promised myself I would never write." It is a hybrid, a nontraditional history of mental health care fused to an incredibly personal story about his two sons' struggles with schizophrenia. For his son Kevin, that struggle ended in suicide, and the heartbreak of that experience (among others) permeates every impersonal date and statistic in the book with sorrow and rage.

Powers doesn't attempt an encyclopedic history of mental illness and care in the United States, instead focusing on specific factors--trends, innovations, individuals, etc.--that played a role in creating a status quo wherein "too many of the mentally ill in our country live under conditions of atrocity." Powers finds one of his chief culprits in deinstitutionalization, a program whose name "carried the lilting harmony of silverware spilling from a cleanup tray." The well-intentioned experiment was designed to move prisoners from "the malingering scourge of decrepit mental asylums" to "community centers for treatment of the mentally ill." Instead, budget cuts left hundreds of thousands of patients stranded and desperate, fueling the rise of homelessness as well as mass incarceration.

Clueless politicians are hardly the only ones to blame for the current crisis, however. Powers's story is one of repeated moral failings, from the doctors performing transorbital lobotomies to the greed-fueled depredations of Big Pharma--"to open the dossier on the behavior of American and European pharmaceutical giants over the past quarter-century is to confront a fortified casino of riches and debauchery." The title of the book is a quote from leaked government e-mails, repurposed into a damning allegation.

For the families of the mentally ill, of course, caring about "crazy people" is a necessity. In roughly alternating chapters, Powers allows us to watch his sons grow up, dealing with the challenges of incipient schizophrenia as well as tragic events that shape their young minds. All the while, Powers movingly relates the joys of raising creatively gifted children. Kevin proves to be something of a musical savant, while his older brother, Dean, shows talents for music and writing. A typically sweet anecdote recalls Kevin's introduction to music as a young child serendipitously brought up on stage at a concert: "His poker face held, but inside him, volcanoes were erupting and winds were blowing one life out and a new one in." 

Unfortunately, the reader is also witness to schizophrenia sweeping through the loving family as Kevin and Dean experience hallucinations, paranoia and psychotic breaks. The boys' interactions with the mental health care system give Powers a first-hand look into its failings, and in turn he shows the reader the devastating human consequences of society's indifference toward the mentally ill. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books

Shelf Talker: No One Cares About Crazy People pairs a history of mental health care with the deeply personal story of the author's two sons and their struggles with schizophrenia.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Every Little Thing by Marie Force
2. Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward
3. Like a Memory by Abbi Glines
4. Park Avenue Prince by Louise Bay
5. Once Upon a Valentine by Various
6. Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
7. Yours by Jasinda Wilder
8. Tempt Me by J. Kenner
9. Crown of Lies by Pepper Winters
10. The Dragonlings' Very Special Valentine (Dragonlings of Valdier Book 4) by S.E. Smith

[Many thanks to!]

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