Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Overlook Press: Bad Men by Julie Mae Cohen

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

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley

Akaschic Books, Ltd: Go the Fuck to Sleep Series by Adam Mansbach, Illustrated by Ricardo Cortés

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta


Bookworks Albuquerque Adds Used Book Exchange

Bookworks, Albuquerque, N.Mex., has launched a used book program for its North Valley shop and will begin buying gently used books from customers, in exchange for store credit. The store is now carrying used books for sale, primarily inventory from a recently closed bookstore, the Bookstop.

"Books are an increasingly challenging retail environment," co-owner Danielle Foster said. "We hope a used book program allows us to adapt to the changing landscape and move forward successfully into our third decade of bookselling."

"We are looking forward to offering our longtime and new customers more selection of inventory and pricing through our used book program," added Bookworks co-owner Wyatt Wegrzyn.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Wild Rumpus Bookstore of the Year; DeCourcey Rep of the Year

Wild Rumpus, the delightful, very pet-friendly bookstore in Minneapolis, Minn., has been named PW's Bookstore of the Year. Wild Rumpus is a 2,000-square-foot, primarily children's and YA bookstore with a twist: the store is home to a multitude of adopted and rescued animals and operates as something of a petting zoo. Animals living in the store earlier this year included three cats, two rats, two doves, two chinchillas, a ferret, a chicken, a tarantula, a cockatiel and assorted fish. See our feature on Wild Rumpus, published in January, here.

Anne DeCourcey

And in related news, Anne DeCourcey of HarperCollins has been named PW Sales Rep of the Year. Last year she won the Saul Gilman Award, sponsored by the New England Independent Booksellers Association and honoring the best New England rep.

At the time, she wrote: "My life has been blessed by parents who love books. Inspiration came mostly from Mom, Marilyn Hollinshead, who read to us on our long car trips, had me join the UK Puffin Club (my inelegant elephant leg as umbrella stand story made it into the magazine and I still have my membership pin), who opened Pinocchio Bookstore for Children and put me to work, and whose enthusiasm for books has never waned. I've wandered a bit in my career, working for NEIBA when it was NEBA with Rusty [Drugan, the late former executive director], Penguin then Penguin Putnam as an adult, then children's rep based in Colorado, and had stints with Norton, Fulcrum, Gibbs Smith. My husband & two children and I finally moved back east to a very happy landing spot with HarperCollins Publishers. Sorry, Mom, I still haven't read Arthur Ransome's books, but let me tell you about the one we published about two girls spending a summer on an island...."

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

Former White House Staffer Joins Kramerbooks as Head of Programming

Matt Megan

Kramerbooks, Washington, D.C., has hired Matt Megan as head of programming, a new position. Previously, he was an associate director of the Visitors Office at the White House, where he helped produce large events such as the Pope's 2015 visit, the 2015 and 2016 Easter Egg Roll and the 2016 South-by-South Lawn festival.

Kramerbooks president Steve Salis, the co-founder of local pizza chain &pizza who bought the store early this year, commented: "We continue to bring in top talent to support our commitment to excellence in serving an institution we all love and cherish in Kramerbooks. Matt will be a tremendous addition to our team as we look to vastly enhance our programming initiatives."

Megan will work with Perry Hooks, the co-founder and president of Hooks Book Events, who has been a senior adviser at Kramerbooks since February, when the previous management staff left.

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

Obituary Note: Richard N. Bolles

Richard N. Bolles, "a former Harvard physics major, Episcopal minister and career counselor whose own twisting vocational path led to his writing What Color Is Your Parachute?--the most popular job-hunter's manual of the 1970s and beyond," died March 31, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Bolles self-published the first edition of his manual in 1970 "as a photocopied how-to booklet for unemployed Protestant ministers. In 1972, he rewrote it to appeal to a wider audience and found an independent publisher in Ten Speed Press (now part of Crown Publishing Group), which "was willing to print small batches so that it could be frequently updated."

Since then, Parachute has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has never been out of print. In 1979, the book hit the New York Times bestseller list, where it remained for more than a decade, returning intermittently for years afterward. In 1995, the Library of Congress including the book, along with Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People and the The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, in its list of "25 Books That Have Shaped Readers' Lives."

"I was just trying to help people be better prepared than I was when I was fired and started looking for a job," Bolles said in a 2014 interview with the Times, adding that he hoped his franchise--which includes titles like What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens; What Color Is Your Parachute? Job-Hunter's Workbook; and What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement--would continue after his death and that his son Gary had asked him about updating future editions. "I told him to make sure to find people who were funny, have a lightheartedness about them. When you are out of work and on the ropes, that is so important."

Resistance, Rebellion, Life: Poetry and Politics

"We as editors and publishers know people are yearning. People are reading 1984, Hannah Arendt--there's interesting stuff going on with publishers' backlists because they speak to our moment," said Deborah Garrison, poetry editor at Knopf. Together with poet Amit Majmudar, Garrison has assembled Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now, a collection of poems written recently about our current political moment. Included in the collection are poems of nearly every style, format and length, from poets internationally renowned, just debuted, and everywhere in between.

"But poets are responding right now," continued Garrison. "They're all at their desks. They just can't help themselves in a climate where language itself seems so degraded."

Deb Garrison

Due out May 23, Resistance, Rebellion, Life (paperback, $12.95) came together much faster than the average poetry anthology. The idea for the collection began when Garrison read a Nicholas Kristof column in the New York Times in which Kristof presented the winners of his Donald Trump Poetry Contest. He had called for poems written about Trump and received more than 2,000 submissions.

"I was searching for a more interesting and more powerful way of registering objections," recalled Kristof, who has run poetry contests about political issues a few times before. However, none of those past contests, including one about the Iraq War that he considered very successful, brought in nearly as many submissions as this did. "And so I thought, here's a chance to harness some creativity and provide a new prism to take a look at Trump."

Among the thousands of submissions that Kristof received were poems by two Knopf poets, both of which were among the winners. One was the work of Amit Majmudar, the poet laureate of Ohio, who published the collection Dothead with Knopf in 2016. Thinking that he might be the right person to edit and introduce the collection, Garrison reached out to him. Majmudar "loved the idea."

Amit Majmudar

"There's always an artistic response to the things that go on," said Majmudar. He was intrigued by the idea of putting together a collection very quickly in order to take a "literary snapshot of this moment." In most cases, he explained, anthologies take longer to assemble, and usually don't have "this spontaneous, fresh, moment-to-moment feel."

Once they got the go-ahead from Knopf, Garrison and Majmudar ran with it, sending out e-mails to more than 200 poets within a few days. Given how quickly they wanted to publish the collection, Majmudar and Garrison asked the poets to submit poems within 10 days. The only condition was that the poems couldn't have been previously published in a book or anthology, though it was fine if they had been posted on a blog or published in a journal. Majmudar and Garrison also stressed that poems from any political viewpoint would be accepted and evaluated purely on aesthetic grounds (perhaps unsurprisingly, there was little in the way of right-wing poetry).

"Amit said as a poet himself, he was worried about only giving them 10 days," said Garrison. "But really the fact is they were already writing this stuff."

Garrison recalled being blown away by the number of people who e-mailed her back, with poems, within 15 minutes. Others wrote to the occasion, and soon she and Majmudar had hundreds of submissions on their hands. Both said they were thrilled with not only the range and diversity of the submissions but also the overall level of quality. Majmudar selected 49 poems from all those submissions, and he contributed the 50th poem.

"I ended up having to make some pretty difficult decisions about rounding out the anthology," Majmudar said. "There were great poems that were sent in that didn't make it."

Majmudar initially evaluated the poems only on aesthetic grounds, without much thought about what the table of contents might look like in terms of diversity, but was pleasantly surprised to find that by following his own "aesthetic inclinations," he had "put together a collection that reflects America's diversity remarkably well." Included in the collection are poets of different ages, genders and ethnicities, from different states and at different points in their careers. Some, like Juan Felipe Herrera and Sharon Olds, have been luminaries for decades; others, like Robin Coste Lewis or Richie Hoffman, published their debut collections in recent years.

For the collection's 50th and final poem, Song of Ourselves, Majmudar wrote a cento, a form of poetry that combines quotations from other works into a kind of literary collage. He took one line from each of the previous 49 poems in the collection and combined them into a "freestanding poem" with its "own argument and its own development" before adding a final line of his own. He was suddenly inspired to try writing a cento, and that he had actually come up with a back-up plan lest it prove too difficult, he said, but he's gotten enough feedback to feel that it's a worthy "tribute to all of the contributors." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: Strand Still Standing

Early Friday morning, several manhole explosions near Union Square in New York City blew out the windows of Strand Books, forcing the store to close for the day. When it reopened at noon on Saturday, the store tweeted:

"After Friday's incident, our Nevertheless She Persisted totes were the sole items standing. Coincidence? I think not. All locations open!"

Happy 35th Birthday, Brewster Book Store!

Congratulations to the Brewster Book Store, Brewster, Mass., which is celebrating its 35th anniversary beginning tomorrow, April 5, and running through Sunday, April 9. The festivities will include refreshments, raffles, giveaways and "lots of fun!"

John and Nancy Landon opened the store in 1982 in a spring blizzard--in one room, with 3,000 books and three customers, all family members. The store has grown over the years, adding rooms and many more books.

Personnel Changes at Basic Books, American Academy of Pediatrics; Crown

Betsy DeJesu has been promoted to director of publicity and marketing at Basic Books.


Mark Voigt has joined the American Academy of Pediatrics as director of sales. He was formerly executive v-p of sales at IPG.


At Crown Publishing Group:

Julie Cepler has been promoted to v-p, director of marketing, and will now direct marketing for the Crown, Hogarth, Tim Duggan and Broadway imprints in addition to Crown Archetype and Three Rivers Press. She is relinquishing her role as marketing director for Harmony. She joined Crown in 2005.

Ayelet Gruenspecht has been promoted to director of marketing for Crown Business, Crown Forum and Convergent.

Megan Perritt has been promoted to director of publicity, Crown Business, Crown Forum and Convergent. She joined the company in 2013.

Lisa Erickson has rejoined the company as associate marketing director for Crown, Hogarth, Tim Duggan Books and Broadway Books.

Christina Foxley has been promoted to associate director of marketing, Harmony. She will also work on the ongoing divisional backlist marketing initiative.

Carly Gorga has been promoted to associate director of marketing and partnerships at Clarkson Potter and will direct marketing strategy for the Potter Gift program of nontraditional format paper products.

Kathleen Quinlan has joined the company as marketing manager for Crown Archetype and Three Rivers Press. She formerly worked at DK Publishing.

Megan Schumann has been promoted to publicity manager, Crown Business, Crown Forum and Convergent. She joined the team last year as senior publicist/marketer.

Owen Haney has been promoted to publicist, Crown Business, Crown Forum and Convergent. He joined Crown in 2014 and most recently was associate publicist/marketer for Crown Business and Crown Forum.

Roxanne Hiatt has been promoted to assistant marketing manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on Morning Edition

CBS This Morning: Sarah Robb O'Hagan, author of Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat. (HarperBusiness, $28.99, 9780062456151).

Good Morning America: Lauren Smith Brody, author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385541411).

Morning Edition. Peter Devereaux and Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, authors of The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures (Chronicle Books, $35, 9781452145402).

TV: Girlboss; The Looming Tower

A trailer has been released for the new Netflix series Girlboss, based on #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. Indiewire reported that it is "not clear how much the series will follow Amoruso's entrepreneurial trajectory, but there's plenty to mine from her experiences." Britt Robertson (Casual, Under the Dome) stars as Sophia; the cast also includes Ellie Reed (2 Broke Girls), Alphonso McAuley (The Middle), Johnny Simmons (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Dean Norris.

Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect) is creator, executive producer and showrunner on Girlboss. Executive producers include Amoruso, Charlize Theron, Laverne McKinnon and Beth Kono of Denver & Delilah, and Christian Ditter.


Wrenn Schmidt (Outcast) will play the female lead opposite Peter Sarsgaard, Jeff Daniels and Tahar Rahim in Hulu's straight-to-series drama The Looming Tower, based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Deadline reported that "the series hails from Oscar-nominated Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher), Oscar- and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Going Clear) and Legendary Television. Also cast in the project is Ella Rae Peck (Gossip Girl)."

Books & Authors

Awards: Baileys Women's Fiction; SIBA's Southern Book; Simpson Family

The shortlist has been announced for the £30,000 (about $37,620) Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, which "celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world." The winner will be named June 7 in London. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien


The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has unveiled its "Long (Long, Looooong) List" for the 2017 Southern Book Prize (formerly the SIBA Book Award). Finalists for each category will be announced April 15, with winners named on July 4, "Independents Day."

Noting that this year's longlist features an expanded collection of prize categories, SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell said, "Our goal is to have the nominations drive the categories rather than forcing all nominations into a category they might not fit. Rather than being married to a certain set of categories like 'fiction,' 'nonfiction,' 'children's,' we can open the award up to new categories driven by the nominations." SIBA used the BISAC designations of nominated books to help determine the award categories for the year, with fiction expanded to seven categories and nonfiction to three separate categories.


The Simpson Family Literary Project has announced the four finalists for the inaugural Simpson Family Literary Prize, which awards $50,000 to "an author of fiction in the middle of a burgeoning career." The finalists are:

T. Geronimo Johnson, author of Welcome to Braggsville and Hold It 'Til It Hurts.
Valeria Luiselli, author of The Story of My Teeth and Faces in the Crowd.
Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade and The Bigness of the World.
Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others and Stone Arabia, among other novels.

The winner will be named in early May.

Book Review

Review: There Your Heart Lies

There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon (Pantheon, $26.95 hardcover, 336p., 9780307907943, May 9, 2017)

A Mary Gordon novel often comes with an aura of gravitas as she explores the confines and subtleties of living life against a background of Catholicism and family legacy. Her early novels Final Payments and The Company of Women set the stage well for her long career. Her latest, There Your Heart Lies, is a novel of history across generations in which a woman seeks a meaningful life that reconciles her desire for universal justice with the need for personal compassion.

Marian is the ninth child of a wealthy Irish-Catholic family. At 19, she abruptly abandons her rigid upbringing in the wake of her brother Johnny's suicide, after his homosexuality was "discovered" and radically "treated." The Church and her father knew best.

In 1937, Marian boards an ocean liner for Europe to support the Republican anti-Franco forces in the Spanish Civil War. Idealistically committed to the new social order of the Communists, she is off to join "people who believe that there are more important things in the world than private life, that the large sorrows of the world are more important than the private sorrows." Helping out in a Valencia hospital, she confronts the tangible horrors of ideological war--the torture and the rubble of homes, families and friends torn apart. She also evolves into a woman with passions and disappointments as she falls for a local doctor and bears his son. For 10 years she is stuck in an autocratic Spain searching for a life with some window of hope.

Layered between the chapters of Marian's life in Spain, Gordon tells the "today" story of Marian's settled life in Rhode Island, now 92 years old and cared for by her 22-year-old granddaughter, Amelia, from Los Angeles. They have formed a bond that parents and friends often can't match. In contrast with the hard angles of Amelia's California life, her "Meme was a warm lap, a curve that had space for things." When Marian is diagnosed with cancer, she realizes that her fraught and complicated past needs to be passed on to Amelia, to give her granddaughter a context for her own emerging life. And so at morning coffee, Marian gradually reveals the secrets and legacies of a life well lived, but not without disappointment and disillusion. As she tells Amelia, "she knows now that she was wrong to believe public suffering could eclipse private sorrow. Rather, the two shed garish light on one another, bathing each in a lurid glow."

Gordon rarely strays from the themes that have underpinned much of her fiction. In There Your Heart Lies, she weaves past and present, personal and public, into a rewarding exploration of recognition and acceptance. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: There Your Heart Lies unearths further nuance in Mary Gordon's exploration of the struggle to balance the spiritual and personal across time and generations.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Episode 1: Victoria and Shannon by Marie Force
2. Take Me Back by Meghan March
3. Murder on Location by Sara Rosett
4. A Mystery at Carlton House (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Volume 12) by Ashley Gardner
5. Lone Wolf by David Archer
6. Hot on Ice by Various
7. Spies and Stilettos by Liliana Hart
8. Dirty Filthy Rich Men by Laurelin Paige
9. Cole by Tijan
10. The Rousseaus Boxed Set by Katy Regnery

[Many thanks to!]

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