Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 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


New Orleans' Maple Street Book Shop to Close

Sad news from New Orleans: Maple Street Book Shop, a leading indie bookstore in the city since its founding in 1964, is closing June 17. The store had announced it was closing in 2015 but stayed open after what owner Gladin Scott called the "overwhelming" support of loyal customers, the landlord and potential investors.

Yesterday he told the Uptown Messenger, "People were so supportive in the last quarter of 2015 that it allowed me to pay a good bit of the shop's debt off. We had hoped we would continue to see a little bump into 2016, but unfortunately that didn't happen. In 2017, business continued to decline sharply. As much as the shop means to me, I don't have the resources to keep it going anymore."

Maple Street Book Shop was founded by Mary Kellogg and Rhoda Kellogg Norman and at first specialized in paperbacks. In 1970, Rhoda Faust bought the shop from her mother, Mary Kellogg, and owned it for 37 years. In describing the store's mission, Faust coined the phrase "fight the stupids." She expanded, and at one point the store had six locations but then shrunk back to its original site and the Maple Street Children's Book Shop. The children's store closed in 2007, when Faust sold the store to Donna Allen, who expanded the store again. Manager Gladin Scott bought Maple Street Book Shop in 2013 and consolidated into its current location.

The store wrote in part: "Thank you for 53 years. It has been an honor to be part of this community.... Please join us for our last month and a half. Come celebrate the shop with us!... We're not sure what we'll do next, but we'll always keep fighting the stupids. We hope that you will too."

Scott told the Uptown Messenger that "technology" was a bigger factor than any other in the store's closing. "We've relied on student business, but it's not as it was a decade ago. They order books online; they read online; they download books. I still have armies of students passing the shop, but their eyes are attached to their iPhone, not looking at the shop or anything else."

In addition, political activism might have hurt. "We're a left-wing bookshop, and every time I check Facebook I see my customers out protesting," Scott said. "A lot of people who would normally be in the bookshop are focused on what's going on in the rest of the country."

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

Pottermore to Launch Wizarding World Book Club

In June, Pottermore will launch the official Wizarding World Book Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the U.K. publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The online book club will be available free to readers around the world from, working with Bloomsbury and Scholastic, as well as Pottermore's digital publishing business.

"The Wizarding World Book Club is Pottermore's way of responding to Harry Potter fans who have been asking for a book club for almost two decades," said Henriette Stuart-Reckling, Pottermore's global digital director. "Members will be able to enjoy the shared experience of reading the books together, and then joining the discussions we're facilitating on our social channels, all curated by Pottermore, the authentic and authoritative digital heart of the wizarding world. Our goal is to create a global community of Harry Potter readers who are communicating with each other as they are reading the same book, at the same time."

Participants will read a book every one to two months, using materials on a section of that is being created for the club. Each week, using social media, club members will discuss a theme in hosted weekly Twitter debates (@wwbookclub). Members will also be able to track and celebrate their journey through the books. The Wizarding World Book Club membership is free to all registered users of

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

Wiley President and CEO Mark Allin Resigns

Mark Allin

Mark Allin has resigned as president and CEO of John Wiley and Sons for family reasons, effective immediately, the company announced yesterday. Matthew Kissner, chairman of the board, has been named interim CEO; a search for a successor to Allin has begun.

On behalf of the board, Kissner thanked Allin for his "years of service and leadership," adding, "We understand and support his decision to step down for family reasons and are grateful for his many accomplishments."

Allin joined the company in 2000, when Wiley acquired Capstone Publishing, which Allin had founded. He served as managing director of Wiley Asia and senior v-p Asia-Pacific, before being promoted to executive v-p, professional development in 2010, and then to COO in 2015, before becoming president and CEO.

Allin said, "It has been an enormous privilege to have led Wiley during an important period of transformation and growth. I am proud to have worked with remarkable colleagues who are so committed to advancing learning and knowledge throughout the world."

Kissner has been a Wiley director since 2003 and chairman since 2015. He is a former executive v-p and group president of Pitney Bowes and has held leadership positions in the financial services industry.

Bookmarks Celebrates Groundbreaking in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Bookmarks, the nonprofit literary organization in Winston-Salem, N.C., held a groundbreaking and celebration ceremony on Independent Bookstore Day at its new, expanded bookstore downtown. The location will include the organization's offices, an event and gathering space, and Foothills Café, which will be run by its partner, Foothills Brewery.

The occasion featured children's author Megan Bryant, who led a "construction-themed story time," adding two new verses and illustrations to her book Dump Truck Duck, the Chronicle reported.

The event also included remarks by Councilman Jeff MacIntosh, book sales and tours of the new space.

Obituary Note: Burton Watson

Burton Watson, "whose spare, limpid translations, with erudite introductions, opened up the world of classical Japanese and Chinese literature to generations of English-speaking readers," died on April 1, the New York Times reported. He was 91. In 2015, PEN awarded Watson its Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, calling him "the inventor of classical East Asian poetry for our time."

A "one-man translation factory," Watson produced "indispensable English versions of Chinese and Japanese literary, historical and philosophical texts, dozens of them still in print," the Times noted, adding: "Generations of students and teachers relied on collections like Early Chinese Literature (1962), Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry From the Second to the Twelfth Century (1971), From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry (1981) and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the 13th Century (1984)."

Watson's many translations also include Cold Mountain: 100 Poems by the Tang Poet Han-shan; Han Fei Tzu: Basic Writings; The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu; Ryokan, Zen Monk-Poet of Japan; and The Tso Chuan: Selections From China's Oldest Narrative History. In 2015, New York Review Books reissued his 1971 book Chinese Rhyme-Prose


Image of the Day: Small Business Support in Chicago

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D.-Ill.) visited Unabridged Bookstore in Chicago to mark National Small Business Week. "Small businesses are vital to the fabric of our economy, serving as a fundamental driver for both job creation and community engagement," Quigley said. "Unabridged Bookstore has become an indispensable and impactful staple in the Lakeview neighborhood over the past 36 years, bringing Chicagoans together through a love of literature and community."

During the visit, Quigley and owners Ed Devereux and Patrick Garnett discussed ways small businesses can support their employees while remaining financially stable and competitive in the market. Devereux and Garnett noted, "We have always worked to provide our employees with living wages and exceptional benefits, including full health insurance. We support a national minimum wage of $15/hour and access to affordable health insurance. We currently utilize the ACA marketplace for the only affordable insurance available. Without it, we would struggle to provide health insurance to our employees."

Pictured: Ed Devereux (l.) and Patrick Garnett with Quigley (center).

Towne Book Center: 'Easily One of the Area's Happy Places'

Noting that "there are certain things Amazon, even in its prime, can't replace," the Norristown Times Herald prescribed a visit to Towne Book Center & Café, Collegeville, Pa., where "what you may happen upon, book lovers have long treasured. So have writers' groups, book clubs and many other community groups to which Towne Book Center plays host."

"The owner, P.K. Sindwani, has had the store for 26 years and there is a certain amount stick-with-it-ness he has in terms of making sure there is always a community bookstore in Collegeville," said assistant manager Sarah Danforth, who praised the store's "strong and loyal clientele." She added: "Books are my happy place.... It makes me so happy the sheer number of kids who come in. Every time I see kids coming in it brings a smile to my face."

Norristown native and children's author Jerry Spinelli observed: "Browse a half-acre of books. Read in an easy chair. Snack in the cafe. It's big. It's bright. It's busy. It's... independent. Not a franchise. Not a chain. You won't find one in Indiana or California or the mall down the road. There's only one Towne Book Center, and it's here in Collegeville."

Harvey P. Berliner Retires

Harvey P. Berliner, after 18 years at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade and a 40-year career in publishing, retired this month. He earlier worked at Simon & Schuster and Bantam Doubleday Dell.

Personnel Changes at Bookmasters; Wall Street Journal
Larisa Elt

Effective May 15, Larisa Elt is joining Bookmasters as director of publisher services. She formerly held senior sales and marketing positions with McGraw-Hill Education, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Oxford University Press and Bloomsbury Continuum. She replaces Elizabeth Scarpelli, director of the new University of Cincinnati Press.


Christopher Carduff

Christopher Carduff has joined the Wall Street Journal as books editor and will be responsible for the daily book reviews as well as the collection of reviews in the weekend Review section, the newspaper announced.

Since 2006 he has been an editor and publishing consultant at the Library of America, where he has conceived and overseen multi-volume editions of the collected works of classic writers including Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Virgil Thomson, Kurt Vonnegut and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Carduff has also been the estate-appointed editor of posthumous works by Maeve Brennan, Penelope Fitzgerald, Daniel Fuchs, William Maxwell and John Updike.

Book Trailer of the Day: Unleashed

Unleashed by Amanda Jones (Chronicle Books), a celebration of the pleasure dogs experience when off leash outdoors.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mary Gaitskill on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Mary Gaitskill, author of Somebody with a Little Hammer: Essays (Pantheon, $25.95, 9780307378224).

Harry: Ian Harding, author of Odd Birds (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250117076).

The Talk: Caitlyn Jenner, author of The Secrets of My Life (Grand Central, $30, 9781455596751).

Conan: Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Norton, $18.95, 9780393609394).

Books & Authors

Awards: British Book Industry; RSL Ondaatje

Among other honors given last night at the British Book Awards, as reported by the Bookseller, Waterstones won Book Retailer of the Year, cited for a "transformative year" marked by a return to profitability. Managing director James Daunt was praised for his "visionary leadership." Judges added: "Last year showed that publishers simply cannot do without Waterstones. Its staff do a phenomenal job--they're brilliant at taking books people haven't heard of and turning them into something huge."

The Gutter Bookshop in Dublin won Independent Bookshop of the Year, the first time the prize has been won by a bookstore in Ireland. Judges said the store "punches way above its weight," has "outstanding" service and marketing, a "welcoming" environment and a "carefully chosen" range of books.

Tales on Moon Lane, London, won Children's Bookseller of the Year and was cited for going "over and beyond the call of duty" for customers. It put on a record number of events last year and launched a website for self-published authors and indie publishers.

The Royal Horticultural Society won Non-Traditional Retailer of the Year, cited for its "superb curation," "knowledgeable staff" and "extensive stock."

And Rebecca MacAlister, who is a bookseller at the flagship Blackwell's in Oxford, won Individual Bookseller of the Year. She was praised for revolutionizing the image and performance of the store, providing "outstanding" customer service and earning the loyalty of her team.


Francis Spufford has won the £10,000 (about $12,925) Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for his debut novel, Golden Hill (Faber). Winner also of the Costa First Novel Award, the book will be published in the U.S. by Scribner on June 27 as Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York.

One of the judges, Mimi Khalvati, commented: "Joyously written in mock 18th century prose, Golden Hill is a remarkable evocation of New York in its infancy, along with its more reprehensible inhabitants--a new world indeed for Mr Smith, fresh from England, arriving with a secret portfolio. An unpredictable, exhilarating, protean novel, Golden Hill also captures the vein of darkness, the fear of the other, that runs through American history."

Book Review

Review: The Marsh King's Daughter

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne (Putnam, $26 hardcover, 320p., 9780735213005, June 13, 2017)

Helena, a wife and mother of two daughters, loves hunting, fishing and being alone in the woods. She credits her father for her knowledge of the flora and fauna of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, plus the survival skills to live off the land, if she should need them; Jacob taught her everything she knows. But she hasn't told her husband, Stephen, anything about her father--a man who has killed two guards and escaped from prison, a man she must find before he does any more harm. Nor has she spoken of her childhood--living in a ramshackle cabin in the marshlands with Jacob and her mother, far from modern society and prying eyes, where Jacob's rules and the rules of nature had to be obeyed, otherwise Helena and her mother faced severe consequences.

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne is a psychological thriller of the highest level. Alternating between Helena's viewpoints as a child and as an adult, the story opens with Jacob's escape. Dionne quickly reveals that Jacob kidnapped Helena's mother when she was 14, and forced her to live with him in a primitive setting, where she gave birth to Helena. But Helena knew nothing of this as a child, and assumed their lives were completely normal.

Dionne knows the natural world and what it takes to live off the land; her novel sings with authenticity, teeming with the rich details of the remote wilderness. One can see the ridge where the cabin is set among the swamp maples, beech and alders, taste the dried venison and blueberry pemmican, and hear the whine of the mosquitoes. Whether Jacob and Helena are stalking deer, checking their snare lines or collecting arrowroot tubers, each scene feels lively and healthy as the terrible reason they are living in the marsh is beautifully and carefully unveiled.

As Helena continues to reminisce about her childhood, Dionne inserts subtle hints that life with Jacob was less than ideal, that perhaps he wasn't so wonderful after all. And yet, he is Helena's father, and she loves him for the skills and knowledge he has given her--the very abilities she'll need to track him down now. Dionne has set up an intricate balance between the lush richness and harsh reality of the natural world with the love, respect and genuine fear Helena has for Jacob, creating a taut page turner that haunts the reader long after the last line is read. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: When a violent survivalist escapes prison, the one person who can track him down is his daughter, who learned everything she knows about living in the marshlands from him.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Once You're Mine by Barbara Freethy
2. Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle
3. Mister O by Lauren Blakely
4. Son of a Beard (The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC Book 3) by Lani Lynn Vale
5. My Defender (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 8) by Alanea Alder
6. Preppy: The Life and Death of Samuel Clearwater: Part Three by T.M. Frazier
7. The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates
8. Dr. OB by Max Monroe
9. Joy Ride by Lauren Blakely
10. Unfinished Night: The Complete Duet: Box Set by Violet Duke

[Many thanks to!]

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