Also published on this date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017: Dedicated Issue: Chronicle's 50th Anniversary

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 21, 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


Joe's Place Bookstore Relocating in Greenville, S.C.

photo: William Crooks/Upstate Business Journal

Joe's Place Bookstore is reopening July 1 in the historic Pettigru District of Greenville, S.C. Upstate Business Journal reported that the new and used bookstore, coffee shop and wine bar will occupy a three-story, 4,400-square-foot location at 2 Williams St.

Mary Bernard, co-owner with husband and Alix, said that when people first learned the business was moving from 640 S. Main St., they expressed concern about it being off the main downtown drag, but she wasn't worried. "For us, foot traffic didn't always translate into sales," she noted. "Once people find out about us, they'll come here. We want to be a place where people stay and have meetings here."

The owners chose to keep much of the 1920s home's history intact. "We try to really respect the space," Mary Bernard said, citing the restoration of the oak hardwood floors on the first level and cedar floors upstairs as an example. "We were really happy to find the floors, because we didn't know what we'd find."

They worked with architects Craig Gaulden Davis "to make some necessary structural changes, including installing a second staircase leading to the upper level, opening a wall to allow the view from the front door to extend to the back Charleston-style porch, removing a couple of other walls to create nine total book rooms throughout the house, and making it ADA accessible," Upstate Business Journal wrote. "The additional staircase leads to a sunroom, three sides of which are windows that also feature a custom-made window seat that doubles as a bookshelf."

On the shop's website, the Bernards noted: "We appreciate everyone’s excitement about our new place."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Mara Panich-Crouch Takes the Reins at Fact & Fiction

"I've taken over all the day-to-day operations as it is," said Mara Panich-Crouch, manager at Fact & Fiction Bookstore in downtown Missoula, Mont. But at the end of this month, Panich-Crouch will officially take over managing the store from retiring owner Barbara Theroux. "That's when the training wheels come off."

Barbara Theroux and Mara Panich-Crouch

For the past two years, Panich-Crouch has been working side-by-side with Theroux, learning how to run the 31-year old independent bookstore. According to Panich-Crouch, the first six months of the transition consisted mostly of tailing Theroux and closely watching everything that she did. Gradually, the pair began splitting more responsibilities until Panich-Crouch was essentially running the store.

"For the last six months or so, she hasn't been checking my work--at least she hasn't said anything to me," Panich-Crouch remarked, laughing.

Panich-Crouch's first job in the book business was at the Bookstore at the University of Montana. Around 2005, she began as a general bookseller who also sold college gear and the occasional laptop before moving into the store's textbook division. After the Bookstore at U.M. purchased Fact & Fiction in 2007, she helped out at Fact & Fiction by filling in every now and then.

When asked what first drew her to bookselling, Panich-Crouch answered: "A love of stories and literature. And generally, I think everybody who goes to a bookstore regularly has at least a slight dream of working in one." She added that she is particularly fond of, and excited to sell, books by funny feminists like Samantha Irby, author of the essay collections We Are Never Meeting in Real Life and Meaty, and that she was currently "caught on the literary dystopian train with a lot of people."

Following a few years' absence from the bookselling world, Panich-Crouch returned to the business to be the Bookstore's textbook buyer, and over the next couple of years she worked part time in Fact & Fiction during the holidays and when the textbook division was slow. A little more than two years ago, she first heard of Theroux's plans for retirement, and rumblings that she was being considered as a possible successor.

"In the beginning, [the transition] was a very mysterious process to me," recalled Panich-Crouch. "Slowly everyone came together and Barbara was approached, saying 'I think this person will work.' We all talked about it. It was fairly organic, I think."

Panich-Crouch said that perhaps the biggest surprise during the transition process was learning just how demanding running a small bookstore is and exactly how much Theroux does. And she said that though it might not be the most exciting answer, one of the most fascinating things was learning all the logistics of the job--"how you keep track of everything you have to do and when you have to do it."

Panich-Crouch's first order of business is giving the store's decor a fresh look and feel. She also wants to broaden the store's selection, particularly where it comes to small press titles. "Being in a college town, a lot of the small press books sell to younger people," explained Panich-Crouch. "We want to keep our amazing, loyal customers, but also draw the younger set in."

On June 29, Fact & Fiction and the Bookstore will host a celebration for Theroux at a distillery in Missoula, and not long after that, the store will be Panich-Crouch's to run. "Basically, she is the heart and soul of this store," Panich-Crouch said about Theroux. "She put her lifeblood into it. She's put everything she's got into books and the bookselling world." When asked what she's taken away most from working with Theroux, Panich-Crouch answered: "To give your all and feel passion for what you're doing." --Alex Mutter

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

Philly's Amalgam Comics Awarded $50,000 Grant

Ariell Johnson, the owner of Philadelphia's Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, has been selected by the Knight Foundation from more than 4,500 applicants to receive a grant of $50,000 to support her proposal "Up, Up and Away: Building a Programming Space at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse." The goal is to "expand the shop into 'Amalgam University,' where hopeful writers and illustrators can take classes on drawing, writing, pitching and publishing," reported. Johnson made news last year when she was featured on a Marvel comic book cover.

When her business opened in December of 2015, Johnson became "the first African-American woman to own a comic book store on the East Coast. In addition to the largely white-male-authored mainstream staples, Amalgam stocks many works written by people of color, women and members of the LGBT community, as well as those by independent creators," wrote, adding that the owner is looking for ways "to equip aspiring comic creators, particularly those from disenfranchised communities without the means to go to art school, with the tools to compete with mainstream comic books."

"We do a lot of these programs in our space," said Johnson. "But the building is actually much bigger. There are rooms behind the bathroom, which we haven't renovated. This grant will allow us to open up those rooms to the public and create a permanent programming space. We'll use it to its full potential."

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

Indian Publisher Offshoot Books Enters U.S. Market

Indian publishing company Offshoot Books now operates in the U.S., with books from its two divisions, Offshoot and Offshoot Kids, available directly from Offshoot or through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Founded in Delhi in 2015, Offshoot publishes coloring books, activity books, planners and notebooks for adults, as well as educational activity books for children between the ages of three and five. Among Offshoot's 2017 titles are Shop-a-Holic and Comedy in Tragedy for adults, and Patty's Little Handbook of Dots and My First 500 Words for children.

English PEN Director Glanville Stepping Down

Jo Glanville

Jo Glanville is stepping down as director of English PEN next month after four years in the position, the Bookseller reported, noting that she has been awarded an honorary visiting fellowship at the Gießen University in Germany. An interim director is expected to be announced soon.

English PEN president Maureen Freely said, "I feel very privileged to have worked alongside Jo Glanville for the past three years. Her dedication to the cause of free expression is absolute.  She has been its most passionate advocate, in the media and at the highest levels of government. With her prescient grasp of the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital age, she has transformed our work as well as our reach. English PEN will not be the same without her.  But her legacy will remain, and for this we shall be forever grateful."

Glanville said she had worked with some of "the most dedicated" advocates for freedom of expression during her tenure, "including remarkable and courageous writers, publishers, journalists, translators, lawyers, bloggers and editors.... I'm grateful to everyone for the generous support that makes PEN's work possible, and for the inspiration and guidance throughout."

Obituary Note: Juan Goytisolo

Author Juan Goytisolo, "scourge of racism, sexism and Spanish obscurantism, and defender of Muslim culture" and "one of Europe's most erudite and brilliant novelists," died June 4, the Guardian reported. He was 86. Goytisolo published 19 novels, two books of stories, five travel books and several essay collections and "was considered one of Spain's finest writers, though he fled the country in 1956, stifled by family and the Franco dictatorship, and never returned."

His most popular titles are two volumes of autobiography, Coto Vedado (Forbidden Territory) and En los Reinos de Taifa (Realms of Strife). Other books include Marks of Identity; Count Julian; Juan the Landless; Exiled from Almost Everywhere; The Marx Family Saga; State of Siege; and A Cock-Eyed Comedy.

"Prizes came late: he was unbeloved by the establishment he flayed," the Guardian noted. In 2008, Goytisolo was awarded Spain's national prize for literature and in 2014 the Miguel de Cervantes Prize.


Miami New Times Names Books & Books 'Best Bookstore'

Miami New Times honored Books and Books as "Best Bookstore" on its Best of Miami 2017 list, noting: "If you live in South Florida and you know how to read, Books & Books hardly needs an introduction. Mitchell Kaplan started his venerable temple of the turned page in 1982 and--amid national cries about the death of the printed word and the rise of Amazon--has grown it into one of America's premier local bookstores, all while expanding to Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, downtown Miami, and even Grand Cayman. Kaplan found time to cofound the Miami Book Fair while he was at it, and his flagship Books & Books in the Gables echoes that commitment to connecting authors with readers thanks to its nearly nightly readings and book signings. All of Kaplan's locations remain impressively stocked and curated, and with cafés and full bars in the Gables and South Beach, his shops are the perfect place for bibliophiles to happily wile away a Saturday. ¡Viva los libros!"

The Spiral Bookcase 'Is Magical'

The Spiral Bookcase, located in the Manayunk neighborgood of Philadelphia, "is magical," the Review reported, noting that the shop "is a special environment that draws people in and makes them feel comfortable."

"We do carry crystals, sage, tarot decks and other lovely magical gifts, as well as a great collection of folklore and occult books," owner Ann Tetreault said. "But I think the magic stems from the coming together of people and ideas, the union of creating a space that celebrates that. The Spiral Bookcase is magical but only because of the people who bring their own energy and interests through the doors. We wouldn't be here without our customers."

Tetreault recalled that she and her husband opened the Spiral Bookcase a year after moving into the neighborhood: "Late winter 2010, we decided we would be the ones to bring a bookshop to the area.... After growing up in rural Connecticut and then living in D.C., I feel this area has the best of both worlds... an urban small-town neighborhood near the woods. I feel very connected to the people here and I have met the most creative and kind individuals--both inside and outside of the shop.... Mostly, I like being able to connect people to books and literary culture through Spiral."

Personnel Changes at Dey Street Books

Kendra Newton has been promoted to marketing director for Dey Street Books.

Media and Movies

TV: Get Shorty

A sneak peek clip has been released by Epix for the upcoming original series Get Shorty, based in part on the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel that became a hit 1995 film, Deadline reported. The 10-episode series stars Chris O'Dowd, Ray Romano, Sean Bridgers, Lidia Porto, Megan Stevenson, Carolyn Dodd, Goya Robles and Lucy Walters.

Created for television by Davey Holmes (Shameless), Get Shorty is executive produced by Holmes and Allen Coulter (Damages), who also directs the first episode. Adam Arkin directed three episodes and also is a co-executive producer. The series premieres August 13 on Epix.

Books & Authors

Awards: Walter Scott Historical Fiction; Pritzker Military Writing

Sebastian Barry became the first two-time winner of the £25,000 (about $31,585) Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction with his novel Days Without End. In 2012, his book On Canaan's Side took the award. The Scott Prize "celebrates quality, innovation and longevity of writing in the English language, and is open to books first published in the previous year in the U.K., Ireland or the Commonwealth. Reflecting the subtitle 'Sixty Years Since' of Scott's most famous work Waverley, the majority of the storyline must have taken place at least 60 years ago."

The judges said their decision "was one of the hardest the Walter Scott Prize has ever had to make. With all seven books on the shortlist having strong supporters on the judging panel who championed their cause in a protracted and passionate debate about the nature and purpose of historical fiction, the very books themselves seemed to fight tooth and nail for the accolade.

"Eventually, Days Without End took the lead, for the glorious and unusual story; the seamlessly interwoven period research; and above all for the unfaltering power and authenticity of the narrative voice, a voice no reader is likely to forget."


Author and military historian Peter Paret has won the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The award carries a $100,000 prize and will be officially presented to Paret on November 4 by Museum & Library founder and chair Jennifer N. Pritzker, a retired colonel in the Illinois National Guard, at the organization's annual gala.

Paret has written 14 major publications, among them Clausewitz and the State: The Man, His Theories, and His Times, Imagined Battles: Reflections of War in European Art, and An Artist Against the Third Reich: Ernst Barlach 1933-1938. He is Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study and a graduate of London University. The Pritzker Museum & Library called Paret's work "required reading for anyone interested in history, from amateur historians and active duty military officers seeking advanced degrees, or required for professional military education, to accomplished award winning authors."

He served in the U.S. Army in World War II in the Pacific Theatre and has received the Thomas Jefferson Medal of the American Philosophical Society as well as the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Leo Baeck Institute for German Jewish History and a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Reading with... LiYana Silver

LiYana Silver, author of Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking up and Turning on the Wisdom of Being a Woman (Sounds True, June 1, 2017), is a coach, teacher and speaker who helps women find the full expression of their feminine strengths in work, love and life. Her work has been featured in Forbes, the Huffington Post, Yoga Journal and Jezebel. She lives with her husband and son and as many potted herbs as her windowsills can hold in Asheville, N.C.

On your nightstand now:

I went on a reading fast while completing my recent book, so I am now catching up with Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott and Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. Who knew telling the truth about our crazies and uglies could be so sexy, endearing and empowering? These two books make me feel ever more intrepid to be real and vulnerable in life and in writing, not only because it's way easier than trying to pretend to have it all together, but it also helps to infuse my writing with that heady elixir of truth.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. My favorite in the series was The Magician's Nephew. In my box set, it was numbered as book six out of seven, but really it was meant to be book one. It was my first experience of the power of a prequel--of stumbling upon, completely out of order, the key information to the genesis of the story. (Kind of like life.) I was also chilled and enthralled by the realm of endless, identical, unmarked pools of water, each one leading to a distinct and full world--maybe magical, maybe lethal--that you could only discover by plunging headfirst into the unknown. (Kind of like life.)

Your top five authors:

Maya Angelou, Mirabai Starr, Glennon Doyle Melton and Rumi (especially the translations by Coleman Barks and Mary Oliver).

Book you've faked reading:

The Bible. I wasn't raised reading it, so I took a course in college called "The Bible as Literature," along with my dance major classes and women's studies minor classes. After our first assignment to memorize the long line of who begat whom, I realized I was in for another stint at rote memorization rather than getting acquainted with the life and color of such an important book, so I dropped out of the course. However, I loved learning the translation of Yahweh: "I Am." Not "I Am Great," or "I Am a Mystery," or "I Am Pissed Off," but just "I Am." So that God, by whichever name you call Him or Her, is pure being-ness, the energy that exists before and after we tack on any adjectives or qualifiers.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Caravan of No Despair by Mirabai Starr. Stunning, generous and totally heartrending, this memoir deepened my understanding of the dark night of the soul, and of how profound loss and a sense of spiritual destitution can allow us to reconnect to the Divine, to be opened to the agony and ecstasy of our soul path.

Book you've bought for the cover:

During a really dark time where I was quite unsure what was wrong with me physically and emotionally, I found Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan on a display table at my local bookstore. I was morbidly excited to hear from someone else who made her way through a stint of "madness," and who had lost herself utterly and then reassembled herself anew. Stunning book.

Book you hid from your parents:

Wifey by Judy Bloom. My parents weren't particularly prudish, as I teetered on the cusp of womanhood, but I still hid from them my curiosity about sex, boys, romance and intimate relationships. I read Wifey under the covers by flashlight, feeling like I was getting into a nightclub with a fake ID, glimpsing through a book-shaped peephole at a compelling world I was just about to step into.

Book that changed your life:

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg. Since I was a teenager, I have, for whatever reason, been fascinated by the journey into and out of mental illness. I was touched by the healing process of one girl who could have been otherwise lost to the world, and her choice to live sanely in this insane world, even though it would surely not always be a fragrant stroll through a rose garden.

And I must add The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. It spawned my love of and fascination with neurology. It also thoroughly shifted my perspective so that I could never again see people who had stuff wrong with them as wrong or broken or bad, but as wondrous windows into the mystery of being human. Sacks wrote from love and curiosity, not from a medical ivory tower but rather like Mother Theresa in a white lab coat.

Favorite line from a book:

"Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?"
--"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

Five books you'll never part with:

Vagina by Naomi Wolf. A thoughtful, reverent and thorough examination of this most controversial aspect of womanhood, through the lenses of history, popular culture, pornography, spiritual traditions, medicine and mysticism.

Dream Work by Mary Oliver. My scripture. My touchstone. My altar. My daily bread and my cherry on top.

Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair) by Pablo Neruda. Sometimes my husband reads them to me in the original Spanish, doing to me what springtime does to the cherry trees.

The Places That Scare You by Pema Chödrön, because just when I've figured out how to look one scary part of myself in the eye and fall in love, another part rears up and demands I do it all over again.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, so I can remember that feeling like I've fallen off the path is part of my path.

And a bonus, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, the first book I read that showed me that the body is in fact condensed soul. And that there is no holier place to be than in our skins.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. A timeless, tragic, triumphant love story in which childhood selves and future identities comingle in and out of time and space and sometimes--fleetingly, achingly--meeting in the now. (Kind of like life.) It slays me every time I read it.

Book that made you want to become a writer:

I Carry Your Heart with Me and Erotic Poems by e.e. cummings inspired me into a passionate affair with the written word. The visual of each word as it chose to sit on the naked page, the double entendre in a turn of phrase, that a semicolon could be sexy, that an out-of-place question mark could reshape the meaning of a line, and that a set of parentheses could contain a world of secrets (kind of like life). Screw all the rules I was learning in school. Chicago Manual, take a hike. Instead, let the words undress themselves, and reveal what only our hearts and skins can truly speak of.

Book Review

Children's Review: Refugee

Refugee by Alan Gratz (Scholastic Press, $16.99 hardcover, 352p., ages 9-12, 9780545880831, July 25, 2017)

Conversations about refugees are often heated, focused on hypotheticals and unknowns. By making visible three young emigrants--rather than those who fear them--Refugee aims to provide a corrective to this American myopia. Josef, 12, is escaping Germany in 1938; after his father is released from Dachau, his Jewish family scrambles aboard the ill-fated German liner St. Louis. Isabel, 11, is escaping Cuba in 1994, leaving in a handmade boat for a better life, one that includes more opportunities for her future as well as keeping her activist father out of Castro's prisons. And Mahmoud, 12, leaves Aleppo in 2015 with his family in a panic after their apartment building is bombed. Moving briskly among Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud, each short chapter brings new tragedy, occasional hope and continued instability to all three children. Their journeys echo each other deliberately; for example, after Josef's father is arrested during Kristallnacht, Isabel hears broken glass on the Malecón before a riot a few chapters later. Oceans and seas become universal nemeses as Josef's ship sits at anchor, Isabel's boat begins to disintegrate and Mahmoud's family waits desperately for a boat to Greece. Promises of tomorrow and mañana appear and reappear in each chapter, reflecting the apathy of host nations across the decades. The book ends with a satisfying connection between the refugees, but also introduces the journey of a lifetime: adjusting to life in a new home.

Alan Gratz (Code of Honor; Projekt 1065; The League of Seven), whose Prisoner B-3087 has become a staple of school reading lists, uses his trademark straightforward prose to illuminate the danger facing refugee families. Insightful details help contemporary readers to connect with the story, especially in Mahmoud's chapters, in which smartphones play an important role ("Google Maps told them it would be an eight-hour walk, and they split the journey up by sleeping in a field"). Gratz focuses on individual villains and heroes, rather than structural causes of refugee crises, but nevertheless young readers will finish this book and ask: What should we do? Adults will be similarly struck by the words of Isabel's grandfather: "[A] funny thing happened while I was waiting for the world to change, Chabela: It didn't. Because I didn't change it." Accordingly, in his author's note at the end of the book, Gratz shares not only more details about the past, but also welcome suggestions from those who want to change the future. --Stephanie Anderson, assistant director for public services, Darien Library (Conn.)

Shelf Talker: Action-filled short chapters provide painstaking portraits of three young refugees from Nazi Germany, Castro's Cuba and contemporary Syria in Alan Gratz's middle-grade novel.

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