Also published on this date: Monday, August 14, 2017: Kids Maximum Shelf: Lighter Than My Shadow

Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 14, 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


Water Street Bookstore Wins BPRNE's Independent Spirit Award

Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, N.H., has won the Book Publishers Representatives of New England's 2017 Independent Spirit Award, which recognizes "the excellence in a bookstore member of the New England Independent Booksellers Association."

Debra Woodward, the BPRNE member who nominated Water Bookstore, wrote, in part, that the store is her "personal local bookstore, so I get to see how important they are to the community of Exeter and the entire Seacoast! They do wonderful events, and each one gets a creative window display. The store is lovingly curated, and I LOVE their use of shelf talkers. Dan [Chartrand] obviously takes great pride in the bookstore and indie bookselling and cares about the community. And Stef [Kiper Schmidt] is amazing! She is the most even-tempered person I have met in the business. She just kind of floats in and out and never gets flustered. And she gets it done. She knows books and how to make things easy."

The award includes two nights lodging at the NEIBA fall conference September 18-20 in Providence, R.I., and a free ticket to all NEIBA meals for an exceptional bookseller of Water Street's choosing who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the show.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Alex Brubaker Is Drabyak Handseller of the Year

Alex Brubaker

Alex Brubaker, manager of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Harrisburg, Pa., has won the 2017 Joe Drabyak Handseller of the Year award, sponsored by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association to honor the late NAIBA president and recognize "booksellers who put their passion for books into practice with marketing and promotions."

"I'm thrilled and honored to be selected as the NAIBA Handseller of the Year," Brubaker said. "There's no better feeling as a bookseller than connecting readers with good books--but to be recognized by a community of established booksellers is something else entirely. I have to give a huge thanks to the owners of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Catherine Lawrence and Eric Papenfuse, for recommending me."

NAIBA wrote that Lawrence credits Brubaker with "redefining their 14-year-old store as one of used, rare and out-of-print to one with a diverse and compelling collection of new releases that are handpicked by Brubaker. His tables, shelf displays and recommendations are fun and engaging, and the store's social media is filled with shout-outs to Brubaker's exceptional work by astounded and delighted customers. Lawrence says the proof is in the sales figures. Since Brubaker started at the store just nine months ago, new book sales have topped all other income, 'an extraordinary transformation of the store's role in the community, and an indicator of Alex's keen ability to know just how to satisfy the ever-growing new-book-desires of local customers and bookstore-tourists alike.' "

Lawrence said that Brubaker "demonstrates a tremendous passion for books and is himself an exceptionally gifted writer and reviewer, eager to share the best new book you should be reading on any topic. He's committed to finding ways to change our midstate's culture to value the best new writing. It's not enough, for him, to spread the books on the tables--he is bringing young, edgy debut authors to town, and introducing them to an ever-widening group of eager readers, of all ages."

Before joining Midtown Scholar Bookstore, first as a junior staffer and events coordinator and now the store manager, Brubaker was the editorial assistant at Rain Taxi Review of Books and the exhibit coordinator for the Twin Cities Book Festival in Minneapolis, Minn.
Brubaker will be honored at the Awards Banquet at the NAIBA Fall Conference on Saturday, October 7, in Cherry Hill, N.J.

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

Booksellers Zoom in on Next Week's Eclipse

During the time David Baron spent traveling the country this summer promoting his book American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World (Liveright), attendance at his events increased into the hundreds as public awareness grew about the solar eclipse visible across the U.S. next Monday, August 21. "As the weeks went by, the crowds kept growing and the enthusiasm building," said Baron.

Those in the path of totality, which extends from Oregon to South Carolina, will see a total eclipse of the sun by the moon, while observers outside that path will see a partial eclipse. A "serious eclipse chaser" and Colorado resident, Baron has traveled to the Faroe Islands and other far-flung locales to experience total solar eclipses. This year he'll witness the celestial wonder in Jackson, Wyo., atop a 10,000-foot-high mountain.

Across the state, the town of Casper is also in the path of totality and bracing for massive crowds, with a Saudi prince even rumored to be among the visitors. "If the predictions are correct, Casper is going to nearly double in size," said Vicki Law Burger, co-owner of Wind City Books. "It's going to be really interesting and exciting. We're not sure what to expect. Predicting Christmas is easier, and that's hard enough."

The store has stocked up on eclipse-related books as well as regional-interest titles. "It's a great opportunity to share the talented authors we have here in Wyoming with a much wider audience," said Law Burger. Signings with five authors are taking place this coming weekend, including Nina McConigley, author of the award-winning story collection Cowboys and East Indians, and Audrey M. Cotherman, author of A Pinch of Salt: Savoring Life in Wyoming.

Wind City Books is extending its opening hours August 18-20 and will close on August 21, so that employees can enjoy the eclipse. Law Burger plans to watch the eclipse on the deck at her home. She'll be joined by store staffers and out-of-town guests like Norton sales rep Meg Sherman, who was invited to attend back when Sherman was first selling in Baron's American Eclipse.

The Paperback Exchange has a telescope set up for the event.

Typically closed on Mondays, The Paperback Exchange Bookstore in Port Richey, Fla., is opening for several hours on August 21 to host an eclipse viewing--the first event at the store since it recently changed ownership. To pique customer interest in the eclipse and the viewing, new co-owner Joan Hepsworth has placed a telescope on display.

This past spring, Hepsworth saw an infomercial for a merchandise package that included Neil deGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Norton). Enticed by the prospect of having the book a week before it officially went on sale, she purchased the package, which also included a Galileoscope telescope kit. It was a "happy coincidence" that several months later she would buy a bookstore and use the telescope at the initial event she hosted.

Bookstores elsewhere are celebrating the eclipse in creative ways, too. At an eclipse watch party at Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore in Emporia, Kan., local university professors will provide a play-by-play of what is taking place overhead. Bob's Beach Books in Lincoln City, Ore., is selling souvenir flashlights imprinted with the store name and "Lincoln City Eclipse 2017--In case it doesn't come back!" while the in-store coffee shop at Pomegranate Books in Wilmington, N.C., has concocted a special brew to be served on August 19. Eclipse Iced Tea is made with freshly ground star anise representing the heavens, coconut milk representing the brightness of the sun, and black tea representing the moon's shadow.

from The Big Eclipse

A top-selling title in themed displays at both The Bookstore in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and the Book Bin in Salem, Ore., is Pam Hine's Total Eclipse of the Sun: Coast to Coast USA (Mascot Books). Each copy comes with eclipse viewers and a fold-out map displaying the path of totality. A popular children's storytime pick is author and illustrator Nancy Coffelt's The Big Eclipse (Orbit Oregon), about a cast of animal characters that follow the 2017 eclipse across the country. Coffelt witnessed the total solar eclipse in 1979, the last to be seen in the contiguous U.S. Eclipse chasers won't have to wait nearly as long for the next one, though, which will be visible in 2024 from Texas to Maine.

Witnessing a total solar eclipse "is life-changing. You see the universe in a whole other way," said Baron. American Eclipse is the story of three pioneering scientists--planet hunter James Craig Watson, astronomer Maria Mitchell, and inventor Thomas Edison--each of whom had their own motivations for chasing a total solar eclipse in 1878.

"One of the things I love about eclipses is that they make me feel connected to all of humanity. It's the common experience," said Baron. "Imagine people in the 19th century, or 2,000 years ago, having the same experience of looking at that astonishing sky." --Shannon McKenna Schmidt

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Clark New OUP Academic Managing Director

David Clark

Oxford University Press has appointed David Clark, currently senior v-p for Health and Medical Sciences at Elsevier, to be managing director of its academic division, the Bookseller reported. He succeeds Tim Barton, who will leave the company in September after 25 years. Clark, who has been at Elsevier since 1996, begins his new position in January 2018.

"David brings strong insights and experiences to OUP, including the management of complex, technologically-dependent, international businesses, and strategy development for a publishing and information business," said OUP CEO Nigel Portwood. "He has a deep understanding of the academic publishing sector and a track record of developing and implementing pioneering strategies."

Obituary Note: Dr. Gordon Ostlere

Dr. Gordon Ostlere, who wrote novels under the pen name Richard Gordon, died on August 11, the Bookseller reported. He was 95.

Ostlere was a surgeon and anesthetist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London who wrote novels, screenplays and accounts of popular history. In 1952, he took up writing full time. He is best known for the Doctor series of novels and a film adaptation of Doctor in the House.

His literary agency Curtis Brown commented: "His hugely successful books and films bought an immense amount of innocent and intelligent pleasure to millions. The Doctor in the House name still resonates, as do many of the characters he created, such as the fearsome surgeon Sir Lancelot Spratt."


Image of the Day: Memphis's Novel Prepares to Open

Novel, the bookstore in Memphis, Tenn., that will occupy space that used to house the closed Booksellers at Laurelwood, is opening this week. Here, getting ready for setup (from l.): adult book buyer Jason Bouck, general manager Eddie Burton, sidelines buyer Nicole Yasinsky and children's buyer Wilson Robbins. The store includes the Libro restaurant. (Many thanks to Jon Mayes for the great photograph!)

Happy Fifth Birthday, Another Read Through!

Congratulations to Another Read Through, the new and used bookstore in Portland, Ore., that is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. The Oregonian reported that owner Elisa Saphier "opened the bookstore as a reader who wanted to share her love of the written word--'that, and my wife saying we weren't allowed to have any more books in the house'--but who had little awareness of Portland's deep pool of authors. Today she not only has a section dedicated to local authors but also hosts a weekly reading series featuring local authors."

"They've had a place to come and launch their books," said Saphier, who hosted a "Parade of Authors" on Saturday. "It's just a celebration of the literary community here in Portland.... Local authors have been really quick to have my back--they've reciprocated the support. I think we're on the right trajectory."

Although the business hasn't grown as quickly as she would like, Saphier said, "We've always done well once people enter the shop, so I feel good about our curation, I feel good about our layout, I feel good about the vibe the shop has, I feel good about our staff. The problem has always been, how do I bring people in the door?"

'Meet La Jolla Bookseller Nancy Warwick'

A q&a with Nancy Warwick, owner of Warwick's bookstore, La Jolla, Calif., was featured in La Jolla Light's "People in Your Neighborhood" series, which "shines a spotlight on locals we all wish we knew more about." Among our favorite responses:

What were some funny stories that happened in the shop?
We used to have a customer come in with a Standard Poodle, and the Standard Poodle would be off-leash wandering around, and if he wanted to find his owner, he would get up on his hind legs, start walking around like a circus dog, trying to look over the counters.

My grandmother was a force. She worked until she was 98 years old. I had the pleasure of working with my grandfather, he died in the 1970s, but I had a few years where I could work with him because we all used to come in on Sundays when the store was closed and catch up on things. Basically, my sister and I would just play in the store. But my grandparents and parents were here, and we would sneak out books that we really shouldn't have been reading at that age.

What's the secret to recommending books?
There's an art to handselling: Find out what book someone has read and really enjoyed, or if they already have something in mind, or if they're looking for something similar to a favorite book.

What's something about you people don't know?
People would be surprised to learn that I'm a very introverted person and I really enjoy quiet time. I never speak to the person beside me in an airplane if I can help it--I open my book so fast, and I'm sending out all the signals! So yeah, I'm just a shy, introverted person, although at the store I come across as a more extroverted person than I really am. But I'm really bad at small talk.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Molly McCully Brown on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Molly McCully Brown, author of The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems (Persea, $15.95, 9780892554782).

Wendy Williams repeat: Gabourey Sidibe, author of This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544786769).

Conan: Senator Al Franken, author of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate (Twelve, $28, 9781455540419).

TV: Dawn

Dawn, the classic 1987 sci-fi novel by Octavia E. Butler, has been acquired by Ava DuVernay, Charles D. King's Macro and director-writer Victoria Mahoney for adaption into a television series. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this marks "the first time that Science Fiction Hall of Famer's Butler's work has been adapted for TV."

Mahoney will write the Dawn series, with King and DuVernay executive producing. The Hollywood Reporter noted that Macro, Forward Movement, Oil & Cattle and Bainframe will produce--"the latter has been on the effort to bring Butler's work to TV since 2015."

Books & Authors

Awards: Hugo Winners; Ned Kelly Shortlists

Winners of the 2017 Hugo Awards and the John W. Campbell Award, which were announced during the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland, are:

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit Books) [Jemisin won the same award last year, for The Fifth Season, also published by Orbit Books]
Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ( publishing)
Novelette: "The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
Best short story: "Seasons of Glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
Related work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
Graphic story: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
Dramatic presentation (long form): Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
Dramatic presentation (short form): The Expanse, "Leviathan Wakes," written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
Editor (short form): Ellen Datlow
Editor (long form): Liz Gorinsky
Professional artist: Julie Dillon
Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Fanzine: Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
Fancast: Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman
Fan writer: Abigail Nussbaum
Fan artist: Elizabeth Leggett
Series (special category added by option of Worldcon 75): The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
The John W. Campbell Award for the best new writer: Ada Palmer


The Australian Crime Writers Association has announced the shortlists in three categories (fiction, true crime and first fiction) for the 2017 Ned Kelly Awards, recognizing the best in Australian crime writing. The winners will be unveiled September 1 during the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Book Review

Review: Ember

Ember by Brock Adams (Hub City Press, $18 trade paper, 200p., 9781938235320, September 5, 2017)

In the not-too distant future of Brock Adams's Ember, the sun is fading, losing its light and heat. To rescue the earth from a slow freeze, world leaders hatch a plan to reignite the dying star. They let loose the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons toward the sun, then sit back and wait, as it will take three years for the missiles to reach their destination. Meanwhile, the earth grows ever colder, with temperatures below freezing the new norm in the southern states of the U.S. Regions farther north are encased in snow and ice year-round.

As the fateful, sun-rejuvenation day arrives, unhappily married couple Lisa and Guy and their faithful dog, Jemi, watch from a hillside, expecting to see a vast explosion and a resurgence of light and heat from the setting sun. But something goes awry and the earth is plunged into near darkness and then chaos. In the days shortly after the nuclear fiasco, militants use violence to take control, forcing millions, including Lisa and Guy, to become refugees as everyone searches for food, shelter, heat, guns and protection from the elements.

Winner of the 2016 South Carolina First Novel Competition, Adams takes a far future scenario of the sun's demise and brings it nearer, crafting a good guys-versus-bad guys apocalyptic maelstrom in which strangers must trust strangers to survive. Adams divides the world into the violent Minutemen--who exude a neo-Nazi, survivalist vibe--and those like Lisa and Guy, who just want to keep living their lives peacefully. Numerous violent and bloody mishaps provide contrast to bittersweet memories of life before the sun began to die.

Adams has adeptly put trust, love and faith to the test. In a believable yet unsurprising chain of events, Lisa, Guy and the source of their unhappiness, Heather, are forced to rely upon one another as they struggle to make sense of the New America. They must draw on hidden resources and strengths they didn't know they had as the mayhem unfolds. Although evil and cruelty are quite prevalent, the goodness inherent in most people also plays a major role, adding a balanced quality to the story. With climate change and global warming a growing concern, Ember is a chilling scenario--a perfect read for a hot day at the beach. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: When the sun begins to die and the earth starts to freeze, chaos unfolds as militants seize control in the United States.

Powered by: Xtenit