Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 27, 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


New Owners, Name for San Diego's West Grove Collective

Book Catapult owners Seth Marko and Jennifer Powell

Jennifer Powell and Seth Marko are taking ownership of the West Grove Collective in San Diego's South Park neighborhood and reopening it as the Book Catapult, a general-interest bookstore. The change will be effective October 1, with a soft opening planned for Saturday, October 7, 6-10 p.m., during the Fall South Park Walkabout.

The Book Catapult, which began in 2006 as a book blog written by Marko, is being reinvented in bricks-and-mortar form. The owners noted that the new bookshop "aims to be a community hub of literary activity, promoting a lifelong love of reading through a well-curated selection of books for all ages, book-related gifts, and author event programming, while providing a comfortable forum for literary conversation, the exchanging of ideas, and community engagement."

Powell will run the day-to-day operations as general manager, sidelines buyer and media contact, while Marko will be the primary book buyer. The Book Catapult is retaining the clothing, jewelry and home goods vendors from the West Grove Collective in a boutique space within the store.

Between 2001 and 2015, Marko worked at Octavia Books in New Orleans; Warwick's, La Jolla, Calif.; and the UC San Diego Bookstore. He is currently an Ingram field sales representative. Powell has worked in marketing, advertising and graphic & web design. Most recently, she has been home with her two-year-old, Josephine. 

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Amazon to Open Bookstore in Austin, Tex.

An Amazon Books store is in the works for Austin, Tex., the American-Statesman reported, adding that the location at Domain Northside is "slated to open in early 2018, according to signage that went up over the weekend." Amazon Books currently has 11 stores open and two others in development.

Although Austin isn't mentioned on Amazon's list of upcoming locations, the company has made filings with both the city and state that indicate the store will be in a 4,508-square-foot space at 11700 Rock Rose Ave., Suite 150. Amazon "intends to spend $995,000 to build the store, which will feature a sales floor, stockroom, manager's office and employee restroom," the American-Statesman wrote, noting that Austin "is also one of many cities vying to land Amazon's recently announced second headquarters, or HQ2."

Amazon "already has a significant corporate presence in the Domain, with space leased inside two towers," the Austin Business Journal reported.

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

In L.A., Now Serving Now Open

"There's been all this talk in the last five or six years about L.A. being one of the best food cities in America, but we don't have anything here as far as a dedicated space for cookbooks," said Ken Concepcion, culinary consultant and former chef de cuisine at Wolfgang Puck's steakhouse CUT in Beverly Hills. On September 17, Concepcion and his wife, Michelle Mungcal, opened Now Serving, a cookbook store and luncheonette in Chinatown in Los Angeles.

"I really saw this vacuum, this empty place in the community," Concepcion continued. Before he began his 20-year career as a cook, his first job after college was at the now-closed independent bookstore Library Ltd. in St. Louis, Mo, and he's had a self-described "obsession" with cookbooks for most of his adult life. "I think L.A. really needs it."

Now Serving will combine an approximately 400-square-foot new and used cookbook store with an 800-square-foot restaurant and lunch counter. The bookstore half of Now Serving opened first, and Concepcion plans to carry around 600 new and backlist cookbooks along with 200 to 300 previously owned or out-of-print cookbooks. Organizing the inventory is still a work in progress, Concepcion said, but he plans to have sections dedicated to the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean, central and northern Europe, pastries and baking, beverages, and general food writing and references. In the bookstore space, Concepcion will also sell a variety of nonbook items including Japanese knives; vintage cast iron pans that are 40-50 years old as well as some new, hand-forged cast iron pans made by Blanc Creatives in Charlottesville, Va.; apparel such as chef coats, chef shirts and aprons; and knife bags and knife rolls.

"I want to use my relationships with the restaurant industry to really bring a different focus to what a cookbook store can be," said Concepcion. "I really want to appeal to cooks and chefs and home cooks who are maybe overwhelmed when they walk into a Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. Those are really more restaurant or home supply stores. This is more curated."

When Concepcion first thought of opening a cookbook store of his own about two years ago, he knew from the beginning that he wanted to carry used and out-of-print books. He explained that in many of the "lifestyle stores" around L.A. that also sell cookbooks, you'd be hard pressed to find a cookbook older than two years, but there are so many wonderful, older cookbooks that have all but vanished. Concepcion added that not too long after he moved to L.A. in 2006, the city lost Cook's Library, the only store in the area that he felt was comparable to places like Kitchen Arts and Letters in New York and Omnivore Books on Food in San Francisco, which are great resources for both amateur and professional cooks. "The way they serve their communities and the restaurant industry is so inspiring," Concepcion said. "There are so many great cookbooks from 10 or 15 years ago. A lot of young chefs and passionate home cooks could really take advantage of them."

The restaurant side of Now Serving is still being built and approved, but Concepcion expects it to be open by late winter or early spring 2018. The restaurant's centerpiece will be a 16-seat bar/lunch counter, and he described the general concept as a modern American luncheonette serving American classics "filtered through the prism of being vegetable-focused and plant-based." Concepcion added that while there is great food in Chinatown, he felt the neighborhood could use more vegetables and some lighter cuisine. "I'm really a fanatic about farmer's market produce," he said. "I want to offer that in this kind of setting."

The luncheonette will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, with the space available for industry classes and events with cookbook authors and visiting chefs in the evening. While the bar/luncheonette has been designed to have "someone back there talking and explaining," Concepcion has made sure that it "doesn't look like a culinary school demo kitchen." He noted that it's hard for cookbook authors to find the ideal spot for events. "I thought that was a missed opportunity," said Concepcion. "What we hope to provide here at Now Serving is a place for events, and once the restaurant side is up, both spaces will really talk to each other."

Concepcion and his wife hosted a grand opening party on September 17 that featured Oaxacan street food, beer from L.A.'s Highland Park brewery and music DJ'd by the music editor of the Los Angeles Times. Concepcion reported that "the turnout was pretty impressive--had no idea that many people would come out!" --Alex Mutter

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

#BannedBooksWeek Update: Read-a-Thon, #OurRightToRead

Banned Books display at River Road Books, Fair Haven, N.J

Banned Books Week is currently underway, and we'll be highlighting a selection of your creative events, displays, social media posts and more. Let us know some of the unusual ways your bookstore or library is celebrating. 

Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny, Iowa: "I'm leaving a banned book in a local business for you to find. I'll be leaving banned books around town throughout this week. Take photo and post it."

hello hello books, Rockland, Maine: "Happy #bannedbooksweek! The staff has handpicked some frequently banned/challenged books to highlight. Come exclaim over them. ('They banned Anastasia Krupnik? What, was she too smart for a girl?')"

Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, Fla.: "Mugshots and photos from our Banned Books Read-a-Thon in celebration of Banned Books Week."

Third Street Books, McMinnville, Ore.: "Learn about books that have been banned (and why) by participating in our Banned Book Scavenger Hunt! We've partnered with the @mcmlibrary for this event.... No books were banned in the making of this event!"

Banned Books window display at The Three Arts Book Store, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Firestorm Books & Coffee, Asheville, N.C.: "#OurRightToRead--For the rest of September, we're participating in Banned Books Week by featuring titles that have been censored in the North Carolina prison system."

Morgan Library & Museum, New York City: "We searched our vaults for the ultimate banned book to celebrate #BannedBooksWeek and found our copy of Galileo Galilei's (1564-1642) Dialogo... sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems). Not bad."

Simon & Schuster: the publisher's Banned Books Week webpage features a live Twitter feed, a full list of S&S titles that have been banned or challenged over the years and quotes from authors like Jeannette Walls, Dan Slater and Judy Blume.

IBPA Drops Cooperative Book Display for BookExpo 2018

The Independent Book Publishers Association will forgo a cooperative book display at BookExpo 2018, after a unanimous vote by the board of directors at its August meeting. In an open letter to IBPA members, board chair Robert Price and CEO Angela Bole wrote: "This means IBPA will not purchase a large area on the trade show floor in which to passively showcase IBPA member titles. This decision comes after months of deliberation and several dedicated conversations between IBPA and BookExpo kicked off by a disappointing 2017 program."

Noting that IBPA has managed a cooperative book display at BookExpo for more than 30 years, they said "the evolving nature of the event has made it increasingly difficult for small and midsized publishers to realize tangible signs of success. For example, although BookExpo once embraced a diversity of publishing models, over the past several years, it has focused almost exclusively on traditional publishing (the Big 5), rights sales and pre-publication marketing. Independently published books, whether produced by a small press or a self-published author, are sidelined."

IBPA added that it will "continue to explore ways to actively represent IBPA members at BookExpo 2018," as well as to fully participate in cooperative book display programs at other venues, including the American Library Association's Annual Conference and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Obituary Note: Kit Reed

Kit Reed, "a prolific author with an astonishing range who published work consistently for almost 60 years, writing outstanding novels and stories in various genres for children, teens and adults," died September 24, Locus magazine reported. She was 85.

Her many novels include Mormama (2017), The Baby Merchant (2006) and the Alex Award winner Thinner than Thou (2004), as well as short fiction collections like the Shirley Jackson Awards finalists What Wolves Know (2011) and The Story Until Now (2013). She also published numerous mainstream novels and psychological thrillers as Kit Craig, and a horror novel, Blood Fever (1986), under the name Shelley Hyde.

At Boing Boing, author Cory Doctorow wrote: "Reed was a friend of mine, and also one of the writers I admired most in the world. She was funny, incisive, and incredibly prolific. As her son Mack Reed wrote, 'She loved like a child, worked like a stevedore, cursed like a sailor and traveled and sampled the world with Twainian zest. She was the most two-fisted woman I have ever known, never completely happy unless she was in motion, juggling too many things.' "


Image of the Day: AdventureKeen Helps Binc

On his 2,000-mile charity bike ride across the country, Chuck Robinson, former co-owner of Village Books and Paper Dreams, Bellingham and Lynden, Wash., rode through Ann Arbor, Mich., along with Richard Hunt from AdventureKEEN. During their stop, Hunt presented Binc with the contribution from AdventureKEEN's promotional event (Shop Local, Live Local) in June. Their fund-raising initiative was a first, and it helped to spread awareness about Binc and raised funds to help booksellers. Pictured: (l.-r.) Richard Hunt (AdventureKEEN), Kathy Bartson (Binc development director), Adam Gac (Binc communication coordinator), Deb Leonard (GLIBA executive director and Binc board member), Joan Noricks (Binc office coordinator), Pam French (Binc executive director).

'East West Finally Moves In Celebration'

After more than two years at its new location and nearly 30 years in business, East West Bookshop, Seattle, Wash., has "finally arrived at a layout that works!" Bhima Breckenridge, co-manager & bookbuyer, wrote in a post for the store's online journal. To mark the occasion, the bookshop will host an "East West Finally Moves In Celebration" on October 15.

Breckinridge explained the genesis of the idea: "My wife and I were recently on vacation this summer, road-tripping down the coastal highway of California. Along the way, we stopped by a wonderful bookstore in Mendocino which greatly impressed me. Its tall, meandering bookcases, lead me labyrinthine-like, deeper and deeper into their nooks and crannies. I immediately thought, 'Now this feels like a bookstore!'

"I watched myself play the role of the bookshop browser and tuned into the unique feeling of being in a bookstore. What I realized is that what drives me to shop at local bookstores isn't the books themselves but the experience. It's that special experience of finding that book that contains that idea that you need at that moment. A sense of being totally in the moment, and the promise of being at the right place at the right time; of synchronicity and adventure, but also of coming home.... I was determined to make East West feel more bookish and feed the curiosity of the soul. After an intense and joyful re-arranging party and a week's worth of alphabetizing and table-setting, we have birthed a new bookstore for you!"

'I've Come to Cherish My 'Backlist' Even More'

In an e-mail newsletter to patrons of Prairie Path Books, Wheaton Ill., co-owner Sandy Koropp wrote: "The buzz in BookLand is almost always about new releases or bestsellers. A bookseller gets a bazillion emails from publishers with links to lists of new titles, plus magazines and promotional materials in the mail. New is fun and shiny and pretty and we love to arrange tables with the latest stories and histories, all crisp and fresh looking in their gorgeous covers. When I'm excited about a new release it's fun for me to tell about it and hope you like it too, and let's face it--it's so easy and profitable when I can simply say: 'There's a new David McCullough out!'

"Three years into this biz though I've come to cherish my 'backlist' even more," she observed, noting that in those early days preparing for the store's opening, "we bought many wonderful paperbacks for our first inventory, but really those were other stores' bestsellers. An excellent start for sure and some have become our bestsellers too. But when you tally up Prairie Path Books' top sellers, they are always books we have read and loved so much that we take them down reverently from the shelf, hold them to our hearts while we describe them, and then hand them over for your admiration. Many of our favorite 2014–2017 hardcover new releases have come out in paperback: it's our biggest compliment when we continue to carry a title after that. Me and Jenny sometimes remember a title we've loved and don't have yet, plus, very often if one of you gushes to me about a great book I order it on the spot, enriching our shelves all the more. Now that's a backlist!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jesmyn Ward on Late Night with Seth Meyers

NPR's Morning Edition: Stephen King and Owen King, authors of Sleeping Beauties: A Novel (Scribner, $32.50, 9781501163401).

ABC's Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis: Ray Dalio, author of Principles: Life and Work (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501124020).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel (Scribner, $26, 9781501126062).

TV: Bellevue

NBC has given a put pilot commitment to Bellevue, an hour-long medical drama from David Schulner, Peter Horton and Universal TV. Deadline reported that the project, written by Schulner, is being produced by Dr. Eric Manheimer, the former medical director at New York City's Bellevue Hospital and author of the memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, on which the series is based.

Books & Authors

Awards: Forward Poetry Winners

Sinéad Morrissey won the £10,000 (about $13,440) Forward Prize for the Best Poetry Collection for On Balance. Chair of the judges Andrew Marr said Morrissey's poems were "beautifully written, emotionally charged and filled with a wonderful complexity.... This is writing that successfully comes right up to the edge, again and again. We were taken by the openness, the capacity and the exuberance of this work. On Balance is a collection that readers will keep and go back to for a long time to come."

The £5,000 (about $6,720) Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection was awarded to Ocean Vuong for Night Sky with Exit Wounds. And the winner of the £1,000 ($1,345) prize for Best Single Poem was Ian Patterson for "The Plenty of Nothing."

Reading with... Jude Angelini

Jude Angelini was born and raised in Pontiac, Mich. He got his start as a guest and comic on The Jenny Jones Show and now hosts his own show, The All Out Show, on Sirius Satellite Radio. He loves reading Elmore Leonard, science fiction and medieval fantasy, as well as antiquing and playing a good game of backgammon. He lives in Los Angeles, and his memoir, Hummingbird, was just published by Rare Bird Books.

On your nightstand now:

Crystals, condoms, various sleeping pills and an old lithograph of the allegories of music. No book, though. I find it hard to read while I'm writing and selling. I take most of my information in passively during this process. It's tough for me because on dating sites, smart chicks'll ask me what book I'm reading and when I answer nothing they pull back. And I wanna be like, "Well, what's the last book you wrote? Nothing? Okay we're even." But that would be dickish so I don't.

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was really little, Wiley and the Hairy Man by Suzan Zeder, it's about a kid from the swamp who outsmarts some monster who wants to eat him. Spoiler alert: Wiley lives. I liked it so much we never gave it back to the library.

When I was like six, it was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. My mom would read to me and my sister Rachel at night and Rach'd always pick Judy Blume. I'd complain but deep down I really liked her. She used to crack me up.

In the fifth grade, it was the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I don't think I survived one of those stories, I was always making the wrong decision, falling off of cliffs. I still make bad decisions, now I write about 'em afterwards.

Your top five authors:

In no particular order, Larry McMurtry, Elmore Leonard, Mark Twain, Roald Dahl... and medieval fantasy.

Book you've faked reading:

I don't fake reading. I've faked like I was gonna read a book to get someone to stop talking about it, like, "Oh don't tell me anything else, I don't wanna know how it ends! The Secret's gonna be the next book I pick up. Promise."

Book you're an evangelist for:

Dune--the world Frank Herbert built and the storylines were just amazing. I remember reading it and saying to myself, this guy is so f**king smart. I wish I knew how to make up stuff like that.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I get magazines for covers. Most of the books I check out come from recommendations. My younger sister's a librarian. Her husband works at a bookstore. My homies went to college. My old man digs the crime novels. I get a wide range of suggestions. Too wide to succumb to marketing ploys. But I'll tell you this much, I won't buy a book that was made into a movie if it has the actors on the cover. Something about having to picture Matt Damon in my head while I'm reading a story irritates the sh*t outta me.

Book you hid from your parents:

My mom took me to see Animal Farm when I was four. My parents were hippies, I didn't have to hide anything. I was young as hell reading grown-up books: Soul on Ice, Our Bodies, Ourselves, Behold a Pale Horse. I grew up so wild that they weren't worried about some book ruining me. Plus we were into discussing ideas and having debates. My Pop would be quick to tell me why what I was reading was bullsh*t but he'd never tell me not to read it and he'd be into hearing my side.

Book that changed your life:

Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man. I'm not really a fan of Bukowski, but I read it as a fifth-year senior, when I was in remedial English. It was written in this conversational tone about a regular guy and it democratized writing for me. Before that I thought you had to have a degree or be a leader of a movement to be able to write and be read. That book inspired me to put pen to paper, literally. I got notebooks full of crappy writing because of him. So thanks, Chuck.

Favorite line from a book:

It's from a Roald Dahl short, "The Great Switcheroo," where these two neighbors wife-swap without their wives knowing. Next day the mastermind's wife wakes up ecstatic, she's crying with joy because after all these years they finally made love and she liked it. The guy's shattered, he goes to the kitchen window so she can't see his face break while she's gushing over the good sex, and outside who does he see? The neighbor he gave his wife to. He's chipper as hell, getting the paper. It ends with, "There was a lilt in his walk, a little prance of triumph in each pace he took..."--and here's the part I love--"and when he reached the steps of his front porch, he ran up them two at a time." Like a boss! Dahl says everything in one phrase. That's how I try to write. Any asshole can make something sound smart with a thesaurus but being concise, that ain't easy.

Five books you'll never part with:

I was just looking at my bookshelf for the answer and the selection sucks, because I loan out whatever I think is dope then never get it back. The result? A bookshelf full of rejects. I feel judged every time someone comes to my house and looks at it. Probably because I judge people based on their bookshelves myself.

The book I've had the longest? Behold a Pale Horse, it's some conspiracy theory. The author's an ex-Vietnam vet, who ended up in a shootout with the cops and is dying. I'm not even that fond of the book, but no one wants to borrow it and I just can't bring myself to throw it out. So it sits on my shelf for people to think I'm some tinfoil hat-wearing flat-Earther.

Books you avoid:

I like wizards and cowboys, so I read books about them. I get compared to Beat writers. So I don't read Beat writers. It's not that I don't like them, it's just I don't want them f**king with my voice. It's all I got. I never went to college. I'm not formally educated and for the longest I was insecure about it. Then I realized they can teach technique at school but they can't teach voice. You earn that. And while I don't know the rules to break 'em, I got voice in spades. So I cherish mine and avoid cats I might unknowingly copy off of.

That's not to say I'm not inspired by other writers. My last book, Hyena, I was ripping off Russians and Elmore Leonard like crazy. It's just they're so different from my style you can't really tell. It's kinda like how Prince was inspired by Bob Seger when he wrote "Purple Rain," and not Michael Jackson. I'm just trying to be like Prince.

Book Review

YA Review: All the Crooked Saints

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press, $18.99 hardcover, 320p., ages 12-up, 9780545930802, October 10, 2017)

In 1962, in the "dark, true-dark" of the desert, 18-year-old Beatriz Soria and her cousins transmit their "pirate" radio show from the back of a box truck. Even though the voice of the DJ belongs to the talented Diablo Diablo (otherwise known as Joaquin), it is Beatriz's logical mind that powers this enterprise. Daniel, "the Saint of Bicho Raro," comes along even though he's more concerned with miracles than the clandestine radio station.

The entire Soria family are capable performers of miracles but Daniel is the "best saint that Bicho Raro had experienced for generations." Pilgrims flock to the ranch, where miracles come in twos. The first, performed by the Saint, will make the darkness inside a person visible. It will "draw it out and give it form." But the second, "getting rid of the darkness for good," is up to the pilgrim. One of the most important rules the Sorias have is that the family must not interfere in the second miracle or "a darkness would fall on the Soria as well, and a Saint's darkness" is a "terrible and powerful thing." Yet, unable to forgive themselves, Bicho Raro's current pilgrims have not been able to perform their second miracle and move on. The pilgrims are stuck in drawn-out darkness and the Sorias are stuck with the pilgrims. Until now.

When Tony and Pete drive in, every bed is full. Tony seeks a miracle but Pete just wants to work--he was promised a box truck (the very same one that Beatriz and Joaquin use for their radio station) and a place to stay as payment for a summer job. Tony gets his miracle and Pete gets his job, falling hard for both the desert and Beatriz as he settles in. Meanwhile, Daniel decides to "help someone he was not allowed to help." The Saint of Bicho Raro has fallen in love with Marisita, a girl whose first miracle left her in the center of her own personal rainstorm with a dress covered in butterflies. Despite the taboo, Daniel interferes, and his darkness has already started coming. To protect his family, he takes off for the desert, demanding that no one follow as he faces his demons alone. He brings only a small pack with water and food and the kitchen radio, so he can listen to Diablo Diablo in the evenings.

Skimming back and forth through time, Stiefvater's (The Scorpio Races, The Raven Cycle) tale is gorgeously told, unfurling like the black roses Francisco Soria obsessively cultivates in his greenhouse. Beatriz, who even as a 10-year-old child realized that the darkness is more about shame than being "terrible," has never wanted to be the Soria's Saint. But she must push through her own fear and darkness and, using her magic, her intellect and her "complicated and wiry heart," save her beloved cousin. A miraculous work. --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI

Shelf Talker: A saint, a scientist and a DJ perform miracles (and science) in the Colorado desert.

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