Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Quotation of the Day

'A Bookstore Has a Point of View'

"We believe, as do consultants we've queried, that there is a place in our community for a new and re-imagined bookstore.... A bookstore is far more than a collection of shelves and racks of greeting cards. A bookstore has a point of view, a voice and a devotion to its patrons. Locals frequently stop by and chat. Toddlers discover the joy of books and storytelling. Book launches and readings feed the community's appetite for stimulating conversation and exploration....

"Toad Hall's board of directors, formed to administer profits to environmental causes, cannot and should not keep Toad going. But the store's closure is not a harbinger of future failure. It is, in a very real way, an opportunity to do it better."

--Rae Francoeur, member of the board of directors at Toad Hall Bookstore, Rockport, Mass., which closed October 1 after 45 years in business 

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi


B&T Forms Publisher Services Unit, Hires Suchomel

Baker & Taylor has created Baker & Taylor Publisher Services, which will offer a full range of services to publishers--from warehousing and order fulfillment, sales and marketing support, inventory management and virtual inventory programs to editorial, POD and book manufacturing support. The division incorporates the existing distribution business of Bookmasters, which will no longer use that name for distribution and client services but will continue its printing and manufacturing businesses. (Follett bought Baker & Taylor and Bookmasters last year.)

Mark Suchomel

In connection with the creation of B&T Publisher Services, Mark Suchomel has joined the company as senior v-p of sales and client services and will lead the unit jointly with Ken Fultz, who has been promoted to senior v-p of operations. Suchomel was earlier president of client services for the Perseus Book Group and president of Independent Publishers Group. He will work closely with the Global Publishers Services team, led by Chitra Bopardikar, to reach both domestic and international markets.

B&T president David Cully commented: "Launching Baker & Taylor Publisher Services was a natural choice when you consider our strength in diverse markets and trusted role as a partner to many publishers. With the market position and experience of Follett and Baker & Taylor, we'll be an obvious choice for publishers of academic, educational, and children's titles, and we'll provide an advantage to trade publishers through the utilization of our regional distribution centers. We are focused on collaborating with our publishers to give them the right mix of services so we can grow as they grow."

Suchomel added: "Our goal is to foster long-lasting partnerships with publishers and grow our business by helping to grow theirs. Our unique market position, sales network in the trade and special markets, economies of scale and ability to reach most U.S. accounts in a day or two will position our clients for growth. BTPS is not about upselling services to clients. We're about partnering to grow business together."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Kew & Willow Books in Queens Sets Oct. 7 Soft Opening

Kew & Willow Books, the new independent bookstore in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., will be open weekends beginning this Saturday, October 7. Owners Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa and Holly Nikodem, who met while working at the now-closed Barnes & Noble in Queens' Forest Hills neighborhood, announced the opening in a Facebook post on Friday, noting:

"We're super stoked (and kind of nervous? But excited nervous) to finally be YOUR bookstore!... Now, we know what you're thinking, 'Weekends? That's great, but what if I need you during the week?' Well, we're getting there. But we think it's best that we ease into this and get used to our full space AND what the day to day business will look like. As we get our sea legs, so to speak, we'll soon be able to open during the week as well. Until then, though, we wanted to make sure we could be available to you on a reliable and regular basis. We look forward to seeing all of you, and hope you'll love visiting us as much as we'll love helping you find your new favorite books!"

Kew & Willow Books is located at 81-63 Lefferts Boulevard, Kew Gardens, N.Y. 11415.

Libros Schmibros in L.A. Is Relocating


The future Libros Schmibros.

Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and bookstore in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, Calif., is relocating. The announcement was made in a Facebook post last Friday: "Happy news here at Libros Schmibros! After years of wishing and hoping, we're moving across the street into the landmark 1889 Boyle Hotel. Building out our new bookcases--and movie screen!--will take us through October. After that, please come back and visit us at 103 N. Boyle Av., next door to La Monarca Bakery, right here!"

The Eastsider noted that the "small store is currently located in one of the buildings that is for sale on the north side of the plaza. However, Libros Schmibros, which announced the upcoming move on Facebook and Twitter, did not state the reason for the change in location.... The new shop, which will share the groundfloor with La Monarca bakery, is scheduled to open next month."

Obituary Note: Alison Greene

Alison Greene

Very sad news: Alison Greene, wife of American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher, died yesterday. The funeral will take place today, at 1 p.m., at Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, N.Y. We send our deepest condolences to Oren and his and Alison's family.

An attorney, Alison was most recently court attorney referee in Family Court and earlier was general counsel to a New York State senator; executive director of the Westchester County Human Rights Commission; director of Operation Assist at the Children's Health Fund; and a regional director at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. She was a former chair of the White Plains Democratic Committee and a passionate and longtime leader in the campaigns of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

She also loved the book industry, was a great reader and was a constant and welcome presence at many trade shows and conferences. We will miss her.


Image of the Day: Two for the Road

Over this past weekend, Shelf Awareness's own Matt Baldacci (r.) joined Chuck Robinson in upstate New York for two legs of Chuck's Big Ride Redux, Robinson's 2,000-mile--from North Dakota to Maine--fundraiser. One of the three nonprofits he's supporting is the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), whose jersey Matt wore. On Saturday, the two rode 38 miles, from Rochester to Newark, and on Sunday they rode 48.5 miles, from Newark to Syracuse, mostly along the Erie Canalway Path.

Happy Fifth Birthday, Copperfish Books!

Congratulations to Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, Fla., which celebrated its fifth anniversary Saturday. On Facebook, the store posted: "Happy 5th Anniversary to Copperfish Books!!! Today only--20% off regularly priced items! Mimosas and homemade treats! Enter to win great prizes, including Florida International Air Show tix! Thank you all for supporting this indie bookstore!"

'The 28 Coolest Independent Bookstores in the U.S.'

Explaining its picks for the "28 coolest independent bookstores in the U.S.," Art + Design asked and answered the relevant question: "Who does not like walking the aisles of bookstores? People with poor taste, that's who. I could spend hours in them, just browsing and enjoying the quiet atmosphere, and if the bookstore has a coffee shop, I'm likely to spend half the day getting buzzed on espressos and reading my new purchases."

Personnel Changes at Nobrow/Flying Eye Books; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Effective in mid-October, Hannah Moushabeck is joining Nobrow/Flying Eye Books as associate director of sales & marketing, working in the New York office. She has been associate marketing manager at Chronicle Books and earlier worked at the Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass., and Booklink Booksellers, Northampton, Mass.


In the publicity department at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, handling culinary and lifestyle books:

Sari Kamin has joined the company as senior publicity manager. She was previously a freelance food journalist and host of the podcast Food Without Borders, which she will continue to host.

Breanne Sommer has joined the company as publicity manager. She previously worked at Handcrafted PR, Artisan and Regan Arts.

S&S to Distribute Oni Press to the Book Trade

Effective March 1, 2018, Simon & Schuster will handle sales and worldwide distribution to the book trade of Oni Press.

Oni Press, Portland, Ore., is the comic book and graphic novel publisher whose titles include the comic books and graphic novels based on Adult Swim's Rich and Morty and Nickelodeon's Invader ZIM. Original titles include Scott Pilgrim, Princess Princess Ever After, Lucky Penny, Courtney Crumrin, The Sixth Gun, Stumptown, Wet Moon, Letter 44, The Coldest City and Kaijumax.

Oni Press publisher James Lucas Jones said, "When I first joined Joe Nozemack at Oni Press, it was clear we were doing something different. We have long known that our catalog appeals to a broader audience, so we have always worked to push the comic book medium beyond the direct market. Working with Simon & Schuster's incredible team, we are elated to bring our books to new readers, retailers, and libraries."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Hodgman on the Daily Show

CNN's New Day: Bana Alabed, author of Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace (Simon & Schuster, $22, 9781501178443).

Good Morning America: Jen Welter, co-author of Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL (Seal Press, $26, 9781580056830). She will also appear on APM's Marketplace and Fox Business's Kennedy.

Dr. Oz: Teresa Giudice, author of Standing Strong (Gallery, $26, 9781501179198).

Wendy Williams: Whitney Cummings, author of I'm Fine... And Other Lies (Putnam, $27, 9780735212602).

Daily Show: John Hodgman, author of Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches (Viking, $25, 9780735224803).

Tonight Show: Hillary Clinton, author of What Happened (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501175565).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Russell Brand, author of Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions (Holt, $27, 9781250141927).

Books & Authors

Awards: Thurber Prize; Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence

Daily Show host Trevor Noah has won the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor, sponsored by Thurber House, for his memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau). Noah received a $5,000 prize and a commemorative crystal plaque last night at an award ceremony at Carolines on Broadway in New York City. John Kenney, who won the Thurber Prize in 2014, hosted the event.

The judges called Born a Crime a coming-of-age story told "during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed."

Runners-up were Ken Pisani for Amp'd (St. Martin's Press) and Aaron Their for Mr. Eternity (Bloomsbury USA).


Longlists for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been announced. Shortlists will be released October 25. Winning authors receive $5,000, with $1,500 going to each of the four remaining finalists. The two medal winners will be unveiled February 11 during the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colo. See the complete longlists here.

Book Review

Review: The Iliac Crest

The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza, trans. by Sarah Booker (Feminist Press, $16.95 paperback, 200p., 9781558614352, October 10, 2017)

Translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker, The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza is a slim volume that pushes the boundaries of the male-female spectrum, mental health and the stories one tells oneself and others. Two women visit an unidentified male narrator, a doctor who lives by the ocean; one is a former lover, the other a stranger who instills desire and fear in the narrator. Both women settle into a comfortable routine, leaving the doctor to ponder past, present and future aspects of his life. When these two women state they know his biggest secret--that he is in fact a woman--the narrator begins a downward spiral into a state of mental confusion and anxiety that pushes him to perform acts he might otherwise avoid.

Garza's work draws heavily on the writings of Amparo Dávila, a Mexican writer whose work revolves around female protagonists who often have mental illnesses. These often lead to violent and dangerous scenarios. Other themes both writers explore are death, ghosts and time. In The Iliac Crest, ghosts are prevalent. Time ebbs and flows between past and future--reflected in the motions of the ocean, a setting the narrator is drawn to time and again. "I watched the sea, her nocturnal silence, her immense mass.... How many [people] knew the ocean so intimately, savoring her without resentment, gradually learning not to fear her? I was almost euphoric, but contained myself.... I walked for hours. Lost. Lost in thought. Asking myself with every step if I was, really, alive." Multiple times, the narrator is forced to question his reality as the two women continue to share his house, creating an atmosphere that is both tense and erotic, a situation the man both wants to avoid and jump into with full force. This push-pull of ambivalence helps to spiral him outward into a deeper state of confusion, where he continues to question his own existence.

Although modest in length, Garza's creative piece is a complex puzzle that might take multiple readings to unravel fully. A background in Amparo Dávila's work would be useful, but it is certainly not necessary, as an afterword by Elena Poniatowska helps clarify some of their shared themes. Despite the novel's brevity, Booker's translation makes clear the intricate and delicate poetic dance Garza crafts among the three main characters. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: A complex tale of time, death and identity written by an outstanding Mexican woman is now available in English.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Dear Bridget, I Want You by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland
2. Forever Concealed (Forever Bluegrass Book 7) by Kathleen Brooks
3. The Queen by Skye Warren
4. Drawn to Him: A Romance Collection by Various
5. Blade of Darkness (Immortal Guardians Book 7) by Dianne Duvall
6. Womanizer by Katy Evans
7. Knocked Up by the Dom by Penelope Bloom
8. Rock Me by Carly Phillips
9. Let There Be Love by Melissa Storm
10. Echo (The Kate Redman Mysteries Volume 6) by Celina Grace

[Many thanks to!]

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