Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 6, 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


Canada's Indigo to Open in N.J., First of 3-5 Stores in the U.S.

An Indigo store in Toronto.

Late last week Canada's largest bookseller, Indigo Books & Music, reported solid gains in the second quarter ended September 30, but in bigger news, the company said that it's expanding into the U.S., its first foray outside of Canada.

Indigo's first U.S. store, scheduled to open in summer 2018, will be a 30,000 square foot location, part of a former Saks Fifth Avenue store, in the upscale Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, N.J., not far from New York City. In a conference call with analysts, Hugues Simard, Indigo's CFO and executive v-p, said the move is "an effort to test the largest retailing market in the world." The company aims, he continued, to replicate its Canadian "cultural department store" model, which offers a "joyful and addictive omni-channel experience as well as creating the ultimate community for book lovers." (Indigo's new concept stores sell a variety of gifts, toys and lifestyle products in addition to books, and have had a "16% average revenue growth.")

Founder, chairman and CEO Heather Reisman said Indigo plans to open three to five stores in the U.S. in the next two years, then assess "market response" and possibly open more stores. She added that the company has been approached by many U.S. real estate developers who like Indigo stores. "So we're cautious, but we're optimistic," she added. "We want them to do as well as they do here."

Indigo has about 90 superstores under the names Indigo and Chapters, and 125 smaller-format stores under the names Coles, Indigospirit, SmithBooks and the Book Company.

The Financial Post noted that while the new concept stores have done well in Canada, a challenge for Indigo will be creating brand awareness in the U.S., because while "in Canada everybody knows Indigo... in the States, nobody knows who they are."


In the quarter, Indigo's revenue grew 3.5%, to CA$224.5 million (about US$176 million), and the net loss grew to CA$4.7 million (about US$3.7 million), compared to a net loss of CA$1.2 million (US$940,000) in the same period in 2016. The company attributed the increased net loss to "certain changes in accounting estimates, as well as the company's investment in digital, new store development, marketing and supply chain to fuel future growth."

Online sales grew 15.1%. Sales in superstores open at least a year rose 2%, while sales in smaller-format stores fell 4%. Sales were negatively affected by stronger sales a year earlier because of the publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. General merchandise sales increased by double digits, and lifestyle and toys performed "particularly well."

In the quarter, Indigo opened another five of its new concept stores and acquired a distribution center in Calgary, Alberta, that will provide "faster and more efficient service" to customers in the Western provinces.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

B&N Store in Grosse Pointe, Mich., Closing; May Relocate

Barnes & Noble will be closing its store in Grosse Pointe, Mich., by mid-January, the Detroit News reported. Jim Lampassi, B&N v-p of real estate development, said, "We had discussions with the property owner in hopes of agreeing to an extension of the lease, but unfortunately we were unable to come to an agreement." He also noted that B&N is looking at other locations in area.

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

For Sale: Prairie Pages in Pierre, S.D.

Prairie Pages bookstore in Pierre, S.D., is seeking a new owner by next spring to avoid closing. The Capital Journal reported that co-owners Peggy Stout and Kathy Villa said their lease runs through March 31 "and their plan is for the bookstore to remain open at least through then." What they hope, however, is that they can sell the 11-year-old business, which won the South Dakota Retailer of the Year award in 2012.

"The community loves this place. I get thanked daily for being here," said Villa.

Stout described the price as "negotiable," adding that they are willing to work with an interested buyer who is passionate about books and owning a bookstore. The building is also for sale, but its owner, Fee Jacobsen, told the Capital Journal a future lease signed by a new Prairie Pages owner would carry over to the new building owner, if she finds a buyer.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

November Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for November was delivered to nearly half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 118 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 465,600 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (Grove Press).

For a sample of the October newsletter, see this one from Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Obituary Note: Jane Juska

Jane Juska, whose bestselling 2003 memoir A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, "followed her from her prudish Midwestern roots to her liberated flings and brought her to Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose's television talk shows to tell her story," died October 24, the New York Times reported. She was 84.

After watching Eric Rohmer's film Autumn Tale in 1999 at a theater in Berkeley, Calif., Juska "bought an ad in the personals section of The New York Review of Books. Not wishing to overspend on the ad, she winnowed her piquant message to these memorable words, which cost her $4.55 each: 'Before I turn 67--next March--I would like a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me,' " the Times noted. More than 60 letters arrived and Juska's subsequent encounters formed the basis of the book.

A play based on A Round-Heeled Woman was written by Jane Prowse and performed in several cities. Juska also wrote Unaccompanied Women (2006) and Mrs. Bennet Has Her Say (2015).


Image of the Day: The Historical Heroines Coloring Book

The Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, Mass., hosted the launch for local author Elizabeth Lorayne's The Historical Heroines Coloring Book: Pioneering Women in Science from the 18th and 19th Centuries (White Wave Press). Pictured: (l.) Sue Little, owner of the Jabberwocky Bookshop, and Elizabeth Lorayne.


Road Trip: Venice's Libreria Acqua Alta



Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy, "is a book lover's dream," Culture Trip reported. "Located in the vibrant Castello neighborhood, a stone's throw from St. Mark's Square, it is quite possibly the only place on the planet where you will find a treasure trove of books from all over the world stored in such unlikely shelving as gondolas, canoes and even bath tubs.

"This is due to the fact that when Venice’s Grand Canal rises, the ground floor of most buildings gets flooded. Obviously problematic for a bookstore, the issue is cleverly avoided by the water-proof storage."

Owner Luigi Frizzo opened the bookshop about 16 years ago, and it "has since become a must-visit for culture-loving tourists and locals alike," Culture Trip noted. 

Personnel Changes at Casemate

At the U.S. office of Casemate:

Curtis Key has been promoted to v-p, digital services and publishing operations. He has been with the company since 2009.

Sam Caggiula, who joined the company in May as U.S. Group publicity director, is taking on the role of marketing director, and is now U.S. Group marketing and publicity director. He earlier worked at Running Press, Rowman and Littlefield and most recently Skyhorse Publishers. He will continue to acquire titles and seek publishing partnerships.

Michaela Goff has been promoted to the new post of v-p, sales, marketing and client relations. She joined the company in 2011.

Thomas Allen & Son to Distribute Llewellyn in Canada

Effective January 1, Thomas Allen & Son will be exclusive Canadian distributor for Llewellyn Publications, the publisher of mind, body, spirit titles since 1905.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Senator Jeff Flake on the View, Daily Show

Fresh Air: Michael Lewis, author of The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds (Norton, $16.99, 9780393354775). He will also appear tomorrow on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

CNN's the Lead with Jake Tapper: Flo Groberg, co-author of 8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier's Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781501165887).

The View: Senator Jeff Flake, author of Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle (Random House, $27, 9780399592911). He will also appear tonight on the Daily Show.

Steve Harvey Show: Gene Simmons, author of On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power (Dey Street, $15.99, 9780062694706).

Conan: Stephen Colbert, co-author of Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9781501169007).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Lawrence O'Donnell, author of Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics (Penguin Press, $28, 9780399563140).

Today Show: Mary Higgins Clark, co-author of Every Breath You Take (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781501171642).

CBS This Morning: Joy Mangano, co-author of Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501176203). She will also appear on CNBC's Closing Bell.

Also on CBS This Morning: Donna Brazile, author of Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House (Hachette Books, $28, 9780316478519). She will also appear on the View and MSNBC's All in with Chris Hayes.

CNBC's Squawk Box: Leslie Berlin, author of Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781451651508).

Harry: Oprah Winfrey, author of The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations (Flatiron, $27.99, 9781250138064).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jason Segel, co-author of Otherworld (Delacorte, $18.99, 9781101939321).

Also on the Late Show: Jeff Fager, author of Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television's Most Influential News Broadcast (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501135804).

Movies: Switched On; Red Joan

Emma Frost (The White Queen, The White Princess) is adapting John Elder Robison's book Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening for Focus Features and Don Handfield's Motor production company, which jointly acquired the rights to the book for development, Deadline reported. Handfield will produce and Focus president of production Josh McLaughlin is the executive in charge of production. They previously worked together on Kill The Messenger starring Jeremy Renner.

"John's story is so timely and touching, it's a privilege to be able to partner with Focus to bring this incredible true story to life. Emma Frost is such a terrific and sought after writer and we are delighted to have her voice behind this project," said Handfield.


Tom Hughes (Victoria) is joining the cast of Red Joan, based on the 2013 book by Jennie Rooney, Deadline reported. Judi Dench plays the eponymous Joan Stanley with Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) as the young Joan. Trevor Nunn is directing from Lindsay Shapero's script.

Books & Authors

Awards: Kirkus, Brooklyn Public Library Winners

The winners of the 2017 Kirkus Prize, sponsored by Kirkus Reviews, are:

Fiction: What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead)
Nonfiction: The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/Norton)
Young Readers' Literature: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (DCB)

Each winner receives $50,000.


The winners of the third annual Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prizes, presented by the Brooklyn Eagles, BPL's young donor group, and recognizing "new works that reflect the Library's mission to convene renowned writers, scholars, critics, and artists with members of the borough's diverse community to discuss urgent social, political, and artistic issues that resonate with Brooklynites and the world at-large," are:

Fiction & Poetry: Tommy Pico for IRL (Birds)
Nonfiction: Richard Rothstein for The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (Liveright)

Each winner receives $5,000.

Book Review

Review: Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at London's National Theatre

Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at London's National Theatre by Nicholas Hytner (Knopf, $28.95 hardcover, 320p., 9780451493408, November 14, 2017)

The National Theatre in London is one of the world's best. Balancing Acts is Nicholas Hytner's memoir of 12 years as its director, and more broadly of his career, collaborations and friendships. During his tenure, he cut ticket prices, increased audiences, found new sources of funds and developed an international live-streaming series for cinemas. British theater, he writes, has always been forced to "juggle substance with pleasure. Like the Elizabethan players, who rubbed shoulders with the bear pits and the brothels, we are part of the Entertainment Industry."

Hytner produced about 20 plays at the National each year, half of them new works. He alternates backstage dramas of production meetings, rehearsals and previews with close analyses of plays and evaluations of his own mistakes and misjudgments along the way. He tells stories behind the selection and development of many shows, including Jerry Springer: The Opera, Alan Bennett's The History Boys, the adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, Danny Boyle's Frankenstein and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as a political play so topical that they workshopped alternate versions and waited for a court verdict to decide which one would go onstage. Shakespeare's plays recur throughout the seasons, and Hytner has many brilliant insights into them, some unfortunately achieved too late for his productions. He asserts the importance of creating new worlds for Shakespeare rather than relaxing into safe and "timeless" settings. "Timeless, I think now, means insipid. It means that those behind the production haven't thought hard enough about the play, or that they're scared of committing to a partial vision of it. Any vision of the play is bound to be partial. To aspire to anything else is folly or arrogance."

Vivid anecdotes about some of the greatest figures in modern British theater will delight any theater buff. Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Ralph Fiennes, Paul Scofield, James Corden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Trevor Nunn, Joan Plowright and Simon Russell Beale make substantial appearances, as do many modern playwrights, including Alan Bennett, Wendy Wasserstein, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn and Lucy Prebble. Balancing Acts also has plenty of appeal for anyone interested in how to make good art, draw large audiences and pay the bills at the same time. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: In this entertaining and insightful memoir, a successful director of London's National Theater illuminates the work of creating good art, building audiences and paying the bills.

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