Also published on this date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017: Maximum Shelf: The Chalk Man

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 8, 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

Quotation of the Day

'The Bookstore Has Bounced Back'

"While it might seem strange to be talking about book stores in a jewellery and watch title, as our feature in the November issue shows, there is a lot the jewellery industry can learn from the work of booksellers and, in particular, their representative trade association here in the U.K.--the Booksellers Association. Despite obvious challenges in the form of e-readers and online-only sellers, who can undercut on price, the bookstore has bounced back, with the trade association leading the charge and helping to engage the consumer in innovative ways that drive footfall into stores.

"If the good work of the Booksellers Association proves anything, it is that the role of an industry trade association should be, first and foremost, to engage with the end consumer and promote its retail members to those consumers."

--Ruth Faulkner, editor of Retail Jeweller magazine, in an opinion piece headlined "What we can all learn from books"

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


B&N Opens New Concept Store in Plano, Tex.

Barnes & Noble has opened its fourth new concept store, featuring a smaller format with a full-service bar and restaurant, at Legacy West in Plano, Tex. The Dallas Morning News reported that "books are definitely not an afterthought, but Barnes & Noble Kitchen is as much as a destination for something to eat as it is food for thought." The 10,000-square-foot store's restaurant features seating for 178 indoors and on a patio.

The new store is less than two miles from a full-size B&N at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, but the company believes there is a separate customer base at Legacy West, according to store manager Tommie Dewberry, who said, "Stonebriar is more about families."

Carl Hauch, B&N's v-p of stores, said that having two stores so close together is more a reflection of what's happening in Plano, which "is growing with different populations, and we think we're serving a different demographic with this store. We'll listen to the customer and adjust."

The Plano store is smaller than the other B&N Kitchen stores that have opened thus far in Edina, Minn.; Folsom, Calif.; and Eastchester, N.Y. A fifth new concept store is set to open soon in Ashburn, Va. "We're learning from these initial stores and looking at leases as they come up for renewal," Hauch said.

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

Kulka Named Library of America Editorial Director

John Kulka

John Kulka has been named the new editorial director at Library of America. His publishing career includes senior positions at Barnes & Noble, Yale University Press, Harvard University Press and Basic Books. In addition, he has served on the boards of the nonprofit Dalkey Archive Press and the David Charles Horn Foundation, which supports the Yale Drama Series. Kulka replaces longtime editor-in-chief Geoffrey O'Brien, who is retiring at the end of 2017.

LOA publisher Max Rudin, who assumes the presidency of the nonprofit organization with the retirement of Cheryl Hurley at year's end, said: "John's broad and deep knowledge of American writing, his experience on both the publishing and bookselling sides, and his career-long dedication to quality, make him the ideal person to help guide our editorial program going forward and a valuable addition to Library of America's management team."

In additional LOA news, Leslie Schwartz is the new publicity manager. She was most recently associate director of marketing for the New American Library/Berkley Publishing Group. Before that, she was associate director of publicity and marketing at Riverhead Trade Paperbacks & Perigee Books for Penguin Group (USA).

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

Bookseller to Debut with The Stars Now Unclaimed

For the past 17 years, Drew Williams has been a bookseller at Little Professor Book Center in Birmingham, Ala. He was hired at age 16, after walking in off the street and asking for a job on the same day that somebody else happened to quit. Today he is the store's adult book buyer, and next year Williams will make his authorial debut when Tor publishes his science fiction novel, The Stars Now Unclaimed.

Drew Williams

"I read across the board, but I've always wanted to write genre stuff," said Williams, who described himself as a lifelong writer. He reads everything from murder mysteries to literary fiction, he added, but whenever he sits down to write, the result is always genre, whether that be horror, science fiction or fantasy. "It's just where all the stories I want to tell seem to be."

Due out on August 28, 2018, The Stars Now Unclaimed is set roughly 100 years after the Pulse, a catastrophic, galaxy-wide event of unknown origin that sent the technology level of countless planets hurtling back to different ages. Ever since the Pulse, children have been born throughout the galaxy who possess miraculous, almost supernatural gifts. The novel opens with Jane Kamali, an agent for an organization called the Justified, on a mission to find a child who has such a gift but doesn't know it yet. At the same time, a group of fascist zealots known as the Pax, who were unaffected by the Pulse and aim to take over the galaxy, are looking for the child.

Williams explained that in writing The Stars Now Unclaimed, he created the world, and the concept of the Pulse, first. He wanted to write something set in an unpredictable, uncontrollable universe, in which there was "always something else" for his characters to encounter. Thanks to the Pulse, he could have his characters visit one world that possessed the futuristic technology one might expect from a space opera, while on the next planet they could find a level of technology akin to Europe in the late 19th century. "There are always more stories you can tell in a universe like that," said Williams. "I took it from there and found the narrative."

The idea behind the Pulse, meanwhile, had its genesis in the real world. Williams recalled once hearing that during the early days of the Manhattan Project, some scientists believed that it would not be statistically impossible for the first atomic bomb test to light the earth's atmosphere on fire and wipe out life on the planet. Though the story may very well be apocryphal, Williams said, it nevertheless made a profound impact on him. The Pulse grew out of Williams trying to imagine that kind of what if, for something like the Manhattan Project but on a galactic scale. What if the worst had happened? What would life be like for the survivors? And what would happen to those responsible for such an event? "How desperate did you have to be to still flip the switch?" he wondered. "They still set the bomb off."

When asked about his literary influences, Williams replied with a "reel of the classics," including Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card and other major science fiction writers. He pointed to Star Wars as another huge influence: "For anyone writing a space opera, if you're pretending Star Wars doesn't exist, it's going to hurt your book." And in terms of stylistic influences, Williams said, the one name that he "most consciously kept in mind" while writing the book was Stephen King.

Though The Stars Now Unclaimed has its own climax and resolution, Williams said that it is very much the start of a series and, in fact, he is closing in on completing the rough draft for the second book and hopes that the sequel can hit shelves before the end of 2019. He also has a third book planned in the series, and while he said there is a "definite end point" for these characters, he could possibly write more stories in the same universe. And beyond that, he'd love to try his hand at other genres, including fantasy and horror.

Given how far away the launch date is, Williams said there are no plans yet for a book tour. "Whatever my agent and editor tell me to do, I'll do that," he said, adding: "And to any stores who want to host Drew--he will come." --Alex Mutter

Obituary Note: Sally Dedecker

Sally Dedecker

Very sad news: Sally Dedecker, who worked in sales and marketing for several publishers, ran her own consulting company and was head of education for BookExpo, died on Monday. She was 62 and had lung cancer.

For more than 20 years, Sally was also a board member of the Book Industry Study Group, which in September gave her a Lifetime Service Award. In presenting the award, former BISG chair Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks said, "As we continue to reinvent BISG, there's no better example of what our core values mean in practice than Sally Dedecker. For more than half of the time that BISG has been serving the industry, Sally has been serving BISG."

For many years, she was president of Sally Dedecker Enterprises, a publishing consulting firm that she founded in 1993. In 2011, she was named director of education for BookExpo. She had earlier been v-p of marketing at Ingram, v-p of sales and distribution services at Simon & Schuster, and trade sales manager at New American Library.

We remember Sally as sharp, quick-thinking and with a great sense of humor. We'll miss her.


Image of the Day: Segel Selfie in Santa Cruz

Bookshop Santa Cruz hosted Jason Segel for a sold-out, ticketed event for his first young adult novel, Otherworld (Delacorte), co-written with Kirsten Miller. He was interviewed on stage by Steve Palopoli, editor of the Santa Cruz Good Times. Segal took this selfie during his appearance at Aptos Jr. High School in Santa Cruz.

Bookshop Santa Cruz declared that Segel "is possibly the nicest person in all of Hollywood."

McLoughlin Brothers Exhibition at the Grolier Club

In celebration of the winter holidays, the Grolier Club of New York is holding an exhibition entitled Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920. Focusing on the accomplishments and technological innovations of the late 19th century children's book publishing firm, McLoughlin Brothers, the exhibition will include more than 200 colored children's illustrated picture books, drawings, watercolors and ephemera. The works of art will be on view from December 6 to February 3, 2018.

Personnel Changes at Workman

At Workman:

Caitlin Rubinstein has joined the company as senior manager, children's school and library sales/marketing. She was most recently marketing manager at little bee books, the children's imprint of Bonnier Publishing USA, and earlier worked at Scholastic as senior manager, book clubs.

Diana Griffin has joined the company as senior publicist. She was formerly publicist at Tor/Forge Books.

Diamond to Distribute Seven Seas' Ghost Ship Worldwide

Diamond Book Distributors has been named worldwide distributor for Seven Seas Entertainment's new imprint Ghost Ship.

Ghost Ship will specialize in mature manga titles in both print and digital manga. With the launch of the imprint, two new licenses were added to the slate of title publications from the publisher: Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs by Tadahiro Miura and World's End Harem by LINK and Kotaro Shono.

Seven Seas will launch Ghost Ship with three titles already announced: To Love Ru Vol. 1-2 Omnibus (December 5), To Love Ru Darkness Vol. 1 (December 5) and Yokai Girls Vol. 1 (January 2, 2018).

Media and Movies

Media Heat: JB Smoove on the Steve Harvey Show

Fresh Air: Anthony Decurtis, author of Lou Reed: A Life (Little, Brown, $32, 9780316376556).

Steve Harvey Show: JB Smoove, co-author The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool (Gallery, $25, 9781501180712).

Daily Show: Van Jones, author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together (Ballantine, $27, 9780399180026). He will also appear on Wendy Williams.

Movies: The Other Typist; The Paper Bag Princess

Katie Silberman will adapt and Elizabeth Banks direct a planned live-action movie based on The Paper Bag Princess, the 1980s children's book written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Deadline reported that Universal Pictures optioned the rights to the book that has sold more than 10 million copies. Banks and Max Handelman will produce via their Universal-based Brownstone Productions alongside Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley for LuckyChap Entertainment, Bryan Unkeless for Clubhouse Pictures, and Dan Krech.


Marissa Jo Cerar will do a rewrite for Fox Searchlight of The Other Typist, a project based on the novel by Suzanne Rindell that Keira Knightley "has long been attached to star and produce along with Scott Free U.K.," Deadline reported. Fox Searchlight optioned the novel in 2013. 

Books & Authors

Awards: Prix Goncourt; CILIP Carnegie/Kate Greenaway

Éric Vuillard won the 2017 Prix Goncourt, the most prestigious French book award, for L'Ordre du Jour, "a historical work about shady business dealings behind the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938," the New York Times reported. The book will be translated in the U.S. under the title The Order of the Day and published by Other Press in November of 2018. Publisher Judith Gurewich said she had acquired the rights because it "feels like a retroactive replay of how power gets stolen when blackmailers and thugs are in the running."


Nominations have been released for the 2018 Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals Carnegie (for an outstanding book for children and young people) and Kate Greenaway (illustration for children and young people) medals. The longlist will be announced February 15, the shortlist March 15 and the winners June 18.

Reading with... Barbara Jane Reyes

photo: Oscar Bermeo

Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of four previous collections of poetry: To Love as AswangGravities of CenterPoeta en San Francisco, which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; and Diwata, which received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry. Invocation to Daughters (October 31, 2017) is volume 16 in the City Lights Spotlight Series.

On your nightstand now:

Harryette Mullen, Urban Tumbleweed. Tanka that is and isn't tanka, and nature poetry that is and isn't "nature poetry."

Erin Entrada Kelly, Blackbird Fly. Kelly is an author for young readers, and in many ways writing the books I didn't know I needed when I was 14.

Favorite book when you were a child:

It might have been Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
Your top five authors:

Eduardo Galeano, who taught me almost everything I know about the vastness of "telling story," from the POV of the people, for the people.

Gloria Anzaldúa, who needs no further explanation.

Jaime Jacinto, who was my mentor, and whose poetry is so gently handled and deeply affecting. I definitely learned something from him about the many ways one can wield a poem.

Marjorie Evasco, who is a Philippines-based poet and scholar. I love that even her scholarly work is so lyrical, poetic and personal, and that institution did not beat that out of her.

Adrian Castro, Miami-based poet, for whom the drum/percussion is also a poetic language.

Book you've faked reading:

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I had to lead a group discussion for a feminist literature class in grad school. I might have watched the film that Kenneth Branagh directed instead. I do remember getting an A in the class.

Book you're an evangelist for:

You know, I'm not one of those "OMFG YOU GUYS!! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!" kind of people, because I really hate when people do that to me. But the book I do tell a lot of people about is Linda Hogan's Dwellings. It's just the most gorgeous collection of essays about interconnectedness.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson. Haven't read it yet, but gorgeous, gorgeous.

Book you hid from your parents:

I don't remember hiding books from my parents. They just let me read, and happily so. If I have read anything "scandalous," it would have been after I moved to Berkeley anyway, so there would have never been an opportunity for them to rifle through my things to be disapproving.

Book that changed your life:

Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn's Dangerous Music. I tell this story a lot--I'd never read a Filipina-authored book until someone told me about Hagedorn's Dogeaters in 1990. I devoured it. I was 19. Prior to this, it's not as though I did not believe Filipina authors existed in this country, though not having previously known of any, it was damn near impossible to imagine myself committing to writing more seriously than quiet hobby.

Reading Dogeaters was pretty phenomenal, though I can't say Hagedorn's Manila resonated for me, as I'd left the Philippines when I was very young. It was her debut poetry collection, Dangerous Music, published by Stephen Vincent of the San Francisco-based Momo's Press in 1975, and which I'd found shortly after reading her novel, that showed me how a young Filipina immigrant in the Bay Area could write about her known world in jagged, streetwise verse.

Favorite line from a book:

"I came to know afterward that in many ways it was a crime to be a Filipino in California." This is from Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart. As this book was originally published in 1946, I'm thinking, wow, did Bulosan have some cojones or what. Today, many people still can't get their damn heads around the criminalization of folks of color. And many folks of color are so reticent (fearful? unable?) to articulate anything about structural/institutional racism.

Five(ish) books you'll never part with:

Just five?

Frances Chung, Crazy Melon and Chinese Apple.
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictée.
Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller.
Diane di Prima, Revolutionary Letters.
Merlinda Bobis, Cantata of the Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon / Kantada ng Babaing Mandirigma Daragang Magayon.

Bonus Tracks! Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera. Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place. Elynia S. Mabanglo, Anyaya ng Imperyalista/Invitation of the Imperialist. Haunani-Kay Trask, Night Is a Sharkskin Drum. Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider.

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

Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. I would walk into Whole Foods in Berkeley with this book during my lunch break, and some white, dreadlocked cashier would always mansplain why this feminist retelling of traditional mythology was SO IMPORTANT FOR ALL WOMEN TO READ.

Book Review

Children's Review: Love, Santa

Love, Santa by Martha Brockenbrough, illus. by Lee White (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 9-12, 9780545700306, September 26, 2017)

Note: Love, Santa is for children who are definitely, absolutely, positively ready to hear the truth--or already know it--about Santa Claus.

Sooner or later, families that celebrate Christmas arrive at a crossroads when the children begin to question just who this jolly fellow with a beard and a red suit really is. How exactly does he get down those chimneys? How do his reindeer fly? How does he know what all the little children wish for? And why does his handwriting on gift cards look strangely familiar?

In Martha Brockenbrough and Lee White's tender picture book, a girl named Lucy approaches that intersection between childhood and whatever-comes-next with trepidation. After years of sending Santa letters about what kind of cookies he prefers (chocolate chip or oatmeal: "The oatmeal are healthy. Yuck."), how cold it must be in the North Pole and whether he can spare an "extra" elf for her ("I will feed him and he can make me toys"), doubt is beginning to curb her epistolary enthusiasm. Finally, when she is eight, Lucy writes one more letter, this time addressing it to her mother: "Dear Mom, Are you Santa? Love, Lucy." Her mother's wise, loving response should win her the Mom of the Year award. "Santa is bigger than any one person," she writes to her daughter. "Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness...." It's the gentlest possible letdown to a childhood fantasy, just right for children who are ready to hear the truth about Santa.

Brockenbrough (The Game of Love and Death; Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary; Back to School with Bigfoot) manages to merge honesty and magic to help families in one of the most poignant of growing-up moments. Children will love opening the real envelopes attached to the pages of the book to pull out the letters between Lucy and Santa. Watercolor and mixed media illustrations by Lee White--whose exquisite, child-friendly artwork graces the likes of What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? by Judith Viorst and Emma and the Whale by Julie Case--capture a young girl's slow, natural dawning of understanding. From the innocent, pigtailed five-year-old to the solemn, answer-seeking eight-year-old, Lucy's essence always shows through. Eagle-eyed readers will smile to see that the oversized red coat she receives when she is five is a snug-fitting jacket by the time she's eight.

Love, Santa is a coming-of-age story that will have readers of all ages wiping away a sentimental tear or two. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: When a little girl begins to wonder just who Santa really is and why his handwriting looks like her mom's, her mother has the perfect response in this lovely picture book.

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