Gatsby Books: 'We'll Stay Until the Last Breath'
"Right now we are the last American Booksellers Association independent store in the city. So we're not leaving. We're going to stay until the last breath because Long Beach has to have a soul."
"Right now we are the last American Booksellers Association independent store in the city. So we're not leaving. We're going to stay until the last breath because Long Beach has to have a soul."
In July, total net book sales in the U.S. fell 11.7%, to $1.9 billion, compared to the same period in 2016, representing sales of 1,204 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first seven months of the year, total net book sales were up slightly, 0.2%, to $7.05 billion.
In July, major trade categories were all down substantially, including adult paperbacks, off 8.8%; adult hardcovers, 10.4%; mass market, 26.3%; and children's/YA hardcovers, 61.1%. Total e-book sales fell 8.6%.
Sales by category in July compared to July 2016:
|Posman Books at Ponce City Market|
Posman Books has opened a pop-up store in Atlanta, Ga., its second store in Atlanta. The 1,300-square-foot store is in the Westside Provisions district.
Posman v-p and buyer Robert Fader said the store took six weeks to put together and will be open through the holidays, adding, "We hope that if all goes well, we can sign a long lease."
Last year, Posman Books opened a 2,300-square-foot store in the historic Ponce City Market.
Posman Books has deep roots in New York City, where it has locations in Rockefeller Center and Chelsea Market.
Founded in 2015, Battle Creek Books, Battle Creek, Mich., will close next March when the lease ends unless owners Jim and Ginny Donahue can sell the store, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. The 2,000-square-foot store is in downtown Battle Creek and sells new and used books.
The Donahues just turned 60, and "we're exhausted," Jim Donahue said. "It took an enormous amount of work to get it here." He added that the couple want "to continue our vision" by selling the store.
Jim Donahue is a geriatric specialist who formerly worked at the local Veterans Administration hospital.
Sheila Barry, publisher of Canadian children's press Groundwood Books, died November 15. Quillblog reported that in 2012, she left Kids Can Press to join Groundwood as co-publisher alongside founder Patsy Aldana. Barry took the reins fully later in the year and "was a tireless champion for writers, illustrators, libraries, and books that, as she once wrote, 'are from a child's point of view... where children are participants in the story... and emphasize the fundamental human rights all children are entitled to.' "
"She had a real knack for empowering people, making you feel capable of doing something amazing," said Matt James, an illustrator and soon-to-be Groundwood author. "She was nurturing and motherly, but tough. It's going to be a real profound loss as a friend, but also as an important power in Canadian children's literature. She won't be easily replaced."
In a blog post announcing "the painful news" of Barry's death, the publisher wrote: "As she did her whole life, Sheila brought happiness and laughter and thoughtfulness and love to all of us here. She was such a valued colleague. And Sheila was a great publisher--influential in ways large and small. The legacy of books she leaves will run far into the future. We hold Sheila in our minds as the most wonderful example of a truly good person, one who had such a positive effect on so many people. We will miss her terribly."
Kelly Gore, co-owner of Bound Booksellers, Franklin, Tenn., spoke with the Tennessean about "opening a small, independent bookstore in the loading dock of a quaint, 520-square-foot retail space in her home neighborhood of Westhaven" in 2016. Among our favorite responses from the q&a:
So how did you go from hanging out in bookstores at the beach to opening one?
I never set out to be a retailer. In a strange way, for me it was always about a place for people to gather to find hope and peace and education. A place to gather with a backdrop of books. There's a connection with someone else when you have read the same book. From the spark of the thought to opening, literally everything fell into place.
So, what sold you on this space?
I had this dream while we were at the beach about walking through a courtyard filled with green plants. Kind of a secret garden. When I made it through the garden, there was a door I opened and it was a bookstore. Whatever had been tugging at my heart has something to do with that. When I walked through this space and realized there was a courtyard attached to it, I couldn't believe it. People would enter this place by walking through the garden. It felt like the speakeasy of bookstores to me and it spoke to my vision of it being a place for people to gather with a backdrop of books. It was always about a community gathering spot for me, so this was a dream come true.
How'd you pick what to stock?
It is a very curated collection. I would say almost every book in here we've either read or someone has recommended that we read it. We subscribe to periodicals with independent best lists. Literally, 80% to 90% of the books have touched us in some way or been recommended by someone else. For the person who walks in and needs that prescription for just the right book, we are there. It's that curated. People feel like they aren't wasting money.
How did you come up with the name?
My husband came up with the name. I love books that are beautifully bound. Cloth-bound. I love a hardback. I kept saying the word bound. Being a literary person, I love a double entendre. We are bound for success. It's meaningful to me. My husband sketched the stack of books in our logo. The stack of books is actually a "B." So, there's another double entendre.
Effective December 4, Nina Nocciolino is joining Cave Henricks Communications, the book and author pr firm, as publicity director. She was formerly senior media and communications manager at Harvard Business Review Press, where she worked for seven years. She earlier worked in Penguin's Young Readers division.
American Seafood: Heritage, Culture & Cookery from Sea to Shining Sea by Barton Seaver (Sterling Epicure).
Fresh Air: Luke Harding, author of Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win (Vintage, $16.95, 9780525562511).
The Talk: Steve Leder, author of More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us (Hay House, $17.99, 9781401953126).
Also on the Talk: Shirley MacLaine, author of Out on a Leash: How Terry's Death Gave Me New Life (Atria, $25, 9781501182457).
The View: Rocco DiSpirito, author of Rocco's Healthy & Delicious: More than 200 (Mostly) Plant-Based Recipes for Everyday Life (Harper Wave, $29.99, 9780062378125).
Also on the View: Garth Brooks, author of The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years (Pearl Records, $39.95, 9781595910998).
Conan repeat: Max Brooks, author of Minecraft: The Island: The Novel (Del Rey, $17.99, 9780399181771).
" 'Be a warrior!' says Oprah Winfrey's Mrs. Which to Storm Reid's Meg in the new trailer for Disney's highly-anticipated adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time," Deadline reported, adding that the "new look at the Ava DuVernay-directed fantasy pic includes tons of new footage that takes you into an adventurous and visually stunning world created by author Madeleine L'Engle." The movie also stars Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard and Zach Galifianakis.
Reviewing Isabel Coixet's (Paris, je t'aime) adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald's novel The Bookshop (check out the trailer here), the Hollywood Reporter called it "pretty faithful throughout" to the source material and "sustained by a cast which is well capable of suggesting the psychological subtlety of the original." The movie stars Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, Honor Kneafsey and James Lance
Initial box office in Spain, where it was released November 10, has been positive, "and the fact that there's always a market somewhere for hand-crafted, quintessentially English fare--perhaps even more so in these troubled times--suggests that this one is unlikely just to sit there gathering dust," THR wrote. Stay tuned.
The Mystery Writers of America named Jane Langton, William Link and Peter Lovesey as 2018 Grand Masters, which represents "the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality." They will be honored at the 72nd annual Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City on April 26.
The Raven Award for "outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing" will be presented to the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kan., and to Kristopher Zgorski, founder of the crime fiction book review blog, BOLO Books.
Danny Caine, owner of the Raven Book Store, said: "I'm humbled and amazed to receive a Raven Award. Along with the Raven's staff, past and present, I'm delighted to join the company of such great bookstores, organizations, and people that have won the Raven in years past. Much credit belongs to previous Raven owners Pat Kehde, Mary Lou Wright and Heidi Raak who did so much to build the store's mystery community. Thanks so much to the MWA for the award, which, aside from being a huge honor, has a pretty great name."
The Ellery Queen Award for "outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry" will be given to Robert Pépin, a translator, editor and publisher of some of the most important authors of the past century.
Alys Conran won the main English-language prize at the Wales Book of the Year awards for Pigeon. He had taken the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award before moving on to win the overall prize. Category winners receive £1,000 (about $1,320), while the overall winners in English and Welsh language are given an additional £3,000 (about $3,965).
The other category winners were John Freeman's What Possessed Me (Roland Mathias Poetry Award) and Peter Lord's The Tradition (Creative Nonfiction Award).
Judge Jonathan Edwards said: "This year's winning books are a real celebration of just how exciting, vibrant and diverse literature in Wales currently is. These writers are great talents who have succeeded in proving that Wales is a world-class contributor to literature." See the complete list of winners here.
To see the complete list of the winners of the 61 categories of the 2017 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, click here.
Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 28:
Past Perfect: A Novel by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $28.99, 9781101883976) follows two families existing 100 years apart but united by a supernatural event.
Tom Clancy Power and Empire by Marc Cameron (Putnam, $29.95, 9780735215894) posthumously continues Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series.
The Man in the Crooked Hat by Harry Dolan (Putnam, $27, 9780399157974) follows a private investigator searching for the man who murdered his wife.
Under Water by Casey Barrett (Kensington, $25, 9781496709684) begins a new mystery series about an Olympic swimmer turned private eye.
Finding the Edge: My Life on the Ice by Karen Chen (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062822680) is the story of the figure skater's rise to the top.
The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody (Simon Pulse, $17.99, 9781481499187) is about a young woman stranded in Denver International Airport on New Year's Eve.
Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian by E.L. James (Vintage, $15.95, 9780385543910).
Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump by Joseph E. Stiglitz (Norton, $17.95, 9780393355161).
The Tribes of Palos Verdes, based on the novel by Joy Nicholson, follows a young surfer with rich parents in Southern California. It opens December 1.
From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Wonder Valley: A Novel by Ivy Pochoda (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062656353). "A man running naked among the gridlocked cars of an L.A. freeway is the catalyst for this dark tale set in the rough neighborhoods of a decidedly unglamorous Los Angeles. In this version of the city, it's not only the poor and the powerless who are desperate; even the better-off characters turn out to be broken sinners who crave hope and redemption. The gritty beauty of Pochoda's writing, whether about cruelty and violence or about love, no matter how desperate, pulled me into the characters' lives and compelled me to keep reading all night." --Francesca De Stefano, Books Inc., San Francisco, Calif.
The Wine Lover's Daughter: A Memoir by Anne Fadiman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 9780374228088). "I loved this memoir! The reader does not need to care about wine or know who Anne Fadiman is or Clifton Fadiman was. This is a book about family and how the differences between us can be one of the many things that actually draw us together. It is also about the life of a man who became a literary critic, editor, and radio host and was also the author's beloved father. Anne Fadiman is a fine writer with an ability to bring life to a variety of subjects, as has been shown in her previous essays and memoirs. One of the best memoirs to arrive on our scene in quite a while." --Penny McConnel, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt.
Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South by Beth Macy (Back Bay Books, $17.99, 9780316337526). "Award-winning journalist Macy is an unrelenting researcher who combed through a wide variety of primary sources to tell a fascinating and heartbreaking story. In the early 20th century, Albino African American brothers are kidnapped by unscrupulous and racist circus managers who not only steal their earnings from their work as freak show performers, but also tell their mother that they are dead. This occurs during the height of the Jim Crow South, when black lives didn't matter and lynching was at its peak. The mother's persistent and heroic fight through legal channels to recoup her sons' wages and achieve a better standard of living is at the heart of this true story, an inside look at the historical depths of American racism." --Joan Grenier, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.
For Ages 4 to 8
Sarabella's Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner (Dial Books, $17.99, 9780525429180). "A visual feast and a celebration of creativity, imagination, and being true to one's self, this joyous story gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'a penny for your thoughts.' I hope parents, teachers, and children everywhere embrace this book and celebrate their uniqueness!" --Kathleen Carey, Book House at Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.
For Ages 9 to 12
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781481419451). "Stranded in the Amazon after a plane crash, four tenacious children band together, summoning courage and creativity to find their way back home. Readers will be transfixed as the survivors build a raft, mimic monkeys to harvest honey, discover the unique fishy-chicken flavor of tarantula, and adopt an orphaned sloth. Rundell's story of adversity and friendship is a must for readers who love survival stories like Hatchet, and anyone with an adventurous spirit!" --Sara Grochowski, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.
For Teen Readers
I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (Wednesday Books, $18.99, 9781250129321). "I Hate Everyone But You is the real-time unfolding of what it's like to move on and grow up. It is light and charming with unique characters, but still explores some of the biggest and heaviest first experiences that young adults find universal. The tough push-and-pull Ava and Gen act out with one another as they learn to balance different parts of their identities and expression feels fully realized and absolutely (unfortunately) relatable. The format feels authentic and accessible, making it a perfect light read with plenty of gravity and memorable moments." --Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]
No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22 hardcover, 240p., 9781328661593, December 5, 2017)
Best known for her speculative fiction, most notably the Earthsea saga, Ursula K. Le Guin is prolific in multiple genres, and unapologetic about it. At 81, she decided to try her hand at blogging, though she loathed the term ("it sounds like a sodden tree trunk in a bog"). Seven years later, she's still posting brief, witty, often acerbic essays on her blog, musing on the vagaries of old age, the proliferation of profanity in books, the joys of receiving fan letters from children and the antics of Pard, her beetle-obsessed cat. No Time to Spare presents the best of Le Guin's blog: sharp-eyed, big-hearted, idiosyncratic and highly enjoyable.
Both Le Guin's eye for detail and her dry wit are on full display here. On the craft of writing, she says, "Words are my matter--my stuff. Words are my skein of yarn, my lump of wet clay, my block of uncarved wood." Her small Christmas tree, she writes, held "darkness in it, a forest darkness, in the green arms held out so calmly, steadily, without effort." Her essays on literature, politics and aging are interspersed with "The Annals of Pard," a chronicle of "being chosen" by a small rescue cat. "We call him the good cat with bad paws," she says, noting dryly, "There used to be a lot of small delicate things on shelves around the house. There aren't now."
Ruminating on the idea of The Great American Novel (TGAN), Le Guin grows positively exasperated: "I've never heard a woman writer say the phrase 'the great American novel' without a sort of snort." She calls out the skewed, gendered and arbitrary nature of such "declarations of literary greatness," and ends with a bit of tart wisdom: "Art is not a horse race. Literature is not the Olympics. The hell with The Great American Novel."
Le Guin's sharp eye softens when she speaks about children, rejoicing in the handmade booklets and letters they send her, complete with creative spelling. She writes, too, about the Oregon Food Bank, calling it "the cathedral of hunger," and reminds readers of the need for "compassion, or community, or caritas." And even when faced with a strange experience, such as encountering a rattler on a Napa Valley ranch, she draws meaning from it: "A teaching, a blessing, may come in strange ways, ways we do not expect, or control, or welcome, or understand. We are left to think it over." Readers will find much to think about in this wise and eloquent collection. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams
Shelf Talker: Prolific author Ursula K. Le Guin muses on aging, cats, politics and writing in this keen-eyed, big-hearted essay collection.
The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:
1. Complicated by Kristen Ashley
2. Murder and Mayhem by Various
3. The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda B. Bell
4. Midnight Labyrinth by Elizabeth Hunter
5. Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid
6. Montana Rescue by Elle James
7. The Do-Over by Julie A. Richman
8. Crank by Adriana Locke
9. Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills
10. Big Daddy by Rye Hart
[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]