Shelf Awareness for Monday, December 4, 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


Rizzoli New York/Mondadori Electa Found Joint Imprint

In January, Rizzoli New York and its parent company since last year, Italian publisher Mondadori Electa, are creating a new imprint, Rizzoli Electa, that will focus on museum and exhibition catalogues. The imprint will replace the Skira Rizzoli imprint, a joint venture Rizzoli created with publishing company Skira in 2008 that has been dissolved.

Founded in 1945 in Florence, Mondadori Electa, part of the Mondadori Group, publishes art titles and exhibition catalogues, fiction and children's books, and illustrated volumes on subjects ranging from reportage to fashion, photography, design, music, cinema and travel. Mondadori Electa also has more than 30 years of experience managing museum bookshops and organizing art and archaeological exhibitions.

Rizzoli Electa will publish a range of titles as well as art and architecture titles originating in Italy. For example, in 2019, Rizzoli Electra will publish the catalogue of the Torlonia Roman Sculptures exhibition, a collection never before shown outside the home of its owners. (The exhibition, which Mondadori Electa will produce, will open first in Italy, then move to the U.S.)

Rizzoli New York president and publisher Charles Miers and associate publisher Margaret Chace will be responsible for the editorial direction of Rizzoli Electa, reporting to Rizzoli International Publications president and CEO Marco Ausenda.

Mondadori Electa CEO Antonio Porro said, "With the help of Rizzoli New York and its editorial and distribution strengths in the English-speaking world, Mondadori Electa will now be able to implement an ambitious international expansion program."

Skira Rizzoli's museum publications have included The Barnes Foundation: Masterworks (2012), My Hermitage: How the Hermitage Survived Tsars, Wars and Revolutions to Become the Greatest Museum in the World (2015) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings: 500 Works, 5,000 Years (2016).

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Louisiana's Co-Op Bookstore Has Closed

The Co-op Bookstore, Baton Rouge, La., which served Louisiana State University students for 84 years, has closed, according to the Advocate.

Bob and Billy Prescott, whose father founded the store in 1933 and who owned it since 1972, wanted to retire. "We got tired of it," Bob Prescott said.

Sales at the Co-op Bookstore had dropped in recent years "as more students go to and other online retailers to buy their textbooks," the paper wrote. "And projects in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and graphic design classes are now done electronically and don't require physical models, reducing the demand for art and construction supplies." Prescott commented: "Nothing is being done manually anymore."

He added that many former employees and customers have been communicating via social media and, until Saturday, in-person visits. "We have had the privilege of getting to know the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of friends and customers as they attended LSU," he said. "We count our employees over the years as an integral part of our community. We are grateful to have played such a key role in so many lives."

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

Carolyn Reidy, Person of the Year

Carolyn Reidy

Congratulations to Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, named person of the year by PW, which cited her in part for having "steered the publisher through the Great Recession, publishing's digital disruption, and a slow-growth sales environment all while keeping Simon & Schuster a commercial and critical success."

Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corp., parent company of S&S, said, "In 2008, Carolyn hit the ground running as CEO and has never stopped. She has a great grasp of the big picture, is on top of the critical details, and has an infectious enthusiasm for every aspect of publishing that she communicates to the entire company. She leads from the front and has managed the company beautifully through a truly transformative time within the industry. We are fortunate to have had an executive of her talents and vision as our CEO for the past 10 years, and look forward to a great future at Simon & Schuster under her leadership."

For her part, Reidy said that the award is "a tribute to the hard work, creativity and professionalism of our employees, in all our locations worldwide, and to the authors, booksellers, distribution clients and other members of the larger Simon & Schuster family, who are truly partners in our success. I thank each and every one of them for their contributions to all that we have accomplished."

Reidy joined S&S in 1992 as president of the trade division and was named president of the adult publishing group in 2001. She is on the boards of the Association of American Publishers and the National Book Foundation. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Indiana University.

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

PRH CFO Milena Alberti Leaving the Company

Milena Alberti

Milena Alberti, CFO of Penguin Random House since 2015, is leaving the company at the end of the year, the Bookseller reported. A new CFO will be appointed in first quarter of next year, and until then, deputy CFO James Johnston will lead the Finance Group.

"On behalf of the Penguin Random House Global Executive Committee, I thank Milena enormously for her tireless dedication to our company, and for sharing in our collective passion for books," PRH CEO Markus Dohle said. "We wish her every future success."

Alberti joined Random House more than 16 years ago. She led the Vintage Español U.S. imprint from 2004 to 2010, before being named v-p, mergers and acquisitions, for Random House. In 2011, she became head of the corporate development and strategy team, and in 2014, she became head of global corporate finance. She was key in expanding PRH's Spanish-language business through the buyout of Mondadori and leading the acquisition of Santillana and Ediciones B for PRH Grupo Editorial.

Obituary Note: Jerry A. Fodor

Jerry A. Fodor, "one of the world's foremost philosophers of mind, who brought the workings of 20th-century computer technology to bear on ancient questions about the structure of human cognition," died November 29, the New York Times reported. He was 82. Fodor's work, begun in the 1960s and "dovetailing with linguistics, logic, semiotics, psychology, anthropology, computer science, artificial intelligence and other fields, is widely credited with having helped seed the emerging discipline of cognitive science."

"He basically created the field of philosophy of psychology," said Ernie Lepore, a colleague at Rutgers University and a frequent collaborator. "If the study of the mind has been dominant in the last 30 or 40 years of philosophy, it's really a function of Fodor's influence."

Fodor was the author of more than a dozen books, including The Modularity of Mind (1983); The Structure of Language (1964, with Jerrold J. Katz); The Language of Thought (1975); Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong (1998); The Mind Doesn't Work That Way (2000); and What Darwin Got Wrong (2010, with Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini).  


Bookshop Holiday Decorations: Turn of the Corkscrew

Turn of the Corkscrew, Books & Wine, Rockville Centre, N.Y., shared photos of its festive decorations, noting: "We are ready! Come escape in the comfy ambience of our bookstore. Sit by the fireplace and enjoy a hot toddy...Well, today's version of a hot toddy--(wine, craft beer, hot cocoa, coffee, tea... you get the idea) and get into the holiday season. See you soon!"

Personnel Changes at Leisure Arts

Ray Wolf has joined Leisure Arts as senior v-p, sales & marketing. Previously he was director, sales & business development for Fox Chapel Publishing.

Peg Couch has joined Leisure Arts as v-p, publishing. Previously she was editorial director for Fox Chapel Publishing.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Daniel Ellsberg on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (Bloomsbury, $30, 9781608196708). He will also appear tomorrow on Comedy Central's the Opposition with Jordan Klepper.

CNBC's Sqawk Alley: Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501139154).

Megyn Kelly: Rachel Renee Russell, author of Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe (Turtleback Books, $25.75, 9780606405218).

Hallmark Channel's Home and Family: Chad Michael Murray, co-author of American Drifter: A Thriller (Forge, $25.99, 9780765374875).

The Real: 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).

Ellen: Tiffany Haddish, author of The Last Black Unicorn (Gallery, $26, 9781501181825).

Conan: Dan Rather, co-author of What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism (Algonquin, $22.95, 9781616207823).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Denis Leary, author of Why We Don't Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches (Crown Archetype, $27, 9781524762735).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Kwame Alexander, co-author of Solo (Blink, $17.99, 9780310761839).

CBS This Morning: Stanley Bing, author of Immortal Life: A Soon to Be True Story (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501119835).

Sirius XM's Howard Stern Show: JB Smoove, co-author The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool (Gallery, $25, 9781501180712).

Steve Harvey: Michael Rapaport, author of This Book Has Balls: Sports Rants from the MVP of Talking Trash (Touchstone, $26.99, 9781501160318).

The View: Corey Lewandowski, co-author of Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency (Center Street, $27, 9781546083306).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Amanda de Cadenet, author of It's Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women (Harper Wave, $26.99, 9780062412454).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Van Jones, author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together (Ballantine, $27, 9780399180026).

Movies: A Boy Named Shel

James Franco is in talks to direct and star "as the prolific children's book author, cartoonist and lyricist Shel Silverstein," based on Lisa Rogak's book A Boy Named ShelDeadline reported. The film will be written by Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair, focusing on the personal and professional struggles of Silverstein. Deadline noted that "like Silverstein, Franco has established himself as an artist on multiple platforms, and he sparked to the drama of Silverstein's journey and the humor that is part of it."

Books & Authors

Awards: Bad Sex in Fiction Winner

American author Christopher Bollen won the Literary Review's annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award for a passage in his novel The Destroyers that featured "an overenthusiastic attempt to 'describe the familiar in new terms,' which led to the male genitals being portrayed as an anatomically confusing 'billiard rack,' " the Guardian reported. The award was announced during a lavish ceremony at the In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in St. James's Square, London.

"The judges felt that there are parts in the book where Bollen goes overboard in his attempts to describe the familiar in new terms, leading occasionally to confusion. In the line quoted... they were left unsure as to how many testicles the character in question has," the Literary Review noted, adding: "In the week that Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, it seems only fitting that Britain's most eligible literary prize has been snapped up by an American."

Book Review

Review: Craeft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts

Craeft: An Inquiry Into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts by Alexander Langlands (W.W. Norton, $26.95 hardcover, 352p., 9780393635904, January 2, 2018)

The Old English word "craeft" meant much more than the modern word "craft" usually does. Mental skill and virtue could be implied by it, and a sense of "power or skill in the context of knowledge, ability and a kind of learning." In Craeft, British archeologist and medieval historian Alexander Langlands (Henry Stephen's Book of the Farm) offers an entertaining and inspirational look at traditional skills that were part of ordinary English life for thousands of years, but were broadly abandoned with the advent of fossil fuels, mass production, plastics, pesticides and even cement. In the process, he says, we have literally lost touch with the world around us, and with the power and complex abilities of our own bodies.

Langlands has been part of several historical TV series on rural British life in various time periods. In Craeft, he performs many practical experiments on his rural English property, trying to replicate the results that field archeology and research pose in theory. His idealism and his love of the natural world and what we can learn to make of it are contagious. He deftly combines his hands-on experiences with historical knowledge in chapters on the skills of haymaking, pond making, pottery, dry stone wall building, spinning and weaving, tanning and leather work, draft animals, effective digging, and the many tools derived from stick and stones, among others. He learns to use a scythe, burns lime, grows long-stem straw to weave basket hives for keeping bees, and describes what he calls a life-altering experience of helping to thatch an ancient roof, which also meant identifying and collecting most of the raw materials in the woods and fields nearby. "Archaeology became so much more than just stuff in the ground. It became an exploration of what it was to be human."

Most of these old skills produce less than modern methods produce, but they do so more reliably and cheaply, says Langlands, and often more beautifully as well. They were developed in circular (instead of growth) economies, grounded in the cultivation of finite local natural resources, and their resilience and sustainability deserves new attention. "It seems we are finally coming back to this notion that making has a spiritual element to it, that making fits within a wider understanding of who we are and where we are going." This is an illuminating book on the pleasures of traditional work, and how we can rediscover that tactile world of skillful creation. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: Anecdotes of practical experiments are combined with historical expertise in these essays on ancient skills of human life and how they can reconnect us with ourselves and the world.

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