Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine


Grand Opening for Wheatberry Books in Chillicothe, Ohio

Wheatberry Books in downtown Chillicothe , Ohio, hosted its grand opening last Friday. Owner Chelsea Bruning told WKKJ: "We are an independent book store for independent thinkers. Wheatberry has created its own atmosphere; it just kind of came together. It is light and airy, but still comfy and cozy. It's a nice retreat; a comfortable place to browse and feel at home."

Bruning described the bookstore as the culmination of a lifelong dream: "This is something I've always wanted to do. My husband and I started talking about it and we realized that if we don't try, we won't know. Sometimes you have to take a chance on a dream."

Paper City Coffee welcomed its new neighbor with a bookish suggestion on its sidewalk chalkboard, and Wheatberry summed up the grand opening day with a tweet: "Day 1 in the books. Thank you, Chillicothe!"

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black

Writer's Block Bookstore in Anchorage to Open in January

The Writer's Block Bookstore & Café, Anchorage, Alaska, is planning an early January soft opening. Co-owner Vered Mares told the Anchorage Daily News that the new building at 3956 Spenard Road, "where a porn shop--bearing a sign that simply read 'Adults Only'--used to be," will feature a full-service restaurant as well as a small stage for readings and other events. The Writer's Block will sell new books, with a focus on Alaska works, co-owner Dawnell Smith added. 

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

Samantha Schoech Named Humorist-in-Residence

Samantha Schoech

One of the two inaugural winners of the A Hotel Room of One's Own: The Erma Bombeck/Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program, which includes a two-week writer's retreat, is Samantha Schoech, program director of Independent Bookstore Day, who is also a writer, copywriter and editor.

The Humorist-in-Residence program takes place at the University of Dayton in Ohio and consists of the University's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, which runs April 5-7, 2018, and then the two-week period at the University of Dayton Marriott.

Program organizers said that Schoech is working on a collection of humorous essays, People Really Like Me, "the story of a middle-aged feminist bumbling through a middle-class adulthood filled with the usual signposts: kids, husband, mortgage and a medical marijuana prescription. It's David Sedaris meets Amy Schumer. In Target. With a yeast infection."

Finalist judge Laraine Newman, who's written for LA Times Magazine, McSweeney's, Esquire and other publications and was an original writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live, said of Schoech, "I love this writer's voice. It's relatable, and her humanity is beautifully expressed."

The other winner is Karen Chee, a recent Harvard University graduate now working as a comedy writer and performer in New York is also working on a book of humorous personal essays, called I Probably Have Salmonella.

Kids' Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

On Thursday, the first part of the American Booksellers Association's Winter 2017-2018 Kids' Next List was delivered to more than a third of a million of the country's best book readers, going to 370,953 customers of 112 participating bookstores.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features winter Kids' 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 Kids' Next List pick, in this case John Green, author of Turtles All the Way Down (Dutton Books for Young Readers).

For a sample of the newsletter, see this one from McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

Obituary Note: Vincent Scully

Yale University art historian Vincent Scully, "whose lectures inspired students for more than 60 years and whose writings on architecture had a decisive influence on its practice in the last half of the 20th century," died November 30, the New York Times reported. He was 97. Author of books on Greek temples, Palladio's villas and the American Indian pueblo, as well as many more on the architecture of modernism, Scully "treated the history of every culture and every period as if it were in continual dialogue with his own time."

Former New York Times and New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger, who was one of Scully's students, said, "I think he probably did more than anyone else over the last 60 years to affect not just architecture but architecture culture as well. He showed us that architecture is not just forms in a vacuum. It's about what kind of society you want to build."

Scully's books include American Architecture and Urbanism (1969); Architecture: The Natural and the Manmade (1991); The Shingle Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Richardson to the Origins of Wright (1955); Pueblo: Mountain, Village, Dance (1975); and Yale in New Haven: Architecture and Urbanism (2004, with Catherine Lynn, Paul Goldberger and Eric Vogt). 


MPIBA Literary Trivia Quiz Trophy on Tour

Posted on Facebook by owner Valerie Koehler and her staff‏ at Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex: "Did you know that we Texas bookshops are ruthless trivia competitors? We're still beaming from our 1st place win at #MPIBA. Now, we're sending the trophy on the road--visit it at our teammates' shops. @BrazosBookstore @BookPeople @interabangbooks #ParagraphsonPadre."

S&S to Distribute Galvanized Media

Effective January 1, Simon & Schuster will handle worldwide book sales and distribution for Galvanized Media, which was founded by David Zinczenko, the author, fitness and health expert, editor, television personality and media entrepreneur.

Galvanized Media publishes health, fitness, diet and lifestyle books. Zinczenko is the author of Eat This, Not That!, The Abs Diet, Zero Belly Diet and Zero Sugar Diet, among many other titles.

In the coming year, the first titles released by Galvanized Media under the new agreement with S&S will be a series of 14-Day diets with "easy and effective solutions that work for everyone."

Zinczenko commented: "We enter 2018 with an essential line-up of health, wellness and lifestyle titles. In our partnership, we'll bring new books to market with an unparalleled speed, helping readers get the newest life-changing information faster than ever."

Michael Perlman, v-p, general manager of Simon & Schuster Publisher Services, said: "Health, fitness and lifestyle are part of the original DNA of Simon & Schuster, and Galvanized Media's sophisticated publishing in these categories is a perfect complement to our existing lists."

Personnel Changes at Tor

Saraciea Fennell has joined Tor/Tor Teen/Starscape and Forge as publicist. Fennell was previously publicist at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and also held positions at Scholastic, Harlequin and Touchstone.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Cullen Murphy on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Cullen Murphy, author of Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27, 9780374298555).

Morning Joe: Chris Matthews, author of Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781501111860).

CNBC's Squawk Box: Stanley Bing, author of Immortal Life: A Soon to Be True Story (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501119835).

Harry: Joy Mangano, co-author of Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501176203).

Conan: 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).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Neil Patrick Harris, author of The Magic Misfits (Little, Brown, $16.99, 9780316391825). He will also appear on Ellen.

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Max Brooks, author of Minecraft: The Island: The Novel (Del Rey, $17.99, 9780399181771).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach: A Novel (Scribner, $28, 9781476716732).

TV: Altered Carbon

Netflix released an NSFW trailer for its upcoming sci-fi series Altered Carbon, and "by the time you finish the first trailer for the sci-fi drama you are sure to be counting the days till its release this February," the Wrap reported. The project, from writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis (Alita: Battle Angel, Shutter Island), is based on Richard K. Morgan's 2002 cyberpunk novel. The series pilot, which stars Will Yun Lee and Joel Kinnaman, was shot by Emmy-winning director Miguel Sapochnik ("Battle of the Bastards" episode of  Game of Thrones). Produced by Skydance Television, Altered Carbon is scheduled to drop on Netflix on February 2, 2018.

Books & Authors

Awards: 800-CEO-READ Shortlist

800-CEO-READ announced the shortlist for its 11th annual Business Book Awards. Editorial director Dylan Schleicher commented: "There is an existential question at the heart of each of the books on our shortlist this year. These include inquiries into our focus on competition and economic growth, examinations of what we might be sacrificing in the pursuit of technological progress and corporate profits, and expositions on the underlying nature and process of innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship. Each, in the end, is also an affirmation of our humanity, and a reminder that we must bring our full, authentic selves to work to build businesses and economies that serve people." The shortlist follows; for full descriptions and categories, click here.

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing--Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne (Hachette Books)
Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth (Chelsea Green)
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper)
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein (Simon & Schuster)
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant (Little, Brown)
The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth by Eric Ries (Currency)
UnBranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption by Scott Stratten and Alison Stratten (Wiley)
Weird in a World That's Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures by Jennifer Romolini (Harper Business)

Book Review

Review: Fire Sermon

Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro (Grove Press, $24 hardcover, 224p., 9780802127044, January 9, 2018)

A lean first novel steeped in theology, suburban domesticity, literary criticism, child-rearing and, most dramatically, infidelity, Fire Sermon sizzles and cools to the rhythm of its narrator Maggie's moods and meanderings. Maggie and Thomas married in 1993, a tony Malibu wedding. She is a bit of a loose cannon, with "a certain volatility in her temperament," what Thomas calls "her uncorked-ness... like a just-opened bottle of fine wine." After stints in graduate school at Princeton and Vanderbilt, they have two children and settle down near Nashville with a cul-de-sac yard with the obligatory "wooden swing set and honeysuckle border; dogwoods and crape myrtles and pines along the driveway." But in 2013, Maggie begins to correspond with James, a married theology-centric poet at Princeton whose work moves her. Soon they are regularly e-mailing, arranging to meet at conferences, and finally copulating heatedly on the floor of a Chicago Hyatt room. It's an old, old story--Maggie even imagines writing it, only to have a literary agent say: "This has been done to death.... I won't be able to sell this." We know how it goes: lonely woman with comfortable family life falls for attentive married man, and a match is struck to burn everything down. In Fire Sermon, however, Maggie's domestic life doesn't go up in flames--her inner life does.

Recognized by the New York Times for what Dwight Garner calls her "subtle, sexy and reflective" story collection I Want to Show You More, Quatro eschews a straightforward linear narrative in favor of a scattershot pastiche of communication. Besides old-school letters and e-mails, her novel is built on Maggie's journal entries, dialogues with her counselor, poetry, conversations with her daughter's therapist and prayers. The result is a psychological MRI of a complicated woman seeking to know herself inside and out. Raised evangelical, Maggie can't shake a strong desire to understand "God's will" and reconcile it with the passion and intensity of her affair. If grace comes to the sinner, she thinks, "why not go on sinning so that grace may increase?" She seesaws between eros and eschatology, head and heart, catechism and cant.

Fire Sermon is a contemporary take on an age-old story. Politics hardly enters Maggie's head. The 9/11 tragedy is a bad memory; the long wars it spawned not even mentioned. Quatro is more interested in what Frost called "inner weather." The heat of Maggie's lust for James is consummated a few intermittent times over the years, but it never goes away--even when she and Thomas celebrate their 25th anniversary at a Naples, Fla., high-rise hotel where Quatro observes, "they've worn down together, and what's left is understanding and kindness." Perhaps the conflict between head and heart is itself God's will. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Told through a variety of correspondence, journals and prayer, Fire Sermon is a fervent innovative take on an age-old story of infidelity and guilt.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda B. Bell
2. The Anthology Part 1: Limited Edition by Garth Brooks
3. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
4. Jade (The Kings of Guardian Book 9) by Kris Michaels
5. Seven Rogues for Christmas by Various
6. Seduction by Jaymin Eve
7. The Cabin by Alice Ward
8. Surprise Package by Kira Blakely
9. Saving Scarlett by Emily Bishop
10. The Plan by Ella James

[Many thanks to!]

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