Also published on this date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018: Maximum Shelf: A Million Drops

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Workman Publishing: The Reverse Coloring Book(tm) Mindful Journeys: Be Calm and Creative: The Book Has the Colors, You Draw the Lines by Kendra Norton

Aladdin Paperbacks: Return of the Dragon Slayers: A Fablehaven Adventure (Dragonwatch #5) by Brandon Mull

Norton Young Readers: Children of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo

Union Square & Co.: Wait for Me by Sara Shepard

Grove Press: Sugar Street by Jonathan Dee

Peachtree Teen: Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt


State Cuts University Press of Kentucky's Funding

With thousands of teachers marching at the Kentucky Capitol on Monday to protest pension changes, lawmakers "released a budget compromise that sent some mixed news to the schools they represent," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Unfortunately, that compromise did not include money for the University Press of Kentucky, which had been one of many small programs inexplicably targeted by Governor Matt Bevin's earlier proposal that the General Assembly cut all state funding.

In a joint letter sent yesterday to the campus community, UK president Eli Capilouto, provost David Blackwell and Katherine McCormick, chair of the faculty council, said: "The General Assembly has chosen not to fund the University Press of Kentucky. We received $672,000 in the current fiscal year; and we will be working with our partner institutions to identify ways to sustain the financial viability of the Press over the long term."

UPK tweeted: "We are leaning into our strengths and operating as usual. WE look forward to working with the university community in the weeks and months ahead to chart a strong path forward for the Press!"

Robert M. Farley, a senior lecturer at UK and a member of the UPK editorial board, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that earlier drafts of the budget bill had included language that could have blocked the press from seeking discretionary funds from other universities.

"They basically said, 'we won't fund the press, and you can't either,' " he observed, adding: "What  Governor Bevin has ­really wanted out of higher education is very clear deliverables in terms of students who are job capable when they are getting out of school, hopefully in something that is fairly technical. During the campaign he made fun of people who had done humanities degrees and so forth--what I suspect is that's why it is on the chopping block, because it doesn't fit with this understanding of what higher education is supposed to be."

Berkley Books: City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita

Times Outlines Suppression of Hong Kong Bookselling

Lam Wing-Kee (via)

In a chillingly detailed feature titled "The Case of Hong Kong's Missing Booksellers," the New York Times tells of how the Chinese government has sought to control the book business in Hong Kong. Those efforts have increased dramatically in the past several years and most notoriously led to the kidnapping of five Hong Kong booksellers connected with Causeway Bay Books.

"At a national Communist Party congress in October 2017," the Times wrote, "President Xi Jinping made clear the party's expansive vision of control. 'The party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country,' he told delegates. No corner of society was out of reach. Even books--'socialist literature,' in Xi's words--must extol 'our party, our country, our people and our heroes.' A few months later, the government erased presidential term limits, opening the way for Xi to rule indefinitely, and put control of all media, including books, in the hands of the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department."

The story chronicles decades-long Communist Party suppression of books critical of Chairman Mao and Chinese politics, but constantly returns to the experience of Lam Win-kee, owner and manager of Hong Kong's Causeway Bay Books, who was detained by Chinese police when entering China from Hong Kong on October 24, 2015.

He was held incommunicado in solitary confinement and questioned in depth about customers and the anonymous authors of Causeway Bay Books' publishing sibling, Mighty Current. He was charged with "illegal sales of books" and eventually confessed. Eight months after being taken prisoner, he was told he could return to Hong Kong, but under many conditions. These included telling local police that he had not been abducted, handing over computer files about customers and authors and acting as a mole for the Chinese government. But, as is well-known, he held a press conference, outlining what had happened.

Still, the policy of repression has been effective. As the Times noted: "At the time of Lam's abduction, banned books were everywhere in Hong Kong, sold throughout the city at big-box retailers, specialized cafes and corner convenience stores. Within days of his disappearance, they began to vanish, swept off shelves by mainland-owned shops and frightened independent booksellers. Authors were cowed into silence; presses refused to print sensitive material. The latest act of intimidation occurred this January, when the former owner of Mighty Current, Gui Minhai, who had been granted limited release within China, was abducted again, this time while accompanied by Swedish diplomats on a train to Beijing (he holds Swedish citizenship). When the Swedish government pressed China for details on Gui's whereabouts, the authorities refused to acknowledge that he had been taken. Gui soon appeared in a videotaped confession, apologizing for his supposed crimes and saying the diplomats had tricked him into boarding the train."

Another publisher, Bao Pu, founder of New Century Press, told the Times reporter: "What you're doing is writing an obituary. A post-cremation obituary of these books. I didn't realize it could all disappear so quickly."

KidsBuzz for the Week of 08.08.22

Binc Launches 'Share the Good' Campaign

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation has launched its spring Share the Good fundraising drive, which has a goal of encouraging 50 book lovers from across the country to become Binc monthly sustaining donors. Throughout April, Binc will be sharing stories of booksellers who have been helped after life changing events, as well as messages from current supporters explaining why it is important to maintain a safety net for booksellers.

"Sharing these stories is important because they illustrate how book people are really helping each other," said Pamela French, Binc's executive director. "But more importantly these stories show how critical it is to have a place to turn when life throws you a curve ball.... We depend on our sustaining donors to keep the bookseller's safety net strong. Current sustaining donors help two booksellers through emergencies every month of the year. The aim of the Share the Good campaign is to increase the strength of the safety net so we can help even more booksellers each month."

Booksellers from sustaining donor bookstore Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, N.C., shared why they 'Think Binc' in a video the foundation released as part of the Share the Good kickoff. "Binc is a safety net, ultimately, for small and independent bookstores like our own," said Brian, one of the store's booksellers. "Let's face it: in the world of small bookstores you never know what's going to happen."

LibraryReads Names Vnuk First Executive Director

Rebecca Vnuk

LibraryReads has named Rebecca Vnuk its first executive director. She was formerly editor for collection management and library outreach with the American Library Association's Booklist Publications and earlier worked for a decade as a public librarian in the Chicago area, holding a variety of positions from readers' advisor to adult services management. She is the author of three reference books on women's fiction and a book on weeding library collections. She was a 2010 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, the 2010 Public Library Association Allie Beth Martin Award Winner for distinguished Readers; Advisory Service and the 2008 Library Journal Fiction Reviewer of the Year.

LibraryReads steering committee chair Stephanie Chase said that Vnuk's "extensive experience, existing relationships, and deep commitment to highlighting and supporting the role that library staff play in matching readers with the right story at the right time comes at the exact time our program is ready for a leader to help us grow and expand."

Launched in 2013, LibraryReads is a grassroots virtual community, open to all public library staff. At its core is the national "library staff picks list," featuring 10 adult titles each month that librarians have read, loved, and are eager to share with their patrons.

Obituary Note: Livia Gollancz

Livia Gollancz, former governing director of publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd., died March 29, the Bookseller reported. She was 97. Succeeding her father as company CEO after his death in 1967, she continued in the role until her retirement in 1990. The publishing house, which launched under Victor Gollancz in 1928, "was eventually sold, initially to Houghton Mifflin in 1989, and then to Cassell three years later. Along with Orion, it was subsequently acquired by Hachette in 1996 where it now continues as a sci-fi imprint," the Bookseller noted.

In a message to staff, Gollancz chairman Malcolm Edwards remembered Livia Gollancz as "an active editor," responsible for the publisher's crime and thriller list for many years and earlier for its children's list. "She was also one of publishing's memorable eccentrics, who might often turn up at the office in a summer dress and climbing boots. No one who was there will ever forget her appearances at the earliest publishers' pantomimes, particularly the one in which she played Britannia.... I don't know if she was the first woman to run a major British publishing company, but she was certainly among the earliest (just as in the 1940s she had been the first woman to lead a section in a major orchestra)."


Image of the Day: Lawn Boy Homeboy

Jonathan Evison had a community get-together with pizza, beer and a DJ spinning vinyl for the launch of his new novel, Lawn Boy (Algonquin), in hometown Bainbridge Island, Wash., Monday night. Eagle Harbor Book Company hosted this off-site event for nearly 200 people. Evison is now touring from Texas back to the Pacific Northwest. Pictured: (l.-r.) Evison, Jim Thomsen, owner Jane Danielson, Rodie Steven and event manager Victoria Irwin.

Happy Fifth Birthday, Queen Anne Book Company!

Congratulations to Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle, Wash., which just celebrated its fifth anniversary this week. Owners Janis Segress and Judy de Jonge, along with de Jonge's husband, Krijn de Junge, opened Queen Anne Book Company in April of 2013. It is a successor to Queen Anne Books, which opened in 1988 and was in business until the fall of 2012, when then-owner Katharine Hershey abruptly closed the store and put it up for sale. Within months, Segress and Krijn and Judy de Jonge bought the store and reopened it with an altered name.

Segress, who was head buyer at Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island for some seven years prior to opening Queen Anne Book Company, told the Queen Anne & Magnolia News that she and de Jonge "wanted to provide a bookstore that instantly felt like community to anybody walking through the door, that felt like home."

De Jonge, meanwhile, said that their store continues to survive because of neighborhood support, "and the word of mouth from one customer to another customer saying, 'you need to come to this store.' "

And according to the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, Segress and the de Jonges have signed a new lease and are ready for the next five years.

Lattes and Literature at Little Joe's

Little Joe's Coffee & Books, an independent bookstore and coffee shop in Katonah, N.Y., received a glowing write-up last week in Westchester Magazine, which praised not only the store's fair-trade coffee, loose leaf teas and fresh pastries, but also its wide selection of fiction and nonfiction for children, teens and adults.

Owners Gretchen and Peter Menzies keep the majority of Little Joe's books in the shop's second floor, which is replete with "quaint little reading corners." Customers are encouraged to grab a coffee, sit down and read a book, or ask for book recommendations from the store's "very knowledgeable staff."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sarah McBride on Late Night with Seth Meyers

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports: Cecile Richards, author of Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story (Touchstone, $27, 9781501187599).

The View repeat: Amy Chua, author of Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations (Penguin Press, $28, 9780399562853).

Conan repeat: Sean Penn, author of Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff: A Novel (Atria, $24, 9781501189043).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Sarah McBride, author of Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality (Crown Archetype, $26, 9781524761479).

Tonight Show: Sebastian Maniscalco, author of Stay Hungry (Gallery, $25, 9781501115974).

TV: A Gentleman in Moscow; The Language of Kindness

Kenneth Branagh will re-team with Mark Gordon of Entertainment One on a TV adaptation of Amor Towles's bestselling novel A Gentleman in Moscow, Deadline reported. They recently worked together on the film version of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. For the new project, Branagh is attached to play Count Alexander Rostov and produce Tom Harper's adaptation.

"Ken is a world class talent celebrated for portraying captivating and layered characters, and Tom is a master at crafting gripping and thought-provoking television," said Gordon. "We are delighted to collaborate with them on A Gentleman in Moscow, which exemplifies the kind of premium content led by acclaimed talent that we are dedicated to creating at eOne."

"A Gentleman in Moscow is a life-affirming book full of humour and charm that brings together the profound, the political and the personal," Harper added. "I am thrilled to be working with Ken, whose masterful talent will allow us to bring this extraordinary story to life."

Towles tweeted: "I'm thrilled to announce that Kenneth Branagh has signed on to star in the TV adaptation of A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW to be directed by Tom Harper @tomharps. Up the stairs of the Metropol he'll go--two steps at a time, as has been his habit since the academy!"


Christie Watson's book The Language of Kindness will be turned into a television series after Mammoth Screen (Poldark, Victoria) optioned the rights, Deadline reported, adding that Rachel Bennette, who adapted Zadie Smith's NW for BBC Two, is writing the script.

Books & Authors

Awards: Christophers; Hayek Winner

Twelve books for adults and young people, along with nine winning TV/Cable programs and feature films, will be celebrated May 17 at the 69th annual Christopher Awards, which honor writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work "affirms the highest values of the human spirit." This year's winning book titles are:

The American Spirit by David McCullough (S&S)
The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (Scribner)
Convicted by Andrew Collins & Jameel McGee (Waterbrook)
Dorothy Day by Kate Hennessy (Scribner)
I'll Push You by Patrick Gray & Justin Skeesuck (Tyndale House)
Redeeming Ruth by Meadow Rue Merrill (Hendrickson Publishers)

Young people
Through Your Eyes by Ainsley Earhardt, illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim (Preschool & up, Aladdin Books)
Pocket Full of Colors  by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville, illustrated by Brigette Barrager (Kindergarten & up, Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome (ages 6 & up, Holiday House)
Genevieve's War by Patricia Reilly Giff (ages 8 & up, Holiday House)
The Red Bandanna by Tom Rinaldi (ages 10 & up, Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group)
Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford (YA, Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse Publishing)


John F. Cogan has won the 2018 Hayek Book Prize for his book The High Cost of Good Intentions (Stanford University Press). He will receive a $50,000 award and will deliver the annual Hayek lecture on June 7. The award is sponsored by the Manhattan Institute and given to authors "who best represent the principles of F.A. Hayek."

Amity Shlaes, Hayek Prize jury chair, commented: "John Cogan is like a surveyor plotting Hayek's Road to Serfdom for us. Cogan's work shows us how far away from individual liberty and responsibly we have come, and what we might do to reverse our course."

SIBA's Spring Okra Picks: 'Bumper Crop of 18 Delicious Reads'

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced its Spring Okra Picks, "a season's worth of delicious reading with a Southern flavor." These 19 titles were chosen by Southern indie booksellers as the upcoming titles they are most looking forward to handselling:

In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt (Central Avenue Publishing)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Gallery Books)
The Overstory by Richard Powers (Norton)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen)
Country Dark by Chris Offutt (Grove Press)
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace by Carole Boston Weatherford (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press)
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Best Beach Ever by Wendy Wax (Berkley Books)
I Felt a Funeral in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)

The View from Here by Lynne Hinton (NewSouth Books)
Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin)
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl (Delacorte)
Florida by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush (Milkweed Editions)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley (St. Martin's Press)

Reading with... Sergio Ruzzier

photo: Matt Carr

Sergio Ruzzier was born in 1966 in Milan, Italy and grew up reading any comic book or comic strip he could get his hands on. At age 19, he published his first comic. Ruzzier, a 2011 Sendak Fellow, has worked as an illustrator for the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Nation, Blab! and many other publications. His latest titles for children are A Letter for Leo, Two Mice and This Is Not a Picture Book! His latest, Fox and Chick: The Party and Other Stories (Chronicle, April 17),  is a book of comics for early readers.

On your nightstand now:

Jenny Uglow's biography of William Hogarth.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak.

Your top five authors:

Thomas Bernhard, Edward Gorey, Giorgio Bassani, Arnold Lobel, Elzie C. Segar.

Book you've faked reading:

Any school book.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The original The Adventures of Pinocchio written by Carlo Lorenzini (pen name, Collodi) in 1881. It's painful to see how so many people are only familiar with the Walt Disney version.

Book you've bought for the cover:

What Maisie Knew by Henry James in the Anchor paperback edition. I bought it because of Edward Gorey's cover.

Book you hid from your parents:

I still can't tell.

Book that changed your life:

The Other Side by Alfred Kubin, even though it might have changed my life for the worse.

Favorite line from a book:

"I promise, I swear, I won't ever turn ten," from Maurice Sendak's Bumble-Ardy.

Five books you'll never part with:

The Nutshell Library by Maurice Sendak, Frog and Toad (the whole series) by Arnold Lobel, The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey and my whole collection of early 19th-century chapbooks. But who knows, maybe I'll get rid of all of them tomorrow.

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

The Heron by Giorgio Bassani is maybe the saddest book ever written.

Book Review

Children's Review: Red Sky at Night

Red Sky at Night by Elly MacKay (Tundra, $17.99 hardcover, 40p., ages 3-7, 9781101917831, May 1, 2018)

"Long ago, here and far away, people looked for clues in nature to predict the weather," Elly MacKay's (If You Hold a Seed; Shadow Chasers) text begins. "They learned from experience by watching the shapes of clouds or noticing the behavior of animals. This wisdom was passed down through sayings." The story starts with a father and two children looking out of a large picture window at a blazing red sunset. One of the two children holds a fishing rod in one hand and the father points at the sky: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight."

Full dark now, the next page gives a peek inside the house from the outside, a child and a litter of kittens all in silhouette through the windows. "When the dew is on the grass,/ no rain will come to pass." Next, a double-page spread shows the father and children loaded down with fishing gear, leaving the house trailed by tumbling, pouncing kittens. The colors are muted, the sky a light gray: "Evening red and morning gray,/ two sure signs of one fine day."

And a fine day it is, indeed. The fog is a good sign--"[w]hen the mist creeps up the hill,/ fishers, it's time to try your skill"--and father and kids climb into their boat (the Cloud Nine) ready for a day on the water. As the family floats down the river, dragonflies fly low over lily pads and sheep graze in emerald green pastures. "When the wind is from the West,/ then the fishes bite the best" depicts a fairytale-like double-page spread, the above- and underwater worlds taking up equal space on the page.

Under a clear, dark sky, the children fall asleep cuddled in their father's arms; an owl soars across a "ring around the moon," alerting the camping trio that "rain will come soon." Their trip back home is full of signs of impending bad weather: "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning!" and "Trout jump high when rain is nigh." Luckily, the family makes it back into the house in the nick of time.

MacKay's illustrations are exquisite, all pieces made "using paper and ink" and then "set into a miniature theater and photographed, giving them their unique three-dimensional quality." Her colors are vibrant and her world teeming with life. The book even gives life to the weather itself, depicting the winds and storms as ethereal cats playing and prowling. In her well-researched back matter, MacKay explains all the weather sayings in the book, as well as her sources for the material. Red Sky at Night is deliberately and beautifully paced in such a way that the book is entirely comprehensible as a wordless piece, making it accessible to pre-readers. The sayings enhance the work, though, allowing for both entertaining read-alouds and solo weather journeys. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Elly MacKay's Red Sky at Night is an ode to the natural world and human appreciation of it.

KidsBuzz: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova
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