Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Blackstone Publishing: An Honorable Assassin (Nick Mason Novels #3) by Steve Hamilton

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

Running Press Kids: The Junior Witch's Handbook, The Junior Astrologer's Handbook, and The Junior Tarot Reader's Handbook by Nikki Van De Car

Scholastic Press: Ruin Road by Lamar Giles


Penn Book Center to Stay Open Through Summer

Good news from Penn Book Center, Philadelphia, Pa.: the store has reached an agreement with its landlord, the University of Pennsylvania, that will allow it to stay open through the summer, time that owners Ashley Montague and Michael Row will use to work on "a business plan that, we hope, will allow the store to stay open and prosper," they said in an announcement. "We've talked to many people who have offered fantastic ideas, and we're excited to explore them."

In April, the store said it was closing at the end of the academic year because its shift to emphasizing trade books and events (after no longer selling textbooks in 2017) hadn't generated enough profit. Immediately after the announcement, many in the community rallied around the store, and Penn faculty started an online petition in support.

Montague and Row thanked "all our well-wishers at Penn and beyond" and gave special thanks to Penn professor Chi-ming Yang. The store noted that sales since the closing announcement have been "phenomenal." It asked supporters to complete a survey that will "help us to chart our new direction."

In what it called "some less great news," Penn Book Center said that to "stabilize our finances" while working on a plan, the store is canceling its frequent buyer program. No new reward credits can be earned, and reward credits already earned won't be honored after August.

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

Long Island's Turn of the Corkscrew Closing


Sad news from Long Island: Turn of the Corkscrew, Books and Wine, which opened in 2015 in Rockville Centre, N.Y., is closing on June 15, owners Carol Hoenig and Peggy Ziernan announced on the store's website.

"As hard as we worked these last four years to bring a bookstore/wine bar to the community, one that brought you events, workshops and a place to gather for meetings and discussions, it wasn't enough to keep us afloat," they wrote. "With that said, we are sad to announce that we will be closing."

During the clearance sale, most items will be discounted 50%-75%. In addition, the store has "beautiful, sturdy book cases that need a home" as well as books, equipment, furniture, refrigerators and a convection oven. For more information, call 516-764-6000 or e-mail.

In its first years, Turn of the Corkscrew had to contend with road and other construction that affected access to the store. In 2016, Hoenig and Ziernan launched a GoFundMe campaign, and last July, they put the store up for sale.

Hoenig and Ziernan are both Borders bookstore alumni. Hoenig is continuing as a publishing consultant, helping with book writing, editing and navigating the publishing industry. She may be reached via e-mail.

Candlewick Adds to Indie Bookstore Programs


The latest publisher to add terms and offers for independent booksellers in the wake of Baker & Taylor's decision no longer to serve the retail wholesale market is Candlewick Press.

In addition to longstanding programs--CHIRP, the indie handselling program; CHIRP Evergreen, which promotes backlist favorites; and new store programs--Candlewick's new, enhanced offers include:

  • Candlewick's seasonal backlist stock offer, providing additional discount and dating, now has a reduced unit minimum and is available multiple times per season. For more details, click here.
  • Candlewick has added a wholesale offer for indie bookstores that have book fair adjuncts.
  • Candlewick is a participating client publisher in PRH's Indie Express program for bookstores that had been ordering exclusively from B&T.

John Mendelson, Candlewick's senior v-p of sales, commented: "Candlewick is committed to supporting our independent bookselling partners, especially during this period of change. We hope that our new and existing special offers contribute to the vitality of a diverse retail marketplace."

To learn more about Candlewick's offers, accounts should contact their Candlewick sales rep directly or e-mail Elise Supovitz.

B&N Debuts New Nook GlowLight Plus

Barnes & Noble has introduced the Nook GlowLight Plus, which features the company's largest e-ink screen. The waterproof e-reader has a 7.8" screen, 8 GB of storage space and "the warmth of Barnes & Noble's 'glowlight' technology for easy reading day or night," B&N said. The Glowlight Plus is available in stores tomorrow, May 27, and online beginning May 29, for $199.99.

Bill Wood, B&N's executive v-p, digital, said that the "waterproof, upgraded design makes reading easy, wherever you are. This new Nook is in stores just in time for summer reading, Father's Day, or for any book-lover that wants to experience the latest in digital reading."

Obituary Note: Robert L. Bernstein

Robert L. Bernstein

Robert L. Bernstein, longtime head of Random House and champion of "political dissent, freedom of expression and relief for oppressed peoples as the founder of Human Rights Watch," as the New York Times wrote, died yesterday. He was 96. The Times called him "a man of eclectic tastes with a passion for good books and noble causes."

Bernstein was head of Random House from 1966 to 1990, building it into one of the largest publishers in the world. During that time, the company published a range of American authors, including James A. Michener, Toni Morrison, William Styron, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, E.L. Doctorow and Robert Ludlum as well as authors from around the world. Among them were the Soviet dissidents Andrei D. Sakharov and Yelena G. Bonner and Czech author and dissident--and future president--Václav Havel. During the Bernstein era, Random House made major acquisitions, including Crown, Vintage, Ballantine, Fawcett and Schocken.

Bernstein had started his publishing career as an office boy at Simon & Schuster, and eventually became general sales manager. After being let go during a period of layoffs, he was hired by Random House co-founder Bennett Cerf as sales manager. In 1990, S.I. Newhouse, Jr., who had bought Random House in 1980, fired Bernstein because of fears about falling profits.

In many ways, human rights was Bernstein's major calling. The Times noted: "For years he had traveled widely to investigate and expose rights abuses, lobbied governments, raised funds and led fights against the repression of writers in the Soviet Union and other countries. Starting in 1978, he had also founded rights-monitoring groups--Helsinki Watch, Americas Watch, Asia Watch and others--that were merged in 1988 into Human Rights Watch."

He led Human Rights Watch for 20 years, retiring in 1998. In 2011, he founded and was chairman of Advancing Human Rights.

Bernstein's memoir, Speaking Freely: My Life in Publishing and Human Rights, written with Doug Merlino, was published by the New Press in 2016.

Sidelines Snapshot: Apparel, Putty, Toys and Candles

At Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, N.Y., owner Emma Straub primarily sells the store's own branded merchandise, including pencils, pens, pins, T-shirts, cards and sweatshirts, along with a few puzzles and small card games. All of the Books Are Magic merch, Straub explained, is designed by her husband, who had a career as a graphic designer before they opened the bookstore together. Most of the store's soft merchandise is printed by a company in North Carolina called Tannis Root Inc., which typically works with musicians and bands like Beck, The Magnetic Fields and Sonic Youth. Straub reported: "They are lovely and we've been working with them forever."

Straub sources her store's pencils from CW Pencil Enterprise and its pens from Straub reported that the store's big sellers are typically sweatshirts and tote bags, which she reorders on a monthly basis. She added that though it isn't their bestselling item, her sentimental favorite is a shirt that says CIGAM ERA SKOOB, which is the store's name spelled backwards. For non-book children's sidelines, Straub continued, she likes the Superhero Snap! card game from Laurence King Publishing and the entire line of Mudpuppy toys and games.

Jennifer Green, owner of Green Bean Books in Portland, Ore., reported that Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty, which has been doing well for a long time already, has seen another surge in popularity thanks to the release of several scented varieties with flavors like orangesicle, gumball, chocolate and pizza, among others. Green added that figurines made by Safari Ltd. are always popular, as are buttons that feature artwork and quotes from artists and authors like Lisa Condon and Greg Pizzoli. Anything from Out of Print does well, Green continued, particularly children's socks and T-shirts, and she sells a lot of stuffed animals; JellyCat is a preferred supplier.

Green Bean's repurposed vending machine

Over the last four months or so, Green has brought in Waff Journals, which can be customized by sticking letters and shapes on their covers. She also pointed to Plus-Plus blocks as perennial favorites. As for local or regional sidelines, Green mentioned hand-painted dolls made by a local woman with a company called Gnome Werks. Some of the store's most popular sidelines come from a collection of vending machines that Green has assembled over the years. They range in size from a repurposed cigarette machine that is now a finger puppet machine to former gumball machines. Her newest, she said, is a gumball machine that now dispenses compliments, and her favorite machine is the "unlikely friendship" machine, which dispenses figurines of two animals that wouldn't be friends in the wild, along with a quotation about friendship.

When Benjamin Nockels opened Commonplace Books in Oklahoma City, Okla., in 2017, he knew from the beginning that he wanted to have a custom scent for the store. Nockels and his colleagues worked with a candle maker in Tulsa, Okla., called The Nest to create a custom scent named Unhurried Wonder. The scent combines clove, amber, sandalwood, patchouli, tobacco and leather, and each candle label has a different quote from the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, all related to the theme of wonder. Nockels explained that the idea was to have every customer pause when they enter the store and exhale, as a way of re-orienting themselves.

The only other non-book items that Commonplace Books carries are paper goods, notebooks, calendars and other desktop items all made by a company called Appointed, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The items are manufactured in the U.S., and Nockels reported that his store is the only supplier in Oklahoma City. "If you can find it someplace else, you probably won't find it here," he said. "That doesn't make us better or the product bad. But we don't want to be redundant, and we seek to be good neighbors to other shops and shopkeepers in the community." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: The Author of The Editor at {pages}

{pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, Calif., recently hosted author Steven Rowley for the last stop on his national tour for his novel The Editor (Putnam). Along with the reading, the SRO crowd enjoyed daiquiris made to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's specifications. (Rowley's book is about the relationship between a young author and the famed editor.) {pages} owner Linda McLaughlin Figel reports this fun fact: Rowley's first in-person meeting with his Putnam editor, Sally Kim, occurred at {pages} almost two years ago. Left to right: Figel, Rowley, {pages} general manager Kristin Rasmussen and bookseller Casey Poma.

Happy 5th Birthday, Changing Hands Phoenix!

Congratulations to Changing Hands Bookstore, which is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Phoenix, Ariz., store and its First Draft Book Bar. (The Tempe Changing Hands was founded in 1974.) On Friday, May 31, 5-7 p.m., Changing Hands Phoenix will offer complimentary beer and wine tastings, extended happy hour, poetry-on-demand from Phoenix poet laureate Rosemarie Dombrowski, coloring activities, and a toast at 5 p.m. "We'll also look back through the years with photos from the history of Changing Hands, and share your favorite bookstore memories on vintage typewriters!"

BookNet Canada: 'Tips to Promote Your Author Event'

"So you're planning an author event and you want to make sure that news of this can't-miss-event reaches as many people as possible," BookNet Canada wrote in a post highlighting tips for promoting author events using networks/platforms and partnering up. "The following tips can help you expand your outreach and ensure your event runs smoothly. Put together a checklist using the ideas that are relevant for your event or just use the suggestions... for inspiration."

Personnel Changes at ReaderLink; S&S; Holiday House

At ReaderLink Distribution Services:

Corey Berger has been promoted to senior v-p of marketing & procurement. He was formerly v-p of sales, leading ReaderLink's Target account team. He has been with the company for 24 years.

Kristin Bartelme has been promoted to v-p of publisher relations and marketing. She was formerly senior director of marketing business management.


Effective June 4, Stephanie Calman is being promoted to associate national account manager at Simon & Schuster Sales & Distribution and will be responsible for selling S&S adult, audio and distribution client titles to Readerlink as well as managing sales to 14 regional distributors. She joined S&S sales in 2017 as a sales assistant after six years working in public relations.


Cheryl Lew has joined Holiday House as senior publicist. She was previously a publicist at Media Connect, the book division of Finn Partners.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: B. Janet Hibbs, Anthony Rostain on Fresh Air

CBS This Morning: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, authors of Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-to Guide (Forge, $24.99, 9781250178954).

Fresh Air: B. Janet Hibbs and Anthony Rostain, authors of The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years (St. Martin's Press, $28.99, 9781250113139).

The View: Lamar Odom, co-author of Darkness to Light: A Memoir (BenBella, $24.95, 9781948836081).

Tonight Show repeat: Howard Stern, author of Howard Stern Comes Again (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501194290).

The Talk: Paul Stanley, author of Backstage Pass (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062820280).

Books & Authors

Awards: Shaughnessy Cohen for Political Writing

The Writers' Trust of Canada has announced that Rachel Giese's book Boys: What It Means to Become a Man won the C$25,000 (about US$18,610) Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, which recognizes "an exceptional book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers."

The jury commented: "Achieving gender equity is one of great social, political, and economic challenges of our time. Harmful stereotypes and assumptions about girls and women are being shattered daily. But what is the place of boys and men in the post #MeToo world? With a skillful mix of original reporting, scholarly research, and personal anecdotes, Rachel Giese presents a deeply felt examination of the forces that shape how boys see themselves and how we see them. No one, from parents to policy-makers, can read Boys without rethinking their notion of manliness, masculinity, and how we raise young men."

Top Library Recommended Titles for June

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 June titles public library staff across the country love:

Top Pick
Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel by Linda Holmes (Ballantine, $26, 9780525619246). "Relationships are hard, whether with a spouse, a best friend, a new love interest, or ourselves. Evvie navigates all of these after a life-changing series of events. An engaging novel that explores relationship nuances without being too dark or too cutesy. For fans of Jenny Colgan, Cecilia Ahern, and Sophie Kinsella." --Maribeth Fisher, Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains, N.J.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (Berkley, $16, 9781984802798). "Ayesha puts aside dreams of poetry and works in Toronto as a teacher to repay debts to her family. A deep-rooted family trauma ties Khalid to his controlling mother and gives him a rigid understanding of the world. Can these two young Muslims forge a healing path? A sweet modern romance perfect for readers of The Wedding Date and The Kiss Quotient." --Ariel Yang, Forest Grove City Library, Forest Grove, Ore.

Call Your Daughter Home: A Novel by Deb Spera (Park Row, $26.99, 9780778307747). "Three strong women support each other through tough times in 1924 South Carolina. Gertrude, Retta, and Annie unite against injustice in their small town in this beautifully written story in which time and place come to life. For readers who enjoyed The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and The Invention of Wings." --Suzy Card, Grapevine Library, Grapevine, Tex.

City of Girls: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead, $28, 9781594634734). "Free-spirited Vivian recounts her life, focusing on her formative years in the 1940s. Nineteen and new to NYC, she became the costumer for her aunt's struggling theater company. Colorful characters, misadventures, triumphs, and trials populate this fun, frolicking read. For fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo." --Sonia Reppe, Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, Ill.

Fix Her Up: A Novel by Tessa Bailey (Avon, $14.99, 9780062872838). "After her brother's best friend (and her longtime crush) Travis is injured, Georgie makes it her goal to bring him back to the land of the living. When he needs help cleaning up his wild image, she is happy to help... and maybe score some action on the side. A funny, endearing, and spicy romance. For readers of Christina Lauren." --Jessica Batten, Marion County Public Library System, W.Va.

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau (Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99, 9781492689386). "An epic fantasy love story that hooks readers from the beginning with its expert world-building. The characters are skillfully crafted, realistic and sympathetic. Readers will look forward to continuing the journey in this new series. For fans of Whims of Fae by Nissa Leder and Blood Oath by Raye Wagner." --Leanna Frankland, New York Public Library, New York, N.Y.

Magic for Liars: A Novel by Sarah Gailey (Tor, $25.99, 9781250174611). "A blend of fantasy and murder mystery. Magic meets noir, throw in some romance and some witty dialog and you have a great pick for summer reading. For fans of Jasper Fforde and the Charley Davidson novels." --Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga Public Library, Cuyahoga, Ohio

Mrs. Everything: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner (Atria, $28, 9781501133480). "A sweeping story about sisters Jo and Bethie, following them from their 1950s roots in Detroit to the present day. This novel is both heartwrenching and funny, and readers will cry and laugh with them along the journey. For fans of Juliet McDaniel's Mr. and Mrs. American Pie." --Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, Ohio

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim (Berkley, $16, 9781984803252). "Natalie inherits her grandmother's restaurant in quickly-gentrifying Chinatown in San Francisco. A tea leaf reading tells Natalie she must cook three recipes from her Grandmother's cookbook for her neighbors who are being pushed out in order for the restaurant to succeed. For fans of The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship and Like Water for Chocolate." --Meghan Marong, Lackawanna Public Library, Scranton, N.Y.

Recursion: A Novel by Blake Crouch (Crown, $27, 9781524759780). "Compelling and accessible to the non-science-fiction reader. It is a suspenseful, thought-provoking book about altered memories, and how technology can be used for good, or for ill, or should never be used at all. For fans of Michael Crichton." --Will Harbauer, Toledo Library, Toledo, Ohio

Book Review

Review: Cult of the Dead Cow

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn (PublicAffairs, $28 hardcover, 272p., 9781541762381, June 4, 2019)

Reuters cyber security reporter Joseph Menn (Fatal System Error) paints a mostly positive picture of one of the world's greatest hacking groups in Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World. The book doesn't argue that the Cult of the Dead Cow, a secretive and decades-old hacking group with influential members, will save the world. Instead, Menn suggests the bright minds and talented people the group consistently attracts have the capacity to help the cause of human rights in the digital era.

He carefully traces the origins of the group back to the pre-Internet age, when bored and often disaffected teenagers messed around with dial-up bulletin boards, sharing farcical, sometimes subversive material. Later chapters reveal how each founding member of the Cult of the Dead Cow became part of the "hacktivism" movement once the Internet took off in the 1990s. Hackers in the group began targeting mainstream software, finding and alerting companies to vulnerabilities. Their interests eventually branched out into human rights, as many found themselves on the frontlines of cyber war between repressive regimes and democratic activists. Members of the Cult of the Dead Cow went from being on the wrong side of the law to working for intelligence agencies, private security firms and some of the biggest companies in tech, like Facebook.

Menn writes crisply, with the appetite of an investigative journalist. Some of his digressions on technical aspects of hacking can be jargon-heavy, and the list of characters seems to grow exponentially, but for the most part, Menn delivers one riveting tidbit after another, weaving a tapestry of political intrigue. The book never lacks relevance. Some of the most fascinating passages delve into China's Great Firewall, WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden and the Russian hacking activities during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. At his best, Menn shows how hackers are a deeply connected and often misunderstood community who have done extraordinary things for the betterment of humankind. His book tackles tough ethical questions of security, privacy and freedom of expression.

Well researched and smartly written, Cult of the Dead Cow will certainly appeal to technologists and computer enthusiasts but also to the layperson interested in a new and fraught era of cyber geopolitics. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: This account of one of the world's greatest hacking groups reveals the new frontiers of cyber security and geopolitics.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. F-Bomb (The Bear Bottom Guardians MC Book 9) by Lani Lynn Vale
2. Concerto by Skye Warren
3. Sunken Shadows (Shadows Landing #2) by Kathleen Brooks
4. A SEAL's Devotion (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 7) by Cora Seton
5. Choosing You by M. Robinson
6. Zero Regret (Lost Kings MC Book 13) by Autumn Jones Lake
7. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
8. Because I Had a Teacher by Kobi Yamada and Natalie Russell
9. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
10. Seaside Serenade (Seaside Summers Book 9) by Melissa Foster

[Many thanks to!]

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