Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Random House Graphic: Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger

Tor Books: Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by Kit Rocha

Wednesday Books: The Mall by Megan McCafferty

Houghton Mifflin: The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

News

Report: Readerlink Working on Bid for Barnes & Noble

Readerlink, one of the companies that had been seeking to acquire Barnes & Noble since the bookseller put itself on the block last October, is "working toward making a bid" that would be higher than Elliott Management's offer of $6.50 a share, or $475 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing "a person familiar with the situation." In response to the news, B&N's share price rose yesterday, and as of this morning had risen altogether about 7%, to $6.90 a share, on speculation that Readerlink may spark a bidding war.

Although the Elliott offer was accepted by the B&N board last week, it still must be approved by shareholders and regulatory authorities. The Journal noted that B&N and Elliott's agreement includes "a 'keep-shop' provision specifying that if Barnes & Noble strikes a deal with a third party before 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 13, Elliott would be entitled to a payment of up to $4 million. After that date, the breakup fee would be $17.5 million in cash."

According to the Journal, "if Readerlink can get financing in place," it would try to make a bid before the Thursday deadline and "may join with a financial investor."

Once known as Levy Home Entertainment, Readerlink is the largest U.S. wholesaler of books to mass merchandisers, grocery stores, drug stores and other retailers. In 2015, Readlink bought Baker & Taylor's warehouse club business and publishing operations--including Silver Dolphin Books, Thunder Bay Press and Portable Press. In 2016, it bought Anderson Merchandisers.


GLOW: Other Press: Serenade for Nadia by Zülfü Livaneli, translated by Brendan Freely


Righton Books Opens on St. Simons Island, Ga.

Righton Books, an all-new independent bookstore, has opened on St. Simons Island, off the coast of Georgia.

According to owners Darryl and Anne Peck, the roughly 2,000-square-foot store sells "all sorts" of books, but specializes in art, architecture, design, music and cooking, and has an "extensive" selection of books for children of all ages. Righton Books also carries an array of sidelines, including Harney Tea and Condor Chocolate bars.

While this is their first foray into the book business, Anne Peck explained, she and her husband have had "many successful retail ventures in the past." The store, which officially opened on June 7, has already met with a great response from both St. Simons residents and visitors, she said. She added that the store's name comes from her father, Righton Lyndon, who loved to read.

"Darryl spent his childhood in the bookstores of Manhattan's Upper West Side, and my mother was a children's librarian in Macon, Georgia," said Peck. "So our love of books runs deep."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger


N.C.'s Page 158 Books Downsizing to One Store

 

Dave and Suzanne Lucey

Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, N.C., will close the second location it opened, in Wendell, last year. In a Facebook post, owners Suzanne and Dave Lucey wrote: "We love the vibe of Downtown Wendell and appreciate the wonderful folks we've met as well as the support from the Wine 101 crew and owner Joe O'Keefe. However we've noticed our work/life balance getting a little out of whack (we actually woke up one day last week and had NO COFFEE in the house!) and have subsequently decided to close that location when our lease expires this month.

"We hope to be back in Wendell at some point, perhaps in a dedicated space, but until that time we are happy to ship books or even drop them at Wine 101, just order on our website.... Our last day in Wendell will be Saturday June 22, stop by and see us before then! Thank you for your support!"


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Deep by Alma Katsu


Second Indie Playlist Themes: Dystopia and Summer Reads

The second Indie Playlist book promotion, sponsored by indie publishers Catapult, Europa Editions, 7 Stories Press, Grove Atlantic and Beacon Press, to help indie bookstores across the country is running this month and has two themes: Dystopia and Summer Reads, featuring titles from the five publishers.

Under the program, the titles involved are offered to indie bookstores at a higher-than-usual discount. At the same time, the presses are running a display contest based on the promotion, and the winner will receive $500, with half going to the store and half to the bookseller in charge of the display. The displays need to feature some of the titles and can include titles that aren't part of the promotion. The winner of the first Indie Playlist display contest, held in April, was created by Hannah Fenster and Emily Miller of The Ivy Bookshop, Baltimore, Md.

As recounted by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, which has been involved in the playlist from early on, the winning display "brought visual attention to the variety of titles and presses, with a display of spine-in books surrounding the spine-out 'quick reads' titles. Shelf talkers were attached to the spine-in titles."

The winners said, "We wanted to activate the display as a training mechanism, encouraging customers to look closely when they browse, and to learn the value (and delight) in seeking out small presses and 'quick reads' intentionally. It's been so exciting to watch customers engage with the display and walk away with new ideas about how to browse--and new books they wouldn't have discovered otherwise." Fenster added that many of the titles sold out on Independent Bookstore Day.

"The great thing so far about Indie Playlist initiative has been the enthusiasm of the participating booksellers," said Dan Simon, publisher of Seven Stories Press. "What we're hearing is that these books are selling off the shelf and that the booksellers love the flexibility of this initiative, as well as loving the added discount and the display contest. We're expecting strong national participation for the June Indie Playlists."

The Indie Playlist program grew out of a monthly promotion that Seven Stories launched in August of last year, inspired by discussions with NAIBA executive director Eileen Dengler and with NAIBA's president, about how independent publishers can run promotions that also support indie booksellers. The third Indie Playlist of the year will be released in October.

For more information, contact Eileen Dengler or Dan Simon.


Child, Trollope, Hutchinson Earn Queen's Birthday Honors

Authors Lee Child and Joanna Trollope, as well as former Hachette U.K. CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson, were recognized in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honors, the Bookseller reported. Child and Trollope were both made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for their services to literature. Hely Hutchinson was made CBE for his services to publishing and literature.

Other honors went to journalist and author Bryan Appleyard (CBE for his services to journalism and the arts.); authors Theresa Breslin and Sarah Waters (OBEs for their services to literature); and historian and author Bettany Hughes (OBE for her services to history). In addition, Anne Sarrag, head of the Reading Agency, and Anne Barclay, director of the Wigtown Book Festival, were awarded MBEs.


June Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for June was delivered to more than half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 142 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 538,577 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie 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 Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Press).

For a sample of the June newsletter, see this one from Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids and Okemos, Mich.


Notes

Image of the Day: Remembering The Seventies at Rizzoli

Author Ira Resnick (right) visited Rizzoli Bookstore in New York City for an conversation with Emmy Award-winning film critic Jeffrey Lyons (l.) and a signing for his new book, The Seventies: A Photographic Journey (Abbeville).


Happy 10th Birthday, Monkey See, Monkey Do!

Congratulations to Monkey See, Monkey Do... Children's Bookstore, Clarence, N.Y., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this coming Saturday, June 15, 12-2 p.m. Curious George and Checkers the Inventor will make appearances, and customers will receive a free book with any purchase (while supplies last). In addition, children and parents can learn about the store's summer camp offerings, and the store will launch its 2019 Poster Illustration Contest for its 5th annual KidLit Week and WNY Children's Book Expo this fall.

In 2014, the bookstore launched the Children's Book Expo in Western New York with the help of a grant from James Patterson as well as a range of companies and organizations in the area. The November event includes KidsLit Week, when authors visit schools, libraries and other sites, and Expo Saturday, a free one-day showcase of children's books.

Owner Kim Krug said, "We are honored to be an active part of our community, helping to promote literacy and a love of reading for children and adults." Monkey See, Monkey Do... Children's Bookstore received the WNBA Pannell Award in 2012.


Cool Idea of the Day: Book Group Ambassadors

Book Group Ambassadors at a recent book group mixer: (l.-r.) Judi Heher, Emily Susko, Ricki Willet, Karen Burgess, Laurel Maxwell, Jennifer Wood.

Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif., has launched a Book Group Ambassador program, an all-volunteer reader group dedicated to promoting book group titles to Bookshop Santa Cruz customers year-round. The 10 ambassadors, who began their one-year terms earlier this year, write book reviews for the store's book group displays and promotional e-mails, and host Book Group Trunk Shows, during which they visit book groups and pitch titles that the group might enjoy. In return, the Book Group Ambassadors get free ARCs and attend Bookshop Santa Cruz sales rep pitches and author events related to book group titles.

"Customers would constantly come up to me to talk about books and ask me about how Bookshop employees learned about books coming out," explained Bookshop Santa Cruz owner Casey Coonerty Protti. "I realized that there was a lot of enthusiasm to participate in a reading culture that would be beneficial to both sides. Ambassadors get an inside look at Bookshop's behind-the-scenes book culture, and we get passionate readers who know about the needs of book groups to be an army of readers to promote book group reads. It's a win-win."


Personnel Changes at Little, Brown; Sourcebooks

At Little, Brown:

Erinn McGrath has been promoted to director of publicity and marketing, James Patterson. She previously was associate director of publicity, James Patterson.

Elora Weil has been promoted to associate publicist. Most recently, Weil has begun supporting Spark and Voracious as they become independent imprints.

---

Kim Gray has joined Sourcebooks as director of sales--mass and special markets. She most recently was v-p, director of sales at Reader's Digest/Trusted Media Brands.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Anna Fifield on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Anna Fifield, author of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un (PublicAffairs, $28, 9781541742482).

NPR's Here and Now: Jim Acosta, author of The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America (Harper, $27.99, 9780062916129).

Dr. Phil: Art Markman, author of Bring Your Brain to Work: Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do It Well, and Advance Your Career (Harvard Business Review Press, $30, 9781633696112).

Tomorrow:
The View: David Burtka, author of Life Is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration (Grand Central, $30, 9781538729892).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel (Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023).


Movies: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

CBS Films, Lionsgate and eOne have released the second full trailer for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the Guillermo del Toro-produced film based on Alvin Schwartz's bestselling books. Del Toro (Shape of Water) adapted the screenplay with Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman, Forbes reported. Directed by André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), the film will be released August 9.

The new trailer "makes it pretty clear just how the movie will take a whole bunch of disconnected spook stories and folktales and include some/many of them into a singular narrative," Forbes wrote. The project stars Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, Austin Zajur and Natalie Ganzhorn,.



Books & Authors

Awards: Orwell Shortlists

Shortlists have been released for the £3,000 (about $3,805) Orwell Prize for Political Fiction as well as the Orwell Prize for Political Writing (nonfiction), both of which recognize works that "strive to meet Orwell's own ambition 'to make political writing into an art.' " The winners will be named June 25. Shortlists for all four Orwell Prize categories are available here. The shortlisted titles are:

Political Fiction Book
Milkman by Anna Burns
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Ironopolis by Glen James Brown
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

Political Writing Book
Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take It Back by Oliver Bullough
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú
Heimat: A German Family Album by Nora Krug
The Growth Delusion: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Nightmarch: Among India's Revolutionary Guerrillas by Alpa Shah


Lonely Planet’s Guide to ALA 2019: Washington, D.C. for Kids

For attendees of the American Library Association annual conference and exhibition in Washington, D.C., June 20-25, Lonely Planet recommends the seriously streetwise City Trails series for kids, which features colorful themed trails, from history and culture to food and nature that reveal amazing facts and intriguing tales not normally found on tourist routes or inside the average guidebook. Crack open City Trails: Washington DC guide and learn where to find Henry the giant elephant, eat oyster sandwiches, view the Grand Canyon on a ceiling, and lots more!

Creature Comforts: National Museum of Natural History
Hungry, hairy spiders, a cursed diamond, some ancient mummies, a sea monster, and two mysterious giant heads are among the exhibits waiting for visitors to this Smithsonian museum. No wonder it's one of the most popular visitor spots in town.

Hello Henry
Henry the African elephant greets visitors in the museum's atrium. He's 13 ft. (3.9 m) tall, and he was killed decades ago by hunters in Angola. He arrived at the zoo in 1959 and now helps teach visitors about elephant conservation and the banned ivory poaching trade. You can see what real African elephants are doing in the nearby National Zoo, via the museum's elephant cam.

Meet the Spiders
Lots of insects and arachnids (spiders) live in the museum's Insect Hall, and volunteers sometimes bring out the tarantula spiders to meet visitors. Their venom isn't powerful. It feels rather like a bee sting to humans, and the spiders won't bite unless they are threatened with danger. Live crickets aren't so lucky. They become snacks for the tarantulas to eat at feeding time!

Blue Sparkler
An incredibly rare violet-colored diamond sits in a high-security display at the museum. It's called the Hope Diamond, and it comes from a mine in India. It once belonged to the doomed French Queen Marie Antoinette, who was executed in 1793. It's been sold to pay off debts and even stolen during its life, which has led some to say it's cursed. It's now part of a beautiful necklace set with 61 white diamonds.

Animals Under Wraps
You probably know that the Ancient Egyptians mummified dead humans, but they also mummified animals, including cats, birds, snakes, and even bulls. Some of these mummy creatures are on display at the museum. The Ancient Egyptians mummified their dead pets, but they also sacrificed animals to please the ancient Egyptian gods.

Only in D.C.
This is a trail like no other. It will take you to Washington's most unique locations and objects. Prepare for some surprises, a few gasps, and one or two shivers as you discover some D.C. specials.

National Museum of Health and Medicine
This museum was founded during the Civil War to collect specimens that would help medical research. It does great work, but some of its exhibits are not for the fainthearted!

Saint John Paul II National Shrine
This papal shrine is in memory of Saint John Paul II, who was pope from 1978 to 2005. A sample of his blood is contained inside a glass ampule in an ornate container, and a pair of his skis are on display, too.

Rome's Tombs: Franciscan Monastery
At the end of the 1800s, the friars of the Franciscan Monastery brought Rome to D.C. They built a reproduction of the Catacombs of Rome, tomb tunnels under the Italian city of Rome where early Christians were buried. Visitors can explore dark, narrow passages that wind past some fake tombs and the real remains of St. Innocent and St. Benignus. They were both killed in Ancient Rome for being Christian.

The Smithsonian Carousel
Sixty horses, one of them a beautiful sea dragon hybrid, live on the Mall. For decades they have been taking children for a ride on the Smithsonian Carousel. The carousel was once in a Baltimore amusement park, where African American children were not allowed. On the same day as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, segregation was ended in the park, and the carousel was opened to all. It's a symbol of unity, as well as a beloved landmark.


Book Review

Review: Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions, $24 hardcover, 248p., 9781571313782, July 9, 2019)

Margaret Renkl's Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss is a quiet but stunning collection of essays merging the natural landscapes of Alabama and Tennessee with generations of family history, grief and renewal. Renkl's voice sounds very close to the reader's ear: intimate, confiding, candid and alert.

Renkl grew up in "lower Alabama," the adored child of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents: in an old picture, "my people are looking at me as if I were the sun." Her childhood was lived close to the red dirt, pine needles and blue jays of that space. As an adult, she lives in Nashville with a husband and three sons, and carefully cultivates a backyard garden with bird nests, baths and feeders. These are the backdrops to her observations of nature. "The cycle of life might as well be called the cycle of death: everything that lives will die, and everything that dies will be eaten."

Sections are headed with simple, natural-world titles (Tomato, River, Thunderstorm) and adorned with illustrations by the author's brother, Billy Renkl. Within these sections, the essays are brief--often just two or three pages--and can stand alone, but accrue to form a truly lovely larger picture. "Safe, Trapped" handles the duality of protective spaces: that shelter is also captivity. An echo, several chapters later: the realization that her childhood was never the sanctuary she thought it was at the time. Alongside the concern of how to keep loved ones safe, she writes about the natural cruelty of rat snakes, crows and snow.

Late Migrations studies family and loss: the deaths of great-grandparents, grandparents and parents; Renkl becoming a parent herself and worrying over her children. Spending a night in a prewar infirmary on the grounds of an orphanage, dreaming of babies in cages, Renkl goes to the window to view cardinals at a feeder and "watched until I knew I could keep them with me, until I believed I would dream that night of wings." At about the midpoint of her book, this feels like a point of synthesis. Dreaming of babies in cages and trading them for wings, to "keep them with me," represents a neat joining of her themes, which are of course not nearly so separate as they initially appear.

This is a book about the labors of bluebirds, red-tailed hawks and cottontails, and about grief: the loss of loved ones, the risks to her own children and the everyday struggles of backyard nests. A book of subtlety and sadness, yes, but also a tough, persistent joy in the present and the future. "Human beings are creatures made for joy," Renkl writes. "Against all evidence, we tell ourselves that grief and loneliness and despair are tragedies.... In the fairy tale we tell ourselves, darkness holds nothing resembling a gift." Part of her work in this book is to find and recognize the gift in the darkness, "to reveal it in its deepest hiding place." Late Migrations is itself that gorgeous, thought-provoking gift. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This subtle, searing essay collection examines the griefs of family and of the natural world as one.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. Almost Paradise by Debbie Macomber
2. Trouble at Brayshaw High by Meagan Brandy
3. My Solace (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 11) by Alanea Alder
4. What Do You Do With a Chance? by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom
5. Hosed by Pippa Grant and Lili Valente
6. The Nantucket Inn by Vi Keeland
7. Because I Had a Teacher by Kobi Yamada and Natalie Russell
8. You Can't Iron a Wrinkled Birthday Suit by Sharon Phennah
9. Shadows and Sorcery by Various
10. Hot Under the Collar by Roxanne St. Claire

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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