Shelf Awareness for Friday, July 19, 2019


Dutton Books: Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

DC Zoom: Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Le, illustrated by Andie Tong

Workman Publishing: Halloween Titles by Various - Click here for more information!

Jackson University Press: The Papaya King by Adam Pelzman

Carolrhoda Books: Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen by Beth Mills

Little Brown Books For Young Readers: Ping by Ani Castillo

Quotation of the Day

'There's a Book Out There that Will Turn the Key'

"It's wonderful to share our love and appreciation of books and literature with people. Our greatest reward would be perhaps setting someone on the road to reading and discovery when it would be alien to them or they're reluctant. I always say there's a book out there that will turn the key to a lifelong love of reading, regardless of whether you're a child or an adult. The other reward is that every day is different. Just the chats you have with people--they love to share their memories or stories...."

--Irish bookseller Máire O'Halloran, co-owner of the Clifden Bookshop in County Galway, in a q&a with the Irish Examiner

H1: The Big Country by Quinton Peeples, illustrated by Dennis Calero


News

For Sale: The Avid Reader in Davis, Calif.

The Avid Reader, located in downtown Davis, Calif., some 10 miles west of Sacramento, is up for sale. Owner and founder Alzada Knickerbocker has decided to retire and sell the store after being in business for 30 years.

The general-interest bookstore is a "landmark" in downtown Davis and located near three popular cafes in an area known as the "Caffeine Triangle." The town, which has a population of close to 70,000 people, is also the home of University of California Davis, and many retailers "find Davis with its large student population to be a great grounds for thriving businesses." 

The asking price is $1,134,956, and interested parties can inquire here.


Abrams Books for Young Readers: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (Questioneers) by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts


Grand Opening for Winding Trail Books in St. Paul

Winding Trail Books is celebrating its grand opening this weekend at 2230 Carter Ave. #8, St. Paul, Minn., the Park Bugle reported, adding that for Sue Costello, co-owner with Rick Gahm, the new book and gift shop "is a fulfillment of one life ambition."

"As a book lover who has spent many hours in libraries and bookstores over the years, it has always been a dream of mine to own a bookstore," she said. They were looking for "the perfect space to open our store and fell in love with the space at Milton Square. Our bookstore is named Winding Trail Books for our love of nature and the time that we spent going on long walks talking about our dreams of owning our own book/gift store.... We hope to be a place where you can discover a new book or author or where you can revisit a book or author from your past."

Costello told the Pioneer Press: "Rick and I bring to the book business years of experience in the business industry, including owning our own businesses. Rick has run his own mortgage company, and I have worked in finance and early childhood education and have an extra love for children's books."

Costello and Gahm "found the perfect spot in the Courtyard Shoppes at Milton Square. The more than 100-year-old buildings create a fairy-tale scene," Vadnais Heights Press noted.

"It looks like it's out of a storybook," she said. "Like they plucked it out of a scene of Grimms' Fairy Tales." Inside, the shop will be painted with whimsical murals by artist and children's illustrator Shawn McCann.


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House of Books in Kent, Conn., Under New Ownership

House of Books in Kent, Conn., has reopened in a temporary location under new ownership, the New Milford Spectrum reported.

Robin Dill, who purchased the store in 2013 and put it up for sale earlier this year, sold House of Books to Kent Center, LLC on June 21. At present the store is open for business as the Little House of Books, temporarily located in a space one door down from its permanent home at 10 North Main St while the latter building undergoes extensive renovations.

Once renovations have been finished, the building will have a new roof, restored windows, a stabilized foundation and completely new wiring. There will also be an upstairs gallery space and customers will be able to move directly from the bookstore into an artisan cheese market located next door. Renovations are expected to take a year.

House of Books is located in Kent Barns, a retail complex "comprised of antique barns, restored buildings and new construction." There are art and antique galleries, restaurants and a variety of retailers.

Kent Center LLC also owns Kent Barns, and Hiram Williams, the LLC's managing partner, told the Spectrum that they purchased the store to ensure that it remains open and "because supporting a thriving, serious independent bookstore in Kent has always been our objective."

Peter Vaughn, meanwhile, is managing the store, and he reported that Little House of Books "had a great first day."


Amulet Books: In the Hall with the Knife: A Clue Mystery, Book One by Diana Peterfreund


WH Smith's Louis de Bourgoing to Retire

Louis de Bourgoing, WH Smith's international chairman and business development director, will retire next month after nine years with the company, which said "a replacement will be announced in due course with De Bourgoing to work with the chain on a consultancy basis," the Bookseller reported. Prior to joining WH Smith, De Bourgoing spent 11 years at Lagardère Services and before that was deputy CEO at Hachette Livre.

"When Louis joined WH Smith, the company had one overseas store," said international managing director Phil McNally. "In nine years, Louis has been instrumental in the international expansion of WH Smith; we now have over 315 WH Smith stores in 30 countries, not including the recent InMotion acquisition in North America. We would like to thank Louis for everything he has achieved during his time at WH Smith, he leaves behind a strong legacy."


Obituary Note: Howard Engel

Award-winning Canadian crime writer Howard Engel, author of the Benny Cooperman detective series and co-founder of the Crime Writers of Canada, died July 15, CBC News reported. He was 88. His popular mystery series, which began in 1980 with The Suicide Murders, continued through the decades and included The Ransom Game, A City Called July and East of Suez.

In 2001, Engel suffered a stroke, which cost him his ability to read (alexia sine agraphia), though he could still write. "Over the following years, he learned how to read again and published the novel Memory Book, which begins as Benny Cooperman recovers in a hospital with the same condition," CBC wrote. His memoir The Man Who Forgot How to Read, for which Oliver Sacks wrote the afterword, also documented this experience.

Engel was a founding member of the Crime Writers of Canada, an organization created in 1986 to support and bolster the Canadian crime writing community. His many honors include the 2004 Writers' Trust of Canada Matt Cohen Award, recognizing the entire career of a Canadian writer; and the Crime Writers of Canada Grand Master Award in 2014. Engel was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007.

In a tribute posted on Facebook, Crime Writers of Canada noted that "Howard's passing marks a sad day for the crime writing community. We extend our sympathy to his family and close friends. To his fellow colleagues, let us share a moment to remember a true gentleman and talent."


Notes

Image of the Day: Magers & Quinn Conversation

Last night, Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis, Minn., hosted Lila Savage, author of Say Say Say (Knopf), and Kate McQuade, Tell Me Who We Were: Stories (Morrow), in conversation. Pictured: (l.-r.) marketing & events coordinator Annie Metcalf, Savage and McQuade.


Happy 40th Birthday, Square Books!

Congratulations to Square Books in Oxford, Miss., which began its 40th anniversary celebrations last Thursday with the opening of the art exhibition "Square Books: 40 Years of Book Posters." 

The exhibition--at the Southside Gallery, just a few doors down from Square Books on the downtown square--features more than 300 posters that once hung in Square Books to promote books and bookstore events. Richard Howorth, the owner of Square Books, worked with Southside Gallery owner Wil Cook to select the posters, and titles from all genres are represented.

Howorth reported a great turnout for the opening on July 11, with many posters sold, and guests were overheard commenting not just on the posters' designs, but also on the books they featured and the memories they brought back.

The poster exhibition will run until early August, and on Saturday, August 24 Square Books will hold a 40th anniversary celebration at the Lyric Theater in Oxford. The evening will feature a toast to friends, former staff and "Constant Readers," followed by live music and dancing.


'Top 10 Hidden Bookstores in NYC'

Before the death last week of legendary bookseller Michael Seidenberg, founder of Brazenhead Books, Untapped Cities had started putting together a list of the "top 10 hidden bookstores in NYC."

"We had been in the midst of communicating with him to feature Brazenhead when we heard the news," Untapped Cities wrote. "This article will conclude with a tribute to Brazenhead, though it is no longer in operation. It was a space that was characteristically New York, founded by a quintessentially New York New Yorker. So take a break from buzz of the city, and dip into one of these off the beaten path but well-worth-the-trip bookstores."


Personnel Changes at Scribner

Zoey Cole has joined Scribner as an associate marketing manager. Previously, she worked as a bookseller and events assistant at Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.



Media and Movies

Movies: The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Personal History of David Copperfield, a new take on Charles Dickens's classic novel, will open the BFI London Film Festival on October 2, Variety reported. Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop, The Death of Stalin) directed the project from a screenplay he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell. The cast includes Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie.

Iannucci called The Personal History of David Copperfield "a film about compassion, humor, generosity and friendship, and I couldn't have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it."


Books & Authors

Awards: Whiting Literary Magazine Winners

Five winners were announced for the 2019 Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes, presented by the Whiting Foundation in print and digital categories to smaller and mid-sized journals with budgets of up to $500,000. Each prize includes an outright gift in the first year, followed by "substantial matching grants in the next two years and capacity building opportunities."

The judges looked for applicants that embodied "the best of what magazines do: publish extraordinary writing with verve and flair, support talented writers on the page and in the world, connect with readers, and advance the literary community." This year's winners are:

Print Prize
The Common ($150,000 to $500,000 budget)
American Short Fiction (under $150,000 budget)

Print Development Grant
Black Warrior Review

Digital Prize
The Margins

Digital Development Grant
The Offing


Reading with... Waubgeshig Rice

photo: Rey Martin

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel, Legacy, followed in 2014. He works as a multi-platform journalist for the CBC in Sudbury, Ont. In 2014, he received the Anishinabek Nation's Debwewin Citation for Excellence in First Nation Storytelling. His latest novel is Moon of the Crusted Snow (ECW Press).

On your nightstand now: 

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead, Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq, The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai, The Boat People by Sharon Bala and a few ARCs by exciting authors that I'm eager to dive into.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I read the first three books in Stephen King's Dark Tower series by the time I was 12, and those really locked me into the fantasy genre for the rest of my teenage years. That also opened the door to science fiction for me, which also changed my reading life. 

Your top five authors:

Richard Wagamese, Lee Maracle, Thomas King, Richard Van Camp, Eden Robinson.

Book you've faked reading:

I haven't fake-read any books, but there are many I haven't finished. I started Moby-Dick by Herman Melville last summer, but I'm still not through it. One of my favourite albums of all time--Leviathan by Mastodon--is based on it, so I wanted to know the origins of some of the references. I'll try again this summer!

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp is one of the quintessential novels about the young Indigenous experience. I read it in my early 20s, and it touched me unlike any other book had. At that point in my life, it was one of the few times I'd seen experiences similar to mine reflected on the page. Although it was published more than two decades ago, its characters and themes are still deeply resonant today.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I think pretty much any edition has a beetle or cockroach on the cover. I'd heard about the book as a teen, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to buy it. I don't think I've read it since, though.

Book you hid from your parents:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, but only because of all the drug use and references. Little did I know my parents weren't really concerned about that. They probably preferred me reading about drugs to actually doing them.

Book that changed your life:

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King, because it was a widely revered novel in the Canadian mainstream about Indigenous people. It was one of the first books I read by an Indigenous author, and it opened my eyes to the possibility of sharing our stories and experiences in this medium. It also made me laugh unlike any other book had.

Favorite line from a book:

"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." That's from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I read that book shortly after moving to Toronto for university, and it taught me about the shared struggles of so-called marginalized peoples at a crucial time in my life. Black, Indigenous and many other people of color have to work harder to have their voices heard, and I felt a real kinship with the protagonist and his wider community.

Five books you'll never part with:

Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, There There by Tommy Orange, The Break by Katherena Vermette, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott,and In the Cage by Kevin Hardcastle--on top of all the other books I already mentioned.

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

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, only because I've never reacted to any other book in that way.

Books you like to read to your child:

When I was the same age as my son (two), there weren't any widely available kids' books with Indigenous characters. Thankfully my wife and I can read him an array of children's titles by Indigenous authors and artists, like Little You by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett; Blackflies by Robert Munsch and Jay Odjick; You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel; When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett; and Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk and Alexandria Neonakis.


Book Review

Review: Everything Inside

Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf, $25.95 hardcover, 240p., 9780525521273, August 27, 2019)

Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat (The Art of Death, Claire of the Sea Light) opens up the complexity of immigrant lives in her finely tuned and penetrating story collection Everything Inside.

The eight stories consider emigration from Haiti and immigration to the United States. The emotional tenor that binds them is one of estrangement, of immigrants torn between the old country and the new, between the promise of a new life and the reality of America. These stories also focus on family and how immigration affects subsequent generations, examining the distance between first-generation immigrants and their children. Though the characters in each story are different and not linked, Danticat follows similar themes, unearthing common experiences and crafting a mosaic of hope, regret and perseverance. The title is apt, referring to all that these characters carry inside them as they migrate from one life to the next.

"This country makes you do bad things," the narrator's immigrant friend says about the U.S. in "Dosas," the first story of the collection. The story reveals deep alienation and loneliness as a tight group of Haitian Americans finally breaks apart. "In the Old Days" features a young narrator, the daughter of immigrants, meeting her father for the first time, a man who returned to Haiti after the dictatorship fell. It explores how marriages are affected by the split loyalties of diaspora, with some choosing to stay in the new country and others feeling obligated to return. "Without Inspection" focuses on the harrowing journey migrants make from impoverished Haiti and Cuba to the glittering towers of Miami. Falling to his death, the main character of the story recalls his journey at sea and others who perished. Soon to become a ghost, he considers how his presence in the U.S. as an undocumented worker was already ghost-like. The story is tragic yet tinged with wistfulness, as though the man's longing will survive death and help others on their journey.

The most powerful story in the collection is "Sunrise, Sunset," which centers on an elderly Haitian American woman suffering from dementia. Her memories and emotions are confused, but she's cognizant enough to notice that her daughter is lacking as a mother to her newborn son. The old woman still remembers the dictatorship in Haiti and feels her daughter, safe in the U.S., doesn't know true suffering. Here Danticat examines first-world obliviousness and the resentment those who have fled violence and poverty sometimes feel toward their more fortunate children and friends. But it's also a story about the strength of family, how each generation is bound together, even in the face of mental decline. Danticat captures dementia perfectly and provides an emotionally charged climax that's hard to forget.

Everything Inside thrums with humanity. Danticat is a master of mood and subtlety. As quiet and understated as these stories are, the reader will come away with a deeper, richer view of immigrant communities. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: Acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat delivers a moving story collection about Haitian American immigrants.


Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: How to Open a Bookstore in New Zealand

This is perhaps the scariest venture I've undertaken but I'm loving it. Retirement can wait until I'm dead. --Deborah Coddington, owner of Martinborough Bookshop in the Wairarapa, N.Z.

ReadingRoom has been featuring an "initially occasional but now seemingly regular series" on how to open a bookstore in New Zealand, with owners sharing their origin stories. I've been hooked from the start. I love a good bookseller origin story.

Renee Rowland

In the most recent piece, Renee Rowland, one of two Kiwi booksellers who recently won scholarships to attend Wi15 next January in Baltimore, recalled her journey to the 2017 opening of the Twizel Bookshop in Twizel, South Canterbury.

"Owning my own bookshop was always a dream," she said. "Like winning Lotto or going on holiday to the moon. It was never something I purposely worked towards, just something to dream of."

After college, she had gone to Europe and worked in corporate communications for nearly a decade before deciding "it was time to get a life. I bought a bicycle and pedaled for 18 months in a south east direction, buying myself a liminal period. It simplified life: food, water, shelter and books. I reread Harry Potter while crossing the Chinese desert. Found comfort in Middlemarch on the cold nights of the Iranian desert. Was consumed by Cormac McCarthy when crossing the Nullarbor."

Visiting small bookshops in Tasmania, she began thinking, "Wouldn't that be nice." As she got closer to home, Rowland "decided to find a job in a bookshop and enjoy simple things. A fixed abode, cups of tea, conversations with friends, bookshelves and gardens. I finished the 33,000 km. bike ride in Spring Grove, Nelson, and wrote earnest letters to bookshops looking for work. No one replied."

The Twizel Bookshop

The final moment of inspiration occurred while she was cleaning holiday houses in Twizel for a summer. Rowland decided to stay on and open her own bookshop: "I was determined to give it a go, one shot at what I loved and what I knew. I found a space in Twizel's marketplace: a very small space.... I made shelves out of MDF and plywood. My first attempt at a window display was a selection of books that had been movies, decorated by floppy, lackluster paper decorations. Inside the shop, the books sat face out on the shelves to hide the space needing to be filled. Half of them were secondhand from my own collection."

On a Monday morning two years later, "kids count in te reo during Fluffy Bookclub. A neon light glows warmly with BOOKS all night long, bunting flaps gaily across the ceiling, the shelves are tightly packed and books overflow from stacks and baskets on the ground.... But for now we'll stay warm inside, surrounded by books," Rowland wrote.

Martinborough Bookshop

Coddington, a former Act Party MP and a writer who opened Martinborough Bookshop in May, observed: "I could have enjoyed a retired life among the vines, escaping in winter to suck up champagne on luxurious cruises, but I cashed in my term investment and poured it into a bookstore in Martinborough. What the hell made me choose a so-called dying industry to compete with Amazon? My restless energy has never left me in peace."

She added: "And I'm damn well enjoying being an independent in a small rural town, where the positive support is extreme. It's many a long year since Martinborough boasted a bookshop--in the 1970s, locals reckon. My store is beautiful, influenced by those I've haunted on trips to London, Texas, New York, and San Francisco. My books aren't displayed with their backs to the customers, stiffly sulking in standing rows. Designers, I know, design covers before they consider spines, and book lovers feast their eyes on and caress glorious covers before opening them to study the endpapers and browse contents."

Wendy Barrow, who opened Red Books last month, recalled: "People said no one will come, it's Greymouth. Well people here are reading Moravia and Dostoevsky and a lot more I can tell ya. The idea to open a second-hand bookstore in Greymouth came about as a way to exit living in Invercargill. After 12 years there I wanted to go home, north and west and out of the southerly, to swim and to read. I quit work."

After numerous book scouting adventures throughout the region to acquire inventory, she focused on naming her prospective bookshop: "The contenders were Bookjoy, Mabo Books , Barrow Books, The Booksmith, Primo Libre--then out of the blue came Red." Next up was finding a location: "Although downtown Greymouth is dying and buildings are empty, the leases are outrageous," but eventually she discovered that another business was closing, and within three months she had the keys.

On opening day for Red Books, "there was a full moon and the morning was frosty as the potbelly stove got cranked up, and roared with macrocarpa. People came in, looked at books, bought books. Across the road the Grey Star newspaper is printed daily and you can watch it whirling out as you sit in our front, sunny window. Welcome to Red Books."

In a Booksellers NZ column this week, Coddington wrote: "In the end I knew in my heart Martinborough needed a good bookshop, even though come countdown to opening day I was terrified.... But I've been pleasantly surprised with results. Good books do sell well. Choosing and marketing books is fun. I can sell what I love and I'm loving that I moved along what now seems a logical path from writing, publishing, editing to selling books."

--Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives at Fresh Eyes Now)

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