Shelf Awareness for Monday, September 23, 2019

Yearling Books: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Pantheon Books: Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Scholastic Press: The Guardian Test (Legends of Lotus Island #1) by Christina Soontornvat, illustrated by Kevin Hong

Tor Books: The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson

Quotation of the Day

Handselling: 'A Way to Make a Difference in the World'

"After getting out of school it was initially very hard to find a job, so I did a bunch of different things before getting into bookselling. And although I love it, at first, I struggled a little bit philosophically, because I still have a lot of friends who are on the front lines, who I see doing organizing and activism work, and sometimes I would feel like, what am I even doing?

"But I had such a moment at the first Winter Institute [Memphis, 2018] because other booksellers of color would literally come up to me and point to me and see my name and say hey, you're one of us, we stick together, we're enacting change in our own way here. That was such a turning point for me because the reason I am still in bookselling, aside from just loving it, is that for me, handselling those books to people who otherwise have not seen themselves in literature is a way to make a difference in the world, person by person, book by book."

--Mariana Calderon, store manager at Second Star to the Right Books, Denver, Colo., in Bookselling This Week's new "Bookselling's Next Generation" interview series 

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon


Sausalito Books by the Bay Opening in October

Cheryl Popp, a longtime resident and local business woman, is opening Sausalito Books by the Bay in Sausalito, Calif., with a grand opening scheduled for October 10. The store, located in the space where Book Passage had a branch until June, will offer "specially curated books for the local community and its many visitors, as well as merchandise that is unique to Sausalito. Decorative interior décor accessories, table top and high caliber gifts and nautical swag will be available. Gourmet picnics to grab and go prepared by local chefs are also planned." The book section will include bestsellers, classics, kids' books, cookbooks, travel, regional titles and as well as a nautical & maritime section and local authors showcase.

The store has been completely remodeled and will host author events, literary salons, book clubs, writing workshops, a Mother Goose Children's Story Time and other special events. A community supported bookstore membership program has also been launched. The store will also offer home delivery to Sausalito residents.

Cheryl Popp

"Our goal is to really engage the local community--the residents, the local organizations, other merchants--as well as the visitors who flock to Sausalito," Popp said. "We're selling books and some very lovely merchandise, but we're also selling community." She added that independent businesses, particularly bookstores, need "a sustainable business model which involves cross-merchandising, targeted marketing and community engagement."

Sausalito Books by the Bay will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day and has an extensive staff with bookselling experience (see their bios here). "Our booksellers are top notch," Popp commented. "They love books and can provide far more insight and authenticity than an online retail experience."

A bookstore event host, Popp has worked in several corporations, including Credit Suisse First Boston and Pacific Gas & Electric, is a former president of the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Sausalito Business Advisory Committee, and Flag Officer on the board of the Sausalito Yacht Club. She currently chairs the Sausalito-Cascais Sister City program, under which she manages a youth sailing exchange program between the SYC and the Clube Naval in Cascais, Portugal and led the campaign for the development of a new plaza (Praca de Cascais) in downtown Sausalito. She is also a founding director and curator for the Sausalito Film Festival, serves on the board of the Marin Humane Society and is a member of the Sausalito Beautiful Advisory Board. She is an active member of the Sausalito Woman's Club and was the 2011 recipient of the Spirit of Marin award. As if that all hasn't been enough to keep her busy, she is a published writer, former radio talk show host and journalist.

GLOW: Putnam: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

NCIBA Fall Discovery Show

Some 325 booksellers gathered this weekend in Burlingame, Calif., for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association's Fall Discovery Show, which executive director Calvin Crosby described as lively, engaged and featuring a constant "hum of excitement." 

"I heard from six different people that our show was 'buzzy,' " reported Crosby. "People were always talking to each other."

City Lights' Paul Yamazaki with Andy Weinberger, owner of Readers' Books and author of the novel An Old Man's Game.

With a merger between the NCIBA and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association likely on the horizon, the show may prove to be the last NCIBA show as such. Crosby said the merger with SCIBA was a continuous topic of conversation and noted that when the merger talks began, there were members who were opposed. But now, he continued, "everyone sounds excited or says they're excited or has ideas," and during the association's annual meeting, an informal poll showed that the majority of members were in favor of the merger.

Crosby said the associations are looking at the merger as a chance to "change the regional identity" and an opportunity to assess all the things that the NCIBA and SCIBA have done historically and find ways to combine and improve those practices. The possibility for a fresh start, he added, is inspiring people.

The regional was also the final NCIBA show for retiring American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher, who received a spontaneous standing ovation during the annual meeting. Crosby remarked that "as we all jumped to our feet," it struck him that when Teicher became CEO, the relationship between the ABA and the regionals "wasn't this friendly." He added: "That standing ovation really shows what Oren has done in his tenure as CEO with the regionals."

Tribute to the Tuckers: (l.-r.) Calvin Crosby, Margie Scott Tucker, Michael Tucker, Ann Seaton

NCIBA members also said farewell to Michael Tucker and Margie Scott Tucker of Books Inc., who are retiring in October. Ann Seaton, the NCIBA's operations director, presented the Tuckers with an original work of art featuring remarks and remembrances about them gathered from NCIBA staff.

With the Global Climate Strike beginning on the same day as the show, NCIBA brought in Coral Honey, a personal Zero Waste Coach to offer advice on how to reduce waste at work and home. The association also banned single-use water bottles at meals, opting instead for water pitchers, and Ingram sponsored reusable water bottles for attending booksellers.

For the first time, the NCIBA held a silent auction to raise funds for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. Many of the items up for auction were made by NCIBA members and staff, and the auction raised around $2,700. Crosby noted that, afterward, several frontline booksellers who are artists approached him about getting involved with the next such auction.

Mutha Chucka's Drag Queen Storytime, with help from Shelf Awareness's Kristianne Huntsberger.

Other highlights included a Drag Queen Storytime with Mutha Chucka, who kicked off the trend when she began reading at Books Inc. some six years ago; a "Mythbusters" session about the romance genre that saw huge attendance; a reconfigured exhibition hall that met with a lot of enthusiasm; and fantastic author talks, including one from Saaed Jones that brought many in the audience to tears. --Alex Mutter

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Love & Other Scams by Philip Ellis

Bookish Emmy Winners

At last night's Emmy Awards, HBO's critically acclaimed Chernobyl was the major winner among book-related shows, garnering three trophies, while Game of Thrones picked up two, including the big one--outstanding drama series. Bookish Emmy winners in major categories included:

Chernobyl, based on many sources, including Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich: outstanding limited series; Johan Renck (director, limited series); Craig Mazin (writing, limited series, movie or drama) (Note: Mazin shared his "bibliography of sorts" on Twitter.)

Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series: outstanding drama series; Peter Dinklage (supporting actor, drama series)

Killing Eve, based on Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings: Jodie Comer (lead actress, drama series)

Fosse/Verdon, based in part on Sam Wasson's book Fosse: Michelle Williams (lead actress, limited series or movie)

A Very English Scandal, based on John Preston's book A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of Establishment: Ben Whishaw (supporting actor, limited series or movie)

Booksellers Support #GlobalClimateStrike

Indie booksellers across the U.S. supported Friday's Global Climate Strike in many ways, as this sampling from social media shows:

Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, Mass.: "At Trident, we stand with all those marching for Climate Action today, and we've put together a bit of a reading list in case you've missed the fact the world is ending."

The Mitten Word Bookshop, Marshall, Mich.: "A big Thank You and Shout out to the Battle Creek Enquirer for making our participation in the Global Climate Strike a lead news article. Global warming IS a potential disaster. We must act. Thank you members of the 'free press', Elena Durnbaugh, and Alyssa Keown; an independent press is the backbone of a true democracy! Thanks also to Jim Haadsma, State Representative and John La Pietra, Green Party candidate, both of whom marched with us from start to finish."

Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt.: "Scenes from the Climate Change strike downtown earlier today."

Dudley's Bookshop Café, Bend, Ore.: "As the first bookstore in the country to be a 1% for the Planet member, of course we're supporting today's Climate Strike. We'll be open for anyone that wants/needs to hang out but not ringing up any sales from 4-6pm. Get out there and let the folks in charge know how you feel."

Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis, Minn.: "What YOUth Can Do: Although Wild Rumpus is open today, we stand with the youth who went on strike to demand climate action. Check out our display of books about climate change, environmental justice, and youth activism."

Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.: "One of the marchers from today's Climate Strike stopped by to pass on an important message (and to pick up a new book)."

Book + Bottle, Saint Petersburg, Fla.: "Care about the planet? We do too! Check out Book + Bottle's environmental policy, some new book recommendations, and some pics of the #shopdogs at the St. Pete #climatestrike!"

Francie & Finch Bookshop, Lincoln, Neb.: "These kids came to town all the way from Central City to march to the Capitol with their message today!"

Jackson Hole Book Trader, Jackson, Wyo.: "But you must not spend all of your time dreaming, or see this as some political fight to win. And you must not gamble your children's future on the flip of a coin. Instead, you must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option. //Greta Thunberg, Speech to the US Congress, 9/19/2019."

Yardstick Books, Algoma, Wis.: " 'To fight for climate justice is to fight for the equality of all human beings. Our planet is asking for our help.' --Daphne Frias."

The Silver Unicorn Bookstore
, Acton, Mass.: "We're back open now, and we'll be hosting the first meeting of the Action Silent Book Club at 7 pm. Earlier today, Paul wrote in our newsletter about why we decided to close for the bulk of the day."

"No one can be certain that any of this will lead to change," Silver Unicorn owner Paul Swydan wrote. "But at our employee meeting on Tuesday, we decided that closing until 5 p.m. was the right thing to do. It was asked of small businesses to close for a period of time today to show that our climate crisis calls for anything but 'business as usual.' And it isn't."


Image of the Day: The Strenuous Life in Albuquerque

Bookworks in Albuquerque, N.Mex., hosted a talk by local author Ryan Swanson about his new book, The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete (Diversion Books). Pictured: (l.-r.) bookseller Shelly Barnett, Swanson, store owner Wyatt Wegrzyn, bookseller Christine Dickey.

Personnel Changes at Penguin Random House

Cathy de la Cruz has been promoted to metadata manager for online & digital sales at Penguin Random House. She was previously a coordinator for PRH Publisher Services.

Jessalyn Foggy has joined the Random House Group's marketing team as senior marketing manager, Convergent Books. Foggy was most recently at HarperCollins Christian Publishers.

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services Adds 12 Clients

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services is providing full sales representation and distribution for:

Syncretic Press, which publishes children's books in Spanish by authors from Spanish-speaking countries. (Effective October 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

Elemental Music, a music publisher in Spain that works with estates and major record companies, publishing books that frequently feature never-before-seen photos of music icons and commentary from such industry luminaries as Quincy Jones and Howard Mandel. (September 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

SendPoints Publishing Co. Ltd., which publishes graphic art and design books that cover a range of topics from art and culture to product design to architecture for designers and the design industry. (July 1, worldwide.)

Dry Climate Studios, which publishes children's books about cities and regions across the U.S., including pictures books and board books. (May 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

CityFiles Press, whose titles, such as Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II and Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, aim to have both emotional and artistic impact. (April 1, worldwide.)

The Center for Railroad Photography and Art, a not-for-profit arts and education organization founded in 1997 that publishes books featuring images of railroading. (April 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., the religious book publisher whose list includes academic and reference works in theology and history, popular titles in literature, and children's books about family and adventure. (June 1 for select international markets only.)

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services is providing sales representation and distribution from the BTPS Christian sales force and including information about them in the seasonal BTPS Christian catalogs distributed within the CBA for:

Square Halo Books, a Christian publisher of works that "present contextually sensitive biblical studies as well as practical instruction consistent with the Doctrines of the Reformation." Its titles ranges from examinations of C.S. Lewis's works to art books featuring Christian themes. (September 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

PrayerShop Publishing, the publishing arm of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and the Church Prayer Leaders Network, which publishes resources by ministry veterans about new ideas and tools for developing prayer. (September 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

A&N Media (The Catholic Planner), creator of the Catholic Planner, used by thousands of Catholics to keep their lives organized and focused on Christ throughout the year. (March 1 for the U.S. & Canada.)

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services is providing fulfillment and third-party logistics services for:

The Good Book Company, an international Christian publisher that creates resources for churches, including Bibles, Bible studies, books, devotionals, and more. Its books are used throughout the English-speaking world and have been translated into 35 languages. (September 1.)

Marshall Cavendish Education, an academic publisher of K-12 math books for almost 40 years whose mission is to revitalize mathematics. Its list features math textbooks, workbooks, digital curricula, and professional development works for educators. (June 1.)

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sara Quin, Tegan Quin on Fresh Air

Today Show: Bobby Flay, co-author of Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors from My Kitchen: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $32.50, 9780385345910).

Good Morning America: Whoopi Goldberg, author of The Unqualified Hostess (Rizzoli, $35, 9780847866984). She will also appear tomorrow on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Fresh Air: Sara Quin and Tegan Quin, authors of High School (MCD/FSG, $27, 9780374169947).

NPR's All Things Considered: Chanel Miller, author of Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking, $28, 9780735223707). She will also appear tomorrow on Morning Edition, CBS This Morning and PBS NewsHour.

The View: Bob Iger, author of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company (Random House, $28, 9780399592096). He will also appear today on Live with Kelly and Ryan and Good Morning America and tomorrow on CBS This Morning.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Paul McCartney, author of Hey Grandude! (Random House, $17.99, 9780525648673).

Today Show: Ivan Orkin, co-author of The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9781328954350).

NPR's 1A: Nefertiti Austin, author of Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America (Sourcebooks, $25.99, 9781492679011).

Ellen: Demi Moore, author of Inside Out: A Memoir (Harper, $27.99, 9780062049537). She will also appear on the Tonight Show.

The View: Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Water Dancer: A Novel (One World, $28, 9780399590597).

Books & Authors

Awards: NBA for Fiction Longlist

The longlist for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction consists of:

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Random House)
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi (Holt)
Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (One World/PRH)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Riverhead)
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami (Pantheon)
Black Light: Stories by Kimberly King Parsons (Vintage)
The Need by Helen Phillips (S&S)
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (Knopf)
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin)
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Finalists will be unveiled on October 8, and the winners announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 20 in New York City.

Midwest Connections October Picks

The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association has selected its Midwest Connections Picks for October. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians, and the Weird in Flyover Country by B.J. Hollars (University of Nebraska Press, $19.95, 9781496215604). "Midwestern Strange chronicles B.J. Hollars' exploration of the mythic, lesser-known oddities of flyover country, from bipedal wolf sightings to run-ins with pancake-flipping space aliens."

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 9780374277789). "A tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century: a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the New Right."

We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund (Philomel, $17.99, 9780525518006). "It's been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving a whole generation of Mercerites dead in its wake. And when another tornado touches down in the same spot on the anniversary of this tragedy, loners Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller find their lives intersecting alongside some of the town's long-gone inhabitants."

A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by (Carolrhoda Books, $17.99, 9781541538368). "As the seasons change, so too does a young Hmong American girl's world. She moves into a new home with her family and encounters both birth and death."

Book Review

Review: Ghosts of Berlin

Ghosts of Berlin: Stories by Rudolph Herzog, trans. by Emma Rault (Melville House, $17.99 paperback, 192p., 9781612197517, October 8, 2019)

No matter how much it changes, no matter how far it's come, a city will always be shaped by its past. German writer and filmmaker Rudolph Herzog (A Short History of Nuclear Folly) delivers a splendid and eerie collection of short fiction set at the epicenter of Germany's wildest history in Ghosts of Berlin.

In the vibrant, cosmopolitan 21st century, Berlin and its denizens still grapple with memories of fearsome, mournful events dating back to when the Nazis ruled and when the Stasi lurked. Such intimidating figures make fine specters for the seven spooky stories Herzog has crafted, and yet the realism with which he writes unsettles readers further, as they recall the horrible truth to these fictions.

Beginning with "Tandem," the collection sets an assured pace. Dimitri, a young Greek professional with a history of asthma, relocates to Berlin for a promising new employment opportunity. As he settles in, he looks for a language partner to help him brush up on his German. Lotte connects with him immediately, a pleasant if mildly unnerving woman of indeterminate age, who nurtures a strong preoccupation with Greece. Before long, the guilt she feels for the Nazi occupation of Dimitri's country bursts to the surface, manifesting before his eyes with shocking severity.

Herzog has a knack for summoning the uncanny into otherwise austere, modern settings, and further twisting its presence into a foreboding paranoia. In "Ball Lightning," Anna Berkenbrick, a Ph.D. candidate, is about to bed handsome Alex Engel, a classmate, when her alcoholic mother bursts into the room shouting, "This place is haunted!" The fumbling romance, interrupted by drunken histrionics, is then gradually and chillingly rounded out by intimate interviews Alex conducts with a former Stasi spy for his thesis.

But imposing government officers aren't the only shadows lurking in the unlit corners down Bergmannstrasse. The merciless onslaught of gentrification conjures a certain type of poltergeist inside an unsuspecting tenant's new apartment in the collection's most traditional ghost story, "Ifrit." And in "Double-Decker," a staunch market researcher is tasked with tracking a suspected revenant, one of many "who walk this Earth but who in reality are dead."

A shrewd and provocative collection of fiction, Ghosts of Berlin is translated into English by the equally sharp Emma Rault. The plots are thick, and the twists are powerful. Be sure to check the closets and under the bed before the lights go out. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Berlin's sometimes sordid past bears down ominously upon unsuspecting residents of the 21st century in filmmaker Rudolph Herzog's eerie collection of short fiction.

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