Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 22, 2020: Maximum Shelf: Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Dutton Books: Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie

Disney-Hyperion: The Mirror Broken Wish (Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao

Basic Books: Dog-Eared: Poems about Humanity's Best Friend by Duncan Wu

Abrams Comicarts: Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America by Tommy Jenkins, illustrated by Kati Lacker

Quotation of the Day

'It's Happening in Baltimore!'

"This week is the annual bookseller convention and this year, it's happening in Baltimore! Odds of an encounter in the wild are high; you'll know them by the volume of tote bags, and their possible griping about various shipping and packing materials. Be kind--they're the best people! Picture is of international booksellers stopping at Greedy Reads in Fells as part of their Baltimore bookstore tour. They filled the space beautifully!"

--Greedy Reads, Baltimore, Md., in a Facebook post yesterday

University of California Press: Deviant Opera by Axel Englund


News

Welcome to Wi15!

The 15th annual ABA Winter Institute kicked off last night with a packed reception at the Hilton in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The conference continues for the rest of the week with a busy schedule of panels, meetings, presentations, author events and much more.

GLOW: Tor Books: The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey


Wi15: Tributes to Oren Teicher

Oren Teicher and ABA COO Joy Dallanegra-Sanger

Late last night, attendees and guests filled the ballroom at the Winter Institute in Baltimore to toast and thank and share stories about Oren Teicher, who retired last November 1 after a 30-year career at the American Booksellers Association, the last 10 of which he was CEO. The crowd included many retired booksellers, retired ABA staff members, former regional booksellers association directors and others who made the special effort to travel to Baltimore for the occasion, as did many members of his family. Periodically during the program video tributes ran from people unable to attend--from Penguin Random House's Markus Dohle to many booksellers--who lauded Teicher and all he did for booksellers, books, authors and the book business in general during his ABA career. Fittingly, there were many laughs and many more tears and moments of choking up.

Seven past ABA presidents offered a "proclamation" in honor of Oren Teicher.

Speakers included current ABA president Jamie Fiocco, former ABAer and Tattered Cover co-owner Len Vlahos, ABA COO Joy Dellanegra-Sanger, and ABA senior strategy officer Dan Cullen. Seven former ABA presidents--Richard Howorth, Betsy Burton, Gayle Shanks, Ann Christopherson, Becky Anderson, Robert Sindelar and Mitchell Kaplan (l. to r. in photo)--donned giraffe hats (in honor of the many images of giraffes hanging on the walls of Teicher's house) for a skit honoring him.

Shelf Awareness's Jenn Risko and John Mutter

Jenn Risko, co-founder and publisher of Shelf Awareness, talked about how much working with Teicher had meant to her, saying, in part, "There are a lot of entrepreneurs in our audience, so I know you'll get this when I say that when you start a business, you believe that one of the major benefits of self-employment is not having a boss. You crave independence and autonomy. But the best bosses advise and encourage you, advocate on your behalf, and provide invaluable leadership. So once John and I started the Shelf, I didn't have a boss, but I had Oren, who wasn't a boss exactly, but he was someone I respected and whose wisdom I eventually treasured, and who in so many ways became that best-of-all-possible bosses. He was the first person to tell us when the Shelf did something good, but importantly was also the first person to say when we fell short. He mentored me, led me, and pushed me to think of all the ways we could help our booksellers. And if there's one word that I associate with Oren the Boss, it is that he is unfailingly honest, a characteristic I have both admired and, at times, feared....

"The lessons we've enjoyed because of him will always be with us. They are: Be colossal. Be relentless. Be honest, even when it's hard. And perhaps his most important lesson that we watched him do for over 30 years in his extraordinary career: Count yourself lucky if you get to work at something you genuinely care about."

Dan Cullen and the ABA staff

At the end of the tribute, Oren Teicher took the podium to thank numerous people and groups, including his family; friends throughout the business; ABA board members, presidents, volunteers; the ABA staff ("the best trade association staff ever assembled, anywhere, anytime"); and international booksellers.

Last, he thanked ABA member booksellers, saying, "We've weathered many storms, but you're here, contrary to what many predicted. Your resilience, your entrepreneurship, your sense of community is nothing short of extraordinary. The fact that this room is filled tonight and this Institute sold out within hours of when registration opened is testimony to what each and every one of you has accomplished. And, for me, looking out and seeing so many new and younger faces in this audience can't help but give me enormous confidence in the future....

"Working on your behalf has been an honor. And, though this does mark the end of my ABA career, I hardly expect to totally disappear and I'm hopeful that our paths will cross again in the future."

Teicher recalled Senator Edward Kennedy's speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention acknowledging that his campaign for the presidency, which Teicher worked on, was over. Teicher commented: "He said that the signs had come down and the bands had stopped playing, but he knew that the work would go on, the cause would endure, and the dream that he had fought for all across the country, that dream would never die. And so, my friends, for me tonight, my campaign, too, has come to an end. But as sure as I'm standing here in Baltimore tonight, I know that our work will go on, our cause will endure, and our dream of a vibrant profitable indie bookstore in every town and city in America--I know that dream will never, ever die."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens


NCIBA & SCIBA Officially Merge, Form CALIBA

The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association have officially completed their merger, creating a single regional association covering the entirety of California that is called the California Independent Booksellers Alliance, or CALIBA.

The new association's board includes booksellers from across the state, and a committee of booksellers and publisher reps located throughout California helped oversee the transition. The first official CALIBA events will be a Spring Workshop held in San Diego, Calif., on March 8, followed by a second Spring Workshop slated for March 29 in San Francisco. The Fall Discovery Lab is scheduled to run  September 23-25 in South San Francisco, and CALIBA will also host a one-day Fall Workshop in the Los Angeles metro area.

Even before the merger, the two associations were frequent collaborators. In 2011, they fought for tax equalization against online competitors and in 2013 they created California Bookstore Day, which eventually grew into the nationwide Independent Bookstore Day. And starting in 2017, they worked together to produce joint Summer and Fall book catalogues.


Peachtree Publishing Company: Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa Papp


B&N CEO James Daunt One of Three New NBF Board Members

The National Book Foundation has appointed three new members of the board of directors, bringing the board's total to 22. The new members are:

James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble, who is also managing director of Waterstones and founder and owner of Daunt Books.

Amandeep Kochar, executive v-p and general manager of Baker & Taylor, responsible for B&T's public library sales, product & technology operations, customer service, content and strategic partnerships as well as the company's international subsidiaries in the U.K., Mexico and Australia, and Baker & Taylor Publisher Services. He also heads joint international sales and global technology operations for B&T and Follett School Solutions, the organization's pre K-12 business.

Kimball Hastings, v-p of global communications at Ralph Lauren, where he oversees luxury marketing and talent relations strategy. Earlier, he spent five years at Teen Vogue, first as online editor before becoming senior editor in the features department. He began his career at Harper's Bazaar, where he collaborated on the launch of the magazine's first website, then became online editor.

Board chairman David Steinberger said the trio "bring with them significant corporate leadership experience as well as a deep commitment to the written word."

Noting that "all of NBF's work is done with the aim to reach as many communities of readers as possible," executive director Lisa Lucas said that the new board members "will have valuable input on broadening the work of the Foundation, will work to secure additional resources for the organization, and can help spread the word about the Foundation's work to communities far and wide."


Berkley Books: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous


Loyalty Bookstore Signs Long-Term Lease for Silver Spring Location

Loyalty Bookstore's second location, in downtown Silver Spring, Md., which began as a holiday pop-up shop two years ago and became a bricks-and-mortar location last fall, will remain in the neighborhood for the foreseeable future, thanks to a new long-term lease.

“It has been too long since Silver Spring had a permanent new bookstore," said founder and co-owner Hannah Oliver Depp. Prior to opening the Silver Spring location, Loyalty Bookstore was also a fixture at the downtown Silver Spring Farmer's Market. "The resurgence of independent bookstores across the country has found a home in Downtown Silver Spring thanks to the great landlord partners we have in Pertersons."

The Silver Spring location will be closed for the rest of January while the store undergoes some light renovations designed to make more of the space accessible to customers. Depp and her team are planning for a grand reopening in early February.

In early 2019, Depp purchased the Washington, D.C., indie Upshur Street Books from original owner Paul Ruppert and reopened it as Loyalty Bookstore following a renovation, name change and shift in focus to diverse and intersectional fiction and nonfiction, as well as children's books. Last spring, she added Gene Taft as a partner investor and marketing strategist.

Nell Painter Named New MacDowell Colony Chair

Nell Painter

Artist and author Nell Painter (The History of White People; Old in Art School) has been named chair of the board of directors of the MacDowell Colony, one of the nation's leading contemporary arts organizations. Painter is taking over from author Michael Chabon, who has held the role since 2010.

"The challenge of following the singular eloquence of Michael Chabon as MacDowell chairman gives me pause. But as the first 'madam chairman' I relish the prospect of representing MacDowell and its far-flung Fellows," said Painter, who has been a two-time MacDowell Fellow. "I want to thank the board and staff for their support and trust as I step into this role, and, as a recent Fellow, I want also to thank them for creating a space where I could not only do my work in peace, but also slough off the burden of tokenism."

Painter, who graduated from Harvard, was the Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University and has written seven books about the American South. After retiring from academia in 2005, she earned a B.F.A. in art from Rutgers and an M.F.A. in painting from Rhode Island School of Design.

Each year, MacDowell awards more than 300 Fellowships to artists working in seven disciplines. Fellows can stay at the colony for up to eight weeks, and receive a private studio, accommodations and three meals per day.


Notes

American Dirt: Book Club Pick for B&N and Oprah

No Walls: Eagle Eye Books, Decatur, Ga., created this display of a wall being knocked down to promote its upcoming event with Jeanine Cummins. The store is donating some of the proceeds from sales of American Dirt to Inspiritus Immigrant and Refugee Services. 
Barnes & Noble has chosen American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (Flatiron, $27.99, 9781250209764) as its February national book club selection. The novel, which was published yesterday, will be the focus of a book club night at B&N stores around the country on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m.

Liz Harwell, B&N's senior director of merchandising, trade books, described American Dirt as "a heart-racing page turner that takes readers into the heart of the migrant crisis."

"This story came about because I felt there was a dueling narrative about migrants from each side of the political spectrum where the actual people involved were forgotten," said author Jeanine Cummins. "I wanted to write a novel to hopefully start a new conversation about migrants as human beings, and so I am delighted to know that book clubs around the country will be discussing American Dirt." For more information on the event, click here.

In addition, Oprah Winfrey has chosen American Dirt as her latest book club pick. As quoted by O: The Oprah Magazine, Oprah said, "Like so many of us, I've read newspaper articles and watched television news stories and seen movies about the plight of families looking for a better life. But this story changed the way I see what it means to be a migrant in a whole new way."

The magazine's announcement notes that the book is "already sparking lively debate," adding, "A 2013 study from the New School concluded that 'reading literature improves the capacity to identify and understand others' subjective states.' If that's true, then [American Dirt] will deepen readers' understanding of a migrant's plight."


Canadian Bookstore 'Full of Kittens & You Can Bring One Home'

Canadian bookseller Otis & Clementine's Books & Coffee in Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia, "is a heavenly stop for bookworms and cat-lovers alike" that "provides the adorable felines with a temporary home until they can be adopted," Narcity reported. Owner Ellen Helmke said they "have several kittens and usually a mama cat as well," provided by the South Paw Conservation Nova Scotia, a local rescue group. She added that "all the kittens are in and out fairly quickly, as they are adopted."


Albert Whitman & Co. Brings Sales & Distribution In-House

Effective at the beginning of the year, Albert Whitman & Company has brought all sales and distribution operations back in-house and is no longer distributed by IPG. At the same time, effective immediately, Baker & Taylor Publisher Services has entered a full-service, international-only agreement to select markets with Albert Whitman & Company.

Best known for its children's series the Boxcar Children Mysteries, Albert Whitman & Company celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. It offers titles ranging from board books to YA, as well as produces new Boxcar Children adventures, including two animated films that feature the voice talents of Martin Sheen, J.K. Simmons, and Joey King.

Customers with questions and wanting to re-establish terms can contact Albert Whitman's customer service department at 1-800-255-7675, via e-mail or via fax at 1-847-581-0039.



Media and Movies

TV: V.C. Andrews' Ruby

With V.C. Andrews's Casteel Family movie series ranking as Lifetime's #2 new drama series among womnen 25-54 for 2019, the network "will expand its footprint within the writer's universe by greenlighting a five-movie series based on the Ruby Landry novels," Deadline reported. The first of the five new original movies, V.C. Andrews' Ruby, will star Australian twins Raechelle Banno as Ruby and Karina Banno as Giselle.

The Landry Family Series is produced by Reel One Entertainment. Executive producers are Tom Berry, Dan Angel, Jane Starz and Ric Nish, and screenwriters include Richard Blaney, Gregory Small, Scarlett Lacey, Andy Cochran and Alison Lea Bingeman. Gail Harvey is set to direct Ruby.


Books & Authors

Awards: Golden Kite Winners

Winners of the 2020 Golden Kite Awards, presented to children's book authors and artists by their peers and sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, have been named. Golden Kite recipients receive a cash prize of $2,500 plus $1,000 to be donated in their name to a nonprofit of their choice. Golden Kite Honor recipients get $500 plus $250 to be donated in their name to a nonprofit of their choice. This year's winning titles are:

Golden Kite Award Winners

Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction: The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman (Nancy Paulsen Books)
Young Adult Fiction: Lovely War by Julie Berry (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Nonfiction for Younger Readers: Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Teresa Martinez (Charlesbridge)
Nonfiction for Older Readers: Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman (Holt)
Picture Book Illustration: Clever Little Witch, illustrated by Hyewon Yum, written by Muon Thị Van (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Picture Book Text: A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park by Ashley Benham Yazdani (Candlewick)
Sid Fleischman Humor Award Winner: Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai (Holt)

Golden Kite Honor Books

Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction: Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai (Holt)
Young Adult Fiction: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen)
Nonfiction for Young Readers: Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet by Curtis Manley, illustrated by Jessica Lanan (Roaring Brook Press)
Nonfiction for Older Readers: The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth by Ian Lendler, illustrated by C.M. Butzer (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Picture Book Text: The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Versify)
Picture Book Illustration: The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (little bee books)


Reading with... Jess Montgomery

photo: JP Ball Photography

Jess Montgomery is the author of the Kinship Historical Mysteries series, set in 1920s Appalachia and inspired by Ohio's true first female sheriff. The newest title is The Hollows (Minotaur, January 14, 2020). The series has garnered awards including a Montgomery County (Ohio) Arts & Cultural District (MCAD) Artist Opportunity Grant; an Individual Excellence Award in Literary Arts from the Ohio Arts Council; and a John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence appointment at Thurber House (Columbus, Ohio). Montgomery is also a newspaper columnist, focusing on the literary life, authors and events of her native Dayton, Ohio, for the Dayton Daily News.

On your nightstand now:

I'm reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. This sweeping, multi-generational tale follows a poor Korean immigrant family in Japan. I'm so awed by how Lee masters the omniscient point of view with intimacy and ease, giving me empathy with each character--so far. (I'm only a fifth of the way through, and I'm anxious for several of the characters!) Next up for me in fiction will be Circe by Madeline Miller. A re-imagining Greek mythology from a woman's point of view--yes, please!

In nonfiction, I'm reading, a bit at a time, because I wish to savor each entry, Fierce by Alice Connor. The subtitle says it all: "Women of the Bible and their Stories of Violence, Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, Sex, and Salvation." She humanizes each woman in a believable and empathetic way. Next up in nonfiction will be Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Yes, I'm behind on the reading curve!

I also always have a deep stack of mysteries that I'm longing to read. That stack includes: Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman, Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier, The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch, The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka, This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger and A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I have a two-book tie for favorite book as a child. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, which I re-read 13 times in a row in seventh grade. (I credit that book with my surviving junior high!) The other is Mystery on Hopkins Island (originally titled Turn Around Twice) by Elisabeth Ogilvie, which was already obscure by the time my Grandmother Lou found it in the "Save the Children Federation" secondhand store where she worked and sent it to me. But the novel's premise involves a young writer winning an island off the coast of Maine in an essay contest, visiting said island, solving a mystery and finding her first love. Of course, I loved it at age 13 or so! And I think it very much shaped my imagination both as a burgeoning young writer and about the possibilities that life offered outside my family and home.

Your favorite authors:

John Steinbeck, Sue Grafton, William Kent Krueger, Mary Oliver.

Book you've faked reading:

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. But I will read it all someday, for real. I promise. Really.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. I adore this novel for so many reasons: the poetic yet spare language, the deep conflict not just between characters but between community expectations and individual needs (a theme I always love), the evocation of setting. I fell in love with this book before it was adapted to film, but I also love the film. The novel runs deeper, however--and the title and the opening line capture the whole of the novel with such apparent ease that I'm left breathless with awe, both as a writer and a reader.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. To be fair, the title is as compelling as the cover.

Book you hid from your parents:

I can't think of a particular book that I hid. I had so many, either purchased or from the library, that I think controversial titles hid themselves amongst the acceptable titles. But I definitely hid my "teeny bopper" heartthrob magazines, featuring all the swoon-worthy boy bands and singers, between my box spring and mattress.

Book that changed your life:

The Christian Agnostic by Leslie D. Weatherhead. A wise Methodist minister gave me this book when I was in my 20s, after I had just left my conservative home and was struggling with many questions. I'd go so far as to say this book not only changed my life, but also saved it.

Favorite line from a book:

"The most difficult thing to read is time. Maybe because it changes so many things," from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This novel is such a mastery of structure, and thematically centers in part on the concept of time, so I believe this quote captures the heart of the story. I also love this line because I think a great deal about how both individual and cultural perceptions toward people and events can change over time.

Five books you'll never part with:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. On Writing by Stephen King. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver.

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

The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I re-read it every year or two, but always with a bit of longing for that exquisite first time of experiencing the sheer poetry and beauty of the language and story.

Books from a genre that you love that might surprise people:

Somehow, people are surprised that I love science fiction and fantasy, particularly several contemporary authors: John Scalzi, Kameron Hurley, N.K. Jemisin.


Book Review

Children's Review: The Inside Battle

The Inside Battle by Melanie Sumrow (Yellow Jacket/little bee, $16.99 hardcover, 336p., ages 12-up, 9781499809176, March 3, 2020)

In her thought-provoking sophomore novel for young adults, following The Prophet Calls, Melanie Sumrow once again takes on a familiar theme--a child trying to balance the desire to respect authority with standing up for what's right--in an unusual setting (in the case of The Inside Battle, from within a white supremacist, anti-government militia camp).

Thirteen-year-old Rebel Mercer wants two things: he wants to make it to the regionals in the school robotics competition and he wants to win his father's approval. Unfortunately, the two goals seem to be mutually exclusive. His dad is a Marine, "an actual American hero" who survived five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan before being sent home with PTSD. Unable to settle into a productive life back in Amarillo, Tex., he has instead been re-creating battle scenes on a ping-pong table in the basement, listening to talk radio about the "evils of immigrants" and chatting online with a militia group called the Flag Bearers. He believes he's being cheated out of jobs by non-white people. Seeing his son reject football in favor of robotics (or "toys," as he dismisses his son's passion) disgusts him. When Rebel's mother died last year, the buffer between father and son was lost, although Rebel's Aunt Birdie does her best to help.

In a moment of rage after Rebel's best (but secret) friend Ajeet beats him in the robotics competition, Rebel begins to wonder if his father has a point: "They steal what belongs to us," his dad says. Rebel makes an impulsive, ruinous choice and in almost no time is driving into the mountains with his father, in search of the Flag Bearers compound. At first, Rebel believes what his father tells Aunt Birdie, that they're just getting away for a while, spending time together fishing and hiking. Once he's being told to shoot human-shaped targets with a semi-automatic rifle, though, he knows this is no holiday.

Sumrow takes on an incredibly fraught subject with care and restraint, remaining firmly within Rebel's point of view as a young teen who desperately longs for his macho father's esteem even as he wages an internal battle against his racist indoctrination. His transformation from a boy who believes he has no authority over his own life to a young man who ultimately rebels against flagrant immorality is both believable and inspiring, even if his circumstances are unimaginable for most readers. Entering Rebel's world will be an eye-opening, disturbing but rewarding experience for young readers. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: In The Inside Battle, a 13-year-old trying to please his idolized father inadvertently joins a white supremacist militia.


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