Also published on this date: Thursday, April 2, 2015: Maximum Shelf: The Church of Marvels

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 2, 2015


Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton

Shadow Mountain: Christmas Jars Collector's Edition by Jason F. Wright

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoet

Katherine Tegen Books: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Canterbury Classics: Compact Novel Journals

Katherine Tegen Books: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

News

California's Granada Books Closing in May

Granada Books, Santa Barbara, Calif., which launched a crowdfunding campaign last month to stay in business, announced Tuesday that it will close in May "despite the remarkable, amazing, heartfelt, and overwhelmingly generous giving from our community." Slightly more than $20,000 was contributed; the store had wanted to raise $50,000 by the end of March.

On Facebook, the bookseller posted: "Our vision of creating a space where the people of Santa Barbara could browse the aisles of books and discover a new writer lasted but a brief moment in time. Every small business that opens its doors hopes for the best and faces the day with optimism. Our days were punctuated by your laughter, your love of books, and for that we are grateful.

"You have made us your community bookstore during our short time downtown. It was our hope to establish a legacy for Santa Barbara, but bigger forces beyond our control rule the day. Instead we have a shared dream that lasted for a nanosecond, but what a beautiful dream it was."


Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


NYC Explosion Closes Princeton Architectural Press Until Monday

Princeton Architectural Press writes:

The explosion and subsequent building collapse at the corner of Second Avenue and East Seventh Street last Thursday afternoon was a bit too close for comfort for the office of Princeton Architectural Press, located at 37 East Seventh Street, just four doors in from the corner of Second Avenue. While much of the staff was not in the office at the time, those who were felt the building shake at the moment of the blast (around 3 p.m.), then realized something more serious was taking place as sirens approached.

Lippert

The smell of smoke and the ash that blew in through the windows caused publisher Kevin Lippert to close the office for a week. The building is undergoing a thorough cleaning to ensure there are no particulates, asbestos, and other fallout from the collapse site and subsequent, ongoing demolition. The company feels fortunate that staff members were unharmed and that their building seems to have suffered no severe damage.

"Although still without phone service or heat," says Lippert, "the Press plans to reopen Monday, April 6, pending the outcome of air sample and surface swab tests in the office." Meanwhile, employees are working remotely from home. "They may need to wear an extra layer next week," Lippert adds, "since spring refuses to publish on time."


Other Press: Bookselling Without Borders Scholarship


Winning New Name for Service: Brilliant Books Monthly

After Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich., received a "cease and desist" order last month from Bookspan requiring it to come up with a new name for its Book of the Month Club, customers went to the polls this past week and voted overwhelmingly for Brilliant Books Monthly as the personalized book selection service's moniker.

Strong contenders were the Cease and Desist Book Club and Not the Book of the Month Club. More than 1,600 people voted.

"We are very glad to have turned lemons into lemonade," store owner Peter Makin said. "We were devastated when we first got the news, but our customers have rallied around and helped us choose a new name that reflects the true nature of the service."


Ingram Publisher Services: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Dundurn Press


Obituary Notes: Scott LePine; Vicki Andre; Doris Bass

The Pacific Northwest lost two beloved book people in March.

Scott LePine

Scott LePine, who more than anyone else was responsible for the development and evolution of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association trade show, died on Sunday, March 15, of complications related to Alzheimer's disease.


In the early 1970s, as the regional sales representative for Doubleday, Scott initiated the Oregon Fall Book Preview, then worked together with the Seattle booksellers who had formed  PNBA to produce an annual fall show. Scott also helped to found the Northwest Book Travelers Association. He was known as a witty and gregarious rep, scrupulous in his attention both to detail and the best places to get dinner in any Northwest town with a bookstore. He was a good and faithful friend to all who knew him and was quick to remind us what good fortune it was to be working in such an endlessly interesting business.

Vicki Andre

On Tuesday, March 24, Vicki Andre died from a severe allergic reaction. She worked for many years as a buyer at Pacific Pipeline, a regional book distributor. She was a fine and knowledgeable buyer and was a great mentor. She, like Scott, was a good and faithful friend, with a ready smile and kind heart. She also had a bit of a wild side on the dance floor, which delighted her friends and family.

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Doris Bass, who spent a lifetime passionately connecting books and readers, died peacefully in her Vermont home on March 30. She was 86. 

Doris was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Chester, where she was married in her parent's restaurant the day after graduating from Cornell University at age 20. By the time she turned 25 and her youngest child started nursery school, Doris began studying to become a librarian. "It could just as easily have been secretarial school," she said, in a profile that appeared in Working Woman magazine in 1986. "I chose library science only because they would accept me immediately without a transcript."

Doris Bass

Upon graduation, she took a job with the Brooklyn Public Library as coordinator of young adult services, promoting books she adored to the patrons she served and loved. Known for her commitment and unwillingness to take "no" for an answer, Doris and her ability to make things happen attracted the notice of publishers, and in 1971 Random House recruited her to be director of library promotions. In 1978, she moved to Bantam Books as director of school and library marketing and sales, where her career grew to include Doubleday, Dell, adult titles, supermarkets and airports before she joined Scholastic in 1991 as director of marketing in the trade book group. She worked at Scholastic until becoming an independent consultant in 2003.

Doris was the 1997 recipient of the Jeremiah Ludington Award from the Educational Paperbacks Association (now the Educational Book and Media Association), which acknowledged her "unwavering support of wholesale bookselling over many years and her generous willingness to share her knowledge of the school and library markets." She also served as a member of the EPA board in the late 1980s. An avid skier, runner, traveler, mother and grandmother, Doris moved from New York to Bondville, Vt., upon retirement, returning many times to break bread with her old publishing friends. Active in her community, Doris ran for public office multiple times in Bondville and until recently continued to ski and work at Stratton Mountain.

A memorial gathering in New York City is being planned for later this year.

Donations in Doris's memory made be made to Israel Congregation of Manchester, P.O. Box 1050, Manchester Center, Vt. 05255 or the Anti-Defamation League at 605 Third Avenue in New York City.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: Lilac Lane by Sheryl Woods


Savoy Bookshop and Cafe in Westerly, R.I., Eyes July Opening

Savoy Bookshop and Cafe, announced last year as a collaboration between the owners of Bank Square Books in Mystic, Conn., and two community developers in Westerly, R.I., is under construction in Westerly and aiming for July 1 as a prospective opening date. The two developers, Chuck Royce and his son-in-law Daniel King, were spurred into opening an independent bookstore after Westerly's only indie, Other Tiger, closed in April 2014.

Architect's rendering of the new Savoy Bookshop and Cafe (courtesy Leslie Architects)

"Other Tiger closing left a hole in our community," explained King, who works as an account director for a media production company in Brooklyn, N.Y., in addition to managing and developing property with Royce. Royce and King have overseen several community-focused development projects in Westerly, including the renovation of the Ocean House inn and the on-going renovation of the United Theatre. "Chuck is a huge community driver," King continued. "It really pushes him."

Before Other Tiger closed its doors, Royce and King had been in discussion with Robert Utter, the store's owner, potentially to buy the store and keep Utter in charge of day-to-day operations. Utter, however, eventually decided to move on from the store. Royce and King then discussed opening a bookstore of their own, but neither of them had the necessary knowledge or experience.

"Chuck has always felt strongly about making sure there was a bookstore in the community," recalled King. "We thought, that's great, but who's going to be the one to run it?"

To that end, Royce and King turned to Bank Square Books, which is six miles away from downtown Westerly. King didn't know co-owner Annie Philbrick but had been a longtime fan of Bank Square Books.

"When I met Annie, it was absolutely clear she was the right person," said King. "I have to say it was one of those serendipitous moments."

"It was pretty much a situation where I wasn't going to say no," recounted Philbrick. "They're really good people; they're really bound to the town of Westerly. They're dying to have a bookstore back in their community."

Philbrick will oversee operations at Savoy Bookshop, and with the grand opening tentatively set for July 1, she'll soon begin hiring staff for the new store. She expects to have some of the new team start working and training in Bank Square Books by May and, at least at first, some Bank Square Books employees will probably alternate between the two locations. Philbrick hopes to guarantee that the "feeling and vibe" of Bank Square Books gets translated intact into the Westerly store. The cafe, meanwhile, will be operated by a local couple who run a coffee bar in the Westerly YMCA.

Savoy Bookshop and Cafe will reside in a four-story, ornate building that was last used commercially as Hotel Savoy, which closed in the 1980s. The bookshop will occupy the first two floors and the basement; above the bookshop are renovated condos, which are currently occupied and have their own separate entrances. The building dates back to the 1800s and has seen many uses, including as a hotel, an auto-parts shop and, at some point in its early days, a brothel. And given the age and multiple uses of the building, renovations have been extensive. "It looks like a construction zone, but they have a plan," said Philbrick. "We're making progress--I was impressed."

A lot of the work so far has involved reinforcing the shop's facade and floors, along with bringing the building up to code. The plan is to clean up the exposed brick and stonework, and all the shelving and woodwork, meanwhile, is being built at two off-site workshops. With such an old building, King explained, "When you take a board up, you're going to find something somebody did 50 years ago that isn't up to code," and as such the opening date of July 1 is a bit flexible. But, he said, Savoy will open in August at the latest.

Philbrick and her staff will have some 2,500 square feet to work with at Savoy Bookshop and Cafe. It'll be a general-interest, new bookstore with a sizable children's section and a similar look and feel to Bank Square Books. The store's first event is already scheduled for June: it'll be a sneak peek at the upcoming bookstore, followed by a talk and reception at the Westerly library.

Of all the projects he's done in Westerly, King said, this project has generated the most enthusiasm. "It's the only one where people will stop me at the grocery store and say, I'm so excited, I can't wait," he recalled. And once the store opens this summer, King will step back from the project and leave running the business to Philbrick.

He added: "I would say my biggest day-to-day involvement will be getting a cup of coffee and grabbing a book." --Alex Mutter


Notes

Image of the Day: Words and Action in the Air

Earlier this week, on a flight to Seattle during his national book tour, Eric Greitens, author of Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, participated in Southwest Airlines' first in-flight author event. His reading of Resilience at 35,000 feet was the first time Southwest has featured an author as part of its "Live at 35" program, which typically showcases musicians giving concerts. Greitens read from the hardcover published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and passengers received a free copy of the audio book courtesy of Macmillan Audio.

An unexpected medical emergency on the flight gave Greitens an opportunity to demonstrate some of his ideas: a passenger became ill, and Greitens helped calm her down using some of the breathing exercises he discusses in his book.


Oakland Bookstores: '10 for Your Niche'; Piedmont Book Row

Noting that in "a 140-character society, a finger-tap on a screen is about the time we're willing to spend searching for the perfect 'book,' " Oakland Local featured 10 of the city's "bookstores for your niche.... With Oakland's plethora of independent bookstores, you don't even need to scour the earth; there's somewhere right here in town that's been aggregating your interests for months, years, and decades. What refined taste!"

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And the Chicoer highlighted six bookstores on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland that have printed some 20,000 bookmarks with maps, calling the area "the Bay Area's Biggest Book Row." Their slogan: "You don't have to go down the Amazon. Just walk down Piedmont Avenue."


Graywolf's AWP Guide to Indie Bookstores

For next week's Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual conference in Minneapolis, which draws up to 12,000 writers, teachers, students, editors and publishers, Graywolf Press is offering attendees a "guide to indie bookstores" in the Twin Cities.

"If you're looking for something to do between AWP panels and parties, we suggest you check out the wonderful selection of indie bookstores here in town," Graywolf noted. "While you're at it, refuel at one of Minnesota's great restaurants or cafés. Not sure where to go? We've done the work for you; here are the finest bookstore and food pairings on both sides of the Mississippi."


Personnel Changes at Skyhorse Publishing

Alex Merrill has joined Skyhorse Publishing as chief operating officer, a new position. Merrill has more than 15 years of publishing experience and has held leadership positions at Primedia, Morris Media and Globe Pequot Press.


Ingram Publisher Services Adds Five Publishers

Ingram Publisher Services has added five client publishers, for which it is handling sales and distribution in the U.S. and Canada:

Adaptive Studios, Culver City, Calif., a multimedia content creator that acquires abandoned intellectual property from film studios, producers, estates and other sources and revitalizes those properties. Adaptive is producing a new season of HBO's Project Greenlight and plans to publish 10 fiction and nonfiction books in 2015.

Cahiers d'Art, Paris, a publisher of visual arts book founded in 1926, with a focus on modern and contemporary artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Rosemarie Trockel, Ellsworth Kelly, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Taryn Simon and Frank Gehry.

Edgy Reads, created by suspense and thriller author CJ Lyons to publish her backlist and new titles, including the Lucy Guardino FBI Thriller series and the Hart and Drake medical suspense series. Lyons will introduce a new series called Fatal Insomnia at the London Book Fair.

Elevate Publishing, Boise, Idaho, established in 2008, which publishes a wide range of business and faith-based books under its imprints Elevate and Elevate Faith. It also provides platform development and other publishing services for authors.

Mango Media, Coral Gables, Fla., publishers of 100 print and digital titles a year, including AP Editions, produced with the Associated Press, and general nonfiction such as 99 Signs You Are Not in the 1%, Diet Hacks Handbook and 52 Simple Ways to Live Green.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bruce Eric Kaplan on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Bruce Eric Kaplan, author of I Was a Child: A Memoir (Blue Rider Press, $25.95, 9780399169519).

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Tomorrow on Fox News Radio's Alan Colmes Show: Bernard B. Kerik, author of From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey from Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054 (Threshold Editions, $27, 9781476783703).


This Weekend on Book TV: Cornel West, Noam Chomsky

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, April 4
7 p.m. Kevin Carey, author of The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594632051).

9 p.m. Elliot Ackerman, author of Green on Blue: A Novel (Scribner, $25, 9781476778556).

10 p.m. Cornel West, editor of The Radical King (Beacon Press, $26.95, 9780807012826). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Michael Bohn, author of Presidents in Crisis: Tough Decisions Inside the White House from Truman to Obama (Arcade Publishing, $26.95, 9781628724318). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)


Sunday, April 5
12 a.m. Noam Chomsky, author of Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013 (Haymarket, $12.95, 9781608463633). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:30 p.m.)

8:15 a.m. Anya Kamenetz, author of The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing--but You Don't Have to Be (PublicAffairs, $25.99, 9781610394413), at Book Passage bookstore in California. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)



Books & Authors

Awards: Anisfield-Wolf; Reading the West; Colorado Book

The winners of its 80th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and honoring "literature that confronts racism and examines diversity," are:

Fiction: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Nonfiction: A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Richard S. Dunn
Poetry: The New Testament by Jericho Brown
Poetry: Hard Love Province by Marilyn Chin
Lifetime Achievement: David Brion Davis

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The shortlist for the 2014 Reading the West Book Awards, sponsored by the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association, is:
   
Adult Fiction
Stars Go Blue by Laura Pritchett (Counterpoint)
Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson (Ecco)
The Ploughman by Kim Zupan (Henry Holt)
The Painter by Peter Heller (Knopf)
The High Divide by Lin Enger (Algonquin)

Adult Nonfiction
Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire-A Story of Wealth, Ambition and Survival by Peter Stark (Ecco)
Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild by Novella Carpenter (Penguin)   
The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning by Julene Bair (Viking)
Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West by Bryce Andrews (Atria)
Relicts of a Beautiful Sea: Survival, Extinction and Conservation in a Desert World by Christopher Norment (University of North Carolina Press)  

Children's
Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways to Fly by Conrad Wesselhoeft (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Skies Like These by Tess Hilmo (FSG Books for Young Readers)
Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane (FSG Books for Young Readers)
P.K. Pinkerton and the Pistol-Packing Widows by Caroline Lawrence (Putnam Juvenile)     
Beauty of the Broken by Tawni Waters (Simon Pulse)   

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Finalists for the Colorado Book Awards have been selected and may be seen here. Winners will be announced on June 21.


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover
Soil: A Novel by Jamie Kornegay (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476750811). "In his debut novel, Kornegay has confidently announced himself as a writer to watch. Centered around Jay Mize, an idealistic farmer whose luck just keeps breaking bad, the story kicks into high gear when Jay discovers a corpse on his failing farm. Fearing he is being framed by his less progressive neighbors, Jay hides the discovery rather than reporting it. Kornegay expertly heightens the tension, tightening the screws on the increasingly paranoid Jay in a way that makes it impossible for the reader to put the book down. With Soil, Kornegay joins Wiley Cash and Tom Franklin as a strong voice in the world of Southern gothic fiction." --Josh Christie, Sherman's Books and Stationery, Bar Harbor, Me.

Welcome to Braggsville: A Novel by T. Geronimo Johnson (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062302120). "In Welcome to Braggsville, Johnson explores cultural, social, and regional diversity in a world increasingly driven by social media. His satirical and ironic style portrays a UC Berkeley--'Berzerkeley'--student from Georgia who, along with his friends, goes back to his hometown to challenge an annual Southern tradition and inadvertently sets off a chain of events resulting in tragic consequences. Johnson's creative language play envelops the reader in the Deep South with the impact of a razor-sharp Lynyrd Skynyrd riff." --Jann Griffiths, BookSmart, Morgan Hill, Calif.

Paperback
The Black-Eyed Blond: A Philip Marlowe Novel by Benjamin Black (Picador, $16, 9781250062123). "In well-written noir, each sentence feels like a story unto itself and strung together those sentences form a book that feels somehow 'more' than any other out there. The Black-Eyed Blonde is such a book. Black manages to mimic the style of one of the best-known authors of the 20th century while still keeping a distinct voice. Raymond Chandler fans will be happy to see Phillip Marlowe back roaming the mean streets of L.A. There's a sultry femme fatale, a sinister philanthropist, and plenty of punches thrown, pistols whipped, and suits ruined. The Black-Eyed Blonde is a tall drink of whiskey, and I enjoyed every drop!" --Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Ariz.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Emily Gravett (Bloomsbury, $16.99, 9780802738110). "Amanda and her imaginary friend, Rudger, spend their days exploring the Amazon in hot-air balloons, bouncing on the surface of alien planets in space suits, and chasing strange, cat-like creatures. Their adventures are limited only by the immense imagination of Amanda, but when the sinister Mr. Bunting, an old man who eats imaginary friends, shows up and is intent on consuming Rudger, the two friends race against him and the constraints of adult imagination. In parts creepy, in parts exquisitely soul-wrenching, this is a masterpiece and Gravett elevates it even higher with her absolutely stunning illustrations." --Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, Calif.

For Teen Readers
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062324672). "Aysel is sure she wants to die; she just doesn't know if she can do it alone. When she stumbles upon FrozenRobot's listing for a suicide partner online, she's sure that she's found the person she needs. But Aysel never expects that there might be other things holding her back: questions about physics and potential energy; the desire to see the man who ruined her life one last time; and an unexpected spark lit by none other than FrozenRobot. Sometimes sorrowful, sometimes funny, and always honest, this novel tackles the difficult topic of suicide with tact, while acknowledging that life can be messy, sad, and happy all at once." --Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich.

Children's Illustrated
Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang (Random House, $16.99, 9780553499384). "Some books have that special something--something that engages children, opens their minds, and encourages acceptance. Families, Families, Families! is one of those books. Many children will see their own unique family on its pages, while others will see other families they know. Families, Families, Families! celebrates the beauty and diversity of everyone’s most precious love--their family. It belongs on every child's bookshelf!" --Kirsten Hess, Let's Play Books!, Emmaus, Penn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 7:

Blood on Snow: A Novel by Jo Nesbo, translated by Neil Smith (Knopf, $23.95, 9780385354196) follows a contract killer in Oslo.

It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality by Michelangelo Signorile (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544381001) charts the current course of gay rights in America.

Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence by Bryan Burrough (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594204296) explores battles between the FBI and homegrown revolutionary groups in the 1970s.

Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307958822) is a biography of the First Lady.

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Real West by Bill O'Reilly and David Fisher (Holt, $32, 9781627795074) is the companion book to O'Reilly's Old West documentary on Fox News.

Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius by Bill Pennington (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544022096) is the biography of the Yankees player and manager.

The Story: A Reporter's Journey by Judith Miller (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716015) is the memoir of the former New York Times reporter.

The Children's Crusade: A Novel by Ann Packer (Scribner, $26.99, 9781476710457) tracks a California family over five decades.

Hot Pursuit by Stuart Woods (Putnam, $27.95, 9780399169168) is book 33 in the Stone Barrington series.

Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf by Norah Vincent (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544470200) imagines the life and social circle of Virginia Woolf.

French Coast: A Novel by Anita Hughes and Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250052513) is about a Vogue editor chasing a story in southern France.

A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail by Kent Rollins and Shannon Rollins (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544275003) includes recipes from a cowboy and Food Network guest.

Now in paperback:

The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt (Back Bay Books, $20, 9780316055444).

Forgiveness: A Memoir by Chiquis Rivera (Atria, $16, 9781501104817).

Predator One: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250033451).

Movies:

The Longest Ride, based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, opens April 10.


Book Review

Review: Killer, Come Hither

Killer, Come Hither by Louis Begley (Nan A. Talese, $25.95 hardcover, 9780385539142, April 7, 2015)

Louis Begley (Memories of a Marriage) turns to crime fiction in this tale about the lengths to which a person will go to dispense vigilante justice.

Jack Dana, following in his father's footsteps, is well on his way to an academic career when the attacks of September 11 force a reassessment. In the spirit of his late father, who served in Vietnam, Jack joins the Marines and goes to Afghanistan, where he is wounded. Back in the U.S., he writes a wildly successful novel based on his experiences and moves to New York City under the protective eye of his Uncle Harry, a lawyer at a white-shoe firm. When Jack returns from an extended stay in Brazil, where he'd been working on his next novel, he learns that Harry is dead--an apparent suicide, triggered, according to his former partners, by his increasing dementia and forced retirement. With the help of Harry's gifted young associate Kerry, who soon becomes his girlfriend, Jack pieces together the facts and soon concludes that Harry was murdered, implicating the law firm and its very well-connected Texan client.

This novel does not quite satisfy the requirements of a thriller; it's easy enough to guess the identity and motives of the perpetrator and the key evidence is too coincidentally available. Instead, the tension in the story comes from Jack's refusal to take the case to the authorities. Harkening back to his wartime experience, he is driven by his need for personal justice, choosing to flush out the killer on his own despite the risks to himself and to Kerry. How he will snare his enemy, at what cost, and whether he can satisfy his need for vengeance become the story's central questions.

Jack's budding relationship with Kerry is sweet and affecting, with a formality that will be familiar to Begley's longtime readers. His work has always revolved around the very wealthy. Jack, too, is financially independent, thanks to inheritances from his parents and Harry, and the immediate success of his books. His wealth seems to insulate him in certain emotional ways as well, and his relative lack of introspection about the costs of his quest for vigilante justice can be jarring. Nevertheless, Killer, Come Hither combines unexpected plot twists and narrative tension with Begley's trademark elegant prose. It is a somewhat uneven but still pleasurable twist on a crime novel. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: Former lawyer Louis Begley turns to crime in the legal world in this story about a man's effort to avenge the death of his murdered uncle.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. Soaring (The Magdalene Series Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
2. Monsters in the Dark by Pepper Winters
3. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
4. Reckless Love by Kendall Ryan
5. When I Fall (Alabama Summer Book 3) by J. Daniels
6. Falling for My Best Friend's Brother by J.S. Cooper and Helen Cooper
7. The Mathews Family Series Box Set by Beverly Preston
8. Coda (The Submission Series Book 9) by C.D. Reiss
9. Pocketful of Sand by M. Leighton
10. Soldiers of Fortune (Miss Fortune Mystery Volume 6) by Jana DeLeon

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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