Also published on this date: Thursday, October 13, 2016: Maximum Shelf: All Our Wrong Todays

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 13, 2016

Little Brown and Company: An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma

Random House: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test Kitchen Kids

Beacon Press: Receive an extra discount on Man's Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl

Shadow Mountain: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Nosy Crow: Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, selected by Fiona Waters

Quirk Books: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston


Nobel Literature Prize Goes to Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan (via)

The 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

In an interview after the announcement, Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, described Dylan as "a great poet in the English speaking tradition.... He embodies the tradition, and for 54 years he has been at it, reinventing himself, creating a new identity." She cited his album Blonde on Blonde as a good place to start and "an extraordinary example of his brilliant way of rhyming and putting together refrains, and his pictorial thinking."

Asked whether the choice of Dylan, who is not known for novels or "poetry in the usual sense," has widened the horizon for Nobel Laureates, Danius replied: "It may look that way, but really we haven't.... If you look back, far back, some 500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho, and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to. They were meant to be performed, often together with instruments.... but we still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy it. Same with Bob Dylan. He can be read and should be read."

The Guardian noted that the Academy may have been "looking to forestall criticism of the fact that Dylan is largely seen as a musician rather than an author" by stressing in its press release that Dylan's lyrics have "continuously been published in new editions," and that "besides his large production of albums, Dylan has published experimental work like Tarantula (1971) and the collection Writings and Drawings (1973)," as well as "the autobiography Chronicles (2004), which depicts memories from the early years in New York and which provides glimpses of his life at the center of popular culture."

In addition to the numerous books on Dylan's life and music already in print, a well-timed title is set to appear next month when Simon & Schuster releases an annotated edition of The Lyrics: 1961-2012.

KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.24.18

Theresa Thompson New President of B&N's Sterling Publishing

Theresa Thompson

Theresa Thompson has been promoted to president of Sterling Publishing. She has been executive v-p since 2012. Earlier she worked for Sterling parent company Barnes & Noble, joining B&N in 2003 as head of the audiobook business. In 2008 she was promoted to v-p, newsstand and in 2011, she added bargain and calendars to her responsibilities. Before joining B&N, she held merchandising positions at Macy's and Saks.

B&N chairman Len Riggio commented: "This promotion is merited as Theresa has managed this business brilliantly and has built a solid organization which has produced great results. Most importantly, she has been a terrific partner to our merchandise organization and our store managers. As such, she is dedicated to helping build retail sales and distinguishing us from others in the marketplace. Theresa is a consummate professional who truly loves Barnes & Noble, and she remains excited about our prospects for the future."

Binc Foundation: Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookstore-Activists

Amazon: New Distribution Centers for Charlotte, Opa-locka

Amazon "has just put a major footprint" in Charlotte, N.C., where a 400,000-square-foot warehouse on Old Dowd Road near the Charlotte Douglas airport is under construction and "the Amazon name and logo are visible on temporary signs at the property," WSOC-9 reported. The new location will be a part of the Amazon Prime Air service.... The company has been building quietly, with no fanfare and no major announcement."

"When you have an important asset like Charlotte Douglas International Airport... it helps the city of Charlotte grow, and this is a prime example," noted city councilman James Mitchell, who said of Amazon's below-the-radar approach: "We have to respect the corporation's decision to do that. We just want to welcome them, and we're so glad that they're here. Between the jobs, between having another company. The timing is right for us."


In Florida, Amazon "is expected to open one of the largest warehouses in the county at the Opa-locka airport, creating a nearly 900,000-square-foot distribution center with 1,000 jobs on the site, the Miami Herald reported. The county-owned airport is located about four miles west of I-95, in the northeastern quadrant of Miami-Dade County.

Although the deal had been a topic of discussion for months, official confirmation came last Sunday when Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced it during a televised debate, saying: "Amazon is coming to Miami-Dade County, and they're going to have a huge warehouse at Opa-locka."

Enlighten Up: Divine Dog Wisdom Cards: A 62 Card Deck and Guidebook by Barb Horn and Randy Crutcher, illustrated by Teresa Shishim

B&N May Open Store in Baltimore's Northwood Commons

A two-story Barnes & Noble bookstore could be in the works for the revitalized Northwood Plaza across from Morgan State University, the Baltimore Sun reported. Developer Mark Renbaum told a Planning Commission meeting last week that the new store would be part of a $50 million redevelopment of the shopping center, "which could include a grocery store, student apartments, offices, campus police and other shopping."

The Northwood Commons redevelopment was before the Planning Commission seeking updated zoning to allow the mixed-use plans to proceed. The Sun wrote that the plans "had run into trouble earlier this year amid resistance from one of the community groups near the site that had been worried about traffic, parking and density. But the two sides reached a compromise this spring and a representative from the Hillen Road Improvement Association testified in favor of the plan."

University of Minnesota Press: Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich

New Imprints from St. Martin's, PRH Canada, Uncivilized

Appropriately announced yesterday, St. Martin's Press has launched Wednesday Books, a "crossover, coming-of-age" imprint that will publish books for both the adult and YA audiences. Wednesday Books aims to focus on "bold, diverse, and commercial voices in fiction and non-fiction who speak to readers looking for stories in and beyond the YA category."

Wednesday Books, which will now publish all St. Martin's YA books, will be led by Jennifer Enderlin, publisher of St. Martin's, and Sara Goodman, editorial director. The imprint will publish 10-20 titles per year, and the first will appear in fall 2017.

Enderlin commented:, "For the first time in 16 years, St. Martin's Press will be launching a new imprint. Sara Goodman has been a passionate advocate for her titles and authors over the years and, as we've seen enormous growth in the young adult and crossover categories, we're so glad to have her leadership in these areas. She'll continue to acquire and edit her own projects, both on the adult and young adult side of the line, but she'll also be working with the other editors here to build the Wednesday list."


Penguin Random House Canada has created Penguin Teen, a new imprint for YA titles that will bring together YA titles published by the company under the Doubleday Canada Books for Young Readers and Razorbill Canada imprints into one combined list. Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers now consists of three imprints: Tundra Books, Puffin Canada and Penguin Teen.

Lynne Missen, publishing director, who will oversee Penguin Teen, said, "Bringing together all of our outstanding teen titles in one list is tremendously exciting and a wonderful opportunity to showcase our powerhouse YA publishing program."

The first Penguin Teen list will be published in summer 2017 and include works by Susan Juby, Elizabeth Wein, Catherine Egan, Emily Barr and debut author Melanie Fishbane.


Uncivilized Books
, the independent publisher of graphic novels in Minneapolis, Minn., has created a new children's book imprint, Odod Books. Its first titles are for the four-volume Musnet: the Mouse of Monet series, featuring the adventures of a mouse in 19th-century France who is on a quest to become a great mouse painter.

Uncivilized Books' mass market titles are distributed by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution.

Greystone Books: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst


Image of the Day: PRH 'On the Road' in Toronto

photo: R. Warriner
Last week Penguin Random House Publisher Services held its third annual "On the Road" Ideas Exchange with some 20 client publishers in Toronto, where there was plenty of discussion about the Canadian market. Here participants pose at the famous Toronto sign downtown during the group's "bookstore crawl" to Indigo and Ben McNally Books.

'Why Indie Bookstores in Seattle Are Thriving'

Independent bookstores in Seattle are thriving, with almost 30 locations currently in business. "Compare that to cities similar to Seattle in population, such as Boston (with approximately 25, including used-book stores and many college-affiliated ones) and Baltimore (with about a dozen), and you understand how vibrant our offerings are. Compare Seattle to cities with massive populations and we still stack up. San Francisco has 34 ABA-member bookstores and Chicago, 38," Seattle magazine reported.

The reasons for this success story are as numerous and varied as the stores themselves. The Seattle Times wrote that "despite some trepidation expressed by area booksellers leading up to Amazon's store opening last year, the indie scene here is undergoing a quiet renaissance, as evidenced by the spring opening of Third Place Books in Seward Park, bookstore buyouts and one of the most successful Independent Bookstore Days the city has experienced."

Shelf Awareness publisher and co-founder Jenn Risko observed that one of the ingredients is the city's increasing devotion to shopping local: "The Seattle community understands what it means to vote with your dollars."

David Glenn of Penguin Random House cited a growing educated population, as well as a higher median income ("about $65,000, compared to the national average of $50,000"). Personal service, local organizations, and ambitious event schedules also play a significant role.

"Anytime a bookstore comes up for sale in Seattle, someone buys it," said Glenn. "This is not an indication of a beleaguered industry." He also noted that indies "are places where you can incubate new authors. Elliott Bay is a perfect example. They have several events a day, and [feature] authors that might not find a willing forum or audience."

Janis Segress, former head buyer for Eagle Harbor Book Co. and co-owner of the Queen Anne Book Company, agreed: "Publishers are continuing to spend big dollars on events with authors. And they come to Seattle and court us because they are aware that the indie bookstores drive trends."

Segress pointed out the value of knowing your community: "I chose to open with just one-third of our current inventory. The first year was really about filling the store with what the community wanted while balancing national and Pacific Northwest trends."

Robert Sindelar, ABA v-p and managing partner of Third Place Books, praised the city's response to Independent Bookstore Day, noting that "when I talk to other booksellers in other communities, there are not a lot of other cities that can pull it off the way Seattle did. They wouldn't have the density of stores.... We all get together in the same room and say, 'I'm going to promote you and you're going to promote me.' We tend to feel that, hey, if you're doing well, then I'm going to do well, too."

GBO Picks The Hidden Life of Trees

The German Book Office in New York City has chosen The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst with a foreword by Tim Flannery (Greystone Books, $24.95, 9781771642484), as its October Pick of the Month.

The GBO described the book this way: "The international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees explores the forest as a social network. Wohlleben investigates what trees feel and how they are able to communicate with each other, allowing the reader to discover a secret world.

"Wohlleben, a forester and author, draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to show how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, take care of them, communicate with them, share nutrients with sick or struggling neighbors, and even warn each other of impending dangers. He tells fascinating stories about the surprising and unexpected capacities of trees. In so doing, Wohlleben also shares his deep love of forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland."

Peter Wohlleben worked for the German forestry commission for more than 20 years. He runs an "environmentally friendly woodland" and is the author of many books about trees.

Tim Flannery is a scientist, conservationist and writer about climate change. His books include Atmosphere of Hope and The Weather Makers.

Personnel Changes at Rare Bird, Avery

Andrew Hungate has joined Rare Bird as marketing and publicity director. He previously worked in marketing and development at Dalkey Archive Press.


At Avery:

Anne Kosmoski has been promoted to associate publicity director. She has been a member of the Avery publicity team since 2007.

Casey Maloney has been promoted to assistant publicity director. She was formerly publicity manager.

Alexandra (Ally) Bruschi has been promoted to associate publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Liberal Redneck Manifesto on Real Time with Bill Maher

Fresh Air: Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, authors of V Street: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking (Morrow Cookbooks, $27.99, 9780062438485).

CBS This Morning: Kyle Schwartz, author of I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids (Da Capo, $19.99, 9780738219141).

Ellen: Bryan Cranston, author of A Life in Parts (Scribner, $27, 9781476793856).

Wendy Williams: Carson Kressley, author of Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big?: A Cheeky Guide to Feeling Sexier in Your Own Skin & Unleashing Your Personal Style (St. Martin's Griffin, $25.99, 9781250085580).

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester and Drew Morgan, authors of The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin' Dixie Outta the Dark (Atria, $25, 9781501160387).

Last Call with Carson Daly repeat: William Shatner, co-author of Zero-G: Book 1 (Simon & Schuster, $25.95, 9781501111556).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Southern Festival of Books

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, October 15
11 a.m. Live coverage of the 28th annual Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tenn. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Zachary Roth, author of The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy (Crown, $26, 9781101905760), at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Monday at 6 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Jack Cashill, author of TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover-Up, and the Conspiracy (Regnery History, $28.99, 9781621574712). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

10 p.m. Sara Goldrick-Rab, author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream (University of Chicago Press, $27.50, 9780226404349). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

11 p.m. Bradley Birzer, author of Russell Kirk: American Conservative (University Press of Kentucky, $34.95, 9780813166186), at the Paolucci Book Award dinner. (Re-airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m.)

Sunday, October 16
7 a.m. Molly McCartney, author of America's War Machine: Vested Interests, Endless Conflicts (Thomas Dunne, $26.99, 9781250069771). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:45 p.m.)

1 p.m. Day two of live coverage from the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tenn. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

TV: Anne of Green Gables

The official trailer is out for Anne of Green Gables, a new adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic novel that premieres November 24 on PBS, the Huffington Post reported. The project stars Ella Ballentine as Anne, Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert and Julia Lalonde as Diana Barry.

Books & Authors

Awards: Gordon Burn; CWA Daggers

David Szalay won the £5,000 (about $6,120) Gordon Burn Prize, which honors "fiction and nonfiction that follows in the footsteps of an author described by organizers as a 'literary polymath,'" for his story collection, All That Man Is, the Guardian reported. In addition to the cash prize, the winning writer may go on a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn's cottage in Berwickshire.

Author William Boyd, who was one of the judges, said: "Keeping Gordon Burn's fiction and nonfiction in the back of our minds allowed us some real terms of reference in our necessarily subjective evaluation. As a result, in the final session, David Szalay's All That Man Is emerged fairly swiftly as a frontrunner. It is a novel--like Gordon's fiction--that subtly changes the way you look at the contemporary world. A very rare effect, in fact. In addition, it is darkly funny, marvellously observant and written with a confidence and limpidity that make it a really remarkable novel."


The Crime Writers Association announced winners in nine categories for the 2016 Dagger Awards in London at a gala dinner, during which Peter James was awarded the Diamond Dagger, which recognizes a career "marked by sustained excellence" by someone who has "made a significant contribution to crime writing published in the English language, whether originally or in translation," the Bookseller reported. Check out the complete list of Dagger winners here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 18:

The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Grand Central, $28, 9781455536917) continues the Agent Pendergast thriller series.

The Eastern Shore by Ward Just (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544836587) follows a newspaper editor haunted by his decision to expose a small-town fugitive.

The African Svelte: Ingenious Misspellings That Make Surprising Sense by Daniel Menaker, illustrated by Roz Chast (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $20, 9780544800632) is a New Yorker editor's illustrated look at funny spelling errors.

The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem by Marcus Samuelsson (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $37.50, 9780544639775) features recipes from an iconic Harlem restaurant and chef.

Kill or Be Killed: Thrillers by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (BookShots, $25, 9780316320047) is a collection of four BookShots thrillers. (October 17.)

Einstein's Greatest Mistake: A Biography by David Bodanis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544808560) explores Einstein's personal traits, which served him well in his early career and poorly in his later years.

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York by Tyler Anbinder (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, 9780544104655) is a history of America's most famous immigration destination.

The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill by Greg Mitchell (Crown, $28, 9781101903858) explores an escape effort from East Germany thwarted in part by the U.S. government.

Nobody's Son: A Memoir by Mark Slouka (Norton, $26.95, 9780393292305) is the memoir of a novelist whose parents escaped communist Czechoslovakia.

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544527959) is book two in the Magic Men Mysteries series.

The Next by Stephanie Gangi (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250110565) follows a ghost obsessed with getting revenge on her living ex.

The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines and Mark Dagostino (Thomas Nelson, $26.99, 9780718079185) is a memoir from the stars of HGTV's Fixer Upper.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, Book 2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Knopf, $19.99, 9780553499155) is the second YA novel in the science-fiction saga the Illuminae Files.

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484743621) is the companion to Mother Bruce, a picture book about a bear who wants to eat goslings but ends up taking care of them.

100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster by Clint Emerson (Touchstone, $19.99, 9781501143908(.

Suck Less: Where There's a Willam, There's a Way by Willam Belli (Grand Central, $19.99, 9781455566198).

American Pastoral, based on the novel by Philip Roth, opens October 21. Ewan McGregor directs and stars in the story of a 1960s family shattered by a daughter's radical political views.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise and based on the thriller by Lee Child, opens October 21. A movie tie-in edition (Dell, $9.99, 9780399594977) is available.

The Handmaiden, based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, has a limited release on October 21. This South Korean adaptation follows a handmaiden plotting to defraud a Japanese heiress.

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

The Risen: A Novel by Ron Rash (Ecco, $25.99, 9780062436313). "The most overused cliché in the book business is 'page-turner,' so I will ask indulgence when I declare that The Risen by Ron Rash is a page-turner in the truest sense of the phrase. The Risen explores a young boy's coming of age, sibling rivalry, a decades-old mystery, and extreme life choices. It is an exciting read for all who appreciate literature at its finest." --Jake Reiss, Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, Ala.

Loner: A Novel by Teddy Wayne (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501107894). "David Federman, a gifted student who is both socially awkward and emotionally immature, is trying to find his place as a Harvard freshman. Enter the beautiful and sophisticated Veronica Wells, and David is hopelessly, obsessively in love for the first time. Suffice it to say this is not a match made in heaven, and it ends badly for everyone when David starts stalking Veronica and violates the school's honor code--the first steps down a slippery slope towards a violent and tragic ending. David is by turns sympathetic and repellent, and Loner is a complex portrayal of alienation, gender politics, and class at the highest echelons of American academic life." --Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, Conn.

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine by Dr. Damon Tweedy (Picador, $16, 9781250105042). "A marvelous story of the pitfalls and problems of 'doctoring while black.' From a professor who mistakes him for a maintenance worker, to white--and black--patients who assume he is less competent than white doctors, Tweedy tells an engaging, personal, and compassionate story of his road to becoming an M.D. Combine our problematic medical system with our problematic race relations and... Damon Tweedy manages to come through all of this with memorable stories and great insights into both sides of the doctor/patient relationship, including the subtle effects of race on the quality of medical care for black patients." --Tom Campbell, The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Water Princess by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Putnam, $17.99, 9780399172588). "The team of Verde and Reynolds have channeled their distinctively beautiful styles to depict life in an African village, the inhabitants' long journey to water, and the story of one powerful girl. The lush colors and gorgeous landscapes belie the hardship at the center of this true story, based on the life of supermodel Georgie Badiel: The extreme lengths people often have to go to just to get drinking water. This is an excellent book to introduce a difficult subject to a young audience in an empathetic way." --Sarah Holt, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo.

For Ages 9 to 12: Revisit & Rediscover
Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Scholastic, $6.99, 9780439269971). Originally published in 2004. "Naomi and her younger brother live contentedly with their great grandmother in a trailer park in California. Seven peaceful years are disrupted when their mother appears and Naomi begins to deal with uncomfortable issues. Though Naomi finds solace in her soapcarving, for which she has a special talent, it is the trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, to search for her father that brings real answers. This beautifully written novel about family, identity, and loyalty is infused with a special warmth and authenticity based on Ryan's own heritage." --Carol Moyer, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C.

For Teen Readers
Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner (Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763682057). "Otis took up swimming three years ago to save himself from the grief that was drowning him. Now he's training for the state championships as his coach, 18-year-old Dara, pushes an Olympic dream for him, a dream she gave up for herself when she lost her arm. Otis' summer looks to be full of chlorine and sunburn until he gets an e-mail from Meg, the girl he hasn't spoken to in three years--the girl who helped him tread water after tragedy and then left town. Tragedy cuts deep, and every character in this book has scars--some terribly visible and others under the surface--but they are all beautiful. Paper Towns fans take note, this will be your new favorite book." --Leah Moore, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Under the Midnight Sun

Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino, trans. by Alexander O. Smith with Joseph Reeder (Minotaur Books, $27.99 hardcover, 560p., 9781250105790, November 8, 2016)

Keigo Higashino (A Midsummer's Equation) takes a break from his Detective Galileo series for a twisted and creepy standalone in the vein of Gone Girl.

In 1973, an Osaka neighborhood is rocked by the murder of local pawnshop owner Yosuke Kirihara. Sasagaki, a police detective, follows up with the most promising suspects. When the victim's trophy wife gives a solid alibi, suspicion shifts to an udon cafe waitress who won't admit to knowing Yosuke as more than a customer despite suggestions to the contrary. However, Sasagaki never finds enough evidence to make an arrest, and finally must admit, "We made a mistake." The case goes cold. In an ordinary mystery novel, the narrative would follow Sasagaki as he relentlessly hunts for the truth. Instead, Higashino follows the lives of two children connected to the murder: Ryo Kirihara, the son of the victim, and Yukiho Nishimoto, the daughter of the udon waitress. Through the eyes of friends and acquaintances, readers watch the pair of children grow through adolescence into young adulthood, the past shadowing their every step.

After Yukiho's mother dies under circumstances that may be accident or suicide, a polished female relative adopts the girl, giving her access to training in traditional arts such as tea ceremony and flower arrangement. With her breathtaking beauty and finishing-school manners, Yukiho captivates every man she meets as she grows from middle schooler to college student. Oddly, girls who might rival her in looks or charm along the way find themselves in tragic circumstances with detrimental effects to their social statuses.

While Yukiho continues her meteoric rise with a lucrative but tempestuous marriage, Ryo wallows in criminal enterprise, pimping out attractive male high school classmates to older married women before turning to video game piracy. While viewed through filters of admiration and even love by their hangers-on, the children of the original murder prove consistently aloof and furtive toward others. Meanwhile, though the statute of limitations has run out, Sasagaki never gives up on the case he couldn't solve. 

Higashino's unforgiving corkscrew of a mystery will leave readers gleefully chilled. The solution to Under the Midnight Sun plays second fiddle to the tense atmosphere and unspooling machinations as innocent, or at least hapless, bystanders get caught in the webs of Ryo or Yukiho. The whodunit revelation will take few readers by surprise, seemingly by design; secondary characters begin to guess at the truth well before the closing. Focused more on relationships between exploiters and their prey than simple questions of justice and guilt, this quick-reading Japanese export proves its author a master of the human psyche. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: This Japanese thriller follows two Osaka children, both affected by an unsolved murder, as they grow into corrupt and troubled adulthood.

KidsBuzz: HarperCollins: Henry & Eva and the Castle on the Cliff by Andrea Portes
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