Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 11, 2013

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley


Federal Judge: Apple Price-Fixing Ringleader

To no one's surprise, federal district court judge Denise Cote ruled against Apple in the case over the agency model for e-books, finding that the company had conspired to fix prices with the five publishers that already settled with the Justice Department. A trial for damages brought by 33 state attorneys general will soon take place and will be presided over by Judge Cote.

In the 160-page decision, the judge wrote that in early 2010, just before the introduction of the iPad and iBookstore, when publishers were concerned about Amazon's deep discounts on e-books, Apple "seized the moment and brilliantly played its hand," providing Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster "with the vision, the format, the timetable, and the coordination that they needed to raise e-book prices."

Before the trial began last month, Judge Cote said that she believe the Justice Department would be able to prove its case.

"This result is a victory for millions of consumers who choose to read books electronically," the Justice Department said. "Apple executives hoped to ensure that its e-book business would be free from retail price competition, causing consumers throughout the country to pay higher prices for many e-books. The evidence showed that the prices of the conspiring publishers' e-books increased by an average of 18% as a result of the collusive effort led by Apple."

Apple lawyer Orin Snyder wrote: "We strongly disagree with the court's preliminary statements about the case today." Apple will appeal.

The decision will have no effect on e-book prices, since the five publisher defendants already agreed to--and have largely implemented--new policies on e-book pricing. The retail price of e-books has lowered somewhat, but, in a twist this Justice Department will likely overlook, Amazon is pricing many new and popular e-books higher than its old preferred level of $9.99, now that its near-monopoly has been preserved.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Nikki Mutch Wins NEIBA's Saul Gilman Award

Congratulations to Nikki Mutch, Scholastic district sales manager for New England (and a few other places) and president of Book Publishers Representatives of New England, who has won the Saul Gilman Award, sponsored by the New England Independent Booksellers Association and given "for outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores."

A life-long book lover, Mutch worked part-time in her local college bookstore, then joined the UConn Co-op in Storrs, Conn., becoming the children's book buyer and chair of the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council (NECBA). Ten years ago, she joined Scholastic. She's donating her $250 Saul Gilman Award prize to the Connecticut Children's Book Fair, whose committee she is on.

NEIBA noted that "Nikki's passions include animal rescue (including her own four dogs and two cats), summer, Indie bookstores, music, reading, writing, the N.Y. Giants (!!), spending time with her wonderful husband, Bryan, making themed crafty knick-knacks for author events, and writing Edelweiss notes while drinking margaritas--a fact that is most evident when you read some of the notes she's written. Nikki also really loves adjectives. She THANKS YOU ALL for allowing her the honor of working alongside you and creating a world full of passionate readers and book lovers."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Moody Road Studios: Filling Literary Needs in Rural Pennsylvania

"I never thought about becoming a bookseller," said Kelly McMasters, co-owner of Moody Road Studios in the small town of Honesdale, Pa. "It wasn't a goal or a dream. I just missed having [a bookstore] so much and realized that if I didn't do it, no one else was going to."

McMasters spent 15 years in New York City as an author, magazine editor and writing teacher at Columbia University and New York University before relocating full-time to northeast Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Honesdale, which she described as charming and surprisingly artsy but "very rural," had no local bookstore, and the closest was 80 miles away.

"I was one of those kids who really, really needed a bookshop," explained McMasters, who grew up in a Long Island town that had no local bookstore. "I found refuge in the library, but a library is very different from an independent bookshop. I wanted my kids to have a bookstore."

McMasters and her husband, artist Mark Milroy, opened Moody Road Studios last December, in a 250-square-foot space within a larger complex containing, among other things, a cheese shop and art gallery. Although the interior of the store is small, they can comfortably accommodate up to 50 customers in a back garden. At present, McMasters and Milroy are the store's only employees.

"The idea behind the store is works on paper; when you come in, it's all about the love of paper," McMasters said. "The books I choose for my shop are the kinds of things that I can't imagine reading on an e-reader."

Included in that category are picture books, poetry collections, photo books and extravagant editions of fiction and nonfiction, along with art made by her husband. At first, McMasters was not sure how customers would respond to the heavily curated selection, but quickly found that the Honesdale community had a need for serious literature, nonfiction and poetry that had gone drastically underserved.

"I was amazed when people walked in," said McMasters. "It makes me feel very optimistic and positive for the state of books."

While living in New York, McMasters ran the KGB Bar's nonfiction reading series, and has brought that expertise to Honesdale through the store's summer reading series. Beginning in May, Moody Road Studios has hosted monthly events featuring a range of fiction and nonfiction writers, memoirists and poets, who include and will include Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking with Men, Carolyn Turgeon, author of The Fairest of Them All, and Leigh Newman, author of Still Points North.

Although she initially had no idea how the readings would be received, McMasters has been thrilled by the turnout and great questions, she said, and plans to continue the reading series through October. The store also serves as a meeting place for a number of community book clubs, and McMasters teaches monthly classes on memoir and young adult writing. She also writes about her experience in a monthly column for the Paris Review.

McMasters hopes eventually to expand the store's writing classes into conferences, and help the area's artist community continue to thrive. Before opening the store, she said, "I had no idea who else was in these hills. It's pretty wild how many like-minded people are up here. It shows there can be a really vibrant artist community outside of New York; you don't have to sit in your barn and write without a community. There just needs to be a hub." --Alex Mutter

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura


Image of the Day: Lithuania Honors Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys (r.) was awarded Lithuania's Cross of the Knight of the Order by the president of Lithuania in a ceremony last weekend at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius. Sepetys is pictured here with Agnė Dvarionienė (l.), publicist from her Lithuanian publisher, Alma Littera, holding the Lithuanian edition of the book.

The honor was bestowed on Sepetys in recognition for her novel Between Shades of Gray (Philomel/Penguin) and "her continued global work sharing the little-known history of Stalin's ethnic cleansing in the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia." Between Shades of Gray has been published in 43 countries and 26 languages.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

In Praise of Shelf Talkers

In a "Talking Shop" interview with MobyLives, bookseller William Hastings of Farley's Bookshop, New Hope, Pa., stressed the importance of shelf talkers as a means of expanding the conversation with customers: "We realized that shelf talkers written by us scattered all over the store was like having that many more booksellers working the floor. Some people are afraid to ask for a recommendation or aren't sure about how to find what they need, so a well-written shelf talker can help out there.

"Customers have been really happy to have them. Most often they'll come up to the register with a book in hand and tell us that they are buying it, and are excited to read it, because of what the shelf talker said. Many have told us that they love just coming into the shop and reading through all of the shelf talkers in order to find what they want. In each case it leads to a discussion, perhaps more recommendations (from us to them or them to us), which is what it's all about anyway."

GBO Picks Transit

As its July Book of the Month, the German Book Office in New York has picked Transit by Anna Seghers, translated by Margot Dembo (NYRB Classics, $15.95, 9781590176252).

The GBO described the book, which was finished in 1942, this way: "Having escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in Germany in 1937, and later a camp in Rouen, the nameless 27-year-old German narrator of Seghers's multilayered masterpiece ends up in the dusty seaport of Marseille. Along the way he is asked to deliver a letter to a man named Weidel in Paris and discovers Weidel has committed suicide, leaving behind a suitcase containing letters and the manuscript of a novel. As he makes his way to Marseille to find Weidel's widow, the narrator assumes the identity of a refugee named Seidler, though the authorities think he is really Weidel. There in the giant waiting room of Marseille, the narrator converses with the refugees, listening to their stories over pizza and wine, while also gradually piecing together the story of Weidel, whose manuscript has shattered the narrator's 'deathly boredom,' bringing him to a deeper awareness of the transitory world the refugees inhabit as they wait and wait for that most precious of possessions: transit papers."

Anna Seghers (1900-1983) was born in Mainz, Germany, into an upper-middle-class Jewish family. She earned a doctorate in art history at the University of Heidelberg in 1924. By 1929, Seghers had joined the Communist Party, given birth to her first child, and received the Kleist Prize for her first novel, The Revolt of the Fisherman. Having settled in France in 1933, Seghers was forced to flee again after the 1940 Nazi invasion. Among Seghers's internationally regarded works are The Seventh Cross (1939); the novella Excursion of the Dead Girls (1945); The Dead Stay Young (1949); and the story collection Benito's Blue (1973).

Margot Bettauer Dembo has translated a variety of books and documentary films and won the Goethe-Institut/Berlin Translator's Prize in 1994 and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize in 2003.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Robert Kolker, Author of Lost Girls

Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Robert Kolker, author of Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery (Harper, $25.99, 9780062183637).

TV: Outlander

Sam Heughan has been cast as Jamie Fraser in the Starz network's adaptation of Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon's novels, reported. On Twitter, Gabaldon said she was "UTTERLY delighted" with the choice, and executive producer Ron Moore commented: "From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast. I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that's what Sam did."

This Weekend on Book TV: Mario Livio

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week 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, July 13
5 p.m. From the recent American Librarian Association's conference in Chicago, a panel of librarians discuss "The Best of the Best of the University Presses."

7 p.m. Jeffrey Sachs, author of To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace (Random House, $26, 9780812994926).

8:45 p.m. William Bennett, author of Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education (Thomas Nelson, $22.99, 9781595552792). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Dr. Marty Makary interviews Mario Livio, author of Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein--Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe (S&S, $26, 9781439192368). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m. and July 21 at 12 p.m.)

11 p.m. John Hunter, author of World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547905594), at an event hosted by Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 4:30 p.m.)

11:45 p.m. William Perry Pendley, author of Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan's Battle with Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today (Regnery, $27.95, 9781621571568).

Sunday, July 14
1 p.m. Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, author of Governing Security: The Hidden Origins of American Security Agencies (Stanford Law Books, $29.95, 9780804770705). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

3:30 p.m. John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (History Press, $19.99, 9781609495770).

5:15 p.m. James O'Keefe, author of Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy (Threshold Editions, $26, 9781476706177).

6:45 p.m. K. Eric Drexler, author of Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization (PublicAffairs, $28.99, 9781610391139). (Re-airs Monday at 2:40 a.m.)

8 p.m. Michael Levi, author of The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future (Oxford University Press USA, $27.95, 9780199986163).

10 p.m. John Summers, editor of Cotton Tenants: Three Families (Melville House, $24.95, 9781612192123), leads a panel discussion about this 1936 work by James Agee and Walker Evans at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum.  

Books & Authors

Sherlock Sam and the Singaporean-American Author

As A.J. Low, Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez have written three delightful Sherlock Sam books, a series published by Singapore publisher Epigram Books that features "Singapore's greatest kid detective" and his robot-helper, Watson. Jimenez, aka "Comicman," is an American expat born and raised in California to Mexican immigrant parents and a freelance writer, editor and teacher. Low-Jimenez, his wife, is a native Singaporean; her day job is division manager, merchandising division, at the amazing Books Kinokuniya in Singapore.

How did the series start?
Our publisher, Epigram Books, had an idea for children's book series starring a chubby boy detective named Sherlock Sam in Singapore. They invited a few writers to pitch their series proposals, and they liked ours best! We were super happy to be chosen because we both grew up reading mysteries, like Nancy Drew, Famous Five, Encyclopedia Brown, Secret Seven and others, and we're both enormous fans of Sherlock Holmes himself, including the most recent incarnations by Robert Downey, Jr., Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Once we were chosen, we could not stop creating characters and coming up with plots. It was really hard not to throw everything into that first book. We don't know about other authors, but we felt that this might be our one and only shot, so everything had to go in. Ultimately, we stepped back and told ourselves to stop being ridiculous, and just write a story that we would want to read when were 10 years old. We decided Sherlock Sam would be a fantastic learner like his namesake, and that his vice would be food, which was an easy thing to do since Singapore is full of fantastic food. We also made him a huge geek just because we were geeks too.

How would you describe the aim of the series?
The main aim is to tell a good story, plain and simple. We want people to enjoy it and maybe learn something new about Singapore and its cultures. A secondary aim was to show our local audiences that kid detectives can exist here, too. They don't always have to rely on the Famous Fives and Nancy Drews of the Western world (as good as they are) to get their mystery fixes. And it's pretty great to see the faces of the kids when they realize some of the books take place in their neighborhoods!

How did Watson, Sherlock Sam's robot sidekick, develop?
Watson originally didn't exist! In the first draft of the first book, Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong, Sherlock Sam's sister, Wendy, played the role of Watson. When we sent it to our editor, however, she suggested we add more gadgets--everything from iPads and Galaxies to X-ray glasses and laser pens--into the story since kids today love gadgets. However, we felt if we did so, Sherlock Sam would be able to solve the mystery too quickly, but we also knew our editor was right. We needed something. Then Felicia said, "I've always wanted to write about a robot." Everything coalesced around that. The robot would take the place of all these gadgets because a robot is the ultimate gadget. To get around the "solving mysteries too easily" problem, we made sure the robot wasn't that powerful. We also gave it the personality of a grumpy old man, so even when he got to be pretty powerful (he receives a new power in every book), he would still be reticent to help Sherlock Sam solve mysteries. All he needed was a name, and as you can read in the first book, Watson wasn't named such because his partner went by Sherlock.

It's very surprising and gratifying for us that a character who wasn't supposed to exist has become almost every reader's favorite!

What kind of reaction has the series been getting in Singapore and elsewhere?
It's been pretty good. We've very surprised how many people seem to really enjoy our stories, both kids and adults. We've been invited regularly to give school talks in Singapore, which is where we get to interact with kids the most, and they always seem excited to see us. We were also recently invited to attend both the Asian Festival of Children's Content here in Singapore, and the inaugural Little Lit Festival in Manila, Philippines, where we had tons of fun and met a lot of awesome people. And, we'll be doing some activities at the Singapore Writer's Festival at the end of this year.

The books are currently available at local bookstores in Singapore (of course), Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Dubai and even the Books Kinokuniya in New York City! They're also available online for those places whose local bookstores don't yet carry them.

Tell us about your school visits and bookstore events.
We've been doing about two school visits a month. Usually we hold assembly talks, where we talk to almost the whole school and do a presentation about the basics of story writing. Occasionally, we are asked to do a writing workshop for the upper primary classes (the equivalent of grades 4-6 in the U.S.), where we go into more detail and teach advanced techniques. Adan teaches at the creative writing school Monsters Under the Bed, so the writing workshops have become almost second nature to him. Felicia's a bookseller/buyer so she's a bit more nervous because she's used to dealing with books rather than people, but she's still quite awesome at it.

We want to single out the International Community School, and especially Mrs. Chi's fourth grade class. This was the first school that we went to, more to do research than anything else. We did a little presentation for the kids, and they were so excited to meet us that they asked for our autographs, even though our first book had not been published yet! They were super great, and many of those children, along with Mrs. Chi herself, make guest appearances in the third book, Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah.

So far, we have had only three bookstore events. Our first event was at Silverfish Books in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was organized by our friend Daphne Lee, who writes for the Star, a Malaysian newspaper, and edits for Scholastic Books. It was attended by about eight people, only two of which were kids, but it was a fun discussion-style event where we talked about the rigors of writing and how to set mysteries in local settings.

Since then, we've had two more bookstore events in Singapore. The second event, timed for the release of the second book, Sherlock Sam and the Ghostly Moans in Fort Canning, was held at Books Kinokuniya's main store on Orchard Road. We were worried that no one would show up, and up until five minutes before the event was scheduled to start, there was nobody there. Then, suddenly, lots and lots of people showed up, and we had a fantastic event! Our third event was at the new Books Kinokuniya branch in the west of Singapore, celebrating the release of the third book and the opening of the store. We debuted a couple of new games and contests there, and the kids seemed to enjoy them, especially when they won a LEGO Watson!

How many Sherlock Sam books are you doing and at what frequency?
We'll be writing at least eight Sherlock Sam books, but if the series continues to be this popular, then we would definitely like to continue. We will continue as long as we have new mysteries to tell, and as along as Epigram Books wants to publish them.

The frequency has actually changed a bit. Originally, we were going to do a new book every two months, which we did for the first three books. But we quickly realized that pace would likely kill us as we both have full time jobs, so we decided to slow down to a book every three months. However, we've recently realized the schedules of the many wonderful people who work on this book have gone a bit haywire because of summer holidays, so the fourth book, Sherlock Sam and the Alien Encounter in Pulau Ubin, will likely be delayed until October or November. Our schedule after that should normalize, and we'll put out four books next year at the interval of every three months.

How do you two write? Do you do story ideas and outlines together? Do you both write and edit?
This is the question that we are asked the most because, apparently, most married couples cannot work together. (We've been married only a year and a half, though, so perhaps that's why we can pull it off.) We usually start brainstorming story ideas, and once we've decided on the story we want to write, we work on the outline together as well. We go into really specific details, chapter by chapter. This is necessary when you have two people writing one story. (We learned this through trial and error. Let's just say there were spirited discussions during the writing process for the first book.) After all the planning is done, we then each take a chapter. Traditionally, Felicia starts the book and Adan ends it. We didn't plan for this to happen, it just happened. Once we're done with the first draft, we send it off to our editor, and the editing cycle begins.

How do you work with illustrator Andrew Tan?
Spectacularly well! He's an enormous geek, and he totally gets us. It also helps that he's a comic artist (who is nominated for an Eisner Award this year for a short story in his Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise collection), and he understands that we want our illustrations to be more than just straight depictions of scenes from the book; they have to add to the story. He often adds little nuggets to each illustration that we sometimes don't notice until after the book has been published. For example, in Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah, we called the school in the book the Enterprise School (because we're huge Star Trek fans), and without prompting, Andrew drew Watson reading a Star Trek magazine in one of the illustrations.

Once the book is in the close-to-final stage of editing, Andrew will get a copy of the manuscript with our illustration instructions and we'll usually meet in person to hash out the details. Andrew will then come back with sketches and we'll go through a few rounds of edits before we finalize the illustrations.

He brings a lot to the table and we can genuinely say that the book wouldn't be as fantastic without him. The kids really love his illustrations, and now when we write, we can visualize the characters, which helps us write! We're very happy that Epigram Books chose him to be the series artist!

Adan, how does--if it does!--being an American add to and affect the series? What do you bring to it?
I am relatively new to Singapore (five years as of June 1) and can sometimes see interesting things in places that Felicia would find mundane, only because she's been here her entire life. Part of what we think makes the books work is showing Singaporeans that the neighborhoods and places they've grown up in can still hold surprises for them. Of course, being able to introduce these awesome places to international audiences at the same time is also a big plus.

I am especially fond of the third book because it deals a little with immigrants, and how sometimes they can feel lost and alone in this new place. When I first moved here, I also felt very homesick, and didn't know what to make of this new place with its heat and its weird food. But I ended up loving the food, tolerating the heat, and finding the love of my life here.

The third book also features a lot of Mexican food and culture, so I got to introduce some of my culture to Singapore and the region. And my parents got to guest star!

Will Sherlock Sam travel outside of Singapore?
Definitely! For our fifth book, Sherlock Sam, Watson and the Supper Club (what we've named his group of friends) will be traveling to either Penang or Malacca, in Malaysia. We've not decided yet. We hope to take him to other places around Asia as well, and maybe even farther abroad, but it will have to make sense in the story (we don't want them to travel just for the sake of traveling) and also link back to Singapore in some way. Both Penang and Malacca have very similar histories to Singapore, and we're sure the Supper Club's resident history buff, Nazhar, will have many things to say on the subject. Also, Sherlock Sam will have new food to investigate!

How did you two meet?
Adan had just come back from a trip to Spain, where he was seriously considering moving to, and was invited to a party held by his colleague and friend, Zhu Meishan. Felicia had also been invited, but she nearly didn't go as she was debating whether or not to be lazy and just stay home. Ultimately, we both went, and started talking about comic books. Adan liked that Felicia was an adorable, geeky girl in glasses, and Felicia liked that Adan was a shy, geeky boy in glasses. Adan decided that night not to move anywhere, and Felicia decided maybe it was a good thing to leave the house once in a while. The rest is history, except that Meishan has claimed naming rights on our first born as she takes sole credit for getting us together.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 16:

Hunting Eve by Iris Johansen (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250019998) is a new thriller with Eve Duncan.

The English Girl by Daniel Silva (Harper, $27.99, 9780062073167) continues the Gabriel Allon mystery series.

Blood & Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant (Random House, $27, 9781400069293) is historical fiction about the infamous Renaissance family.

Witch Wraith: The Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Del Rey, $28, 9780345523532) continues the Shannara fantasy series.

Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It by Matthew Berry (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594486258) explores the world of fantasy football.

Book Review

Review: The Hypothetical Girl

The Hypothetical Girl by Elizabeth Cohen (Other Press, $14.95 paperback, 9781590515822, August 6, 2013)

In The Hypothetical Girl, Elizabeth Cohen's first collection of stories, the protagonists (mostly women, mostly ages 30-50) leap into Internet dating sites with a kind of hopeless abandon and encounter mistaken intentions, unanswered texts, deceptive profile pics and even sexual stalking. Cohen's stories remind us falling in love is a pretty shaky proposition regardless of how we stumble on a partner; big data often means big mistakes.

Cohen (The Family on Beartown Road) illustrates the many ways that online courting can go astray, from the bachelor with the silver Audi convertible who turns out to be bald with "a shiny crown of tanned flesh, like a yarmulke that had vacationed in Florida" to the Icelandic yak farmer who's really a police officer in Akron. Perhaps the most haunting and sad story is "Life Underground," where Alana longs for a family like that of her sister, whose husband, Peter, is a novelist who spends his time "in the garage doing some manly garage thing" and whose novels "no matter what they were about, somehow always featured hunting and deer." Yet when she finally discovers Max, a seemingly compatible life partner, Alana cautiously holds off his requests for a personal meeting. Visiting her sister's house, Alana accidently discovers Peter's porn-filled laptop; she never does connect in person with Max, deciding that it is better that he "live in her computer, under circuits and a motherboard and back inside the walls of her house, and in the electricity of the greater world, buzzing around in an infinitely coded fashion."

If there is a serious lesson in Cohen's rom-com of Internet dating, it might be that learned by Clarissa in "Dog People," as she accepts that who she is may be not too bad: "a woman in the middle of her own imperfect but cozy universe, a life made of yoga stretches and yogurt smoothies, mornings with coffee on her back porch, taking in the day." Or consider the resignation of Ophelia in "Heart Food," who "did not go on the computer and type words to the universe of lonely men. She just lived her life, day to day. And it was okay." To mash up Milton with Google: "They are also lucky who only stand and wait." --Bruce Jacobs

Shelf Talker: Cohen's accomplished and funny first collection of stories cuts to the heart of the often heartless and "unfriendly" give and take of the world of Internet dating.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Surrender Your Love by J.C. Reed
2. Conquer Your Love by J.C. Reed
3. Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw
4. The Billionaire's Obsession: The Complete Collection Boxed Set by J.S. Scott
5. Falling Into Us by Jasinda Wilder
6. Him by Carey Heywood
7. The Last Boyfriend (Forever Love) by J.S. Cooper
8. Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder
9. The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan
10. Saltwater Kisses: A Billionaire Love Story by Krista Lakes

[Many thanks to!]

Powered by: Xtenit