Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chronicle Books: Poetry Comics by Grant Snider

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Quotation of the Day

Douglas Preston: 'We've Felt a Little Bit Betrayed by This'

"I think most of us think that Amazon is a good company. We're grateful to it for selling our books. We've been a partner to it, we've been supporting Amazon from the very beginning, from the time it was a start-up. And we've felt a little bit betrayed by this. I'm speaking to you now, not as an official spokesman for anybody. That's how I felt personally, and it's turned out a lot of other authors felt the same way....

"I guess our feeling is that there are going to be disputes between Amazon and publishers forever. There are going to be negotiations... these are two large corporations. Is this going to be Amazon's MO [mode of operation] from now on?--to hurt authors and inconvenience their own customers every time they run into a rough patch negotiating with a publisher? I guess our feeling is that that's not acceptable."

--Author Douglas Preston in an interview with Porter Anderson at the Bookseller's FutureBook blog.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan


Perseus Sale to Hachette and Ingram Delayed a Month

Persus Book Group logoThe closing of the Perseus-Hachette-Ingram deal is being postponed from today until the end of August. An e-mail from Hachette Group HR to Perseus Books Group employees said that "as with all closings, there are a number of tasks that need to be accomplished in order to close and the parties were not able to complete these in time to close Thursday. The goal now is to close by the end of August."

Under the deal, Perseus is selling its publishing and distribution operations to Hachette. In a simultaneous transaction, Hachette is selling the distribution operations to Ingram Content Group. Sources said that the closing delay reflects the complications of the three-way transaction compared to a simple two-party sale--and that because end-of-month closings are preferred, even a delay of a day or two in processing means the closing needs to move to the end of the following month.

University of Texas Press: Loose of Earth: A Memoir by Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Chapters Location in Montreal to Close

The Chapters bookstore at Stanley and Ste. Catherine is closing October 4 and its 35,000-square-foot location will become the world's second-largest Victoria's Secret outlet, CTV News reported.

The Montreal Gazette noted that the parent company, Indigo Books & Music, has another bookstore on Ste. Catherine Street a few blocks east. Janet Eger, v-p of public affairs for the bookstore chain, said, "We had two stores within walking distance," adding that the Place Montreal Trust Indigo will be renovated and enhanced.

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

High Stakes: Amazon vs. Flipkart in India

One day after Indian e-commerce company Flipkart said it had raised $1 billion in fresh funding, Amazon doubled down by announcing a further $2 billion of investment in the country, the Bookseller reported.

Flipkart's founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, two former Amazon employees, called the new funding a "massive milestone" that lifts the total Flipkart has raised thus far to $1.75 billion, which will be used "to make long-term strategic investments in India, especially in mobile technology."

Amazon, which launched in India just over a year ago, countered with its own announcement. "After our first year in business, the response from customers and small and medium-sized businesses in India has surpassed our expectations," said CEO Jeff Bezos. "We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India. With this additional investment of $2 billion, our team can continue to think big, innovate, and raise the bar for customers in India."

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Juneteenth Cookbook:
Recipes and Activities for Kids
and Families to Celebrate
by Alliah L. Agostini and Taffy Elrod
illus. by Sawyer Cloud
GLOW: becker&mayer! kids:  The Juneteenth Cookbook: Recipes and Activities for Kids and Families to Celebrate by Alliah L. Agostini and Taffy Elrod, illus. by Sawyer Cloud

Black U.S. history is dynamically showcased through food, drink, crafts, games, and music playlists in The Juneteenth Cookbook, an interactive recipe book by Alliah L. Agostini and chef Taffy Elrod. Each section encourages children to honor--and taste!--the significance of emancipation through traditional flavors found in their recipes for items like Freedom Fizz, Mac 'N' Please, and Sweet Potato Pie Bars. Cara Donaldson, group managing editor at the Quarto Group, says this fusion of history with foodie passion has "cracked open the door for innovation" and gives kids "the nudge they need to be creative." Agostini and Elrod's text mixed with Sawyer Cloud's vivacious illustrations make for a cookbook that encourages intergenerational celebration, storytelling, and fellowship. --Rachel Werner

(becker&mayer! kids, $19.99 hardcover, ages 8-12, 9780760385791, April 2, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Suiting Up


Sue Ganz-Schmitt at Barnes & NoblePlanet Kindergarten (Chronicle) author Sue Ganz-Schmitt arrived at her event this past Sunday at the Barnes & Noble in Calabasas, Calif., in a space suit. Her book's hero prepares for his mission to a strange new world: Planet Kindergarten. To the children's section, and beyond!

Indie Booksellers: 'Indispensible Players in Community Life'

"It may seem like the e-book behemoth is taking over the publishing industry, but a trip to North Carolina proves that local bookshops have become indispensible players in community life," the Daily Beast noted in the sub-head for author Bill Morris's piece headlined "Amazon Won't Kill the Indie Bookstore."

Bill Morris reading at Scuppernong Books
Bill Morris reading at Scuppernong Books

One of the bookstores Morris read at on his recent tour for Motor City Burning was Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, which "didn't exist when I started writing my novel.... Indeed, the crowd at my reading was attentive, inquisitive--and willing to spend money on printed books. This intimate contact is vital to both readers and writers--and it's something that can't be replicated online. For readers, it's a chance to get inside the process of how books get made. For writers, who spend years in solitude putting words on a page, it's an invaluable chance to connect with their audience."


Scuppernong co-owner Brian Lampkin said, "For me and the six people who work here, it was something that was missing from our lives--a place where ideas and conversation matter. When you walk in the door, you feel like you're among human beings. The gratitude we got from the community was shocking. We're not going to get rich, but we're paying people well and giving them a sweet life. It's great for downtown. Independent bookstores are intellectual centers of a city."

As for Amazon, Lampkin observed: "I would like to say there's room in the world for everyone--if Amazon felt that way. When I worked at a bookstore in Seattle, the company was revered as part of the growing internet economy. But now I see them as the giant vampire squid, the enemy of the independent bookstore. I do have a sense that I must resist, but I can also see how they're good for writers."

Morris also read at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, where co-owner Tom Campbell told him: "What we've done to respond to all that is to still be people who are interested in books and can have a conversation. Books are intimate things, and we can provide something that Amazon can't. People still like to walk into a physical place and pick up books and talk to people. It's almost retro in today's environment, like vinyl....

"People don't have as much time as they used to have. They don't read as many book reviews. We can guide people to books that we or someone in the business feels strongly about--and that helps. People need more guidance now."

Personnel Changes at Chronicle Books

Stephanie Wong has been promoted to lifestyle marketing and publicity manager at Chronicle Books. She was previously a children's marketing manager. Before joining Chronicle in 2011, she was a marketing manager at Klutz Press.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Marcia Clark on the Late Late Show

Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Lynne Tillman, author of What Would Lynne Tillman Do? (Red Lemonade, $16.95, 9781935869214). As the show put it: "Lynne Tillman organized her collection of essays What Would Lynne Tillman Do? by alphabet: she felt this was the most neutral, least hierarchical way to go about things. She doesn't have one way of writing or one common subject: 'A' is for Andy Warhol, 'B' for Jane and Paul Bowles. The destruction of context and deformation of category is crucial to what Tillman does. She wishes to open doors, break down barriers, and make us aware of how thoughts are formed. She says a writer shouldn't be ahead of one's time but 'of' one's time, as in, sensitive to life as it's lived around you."


Tomorrow on the Talk: Hans Rockenwagner, co-author of Das Cookbook: German Cooking... California Style (Prospect Park Books, $29.95, 9781938849336).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports: John Shiffman, author of Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781451655131).


Tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Marcia Clark, author of Killer Ambition (Mulholland Books, $8, 9780316220934).

Movies: Dragonriders of Pern; Agent Storm

"Harry Potter, The Hobbit and now.... Dragonriders of Pern? On an endless search to find big-scale fantasy books that lend themselves to global franchises, Warner Bros has optioned the Pern book series from the estate of American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey," reported. The first book in the 22-volume series was published in 1968.

The deal was spearheaded by Drew Crevello, who joined Warner Bros. "a couple of months ago after writing for two years." Warners' Julia Spiro also is working on the project.


Scott Rudin will produce and Paul Greengrass may direct a screen adaptation of Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA by Morten Storm with Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister (Atlantic Monthly Press; September 2). Sony Pictures acquired the film rights. Rudin and Greengrass most recently worked together on Captain Phillips.  
Morgan Entrekin, publisher and CEO of Grove Atlantic, said Agent Storm "tells an extraordinary, gripping story that takes you further into the world of Al Qaeda than anything I have ever read. We are thrilled that Sony and Scott Rudin have acquired the rights and that Paul Greengrass may direct. It will make a terrific movie."

This Weekend on Book TV: In Depth with Ron Paul

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, August 2
12 p.m. C-SPAN Cities Tour: BookTV re-visits authors and literary sites around the country. (Re-airs Sunday at 9:45 a.m.)

7 p.m. Marja Mills, author of The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594205194). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 a.m.)

8:30 p.m. Rick Santorum, author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works (Regnery, $27.99, 9781621572398).

9 p.m. Juan Cole, author of The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451690392), at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Mich.

10 p.m. Cheryl Chumley, author of Police State USA: How Orwell's Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality (WND Books, $26.95, 9781936488148). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Ralph Nader, author of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State (Nation Books, $25.99, 9781568584546). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:30 p.m.)

Sunday, August 3
12 p.m. Live In Depth q&a with former congressman and author Ron Paul. E-mail questions from this page. (Re-airs Monday at 12 p.m.)

6 p.m. Richard Viguerie, author of Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It (WND Books, $27.95, 9781936488544).

6:30 p.m. Sidney Powell, author of Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice (Brown Books, $28.95, 9781612541495).

8 p.m. Matthew Stewart, author of Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic (Norton, $28.95, 9780393064544).

10 p.m. Charles Cobb, author of This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible (Basic Books, $27.99, 9780465033102), at TurnRow Book Company in Greenwood, Miss.

11:15 p.m. John Shiffman, author of Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781451655131).

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Literary

The PEN American Center announced more winners of the 2014 PEN Literary Awards. Winners will be honored at the PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on September 29 in New York City, during which this year's winner of the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize will be named. In early September, the $25,000 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction will be announced. The PEN Literary winners include:

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): Critical Mass by James Wolcott (Doubleday)
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): High Price by Dr. Carl Hart (Harper)
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): domina Un/blued by Ruth Ellen Kocher (Tupelo Press); and Cowboys and East Indians by Nina McConigley (FiveChapters Books)
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell (FSG)
PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000): Frank Bidart
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): League of Denial by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru (Crown Archetype)
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): Dave Anderson
PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): The King of Little Things by Bil Lepp (Peachtree Publishers)
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): The Taste of Elephant Tears by Linda Oatman High
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): Karen Emmerich and Edmund Keeley for Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos (Archipelago)
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov for Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (NYRB Classics)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 5:

The Lost Island: A Gideon Crew Novel by Lincoln Child (Grand Central, $27, 9781455525775) is book three of the Gideon Crew series.

Top Secret by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (Putnam, $28.95, 9780399171239) is book one of the new Clandestine Operations series.

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein (Simon & Schuster, $37.50, 9781476782416) explores the political landscape of 1970s America.

When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316217446) chronicles Paris under Nazi rule.

The Imperfect Marriage: Help for Those Who Think It's Over by Tracy Strawberry, Darryl Strawberry and A. J. Gregory (Howard Books, $24.99, 9781476738741) is a marriage guide from former baseball star Darryl Strawberry and his wife.

Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs by Joshua Wolf Shenk (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544031593) explores successful creative duos like John Lennon/Paul McCartney and Steve Jobs/Steve Wozniak.

Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40, 9780618054749) is a biography of the iconic composer.

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman (Norton, $27.95, 9780393063967) chronicles the country's changing social structures. (August 4.)

The Kills: Sutler, The Massive, The Kill, and The Hit by Richard House (Picador, $35, 9781250052438) explores modern warfare and capitalism in a collection of four novels.

A Colder War by Charles Cumming (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250020611) is a spy thriller about assassinated Iranian defectors.

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780544236158) takes place in a dog sanctuary.

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 String Diaries: A Novel by Stephen Lloyd Jones (Mulholland Books, $26, 9780316254465). "Usually when we have the eerie feeling that something or someone dark and gruesome is following us, it's just our vivid imaginations running amuck. But in The String Diaries it's a very real monstrous being who is following Hannah and her family, and it's been following them for nearly two hundred years as attested to in diaries passed to Hannah from her mother. The worst part is its ability to look like anyone--even someone Hannah loves. Prepare to grit your teeth and shudder. Yes, it's that good!" --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.

How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky: A Novel by Lydia Netzer (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250047021). "This is a quirky, geeky, wonderful, feel-good love story unlike anything you have ever read. It has poetry, black holes, dreams, astronomy, super-colliders, psychics, destiny, unrequited love, and the strangest pre-arranged marriage you will ever see. It goes from weird to serious and from funny to sad, but in the end Netzer's latest is an honest and emotional look at the nature of true love." --Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.

Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel by Wilton Barnhardt (Picador, $16, 9781250022288). "Lookaway, Lookaway is a wildly entertaining social novel that examines the lives of a Southern family in contemporary America. If you appreciate Jonathan Franzen, you will go hoohah over Wilton Barnhardt's latest work. If you don't enjoy Franzen, you may go double hoohah. Barnhardt casts his novelist's eye on society and culture, and expertly delivers a searing, biting, touching and hilarious novel that deserves a wide audience and teaches us all a thing or two. If you like to laugh, cry and learn while marveling at exquisite writing, this book should not be missed or ignored. A literary treat!" --Ed Conklin, Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, Calif.

For Teen Readers
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062271105). "Amy can only speak with the aid of a voice box and she can't walk more than a few steps without assistance. Matthew has his own obsessive worries. When Matthew starts helping Amy, a relationship begins to take shape. But can their friendship weather all that their lives have in store? Wonder meets Eleanor and Park in this authentic romance with beautifully crafted characters." --Beth Reynolds, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Never Mind Miss Fox

Never Mind Miss Fox by Olivia Glazebrook (Little, Brown, $25 hardcover, 9780316242899, August 19, 2014)

Olivia Glazebrook (The Trouble with Alice) opens her second novel, Never Mind Miss Fox, by introducing her readers to Clive and Martha in their university days, at Oxford. Clive has fallen for Martha, and "realizing her worth--afraid to leave her unattended," he's brought her along on a family holiday to France. It is there, in a small seaside town where Clive's family has been vacationing for decades, that the full cast of characters comes together: the new couple is joined by Clive's younger brother, Tom, and his guest, a girl named Eliot Fox. Tom and Eliot are "just friends," although everyone acknowledges that Tom worships her. The boys' parents, Val and Peter, are secondary to this vivid foursome of young people, but their personalities are evoked in brief sketches.

The narrative then jumps forward in time. Clive and Martha are happily (or at least stably) married, and they adore their lonesome daughter, Eliza, who has just come home from school to announce that she has a new piano teacher, someone from her parents' past. Eliza is happy to have found a friend in Miss Fox; but to Clive she represents something entirely different. Eliot brings with her a secret Clive has mostly forgotten after all these years, a dark secret unknown to Martha or Eliza or Tom, one that has the potential to tear apart his carefully constructed life. "Are you going to tell?" he asks her; Eliot replies, "I won't have to."

The chronology of Glazebrook's haunting tale continues to alternate between the schooldays of the original four characters and their adult lives with the heartbreaking Eliza, whose world was just starting to make sense when it began to break apart. Readers will wonder at the nature of Clive's transgression for much of the book, as the enigma is slowly revealed; then they'll watch in horror as his family's present hangs in the balance.

Never Mind Miss Fox is relatively brief--easily read in a single sitting--but powerful. Glazebrook draws strong characters: Martha, ambitious, and a reluctant mother; Clive, insecure and barely competent; Eliza, an affectingly awkward, intelligent child; and of course Miss Fox, mysterious, damaged, whose motives remain obscure. As the entangled players rush toward a conclusion that will change each of their lives in profound ways, the distressed marriage and mood of sinister suspense are apt to delight fans of Patricia Highsmith and all that is darkly engrossing. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: An ominous tale of betrayal and past mistakes.

Deeper Understanding

Bookseller Wisdom: World War I Titles, Part 2

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia in retaliation to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28. By the end of the war in 1918, some 16 million people had been killed and the maps of Europe and the Middle East were redrawn. To help commemorate one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, Shelf Awareness has compiled, guided by several booksellers with a deep interest in the subject, a selective list of titles about the Great War.

Many thanks to Mark LaFramboise, head buyer at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.; Margaret Brennan Neville, bookseller at the King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah; Tom Gartner, senior book buyer for Books Inc. in San Francisco, Calif.; and Shelf Awareness's own Marilyn Dahl. This is the second of two parts (see part one here) and focuses on nonfiction and children's titles. --Alex Mutter

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis (Vintage, $16.95, 9780375708152).
In his 2011 book, Wade Davis recounts the three British expeditions that set out to climb Everest between 1921 and 1924. Those expeditions consisted of 24 men, all but six of whom had served, either as soldiers or medics, in World War I. Davis describes the horrors of trench warfare in as much detail as the attempts on Everest that occurred less than a decade later. For a country and generation ravaged by World War I, these Everest expeditions were an attempt to restore a shattered sense of pride and place.

A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin (Holt, $22, 9780805088090).
In A Peace to End All Peace, Fromkin examines how and why the Allied powers divided up the Middle East after the end of World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Fromkin contends that this redrawing of the map set the stage for the next century of political, ethnic and religious conflict in the region. Said Tom Gartner: "Anyone interested in the Middle East should read this, to understand the roots of so many problems."

Good-bye to All That by Robert Graves (Anchor, $16.95, 9780385093309).
Tom Gartner called Robert Graves's autobiography "the book that got me interested in World War I." Graves provides a devastating picture of what the war was like, and what it did to himself and his generation. "It just knocked me out," continued Gartner. "It's so well written."

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild (Mariner Books, $15.95, 9780547750316).
To End All Wars is a sweeping, elegantly written history of World War I by the author of King Leopold's Ghost that pays as much attention to conscientious objectors and suffragettes on the home front as it does to front line heroics and vicious battles. "It's a little different because it focuses on some of the unlikely relationships," said Mark LaFramboise. "One of the leading suffragettes and anti-war voices, in fact, was a sister of John French," the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force for the first two years of the war.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T.E. Lawrence (Wilder Publications, $14.99, 9781617201813).
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is Lawrence's classic autobiographical account of his time as a liaison officer during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, when he became known as Lawrence of Arabia. His extraordinary life and adventures would make great reading in their own right, Tom Gartner said, but Lawrence "was a brilliant writer. The language in it is so beautiful. It's an amazing read."

Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250033772).
Eddie Rickenbacker, the subject of Enduring Courage, was not only the U.S.'s first ace fighter pilot but also one of the nation's first star race car drivers. On his way to becoming a squadron commander and later a Medal of Honor recipient, Rickenbacker had to overcome a handicap, accusations of being a German spy and his family's impoverished circumstances. "To be a flier, you had to be a college graduate and an officer," Mark LaFramboise explained. "Rickenbacker was kind of the lone non-Ivy Leaguer among them. And he turned out to be the greatest of all them."

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman (Presidio Press, $7.99, 9780345476098).
Tuchman's exhaustive reconstruction of the first month of World War I won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1963 and became an immediate bestseller. The narrative begins with the funeral of Edward VII of the United Kingdom in 1910, followed by the pre-war military planning of various great powers. After a discussion of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Tuchman recounts the battles of the first month of the war in incredible detail.

Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia by Janet Wallach (Anchor, $17, 9781400096190).
During World War I, Gertrude Bell was recruited by British intelligence not only to gain the loyalty of Arab leaders against the Ottoman Turks, but to provide T.E. Lawrence with crucial intelligence for his military campaigns. After the war, she played a huge role in dividing territory lost by the Ottoman Empire and creating the modern Middle East. At one time, according to Wallach, Bell was considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire. "People like Lawrence and Bell don't even seem like real human beings," Tom Gartner said. "Bell did so much and led such an amazing life. And she did it all in a time not particularly friendly to women."

Children's Literature:

Stay Where You Are & Then Leave by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Holt, $16.99, 9781627790314).
Alfie Summerfield's father goes to war when World War I breaks out. Four years later, after the war is over, Alfie's father is still gone. He knows that his father isn't dead, but otherwise he has no idea what happened to him. One day, he realizes that his father is actually quite close by, being treated for shell shock in a London hospital, and resolves to save him.

Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence (Laurel Leaf, $5.99, 9780440418122).
In Lord of the Nutcracker Men, Johnny's father goes to war in 1914. He promises to send Johnny, who loves to play war games with toy soldiers, a hand-whittled wooden soldier with each of his letters home. At first, the letters and soldiers are relatively normal. But with each letter, the toy soldiers become more scarred, disfigured and horrific, and Johnny begins to fear that his toy soldier battles predict what happens to his father in real life.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Scholastic Press, $6.99, 9780439796644).
Joey is the beloved colt of a young English farm boy named Albert. After war breaks out, Albert's father sells Joey to a cavalry captain. Joey is marooned on the front lines, captured and recaptured by English and German soldiers. Albert, meanwhile, travels to mainland Europe to find him. Said Margaret Brennan Neville: "It portrays the war in such a personal way."

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by J.J. Smith
2. Where I Belong by J. Daniels
3. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans by Joanne DeMaio
4. Three Southern Beaches by Various
5. Masters of Seduction by Various
6. Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters Collection by Various
7. Rhett by J.S. Cooper
8. Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels
9. Little Black Book by Tabatha Vargo and Melissa Andrea
10. The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige

[Many thanks to!]

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