Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Flatiron Books: The Courting of Bristol Keats: [Limited Stenciled Edge Edition] by Mary E Pearson

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Chronicle Books: Taste in Music: Eating on Tour with Indie Musicians by Luke Pyenson and Alex Beeker

Doubleday Books: Death at the Sign of the Rook: A Jackson Brodie Book by Kate Atkinson

Groundwood Books: Who We Are in Real Life by Victoria Koops

Agate Bolden: 54 Miles by Leonard Pitts Jr.

Quotation of the Day

Brazos Bookstore: Indie Presses & 'Communal' Reading

"For a serious reader, discovering a new independent publisher is like finding a new friend. You hold the book, study the cover design, inspect the spine and read the author's bio. Next, you try the first few pages, nod at a turn of phrase, sigh at a great insight (none of this takes more than a minute or two), until something clicks, and you're overwhelmed by the certainty of people you have never met, living in other parts of the world, who somehow understand you. The word 'independent' almost isn't right, is it? After all, such discoveries teach us that reading is--as readers know--a communal activity."

--Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex., which is profiling several of its favorite indie presses this month

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Amazon to Open Two Pop-Up Stores in California

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon plans to open a mini-warehouse/distribution center/store in Midtown Manhattan. This week, the company confirmed that it is opening pop-up stores in San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.

A source told GeekWire that the San Francisco store--in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, a mall in heart of downtown--is scheduled to open Wednesday, October 22. The company gave no indication of when the stores would close. The source added that "if this storefront works well, Amazon may roll out similar stores to other locations around the country, however, there's no commitment to build more at this time."

Amazon described the stores as "pop-up kiosks" where "customers can try out our new devices."

Times on Amazon: Yin and Yang

In the wake of the New York Times public editor's recent scolding of David Streitfeld for not being "balanced" enough in reporting on the Amazon-Hachette dispute, the Times seems to be continuing an internal battle over the issue.

On the one hand, yesterday, Streitfeld outlined another Amazon tactic that seems to have spread since its dispute with Hachette became public six months ago: some Hachette authors, and non-Hachette authors, who are critical of Amazon are are complaining that searches for their books include titles by other authors that are free.

The article, by the way, was a nice way of exploring Ursula K. Le Guin's comment about Amazon engaging in censorship, one of the things that was criticized by Times public editor Margaret Sullivan a week earlier.

"A delay in shipping may not be censorship," Streitfeld wrote. "But what if the book is hard or even impossible to find on Amazon, which sells nearly half the books in America?"

He noted the case of Representative Paul Ryan, whose new book, The Way Forward, was restored to "normal" treatment after Ryan complained on national television.

Another interesting case involved Marla Heller, author of The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution, published by Grand Central Life & Style in 2012, who said a printed copy of her book couldn't be found on Amazon--and that she was being punished because of her vocal support of Authors United.

Streitfeld asked Amazon about Heller's book, and was told "there was a technical issue with this title." It reappeared on the site within hours.

Asked about several of these examples, Craig Berman, Amazon's v-p for global communications, told Streitfeld that the company "has continued to sell all Hachette titles in print and digital despite our ongoing commercial dispute."

Then, this morning, Times columnist Joe Nocera, in a piece called "Amazon Plays Rough. So What?," began by trashing Franklin Foer's cover story in the New Republic, "Amazon Must Be Stopped." Nocera argued that "there's no way Amazon can legitimately be called a monopoly.... The truth is that American antitrust law is simply not very concerned with the fate of competitors. What it cares about is whether harm is done to consumers....

"Even in the one business Amazon does dominate--books--it earned its market share fair and square, by, among other things, inventing the first truly commercially successful e-reader. Even now, most people turn to Amazon for e-books not because there are no alternatives but because its service is superior."

He asked, "Does Amazon have a dark side? Yes, it does--primarily in the way it has historically treated its warehouse workers. But to say that Amazon has to be stopped because it is giving people what they want is to misunderstand the nature of capitalism.

"Let's be honest here: The intelligentsia is focused on Amazon not because it sells pinto beans or toilets, but because it sells books. That's their business. Amazon is changing the book industry in ways that threaten to diminish the role of publishers and traditional ways of publishing. Its battle with Hachette is a battle over control. It's not terribly different from the forces that ultimately disintermediated the music business."

He concluded by saying that as an author he's "rooting for Hachette" because traditional publishing "works for me, as it does for most writers of serious nonfiction." Still, he's going to continue using Amazon.

Notes from Frankfurt: Thank POD!; Brazilian Bookstores

During an interview with Mark Dressler on the Publishing Perspectives stage at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Ingram Content Group chairman and CEO John R. Ingram briefly discussed the "disaster investment" that was the Rocket eBook. Drawn in by the hype around the digital-exclusive Stephen King novella "Riding the Bullet," many companies, including Ingram, invested heavily in the e-book platform. In retrospect, the technology was not yet there, Ingram said, and it was several years too early for the reading public to adopt e-readers. At around the same time, however, Ingram had begun investing heavily in the first iteration of its print-on-demand program, which has blossomed into Lightning Source. "Thank God print-on-demand worked," remarked Ingram. "Or someone else might be talking to you now."


During a CEO Talk, Michel Levy, CEO of Saraiva Group, which operates Brazil's biggest bookstore chain, with 115 stores across the country, and Mauricio Fanganiello, the managing director of Saraiva's publishing division, discussed the challenges posed by Amazon's entrance into the Brazilian market. Although Amazon has been selling Kindles in Brazil for some time, it only recently began selling print books to Brazilian consumers. And this August, Saraiva launched an e-reader of its own, called the Lev, to compete with the Kindle.

Levy asserted that he is "not underestimating any competitors," and believes that "the combination of e-commerce and physical stores are strong competitive advantages for us." New competitors, he said, "bring challenges, but they bring new ideas. They make you wake up earlier and go to bed late. We're going to compete."

Asked how he felt about the future of the bricks-and-mortar bookstore, Levy said he was a "strong believer." He acknowledged that though bookstores will have to change to adapt to new technology and new market realities, he remained confident that physical stores, and printed books, are "here to stay."


It was striking to talk to several Big Six publishing executives who were happy to be among their kind but felt constrained by Justice Department strictures related to the e-book agency model collusion case. Many top people must keep logs of their contacts with top colleagues at other houses, noting when and where they met and what they talked about. One publisher recounted that company lawyers told him he had to cancel a planned lunch with the head of another house, even though he said they both knew what they could not discuss and "we've been friends for 25 years." --John Mutter and Alex Mutter

Obituary Notes: Carolyn Kizer; Zilpha Keatley Snyder; Jane Queller

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carolyn Kizer, "whose verse, overtly political and bitingly satirical, came, as she fondly put it, with 'a sting in the tail,' " died last week, the New York Times reported. She was 89. Kizer won the 1985 Pulitzer for Yin. Her poetry collections include Cool Calm & Collected: Poems 1960-2000, Carrying Over, Mermaids in the Basement, The Nearness of You, Harping On: Poems, 1985-1995 and Pro Femina.


Zilpha Keatley Snyder, who wrote nearly 50 books, died last Tuesday, October 7, at the age of 87. The New York Times described her as having "mined memories of little demons at the foot of her childhood bed to spin tales of wonder, mystery and suspense that beguiled two generations of children and young adults."

Three of her novels were Newbery Honor Books: The Egypt Game (1967), The Headless Cupid (1971) and The Witches of Worm (1972). She was also well-known for her Green Sky Trilogy, which was published in the 1970s.

Commenting on why she wrote, Snyder said that writing fiction is "a lot like being in love. The similarity lies in the tendency of people truly in love to see everything not only through their own eyes, but also through the eyes of the person they love. As in, 'What would he think of that?' or 'How would she feel about that?' "


Jane Queller, former national accounts manager at Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, died on Sunday after an extended illness. Consortium said that she championed independent publishers "with enthusiasm and energy until she resigned in October 2013 to fight the illness that finally took her life. Jane's passing was peaceful. She was in no pain, and was surrounded by those she loved. A memorial service will be held in New York sometime before the end of the year."

Queller earlier worked as national accounts manager at Continuum and Yale University Press. Before that, she was a manager at several bookstores: Labyrinth Books, Paperbacks Plus, New York University Bookstore and Borders.


Image of the Day: Women & Children First Way

photo: Tracy Baim/Windy City Times

Marking its 35th year in business, Women & Children First bookstore in Chicago was honored this past weekend by having a portion of N. Clark St. given the name Women & Children First Way. Here, Alderman Harry Osterman hands a street sign to co-founders Linda Bubon (left) and Ann Christophersen (right), and new owners Lynn Mooney (in blue coat) and Sarah Hollenbeck (in red dress). 

At the celebration, which featured official proclamations, readings, poetry, music and other tributes to the bookstore, Mooney and Hollenbeck also displayed plans for a $35,000  renovation, which will be crowd-funded through an Indiegogo campaign launching this week.

Happy 120th Birthday, Vroman's!

Congratulations to Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., which is celebrating its 120th birthday next month.

On Tuesday, November 4, at 7 p.m., Vroman's chair Joel Sheldon and CEO/president Allison Hill will present a talk on Vroman's Bookstore's history from 1894 to the present. On Friday, November 7, at 6:30 p.m., authors Naomi Hirahara, Michelle Huneven, Mark Salzman, Jervey Tervalon, Denise Hamilton and Luis Rodriguez will appear at the store together; each will read an original short story.

And Saturday, November 8, at 11 a.m., Vroman's will dedicate its new Author Walk of Fame. Local author Lisa See will put her handprints and signature in cement for permanent placement on the walkway between Vroman's and the Laemmle Playhouse 7 theater. Grauman's Theater's Sassan Shakoori will do the honors. A reception will follow.

In the meantime, Vroman's has begun the celebration by putting a spotlight on the people who make up Vroman's on the new Vroman's Tumblr. As the store put it: "Doing a riff on Humans of New York, the Vroman's Tumblr presents Humans of the Bookstore, interviewing customers, employees, sales reps, guest authors and anyone else who touches the store and posting their stories. Most are about Vroman's and what brings them here, some aren't, but all capture a nice snap shot of life today around this special bookstore."

Pennie Picks Conquistadora

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago (Vintage, $15.95, 9780307388599) as her pick of the month for October. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"Over dinner recently, I was chatting with friends about how setting can often be a character in a book. In this month's Book Buyer's Pick, Esmeralda Santiago's Conquistadora, the island nation of Puerto Rico is as rich and vibrant as the main character, Ana Larragoity Cubillas.

"Ana is living in a convent in Spain when readers first meet her, and old family journals lure her to Puerto Rico. It's a trip she makes by marrying one of two brothers who are in love with her. They all move onto a remote sugar plantation, which is run by a young man named Severo, who soon develops romantic designs on Ana. The plantation builds wealth until the Civil War in the U.S. spreads its unrest to her home.

"Santiago takes readers on a breathtaking adventure of love, loss and discovery."

Personnel Changes at Basic Books

In the Basic Books publicity department:

Cassie Nelson has been promoted to director of publicity. She was formerly associate director of publicity and joined the company in 2008 as assistant director of publicity.

Betsy DeJesu has been promoted to associate director of publicity. She joined the company last year as assistant director of publicity.

Media and Movies

TV: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

DHX Media has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Animation to expand the film franchise based on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ronald Barrett) into television with a new adaptation. reported that DHX Media "will develop and produce 26, 22-minute traditionally animated small-screen episodes of the computer-generated animation feature films.... The deal also has DHX Media representing merchandising for the television series on a worldwide basis."

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a tremendous legacy as beloved children's books and a duo of highly popular feature films, showing how great ideas can succeed across media," DXH Media president and COO Steven DeNure said. "We believe audiences both old and new are going to love this fiercely funny franchise re-imagined for the small screen."

Movies: Catherine, Called Birdy; Set Fire to the Stars

Lena Dunham (Girls, Tiny Furniture) will adapt Karen Cushman's 1994 YA novel Catherine, Called Birdy, which she has been "obsessed with it since I was a kid," into a film, Variety reported, noting that Dunham, author of the recent memoir Not that Kind of Girl, revealed her plans during the New Yorker Festival last Friday.  

"I'm going to adapt it and hopefully direct it," she said. "I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 Medieval movie.... This is actually my first time talking about it publicly. I'm very excited about it. I'm not sure when it'll happen, but I'm in the process of [working on it]."

Dunham will develop the film with production partner and Girls executive producer Jenni Konner.


A trailer has been released for Set Fire to the Stars, a biopic about Dylan Thomas directed by Andy Goddard. The Guardian reported that the film "follows John Brinnin (Elijah Wood) as he takes a week-long trek with the iconic Welsh poet (played by Celyn Jones) through America in 1950." The movie, which also stars Shirley Henderson, Steven Mackintosh and Kelly Reilly, releases in the U.K. next month, though no U.S. date has been set.

Media Heat: Neil Young on Colbert

This morning on Morning Joe: Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476708690).


This morning on Fox & Friends: Cary Elwes, co-author of As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Touchstone, $26, 9781476764023).


Today on the Talk: Tanya Holland, co-author of Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland (Chronicle Books, $29.95, 9781452122342).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Leon Panetta, co-author of Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press, $36, 9781594205965). He will appear tomorrow on Tavis Smiley.


Today on Fresh Air: James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544341418). He will also be on Pacifica Network Democracy Now!


Today on the Wendy Williams Show: Mario Batali, writer of the foreword for How to Eataly: A Guide to Buying, Cooking, and Eating Italian Food (Rizzoli, $35, 9780847843350).


Today on Hannity: Jay Sekulow, co-author of Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore (Howard Books, $12.99, 9781501105135). He will also appear tomorrow on Fox & Friends.


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Neil Young, author of Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars (Blue Rider, $32, 9780399172083).


Tomorrow on the Laura Ingraham Show: Sam Harris, author of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451636017).


Tomorrow on the Steve Harvey Show: JJ Smith, author of 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 10 Days! (Atria, $15.99, 9781501100109).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Suki Kim, author of Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite (Crown, $24, 9780307720658).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Bill O'Reilly, co-author of Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General (Holt, $30, 9780805096682).

Books & Authors

Awards: Gordon Burn; Sainsbury's Children's Book

Paul Kingsnorth won the £5,000 (US$8,033) Gordon Burn Prize, which "seeks to recognize writers whose work follows in his fearless footsteps," for his debut novel The Wake, the BBC News reported.


Winners of the inaugural Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards are That's Not My Piglet by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells (baby and toddler category); There's a Lion in My Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Jim Field (picture book); and Buckle & Squash & the Monstrous Moat Dragon by Sarah Courtauld (fiction, ages 5-9), the Bookseller reported. Each winner receives £1,000 (US$1,607).

Book Review

Review: The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories

The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories by Tove Jansson, trans. by Thomas Teal and Silvester Mazzarella (New York Review of Books, $16.95 trade paper, 9781590177662, October 21, 2014)

woman who borrowed memories JanssonKnown for her hippo-like animals the Moomins, featured in a cartoon strip and many books for children, Finnish author Tove Jansson also wrote novels and short stories for adults, though they were never published in the United States. In this new compilation, New York Review of Books has pulled together 26 short stories from five of her collections (translated from Swedish by Thomas Teal and Silvester Mazzarella), bringing her inventive characters to a wider audience.

Written between 1971 and 1998, most of the stories are set against the backdrop of the Finnish countryside, where the weather plays an important role, almost as if it were another character (such as a winter storm, which features prominently in "The Storm," and the fog that sets the scene in "A Leading Role"). Animals and their interactions with humans are also prevalent, and Jansson's scenarios allow something as innocent as a squirrel to undermine the day-to-day routine of a woman living on an island ("The Squirrel") or the taxidermy animals in a museum to take on new life ("The Wolf"). Jansson provides exquisite details when establishing setting, such as this description of a desk drawer from "The Cartoonist": "Papers, papers, clippings, bills, socks, photos of children, receipts, cigarettes, corks, string--the whole accumulation of dead life that heaps up around people who've lost the strength to be attentive."

Jansson often twists her plots in surprising ways to leave readers pondering the complexity of human relationships. In "The Doll's House," two men who have shared an apartment for 20 years suddenly find themselves at odds as one begins to build an elaborate doll house to fill the long days of his retirement. Tension and jealousy increase, building to an ugly altercation, when another man is enlisted to help. Jansson also delves into the world of loneliness and of living alone, with characters such as Aunt Gerda from "The Listener," who sits and watches the world pass her by until she realizes that she "felt like a balloon, untied, soaring off on its own way. But, she thought, it's a balloon that's bouncing against the ceiling and can't get free. She understood that this was no way to live, human beings are not built to float." Aunt Gerda eventually solves her loneliness by creating a work of art, though she might be the only one who will ever see it.

These stories end at precise moments, though they're not altogether conclusive, leading readers to wonder what might come next, as there surely is a next moment for each story. Complex, intriguing and haunting, Jansson's unusual short fiction is bound to enchant an English-speaking audience just as it did a Swedish-speaking one many years ago. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: Fans of offbeat themes and quirky characters will delight in this extensive collection of translated short stories by Finnish author Tove Jansson.

Deeper Understanding

Bookseller Wisdom: Scary Books, Part 1

With Halloween fast approaching, Shelf Awareness has put together a selective list of scary books--fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, kids' books and young adult titles, frontlist as well as backlist. This list is not meant to be exhaustive; it was compiled from the recommendations of many of our bookseller friends and represents their diverse tastes and interests. 

Many thanks to Carol Spurling and her staff at Bookpeople of Moscow in Moscow, Idaho; Suzanna Hermans and Tracy Wynne of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, N.Y.; Patrick Heffernan, Maryelizabeth Hart and their team at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego and Redondo Beach, Calif.; Mary Laura Philpott and the booksellers at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn.; Helen Jordan and her team at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vt.; Jenn Northington and Molly Templeton from WORD Bookstores in Jersey City, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jeremy Ellis and his staff at Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex.; and Candice Huber, the owner of Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Book Shop in New Orleans, La.

The first installment of our three-part series, compiled by Alex Mutter:

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson (Pocket Star, $7.99, 9781416507697). The classic story of a Long Island family that moves into a house where an entire family was murdered a year before. George and Kathleen Lutz know what took place in their new home, but consider the price too good to pass up. Less than a month later, the Lutz family runs for their lives from supernatural forces. Said Carol Spurling, co-owner and manager of Bookpeople of Moscow: "Creepy. I finished it, but it put me off horror for the rest of my life, and I still can't see a Dutch Colonial home without a twinge of fear."

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books, $26, 9780316216821). Lauren Beukes's follow-up to her thriller The Shining Girls begins with Detective Gabriella Versado examining a body in an abandoned Detroit warehouse that is half-human, half-deer. From there, the bodies only get more horrific, and the story also follows Gabriella's teenage daughter, a freelance journalist, and a homeless man trying to protect his family. Said Jenn Northington: "After reading Broken Monsters, you'll never look at Detroit, the art world or the Internet the same. I strongly advise that you not read it at night or near any reclaimed warehouses."

The Vintage Bradbury by Ray Bradbury (Vintage, $14.95, 9780679729464). This collection features 24 of Ray Bradbury's greatest short stories, including "Dandelion Wine," "The Illustrated Man," "The Veldt," and "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit." Recommended by Helen Jordan of Bear Pond Books, the book "lets readers see a world of sinister possibilities through Ray Bradbury's eyes. It's a haunting game of 'what if?'"

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks, $16.99, 9781402292187). Okiku, this book's narrator, is a ghost. For 300 years, she has traveled the world freeing the spirits of murdered children by brutally murdering their killers. Her after-life changes when she encounters a boy with a demon trapped in the tattoos on his skin and the boy's kind cousin. According to the booksellers at Brazos Bookstore, "this gorgeously written story reads like poetry--despite the demons and the violent deaths."

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (Ballantine Books, $9.99, 9780345538987). The booksellers at Bear Pond Books put this classic thriller, about an attempt to clone dinosaurs for an amusement park that goes horribly wrong, in their "Read Too Young" category. They explained: "Fighting for survival against an island of dinosaurs caught in an experiment gone wrong? Scary. Being a kid reading about not just grown ups but grown up experts who lose control with disastrous results? Very scary (and possibly a good life lesson)."

The Troop by Nick Cutter (Pocket, $7.99, 9781476717722). A group of Boy Scouts and a lone Scoutmaster get stranded on an island in the Canadian wilderness with a "hyper-evolving," genetically engineered parasite in their midst. Robert J. Crowther Jr., a bookseller at Mysterious Galaxy, called it "gruesome, relentless body horror.... Think David Cronenberg does Lord of the Flies."

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (Pantheon, $21, 9780375703768). Reality quickly begins to unravel after a family moves into a house that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Full of subplots told almost entirely through footnotes, different colored fonts and strange typesettings, the book is as much a textual puzzle as it is a horror novel. Nick Brunsfeld of Bookpeople of Moscow found it "absolutely terrifying" and had to stop reading it at night. The terror, he explained, is "increased by the gentle, Thoreau-esque title, which is entirely misleading."

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (Vintage, $15.95, 9780375713347). Dunn's 1989 novel is about a carny family called the Binewskis, who attempt to breed their own freak show and take their act across the United States. The booksellers at Brazos Bookstore called it "a jaw-dropping epic that falls somewhere between Flannery O'Connor and Karen Russell.... Gritty, bizarre and an absolute page-turner, Dunn's story will make you laugh with horror."

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Morrow, $14.99, 9780062255662). In Neil Gaiman's most recent novel for adults, a man in middle age recalls a long-forgotten portion of his childhood, in which he befriends a family of powerful female witches and contends with a malevolent spirit that takes control of his own family. Helen Jordan of Bear Pond Books said "Gaiman's writing prowess pulls us so thoroughly into his twisted worlds that we're highly susceptible to fright," and Jesica DeHart of Bookpeople of Moscow said she had to put the book down when worms started coming out of the bottom of a character's foot. Her husband, though, assured her that it gets even creepier after that.

The People on Privilege Hill by Jane Gardam (Europa Editions, $15.95, 9781933372563). Gardam's most recent, wide-ranging collection includes stories about ghosts, a story about an old mansion converted to a home for unwed mothers, a story set in a hospital during the Blitz in World War II, and a story about a woman who falls in love with a gorilla, among many others. Carol Spurling was surprised by how suspenseful she found these stories--and how unsettled she was by them. She explained: "That these feelings were completely out of the blue--somehow I expect every story from a white-haired Englishwoman to be cozy--made them all the more enjoyable."

Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit, $10, 9780316081054). The first book in the Newsflesh series, Feed is set 20 years after the outbreak of an engineered virus that turns people into zombies. It follows Georgia and Shaun Mason as they seek to uncover the truth behind the end of the world. Mysterious Galaxy's Emilio Florez recommended the book, calling it a "political thriller set during the zombie apocalypse."

Complete Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Margaret Hunt (Canterbury Classics, $24.95, 9781607103134). Although these stories are ostensibly meant for children, the team at Bear Pond Books had trouble recommending this collection of the original, much-darker Grimms' fairy tales for kids. "Yes, technically we think of fairy tales as being kids' stories, but there's a reason why we retell the Grimm brothers' stories to kids--the originals are bleak, violent, disturbing fare," they explained. Like Jurassic Park, this collection received their "Read Too Young" label.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Plume, $16, 9780452296299). In the first book of Grossman's Magicians Trilogy, Quentin Coldwater is admitted to a secretive college of magic in New York State after assuming for his entire life that magic isn't real. And although he's learning extraordinary things, magician's college is not a fairy tale. Described as a dark, nuanced Harry Potter for adults, The Magicians was recommended by the team at Parnassus Books.

House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Dover Thrift Editions, $4.50, 9780486408828). Gordon Van Such from Mysterious Galaxy called Hawthorne's classic story about a cursed house and the doomed family that lives within it, a "good first journey into the horror genre."

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Morrow, $14.99, 9780061944895). Hill's debut novel was met with widespread critical acclaim at its release. Jude Coyne, an old, bitter rock star, buys a haunted suit off the Internet and fights for survival against the ghost that inhabits it. "The ghost of a withered old man with scribbled-out eyes hypnotizes his victims with a gleaming straight razor before separating their souls from their bodies," said Robert J. Crowther Jr. from Mysterious Galaxy. "Made my jaded, horror-junkie skin crawl."

Horns by Joe Hill (Harper, $7.99, 9780062360021). A year after the murder of his girlfriend, Ignatius Perrish wakes up with demonic powers and horns growing from his forehead. He decides the best course of action is to use those powers to take vengeance on the person who killed his girlfriend. "A revenge tale like no other," said Emilio Florez from Mysterious Galaxy.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Morrow, $17.99, 9780062200587). In Hill's 2013 novel, Victoria McQueen attempts to rescue her son from Charles Talent Manx, a soul-sucking vampire who abducts children and imprisons them forever in a horrific place called Christmasland. Mysterious Galaxy's Robert J. Crowther Jr. described Christmasland as a "carnival of horror where it's Christmas every morning, only gorier." He added: "You'll discover the horror of gingerbread-scented air freshener."

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