Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 16, 2014

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books: Rocket Puppies by William Joyce

Minotaur Books: Trouble Island by Sharon Short

HarperCollins: The Verts by Ann Patchett, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Running Press Kids: Introducing the HOW TO SPOT series. Get a sneak peek!

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden


Bookstore Sales Up 3.4% in August, First Gain of Year

August bookstore sales rose 3.4%, to $1.69 billion, compared to August 2013, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marked the first jump in sales this year in any month over the comparable month last year. For the year so far, bookstore sales have fallen 5.3%, to $7.5 billion. Total retail sales in August rose 3.3%, to $455.6 billion, compared to the same period a year ago. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 3.7%, to $3,333 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."

IPG: Rep Picks for Fall From International & Independent Publishers. Click to register!

Books Inc. Relocating Berkeley Store

Books Inc.'s new site

Books Inc. is moving its Fourth Street store in Berkeley to the former Black Oak Books location at 1491 Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley, with plans to open in early 2015. Berkeleyside reported that owner Michael Tucker has signed a five-year lease, with an option for a five-year extension. Books Inc. also operates four stores in San Francisco, and one each in Alameda, Burlingame, Mountain View, Palo Alto and at San Francisco airport.

"The biggest issue we have on Fourth, beyond the fact it's a little too small for us... is we just couldn't get people to come in," Tucker said. "We couldn't get people to think of it as their neighborhood bookstore." The new, pedestrian-friendly location has better foot traffic and potential for a stronger community relationship. "We always thought this neighborhood was perfect for what we do."

Tucker also noted there has been "a real renaissance with independents across the country. We're finding the one thing you can't do online is any kind of author experience; or events and school fairs, which we're really involved with. They're not anything that's going to happen online."

In 2009, Black Oak Books relocated to 2618 San Pablo Ave., where it "sells a mix of new and used books, with a specialty in mathematics and science fiction," Berkeleyside noted.

GLOW: Holler: Seriously HAPPY: 10 Life-Changing Philosophy Lessons from Stoicism to Zen to Supercharge Your Mindset by Ben Aldridge

McSweeney's to Become Nonprofit

Founded by Dave Eggers in 1998, McSweeney's is becoming a nonprofit organization, which will allow the publisher to take on "projects that don't necessarily make money," Eggers told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"We've always been a hand-to-mouth operation, and every year it gets just a little harder to be an independent publisher," Eggers said. "An independent literary title that might have sold 10,000 copies 10 years ago might sell 6,000 now, for example."

For now, McSweeney's is a "fiscally sponsored project" of SOMArts, a nonprofit that runs the South of Market Cultural Center in San Francisco. Beginning today, McSweeney's is asking for donations for several projects on its website, The company plans to apply to be a free-standing nonprofit in the next month.

McSweeney's publishes the journals the Believer and McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, as well as a range of adult and children's books, including the McSweeney's Poetry Series and the Collins Library. Besides Eggers, its authors include Michael Chabon, Nick Hornby and David Foster Wallace.

The nonprofit approach will allow McSweeney's to publish some projects that it had to pass on earlier, including an expanded poetry series, a collection of fiction by South Sudanese women and more in the Collins Library.

Knopf Goes Back to Press on Man Booker Winner

Following the announcement that Richard Flanagan won the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Knopf, which published the novel here, has gone back to print for another 53,000 copies. The title was already in a fifth printing.

Obituary Notes: Nicol Russel; Philip Howard

Nicol Russell, who wrote Poets by Appointment, an authoritative work on the poets laureate, and who "was one of 'the Seven,' the group of Oxford University friends that also included Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis," has died, the Guardian reported. He was 92.


British journalist and author Philip Howard, who was the Times literary editor for 14 years and whose "column on language, Lost Words, was a popular feature" of the newspaper's Saturday edition, has died, the Guardian reported. He was 80.


Image of the Day: Jimmy Page's Gig at Books Kinokuniya Tokyo

Jimmy Page Kinokuniya
Photo: Takashi Suga

Last Thursday, Jimmy Page, author of Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page (Genesis Publications), made an appearance at Books Kinokuniya in the flagship Shinjuku South store in Tokyo. In the Kinokuniya Southern Theatre next to the foreign books section that was recently renovated, Page shook hands with some 200 fans, some of whom were crying in happiness and who had reserved spots in advance. Instead of signing his books, Page used a stamp with Led Zeppelin's Zoso logo and the date for the event. Pictured: Page with interpreter Kazuyo Horie.

GBO Picks Who Is Martha?

The German Book Office New York has chosen Who Is Martha? by Marjana Gaponenko, translated by Arabella Spencer (New Vessel Press, $16.99, 9781939931139) as its October Book of the Month.

The GBO described the book this way: "In this rollicking novel, 96-year-old ornithologist Luka Levadski forgoes treatment for lung cancer and moves from Ukraine to Vienna to make a grand exit in a luxury suite at the Hotel Imperial. He reflects on his past while indulging in Viennese cakes and savoring music in a gilded concert hall. Levadski was born in 1914, the same year that Martha--the last of the now-extinct passenger pigeons--died. Levadski himself has an acute sense of being the last of a species. He may have devoted much of his existence to studying birds, but now he befriends a hotel butler and another elderly guest, who also doesn't have much time left, to share in the lively escapades of his final days. This gloriously written tale, in which Levadski feels 'his heart pounding at the portals of his brain,' mixes piquant wit with lofty musings about life, friendship, aging and death."

Marjana Gaponenko was born in 1981 in Odessa, Ukraine. She fell in love with the German language as a young girl, and began writing in German when she was 16. She has a degree in German studies from Odessa University. Who Is Martha? is her second novel and was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2013. She has also published volumes of poetry.

Arabella Spencer studied German and philosophy at King's College London and literary translation at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

Bookmasters Adds Six Publishers

Bookmasters has begun distributing the following publishers:

Centum Books, Torquay, Devon, England, a children's book publisher with brands that include One Direction, Justin Bieber, WWE, Hello Kitty and Union J. Bookmasters is providing North American fulfillment.
Bancroft Press, Baltimore, Md., a general publisher that just released It Won't Always Be This Great, the debut novel by former Seinfeld writer and executive producer Peter Mehlman.
Flame Tree Publishing, London, publishes in a range of subjects, including music, popular culture and lifestyle, as well as cookbooks and calendars. Bookmasters has handled e-book distribution for Flame Tree and will now also provide selective distribution for its top titles.
Chalice Press, the imprint of the Christian Board of Publication, which is the publishing arm of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Chalice publishes titles about Christian faith and spirituality, social justice, congregational life, theology and tools for outdoor ministry. Bookmasters will provide worldwide distribution to the Christian market for all Christian Board of Publication and Chalice Press titles.
Somersault Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., which was founded in 2010 and partners with several Christian publishers and worldwide ministries, including Focus on the Family, Zondervan, Compassion International and Logos Bible Software. Bookmasters will provide worldwide distribution to both the Christian and secular markets for titles from some of Somersault's publishing partners, beginning with Webster Publishing.
Generations with Vision, Colorado Springs, Colo., a publisher of faith-based homeschooling curriculum, educational study guides, and audio materials for children and adults. Bookmasters will provide worldwide distribution for all Generation with Vision titles to both the Christian and secular markets.

Personnel Changes at Princeton, HarperCollins, Hachette

Dennis Langlois has joined Princeton University Press as chief information officer, a new position. He was formerly CIO at the Savitz Organization, a consulting firm specializing in financial services.


Doug Lockhart is joining HarperCollins Christian Publishing as senior v-p of Bible marketing and outreach. He has been CEO, North America, and then CEO, global, for Biblica, a longtime partner of the company's Zondervan publishing group. Before then, he held positions at McGraw-Hill and Zondervan.


In the new Hachette Book Group marketing strategy department:

Effective October 27, Alyson Forbes is joining as ad director, Hachette Book Group, and will oversee all aspects of the company's relationship with MK Creative Media Marketing and provide strategic and creative advertising support to all divisions. She has been deputy director of creative services at Random House since 2011. She also spent nearly 10 years in various positions at Penguin/Putnam/Riverhead.

Effective October 22, Nancy Chen is joining as marketing strategy associate. She was formerly senior SEO and social specialist at the agency Path Interactive. She was earlier a publicity intern at Penguin Young Readers.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Peter Mendelsund Talks Book Covers on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Peter Mendelsund, associate art director at Knopf and author of two books published in August, What We See When We Read (Vintage, $16.95, 9780804171632) and Cover (powerHouse Books, $60, 9781576876671).

TV: The Illusionist

The CW network is developing The Illusionist, based on the 2006 movie and Steven Millhauser's short story "Eisenheim the Illusionist." reported the project, written by Mark Hudis (True Blood), "will take place in turn-of-the-century New York. It centers on a renowned illusionist who returns home from a decade in prison to find his wife married to the ruthless crime boss who framed him. Posing as an underling in the crime boss' organization, the illusionist uses cunning magic to pull off elaborate heists, rising quickly through the organization in order to take down the boss from the inside and win back his one true love."

This Weekend on Book TV: The Southern Festival of Books

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

Saturday, October 18
12 p.m. Book TV interviews authors and visits literary sites in Green Bay, Wis. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

1:30 p.m. Coverage of the 2014 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tenn. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Leon Panetta, co-author of Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press, $36, 9781594205965), at Politics and Prose Bookstore. (Re-airs Monday at 1:45 a.m.)

10 p.m. Jake Halpern, author of Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 9780374108236). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Ronald Kessler, author of The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents (Crown Forum, $26, 9780804139212). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:30 a.m.)

Sunday, October 19
1 p.m. Peter Blair Henry, author of Turnaround: Third World Lessons for First World Growth (Basic, $26.99, 9780465031894). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

1:30 p.m. Brooke Kroeger, author of Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception (Northwestern University Press, $29.95, 9780810126190).

2 p.m. Continuing coverage of  the 2014 Southern Festival of Books.

6:15 p.m. Ilyasah Shabazz, author of Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X (Atheneum, $17.99, 9781442412163), at the National Book Festival.

7:30 p.m. Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon and Astrid Henry, authors of Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women's Movements (Liveright, $25.95, 9780871406767).

10 p.m. S.C. Gwynne, author of Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson (Scribner, $35, 9781451673289).

11 p.m. Jonathan Darman, author of Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America (Random House, $30, 9781400067084).

Books & Authors

Awards: National Book Finalists

The shortlist for the National Book Awards was announced yesterday on NPR's Morning Edition by Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books. Winners will be announced November 19 at a ceremony and benefit dinner in New York City. The finalists are:  

Rabih Alameddine, for An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press)
Anthony Doerr, for All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner)
Phil Klay, for Redeployment (Penguin Press)
Emily St. John Mandel, for Station Eleven (Knopf)
Marilynne Robinson, for Lila (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Roz Chast, for Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury)
Anand Gopal, for No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes (Metropolitan Books)
John Lahr, for Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (Norton)
Evan Osnos, for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Edward O. Wilson, for The Meaning of Human Existence (Liveright Publishing)

Louise Glück, for Faithful and Virtuous Night (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Fanny Howe, for Second Childhood (Graywolf Press)
Maureen N. McLane, for This Blue (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Fred Moten, for The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions)
Claudia Rankine, for Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

Young People's Literature:
Eliot Schrefer, for Threatened (Scholastic Press)
Steve Sheinkin, for The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights (Roaring Brook Press)
John Corey Whaley, for Noggin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Deborah Wiles, for Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two (Scholastic Press)
Jacqueline Woodson, for Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 21:

Gray Mountain: A Novel by John Grisham (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385537148) follows a New York lawyer relocated to rural Virginia.

Burned by Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett (Blue Rider, $26.95, 9780399158216) is the second novel starring CIA agent Vanessa Pierson.

Beautiful You: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385538039) follows a billionaire's sex toy world domination plot.

The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi (Viking, $28.95, 9780670026067) explores American literature and identity through three classic novels.

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan (Crown Archetype, $26, 9780804140416) contains a comedian's culinary considerations.

George Marshall: A Biography by Debi Unger, Irwin Unger and Stanley Hirshson (Harper, $35, 9780060577193) chronicles the life of the World War II era Army chief of staff and postwar Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.

The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy by Joel Beckerman and Tyler Gray (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544191747) explores the power of sound.

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home by Marcus Samuelsson (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, 9780470940587) is a multicultural cookbook by star chef.

Now in paperback:

Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig (Touchstone, $17.99, 9781476788005).

Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally by Kelly Starrett and TJ Murphy (Victory Belt Publishing, $29.95, 9781628600094).


Stonehearst Asylum, based on the Edgar Allan Poe story "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether," opens October 24. Brad Anderson (The Machinist) directs Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess and Brendan Gleeson.

White Bird in a Blizzard, based on the novel by Laura Kasischke, opens October 24. The cast includes Shailene Woodley, Eva Green and Christopher Meloni.

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:

How to Build a Girl: A Novel by Caitlin Moran (Harper, $26.99, 9780062335975). "In Wolverhampton, England in 1990, 14-year-old Johanna humiliates herself on live television. Shortly thereafter, she decides to reinvent herself as Dolly Wilde, a fast-talking, hard-drinking sex-adventurer who writes for the local music rag. Never mind the fact that she doesn't drink, that she's a virgin, and that her music collection is comprised solely of the Beatles and the Bee Gees. Armed with eyeliner, a fair amount of Thunderbird 20/20, and pure determination, Dolly breaks onto the scene and makes a new life for herself, only to realize that the hardest--and most heartbreaking--changes are the ones we make within. Laugh-out-loud hilarious, inspiring, and profound, Moran has written the coming-of-age story of our time." --Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, Fla.

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062284068). "A Deadly Wandering is a riveting account of the fatal tragedy and subsequent seminal legal--and moral--battle that led to texting-while-driving bans being signed into law. It links neuro-scientific research, legal undertakings, and narrative nonfiction that is full of vivid, heartbreaking, real-life characters to expose and objectively question our modern glorification of multitasking and technological connectedness. Richtel's exceptional reporting will absolutely change the way you think about the devices that keep us online, and you will close this book transformed. This is one of the most important books of our time." --Julia Sinn, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse by Sebastian Faulks (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250049063). "Dash it all! Jeeves and Bertie Wooster return in Faulks' homage to Wodehouse. Jeeves seems to interfere with Bertie's plans to save the engagement of a friend. Georgiana, a right smashing gal by any standard and the cousin of Woody's fiancée, dives right into the bumbles and misguided efforts that seem to surround any Wooster plan. Jeeves impersonates a lord while Bertie becomes his butler--and a thief--but all in a good cause, of course. Great fun and a wonderful entrée in to the world of Wodehouse!" --Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.

For Teen Readers
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone: A Novel by Adele Griffin (Soho Teen, $17.99, 9781616953607). "Original and compelling, this novel incorporates interviews, photographs, media clippings, and fine art to weave together the life and mystery behind fictional artist Addison Stone's rise to fame and untimely death. Griffin is a masterful storyteller and an inventive writer, and she deftly combines these ingredients to give us a portrait of a talented and mentally ill young woman who is far more interesting than most real celebrities, living or dead." --Heather Hebert, Children's Book World, Haverford, Pa.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg (Harper, $27.99 hardcover, 9780062078223, October 28, 2014)

jerry lee lewis his own storyThe life of Jerry Lee "The Killer" Lewis is so much more than his signature hard-rocking, stand-up piano performance of "Great Balls of Fire!" and boffing his 13-year-old child-bride cousin. It's the story of a consummate performer with a knack for knowing the next big thing and the talent to capitalize on it. Of course, his seven marriages, taste for whiskey and guns, flirtation with death, flamboyant concerts and scandalous evangelist cousin Jimmy Swaggart haven't hurt his celebrity and fortune nor prevented his early induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lewis is a survivor--a "legend" who really is a legend. His story is the stuff of good-old-boy Southern hillbilly-lit, and Lewis spent a couple of summers telling it to the right guy. In Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and professor Rick Bragg (All Over but the Shoutin') synthesizes Lewis's interviews and historical records to capture all the chords and chaos of the Killer's long life. Bragg grew up in the small northeastern Alabama town of Possum Trot, and his front-porch style of storytelling puts just the right down-home twang on a saga that otherwise might seem too farfetched to be true. Jerry Lee Lewis makes Keith Richards seem like a choirboy. Maybe that's why Richards and his hard-living bandmate Mick Jagger joined Lewis on his hit 2007 album Last Man Standing--if you can't out-rock him, you'd better join him.

This sweeping biography covers a lot of ground to portray a man in his late 70s who started playing piano at age five (a used Starck upright purchased with a mortgage on the family farm, "the wisest investment in the history of rock and roll") and did his first paid performance at age 13 at a car dealership. Lewis has had his fingers in nearly every piece of the 20th century's popular-music pie, and so Bragg's biography becomes not just the history of the man but a history of modern American music, the South and even the Pentecostal Church.

Lewis had a big family--one of those Concordia Parish families who "married each other till the clan was entwined like a big, tight ball of rubber bands." He knew and played with everybody who was anybody, and Bragg works them all into this mostly chronological story of choirs, honky-tonks, stage concerts and world tours. As important as the musicians were to Lewis's life, perhaps even more so were his audiences--raucous crowds of screaming girls and "young men with their hair slicked back with Rose hair oil and blast-furnace scars on their necks and arms.... They got Jerry Lee. He was a balled-up fist, a swinging tire iron."

In his introduction, Bragg neatly sums up Lewis's life: "It was like any life, really, but with the dull parts taken out." If you can read only one history of rock and roll, this is the one. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Southern writer Rick Bragg's take on the iconic Louisiana wild man is one of the best rock biographies ever.

Deeper Understanding

Bookseller Wisdom: Scary Books, Part 3

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.

This is the last part of our three-part series, compiled by Alex Mutter; see part one and part two.


Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi (Norton, $16.95, 9780393322231). In Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson case, tells the story behind the Manson family murders and Charles Manson's desert cult. The justification for putting the book on this list was simple: "Nothing that scary should be real," said Mysterious Galaxy's Christine Van Such.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Vintage, $15, 9780679745587). Capote's exhaustively researched true-crime classic documents the murder of Clutter family in Holcomb, Kan., in 1959, and the manhunt for and apprehension of the two men responsible. "Any nonfiction book that brings readers vividly into the events of a terrible crime is by definition a scary book," said Helen Jordan of Bear Pond Books.

The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard by Stephen Jimenez (Steerforth, $16, 9781586422264). In 2000, Jimenez, himself a gay man, traveled to Laramie, Wyo., with the intention of writing a book about the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. He, like many others, assumed the Shepard story was an open-and-shut case. Over the course of a 10-year investigation, however, he discovered many dark, unreported truths about what happened. According to Candice Huber of Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Bookshop, Jimenez's findings "will make you question everything you thought you knew about this case. Society can be truly scary."

the other side coverThe Other Side by Lacy Johnson (Tin House Books, $15.95, 9781935639831). More than a decade ago, Lacy Johnson was kidnapped by an abusive ex-lover. He imprisoned her in a soundproof room, intending to keep her and rape her there until she died. Johnson eventually escaped, and now, years later, has written about the experience. "Scary, yes, and not easy to read, but we do know that the author escaped and survived to tell the compelling and insightful story," said Jesica DeHart from Bookpeople of Moscow.

Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn (Liveright, $25.95, 9780871404510). In Blood Will Out, Kirn discusses his longtime friendship with a man named Clark Rockefeller. Rockefeller is eventually unmasked as a serial imposter, conman and murderer who has been living under a false identity for decades. Recommended by the team at Brazos Bookstore, who called it "simultaneously a page-turning true crime narrative and a powerful rumination on the nature of identity, truth and belief.... A riveting and unsettling read that will leave you questioning just how much you can trust anyone."

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhaut and Sara Corbett (Scribner, $16, 9781451645613). In her 2013 memoir, Lindhaut, who backpacked through Latin America and much of Asia before beginning a career as a television reporter in the Middle East, recalls her 460-day captivity at the hands of a group of kidnappers in Somalia. Lindhaut's descriptions of that time are harrowing and unflinching. Recommended by the booksellers at Parnassus Books.

Graphic Novels/Nonfiction:

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (Abrams, $17.95, 9781419702174). Backderf knew Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer, rapist and cannibal, when the two were in high school. In this graphic novel, Backderf "tells the story of a young Jeffrey Dahmer, who was just another nerdy kid in school, and how and why he transformed into the notorious serial killer we know him as today," said Candice Huber. "Haunting and offering profound insights into how society ignores tell-tale warning signs, this book will keep you up at night."

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books, $21.99, 9781442465954). Through the Woods is a collection of five graphic stories--the webcomic hit "His Face All Read" plus four original tales. "If you're squeamish or easily spooked, maybe you should keep the lights on; this book will make you shiver," said Molly Templeton of WORD Bookstores. "In her debut graphic short story collection, Carroll melds art, fairy tales, and fear into a perfect witching hour read."

From Hell by Alan Moore (Top Shelf Production, $35, 9780958578349). Moore blends fact and fiction in this stark, brutal retelling of the Jack the Ripper story. "From Hell rates right up there as one of the scariest and most amazing stories ever told," said Carol Spurling. "This comprehensive look at a madman is sure to keep you looking over your shoulder for a long time to come."

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët, translated by Helge Dascher (Drawn and Quarterly, $22.95, 9781770461291). The beautiful watercolors of artist Kerascoët belie the darkness at the core of this French graphic novel. Although Beautiful Darkness looks as though it's meant for children, it is anything but. "Like many fairy tales, it starts off pleasantly enough, with a prince and princess, then quickly darkens, with blood, guts, death, and cannibalism," said Carol Spurling.

Young Adult and Children's Books:

That One Spooky Night by Dan Bar-el (Kids Can Press, $8.95, 9781554537525). Jesica DeHart called That One Spooky Night "a perfect fall book for elementary school age kids." The graphic novel/short story collection "is an hilarious glimpse into what can happen when there are more tricks than treats on one mysterious Halloween night."

The Diviners by Libba Bray (Little, Brown, $11, 9780316126106). In this young adult novel set in 1926, a young girl with supernatural powers leaves her hometown and travels to New York City. At first ecstatic to be there, Evie quickly becomes embroiled in an occult murder case and begins the hunt for a supernatural killer. A recommendation from Parnassus Books.

Heap House: The Iremonger Trilogy: Book One by Edward Carey (Overlook, $16.99, 9781468309539). Heap House tells the story of Clod, a young Iremonger who lives in an alternate world made up of London's lost and discarded artifacts called the Heaps. After a young girl arrives in the Heaps from London, Clod begins to discover some dark, scary truths about the world in which he lives. This book was recommended by a member of Bookpeople of Moscow's Kids Advisory Board, who said: "It was hilarious, odd, suspenseful, and unlike all the other books. It has dark mysterious drawings that spooked you. It was great."

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $15, 9780374518684). Dahl sifted through hundreds of scary stories to put together this collection of 14 ghost stories, which was recommended by both the teams at Bear Pond Books and Parnassus Books. Said Helen Jordan: "We believe he was correct. These are the spookiest."

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins, $6.99, 9780380807345). Coraline is at first thrilled to find a secret door in her house that leads to an alternate version of her home complete with an alternate family. But before long it becomes clear that her new family does not intend to let her leave, and she may never be able to return to the life that she took for granted. Bookpeople of Moscow's Jamaica Ritcher said her children "both loved and were freaked out by Coraline." The book was also recommended by the team at Bear Pond Books.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal (Ember, $9.99, 9780375843297). This young adult novel is about a boy named Jeremy Johnson Johnson who lives in a fairy tale town called Never Better and is watched over by the ghost of Jacob Grimm. After a young girl eats a bewitched cake and falls in love with him, Jeremy begins to learn of the evil lurking in Never Better. A modern take on fairy tales and a National Book Award finalist, Far Far Away was recommended by Bear Pond Books.

Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales (Chronicle Books, $15.99, 9780811837583). Just a Minute is a somewhat unusual picture book in that it deals with the subject of death, and turns it into something not so terrifying. A favorite of Jesica DeHart's, it is about Grandma Beetle, who puts off death indefinitely with a long list of tasks she needs to accomplish before he can take her away.

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz, illustrated by Dirk Zimmer (HarperCollins, $3.99, 9780064440905). Candice Huber remembers her teachers reading this collection to her in school, and being terrified by the stories. "In particular, there's a story called 'The Green Ribbon' that has stuck with me to this day," said Huber. "It just sends chills up your spine. This is the perfect book to read to kids at Halloween!"

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (Scholastic, 9780590431972). Schwartz's classic collection was recommended by both Parnassus Books and Bear Pond Books. The stories themselves are scary enough, especially when read out loud, and the iconic illustrations add an extra level of creepy.

A Shocker on Shock Street (Goosebumps #35) by R.L. Stine (Scholastic, 9780439568449). Another pick from a member of Bookpeople of Moscow's Kids Advisory Board, A Shocker on Shock Street finds best friends Erin and Marty trapped in a theme park and contending with giant bugs. Marissa, a fourth grader on the advisory board, called it "a thrilling, scary and exciting tale, which is great for older elementary school kids."

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