Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 21, 2015

William Morrow & Company: Death of the Author by Nnedi Okorafor

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

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

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Running Press: Enter For a Chance to Win a Moonlit Explorer Pack!

Quill Tree Books: The Firelight Apprentice by Bree Paulsen


Doerr, Kolbert Among 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, an indie bookseller handselling favorite since its release last spring, was among the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners named yesterday in the Pulitzer World Room, Pulitzer Hall, Columbia University. You can view the official announcement here. This year's winning authors, each of whom receives $10,000, and finalists in the books category include:

Fiction: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner), "an imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology." Also nominated in this category were Let Me Be Frank with You by Richard Ford (Ecco), The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami (Pantheon) and Lovely, Dark, Deep by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco).

General nonfiction: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert (Holt), "an exploration of nature that forces readers to consider the threat posed by human behavior to a world of astonishing diversity." Also nominated were No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal (Metropolitan Books) and Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos (FSG)

History: Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn (Hill and Wang), "an engrossing, original narrative showing the Mandans, a Native American tribe in the Dakotas, as a people with a history." Also nominated were Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert (Knopf) and An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America by Nick Bunker (Knopf).

Biography or autobiography: The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer (Random House), "an engrossing dual biography that uses recently opened Vatican archives to shed light on two men who exercised nearly absolute power over their realms." Also nominated were Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism by Thomas Brothers (Norton) and Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin (Penguin).

Poetry: Digest by Gregory Pardlo (Four Way Books), "clear-voiced poems that bring readers the news from 21st Century America, rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private." Also nominated were Reel to Reel by Alan Shapiro (University of Chicago Press) and Compass Rose by Arthur Sze (Copper Canyon).

Zest Books: The Gender Binary Is a Big Lie: Infinite Identities around the World by Lee Wind

Changes Coming for Elliott Bay Cafe

In June, Elliott Bay Cafe at Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company will be replaced by Little Oddfellows. Seattle Eater reported that Linda Derschang, who will take over the space adjacent to her Oddfellows Cafe + Bar, "will be completing a full remodel of the space... The new Oddfellows will have more 'cafe vibes' than its neighboring big bro... with beer and wine rather than the cocktails next door."

Since 2008, Tamara Murphy has "been a part of the Peter Aaron-owned bookstore, operating [Elliott Bay Cafe] out of the Pioneer Square bookstore" and continuing after the bookseller moved to Capitol Hill in 2010, Seattle Eater wrote. In her Facebook announcement, Murphy offered a "heartfelt thank you to Peter Aaron, the bookstore staff, my employees and of course our customers who made this a fun and interesting ride. I am excited for Elliott Bay Book Company and Linda Derschang. Can't think of a better fit."

On Facebook, Elliott Bay posted: "Tamara Murphy and crew have been a pleasure to work with and we will miss them in the Elliott Bay Cafe. It's been a great journey and a good fit with the bookstore. At the same time we look forward to our new relationship with Linda Derschang and the Oddfellows staff in June when Little Oddfellows opens in our cafe space."

Derschang, who owns six businesses, told the Capitol Hill Seattle blog there had been "no plans for the Derschang Group to open any new businesses in 2015 but the opportunity to team up with Elliott Bay Books was too exciting to pass up. Elliot Bay Books is one of the best bookstores in the country--it's definitely my favorite, and the current cafe needs little remodeling so it makes the project fairly simple which is appealing."

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Private Rites by Julia Armfield

Poisoned Pen to Publish Classic British Mysteries in U.S.

Poisoned Pen Press is bringing works from the Golden Age of British crime fiction to the U.S. by publishing the British Library Crime Classics and Spy Classics series, consisting of rediscovered historical mysteries by both major and lesser-known authors. Poisoned Pen will issue 12 Crime Classics and two Spy Classics in 2015, beginning in May with Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston ($12.95, 9781464203732) and The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude ($12.95, 9781464203718). Poisoned Pen will release one title per month by 2016, in synch with the British Library's publishing schedule.

"The British Library Crime Classic and Spy Classic series are outstanding collections of books written at a time when there was no such thing as genre fiction," said Robert Rosenwald, president and publisher at Poisoned Pen. "As a mystery book publisher with over 700 mysteries in print, we felt Poisoned Pen Press was uniquely positioned to fill the role of U.S. publisher for these extraordinary series. We are thrilled to be able to bring these titles, many of which have been unavailable to the public for years, to the U.S."

He added: "[The] series provides important historical context for mystery enthusiasts. These titles are written by authors who were pioneers in crime fiction--the original masters of crime fiction writing. One of the May releases on our list, The Sussex Downs Murder, is written by John Bude, which is the pen name for Ernest Elmore, co-founder of the Crime Writers' Association. These are important books for readers, for writers, and for libraries."

Alex Baker: Exceptional Design And Creative Services For The Publishing Industry

Staff Resignations at Hesperus Press

The four staff members at independent U.K. publisher Hesperus Press, including head of publishing Nikki Griffiths, "have resigned their roles at the company," the Bookseller reported, adding that the company "exhibited at the London Book Fair, but staff were absent." Griffiths and two others left Friday and a fourth employee will leave at the end of this week.

Hesperus CFO Ayman Al Asmar told the Bookseller "a formal release about next steps and future plans would be issued 'soon,' but would not give additional details." Hesperus Press is distributed in the U.S. by Trafalgar Square Publishing.


Image of the Day: Finding Samuel Lowe in NYC

Last week, Paula Williams Madison (l.) read from her new memoir, Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem (HarperCollins), at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble in Manhattan. After the reading, she was joined by WNBC-TV meteorologist Janice Huff at the book-signing table. Madison, who is chairman and CEO of the investment company Madison Media Management, spent 22 years with NBC, and was most recently its executive v-p of diversity as well as the v-p of the General Electric Company.

Common Good Books: Poetry Contest Winners

Common Good Books, St. Paul Minn., announced the winners of "Love Letters: The Second Annual Common Good Books Poetry Contest," which drew almost 1,000 entries. The seven "poems of particular merit" chosen by bookstore owner Garrison Keillor to be honored this year are:

$1000 Winners
Lisa Kundrat of Minneapolis, Minn., for "Dear You"
Ethna McKiernan of Minneapolis for "Leaving"
Kari Castor of Arlington Heights, Ill. for "Dear Roger”

$500 Winners
Heidi Annexstad of Golden Valley, Minn., for "Regarding Your Dishes"
Elizabeth Twiddy of Syracuse, N.Y., for "Dear Neighbor"
Cynthia Orange of St. Paul, for "Red, Cabbage, Oldsmobile"
Sharon Dardis of St. Paul, for "Dear Stan: You Know Horses"

The Whistlestop Bookshop Is 'Standing Tall'

Noting that "one local bookstore has withstood the test of time and has discovered a way to thrive," the Sentinel profiled the Whistlestop Bookshop, Carlisle, Pa., in a piece headlined "Standing Tall."

"For a while it was like a hardware store looking at Home Depot or Lowe's, but we're the hardware store that stayed open," said co-owner Jeffrey Wood. "But that's the trend, to get out of big boxes and back to neighborhood stores and online fulfillment.... We've been surviving for 30 years by doing business a certain way, so we're going to continue doing it that way."

Glenn White, executive director of the Downtown Carlisle Association, described Wood as "one of the top-three people that you mention as one of the greatest town assets."

Personnel Changes at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jessica Gilo has been promoted to culinary marketing manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She leads @HMHCooks' social media efforts and has worked on marketing campaigns for Marcus Samuelsson, Dorie Greenspan and Ellie Krieger. She was previously culinary marketing specialist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kate Bolick on NPR's On Point

This morning on the Today Show: Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, authors of The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544609716).


Today on NPR's On Point: Kate Bolick, author of Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own (Crown, $26, 9780385347136).


Tomorrow on CNBC's Closing Bell: Judith Miller, author of The Story: A Reporter's Journey (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716015).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Jane Smiley, author of Early Warning: A Novel (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307700322).


Tomorrow on the Meredith Vieira Show: Louise Roe, author of Front Roe: How to Be the Leading Lady in Your Own Life (Running Press, $25, 9780762456666).


Tomorrow on Ellen: Candice Bergen, author of A Fine Romance (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9780684808277).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Dana Perino, author of And the Good News Is...: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side (Twelve, $26, 9781455584901).

TV: Maisie Dobbs; Jacked

SLAM TV, a new production company based in the U.K. and headed by actors Stephen Mangan (Episodes) and Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead), has acquired the option to develop a TV series based on the Maisie Dobbs historical mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear.  

"We are hugely excited to be working with Jacqueline Winspear," said Mangan. "There has never been a female character like Maisie Dobbs in period drama; she has huge appeal for a modern television audience and the potential to be a truly iconic screen figure. We can't wait to get started on these wonderful stories."


Bill Paxton has joined the cast of a drama for BBC Two based on David Kushner's 2012 book, Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. reported that Daniel Radcliffe "is playing Sam Houser, the co-founder of video game developer Rockstar Games, and Paxton is lined up as his nemesis, the former attorney Jack Thompson who tried to destroy the company." Shooting starts in South Africa next week with Owen Harris (Kill Your Friends, Misfits) directing from a script by James Wood (Rev.).

Books & Authors

Awards: Stella Shortlist

A shortlist has been released for the $50,000 (about US$38,606) Stella Prize, which celebrates Australian women's contribution to literature. The winner will be named April 21 in Melbourne, with the other five shortlisted authors receiving $2,000 ($1,544) each, courtesy of the Nelson Meers Foundation. This year's finalists are:

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Strays by Emily Bitto
The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally
The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna
The Golden Age by Joan London
Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven

Book Review

Review: The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop

Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop by Steve Osborne (Doubleday, $25.95 hardcover, 9780385539623, April 21, 2015)

If you need to call a cop, Steve Osborne is the man you want to answer the call. A 20-year NYPD veteran, Osborne worked the streets putting bad guys away, drinking coffee and eating bagels with extra cream cheese, and reassuring gravely wounded victims and perps that everything was going to be okay--even when it clearly was not. The Job collects the often funny, occasionally sobering and always entertaining stories of his life as a proud member of the oldest police force in the United States. The son of a tough cop father, Osborne grew up in a lunch-pail neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., where "drinking beer and beating the crap out of each other were everyone's favorite pastimes." As a kid, he sat with his father and his cop buddies in Pete's Tavern, hearing stories and deciding that "these were the coolest guys in the world, real men, and I wanted to be one of them." Osborne not only followed in his father's professional footsteps, but also inherited his father's storytelling genes. After retirement, his tales of cop life found their way to NPR and then on to regular appearances on The Moth Radio Hour.

Beginning with his first collar on his first day on the streets, The Job follows Osborne's career as he moves from tame assignments in Midtown and a "boring" stint in Chinatown to the 9th Precinct on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. During the time he worked the midnight shift in the 9th, it was awash in drugs, crime and the jungle that was Tompkins Square Park after dark--a neighborhood where "dying of natural causes includes getting shot." However, Osborne's accounts of policing the 9th are not all rough-and-tumble guns and knives. He tells of a stakeout that snared a timid dentist rather than the armed bank-robber he resembled. An immigrant mother who loses both sons to drug violence touches him enough for him to break the rules and hand over her youngest son's mugshot for the small shrine in her apartment. When his little Brussels Griffon dog is run over and killed, the tough-guy Osborne breaks into tears. And then there is his story of September 11, 2001--the day that forever changed the world of every New York City cop.

Osborne was a cop who didn't hesitate to knock heads when needed, but he also thought of himself and his fellow police as shepherds: "We were guarding the flock, and keeping an eye out for the wolves." Told in a voice as unassuming as his blue-collar background, the stories in The Job are a refreshing reminder that civilized order rests on police like Steve Osborne "being there in people's lives during times of crisis, and knowing what to say and what to do." --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Retired NYPD officer Steve Osborne tells bracing stories of policing the streets of New York City.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. All I Ever Need is You by Bella Andre
2. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
3. Without Me (Men of Inked Book 7) by Chelle Bliss
4. His Proposed Deal by Sandi Lynn
5. Thrust by Victoria Ashley
6.  Nice Girl to Love by Violet Duke
7. Tool: A Stepbrother Romance by Sabrina Paige
8. The Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower
9.  Tall, Dark and Panther (Paranormal Dating Agency Book 5) by Milly Taiden
10. Third Debt (Indebted Book 4) by Pepper Winters

[Many thanks to!]

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