Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grove Press: Brother Alive by Zain Khalid

Bantam: All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Union Square & Co.: A Broken Blade (The Halfling Saga) by Melissa Blair

Sourcebooks Landmark: The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorris

Simon & Schuster: Recording for the Simon & Schuster and Simon Kids Fall Preview 2022

Soho Crime: Lady Joker, Volume 2 by Kaoru Takamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida

Berkley Books: Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert; Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea; Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo


James Patterson Giving $500,000 to 127 School Libraries

Today James Patterson is distributing $500,000 to 127 schools, the first round of his promised $1.5 million to help school libraries buy books and other classroom resources. (See the full list here.) The grants today range from $1,000 to $10,000 per school and were chosen from more than 28,000 applications for funding grants. Because of the "overwhelming number of requests," Patterson is increasing the amount he will give to school libraries by $250,000, making the total $1.75 million. Scholastic Reading Club is matching each dollar with bonus points that allow teachers to buy classroom materials, including books. The remaining $1.25 million will be given away in stages this year.

James Patterson

"With nearly half the population currently reading at or below the basic level, the United States is truly in the middle of a crisis," Patterson said. "I've now read over a thousand letters from school librarians, teachers, and parents about the lack of resources at our country's schools. How will children make it to high school without access to books? This is a huge problem--and we have to take action. I hope that education will become a major topic on Capitol Hill and in the upcoming presidential debates."

Patterson's online application posed one question: "What would your school library do with $1,000 to $10,000?" According to Patterson, teachers, librarians and principals wrote about budget cuts and a dearth of state funding that have left their schools without books, shelves, materials and, in many cases, librarians.

One of the school libraries winning a grant is at P.S. 62, a Title I school in the Richmond Hill section of Queens, N.Y. School librarian Teresa O'Brien-Israel said, "Approximately 86% of our students are living in poverty. Many of our families do not have the money to purchase books, and our local public library is not in close proximity to our school. Our school library must be our students' window to the world. Unfortunately, our books have an average copyright date of 2002, and the number of titles in our library is woefully inadequate."

Last year, Patterson gave $1 million to 179 independent bookstores in the U.S. and is in the process of giving £500,000 ($786,820) to U.K. bookshops and gave A$100,000 ($76,800) to Australian and New Zealand booksellers.

Harper: We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

Delaware's Acorn Books Finds New Location

Acorn Books, Dover, Del., which said in May it would be closing its doors for good after three years in business unless a new space was found, announced Friday on Facebook: "WE GOT A NEW LOCATION!" Acorn will be moving to Smyrna at 2421 South Dupont Blvd., on the corner of South DuPont Boulevard and Big Oak Road. A September opening is planned.

"It's pretty funny that we're Acorn Books and we're going to be on Big Oak Road," owner Ginny Jewell told Delaware State News.

Jewell said the transition is a bittersweet experience: "We were dedicated to the Dover area. We were trying to bring the book scene back in Dover. I know everyone isn't going to be happy about the move. But we exhausted all of our possibilities. We couldn't find any options in Dover. We found a deal that will allow us to move forward and grow our business."

She also hopes to host more events in the new space: "We used to hold a lot of events. But due to our space, we had do it in the store and sometimes it was either during or after store hours. This go-around we have a separate building for them to go to."

Tundra Books: The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour (The Adventures of Miss Petitfour) by Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block

B&N Adds Some Spin-Off Details

In an update to its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Barnes & Noble has said that when the company's college division is spun off as B&N Education, B&N shareholders will receive 0.632 shares of B&N Education for every share they own. The stock will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the trading symbol BNED. The company has said the spinoff will take place this year.

See our longer analysis, based on the original filing, from early this month, here.

KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.16.22

Berkeley's Revolution Books on the Move

Revolution Books, Berkeley, Calif., plans to relocate this summer from its current space in Telegraph Channing mall to another part of the complex that is closer to Telegraph Avenue and "the daily lives of UC Berkeley students than their current location," Berkleyside reported, adding that "work is underway to transform Revolution Books' new space, which they will move into by August 1." The store launched a $20,000 crowdsourcing campaign to help fund the move and has raised more than $8,000.

"Times are changing, and Revolution Books is needed more than ever," said Larry Everest, a long-time volunteer at the bookstore. "We all know what kind of role the UC Berkeley campus has played in world history, and we want to be closer to that." He added that the upcoming move "is an effort to make sure our store survives. It's an effort to renovate and revitalize, and expand our stock of books so we can stay relevant. Like all other non-corporate bookstores, this is very difficult--we fight each month to keep open, and we think the move is going to help."

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West

Obituary Note: William D. Farley

William D. Farley, founder of the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, died on Sunday, just three days before the store's 25th anniversary. He was 83.

Farley and his wife, B. Jo, owned a store in Kalamazoo, Mich., before moving to Philadelphia, where Bill worked as a bookseller at Whodunit Books. In 1989, Edgar-winning author Aaron Elkins casually mentioned that Seattle needed a mystery bookstore. The Farleys had visited a niece in the area, which they liked, and soon they moved cross country and founded Seattle Mystery Bookshop in 1990. Bill ran the store, while B. Jo continued her career in the medical world. In 1999, they sold the store to long-time manager and current owner J.B. Dickey, but Bill continued to work at the store part-time for years.

Farley wanted the Seattle Mystery Bookshop be a place where readers and writers could meet, a resource for those with questions or simply looking for a new author to read, a place for someone new to the novels as well as for serious buyers looking to expand their collections. Under his guidance, the shop presented internationally known authors as well as beginning authors who grew into internationally known authors. It was his dream and it was one he succeeded at brilliantly.

B. Jo died in 2007; the two had been married for 45 years.

Vintage: Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin


Image of the Day: Inner Traditions Turns 40

Photo: Ben DeFlorio

Congratulations to Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vt., which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month. Aiming to "rediscover, preserve, and protect the spiritual traditions of the world," the publisher calls itself "the university press of Mind Body Spirit" and focuses on alternative health, new age spirituality and esoteric philosophy. Distributed by Simon & Schuster, Inner Traditions has more than 1,500 titles in print, including The Heart of Yoga, DMT: The Spirit Molecule and The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils. Authors include Zecharia Sitchin, Dr. Julie Holland, Barbara Hand Clow, Rick Strassman and artist Alex Grey. Here staff, friends and family of Inner Traditions gathered earlier this month in Rochester to toast to many more years of publishing.

Beaming Books: Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, illustrated by Deann Wiley

Celebrating Suzy Staubach

Last Friday, authors Wally Lamb, Sam Pickering, Bruce Cohen and Lynn Bloom appeared for 40 minutes on the Wayne Norman Show (aired by WILI in Willimantic, Conn.) to pay tribute to Suzy Staubach, general books division manager at the UConn Coop Bookstore at Storrs Center, who is retiring (and who joined the authors). Wally Lamb said, "We want to call attention to her because she has been integral to all our careers, and one thing people in this area don't realize is that she is a national figure in bookselling." Lynn Bloom called her "the heart and soul of the bookstore." Listen to this heartfelt, fun and funny tribute here.)

Loganberry Books Is 'One Hearty Bookstore'

The Indie Bob Spot blog showcased Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, Ohio, where the "look inside is of an old, stately, established (it is!) bookstore. It has a kind of old library feel to it with the floor to ceiling bookshelves, many of which hold old collectable editions in leather-bound covers. Or maybe picture Mr. Penumbra's bookstore or the Sempere and Son Bookstore in The Shadow of the Wind. No matter how you picture it, this is one hearty bookstore with some girth to it and it delivers in every way."

Owner Harriett Logan and her staff "were all wonderfully nice to talk to and tell me about the store. She started this business 20 years ago so I think that's a good sign for this indie and the fortunate people in the community as it moves toward the future."

Even Otis the bookstore cat had his moment in the sun: "Man, this cat must have super powers because I heard a lot about him and could sense his presence everywhere."

Personnel Changes at Ten Speed Press

Effective July 6, David Hawk joins Ten Speed Press as senior marketing and publicity manager. He joined the company from Chronicle Books, where for the past seven years he was a member of the marketing and publicity team, specializing in food and drink titles.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Aasif Mandvi on Last Call

Today on Fresh Air: Vendela Vida, author of The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty: A Novel (Ecco, $25.99, 9780062110916).


Tomorrow on Live with Kelly and Michael: Amy Poehler, author of Yes Please (Dey Street, $28.99, 9780062268341).


Tomorrow on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly: Aasif Mandvi, author of No Land's Man (Chronicle, $22.95, 9781452107912).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, author of Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World (Ballantine, $26, 9780804179072).

TV: Gaiman to Write American Gods Episodes

Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods "were no doubt already delighted that it's finally being turned into a television series, set to air on Starz," but noted that "they might be even happier by the news that the author himself will be writing a few episodes." Producer Bryan Fuller told Collider that Gaiman "is going to be writing episodes of the show." American Gods was given a straight-to-series order by Starz.

Books & Authors

Awards: Harper Lee Legal Fiction; Center for Fiction

Deborah Johnson has won the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for her novel The Secret of Magic (Berkley). Co-sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, the prize is given annually to a work of fiction that "best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change." Johnson is the first woman and African-American to win the prize.

Mary McDonagh Murphy, one of the judges, commented on The Secret of Magic: "Unforgettable characters, suspense that builds straight to the last pages and straight plain prose, all the necessary ingredients to win a prize named for Harper Lee. Deborah Johnson does a lovely job."

Johnson will be honored during a ceremony on at 5 p.m. on September 3 at the Library of Congress during the National Book Festival. Following the presentation, a panel will discuss The Secret of Magic and To Kill a Mockingbird.


A longlist has been released for the Center for Fiction's $10,000 First Novel Prize. The shortlist will be announced September 15, with a winner named December 8 in New York City. Until 2014, the award was called the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize. You can see the complete longlist here.

Book Review

Review: Maud's Line

Maud's Line by Margaret Verble (Houghton Mifflin, $23 hardcover, 9780544470194, July 14, 2015)

Early in the 20th century, the U.S. government assigned plots of land to the American Indians displaced by Oklahoma's statehood. Maud Nail's day-to-day life on her family's allotment is consumed by guns, dirt and chickens. She cares for her men--a dangerous, unruly father, aptly named Mustard, and a sensitive, thin-skinned brother named Lovely--as well as the extended family whose allotments neighbor hers. They recently survived the flood of 1926-27 that covered Oklahoma and much of the Midwest, but the difficulties don't stop there. Margaret Verble's first novel, Maud's Line, details the year in which Maud makes several large choices that will affect the rest of her life. 

A peddler in a brilliantly blue covered wagon first captures Maud's eye with his good looks and his books. He gives her a copy of The Great Gatsby, and she can't stop thinking about those bobbed haircuts and dresses above the knee. Though she loves her family, Maud desperately wishes she could move on, live in a different world. But as she begins to be caught up in a nascent love affair, her family's troubles demand her attention. Two men from the family that has long feuded with hers are murdered, and Mustard has to leave town in a hurry. Lovely falls ill, and then, more troubling still, seems to be losing his mind. And Maud's occasional, erstwhile boyfriend then makes a claim on her, just as she is struggling with the biggest dilemma of all.

Maud's Line is filled with evocative glimpses of violence, viscera, yearning and the brusque but communal caring of family. In her unadorned writing style, below the violence and hardship on the surface of Maud's life, Verble crafts a story filled with nuance and quiet conflict. She exhibits a talent for characterization: each individual is carefully and distinctly fashioned, so that Lovely's girlfriend and the members of Maud's extended family, for example, shine brightly in even the briefest of appearances. Maud herself is finely wrought, caught between the values she's been raised with--and the people she loves--and a hope for a different life, one with electricity and hygiene in place of dust and blood. One of the greatest strengths of Verble's novel, set on her own family's land allotment, is the delicate interior conflicts produced by Maud's deceptively simple life. Propelled by its own momentum, Maud's Line pulls the reader along until, amid daily privations and small tragedies, Maud has the chance for the first time to choose for herself what her future will hold. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: A young American Indian woman's existential questionings and daily life on an Oklahoma farm will appeal to fans of historical fiction and personal narrative.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Arrangement 19 (The Ferro Family, #19) by H.M. Ward
2. The Offer by Karina Halle
3. The Airman's E-Mail Order Bride (Heroes of Chance Creek Book 5) by Cora Seton
4. The Blood & Roses Series Box Set by Callie Hart
5. Zack (Blue-Collar Billionaires #4) by M. Malone
6. Beat by Vi Keeland
7. Long Time Gone by Lorelei James
8. Scanguards Vampires by Tina Folsom
9. Breathless in Love by Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully
10. The Rocker Who Hates Me (The Rocker: Book 10) by Terri Anne Browning

[Many thanks to!]

KidsBuzz: Katherine Tegen Books: Case Closed #4: Danger on the Dig by Lauren Magaziner
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