Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 5, 2015

Del Rey Books: The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

Jy: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

St. Martin's Press: The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Legendary Comics YA: Enola Holmes: Mycroft's Dangerous Game by Nancy Springer, illustrated by Giorgia Sposito

Sourcebooks: Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod by Casey Sherman

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

Bantam: All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Quotation of the Day

Indie Bookstore Author Tour: 'My Favorite Thing on the Planet'

Lauren Groff

"It is my favorite thing on the planet. It's the icing on the long, hot process of baking the cake to get to go and just talk to people who love books.... It's like going home to a place where there are more books than I can keep in my own house and there are people who are just so happy to talk about literature. It's a pure joy and pleasure. I would do it 365 days a year if I could, from my house. I would send out my hologram!"

--Lauren Groff, author of #1 October Indie Next List pick Fates and Furies, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël


NYC's La Casa Azul Bookstore Opens Pop-Up

La Casa Azul Bookstore in New York City has opened its second location, a pop-up store in partnership with the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling, which hosted its grand opening celebration on Saturday. The museum offers a range of free activities for children and families, including a storytelling marathon, music performance and hands-on art-making projects.

La Casa Azul Pop Up Bookstore @ Sugar Hill will be open from October 3 to November 4 on Saturdays and Sundays. Beginning November 5, the pop-up shop will be open Thursday through Sunday.

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

The Storyteller Bookstore in Calif. to Close

The Storyteller Bookstore, Lafayette, Calif., will close this month after three decades in business. The Contra Costa Times reported that when the last book is sold and the shelves cleared, owner and co-founder Linda Higham "will undertake her first feather-light relocation in 30 years. Unlike the previous five moves--to four locations in La Fiesta Square and two years ago, to a courtyard spot behind the city's Whole Foods Market--this closing of the specialty children's bookstore she and Sharyn Larsen opened in 1985 will be final and box-free."

Noting that her decision is not due to high rent or diminished sales, Higham said, "I'm 77 years old and I've no immediate family in the Bay Area. I have children and grandchildren I want to move closer to.... I'd love if somebody would say, 'Oh, that bookstore has closed. I'd love to start a store in a community that loves books.' "

MPIBA: Last Chance: The Great Summer Reading Guide

Notes from NAIBA: 'Superhero' Booksellers' Meeting

"Reading gives you superpowers, and I'm honored to be in a room full of superheroes," said Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants series, during the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association's annual awards banquet on Saturday in Somerset, N.J. The banquet, part of NAIBA's Discovery Conference, saw Pilkey host and Best of the Year awards go to Emily St. John Mandel for Station Eleven and Brian Stephenson for Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption for adult fiction and nonfiction, respectively

Emily St. John Mandel

In her acceptance speech, St. John Mandel noted that independent booksellers were the "one group that consistently championed" her books from the very beginning of her career, and that indies play an "essential role in the culture of this society."

"You represent a different metric system in this country about what's important," Stephenson told the booksellers, in an acceptance speech that received a standing ovation. He talked about the legacy of racism and slavery in the United States and the difficult, often uncomfortable that needed to be done to move the country forward. And though he felt honored by the award, he said that what was really being honored was "the power of words."

A.S. King's novel Glory O'Brien's History of the Future was named best YA book of the year, while the honor for best middle grade book went to CeCe Bell for El Deafo. And Mike Curato, author of Little Elliot, Big City, received best picture book of the year.

Richard Russo, the author of Empire Falls, received the legacy award for his career spanning some 30 years and 10 books. He expressed his gratitude for the support he's received from indies over the years and treated NAIBA members to a brief a cappella rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "Land of Hope and Dreams."

Sean Qualls and Selina Alko accept the Carla Cohen Free Speech Award

The Carla Cohen Free Speech Award went to author and illustrator couple Selina Alko and Sean Qualls for their children's book A Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, which tells the story of interracial couple Mildred Loving and Richard Perry Loving and their fight against Virginia's laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

Eric Stragar of Perseus Books/Publishers Group West received the Helmuth Sales Rep of the Year award, while Sean Curran of Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, Pa., was given the Joe Drabyak Handseller of the Year award. Curran said he believed "very strongly that what [indies] do is sacred."

At the Saturday author breakfast: (l.-r.): Simon Van Booy (Father's Day, HarperCollins), Maggie Thrash (Honor Girl, Candlewick), Stacy Schiff (The Witches, Little, Brown), Eric Weiner (Geography of Genius, S&S), B.A. Shapiro (The Muralist, Algonquin)

Education Sessions
At a session on Sunday morning, Amanda Zirn, assistant manager of Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Del.; Stephanie Valdez, co-owner of the Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Liam O'Brien, sales and marketing manager for Melville House Books, discussed tips and best practices for social media.

All three agreed on the value of Facebook ads, given their relatively cheap cost and how specifically they can be targeted. Twitter, though less helpful for event postings and longer content, can be great for connecting one-on-one with publishers, authors and customers and, as O'Brien said, "showing your followers there are actual people writing these posts." Zirn said that Twitter allows her booksellers to "show their personality" while Facebook was a "business resource."

The Community Bookstore's Instagram use has greatly increased in recent months. "It's a huge deal for us," said Valdez. "It gives [followers] the ability to be in store, to see your staff, your store's taste, what events are like."

Valdez also acknowledged that the biggest hurdle for most indies in regards to social media is simply finding someone on staff with the time to do it. Scheduling posts on Facebook and Twitter can help quite a bit, although those can sometimes feel a little sterile, and not all platforms have that functionality.

"None of us are lacking for content," said Valdez, who has found success with Instagram posts of the week's bestsellers, pictures of customers' dogs, and all manner of everyday things. "You have to make time to put it out there." --Alex Mutter

National Reading Group Month: Great Group Reads

The National Reading Group Month/Great Group Reads Committee of the Women's National Book Association has chosen 20 books as this year's list:

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (McSweeney's)
All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen (Graywolf)
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Hogarth)
Call Me Home by Megan Kruse (Hawthorne Books)
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham (Little, Brown)
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (Scout Press/Gallery)
Dietland by Sarai Walker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (Simon & Schuster)
Henna House by Nomi Eve (Scribner)
Landfall by Ellen Urbani (Forest Avenue Press)
Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet (St. Martin's Press)
Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man by Thomas Page McBee (City Lights Publishers)
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell (Maiden Lane Press)
No. 4 Imperial Lane by Jonathan Weisman (Twelve)
Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade (Morrow Paperbacks)
A Perfect Crime by A Yi (Oneworld Publications)
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton (Grand Central)
A Sister to Honor by Lucy Ferriss (Berkley)
Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite by Suki Kim (Crown)
The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora (Grove)

The 25-member committee of writers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, publicists and dedicated readers selected titles "on the basis of their appeal to reading groups, which seek books that open up lively conversations about a myriad of timely and provocative and diverse topics, from the intimate dynamics of family and personal relationships to major cultural and world issues."

National Reading Group Month Chair Jill A. Tardiff said, "Our goal is to have these superb titles become reading-group staples with facilitators and that booksellers and librarians across the country feature them during the month of October, which is, of course, National Reading Group Month--and throughout the year."

The organization is providing shelf talkers, table-top posters and other display material for download. Find the National Reading Group Month Marketing Toolkit at Get Involved. For more general information, go to and

Obituary Note: Brian Friel

Playwright Brian Friel, "who was sometimes described as the Irish Chekhov and who for over four decades wrote plays whose distinctive blend of melancholy and humor won international acclaim," died Friday, the New York Times reported. He was 86. His plays included Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Dancing at Lughnasa and Faith Healer. The late poet Seamus Heaney, Friel's "contemporary at school in Derry and a lifelong friend," wrote that the playwright "left his audiences renewed, elated and 'with a sense of rightness, even though things have manifestly gone wrong for the people onstage.' "


Image of the Day: PRH Children's Publishing Workshop

Last Wednesday, Penguin Random House Publisher Services held a Fall Children's Publishing Workshop, its latest client-invitation-only Ideas Exchange event. Distribution clients in attendance included National Geographic, Charlesbridge, Sasquatch Books, Candlewick Press, Quirk Books and New York Review of Books. In this photo, Becky Green (far right), v-p, director, Random House Children's Retail Sales, leads a client-participation panel conversation with Penguin and Random House children's sales reps (l.-r.) Bobbie Ford, Kimberly Langus and Joe English.
(Photo: Katie Ly)

Happy 40th Birthday, the Bookshelf!

Congratulations to the Bookshelf, Cincinnati, Ohio, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary on Saturday, October 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with literary games, quizzes, prizes and refreshments.

There will also be signings by five local authors: Will Hillenbrand, children's illustrator and author of All for a Dime, at 10 and 11 a.m.; Louise Borden, a former Bookshelf partner and author of Kindergarten Luck and more than 30 other children's books, at 11:30; Shannon Carter, author of Living Artfully, also at 11:30; Leah Stewart, professor of creative writing at the University of Cincinnati and author of five novels, including The History of Us, will sign copies of The New Neighbor, at 1:30 p.m.; and Ken Williamson, photographer and author of Saying Goodbye to Vietnam, at 2:30.

The Bookshelf, which offers adult and children's books, games, puzzles and greeting cards, was founded by Anne Harrison, Blair Garvey and Gen Rosenkrantz. Current partners are Jacque Gentile, Jenny Magro, Betsy Schram and Chris Weber.

Author Trailer of the Day: Ruth Reichl on Audiobooks

While narrating the audiobook of her new title, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life (Random House), Ruth Reichl talks about her love of audiobooks.

Ingram Publisher Services Adds Humanoids

Graphic novel publisher Humanoids will be sold and distributed to the book trade by Ingram Publisher Services. For the past 17 years, the company's books have been available exclusively through the comics channel direct market.

Humanoids is an international publisher with branches in the U.S., Europe and Japan, whose catalogue features works from authors such as Alexandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius. It published its first graphic novels 40 years ago in Paris, France, and has since published thousands of titles, including The Metabarons and Barbarella. It is currently in development on multiple film adaptations of its books, including Bouncer, Metal, I Am Legion, and The Z Word (Aka the Zombies That Ate the World.

Humanoids publisher and CEO Fabrice Giger said, "Humanoids' landing in bookstores is a long-awaited move. I believe that Ingram and the Ingram Publisher Services team are the perfect collaborators to bring worldwide best sellers such as The Incal to the book market, and meet the growing demand for quality graphic novels in the U.S."

Personnel Changes at Post Hill Press, Image Comics

At Post Hill Press, which was launched last year and publishes current event, pop culture and self-help/inspiration titles:

Anthony Ziccardi has been named publisher. He was mostly recently publisher at Humanix Books, a division of Newsmax Media. Before that, he was v-p, associate publisher at Gallery Books for seven years.

Gavin Caruthers has been named associate publisher. He was most recently a buyer at B&N College and earlier held various sales positions at Simon & Schuster. 


Effective today, Jeff Boison is joining Image Comics as director of publishing planning and book trade sales. He was formerly with DC Entertainment and has nearly 20 years of experience in publishing.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Happy Pharrell Williams on Today

Today on Tavis Smiley: Robert B. Reich, author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few (Knopf, $26.95, 9780385350570).


Today on NPR's On Point: Sara Bareilles, author of Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476727776).


Today on Ellen: Nathan Lane, co-author of Naughty Mabel (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781481430227).


Today on Diane Rehm: Geraldine Brooks, author of The Secret Chord: A Novel (Viking, $27.95, 9780670025770).


Today on Live with Kelly and Michael: Shay Mitchell, co-author of Bliss: A Novel (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250075680).


Tonight on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert: John McCain, co-author of Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of Americans at War (Simon & Schuster, $16, 9781476759661).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Joel Osteen, author of The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today (FaithWords, $26, 9780892969968).

Also on Today: Pharrell Williams, author of Happy! (Putnam, $19.99, 9780399176432).


Tomorrow on the View: Ben Carson, author of One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future (Sentinel, $25.95, 9781595231123).


Tomorrow on Sirius XM Radio's Dirty, Sexy, Funny: Lux Alani, author of The Little Vanilla Book: S&M Wisdom to Improve Your Everyday Life (Atria/Beyond Words, $15.99, 9781582705712).


Tomorrow on NPR's All Things Considered: Kelly Sue DeConnick, author of Bitch Planet Volume 1 (Image Comics, $9.99, 9781632153661).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Ben Bernanke, author of The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath (Norton, $35, 9780393247213).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Jewel, author of Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story (Blue Rider, $27.50, 9780399174339). She will also appear tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

TV: Madiba

Laurence Fishburne will play the lead role of Nelson Mandela in Madiba, a six-hour miniseries for BET Networks executive produced by the late South African leader's grandson, Kweku Mandela, reported. Directed by Kevin Hooks (Prison Break), the project is based on two of Mandela books--Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself--and "tells the story of a younger Nelson Mandela during the early '60s as he deals with the political unrest engulfing South Africa." Pre-production begins later this year, with production slated for early 2016 in South Africa.
"Nelson Mandela's journey of political activism and leadership is deeply inspirational and we are proud to have the talented and award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne join Madiba to tell this triumphant story," said Stephen Hill, president of programming, BET Networks.

Books & Authors

Awards: IPNE Book Winners; Warwick

Winners of this year's Independent Publishers of New England Book Awards were announced at this year's IPNE Fall Conference in Portsmouth, N.H.:

Books of the year (tie): Rachel's Day in the Garden by Giselle Shardlow and Breathe: A Memoir of Motherhood, Grief, and Family Conflict by Kelly Kittel
Literary fiction: Wait Until I'm Dead! by Elda M. Dawber
Genre fiction: Murdered Sleep by R.A. Harold
Children's: Rachel's Day in the Garden by Giselle Shardlow
YA: Order of Seven by Beth Teliho
Narrative nonfiction: Breathe: A Memoir of Motherhood, Grief, and Family Conflict by Kelly Kittel
Informational nonfiction: Boston's 100 Greatest Games by Rob Sneddon
Specialty Books: Seacoast: The Seasons of New Hampshire by Bob McGrath
Cover design: The Real Dirt on Composting by Cheryl Wilfong
Book presentation & marketing: Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer


The shortlist for the £25,000 (about $37,980) 2015 Warwick Prize for Writing, given every two years by the University of Warwick "for an excellent and substantial piece of writing in the English language," consists of:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
Her Birth by Rebecca Goss
A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Don Bartlett
Redeployment by Phil Kay

The winner will be announced on November 11.

Book Review

Review: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead, $27.95 hardcover, 9781594631740, October 20, 2015)

In his 1998 routine Dress to Kill, English comedian Eddie Izzard explains that Americans cast British actors as villains in their movies because of the Revolutionary War, while the French play more likable characters "because of the debt of honor to General Lafayette." The punch line is met by quizzical silence from Izzard's San Francisco audience, to whom he deadpans, "You don't know who he is, do you." No less sardonic, though much more rigorously researched, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by public radio's favorite historian, Sarah Vowell (Unfamiliar Fishes), clarifies exactly who the Marquis de Lafayette was, and how he came to aid the Yankees in the War of Independence.

The collective colonies that declared autonomy from King George III on July 4, 1776, might as well have declared their independence from one another while they were at it. Vowell devotes as much time to documenting the internal unrest among the States as she does their unified dissatisfaction with Britain. Factions formed from varying loyalties and conflicting opinions about how their newly founded republic might work best, festering into a political tumult the nation would not outgrow: the 2013 government shutdown threatened Vowell's access to national parks during her research for this book. "Other than a bipartisan consensus on barbecue and Meryl Streep," she muses about the American heritage of petulant disagreement, "disunity is the through line in the national plot." But the arrival and persistence of Lafayette, a 19-year-old orphan who inherited gobs of French aristocratic wealth before lighting out across the Atlantic, heartens her outlook a little.

Lafayette was a gallant, if occasionally inept, ally, the first in a steady influx of French soldiers promised prestige in the colonial army. However, this war was severely underfinanced. Good humored as she is, Vowell isn't one to sugarcoat the past, and her depiction of the American rebels frequently points out the fledgling nation's shortcomings, shortsightedness and shortness of cash. Both Britain and France were broke after the Seven Years War, leaving Britain to hike taxes on the colonies, the so-called Intolerable Acts. Armed with Benjamin Franklin's politesse, George Washington's valor, Thomas Jefferson's brains and young Lafayette's optimism, the colonial soldiers had little else to their names, including clothing, a fact that frequently left their French comrades clutching their pearls. With plentiful archives of letters and diaries, and educational vacations taken with her sister and nephew, Vowell brings to life a chapter in American history as only she--and the handful of kooky reenactors she meets along the way--can.

Though Lafayette's early fame is documented by names of roads, parks, squares and buildings throughout the United States, it's clear "that Americans [have] forgotten France's help in our war for independence in general and the national obsession with Lafayette in particular." With wit and candor, Sarah Vowell does fine work to undo this amnesia, along the way reminding readers that bitter disagreement is part of the American experiment. And maybe that's okay. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: The American Revolution is presented in comedic Technicolor by popular historian Sarah Vowell.

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