Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 25, 2016

William Morrow & Company: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne

Quotation of the Day

'The Romance of a Bookshop'

"There is nothing like the romance of a bookshop. A living, breathing behemoth where people wander around in dreamy circles, bump into interesting strangers, flirt, buy a book, go for coffee, fall in love, get their hearts broken, then go back for consolation. We know this from films of old, from 84 Charing Cross Road and The Big Sleep to Manhattan, Notting Hill and You've Got Mail. This is the 'How We Met' story that we would like to tell our children and friends: 'Oh, we met in the poetry section of that old bookshop in 1984, and look at us now!' "

--Arifa Akbar in an Independent story with one of our favorite headlines: "Bookshops are back--because you can't meet a lover on your Kindle"

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland


Simon & Schuster Creates Muslim Children's Imprint

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers has created Salaam Reads, an imprint that will publish books that feature Muslim characters and stories and highlight the experience of being Muslim, the New York Times reported. The imprint will publish at least nine books a year, including board books, picture books, middle grade titles and YA books.

Heading Salaam Reads is executive editor Zareen Jaffery, who told the newspaper that as a Pakistani-American Muslim girl growing up in Connecticut, she read a lot. "I remember looking at books to try to figure out, 'What does it mean to be American? Am I doing this right?' The truth is, I didn't see myself reflected in books back then."

She noticed the problem even more in the past three years, when she began reading books with her young nieces and nephews. "It was hard not to notice that none of those books really reflected their experience," she said.

The imprint will release four titles in 2017: Salam Alaikum, a picture book based on a Harris J. Others song; Musa, Moises, Mo and Kevin, a picture book about four kindergarten friends who learn about each other's holiday traditions; The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand by Karuna Riazi, about a 12-year-old Bangladeshi-American who tries to save her brother from a supernatural board game; and Yo Soy Muslim, a picture book by poet Mark Gonzales.

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Carla D. Hayden Nominated to Be Librarian of Congress

President Obama has nominated as the next Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden, who has been CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., since 1993. Before that, Dr. Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library, assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh and library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. She began her career at the Chicago Public Library. She is also a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board and is a former president of the American Library Association.

President Obama said, "Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation's oldest federal institution as our 14th Librarian of Congress. Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today's digital culture. She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation's libraries to serve our country well and that's why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead. If confirmed, Dr. Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position--both of which are long overdue."

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

Brandon Named Interim Director of Seattle City of Literature

Seattle City of Literature has appointed Stesha Brandon as its interim executive director. Her role will be to strengthen the organization, lead the upcoming bid to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and initiate a comprehensive search for a permanent executive director. Seattle has been invited to apply to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2017, after narrowly missing UNESCO's 2016 endorsement.

Stesha Brandon

"I am delighted to join this effort to designate Seattle a UNESCO Creative City, and excited to deepen our relationship with local literary and arts organizations," she said. "We have a vital role in supporting Seattle's literary community, and there is still valuable work to be done." Brandon most recently served as program director of Town Hall Seattle. Before that, she was the events coordinator at University Book Store for more than 10 years. Brandon is also a veteran of numerous boards and committees, including the Bumbershoot Task Force and the Washington State Book Awards jury.

Seattle City of Literature board president Bob Redmond said the organization "has a great vision and has begun contributing both locally and internationally. To take the next steps we needed help, and Stesha is wonderfully qualified to provide that help. She knows both the for-profit and non-profit angles of the arts world, is well versed in literature and many other creative disciplines, and has great support from the community. We're lucky to land her and look forward to the next steps for the organization."

In an interview with the Seattle Review of Books, Brandon noted that "one of the cool things about the Seattle City of Literature project is that it's about building understanding through the creative economy--so I'll be using my background and the community ties that I built in both the for-profit world at University Book Store, and the non-profit world at Town Hall Seattle. Ultimately, Seattle City of Literature wants to support the literary and arts ecosystem in Seattle, and that means including all different kinds of contributors to the creative economy."

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Copperfish Books Opening at New Location

Copperfish Books, which is in the midst of moving to a larger space in the heart of downtown Punta Gorda, Fla., at 103 W. Marion Avenue, shared a video of the move-in-progress on Facebook: "Day 3 of The Big Move went very well! Volunteers of the highest caliber once again descended on our new store and helped place all of our books on shelves. Thank you again, Nanette Leonard, for capturing the event on video! We're going to take Wednesday to do some more 'fixing and placing' and will plan to open the doors on Thursday. See you very soon!"

Rhode Island Bookstore for Sale

Island Bound Bookstore on Block Island, Rhode Island, is for sale. In 1995, Cindy Lasser opened the store underneath the National Hotel. The store moved next to the post office in 1997, where it enjoys views of the oceanfront and the island's ferry service. Block Island is located 13 miles off the Rhode Island coast and has a busy summer season.

"I simply need a change and the freedom to explore other avenues," Lasser said. "We are in good standing in all capacities and find this a perfect time to sell." Island Bound is a "turn-key business with a wealth of community goodwill." Prospective buyers should contact Gail with Ballard-Hall Real Estate at 401-741-7001.

Anderson's Picked as Readers Favorite Bookstore

Congratulations to Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill., the $3,000 grand prize winner of the Readers Recommend Your Bookshop contest sponsored by Sourcebooks Landmark in honor of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, translated by Alice Menzies, published last month. Second-prize winners are Page and Palette, Fairhope, Ala., and Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich., each of which receives $637 (the population of Broken Wheel, Iowa, where the novel is set). Under the contest, book lovers across the country were asked to vote for their favorite bookstores.

First published in 2013 in the author's native Sweden, the novel is the story of Sara, who has lost her bookselling job and travels from Sweden to down-on-its-luck Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet her pen pal, Amy--who has just died. Welcomed by townspeople, Sara stays on and opens a bookstore, and the town becomes reinvigorated in a variety of ways. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was the #1 Indie Next Pick for January. See our interview with the author here.

In a nice gesture, Brilliant Books is matching its prize and donating $1,300 to seven Michigan school libraries in Traverse City, Maple City, Kalkaska and Grand Rapids. Peter Makin, owner of Brilliant Books, commented: "Traverse City is seasonal, and to win this contest in the middle of winter is not what you would expect. We were up against bookstores from L.A. to New York to Chicago. It's an incredible thing for our little store."

By the way, delivering the grand prize check will be easy: Sourcebooks headquarters is just a few miles from Anderson's Naperville store.


Image of the Day: Badass Booksellers at Vroman's

Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., has sold more than 1,000 copies of Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (Running Press), so PGW sent over awesome shirts, pins and a cake.

Readers of the Last ARC

After the Woods, Kim Savage's just-released debut psychological thriller, was generating so much buzz--and requests for advanced copies--that publicist Morgan B. Dubin at Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers ran a "traveling ARC blog tour" with one single ARC, the last one she had on hand. That copy traveled from blogger to blogger, from New York City to upstate New York, Boston, Pennsylvania, Chicago, northern Illinois, Texas, Louisiana and finally back to N.Y.C. Dubin asked the bloggers who received it to record their doodles, ideas, theories and reactions in the ARC itself as they were reading, creating a community of passionate readers within the pages. The dog-eared ARC--thoroughly marked up with doodles and comments from "great first sentence!" to "double eeek!"--is now back in the offices of FSG.

An Author's Video Tribute to Booksellers

Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin Books) and former bookseller at the King's English in Salt Lake City, stars in an amusing video about the art of bookselling. In the video, Awad plays three different booksellers, each demonstrating her own handselling style on a customer at the Tattered Cover, Denver.

The first bookseller uses her "keen observation skills and rigorous deduction," noting the customer's askew glasses, worn boots and bandaged ring finger, to suggest an "anti-fairy tale, something about relationships, but not a romance, something smart, dark, funny, true," criteria that lead to 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl.

Award's second bookseller uses the process of elimination by showing a customer one book after another, each accompanied by a grumpy "no," until she says yes to Awad's book. The final bookseller's methods are "esoteric, complex, and highly classified," leading to a mind-meld psychic reading and instant gratification. Despite three very different techniques, the all-important final result is the same: "reader satisfaction."

Rizzoli to Distribute Smith Street Books

Rizzoli International Publications will distribute the front and backlist titles of Smith Street Books, Melbourne, Australia, in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Founded in 2015 and focusing on illustrated gift, humor, cookbooks, pop culture, and interior design titles, Smith Street will launch here with 16 titles this (Northern Hemisphere) fall, beginning in September, and aims to grow the list to 35-45 titles annually over the next three years.

Smith Street Books founder Paul McNally has 18 years experience in the book publishing industry, most recently as publishing director of Hardie Grant Books (Australia) and said, "I'm delighted to again be working closely with such a strong and respected brand in Rizzoli New York, as I did during my time with Hardie Grant, and know that the bold, exciting publishing coming from Smith Street Books will sit perfectly within their own stable."

Personnel Changes at HarperCollins; Sourcebooks; Llewellyn

At HarperCollins Children's Books:

Caroline Sun has been promoted to director of publicity.
Rosanne Romanello has been promoted to associate director of publicity.
Stephanie Hoover has been promoted to publicist. She joined the publicity team in 2014.


At Sourcebooks:

Monika Ebly has been named licensing and strategic partnerships manager. Prior to joining Sourcebooks, Monika was program manager at Media Star Promotions.
James Hegberg has joined the ecommerce division as online marketing manager; he was most recently director of digital marketing at Custom Personalization Solutions.


At Llewellyn Worldwide:

Vanessa Wright has returned to the company as a publicist for Llewellyn Publications.
Katie Mickschl has been promoted to publicist for the Midnight Ink imprint.
Jake-Ryan Kent has joined the company as publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

Movies: The Light Between Oceans; Céline

A trailer has been released for The Light Between Oceans, adapted from the bestselling novel by M.L. Stedman, Entertainment Weekly reported. Directed and written by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines), the film stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. It will be released later this year.


A trailer is out for the French film Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Deux Clowns pour une Catastrophe, directed by Emmanuel Bourdieu and based on the book Céline: The Crippled Giant by Milton Hindus. The movie premieres in Paris today and will be released in more than 100 theaters March 9.

This Weekend on Book TV: Michael V. Hayden

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, February 27
1:30 p.m. Nick Adams, author of Retaking America: Crushing Political Correctness (Post Hill Press, $25, 9781618688507). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. David Randall discusses what books are assigned to incoming college freshman. (Re-airs Monday at 1:30 a.m.)

9 p.m. Jesse Holland, author of The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House (Lyons Press, $25.95, 9781493008469), at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m.)

10 p.m. Michael V. Hayden, author of Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror (Penguin Press, $30, 9781594206566). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385535595). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.)

Sunday, February 28
1:30 a.m. Alec Ross, author of The Industries of the Future (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476753652), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

8 a.m. A panel discussion on feminists in the Black Power movement. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Sheridan Morley Theatre Bio

A shortlist has been announced for the £2,000 (about $2,775) Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography, Broadway World reported. The winner will be announced March 2 at a ceremony in London. The finalists are:

John Osborne: "Anger Is Not About..." by Peter Whitebrook
1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro
The Blue Touch Paper by David Hare
A Night in the Emperor's Garden: A True Story of Hope and Resilience in Afghanistan by Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan
Let Me Play the Lion Too: How to Be an Actor by Michael Pennington

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:

The Arrangement: A Novel by Ashley Warlick (Viking, $26, 9780525429661). "Ostensibly the story of M.F.K. Fisher and the years when she honed her skills as America's first food essayist, The Arrangement is actually a story about the fragility of relationships. As Fisher grows in renown, her marriage crumbles and she boldly takes a lover who represents everything antithetical to her husband--his best friend. This is a sensual novel in every sense of the word, and the reader experiences all the excitement of both food and sexuality as Fisher becomes a more independent woman and discovers her writing abilities. What a woman! What a novel!" --William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt (Atria Books, $26, 9781501112461). "This fascinating memoir of Offutt's difficult relationship with his father is complicated by the realization that his father was a prolific writer of pornography. Author Andrew Offutt was known as a science fiction writer, but, with his death, his son discovers that his family's income was due to the astounding abundance of writing in this other genre. As he catalogs his father's library of writings, drawings, and more, Offutt tries to understand the man that kept his family walking on eggshells. Difficult to read at times, but complex, intriguing, and hard to put down." --Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, Ken.

Of Things Gone Astray: A Novel by Janina Matthewson (The Friday Project, $14.99, 9780008137557). "In London, a group of people have lost that which they hold most dear. A girl stands in the airport waiting for her lover while her feet turn to roots and her skin to bark. A recluse loses the front wall of her home, while a workaholic cannot find his office building. Piano keys, a sense of direction, and a boy's relationship with his father all have gone astray. Slowly, each victim adapts, unwittingly helping one another during the briefest encounters. Each loss is heartbreaking and each character's struggle to survive is inspiring. With stunning prose and insight, Matthewson uses magic to illuminate truth in this hauntingly beautiful debut novel." --Amelia Stymacks, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

For Ages 4 to 8: Revisit & Rediscover
A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley, illustrated by Jim LaMarche (Harcourt Brace, $17.99, 9780152002398). "This story of a bear who finds himself captivated by the sound of a woman reading to him outside her cabin in the woods perfectly captures the pleasures of shared reading. Evocative illustrations and a gentle, lilting tone further accentuate this moving tribute to the power of giving voice to books." --Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, Maine

For Ages 9 to 12
The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99, 9781492623243). "A death curse looms over Saki's grandmother's house because Saki used the wrong branch in a fire to honor the dead. She now has only three nights to undo the curse or say goodbye to the world of the living forever. The Night Parade is the biggest celebration of the year, when spirits travel from far and wide to pay homage at the shrine on the mountaintop overlooking Saki's grandmother's house. The Night Parade is full of adventures and unusual creatures that will grab the attention of middle-grade readers and also introduce them to Japanese culture. Not to be missed!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Minn.

For Teen Readers
Soundless by Richelle Mead (Razorbill, $19.99, 9781595147639). "This fantasy informed by Chinese folklore is full of new ideas and breathtaking moments. Fei lives in a world where no one can hear, and people are starting to go blind. High atop a mountain with no way down and no link to the outside world except a zipline that delivers scant rations in exchange for the metals that they mine, Fei and her people are trapped by injustices. That is until, suddenly, Fei can hear. She is ready to climb down the mountain to ask for some changes, but what she finds there is not at all what she expected." --Alison Nolen, Linden Tree Children's Books, Los Altos, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 1:

The Gangster by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (Putnam, $29, 9780399175954) is the ninth adventure with Isaac Bell.

A Few of the Girls: Stories by Maeve Binchy (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101947418) is a collection of short stories from the Irish author.

Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure by Shirley MacLaine (Atria, $24, 9781501136412) chronicles the actress's experience filming Wild Oats on the Canary Islands.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781451686630) is a psychological thriller about a woman running from her past.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (Crown, $28, 9780553447439) uses real Milwaukee families struggling with rent payments to explore an escalating social problem.

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544272880) is the biography of an Irish rebel who led the Irish Brigade in the American Civil War.

Overwatch: A Thriller by Matthew Betley (Atria/Emily Bestler, $26, 9781476799216) continues the Logan West thriller series.

The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health by Laura Prepon and Elizabeth Troy (Touchstone, $26, 9781501123092) gives diet advice.

Hurt People: A Novel by Cote Smith (FSG Originals, $15, 9780374535889).

Orange, Lavender & Figs: Deliciously Different Recipes from a Passionate Eater by Fanny Slater (Atria, $18, 9781476796307).

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker, opens March 4. Tina Fey stars as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A movie tie-in (Anchor, $15.95, 9781101973127) is available.

Book Review

Review: The Violet Hour

The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End by Katie Roiphe (Dial Press, $28 hardcover, 9780385343596, March 8, 2016)

Author and journalist Katie Roiphe (In Praise of Messy Lives) believes she conceived the idea for The Violet Hour when she was 12 years old and suffering a virulent form of pneumonia. Throughout her long convalescence, she developed an "endless appetite" for books about people dying. Roiphe turned to the comfort of literature to help deal with her experience; to understand and "see the world," she explains, she has "always opened a book." When Roiphe's father died of a massive heart attack years later, she decided to write The Violet Hour, which examines the last days of six famous writers and artists. Roiphe selected Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, John Updike, Dylan Thomas, Maurice Sendak and James Salter because each was "especially sensitive or attuned to death.... I've picked people who are madly articulate, who have abundant and extraordinary imaginations or intellectual fierceness, who can put the confrontation with mortality into words--and in one case images--in a way that most of us can't or won't."

Roiphe interviewed a host of people associated with each subject--wives, ex-wives, children, caretakers, friends, housekeepers, nurses--in order to grasp how each artist "faced or did not face, embraced or evaded, made peace with or raged against death, sometimes all at once." The harrowing section about writer Susan Sontag, who beat cancer two times and was challenged a third time with a terminal diagnosis, shows Sontag's ferocious will. She underwent aggressive treatments while intellectually rebelling against death. John Updike also endured grueling chemotherapy, and he chose to work feverishly on new poems about his experience. "He is writing his way out of death; he is dreaming his way past or through it." Similarly, Maurice Sendak worked through his obsessive "terror of death," taming it like a "dancing bear" that ultimately performed for him via his drawings and children's stories.

As Sigmund Freud neared his demise, he refused anything stronger than aspirin for his pain. He remained insistently willful and controlling--determined clearly to process and analyze every moment until his final breath. In contrast, young and healthy Dylan Thomas once referred to his poems as "statements made on the way to the grave." Thus, he flirted recklessly and often with his own demise. Ideas of death permeate much of his work.

In Roiphe's epilogue, a philosophical conversation with James Salter, a vibrant 89-year-old writer--a quintessential observer who claimed emotional detachment from death--encourages the author finally to circle back and address her own deep fears about mortality.

What Roiphe discovers by closely observing and contemplating each of her subjects in their darkest hours--especially their courage and great flourishes of creativity when at their most vulnerable--surprises her, and the insights she shares are bound to affirm in readers the value and meaning of life. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: An in-depth exploration of the lives of six famous writers and artists who confronted the prospect of death via their art.

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