Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Union Square Kids: Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston

Tor Teen: Into the Light by Mark Oshiro

Peachtree Teen: Junkyard Dogs by Katherine Higgs-Coulthard

Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz and Rob Schwartz

Neal Porter Books: All the Beating Hearts by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Cátia Chien


James Patterson's New Venture: Line of Short Books

James Patterson, the prolific author who has published some 156 books (most with co-writers) and last year created his own children's imprint, JIMMY Patterson, is expanding operations: to reach people who don't usually read, he's creating BookShots, "a new line of short novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting," the New York Times reported. The books will be published with his longtime publisher, Little, Brown.

Patterson, who has generously supported literacy, bookstores and school libraries, will write some of the books himself, some with others and will select the rest. Beginning in June, the plan is to publish two to four books a month; each book will be less than 150 pages.

"You can race through these," he told the Times. "They're like reading movies. It gives people some alternative ways to read."

The first titles will be Cross Kill by Patterson, starring Alex Cross, and Zoo II by Patterson and Max DiLallo. The fiction list will include thrillers, science fiction, mysteries and romance. Later this year, BookShots will begin publishing nonfiction, too, "with a focus on short, newsy books that play off current events."

At first, BookShots titles will be sold primarily through bricks-and-mortar bookstores and Amazon, but eventually they should have a solid presence in mass market outlets, like drugstores and grocery stores.

"Those venues are very inhospitable to traditional publishing, but we think this is a type of book that could work very well there," said Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Group, parent company of Little, Brown. Patterson, he added, "has enough recognition that his name can make it work."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline

New Bookstore Coming to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Christopher Roe and Jonathan Shotwell plan to open Books and Mortar bookstore in Grand Rapids, Mich., this summer, Michipreneur reported. Both ordained ministers, Roe and Shotwell are Michigan natives who currently live in Chicago but have purchased a home in Grand Rapids. They're "in the final stages of firming up our location" for the store, according to Shotwell. "We'll be located in an urban neighborhood with easy access. We plan to start the renovation process in June and are aiming for a soft opening in August."

Chris Roe and Jonathan Shotwell

Roe added: "We starting talking about this plan a year or so ago. We know that two independent bookstores in downtown Grand Rapids closed over the last five years, but we think what we have to offer is something people are craving--a friendly, neighborhood spot which will include a coffee shop (we are negotiating with a local café to open their second location in our facility), a full and carefully curated selection of books and a casual atmosphere. The location we are looking at also has a large outdoor space, and we hope this will be an attraction during the warmer months."

Books and Mortar will carry a wide selection of books, including children's and YA titles, and some used books. The store will host events, including music and author talks.

On the store's website, Roe and Shotwell wrote: "We believe every great city needs great independent bookstores that reflect its people, its pride, its passions and its challenges. A place where people can gather for conversation, debate and leisure. A place where they can find a book that might change their lives. A place where creativity and adventure awaits neighbors, new friends, and uncharted adventures. This is exactly what we want to be a part of in Grand Rapids."

GLOW: Tordotcom: The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill

Clinton Campaign Trail Runs Through Powell's Books

Yesterday, former President Bill Clinton "made a surprise stop at Portland's famous Powell's Books" before heading to Vancouver, Wash., to campaign for Hillary, KATU reported, adding that Clinton "was joined by Ore. Gov. Kate Brown at the bookstore just after 4 p.m. and stayed for about an hour, browsing and greeting shoppers." Governor Brown announced yesterday she is officially endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

Clinton bought a copy of A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, 1905-1928 by Geoffrey C. Ward, and "was also gifted a copy of Peter Stark's Astoria, a book about settling Astoria, Ore. in the early 1800s," KATU noted.

Soho Press: Black Dove by Colin McAdam

Scholastic Kids Challenge: 'Be a Reading Superhero'

As part of Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge campaign this year, Dav Pilkey, creator of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series, will serve as Scholastic Summer Reading Global Ambassador. He'll launch the "Be a Reading Superhero" contest, through which one school in each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia can win a free book for every student. This year's theme of being a reading superhero encourages kids to build their "reading muscles" by reading more and logging their reading minutes to earn virtual rewards, the company said. During the 18 weeks of summer, kids will be able to unlock fun stories from 18 children's authors who will share how they became reading superheroes.

Starting now, educators can register students in grades K-8 for the reading challenge. Once a class is registered, teachers can track their students' reading progress all summer and access free reading resources, including a reading pledge, letters to parents and summer book lists for pre-K through YA, including Spanish and bilingual titles.

Pilkey commented: "When it comes to kids and reading, there's no such thing as a guilty pleasure. Even though I struggled with reading growing up because of my dyslexia, I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to choose the books I wanted to read: silly books with tons of illustrations that made me laugh out loud. And if it weren't for these books that motivated me to keep turning the page, I wouldn't be the writer I am today. Summer is a great time to discover the fun and joy of reading."

In addition, to spread the message about the importance of summer reading--research shows that when kids read more books over the summer, they perform better at school in the fall--Scholastic is launching a traveling Summer Reading Road Trip; two RVs will visit bookstores, schools and libraries across the country May 2-July 31. The Road Trip will feature "pop-up" reading community events, where children can meet some of their favorite authors and illustrators, and engage in fun reading activities.

Weiser Books: Mexican Sorcery: A Practical Guide to Brujeria de Rancho by Laura Davila

Steve Rosato Joins OverDrive

Steve Rosato, who stepped down as event director of BookExpo America two weeks ago, has joined OverDrive as international business development executive, where he will help the digital distribution company's global expansion.

Besides representing OverDrive's catalogues and services for U.S. and English-language e-books, audiobooks and other digital media, Rosato will help identify digital books from other countries and languages that can be added to the OverDrive Marketplace.

"Steve's industry knowledge and valuable global relationships will greatly serve OverDrive's publishers and authors as we continue to open up new markets for their titles," Steve Potash, OverDrive CEO, said. "This is a tremendous win for publishers and all suppliers of digital media as OverDrive invests in growth for our international markets."

Obituary Note: Barry Hines

British novelist and screenwriter Barry Hines, who "wrote about working-class lives for more than 40 years" and whose most famous book, A Kestrel for a Knave, was adapted for the 1969 Ken Loach film Kes, died March 18, the Guardian reported. He was 76.

Barry "was often considered to be part of the generation of celebrated northern writers (and to a lesser extent the angry young man movement) including Alan Sillitoe, Stan Barstow, John Braine and Keith Waterhouse, yet was a decade younger than most of them," the Guardian wrote. His books The Gamekeeper, The Price of Coal and Looks & Smiles were also filmed by Loach, with Barry writing the screenplays.


Image of the Day: Authors Travel to Travelers Author's Party

The party earlier this week at Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., for Chris Pavone's The Travelers drew a crowd that included some of his fellow thriller and mystery authors. Pictured (l.-r.) Joseph Finder, Daniel Palmer, Chris Pavone, Hank Phillippi Ryan, David Taylor and Elisabeth Elo.

Philly Indies 'That'll Make You Want to Toss Your Kindle'

A field guide to 15 independent bookstores in the Philadelphia area "that'll make you want to toss your Kindle" was offered by Philadelphia Magazine, which wrote that "independent bookstores are more than an ode to nostalgia and much-needed tactility--they also often boast the smartest literati as shopkeepers and the most inviting (and weather-proofed) hangouts you can find in/around Philly. So the next time your eyes start to blur after thumbing your four-inch screen for a couple hours, you can come up for air and head to one of these 15 brick-and-mortar independent bookstores."

Bookstore Display of the Day: More Signs of Spring

Will Spring Be Early or Will Spring Be Late? On Facebook yesterday, Concord Bookshop, Concord, Mass., posted a response:

"We're looking out our windows at 5" of snow this morning. We can answer your question--late--on this first day of spring, Crockett Johnson! Thoughts of spring on this display in our Young Readers section."

'The Most Beautiful Bookstore in Shanghai'

People's Daily noted that "a bookstore in Shanghai has showed that print books are still valued by many booklovers. Not only has Zhong Shuge been one of the most popular bookstores in Shanghai, it has been known as the most beautiful bookstore in the city.... The inner architecture of the store--tall and concave ceiling with wooden beams--gives customers a sense of comfort, spaciousness and serenity. The highlight of inner architecture is the long tunnel flanked by books, denoting the endlessness of learning throughout our lives."

Media and Movies

Movies: Papa: Hemingway in Cuba

A trailer has been released for Papa: Hemingway in Cuba, in which "Giovanni Ribisi plays a young reporter whose earnest letter to his literary idol wins him an invite to the great man's tropical paradise just as Fidel Castro's leftist guerrillas are sweeping into the cities," Entertainment Weekly reported. The cast includes Adrian Sparks as Hemingway, Joely Richardson and Minka Kelly. Papa: Hemingway in Cuba opens in theaters on April 29.

"It is a privileged view of the real man, one I had not known from the popular iconic depiction," said director Bob Yari. "We get to see his humanity, fallibility and struggles with mental illness. All from the view point of a young man enamored with the iconic depiction--who learns a wonderful lesson that changes his life, yet again."

Yari and his crew filmed in Cuba in 2014. "It was thrilling and unbelievably challenging," he observed. "Cuba has very little film infrastructure. A passionate crew base, but one that has been handicapped by knowing no reward for hard work. Everything can get done tomorrow! The beauty of the location, being able to film the real locations Hemingway frequented (including his home which is now a museum), and the wonderful Cuban people all made it worthwhile."

Media Heat: Rachel Lehmann-Haupt on Diane Rehm

Good Morning America: Rachel Beller, author of Power Souping: 3-Day Detox, 3-Week Weight-Loss Plan (Morrow, $24.99, 9780062424921).

Diane Rehm: Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, author of In Her Own Sweet Time: Egg Freezing and the New Frontiers of Family (Nothing But The Truth, $15.95, 9780996307451).

Dr. Oz: William Shatner, co-author of Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man (Thomas Dunne, $25.99, 9781250083319).

ESPN's Sports Center: Bill Walton, author of Back from the Dead (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716862).

Watch What Happens Live: Padma Lakshmi, author of Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062202611).

Books & Authors

Awards: Dylan Thomas; Sunday Times EFG Short Story

The shortlist for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, for "the best published literary work of fiction in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under," consists of:

Claire-Louise Bennett for Pond
Tania James for The Tusk that Did the Damage
Frances Leviston for Disinformation
Andrew McMillan for Physical
Max Porter for Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
Sunjeev Sahota for The Year of the Runaways

The winner of the £30,000 (about $42,880) prize will be announced on May 14.


Three men and three women from five countries have been named to the shortlist for the £30,000 (about $43,350) Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who is published in the U.K. On April 21 and 22, the Foyles Charing Cross Road store will host readings by actors Tom Hollander, Juliet Stevenson, David Soul, Gina Bellman, Selina Lo and Chippa Chung. The winner will be announced April 22. This year's shortlisted authors and stories are:

"The Dacha" by Alix Christie
"The News of Her Death" by Petina Gappah
"What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?" by Colum McCann
"Unbeschert" by Edith Pearlman
"The Phosphoresence" by Nicholas Ruddock
"The Human Phonograph" by Jonathan Tel

Book Review

Review: The One-in-a-Million Boy

The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood (Houghton Mifflin, $25 hardcover, 9780544617070, April 5, 2016)

In her first novel in more than a decade, Monica Wood (When We Were the Kennedys) introduces readers to a cast of unexpected heroes and the remarkable little boy whose death brings them together.

At 104 years of age, Ona Vitkus found a once-in-a-lifetime friend in the 11-year-old Boy Scout assigned to refill her bird feeders. He hoarded objects in groups of 10, obsessed over world records, and laughed in a peculiar yip. He also showed Ona an interest and devotion she had never known before, caused her to remember a few words of Lithuanian from her forgotten childhood, and he talked her into shooting for a world record of her own--Oldest Licensed Driver. At the story's opening, Ona has grown to look forward to the boy's visits, but this time, his father, Quinn, arrives in the boy's place.

Although certainly no rock star, Quinn Porter has made a living playing his guitar at any gig he can find, both chasing his dreams and avoiding Belle, his ex-wife two times over, and their boy, whose eccentricities left Quinn utterly baffled. Now the boy--he remains unnamed throughout--has died unexpectedly, and Quinn's detached treatment of his family becomes a source of stabbing guilt. As part of a self-imposed atonement, he decides to complete the term of the boy's service project at Ona's house. However, the sharp-tongued centenarian, with her sleight-of-hand card tricks and attachment to his strange son, takes Quinn by surprise, and soon his aversion to personal entanglements gets sidelined by his desire to see the boy through Ona's eyes. Although Ona, Belle and Quinn each lost something when the boy died--a friend, a child, a possibility--the chance to carry out one of his last missions by securing Ona's world record will bring them together and show the way to a new beginning for each of them.

Wood dishes out tragedy and charm in equal measure with an intergenerational friendship that retains its beauty despite death. Although rarely seen directly, the titular boy hovers at the edges of every scene, binding Quinn and Belle whether they like it or not, drawing Ona's secrets from her lips. Readers won't be able to resist falling for Ona, whose many years and cultivated cynicism hide a great but vulnerable heart. Wood interweaves the lives of her broken heroes until they cannot disentangle from one another, then gives each the means to become, if not fully healed, at least whole. Although most readers will find tissues often necessary while navigating the layers of this story, the conclusion will leave them smiling through their tears. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: The sudden death of an unusual young boy brings together his grief-stricken mother, absentee father and the centenarian woman he befriended, with heartwarming results.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Ryder (Slater Brothers, Volume 4) by L.A. Casey
2. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
3. Porn Star: The BIG Edition by Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone
4. Justice for Corrie (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 3) by Susan Stoker
5. Us (Him Book 2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
6. King of Campus by Jennifer Sucevic
7. Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan
8. Deep by Skye Warren
9. Zel: Markovic MMA by Roxie Rivera
10. Tackled by Sabrina Paige

[Many thanks to!]

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