Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 14, 2016

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley

Quotation of the Day

Statement on the Protest Against N.C. House Bill 2

"We urge all authors and illustrators as well as their publishers not to boycott North Carolina bookstores. Many independent booksellers opposed HB2 in the legislature and are actively seeking its repeal. In addition, they have a long history of fighting efforts to censor books with LGBTQ themes.

"The punishment for passing HB2 should fall on the governor and state legislators, not on booksellers who play a vital role in promoting tolerance and diversity."

--from a statement released yesterday by the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Children's Book Council, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
Bookselling This Week also featured a piece headlined "North Carolina Booksellers on HB2: 'All Are Welcome Here' "


BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


N.C. Children's Book Creators Call for Repeal of HB2

This open letter is signed by 48 children's book authors, artists and publishers in North Carolina, including former Piedmont Laureate John Claude Bemis and Newbery Award winner Sheila Turnage. It is also signed by booksellers at 16 stores across the state, from Asheville to Ocracoke, including the Regulator, Flyleaf Books, the Bookshop of Chapel Hill, Page 158 Books Quail Ridge Books and Malaprop's (whose general manager, Linda Marie Barrett, has a letter on the topic in today's New York Times). See the full list here.

We, the undersigned, are children's book creators, writers, and illustrators who live and work in North Carolina. We are appalled by the new law HB2, as it places our state on the wrong side of civil and human rights and history. We call for the North Carolina legislature and the governor to repeal this discriminatory law.

As writers and artists, our craft requires empathy, imagination, and respect for the truth. We work with the timeless themes of children's literature, among them belonging, justice, fairness, love, and liberty. The Latin root of the word liberty, liber, meaning free, is, after all, also the word for book.

The General Assembly claims this law provides for "the protection of women and children." Instead, HB2 allows discrimination against a selected class of people and will subject them to humiliation in the course of taking care of a basic human need. The sections that strike down the rights of local governments to set wages and standards of employment make it harder for North Carolina citizens to earn a decent living and support their families. Finally, the law takes away from all North Carolinians the right to sue for employment discrimination in state court.

We are fiercely committed to tolerance, inclusiveness, and equal rights for all. We will continue to strive to write and illustrate exceptional and inspiring books for all young people. We will continue to talk about all kinds of books in libraries, schools, bookstores, and other venues to our young constituency, and to tell the truth as we see it.

North Carolina is our home. We want that home to be a place where everyone is welcome.

Repeal HB2, all of it.

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks


ABA Board Election Results

Members of the American Booksellers Association have elected four directors to serve on the ABA board.

Elected to three-year terms (2016–2019) are Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Mo.; Chris Morrow of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt. and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Annie Philbrick of Bank Square Books in Mystic, Conn. and Savoy Bookshop in Westerly, R.I.; and Robert Sindelar of Third Place Books, with two locations in the Seattle area and a third scheduled to open soon. This will be the second three-year term for Philbrick and Sindelar, who will also begin his second year of a two-year term as ABA v-p/secretary.

Continuing to serve on the 11-member board are ABA president Betsy Burton of the King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City; John Evans of DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland, Larkspur, and Brentwood, Calif.; Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C.; Valerie B. Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Tex.; Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books in San Francisco; Matthew Norcross of McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, Mich.; and Jonathon Welch of Talking Leaves... Books in Buffalo, N.Y.

Leaving the board is Sarah Bagby of Watermark Books & Café in Wichita, Kans., who is at the end of her second three-year term.

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Sunrise Books to Open in High Point, N.C.

Angel Schroeder will celebrate Independent Bookstore Day by opening Sunrise Books in the Uptowne district of High Point, N.C., on April 30, "joining a recently launched brewpub in a bid to transform the auto-dominated commercial district into a walkable urban center," Triad City Beat reported, adding that while "she probably would have located her store in Uptowne regardless, the recent opening of Brown Truck Brewery definitely validated her decision." The bookstore will be located in a building across from the brewpub, on Hillcrest Place near the intersection with North Main Street.

"I am really encouraged by seeing people walking by," said Schroeder, whose husband is an urban planner with the city of High Point. "I run into people I know, and they say, 'Yeah, we're going to Brown Truck.' This is how neighborhoods are supposed to work, and I want to be part of it."

In preparation for becoming an indie bookstore owner, Schroeder attended ABA's 2015 Winter Institute in Asheville, N.C. "where she networked with people like Brian Lampkin of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro," and signed up for a prospective bookstore owner training program with Paz & Associates. After running the numbers, she "concluded that it's a viable business proposition," Triad City Beat wrote.

With a 600-square-foot storefront, Schroeder plans to start by focusing on bestsellers and children's books, along with "a healthy smattering" of art and furniture-design books. She will host regular children's reading hours, book club meetings and possibly book signings by local authors.

"The thing about a bookstore is it's not entirely about books; it's about community," she said.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

ABA Names Indies Choice, E.B. White Winners

Winners of the 2016 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, as voted by independent booksellers across the U.S., have been announced.

"ABA member booksellers have once again chosen an outstanding array of titles as the winners of the Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud awards," said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. "The winners and each of the 2016 honor books are representative of the outstanding titles hand-sold every day at independent bookstores nationwide. We look forward to honoring their authors and illustrators at this year's Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch at BEA."

This year's Indies Choice Book Awards winners are:
Adult Fiction: Fates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
Adult Nonfiction: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau)
Adult Debut: Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking)
Young Adult (tie): Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (Knopf Books for Young Readers) and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)

Winners of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards are:
Middle Reader: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Picture Book: Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)

Richard Russo will receive the Indie Champion Award, which is "presented to the author or illustrator who booksellers feel has the best sense of the importance of independent bookstores to their communities at large and the strongest personal commitment to foster and support the mission and passion of independent booksellers."

Indie booksellers annually select three classic picture books for induction into the Picture Book Hall of Fame. This year, due to a tie in the voting, four titles will be inducted:
Eloise by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight (S&S Books for Young Readers)
Olivia by Ian Falconer (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Strega Nona by Tomi dePaola (S&S Books for Young Readers)
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Stieg (S&S Books for Young Readers)

For a full list of winners, including honor recipients, click here. All authors will be honored at the Celebration of Bookselling Author Awards Luncheon May 12 at BookExpo America.

Amazon Unveils Kindle Oasis

Amazon has introduced Kindle Oasis, which the company describes as its "thinnest and lightest Kindle ever." Amazon touted the "entirely reimagined shape" of Kindle Oasis, which "shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book so that the device feels balanced for one-handed reading." The device also features a "charging cover that delivers months of battery life." It is now available for pre-order for $289.99, with an expected shipping date "in the coming weeks."

"We want Kindle to disappear, and Kindle Oasis is the next big step in that mission," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who clarified this goal by adding: "It's the most advanced Kindle we've ever built--thin and ultra-lightweight, it gets out of the way so you can lose yourself in the author's world."

The Kindle Oasis weighs 4.6 ounces and is 30% thinner on average and more than 20% lighter than other Kindles thanks to "a featherweight polymer frame that is plated with metal by structural electroplating," according to Amazon, which also highlighted the dual-battery system--when users connect the cover to Kindle Oasis, the battery in the cover begins recharging the device automatically.

Chris Green, v-p of industrial design at Amazon's Lab126, told Engadget: "We're not going to be happy until we've got this magic sheet of paper that contains all the books in the world. Edge-to-edge, all content, no device. And when we get there, I might be out of a job."

Memorial Services for Gary Shulze, Lee Soper

A memorial service for Gary Shulze, the former co-owner (with his wife, Pat Frovarp) of Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore in Minneapolis who died April 6, "will be in the form of an open house at the bookstore, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 24," the Star Tribune reported. Frovarp has requested that instead of flowers or memorials, people buy books--especially from Once Upon a Crime. "If anyone sends cash--and some people already have--I'm going to donate it to the Memorial Blood Bank and Second Harvest food bank," she said. "They [the blood bank] saved Gary's life many, many times."


A memorial celebration of the life of Lee Soper, the manager of Seattle's University Book Store from 1977 to 1993 who died February 2, will be held May 21 at 1 p.m. at Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum in downtown Seattle. In lieu of flowers, "you may donate to a charity of your choice or buy a book from an independent bookstore in Lee's honor."


Image of the Day: The Property Brothers at Book Passage

Book Passage in Corte Madera, Calif., hosted Jonathan and Drew Scott, aka the Property Brothers from HGTV. Book Passage marketing manager Zack Ruskin commented, "A packed house filled the store for their 11 a.m. start time and their effusive charm and charisma was infectious!" The brothers were promoting their new book, Dream Home (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: Green Apple Books

The sidewalk chalkboard at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco featured an apt quotation from Mary Ruefle: "Someone reading a book is a sign of order in the world.

Green Apple is also hosting a pop-up in its store for five months, featuring local artists from 3 Fish Studios, who designed the Literary Map of California and the Literary Map of the Seas for previous Independent Bookstore Days. Owner Pete Mulvihill said the pop-up "just started at the beginning of this month, but seems to be well received so far, and for us, it activates a part of the store that hosts calendars for part of the year and we always struggle to make productive otherwise."

Personnel Changes at S&S, HarperCollins, Touchstone

In the Simon & Schuster sales division:

Christina Pecorale has been promoted to v-p, director, children's sales. She joined S&S in 2008 as director of national accounts for children's and was named senior director in 2014.

Sumya Ojakli has been promoted to v-p, special markets. Ojakli joined the company in 2011 after holding positions in consulting and entertainment media for companies such as Digitas, Universal and Billboard.


Bess Braswell has joined the HarperCollins children's marketing team as senior director. She was most recently director of marketing for Teen, Middle Grade, Graphix and Audio at Scholastic. Earlier she was a marketing manager for Aladdin and Pulse at Simon & Schuster. She began her publishing career at DK Publishing, after working at Barnes & Noble in her home state of North Carolina.


Meredith Vilarello has been promoted to associate marketing director of Touchstone. She was previously a senior marketing manager for Touchstone.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Maya Penn on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning: Maya S. Penn, author of You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World (North Star Way, $15.99, 9781501123719).

This Weekend on Book TV: Annapolis Book Festival

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, April 16
10 a.m. Live coverage of the 2016 Annapolis Book Festival on the campus of the Key School in Annapolis, Md. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

6:30 p.m. Louis W. Sullivan, author of Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine (University of Georgia Press, $29.95, 9780820346632). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

9 p.m. Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale University Press, $37.50, 9780300181371).

10 p.m. Ellen R. Malcolm, co-author of When Women Win: Emily's List and the Rise of Women in American Politics (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544443310). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. David Priess, author of The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents from Kennedy to Obama (PublicAffairs, $29.99, 9781610395953). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:30 p.m.)

Sunday, April 17
1 p.m. Jay Newton-Small, author of Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works (Time, $27.95, 9781618931559).

7:30 p.m. Alondra Nelson, author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome (Beacon Press, $27.95, 9780807033012).

10:45 p.m. Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (Metropolitan Books, $27, 9781627795395), at Book Culture Bookstore in New York City.

Books & Authors

Awards: L.A. Times Book; Griffin Poetry

Winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, which were announced Saturday at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, are:

Biography: Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera (FSG)
Current interest: Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes (Norton)
Fiction: The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated by Christina MacSweeney (Coffee House Press)
First fiction: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown)
Graphic novel/comics: Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan Books)
History: Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron (Norton)
Mystery/thriller: The Cartel by Don Winslow (Knopf)
Poetry: From the New World: Poems 1976-2014 by Jorie Graham (Ecco)
Science and technology: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf (Knopf)
Young adult literature: My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (namelos)
Lifetime achievement: Juan Felipe Herrera
Innovator's award: James Patterson


This year's international and Canadian shortlists have been announced for the Griffin Poetry Prize. The seven finalists are invited to read in Toronto on June 1 and will each be awarded $10,000 (about US$7,810) for their participation in the Shortlist Readings. The two winners, who will be named June 2, each receive $65,000 (about US$50,860). The shortlisted Griffin titles are:

The Quotations of Bone by Norman Dubie
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo
40 Sonnets by Don Paterson
Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments by Ulrikka S. Gernes, translated from the Danish by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen
Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard
Tell: poems for a girlhood by Soraya Peerbaye

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 19:

Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change by Andrew Solomon (Scribner, $30, 9781476795041) collects the author's reporting from places undergoing drastic change, like Moscow in 1991 and Afghanistan in 2002.

War Hawk: A Tucker Wayne Novel by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062135278) is the second Sigma Force spinoff with former Army Ranger Tucker Wayne.

The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey (Dutton, $27, 9781101984109) is an urban romance.

Before We Visit the Goddess: A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476792002) follows three generations of Indian mothers and daughters.

The Letter Writer: A Novel by Dan Fesperman (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101875063) is a police thriller set in 1942 New York City.

The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544300767) is a novel about Aemilia Bassano Lanier, an Elizabethan poet, that imagines a romance between her and Shakespeare.

Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne by Christopher Andersen (Gallery, $28, 9781476743950) explores the relationships between Queen Elizabeth, Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton.

Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson (Random House, $27, 9780812998160) is the memoir of an American woman living in Italy.

No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544663336) explains how college grads can achieve their career goals.

Dinner Made Simple: 35 Everyday Ingredients, 350 Easy Recipes by the Editors of Real Simple Magazine (Oxmoor House, $24.95, 9780848746896).

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica (Penguin Books, $17, 9780143108061).

A Hologram for the King, based on the novel by Dave Eggers, opens April 22. Tom Hanks stars as an American businessman seeking financial salvation in Saudi Arabia.

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:

Behave: A Novel by Andromeda Romano-Lax (Soho Press, $26.95, 9781616956530). "Behave is a rich and nuanced glimpse of Rosalie Rayner, the woman behind John B. Watson, the man who founded behaviorist psychology. The ethical issues presented here are both shocking and thought-provoking, and the intimate struggles of a woman weighing her value, utility, and satisfaction both within and outside the home certainly resonate today. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, this is a novel to be savored and shared." --Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, R.I.

Shelter: A Novel by Jung Yun (Picador, $26, 9781250075611). "Shelter is the perfect example of that extraordinary kind of story that careens down a path toward a conclusion that feels somehow both completely surprising and totally inevitable. Kyung Cho is a young father whose anxiety over present financial concerns couples with damage from past traumas to inhabit every breath he takes. His precarious equilibrium is shattered when his parents are the victims of a cruel act of violence and he is called upon to react with a compassion and forgiveness that he may not possess. This novel is a dark and moving portrait of a family and what it ultimately means to love." --Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, Mass.

I Am Radar: A Novel by Reif Larsen (Penguin Books, $18, 9780143107910). "I Am Radar revolves around questions of art, creation, love, heartbreak, performance, war, and regeneration. Sounds like heady stuff, and it is, but on an immensely readable level that culminates in a puzzling yet delightful climax. As Radar navigates his way through life as a black child, a white man, and a white/black man, he discovers that art can be perception and science can be art. The language used is delightfully beautiful, even in the war scenes. I Am Radar may also be the best book about personal definitions of art in our time, as well as how art can affect and change a person. I cannot recommend it highly enough!" -- Bill Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.

For Ages 4 to 8
Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson (Capstone, $14.95, 9781623706388). "If you're a rabbit, is there really such a thing as too many carrots? Rabbit is hard-pressed to admit that too many carrots are his problem. There is no longer enough room for him in his burrow, so he tries moving in with his friends. The results are predictable, but Rabbit learns a valuable lesson. This is a lovely story about sharing that is sure to be enjoyed by all." --Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Metamora, Ind.
For Ages 9 to 12
Saving Wonder by Mary Knight (Scholastic, $16.99, 9780545828932). "Curley Hines loves living in Wonder Gap, his Appalachian Mountain town, despite his parents being dead and his grandfather wanting nothing more than to get him out of the holler. When their precious mountain is threatened with destruction and the rest of his world starts to fall apart, Curley knows he has to fight for his home. I loved every minute of this story, from Curley's relationship with his best friend, Jules, and the words his Papaw gives him on a weekly basis--convinced that a large vocabulary will get Curley out of Wonder Gap. Curley is a determined protagonist who will absolutely inspire his readers to stand up for what they believe in." --Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Va.

For Teen Readers
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781481404099). "Sixteen-year-old Quinn has been nudged out of hiding by his best friend, Geoff, after his sister's tragic death. A lover of film, Quinn spends a week writing the screenplay of his life in his head while he confronts coming out, learning a secret, and grieving his loss. Federle captures the Young Adult voice in a funny, real, and vulnerable way. Readers will wish Quinn Roberts was their brother, best friend, or boyfriend!" --Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Ga.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Imagine Me Gone

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (Little, Brown, $26 hardcover, 9780316261357, May 3, 2016)

When a young writer's debut short story collection is a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the expectations for his subsequent work will be high. In Imagine Me Gone, his second novel, Adam Haslett (You Are Not a Stranger Here, Union Atlantic) takes another giant step toward fulfilling the promise of his earlier work with a story about mental illness and the devastating effect it can have on an utterly ordinary family.

Narrated in alternating first-person sections, Imagine Me Gone spans roughly four decades in the life of this unnamed family headed by John, the depressive father from England, and Margaret, his American wife. Their oldest son, Michael, seemingly inherits his father's condition, layered over with anxiety. After John dies early in the novel, the remainder of the story focuses on the efforts of Margaret, and Michael's siblings, Celia and Alec, to save him from catastrophe, while grappling with their own lives and loves.

Haslett has a keen eye for the civilized but unmistakable conflict that lies at the root of this family's life. John, Margaret and their children struggle, not out of any shortage of love for each other, but instead because of an inability, despite their best efforts, to express that love in effective ways. As Celia observes, describing her relationship to Alec, they were "pulling each other together because that's what we'd always done to get through, and pushing each other away to convince ourselves over and over that we were more than just functions of a loss."

For all its elegiac tone, one of the most striking features of Imagine Me Gone is the wicked humor that surfaces in portions of Michael's narrative. Whether he's describing a nightmarish transatlantic crossing or recounting a group counseling session--"Operation Family Therapy"--in a pitch-perfect imitation of a military after-action report, he's skilled at skewering life's absurdities with sharp wit. For all the darkness that swirls around him, his winning personality makes him the novel's most appealing character.

"We're haunted by the living as well as the dead," observes Celia, in a coda to the novel's devastating climax. By the time it concludes, the surviving members of the family have managed to achieve at least a measure of redemption and peace. Through his restrained, yet expressive prose, Adam Haslett gently reminds us of the infinite scope the intimate drama of family life offers to a novelist of his imposing talent. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Adam Haslett's haunting second novel depicts an ordinary family struggling with the curse of depression.

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