Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 21, 2016

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Our Pool by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Tor Teen: The Hunting Moon (The Luminaries #2) by Susan Dennard

Atria Books: The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger

Berkley Books: Iris Kelly Doesn't Date by Ashley Herring Blake

For Dummies: For Dummies series


Queens Bookshop Initiative Plans: Kickstarter, IBD Event

The Queens Bookshop Initiative, which aims to open an independent bookstore in Queens, N.Y., is launching a Kickstarter campaign this Sunday that will run for two months and hopes to raise at least $70,000. The money will be used for inventory, point-of-sale systems and marketing.

The Kickstarter rewards will include some exclusive items, as well as signed copies of books by a range of authors, including Maureen Johnson, Zoraida Cordova, Alex Segura and Aimee Friedman.

The initiative is led by Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa and Holly Nikodem, all of whom have bookselling and bookstore management experience. The trio has pointed out that after the closing last year of Barnes & Noble stores in Forest Hills, Bayside and Fresh Meadows, Queens, with a population of 2.3 million, now has just one bricks-and-mortar bookstore selling new books, Astoria Bookshop. The group hopes to open in or near Kew Gardens or Forest Hills: "It's important for us to be as accessible as possible to all the neighborhoods who have been abandoned by the big box bookstores."

The initiative is also planning its first event: a celebration of Independent Bookstore Day, April 30, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Russell Sage Playground in Forest Hills. The event, Storytime in the Park, will feature yoga and storytime with Ashley Smith; face painting/coloring time; a lunch break with light refreshments; storytime with Audrey Dimola; and giveaways.

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 by T.J. Newman

Rain, Flooding in Houston Dampen Indies

Indie bookstores in the Houston, Tex., area have been affected in various ways by the heavy rains and flooding this week, according to Bookselling This Week.

Soggy carpeting at Murder by the Book.

Murder by the Book had standing water and Stuart Woods was unable to make it to his event on Monday. Store manager John Kwiatkowski said that no books were damaged but the store's carpeting will be replaced.

Blue Willow Bookshop, which was not damaged, nonetheless closed on Monday because some staff members couldn't get to work, owner Valerie Kohler said. The store also had to cancel two visits by Kate DiCamillo to area schools that day and another event for yesterday was cancelled.

Brazos Bookstore had to close on Monday because of high water in the neighborhood and suffered some sogginess because of a leaky roof, but general manager Jeremy Ellis told BTW that "all is well enough."

Simon & Schuster: Recording for the Simon & Schuster and Simon Kids Fall Preview 2023

Amazon: NYC Schools E-Book Contract; New Warehouse

Amazon has won a three-year contract with the New York City Department of Education to supply some $30 million in e-books to the school system, the Wall Street Journal reported. The district has about 1.1 million students in more than 1,800 schools and is the largest school district in the country.

Amazon will sell digital textbooks and other material but not hardware through an internal marketplace site. The contract takes effect with the coming school year. Amazon earns a commission of 10%-15% on sales.

The Journal commented: "The deal is a boost to Amazon as it seeks to establish itself as a player in education. Many technology firms have set their sights on the classroom, viewing it as ripe for modernization and an effective way to establish their brands with potentially lifelong buyers at a young age." Amazon already has package pickup centers at several universities.


Amazon is opening its sixth warehouse in Texas, in Haslet; the facility will be its fourth warehouse in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The company already has a warehouse in Haslet as well as others in Coppell, Dallas and Schertz, with a fifth under construction in San Marcos. Amazon also operates three "sortation centers" in the state.

Haslet's mayor, Bob Golden, praised the company for creating jobs and for donating Amazon tablets to a local school and $2,000 in gift cards "to promote the use of technology in the classroom."

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Globe Pequot Launches Muddy Books Children's Imprint

Globe Pequot is launching Muddy Books, a children's imprint with an outdoors emphasis that will include backlist "gems" as well as new work from established and emerging authors and illustrators.

This summer Muddy Books will make its debut with a line of books created in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, including Ranger Rick Visits the National Parks!, Reptiles, Butterflies & Caterpillars, Critter Crafts and Recipes and Busy Moms. The partnership will publish 8-10 titles a year over the next five years.

Other forthcoming titles include One Yellow Fish, a counting book from "rock artist" Linda Kranz (who paints rocks), and Do Princesses and Superheroes Hit the Trails?, the latest in the Carmela LaVigna Coyle's series starring a princess who prefers hiking boots to high heels.

Jim Childs, publisher of Globe Pequot, noted that books by Kranz and Coyle have combined sales of more than two million copies, "almost entirely through outdoor retail, mass merch, gift and specialty retail. Uniting them with a family of related titles supported by a focused marketing effort, and expanding their reach into the trade and children's specialty markets, presents an exciting opportunity for these beloved authors to reach even bigger audiences."

Obituary Note: Ariane Fasquelle

Ariane Fasquelle, head of foreign acquisitions with French publisher Grasset & Fasquelle, died Tuesday. She was the French editor for several renowned international authors, including Isabel Allende, T.C. Boyle, Umberto Eco and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Her great-grandfather founded Editions Fasquelle, and her father, Jean-Claude Fasquelle, was the publisher of Grasset & Fasquelle from 1981 to 2000.

"Ariane was beloved by everyone in house and respected by all on the international publishing scene. Her courage was admirable and she will be deeply missed," said Olivier Nora, publisher of Grasset & Fasquelle.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Imaginary Alphabet
by Sylvie Daigneault
GLOW: Pajama Press: The Imaginary Alphabet by Sylvie Daigneault

Lazy, lemon lollipop-licking lemurs join a menagerie of other merry and meticulously embellished animals in an extravagant abecedary for a wide-ranging audience. Publisher Gail Winskill admired author/illustrator Sylvie Daigneault's "stunning" previous work. But, Winskill said, "nothing prepared me for the beautiful art and clever alliteration" of The Imaginary Alphabet. Confident in the book's "appeal to readers of all ages, especially wordsmiths and art lovers," Winskill knew "within a matter of minutes" she wanted to publish it. With an elaborate search-and-find accompanying its alliterative linguistic delights, this playful and ornately illustrated alphabet book is a visionary accomplishment. --Kit Ballenger

(Pajama Press, $22.95 hardcover, ages 3-7, 9781772782998, September 19, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Happy 10th Birthday, Type Books!

Congratulations to Canadian indie Type Books in Toronto, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and "has become a neighborhood staple--and not just for its hand-crafted window displays," Torontoist reported, noting that designer Kalpna Patel was hanging gold tinsel in the window, which "is just the start: when she is finished, the storefront of the Queen West shop will transform into a birthday party extravaganza. A birthday cake will sit atop stacks of books, with delicate paper ornaments dangling above."

"For this one they kinda gave me permission to go 'full Kalpna' with it," said Patel, who has planned an entire year's worth of windows for the anniversary. "I decided each window this year would be celebratory of Type in some way."

The celebration "goes beyond the storefront," Torontoist wrote. "Type will tout their own special brand of CanLit love all day on April 30, with local writers such as Damien Rogers and Aisha Sasha John working shifts as booksellers in the shop, walking the floor and providing customers with expert recommendations. It's been confirmed that CanLit legend Michael Ondaatje will also make a rare appearance."

Staff member Serah-Marie McMahon said Type is "not a huge store, we can't have every book that exists, but we'll have something that is not what you'll find everywhere else, and having those things available and championing those things, it's important. Otherwise, it's so easy for things to get lost.... Shopping is not necessarily a social event but it often is. The people who work here have a big part in that." McMahon also said co-owner Joanne Saul "is like the master, like we're all little ingredients and she's stirring us all together."

'A Beautiful Book for Two Bucks' in Philly

Nic Esposito, founder of the Head & the Hand Press, is also the man behind a chapbook vending machine at the Soup Kitchen Cafe in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood. The Inquirer reported that Esposito "sees an abiding connection between writing and growing food.... Hence, 'The Breadbox' vending machine--dispensing Head & Hand's Chapbook Collection of locally themed indie fiction and poetry.... the machine is vending these 'short, digestible' works for $2 (a dollar off the price at the website store)."

"Forgive me for sounding New Agey, but there is this kindred connection," Esposito said. "Many of the writers and farmers I know... continue to do this work for our civilization not just to make money, but for the basic, primordial reason that we need both writing and food to survive."

GBO Picks Animal Internet

The German Book Office in New York City has chosen Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution by Alexander Pschera, translated by Elisabeth Lauffer (New Vessel Press, $14.95, 9781939931337), as its April Pick of the Month.

As the GBO said: "Some 50,000 creatures around the globe--including whales, leopards, flamingos, bats and snails--are being equipped with digital tracking devices. The data gathered and studied by major scientific institutes about their behavior will not only aid in conservation efforts and warn us about tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but radically transform our relationship to the natural world. With a broad cultural and historical lens, this book examines human ties with animals, from domestic pets to the soaring popularity of bird watching and kitten images on the Web. Will millennia of exploration soon be reduced to experiencing wilderness via smartphone? Contrary to pessimistic fears, author Alexander Pschera sees the Internet as creating a historic opportunity for a new dialogue between man and nature."

Alexander Pschera writes for Cicero, a monthly magazine, and the German radio station Deutschlandfunk and also works as a publisher and translator.

Elisabeth Lauffer won the 2014 Gutekunst translation prize and is the admissions coordinator and German language director at the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy in Vermont.

Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks, Scribner, Touchstone

Jenna Quatraro has been promoted to marketing design manager at Sourcebooks. She was previously a senior graphic designer in marketing.


Jessica Yu has been promoted to publicist at Scribner. She was formerly a publicity assistant at Scribner.

Courtney Brach has been promoted to associate publicist at Touchstone.  She was formerly a publicity assistant at Touchstone.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lesley Stahl Talks About Becoming Grandma

The Talk: Lesley Stahl, author of Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Sorrows of the New Grandparenting (Blue Rider Press, $27, 9780399168154). She will also appear on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.

Movies: The Girl on the Train; Another Day in the Death of America

The trailer for the film adaptation of Paula Hawkins's bestselling novel The Girl on the Train "is finally here--and with eerie voice-overs, quick cuts and a chilling Kanye West remix, it's just as creepy as we'd hoped," Entertainment Weekly reported, showcasing "7 things we loved" about the trailer. The movie stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett and Luke Evans. Directed by Tate Taylor, The Girl on the Train opens October 7.


David Oyelowo (Selma) will star in and produce Another Day in the Death of America, based on an upcoming nonfiction book by Guardian journalist Gary Younge chronicling "the true story of the writer who investigated 10 children shot dead in one random day in America," Deadline reported. Allegiance Theater's Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine, along with Eric Eisner of Double E Pictures, acquired film and life rights to the book and are co-producing. Tim Crane and Younge serve as executive producers.

Book TV: The 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's Death

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 23
12 p.m. The Folger Shakespeare Library celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with performances, speeches and an appearance by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. (Re-airs Sunday at 1 a.m.)

2:15 p.m. James Traub, author of John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit (Basic Books, $35, 9780465028276). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

6 p.m. Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker, authors of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation (PublicAffairs, $25.99, 9781610394352). (Re-airs Monday at 1:30 a.m.)

7:20 p.m. Terry Lautz, author of John Birch: A Life (Oxford University Press, $29.95, 9780190262891). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

10 p.m. Sue Klebold, author of A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy (Crown, $28, 9781101902752). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Authors discuss their recent books about the Supreme Court at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 6:15 p.m.)

Sunday, April 24
8:15 p.m. Louisa Thomas, author of Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams (Penguin Press, $30, 9781594204630), at BookCourt in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Eisner Nominations; SONWA

Nominees in 30 categories have been announced for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and can be seen here. Winners will be announced during Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 22.


The overall winners of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA), sponsored by Northland College, are:

Adult: For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist's Journey by Kurt D. Fausch (Oregon State University Press)
Young Adult: Water Runs Through This Book by Nancy Bo Flood and photography by Jan Sonnenmair (Fulcrum Publishing)
Children's Literature: North Woods Girl by Aimee Bissonette with illustrations by Claudia McGehee (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

Other winners can be seen here.

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:

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss (Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501121043). "A synesthetic art critic rises to prominence by capturing the je ne sais quoi of great new paintings in terms of sound, aura, and taste. A young painter escapes war in his native Argentina to bring his unusual portraits to New York. A wide-eyed farm girl leaves home for the gritty promise of the big city, destined to become a muse of the art scene. The web between these characters becomes increasingly tangled as 1980 progresses in all its dark glamour. Prentiss captures raw ambition, startled joy, and aching tragedy equally well to produce a thought-provoking, originally textured novel that both transports and awes." --Richael Best, the Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith (Sarah Crichton, $26, 9780374106683). "Smith's new novel unfolds slowly, and each moment of illumination offers a glimpse into the true heart of this quiet, captivating tale. Spanning more than three centuries, it is the story of three lives--a female master painter of the Dutch Golden Age, a moneyed New York patent attorney, and an art history student turned one-time art forger--each changed by one haunting painting. Filled with hurt, grief, and deceit, but also layered with love, grace, and regret, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a wonderful read, beautifully written." --Heather Duncan, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.

Medicine Walk: A Novel by Richard Wagamese (Milkweed Editions, $16, 9781571311160). "Nature versus nurture is an age-old controversy. Does a boy become the man he is because of his genes or his upbringing? Franklin Starlight is a 16-year-old Ojibway boy who was raised by a man who is not his father and is not Indian. He teaches Franklin self-reliance, the value of hard work, and integrity. Eldon, Franklin's real father, is an alcoholic who he has rarely seen. Now Eldon is dying, and he wants Franklin to accompany him into the back country to help him die and be buried in the warrior way. This is a flawlessly written novel about the stories that make us who we are." --Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

For Ages 4 to 8
My New Mom & Me by Renata Galindo (Schwartz & Wade, $16.99, 9780553521344). "A puppy goes to live with a cat in this sensitive tale about building a new family. Galindo's simple, muted illustrations beautifully convey a vast range of feelings--from worry about looking different to relief at being accepted for oneself, and from frustration and loneliness to excitement and trust. First-person narration and a lack of overt gender-marking add to the story's accessibility, along with the fact that the puppy is entering this family older, rather than as an infant. Brilliant and heartwarming!" --Jennifer Sheffield, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, Pa.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox (Viking, $16.99, 9780451476333). "The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle has just the right combination of atmosphere, creepiness, and darkness, with a bit of historical fiction thrown in. It is wartime 1940, and a group of children from London are sent to a castle in Scotland for their safety. Purportedly, this castle now houses an academy. The chatelaine-wearing headmistress, referred to as 'The Lady,' is a mystery. What is her real purpose? And why do people keep mysteriously appearing and disappearing? I'm so excited to handsell this book!" --Valerie Welbourn, the Fountainhead Bookstore, Hendersonville, N.C.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky (Point, $17.99, 9780545867474). "Reading Moldavsky's debut is like reliving my first viewing of the movie Heathers, wanting to delve deeper and deeper into the craziness that those girls were getting themselves into. The world of fandom is a fascinating and terrifying place when watched from the outside, and watching someone wake up from living in that dream--or nightmare--is told here with an obvious love for the drama and flair of an '80s cult film. I loved this book and cannot wait for more from Moldavsky." --Kari Meutsch, Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, Vt.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 26:

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight (Scribner, $29, 9781501135910) tells the story of the founder and CEO of Nike.

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee: From Scout to Go Set a Watchman by Charles J. Shields (Holt, $26, 9781250115836) is updated to include the last 10 years of Lee's life.

Hide Away: An Eve Duncan Novel by Iris Johansen (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250075826) is the 20th thriller with forensic sculptor Eve Duncan.

Fast and Loose by Fern Michaels (Kensington Publishing, $27.95, 9781496703125) continues the the Men of the Sisterhood series.

The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones (Mariner, $14.95, 9780544325265) focuses on a mourning Philadelphian transplanted to remote Alaska.

Meternity by Meghann Foye (Mira, $15.99, 9780778319306) follows a New York magazine editor on fake maternity leave.

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst (Mira, $15.99, 9780778318873).

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias (Mariner, $15.95, 9780544781931).

IMAGINES: Celebrity Encounters Starring You by Anna Todd and Leigh Ansell (Gallery, $16.99, 9781501130809).

Me Before You: A Novel (Movie Tie-In) by Jojo Moyes (Penguin Books, $9.99, 9780143130154).

The Man Who Knew Infinity, based on the biography by Robert Kanigel, opens April 29. Dev Patel stars as Srinivasa Ramanujan, an uneducated Indian math genius brought to England by Cambridge professor G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) during World War I.

Book Review

Review: Relativity

Relativity by Antonia Hayes (Gallery Books, $26 hardcover, 9781501105074, May 3, 2016)

Antonia Hayes's first novel, Relativity, blends quirk with compelling family dynamics for an often funny and occasionally heartbreaking look at the ties that bind as well as the divides that cannot be overcome.

Ethan Forsythe and his mother, Claire, are a family unto themselves. Ethan can't remember a time when Mark, his father, was a part of their lives in Sydney, Australia. Claire protects her heart by locking it away from everyone but Ethan, devoting the love she once gave to Mark and to her former career in ballet to her brilliant, science-obsessed son. Not only does Ethan love and understand physics and astronomy in particular, he has a form of synesthesia that allows him to see phenomena usually invisible to the naked eye, such as sound waves or the Doppler effect. Unquestionably gifted, Ethan also has the lack of social skills generally associated with true genius, and the other boys at school have begun to bully him frequently. Most painfully, they accuse him of driving his father away with his strangeness. After an altercation with his former best friend, Ethan begins to ask Claire about Mark, but she cannot bring herself to answer. Meanwhile, Mark returns to Sydney to see his ailing father, who insists upon meeting Ethan before dying. When Ethan intercepts a letter from Mark to Claire, and responds by sending Mark several years' worth of homemade Father's Day cards, Claire can no longer keep the two apart. Although Mark and Ethan's shared love of physics forges an almost immediate connection, Claire fears learning the reason their family splintered will hurt Ethan far worse than life without a father.

Hayes tackles difficult themes and situations. Ethan's mental gifts, for example, may stem from a specific, harmful incident in his past, worrying Claire that what she perceives as her own failure to protect her son left him irrevocably changed. Her vow to herself never to let Mark back into their lives has profound justification, and Hayes does a commendable job of leaving the reader bouncing between agreeing with Claire and wanting Mark and Ethan to have a relationship. She also digs into characters' pasts to examine how adult behavior can be influenced by childhood relationships, and how families can determine its members' futures despite contrary intentions. However, the story gets considerable lift from Ethan's awed devotion to the beauty of science and Hayes's knack for turning matters of physics into graceful prose. While readers may expect the exact opposite of the ending they get, Hayes makes brave choices throughout for a story that feels authentic and characters who stick in the mind and heart. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: A tween science prodigy is reunited with his estranged father, but his mother remains conflicted as to whether to allow the relationship.

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