Also published on this date: Monday, May 9, 2016: Maximum Shelf: Lily and the Octopus

Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 9, 2016

Algonquin Young Readers: the Beautiful Game by Yamile Saied Méndez

Berkley Books: Books that will sweep you off your feet! Enter Giveaway!

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Quotation of the Day

Len Riggio: 'It's the Internet, Not Amazon'

"There are components of the printed book business that remain sentimental, endearing, and even practical. So I don't think that books will go away, but I think the digital business and all things digital will continue to grow at a much faster rate....

"It was not Amazon's delivery of books that changed things as much as it was the Internet itself. Because the things that people would have to find in books were now available online and free. In fact, even today, authors that I speak to do more of their research online than they do in libraries. So I think that technology component had more to do with the suppression of book store sales than Amazon did."

--Len Riggio, executive chairman of Barnes & Noble, who is retiring in September, speaking on NPR's Weekend Edition.

Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton


Main Point Books in Pa. to Relocate

Main Point's Bryn Mawr location.

This summer, Main Point Books will move to Wayne, Pa., from its current location in Bryn Mawr. Owner Cathy Fiebach said the new space, formerly occupied by Reader's Forum, is in the heart of Wayne, close to the movie theater, restaurants and the train station.

"We were not looking to move, but when the space in Wayne became available, we had to take it," said Fiebach, who has scheduled a July 31 opening to celebrate Main Point's new home with a midnight launch party for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Fiebach told Savvy Main Line that increasing foot traffic was a key factor in the decision: "People understand how to park in Wayne and how to walk around town. Bryn Mawr doesn't quite have that worked out." She also noted: "I'm still inching my way to being in the black. Wayne might make a difference between every year being questionable and having enough volume to make it work."

Once in its new location, the bookstore will be open longer hours to accommodate people who go to the movies and out to dinner. Fiebach will also enlarge the children's section. Main Point Books hosts more than 100 author events a year, and the new, larger space will allow it to more than double event seating, to 80 people.

Trager Retiring, Steinecke New PRH General Counsel

Anke Steinecke

Effective June 30, Kathy Trager is retiring as executive v-p, general counsel, Penguin Random House to divide her time between Washington, D.C., where her husband teaches as a professor part time, and New York, where she will resume teaching a publishing course this fall at New York University. She's also awaiting the arrival of two grandchilden.

She originally joined the Bantam Doubleday Dell legal department from Macmillan in 1987. CEO Markus Dohle called her "one of the most accomplished General Counsels in publishing ever" and "a deeply valued and admired member of our North America board." He added, "With her formidable experience and great insightfulness, she defines excellence in so many ways."

Effective July 1, Anke Steinecke, senior v-p, associate general counsel, is being promoted to executive v-p, general counsel, Penguin Random House U.S. and will become a member of the North America board and secretary of the Penguin Random House board of directors.

She joined Random House in 2000 from the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, is an expert in intellectual property and First Amendment law and has served as primary counsel for the Knopf Doubleday Group for more than 10 years. She has also been PRH's lead in-house attorney and advisor on mergers and acquisitions, such as Golden Books, Ten Speed Press, the trade publishing business of Santillana and the merger of Penguin Random House.

Nicholas Brealey Leaves Hachette U.K.

Nicholas Brealey

Nicholas Brealey is stepping down one year after Nicholas Brealey Publishing was acquired by Hachette U.K. He had been on a 12-month consultancy contract while the two businesses were integrated.

"We are all very grateful to Nick for entrusting us with his company," said Hachette U.K. CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson. "With his help, Nicholas Brealey Publishing is now fully part of Hachette and we wish Nick all the very best for his future plans."

Brealey commented: "I will miss the excellent authors, notable new books, backlist bestsellers, and enthusiastic colleagues I've worked with on both sides of the Pond in 25 years of leading 'NB', but I am also looking forward to new publishing ventures."

Obituary Note: William Rosen

Author William Rosen, who was an editor and publisher at Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and the Free Press for nearly 25 years, died April 28. Rosen acquired and published bestselling and critically acclaimed books by authors such as George F. Will, Roger Kahn, Maya Lin, William J. Bennett, Lynda Barry, Bernard Lewis, Leon Kass, Donald Johansen, Kirkpatrick Sale, Norman Podhoretz, Colin Tudge and Dorothy Rabinowitz. 

As an author, his books include Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire & the Birth of Europe; The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry & Invention; and The Third Horseman: Climate Change, War & the Great Famine of the 14th Century. He also has a book forthcoming from Viking in 2017 about the discovery and dissemination of antibiotics. 

#BEA2016 Buzz Books: YA and Middle Grade

Today's Buzz Books list features upcoming young adult and middle grade titles that booksellers around the United States are most looking forward to. Installments on adult fiction and nonfiction ran last week; the series concludes tomorrow with a look at children's and early readers.

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick is the story of a teenage girl named Nanette O'Hare who finds her rebellious streak suddenly ignited after she receives a copy of The Bubblegum Reaper. The book, an out-of-print cult classic, spurs Nanette to seek out and befriend its reclusive author, fall in love with a young poet and break out of her shell. Jill Saginario, bookseller at Papercuts J.P. in Boston, called the novel a cross between J.D. Salinger and John Green and praised the "brilliant and subtle" way Matthew Quick depicts his main character. Every Exquisite Thing will be available on May 31 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Katie Kennedy's debut novel, Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury USA), is an Indies Introduce selection for Summer/Fall 2016. Yuri is a 17-year-old physics prodigy from Russia who has done groundbreaking antimatter research. Scientists have discovered that a huge asteroid is on a course for Earth, and NASA has recruited Yuri to help formulate a plan. The problem, though, is that the other scientists at NASA are not so inclined to listen to a 17-year-old, however smart he may be. As Yuri struggles at NASA, he meets and falls for a normal teenager named Dovie. Learning to Swear in America will hit on July 5.

Kelly Barnhill, author of the acclaimed 2014 novel The Witch's Boy, returns this summer with The Girl Who Drank the Moon. In this YA fantasy, the people of the Protectorate are in fear of a witch living in a nearby forest. Each year they leave a baby as an offering to the witch, not knowing that the witch is in fact kind and gentle and every year brings the offered child to families on the other side of the forest. But one year the witch accidentally imbues an offered child with magical powers, and decides to raise the girl, Luna, herself. As Luna reaches young adulthood, a man from the Protectorate decides to get rid of the witch once and for all. The Girl Who Drank the Moon will arrive on August 9 from Algonquin Young Readers.

Full of Beans (Random House Books for Young Readers) is Jennifer L. Holm's follow-up to her Newbery Honor Book Turtle in Paradise. Set in Key West, Fla., during the Great Depression, Full of Beans focuses on Turtle's cousin Bean. With very few jobs available on the island, Bean and his family attempt to make a living. Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Downers Grove and La Grange, Ill., said the book "perfectly combines the history of the Depression and the WPA with the story of Bean and his family.... Tons of laugh-out-loud scenes will make this a favorite for middle-grade readers." Look for it on August 30.

In As I Descended (HarperTeen, September 6), author Robin Talley puts a Shakespearean twist on a story of boarding school jealousy and revenge. Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are a determined power couple at a prestigious Southern boarding school called Acheron Academy. They desperately want Maria to win a major, distinguished scholarship, but another student named Delilah seems to be a lock to win it. Maria and Lily begin plotting, dabbling with dark forces said to lurk on the school's grounds, and soon things begin to spiral out of control. Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y., commented: "A lesbian retelling of Macbeth set at a Southern boarding school? Yes, please!"

Eisner Award-nominated author and cartoonist Raina Telgemeier returns on September 13 with Ghosts (Graphix/Scholastic). Catrina's little sister Maya has cystic fibrosis, and Catrina and her family are moving to the Northern California coast so Maya can live in a more favorable climate. After arriving at their new home in Bahía de la Luna, Catrina and Maya learn from a neighbor that their town is inhabited by ghosts. Maya is dead-set on meeting one and Catrina doesn't want to risk it, but they're nearing a time of year when the ghosts come to visit their loved ones. "This is sure to be a massive bestseller, and deservedly so," said Hermans at Oblong.

The next book from Newbery Medal and Edgar Award winner Richard Peck is The Best Man. Arriving from Dial Books on September 20, it tells a multi-generational family story with a school as a backdrop. Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshop called the book "wonderful," adding that "great characters, laughter and friendship abound in this story about family, growing up and acceptance. A story that only Richard Peck could write."

Karen Fortunati's novel The Weight of Zero, about a 17-year-old girl named Catherine who struggles with bipolar disorder, is another Indies Introduce selection and will be available October 11 from Delacorte Press. Zero is what Catherine calls the crushing depression that her bipolar disorder inflicts on her. Zero has driven Catherine to attempt suicide once, and as she waits for Zero's inevitable return, she begins to plan for another one. But gradually her family, friends and a new course of treatment start to show her that life may be worth living. Hermans of Oblong Books and Music said The Weight of Zero "looks fabulous."

In the world of S.J. Kincaid's new sci-fi novel, The Diabolic, Diabolics are genetically engineered humanoids that serve as bodyguards of the wealthy and powerful. Nemesis is a Diabolic, created to protect Sidonia, the daughter of a galactic senator, at any cost. After the galactic emperor learns that Sidonia's father is planning a rebellion, he orders Sidonia to court to serve as a hostage. To protect Sidonia, Nemesis goes in her stead and begins a dangerous, high-stakes masquerade as the Empire begins to fall apart. Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshop likened The Diabolic to a cross between The Hunger Games, House of Cards and I, Robot, and said she was "glued to the last page." It will be out from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 1.

The final book on today's list is The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, the story of two teenagers, Natasha and Daniel, who meet on a busy street in New York City and instantly fall for each other. Natasha is rational and level-headed, and her family is just 12 hours away from being deported. Daniel has always worked hard to live up to his parents' expectations and stifled his desire to be a poet and a dreamer. But after their chance meeting, their lives will utterly change. Christine Onorati, owner of Word Bookstores in Jersey City, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y., picked The Sun Is Also a Star as a YA novel to watch. It will be available on November 1 from Delacorte Press. --Alex Mutter

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
A Forty Year Kiss
by Nickolas Butler
GLOW: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler is a passionate, emotionally complex love story that probes tender places within the heart and soul. When 60-somethings Charlie and Vivian--married then divorced in their 20s--reunite after four decades, they are swept up by the very best of what their romantic relationship once offered. "Anyone who has ever thought about what might have been will find this book fascinating," says Shana Drehs, senior editorial director at Sourcebooks Landmark. "The story is a brilliant exploration of a second chance at love, always realistic but never saccharine." As Charlie and Vivian build a bridge from past to present, their enduring love paving over potholes, Butler (Shotgun Lovesongs) raises questions about how life changes people--or does it?--and delivers another heartening, unforgettable novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781464221248, 
February 4, 2025)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Wolf Hollow

Seattle-area booksellers were invited by Penguin Young Readers to Belltown's gastropub Bell & Whete to celebrate Lauren Wolk's (far right) haunting middle-grade novel Wolf Hollow (Dutton, May 3, 2016). The bartender concocted a special grapefruity cocktail everyone called the "Annabelle," after the book's memorable 11-year-old protagonist.

Happy 40th Birthday, Old Harbor Books!

Congratulations to Old Harbor Books, Sitka, Alaska, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last Saturday with a party "featuring giveaways, cake, balloons, prize drawings and a special look back at the store's history," Bookselling This Week reported. The store was established in 1976 as a collective by three local couples: Lee and Linda Schmidt, Chuck and Alice Johnstone, and Don Muller and Mary Stensvold. The business is still owned by most of the founders, as well as by the Schmidts' son, Roger, and daughter, Laura.

Ashia Lane, the fourth manager in Old Harbor's history, said she wasn't sure initially if people would take interest in the anniversary, but was pleasantly surprised when she reached out: "I posted a Facebook event (we're pretty reliant on that here), and I already have a ton of people who plan on coming in and people who are asking about it at the store. We're expecting a sizeable crowd."

Don Muller, who oversaw Old Harbor's operations until 2011, when he sold his shares and retired, said, "We hope to have things continue for another 40 years. It's amazing, really. I have no doubt that real paper books will stay around forever."

Arcadia to Distribute Quarto Imprints into Specialty Accounts

Arcadia Publishing will distribute titles by Quarto Group's Voyageur Press and Cool Springs Press imprints specialty garden, home improvement and hardware accounts.

Tara Catogge, v-p, sales director, at Quarto Publishing Group USA, commented: "Arcadia Publishing has been the shining example of successful distribution into specialty markets. With thousands of active accounts, there is no town too small or too far that their team doesn't reach. We see a lot of growth opportunity by combining Arcadia's exceptional field sales force and focused market strategy with Quarto's expansive regional title list and bestselling garden and branded home-improvement titles."

Ken Fund, president and CEO of Quarto Publishing Group, added: "As part of our rapid expansion into specialty markets, we were looking for a partner to help us reach those small and often remote retailers that are the core market for our garden and home-improvement lists and we found it in Arcadia."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Richard Russo on Fresh Air

Good Morning America: A.R. Bernard, author of Four Things Women Want from a Man (Howard, $19.99, 9781501144653).

Imus in the Morning: Brad Thor, author of Foreign Agent: A Thriller (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27.99, 9781476789354).

MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews: Sydney Blumenthal, author of A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. I, 1809-1849 (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476777252).

Hollywood Today Live: Marilu Henner and Michael Brown, authors of Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer (Gallery, $26, 9781476793948).

Fresh Air: Richard Russo, author of Everybody's Fool (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307270641).

Diane Rehm: Janine di Giovanni, author of The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria (Liveright, $25.95, 9780871407139).

Daily Show: Sherman Alexie, author of Thunder Boy Jr. (Little, Brown, $17.99, 9780316013727).

Live with Kelly and Michael: Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, authors of Our Great Big Backyard (HarperCollins, $18.99, 9780062468352). They will also appear on Today and the Tonight Show.

Today: Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott, authors of Dream Home: The Property Brothers' Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544715677).

Diane Rehm: Frans De Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (Norton, $27.95, 9780393246186).

Nightly Show: Lecrae, author of Unashamed (B&H Books, $24.99, 9781433689123).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Helen Oyeyemi, author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Riverhead, $27, 9781594634635).

Also on Late Night: Michael Ian Black, author of Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (Gallery, $24.99, 9781476748825).

Movies: Me Before You; Blood Meridian

A new trailer has been released for Me Before You, adapted from the book by Jojo Moyes and starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, Indiewire reported. The movie opens June 3.


Russell Crowe "is in talks" to star in an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Deadline reported. James Franco will direct and act in the film. The cast includes Tye Sheridan and Vincent D'Onofrio. Blood Meridian is being produced by Scott Rudin, Cassian Elwes and Franco's partner at Rabbit Bandini, Vince Jolivette.

Books & Authors

Awards: Children's Choice

The 2016 Children's Choice Book Awards winners, chosen by children and teens and sponsored by the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader, are:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year: The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Marc Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year: I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton (Viking Books for Young Readers)

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year: Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick (Random House Books for Young Readers)

Teen Book of the Year: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Children's Choice Debut Author: Alex Gino for George (Scholastic Press)

Teen Choice Debut Author: Kelly Loy Gilbert for Conviction (Disney-Hyperion)

Children's Choice Illustrator: Kate Beaton for The Princess and the Pony (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)

Book Review

Review: What a Fish Knows

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27 hardcover, 9780374288211, June 7, 2016)

Jonathan Balcombe (The Exultant Ark) is an animal behavior scientist and an animal rights advocate. In his fifth book, What a Fish Knows, he proposes that "fishes are individual beings whose lives have... value to themselves quite apart from any utilitarian value they might have to us.... The profound implication is that this would qualify them for inclusion in our circle for moral concern." To persuade the reader of this, he offers an enjoyable, surprising and sometimes gruesome exploration of the world of fish, written with clarity and humor and grounded in many scientific studies. He presents a spectacular variety of fish physiology, biology and behavior, and challenges myths about their level of awareness, their memories and their sensitivity to pain, asserting that "not only is scientific consensus squarely behind consciousness and pain in fishes, consciousness probably evolved first in fishes." He describes the unique qualities of their senses, including some that we have only recently begun to understand, such as electrical sensitivity, and geomagnetic sense, involving magnetite particles in the nostrils of certain fish that act like compass needles. Their documented curiosity, playfulness, learning ability and emotional responsiveness are likely to surprise many readers. Wrasse use rocks to smash shellfish, archerfish learn from each other how to hunt insects by shooting water at them, tigerfish chase low-flying swallows and snatch them out of the air. Fish can solve puzzles and notice patterns that elude primates. "Fishes are individuals with minds and memories, able to plan, capable of recognizing others, equipped with instincts but also able to learn from experience. In some cases fishes have culture."

Humans kill billions and possibly trillions of fish every year, mostly through our fishing industries, more than enough to make an end-to-end line reaching to the sun and back. Discarded fishing nets and lines kill many more, plus mammals and birds. "It is easy to condemn the cruelty and waste rampant in the commercial fishing industries. But consumers of fishes must acknowledge their complicity." Balcombe ends with an appeal to include the fishes in our "moral community"--"With the rise of human reason, and a growing awareness of our interdependence with all life, humanity is on a course toward a more inclusive, more enlightened era." Readers may not share all of his interpretations and conclusions, but the breadth and depth of his research and his enthusiastic storytelling may permanently alter how they look at a pet goldfish or a can of sardines. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: An entertaining and enlightening study of fish behavior and sensibilities by a biologist and animal welfare advocate.

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