Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 16, 2016

Disney-Hyperion: Cold Hearted (Villains) by Serena Valentino

Shadow Mountain: Raised in the Kitchen: Making Memories from Scratch One Recipe at a Time by Carrian Cheney

St. Martin's Press: A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe

Amulet Books: Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

Gallery/Scout Press: Together We Will Go by J Michael Straczynski

Insight Editions: Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend by Joshua Greene

Henry Holt & Company: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Abrams Books for Young Readers: Beyoncé (the First Names Series) by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, illustrated by Tammy Taylor

Custom House: Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Wang

Flatiron Books: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Quotation of the Day

'Bookstores Stand Ready to Serve as Community Resources'

"The American Booksellers Association sends its deepest sympathy to the families of the Orlando nightclub victims and wishes those injured in Sunday's tragic events a full recovery.

"It is our belief that intolerance and violence have no place in America. During these trying days for the entire country, as always, bookstores stand ready to serve as community resources for information as well as gathering places where people can gain strength from being together and sharing their thoughts and emotions.

"For our ABC Children's Institute, opening in Orlando on June 21, ABA is working on ways for attendees to offer assistance to the community and to victims' families. We will also make time during the program to pay our respects to the victims."

--A statement released yesterday by the American Booksellers Association, which also shared information on resources "aimed at both helping the Orlando community and addressing the needs of customers everywhere looking for a greater understanding of LGBTQ issues, grief and tolerance."

Big City Press: America Volume 1 by Mike Bond


NYC's Three Lives & Co. May Have to Relocate

New York City bookselling staple Three Lives & Company may be forced to relocate now that the building it has occupied since 1983 has been put up for sale. In preparation for the sale, the building's current owners did not renew the bookstore's lease, which is now on a month-to month basis.

In a letter to customers, owner Toby Cox wrote: "Ideally, we would like to stay in our space, our address for thirty-three years, when a new owner for the building is found. 154 West Tenth Street has been a wonderful home for all of us, staff and customers alike, for all these many years. Jill, Jenny, and Helene, the founders and original owners of Three Lives, built an amazing bookshop and an incredible space in which to display books. We hope to work with the new owner when that time comes to keep this wonderful shop.

"Should a lease not be offered to Three Lives then we will look for a new space to build our home. The shop has moved once since it originally opened on the corner of West Tenth and Seventh Avenue, and there's always the possibility for a third life for Three Lives. It is our desire to stay in our neighborhood, the West Village, but we will need to find the right space at the right price, not an easy task considering the current commercial rental conditions in the area."

Describing Three Lives as "a thriving enterprise," Cox stressed that "this is not about a small, independent bookshop being battered by chain retailers, or online retail conglomerates, or new electronic devices on which to read a book." The bookstore has set sales records for the past three years "as the independent bookstore market in general has found its footing despite many challenges. A bookshop with an interesting selection of books and staffed by passionate, professional booksellers has a place in the book world."

Noting that "we will do all we can to ensure a long and vibrant future for Three Lives & Company," Cox observed: "Whether we continue to welcome you to our corner spot on West Tenth and Waverly or from a new location, we look forward to being your bookseller in the years ahead."

Reaction to the letter by friends and customers of the store was swift and deeply supportive. Last night Cox wrote to Shelf Awareness: "It has been a wonderful and intense day with so many sending along their good wishes and heartfelt love for the shop."

Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.: The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook

Third Amazon Books Store Opening Near Portland, Ore.

Amazon's bookstore in Seattle.

Amazon will open its third bricks-and-mortar store, in Tigard, Ore., next to Portland, according to Fortune, which said that the company had confirmed the move with this statement: "We are excited to be bringing Amazon Books to Washington Square, and we are currently hiring store managers and associates. Stay tuned for additional details down the road." Amazon has posted for at least one job at the store.

The Washington Square shopping center is about 10 miles southwest of downtown Portland and has more than 170 stores, including an Apple Store, Coach, Nordstrom, Tesla, Macy's, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma.

Amazon opened its first Amazon Books store in Seattle, Wash., last November and is scheduled to open another this summer in San Diego, Calif. Those stores also are in upscale shopping centers. Unlike the Tigard store, those stores are very close to large universities, the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego. All three locations have Apple Stores.

Gallery/Scout Press: Together We Will Go by J Michael Straczynski

SIBA Creates Pat Conroy Scholarships

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has created the Pat Conroy Scholarships in honor of the late author, who has meant so much to Southern booksellers. The scholarships, which will be bestowed to two booksellers annually in each of the next four years, are designated for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show and will cover up to $1,000 of the winner's travel, hotel and meal expenses. To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity. The scholarships are made possible by Penguin Random House, the late author's publisher.

"We believe that nurturing the next generation of career booksellers is one of the best things we can do to advance the future of bookselling," said SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell. "These scholarships Penguin Random House is endowing, which deepen and expands this mutual commitment to foster education at the Discovery Show, are forward-looking, and will mean a lot to every SIBA bookseller. How appropriate that these awards honor Pat Conroy, who was so kind and generous with all of us, and in particular, to those new to our industry."

Jaci Updike, PRH president, sales, said Conroy "is a beloved Penguin Random House author and it is a privilege for us to honor his legacy in a manner that benefits new booksellers. Pat deeply loved books and the men and women who sell them and would be made very happy and proud to have an opportunity to enhance their professional education."

To be considered for a Pat Conroy Scholarship, booksellers can nominate themselves or be nominated by other booksellers or sales reps. Owners and managers are strongly encouraged to nominate frontline booksellers who are interested in bookselling as a career. Deadline for nominations this year is July 15. Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.​

KidsBuzz for the Week of 03.01.21

S&S Distribution Center Expansion Completed

S&S staff, executives and others gathered in the new distribution space.
photo: Daniel J. Gorrin

Simon & Schuster has completed the expansion of its Riverside Distribution Center in Delran, N.J., and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. The expansion adds 200,000 square feet of space, bringing the total to 712,000 square feet. The facility ships to accounts in the U.S., Canada and worldwide for S&S and its 50 distribution clients, which include Andrews McMeel Publishing, Gallup Press, Kaplan Publishing, Reader's Digest and VIZ Media.

"This beautiful, state-of-the-art expansion to our Distribution Center facility is the best statement we could possibly make about the overall importance of the distribution client business to Simon & Schuster," said president and CEO Carolyn Reidy. "We have committed significant resources and capital to this facility in order to grow our family of clients, and are well-positioned to provide the world-class service for which we are known to both our current and future clients."

The Delran facility, in southern New Jersey, is the primary warehouse, distribution and customer service center for S&S's North American publishing operations. The facility services over 2,000 new Simon & Schuster titles annually from 39,000 SKUs, with an ability to ship more than 150 million units annually. The high bay/high density design of the addition allows the company to double pallet storage capacity.

Grand Central Publishing: Seven Days in June by Tia Wiliiams

Seal Press to Be a Da Capo Imprint

Seal Press is moving within Perseus Books from being an imprint of the Avalon Group to an imprint of Da Capo Press. Renee Sedliar, Da Capo Lifelong editorial director, will now also be editorial director of Seal, continuing to report to Da Capo publisher John Radziewicz. Seal executive editor Laura Mazer and senior editor Stephanie Knapp report to Sedliar, while associate publicist Molly Conway reports to Da Capo publicity director Lissa Warren. The position of Seal Press publisher is being eliminated, and Krista Lyons will leave the company effective July 1.

In a letter announcing the change, Susan Weinberg, senior v-p, publisher of Perseus Books, wrote: "There are many affinities between the Seal and Da Capo publishing programs, and our hope and expectation is that joining forces will strengthen them both. Meanwhile I’d like to thank the entire team at Avalon for their long and successful stewardship of Seal and its publishing mission."

"Seal Press has been an extraordinary presence for 40 years," Sedliar noted. "We're looking forward to furthering Seal's mission of publishing life-changing books that range from gutsy to provocative to hilarious--books that start conversations and keep them going."

Avalon publisher Bill Newlin said Lyons "has been Seal's champion, publishing books for an expanding readership while remaining true to Seal's roots in the feminist movement. For 19 years Krista has been a leader, a mentor and a friend to countless authors and colleagues at both Seal and Avalon Travel, for which we're enormously grateful."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Happy #Bloomsday!

Today is Bloomsday, with festivities worldwide celebrating Leopold Bloom's day-long journey around Dublin in Ulysses and the life and work of James Joyce. You can check out the James Joyce Centre for news from Ireland and beyond. Here are a few more choice Bloomsday tidbits:

Shakespeare & Company, Paris: "And we're off! #Bloomsday2016 Ulysses Marathon."

In San Francisco, "you may choose from three Bloomsday events," including a reading by Thomas Lynch from Episode Eight of the novel, hosted by Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley; and the San Francisco Public Library’s staged performance of Ulysses excerpts, with musical accompaniment by harpist Diana Rowan," SFGate reported.

Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., tweeted: "Y'all ready for this? #Bloomsday is almost here. Join us 6/16 4 p.m. for a (short) marathon reading of #Ulysses."

Untapped Cities featured a guide to "where to Celebrate Bloomsday 2016 for James Joyce in NYC and Dublin."

Upshur Street Books, Washington, D.C.: "For the second year running, Upshur Street Books and Petworth Citizen "are proud to pair up for BLOOMSDAY, a celebration of the author James Joyce. We'll be doing a marathon reading of ULYSSES starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday the 15th and finishing up around 12 a.m. Thursday."

Philadelphia Free Library: "Our literary Christmas is almost upon us: Philadelphia’s favorite bookish holiday--Bloomsday--arrives on Thursday, June 16, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Take your own virtual Bloomsday pilgrimage today by following the hashtag paths #Bloomsday and #Bloomsday2016 on social media.

Soho Crime: The Bombay Prince (Perveen Mistry Novel #3) by Sujata Massey

Obituary Note: Patricia 'Patti' Hughes

Patti Hughes

Publishing executive Patricia "Patti" Hughes died on Sunday. She was 60.

Hughes was v-p, distribution sales and special markets, at Macmillan Publishing, where she had worked for a combined 27 years. She had also worked at Random House and Little, Brown. Her husband is Larry Hughes, longtime publicist, writer and blogger at Classics Rock!.

Visitation is on Friday, June 17, from 4-8 p.m., at the Codey & Jones Funeral Home, 54 Roseland Avenue, Caldwell, N.J. 07006. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, June 18, at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church, 28 Livingston Avenue, Roseland, N.J. 07068.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Hughes's honor can be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City.


Image of the Day: Indie Press Night in Philly

Monday evening at Penn Book Center in Philadelphia, several presses and publications--including New Directions, Melville House, Biblioasis, Relegation Books, NYRB Classics, Outpost19, The Baffler and Nautilus magazine--hosted Indie Press Night Philly for booksellers from the southeastern Pennsylvania region.

Booksellers from Joseph Fox Bookshop (Philadelphia), Farley's Bookshop (New Hope), the sadly soon-to-close Chester County Book Company (West Chester), Main Point Books (Bryn Mawr) and the Penn Book Center enjoyed pizza and beer "while doing the thing we all love the most: talk about books." They also heard reps from the presses discuss recent and upcoming titles, and shared some techniques on mastering the handsell.

Strand Bookstore Partnering with UberRUSH

The Strand bookstore in Manhattan is partnering with UberRUSH, an on-demand delivery network, "as we continue to provide same-day delivery for our customers" anywhere between 96th Street and Battery Park. Books can be delivered within 2-3 hours, with the last UberRUSH pickup at 6 p.m.

Pricing for same-day delivery starts at $12, with each additional book at $2. Customers can request up to 10 lbs. of books at a time. The Strand is also offering flat-fee delivery throughout New York City. The flat-fee in Manhattan is $50, while outer boroughs are $75 (Delivery will be within 2-3 days).

'What's in a Name?': Tombolo Books

Tombolo Books, which will open later this year or early next year in St. Petersburg, Fla., is the latest subject of Bookselling This Week's What's in a Name? series, highlighting some of the bookselling world's most unusual, original and coolest store names.

Alsace Walentine

Co-owner Alsace Walentine wrote that, after much consideration, "in the end, in searching through Gulf Coast features, vocabulary and meanings, we stumbled upon the English-appropriated Italian word tombolo (pronounced 'tom-buh-loh'), which means 'a sandbar connecting an island to the mainland.' This fit nicely into a fourth category of name type: a word with strong symbolic meaning that stands on its own, with visual appeal and phonetic ease, and which is a joy to say aloud. We had finally found a name that suited us: Tombolo Books!

"Like a tombolo in the sea, our store will be all about fostering connections. We will connect readers to books, authors, characters, and other book lovers. The tombolo metaphor also symbolizes the journey that the sandbar invites, with its challenges, thrills, and potential for discovery, even transformation, not unlike the consequences of delving into a good book, whether it is fiction or nonfiction."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephanie Danler on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter: A Novel (Knopf, $25, 9781101875940).

PBS's Well Read: Chris Cleave, author of Everyone Brave Is Forgiven (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781501124372).

Ellen: Tig Notaro, author of I'm Just a Person (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062266637).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Michael Ian Black, author of A Child's First Book of Trump (Simon & Schuster, $15.99, 9781481488006).

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716565).

Last Call with Carson Daly repeat: Moby, author of Porcelain: A Memoir (Penguin Press, $28, 9781594206429).

This Weekend on Book TV: Siddhartha Mukherjee

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, June 18
6 p.m. David Denby, author of Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives. (Holt, $30, 9780805095852). (Re-airs Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)

7 p.m. Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene: An Intimate History (Scribner, $32, 9781476733500), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

8:30 p.m. A roundtable discussion on Donald Trump's 1987 book The Art of the Deal.

10 p.m. Fawaz A. Gerges, author of ISIS: A History (Princeton University Press, $27.95, 9780691170008). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. An interview with Representative Gerald Connolly about the role of literature in his work and life. (Re-airs Sunday at 5:15 p.m.)

11:30 p.m. David Satter, author of The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin (Yale University Press, $30, 9780300211429). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:45 p.m.)

Sunday, June 19
9 a.m. Ali Khan, author of The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers (PublicAffairs, $26.99, 9781610395915). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

4 p.m. Ken Gormley, author of The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History (NYU Press, $45, 9781479839902). (Re-airs Monday at 1:30 a.m.)

7 p.m. Oscar Martinez, author of A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America (Verso, $24.95, 9781784781682). (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Pinter; IR Discovery

Canadian poet, novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood won the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize, which is awarded annually by English PEN to "a writer of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an 'unflinching, unswerving' gaze upon the world and shows a 'fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.' " This year, for the first time, the prize was open to writers from the Republic of Ireland and the Commonwealth, as well as from the U.K.

Atwood will receive her award October 13 at a public event at the British Library and deliver an address. She will also announce her co-winner, the 2016 International Writer of Courage, selected from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The recipient is an international writer who is active in defense of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty.

The judges praised Atwood as a "consistent supporter of political causes," adding "her work championing environmental concerns comes well within the scope of human rights... she is a very important figure in terms of the principles of PEN and of Harold Pinter."


The 2016 IR Discovery Awards, sponsored by IndieReader, have been announced. Winners in the many categories can be seen here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, June 21:

The Pursuit: A Fox and O'Hare Novel by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (Bantam, $28, 9780553392777) is the fifth book starring con man Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O'Hare.

Pressure by Brian Keene (Thomas Dunne, $25.99, 9781250071347) is an undersea thriller about an ecological disaster on the ocean floor.

Judenstaat: A Novel by Simone Zelitch (Tor, $25.99, 9780765382962) is an alternate history in which a Jewish state was created in Eastern Europe in 1948.

Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide by Charles Foster (Metropolitan Books, $28, 9781627796330) follows extreme attempts to behave like various animals.

Pathways to Possibility: Transforming Our Relationship with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World by Rosamund Stone Zander (Viking, $26, 9780670025183) gives guidance for self-examination.

Cell: A Novel by Stephen King (Pocket, $9.99, 9781501122248).

Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition by Nisid Hajari (Mariner, $15.95, 9780544705395).

I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them: A Novel by Jesse Goolsby (Mariner, $14.95, 9780544705227).

The Bowery Boys: Adventures in Old New York: An Unconventional Exploration of Manhattan's Historic Neighborhoods, Secret Spots and Colorful Characters by Greg Young and Tom Meyers (Ulysses Press, $17.95, 9781612435572).

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott Sampson (Mariner, $15.95, 9780544705296).

Language Arts: A Novel by Stephanie Kallos (Mariner, $14.95, 9780544715264).

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 Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams (Sarah Crichton, $27, 9780374280093). "Terry Tempest Williams' latest book, published for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, is personal, political, and profound. Her examination of 12 national parks is much more than a guide to the history and landscape of those places. It is a guide to the heart and soul of the entire National Park system, whose depth is exceeded only by its beauty." --Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.

Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes (Grove Press, $24, 9780802124845). "These interconnected stories set in Maine and around the Northeast coast announce a startling new writer of strong literary fiction. Noyes' women yearn, stumble, get back up, make terrible mistakes, strive, keep dark secrets, take off, come back again, and fumble toward love. An extraordinarily raw voice that will remind readers of Rebecca Lee and Elizabeth Strout." --Melanie Fleischman, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, Wis.

Grief Is the Thing With Feathers: A Novel by Max Porter (Graywolf Press, $14, 9781555977412). "This novel in verse begins with the death of a wife and mother told through the eyes of her husband, her two sons, and, unexpectedly, a crow. Crow--one part trickster-god, one part guardian, and wholly unpredictable--descends upon this fractured family to watch over them in their grief and guide them back to the land of the living. Porter's phrases and descriptions startled me with their clarity, and undid me with their simple and unexpected poignancy." --Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.

For Ages 4 to 8
Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke (First Second, $17.99, 9781626720817). "When adventurers storm Goblin's dungeon, plunder the treasure, and kidnap his best friend, Skeleton, Goblin sets out to rescue him. Goblin is undeterred in his quest, even though he quickly discovers that no one likes a Goblin. Hatke's illustrations and adorable anti-hero make for a refreshing and vibrant quest-tale. Humorous and exciting, this adventure story is really about friendship and the lengths one will go to save someone they love." --Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Va.

For Ages 9 to 12
Eleven and Holding by Mary Penney (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062405470). "This summer Macy is going to turn 12 and too many things are not what they seem: Ginger, whose gray braids hang down from her motorcycle helmet, offers a reward to find a dog that may not be missing; that annoying boy with the skateboard and sideways smile might not be that bad; and the special assignment they say her father has been on since returning from Iraq may not really be why he isn't coming home for her birthday. Macy's summer of hard truths--baffling, funny, and tough as it is--is full of amazing discoveries and a loving, endearing cast of characters." --Ellen Lamb, the Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, N.H.

For Teen Readers
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062422583). "Russia, 1825. Two enchanters are raised from birth to assist the tsar, but only one can survive. With social unrest threatening the empire, the tsar is forced to begin the Crown's Game. This 'game,' meant as a way for each enchanter to demonstrate their skills and prove their worth to the empire, brings Vika and Nikolai together to compete for the favor of the tsar. As the two take turns creating awe-inspiring events, Vika and Nikolai begin to realize that the real magic is created when they are together. But when one is destined to die, how can their love survive?" --Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Pond

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett (Riverhead Books, $26 hardcover, 9780399575891, July 12, 2016)

One can perhaps best hear the wheels clicking behind the voice of the unnamed coastal Ireland narrator of Claire-Louise Bennet's intriguing collection of stories in the opening to "Control Knobs": "When I first moved in here all three control knobs on the cooker were intact and working just fine. Three control knobs on a cooker doesn't sound like very many to most people because, nowadays, in addition to hardly anyone ever saying nowadays, very few people own what's known as a mini-kitchen, and those people who do are probably the same people who continue to unfurl the phrase nowadays."

First published by Dublin's small Stinging Fly Press, Pond, in its quirky structure and language, calls to mind the Irish fathers of literary modernism Joyce and Beckett. But then it also echoes Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Carroll's Alice, Thoreau's Walden and, more contemporarily, Strout's Olive Kitteridge, as well as anything by Nicholson Baker. In response to The Skinny's question regarding antecedents, Bennett demurred: "Readers will enjoy making their own connections in terms of stylistic affinities. I have a great many predecessors."

Bennett's narrator is a funny, self-deprecating, observant, opinionated, earthy woman whose mind grasps every detailed string of her rural life and gives it a pull to reveal her curiosity and contented solitude. Nothing is missed: her neighbors, her garden and compost heap, a new bicycle ("one that felt sturdy and safe at night along roads where there is no light, one that could go up hills"), local cows and dogs, the mailbox ("occasionally I am quite diligent about emptying it and other times my mind is such that I just don't care enough"), food ("this is not the time of year to be eating granola and salads and caper berries, let me tell you"), and her intermittent men ("eighteen months was pretty well as much as we could expect from a relationship based almost entirely upon avid fornication"). What a treasure, this woman!

Playfully, Bennett taps her literary predecessors--whether centering one story on the 1963 dystopian survival novel The Wall by Austrian Marlen Haushofer, or like Joyce and Carroll, scattering another with made-up tonal nonsense phrases like shally shally, ganny ganny, wzm wzm, whoosh whoosh, and shap shap. The title Pond not only suggests Thoreau's retreat, but also refers to the shallow pool behind the narrator's cottage next to which a neighbor plants the hand-scribbled warning sign pond "as if the earth were a colossal and elaborate deathtrap."

In the short two-page concluding story, Bennett abruptly shifts to the third person, as if needing to collect herself and step back from such deep immersion into the soul of the narrator. After closing this collection, readers may also want to step back and absorb all that burbles along in Pond so enjoyably--even though the narrator elsewhere advises: "It's a devil to know what to take seriously." --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: The unnamed narrator of Bennett's debut story collection is a perspicacious observer with disarming wit and delightful ruminations on all that surrounds her.

KidsBuzz: Wendy Lamb Books: Hello from Renn Lake by Michele Weber Hurwitz
KidsBuzz: Worthy Kids: 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag by Amanda Davis, illus. by Sally Wern Comport
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