Also published on this date: Monday, June 27, 2016: Maximum Shelf: milk and honey

Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 27, 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

After Brexit Vote, 'Thanks for Translated Works'


"In the dismal afterglow [of Brexit] we're feeling the need to switch straight back into a positive gear on the shop floor, to reiterate our immense thanks to you for publishing the incredible translated works that offer a window into so many different worlds and to demonstrate our solidarity with you in these complex times.... Even if in the future it becomes more of an expensive pain in the ass to translate and publish European works, we remain excited each time you do it."

--Nic Bottomley, owner of Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath, England, in an open letter to U.K. publishers of translated fiction, as quoted by the Bookseller.

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


Salisbury, N.C.'s Literary Bookpost Sold, Renamed

Wendy Beeker, who has worked at the Literary Bookpost, Salisbury, N.C., for the past year, has purchased the store and plans to rename it South Main Book Company, the Salisbury Post reported. Beeker has worked in five bookstores and has owned several retail operations, including a combination bookstore/antiques store.

Other than the name, Beeker said most things at the store won't change, except possibly "a little painting," the addition of some more furniture and increasing book inventory, especially the North Carolina history section.

Former owners Bill and Cora Greene wanted to sell the store and approached Beeker, who told the newspaper, "We came to a good agreement."

Literary Bookpost was opened in 1998 by Deal Safrit, Sheila Brownlow and Bill Greene.

Reader's Choice in Milwaukee to Close Later This Year

The Reader's Choice, the African-American bookstore in Milwaukee, Wis., is closing later this year, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Owner Carla Allison, who founded the store almost 27 years ago, is selling the building and moving with her husband to Texas. The pair have operated the business mostly by themselves.

The newspaper wrote about Allison: "When she opened her first location in the 3800 block of N. 20th St., she did so because she wanted to dispel myths about African-Americans and books. The biggest myth she heard is that blacks don't read. The second rumor is that blacks don't support black businesses like hers.

"Both of these were proven false. Allison said blacks read all the time, from the Bible to poetry. She does acknowledge, however, that black people are descendants of an oral tradition of call and response.

" 'We would much rather have a story told to us and our response is typically "where did you hear that?" ' she said. When Africans were slaves, reading was not allowed for the majority of them. Slaves had to hide the fact that they knew how to read just to avoid punishment."

Where's Waldo?--And Warhol?

Preparing for the Where's Waldo hunt in Sanibel, Fla.: Tim and Beth Musser of the Sanibel Sweet Shoppe; Lise Bryant and Rebecca Binkowski of MacIntosh Books; and Michael Binkowski of the Sanibel Deli.

This year's Find Waldo Local program begins on July 1, and around the country some 250 independent bookstores are preparing for the month-long event, which usually involves a kind of scavenger hunt at a range of local businesses and a variety of prizes, depending on how many Waldos participants find. Sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and Candlewick Press, the publisher of the Where's Waldo? books, this year's event marks the fifth annual Waldo celebration. Included in the Waldo tool kit this year are Waldo standees, window clings, prize buttons, prize books, coupons, posters and more, along with materials for a contest celebrating the publication of Where's Waldo? The Coloring Book (June 14).

Nina Barrett gets in character

In an amusing twist, Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston, Ill., is encouraging adults to join the fun with a parallel Where's Warhol? celebration. Inspired by Where's Warhol? by Catherine Ingram and Andrew Rae (Laurence King Publishing), Bookends & Beginnings will hide Warhol somewhere in the vicinity of Waldo at the 20 participating independent stores in Evanston. According to store owner Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings has had a live Waldo appear at past Where's Waldo events, and a live Andy Warhol may make an appearance this summer as well.

Paris Mayor to Amazon Prime Now Service: 'Non!'

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has promised to be "intransigent vis-a-vis Amazon" in the wake of the online retailer's launch recently of Prime Now same-day delivery service in the French capital with less than a week's notice. The Guardian reported that Amazon "treats the service identically to its wider mail-order business. Despite the local focus, Prime Now's Paris operation doesn't count as a Parisian retail operation, and so Amazon only told the government four days before it launched."

In a statement, Hidalgo said, "While this operation is likely to seriously destabilize the balance of Parisian trade, this large American company saw fit to inform the City of Paris just days before its launch." She added that Paris would fight Amazon in a number of ways, including "the preservation of local shops, the quality of life of local residents, the level of pollution generated by vehicles and Amazon's human resources policy."

Hidalgo also called on national legislators "to establish laws aimed at preventing 'unfair competition' against traders and craftsmen, mirroring current legislation that lets city mayors regulate supermarkets." the Guardian wrote.

Obituary Note: Michael Herr

Michael Herr, whose 1977 book Dispatches was "a glaringly intense, personal account of being a correspondent in Vietnam that is widely viewed as one of the most visceral and persuasive depictions of the unearthly experience of war," died June 23, the New York Times reported. He was 76. Herr also contributed the narration to Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, and with the director Stanley Kubrick and Gustav Hasford wrote the screenplay for Full Metal Jacket, adapted from Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. Herr's memoir Kubrick chronicles his long friendship and collaboration with the filmmaker.

Novelist Richard Ford, who was a friend of Herr, said Dispatches "gave an emotional, verbal and aural account of the war for a whole generation--of which I am a member--particularly for those who didn't go. His nose was right in the middle of it, and he wrote exactly what it was like to be in that place and to be that young."

Claudia Herr, an editor at Penguin Random House, said that although her father was extremely proud of Dispatches, "he came to resent his celebrity, especially when reporters or television producers wanted him to relive his time in Vietnam," the Times wrote. "Among other things, a retrospective light shining on him struck him as disrespectful to the men he wrote about. He gave few interviews. In the last years of his life, he became a serious devotee of Buddhism and no longer wrote, his daughter said."

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: ALA Entertainers

Librarians, publishers, educators, industry professionals, authors and illustrators are gathered in Orlando, Fla., for the American Library Association's annual conference & exhibition (#alaac16), at the Orange County Convention Center. "It is busy. We've had a lot of author signings, and the debut author lines, including the line for Ronald L. Smith [Hoodoo; The Mesmerist] have been really long," said Karen Walsh, director of publicity for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

Disney Book Group lured a rowdy crowd of librarians over the weekend with both ice cream and hilarious dramatic readings by seven children's book luminaries, including (l.-r.) Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce and its companion, Hotel Bruce, October 18), Mo Willems (the Elephant and Piggie series; Nanette's Baguette, October 25) and Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda series; Rocket and Groot, April 4, 2017).

Happy 25th Birthday, Mystery Loves Company!

Congratulations to Mystery Loves Company Booksellers in Oxford, Md., which is turning 25 this year. Owner and co-founder Kathy Harig is celebrating that milestone with a party and book signing on July 4 that will feature author Fran White.

Mystery Loves Company opened in Baltimore, Md., in 1991 before moving to its present site in 2006. And though the store began as mystery-only, Harig decided to expand the inventory to include books of all genres and for all age groups when the store moved. Before starting the bookstore, which she founded with her late partner, Sue Feder, Harig worked for 27 years as a librarian at Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library. Recently, Mystery Loves Company revamped its website to allow for online book sales.

Barnes & Noble & Booze & Headlines

Barnes & Noble's detailed presentation Thursday of its plans for the next few years covered everything from expanding its membership program to bolstering hot book and non-book categories, but what captured the attention of most media was news about the restaurants in B&N's new concept stores. They'll be twice the size of its cafes, offer full meals, table service and include beer and wine. Almost all headlines and leads focused on that last part, with amusing, often alliterative or rhyming, lines. Our favorites:

'Bookstore Has Boozy Comeback Plan' --Mercury News

'Barnes & Noble Is Starting a Restaurant Group: Wait, What?' --Consumerist

'Barnes & Noble Plans to Use Booze to Lure Us Back from Amazon'

'Barnes & Noble Bets on Beer' --BrewBound

'Barnes & Noble Will Start Selling Beer and Wine, So You Can Booze and Peruse' --the Frisky

'Barnes & Noble Opens a New Chapter in Food and Drink' --Dow Jones Business News

'Barnes & Noble's Turnaround Plan Hinges on Booze and Food' --Vanity Fair

'Cheers? Barnes & Noble Is Getting into the Bars and Restaurant Business' --Fortune

'Sipping Wine While Reading a Book? Barnes & Noble Will Make That Happen With New Concept Stores' --Tech Times

'Barnes & Noble Plans to Dip Its Finger in Beer & Wine in Folsom' --CBS Sacramento

P&P's Susan Coll Taking Leave of Absence

Susan Coll

Bookseller and author Susan Coll, who has been director of programs and events at Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., for the last five years, is taking a leave of absence, beginning in August, to teach an intensive novel writing class at the Bethesda Writer's Center and to focus on her own writing. She'll step down as director of programs and events and expects to return to the store early next year in a new role.

Coll expanded the store's calendar of events, launched an ambitious offering of classes and trips and oversaw the creation of District Lines, P&P's annual anthology of work by local authors.

Coll has published five novels: Beach Week, Acceptance, Rockville Pike, and, most recently, The Stager. Acceptance was made into a television movie starring Joan Cusack in 2009.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Barbara Cook on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Barbara Cook, co-author of Then and Now: A Memoir (Harper, $28.99, 9780062090461).

Diane Rehm: Jeffrey Rosen, author of Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet (Yale University Press, $25, 9780300158670). He will also appear tonight on Comedy Central's Nightly Show.

Ellen repeat: Kate Hudson, author of Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062434234).

Live with Kelly: guest co-host D.L. Hughley, author of Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062399793).

CBS This Morning: Antonio Garcia Martinez, author of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley (Harper, $29.99, 9780062458193).

Today Show: Brad Thor, author of Foreign Agent: A Thriller (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27.99, 9781476789354).

Live with Kelly: guest co-host Anderson Cooper, co-author of The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss (Harper, $27.99, 9780062454942).

Daily Show: Calvin Trillin, author of Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America (Random House, $27, 9780399588242).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Tom Brokaw, author of A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope (Random House, $16, 9780812982084).

Comedy Central's At Midnight: Jensen Karp, author of Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big (Crown Archetype, $26, 9780553448153).

Books & Authors

Awards: German Peace Prize

German journalist, author and publicist Carolin Emcke has won the €25,000 ($27,780) Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, which will be presented on October 23 during the Frankfurt Book Fair, Börsenblatt reported.

Emcke has been an editor, war reporter (from, among other places, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the Gaza Strip), columnist and contributor to Der Spiegel, Die Zeit and the Süddeutsche Zeitung and published several books, Collective Identities: Social-philosophical Bases and From the Wars: Letters to Friends.

The Peace Prize board praised Emcke for making "an important contribution" with her books, articles and talks to social dialogue and to peace. She "describes--above all in her essays and her reports from war zones--in a very personal and open way, how violence, hate and voicelessness can change people. With analytical empathy, she appeals to the ability of all participants to return to understanding and exchange. Carolin Emcke's work is a model for social action in a time in which political, religious and cultural conflicts often don't allow dialogue. She shows that this is possible, and her work reminds us that we must do this."

Book Review

Review: The First Wife

The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane, trans. by David Brookshaw (Archipelago, $18 paperback, 9780914671480, July 26, 2016)

When Rami's youngest son accidentally breaks a neighbor's car window, there's no man of the house to take care of it. Rami's husband, Tony, a handsome police chief in Maputo, has a wandering eye and is seldom home. After putting up with his behavior for more than 20 years, Rami decides to take matters into her own hands. One by one, she seeks out each of the four other women who are monopolizing her husband. Confrontations erupt into violence. The women slug it out. But what starts out as fisticuffs turns into four friendships, and all five women show up dressed alike, with their 16 children in tow, to surprise Tony at his 50th birthday party. At first, Tony flees. He then promises to abandon his mistresses. Rami won't hear of it. She demands that Tony marry them all, turning polygamy upside down.

In 1990, Paulina Chiziane was the first woman to publish a novel in Mozambique, where polygamy is legal. At her own speed, in her own way, delaying the plot for an occasional songlike poetic outburst, spicing the story with a few jawdropping African sexual customs, Chiziane weaves a big-hearted, seriocomic tale of polygamy and its price. Along the way, she explores the nature of the sexes and their roles in a marriage, and the oppression of women, as well as their sisterhood. Rami's realistic, back-and-forth struggle to believe the promises of her lying but charming husband remains suspensefully unresolved right up to the last page and the final surprise.

Chiziane's down-to-earth style in The First Wife is that of an African storyteller, sometimes rhythmical and repetitive, frequently composed of short, staccato sentences in an exclamatory rush. Rami's punchy first-person narration is littered with pearls. "My husband has become a tourist in his own home," she says, or "I followed my man's tracks, which was easy, because with each step he took, he produced a child." Her outspoken sexual politics produce succinct little firecrackers. "To have only one love in life? Baloney! Only women, forever stupid, swallow that story. Men love every day.... All men are polygamous."

Feisty and exuberant, ferociously candid, Chiziane's poetic style can't disguise the radical, iconoclastic spirit of her narrative. Boldly breaking the rules of social conduct, Rami reaches out in friendship to her husband's mistresses and teaches them economic and psychological independence. With delightful complications and unexpected plot turns, Chiziane's battle of the sexes is like none other in world literature. --Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

Shelf Talker: A wife of 20 years makes friends with her husband's four mistresses in this tale by the first woman to publish a novel in Mozambique.

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