Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 30, 2016

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Little Simon Chapter Books

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Little Simon Chapter Books

Thomas Nelson: A Very Dinosaur Birthday by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Christopher Nielsen

Other Press (NY): An Honorable Exit by Éric Vuillard, translated by Mark Polizzotti

Shadow Mountain: The Paper Daughters of Chinatown: Adapted for Young Readers from the Best-Selling Novel by Heather B. Moore and Allison Hong Merrill

Quotation of the Day

Indigo: 'Online Sales Not Profitable--But Serve Customers'

"The majority of our customers are shopping online and in-store. All digital purchases represent about 15% of our sales, and that's growing really nicely. And my firm belief is when you're online, you have no choice but to meet what the online pricing is. So we're identical to Amazon. That's the nature of the game. We don't make money online--we don't. But we can't be in business and not serve our customers that way. If something were to happen and tomorrow nobody came into our stores, I wouldn't stay in the online book business. Not even Amazon makes money in the online book business."

--Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books & Music, in a q&a with Canadian Business

University of California Press: Weed Rules: Blazing the Way to a Just and Joyful Marijuana Policy by Jay Wexler


2nd & Charles Opening in Utica, Mich.

Books-A-Million's 2nd & Charles division is opening a store in Utica, Mich., in the northern Detroit suburbs, in a building that used to house a Borders bookstore, C&G News reported. The soft opening is scheduled for the end of July, in time for a party July 30 for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. A grand opening celebration will take place August 6.

Utica mayor Jacqueline Noonan said, "We're excited that this is a similar kind of business and that it spreads itself between new and used books, but also music and a coffee shop and a gathering spot. Being a real advocate of literacy, I think this is a great addition to the mixed-use area."

Melanie Smith, director of marketing for 2nd & Charles, said the 30,000-square-foot Utica location will be the largest of the 29 2nd & Charles stores around the country and the first to house a coffee bar called Chuck Stop. The store is also the second 2nd & Charles store in Michigan.

"We feel like we can bring something to Utica that has been lacking for a little while," Smith said. "To bring a bookstore is one thing, but to bring a bookstore like 2nd & Charles is kind of like no other experience and no other bookstore right now."

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English-Language Bookstore Opening in Luxembourg

Children's section at the Book Loft

The Book Loft, an English-language bookstore, is opening tomorrow in Howald, Luxembourg, just south of Luxembourg City, Wort reported. The store, located upstairs at ÉireLux stores, which specializes in Irish products, is owned by Caroline Mühlfenzl. She also owns Chapter 1, an English-language store located in the Belair neighborhood of Luxembourg City that was founded in 1993.

The new bookstore celebrated Tuesday night with a party attended by, among others, the ambassadors of Britain, Ireland, Italy and Greece.

The Book Loft has about 1,500 square feet of space, with about equal space for adult and children's books. Mühlfenzl told the newspaper recently, "It's the second chapter in a fantastic journey I've had the past three years after accidentally walking into a bookstore to look for an English book and basically coming out with a bookstore."

Wort noted that Little Britain, an English store with a book section, is closing. Last year, Ernster, a family-owned Luxembourg bookstore chain that is 127 years old, opened its first English-language bookstore, in front of the Grand Ducal Palace.

Obituary Notes: Barbara Goldsmith; Alvin Toffler

Barbara Goldsmith, author and a founder of New York magazine, died on Sunday, the New York Times reported. She was 85.

Goldsmith's best-known book was Happy at Last, an account of the bitter 1934 custody battle over Gloria Vanderbilt, pitting Gloria's mother and aunt against each other "with a $2.5 million trust fund the glittering prize," as the Times put it.

Published in 1980, the book was "full to bursting with scandal, betrayal, extravagance and wealth beyond the dreams of avarice." In 1982, NBC aired a miniseries based on it starring Angela Lansbury, Christopher Plummer and Maureen Stapleton.

Goldsmith also wrote The Straw Man, Johnson vs. Johnson, Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull and Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie.


Alvin Toffler, author of the 1970 megahit Future Shock, died on Monday, the New York Times reported. He was 87.

Future Shock was "the first in a trilogy of bestselling books that presciently forecast how people and institutions of the late 20th century would contend with the immense strains and soaring opportunities of accelerating change," the Times wrote. The book sold millions of copies and is still in print. The other titles in the trilogy were The Third Wave and Powershift (co-written with his wife, Heidi Toffler). Altogether Toffler wrote 13 books.

It's a Small World After All: ALA in Orlando

As Orlando reels from tragedy, the tropical Florida city also reflected hope and progress, strength and solidarity, with 16,597 librarians, publishers, educators and other book professionals attending the American Library Association (ALA)'s annual conference (#alaac16) June 23-28.

Children's and teen book authors and illustrators also came from around the world to join in the celebration of literacy, technology, education, diversity and a palpable love of books. Despite Orlando's Disneyesque trappings and candy-fueled hordes of Mickey Mouse-eared children, the conference felt like the opposite of an escape from reality; it was openhearted and honest, serious and joyful. Attendees were as likely to be raving about Jason Reynolds's middle-grade novel As Brave As You--or the prospect of tasting butterbeer at Harry Potter theme parks (It's "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch," J.K. Rowling once said)--as they were to be shaking their heads at the "Brexit" news or discussing Orlando's recent shootings. (By the way, don't miss Christopher Myers's Horn Book essay about this.)

The lines for author signings were long all weekend on the exhibit floor. At the Little, Brown booth, Monica Hesse (left) signed Girl in the Blue Coat with Melanie Chang, v-p, integrated marketing.

Librarians pinned rainbow ribbons to their badge straps next to cheerful book-promoting buttons. Moments of silence often preceded vivacious panels. A blood-drive sign stood soberly across the hall from a theatrical book reading. Librarian Thom Barthelmess, youth services manager of Whatcom County, Wash., and chair of the 2017 Newbery Award Selection Committee, said to Shelf Awareness, "I have always believed in books as the fabric of our kinship, and to be among librarians and see ALA's proactive, empathetic response to recent events here in Orlando only reinforces that belief."

2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Awards for exceptional Latino/Latina writers and illustrators, and the occasion was boisterously celebrated with heartfelt speeches, music, food and dancing.

Even without a single swig of butterbeer, ALA bubbled with magical revelations and connections. At a lively Scholastic dinner, guests shared a table with debut author M.G. Leonard (Beetle Boy) and Barry Cunningham, the lovely British editor who first signed J.K. Rowling. ("If it wasn't for Barry Cunningham, Harry Potter might still be languishing in his cupboard under the stairs," Rowling once said.) Cunningham talked about how the Potter phenomenon was "good weird," about his personal relationship with Roald Dahl (and how he just might be the inspiration for Dahl's Mr. Twit), and the origins of Chicken House, his publishing company. Author and Caldecott artist Kevin Henkes (Waiting) and Laura Dronzek (illustrator of When Spring Comes) were among the many luminaries mingling at the always-energetic HarperCollins breakfast. Lane Smith (There Is a Tribe of Kids), Ben Hatke (Mighty Jack) and Philip C. Stead (Samson in the Snow) were featured guest speakers at a cozy Macmillan dinner. The Coretta Scott King Breakfast, a reliably emotional, inspiring event, honored African American authors and illustrators such as Rita Williams-Garcia (Gone Crazy in Alabama), Bryan Collier (illustrator for Trombone Shorty), and artist Jerry Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse) with one of two lifetime achievement awards he received at ALA, the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award.

M.G. Leonard signed Beetle Boy, first in a trilogy, for her new fans, next to a stack of chocolate beetles.

Publishers, authors, illustrators and librarians donned their often-inventive party clothes, lit-up daisy hair garlands, little black dresses and snazzy suits for the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet on June 26. Australia-born artist Sophie Blackall gave a charming, funny Caldecott Medal acceptance speech for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear (written by Lindsay Mattick) in which she said, "[W]e are part of other people's stories as they are part of ours, no matter where we were born, who we are, or where we live, and how we pass those stories down through the ages." Jerry Pinkney gave his Laura Ingalls Wilder Award acceptance speech called "Drawing My Dream" wherein he said, "My childhood was limited, but I learned that through my own creativity, the world was limitless."

At the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet: (l.) author Laura Murray (The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo) and debut novelist Randi Pink (Into White).

Matt de la Peña made many, many grown people cry with his powerful Newbery Medal acceptance speech for his picture book Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson. He said, "[S]ometimes when you grow up outside the reach of the American Dream, you're in a better position to record the truth. That we don't all operate under the same set of rules. That our stories aren't all assigned the same value in the eyes of decision makers." He remembers wondering, "What if I can write a story that offers that tough, hoodied kid in the back of the auditorium a secret place to feel?"

The power of story to lift us up, the power of story to help us see and understand each other and ourselves, to entertain, to educate, to heal. This was the refrain sung throughout ALA's June conference in Orlando, and it's surely one to keep singing.

--Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Little Monsters
by Adrienne Brodeur
GLOW: Avid Reader Press: Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur

Little Monsters, Adrienne Brodeur's first book since her memoir Wild Game, is a tender, intelligent family saga. By placing her four protagonists in the summer of 2016, mere months before the election, Brodeur notches up the tension in a manner that couldn't be replicated at another time. On Cape Cod, the Gardners are each at a crossroads: patriarch Adam on the precipice of scientific discovery; son Ken at the intersection of tortured instincts; daughter Abby awaiting a momentous life change. Entering the fray is new mother Steph, whose connection to the Gardners remains initially unclear. The result is "a sophisticated, intelligent, juicy, beautifully written page-turner," writes Lauren Wein, v-p and editorial director of Avid Reader Press. Readers who also feel the repercussions of 2016 in contemporary life will find catharsis in Little Monsters, posited as perfect for readers of Ask Again, Yes and Commonwealth. --Lauren Puckett-Pope

(Avid Reader Press, $28 hardcover, 9781982198107, July 11, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Texas Town Fires Browser, the Library Cat


"Over children's petitions and voters' protests," the White Settlement, Tex., city council has voted to fire Browser the library cat, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, adding that councilman Elzie Clements "led what Browser's fans call a sneak attack on June 14, ending in a 2-1 vote giving the former shelter cat 30 days to find a new home." Browser, who has his own Facebook page, has rallied more than 600 signatures on an informal petition by library patrons.

Mayor Ron White supports Browser and blamed pettiness at City Hall for the decision because a city employee wasn't allowed to keep a pet at work. "We've had that cat five years, and there's never been a question," he said. "That cat doesn't have anything to do with whether somebody can have their puppy at City Hall. That cat doesn't hurt anybody.... The council just went out and did this on their own because they don't like cats." He wants the council to reconsider at a July 12 meeting. And if not then? "You know, we have an election coming up in November," he said.

Road Trip: Mt. Cloud Bookshop in the Philippines

"The coziest bookshop in Baguio City is also a champion of Philippine literature," CNN said in its profile of Mt. Cloud Bookshop, which "looks less like a store than a bibliophilic artist's atelier or a bookworm's bedroom sans bed. Some customers, perhaps those who have once made themselves comfortable on any of the store's reading nooks and perches, have even expressed in jest their apparent wish to live in it."

"Ultimately we want to invoke a sense of home," said Feliz Perez, who owns Mt. Cloud Bookshop with her sister, Padma. "We want first-timers to feel a sense of nostalgia and comfort coming into the shop and we want regulars to feel like they're coming home."

The bookshop occupies a basement space in Casa Vallejo, the oldest hotel in Baguio. "Since Casa Vallejo is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Baguio and a true example of classic Baguio, we felt it would be a good spot for a cozy bookshop," Perez added.

CNN noted that in the shop, "books about the Philippines or by Filipinos enjoy a degree of ubiquity normally accorded in a typical bookstore to the likes of Paulo Coelho, Haruki Murakami, and Nicholas Sparks. In fact, Mt. Cloud prides itself on devoting only 20% of its stock to curated foreign books and locally made sundries, while committing the remaining 80% to Filipiniana titles across its many sections."

Feliz said, "We felt that Baguio lacked a bookshop that would really be about reading rather than school supplies and notebooks. We allow browsing through the books. We are not the type of shop that will ask customers to stop reading the books. They can take an entire afternoon to choose a book and we're OK with that."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Chris Cleave on Well Read

Live with Kelly: Jessie Pavelka, author of The Program: 21 Days to a Stronger, Slimmer, Sexier You (Hachette Books, $26, 9780316266567).

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

NPR's Marketplace: Jean Edward Smith, author of Bush (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476741192).

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Neil Gaiman, author of The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062262264).

This Weekend on Book TV: Buzz Aldrin

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Tuesday 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, July 2
8 p.m. A tour of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection, the largest African-American history and literature collection in the Midwest, at the Woodson Regional Library in Chicago. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m., Monday at 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 12:30 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Buzz Aldrin, co-author of No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon (National Geographic, $22, 9781426216497). (Re-airs Tuesday at 1:45 a.m.)

10 p.m. Nathalia Holt, author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316338929). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.)

11:45 p.m. Stephen Moore and Kathleen White, authors of Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy (Regnery, $27.99, 9781621574095). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:45 p.m.)

Sunday, July 3
12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Sebastian Junger, author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Twelve, $22, 9781455566389). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: American Ireland Fund Literary

Emma Donoghue (Room) has won the $25,000 AWB Vincent American Ireland Fund Literary Award, which recognizes "excellent literary achievement," Quillblog reported, noting that the author was honored at Dublin's Mansion House June 23, "later donating the full prize to the UN Refugee Agency." Previous winners include Seamus Heaney and Colum McCann.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new hardcover titles appearing next Tuesday, July 5:

Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays by Cynthia Ozick (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544703711) is a collection of new essays by the novelist, short story writer and critic.

Magic: A Novel by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $28.95, 9780345531100) follows a group of friends united by a dinner in Paris.

Trump and Me by Mark Singer (Tim Duggan, $16, 9780451498595) is written by the author of a 1996 New Yorker profile that earned Trump's lasting enmity.

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye (Random House, $32, 9780812993349) is a biography of RFK.

The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams by Michael Tackett (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544387645) tells the story of a baseball coach in rural Iowa who mentored major league players.

The Hatching: A Novel by Ezekiel Boone (Atria/Emily Bestler, $26, 9781501125041) is the first entry is an apocalyptic series about flesh-eating spiders.

The Wolf Road: A Novel by Beth Lewis (Crown, $26, 9781101906125) is a post-apocalyptic novel about a girl raised by a hunter who found her wandering in the woods.

Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden by Alexandra Risen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780544633360) is the memoir of a woman who uncovers family secrets while fixing the abandoned garden of her new home.

Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers by Michael Gross (Atria, $28, 9781476763460) disrobes the history of fashion photography.

Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544714441) is a gothic tale about a married couple's ominous roadtrip.

The War at Home: A Wife's Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible): A Memoir by Rachel Starnes (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143108665).

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:

Smoke: A Novel by Dan Vyleta (Doubleday, $27.95, 9780385540162). "Imagine a world where every dark thought you possessed was revealed by a wisp of smoke. And what if a portion of society could hide their darkness, while others were forever stained by their sins? Set in an alternative England, this tale reveals what really lies behind this sinful soot through the eyes of three teenagers who begin to question all they have been told. Smoke is a brilliant combination of fantasy and historical fiction, where layers of mystery and glimmers of truth will keep readers feverishly turning pages until the very end." --Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

Wintering: A Novel by Peter Geye (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101946466). "It is tempting to inhale Wintering in a great rush because it is such a suspenseful, wild, and dangerous survival story. That would be a mistake. Geye magically conveys the starkness, beauty, and despair of the northern Minnesota borderlands in prose that deserves to be savored. He gives us characters with deep, complex interior lives who struggle with secrets, love, and damaged relationships. A powerful father-son story and a landscape revealed in breathtaking detail make this a novel to read with care and wonder." --Tripp Ryder, Content Bookstore, Northfield, Minn.

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!: A Novel by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin, $15.95, 9781616206017). "With This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, Evison has crafted an instant classic. Recently widowed 78-year-old Harriet embarks on an Alaskan cruise that proves to be the vehicle for her own self-discovery. As one shocking truth after another is revealed about Harriet's life, readers come to love this woman who is anything but perfect, and whose life is anything but ordinary. With an inventive, addictive structure and prose that surges with life, humor, and compassion, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is one to move to the very top of your reading list." --Rob Dougherty, Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, N.J.

For Ages 4 to 8
Douglas, You Need Glasses! by Ged Adamson (Schwartz & Wade, $16.99, 9780553522433). "Douglas the dog keeps busy playing with his girl, Nancy, but he is so nearsighted that when things get complicated, Nancy has to take him to the eye doctor for glasses. The vibrant and silly illustrations add to the fun as Douglas selects his first pair of glasses and discovers how amazing everything really looks. The two-page spread of photos of real kids wearing glasses clinches the deal, making this a perfect book for children--or anyone--who needs glasses." --Joan Trygg, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (Dial, $16.99, 9780525428657). "The Sewell mansion, the height of elegance in 1928 New York City, conceals many mysteries. Rose Sewell, locked in her rooms upstairs, is consumed by art and said to be crazy. Twelve-year-old Martha, outspoken with the nuns one time too many and expelled from school, now works for the Sewells as a chambermaid. Who locks his wife up and pretends everything is normal? Overwhelmed with curiosity about Rose and Mr. Sewell, who is the model of success in the newspaper world, Martha pops the bubble of secrecy and cleverly exposes the truths of the wealthy and powerful." --Jane Morck, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.

For Teen readers: Revisit & Rediscover
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Candlewick, $10.99, 9780763676186). Originally published in 2008. "In this brilliantly imagined world, Todd Hewitt lives in an uneasy community where everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts, or 'Noise.' His discovery that more humans are arriving from another planet bearing advanced technology plunges Todd's seemingly stable life into chaos. Questions of religion, gender roles, and political structure, including the small differences between terrorists and freedom fighters, make this novel of an imagined future feel contemporary." --Robert McDonald, the Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, Ill.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Muse

The Muse by Jessie Burton (Ecco, $27.99 hardcover, 9780062409928, July 26, 2016)

Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist) spins a 20th-century art mystery, set against 1960s London and the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, in her sophomore novel filled with passion, betrayal and the search for identity.

Young aspiring writer Odelle Bastien starts her life in London as a salesgirl in a shoe store. A Trinidadian immigrant to '60s London, she endures racist comments and the occasional assumption about her culture. Her fortunes change when the mysterious Marjorie Quick offers her a job at the prestigious Skelton Institute of Art. Although she works as a typist, a romantic connection leads Odelle to discover a potentially valuable painting her beau inherited from his recently deceased mother. The director of the Skelton, Edmund Reede, believes it to be the work of Spanish artist Isaac Robles, who painted a handful of memorable pieces before disappearing during the Civil War. Quick, who has taken Odelle under her wing, does not share Reede's enthusiasm for presenting the canvas to the public, and Odelle becomes increasingly curious about Quick's secrets.

In alternating sections, the story of 19-year-old Olive Schloss unfolds. The daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and a lovely but tempestuous English heiress, Olive joins her parents when they move from London to Arazuelo, Spain, in 1937, fearing Hitler's growing aggression. Olive keeps her acceptance to the Slade School of Art a secret from her mother and father, just as she keeps her paintings secret for fear her father will remind her that only men can be true artists. She soon meets Isaac and Teresa, the illegitimate offspring of a Spanish landowner. While teenaged Teresa develops a consuming devotion to Olive, older Isaac's commitment is to the revolutionary cause. As Olive's feelings for Isaac grow, Teresa makes a bold move that entangles all three in a web of deceit with Olive's art at its center.

Burton proves, with a pair of superbly executed stories that echo each other, that The Miniaturist was no flash in the pan. At heart, both focus on young women struggling to find ways to create without breaking from society, to navigate first love and to establish themselves in countries they adore but do not fully understand. Each has her muse, but perhaps this novel's title refers more to the capricious nature of inspiration and the subjectivity of art criticism, which heavily influence the lives of both women. As Olive wonders, "Why can't we live in the pigments of a brushstroke, in a life lived out of reach?" Gorgeous and wistful, The Muse reminds us that art comes not from a vacuum, but from the passions of the human heart. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Burton's fans will eagerly devour this romantic yet dark mystery set in pre- and post-World War II Europe.

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