Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mariner Books: A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis by Vanessa Nakate

Scholastic Press: Room to Dream (a Front Desk Novel) by Kelly Yang

Andrews McMeel Publishing: A Tale as Tall as Jacob: Misadventures with My Brother by Samantha Edwards

David Zwirner Books: Making a Great Exhibition by Doro Globus, illustrated by Rose Blake

Tor Books: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Disney-Hyperion: The Fowl Twins Get What They Deserve (a Fowl Twins Novel, Book 3) by Eoin Colfer

Sourcebooks Landmark: In Every Mirror She's Black by Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Dragons Are the Worst! by Alex Willan


PRH Canada Opens Penguin Shop in HQ Lobby

Penguin Random House Canada has opened Penguin Shop, a 158 square foot bookstore, in the lobby of its building in Toronto, Quill & Quire reported.

PRH Canada president and CEO Brad Martin said, "We are continually in search of innovative ways to bring the books we are so proud to publish to readers. As such, we see Penguin Shop as a research and development lab--a place where we can interact directly with consumers."

The Penguin Shop has one employee, Justin Sorbara-Hosker, who is helped by volunteers from the PRH Canada offices upstairs.

Describing the layout, Q&Q wrote that "each of the four hidden bookshelves that slide out from the store's wall is capped on the end to resemble a book spine in the style of Penguin's iconic horizontal grid design--two coloured bars divided by a bar of white--originally created in 1935 by Edward Young, a 21-year-old Penguin junior staffer. When all the shelves are pushed in, the wall resembles a row of eight-foot-high books. (Three additional panels open to reveal an online point-of-sale system and additional stock.) The spines are magnetic, allowing for quick changes to promote specific titles, award winners, or events, which the store plans to hold on occasion, overflowing into the lobby when necessary. The shop also sells a variety of Penguin-branded merchandise, also featuring the press's original design, including lapel pins, notebooks, mugs, and travel tags."

Rebel Girls: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic, 4 edited by Lilly Workneh

Dog Ear Books Popping Up in Russellville, Ark.

Dog Ear Books in Russellville, Ark., will have a temporary storefront location, located at 114 South Commerce Ave., "open for the September 2 downtown Art Walk as a preview for community members," the Courier reported, adding that the Pop-Up Preview shop will offer co-owners Emily Young and her mother, Pat, a chance "to interact and hear from the community about future events and stock selection."

The bookstore's permanent location, which will be at 301 West Main Street, will offer primarily new books, along with some used books, as well as book-related sidelines and many special events. "An interactive bookstore is the vision," Pat Young said. "We want them to feel invested in it."

Emily added: "We want them to be proud of it, like it's theirs."

In a recent Facebook update, the Youngs wrote: "We got word today that our move in date for our Main St. location will be much sooner than we had planned. This caused us to change up some plans. Again. But, hey, what's the fun of starting up a business if not for lots of unexpected news?! Luckily, this unexpected news is GREAT news. For everyone." The owners had previously said they were aiming for a November 1 full store opening.

Unbound: This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals by Erica Buist

Village Books in Mt. Shasta, Calif., to Close

Village Books in Mt. Shasta, Calif., is closing, the store announced on Facebook, saying that "the past five years have been rather difficult due to lower sales, taxes, and a changing economy. Recently, the rent on the building was drastically increased as well."

Kim and Tony Padilla bought the store in 2008 from Kathy Lancaster, who had owned the store for 15 years.

Kim Padilla wrote that they are closing the store "with great sadness" after attempting to sell it for several years. "Though I am grieving the loss of the bookstore, I am immensely grateful to the customers who have supported us. Our loyal customers are what kept me going when I was stretched thin and struggling to stay afloat. Thank you for your thoughts, kindness, and support."

Village Books will "honor the bookstore and the community" with a party on Saturday, September 3, from 1-4 p.m.

Book*hug Press: Letters to Amelia by Lindsay Zier-Vogel

B&N Store in Manhasset, N.Y., to Remain Open

Barnes & Noble officials said a developer's plans to replace the company's Manhasset, N.Y., store "with a medical office building have fallen through," Newsday reported, adding that the plans had been approved by the North Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals last week.

"The property owner was previously in discussions to redevelop the property, but they have told us that those plans are no longer being pursued. We have a lease through the end of 2017 and will work to extend as that time approaches," said David Deason, B&N v-p of development.

Hyperion Avenue: A Little Closer to Home: How I Found the Calm After the Storm by Ginger Zee

English-Language Bookstores in Paris Hurt by Terrorism Fears

Sales at most English-language bookstores in Paris have fallen "after a marked drop in tourism to the city following the spate of terrorist attacks," the Bookseller reported. Those attacks included the Charlie Hebdo shootings on January 7, 2015, the attacks in Paris on November 13-14, 2015, and the Bastille Day killings in Nice last month.

At Shakespeare and Company, sales have been down 4% compared to the same period last year, "despite opening a café last October and a new children's section," owner Sylvia Beach Whitman told the Bookseller. "So we were actually expecting to be up in comparison to last year, after that investment. Tourism is down, definitely, we are all seeing that. The news is reporting here that U.S. and Japanese tourist visitors numbers are low, and we would [normally] get a lot of American visitors coming into the shop." One day this week, she noted, there was no line outside Notre-Dame Cathedral, "which is unheard of."

Whitman added that the store's e-commerce site, launched about 18 months ago, had a gain in international sales immediately following the November attacks, as people wanted to show their support. But this has not continued.

Shakespeare and Company hopes that sales will pick up in the fall, when the store is the bookseller for Festival America in Paris. The new café and children's section have attracted more French customers, which also "has helped to increase sales a bit," Whitman said.

At Berkeley Books of Paris, sales were down 50% in August compared to July, according to owner Phyllis Cohen, who said, "The Parisians were just starting to recover some of their joie de vivre [after the Charlie Hebdo shootings] when the mass murder at the Bataclan and in Belleville happened. Even in their shock, some Parisians made it a point to go out, to reclaim the terrasses of the city and support the live music scene." Berkeley Books held "a string of concerts with the aim of drawing Parisians out of their apartments," which Cohen said led to "a few cathartic late nights in the bookshop last November, where locals danced and drank together." But after that, sales slowed and several small shops on the bookstore's street have closed because of a lack of business.

Cohen told the Bookseller that she's now "steering the bookshop through hard times by adapting and increasing internet sales. I have to take the long view, to ensure the bookshop is still here when people come to their senses and venture out again."

By contrast, at San Francisco Book Company in Paris, sales have been "better than they've ever been," owner Jim Carroll said, but this is because 80% of the store's business is online. "I thought we would take a hit," he said. "Paris is very quiet right now because all the Parisians are away on holiday too, but we are holding up."

Obituary Notes: Elechi Amadi; Ernst Nolte

Elechi Amadi, "one of the founding generation of African novelists in English," died June 29. He was 82. The Guardian reported that his work "was greatly admired by his fellow writers in Nigeria, and he had a large readership throughout Africa, but undeservedly he did not attain the wider international reputation of Chinua Achebe or Wole Soyinka."

His books include the trilogy The Concubine, The Great Ponds and The Slave; as well as Sunset in Biafra, Estrangement, Isiburu, The Dancer of Johannesburg, and the essay collection Ethics in Nigerian Literature. In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, his nation's highest honor.


Ernst Nolte, "a German revisionist historian who broke academic taboos by equating Nazism with Bolshevism and who was denounced as an apologist for Hitler and even the Holocaust," died August 18, the New York Times reported. He was 93. His books include Three Faces of Fascism, Germany & the Cold War, and Historical Thinking in the 20th Century.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Ballad for Sophie
by Filipe Melo, illus. by Juan Cavia
trans. by Gabriela Soares

GLOW: Top Shelf Productions: Ballad for Sophie by Filipe Melo, illus. by Juan Cavia, trans. by Gabriela SoaresA reclusive French piano star recounts his epic rise and fall, from WWII France through the tumultuous disco era, to a young journalist who's hiding her own past, in this passionate, sophisticated graphic novel from writer and pianist/composer Filipe Melo and illustrator/filmmaker Juan Cavia. Publicist and marketing director Leigh Walton shares that Top Shelf selected this work for translation from the Portuguese for its stunning blend of "the grandeur of classical music, the outrageous drama of rock and roll, the grim history of 20th-century Europe... and the bittersweet unearthing of family secrets." Cavia's palette evokes the lush light of a late evening sun, and his accomplished illustrations breathe life into Melo's complex saga of fame, regret and redemption. --Jaclyn Fulwood

(Top Shelf Productions, $24.99 paperback, 9781603094986,
September 28, 2021)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Courtside with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Writer, critic and TV host Touré (r.) speaks with basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about his new book, Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White (Time), August 23 at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, New York City.

Robinson Wins Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award

Congratulations to Marilynne Robinson for being named winner of Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, which "honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding." She will receive the award November 20 in Dayton, Ohio.

"In her fiction and in her essays, Marilynne Robinson is concerned with the issues that define the Dayton Literary Peace Prize: forgiveness, the sacredness of the human creature, and delight in being alive and experiencing the natural world," said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. "With luminous, deeply moving prose, she explores the causes of strife in a family, in a community, and in the world, while ultimately demonstrating the universal healing power of reconciliation and love."

Robinson commented: "I have had the privilege of seeing for myself how books live in the world, how readily they can cross all sorts of borders and boundaries, how important they are in sustaining a human conversation through and despite the frictions that arise among nations, how intensely they can be taken to heart anywhere. It is certainly appropriate that a literary prize should also be a peace prize, and that writers themselves should be made aware of their unique opportunity to speak to an international readership, an opportunity created by the interest and quality and commitment to truth of the literary work of generations."

Tattered Cover: One Reason Why 'Denver Is Burning Up'

Tattered Cover Book Store was cited as one of the many reasons why "Denver is burning up" by the Matador Network, which wrote that the city "is a place where--perhaps more so than anywhere else in America--creative people are encouraged, sponsored and enthusiastically celebrated." Tattered Cover was cited as "a massive independent bookstore that hosts as many as 400 authors, illustrators, and other people-with-interesting-things-to-say every year."

Personnel Changes at St. Martin's, Running Press

Lisa Senz has been promoted to v-p and associate publisher at St. Martin's Press. She was formerly v-p, marketing and partnerships. She has worked at Macmillan for more than 20 years and has held several roles and worked also in sales and distribution. She has worked on the publishing side since 2001.


Effective September 14, Jessica Schmidt is joining Running Press as director of marketing and publicity. She was most recently director of sales and subsidiary rights at the Story Plant and was associate director of client services for Perseus Distribution.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ben Utecht on On the Money

CNBC's On the Money: Ben Utecht, author of Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter to My Family (Howard, $26, 9781501136603).

This Weekend on Book TV: Robert Watson on The Nazi Titanic

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, August 27
5 p.m. Nicholas Irving, co-author of Way of the Reaper: My Greatest Untold Missions and the Art of Being a Sniper (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250088352). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

8 p.m. Robert Watson, author of The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II (Da Capo, $25.99, 9780306824890), at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:15 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Dan Zak, author of Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age (Blue Rider, $27, 9780399173752). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

10 p.m. Ann Coulter, author of In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! (Sentinel, $23, 9780735214460). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. David Rolf, author of The Fight for Fifteen: The Right Wage for a Working America (The New Press, $17.95, 9781620971130). (Re-airs Sunday at 12 p.m.)

Sunday, August 28
8 a.m. Antonio Garcia Martinez, author of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley (Harper, $29.99, 9780062458193). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Arthur C. Clarke; Voice of the Heartland

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, given for the best science fiction novel first published in the U.K. during the previous year.

Chair of judges Andrew M Butler commented: "Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time tells two parallel stories of the last survivors of Earth and the inhabitants of a terraformed planet--it takes the reader's sympathies and phobias, and plays with them masterfully on an epic and yet human scale."

The award was announced and prize of £2,016 ($2,665) given yesterday at Foyles Bookshop in London.


Wendell Berry has won the Voice of the Heartland award and will accept the honor at the Heartland Fall Forum October 5-7 in Minneapolis, Minn. Berry's writing was cited for being "inspired by the landscape of the Heartland, both the natural world and the people who live there. As a promoter of Localism long before the term existed, Mr. Berry has championed the both the spirit of independent bookselling and publishing."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 30:

The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe (Little, Brown, $26, 9780316404624) looks at the role of speech in the development of human civilization.

The Jealous Kind: A Novel by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 9781501107207) is a coming-of-age story set in 1952 Texas.

Rushing Waters by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $28.99, 9780345531094) follows six characters during a hurricane in New York City.

A Great Reckoning: A Novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $28.99, 9781250022134) is the 12th mystery with Chief Inspector Gamache.

The Nix: A Novel by Nathan Hill (Knopf, $27.95, 9781101946619) focuses on an adult son confronted with the return of his long-absent mother.

Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544464056) follows six generations of women in a family of Irish-American firefighters.

Hell Fire by Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780544633377) is the 12th mystery with Inspector Sejer.

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (Graphix/Scholastic, $9.99, 9780545581608) is the first in the Dog Man series by the creator of Captain Underpants.

Dinosaur Dance! by Sandra Boynton (Little Simon, $5.99, 9781481480994) is a board book about dancing dinosaurs.

The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy by Anthony Gottlieb (Liveright, $27.95, 9780871404435) explores the Enlightenment.

Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football, Doing It Differently--and Winning by Steve Spurrier and Buddy Martin (Blue Rider, $28, 9780399574665) is the memoir of a college football coach.

The Darkest Secret: A Novel by Alex Marwood (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143110514).

The English Teacher: A Novel by Yiftach Reicher Atir, translated by Philip Simpson (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143129189).

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, based on the novel by Liz Jensen, opens September 2. Jamie Dornan stars as a psychologist trying to communicate with a boy trapped in a coma. A movie tie-in (Bloomsbury, $16, 9781632866219) is available August 30.

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:

Carousel Court: A Novel by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476791272).  "Carousel Court begins with the decline of a marriage as members of the Maguire family find themselves in the suburbs of Los Angeles, struggling to hold onto their last vestiges of power to control what feels like the free fall of their lives. Examining the paradox of both our over-connected and disconnected world, McGinniss' clear voice is beautifully balanced with the dark desperation he reveals as the all-too-common silent partner of our lives. This is a powerful book that should not be missed!" --Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

Arrowood: A Novel by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau, $27, 9780812996395). "When her father dies, Arden inherits Arrowood, her childhood home. The little town of Keokuk, Iowa, has seen more prosperous days, as has Arrowood, which has stood vacant for years. Arden decides to move back to Keokuk and re-establish the search for her two-year-old twin siblings who disappeared 20 years earlier under her watch. With the help of Ben, her childhood friend and a longtime resident of Keokuk, Arden re-examines the disappearance, hoping to not only find the twins, but also make peace with her own deep-rooted secrets." --Brenda Jordan, Murder By the Book, Houston, Tex.

The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra (Hogarth, $16, 9780770436452). "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is one of my favorite novels of the last several years, and now Marra follows that up with a dazzling set of linked stories set in Russia, Chechnya, and Siberia over a period of time spanning from the Russian Revolution to the modern day and beyond. As with his debut novel, what I love are the characters that he makes readers care so deeply about, as well as the fact that I constantly found myself wanting to know more about their lives and the history of their countries. Get on the Marra train now because one thing is certain: He is one of our brightest young talents writing today." --Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

For Ages 4 to 8
Rules of the House by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matt Meyers (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781423185161). "Every family has one: a rule follower. They ruin all the fun. They tell Mom and Dad. They deserve to be pinched. Jenny and her rule-following brother, Ian, go for a holiday to the house in the woods where the bear rug watches every move and the evil wood stove's red eyes glow in the dark. When Jenny breaks ALL the house rules, Ian must save her... by breaking a rule!" --Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, Colo.

For Ages 9 to 12: Revisit & Rediscover
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher (Aladdin, $7.99, 9780689830518). Originally published in 1998. "Marjan has the gift of remembering and telling stories. Shahrazad has a similar gift and has saved her own life and the lives of other young women by telling her stories to the Sultan every night. When Shahrazad runs out of tales, she calls upon Marjan to help her secretly gather more. Marjan's quiet life quickly becomes one of adventure and danger. This rich and exciting retelling of One Thousand and One Nights will captivate older middle-grade readers and teach them the power of story." --Holly Weinkauf, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn.

For Teen Readers
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062380852). "August and Kate live in a broken world where violence breeds actual monsters. Kate wants to embrace her monstrous side, while August would do anything to be human. This Savage Song takes the darkness of the world around us and gives it form. Schwab has gifted readers with a fascinating--if gory--urban fantasy world, a pair of unforgettable protagonists, and a question that will linger long in the minds of readers: What does it mean to be inhuman in a world where humans do such monstrous things?" --Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, N.Y.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: American Ulysses

American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by Ronald C. White (Random House, $35 hardcover, 864p., 9781400069026, October 4, 2016)

American Ulysses opens with two epigraphs. The first is from Frederick Douglass: "In him the negro found a protector, the Indian a friend, a vanquished foe a brother, an imperiled nation a savior." The second quotes Theodore Roosevelt: "Mightiest among the mighty dead loom the three great figures of Washington, Lincoln, and Grant."

Ulysses S. Grant's reputation nosedived in the 20th century, but a new generation has begun to rehabilitate his legacy. Bestselling author and historian Ronald C. White (A. Lincoln) combines exemplary scholarship and storytelling in this monumental and well-illustrated re-evaluation of an extraordinary character, life and career.

White begins with the strong influence on Grant of the Puritan "priority of the community over the individual." His father was a slavery opponent and successful tanner; his mother was kind, pious and reserved. Grant was a sensitive, introverted child, patient, hardworking, studious and athletic. He loved horses and became known for his horse training and daredevil riding. His father sent him to West Point, where a teacher wrote of him: "Grant's mental machine is of the powerful low-pressure class, which condenses its own steam and consumes its own smoke; and which pushes steadily forward and drives all obstacles before it." He hoped to teach mathematics, but ended up in the Mexican-American War, where he became default commander of a company mid-battle and won his first victory. He was promoted to captain, but after several failed business ventures and years of separation from his beloved wife, Julia, and their children, Grant fell into depression and drinking. He resigned his commission and went home broke to fail again as a farmer. The outbreak of the Civil War made him re-enlist as a clerk, and he rose to become one of the greatest generals in U.S. history. After the war, he reluctantly accepted an appointment as Secretary of War and then was "forced into" running for president, refusing to campaign because "he believed it unseemly to talk about himself."

Through detailed objective evidence, White explores how Grant's character laid the foundation for both his achievements and his humiliations. White tells of the "extraordinary long-running drama" between Grant and his equally skilled adversary Robert E. Lee, his occasionally successful attempts to champion African Americans, Indians and Jews, and his adventurous world travels with his wife. Not long after Grant's fatal cancer diagnosis, Mark Twain helped save his finances with a contract for his memoirs, whose literary quality is still admired and imitated. White brilliantly conveys the life of a national hero who tried to set his country on a more humane and inclusive path before it was ready. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: This is a monumental and inspiring biography of the often misunderstood and underappreciated general and president Ulysses S. Grant.

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