Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 15, 2016

Aladdin Paperbacks: The Islanders by Mary Alice Monroe and Angela May

Tordotcom: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

Mandala Publishing: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury and Insight Editions

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview: Join us for a virtual panel featuring your favorite authors and their editors!

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson

Liveright Publishing Corporation: Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Zest Books: When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin, Robert Garofalo, Zach Stafford, and Christina Garofalo


ABA Introduces Indie Next List E-Newsletter

The American Booksellers Association's Indie Next List newsletter is going digital.

Powered by Shelf Awareness, the monthly newsletter, which will still have a printed version, will be available this fall free to ABA member stores to offer to their customers via e-mail. As Bookselling This Week noted, the e-newsletter will feature all of the month's Indie Next List titles with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which will be branded with each store's logo, includes an interview (from BTW) with the author of that month's number-one title. (Click here to see an example of September's newsletter.)

The Indie Next List monthly e-newsletter will arrive in customers' inboxes on the first Thursday of every month. Participation in the first year is limited to the first 150 qualified stores to sign up. Participating stores retain ownership of their mailing lists, and customers will not be added to other lists. Replies to the e-mail go to the sending store's e-mail address.

"The American Booksellers Association is delighted to be working with our friends at Shelf Awareness to make this new Indie Next List e-newsletter available to our members," said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. "Their knowledge and experience successfully disseminating quality e-mail newsletters to consumers is well established, and we're hopeful this new service will focus additional attention on each month's Indie Next List selections while driving increased traffic to store websites and growing sales."

Teicher added that the ABA and Shelf Awareness "share a mutual objective--that is, to help stores take maximum advantage of new tools to sell more books. That's what the INL e-newsletter is all about, and we look forward to continuing and growing our partnership with Shelf."

Shelf Awareness publisher Jenn Risko said, "We are honored that our friends and colleagues at the ABA have entrusted the Shelf to provide this service for their member stores. As we've learned from our Shelf Awareness for Readers platform, e-newsletters, when done well, can help our indies sell a lot of books. Adding a customized e-newsletter to the incomparable Indie Next program is a perfect match. It will deliver indies' picks directly to the best book buyers in the land."

The 15 bookstores that participated in a test of the Indie Next List e-newsletter are enthusiastic--and all will continue to send the newsletter to customers. "We had several customers stop by the store just to tell us how much they enjoyed receiving the newsletter, and to see some of the books," said Kenny Brechner of Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, Maine. "It had clearly introduced them to the idea of a handselling community of independent booksellers. The newsletter strongly succeeded in its twin missions of helping to establish the Indie Next List brand, and of selling books."

Kelly Justice, owner of the Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., said, "In spite of my initial skepticism about the Indie Next List e-newsletter, I have not only received orders from these mailings, I have received thank-yous from grateful customers. I think that the quality of the Indie Next List presentation is so high that it is incredibly enjoyable to view. The newsletter looks so good, in fact, that I was inspired to overhaul all of my [store's] e-mail communications and make things look better and the content more valuable."

"Having tested the new electronic version of the Indie Next newsletter for three months, we consider it to be a success," said Jon Purves of Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. "The monthly e-mails are well presented and incorporate our store's branding, offering a new avenue to direct customers to our retail website and highlight frontlist titles."

Interested bookstores can sign up on or stop by the ABA booth at the fall booksellers association shows or e-mail ABA senior program officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger.

Harper: The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America by Matthew Pearl

Lena Dunham Is This Year's Indies First Spokesperson

photo: HBO

Lena Dunham, creator and star of the HBO series Girls and author of Not That Kind of Girl, is this year's official Indies First spokesperson, the American Booksellers Association announced yesterday. In an open letter posted on, Dunham said she'll be "emerging from under my comforter to hit the floor of Book Soup in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 26," and encouraged both readers and fellow authors to support their local independent bookstores on that day.

"I wouldn't be who I am without independent bookstores," wrote Dunham. "It might seem bizarre to make a commercial enterprise a cornerstone of your identity, so let me explain. Indie bookstores are like college and a nightclub combined--places for learning, community-building, and falling in love with strangers. Every time I go to McNally Jackson in NYC, I'm a heartbeat away from proposing marriage to at least eight different shoppers, convinced that a shared love of Diana Athill and an endless supply of buttered scones from the store's cafe are all we’ll need for a beautiful life together." She called indies "at once cozy and mysterious, comforting and strange."

This year marks the fourth annual Indies First, which was originally proposed by author Sherman Alexie in 2013, and the 11th annual Small Business Saturday.

Bronzeville Books: Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

Second Amazon Books Opens, in San Diego

The second Amazon Books location, in San Diego, Calif., which opened last week "with little fanfare," is, at 3,500 square feet, smaller than the 5,500-square-foot Seattle store that opened last November, but is "similar in style and function," according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Located in the Westfield UTC mall in University City, the new Amazon Books also has a brick exterior wall and "an interior crafted not only to sell a curated selection of books, but also to heavily promote Amazon's Prime subscription service and its electronic devices." Those devices take up about a quarter of the store space. The store also stocks fewer books than the Seattle store, about 3,500 compared to 5,000.

Speaking with the Union-Tribune, Miro Copic, marketing professor at San Diego State University, described the books in the store as a vehicle to drive consumers deeper into the Amazon system. "Books, he said, are small but browsable, don't have a shelf-life and, more importantly, can act as conversation starters with staffers, who can then teach customers about the benefits of Prime membership."

The paper noted that "sales associates' most frequent refrain--the question: 'Do you have the Amazon app on your phone?'--is a constant reminder that something larger is at play. Shoppers are not only trained on how to download the Amazon app and scan books to check prices, but are also encouraged to pay with their Amazon account, via smartphone, at checkout." They're also reminded repeatedly that Prime customers often pay less on a range of products.

Amazon plans to open two more Amazon Books in the near future, near Portland, Ore., and in Chicago, Ill.

KidsBuzz for the Week of 04.19.21

B&N Declares Quarterly Dividend of 15 Cents a Share

Barnes & Noble has declared a quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share, payable on October 28 to stockholders of record at the close of the day October 7. The move maintains B&N's dividend of 60 cents a year, which, at yesterday's closing price of $10.80 a share, represents a yield of 5.5%.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Obituary Note: John R. Coleman

John R. Coleman, "a labor economist who as president of Haverford College in Pennsylvania became a national folk hero when, on sabbatical leave, he took a series of low-wage jobs and wrote about the experience" in his 1974 book Blue-Collar Journal: A College President's Sabbatical, died September 6, the New York Times reported. He was 95.

Blue-Collar Journal was made into a television movie, The Secret Life of John Chapman, and broadcast on CBS in 1976. Coleman's other books include Labor Problems: Cases and Readings (with George P. Shultz), Goals and Strategy in Collective Bargaining (with Frederick H. Harbison), The Changing American Economy and Comparative Economic Systems: An Inquiry Approach.

University of Minnesota Press: Yang Warriors by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Billy Thao

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Starless Crown
by James Rollins

GLOW: Tor Books: The Starless Crown by James RollinsJames Rollins, known for his international thrillers, returns to fantasy in The Starless Crown, the lush and captivating first book in a planned series that is already garnering early-reader comparisons to J.R.R. Tolkien. In a realm of secret societies, mystic arts, epic beasts and nations on the verge of war, a young woman's apocalyptic premonition sends her and an unlikely band of companions on a dangerous journey to save the world. "[It has] action and suspense, inventive and deeply informed use of science and history, all driven by masterful plotting and a rich cast of characters drawn together in the face of doom," says Will Hinton, executive editor at Tor Books. "It feels original and classic at the same time, a thriller merged with an epic fantasy." Rollins has created an enthralling and complex new world that readers will delight in exploring. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor

(Tor Books, $27.99 hardcover, 9781250816771, January 4, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Joyce Meskis Boosts Fellow Booster

Joyce Meskis, co-owner of the Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo., turned out to support her old friend and fellow Downtown Denver booster Jonathan F.P. Rose at Monday's publication event for his new book, The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life (HarperWave). More than 25 years ago, the two worked together on the city center's revitalization.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Blush by Jamie Brenner

Congrats to Rising Star Wintaye Gebru of Left Bank Books

Wintaye Gebru

Congratulations to Wintaye Gebru, general manager of Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., who was one of five finalists of the 2016 Star Watch program, organized by the Frankfurt Book Fair and PW. Gebru was honored for making her store "a part of the conversation about the police shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Mo."

Red Emma's: Best Bookstore in Baltimore

In its 2016 Best of Baltimore series, City Paper names Red Emma's Best Bookstore. The paper's commentary, in its entirety:

If woke was a place, it would probably be Red Emma's. Not only is the combination bookstore and coffeehouse packed with plenty of books and zines to help open your mind--the staff schedules so many author talks, poetry readings, and political discussions that we could probably dedicate a whole section of our calendar just to their stuff. The store supports independent, noncorporate book publishers and distributors--a welcome relief in a world of Barnes & Nobles. Plus, the worker cooperative has spoken out in favor of raising the minimum wage. "We believe that working people deserve work at a living wage with dignity," worker-owners John Duda, Ava Pipitone, and Cullen Nawalkowsky wrote in a Baltimore Sun op-ed in July.

Personnel Changes at Third Place Books, S&S Children's

Sam Kaas has joined Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash., where he will be offsite events manager for all three stores. For most of his career he has been a bookseller, most recently as events coordinator at Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.


KeriLee Horan has been promoted to marketing manager at Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. She was previously associate marketing manager.

Book Trailers of the Day: Bedtime for Batman and Farmers Market

Bedtime for Batman by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Ethen Beavers (Capstone Young Readers), a book that will be featured this Saturday at Barnes & Noble during Batman Day.


Farmers Market Create-and-Play Activity Book by Deanna F. Cook (Storey Publishing), a book by the author of Cooking Class.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Patrick Phillips on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Patrick Phillips, author of Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (Norton, $26.95, 9780393293012).


CNN's New Day: Dave Barry, author of Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (Putnam, $27, 9781101982600).

Fox's Hollywood Live: Naya Rivera, author of Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up (TarcherPerigee, $24, 9780399184987).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Brooklyn Book Festival

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, September 17
1:30 p.m. An interview with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. (Re-airs Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 11:15 p.m.)

6:45 p.m. Hal S. Scott, author of Connectedness and Contagion: Protecting the Financial System from Panics (The MIT Press, $38, 9780262034371). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

8:45 p.m. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, author of My Own Words (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501145247). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:45 a.m.)

10 p.m. Mark Thompson, author of Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250059574). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

11 p.m. Alan Taylor, author of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (Norton, $37.50, 9780393082814). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

Sunday, September 18
10 a.m. Live coverage of the 2016 Brooklyn Book Festival in New York City. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: NBA Nonfiction Longlist; Dayton Literary Peace Finalists

The National Book Foundation is unveiling longlists for the 2016 National Book Awards this week, with a category released each day. Finalists will be announced on October 13, and winners named November 16. This year's longlisted titles in the nonfiction category are:

America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew J. Bacevich (Random House)
The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott (Knopf)
Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen (Penguin)
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Russell Hochschild (The New Press)
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (Nation Books)
Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Harvard University Press)
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil (Crown)
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition by Manisha Sinha (Yale University Press)
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson (Pantheon)


The 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists are:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman
Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Youngblood by Matt Gallagher

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Find Me Unafraid by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner
Nagasaki by Susan Southard
Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America by Wil Haygood
The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew
The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell

Winners will be announced on October 11.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, September 20:

Home by Harlan Coben (Dutton, $28, 9780525955108) takes place a decade after two boys are kidnapped, when only one of them returns home.

I Am Duran: My Autobiography by Roberto Duran (Blue Rider, $26, 9780735213128) is the autobiography of the boxer.

Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness by Craig Nelson (Scribner, $32, 9781451660494) is a new history of the attack, published in time for its 75th anniversary.

This Is Me by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell (Workman, $16.95, 9780761180111) is a picture book about immigration to the United States.

The Kept Woman: A Novel by Karin Slaughter (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062430212) is the latest mystery with Will Trent.

The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel by Eimear McBride (Hogarth, $26, 9781101903483) follows a love affair between a young Irish drama student and an older actor in London.

Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success by Jessica Tracy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544273177) explores the positive power of pride.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062385437) is a dark YA fantasy series debut about three sisters who fight to the death to become queen.

The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam by Jerry Brotton (Viking, $30, 9780525428824) looks at the diplomatic dealings between Elizabeth I and the Ottomans.

The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football by S.C. Gwynne (Scribner, $27, 9781501116193) chronicles the creation of a new offensive football play.

Queen of Katwe, based on The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion by Tim Crothers, opens September 23. A movie tie-in (Scribner, $16, 9781501127182) is available.

The Dressmaker, based on the novel by Rosalie Ham, opens September 23. Kate Winslet stars as a stylish seamstress who returns to her rural hometown in the 1950s. A movie tie-in (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143129066) is available.

Goat, based on the memoir by Brad Land about brutal fraternity hazing, opens September 23. A movie tie-in edition (Random House, $16, 9780399591426) is available.

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 Gentleman: A Novel by Forrest Leo (Penguin Press, $26, 9780399562631). "Fast-paced, funny, and extremely enjoyable, The Gentleman has fantastic elements and intriguing characters tied together with smart dialogue and timing reminiscent of a Baz Luhrman film. Badly behaved Victorian ladies, indolent poets, an exasperated editor, intrepid British adventurers, steampunk inventors, omniscient butlers, a genteel Devil, and a number of cunning plans combine to make this debut novel exciting and amusing." --Jennifer Richter, Inkwood Books, Haddonfield, N.J.

A House Without Windows: A Novel by Nadia Hashimi (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062449689). "Hashimi sets her layered and suspenseful novel at the crossroads of tradition and modernity in present-day Afghanistan. Her nuanced and well-paced tale tells the story of Zeba, who is accused of murdering her husband. In the Chil Mahtab prison, where Zeba awaits her trial and sentencing, she comes to know a colorful cast of female inmates, many of whom are ordinary women who have been snared in various traps of family honor and have been cast away by their families and by society. This is a compassionately written and moving page-turner." --Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, Colo.

The Gates of Evangeline: A Novel by Hester Young (Putnam, $16, 9780425283172). "Charlie Cates recently lost her young son, and the job that she worked so hard for is probably going to be eliminated. When Charlie is offered a chance to write about the Deveau family and their child who went missing over 30 years ago, she jumps at the chance. What she hasn't told anybody is that she has been seeing visions of children in trouble and is currently experiencing one of a young boy in a rowboat in a Louisiana swamp who she suspects is the missing Deveau child. But what if she has it all wrong? In this excellent thriller, things are really not what they seem to be. A wonderful puzzle with a Southern Gothic feel, this is a definite must-read!" --Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Metamora, Ind.

For Ages 4 to 8: Revisit & Rediscover
King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (HMH, $7.99, 9780152054359). Originally published in 1985. "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub is one of those perfect picture books that is both a treat for the eye and fun to read aloud. King Bidgood enjoys his bath so much that he won't get out! Join him in the tub as the sun rises, for lunch midday, and for fishing and dancing as the sun goes down. Both the singsong text and the 'I Spy' type illustrations will delight as you read, read, read with King Bidgood in his bath." --Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.

For Ages 8 to 12: Revisit & Rediscover
The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Aladdin, $7.99, 9780689872426). Originally published in 2003. "Anand's middle-class life is just a memory. He now lives in a dilapidated shack in a dangerous Indian neighborhood, working for a cruel tea seller to help support his family. Anand's dreams of adventure seem impossible until a mysterious gentleman asks him to return a magical conch to its rightful home in a distant, secret valley. In this beautifully crafted coming-of-age tale, Anand is challenged to accept the best and the worst in himself, to recognize the consequences of his choices, and to make a decision that could change everything." --Kris Vreeland, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, Calif.

For Teen Readers: Revisit & Rediscover
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow, $7.99, 9780064410342). Originally published in 1986. "Being the first-born of three daughters and therefore unlucky, Sophie has resigned herself to the solitary life of a hat-maker in her family's shop. But when the evil Witch of the Waste curses her, Sophie must venture off by herself to break the spell--an especially dangerous prospect with the Wizard Howl, who is said to eat the hearts of young women as he wanders around the countryside in his walking castle. Fun and magical, Howl's Moving Castle will have readers cheering for everyone from scarecrows to fire demons." --Emily Somberg, Pegasus Books, Berkeley, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Tetris: The Games People Play

Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown (First Second, $19.99 paperback, 256p., 9781626723153, October 11, 2016)

Box Brown, author and illustrator of the graphic biography Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, turns his attention to the complicated history of one of the greatest video games ever made in Tetris: The Games People Play. Brown's cartoonish art style--distinctive in its eye-catching black-and-yellow color palette--allows him to break down into accessible pieces thorny topics such as game theory, the psychology of gaming, copyright law and the byzantine bureaucracy of the Soviet Union, Tetris's home country.

Brown starts with Alexey Pajitnov, a computer scientist at the Moscow Academy of Science. Pajitnov created Tetris in his spare time on an Elektronika 60, a now-ancient computer that lacked graphical capabilities. So Pajitnov used text characters to sketch out a primitive but essentially complete version of the game, passing it around to his colleagues on floppy discs.

Tetris became a viral phenomenon in the Soviet Union and, eventually, a global success based on its simple, yet timeless, gameplay. In explaining Tetris's appeal, Brown's choice of a visual medium is very handy. According to Brown, "Alexey had tapped into something in the brain. The nature of the gameplay causes the player's pre-frontal cortex to be stimulated constantly. People remained motivated to continue to play on and on." The game's addictiveness, in other words, is founded in neurochemistry: tasks create tension in the brain, tension that releases once the task is finished. Brown compares this elasticity to stretching a rubber band, and illustrates the concept with diverse examples, including an anecdote about wait staff in a 1960s Vienna pub.

Brown also goes back much further than Tetris's humble origin, exploring theories behind the development of gaming in early human history. He explains how the twin urges to compete and to play were merged by artists to create simple dice games and more sophisticated games, such as the ancient Egyptian board game Senet. Tetris: The Games People Play is not just an account of a single game; it's an exploration of gaming as a human phenomenon. Brown works hard to position gaming in the same realm as artistry, depicting creators as artists and Tetris as a timeless work of art.

Brown provides warm, humanistic sketches (in the literal and figurative sense) of the many, many players involved in the game's popularization. The Soviet Union's complicated relationship with Western commercial interests and the rivalry between Nintendo and Atari, titans of early video gaming, led to an all-out war over the rights to Tetris. Instead of getting mired in endless business dealings and dry legalese, however, Brown focuses on the various colliding personalities involved in the struggle. This is an ambitious work of history in graphic novel form. It approaches the world-conquering game as a dopamine delivery system, a lucrative product and, above all else, an artistic triumph. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books

Shelf Talker: Tetris: The Games People Play is a graphic history of one of the most popular video games of all time as well as a celebration of gaming as an artistic medium.

Deeper Understanding

Link on Graphic Novels and Comics

Michael Link, an independent bookseller for 15 years, first at Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., and now at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, Ky., is a graphic novel and comics fan--but, as he says, "I don't exclusively read them nor would I say that I primarily read them." But he has bought for the section at both stores, and "I have thought about the role of them in an independent bookstore and have done a number of panels on the subject as well."

Now he's going to write a regular column for Shelf Awareness with the aim of making "selling comics and graphic novels a little bit easier. I hope to answer questions from my fellow booksellers, to crowd source best practices, to interview creators and industry professionals, to share reviews, shelf talkers, staff picks, best practices and the like."

Booksellers are encouraged to write to Michael with questions. "I want to know what you are struggling with. Or, do you have best practices? Books you love? Staff picks that worked?"

His first contribution:

Distributed by Consortium, Nobrow and its children's imprint Flying Eye Books make beautiful titles, many of which are bookseller favorites. I love them and want to recommend two series that should work well in independent bookstores: the Hildafolk series and the Fantasy Sports series. (Nobrow's Geoff Lapid concurs.)

Sam Bosma's Fantasy Sports series is a solid title that wears its influences right below the skin. Combining elements of Tin-Tin and Asterix with magic, sports, adventure and slapstick, Fantasy Sports follows muscle-bound adventurer and tomb raider Mug and Wiz-Kid, his young wizard intern side-kick. The series is sort of like The Odd Couple meets Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the first volume, the pair must defeat an evil mummy in a basketball game after trying to rob his tomb. Volume Two finds them having to follow that up by trying to win a brutal game of volleyball against evil. This series many have been missed the first time around, but with volume two just having been released, it is worth taking a chance on them.

Many booksellers are either selling the Luke Pearson's Hildafolk series or at least saw the article recently in the New Yorker. This is a beautiful series of stories, very much in the vein of My Neighbor Totoro and Moomin, and should be standard at bookstores. With Netflix releasing season one of an animated Hilda series in early 2018 and the fifth volume, Hilda and the Stone Forest, being released this month, now would be a good time to face this series out, possibly with a "coming soon to Netflix" shelf talker. Nobrow has electronic copies of many of its titles on Edelweiss so you can try before you buy. Additionally, they were good enough to send me 50 copies of their Free Comic Book Day Hilda Issue to share with you! The issue includes sample sections from Hilda, Fantasy Sports and Akissi. E-mail me your address and I will drop one in the mail.

Fantasy Sports
Fantasy Sports, Volume 2: The Bandit of Barbel Bay
The Hildafolk series:
Hilda and the Troll
Hilda and the Midnight Giant
Hilda and the Bird Parade
Hilda and the Black Hound
Hilda and the Stone Forest

KidsBuzz: FSG BYR: The Adventure Is Now by Jess Redman
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