Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Tender Beasts by Liselle Sambury

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Doubleday Books: The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

Editors' Note

Shelf Awareness Editorial Help Wanted

Shelf Awareness is looking for a freelancer, approximately 20-25 hours a week, flexible schedule, to help edit adult and children's book reviews, and other copy as needed, working with several editors. This person will serve occasionally as backup and support for various Shelf editors.

Ideal candidate is in the Eastern time zone, has a journalism background, is familiar with book publishing and is a thorough, quick, accurate editor, with strong copy editing skills.

Please send résumé and links to; please use the subject line "editorial help."

Holiday House: The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith by Tom Llewellyn; The Selkie's Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan

Quotation of the Day

'Reading Is a Collective Experience'

"I think 'live' is very, very important; being there is different and it's obvious in the apparently exponential and unstoppable rise of book festivals this is going to go on happening. Meeting the author has become an art form of its own. It's especially true of children's books; there's been an incredible change in the way children read.

"It seems to me nowadays that--and I think it has come from Harry Potter--reading is a collective experience. No child wants to be reading a book that nobody else is reading, they all want to be reading the same book as everybody else. And we know that from bestseller statistics identifying that.... Gone are the days when we see reading as a lonely, solitary activity, or we see children as readers being 'bookworms' and, in some ways, socially separate."

--Julia Eccleshare, children's director for the Hay Festival, speaking at the Bookseller's Children's Conference in London yesterday

Amistad Press: The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin


Adelina Film & Art Pop-Up Opening in Portland, Ore.

Adelina Film & Art Bookstore, a new pop-up bookshop in downtown Portland, Ore., will open next month in Boys Fort, 906 SW Morrison, focusing on titles about art, photography, architecture, dance and film. The shop is owned by the books and culture magazine Propeller Quarterly and its publishing imprint, Propeller Books. Propeller Books publishes one book a year; this fall's title is The Horse Latitudes by Matthew Robinson.

"Inspired by the spirit of post-war Italian cinema, the New Hollywood era of the late 1960s/early 1970s, and the artistic potentials of cinema in general," the store will be in a 200-square-foot space in a much larger gift shop and will stock about 600 titles when it opens. It'll run through the new year, and as Adelina's Rachel Greben put it, "if public response is favorable, we plan to move forward in 2017."

The Book Spot in Texas Closes

The Book Spot, Round Rock, Texas, near Austin, closed September 25. In May, the bookstore announced it was "fighting to stay open," but faced several challenges including a divorce and landlord issues. A Facebook post on August 18 noted: "I know it's been a while, a long, sad, depressing while, but we might just have some rays of sunshine coming... maybe... soon, I hope... retune in!" But 11 days later, a 30-day going-out-of-business sale was announced.

Round the Rock visited the Book Spot during the sale and wrote: "We are very sad to see this wonderful local business, which has been such a big supporter of so many organizations in our community, shut down. But let's really help them close down in style, shall we?"

Toronto, Vancouver to Get Amazon Prime Same-Day Delivery

Amazon will soon offer same-day delivery to its Prime customers in Toronto and Vancouver on orders of more than C$25 (about US$19), CBC News reported, noting that although the service has been available in the U.S., the online retailer "is rolling it out in Canada for the first time ahead of the busy holiday shopping season."

Same-day delivery will be available for non-Prime customers as well for $11.99 per order (or $1.99 per pound for heavy items). Not everything Amazon sells is eligible for same-day delivery. Amazon said one million items are included in the Toronto-area market and 700,000 items for customers near Vancouver.

Europa's Reynolds Wins CLMP Literary Publishing Award

Michael Reynolds

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses will honor Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief of Europa Editions, with this year's Golden Colophon Award for Superlative Achievement & Leadership in Independent Literary Publishing. The award will be presented to Reynolds by Sarah McNally of McNally Jackson Books, New York City, at CLMP's annual gala on November 2.

Reynolds commented: "The recipient of each year's award is decided by our peers in the industry, and, needless to say, I am humbled and honored to be this year's recipient."

Also at the gala, Saeed Jones, a poet and writer for BuzzFeed, will receive CLMP's Energizer Award for Exceptional Acts of Literary Citizenship, which will be presented by BuzzFeed books editor Isaac Fitzgerald.

Obituary Notes: Bernard Bergonzi; Pierre Renaud

British poet and critic Bernard Bergonzi, whose books "shed new light on the English writing of the First World War and the 1930s, and on developments in criticism since the '60s, which he largely disliked," died September 20, the Guardian reported. He was 87. Monographs on H.G. Wells, T.S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Arnold and Graham Greene "showed Bergonzi at his sensible and lucid best," the Guardian noted, adding that although he was "principally known as a critic, it was as a poet that Bergonzi began to find a place in the English literary scene in the early '50s."

In a tribute describing Bergonzi as "one of my oldest friends," author David Lodge wrote: "In his prime he was an imposing figure, confident, witty and urbane, a man of letters in a traditional mold, and this was a personal triumph over a disadvantaged childhood, including two years in hospital that seriously retarded his education. The long row of his books on my shelves display an impressively wide knowledge of modern literature and culture, communicated in effortlessly readable prose at a time when academic criticism became increasingly heavy with jargon. Bernard deplored the impact on his profession of structuralism and poststructuralism, in which I found some ideas of value, but unlike many hostile commentators he read the work of their proponents carefully and described it fairly. He was a gentleman of letters."


Pierre Renaud, founding president of Renaud-Bray bookstores, died yesterday, CBC News reported. He was 77. Renaud opened his first bookstore on Côte-des-Neiges Road in Montreal with Edmond Bray in 1965. In a statement, the company said: "Without the exceptional contribution and dedication of this man to his work for over half a century, Quebec's book industry would not be the same today."

The Montreal Gazette noted that Renaud "wanted to create a shop that offered books, music, magazines and stationery, with longer hours and open seven days a week." Renaud-Bray purchased the Archambault stores from Québecor in 2015. Renaud's son, Blaise Renaud, has been Renaud-Bray's president since 2011.


Image of the Day: Let's Play Celebrates New Store

Let's Play Books in Emmaus, Pa, celebrated its grand re-opening with four days of events. The new store, located two blocks from the old space, is nearly four times the size, with rooms for adult books, kids, middle grade and YA, plus a community room and work and receiving areas. According to owner Kirsten Hess, "Hundreds of people attended over the weekend, making it the most successful four days ever." Pictured: bookseller Cathryn Seibert, author/illustrator Jennifer Hansen Rolli, Hess.

Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: powerHouse Arena

In anticipation of Monday night's presidential debate, Brooklyn's powerhouse Arena tweeted a photo of its sidewalk chalkboard:
"from now until we close, get 20% off all hillary & trump books! everything you need to know before the debate! #debatenight #Debates2016."

Courtney Greenhalgh Founds dandelion pr

Courtney Greenhalgh, who was most recently at Time Inc. Books, has started her own PR company, dandelion pr. She can be reached at or through her website. She previously worked at Workman, Crown, HarperCollins and Free Press.

Book Trailer of the Day: Death's End

Death's End (Tor) by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu, is the final volume in the Three-Body trilogy; the first book, The Three-Body Problem, won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ayesha Curry on the Real

Steve Harvey Show: Taraji P. Henson, co-author of Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501125997).

The Real: Ayesha Curry, author of The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316316330).

Movies: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise; Silence

A trailer has been released for the documentary film Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, the the film "celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words in her voice with rare and intimate archival photographs, home movies and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining civil rights moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her swinging soirees with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, we are given special access to interviews with Dr. Angelou whose indelible charm and quick wit make it easy to love her," Deadline wrote.

The film, which features interviews with prominent figures including Oprah Winfrey, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton, hits theaters October 14.


Paramount will give a limited run on December 23 to Martin Scorsese's Silence, adapted from the 1966 novel by Shusaku Endo, in time for awards season consideration, with a wide expansion in January. Silence "has been one of Scorsese's dream projects during his career with the director expressing interest in a feature adaptation... since 1991," Deadline reported.

The film stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Ciaran Hinds, Tadanobu Asano, Issey Ogata, Yosuke Kubozuka and Yoshi Oida. Scorsese "worked closely with Fabrica de Cine's Gaston Pavlovich on the making of the film, and wrote the screenplay with Gangs of New York's Jay Cocks," Deadline wrote.

Books & Authors

Awards: Pak Kyong-ni Literature

Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiongo received the ₩100 million (about $90,450) Pak Kyong-ni Literature Award, which honors the literary spirit and achievements of the late novelist Pak Kyong-ni (1926-2008), author of the epic novel Toji. The Dong-a Ilbo noted that the prize was opened to foreign writers in 2012 "to become Korea's first international literary award."

"Ngugi Wa Thiongo is a writer who distinctively reveals different angles of the lives of people undergoing the process of globalization," the award review committee said. "He is considered to be a writer who complies with the purpose of the Pak Kyong-ni Literature Award.... The writer deeply and fiercely examined and agonized over situations where various boundaries including the West and the Non-West, and modernity and pre-modernity overlap, while dealing with the independence war of Kenya, which became a British colony, and social issues after its independence."

Reading with... Emma Donoghue

photo: Nina Subin

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue now lives in Canada. She writes fiction (short and long, historical and contemporary) and screenplays (Oscar-nominated for Room), as well as drama. The Wonder, set in Ireland in the 1850s, is her ninth novel (Little, Brown, September 20, 2016).

On your nightstand now:

Julian Barnes's The Noise of Time. Barnes is one of those reliably brilliant and surprising authors I'll buy in hardback because whatever he's come up with--set now or in the past, in England or France or (as this time) Soviet Russia--it'll be worth reading.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. A babysitter read them to me when I was very small, and I'm reading them to my kids (8 and 12) for the second time, though we're going to skip The Last Battle this time because when my daughter was five, it sent her into convulsions of horror to realize (spoiler alert!) that all the characters had been dead (without knowing it) since the first page.

Your top five authors:

Impossible. Sorry, it's like choosing my top five friends; the others would never forgive me.

Book you've faked reading:

I convinced myself that I'd read War and Peace in my teens, but when I went back to "reread it" in my 30s, I realized I'd only got a few chapters in; I never have managed to get past the Freemasonry section.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life. Gruelling, yes, excessive, but I don't think I'll ever forget this story of friendship and the long shadow of a terrible childhood.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I never would: a beautiful cover's a great bonus, but I'm all about the words, however I access them (e-book, paper, audio...).

Book you hid from your parents:

Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, edited by Nancy Manahan and Rosemary Keefer Curb. In fact, as a teenager, I hid any books with lesbian in the title.

Book that changed your life:

Jeanette Winterson's The Passion managed to wake me up to the fact that I could write about same-sex relationships in a literary rather than a lowbrow way; I didn't have to choose.

Favorite line from a book:

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." Opening line from Daphne du Maurier's memorably spooky Rebecca.

Five books you'll never part with:

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
The Complete Fairy Tales of Brothers Grimm
The Complete Works of Shakespeare
Red Shift by Alan Garner
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Ann Patchett's The Magician's Assistant.

It's No Trick... Some Halloween Treats

Shelf Awareness sorted through piles of mostly orange-and-black children's books to find the most delicious Halloween-time offerings of 2016.

Little Blue Truck's Halloween by Alice Schertle, illus. by Jill McElmurry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $12.99, board book, 9780544772533, 16p., ages 2-4, July 5, 2016)
Little Blue Truck fans will rejoice to see the beeping, headlight-eyed vehicle back in action, this time in a sturdy lift-the-flap board book that introduces the idea of Halloween costumes to the very youngest readers. Purple-hatted Toad is driving Little Blue to a Halloween party when they see a duck disguised as a ballerina: "Who's that in a tutu/ striking a pose/ up on the tiniest/ tips of her toes?" Lift the flap and the disguise is revealed: " 'Quack!' says the duck. 'It's me! It's me!' " All the costumed animals they encounter hop aboard the truck (even the cow) until everyone's at the party... except... where did Little Blue go? "Beep! Beep! Boo!"

Whoops! by Suzi Moore, illus. by Russell Ayto (Templar/Candlewick, $16.99, hardcover, 9780763681807, 32p., ages 3-7, February 9, 2016)
In the rhyming British import Whoops!--with its clean design and stylized illustrations--a wise old owl suggests that a meow-less cat, woof-less dog and squeak-less mouse visit a little old lady he knows, so she can cast a "fixing spell" on them in her "tumbledown house": "The wind blew in,/ and the rain came down./ Then the tumbledown house/ turned around and around." (And, whoops is right. The cat clucks, the dog quacks and the mouse says Cock-a-doodle-doo!) It never quite works out as anyone would hope. Plenty of drama, repetition, and exciting sound effects make this a terrific read-aloud for any time of year.

Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke (First Second/Roaring Brook/Macmillan, $17.99, hardcover, 9781626720817, 40p., ages 4-8, June 7, 2016)
It's a typical morning for Goblin. He wakes up in the dungeon, feeds the rats and gnaws on an old boot for breakfast. He decides to go visit his best friend Skeleton in the Treasure Room. Just as he's trying on an old golden crown, the dungeon is stormed by adventurers who steal everything, including Skeleton. Donning his Goblin King crown, tiny Goblin walks out into "the wide world" to find his friend. His neighbor, the troll, warns him to be careful out there because "Nobody likes a goblin." In this wonderfully illustrated fairy tale, Goblin marches through the land undeterred by unfriendly elves and humans until he bravely saves his best friend and makes some new ones while he's at it.

Samira and the Skeletons by Camilla Kuhn (Eerdmans, $16, hardcover, 9780802854636, 34p., ages 5-8, March 1, 2016)
It's always fun to remind people that we all have skeletons inside us. But Samira isn't handling the teacher's news well: " 'No way!' Samira shouts. 'I do NOT! And neither does Frida!' " Kuhn cleverly shows how Samira now perceives her classmates: creepy little skeletons in T-shirts with backpacks. When Samira tells her mother she wants to get rid of her skeleton and be as boneless as an octopus, her mom plays along, to a point. The real punch line comes when the teacher's lesson plan turns to muscles: "Exactly like a steak." This charmingly illustrated Norwegian import offers a quirky, comical perspective on basic anatomy.

Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat by Nick Bruel (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook/Macmillan, $16.99, hardcover, 9781596439788, 32p., ages 5-8, August 9, 2016)
Before Bad Kitty was a scaredy-cat, she was (from A to Z) angry, brave, clumsy... all the way to exasperated, youthful and zestful. She becomes a scaredy-cat when the first Halloween trick-or-treaters, "horrible and frightening creatures," ring the doorbell. From A to Z, they are an awful alien, a bizarre Bigfoot, a creepy clown... all the way to an extremely exotic X-ray creature, a yucky Yeti and a zany zombie. But when Bad Kitty finds out treats are involved, from apples to zoo animal crackers, she toughens up and goes on the attack, gnawing on the goblin and mauling the mummy. Will she ever be scaredy-cat again?

Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, from Arachnids to Zombies by Julie Winterbottom, illus. by Stefano Tambellini (Workman, $9.95, paperback, 9780761183792, 224p., ages 8-12, August 23, 2016)
"Being frightened, but knowing that you are not truly in danger, can feel deliciously good," says the introduction to Frightlopedia, an alphabetized encyclopedia that embraces potentially unsettling subjects like arachnids, catacombs, death, ghosts, haunted houses, monsters, mummies, nepenthes (the flesh-eating plant), Transylvania, vampire bats, werewolves, witches and zombies. Facts, myths and activity ideas (how to make fake blood!) bubble and pop in this lively, illustrated guide that even teaches readers how to say "Boo!" in 15 languages. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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