Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 17, 2016

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Editors' Note

Remembering Pearl Harbor

This coming December 7 is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, resulting in the U.S. entry into World War II. To mark the occasion, Shelf Awareness plans to run a roundup of both new and backlist titles on the attack in our November 21 issue. Publishers are invited to send information about such titles to us at Please use the subject line "Pearl Harbor books."

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White


Maine's Blue Hill Books for Sale

Saying "we're both in good health (knock on wood) and the store is healthy as well," Mariah Hughs and Nicholas Sichterman, who founded Blue Hill Books, Blue Hill, Maine, in 1986, have decided to retire and put the store up for sale.

Blue Hill Books is a 1,700-square-foot store on two levels in Blue Hill, the commercial center of the Blue Hill Peninsula, the peninsula just to the west of Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park in Downeast Maine. Hughs and Sichterman describe the area as "rich in natural beauty and in having a long tradition of attracting writers, artists, musicians and artisans of all kinds."

Blue Hill Books customers "have always driven the feel and personality of our store, and for over three decades those customers have remained interesting and supportive. Blue Hill's population ebbs and flows throughout the calendar and includes people from across the country and around the world."

For more information, contact Mariah Hughs and Nicholas Sichterman at P.O. Box 926, Blue Hill, Maine 04614 or via e-mail at

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

The Queens Bookshop Initiative Eyes Early 2017 Opening

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $70,000, three women from Queens, N.Y., are setting the foundation a new independent bookstore that will open in their New York City borough in winter 2017. Called the Queens Bookshop Initiative, the group consists of Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa and Holly Nikodem, three friends who met while working at the now-closed Barnes & Noble in Queens's Forest Hills neighborhood.

"When we found out that all the Barnes & Nobles were leaving our borough of Queens, we joined in a group chat to reminisce about our time working together," said Castillo, who has four years of bookselling and managerial experience, along with a B.A. in literature and publishing. "I proposed the idea that we all come together and open a bookstore."

Castillo, Noboa and Nikodem are planning to open a general-interest bookstore, and are looking at 1,200-1,800-square-foot storefronts in the Kew Gardens and Forest Hills neighborhoods. The inventory will consist predominantly of new books for children, teens and adults, while non-book items will include book-related merchandise like Obvious State prints and mugs, bookish totes, clothing, notebooks and more. They may also eventually offer some food or drink. Their plans for events include author readings and book signings, interactive storytimes, bookbinding classes and bookish speed dating, along with a podcast that they hope to tie in with author visits.

L.-r.: Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa, Holly Nikodem

"The biggest dream I have for our bookstore is for it to be a staple in its neighborhood," said Nikodem, who was a bookstore manager for two years and has 10 years of experience in retail management, along with a B.A. in print communication. "I want it to be the place that is so welcoming, energetic and unique that you have to bring your visiting, out-of-town friend to see it, because it's just so cool there."

At the moment, the business model is set up to account for one full-time employee with part-time help. Castillo will run the store full-time, with Nikodem and Noboa technically working part-time. The plan allows for an overlap of coverage during the work day, but for the most part the store will be manned individually, and once it becomes financially feasible, Nikodem and Noboa will join full time. There are no plans yet to divide roles in the bookstore; in the early stages, all three will help out however and whenever they can. Each member of the trio, however, does have her own literary specialty: Nikodem prefers all things science fiction, manga and graphic novels; Castillo's interests include classics, award-winners and literary adult and YA fiction; and Noboa is a self-described "YA book junkie."

"I hope that kids beg their parents to come to our bookstore for the excitement of story time. I hope that teenagers find themselves within the books on our shelves," said Noboa. She has previously worked at Books-A-Million, Borders and Barnes & Noble, and has degrees in education and business. "And I hope that adults wander through our store in the hopes that they find their next grand adventure."

As of January 1, 2016, Barnes & Noble had closed all of its Queens locations, leaving a borough of some 2.3 million people with only one general bookstore: the Astoria Bookshop. Castillo, Noboa and Nikodem's first step was to reach out to Lexi Beach and Connie Rourke, co-owners of Astoria Bookshop, for advice and to learn more about opening a bookstore. When Astoria Bookshop tweeted about their efforts, recalled Castillo, things "blew up from there."

"There are few things more important than access to books and, by extension, different points of view," commented Nikodem. "Opening a small business, specifically an independent bookstore, is definitely not a way to become rich. You need to 100% believe in what you're selling and why you're there."

The trio reached out to other indie booksellers in New York City, who immediately made them feel welcome, and then began to spread word of their plans throughout Queens. They launched their Kickstarter campaign on April 23, and by June 22 had raised $72,360 from 831 backers. According to Castillo, people from all over the world, not just New York City or nearby Long Island, donated to their Kickstarter, including backers from such far-flung places as Australia, Sweden and Thailand. At the moment, the trio is busy assembling various backer rewards, which include things from personalized bookmarks and their name on an in-store mural to the opportunity to sponsor a shelf or even host an event in store.

"I hope that at one point or another we get to meet all of the lovely people who backed our Kickstarter," said Castillo. "It's so encouraging to know that readers stick out for each other and that books are the driving force behind that."

Though they are still some months from opening a store of their own, Noboa, Nikodem and Castillo have already had a presence in the Queens community. Their first ever event celebrated Independent Bookstore Day, followed by celebrations for other holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day. For most of the summer they were vendors at the Long Island City Flea Market, and they've continued to stay active with several ongoing poetry series held throughout the borough and have opened pop-up shops in a few of their favorite coffee shops.

"It's not just about selling books and ending it there; it's about fostering a love for literature that wraps around your entire life," said Noboa. "That sort of relationship with literature can only be formed with a haven like a local bookstore within reach." --Alex Mutter

Litquake Honors Kathi Kamen Goldmark

This year Litquake--the two-week Bay Area festival that hosts book-related events in varied venues, including bars, bookstores and laundromats--extended its annual Barbary Coast Awards to nine categories, including "Bookstore Hero" and the "Kathi Kamen Goldmark Award for Community Impact."

Before last week's awards ceremony in the recently renovated Herbst Theatre, Litquake co-founder Jane Ganahl said the organization had wanted to honor Goldmark, the legendary literary escort, author, musician and cheerleader for all creative pursuits, because she was so supportive of the festival from its inception in 1999 through her death in 2012.

(l.-r.) Michael Krasny, Jane Ganahl and Paul Yamazaki at a pre-awards reception.

Sam Barry walked on stage to present the award playing harmonica along with the Patrick Wolf Quartet because, as he said, "he couldn't give an award named for Kathi Kamen Goldmark without a little music." Barry listed his late wife's many accomplishments, which included two decades working as a literary escort, two novels and several nonfiction books, including one the couple wrote together. But he said he did not have a word for her "most unique talent": the ability to walk into any setting and get people to do things they never thought they would do, like the creation of the Rock Bottom Remainders, which put bestselling authors on stage in a band that has raised millions for charity.

Barry then presented the award to Michael Krasny (Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What it All Means), host of the daily two-hour talk show Forum that airs on KQED and is syndicated internationally. Krasny, who knew Goldmark throughout his career in radio, said, "Kathi was a beauty with a vivacious spirit and I got to tell her that before she died," he said. "And she will be remembered for the rest of my life."

Elaine Katzenberger, executive director and publisher at City Lights, presented the "Bookstore Hero" award to her colleague Paul Yamazaki, the longtime head buyer at the San Francisco store. "If you've walked into City Lights Books in the last 30 years," said Katzenberger, "the experience you had there was pretty much handed to you by Paul Yamazaki." With its history steeped in the Beats and for so many other reasons, City Lights is an institution, and Katzenberger said it "remains a cultural touchstone" because of Yamazaki and his team of book curators.

"I consider myself the luckiest person on the planet," said Yamazaki. He observed that the evening's awards and awardees represent so many of the people and institutions along the steps between writer and reader, and that Litquake, which draws thousands of readers, proves that people are still very much interested in books.

The other 2016 Barbary Coast Award honorees: "Literary Legends": Maxine Hong Kingston and Alejandro Murguía; "Literary Publication": the Threepenny Review; "Literary Institution": the Bancroft Library; "In Memoriam": Justin Chin; "Castro Vanguard": Jewelle Gomez; and Thomas Sanchez received the "California Classic" award for his novel Rabbit Boss. --Bridget Kinsella

Obituary Note: Bob Minzesheimer

Bob Minzesheimer

Very sad news. Bob Minzesheimer, who for 17 years was a book reviewer and reporter at USA Today, died on Saturday. He was 66 and had suffered from brain cancer.

Minzesheimer joined USA Today in 1986 as a political reporter and editor. He was let go in September 2014 during a mass layoff at the newspaper.

We remember Bob Minzesheimer as very professional, enthusiastic, funny and friendly, a solid, engaging reporter and reviewer. Over the years, he interviewed many hundreds of authors, including Norman Mailer, Suzanne Collins, Maya Angelou and Don DeLillo, and recounted them entertainingly. Earlier this summer he did a q&a for Shelf Awareness with Donald Ray Pollock, when Pollock's latest novel, The Heavenly Table, was published.

Quoted in a USA Today obituary, Janet Maslin, the New York Times book and film critic, called Minzesheimer "a sweet guy, a great person to talk about books with. Writers he interviewed really, really liked him. Stephen King was crazy about him. James Patterson was crazy about him. He didn't make an effort to charm people, but I don't think he could help himself from doing that."

His wife, Mary McDonagh Murphy, said, "Nobody in his family went to college. Bob got his master's at Columbia. His life was more than what he thought it would be, and he was very clear about that. He lived in the world of ideas. He lived there and he knew what a privilege that was."


Image of the Day: Sunday Afternoon with Alan Cumming

Yesterday, Oblong Books & Music hosted actor Alan Cumming in conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue about Cumming's new collection of autobiographical essays, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams (Rizzoli). The event, at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., was a co-presentation with the Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts. Nearly 500 fans were in attendance. A portion of the event was recorded for later broadcast on NPR's The Book Show. Pictured: (l.-r.) Oblong co-owner Suzanna Hermans, bookseller Jennifer Laughran, event director Helen Seslowsky and bookseller Nicole Brinkley.

Cool Idea of the Day: Duck's Cottage Coffee & Books

From Jamie Anderson, owner of Downtown Books in Mateo, N.C., and book buyer at Duck's Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck: "Allen [Lehew], who owns the Duck store, got super fed up this year of having people ask for a piece of paper so they could walk around the store writing down titles they wanted to read. He asked me to come up with something he could put on a notepad to remind those people that they had an independent option for buying those titles online. The notepads came in the other day and I thought I'd share a picture of what we came up with--maybe other indies can use the idea!"

The notepads were featured on the bookstore's Facebook page, which also has a timeline of the challenges faced by the shops during and after Hurricane Matthew.

Unusual Book Ad of the Day: The Making of Donald Trump

In one of Hillary Clinton's latest ads, David Cay Johnston, author of The Making of Donald Trump (Melville House), makes a quick appearance. While some people in these kinds of ads enjoy the attention--David Letterman said he was "flattered" to be in a Clinton ad pointing out to the Republican candidate that his Trump ties were made in China--Johnston felt differently.

"I am not happy to be in a partisan ad for any candidate," Johnston said. But he's accepting it because, he continued, "Americans need to know who Donald Trump really is--not the business genius he claims to be, but a master of deception whose actual and well-documented conduct my peers in journalism have failed to report."

In the 60-second spot, Johnston, who was a tax reporter for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, wonders, "How do you lose $916 million in a rising real estate market if you're the great real estate genius?" The clip comes from an appearance Johnston made on MSNBC TV's AM Joy with Joy Reid.

Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson is more than comfortable with the ad, saying, "I'm thrilled that our author got the word out to that many more people. Basically, I have two jobs as a publisher: to sell as many books as possible, and get as many people as possible talking about the contents of those books in the media and on the streets. And we've never published a book with more important contents."

Personnel Changes at Albert Whitman & Company

At Albert Whitman & Company:

Annette Hobbs Magier has been promoted to director of marketing.

Tracie Schneider has been promoted to publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Nick Offerman on Colbert's Late Show

Good Morning America: Jeff Scot Philips, author of Big Fat Food Fraud: Confessions of a Health-Food Hustler (Regan Arts, $26.95, 9781942872870).

Fresh Air: Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads (Knopf, $28.95, 9780385352017).

Diane Rehm:

  • Alain de Botton, author of The Course of Love: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501134258).
  • Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray (Norton, $26.95, 9780393285222).
  • Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation (Simon & Schuster, $17, 9781476716572).

Live with Kelly: Carole Bayer Sager, author of They're Playing Our Song: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501153266).

Watch What Happens Live: Heather Dubrow, co-author of Dr. and Mrs. Guinea Pig Present the Only Guide You'll Ever Need to the Best Anti-Aging Treatments (Ghost Mountain Books, $26, 9781939457554).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Bill O'Reilly, co-author of Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan (Holt, $30, 9781627790628).

Nightline: Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester and Drew Morgan, authors of The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin' Dixie Outta the Dark (Atria, $25, 9781501160387).

Good Morning America: Marcus Samuelsson, author of The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $37.50, 9780544639775).

Diane Rehm: H.W. Brands, author of The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War (Doubleday, $30, 9780385540575).

NPR's Marketplace: Ian Scheffler, author of Cracking the Cube: Going Slow to Go Fast and Other Unexpected Turns in the World of Competitive Rubik's Cube Solving (Touchstone, $26, 9781501121920). He will also appear on Good Morning America.

NPR's the Takeaway: Greg Mitchell, author of The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill (Crown, $28, 9781101903858).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Nick Offerman, author of Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop (Dutton, $35, 9781101984659). He is on tomorrow's Today Show, too.

Also on the Late Show: Wayne Gretzky, co-author of 99: Stories of the Game (Putnam, $28, 9780399575471).

Movies: Fantastic Beasts to Be Five-Film Franchise

Last week, J.K. Rowling confirmed "that the magic will continue for several more years," Indiewire reported. During a special fan event in London featuring the author, director David Yates, producer David Heyman and the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Rowling said, "I'm pretty sure that there are going to be five movies, now that I've been able to properly plot them out. We always knew that there would be more than one."

Yates, who directed the first two Fantastic Beasts films and the last four Harry Potter movies, said that the upcoming picture "will include a cameo by a young Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grendelwald. He also revealed that the sequel will not take place in New York, but rather in another global capital city," Indiewire wrote.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released in theaters November 18, with the sequel set for November 16, 2018.

Books & Authors

Awards: Toronto Book Winner

Cordelia Strube won the C$10,000 (about US$7,600) Toronto Book Award‚ recognizing titles evocative of the city, for her novel On the Shores of Darkness‚ There is Light, Quillblog reported. The prize is administered annually by the city and the Toronto Public Library.

City librarian Vickery Bowles noted that the title, "which comes from the Keats poem 'Homer,' shows us the vital role that books play in our lives today: by understanding Strube's protagonist, Harriet, and her difficult circumstances, we all come to see that bit of light on the edge of a difficult shore. What a beautiful novel!"

Top Library Recommended Titles for November

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 November titles public library staff across the country love:

Faithful: A Novel by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476799209). "With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, N.Y.

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel by Erika Johansen (Harper, $25.99, 9780062290427). "It's been fascinating to watch the Tearling saga evolve into a riveting blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in unexpected but satisfying ways into people I really care about. With the introduction of new characters in the town, a third timeline is woven into the story, leading to a plot twist that I did not see coming at all. This book has given me lots to think about--community, leadership, the use and abuse of power--and makes me want to reread all three books." --Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Delacorte, $28.99, 9780804178808). "Child goes back to the well and gives readers another glimpse into Jack Reacher's past as a military cop--and what a worthwhile trip it is. It's 1996--after Reacher receives a Legion of Merit medal, he's sent to 'Night School' with two other men, one from the FBI and another from the CIA. Soon the trio learns that they've been selected for a covert mission. Child layers his page-turning story with careful and sometimes dryly humorous details. This suspense series keeps getting better--it's a joy to read." --Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, N.Y.

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz (Berkley, $27, 9780399174490). "Charlotte crosses paths with Max, a former criminal profiler turned private investigator, at the condo of the recently deceased friend of her step sister Jocelyn. Max and Charlotte begin investigating and find themselves in the killer's sights as they follow a twisted path into the past. Krentz is an expert at seamlessly blending suspense with romance. Her strong characters and their evolving relationship, plus a complex, twisted plot, all combine to make romantic suspense at its best." --Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, Ind.

I'll Take You There: A Novel by Wally Lamb (Harper, $25.99, 9780062656285). "I'll Take You There is delightfully entertaining, funny and a bit mystical with wonderful connections to old movies and movie stars. Felix Funicello runs a Monday night film club which meets in an old theater. One evening, he is visited by the ghost of a female director from the silent film era. She takes him on a journey to his past where Felix sees scenes on the screen which help him gain an understanding of women who have been important to him throughout his life. This novel is insightful and inspirational in connecting scenes from the past with our present day society." --Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, Wis.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press, $27, 9781594203985). "Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith's new novel is a charming account of one woman's coming-of-age. Smith's unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child, lives in one of London's many low-end housing units. She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and 'brown' in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey's final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction." --Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, Ind.

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird (Random House, $35, 9781400069880). "When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird's compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird's research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained." --Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, S.C.

Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon (Harper, $28.99, 9780062225559). "A grandson sits by his dying grandfather's bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother's life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon's signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does." --Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, N.J.

Normal: A Novel by Warren Ellis (FSG Originals, $13, 9780374534974). "Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that 'we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.' Witty and insightful, Ellis's writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended." --Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Tex.

Orphans of the Carnival: A Novel by Carol Birch (Doubleday, $27.95, 9780385541527). "Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can't get past what they see because Julia's face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be 'other,' to always be on the outside looking in." --Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, La.

Book Review

Review: Ray & Joan

Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away by Lisa Napoli (Dutton, $27 hardcover, 368p., 9781101984956, November 15, 2016)

Ray Kroc, a paper cup and milkshake machine salesman from Chicago, became the force behind the lucrative franchising of McDonald's, beginning with a single California roadside restaurant. When Kroc died in 1984, he left billions of dollars to his wife, Joan. Investigative journalist Lisa Napoli (Radio Shangri-La) sets out to understand shrewd and pushy Ray, and his strong-willed, opinionated third wife, Joan, who eventually gave away the bulk of the fortune her husband amassed over his lifetime.

Napoli traces the history of McDonald's. She details the struggles of hard-up brothers Mac and Dick McDonald, who, in the mid-1930s, trekked from Manchester, N.H., to California in the hope of becoming "millionaires by the time they turned fifty." The brothers' movie industry aspirations eventually shifted to food service, leading them to create and innovate until they fashioned a revolutionary roadside restaurant--with a simple menu and quick, assembly-line-style food preparation--in San Bernardino. Ray Kroc's milkshake machines were integral to their restaurant, and in 1954, Kroc suggested that the brothers expand their profitable business. While Mac and Dick rejected Kroc's idea, they agreed he could start the first company franchise. This would launch one of the most complex business success stories in American history.

Napoli delves into Kroc's driven, high-octane personality and a cast of business players who were pivotal to his debt-skirting, risk-taking rise and creation of the McDonald's brand. Along the way, Napoli weaves in details of Kroc's personal life--his battle with alcoholism, two failed marriages--and his tumultuous romantic relationship with Joan, a liberal feminist. Napoli examines Joan's influence on Ray's life and work--including ownership of the San Diego Padres--along with the McDonald's legacy and the ways in which she wielded her own power.

In his lifetime, Ray started the Kroc Foundation, funding research on diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and Ronald McDonald Houses, which offer free housing for families with children undergoing medical treatment. Ray's philanthropic efforts were largely devised to promote the company. However, after Ray's death--and for the next 19 years, until her own death--Joan contributed billions to a host of causes that touched her heart: AIDS research, Greenpeace, the Democratic party, the San Diego Zoo and National Public Radio. She also wrote countless, anonymous personal checks to hospitals, universities and peace projects and to homeless, hospice, substance abuse and domestic violence centers, among other charities. In 1998, Joan contributed $87 million to establish the Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army Community Center in San Diego, whose outreach today extends to 26 other community centers nationwide.

Ray Kroc's global expansion of McDonald's--and his creation of a real estate company that owned the land for each restaurant--not only changed the landscape of business, but also the way people eat throughout the world. And Napoli's well-researched, compelling portrayals of Ray and Joan Kroc shed light on a dynamic and influential power couple whose generosity continues to improve a world where McDonald's is a household name. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A fascinating portrait of the man behind the McDonald's brand and his wife, whose unconventional philanthropy benefited many.

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