Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 17, 2016

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

St. Martin's Press: See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success by Danny Warshay

Harper: Free Love by Tessa Hadley

Walker Books Us: Ferryman by Claire McFall

Shadow Mountain: The Slow March of Light by Heather B Moore

Berkley Books: Women who defied the odds. These are their stories. Enter giveaway!

Soho Crime: My Annihilation by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Sam Bett

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor


National Book Award Winners

Fiction winner Colson Whitehead: "Be kind. Make art. Fight the power."

The winners of the National Book Awards, presented last night at a gala dinner in New York City, are:

Fiction: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
Nonfiction: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (Nation Books)
Poetry: The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky (Brooklyn Arts Press)
Young People's Literature: March, Book 3 by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions)

At the ceremony, there were many references to last week's election, mixing humor with deep concern, which started when host Larry Wilmore welcomed everyone to the 2016 National Book Awards, adding, "Or as it's going to be called next year, the Trump National Luxurious Evening for Books, Bigly." To view the ceremony, and the many moving, thoughtful introductions and acceptance speeches, click here.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay

AAP Sales: First Half of 2016 Down 3.4%

In the first half of 2016, total net book sales fell 3.4%, to $5.366 billion, compared to the first half of 2015, and represented sales of 1,210 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. 

AAP president and CEO Tom Allen commented: "After a tough first quarter--with trade sales down 7.4% from the prior year--second quarter sales have bounced back with 4.6% growth. Sales of adult, children's and religious books all increased in the second quarter due to a mix of factors including movie tie-ins, a diversity of titles from small and midsize presses, and religious presses recovering from a tough 2015."

In June, total net book sales fell 4.7%, to $1.457 billion, compared to June 2015. During the month, the biggest gainers were religious presses, up 16.1%, and children's and YA books, up 10.4%. The biggest declines were in sales of professional books, down 24%, and higher ed, down 10.8%.


Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Kinokuniya Opening Two Stores in Dallas, Tex., Area

Kinokuniya Book Stores of America, which has 10 stores in the U.S., is opening two more locations, both in the Dallas, Tex., area. The stores will be in Carrollton and Plano and open in January and February, respectively.

The store in Carrollton will serve as Kinokuniya USA's Texas flagship store, focusing on not only Japanese but also on the fusion of Asian and American pop culture. The store will carry a wide selection of Japanese-language and English-language books ranging from manga to art to fashion and more. The ratio of Japanese-language to English-language titles will be about 3 to 7.

The store in Plano, which is home to many corporate headquarters, will be in the Mitsuwa Marketplace, with other major Japanese companies. The Plano branch will offer the most up-to-date Japanese new releases and bestsellers. The ratio of Japanese-language to English-language titles will be about 7 to 3.

Both stores will also carry a wide variety of stationery and other merchandise from both Japan and the U.S., including Kinokuniya exclusive collaboration items with popular Japanese brands.

Kinokuniya is one of the largest bookstore chains in Japan and has nearly 30 stores abroad, in Southeast Asia, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Kinokuniya USA opened its first U.S. store in San Francisco in 1969; its flagship is in New York City.

Chronicle Books: Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

An Open Book, Wadena, Minn., for Sale

An Open Book, Wadena, Minn., is for sale, according to owner Gillette Kempf.

An Open Book has about 2,000 square feet of retail space and offers books; toys, including Melissa & Doug products; more than 3,500 comics; and sidelines, including greeting cards, journals, bookmarks, etc. The store's inventory of about 10,000 books is 25% new and 75% used.

For more information, contact Malcolm Whynott at

Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

Papercuts J.P. Launches Cutlass Press

With the publication of musician Rick Berlin's memoir, The Paragraphs, Papercuts J.P. in Boston, Mass., has joined the ranks of independent bookstores with their own publishing imprints. Called Cutlass Press, the imprint's mission is to publish work in any genre or format that is "unique, diverse, entertaining and subversive." Kate Layte, the owner and manager of Papercuts J.P., is the press's publisher, while Katie Eelman, the store's events and media coordinator, is editor-in-chief.

"Publishing was part of my original business plan for Papercuts," recalled Layte. Last fall, Layte and Eelman published The Papercuts Anthology: Volume 1, a collection celebrating the store's first year, and after that, Layte continued, "we realized we had the audience, the tools and the skillset to make it happen."

(l.-r.) Kate Layte, owner of Papercuts J.P. and publisher of Cutlass Press; Rick Berlin, author of The Paragraphs; Katie Eelman, editor-in-chief of Cutlass Press.

Eelman and Layte plan to publish 3-5 titles per year. Upcoming releases include debut crime novel Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All by Christopher Irvin; The Papercuts Anthology: Volume 2; short story collection A Dream Between Two Rivers: Stories of Liminality by K.L. Pereira; and an as-yet untitled memoir from local author Stacey Dyer, who published AstroWed: The Universe's Most Kickass Wedding Planning Workbook earlier this year.

"In our time as booksellers, we've encountered countless voices that don't have amplification," said Eelman. "We want to amplify these voices and bring into the world literature that's accessible, entertaining, diverse and important. The traditional publishing model doesn't always allow for these voices to be heard, and so we want to use the resources we have to make this possible."

Layte and Eelman have secured office space for Cutlass Press in the same building as the bookstore. On a day-to-day basis, the two operations will be completely integrated, with Eelman working directly with authors, Layte focusing on strategy, and another Papercuts J.P. bookseller serving as copy editor.

Papercuts J.P. swag bag

Rick Berlin has a relationship with Papercuts J.P. dating back to the store's first year, when he played at the store during Independent Bookstore Day. Described by Layte as a "local legend" in the store's Boston neighborhood, Berlin then contributed a short piece to the first Papercuts anthology. Last summer, Berlin visited the store with a manuscript of The Paragraphs, which at the time he had planned to self-publish. After Eelman read the book, she felt it would be the perfect fit for Cutlass Press, and Berlin agreed.

Said Layte: "I had been waiting for the right book to start publishing, and knew almost instantly that this was the one--I could wait no longer."

Cutlass Press will host a launch party for The Paragraphs at Papercuts J.P. on Small Business Saturday, during which Berlin will read from the book and sign copies. The festivities will also include champagne and cupcakes--and will mark the store's second anniversary. --Alex Mutter

B&N Unveils Nook Tablet 7"

Barnes & Noble has unveiled the new Nook Tablet 7", a full-featured Android device the company calls its "most affordable Nook ever at just $49.99." It can be pre-ordered now and will be available at B&N stores starting on Black Friday, November 25.

George Gibson Joining Grove Atlantic

George Gibson

Effective in January, George Gibson, former longtime publisher of Walker & Company and publishing director at Bloomsbury USA, is joining Grove Atlantic as executive editor.

Grove Atlantic publisher and CEO Morgan Entrekin said Gibson is "admired here and around the world as a brilliant, gracious, passionate publisher and editor. His independent publishing experience at David Godine, Walker and Bloomsbury makes him a perfect fit for us. In addition, George is a longtime friend and I’m excited to welcome him as a colleague."

Gibson commented: "I have, at various times, imagined having the chance to work at Grove Atlantic, as I have such longstanding admiration for Morgan and his colleagues, for the books they publish, and for the way they publish them. To have that chance now feels like enormous luck, and I can't wait to get started."

During his career, Gibson has edited and/or published such works of nonfiction as Dava Sobel's Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Ross King's Brunelleschi's Dome, Mark Kurlansky's Salt and Cod, Morrie Schwartz's Morrie: In His Own Words, Warren Berger's A More Beautiful Question, Bob Ryan's Scribe, Larry Sabato's The Kennedy Half-Century and Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.


Image of the Day: Rupi in Sharjah

At the Sharjah International Book Fair, Rupi Kaur, author of the international bestseller Milk and Honey (Andrews McMeel), was part of a panel discussion and did a signing, and discovered that Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, daughter of the Ruler of Sharjah, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, is a fan. From l.: Ashley Baugh of Midas Communications; Seth Russo of Simon & Schuster; Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi; Rupi Kaur; literary agent Suzanne Brandreth; and Rhaki Mutta, a manager for Rupi Kaur.

Vroman's Honors Michael Connelly

Earlier this month, bestselling author Michael Connelly became the second writer to be honored by having his signature and handprints placed in the Walk of Fame at the entryway to Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., following Lisa See, who was inducted in 2014. The Foothill Advocate reported that a "crowd of about 60, including Vroman's president Allison K. Hill and Pasadena Chamber of Commerce executive director Paul Little, circled the cement plaque to honor Michael Connelly. The author spoke briefly, chiefly thanking those involved in his success. Connelly placed hands into the cement, then dated and signed it."

"We are thrilled to honor Mr. Connelly and his books that have captured us all," Vroman's noted on its website.

Connelly tweeted: "The concrete blonde, I mean gray. Thanks @vromans"

Personnel Changes

Andrea Kiliany Thatcher has left her position as marketing and digital strategist at Schiffer Publishing and is now a publicist at Smith Publicity in Cherry Hill, N.J. She is also the social media manager at Wellington Square Bookshop in Exton, Pa.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Megyn Kelly on the Tonight Show

Dr. Oz: Lisa Oz, author of The Oz Family Kitchen: More Than 100 Simple and Delicious Real-Food Recipes from Our Home to Yours (Harmony, $27.99, 9781101903230).

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

Tonight Show: Megyn Kelly, author of Settle for More (Harper, $29.99, 9780062494603).

This Weekend on Book TV: Bernie Sanders at the Miami Book Fair

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, November 19
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Live coverage from the 33rd annual Miami Book Fair in Miami, Fla. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

Highlights include:
10 a.m. A panel discussion on books and reading habits with New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul and authors Dave Barry, Terry McMillan, Jay McInerny and Maria Semple.

10:45 a.m. Former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham discusses the political process and citizen involvement.

11:35 a.m. Wesley Lowery, author of They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316312479).

12 p.m. Jane Alexander, author of Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth (Knopf, $28.95, 9780385354363).

2 p.m. James Gleick and Ben Mezrich discuss their respective books on time travel and UFOs.

3:30 p.m. Dave Barry, author of Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (Putnam, $27, 9781101982600).

4:30 p.m. Senator Bernie Sanders responds to viewer calls and discusses his new book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (Thomas Dunne, $27, 9781250132925).

10 p.m. After Words with Sebastian Mallaby, author of The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (Penguin Press, $40, 9781594204845). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

11 p.m. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, author of The Spy Who Couldn't Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets (NAL, $27, 9781592409006). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

Sunday, November 20
10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Continuing live coverage from the Miami Book Fair. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

Highlights include:
10:30 a.m. Dana Perino, author of Let Me Tell You about Jasper...: How My Best Friend Became America's Dog (Twelve, $27, 9781455567102).

11:30 a.m. Peter Kramer and Luke Dittrich discuss their respective books on mental health.

1 p.m. Janna Levin, author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307958198).

3 p.m. Susan Faludi, author of In the Darkroom (Metropolitan Books, $32, 9780805089080).

4 p.m. Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542364).

Books & Authors

Awards: Baillie Gifford Nonfiction

Philippe Sands won the £30,000 (about $37,360) Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction for East West Street. The Bookseller reported that upon accepting the honor, Sands "told the audience that he and Hisham Matar, also shortlisted for the prize, had decided in advance that if either were to win, they would share the winnings and donate it to an appropriate refugee charity." Since the ceremony, Sarah Whitley, chair of the Baillie Gifford sponsorship committee, has pledged on behalf of Baillie Gifford an additional £30,000 to charities supporting refugees to "strengthen the effect of his donation."

"In these trying times we feel that we could all come together to make a real difference," Sands said. "From conversations this evening I understand that some of the Baillie Gifford partners would like to match this from their own personal funds, and that (chair of the judges) Stephanie Flanders will also be donating her honorarium for chairing the prize. My thanks to them all."

Flanders said: "Any one of the shortlisted books would have been a worthy winner. But in the end we all agreed that Philippe Sands had pulled off something extraordinary with this book that deserved to reach as wide an audience as possible. This is not just one story but several different stories, woven together - each important and each deeply personal to the author. The result is a multi-layered history that is impressive in its own right but also a satisfying, suspenseful read. A stunning achievement. "

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 22:

The Spy: A Novel by Paulo Coelho (Knopf, $22, 9781524732066) is based on the life of Mata Hari.

I'll Take You There: A Novel by Wally Lamb (Harper, $25.99, 9780062656285) follows a film connoisseur who reviews important parts of his life with the help of a ghost.

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith, foreword by Jon Stewart (Grand Central, $30, 9781455565382) explores 17 years of Daily Show history.

Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index by Kathy Griffin (Flatiron Books, $26.99, 9781250115638) is the comedian's celebrity sighting compendium.

Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird (Random House, $35, 9781400069880) is a biography of Queen Victoria.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250045461) is a novel based on the diaries of the young Queen Victoria.

The Marches: A Borderland Journey between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544108882) examines the history and geography of the border between England and Scotland.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster, $18.99, 9781442472426) is a YA series debut about a futuristic world in which Scythes are the only ones who can end life, and two teens who must learn to master the "art."

Fate of Flames: Book One in the Effigies Series by Sarah Raughley (Simon Pulse, $17.99, 9781481466776) is a YA series debut about four superhero girls, the Effigies, who try to protect the world from the Phantoms.

The Brain Warrior's Way: Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose by Daniel G. Amen and Tana Amen (NAL, $27, 9781101988473) looks at mental and physical health.

Pogue's Basics: Money: Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You) About Beating the System by David Pogue (Flatiron Books, $19.99, 9781250081414).

Lion, based on the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, opens November 25. Dev Patel stars as an Indian-Australian man who finds his long-lost family as an adult using Google Earth. A movie tie-in edition, named after the film (NAL, $16, 9780399584695) 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:

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs, illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino (Quirk Books, $16.999, 9781594749254). "In this delightful book, Maggs introduces readers to amazing women who changed history through their creativity, inventions, and remarkable paths of service in areas overwhelmed by men. From Huang Daopo, Chinese textile pioneer, to Brita Tott, Danish spy and forger, and from Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, American doctors and hospital administrators, to Bessie Coleman, African-American aviatrix, the intelligence and stamina of these women is amazing. In many cases they had to apply for patents under the names of men or retreat into the background so that men could take credit for their work. In each article, Maggs highlights the dichotomy of what these women did and how they were acknowledged for their work." --Sally Van Wert, MacDonald Book Shop, Estes Park, Colo.

The Fall Guy: A Novel by James Lasdun (Norton, $25.95, 9780393292329). "The Fall Guy, which starts innocently enough, introduces its three main characters as they leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for a calm summer sojourn upstate. Things take a Lynchian turn when Charlie and Chloe's guest, Charlie's cousin Matthew, notices what appears to be duplicitous behavior within and outside their home. Lasdun does an incredible job of slowly ratcheting up the suspense, earning the reader's trust with his spare, pitch-perfect language, and upending expectations on every page. Morally complex characters, a sly and inventive take on the guilt and shame of modern-day banking, and prose as sensuous as some of the novel's sexiest scenes are just a few of the many rewards of Lasdun's latest, and greatest, novel." --John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn.

The Loved Ones: A Novel by Sonya Chung (Relegation Books, $18, 9780984764846). "Chung offers readers an intelligent, compassionate story that crosses all kinds of divides. The pages turn quickly as the story of two families, their pasts, and the consequences of their current actions are presented. Each character is empathetic and compelling, and the prose is, at some points, heart-breaking in its simplicity. This novel brings a unique perspective to immigration history in the U.S., and the contrasting cultures, as well as the contrast in generations, makes for a fast read and a powerful narrative. Long for This World made Chung a writer to watch, but with this book she should jump right to the top of everyone's must-read pile." --Abby Fennewald, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.

For Ages 4 to 8
How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781423152200). "Ever wonder what the book you are reading went through to get into your hands? Did you realize that the author and illustrator had to face tigers, angry mobs, pirates, and worse? This is a wonderful book for reading aloud to curious young ones, and for older students and adults who have a keen sense of humor, it is guaranteed to make them laugh out loud. Most important is the message that 'a book still isn't a book, not really, until it has a reader.' That's you!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99, 9780374302610). "Gertie has a plan. She will be the best fifth-grader in the whole world and if she is, maybe her estranged mother won't leave town. Not that Gertie cares. She has a great dad, good friends, and is awesome all on her own, but she's still going to try. Of course, things go awry when a new girl arrives in school and stirs up trouble. Gertie is an utterly winning heroine, plucky and stubborn, and hers is a thoroughly charming, funny, and heartfelt story. I loved it." --Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.

For Teen Readers
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (Viking, $18.99, 9780451470782). "Sixteen-year-old Vic Benucci suffers from a condition called Moebius syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes facial paralysis, which means he cannot blink, smile, or frown. Bullied by his classmates and often assumed to be stupid by adults, Vic is actually witty and intelligent, a lover of art and opera. What Vic's face cannot show but what he needs to say is that he still grieves for his father who died two years ago. When his mother takes up with a new boyfriend, Vic runs away on a quest to scatter his father's ashes. Along the way, Vic bumps into a ragtag group of homeless kids and young adults called the Kids of Appetite who take him in, feed and shelter him, and treat him with kindness just because he asks for help. This is a book about accepting loss, finding family, finding love, and discovering that we are all chapters in each other's stories." --Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: History of Wolves

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25 hardcover, 288p., 9780802125873, January 3,2017)

In her first novel, Emily Fridlund joins Peter Geye (Wintering) and Tim O'Brien (In the Lake of the Woods) in considering the no-man's land of Minnesota somewhere north of Bemidji and Duluth. History of Wolves is so observant, so compassionate, so fresh that it can hold its own among the best of more established writers. The narrator Linda's life is bent and shaped by this grand territory of isolation--its clear lakes and thick forests, small-town beer and bait shops, primitive cabins and summer lake mansions, and especially its extremes of weather. The 37-year-old Linda's memories of events in her mid-teens are always colored by the seasons: "Winter collapsed on us that year. It knelt down, exhausted, and stayed"; spring appears with "a wallop of bright green everywhere you looked"; and then the hot summer delivers swarming mosquitos and random forest fires.

It's a tough place to grow up--made tougher by Linda's disenchanted and distant commune-founding parents; an enigmatic classmate, Lily, with "big brown eyes, dyslexia... dimples on her cheeks, nipples that flashed like signs from God through her sweater"; a young history teacher with a sex-offender past who hits on Linda and Lily; and the high school clique of idolized hockey players who "got teachers to forgive their blank worksheets... [and] Zambonis to stripe the world as far as you could see in perfect swaths of freezing water." Fridlund brings such authenticity to Linda's voice that it easily skips among these teen demons; she salts the novel with snippets from Linda's earlier unchaperoned childhood in the commune and later restless years in the Twin Cities with temp jobs and deadbeat boyfriends.

When the suburban Chicago Gardner family moves into the fancy log summer home across the lake from Linda, they provide the answer to the only prayer she has cobbled from her "rinky-dink faith": "Dear God, please help... [us] to be not too bored and not too lonely." Cleopatra ("Patra") Gardner is taking time away from the city with her four-year-old son, Paul; her husband, Leo, is an astronomer temporarily living in Hawaii doing research for a book, which Patra is editing. She desperately needs childcare help when she meets Linda, who happily dumps her part-time job to babysit Paul. A precocious, softhearted kid with an active imagination, he's a handful with "four-going-on-five-year-old plans: visit Mars, get shoes with ties," an obsession with trains and a peculiar attachment to his father's large glove. Linda tries to teach Paul simple survival skills, the habits of migrating birds and nomadic wolves, and the mysterious ways of the woods, but fate and Leo's Christian Science teachings override Linda's ingenuous guidance. It doesn't go well. Growing up is hard, but there is nothing more grown up than wondering if one could have done more for those one cares about. Fridlund gets it--and in History of Wolves, expertly tells it. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: In a voice both innocent and mature, the narrator of Emily Fridlund's splendid first novel captures the trials of growing up in the stark isolation of northern Minnesota.

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