Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 27, 2017

Flatiron Books: The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

St. Martin's Griffin: One Last Shot by Betty Cayouette

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

HarperOne: I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays by Michael Arceneaux

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes


Barnes & Noble's Demos Parneros Named CEO

Demos Parneros

Barnes & Noble has a new CEO. Demos Parneros, who joined the company last November as chief operating officer after a nearly 30-year career at Staples, is being promoted, according to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, which wrote that the announcement will be made officially today.

Parneros replaces Ron Boire, who was abruptly fired last August after only 11 months on the job, and is the fourth CEO at B&N in four years. B&N founder Len Riggio, who has been acting CEO since Boire's departure and who delayed a planned retirement as a result, will remain as chairman. The Times noted that since November Parneros said he has visited "dozens of stores around the country to get a feel for the company" and "spent a lot of time with Mr. Riggio."

In early March, during a conference call with stock analysts about the company's disappointing third quarter results, Riggio was asked about the CEO search and said that Parneros was "a top candidate."

Parneros started at Staples in 1987 as general manager of the company's first New York City store and rose eventually to president, North American stores and online. The Times commented that he "has virtually no experience in book sales, and he said he had undertaken a crash course in the business in the last few months."

Parneros acknowledged B&N's difficulties, particularly for its bricks-and-mortar stores, which include continued growth of online book sales and declining mall traffic. He told the Times that "the biggest challenge is the sales performance; that's no secret. We've got to figure out ways to change things up a little bit and increase traffic." He added that it's possible the company will try to increase sales and traffic by expanding further into educational games, toys and gifts.

B&N's new concept store in Edina, Minn.

Noting that B&N surveys found customers continue to enjoy the bookstore and café experience, he told the Journal, "People care about price. But they also like visiting our stores. We're looking at everything we're doing to be sure we are on trend." He also told the Times that the company has a loyal customer base.

Parneros said he was "enthusiastic" about B&N's new concept stores, three of which have opened, with two more in the process of opening. He told the Journal, however, that B&N hasn't developed a prototype of the new concept stores to roll out nationally.

He also stated that the typical B&N store--with an average size of about 26,000 square feet--is larger than needed when consumers can find millions of books online using smartphones.

Parneros was born in Cyprus and came to New York City when he was nine. Reading was crucial to learning English, he told the Journal, and he is a lifelong B&N customer.

Peachtree Teen: The Absinthe Underground by Jamie Pacton

Words of Wisdom Bookstore to Open in Tennessee in August

Ken Pruitt, an author, publisher's rep, minister, consultant and national educational speaker, is founding Words of Wisdom Bookstore, which will be located in Hermitage, Tenn., near Nashville, and open the first week of August.

Rebekka Pruitt and Keith Pruitt

The approximately 1,400-square-foot store is in the brand-new Shoppes@Hermitage Hills, in space that is being built out over the next few months. The "boutique-type" store will carry 95% new books, "an eclectic mix of bestsellers, great literature, informational texts, children's books, greeting cards, and religious materials," Pruitt said. "We want to be that local store where folks can drop in and get the bestsellers, fall in love with new writers they may never have seen in bookstores, get the best in fiction and children's literature, fill their religious needs and get great greeting cards, journals, and other types of materials."

Words of Wisdom will also host book signings and other author sessions, teacher gatherings and children's events. "We are dedicated to making this a warm and comfortable place to come and relax and shop," Pruitt said.

Pruitt began his publishing career working for educational publisher Steck Vaughn and later was affiliated with Harcourt and then Houghton Mifflin Harcourt before founding Words of Wisdom Educational Consulting in 2008. He's also written 31 books; ministered since 1972, when he preached his first sermon at the age of 12; and been a teacher and school board member.

Words of Wisdom will be managed by Pruitt's daughter Rebekka Pruitt, who most recently worked at the now-defunct Family Christian Bookstore in Nashville. Her proud father says that "her organizational skills have flourished through the years as she has served as a buyers' assistant, worked in the moving industry, and has served in her capacity with Words of Wisdom since its opening in 2008. She loves books, just like her father, and will be a cheery asset to the bookstore."

Words of Wisdom Bookstore will be located at 3877 Lebanon Road, Hermitage, Tenn. 37076.

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Ohio Bookstore Destroyed by Fire to Reopen in June

Browse Awhile before last year's fire.

Browse Awhile Books in historic downtown Tipp City, Ohio, which was destroyed by an electrical fire last June 21, will reopen this June 17, WDTN reported. The station said that since the fire, owner Bill Jones "has been working to remodel the property and rebuild the store's stock of books."

At the time of the fire, Jones estimated that more than $1 million in inventory was lost and said he had insurance. He has owned the used and rare bookstore since 1990.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Quarto Group Launches Spanish-Language Imprint

The Quarto Group is launching a new Spanish-language imprint, Quarto Iberoamericana, in a partnership with Argentinian publisher Catapulta Editores, a longtime co-edition partner of Quarto. Quarto Iberoamericana will publish 20 books a year, with the first six books, launching in fall 2017, in categories such as cookery, lifestyle and spirituality. Other categories will be added eventually. Titles will come from Quarto.

Catapulta Editores will be responsible for sales and distribution in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Partners to distribute the books in the rest of Latin America and North America will be named in the near future.

Quarto Group CEO Marcus Leaver commented: "Our stated intention to further expand our scale and reach around the globe sees it third iteration in the Spanish language, following the successful launch of Kalimat Quarto, our Arab language imprint in 2016, and Quarto Editora, our Brazilian imprint in 2015. This is another great example of finding further opportunities for growth with the right partners who share our values."

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona

Obituary Note: Benjamin R. Barber

Benjamin R. Barber, a political theorist whose 1995 book Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World "presciently analyzed the socioeconomic forces leading to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and a surge in tribalism around the world," died April 24, the New York Times reported. He was 77. His latest book, Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming, was published recently by Yale University Press.

In works like Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age and The Conquest of Politics: Liberal Philosophy in Democratic Times, Barber "outlined the ways that ordinary citizens might assume a more powerful role in shaping their lives through local, communal institutions--a network of 'public spaces' encouraging interconnectedness and citizen involvement in politics," the Times noted.

Barber also served as an informal adviser to President Bill Clinton, an experience he wrote about in The Truth of Power: Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton White House. His other books include Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole; Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism and Democracy; and If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities.


Image of the Day: Wherever You Go, There They Are

Barnes & Noble on Mahattan's Upper West Side hosted a signing on Monday for Annabelle Gurwitch, author of the essay collection Wherever You Go, There They Are. Pictured: (l.-r.) agent Laura Dail; David Rosenthal, publisher of Blue Rider Press; Gurwitch; and Milena Brown, Blue Rider publicist.

Celebrating Indie Bookstores & Local Poets

Noting that while Independent Bookstore Day is "a day to celebrate brick and mortar bookstores and the communities they serve--to give toasts over cupcakes and overload friends with recommended reading... it's also a day to celebrate local writers," MyPoeticSide highlighted "our favorite independent bookstores and the contemporary poets who call the region home."   

'Craziest Thing that's Happened' in Seattle Indies

In anticipation of Independent Bookstore Day, the Stranger checked in with a few of Seattle's indies "and put their staff members on the spot: What's the craziest thing that's happened in their store?"

John Irving and Hulk Hogan with Third Place Books event manager Wendy Ceballos.

Among the booksellers highlighted were Elliott Bay Book Company (" 'three of the most self-obsessed, self-referential writers on the planet' converged in one place"); University Book Store ("the woman who camped outside overnight wearing a panda suit while waiting to meet Hillary Clinton"); Third Place Books ("booking John Irving and Hulk Hogan on the same night"); Seattle Mystery Bookshop ("We do have a ghost."); Eagle Harbor Book Co. ("booksellers do seem to have a psychic connection to their customers"); Phinney Books ("Not many people know this, but I dated Shel Silverstein from 1972 to 1975, when he lived at the Playboy Mansion."); and Secret Garden Books ("Stephenie [Meyer], the bricks aren't making any sound."). 

Personnel Changes at Ingram

Andrea Fleck-Nisbet has joined Ingram Content Group as director of content acquisition sales and will lead the strategic direction and development of Ingram's Lightning Source and CoreSource business, oversee key accounts sales and manage the key account sales team. She will be based at the New York office.

She was most recently executive director, digital strategy and operations at Workman, where she worked for 14 years.

Book Trailer of the Day: Dr. Twelfth

Dr. Twelfth by Adam Hargreaves (Penguin Young Readers), one of the first four books just launched in the Doctor Who Meets the World of Roger Hargreaves series. The others are Dr. First, Dr. Fourth and Dr. Eleventh.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Alec Baldwin on Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz: Alec Baldwin, author of Nevertheless: A Memoir (Harper, $28.99, 9780062409706).

Harry: Charlamagne Tha God, author of Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It (Touchstone, $25.99, 9781501145308).

The View: Ian Smith, M.D., author of Blast the Sugar Out!: Lower Blood Sugar, Lose Weight, Live Better (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250130136).

Movies: Hue 1968

Michael Mann will adapt author Mark Bowden's (Black Hawk Down) upcoming title Hue 1968: The Turning Point in the American War in Vietnam, Indiewire reported. Mann and Michael De Luca acquired rights to the book, which will be published in June by Atlantic Monthly Press, and intend to adapt it as an eight-to-10-hour miniseries.

Mann called Hue 1968 "a masterpiece of intensely dramatic nonfiction" whose achievement "is in making 'them' into us.... We are them. There are no background people; people abstracted into statistics, body counts. There is the sense that everybody is somebody, as each is in the reality of his or her own life. The brilliance of Bowden's narrative, the achievement of interviewing hundreds of people on all sides and making their human stories his foundation, is why Hue 1968 rises to the emotional power and universality of For Whom the Bell Tolls and All Quiet on the Western Front."

This Weekend on Book TV: Senator Elizabeth Warren

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, April 29
12:20 p.m. Mark A. Zupan, author of Inside Job: How Government Insiders Subvert the Public Interest (Cambridge University Press, $32.99, 9781316607770). (Re-airs Monday at 1:15 a.m.)

5 p.m. Frances FitzGerald, author of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781439131336). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

6 p.m. Vanessa S. Williamson, author of Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes (Princeton University Press, $29.95, 9780691174556). (Re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. David Schoenbrod, author of DC Confidential: Inside the Five Tricks of Washington (Encounter, $25.99, 9781594039119). (Re-airs Sunday at 2:15 p.m.)

8:50 p.m. Senator Elizabeth Warren, author of This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class (Metropolitan, $28, 9781250120618). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

10 p.m. Governor John Kasich, author of Two Paths: America Divided or United (Thomas Dunne, $27.99, 9781250138460). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. John Farrell, author of Richard Nixon: The Life (Doubleday, $35, 9780385537353), at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn. (Re-airs Sunday at 3:45 p.m.)

Sunday, April 30
1:15 a.m. Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen, authors of Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign (Crown, $28, 9780553447088). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

9 a.m. James Forman Jr., author of Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 9780374189976), at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m.)

1 p.m. William Mishler, author of Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime: The Changing Views of Russians (Cambridge University Press, $35.99, 9780521224185). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

11:15 p.m. Kevin Davis, author of The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms (Penguin Press, $28, 9781594206337), at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Re-airs Monday at 6:15 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Philip K. Dick Winner

The Mercy Journals by Claudia Casper (Arsenal Pulp Press) won the Philip K. Dick Award, which recognizes distinguished original science fiction paperbacks published for the first time in the U.S. Results were announced at Norwescon 40, in Seattle, Wash. A special citation was given to Unpronounceable by Susan diRende (Aqueduct Press).

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, May 2:

Trajectory: Stories by Richard Russo (Knopf, $25.95, 9781101947722) is a collection of four new short stories.

Into the Water: A Novel by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead, $28, 9780735211209) is a psychological suspense novel about several women who die in a river.

Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood by Kirk Douglas and Anne Douglas (Running Press, $25, 9780762462179) is a memoir of Kirk Douglas--who recently turned 100--and his wife of 63 years.

This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544786769) is the actress's memoir. (May 1).

You Don't Look Your Age... and Other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins (Flatiron, $24.99, 9781250111302) is the memoir of an HBO documentary producer.

Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State by Ali Soufan (Norton, $27.95, 9780393241174) explores the origins of ISIS.

Novel Destinations: A Travel Guide to Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West, Second Edition by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon (National Geographic, $26, 9781426217807) is updated and expanded with color photos, a new chapter on Brontë Country, and more.

American Epic: The First Time America Heard Itself by Bernard MacMahon, Allison McGourty and Elijah Wald (Touchstone, $29.99, 9781501135606) is the companion book to a PBS and BBC documentary series about American music.

The Broken Road: A Novel by Richard Paul Evans (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9781501111648) is the first entry in a trilogy about a celebrity questioning his life choices.

Proving Ground by Peter Blauner (Minotaur, $25.99, 9781250117441) is a murder mystery about a slain civil rights lawyer, his veteran son, and an NYPD detective.

I'll Eat When I'm Dead by Barbara Bourland (Grand Central, $27, 9781455595211) is a comic mystery about a possible murder at a fashion magazine.

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544912588) follows a Palestinian family scattered across the world after the Six Day War of 1967.

Love What Matters: Real People. Real Stories. Real Heart. by LoveWhatMatters (Red Seat Ventures, $24.99, 9781501169137) collects stories from a popular Facebook community.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith (Delacorte Press, $18.99, 9780399559372) is a YA novel that explores luck and the power of money when a winning lottery ticket comes between friends.

If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't by Elise Parsley (Little Brown, $17.99, 9780316376617) is a picture book that clarifies what is acceptable (reading) and unacceptable (firing human cannonballs) in a library.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062491831).

Detective Cross by James Patterson (BookShots, $4.99, 9780316469760).

Private: Gold by James Patterson (BookShots, $4.99, 9780316438711).

The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath by Ben S. Bernanke (Norton, $19.95, 9780393353990).

The Dinner, based on the novel by Herman Koch, opens May 5. Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Steve Coogan star in this thriller about two couples fighting to protect their children from the consequences of a violent act.

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 River of Kings: A Novel by Taylor Brown (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250111753). "In his second novel, Taylor Brown takes us on a fascinating trip down the Altamaha River. Also called Georgia's 'Little Amazon,' the river is one of the most remote and wild places in the U.S. This is where the Loggins brothers, Hunter and Lawton, grew up with their abusive father. After he dies under mysterious conditions, they decide to kayak down the river to disperse his ashes and try to discover what really happened. Brown combines the story of the brothers' journey and descriptions of their father's rough life with a narrative of the 1564 French expedition and settlement at the river's mouth. Three stories in which nature takes center stage intertwine to give this superb novel an almost mythical dimension." --Pierre Camy, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Miss You: A Novel by Kate Eberlen (Harper, $25.99, 9780062460226). "Tess and Gus first cross paths in Florence as 18-year-olds with their futures stretching ahead of them. Back in England, they live their lives oblivious to all the near-misses and chances they have to encounter one another again. The meandering way their lives circle each other is charming rather than frustrating, but the heart of this book lies in the choices Tess and Gus make as their lives unfold in ways neither anticipated. Exceptionally poignant and filled with relatable and deeply human characters, this is a thoughtful story about how you can never quite guess what life has in store for you--and maybe that's for the best." --Kelly O'Sullivan, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.

The Redemption of Galen Pike: Short Stories by Carys Davies (Biblioasis, $14.95, 9781771961394). "This is the most beautiful collection of short stories I have read in a long time. Each story feels perfect. The writing, the topic, and the resolution all left me completely satisfied. Their connecting theme is solitude or isolation and the struggle to move through it. The collection reminds me of some of Kevin Brockmeier's writing: beautiful, sometimes disturbing, and always memorable." --Lisa Sharp, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, Ariz.

For Ages 4 to 8
BE QUIET! by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484731628). "I've been looking forward to a third book about Bruce, the bear who begrudgingly became the parent to a gaggle of goslings in Mother Bruce. But Bruce makes only a cameo in BE QUIET! Instead, the enterprising mice from Hotel Bruce are the stars. Rupert is going to write a wordless book, and his friends Nibbs and Thistle insist upon helping. Chaos and frustration ensue, resulting in a wordless book with lots of words--and tons of humor and hysterical pictures! Love, love, love!" --Ellen Richmond, Children's Book Cellar, Waterville, Me.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker (Little, Brown, $16.99, 9780316348560). "There is so much beautiful astronomy and astrology and adventure packed into this book! Pirates, stars that come alive, ships made from floating forests, sea monsters, talking wolves, and a heroine who can hold her own in this crazy world--The Star Thief has it all, and more. Never a dull moment!" --Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, Ill.

For Teen Readers
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99, 9781492635826). "Think: geisha + magic + kaiju. I loved Chupeco's writing, as always, plus the magic and creature aspects of the world-building, the characters, and the past and present back-and-forth narrative. Tea, who's arguably an evil mess, is a capable and fast learner, as she has to be, considering her rare powers, but she is also deeply flawed in many ways (and terrible at singing). The Bone Witch is a very solid opening to a fantasy series that I hope to see blossom in the sequels." --Allison Senecal, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: American Eclipse

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron (Liveright, $27.95 hardcover, 352p., 9781631490163, June 6, 2017)

When science journalist David Baron (The Beast in the Garden) viewed a total solar eclipse for the first time, he was surprised by his passionate response. "For three glorious minutes... my consciousness departed the earth and I gaped at an alien sky.... It looked like an enormous wreath woven from silvery thread, and it hung suspended in the immensity of space, shimmering." That experience made him a devoted eclipse chaser, and eventually led him to the story of the eclipse that was visible from the United States' Wild West in 1878.

In the late 19th century, eclipses were not only a rare spectacle, but an exceptional opportunity for American astronomers, too. They could study the bodies of the solar system and the chemical composition of the sun, and prove themselves the scientific equals of their European counterparts. Congress reluctantly funded an expedition, and independent teams as well as mobs of tourists swarmed west for the great 175-second (or less) event. Baron builds his story around three vivid figures: young Thomas Edison, who assembled a "tasimeter" to measure the heat of the stars; Maria Mitchell, an adored astronomy professor at Vassar College who headed an all-woman team; and James Craig Watson, a competitive, unscrupulous astronomer who had discovered a record number of asteroids. All three of them probably benefited most from the positive publicity of their expeditions. Edison was a celebrity inventor on the rise who traveled in an opulent Pullman "hotel car," an "unflagging salesman who... effortlessly embellished reality, exaggerating the progress of his work and downplaying obstacles." Mitchell "saw it as her role not only to teach female students but to foster a sense of community, to create the kind of supportive environment for intelligent women so lacking in the outside world." Watson went away convinced that he had discovered the planet Vulcan and was lionized by the newspapers, for a while.

Baron mingles the excitement, aspiration and drama of these events with a good dose of technical information and scientific history. Archival photos, sketches and prints are scattered throughout the pages. This is a wonderful, dramatic piece of scientific history, and a fine companion for eclipses to come. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: This dramatic episode in U.S. scientific history is told through the stories of three scientists who traveled West to view the total solar eclipse of 1878.

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