Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Storey Publishing: The Universe in Verse: 15 Portals to Wonder Through Science & Poetry by Maria Popova

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta

Jimmy Patterson: Amir and the Jinn Princess by M T Khan

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout


SIBA Head to Work from San Francisco; Barrett Joins as Asst. Executive Director

Unusual news down South! Wanda Jewell, executive director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, will move next year to San Francisco from South Carolina but will retain her job, making her the first regional booksellers association head we've heard of to live outside her territory. She wants to spend time with her granddaughter and, she says, "any future grands to come!"

At the same time, Linda-Marie Barrett, longtime general manager and former co-owner of Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C., has left the store to become assistant executive director of SIBA, effective yesterday. Her initial focus will be as a Rep on the Road liaison to SIBA booksellers, expanding on outreach she began as a SIBA board member. She will also increase participation in SIBA's Frindies (Author Friends) program, and be the East Coast SIBA representative, beginning in early 2018.

Jewell commented: "I believe this will be good for SIBA. I'll have access to a whole new culture of bookselling. I'll research new products, concepts, and ideas at work and bring them to SIBA booksellers. I'm investigating the possibility of sharing resources with the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, as well as contacting new vendors." She added that she plans to keep East Coast hours.

Barrett said, "Malaprop's has been my heart for almost 29 years, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to work with Wanda Jewell, someone I admire tremendously. I'm bringing my bookselling experience to work at a broader level. I'll be reaching out to indies in the Southeast, traveling the territory, meeting booksellers and visiting their shops. I'll explore what's working and what needs attention, which is a perfect match for my passion to build connections, find solutions, and offer practical assistance. I'm very excited to begin my new work."

She also thanked Malaprop's owner and founder Emoke B'Racz "for hiring me and allowing me the space to be innovative, hire amazing people, and put my stamp on different areas of the store's business practices. I am grateful to all the booksellers from Malaprop's and from stores across the country who taught me so much about commerce, artistic expression, and, most importantly, being a better person. You are the best!"

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

Dylan Speaks! Nobel Lecture Recorded in L.A.

On Monday, Bob Dylan fulfilled the final requirement for accepting his Nobel Prize in Literature--to give a lecture for the Nobel Foundation--with the release of a recorded speech. Both the recording and the text are now available on the foundation's website.

"When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature," Dylan begins. "I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I'm going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful."

Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, described the speech as "extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the Lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Phoenix Books Essex in Vt. to Relocate, Expand

Phoenix Books Essex will relocate in late July to a larger space at 2 Carmichael Street in Essex, Vt., just around the corner from the store's current home. Founded in 2007 by Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner, Phoenix Books has since added locations across the state in Burlington, Rutland and Chester, along with a sister store in Woodstock.

DeSanto reaffirmed the store's commitment to Essex, noting that the new lease is for 10 years or more. "We love this community, and our customers have been strong supporters of Phoenix Books," he said, adding that since the business has expanded, the original location needs more office, shipping/receiving and storage room, which the larger space will provide. It will also allow Phoenix Books Essex to increase inventory, expand bargain book offerings, explore the possibility of selling used books and better serve the community through partnerships with schools, offsite events and other local organizations.

Construction has already started under CedarLedge Builders with design by Joshua Nase. Reiner is supervising the construction and buildout on the space, which she says will include "a play area for children as well as lots of comfortable chairs for adults to review their book selections."

The new location also features higher visibility from Route 15. "Every car that goes by will see our signage and know there is an indie bookstore right here," said Reiner, noting that Carmichael Street features a number of locally owned businesses. "We think the local flavor of the pet shop and the restaurants are a good fit for us, and the new spot is just a short walk from our current location." With a variety of food and beverage offerings already available nearby, the new store will not have a café.

Since the current lease at Essex Outlets doesn't run out until the end of September, a quick and efficient move is anticipated. "We expect to close for less than a week during the actual move," said general manager Colleen Shipman. "And we have exciting plans in the works for a celebration of Phoenix's 10-year anniversary in the new space this September."

"Every so often," DeSanto observed, "a bookstore, or any business, must reinvent itself by rising up from the ashes of its older self to emerge as a newer, more modern and improved version of the original. So Phoenix will do over the summer of 2017."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Obituary Note: Helen Dunmore

Poet, novelist and children's author Helen Dunmore died of cancer yesterday. She was 64.

The author of 12 novels, three books of short stories, many books for young adults and children, and 11 collections of poetry, Dunmore had "a flair for reinvention and making history human," the Guardian wrote.

Dunmore won the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996 for A Spell of Winter and the McKitterick Prize for debut novelists in 1994 for Zennor in Darkness. In 2001, The Siege was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and Whitbread Novel of the Year. Other titles included The Betrayal, The Lie and Birdcage Walk, which was published in March.

Penguin Random House said it was "devastated by the loss of one of our best-loved authors," the Bookseller wrote, adding that Dunmore had been "an inspirational and generous author, championing emerging voices and other established authors" as well as "a very dear friend" to many at Penguin Random House and the wider literary community. Her fiction, the company continued, was "rich and intricate, yet narrated with a deceptive simplicity that made all her writing accessible and heartfelt."

Selina Walker, Dunmore's editor at Hutchinson, told the Bookseller that Dunmore was "very much a writer's writer and it is no coincidence that her final novel, Birdcage Walk, deals with legacy and recognition: what writers, especially women writers, can expect to leave behind them. She left a legacy of exceptional novels, and the fact that there will now be no more is simply heart-breaking. She was an exceptional person and an exceptional novelist, and her e-mails--like her writing--were filled with grace and light and sensitivity. I will miss her hugely."

BookExpo 2017: APA Author Tea

Admiration for emcee Alan Alda (If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?, Random House Audio) and the value of reading by audiobook were recurrent themes during the Audio Publishers Association Author Tea, held Friday afternoon in front of a notably large and enthusiastic audience.

Before introducing guest speakers Marissa Meyer, Daniel José Older and James Patterson, Alda, who has narrated several audiobooks, called the narration process "a fascinating experience because there you are, six hours a day for a week, saying the book out loud. It drives you crazy. You start to mutter the words. One word means the same as another word. And you mispronounce common everyday words, like your own name. It's extraordinary how that happens.

Alan Alda, Marissa Meyer, Daniel José Older and James Patterson

"But the thing that's wonderful is that when you do an audiobook, you have an advantage that you don't have when the person is reading the book off pages. You have the chance to supply the tone of voice, and give it the meaning that you really meant it to have when you wrote it."

"Not gonna lie. It is pretty cool to be standing on stage with Alan Alda," said Meyer (Renegades, Macmillan Audio), who admitted she did not know much about making audiobooks, but after her first novel was recorded she "realized how incredibly lucky I was that Macmillan had chosen Rebecca [Soler] because she absolutely nailed the story, the characters, the voices.... And it was one of those moments in listening to it where I felt, as a writer, like together Rebecca and I were able to bring these characters to life in an incredibly real way."

Older (Shadowhouse Fall, Scholastic Audio) noted that while there are many motivations for becoming a writer, "if I had known known that one day Mr. Alda would say my name, I would have started writing much younger."

He described the rising popularity of audiobooks as "a full circle moment in literary history. The roots of literature are in spoken word, not Microsoft Word.... That's where stories come from--people talking to each other out loud and saying these words. And that matters. It matters in process and it matters in product.... I think of writing as a form of incantation, as a form of magic. And it's a powerful statement that we get to hear these things said out loud."

Patterson (Crazy House, Hachette Audio) opened his presentation with a declaration: "Listening to an audio is reading. A lot of gatekeepers don't buy into that, but I do."

Noting the audiobook "is only scratching the surface of its potential importance and its audience," he offered a pair of recommendations. "The first suggestion is that some audiobook people have to go out to Silicon Valley. We need to redesign audiobooks so they can be sold at a better price." He also advocated for offering an irresistible audiobook package, which "could include, just for example, a John Grisham, a Patterson, Hillbilly Elegy, a Wimpy Kid novel, Alan's new book," to automobile makers at close to cost if they would agree to put it in every new car they sell.

"Audiobooks need trial," he concluded. "And that's the kind of thinking directionally that audiobooks need to fulfill their potential--a better retail price, better production at times, and massive trial. Because to try audiobooks is to fall in love with them. I'm James Patterson, and I read by audiobook." --Robert Gray



Image of the Day: Lemonade & Listening

June is Audiobook Month, and Penguin Random House Audio is celebrating by hosting pop-up lemonade stands around the New York metro area, serving up frozen drinks and free audiobook downloads. (Today: J. Owen Grundy Park in Jersey City; Wednesday: Willoughby Plaza in Brooklyn; Thursday: Bowling Green Park in Manhattan; Friday: Columbus Circle. All locations will be open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.)

Listeners who can't make it to a lemonade stand can visit for a free download of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and enter to win an iPad and a year's worth of audiobooks.

Aussie Booksellers of the Year Finalists

Finalists in two categories for the 2017 Australian Booksellers Association Booksellers of the Year awards have been announced, Books+Publishing magazine reported. The winners will be named June 18 during this year's ABA Conference. A complete list of finalists for Bookseller of the Year and Young Bookseller of the Year can be found here.

Bookshop Dog/Hockey Fan: Mary Todd Lincoln

With the Nashville Predators battling the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Final, Mary Todd Lincoln, a canine bookseller at Parnassus Books, was showing major team spirit on Twitter: "GOOO PREDS! Mary Todd Lincoln is in her @PredsNHL gold #smashville #NashvillePredators"

Personnel Changes at Chronicle Books

Laura Antonacci has joined Chronicle Books as marketing director, children's. Previously she was senior marketing manager for Random House.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Chelsea Clinton on the Tonight Show

CBS This Morning: Rachel Renée Russell, author of The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 2: Middle School Mayhem (Aladdin, $13.99, 9781481460033).

Good Morning America: Elettra Wiedemann, author of Impatient Foodie: 100 Delicious Recipes for a Hectic, Time-Starved World (Scribner, $29.99, 9781501128912).

The View: Kevin Hart, author of I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons (Atria/37 INK, $26.99, 9781501155567).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Alan Alda, author of If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating (Random House, $28, 9780812989144).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Andy Cohen, author of Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries (St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99, 9781250145710).

Tonight Show: Chelsea Clinton, author of She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World (Philomel, $17.99, 9781524741723).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Mike Tyson, co-author of Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D'Amato (Blue Rider, $28, 9780399177033).

Movies: The Willoughbys

Maya Rudolph, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski and Sean Cullen have joined the voice cast of Bron Animation's The Willoughbys, based on the 2010 book by Lois Lowry, Deadline reported. Ricky Gervais is the movie's narrator and an executive producer. The project is being written and directed by Kris Pearn, with Cory Evans co-directing, and is currently in pre-production.  

Pearn previously worked on films at Sony, Dreamworks, Lucas/Disney and Aardman, with credits including head of story on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, co-director of Cloudy 2, story supervisor on Arthur Christmas. He also had credits on Surf's Up, Shawn the Sheep, Home and Pirates: Band of Misfits; and has been nominated twice for Annie Awards.

Books & Authors

Awards: PubWest Book Design

The winners in the 24 categories of the 2017 PubWest Book Design Awards have been announced and can be seen here. The overall Judges' Choice Award, selected from among the winners in each of the categories, is Gardens, Art, and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints (Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens).

Reading Group Choices' Most Popular May Books

The two most popular books in May at Reading Group Choices were The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner (Flatiron Books) and The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (Sourcebooks).

Book Review

Review: Final Girls

Final Girls by Riley Sager (Dutton, $26 hardcover, 352p., 9781101985366, July 11, 2017)

Riley Sager uses the slasher movie trope of the "final girl" (the lone female who manages to survive and escape the killer) as the foundation for a nail-biting thriller.

Quincy Carpenter. Samantha Boyd. Lisa Milner. Even though the three women have never met in person, their names are inextricably linked as the Final Girls, lone female survivors of mass murders so gruesome they rival big-screen slasher flicks. Quincy lost five college friends, including her boyfriend and best friend, in a bloody massacre during a getaway to remote Pine Cottage. Samantha disappeared from public life after living through the Sack Man's rampage at a motel where she worked, but Lisa wrote a popular book about surviving the trauma of the sorority house murders she escaped. Quincy, however, happily remembers almost nothing from the night of Pine Cottage. Her strongest memory is of Coop, the police officer who shot the knife-wielding killer in the head to save her life. Years later, Quincy's successful baking blog, stable relationship with her compassionate boyfriend, Jeff, and rejection of the Final Girl label allow her to tell herself that she's left Pine Cottage behind--aside from the occasional phone call or meeting with Coop. When Lisa Milner dies under suspicious circumstances and Sam Boyd turns up on her doorstep, Quincy can no longer run from her past or the questions that still surround the Pine Cottage Murders.

Part thriller, part horror story, Final Girls borrows riffs from Friday the 13th, Halloween and Single White Female, but remains its own sophisticated creature. As Quincy's past resurfaces, she wonders what really happened at Pine Cottage; Sager throws out plenty of plausible possibilities while keeping the whole truth neatly under wraps. Although the story's inspiration is pure camp, Sager takes on the heavy theme of trauma survival thoroughly and with due seriousness. While a final girl's tale in a movie usually ends with survival as success, Quincy, Lisa and Sam have to live with and fight their demons. Quincy's coping mechanisms include pill popping and shoplifting; her veneer of normalcy hides darker currents of anger and guilt, which Sager uses to propel the plot and wind tension to the breaking point. Moreover, third-person chapters detailing the lead up to the Pine Cottage Murders interrupt Quincy's first-person passages, so that as she comes closer to remembering the tragedy, the reader marches toward the truth beside her. Taut and bloody, this chilling mystery invites Gillian Flynn comparisons. Readers should prepare to sleep with the lights on. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: In a reality where horror movie-style slasher sprees really happen, a survivor must face her past when other "final girls" are in danger.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Real Sexy by Meghan March
2. Duke of Manhattan by Louise Bay
3. Master of Solitude (Mountain Masters & Dark Haven Book 8) by Cherise Sinclair
4. Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan
5. Eligible Billionaires Box Set by Maggie Marr
6. Rook and Ronin by JA Huss
7. Serve No Master by Jonathan Green
8. Caveman by Jo Raven
9. Only With Me by Kelly Elliott
10. Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

[Many thanks to!]

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