Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 10, 2017

Algonquin Young Readers: the Beautiful Game by Yamile Saied Méndez

Berkley Books: Books that will sweep you off your feet! Enter Giveaway!

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber


Politics & Prose Opening Second Branch, in S.W. Washington

Politics & Prose, the Washington, D.C., bookstore that in May announced it was opening its first branch, in Northeast Washington, has just announced it will open another branch, this one at the Wharf, a mile-long mixed-use development being built by Hoffman-Madison Waterfront in Southwest Washington along the Washington Channel of the Potomac River.

The 2,300-square-foot store will open in October in the Wharf's District Square and carry a wide assortment of books and nonbook items, and will host regular author events and book signings. Among those already scheduled to appear this fall are MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Jordanian Filipina American writer and editor Malu Halasa, national security affairs specialist Mark Perry and cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.

"We're very excited to be expanding into Southwest D.C., an increasingly dynamic part of the city that has been woefully lacking in bookstores," said Bradley Graham, who owns Politics & Prose with his wife, Lissa Muscatine.

Calling Politics & Prose "a true national treasure," Amer Hammour, chairman of Madison Marquette, a partner in the project, said, "We are delighted that this newest location for Politics & Prose will extend their culturally-informative offerings and provide residents, tenants, workers, and visitors at the Wharf with a uniquely intellectual and compelling space in which to browse, buy and commune with book-lovers."

Monty Hoffman, founder and CEO of PN Hoffman, added, "Politics and Prose is a visionary D.C. institution with international cultural credibility--one that has stood the test of time while playing a central role in our city's renaissance. We're thrilled to bring the next iteration of Politics & Prose to the Wharf, where we're infusing the waterfront with creative thought leaders, artisans and cultural offerings intended to celebrate the roots of D.C. at its water's edge."

Politics & Prose's other new branch opens later this fall in Union Market in Northeast Washington.

Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton Partners with Independent College Bookstore Association, the digital audiobook platform for independent booksellers, is now a partner of the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA), the retail cooperative of some 130 institution-affiliated college bookstores, which can now offer more than 70,000 digital audiobooks to customers.

"We created because independent stores were getting left behind in the soaring growth of digital audiobooks, the fastest growing category in publishing," said CEO Mark Pearson. "The ICBA partnership makes it easy for any college bookstore to sell digital audiobooks in-store and through their own co-branded storefront."

"As a partner, provides a comprehensive solution that's a great message for students, faculty and staff who love books," added ICBA CEO Fred Weber.

ICBA member Teri Den Herder of UC San Diego Bookstore said, " is what I have been waiting for, an indie for indies. I love how easy every aspect of working with the team is--from the set-up on our website, for our booksellers handselling, for our customers, for our marketing, to the transferring of audiobooks, everything." is also a partner of the American Booksellers Association and Hudson and Hudson Booksellers.

Netflix Buys Comics Publisher Millarworld

Netflix has acquired Millarworld, the comic book publisher founded by Mark Millar, creator of such characters and stories as Kick-Ass, Kingsman and Old Man Logan. This marks the first acquisition by Netflix, which described the deal as "a natural progression in the company's effort to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds."

Netflix and Millar plan to bring Millarworld's portfolio of characters to life through films, series and kids' shows available exclusively to Netflix members. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories under the Netflix label.

"As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel's The Avengers to Millarworld's Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern day Stan Lee," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "We can't wait to harness the creative power of Millarworld to Netflix and start a new era in global storytelling."

Millar commented: "This is only the third time in history a major comic book company has been purchased at this level. I'm so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans. Netflix is the future and Millarworld couldn't have a better home."

B&N Education Acquires Student Brands

Barnes & Noble Education has acquired Student Brands, a direct-to-student subscription-based writing skills services business, for $58.5 million. Student Brands has more than 20 million unique monthly users across its digital properties, which include, and in the U.S.; in Brazil; in France; and in Mexico.

Kanuj Malhotra, COO, digital education, B&N Education, said the acquisition will enable the company "to maintain and expand our leadership position in the distribution and provision of educational services and content. The lack of writing proficiency is one of the most significant challenges in our education system, and Student Brands provides a significant opportunity to serve this market with solutions that improve student performance.... The addition of Student Brands and its nearly 100,000 subscribers will enable us to offer products and services directly to our current student base and beyond."

Student Brands CEO Thomas Swalla said that B&N Education "shares our mission to provide students with innovative solutions to solve a growing range of academic challenges. We are confident that this is an ideal combination and we are thrilled to begin working with our new colleagues."

Obituary Note: Jill McElmurry

Children's book illustrator Jill McElmurry died on August 3. She was 62 and had breast cancer.

McElmurry began her career working for 20 years as an editorial illustrator, creating art for magazines, book covers, posters and design projects in the U.S. and Germany. She then turned her attention to children's books, fulfilling her dream of being an author and illustrator. Her first book, Mad About Plaid, was published in 2000. McElmurry went on to illustrate more than 20 picture books, four of which she also wrote.

She illustrated Joseph Hopkins's The Tree Lady (Beach Lane, 2013), which won the California Library Association's Beatty Award in 2014. Her best-known work may be the Little Blue Truck series, written by Alice Schertle, which has been translated into 10 languages. Little Blue Truck's Springtime will be published in January 2018.

"Jill brought joy and goodwill to countless children through her gorgeous illustrations which brimmed with life," Catherine Onder, senior v-p and publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers, said. "It's impossible not to be moved by the exuberance and heart in each of her books. She will be missed tremendously."

McElmurry's longtime agent Marcia Wernick said, "Jill was dedicated to getting it right. She wasn't afraid to stick to her guns when she thought she had delivered the best illustration she could, but she was always willing to work with publishers to make changes to improve the books she worked on."

McElmurry grew up in Taos, N.Mex., in the presence of many artists, including her grandfather, painter and Gallery A co-founder Mario Larrinaga. As an adult, she spent part of every year in Taos, and in her last decade, she painted New Mexican (and later Northern Minnesotan) landscapes, selling more than 60 paintings through the Mission Gallery in Taos.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
A Forty Year Kiss
by Nickolas Butler
GLOW: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler is a passionate, emotionally complex love story that probes tender places within the heart and soul. When 60-somethings Charlie and Vivian--married then divorced in their 20s--reunite after four decades, they are swept up by the very best of what their romantic relationship once offered. "Anyone who has ever thought about what might have been will find this book fascinating," says Shana Drehs, senior editorial director at Sourcebooks Landmark. "The story is a brilliant exploration of a second chance at love, always realistic but never saccharine." As Charlie and Vivian build a bridge from past to present, their enduring love paving over potholes, Butler (Shotgun Lovesongs) raises questions about how life changes people--or does it?--and delivers another heartening, unforgettable novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781464221248, 
February 4, 2025)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Satisfaction Guaranteed

After her event at McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, Mich., author Karen Dionne and co-owner Matt Norcross posed in front of  the bookstore's window display devoted to Dionne's novel The Marsh King's Daughter (Putnam). Dionne has a personal connection to the store: some 20 years ago, she and her husband lived in the area, and they upholstered the furniture for the store. McLean & Eakin is so supportive of The Marsh King's Daughter, it's offering readers a money-back guarantee--only the third time they've ever done this--and so far, no one has taken them up on it.

Katie Eelman Wins Rusty Drugan Scholarship

Katie Eelman

Katie Eelman of Papercuts J.P., Boston, Mass., has won the Rusty Drugan Scholarship for Emerging Leaders, awarded annually by the New England Independent Booksellers Association in memory of its former executive director.

Eelman has been at Papercuts J.P. since it opened in 2014 and run the events program, manages social media, marketing and publicity, and produces the store's podcast. She is also co-founder and editor-in-chief of the store's publishing arm, Cutlass Press. Her book career started in the Boston office of Hachette Book Group. NEIBA noted that at the store, "she also works diligently to remember the names of each canine visitor."

'How Being a Bookseller Can Change Your Reading Life'

In her Bustle feature headlined "How Being a Bookseller Can Change Your Reading Life Forever," Kerri Jarema admitted she "never planned on becoming a bookseller. In fact, it was the farthest thing from my mind until suddenly, there I was, handing in my resume.... I had always loved books, and bookstores, and so threw caution to the wind, walked in to one of my favorite shops, and applied. My on-a-lark retail stint would end up lasting almost three years and, in many ways, totally changing my life both as a reader and otherwise."

Personnel Changes at the New Press

Effective at the end of September, Brian Ulicky is joining the New Press as director of publicity and marketing. He was formerly director of publicity at Blue Rider, which he joined when the imprint was founded in 2011. He previously worked at Simon & Schuster.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Philip Shenon on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination (Picador, $22, 9781250060754).

This Weekend on Book TV: Senator Jeff Flake

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, August 12
4:10 p.m. Sam Sorbo, author of They're Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate (Kamakazee Kiwi, $20, 9780982800102). (Re-airs Monday at 3:40 a.m.)

4:30 p.m. Willard Sterne Randall, author of Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250111838), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

7 p.m. Peter Brannen, author of The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062364807), at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass. (Re-airs Sunday at 8:15 a.m.)

7:45 p.m. Dinesh D'Souza, author of The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left (Regnery, $29.99, 9781621573487). (Re-airs Monday at 4:45 a.m.)

8 p.m. Peter Baker, author of Obama: The Call of History (New York Times/Callaway, $50, 9780935112900). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

9 p.m. Tracy Crow and Jerri Bell, editors of It's My Country Too: Women's Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan (Potomac Books, $32.95, 9781612348315), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 2:30 p.m.)

10 p.m. Senator Jeff Flake, author of Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle (Random House, $27, 9780399592911). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

10:40 p.m. Benjamin Madley, author of An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 (Yale University Press, $22, 9780300230697). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 12:40 a.m.)

11 p.m. Robert O'Neill, author of The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior (Scribner, $28, 9781501145032). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:10 p.m.)

Sunday, August 13
9:40 p.m. Helen Raleigh, author of The Broken Welcome Mat: America's UnAmerican Immigration Policy and How We Should Fix It (CreateSpace, $16.99, 9781533216298).

11 p.m. Andy Puzder, co-author Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn't Understand It (E3 Free Market Press, $32.99, 9780615436357).

Books & Authors

Awards: Washington State; Not the Booker; Spirited

Finalists for the Washington State Book Awards in eight categories have been announced and can be seen here. Winners will be announced on Saturday, October 14, and celebrated at the Seattle Public Library's Central Library.


The shortlist for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize, voted on by readers, is:

Not Thomas by Sara Gethin (Honno Press)
Dark Chapter by Winnie M. Li (Legend Press)
Man With a Seagull on His Head by Harriet Paige (Bluemoose Books)
The Threat Level Remains Severe by Rowena Macdonald (Aardvark Bureau)
The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O'Loughlin (Black and White Publishing)


Among winners of the 2017 Spirited Awards at the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans were:

Best New Cocktail & Bartending Book: Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin and Rebecca Cate (Ten Speed Press)

Best New Spirits Book: Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick (Voyageur Press)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 15:

The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year That Changed Literature by Bill Goldstein (Holt, $30, 9780805094022) chronicles the year 1922 in literature.

Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever by Kevin Cook (Holt, $30, 9781250116567) focuses on the 1947 World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (Pamela Dorman, $25, 9780735223493) follows a woman struggling to keep her late father's bookstore open.

I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine, $28, 9780345543882) is the 12th Rizzoli & Isles mystery.

Exposed by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250099716) is the fifth Rosato & DiNunzio thriller.

Roof Octopus by Lucy Branam and Rog Coelho (Sleeping Bear Press, $16.99, 9781585369973) is a picture book featuring a helpful octopus. On the roof. Of a city apartment building.

Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781442402980) is about a young bunny who grows afraid of the glowing pair of underwear he desperately wanted.

American Assassin: A Thriller by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler, $16.99, 9781501180491).

SLAM! Vol. 1 by Pamela Ribon and Veronica Fish (BOOM! Box, $14.99, 9781684150045).

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:

Fierce Kingdom: A Novel by Gin Phillips (Viking, $25, 9780735224278). "Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are just about to conclude a day at the zoo when Joan notices an unnatural stillness and a lack of other people. She hears sounds, loud popping noises, and cannot quite determine what they might be. Then she notices the bodies. How quickly life shifts from a dream to a nightmare. She shushes Lincoln and hurries away, back into the zoo she knows so well, intent on finding a hiding spot until help arrives. This is an absolutely gripping exploration of what it is like to be hunted, to be trapped and awaiting rescue but still able to connect, with cell phone glimpses, to that other life that now seems so tenuous in the midst of real danger." --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, Ore.

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062419095). "Fans of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat will be thrilled to know that that there is at least one more thrilling tale of World War II heroism able to leave readers nearly breathless. Sons and Soldiers is the remarkable story of German-born Jews who escaped the country during Hitler's rise to power. After training with the U.S. military, these same men returned to their homeland to fight the Nazis. Their knowledge of German culture, geography, and language made them uniquely skilled at gathering enemy intelligence, but also especially vulnerable should they be captured. Bruce Henderson has written a masterpiece, an inspiring and gripping tale of selfless men who risked everything to defeat unspeakable evil." --Christopher Rose, The Spirit of '76 Bookstore, Marblehead, Mass.

Marrow Island: A Novel by Alexis M. Smith (Mariner, $14.99, 9781328710345). "After an earthquake destroyed the oil refinery on Marrow Island and killed her father, Lucie Bowen left. Twenty years later, she returns to the Puget Sound and discovers her friend Kate is now living on this toxic island with members of 'The Colony.' Set in the Pacific Northwest, Marrow Island is a mystery/thriller that encompasses communal living, natural and man-made disasters, and what can happen when we tinker with the ecosystem and try to play a larger role." --Tracy Taylor, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484717790). "In a world populated by letters and numbers, private detective I is approached by a panicked 6, who reports that 7 ate 9 and he fears he will be next! I is determined to get to the bottom of things, questioning other numbers before unearthing the mystery's twist. The number puns are rapid-fire, and there are plenty of visual gags--when 8 learns about 7's alleged crime, she removes her belt to disguise herself as 0. But this book is not just a collection of jokes built around a concept--it has a real story with a solid conclusion. One of the wittiest picture books I've encountered in years and with the multiple levels of humor, 7 Ate 9 is sure to delight adults just as much as the kids they read it to!" --Ann Childs, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.

For Ages 9 to 12
You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis (Dial, $16.99, 9781101993859). "Who is Olivia? She's a girl who grew up in a trailer park and whose father left for reasons she doesn't really understand. She doesn't go to school, but that's okay, because she can teach herself and her younger sister at home. Meanwhile, she fantasizes about winning the lottery, because that would solve all their problems. I really felt for Olivia and her sister, Berkeley. Olivia's voice contains maturity and frustration; her whimsical daydreams take you off track in the best ways. What a voice, and what a character." --Alison Nolan, Linden Tree Books, Los Altos, Calif.

For Teen Readers
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062568243). "I love the Queen's Thief books and I am thrilled to go back to that world and explore the politics, intrigue, and stories in this wonderful series. This new book follows a Mede slave as he negotiates the politics of that vast empire as well as the role slaves play in running an empire. There are subtle touches of Rome and Greece, but the world is entirely unique. With Megan Whalen Turner's deft touch for developing her characters and the world in which they move, Thick as Thieves is thrilling as both a political and an adventure novel. Expect to be swept up into the world she has created." --Liesl Freudenstein, The Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Sisters

Sisters by Lily Tuck (Atlantic Monthly Press, $20 hardcover, 176p., 9780802127112, September 5, 2017)

Lily Tuck (The Double Life of Liliane) is a literary wonder who's received well-deserved recognition, including the National Book Award for The News from Paraguay in 2004. Since then, she has continued to publish spare, astute novels. Tuck's fiction tells stories of marriage, love, death and isolation among upper-middle class people, the well-educated, the world travelers. Her circumscribed narrative cocoons always release carefully shaped butterflies of observation and wisdom.

Sisters is another wonderful Tuck prism. It explores the often awkward, sometimes obsessive relationship of a second wife to her predecessor. Is her bond trader husband's ex a rival, a haunting ghost, a friend--or perhaps a sister? The narrator hears about the ex-wife (only named as she) in her husband's reminiscences, looks for the woman's features in her two teen step-children, and sees early years of their marriage in old family photos in her husband's apartment. In time, she increasingly sees her predecessor in person--when dropping off the kids at her Upper East Side apartment ("she was not looking her best... I was glad to see her looking older and in slight disarray"), at her local Fairway grocery, even accidently crossing paths in the ladies' room at her daughter's wedding, where the narrator says: "I can't help laughing at the thought of her sitting on the same toilet seat I had just vacated--only it should have been the other way around." She is jealous, of course, but also feeling some shared unhappiness in a lonely marriage.

Tuck's 40-year-old narrator was once a free-spirited, occasional drug-taking East Village young woman trying to make it in the city. She remembers all of her lovers and becomes obsessed with her husband's sexual past, particularly that with his ex-wife. On insomniac nights, she tries to calculate their lovemaking. When he travels frequently for his job, she develops closer ties with his children, especially the strapping math prodigy son. She rekindles a relationship with a former lover visiting the city: "For old times' sake, I told myself. No regrets. Sleeping with Tim was familiar." An educated woman and amateur photographer, she frequently quotes from works triggered by what catches her interest: Philip Roth, Mario Vargas Llosa, Václav Havel, mathematician Hermann Grassmann--even cookbooks, travel histories and gardening guides.

With Tuck, you get a smattering of everything snugged into a tight package. Sisters is a novel about marriage, family, sex, jealousy and vanity. Its narrator makes her way through entanglements and digressions as her life moves toward a surprising but fitting outcome. Tuck's cocoon once again yields a butterfly. All nine of her works of fiction will take less than a foot of your bookshelf. Have at 'em! --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Lily Tuck's new novel is another spare, stunning story--of a marriage, a former wife, a husband, stepchildren and a woman finding her way amongst them.

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