Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 24, 2017

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

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

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves

Quotation of the Day

Charlottesville's New Dominion Bookshop: 'A Safe Space'

"We've had a lot of people come into the shop to see how we were and to make sure that we were alright after the rally, but also just to go out onto the mall to try to show that we are still here, that Charlottesville has not been made cowardly by the actions of these violent groups. At the bookshop, we've just been doing our best to be a safe space for anyone who wants it, especially since we are right by the memorial, to be the place where people can come into the air conditioning and be inside for a while.

"Mostly, people have been wanting to talk about it. It's just been a hard thing for everyone to talk about in general, but of course we all need to. That is the whole idea of a bookshop, to be a place where people can be in conversation with each other. A lot of people have come in to express their anger about what happened. This has also been move-in week for the University of Virginia, so people from all over the country have been dropping by to express their sympathy and their condolences."

--Robert Lazo, assistant manager at New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, Va., in a Bookselling This Week piece headlined "Booksellers Respond to Charlottesville"

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Rough Draft Bar & Books to Open in Kingston, N.Y.

Amanda and Anthony Stromoski plan to open Rough Draft Bar & Books, a 2,000-square-foot bookstore/craft beer bar, in Kingston, N.Y., November 1.

The bookstore, which will take up about half of the space, will feature new fiction and paperbacks plus "a small selection of brand-new hardbacks and nonfiction that we think our local readers will enjoy," the owners said.

The bar will focus on craft beers and will also serve wine, cider, espresso and coffee plus "New Zealand-style savory pies handcrafted in Brooklyn by DUB Pies, along with other tasty treats we discover along the way."

The store will also host events, including author readings, trivia nights, TV viewing parties and more. Store hours will be Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Amanda and Anthony Stromoski, with Augustus the Bulldog

The owners were "high school sweethearts who grew up in South Jersey and came together again in Brooklyn about a decade ago," they said. Amanda Stromoski is a science writer specializing in health and fitness who has spent several years running a successful freelance business. Anthony Stromoski worked as a public high school teacher, coach and administrator before they decided to move to the Hudson Valley to buy a house, open a bookstore and "enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the country," as they put it.

Kingston, they added, is "a fantastic town with so much going on, from a bustling restaurant and bar scene to a thriving arts community. It's a diverse community with an interesting blend of lifetime inhabitants and relative newcomers from New York City and beyond. We hope to fit right in in Uptown Kingston, where we will provide a community space for people to come together and share a pint, a cup of coffee or an interesting read."

Rough Draft Bar & Books is located at 82 John St., Kingston, N.Y. 12401; 609-351-2035.

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Uriel's Unusual Bookstore Coming to Springfield, Mo.

Nicholas and Ashleigh Hale hope to open Uriel's Unusual Bookstore in November or December at 301 E. Commercial St. in Springfield, Mo., the News-Leader reported. Uriel's will occupy a one-story storefront with about 2,000 square feet of space. An extensive interior renovation is underway that will include the addition of a mezzanine.

"We'd love to be open for the holiday season," Nicholas Hale said of the bookstore that will feature both new and used books (or, as Hale prefers to think of them, "read" and "unread") as well as traditional coffee shop items and basic small-plate food options.

The bookstore is named after Uriel, "an archangel in Judaism and certain Christian traditions that is typically depicted holding a book, and Hale said he wanted a name that would be unique," the News-Leader wrote.

A lifetime reader, Hale said he first thought about opening a bookstore about a year ago: "I asked myself, What can I do every day of the year? I thought books and coffee. I'd be happy doing that." He added that he thinks Commercial Street is "blossoming.... I think it's going to be perfect for the street."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

BookNet Canada Survey: Print Books Steady, Audiobooks Up

Among Canadian adults who read a book last year, 90% said they had read a print book, the same percentage as in 2016, according to BookNet's annual survey examining how Canadians are spending their leisure time. Audiobook listening (26%) was up slightly, while the number of people who read an e-book last year (48%) dropped slightly.

The survey, which is conducted each winter, asked 750 respondents if they had read or listened to a book in the previous year (82% said they had) and which formats they used. Half of Canadian readers discover the books they read or buy through word of mouth, while 38% cited browsing online and 38% a physical store (38%). Social media and public libraries were mentioned by 30% of respondents.

In 2017, most readers (44%) said the number of books they had read/listened to in the past year was close to the year previous, but 38% indicated an increase. This was a 5% jump over the previous year. Also, those reporting that their reading has decreased from the previous year was down by 3% from 20% to 17%.

For leisure activities overall, the top five choices were browsing the internet (33%), spending time with family (32%), watching TV (31%), watching a movie (23%) and reading (22%). This is similar to results from the last three years.

Obituary Note: Dianne Casas

Author and storyteller Dianne Casas, who wrote and performed as Dianne de Las Casas, died August 21, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. She was 47. An award-winning author, Casas published more than two dozen books; founded Picture Book Month, and "brought her skills as a raconteur to libraries and conferences across the country and beyond."

Her books include Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear!; The Cajun Cornbread Boy; A Is for Alligator: Draw and Tell Tales from A–Z; There's a Dragon in the Library; The Gigantic Sweet Potato (all illustrated by Marita Gentry); Mama's Bayou and The Little "Read" Hen (illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker).

In a tribute on Facebook, Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop wrote: "Today, we lost a truly wonderful woman, local children's book author author & storyteller Dianne de Las Casas, and I truly have no words. I am so deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy. Dianne lit up so many lives and was such an important part of our community. She was not only a wonderful business person from whom I learned so much and who was always willing to share tips and workshops with the community, but she was also a dear friend. We will miss her terribly, and we are finding comfort in the fact that she will live on through her work. May she rest in peace."


Image of the Day: Happy Book Birthday

Kwame Alexander celebrated his birthday (and his new book, Solo) at Village Books in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday.

Cool Idea of the Day: Story House Book Trolley

Debbie Bodin Cohen "maneuvers the 26-foot Story House, which debuted this spring, into and out of her Rockville [Md.] driveway and around the county," Bethesda magazine reported in a profile of the book trolley's owner and her "nearly 1,500 volumes for children and young adults [that] are rearranged depending on where the trolley's making an appearance: science fairs, synagogues, birthday parties, book festivals. Cohen talks of one day pairing with a food truck or one that sells coffee and rigging a canopy over a 'patio' where customers could hang out. Like at a 'real' bookstore."

An author of children's books herself, Cohen considered owning a bricks-and-mortar bookstore initially after leaving full-time work as a rabbi "to do something different." Ultimately, she chose to focus on "something with windows, smaller than a recreational vehicle," Bethesda wrote. In June and July 2016, she raised $20,000 through Kickstarter and found a trolley on Craigslist.  

When not on the road, the trolley is parked in the family driveway, where "my kids and I hang out in it some evenings," said Cohen "Arianna likes to do her homework in here. They say it's like a clubhouse."

Word on the Water: 'London's Floating Bookshop'

Noting that London "is a city rich in canals and waterways," BBC World Service spoke with Jonathan Privett, owner of Word on the Water bookbarge. "If you take a walk down the Regent's Canal, just behind King's Cross train station, you might bump into a boat covered in ivy and books. It's the home of book enthusiast Jonathan Privett, who has been bringing literature to unexpected places for most part of his life."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Thomas J. Brennan, Finbarr O'Reilly on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Thomas J. Brennan and Finbarr O'Reilly, authors of Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War (Viking, $27, 9780399562549).

Today Show: Penn Jillette, author of Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales (Simon & Schuster, $16, 9781501139529).

The View repeat: Jeffrey Tambor, author of Are You Anybody?: A Memoir (Crown Archetype, $27, 9780451496355).

This Weekend on Book TV: Richard Dawkins

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 26
2:30 p.m. Joseph Hickman, co-author of The Convenient Terrorist: Two Whistleblowers’ Stories of Torture, Terror, Secret Wars, and CIA Lies (Hot Books, $21.99, 9781510711624).

6:40 p.m. Devon W. Carbado, co-author of Acting White?: Rethinking Race in "Post-Racial" America (Oxford University Press, $23.95, 9780190229214). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 1 a.m.)

7 p.m. Cate Lineberry, author of Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250101860), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

8:10 p.m. Lee Edwards, co-author of A Brief History of the Cold War (Regnery, $24.99, 9781621574866).

8:30 p.m. Richard Dawkins, author of Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist (Random House, $28, 9780399592249). (Re-airs Sunday at 10:45 p.m.)

10 p.m. George Melloan, author of Free People, Free Markets: How the Wall Street Journal Opinion Pages Shaped America (Encounter Books, $27.99, 9781594039317). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Everett Piper, author of Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth (Regnery, $24.99, 9781621576051). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

Sunday, August 27
12 a.m. Trita Parsi, author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy (Yale University Press, $32.50, 9780300218169), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 7:50 p.m.)

1:15 a.m. Shelby Steele, author of Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country (Basic Books, $25.99, 9780465066971). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:45 p.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Thurber Prize; Readings New Australian Fiction

The finalists for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor are:

Trevor Noah, for Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau)
Ken Pisani, for Amp'd: A Novel (St. Martin's Press)
Aaron Thier, for Mr. Eternity (Bloomsbury USA)

The award will be presented on October 2 at a ceremony at Carolines on Broadway in New York City.


The shortlist for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, which recognizes "exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature" and is sponsored by Readings in Melbourne, is:

The Windy Season by Sam Carmody
Australia Day by Melanie Cheng
The Good People by Hannah Kent
The Lost Pages by Marija Peričić
From the Wreck by Jane Rawson
Jean Harley Was Here by Heather Taylor Johnson

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 29:

The Burning Girl: A Novel by Claire Messud (Norton, $25.95, 9780393635027) is a coming-of-age story about two female friends in a small town.

Glass Houses: A Novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $28.99, 9781250066190) is the 13th mystery with Chief Inspector Gamache.

Bernie Sanders's Our Revolution: A Guide for the Next Generation by Bernie Sanders, adapted by Kate Waters (Holt, $16.99, 9781250138903) is a guide for young readers on effecting change in today's world.

Laugh Out Loud by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein, and Jeff Ebbeler (Jimmy Patterson, $13.99, 9780316431460) tells the story of 12-year-old Jimmy who loves reading so much, he starts his own kid-run publishing company. (August 28.)

All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler (Bloomsbury, $22, 9781632868046) is a coming-of-age story about a sex-obsessed teenage boy.

Séance Infernale: A Novel by Jonathan Skariton (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101946732) follows a movie memorabilia dealer tracking down the first film ever made.

The Diesel Brothers: A Truckin' Awesome Guide to Trucks and Life by Diesel Dave and Heavy D (Gallery, $25.99, 9781501173158) is based on the Discovery Channel show Diesel Brothers.

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark (Knopf, $28, 9781101946596) explores the future impact of AI.

Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors by Eva Shockey and A. J. Gregory (Convergent Books, $25, 9780451499271) is a hunting show's co-host's guide to life.

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (Little, Brown, $16.99, 978031624283).

Tangled Destinies by Diana Palmer (HQN Books, $7.99, 9780373803651).

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker: 110 Recipes for Flavorful, Foolproof Dishes (Including Desserts!), Plus Test- Kitchen Tips and Strategies by Editors of Martha Stewart Living (Clarkson Potter, $26, 9780307954688).

Clueless: Senior Year by Amber Benson and Sarah Kuhn (BOOM! Box, $14.99, 9781608869831).

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:

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose (Viking, $26, 9780735221833). "Lee is a 17-year-old girl who has gotten into a bit of trouble. Not that she is innocent, or completely guilty either. She runs with the wrong crowd, steals something that is not hers, and now she is on the run with nobody to turn to. Rose takes readers into the underbelly of Philadelphia, the sections that people have abandoned, to solve the mystery Lee has fallen into, which has to do with the famous artist Duchamp. Rose melds together information and story methods with amazing skill, drawing on secret societies, hacking, art theft, conspiracies, drugs, and so much more. This plot moves; it does not slow down until it reaches the conclusion, which will have you gasping for breath. Such a brilliant journey." --Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counterpoint, $26, 9781619029224). "I loved the different generations in A Kind of Freedom, beginning with the parents of Evelyn and Ruby, who seem so proper and clean, to present-generation TC, a very likable, hopeful character, but one whose circumstances involve him in drugs and prison. I found the evolution of the family to present day sad but fascinating, and I couldn't help but root for every single character. In the end, you still feel hopeful despite it all." --Margot Farris, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Beast: A Novel by Paul Kingsnorth (Graywolf, $16, 9781555977795). "Paul Kingsnorth follows up the utter linguistic feat of his debut, The Wake, with another breathless and confounding work. Beast is comprised entirely of the hallucinatory ramblings of a self-imposed modern hermit, a Zarathustra or Thoreau kind of character who has left the modern world behind in search of communion with nature, the meaning of life, connection with a shadowy past, or maybe something more. Soon, he begins having surreal experiences in a strangely featureless and seemingly inescapable landscape and becomes obsessed with the only other living thing he can find--a large, mysterious cat roaming the moor. Written with a relentless intensity that will speed you along to the enigmatic ending, Beast traverses the realms of the mind and questions humanity's perceived place in the natural world." --Keaton Patterson, Brazos Books, Houston, Tex.

For Ages 4 to 8
Go Sleep in Your Own Bed by Candace Fleming and Lori Nichols (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780375866487). "It is bedtime on the farm, but when pig toddles off to snuggle down for the night, he finds someone sleeping there already. What ensues will have pajama-clad young readers giggling themselves to sleep--right after they ask to hear the story one more time." --Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol (Chicken House, $16.99, 9781338118582). "When Arianwyn unexpectedly fails her witch qualification test, she's basically banished to a backwater town called Lull to work as an apprentice. No one expects that she'll have much to do, but there's something dark lurking in the woods around Lull and Arianwyn might be the only one who can figure out what's gone wrong. Full of lovely, familiar-feeling magic and a cast of entertaining characters, this book is a delightful read in the style of the best British fantasy." --Lillian Tschudi-Campbell, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee (Amulet Books, $18.99, 9781419725487). "The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is here to fill that Buffy- or Sailor Moon-shaped hole in your life. Warm, action-packed, and absolutely the most fun you'll have reading a book this summer. Give Genie Lo a CW series!" --Allison Senecal, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Age of Perpetual Light

The Age of Perpetual Light by Josh Weil (Grove Press, $25 hardcover, 240p., 9780802127013, September 12, 2017)

Fulbright Fellow Josh Weil's collection of stories The Age of Perpetual Light burns in the imagination like a set of lanterns, illuminating rare human spaces in the darkness of history.

Weil (The Great Glass Sea) is an immense talent, a writer who can craft convincing characters, with distinct voice and ethos, and also elevate narrative language to a level of poetry. The eight stories in The Age of Perpetual Light are thematically connected by Weil's treatment of technology, specifically the evolution of modern lighting. The collection begins with "No Flies, No Follies" and ends with "Hello from Here," both first-person tales narrated by a Jewish peddler named Yankel, who, at the start of the 20th century, falls in love with an Amish woman to whom he shows off the wonders of an electric lamp. In between these two stories, Weil explores the early-to-mid-20th-century United States with "Long Bright Line," about a female painter obsessed with airplanes, and "The Essential Constituent of Modern Living Standards," about farm workers organizing against a power company. "Angle of Reflection" focuses on satellites of the late century, while "The Point of Roughness" and "Beautiful Ground" explore relationships in more modern-day settings. "The First Bad Thing" represents Weil's foray into near-future dystopian fiction in which "mirror light" provides endless daylight and crop-growing capacity for humans.

It isn't the evolution of technology itself but humans' relationship to it that defines these stories. With haunting imagery, Weil evokes the advent of electricity as witnessed by Yankel: "I have seen the way the light spreads from city to city along the coast, inland road by road, like moonlit foam frothing on top of a rushing flood." As rapturous as electric lighting is to early consumers, Weil reverses its role in "The First Bad Thing," as an outlaw couple tries to escape perpetual artificial light and find real darkness in the world: "They stood in that darkness and breathed it and felt it around them and she waved her hands in it and told him she was waving her hands and he could hear her sloshing about, playing like a child in first snow."

What makes Weil a writer of the highest caliber is the intimacy he constructs between his characters. In "The Point of Roughness," a father raising an autistic daughter in the woods reflects, "Watching Orly turn and see me, I know we do not matter to the world--which does not care, which will not know--but only to each other, husband, wife, mother, daughter." Indeed, in these stories, love somehow operates as the ultimate light, despite humans' various stages of technology and know-how.

The Age of Perpetual Light is the result of an original mind working at the nexus of known history and poetic imagination. The collection is luminous throughout, its impressions and insights into the human condition coalescing like wondrous heat on a cold night. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: Josh Weil showcases his exceptional talent in this moving collection of stories that imagines the modern world both with and without light.

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