Also published on this date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017: Maximum Shelf: Good Day, Good Night

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 13, 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

Quotation of the Day

'If You Like This Store, You Shop at This Store'

"I'm so happy to be here in Dallas. You are so incredibly lucky to have this store, and I'm proud of you for realizing how lucky you are.... It is like the bar at Cheers. It is like the newsroom on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. It is the beginning of your life in a sitcom that is going to be such a happy thing--and all of you, the customers, are going to be a part of that.... If you like this store, you shop at this store.... [L]ine up at the cash register and buy something tonight. And send a message that you care and that you love what your neighbors are doing in your community."

--Ann Patchett, author and Parnassus Books co-owner, speaking Monday night at the grand opening of Interabang Books in Dallas, Tex. (via the Dallas Morning News)

Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton


Bookshops Contribute £1.9 Billion to U.K. Economy

Bookshops contribute £1.9 billion (about $2.5 billion) to the U.K. economy annually and pay 11 times more corporation tax than Amazon, according to a new report commissioned by the Booksellers Association and presented Monday at the BA Annual Conference, the Bookseller reported. U.K. bookshops support 46,000 jobs and contribute £416 million (about $552 million) in wages and staff costs.

The report, from economics consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also revealed that U.K. bookshops pay £131 million (about $174 million) in tax (including £12 million in corporation tax), "equating to 91p per £100 of turnover, which is 11 times the amount of tax paid by online retailer Amazon, which contributes 8p per £100 of turnover," the Bookseller noted. The full report will be published in October.

BA CEO Tim Godfray said that the report is "irrefutable proof" of the "significant economic value of bookshops to the U.K.'s economy.... Bookshops are making an incredible contribution to the UK despite the many obstacles that they currently, and increasingly, face. However, this is not sustainable unless decisive action is taken by the Government to protect them from closure. Bookshops are currently closing at a rate of 3% per year, and 275 towns across the U.K. can expect to lose their bookshop completely due to changes to business rates if nothing is done.... We hope that Cebr's report encourages our Government to act to protect the nation's bookshops, and enable them to flourish."

Oliver Hogan, director at Cebr, said, "The benefits to U.K. communities of local booksellers stretch beyond these monetary impacts, encompassing education, literacy and the provision of an informational and cultural conduit to society at large."

BA president Rosamund de la Hey said the report provides "hard economic evidence of the contribution that Bookselling Britain makes to the industry, to the economy and to the nation.... The BA is making the case strongly for improved business rates for booksellers; arguing in general that in 2017 the business rate system is no longer fit for purpose as well as pointing out the most egregious rate rises for booksellers for booksellers following the most recent review."

'Pocket-Size' OOF Books Opens in L.A.

OOF Books opened earlier this summer at 912A Cypress Avenue in Los Angeles. Fine Books magazine reported that writer Christie Hayden "first felt the call to launch a bookstore while studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and in 2015 created Bookish, a mobile bookshop on wheels staffed by artists in Baltimore City that features small press titles and independent projects."

Since then, the founders have traveled to New York City, D.C. and now L.A., where Hayden "discovered the location of OOF while searching for an apartment on Craigslist. Like Bookish, Hayden stocks OOF with locally published 'zines and books, catalogues, art books, and ceramics, and hosts artist exhibitions of works on paper."

OOF Books was featured this week by the New York Times in a piece headlined "T Magazine Editors on Things They're Into Right Now." Merrell Hambleton noted that when Hayden initially found the "pocket-size space" in the Cypress Park neighborhood, the idea for a bookshop "came together almost immediately. She tapped designers Jonathan Olivares, Paul Matevosyan and Raffy Mardirossian to create simple, bold shelving--painted mustard yellow in a nod to the Ed Ruscha painting from which the shop takes its name--and began sourcing books."

Hurricanes Update: PRH Expands Relief Effort

Penguin Random House is providing ongoing support to U.S. booksellers directly affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, with a donation of PRH bestselling titles to the impacted regions. Affected booksellers may select titles from the American Booksellers Association's Independent Bestseller List with a cumulative retail value of up to $1,000 per account. This offer will be available until December 31. Requests can be e-mailed to

A chalkboard outside Books & Books in Miami, Fla.

In other hurricane-related news, PRH's unlimited corporate match for all U.S. employee charitable donations for related relief efforts has been extended through September 30. PRH is also making a significant financial contribution to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) and Texas Library Association to provide additional relief for booksellers, schools and libraries in Texas, Florida and other affected regions. Penguin Random House is also working with Binc on a scholarship for affected booksellers. Information regarding the scholarship will be announced through Binc in the coming months.

Recently, with the assistance of the Maryland Performance Diesel organization, PRH Westminster distribution center employees rallied to donate seven pallets of supplies (including bottled water, non-perishable food items, blankets and toiletries) for flood victims in Texas. The publisher is also continuing its coordinated book donations through various PRH charitable partners, including First Book, the Barbara Bush Foundation and the National Council of Teachers of English.

Selina Tusitala Marsh Named New Zealand Poet Laureate

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Selina Tusitala Marsh has been named New Zealand Poet Laureate for 2017-2019 by the National Library, succeeding C.K. Stead. Each Laureate is awarded NZ$80,000 (about US$57,849) over two years "to create new work and promote poetry throughout the country." They also receive a carved tokotoko or orator's stick, symbolizing their authority and status.

Marsh is the award-winning author of three collections of poetry, including Fast Talking PI (2009), Dark Sparring (2013), and her latest book, Tightrope. She was Commonwealth Poet in 2016. A strong advocate for Pasifika poetry and literature, she lectures at the University of Auckland, specializing in Maori and Pacific literature. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland.

"We are delighted to announce Selina as the country's new Laureate,'' said Chris Szekely, chief librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library. "She is an extraordinary poet, performer and literary advocate."

Marsh said: "I'm honored and humbled by this Award. It is a wonderful opportunity to extend the poetic page and stage to this nation's multi-colored, multi-hued voices. Samoans have the to'oto'o, the orator's staff, a symbol of the authority to speak on behalf of a group. To be recognised in this way is breath-taking. To occupy the role is breath-giving--I can't wait to take the Laureate's tokotoko to the people and make poetry."

Her acceptance speech, read last month on National Poetry Day, began: "I accept this award on behalf of the ten-year-old/ at St Joseph's in Otahuhu/ who found a word to rhyme with monocle..."

Obituary Note: Len Wein

Prolific comic book writer Len Wein, who "collaborated on bringing to life two of the art form's best-known characters, Wolverine and Swamp Thing," died September 10, the New York Times reported. He was 69. During his long career, Wein "wrote for Batman, the Flash, Superman, the Justice League of America and numerous other comics series." He was also an editor for Marvel, DC and Disney Comics. "He brought the British writer Alan Moore into the Swamp Thing series in the early 1980s, and in 1986 he was editor on the Watchmen series by Mr. Moore, the artist Dave Gibbons and the colorist John Higgins."

"I first met him in 2008," actor Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in films, tweeted. "I told him--from his heart, mind & hands came the greatest characters in comics."

Paul Levitz, author of 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, said, "For more than a decade, from the early '70s to the mid-'80s, as both a writer and an editor, he really sat on the leading edge of what the comics medium could be as it was growing up."

In a tribute at io9, Evan Narcisse wrote: "Over and over again, whether he was writing, editing or creating in some other capacity, Wein broadened the possibilities of comics-making. Under his aegis, the default stentorian style of late 20th century superhero fare found room to allow for more humanistic portrayals. Whether it was killer runs on Batman, Spider-Man, or Hulk, the bravest crimefighters believably grappled with their doubts and foibles. Len Wein gave us the feeling that real people lived and breathed underneath all the brightly colored spandex. Moreover, the writing he did himself and the work he nurtured told future generations that those heroes could--and should--come from anywhere. For me, it's the most important part of a creative legacy that's too wide to comprehend."

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: Salman Rushdie at Book Passage

On Monday night, Salmon Rushdie stopped by Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif., to promote his new book, The Golden House (Random House). Here Rushdie (second from l.) posed with booksellers Karen West, Allison Bainbridge and Garrett Omi.

Pizza & Books? Hillary Clinton's Buying

Hillary Clinton "is making sure her book readers are well fed," People magazine noted in reporting that on Monday the former secretary of state and presidential candidate "had Joe's Pizza delivered to a group of people lined up outside of a Barnes & Noble in New York City a day before a scheduled signing for book What Happened."

"Already a line for @HillaryClinton book signing (that's tomorrow) #WhatHappened," Clinton staffer Greg Hale tweeted.

After 11 p.m., Clinton tweeted: "Enjoy! See you all tomorrow!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Geoffrey C. Ward on Today

Today Show: Geoffrey C. Ward, co-author of The Vietnam War: An Intimate History (Knopf, $60, 9780307700254).

Watch What Happens Live: Martha Stewart discusses Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker: 110 Recipes for Flavorful, Foolproof Dishes (Including Desserts!), Plus Test- Kitchen Tips and Strategies (Clarkson Potter, $26, 9780307954688).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Stephen Colbert, co-author of Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9781501169007).

TV: Alias Grace; Eligible

Netflix has released a trailer for its upcoming six-part limited series Alias Grace, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. Variety reported that the trailer introduces Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), "who explains she has been an inmate for 15 years. She, along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan), has been accused of the infamous 1843 double murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin)."

The miniseries, which also stars Zachary Levi and Edward Holcroft, was written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron. It streams on Netflix November 3. 


ABC has given a put pilot commitment to Eligible, a series based on Curtis Sittenfeld's book Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice. The deal "comes from Sherri Cooper Landsman & Jennifer Levin, developers of the CW's Beauty & the Beast, and I. Marlene King, who developed and ran Freeform's flagship drama series Pretty Little Liars. Warner Bros TV, where King is based, is the studio," Deadline reported.

Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker; NBA Young People's Lit; BPL Literary

Three American authors made the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, which also includes a debut novel by British bookseller Fiona Mozley. The winner, who receives £50,000 (about $66,285), will be announced October 17. This year's shortlisted titles are: 

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (U.S.)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (U.S.)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-U.K.)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (U.K.)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (U.S.)
Autumn by Ali Smith (U.K.)


The National Book Foundation is unveiling the longlists for the National Book Award this week, beginning yesterday with the Young People's Literature category. This year's longlisted titles are:

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold (Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner)
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway (HarperTeen)
All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry (Algonquin Young Readers)
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins (FSG Books for Young Readers)
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (Walden Pond Press)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray)
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad)
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray)


Shortlists have been unveiled for the 2017 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, presented by the Brooklyn Eagles. The prize recognizes "works that question established ways of thinking and advance Brooklyn Public Library's mission of bringing together the borough's diverse communities to explore urgent social, political, and artistic issues." Winners will be announced November 2. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Fiction & poetry
Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead)
What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead)
IRL by Tommy Pico (Birds, LLC)

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday)
Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books)
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (Liveright Publishing)

Reading With... Avi

photo: Katherine Warde

Avi (a name given him by his twin sister) was born and raised in New York City. Though he still thinks of himself as a New Yorker, he lives in Colorado, high in the Rocky Mountains (8,900 feet up) in a log house in a forest. He's the author of more than 60 books for children and young adults, including The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing but the Truth (both Newbery Honor books), Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Newbery Award winner), Poppy (Boston Globe–Horn Book Award) and, most recently, The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts and The Player King (due out October 17 from Richard Jackson/Atheneum).

On your nightstand now:

Keeping in mind that I write a lot of historical fiction, my current reading is based on the project in hand: Tobacco Colony by Gloria Lund Main; Tobacco Coast by Arthur Pierce Middleton; Colonial American English by Richard M. Lederer, Jr.; The Sot-weed Factor by John Barth; The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead; The Fortunate Transport: or, the Secret History of the Life and Adventures of the Celebrated Polly Haycock, the Lady of the Gold Watch. By a Creole.

Favorite book when you were a child:

My mother was very interested in children's books and supplied us with the best, everything from And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street to The Story of Ferdinand, Treasure Island and The Wind in the Willows. I was read to every night, became a voracious reader and a constant user of the public library (to which I could walk) and local used bookstores, where I could (and did) buy the animal stories of Thornton W. Burgess for 25 cents--the first novels I read on my own.

Your top five authors:

Charles Dickens, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Chandler and C.C. Beck. I think they are self-explanatory, but C.C. Beck, as he was known, was the creator of Captain Marvel at Fawcett Comics and DC Comics. His hero, Billy Batson, was a boy my age. In an abandoned New York City subway tunnel, Billy learned to say "Shazam!" and thereby turned into the super-hero Captain Marvel, with a sense of humor. I was a true addict of comic books and radio drama.

Book you've faked reading:

Rather, classic books I tried to read but couldn't get through: Middlemarch, Crime and Punishment, Madame Bovary.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey. I'm not aware of any book that captures the essential life of the writer as does this book. Truthful and hilarious, it should be on the desk of anyone who desires to write.

Book you've bought for the cover:

In 1986, the Franklin Library published the Franklin Library of Mystery Masterpieces. Among them was The Maltese Falcon. Jennifer Dossin designed the book with an art deco-style cover by Ralph C. Bienert.

Book you hid from your parents:

I have no memory of my parents ever monitoring, much less censoring, what I read. Consequently, I never hid any reading from my folks.

Books that changed your life:

The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to the Great Society (an illustrated history of the United States) by Roger Butterfield came into our home when first published, 1947. It made history truly vivid for me, so that I became a lifelong reader of history. I still have that copy. I don't know when I first read A Christmas Carol but I read it once a year and have never failed to be moved by the writing and its message--to care for others. Simplistic, perhaps, but so vital in today's world. Stevenson's Treasure Island was, and is, the quintessential historical fiction for boys. The Maltese Falcon introduced me to the dazzling brilliance of noir fiction, firecracker dialogue and wonderful characters: the universe of detective fiction. I saw the New York production (with Lotte Lenya) of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera when I was aspiring to be a playwright. Its social criticism, its cynicism, and its acid realism stunned and inspired me.

Favorite line from a book:

"Marley was dead: to begin with."

Five books you'll never part with:

The American Past by Roger Butterfield
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson

Book that was a guilty pleasure:

Robert B. Parker. The Spenser novels.

Book Review

Review: The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen (Candlewick, $17.99 hardcover, 40p., ages 4-8, 9780763677541, October 10, 2017)

Ever wonder why wolves howl at the moon? Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen's modern-day fable reveals the true reason, and readers will never think about oft-vilified wolves the same way again.

A small mouse encounters a wolf in the woods and is promptly gobbled up. Arriving deep in the "belly of the beast," he fears "this is the end." But then he hears a voice. "Be quiet!... I'm trying to sleep." It turns out a duck has been devoured by the wolf, too, and has made himself quite at home. After all, as the duck says, "I may have been swallowed, but I have no intention of being eaten." Indeed.

The duck is living high on the hog in his dark dwelling. He rises from his cozy bed and prepares a delicious meal for the mouse, eaten at a candlelit table. "Where did you get jam?" the mouse asks. "And a tablecloth?" The duck is blasé. "You'd be surprised what you find inside of a wolf," he says. At lunch, as the pair makes soup at a lovely food prep station with knives and cutting boards and colanders hanging on the "walls" of the wolf stomach, the mouse asks if the duck misses the outside. "I do not!" the duck says. "When I was outside, I was afraid every day wolves would swallow me up. In here, that's no worry." The mouse concedes that the duck has a point, and shyly asks if he can stay, too. The duck is thrilled, and the two celebrate with music and dancing, which causes the wolf's gut to ache, making him a perfect target for a hunter. Luckily, the hunter misses his shot, but the duck is taking no chances: "Run! Run for our lives!" he calls up to his host.

Readers will laugh out loud at the cunning duck's skills at getting exactly what he wants from the bemused wolf. Author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen--who previously collaborated on Triangle and two Caldecott Honor books, Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole--are an ideal team for readers who like a little quirk in their picture books. The mouse's deadpan expression as he gets acquainted with the duck (who himself wears an arch look), is priceless. But when the duck leads the "CHARGE" out of the wolf's mouth to attack the hunter (who wails, poetically, "Oh woe!... Oh death! These woods are full of evil and wraiths!"), the rodent-fowl pair are nothing short of fierce, with their saucepan helmets and hockey stick weapons. In Klassen's trademark sepia-toned mixed-media artwork, the mouse is particularly dashing, with his fist raised and the checked tablecloth-cum-scarf now fluttering behind as he rides the duck to victory (think Snoopy battling the Red Baron).

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse is, like all Barnett-Klassen collaborations, distinctly funny, imagination-stirring and lovely to look at. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: A mouse and a duck have no intention of being evicted after setting up house in a wolf's belly in this funny fable by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

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