Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 10, 2018: YA Maximum Shelf: Children of Blood and Bone

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Take a Storytime Adventure into the World of Jessie Sima


Heather Duncan Named MPIBA Executive Director

Heather Duncan

Heather Duncan has been named executive director of the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association, effective January 22. The MPIBA's board of directors said that Duncan's "deep experience in both event planning and management and bookselling will provide her and the Association with the tools we need to move forward into 2018 and beyond. We are excited and pleased that Heather is taking on this role in the region she loves and knows so well."

A veteran of the book industry, she began her retail bookselling career in 1989 at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colo. After a brief stint with Fulcrum Publishing, she returned to the Tattered Cover full-time, most recently as director of marketing and events.

Duncan said she is "very excited and honored" to be taking on the new role, but "of course heartbroken to be leaving the Tattered Cover." She added that she is "so glad to have found this wonderful opportunity that won't take me away from the industry and my colleagues. I'm excited to continue serving MPIBA and all our amazing indie stores in this new capacity."

Duncan served on the MPIBA board of directors as v-p, and was the elected president before leaving the board to accept the executive director position. Prior to joining the MPIBA board in January of 2014, she was a member of the MPIBA Advisory Council for six years, and has been a long-time educator for the organization, teaching classes and sitting on panels.

Beginning in January 2008, Duncan served two three-year terms on the board of Reach Out and Read Colorado. She is currently a founding committee member of the newly formed Local First Colorado, an organization working to encourage Coloradans to try local businesses first.

Duncan can be reached at

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Cape Cod's Eight Cousins Closed Indefinitely After Severe Water Damage

Very disturbing news from Cape Cod: Eight Cousins bookstore in Falmouth, Mass., is closed indefinitely. The store posted on Facebook, "We have SEVERE water damage." Reportedly the building's roof collapsed due to snow and ice.

In response to the announcement, there was an outpouring of concern and offers to help from customers and others on Facebook, where the store said it would post updates.

"For all our customers who need books in the next few days, please support our lovely independent bookstore neighbors," the store posted yesterday. "Titcomb's Bookshop in Sandwich and Market Street Bookshop in Mashpee will be happy to help you."

Sara M. Hines, Mary Fran Buckley and Eileen Miskell bought Eight Cousins three years ago from Carol B. Chittenden, who founded the store with her mother, Betty Borg, in 1986. Eight Cousins began as a children's bookstore but is now a general bookstore.

This is the third bookstore in the past week to report major water damage. The others were Greenlight Bookstore in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn, N.Y., which reopened last Friday after being closed for a day, and Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C., which reopened yesterday after being closed on Monday.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

PRH Buys Rodale Books' Trade Assets

Penguin Random House has purchased the trade-book publishing assets of health and wellness publisher Rodale Books from Hearst Communications and will take over publication of Rodale's frontlist and backlist titles, effective immediately. The acquisition, which was announced yesterday, comes a week after Hearst completed its purchase of Rodale Inc., Rodale Books' parent company. (Hearst has retained Rodale's many magazines and other products.)

Rodale Books' adult nonfiction will become an imprint of Crown Publishing Group's Illustrated and Lifestyle division, which also includes Harmony, Ten Speed Press and Clarkson Potter. Diana Baroni, v-p and editorial director of Harmony Books, will be responsible for Rodale Books. Rodale Kids, which debuted last fall, will meanwhile join Random House Children's Books, with Mallory Loehr, senior v-p and publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers Group, responsible.

The deal brings Penguin Random House more than 100 frontlist and 2,000 backlist titles. Some of the major titles published by Rodale Books over the course of its more than 75-year history include The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, Thug Kitchen and Everything All at Once by Bill Nye, The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey and An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore.

Lonely Planet Kids Opens New York Office, Appoints Publisher

Lonely Planet Kids, the children's imprint of travel publisher Lonely Planet, has opened a New York office in order to grow its children's publishing efforts in the North American market. And as part of the expansion, Lonely Planet Kids has appointed Hanna Otero publisher.

Otero, previously editorial director for Sterling Children's Books, started yesterday, with immediate plans to hire an art director and editor. She is joined in the New York office by production manager Lisa Ford, and the team includes commissioning editor Jen Feroze and art director Andy Mansfield, both based in London. Nora Rawn, senior editor of illustrated nonfiction, and a yet-to-be-hired art director of illustrated nonfiction will also work out of the New York office.

After a stint as a Teach for America corps member, Otero began her publishing career with jobs at Frank Schaffer Publications and McGraw-Hill Education. She joined Barnes & Noble in 2002 in order to launch the retailer's Flash Kids line of children's educational products.

Lonely Planet began publishing children's books in 2011 and created a dedicated children's imprint by 2014. Twenty-six Lonely Planet Kids titles are planned for release in 2018.

January Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for January was delivered to nearly half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 118 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 462,253 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Putnam).

For a sample of the January newsletter, see this one from Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo.

Obituary Notes: Linda Kramer; Bill Dailey

Linda Kramer, the longtime publisher and co-founder of H J Kramer who published bestsellers like Dan Millman's Way of the Peaceful Warrior, died December 24, 2017, at her home in Marin County, Calif., due to illness. She was 81 years old.

Kramer first entered the publishing world in the early 1960s, working as an art director for Dover Publications and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. In 1966, she left the industry in order to raise her family, but returned to publishing in 1983 when she and Hal Kramer, founder of Celestial Arts, started H J Kramer with the goal of touching "as many lives as possible with a message of hope for a better world." She and Hal married in 1987.

In 1984, only a year after starting H J Kramer, they released Way of the Peaceful Warrior, which became a worldwide bestseller, and over the next several years they published other bestselling titles, including Diet for a New America by John Robbins and Opening the Channel by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer. In 2000, H J Kramer entered a joint venture with New World Library.

Hal Kramer died in 2008.


Bill Dailey, the longtime proprietor of Dailey Rare Books, "a landmark in Greater West Hollywood and on the Los Angeles book scene for 40 years," died December 15, WEHOville reported. He was 72. Dailey was also a publisher and a letterpress printer. In 1972, he co-founded the Press of the Pegacycle Lady with his then-wife, Victoria Dailey. The press specialized in producing the book as art.

In 1975, they opened William & Victoria Dailey Rare Books, which became Dailey Rare Books in 1997 and was "a mecca for those in search of rare and unusual books," the Times noted. Dailey closed the store in 2007 and sold books via the Internet and at antiquarian book fairs.


Image of the Day: Hug Your UPS Driver

I’m writing you from Books and Books @ the Studios of Key West with a lighter note on Fire and Fury. 


It sometimes takes a little longer to get shipments from the mainland to Key West, Fla., and with the bad weather up north, things were especially delayed this week. Books & Books at the Studios got their first box of Fire and Fury yesterday, and reported that they were so happy, "we could've hugged our UPS drivers. All the copies that came in today were already spoken for and the wait list keeps growing! But we expect more of orders to start rolling in tomorrow and throughout the week." Pictured: drivers Derrick (l.) and Dan with assistant manager Emily Berg.

Cool Idea of the Day: Bowie Week

To mark David Bowie's birthday (January 8, 1947) and extraordinary life, hello hello books, Rockland, Maine, is celebrating Bowie Week, chronicled in daily posts on social media, including: "Tomorrow would have been David Bowie's 71st birthday (in Earth years). To celebrate his life as a reader, we’re launching our very first Bowie Week! Stay tuned..."; "Bowie Week starts at 9 a.m. Monday! Day one's theme: Davy Jones. #hhbbowieweek"; "This is just the beginning. Check back for Bowie updates all week! --Annie Stardust"; "Annie Stardust at the altar."

'The 12 Best Specialty Bookshops in NYC'

"Independent bookstores are still going strong" in New York City, 6sqft wrote in showcasing "the 12 best specialty bookshops in NYC," from Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks and the Mysterious Bookshop to Albertine Books in French & English and Idlewild Bookshop.

Larger "standout" bookstores continue "to provide literary New Yorkers with the written word despite the specter of Amazon," 6sqft noted. "But while the aforementioned shops are great places to find new and used literature, if you're looking for a more curated collection, look no further than some of the city's finest specialty bookstores, where mystery fiends, activists, artists, Francophiles, and others can find works tailored to their interests, as well as rub shoulders with like-minded readers."

Personnel Changes at Graywolf Press

At Graywolf Press:

Casey O'Neil has been promoted to sales director.

Caroline Nitz has been promoted to senior publicity manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the Daily Show

Megyn Kelly: Erica Garza, author of Getting Off: One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501163371).

Harry: Bob Harper, co-author of The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250146601).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Michael Greger, co-author of The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease (Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250127761).

Daily Show: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, co-author of Becoming Kareem: Growing Up on and off the Court (Little, Brown, $17.99, 9780316555388).

TV: Patrick Melrose

Sky has released the first teaser trailer for Patrick Melrose, the five-part limited series based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St. Aubyn and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Deadline reported that the "promo above introduces Melrose, a self-described 'narcissistic, schizoid, suicidal alcoholic' who likes his steak tartare 'spicy, very spicy." There's also a look back at how he's been formed by the family dynamic of a sadistic father and a rich, unhappy American mother."

The cast also includes Hugo Weaving, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anna Madeley, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams, Pip Torrens, Jessica Raine, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Holliday Grainger, Indira Varma and Celia Imrie. Patrick Melrose was written by David Nicholls (Far from the Madding Crowd), with Edward Berger (Deutschland 83) directing.

Books & Authors

Awards: Pacific Northwest; Story Prize; Sydney Taylor

The winners of the 2018 Pacific Northwest Book Awards, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association and chosen by a volunteer committee of independent booksellers from more than 400 nominated titles published in 2017, are:

American War: A Novel by Omar El Akkad (Knopf/Vintage)
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring (Sasquatch Books)
Idaho: A Novel by Emily Ruskovich (Random House)
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White (Trinity University Press)
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown)

The committee also chose to recognize late author Brian Doyle with an Indie Spirit Honor for his body of work and vigorous support of independent booksellers in the Northwest and beyond. Doyle won a PNBA Award in 2016 for his collection Children & Other Wild Animals.


The three finalists for the Story Prize, honoring the best short story collection published in 2017, are:

The King Is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón (Riverhead Books)
Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press)
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

The winner will be announced at the Story Prize's annual award event in New York City on February 28, where the finalists will read from and discuss their work with Larry Dark after which Story Prize founder Julie Lindsey will announce the winner, who will receive $20,000. Runners up will receive $5,000.


The winners of the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, which are presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries to recognize books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience, are:

Gold Medalists

Younger Readers: The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Karla Gudeon (Charlesbridge)
Older Readers: Refugee by Alan Gratz (Scholastic Press)
Teen Readers: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Thwaites (Godwin Books, an imprint of Henry Holt)

Honor Books

Younger Readers: Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam, adapted by Fawzia Gilani- Williams, illustrated by Chiara Fedele (Kar-Ben Publishing); and Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg (Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group)
Older Readers: Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz (Holiday House), which was also the recipient of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award; This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Scholastic Press); The Six- Day Hero by Tammar Stein (Kar-Ben Publishing)
Teen Readers: To Look a Nazi in the Eye: A Teen’s Account of a War Criminal Trial by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz (Second Story Press); Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin, translated by Rosie Hedger (Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic); The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke (Albert Whitman & Co.)

The Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award went to Harold Grinspoon and PJ Library, a project of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that is a family engagement program, sending free books celebrating Jewish values and culture to families with children 6 months through 8 years old. This honor has been given 12 times in the 50-year history of the Sydney Taylor Awards. The last recipient was author Eric Kimmel in 2004.

Judith Pransky, author of The Seventh Handmaiden, won the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award, which is offered annually to an unpublished manuscript that "has broad appeal to readers aged 8-13 and presents Jewish life in a positive light."

Reading with... Chloe Benjamin

photo: Nathan Jandl

Chloe Benjamin is a writer in San Francisco, Calif., whose first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, received the 2014 Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award. Her second novel, The Immortalists, was just published by Putnam.

On your nightstand now:

Almost all books I've been lucky enough to nab from fellow authors at trade shows like BookExpo and ALA this year: Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere, Eleanor Henderson's The Twelve-Mile Straight, Bianca Marais's Hum if You Don't Know the Words, Ayobami Adebayo's Stay with Me, Liz Nugent's Unraveling Oliver, Francesca Hornak's Seven Days of Us and more. My friends joke that I don't read anything published before 2005, but the truth is that there's just so much exciting contemporary fiction to keep up with these days (and it doesn't help that I'm a slow reader, frequently rereading paragraphs I love!).

Favorite book when you were a child:

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. I still love them just as much as an adult, so you can imagine how excited I am for The Book of Dust. I reread The Golden Compass this summer in preparation!

Your top five authors:

I always struggle with this question. My favorite author of all time is Alice Munro, whose interpersonal acuity and whole, thrumming worlds continually take my breath away. It's harder to round out the rest of the list, as I'm more likely to switch to a new author after finishing a book. That said, I continue to come back to Flannery O'Connor's brilliant observational eye, Vladimir Nabokov's language, the aforementioned Philip Pullman, Lorrie Moore's wit and Tana French's gorgeous, character-driven mysteries.

Book you've faked reading:

Well, I couldn't tell you, could I?!

Book you're an evangelist for:

Lately, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler and Euphoria by Lily King: all smart, wrenching sagas in their own way. Oh--and Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, so innovative in its creepiness and environmental commentary.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Ramona Ausubel's A Guide to Being Born. Luckily, I enjoyed the writing just as much!

Book you hid from your parents:

I can't think of one--a tribute to my parents, who didn't seem the least bit concerned when I became obsessed with a novel called The Virgin Suicides.

Book that changed your life:

A short story, in my case: Alice Munro's "Floating Bridge," an eye-opening and, to me, strangely reassuring exploration of knowledge and mortality.

Favorite line from a book:

Too many--so many, in fact that I started to collect them on my website under "Favorite Sentences" so that I can always return to them. Here's one, the final sentences from Tobias Wolff's short story "Bullet in the Brain":

"The bullet is already in the brain; it won't be outrun forever, or charmed to a halt. In the end it will do its work and leave the troubled skull behind, dragging its comet's tail of memory and hope and talent and love into the marble hall of commerce. That can't be helped. But for now Anders can still make time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, they is, they is."

Five books you'll never part with:

Anything from a portion of my bookshelves that I like to call my Angry Brilliant Women section, with books by Mary Gaitskill, Susan Minot, Lorrie Moore, Jayne Anne Phillips, Joy Williams.

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

The full Harry Potter series--but I'm still excited to read it for a second.

Qualities that make you fall in love with a book:

Interpersonal insight. An epic scope. Moody atmospherics: I love fog, snow, drizzle, characters with secrets. Rhythmic language--the kind of elegant or fresh, surprising syntax that makes you sit up and take notice.

Book Review

YA Review: Voices in the Air

Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners by Naomi Nye (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $17.99 hardcover, 208p., ages 13-up, 9780062691842, February 13, 2018)

"In our time/ voices cross the sea/ easily/ but sense is still difficult to come by."

In the introduction to her poetry collection Voices in the Air, poet, essayist, anthologist and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye wonders, "[W]as life always strange--just strange in different ways? Does speaking some of the strangeness help us survive it, even if we can't solve or change it?" Each reader will have to answer that question for her or himself, but Nye's nearly 100 poems will certainly help all of us survive the strangeness in our lives. With her trademark conversational style, she feels like the sister you wish you had: warm, curious and insightful. She writes for and about the people who have inspired her: Peter Matthiessen, Townes Van Zandt, Rosa Bonheur, Bruce Springsteen, Israeli poets, Palestinian journalists, eco-activists, wives of writers, daughters of poets, hairdressers. (Happily, she also includes short bios of each in the back material.)

Nye implores readers to pay attention, to listen, to learn from history's lessons and today's accidents and tiny moments. She so clearly delights in the ordinary and everyday, even as she finds mystery and magic there. From "Time's Low Note": "A peony has been trying/ to get through to you/ When's the last time/ you really looked at one?/ Billowing pinkish whitish petals/ lushly layered/ Might be the prime object of the universe/ Peonies/ in a house/ profoundly uplift/ the house/ never say no/ to peonies."

The poems in this collection are suffused with humor and thoughtfulness. Nye, a National Book Award finalist (19 Varieties of Gazelle) and four-time Pushcart Prize recipient, is prolific and varied in her work. Her range is wide: short short stories (There Is No Long Distance Now), children's fiction (The Turtle of Oman) and, of course, a whole lot of poetry for all ages (Fuel; Red Suitcase; Transfer). Never content simply to describe, Nye's "lushly layered" poems always seem to ask something of the reader. In "Black Car," for Van Morrison, she writes, "Everyone still resonating, sliding/ saxophone, searing plume of joy that lit the hall,/ coating gilt ceiling, causing us all/ to rise, raise our hands./ What it is to carry a voice like that./ From side stage door to back seat of car./ Crowd still hovering cheers again,/ engine zooms into night./ Thank you. Thank you. Pressing the walk button/ we fly."

There's a political edge to many of her poems, some ("Anti-Inaugural," "I Vote for You," "Invitation to the NSA," "Big Bend National Park Says No to All Walls") more overt than others: "Just in case justice suddenly walks into the room and says,/ Yes I'm finally here sorry for the delay./ Tell me where to sign." Teen readers will love the gentle intensity of Nye's words and messages and the accessibility of her poetry. Beautiful. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: National Book Award finalist Naomi Shihab Nye's smart and accessible collection of poetry asks teen readers to listen to all the voices--past and present--"floating around out there."

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