Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Henry Holt & Company: Mihi Ever After (Mihi Ever After #1) by Tae Keller, illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez

Berkley Books: River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

Oxford University Press, USA: The World According to Proust by Joshua Landy

Chronicle Chroma: Bob Willoughby: A Cinematic Life by Bob Willoughby

Charlesbridge Publishing: Forever Cousins by Laurel Goodluck, illustrated by Jonathan Nelson

Tor Teen: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard


Burst Pipe Damages Tallahassee's Midtown Reader

This season it seems the stories of burst pipes damaging bookstores never end. The latest case involves Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, Fla., the bookstore that opened in 2016 and earlier this month renovated and expanded into upstairs space.

On Sunday, a pipe in the attic connected to the fire sprinkler system burst when a repairman accidentally stepped on it. "Water flooded the newly renovated upstairs of the bookstore, traveled down the walls and pooled on the first floor," the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

On Sunday, after the damage was discovered, staff mopped up and catalogued damaged books. About 300 books, including fiction and children's books, were damaged, and about 100 of them are still saleable at a discount.

The store has remained open, and owner Sally Bradshaw said that the besides the damaged books and carpeting, the other problem is water in the walls. "It could not only create mold, it could continue to seep out to damage the books."

To dry the water in the walls, the store is running dehumidifiers overnight. "I think we're in really good shape," Bradshaw added. "Just, people knowing that we're open for business and that there are some great sales if they want to come get some books."

Scribe Us: Our Members Be Unlimited: A Comic about Workers and Their Unions by Sam Wallman

Codex Books Opens in NYC's East Village

Codex Books, a new and used bookstore, has opened in New York City's East Village. The store, which has an emphasis on literary fiction and art books, celebrated with a reading on Friday night with Gabby Bess, author of Alone With Other People, and Chelsea Hodson, author of Pity the Animal and the forthcoming Tonight I'm Someone Else: Essays. The store buys gently used books.

Codex Books is located at 1 Bleecker St. (near Bowery), New York, N.Y. 10012.

Flyaway Books: The Coat by Séverine Vidal, illustrated by Louis Thomas

HarperAudio Launching Vinyl Audiobook Program

HarperAudio, the audio imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, will produce a series of vinyl and digital audio titles in 2018, responding to the success of previous vinyl publications Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. The vinyl series will be distributed by Wax, an independent record label that specializes in unusual vinyl releases.

The series launches April 18 with the publication of Wild Horses Vinyl Edition + MP3 by Joe Hill, performed by Nate Corddry. Other vinyl editions scheduled for this year include A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni, and The Monarch of the Glenn and Black Dog (American Gods sequel novellas) by Neil Gaiman.

"Audio is the fastest-growing format in publishing, and vinyl album sales are surging," said Ana Maria Allessi, v-p and publisher of HarperAudio. "Now fans of spoken word and vinyl have more to celebrate--their favorite authors and their favorite books on long-playing records."

Wax co-founder Jeffrey Bowers commented: "This well curated, thoughtful series of spoken-word releases is a response to the tremendous growth in audiobooks and vinyl, part of a new moment in what has become a listening revolution."

PNBA Holiday Catalog 2022

BookExpo: Children's Book & Author Breakfast Lineup Set

Jacqueline Woodson

The lineup has been announced for BookExpo's Children's Book & Author Breakfast, which will be held Friday, June 1. Recently appointed National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jacqueline Woodson will discuss her two upcoming titles: The Dream of America, her first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming; and The Day You Begin, on which she teamed up with two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López.

Joining Woodson on stage will be Dave Eggers talking about his upcoming children's book, What Can a Citizen Do?; Caldecott Honor book artist and five-time Pura Belpré Award winner Yuyi Morales, who shares her own immigration story in Dreamers; and Meg Medina, discussing her middle-grade novel, Merci Suárez Changes Gears. In addition, a surprise special guest will be announced shortly.

Obituary Notes: Francis Wyndham; Jenny Joseph

Writer and editor Francis Wyndham, who "was renowned in the literary world for discovering, encouraging and befriending a string of writers who included V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Bruce Chatwin, Alan Hollinghurst and Edward St Aubyn," died December 28, the Guardian reported. He was 93. Wyndam also had his own late literary success with the publication of two volumes of short stories and a novella, The Other Garden, which won the Whitbread first novel prize in 1987.

He wrote reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, then read scripts for the publisher André Deutsch from 1955 until 1959. "There he discovered Naipaul, whose first two novels he persuaded Deutsch to publish," the Guardian noted. "They became lifelong friends. He found that Rhys, whom he had thought long dead, was alive and writing what became, under Francis's guidance, Wide Sargasso Sea."

Karl Miller discovered Wyndham's manuscript Out of the War, a short-story collection that had lain untouched for 30 years, when Wyndham was moving. Published to positive reviews, it encouraged him to write Mrs. Henderson and Other Stories (1985) and The Other Garden. Hollinghurst praised "the innate elegance, concision, comic but startling emotional accuracy" of his writing, and "the certainty one has of being in the hands of a writer who never wastes a word or puts one wrong."


Jenny Joseph, whose "Warning" was twice voted Britain's favorite poem and is best known for its opening lines ("When I am an old lady I shall wear purple/ With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me"), died January 8, BBC News reported. She was 85. "Warning" also inspired the launch of the Red Hat Society, a women's group whose members wear purple, accessorized with a red hat.

Bloodaxe Books, one of Joseph's publishers, noted that the success of the poem is said to have annoyed her: "At the same time, she was delighted that it had been translated into numerous languages and was known throughout the world. What she disliked most was that this early poem written in her 20s overshadowed the rest of her work, which was largely concerned with the duality of existence.... She viewed her poems as attempts to present 'how things work' at the core, at the edge."

Joseph was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999 and won the James Tait Black Prize for fiction for her work of prose and verse Persephone. She won the Cholmondeley Award for her second poetry collection, Rose in the Afternoon. Her books include Selected Poems; Extended Similes; Led by the Nose: A Garden of Smells; and The Inland Sea.

Enitharmon Press director Stephen Stuart-Smith, who worked with her on 2009's Nothing Like Love, described the collection as "exploring a wide range of literary forms, new ways of telling stories, and demonstrating her skill in introducing cadences and everyday speech into the lyrical movement of her verse.... As a person and as a poet she was warm and witty, as a friend loyal and supportive, as a performer entertaining as well as unpredictable."


Image of the Day: Kicking Off #Wi13 in Style

Wi13 in Memphis kicked off last night with a packed reception at the historic Cadre Building, hosted by ABA and Shelf Awareness. Among other activities during the day, booksellers took a bus tour to Oxford, Miss., to visit visit Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner, and Square Books. Today, the show is in full swing, with a busy slate of programs, seminars, meetings and discussions. We'll be covering those in tomorrow's issue, and beyond.

Indies with 'Grit Lit, Supper Club & a Store on Wheels'

In a piece headlined "How to run a bookstore in the Amazon era: Grit lit, supper club and a store on wheels," the Post & Courier showcased several Charleston, S.C., indies that are thriving with innovative ways of doing business.

Since 2015, the owners of Itinerant Literate Books "have parked their mobile store at block parties, breweries and coffee shops around the Charleston area anywhere they can attract a curious passerby."

"I'm always surprised by people who want to talk the nuts and bolts and economics of bookselling," said co-owner Christen Thompson Lain. "They don't just ask, 'Where do you get your books?' "

At Blue Bicycle Books, owner Jonathan Sanchez "has tweaked the business model" since buying the shop in 2007, the Post & Courier wrote. "Now, in addition to used books, new books and events like the blockbuster YALLFest young-adult literature festival are a major part of the store's success."

"Retail is weird," Sanchez said. "If people are going to shop in person for something, it's for the experience of shopping."

In Spartanburg, the Hub City Bookshop "has become a hub for Southern literati," the Post & Courier noted. Store manager Anne Waters said: "People still read. It's very heartening. They like hobnobbing with writers, and they like discussing books. I don't want to get political about it, but it is interesting, people are seeking ideas."

Ashley Warlick, founding partner of M. Judson Booksellers in Greenville, said a popular event is the monthly Sit-Down Supper, featuring an author and a local chef serving a menu designed around that author's work.

"It's kind of interpretive dance. It's really fun," she noted, adding: "One of the things helping booksellers is the idea of the return to the experience. The experience of shopping in a strip mall is something we grew up with that we don't have the same romantic ideas about as coming up a beautiful staircase into a building and touching beautiful books."

Personnel Changes at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

Brianna Yamashita has joined the company as director of marketing/lifestyle and business. She was previously associate publisher, executive director of publicity and marketing at TarcherPerigee.

Jessica Gilo has been promoted to assistant marketing director/lifestyle. She was previously marketing manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Van Jones on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Van Jones, author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together (Ballantine, $27, 9780399180026).

Books & Authors

Awards: NBCC Finalists

The National Book Critics Circle has unveiled 30 finalists in six categories--autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry--for the outstanding books of 2017. The awards will be presented on March 15 in New York.

Also, NBCC announced that John McPhee has won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and said, in part, that McPhee's "lifetime contribution to letters and book culture include his pioneering work in the fields of new journalism and creative nonfiction; his explorations of widely varying topics, including science, sports, and the environment; and his mentorship of countless young writers and journalists."

Her Body and Other Parties, a debut story collection by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf), has won the John Leonard Prize, recognizing "outstanding first books in any genre."

Charles Finch, author of The Last Enchantments and the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Inheritance and A Beautiful Blue Death, has won the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. His reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and elsewhere.

Top Library Recommended Titles for February

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 February titles public library staff across the country love:

The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, $28.99, 9780312577230). "Leni and her troubled family embark on a new way of life in Alaska's wilderness in 1974--hoping this is finally the solution for her troubled, POW father. In Alaska, Leni and her family are tested and when change comes to their small community her father's anger threatens to explode and divide the town. This is a beautifully written novel, descriptive and engaging with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place." --Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, Ill.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616201340). "Celestial and Roy are newly married professionals leaning in to a bright future when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit. This is not a heroes vs. villains tale with a tidy resolution. It is a complicated, messy, moving, and thought-provoking story about love, family, and the wide-reaching effects of incarceration. Book clubs get ready!" --Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis, Mo.

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott (Berkley, $26, 9780399586934). "Six friends from Oxford University spend an idyllic week in the French countryside that ends with a missing neighbor, the enigmatic Severine. Fast forward ten years and Severine turns up. Or rather her skeleton does in a well on the property. All six friends are suspects. Will the loyalties hold and who put Severine in the well? This is a fun, taut thriller." --Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, Conn.

Force of Nature: A Novel by Jane Harper (Flatiron, $25.99, 9781250105639). "When Detective Falk learns that an informant went missing during a corporate team building exercise in the bush, he realizes that she tried to call him in the middle of the night. Harper once again creates a compelling, fast-paced, and atmospheric mystery set in a remote wilderness area of Australia. Perfect for fans of Nevada Barr and Paul Doiron. Highly recommended." --Vicki Nesting, St.Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, La.

Surprise Me: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella (Dial Press, $28, 9780399592881). "Kinsella's newest heroine has met and married Mr. Right--now how to spend the next 68 years? When Sylvie launches Project Surprise Me, she just might find that there's always more to learn about the ones you love. Told in Kinsella's trademark charming, relatable style." --Ariel Kurst, Great River Regional Library, St. Cloud, Minn.

Tarnished City by Vic James (Del Rey, $25, 9780425284124). "Tarnished City, a contemporary fantasy with a healthy dose of world-building, is just as disturbing as its predecessor, Gilded Cage. I couldn't resist diving deeper into the dark world of Equals and Slaves. James has pushed the characters in new ways, which makes the story riveting, intense, dark, and completely entrancing." --Monicah Fraterna, La Porte Public Library, La Porte, Ind.

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner (Berkley, $26, 9780399585968). "Beautifully written, heartbreaking story of four women in Philadelphia in 1918 during the Spanish Flu. I loved this book, as I have other books by Meissner and would highly recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction." --Cathy Branciforte, Ramsey Free Public Library, Ramsey, N.J.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (Viking, $26, 9780525522874). "Even though there is something extraordinary about Tom Hazard and his aging process, the problems and insights he experiences as he goes through life are universal. Love, memory, and time play tricks on us all as this novel illustrates so exquisitely. This is an engaging, sweeping love story with all the elements of a great historical/time travel novel. For fans of The Time Traveler's Wife and Life After Life." --Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, Conn.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library: A Novel by Sue Halpern (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062678966). "Kit is a librarian who closes herself off from emotions and people until she meets Sunny, assigned to the library for community service. Add in a group of regulars in the library and the result is an absorbing story of developing friendships and the unveiling of secrets. Kit's story unfolds as we meet many quirky characters in this story of love, loss, and hope." --Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, N.Y.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House, $28, 9780399590504). "In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually drove her to leave and pursue formal education. For fans of Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle." --Andrea Gough, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, Wash.

Book Review

Review: Mrs.

Mrs. by Caitlin Macy (Little, Brown, $27 hardcover, 352p., 9780316434157, February 13, 2018)

There are not many ways to acquire wealth and privilege: inheritance, marriage, investment, entrepreneurship, luck, crime and fraud. In Caitlin Macy's novel Mrs. (and similarly in her earlier novel The Fundamentals of Play and story collection Spoiled), the path to riches includes them all--except the traditional American shibboleth of hard work and invention. The roles of women in Macy's world (and women overwhelmingly dominate the narrative) are largely defined by their mates (Mrs.) and their children (Mom). They gather and gossip during school drop-off and pick-up at Manhattan's St. Timothy's ("it was no longer clear whether St. Tim's the Preschool was still Episcopalian, or even Christian.... Christian suggested Jesus a little too pointedly for this parent body.") They eye each other's fashions, limos, nannies, husbands and children's behavior. Theirs is "a society that ran on Lycra and imported Labradoodles."

Endlessly fascinating, the world of the wealthy has had a place in the arts forever. Macy's snappy rom-com dramedy style may be compared with the TV series Billions or Big Little Lies. To paraphrase Tolstoy, however, every wealthy family is wealthy in its own way. With sharp observation and smart prose, Macy chisels these stereotypical baubles into distinctive jewelry. The three women at the center of Mrs. have their own concerns and histories, even as they sail the world with their husbands' hands on the tiller.

Philippa Lye appears at morning drop-off "nearly six feet tall... those cheekbones, unconciliatory in the extreme; the arrogant jutting triangle of a nose." She has a past and she drinks; her husband is an old-money investment banker. After a crippling miscarriage, Gwen Hogan has only one child and gave up a career as a Ph.D. chemist to raise her daughter. Her husband is a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Southern District of New York who lives to send slippery billionaires to prison, but frequently wonders if he shouldn't go white-shoe private for the big bucks. Minnie Curtis ("shining hair of the darkest near-black brown and wonderfully white, perfect teeth... a little cheesy, the way she was made up, pink blush and glossy lips, but it worked") married up to an ambitious sleazy hedge fund magnate--a bottom-feeder, a "benthic organism trying to transform himself into a top-level carnivore."

The plot, to the extent there is one, heats up when Gwen's husband's office launches an investigation implicating Philippa's and Minnie's husbands. Marriages and friendships are tested as Macy dexterously reveals the flesh and blood beneath her characters' branded fashions, the lies and cover-ups behind their public personae and the sensitive maternal attachment undergirding their ambitious childrearing. Mrs. is a well-observed story of the precarious social network of today's wealthy--a strong addition to the large catalogue of fiction about those with privilege and pedigree. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Caitlyn Macy's novel of New York City's wealthy may fall into a long legacy of similar literature, but its sharp focus on monied women finds its own niche.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin
2. The Hail You Say (Hail Raisers Book 5) by Lani Lynn Vale
3. Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland
4. A SEAL's Purpose (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 5) by Cora Seton
5. Bayside Passions (Bayside Summers Book 2) by Melissa Foster
6. The Wright Secret by K.A. Linde
7. Hot Shot by Karina Halle
8. The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
9. Coming Home to Steeple Ridge (Steeple Ridge Romance Book 4) by Liz Isaacson
10. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

[Many thanks to!]

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