Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Forge: Mr Katō Plays Family by Milena Michiko Flašar, translated by Caroline Froh

Ballantine Books: The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Island Press: The Jewel Box: How Moths Illuminate Nature's Hidden Rules by Tim Blackburn

Berkley Books: Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Berkley Books: The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne


Sassafras on Sutton Opening Soon in Black Mountain, N.C.

Sign being installed at Sassafra on Sutton.

On February 10, children's author Susanne Blumer will open Sassafras on Sutton, a 2,900-square-foot independent bookstore in Black Mountain, N.C. Located in Black Mountain's historic downtown, in a building dating back to 1876, Sassafras on Sutton will carry new books in a wide variety of genres, with particular emphasis on adult fiction, children's and young adult books, southern authors and Christian books, and will also be home to a full-service coffee bar.

"I love books and I love bringing books to people," said Blumer. Though she has no prior experience in bookselling, she has seen the industry from the publishing side, and she has retail experience through a bridal salon that she used to own. "I also love coffee and cozy spaces and beautiful merchandise. It's a perfect fit."

Blumer plans to carry a large selection of greeting cards, journals, shirts and other apparel, gifts and an assortment of toys and games. She explained that because the area sees a large amount of tourist traffic, she'll also stock literary items and merchandise pertaining to North Carolina and Black Mountain in particular.

Blumer described her building, which used to be Black Mountain's livery stable, as "full of charm and history." It still retains its old stone walls, as well as its original uneven floors, and train tracks still run right up to the store. And, she added, there is a "lovely view" of the nearby mountains from the store's front windows.

"We sold our farm in South Carolina, sold all of our animals, uprooted our children halfway through the school year, and moved to a new state the day after Christmas so I could open this bookstore," Blumer said. "Living in this magical place and owning a bookstore is a dream come true in so many ways."

Shelves awaiting new books at Sassafras on Sutton. (photo: Linda-Marie Barrett)

Sassafras on Sutton will have its soft opening on February 10, with an opening-day staff of eight people. Blumer has the store's grand opening celebration scheduled for February 17, and she reported that the Black Mountain community is "so excited" for the store to open.

On December 1, during an annual event called Holly Jolly that kicks off the holiday season, more than 400 people visited the store, even though there was nothing in it except for Blumer's own books, along with some hot cider and cookies. She added that Black Mountain is a "very literary and artistic town," with plenty of book clubs and local artisans and writers, and "people stop in every day while I'm getting the store ready and tell me they cannot wait for us to open."--Alex Mutter

William Morrow & Company: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs

Oregon's Paulina Springs Books for Sale

Owned by Brad Smith, Cynthia Claridge and Randi Schuyler, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, Ore., is for sale. Smith was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and wants to sell to be able to "focus on health and family," he wrote in a packet about the store. "If it were not for my health, I would continue to own this store as I find it very rewarding in my life."

The store is 3,240 square feet, with a customer base of locals, regularly returning vacationers and tourists "passing through." New books account for 74% of sales, while toys and games are 11.5% of sales. Over the past decade, sales have risen almost every year and are approaching $500,000.

Paulina Springs Books was founded in 1992 by Diane Campbell and Dick Sandvik; Smith bought the store in 2003 and has expanded it twice, adding product lines and inventory, and new equipment.

In 2007, Smith and Claridge, his sister, founded a branch of Paulina Springs Books in nearby Redmond, which they sold in 2015 to Kaci Aslamov. (It has been renamed Herringbone Books.)

For more information about Paulina Springs Books: 541-549-0866 or

William Morrow & Company: A Death in Denmark: The First Gabriel Præst Novel by Amulya Malladi

Book House Opens in Millburn, N.J.

The Book House in Millburn, N.J., a 1,500-square-foot bookstore that carries books for all ages and has a café, opened last Saturday.

The owner is children's book author Nadege Nicoll, who told, "What a small bookstore brings are events, books, book clubs, and conversation that the community is interested in. Local bookstores are a place where people can gather and feel at home without being at home."

Late last year, she told Shelf Awareness, "I really want to do something for the people around me locally. I want to open a bookstore featuring local artists and local authors and local people with whatever talents they have."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 02.06.23

At St. Martin's Press, Richardson Chairman, Enderlin Publisher

Among a series of major changes at St. Martin's Press:

Sally Richardson, who has been with the company for 48 years and has been publisher and president, is becoming chairman. Besides helping chart the future for St. Martin's, she will continue to read and buy books and pay particular attention to the publisher's international rights and publishing business.

Jen Enderlin is being promoted to publisher and will have day-to-day operating responsibility for the company. She has been with the company for 25 years and for two years has been co-publisher with Richardson.

Andrew Martin has been named senior v-p, executive publishing director for St Martin's. He will continue as publisher of Minotaur Books. He joined the company in 2006 and has 36 years of experience.

Anne Marie Tallberg is been named v-p, publishing director of St. Martin's Paperbacks and Griffin. She has been with the company for 15 years.

Paul Hochman has been promoted to v-p, marketing. He joined the company from Barnes & Noble in 2010.

Laura Clark, associate publisher, nonfiction, has been named v-p. She has been with the company since 2011.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon

Oprah's Book Club Pick: An American Marriage

Oprah Winfrey has chosen An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin) as the latest Oprah's Book Club Pick. The novel tells the story of newlyweds Celestial and Roy, an African-American couple living in Atlanta whose lives are shattered when Roy is accused of a crime he did not commit and is incarcerated.

Winfrey said that An American Marriage "redefines the traditional American love story. You'll come away with greater empathy and understanding, but even if you don't, it's just a really great read. It's the perfect book to read along with a friend or family member. You're going to want to have someone else reading it because it's so juicy."

"Thank you, @Oprah, for extending your hand to me and my new novel, An American Marriage," Jones posted on Twitter. "I am honored to join your book club and connect hearts and minds by raising our voices and telling our stories. Love, Tayari."

On CBS This Morning yesterday, Jones recounted the inspiration for her book: "I was trying to write a novel. I wanted to write a novel that was more timely, dealing with the issues of the day, but I couldn't find the people for the story. And  I went to the mall, and I saw a couple. They were obviously in love and in trouble....

"She was so put together. He just looked like he had had a long day, perhaps even a long life even though they were the same age.... She said, 'Roy you know you wouldn't have waited on me for seven years.' And I was intrigued because I didn't know Roy, but I felt fairly confident that he wouldn't wait on her for seven years, but he said, 'What are you talking about? This wouldn't have happened to you in the first place.' And the idea was born."

Author of four novels, including Silver Sparrow, The Untelling and Leaving Atlanta, Jones holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University and the University of Iowa. She is an associate professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University, and is spending the 2017-18 academic year as the Shearing Fellow for Distinguished Writers at the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Funeral Service for Bob Wietrak on Saturday

Bob Wietrak

A funeral service for Bob Wietrak, the former director of merchandising at Barnes & Noble who died last Saturday, will be held this Saturday, February 10, at the Wallingford Funeral Home in Wallingford, Conn. The wake will be held from 1:30 to 3:30, and the service will start at 3:30. The Wallingford Funeral Home is located at 809 North Main Street Ext., Wallingford, Conn. 06492; 203-269-7777.

A memorial service to celebrate Bob's life is being planned for April in New York City.

Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano


Adam Sternbergh's Favorite Indie: McNally Jackson

Adam Sternbergh

Faber & Faber U.K.'s blog took a trip to Brooklyn, N.Y., for its latest My Favorite Indie post featuring Adam Sternbergh, author most recently of The Blinds (published in the U.S. by Ecco).

"I have to confess that selecting a favorite independent bookstore is a seemingly simple task that nonetheless paralyzed me," Sternbergh noted. "Not because I had trouble thinking of one--quite the opposite. Living in New York (specifically, in Brooklyn), I'm in a fortunate, and all too rare, situation in that I have several great indie stores from which to choose.... So, for me, the challenge is choosing just one from among many beloved and worthy candidates. In the end, the exercise feels a bit like someone saying, 'Choose your favorite ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, and why.' They all have quirks and qualities I love and admire!"

Ultimately, he chose McNally Jackson "for several reasons. One, I'm originally from Canada--and so is Sarah McNally, the store's owner/proprietor. Her parents run a renowned bookstore in Winnipeg called McNally Robinson.... For me, McNally Jackson represents the best of bookstores past, present, and future. It's not only a great bookseller, but the store has become a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, a cultural hub in a city where such places are increasingly endangered.... McNally Jackson understands that, in an era when you can acquire any single book at the click of a mouse, a bookstore can offer something better, and more nourishing--a chance to browse, linger, get lost, and put yourself in the able hands of experts who love books as much as you do."

Bookshop Chalkboard of the Day: Mystery to Me

Mystery to Me bookstore, Madison, Wis., added a new twist to its staff recommendations by featuring selections on its sidewalk chalkboard:

"New board outside! Ever wonder what your booksellers' favorite books are? Every week we will tell you! This is our first one with Jayne, Joanne and Morgan's favorite books currently! Ask us about them on your next visit!"

Personnel Changes at Ten Speed Press

Windy Dorresteyn has been promoted to director of marketing and publicity at Ten Speed Press. She was formerly director of marketing strategies.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: F. Diane Barth on On Point

NPR's On Point: F. Diane Barth, author of I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women's Lives (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544870277).

Sirius XM's Michael Smerconish Show: Lanny J. Davis, author of The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency (Scribner, $25, 9781501177729).

Wendy Williams: Rowan Blanchard, author of Still Here (Razorbill, $17.95, 9780448494661).

TV: Babylon Berlin

Babylon Berlin, based on the crime novels of German author Volker Kutscher, "follows a police detective in the capital of the Weimar Republic--the decadent city of Berlin--before the rise of Nazism," Business Insider reported, adding that Netflix, which recently made two eight-episode seasons available, "has found another quality co-production from Germany in the 1920s-set crime series." See the trailer here.

"In the '20s, it was really the capital of the world. And nobody really knows about it because, of course, the monstrosity of the Nazi period afterwards is so huge," the show's co-creator, Achim von Borries, told NPR. 

Tom Tykwer, co-writer and co-director, added: "We had some really famous serial killers, some really ugly crimes that came from Berlin and that created a myth about the darkness and the filthiness of the city."

Books & Authors

Awards: Audie Finalists; AJL Jewish Fiction Winner

The Audio Publishers Association has selected finalists in 26 categories for the Audie Awards. Finalists for Audiobook of the Year will be announced at a later date. Winners in all categories will be unveiled May 31 during the Audies Gala at the New-York Historical Society during BookExpo. Three additional awards highlighting Excellence in Design, Production, and Marketing will be presented at the APA Conference on May 30. See the complete list of nominees here.


Rachel Kadish is the inaugural winner of the $1,000 Association of Jewish Libraries Jewish Fiction Award for her novel The Weight of Ink (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The award includes a cash prize as well as support to attend the Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Boston, June 18-20.

"Rachel Kadish has crafted an extraordinary cast of characters who speak to each other within and across the divides of centuries as well as those of age, religion and class and come vividly to life under her empathic touch," said Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, chairperson of the award committee. "This is a book that honors learning, libraries, archivists and librarians."

Two honor books were also recognized: Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan (Tin House Books) and A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert (Pantheon).

Reading with... Marley Dias

photo: Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

Marley Dias made headlines as a sixth grader when she started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign to collect children's books featuring black protagonists. Marley has been featured in the New York Times, has been recognized as a "21 under 21" ambassador for Teen Vogue, is an editor in residence for and launched a national literacy tour in partnership with the White House. Marley lives in New Jersey with her parents. Her first book, Marley Dias Gets It Done, was released on January 30 by Scholastic Press.

On your nightstand now:

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Favorite book when you were a child [Marley defined this as "under 10 years old"]:

Punk Wig by Lori Ries and Erin Eitter Kono

Your top five authors:

Jacqueline Woodson
Jenny Han
John Green
Marie Lu
Rita Williams-Garcia

Book you've faked reading:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Tapper Twins Run for President by Geoff Rodkey

Book you've bought for the cover:

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Book you hid from your parents:

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. I didn't really hide it from them, but it does have a character who is a sex addict (though I haven't [yet] gotten to any part with sexual acts). This is one of the consequences of having a high reading level at a young age.

Book that changed your life:

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson changed by life, but the most impactful book on my life so far is Another Brooklyn also by Jacqueline Woodson. It may even be better than BGD.

Favorite line from a book:

"Hey we're making music twice as good/ By playing what we've got." It's a line from the poem "Ourchestra" in Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

Five books you'll never part with:

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Aya: Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

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

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Book that was a guilty pleasure:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Book Review

Children's Review: The Field

The Field by Baptiste Paul, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara (NorthSouth, $17.95 hardcover, 32p., ages 4-8, 9780735843127, March 6, 2018)

Sports fan Baptiste Paul joins forces with Jacqueline Alcántara, winner of the 2016 We Need Diverse Books Campaign Mentorship Award, for this lively picture book debut.

In a series of three panels, a boy in Saint Lucia dribbles a soccer ball up to two friends who are sitting outside and chatting. "Vini! Come! The field calls!" He moves around town, inviting one and all to come play futbol. The two children seen chatting in the first panel now stride across an open field carrying a handmade goal. "Bol. Ball. Soulye. Shoes. Goal. Goal." A cow grazes nearby. On the next spread, one brave child has begun shooing away the doe-eyed cows as more people arrive to play. The colors pop off the page--lush greens, vibrant reds and yellows, sparkling blue water in the background--as teams are chosen. "Ou. Ou. Ou. You. You. You. Friends versus friends. Annou ale! Let's go!"

A boisterous game begins, the figures' edges blurring with their speed. As the children yell to each other--"I'm open!" "Pass!" "Shoot!"--a small crowd gathers to watch. The next full-page spread depicts our original eager-to-play child in mid-stride, looking over his shoulder as the sky greys behind him: "Uh-oh."

The bold colors of Paul's native Saint Lucia dim as driving rain slants across the page. "Fini? Game over?"

"No way. Play on!"

The bright colors of the children's clothing pop as they continue their game in what is now a field of mud. "Splash," one dives for the ball, spraying water and mud everywhere; "Slip-slide," two compete in a puddle to gain control of the ball. The group of mostly brown-skinned children are sopping wet and covered in mud when the ref yells, "Time-out! Shoes off. Socks off. GO!" The spirited game continues. Then, the sun begins to break through the clouds, Alcántara's illustrations perfectly depicting the brilliant rays of sunlight shining on the players. "One last drive. Dribble, twist...."

"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!" The enthusiastic children share "[h]igh fives. Fist-bumps. Happy tackles" and rollick in the mud. Alcántara's figures are full of motion and energy, every page showing figures in exuberant action. "Mamas call. Vini! Come! We play on. Vini, abwezan! Come now! Game pauses. Mamas press their lips." At this sign, the children quickly clear off the field, which is already being repopulated by goats. "Mud-caked kids" run back to their homes, waving goodbye, as the sun sets in glorious reds and oranges behind them. Bathed and cozy in bed, they "dream about futbol" and "about friends. Until the field calls again."

Paul and Alcántara's joyful work finishes with an author's note and a glossary of all the Creole words sprinkled throughout. The Field, with its concise and energetic text and dynamic illustrations, is irresistible, unfettered fun. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: On the island of Saint Lucia, children play an exciting pick-up soccer game in this vibrantly illustrated work by Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Ryan's Bed by Tijan
2. Here Comes the Sun (Butler, Vermont Series Book 3) by Marie Force
3. Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin
4. Love Me Like This by Bella Andre
5. XO, Zach by Kendall Ryan
6. Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland
7. Unloved: A Love Story by Katy Regnery
8. Claimed in Shadows by Lara Adrian
9. She Asked for It by Willow Winters
10. SEALs of Duchess Island by Kat Cantrell

[Many thanks to!]

AuthorBuzz: Berkley Books: Lemon Curd Killer (Tea Shop Mystery #25) by Laura Childs
AuthorBuzz: Nonlinear Publishing LLC: Moral Code by Lois and Ross Melbourne
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