Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Simon & Schuster: The Lightning Bottles by Marissa Stapley

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

Soho Crime: Exposure (A Rita Todacheene Novel) by Ramona Emerson

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao

Tommy Nelson: Up Toward the Light by Granger Smith, Illustrated by Laura Watkins

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Quotation of the Day

The Excitement of 'Having Access to Indie Bookstores'

"[Indie bookstores] have played a really big role. I grew up in Detroit for most of my life, and for a very long time there was an indie bookstore right up the street that I went to probably almost every day growing up. Sadly, it closed at one point, which was really devastating because it was the place that I looked forward to going to every day. I've lived in a number of places now and the two things I always do when I get to a new place is look for the indie bookstores and look for the library. I spent last year living in Dubai, where there is not a whole lot of bookstores, and that was one of the things I struggled with most when I was there. Now I'm back in the U.S., living in Brooklyn. I love Books Are Magic--it was one the first places I checked out when I got here. That has probably been the most exciting part about moving to New York and back to the States, just having access to indie bookstores again."

--Christine Mangan, author of Tangerine, April's #1 Indie Next List Pick, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Second Printing of John Oliver's OOS Surprise Hit Arriving Monday

Chronicle Books, publisher of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, the surprise illustrated children's book by John Oliver, is continuing its efforts to supply its accounts--particularly independent booksellers, who were unhappy that the book was initially, in effect, an Amazon exclusive. Within days of publication, Chronicle went back for a second printing of 400,000 copies through multiple printers, and made it a priority for its distributor, Hachette, to fill indie orders.

"We have moved through the first batch of indie orders, wholesalers and some national and Canadian orders," Chronicle president Tyrrell Mahoney said yesterday. The company is now out of stock but "more copies are hitting the warehouse Monday," April 2.

Mahoney has been explaining the situation and apologizing, contacting some booksellers personally and sent an open letter to the ABA and regional booksellers associations. In the letter, she wrote, in part, "On behalf of Chronicle Books, I apologize for any frustrations you have experienced these past few days following the launch of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. I hope you know from your history working with us as an indie ourselves that this was certainly not our intention....

"While its launch isn't how we'd normally go about business, none of us predicted how phenomenally viewers and readers would respond to John Oliver's announcement.... Our #1 goal right now is to get this book into your store and into those eager readers' hands."

Noting "the slow pace in supplying inventory to stores over the past few days," ABA CEO Oren Teicher commented: "To say the least, we were very disappointed that Chronicle/HBO failed to give independent bookstores a timely heads-up about this title, so that all channels would have had the opportunity to sell the book once it was announced. ABA has spoken at length with Chronicle over the past few days, and we hope it's a teachable moment for all in our business. Indie bookstores are used to taking all necessary steps to protect the confidentiality of title information, including signing of affidavits, and would certainly have done that in this instance given the chance. ABA firmly believes that our industry is stronger when we can all compete on a level playing field, and, conversely, that providing one channel a competitive advantage is, in the end, bad for everyone."

The experience continues to leave a bad taste for many indies. Brad Johnson of East Bay Booksellers, Oakland, Calif., wrote over the weekend, "Thus far, I've only had curious inquiries about the book, and no actual orders. Given the way it was rolled out, I have no intention of stocking it. (I will order if people want a copy, and if it is available.)"

And in an open letter to Chronicle, James Conrad, owner of the Golden Notebook Bookstore, Woodstock, N.Y., complained that Chronicle should have objected to the way the book was published and pointed out that indies help sell Chronicle products in a manner that Amazon can't: "Chronicle Books is made up of rather particular point of sale types of titles. [They are] the kind of books and novelty items that require booksellers to display them in their brick and mortar stores and get behind them to make them move. An internet page cannot do that."

John Oliver made the initial announcement about the book a week ago Sunday night on Last Week Tonight, telling viewers it was available immediately at Amazon. Indies and many others were unable to get copies as demand for the book soared beyond its 40,000-copy first printing. The book jumped immediately to No. 1 on Amazon and sold out there in less than an hour. The book was also initially available at Chronicle and at Oliver's

Last week, after indie criticism mounted, Oliver's show tweeted a link to IndieBound, suggesting that fans who wanted to buy a copy of the book from independent bookstores could go there.

Despite their unhappiness with how the book has been rolled out, many booksellers remain drawn to the story and the cause: in the book, Marlon Bundo, the Bunny of the United States (BOTUS), falls in love with another bunny, Wesley. The two decide to wed, only to be told by the Stink Bug in charge that same-sex marriage is not allowed. When Marlon, Wesley and their supportive animal community realize that they can choose who is in charge of their society, they vote out the Stink Bug and the couple is married, surrounded by their friends.

All of the profits from Oliver's book benefit the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, and AIDS United, which aims to end the AIDS epidemic in the U.S.

Oliver's A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was released a day before Marlon Bundo's A Day in the Life of the Vice President, a picture book about the Second Family's rabbit written by Charlotte Pence, Vice President Mike Pence's daughter, illustrated by his wife, Karen Pence, and published by Regnery Kids. Some of the proceeds from their book will go to A21, an organization that fights human trafficking.

Charlotte Pence was very gracious after the John Oliver announcement, telling Fox Business last week: "I think imitation is the most sincere form of flattery in a way. But in all seriousness, his book is contributing to charities that I think we can all get behind. We have two books that are giving to charities that are about bunnies, so I'm all for it."

Ironically, John Oliver's attention might have helped boost sales of the Pence book: like Oliver's book, it's back-ordered and out of stock at many book retailers.

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Kids' Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

On Thursday, the second part of the American Booksellers Association's Spring 2018 Kids' Next List was delivered to more than a third of a million of the country's best book readers, going to 380,639 customers of 115 participating bookstores.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features winter Kids' 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 Kids' Next List pick, in this case Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray).

For a sample of the newsletter, see this one from Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Bonnier Creating Bilingual Publishing Line With Disney

Under its BuzzPop imprint, Bonnier Publishing USA is creating a bilingual line featuring Disney characters that will include storybooks, board books and leveled readers. The titles will be in English-Spanish, English-Mandarin and English-French editions. The first will appear this summer.

Shimul Tolia, CEO of Bonnier Publishing USA, commented: "Stories featuring diverse characters are vital, necessary, and in demand. The words on the page are just as important as the faces in a society that is home to 350 languages. Our entire publishing plan/list is dedicated to reflecting what America, and the world, look like."

BuzzPop publisher Sonali Fry added: "We're happy to add Disney stories to these formats. Children's books play such a crucial role in early development. Dual language books can help children build fluency in both languages and raise social and cultural awareness. Adding easily recognizable characters to the mix helps grab the attention of even the most reluctant reader, encouraging bilingual literacy at a young age."

Obituary Note: Nancy Salmon

Nancy Salmon

Bookseller and ardent reader Nancy Salmon, "an institution within a Menlo Park [Calif.] institution" for 17 years at Kepler's Books, died March 12, the Almanac reported, adding that Salmon "would talk books with people interested in reading and buying them. As a critical reader, she was popular with authors, publishers and publicists."

Salmon was "first and foremost a reader across many genres," said Kepler's manager Amanda Hall. "If she liked a book, she told you why. If she didn't like a book, she told you why.... Because of the breadth of her reading, she was a true asset of ours because she could reach so many readers. You could disagree with her about a book, but it was still a great conversation."

In a January 2016 letter to Kepler's when she went into semi-retirement, Salmon wrote: "I have always believed that the human element is important. It's why I believe in independent businesses. I believe in Kepler's as a cultural hub in this area and one of the peninsula's great assets. We are not an algorithm. We are individual resources who actually know the product we sell. We read the book review and we know what's on our tables. Our customers expect that of us, and they come back to us because of it."

In a Facebook announcement of Salmon's passing, Kepler's wrote: "Nancy shared her love of great stories and literature with the Kepler’s community for nearly two decades--we will truly miss her!"


Image of the Day: Hamilton and Peggy

On Saturday, March 17, Scrawl Books, Reston, Va., hosted a Revolutionary St. Patrick's Day, celebrating the launch of L.M. Elliott's YA historical novel Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship (Katherine Tegen Books). Local thespians Addison Duncan (l.), a sixth grade actor, and her sister, Megan Duncan, a fourth grade actor, kicked off the celebration by performing "The Schuyler Sisters" from the Broadway musical Hamilton

Detroit's Source Booksellers to Be Featured on BBC's World Book Cafe

Source Booksellers, the bookstore in Detroit, Mich., that specializes in nonfiction, hosted the third in a series of events recorded for BBC Radio called World Book Café, which explores the literary life of a city through conversations with various literary personalities. Among the participants in the Detroit episode were Janet Webster Jones, owner of Source Booksellers, along with a local author and publisher, a poet and a writer's collective founder. The program featuring Source Booksellers will air on BBC radio affiliates tomorrow, March 28. Previous episodes of the series focused on Berlin and Beirut.

Personnel Changes at Rowman & Littlefield

Karen Allman has been named v-p, sales and marketing, at Rowman & Littlefield. Most recently she was v-p, business development, at Blackboard Inc. Earlier she was executive director, strategic partnerships, at Pearson, director of marketing for Pearson Health Science and worked at John Wiley & Sons.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Maya Dusenbery on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Maya Dusenbery, author of Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062470805).

CBS This Morning: Ross Douthat, author of To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501146923).

The View: Chrissy Metz, author of This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062837875).

NPR's All Things Considered: Lauren Hilgers, author of Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown (Crown, $27, 9780451496133).

CNN's Anderson Cooper: Sean Penn, author of Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff: A Novel (Atria, $24, 9781501189043).

TV: I Still Dream

Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is developing a TV adaptation of James Smythe's new novel, I Still Dream, "after swooping in ahead of its recent publication" to option the book, Deadline reported. Smythe will adapt and also "lead a writer's room for the project, which Carnival wants to unfold across multiple seasons." HarperCollins, which published the novel under its Borough Press imprint in the U.K., calls it a "dark, moving, and ultimately hopeful examination of what it means to be human."

Books & Authors

Awards: J. Anthony Lukas; Hans Christian Andersen

The winners and finalists of the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards, administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and honoring the best in American nonfiction writing, are:

The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize:
Winner: Amy Goldstein for Janesville: An American Story (Simon & Schuster)
Finalist: Jessica Bruder for Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (Norton)

The Mark Lynton History Prize:
Winner: Stephen Kotkin for Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 (Penguin Press)
Finalist: Caroline Fraser for Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)

The J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award:
Chris Hamby for Soul Full of Coal Dust: The True Story of an Epic Battle for Justice (Little, Brown)
Rachel Louise Snyder for No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Violence Can Kill Us (Bloomsbury)


The winners of the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Awards, sponsored by the International Board of Books for Young People and recognizing "lifelong achievement" by an author and an illustrator "whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children's literature," are Eiko Kadono of Japan for writing and Igor Oleynikov of Russia for illustration.

Book Review

Review: Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime

Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime by Cutter Wood (Algonquin, $26.95 hardcover, 240p., 9781616207304, April 17, 2018)

As Love and Death in the Sunshine State opens, Cutter Wood has just graduated from college and is on a family vacation to the island of Anna Maria, near Tampa Bay, Fla. Afterward, he returns home to wait tables, expecting never to think of the place again--until he finds out about a fire at his Anna Maria motel.

A woman named Sabine Musil-Buehler, co-owner of the motel, has been missing for several weeks. Her car is recovered, with blood on its seats and a stranger behind the wheel. Police name three persons of interest: Sabine's husband, her boyfriend and the man who stole the car.

Wood is fascinated. He is drawn back to Anna Maria. As he enters graduate school and begins a romantic relationship, which stales and sours, he pulls apart the relationship that might have killed Sabine. Love and Death in the Sunshine State, Wood's debut, is a memoir of post-college ennui; an investigation into a likely murder; an exploration of the light and dark sides of human connection; and an imaginative account of what might have happened to Sabine. Wood blurs genre boundaries, eventually offering a hybrid form that best suits his mind's wanderings.

He visits with the principal characters and neighbors, and the man most people think killed Sabine. Her boyfriend Bill is in prison on a parole violation; he corresponds with Wood, as he once courted Sabine through the mail and on weekly furloughs. About that courtship, Wood writes, "There is something holy in a friendship born like this in letters." His own correspondence is less satisfying. "I knew that Bill had lied to me, but I knew, too, that even if he'd told me everything he remembered, it would hardly answer all the questions I had." This approaches the heart of the book: the question of truth versus fact, of what is unknowable.

Along the way, Wood profiles a handful of characters. Sabine is a German immigrant seeking sunny days and a hospitality career. Bill is an ex-con seeking support and comfort. These protagonists are joined by Sabine's husband, her coworkers at the hotel, Wood's girlfriend and others. And the narrator: a young man seeking art and love, frustrated by the "vanishingly small increments" through which love can turn to "if not cruelty, some precursor of that emotion."

Wood deserves credit for a narrative voice that prizes honesty over flattery, or self-flattery. His book is essentially an examination, not only of Sabine and of her murderer's emotions and motivations, but of the narrator himself, of universal human flaws. It is an often lovely evocation of place and culture: the gritty, small-town life of Anna Maria, its beautiful backdrop and trivial treacheries. His writing style starts out a little overblown, but soon settles into a meditative tone appropriate to his subject. In the end, Love and Death is a memorable, thought-provoking work of true crime and imagination. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: In Florida, a stolen car, a missing woman and a conflagration draw a writer from out of town to ruminate on the darker side of human relationships in this thoughtful melding of true crime, memoir and speculation.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Justice for Milena (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 10) by Susan Stoker
2. Only You by Melanie Harlow
3. One Last Time by Corinne Michaels
4. The Legend of Nimway Hall: 1750--Jacqueline by Stephanie Laurens
5. Beg Me by M. Malone
6. HOT Angel (Hostile Operations Team Book 12) by Lynn Raye Harris
7. Ink by Elizabeth Hunter
8. The Hook-Up Experiment by Emma Hart
9. Highest Order by David Archer
10. Lucky Charm by Eva Luxe
[Many thanks to!]

Powered by: Xtenit