Also published on this date: Monday, April 16, 2018: Maximum Shelf: Meet Me at the Museum

Shelf Awareness for Monday, April 16, 2018

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


Fire and Fury About A Higher Loyalty

James Comey's A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (Flatiron Books), being released tomorrow, promises to be the second major political book of the year, similar in some ways to Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Holt), which was published in January. While Wolff's book was based on interviews and conversations with administration insiders, this one is in part an insider's account of aspects of the administration. It's also drawn the pre-pub ire of President Trump, who apparently hasn't learned that repeated, vicious attacks on books actually help sell them. And while the Fire & Fury phenomenon was a surprise and the publisher scrambled to meet demand, this release has been well-organized, with a first printing of 850,000 copies, more than five times as many as Fire & Fury's first printing.

Although the book is a memoir and traces his law enforcement career, in A Higher Loyalty, the former FBI director writes at length about the current administration and his meetings with President Trump before he was fired last May, saying, "This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty." He compares Trump with Mafia dons. Last night in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's 20/20, he described Trump as a "serial liar" who treats women like "meat" and is "morally unfit to be president."

Already Trump has attacked Comey and the book. Late last week, he tweeted that Comey is "a proven LEAKER & LIAR" and "a weak and untruthful slime ball," following early reviews of the book. Trump loyalists and right-wing media have joined in the attacks, which continued over the weekend. One of the president's tweets yesterday read: "Slippery James Comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!"

Flatiron's own publicity campaign for the book is extensive. Last week, the publisher lifted the book's press embargo, resulting in several widely quoted reviews. Today USA Today is publishing an interview with Comey. Tomorrow and later this week, the author will be on a range of shows, including Fresh Air, Good Morning America and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Tonight Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C., will be open at midnight to release the book. Comey starts a book tour with an appearance on Wednesday at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City, and then travels to Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami, Los Angeles and Kansas City. In the U.K., pub date for A Higher Loyalty has been moved up to tomorrow from Thursday, and it's going into a second printing, the Bookseller reported.

There's also an audiobook version of A Higher Loyalty, which Comey narrates. In February, he famously tweeted, "Lordy, this time there will be a tape. Audio book almost finished."

Yesterday, as his 20/20 interview was about to air and the White House continued to attack him, Comey tweeted: "My book is about ethical leadership & draws on stories from my life & lessons I learned from others. 3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint. I hope folks read the whole thing and find it useful."

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

Bookworm Bookstore in Carbondale, Ill., Closing

After putting the Bookworm, Carbondale, Ill., up for sale last fall, owners Carl and Kelly Rexroad have now decided to close the new and used bookstore May 5 after 17 years in business. WSIL reported that the Rexroads plan to retire and "still hope to sell the place."

"As the process gets closer to closing, we would entertain any proposal right up until the end because I just think it's a shame that a university community in particular couldn't have an independent, local bookstore," said Carl Rexroad.

The closing "wasn't a decision we made because of financial things," he told the Southern. "We just wanted to be able to do some other things while we are young enough and healthy enough.... It is definitely bittersweet. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I wish I would have started it earlier. I would be retiring after 30 years instead of 17."

Obituary Note: Thomas Faherty, Jr.

Tom Faherty, Jr.

Thomas Faherty, Jr., co-owner of Faherty & Associates, the western rep firm, died last Thursday. He was 63 and had battled cancer.

He began his career as a publishers rep, working with his father, Thomas Faherty, Sr., who founded Faherty & Associates, and with his sister, Margaret, and brother, Kevin. He and Ken Guerins eventually bought Faherty & Associates.

In announcing Faherty's death, the firm wrote, in part, "Anyone who knew Tom knew that he never gave up. He delighted in extreme runs, mountains to coast. But more than that, he delighted in helping people. He assisted family members of the company through health crises. He would pick up his tool belt and travel to build storage for a new rep. If you were hungry at sales conference, food appeared at your table. If you were cold, the coat came off his back and was on your shoulder. There was not one of us who worked with him that he did not materially and emotionally encourage.

"And he never lost enthusiasm for what he had to sell. Anyone who attended a sales conference with him saw the twinkle in his eye, the energy that would animate him, because you knew he was already imagining having new reasons to visit his favorite people, booksellers. Over the years, he sold to stores in every state in the American West. He could name family members of buyers he hadn't seen in years, how they liked their coffee and what kind of pastry would start their day with a smile. He was a passionate supporter of the regional bookselling organizations in his territory--PNBA, MPIBA, NCIBA, and SCIBA. He will be mourned by the many he touched in the bookselling industry....

"If you care about books, please celebrate Tom's life by donating to a local book organization or your favorite charity."

Notes from London: Audio Grows in Some Surprising Ways

"I don't think that audio is going to be a blip," said David Shelley, chief executive of Hachette U.K., at the London Book Fair's Quantum Conference. "I think there's a very real possibility that audio could be one of the biggest parts of our business."

Shelley was in conversation with Jo Henry, formerly v-p at Nielsen Book and current managing director of Book Brunch. Shelley was bullish on audio's potential to reach people who otherwise don't read many books, adding that he would "put some money" on audio being an "absolutely central piece of our business" in five years' time.

He also said he was "optimistic" about "people's relationship with paper" and the trend of younger generations gravitating back toward paper, along with the resurgence in the U.K. of independent booksellers.

"If you look at what consumers are saying they want from us, they're not saying they want interactive e-books," said Shelley, who believes that, historically, publishers haven't done a strong enough job of simply listening to customers. "What consumers are saying that they want from us are really, really beautiful books."


During a keynote presentation at the Quantum Conference on the rapidly changing digital media landscape, Tom Goodwin, author of Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Digital Disruption, said that "asking a teenager how much time they spend online is like asking an adult how much time they spend with electricity." For people born after the advent of the Internet, Goodwin explained, there is no separation between the Internet and offline life: they're inextricably linked.


Michelle Cobb at LBF

Michele Cobb, executive director of the Audio Publishers Association, reported that 20 years ago, about 2,000 audiobook titles were produced in the U.S. In 2012, 16,000 audiobooks were released, and in 2017, publishers released just under 51,000 audiobooks. Cobb added that for the past five years, audiobooks have seen double-digit growth in both dollars and units, with publishers reporting 90 million units sold in 2017.

Over the past five years, audiobooks have become an increasingly digital format; around 87% of all audiobooks sold in 2016 were digital compared to 63% in 2012. Just over 70% of consumers listen to audiobooks on their smartphones, while 19% listen on voice-enabled speakers such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. Cobb said she expects the latter number to grow significantly over the next few years.

In terms of listener behavior, Cobb said that, somewhat surprisingly, more than 70% of consumers are listening at home, and 56% of people said they were doing nothing else while listening to audiobooks at home--not washing the dishes, doing laundry or other household chores.

"In the U.S. we always thought multitasking, in the car, all those things," Cobb said. "We asked point blank, 'are you doing nothing else, just listening to an audiobook?' And the answer was yes."


Javier Celaya of Storytel, the subscription audio book service that was founded in Sweden and is beginning to expand to other markets in Europe and throughout the world, said during a panel discussion on creating compelling audiobooks that within 10 years, he expects most audiobooks will be "narrated by machines."

Debra Deyan, co-founder of Deyan Audio Services, a major audio production company in California, however, said that while she thought it might be possible for a nonfiction project read by an AI to work, she doubted whether fiction could ever be convincingly read by an AI. --Alex Mutter

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: Make Trouble at McIntyre's

Yesterday afternoon at McIntyre's Books in Pittsboro, N.C., activist Cecile Richards discussed her memoir, Make Trouble (Touchstone), with Michele Tracy Berger, associate professor of Women's and Gender Studies at UNC.

Happy 45th Birthday, Rakestraw Books!

Congratulations to Rakestraw Books, Danville, Calif., which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this month. Founded by Brian and Mary Harvey in 1973, Rakestraw was purchased in 1995 by Michael Barnard, who told the East Bay Times, "I used savings, borrowed money and bought the store. Being 25 years old at the time, I didn't think I was crazy; it didn't occur to me it wasn't reasonable."

The first five years of ownership he spent "settling in," he said. The post-9/11 period and the recession of 2008 and 2009 were major challenges, but since moving to its current 2,000-square-foot space, the store has had steady growth. "It feels more like it did 20 years ago," Barnard said.

He added: "The thing I always come back to is the books. What I and the staff have read, what we're excited about. Looking across the years, the marker posts are the good books we've put in customers' hands.... I've seen customers grow up. We've played a role in their lives. That means this is a place to be known, to be recognized, to be and create community."

Trafalgar Square to Distribute Lion Hudson

Effective June 1, IPG's Trafalgar Square Publishing will distribute print books by Lion Hudson in the U.S. and Canada and e-books worldwide.

Lion Hudson, Oxford, England, publishes Christian books for adults and children and has five imprints: Lion Books, Lion Children's Books, Lion Fiction, Candle Books and Monarch Books. It will continue to sub-license a range of books to U.S. co-edition partners, including Kregel Publications, Fortress Press and others.

Personnel Changes at Harvard Book Store

Rachel Cass has been promoted to buying and inventory manager at Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., taking on responsibility for all merchandise buying. She has been head buyer for trade books since 2013.

Book Trailer of the Day: Cake

Cake by Maira Kalman with recipes by Barbara Scott-Goodman (Penguin Press), a video by Maira Kalman and her son Alex Kalman.

Media and Movies

Movies: Mary Shelley

Elle Fanning (Super 8, The Beguiled) "offers a new spin on the author of Frankenstein in the trailer for Mary Shelley," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, also stars Douglas Booth (Noah) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones).

"We wanted to portray a strong woman who is willing to step out of line and find her own voice," said Al-Mansour, who is best known for her 2012 film Wadjda--the first-ever feature from a female Saudi Arabian director. IFC Films' Mary Shelley hits theaters May 25.

On Stage: The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro will collaborate with playwright and novelist Barney Norris on a stage adaptation of The Remains of the Day, the Guardian reported. The production will tour the U.K. after its world premiere at Northampton's Royal & Derngate in February next year. Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson starred in a 1993 film version of Ishiguro's Booker Prize-winning novel.

"Norris has exactly the right theatrical understanding and delicate sensibility to turn this engaging and highly political love story into a moving and dynamic piece of theatre," said Christopher Haydon, who will direct. "One of those stories that appear every now and again which seem, almost as soon as they're written, to belong to the world. It has entered the bloodstream of our culture. To work with such extraordinary material is a great gift."

Media Heat: Lawrence Wright on Fresh Air

Morning Joe: Steve Israel, author of Big Guns: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781788544283).

Today Show: Natalie Morales, author of At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family's Kitchen to Yours (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544974494).

Dr. Oz: Vivica A. Fox, author of Every Day I'm Hustling (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250134455).

Fresh Air: Lawrence Wright, author of God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Knopf, $27.95, 9780525520108).

The Real: Mike Epps, author of Unsuccessful Thug: One Comedian's Journey from Naptown to Tinseltown (Harper, $26.99, 9780062684899).

Daily Show: Alex Wagner, author of Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging (One World, $28, 9780812997941).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Charlamagne Tha God, author of Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It (Touchstone, $16, 9781501145315).

Also on the Late Show: Nell Scovell, author of Just the Funny Parts: ...And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club (Dey Street, $27.99, 9780062473486).

Good Morning America: James Comey, author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250192455). He will also appear on Morning Edition, Fresh Air and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Morning Joe: Cecile Richards, author of Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story (Touchstone, $27, 9781501187599).

Also on Morning Joe: Pat Cunnane, author of West Winging It: An Un-presidential Memoir (Gallery, $28, 9781501178290).

Rachael Ray: Louie Anderson, author of Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too (Touchstone, $26, 9781501189173). He will also appear on Steve Harvey.

The View: Andrew Morton, author of Meghan: A Hollywood Princess (Grand Central, $27, 9781538747353).

Watch What Happens Live repeat: Erika Jayne, author of Pretty Mess (Gallery Books, $27, 9781501181894).

Books & Authors

Awards: Penderyn Music Book WInner

Stuart Cosgrove won the 2018 Penderyn Music Book Prize, which is given "specifically for music titles (history, theory, biography, autobiography)" published in the U.K., for Memphis 68: The Tragedy of Southern Soul ,the "second book in his 'epic trilogy' about soul music and social change in three American cities during three crucial years," the Bookseller reported. The winner receives a check for £1,000 (about $1,425) and a bottle of Penderyn Single Cask Whiskey.

Cosgrove said: "Winning this award, amongst such formidable competition, is a privilege. It reflects the widespread public interest in popular social history and soul music. It also highlights the range of books being published independently in Scotland. I am delighted to accept the award. I have a passionate belief in the creativity of small nations and see Penderyn as a very inspiring example of that."

Book Review

Review: A Theory of Love

A Theory of Love by Margaret Bradham Thornton (Ecco, $27.99 hardcover, 288p., 9780062742704, May 8, 2018)

Some places are made for romance. In Margaret Bradham Thornton's A Theory of Love, one of those places is the fictional enclave of Bermeja on Mexico's rugged Pacific coast, south of Puerto Vallarta. Rich artists and wealthy global moguls gather there in casitas carefully designed to capture the area's views and color. On assignment to do a story on Bermeja's Italian developer, British journalist Helen Gibbs meets the Franco-American lawyer, entrepreneur and occasional surfer Christopher Delavaux.

Too smart and clever to be overwhelmed by only physical attraction, Helen and Christopher banter about language (his favorite word is the Italian sprezzatura, which he translates as "studied nonchalance") and the excesses of the well-heeled players around them. When he leaves a respected law firm in New York City to launch his own investment advisory house in London, they reconnect and easily glide into love and marriage. With a little mews house to call home, Helen revels in the excitement of dinners with Christopher's prospective clients, weekends in the country and interesting reporting assignments. But one cannot live on fancy ceviche and massive English manors alone.

Thornton (Charleston) studied at Princeton and Cambridge, spent a decade organizing and editing Tennessee Williams's Notebooks and even worked on Wall Street. Her knowledge of European affluence--its food, fashion, and August idylls amid the yachts and cafes of Saint-Tropez--permeates every chapter. As Christopher focuses on building his business, Helen chafes and wonders when they will have leisure time again. He tells her "I have people working for me who are depending on me.... Once you're in the river, you're in the river. You can't get out and take a break."

Thornton's Wall Street years serve A Theory of Love well. She captures the details of cross-border deals, all-nighter due diligence, tax straddles and currency swaps as astutely as she does Helen's growing disenchantment with Christopher's new client crowd whose yacht names remind her of "racehorses on fourth-rate tracks--Lucky Lady, Lovely Lassie, Pretty Woman." Helen wants a child. She wants "grittier" writing assignments. She wants a husband less "studied" and more "nonchalant." After a pregnancy and miscarriage, which she keeps from Christopher, she finally lashes out: "I wasn't expecting to be first all of the time, just once in a while."

With chapters skipping across both the cosmopolitan and remote turfs of the wealthy, A Theory of Love is a portrait of romance among the 1%. Yet it is pulled back to earth by the self-reflective, unpretentious Helen who centers Thornton's narrative. She learns that falling in love is easy. Overcoming a spouse's obsession with work and personal indifference is much harder. Thornton's novel is a window into life in a breakneck world where finding an anchor to slow things down is as important as launching full-sail into the wind. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: In a modern love story, a spirited British journalist finds both romance and disappointment in her search for happiness amid the whirl and glitz of the global elite.

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