Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Workman Publishing: Linked: Conquer Linkedin. Land Your Dream Job. Own Your Future. by Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling

Berkley Books: Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

Henry Holt & Company: Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

Wednesday Books: Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Harper: Aurora by David Koepp

Gibbs Smith: Life Is Golden: What I've Learned from the World's Most Adventurous Dogs by Andrew Muse

Quotation of the Day

Roxanne Coady: 'Go Ahead--Do It!'

"As I stood by the door that April 19th [1990], I was 41. Many people suggested that it was pure folly to start a risky business at that age. Yet, I now look at that 41-year-old and understand how young that is.

"Here is what I would have told the 41 year old, eight months pregnant me: Go ahead--do it! There will be thousands of staff and readers and authors who also are committed to creating and sustaining a place where the written and spoken word is honored and cherished. They will help make it happen--and so together we have."

--Roxanne Coady, founder of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., in her "Dear Reader" column celebrating the bookstore's 28th anniversary

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers: Mouse Seasons by Leo Lionni


The Mitten Word Bookshop Opening Saturday in Michigan

The Mitten Word Bookshop, Marshall, Mich., will open this Saturday. In a Facebook post, owners Jim and Ginny Donahue wrote: "Well.......we have decided (due to our insanity, and barring any unforseen problem) that SATURDAY, APRIL 21 at 10 a.m. we will open the doors at the Mitten Word Bookshop 114 W. Michigan Ave. The new signage should make the store relatively easy to find. Note that a bookstore is always a 'work in progress.' "

The Donahues added that "the people and local businesses of Marshall have been extraordinarily welcoming. We thank them! As a retired physician I have never forgotten that the health of a society is frequently measured by: 1. Infant mortality and 2. Literacy rate! Reading ability is THAT important. The Gutenberg printing press is often cited as the single most important invention in human history. We look forward to continuing to serve Calhoun County and its visitors."

Formerly Battle Creek Books, the Mitten Word Bookshop acquired new owners and a new location earlier this year after its predecessor announced in November that the business would close if a buyer could not be found.

Ingram Booklove: An Exclusive Rewards Program for Indie Booksellers

Libby McGuire Named Senior V-P, Publisher of Atria

Libby McGuire
(photo: Nina Subin)

Libby McGuire has been named senior v-p and publisher of the Atria Publishing Group, effective April 30. She has been a literary agent at the Gernert Company, which she joined last year. Before that, she was executive v-p and publisher of Ballantine Bantam Dell, where she worked for 16 years; was a national accounts manager at Simon & Schuster; and held various positions in sales and marketing at HarperCollins.

Jonathan Karp, president of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, commented: "Libby McGuire is one of the most dynamic and successful publishers in our industry. I have had the pleasure of working closely with her in the past, and was an eyewitness to her creativity, acuity, warmth, collaborative nature, and passion for publishing. Her accomplishments at Ballantine Bantam Dell are manifold, and include transforming the group into a premiere destination for bestselling authors."

McGuire added: "I have always admired the creativity and energy of Atria's diverse list, so I'm thrilled to be able to join such a talented team, and to work with Jon Karp again, too. The chance to lead a publishing group of this breadth and depth is a rare opportunity."

GLOW: Grand Central Publishing: With Prejudice by Robin Peguero

Water Damage Closes Boston's I Am Books Temporarily

Damaged merchandise at I Am Books.

I Am Books in Boston, Mass., will close today through Friday as it continues repair and cleanup efforts after suffering significant water damage over the weekend when an upstairs neighbor's water pipe broke.

On Facebook yesterday, I Am Books posted: "Our little bookstore has fought valiantly to stay open after Saturday morning's water disaster, but at the end it will need to take a break and close for the next three days. Ceilings will be taken down tomorrow. We're doing everything we can to be back up and running by Saturday. We'll post more updates as we go along. Thank you for your love."

On Sunday, the bookshop noted that the "significant leak from upstairs damaged roughly 100 books and a couple dozen other items. Ceilings in the bathroom and above history and cookbook sections will need to be entirely replaced, as well as the one above our downstairs kitchen area. (yes, we're Italians, so we can't be without a kitchen!)... It could have been so much worse, so we're thankful that the damage was contained.... We also want to thank everyone for their thoughts and words of encouragement. It means a lot to us. As they say: onward and upward! Never give up. Sempre avanti!"

Co-owner Nicola Orichuia told "It’s unfortunate, but it could have been so much worse, so we must remain positive. We’ve been told it will require at least three days to get the first phase of repairs completed. We definitely want to be open for the weekend, since we have several events going on on Saturday and Sunday. We might need to close another day or two next week to complete the job."

Berkley Books: Harlem Sunset (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) by Nekesa Afia

More Plans for Independent Bookstore Day 2018

For the second year in a row, the 27 independent bookstores making up the Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Alliance are teaming up for the Indie Bookstore Crawl and the #MyChicagoBookstore Challenge. Customers can pick up a bookstore passport and their first stamp with a purchase of $25 or more at any participating bookstore. From there, they can get their passports stamped, with no purchase required, at any other store they visit. Customers who make it to 10 stores will get 10% off at all participating stores for the next year, while customers who make it to 15 will get 15% off. Readers are also encouraged to share photos of themselves undertaking the #MyChicagoBookstore Challenge on social media, with the hashtag #CHIBD18.

In the greater San Diego, Calif., area, the San Diego Bookstore Crawl is returning for another year, and the list of participating indies has grown from three to nine and the event will take place over three days. From April 28 until April 30, readers can pick up a passport at any of the nine stores and get their passports stamped with a purchase of a book; depending on how many stamps they collect, they'll be entered to win a variety of prizes. Customers who collect four stamps will receive limited-edition San Diego Bookstore Crawl tote bags and be entered to win gift packages from participating stores. Those who collect stamps from all nine stores, meanwhile, will be entered into a raffle for a grand prize of more than $200 in gift certificates.

Minneapolis, Minn., literary nonprofit Rain Taxi is sponsoring this year's Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Day passport. On April 28, readers can pick up a passport and get it stamped at any one of 18 participating stores throughout the Twin Cities area. Each stamp that customers receive will not only activate a coupon for that store but also count toward bookstore prizes. Customers with five coupon stamps will be entered to win a $20 gift certificate, while customers with 10 stamps will be entered to win a literary prize pack featuring more than a dozen new books. Those who collect stamps from all 18 stores will be eligible for the grand literary prize pack, which includes everything from the literary prize pack plus another 18 books.

Three bookstores in downtown Grand Junction, Colo., are making an IBD passport of their own. Shoppers can pick up their free passports at Crystal Books and Gifts, Grand Valley Books or Out West Books, all located on Main Street, and get their passports stamped. Customers who collect all three will get $5 off at each store on any item over $25, valid until May 31.

In Seattle, Wash., Third Place Books will be participating in Seattle Independent Bookstore Day, along with many other indies, and will have special programming at each of its three locations. In Lake Forest Park, plans include free coffee and scones, a visit from the Hogwarts Sorting Hat with author Jill Kolongowski, a special storytime session and more. The Ravenna store, meanwhile, will have a prize wheel, a scavenger hunt and a galley benefit sale. And at Seward Park, customers can expect a meet-and-greet with Captain Underpants, two special storytime sessions and an evening event with Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny, along with a plethora of all-day activities.

At BookTowne in Manasquan, N.J., IBD features raffles throughout the day, with prizes for children and adults, along with two author visits. First, Erin McBride will stop by to sign copies of The Day I Found Out My Father Was a Superhero, with Ross Buruch reading from his book Trucks Full of Ducks in the afternoon. A typewriter will be set up outside the store, and customers are invited to write down their thoughts about books and BookTowne. BookTowne's tote bags will be discounted for the day.

Annie Bloom's Books in Portland, Ore., will welcome more than 20 local authors on April 28, including children's writers Trudy Ludwig and Michelle Roehm McCann, mystery writers Lisa Alber and Warren Easley, and YA authors April Henry and Ruth Tenzer. The store will also host activities for kids and adults, along with a "surprise Harry Potter-themed prize."

In Athens, Ga., both Avid Bookshop locations are getting in on the Indie Bookstore Day action. At Avid's Five Points store, customers will be able to try their hands at writing shelf-talkers of their own, and the five best shelf-talkers will be kept in circulation on Avid's bookshelves. Out of those five, Avid will choose one shelf-talker as the best of the best, and the writer of that shelf-talker will be featured in a special display about their favorite books. At Avid on Prince, there will be food vendors stationed throughout the day, and the two stores will engage in a bit of friendly competition. Customers will try to match pictures of booksellers at the two stores to their favorite books, and whichever shop has the most correct matches at the end of the day will win. Those who take part in the contest will be entered to win a raffle for a special book bundle.

And, last but not least, BookShop West Portal in San Francisco, Calif., will celebrate IBD with real, live llamas in store.--Alex Mutter


ECW Press: Play It Right: The Remarkable Story of a Gambler Who Beat the Odds on Wall Street by Kamal Gupta

Obituary Note: Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill, a celebrated poet, translator, and a founding editor of Copper Canyon Press, died April 14. He was 74. "Through his advocacy, social consciousness, political engagement, and acts of resistance, he set a model that the Press still engages today," said Copper Canyon editor-in-chief Michael Wiegers. "Sam was a passionate defender of those he loved, and had a determined, yet open mind when it came to new discoveries. He was a mentor, friend, and model for living with a great commitment to poetry."

In a statement, Copper Canyon wrote: "We--and poetry readers everywhere--are indebted to this commitment, and to the abiding impact of his passion and vision on American letters."

Hamill co-founded Copper Canyon Press in 1972. His most recent poetry collection is Habitation: Collected Poems (2014). His poetry has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Hamill's many translated works include Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings by Matsuo Basho (2000); and (with J.P. Seaton) The Poetry of Zen (2007) and The Essential Chuang Tzu (1999). In 2003, he initiated the Poets Against War movement in response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which yielded a collection of protest poetry from more than 13,000 poets around the world.

A post on Hamill's Facebook page noted that Hamill "always lived on his own terms, and we are very grateful he was able to die the same way"; and concluded with lines from his poem "Black Marsh Eclogue":

...But when
at last he flies, his great wings
cover the darkening sky, and slowly,
as though praying, he lifts, almost motionless,

as he pushes the world away.


Image of the Day: Junot Díaz at NYC's Word Up

Junot Díaz came to Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria, in Washington Heights, New York City, at 7:30 a.m. last Friday, to presign, in one hour, 800 copies of Islandborn and its Spanish-language edition, Lola (both from Dial), in advance of his event at the historic United Palace later that day, attended by more than 2,600 people. Pictured: Word Up booksellers who ran the assembly line for presigning books (l.-r.) Emmanuel Abreu, Veronica Santiago Liu, Diaz, Mariel Escalante, Marisol Cruz, Elizabeth Castelli, Rishauna Zumberg, Cynthia Pong. 

Booklovers' Wedding

Book publicist Nicole Banholzer shared this lovely wedding photo taken at Dolphin Bookshop, in Port Washington, N.Y. She explained: "My husband, Frank Hinck, grew up in Port Washington and whenever we go back to visit we always go to Dolphin, so I knew we had to take photos there. I've worked in children's book PR my whole career, at Random House and Macmillan, before launching an independent book publicity firm (Nicole Banholzer PR) last year. So of course, books played a huge part in our day. The table centerpieces at the wedding venue were stacks of books as well!" Congratulations, Nicole & Frank!

Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks

At Sourcebooks:

Stephanie Graham has been promoted to marketing specialist. She was previously marketing associate and joined the company in 2015.

Kavita Jaswal has joined the company as digital marketing manager. She most recently worked at Pearson.

Diamond Comic Distributors to Distribute SBI Press

Diamond Comic Distributors will be exclusive worldwide distributor in the comic book specialty market, book market, and hobby games market for Starburns Industries' new publishing division, SBI Press.

Starburns Industries is a production company founded by Dan Harmon, Dino Stamatopoulos, Joe Russo II, James Fino and Duke Jonhson that aims to gives the support and freedom to original and creative people to make content that is "funny, strange, sad and beautiful."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: James Comey on Rachel Maddow, Lead with Jake Tapper

Today Show: Siri Daly, author of Siriously Delicious: 100 Nutritious (and Not so Nutritious) Simple Recipes for the Real Home Cook (Oxmoor House, $26.99, 9780848755805).

Dr. Oz: Bob Roth, author of Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation (Simon & Schuster, $24, 9781501161216).

Rachael Ray: Elisa Costantini, author of Italian Moms: Something Old, Something New (Sterling Epicure, $29.95, 9781454927983).

The View: Dana Perino, author of Let Me Tell You about Jasper...: How My Best Friend Became America's Dog (Twelve, $16.99, 9781455567119).

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Sarah McBride, author of Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality (Crown Archetype, $26, 9781524761479).

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: James Comey, author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250192455). He will also appear on CNN's the Lead with Jake Tapper.

Movies: I Am Pilgrim; Otherhood

James Gray will direct I Am Pilgrim, an adaptation of the espionage novel trilogy by Terry Hayes. Deadline reported that MGM "has been mobilizing this one for several years, and it is high priority for the studio best known for 007. Hayes, whose credits include the early Road Warrior films, as well as Dead Calm, Payback and From Hell, has adapted the novel."


Patricia Arquette and Angela Bassett are "in negotiations to star" in Otherhood, based on William Sutcliffe's novel Whatever Makes You Happy and directed by Cindy Chupack (Modern Family, Sex in the City) for Netflix, Deadline reported. The project, which was adapted by Chupack and Mark Andrus, "is currently looking to cast one other top star in the film."

Books & Authors

Awards: Aspen Words Literary; Neukom Institute Literary Arts

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid won the inaugural $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize, which was established by the Aspen Institute to honor "a work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture."

The AWLP jury said: "Mohsin Hamid's sentences are exquisite, capable of jaw-dropping surprise, elegant emotional exploration, and bone-chilling horror within a few clauses. And by bringing the contemporary refugee crisis into countries that have mostly ignored the suffering beyond their borders, he forces us to ask ourselves how we are reacting to the crisis, and what potential we have to do better. In a world with 50 million displaced people, this is a novel that affects us all."


Finalists have been announced for the inaugural Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards, which recognize works "that imagine futures far and near, nudged or driven by science but still bound by the human experience works." Winners will be named in May by the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College for a debut work and an established author in the genre of speculative fiction. Each winner receives a $5,000 honorarium. The shortlisted titles are:

After Atlas by Emma Newman (Roc)
Best Worst American by Juan Martinez (Small Beer Press)
Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)
Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein (Picador)
Made for Love by Alissa Nutting (Ecco)
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
On the Edge of Gone by Corrine Duyvis (Amulet/Abrams)
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe (Small Beer Press)
Using Life by Ahmed Naji (UT Press)
Void Star by Zachary Mason (FSG)

Reading with... Moshe Sakal

photo: Yanai Yechiel

Moshe Sakal is the author of five Hebrew novels, including Yolanda, which was shortlisted for the Sapir Prize (the Israeli Booker); My Sister, which was longlisted in 2016; and The Diamond Setter (Other Press, March 20, 2018), translated by Jessica Cohen. Sakal was born in Tel Aviv into a Syrian-Egyptian Jewish family. He lived in Paris for six years, and now lives in Jaffa.

On your nightstand now:

While on hiatus from writing I always read several books at the same time, especially as a part of research for the upcoming manuscript I have in mind. Now I'm reading Tête-à-Tête: The Tumultuous Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre by Hazel Rowley and Simone de Beauvoir's autobiographical works, as well as The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.

Favorite book when you were a child:

It was The Adventures of a Blue Donkey, a charming book by Israeli painter and writer Nachum Gutman about a mysterious diamond in Tel Aviv in the days before the state of Israel was created. I also loved The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. When I was eight, I played the main role in a show held at Tel Aviv's public library. Finally, toward the end of my childhood I came across The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend, and that sharp book taught me (almost) all I needed to know about what was ahead of me: pimples, years of unfulfilled lust and fruitful creativity.

Your top five authors:

Herman Melville, Thomas Mann, the French novelist Colette, the great Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem, W.G. Sebald.

Book you've faked reading:

Like almost everyone in my high school, I faked reading Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, which was on our obligatory reading list. I finally read it when I was 22, back in the days of anxiety before leaving my hometown for the first time for living in Paris, and was stricken by the power of this great novel.

Book you're an evangelist for:

I would say Lubiewo by the contemporary Polish writer Michal Witkowski. It is a powerful novel about gay life in Poland, the transition from the old, conservative communist world to the new, alienated and hyper-capitalist current society. Michal Witkowski, in his provocative, daring and poetical style, reminds me of the works by French poet Jean Genet or even of Allen Ginsberg. When Lubiewo was published in Israel about a decade ago, I wrote a review in Haaretz daily newspaper, then I met the author in Tel Aviv and drove him around some interesting places in town in my blue old beetle.

Book you've bought for the cover:

When I stayed at the International Writers Program in Iowa City, I couldn't resist and bought my boyfriend--the poet Dory Manor--a beautiful edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, although we already had an old pocket edition of that book at home.

Book you hid from your parents:

To be honest, I was such a good boy back then, and my parents were really cool, so I had no need to. But I hid my own works from them, to a point that even a few years ago, before the publication of The Diamond Setter in Israel, I hesitated quite a while before showing the book to my father the jeweler, who was going to read about the complex and sometimes rather wild love life of his parents (as I imagined it). In the end he read the book and loved it. My aunt, his sister, was quite upset with some of the revelations, but that's the risk you must take when you write about your own family.

Book that changed your life:

The Life Before Us by French author Romain Gary, who wrote it under the pseudonym of "Emile Ajar." It tells the story of the relationship in Paris between Momo, a Muslim boy, and Madame Rosa, an old Jewish woman who's a Holocaust survivor. It's certainly not the best book I've read, but it's definitely the sweetest and the most compassionate one. When I wrote my novel Yolanda--about a boy and his admired, beautiful grandmother--I called my hero Momo, as a gesture to that book.​

Favorite line from a book:

In Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau, French author Balzac writes about a tradesman who looks at an artist "with terror, compassion and curiosity." I always identify with this exact and always relevant observation.

Five books you'll never part with:

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, Collected Poems by Hebrew poet Dahlia Ravikovitch, The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Selected Poems by Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva.

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

Song of Songs (in Hebrew, of course).

The most important quality for a writer:

A good memory. Memory for the novelist is what the fingers are for the pianist.

Book Review

Children's Review: Marwan's Journey

Marwan's Journey by Patricia de Arias, illus. by Laura Borràs (Minedition, $17.99 hardcover, 36p., ages 4-up, 9789888341559, May 1, 2018)

"I take giant steps even though I am small. One, two, three... crossing the desert. I walk, and my footsteps leave a trace of ancient stories, the songs of my homeland, and the smell of tea and bread, jasmine and earth."

Even in a children's book, a refugee's story is never ultimately this carefree, and Marwan's is no different. As the young narrator goes on to explain, he labors under the weight of his belongings ("my mended clothing, a prayer book, a notebook, a pencil, a photograph of my mommy") and is unsure of when he and his fellow travelers will arrive at their destination--wherever that is. He must sleep outside, where he dreams of his mother ("She comes with her black hair streaming, and tucks me in with her flour-soft hands"), who is, presumably, dead, although she still speaks to him: "She says: Marwan, keep going, walk, and walk, and walk. And I keep walking." Marwan and hundreds of others proceed on foot until finally they reach the border--"They say that it is an infinite line that separates the desert from the sea"--and their bittersweet fate: "Another country, another house, another language."

With the all too timely Marwan's Journey, first published in Chile in Spanish, Patricia de Arias has done a magician's trick of using one character's narration to suggest a universal refugee experience. (Marwan's homeland goes pointedly unnamed.) To capture the arid land that Marwan crosses, Laura Borràs occasionally works on sand-colored pages and often employs a palette conjuring a desert in changing light. Her use of color is especially dynamic, even when it's gloomy, as in the illustration showing Marwan's memory of the "night they came," when "the darkness grew colder, deeper, darker, and swallowed up everything": brown tanks with fierce-looking drivers are at the center of abstract swathes of black.

Such a book would seem an unlikely repository for uplift, but Marwan's Journey's concluding spread, showing the smiling boy overlooking his neighborhood from the roof of his new house, may elicit the reader's joy. This is where the book ends, but not Marwan's story. Throughout Marwan's Journey, his memories of home are persistent and vivid ("There was a garden, a cat and a ray of sunlight that shone every morning on my pillow"), and soon after he crosses the border, he thinks, "One day, I will return. I will not hesitate. I will plant a garden with my hands, full of flowers and hope." The reader has no doubt that he will. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

Shelf Talker: A young refugee shares his story--past and present--as he and others journey on foot to find a new home.

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