Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Tender Beasts by Liselle Sambury

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Doubleday Books: The Husbands by Holly Gramazio


Fire Update: Lucha Libro Books Rising from the Ashes

Lucha Libro Books in Granada, Nicaragua, which was severely damaged last week by a fire, said on Facebook that beginning today, the bookshop's "collection will be available at Délices d'Orient. Thanks to our friends at Délices and the many, many people who helped salvage much of our inventory during the fire. We are eternally grateful for so much help from both friends and strangers. To the latter, you are strangers no more. Amigos para siempre."

On Friday, Lucha Libro had posted: "We've had the opportunity to go through what survived and what didn't and we fared better than thought thanks to the great efforts of so many people who helped the morning of the fire. We hope to have some books out in (another Granada location) in the coming days. Thanks again to everyone who assisted in saving what was possible of Lucha Libro Books. We can't thank you enough."

Holiday House: The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith by Tom Llewellyn; The Selkie's Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan

At Vintage Anchor, Parr Stepping Down, Crisp Promoted

Roz Parr

Effective June 1, Roz Parr is stepped down as marketing director, Vintage Anchor and Everyman's Library, and will leave the industry "to pursue a new chapter devoted to personal and family priorities."

At the same time, Laura Crisp, currently director of digital publishing and business development, will expand her responsibilities, becoming senior director, sales marketing and business development, Vintage Anchor. In this newly created position, Crisp will, the company said, "integrate key sales marketing initiatives: seasonal planning and daily partnership work with PRH sales, consumer analytics, metadata oversight, pricing strategy and new business development. The decision to restructure the marketing department reflects our efforts to adapt strategies and skills to a marketplace defined by change, and both Roz and Laura have been a part of the planning for this new structure."

Parr has worked in the book industry for 38 years and has held her current position as marketing director for 18 years. Anne Messitte, executive v-p, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and publisher, Vintage Anchor, commented, "Roz has effectively balanced the needs of the PRH sales team, booksellers, and the marketplace with the ambitious goals of our publishing program. Her work at Vintage has been essential and exceptional. Whether helping editors nuance their pitches for books, positioning a new season of titles with the reps, or cultivating real-time sales opportunities for the nearly 6,000 titles on our paperback and e-book backlist, Roz has always been committed to the highest standards and the best results."

V-P and associate publisher Beth Lamb added: "Roz's contributions to our publishing program are immeasurable and will be part of the Vintage Anchor DNA for years to come. She is a trusted colleague whose thoughtful approach to every business situation will be greatly missed."

Crisp joined the Random House sales department in 2001 and worked as a national account manager for Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Target, Borders and Amazon before joining Vintage Anchor in 2012.

Amistad Press: The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin

BookExpo: AAP, MPAA Panel on Book-to-Film Adaptations

The Association of American Publishers and the Motion Picture Association of America will partner for the BookExpo panel discussion "Book to Film: The Cycle of Creativity," on Friday, June 1. The discussion explores "the exciting objectives and sometimes unexpected results that are the hallmark and value of creative collaborations."

Panelists include John Gibson, MPAA's senior director of diversity & inclusion and deputy chief of staff; Catherine Hand, producer of Disney's A Wrinkle in Time; Darin Keesler, v-p, marketing at Picador; and Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. The event will be moderated by Susanna Hinds, v-p of communications at AAP.

"AAP is thrilled to present a BookExpo panel that examines the influence of books on the big screen," said AAP CEO Maria A. Pallante. "The fact is that authors, publishers, and filmmakers inspire audiences, create jobs, and contribute mightily to the global economy--this is the beauty and power of creativity."

MPAA CEO Charles Rivkin commented: "We are pleased to join AAP to highlight the enormous impact storytelling has in our lives. From pages to pictures, great stories entertain and educate audiences around the world--all while benefiting our local economies. The combined creative industries support 5.5 million American jobs and contribute $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy. We're proud to incentivize and protect these creators and their work so that many more stories may be told."

Bookseller Organizing Sean Spicer Counter-Programming at BookExpo

Josh Cook, an author and bookseller at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., is organizing a protest against former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who is scheduled to appear at BookExpo on Friday, June 1, to promote his book, The Briefing, coming from Regnery in July. In a Facebook post about his plans, Cook encouraged other BookExpo attendees to "make a statement of protest" against both Spicer and the decision to include him on the schedule by not attending the panel.

"Though Spicer has every right to publish a book, that doesn't mean the book industry needs to give a platform to someone who damaged our nation by lying to the American people," wrote Cook. "The best response to this embarrassment is an empty audience."

Instead, he suggests that Expo-goers attend the "Growing Towards Healing--Confront the Silence" panel featuring activist Yvette Silva that same morning and "stay in that space through at least some of the time of Spicer's event." He also hopes that those unable to make the "Growing Towards Healing" panel, and even those not attending BookExpo at all, will RSVP for the protest on Facebook as a way to create a "sort of petition that we can bring to BookExpo and the ABA as proof of what booksellers are thinking."

Cook also wrote in greater detail about the planned Spicer event, and his reaction to it, in posts on his blog and on Melville House's MobyLives newsblog. He explained: "In the grand scheme of things, de-platforming Sean Spicer from a publishing industry event will be a relatively small victory. But all big victories are made up of small victories, just like all big lies are made up of small lies. And if there's a choice between doing nothing and failing and doing something and failing, I'm going to do something."

Winners of BookExpo's 'Introduce an Indie' Scholarship

BookExpo has announced the winners of the inaugural "Introduce an Indie" scholarship, which will provide two booksellers from each regional booksellers association a BookExpo travel voucher and a room at the official American Booksellers Association hotel for the duration of the show. The winners are:

Susan Tunis of BookShop West Portal in San Francisco, Calif., and Rosie Lee of Readers Books in Sonoma, Calif., from the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.

Robert Turner of Café con Libros Press in Pomona, Calif., and Amanda Qassar of Warwick's in La Jolla, Calif., from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association.

James Crossley of Island Books in Mercer Island, Wash., and Alexa Butler of Beach Books in Seaside, Ore., from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.

Beth Burnett, of Zenith Bookstore in Duluth, Minn., and Megan McComb of The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kan., from the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association.

Star Lowe of Star Line Books in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wendy Beeker of South Main Book Co. in Salisbury, N.C., from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

Paul Swydan of The Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, Mass., and Karen Opper of That Book Store in Wethersfield, Conn., from the New England Independent Booksellers Association.

Leslie Spishock of A Likely Story Bookstore in Sykesville, Md., and Elliot Batzedek of Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, Pa., from the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association.

Kelsey Westenberg of The Dial Bookshop in Chicago, Ill., and Melia Wolf of Cover to Cover Children's Books in Columbus, Ohio, from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.

Marcy Rizzi of Booked on 25th in Ogden, Utah, and Callie Metler of Noteworthy in Stamford, Tex., both of the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association.

Ed Several, senior v-p of BookExpo, said: "We have reimagined BookExpo to support independent booksellers as they continue to grow. Working with the ABA, this program was a natural extension to this effort to offer more booksellers an opportunity to discover all that the reimagined BookExpo offers."

The Great American Read Premiering Tonight

The first episode of The Great American Read, the eight-part television series focused on finding the country's favorite book, makes its debut tonight on PBS. Hosted by journalist Meredith Vieira, The Great American Read will start with a list of the country's 100 favorite novels, which was unveiled last month at an event in New York City, and over the course of the summer and fall select "America's Best-Loved Novel" with the help of a public vote.

Following tonight's premiere, watchers and book lovers will be encouraged to vote online for their favorite titles. The series will then resume in the fall with themed episodes, before the finale unveils the winner. A plethora of authors, actors and other celebrities, including Morgan Freeman, Armistead Maupin, Seth Myers, Ming-Na Wen and others, will also be involved in the celebration of books.

Some independent booksellers are already getting in on the action: The Bookman in Grand Haven, Mich., is hosting a Great American Read viewing party at a local bar tonight. Customers are encouraged to stop by and watch the show live, and Bookman staff are planning to stick around after the program ends to talk about the books featured on the list.


Image of the Day: Local Girl Makes Good

Earlier this month, Philadelphia honored local author Erin Entrada Kelly--2018 Newbery Medalist for Hello, Universe--with the Liberty Bell award. The presentation by Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney was followed by a q&a with children from the nonprofit literacy organization Mighty Writers. Pictured: (l.-r.) Mayor Kenney; Erin Entrada Kelly; Sheila Hess, Philadelphia City Representative; Chris Caputo, chief of Youth Services and Programs, Free Library of Philadelphia; Dr. Lisa M. Dolling, Rosemont College Provost; Tim Whitaker, Mighty Writers executive director.

Indie Bookstores 'Thriving in N.J.'

Despite mounting competition, independent bookstores "have stood their ground" in New Jersey and nationwide--"actually, they've thrived, growing in numbers by more than a third between 2009 and 2015," New Jersey 101.5 reported in showcasing several of the state's indie booksellers.

"Like any business, you have to figure out a way to differentiate yourself from the chains and from the online experience, and that's worked well for us for the last 16 years," said Walter Boyer, owner of Bookends in Ridgewood. "Bookstores continue to be a great pulse of the community, a great meeting-gathering place."

Jonah Zimiles, co-owner of [words] Bookstore in Maplewood (and a second branch coming to Livingston), observed: "People in our community believe in shopping local and supporting the local businesses."

Event planner Maribeth Pelly at BookTowne in Manasquan said the shop has been "hustling as much as it can to grab market share.... We have built up a great reputation. The community relies on us just for a good reference, a good experience to have a dialogue about a topic or a gift."

At the Bookworm in Bernardsville, owner Mary Ann Donaghy said that while the amount of foot traffic can vary greatly from day to day, "thank God it's enough to keep us in business without worrying too much. But it does keep us on our toes."

Longleaf Services to Fulfill University of Oklahoma Press

Effective October 1, Longleaf Services will handle fulfillment and publishing services for the University of Oklahoma Press.

Founded by the University of North Carolina Press in 2006 to provide fulfillment for university presses and non-profit publishers, Longleaf provides services for the University of Calgary Press, Cork University Press, Cornell University Press, the University of Georgia Press, Louisiana State University Press, the University of Nebraska Press, the University of North Carolina Press, the University of Notre Dame Press, Syracuse University Press, Truman State University Press, the University of Virginia Press, and the University of the West Indies Press. It will soon add  Vanderbilt University Press, the University of New Mexico Press, Baylor University Press and University of Oklahoma Press.

Personnel Changes at Parson Weems; Chronicle Books

Kevin Moran has joined Parson Weems and will cover accounts in person and via phone primarily in the Middle Atlantic region to start. He will relocate to Bethlehem, Pa., this summer. He has worked in the book business for more than 30 years, starting in book retail at B. Dalton Bookseller and Paperback Booksmith. He then moved into sales and worked at Avon, Putnam, McGraw-Hill, TAB, Globe Pequot, IDG, Springer Verlag, Continuum and Ingram/IPS.

He may be reached at 848-303-4164 and via e-mail.


Alice Robertson has joined Chronicle Books as sales manager in the specialty department. Previously she was a sales representative at Keena.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Angela Garbes on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy (Harper Wave, $24.99, 9780062662941).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Stephen King, author of The Outsider: A Novel (Scribner, $30, 9781501180989).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper repeat: Cecile Richards, author of Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story (Touchstone, $27, 9781501187599).

Books & Authors

Awards: Chautauqua; MacDowell; CrimeFest

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Flatiron Books) has won the 2018 Chautauqua Prize, which "celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts." The winner receives $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a summer residency at Chautauqua August 1-6.

Chautauqua Institution president Michael E. Hill called The Fact of a Body "a difficult and necessary book, and we are thrilled to shine a national spotlight" on it. "By bringing this book into the center of a conversation, we can learn valuable lessons from one another about healing, empathy, and bearing witness."

David A. Griffith, v-p and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education at Chautauqua Institution, said that The Fact of a Body "rivals Truman Capote's In Cold Blood in its eloquence and epic sweep, and is reminiscent of Sister Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking in its humanization of those who most would say do not deserve it, as well as its call for readers to reconsider the justness of the death penalty. In the end, though, comparisons to other works of literature fall short because of Marzano-Lesnevich's singular willingness to examine her own conscience, and the ways that her own traumas shape her."


The MacDowell Colony is awarding cartoonist Art Spiegelman its 59th Edward MacDowell Medal, given to "an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to American culture." The presentation will be made Sunday, August 12, at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., the one day a year the Colony is open to the public.

MacDowell Colony chairman and fellow Michael Chabon said: "The increased cultural prominence of Comic Art and its once-wayward practitioners can largely be laid at the feet of a single artist: Art Spiegelman, whose work, tragic and shticky, personal and world-historical, grand and intimate, sophisticated and deceptively crude, changed the world of Spiegelman's beloved 'comix'--simply changed the world--forever."

Selection panel chair Alison Bechdel added: "Art Spiegelman is one of the most inventive, internationally celebrated, and influential living cartoonists. Over the past five decades, he has exploded the narrative, visual, and structural possibilities of comics, and in the process has also shifted the terrain of modern literature. From his early work in experimental underground comics to the canonical Maus and the boundary-breaking In the Shadow of No Towers, to his more recent work across different media, as well as his significant images for the New Yorker, Spiegelman has demonstrated a profound virtuosity in his medium, using the language of comics to forcefully portray complex historical realities."


Winners of the 2018 CrimeFest Awards in several categories were announced during CrimeFest in Bristol, England. This year's winning authors are:

Audible Sounds of Crime Award: J.P. Delaney for The Girl Before, read by Emilia Fox, Finty Williams and Lise Aagaard Knudsen
Kobo eDunnit Award: Michael Connelly for The Late Show
Last Laugh Award: Mick Herron for Spook Street
H.R.F. Keating Award: Mike Ripley for Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Best Crime Novel for Children (ages 8–12): Helena Duggan for A Place Called Perfect
Best Crime Novel for YA (ages 12–16) Patrice Lawrence for Indigo Donut

Also presented at CrimeFest was the Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, which went to Malin Persson Giolito's Quicksand, translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles.

Book Review

Review: Bearskin

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco, $26.99 hardcover, 352p., 9780062742797, June 12, 2018)

If an environmental scientist wants to be alone to study an undisturbed native ecosystem, the family-owned Turk Mountain Nature Preserve in Virginia's Appalachians is not a bad place to be. If he needs to hide from a vindictive Mexican cartel sicario 2,000 miles away, on the Arizona/Sonora border, its 7,000 fenced acres seem ideal. As the protagonist of James McLaughlin's near-perfect first novel, Bearskin, 34-year-old Rice Moore is that guy. With his old hippie family boss living in California, a new alias and the Preserve's rotary phone unplugged, the brooding, reclusive Moore thinks he is safely off the grid. He gets his few groceries down the valley in Blakely and sees the locals only when stopping for a burger at the roadside Beer & Eat.

Caretaker, science tech, handyman and unofficial game warden, Moore keeps to himself, "employing a human analogue to the behavioral strategies of certain prey species: drab coloring, quiet habits, never leaving cover, avoiding conflict." One summer morning, a mysterious, one-armed mushroom picker silently emerges from the woods to lead him to the skinned, mutilated carcass of a bear. Turns out there is a lot more going on in Moore's little kingdom than the forest's "powerful cacophony... [of] lonesome trills and chirps, amphibian screams, the rhythmic shake-shake of katydids... all the little creatures trying to have sex with each other."

Much as natural beauty can mask predator/prey violence, McLaughlin's lush descriptions of the native flora and fauna of Moore's mountain domain, the "fecund riot of chest-high bluestem and orchard grass," seductively create what could be a setting out of Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things. With Moore's discovery of more mutilated bears, however, a tale of natural science and rugged independence soon becomes one of hillbilly crime and poverty, of "trailer homes behind fixer-up muscle cars and four-bys on blocks," of tweakers poaching bears to sell their paws and gall bladders to rich Asians. As Moore finds himself increasingly entangled in local rivalries and biker gang violence, McLaughlin smoothly reveals the story of Moore's history of muling for the cartels ("a multimodal approach to smuggling... low-mass, moderate-to-high-value assets both ways") with the realism of a Don Winslow border novel.

A land conservation lawyer with an MFA from the University of Virginia, McLaughlin helped manage his family's 1,500-acre preserve near the state's Jump Mountain. He knows his characters' habits and language: calling the sheriff about a trespasser is "lawing" him; an assassination shooting is a "Mozambique"; a pistol shoved in the waistband is a "Mexican-carry"; and hunting camouflage is a homemade "ghillie poncho." While his novel may echo literary antecedents, it is McLaughlin's very own carefully crafted tale of mystery, ecology, backwoods mysticism and downright evil. Both meandering and galvanizing, pensive and tumultuous, Bearskin is a consummately skillful debut. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: An extraordinary first novel of powerful prose, Bearskin captures the blurry line between studying primordial nature and being a part of it.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Rescuing Wendy by Susan Stoker
2. Forever Hunted (Forever Bluegrass Book 9) by Kathleen Brooks
3. Straight Up Love by Lexi Ryan
4. The Ruthless Gentleman by Louise Bay
5. Bad Boy Brody by Tijan
6. Anything for You by Layla Hagen
7. Bentley by Melanie Moreland
8. Never Say Never to an Earl by Grace Callaway
9. Sheltered by Alexa Riley
10. I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills
[Many thanks to!]

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