Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 18, 2018

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

Amulet Books: Batcat: Volume 1 by Meggie Ramm

Berkley Books: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady


Inaugural Graphic Literature Awards Presented

Darryl 'D.M.C.' McDaniels flanked by Tattered Cover owners Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos.

The inaugural Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards were presented on Saturday during Denver Comic Con, which is sponsored by Pop Culture Classroom, a nonprofit that aims to promote learning and literacy, celebrate diversity and build community. The awards were two years in the making and include an advisory board and juries that represent booksellers, librarians, academics, teachers and industry professionals.

The winners:

Book of the Year: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfield and Alex Puvilland (First Second)
Best in Adult Books: The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair (First
Best in Young-Adult Books: Home Time: Book One by Campbell Whyte (Top Shelf)
Best in Middle-Grade Books: As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (Iron Circus Comics)
Best in Children's Books: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (First
Mosaic Award: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui (Abrams Comic Arts)

The Book of the Year and the Mosaic winners received Saga sculptures and the other winners received Saga Medallions. Sculptures and medallions were created by Colin Poole and Kristine Poole.

The Mosaic award was presented by Darryl McDaniels, aka D.M.C. of the rap group Run D.M.C. Len Vlahos, co-owner of the Tattered Cover bookstore, presented the Book of the Year award.

Outgoing director of education Illya Kowalchuk commented: "We had such a great response from such a wide range of publishing houses. There were books from all the major traditional publishers and, honestly, we discovered some really great small houses with fantastic titles as well.

"One of our goals for next year's submissions is to double the number of books from this first year and to encourage more nonfiction works for consideration. We'd also like to see this award program help teachers justify adding more graphic novels to the school environment."

For more about the awards, including all the nominated titles, the advisory board and jury members, as well as background on the awards' creation, click here.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

Joel Becker Retiring as Australian Booksellers Association CEO

Joel Becker

Joel Becker, CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association for eight years, is retiring at the end of the year. The decision was announced at the ABA's annual general meeting yesterday during the association's annual conference and trade exhibition, in Canberra.

"After more than 46 years in the book community as a bookseller, editor, cultural project manager, events curator and administrator, forgive the pun, I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life," Becker said in a statement.

"Joel Becker has served the ABA exceptionally well for the past eight years providing stability, support and leadership to Australian booksellers during a time of great industry change," said ABA president Tim White, owner of Books for Cooks, Melbourne.

During his tenure, Becker strengthened the ABA's ties to other national groups and internationally (he's been a regular attendee of the Winter Institute in the U.S.); lobbied on behalf of booksellers concerning tax collection on books bought from abroad, postal matters, and the entry of Amazon into Australia. Among many other things he helped develop and expand public campaigns like Love Your Bookshop Day.

"Books and the cultural activity that surrounds them are in my blood, so I'll be attending a few more festivals and may even do a bit of writing myself," Becker added. "I'll finally find the time to read that increasingly epic pile of unread books sitting on my bedside table and packed into book cases. I will also be hacking around golf courses and visiting a few places on my bucket list with my family and friends will take up some of my time. At the same time, I'd like to do some volunteering--perhaps on a couple of cultural boards. Clearly my retirement is going to be very busy."

He also thanked the ABA management committees, "led at various stages by Fiona Stager, Jon Page, Patricia Genat and Tim White, and an extraordinary, wonderful ensemble of colleagues at the ABA, who, while making it very difficult to make this decision, have paradoxically made it easier, knowing that they will lead the ABA from strength to strength."

We at Shelf Awareness will miss Joel, who is a good friend and raconteur. He always has been eager to learn about trends in U.S. bookselling and share news about Australian bookselling as well as to adapt ideas and programs from U.S. booksellers and the American Booksellers Association.

Incidentally, Joel is originally from Michigan and worked at Borders when it was an Ann Arbor indie. In Australia, among other positions, he owned Becker's Books in Cairns and was director of the Victorian Writers' Centre.

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Les Bouquinistes in Paris Seek UNESCO Status

"Les bouquinistes," the legendary open-air booksellers whose dark green stalls have been a fixture along the banks of the Seine in Paris since the 17th century, "are pushing to be recognized as one of the world's cultural treasures on UNESCO's list of 'intangible heritage,' " AFP reported.

"We are spreaders of knowledge, with phenomenal diversity, incredible personalities--we play almost a philosophical role in the city," said bookseller Gildas Bouillaud.

Jerome Callais, president of the Bouquinistes association, observed: "Faced with the crisis among booksellers, the competition from multimedia and this increasing lack of education, we're hoping to put the spotlight on us. We're as important for tourists as the Eiffel Tower."

Olivia Polski, the City Hall official in charge of commerce, "is pushing the bouquinistes' campaign with the culture ministry, which has the final word on candidates who will be put forward in March 2019," AFP wrote.

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

University of Delaware Press Partners with UVA Press

The University of Virginia Press and the University of Delaware Press have formed a partnership under which the University of Delaware Press will retain its editorial office, its board of editors and its administrative home in the Morris Library at the university's flagship campus in Newark while UVA Press will provide manuscript editorial, design and production services for the press. In addition, all Delaware Press titles will be sold and marketed alongside UVA Press titles, with a University of Delaware Press section highlighted in the UVA Press seasonal catalogue. Distribution will be provided in conjunction with UVA Press titles through Longleaf Services. The partnership is effective July 1.

"The UD Press is excited to enter into this partnership with UVA Press, a well-respected publisher in fields that complement our own list," University of Delaware Press director Julia Oestreich said. "Our presses share a commitment to publishing rigorous, innovative scholarship, while understanding the positive impact university presses make on their campuses and in the scholarly ecosystem as a whole. This partnership will allow both presses to increase their own such impact, and will provide Delaware with new sales, marketing, and digital publishing opportunities, including access to UVA's groundbreaking Rotunda platform."

Mark H. Saunders, director of UVA Press, added: "For many years, university presses have banded together to achieve the advantages of scale in fulfillment and other services while maintaining the quality and integrity of their individual editorial programs. The current publishing landscape provides exciting opportunities to extend this tradition to include digital publication tools and platforms. Partnering with UD Press exemplifies the enduring spirit of mission-driven scholarly publishing characterized by quality content, technical innovation, and sound business practice."

Founded in 1922, the University of Delaware Press focuses on the arts and humanities, particularly literary studies, art history and material culture. It is an important publisher in early modern and 18th-century studies, whose series include Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture, the Early Modern Exchange, Performing Celebrity and Early Modern Feminisms.

Founded in 1963, the University of Virginia Press publishes 65-75 titles annually, focusing on the humanities and social sciences with concentrations in American history, African American studies, Southern studies, literature, architectural and environmental history and regional books.

Obituary Note: Daša Drndić

Croatian author Daša Drndić, who "was incapable of writing a sentence that was not forceful, fierce or funny--or all three simultaneously," died June 5, the Guardian reported. She was 71. Drndić was a longstanding activist in PEN Croatia and the Croatian Writers' Association, as well in numerous free speech and human rights campaigns. A major theme of her writing, which included a dozen novels and some 30 plays, "has been the overlooked (or deliberately omitted) complicity of her native Croatia in the Holocaust, expressed in a style that has been described by critics as 'neo-Borgesian.' "

Her works have been translated into 15 languages, and three novels are available in English: Trieste (2012, first published in Croatian as Sonnenschein in 2007), translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać; Leica Format (2009, first published in 2003) and Belladonna (2017, first published in 2015), both translated by Celia Hawkesworth, who is currently working on Doppelgänger (2002), scheduled for publication in English in September.

Calling Franz Kafka, Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek her inspirations, Drndić said of her writing: "I use fiction and faction--transcripts, photographs, documents and I twist them. I enjoy myself, twisting these realities."

Drndić "was delighted to be shortlisted for the Independent foreign fiction prize in 2013," the Guardian wrote, "and to learn earlier this year that Belladonna was a finalist in the new European Bank for Reconstruction and Development award. Characteristically, and knowing she was dying, she used the prize money to host a farewell party in her favorite Rijeka bookshop."


'Bookstores Unite Communities in Transition' in Rural Ore.

Rural Oregon bookstores reflect the national trend of resurgence for independent booksellers, Oregon Business reported, noting that "in small towns and cities, bookstores are not only isolated enough to withstand competition from large chains like Barnes & Noble, they are also a linchpin of community life; a place to meet friends, chat, and sometimes stay for coffee and pastries."

Klindt's Booksellers in The Dalles, which opened in 1870, "has stood the test of time in a rural community experiencing rapid change," Oregon Business wrote. Once a blue-collar industrial town, The Dalles is moving to a more tourism and tech-based economy.

In 2012, Kristin Klindt and her husband, Joaquin Perez, took over the bookshop, which features original wooden cabinets, bookshelves and floors, along with the challenges of upkeep for an old building. But Klindt said, "The character of the store is part of our story.... Our biggest thing is people are reading. People really want to come into the store and talk about the next book."

At the Book Peddler in nearby White Salmon, owner Joyce Fitzsimmons cited a "buy local" ethic in the town and from tourists passing through as one of her advantages: "People say they check with me first. A lot of people want to shop locally."

Rural bookstores "are great gathering places," said Anne Mitchell, a rural economic vitality program manager for Rural Development Initiatives. "They are often the one place to have public wi-fi. They become a public commons-type of place."

The main mission of the Hub, a bookstore and coffee shop in Prineville, is to help people to connect, said Kiera Becker. Oregon Business called Prineville "another rural town in transition. Traditionally dependent on agriculture and ranching, the central Oregon town has recently attracted tech companies, Facebook and Apple, which have data centers in the area."

An outlet of Portland's Powell's Books can be found in the small, remote city of Condon (population 682). Located in the back of Country Flowers is "a small room with three rows of bookcases stocked with Powell's books," Oregon Business observed.

Owner Darla Seale said that two decades ago, Powell's founder Mike Powell had been looking to buy a vacation home in the area and wanted to sell books in an established business in town. "We are delighted to have them," she said.

Jean Aiello Retires from the University of Pittsburgh Book Center

Congratulations to Jean Aiello, who worked at the University of Pittsburgh Book Center for 47 years and retired last Friday. She began her career as a part-time bookseller while a student at Pitt, became an integral part of the store and was respected by all who worked with her. She may be reached via e-mail.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David and Lauren Hogg on GMA, Tonight

Good Morning America: Bobby Bones, author of Fail Until You Don't: Fight Grind Repeat (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062795816).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Dan Pfeiffer, author of Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump (Twelve, $28, 9781538711712). He will also appear on CBS This Morning.

Good Morning America: David Hogg and Lauren Hogg, authors of #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line (Random House, $10, 9781984801838). They will also appear on the Tonight Show.

CBS This Morning: Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Perfect Couple (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316375269).

Today Show: Emily Jane Fox, author of Born Trump: Inside America's First Family (Harper, $27.99, 9780062690777).

The View: Jaron Lanier, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (Holt, $18, 9781250196682).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Yeonmi Park, co-author of In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom (Penguin Books, $17, 9780143109747).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Michael Ian Black, author of I'm Sad (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781481476270).

Conan repeat: Sebastian Maniscalco, author of Stay Hungry (Gallery, $25, 9781501115974).

Movies: The Children Act

The official trailer has been released for The Children Act, based on Ian McEwan's 2014 novel and starring Oscar winner Emma Thompson as "a judge who, in the midst of a marital crisis, must rule on a life-changing legal case concerning the survival of a teenage Jehovah's Witness," Deadline reported.

Directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal) and written by McEwan, the film also stars Stanely Tucci, Fionn Whitehead and Ben Chaplin. The Children Act premieres exclusively on DirecTV August 16, followed by a theatrical rollout beginning September 14 in Los Angeles and New York.

Books & Authors

Awards: Walter Scott; PubWest; Maine Literary; Center for Fiction

Benjamin Myers has won the £25,000 (about $33,145) Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for The Gallows Pole, a novelization of the story of the Cragg Vale Coiners.


The winners in the 25 categories of the 2018 PubWest Book Design Awards have been announced and can be seen here. The overall Judges' Choice Award, selected from among the winners in each of the categories, is The Language of Family: Stories of Bonds and Belonging, edited by Michelle van der Merwe (Royal British Columbia Museum).


The 2018 Maine Literary Awards, sponsored by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, have been given in 18 categories, including three youth awards. Winners can be viewed here.


The longlist for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize has been announced and can be seen here. The shortlist will be revealed in September, and the winner announced on December 11.

Top Library Recommended Titles for July

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 July titles public library staff across the country love:

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey, $28, 9780399180989). "A wonderful reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story. A tale of love, family, magic, and destiny, told from the perspective of three strong female characters." --Melanie Liechty, Logan Library, Logan, Utah

Clock Dance: A Novel by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $26.95, 9780525521228). "Willa Drake gets a second act when she steps in to care for a nine-year-old in a complicated situation. Character driven fiction and a sweeping storyline." --Mary Anne Quinn, Warwick Public Library, Warwick, R.I.

Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel by AJ Pearce (Scribner, $26, 9781501170065). "In 1940s London, Emmy takes a job as a typist that evolves into answering rejected letters sent to an advice columnist." --Judy Hartman, Mechanicsville Public Library, Mechanicsville, Iowa

Baby Teeth: A Novel by Zoje Stage (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250170750). "A fragile woman struggles against her mute daughter's schemes for her father's undivided attention. Dark, creepy, and downright scary." --Kathryn Neal, Skiatook Library, Skiatook, Okla.

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316547185). "Kit competes for her dream job with a rival who was once her closest friend. Gripping psychological suspense." --Kristy Gates, Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, Jonesboro, Ark.

Believe Me: A Novel by JP Delaney (Ballantine, $27, 9781101966310). "An unemployed actress works for a divorce lawyer entrapping unsuspecting husbands until she finds herself ensnared in a murder investigation. This roller-coaster ride of a book will keep you guessing with an unreliable narrator and and a twisty plot." --Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, Conn.

Caught in Time: A Novel by Julie McElwain (Pegasus, $25.95, 9781681777665). "The third book in the Kendra Donovan series finds our protagonist investigating the murder of a mill owner against the the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution." --Melissa Barber, Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, Tex.

Somebody's Daughter by David Bell (Berkley, $26, 9780399584466). "Michael Frazier is searching for the missing daughter he never knew he had. A multi-layered plot with so many compelling, complex characters, this book grabbed me from the first sentences." --Evelyn Cunningham, Norwalk Public Library, Norwalk, Conn.

The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna by C.W. Gortner (Ballantine, $28, 9780425286166). "A look at Maria, Empress of Russia, and her trials before and after becoming the Russian Empress. Well written historical fiction." --Janette McMahon, Fremont County Library System, Wyo.

Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542722). "Set against the violence of 1990s Columbia, a young girl and a maid form an unlikely and dangerous relationship. Equal parts heartwrenching and beautiful." --Alejandra Rodriguez, Osceola County Library, Fla.

Book Review

Review: Nevada Days

Nevada Days by Bernardo Atxaga, trans. by Margaret Jull Costa (Graywolf Press, $16 paperback, 352p., 9781555978105, July 10, 2018)

Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga turns his attention toward the American West in Nevada Days, a rapt and thoroughly entertaining work of autobiographical fiction. It is beautifully translated from Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa and revolves around Atxaga's time (2007-2008) as a writer-in-residence at the University of Nevada's Center for Basque Studies in Reno. While Nevada is famous for its Basque immigrant community--and many U.S.-born writers who make pilgrimages to the European homeland--Nevada Days makes its mark by reversing this order. Atxaga is like a modern-day Tocqueville seeing the deserts of America, both physical and spiritual, with fresh insight.
The book walks a pleasant, meandering line between fiction and nonfiction. Most of it reads like a travel memoir, structured in short chronological entries, but the pages wander, loaded with tangential stories, intermittent dreams and stubborn memories. Atxaga writes of exploring his temporary home with family and new friends: the neon city--"the red, fuchsia and green casinos looked like cathedrals"--and the empty deserts. The landscapes at first haunt and disturb the author, ancient mountains and lake beds reminding him of the "world's utter indifference to us," but he's slowly spellbound. "The memory vanished from my head like another pillar of dust," he writes of his train of thought while venturing near Pyramid Lake.
Atxaga's most persistent memories are of his parents and other family members in the Basque Country. He ruminates on his father's death and the strange congruities of history. For instance, he recalls his father's stories of Basque fascist boxer Paulino Uzcudun, then later visits the nearby site where Uzcudun happened to train for his stateside fights.
The author also chronicles recent histories, including the disappearance of adventurer Steve Fossett, later found near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and the abduction and murder of a young woman, Brianna Denison, on the university campus where Atxaga is temporarily staying. Both events garnered international attention at the time, and Atxaga blends them into the strange frontier mythos of his book.
A critic of supernatural belief, he nonetheless creates some uncanny moments. When learning of his close friend's death, for example, he dreams of the desert in which endless lines of trucks and containers are used in the eternal "loading and unloading of metaphors." Nevada Days pulls many threads together to make a rich and captivating tapestry. Atxaga is a persistently sharp writer, crossing boundaries and bringing different worlds closer. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset
Shelf Talker: In this inviting mix of memoir and fiction, Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga interprets the American West and its relations to his own storied life.

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