Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Graphix: Unico: Awakening (Volume 1): An Original Manga Created by Osamu Tezuka, Written by Samuel Sattin, Illustrated by Gurihiru

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Immortal Dark (Deluxe Limited Edition) by Tigest Girma

Bramble: Swordcrossed by Freya Marske

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!


Briars & Brambles Books Coming to the Catskills

Jen Schwartz

Briars & Brambles Books will open in Windham, N.Y., on July 1. Located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains in Alpine Garden Village, the 1,200-square-foot bookstore will offer 6,000 titles, with a regional section featuring titles set in the Catskills and written by local authors. The space has a central fireplace and some seating, with a back area featuring a table where customers are welcome to help complete a puzzle.

In addition to books, the store will carry puzzles, games, stationery and small gifts. It also plans to hold regular author events, book signings, book groups and other community events.

Owner and part-time Windham resident Jen Schwartz is a former English teacher and longtime library volunteer. She said the idea of opening a bookstore came in December: "I had just finished A Gentleman in Moscow and realized that I had forgotten to pack another book," she recalled. "The closest bookstore was a half hour away and with a snowstorm approaching, I didn't want to risk driving."

Schwartz said that the area has a growing population of full-time and weekend residents. She aims to make the store a part of the community and is working closely with other local business and will carry a line of specially made granola and toffee, proceeds of which will be donated to local not-for-profit organizations.

Henry Holt & Company: A Banh Mi for Two by Trinity Nguyen

Winchester Book Gallery Moving After 44 Years

Winchester Book Gallery's new location.

The Winchester Book Gallery in Winchester, Va., is moving down the street to a new, larger location later this summer, the Winchester Star reported. The new, 1,800-square-foot space is around 400 square feet larger than the current location and is in a building that is being purchased by Book Gallery owner Christine Patrick and her family.

The 46-year-old independent bookstore will move on August 1, after the deal to purchase the new building closes on July 16. The Book Gallery has leased its current space, at 185 N. Loudon Street, since 1974. The store will relocate to 7 N. Loudon Street, between a theater and a restaurant.

Patrick told the Winchester Star that the new space will be large enough to allow the store to hold author events without having to rearrange any bookshelves, display tables or other furniture. That way, she said, the store can better host book clubs, community meetings and game nights, which would have meant sacrificing shopping and browsing space at the current store.

Christine and her husband, Brian Patrick, are the 10th owners of the Winchester Book Gallery, having owned and operated the store since 2011. "We are very excited to be moving down the block in Old Town where we will continue this great literary tradition and work hard to help the Book Gallery celebrate 50 years in 2022," wrote Christine Patrick.

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

Bill Gates Offers Book Present to U.S. College Grads

"If you're getting a degree from a U.S. college this spring, I have a present for you," Bill Gates tweeted recently.

The Microsoft co-founder is donating a digital copy of "one of my favorite books," Hans Rosling's Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (Flatiron Books), to "everyone who's getting a degree from a U.S. college or university this spring.... Although I think everyone should read it, it has especially useful insights for anyone who's making the leap out of college and into the next phase of life." Graduates must sign up or log in as a Gates Notes Insider to download the book.

Obituary Note: Stephen Reid

Stephen Reid, "who helped carry out a long series of meticulously executed bank robberies in Canada and the United States and then became a well-regarded author before returning to his original trade," died June 12, the New York Times reported. He was 68. With Patrick Mitchell and Lionel Wright, Reid was a member of "a group of well-dressed bandits" known as the Stop Watch Gang.

After doing time in 20 prisons over 40 years, Reid eventually became a writer, championed and guided by his future wife, noted Canadian poet and author Susan Musgrave. In 1984, he sent a manuscript to Musgrave, who was then a writer in residence at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. She edited what became Jack Rabbit Parole, a semi-autobiographical novel, and their personal relationship grew. They married in 1986, "the year his novel was published to critical acclaim and robust sales," at a maximum-security prison in British Columbia, the Times wrote.

Al Forrie of Thistledown Press, publisher of Reid's essay collection A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison, said Reid, who was of Irish and Ojibway ancestry, had used his experience in prison to try to reshape public attitudes toward convicts. He was particularly disturbed by the large number of indigenous men in jail.

Despite his marriage and his literary success, he robbed a bank in 1999 in Victoria, British Columbia, for which he was sentenced to 18 years in prison "and spent some of his last years returning to jail for parole violations," the Times wrote.

"Stephen Reid was many things: notorious robber, addict and long-serving prisoner," said Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC's The Next Chapter. "But I hope that as we look back at his life, his writing will be acknowledged, as well."


Image of the Day: Doing Nothing at Green Apple

Last week, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, Calif., hosted a launch event for Roman Muradov, author of On Doing Nothing: Finding Inspiration in Idleness (Chronicle Books). From l.: Emily Ballaine, store manager; Roman Muradov; Bridget Watson Payne, executive editor at Chronicle; and Mirabelle Korn, associate editor at Chronicle.

Quail Ridge Books Wins Best of Triangle Awards

After two years at its North Hills location in Raleigh, N.C., Quail Ridge Books has simultaneously been honored with Indy Week's Best of the Triangle 2018 Best Bookstore award  and by Triangle Downtowner magazine's Best of Downtowner 2018 in the Independent Bookstore category. 

BrocheAroe Fabian, the bookshop's marketing manager, said: "These awards really speak to the incredible amount of hard work our staff has put into maintaining established relationships and cultivating new relationships with our customers, as well as the inspiring leadership of our new owner, Lisa Poole, and our management team, led by longtime QRB staff member, Sarah Goddin. We are grateful for the community support in helping to make us the best of the Triangle once again! It has been the perfect way to celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new North Hills home."

Window Display of the Day: Hickory Stick Bookshop

Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, Conn., has come down with a case of World Cup fever. The bookstore shared pics of its front window display, tweeting: "Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaal!!!!! Did you catch #WorldCup fever over the weekend and want to learn more about soccer or just can't get enough? We have a wide array of soccer titles for fans of all ages and levels of interest."

Personnel Changes at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Celadon Books

Matt Schweitzer has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing as senior v-p, marketing, responsible for the marketing of all adult, young readers and lifestyle titles. He was most recently senior director, integrated marketing at HarperCollins Children's Books and prior to that held marketing and brand management positions at American Greetings Properties and Ragdoll Ltd.


Effective July 9, Christine Mykityshyn is joining Celadon Books as director of publicity and will work closely with marketing, editorial and Macmillan sales teams. She has worked in the Random House Publishing Group for the last six years, most recently as publicity manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David E. Sanger on Fresh Air

Today Show: Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence--and How You Can, Too (HarperBusiness, $29.99, 9780062674678)

Fresh Air: David E. Sanger, author of The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age (Crown, $28, 9780451497895).

CBS This Morning: Mona Hanna-Attisha, author of What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City (One World, $28, 9780399590832).

Movies: The Grinch

Illumination and Universal Pictures have released a new trailer for The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' holiday classic book. Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch in the film directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier from a screenplay by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow. The Grinch hits theaters November 9.

Books & Authors

Awards: CILIP Carnegie, Kate Greenaway Medals; Miles Franklin

British author Geraldine McCaughrean won her second CILIP Carnegie Medal for children's literature for Where the World Ends, and Canadian illustrator Sydney Smith took the CILIP Kate Greenway Medal for excellence in illustration for Town Is by the Sea. The winners each receive £500 (about $660) worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and the £5,000 (about $6,625) Colin Mears Award. The medals are judged by children's librarians across the U.K.

McCaughrean, whose win comes 30 years after her first Carnegie Medal, for A Pack of Lies in 1988, said: "Fiction can achieve marvelous things, especially inside individual heads, not least when it subtly nudge-nudge-nudges the reader towards minding more, thinking more, asking questions. It's been said often in recent years that 'literary' fiction for young people has had its day. We master words by meeting them, not by avoiding them. The only way to make books--and knowledge--accessible is to give children the necessary words. And how has that always been done? By adult conversation and reading. Since when has one generation ever doubted and pitied the next so much that it decides not to burden them with the full package of the English language but to feed them only a restricted diet of simple worlds? The worst and most wicked outcome of all would be that we deliberately and wantonly create an underclass of citizens with a small but functional vocabulary: easy to manipulate and lacking in the means to reason their way out of subjugation, because you need words to be able to think for yourself. In my opinion, young readers should be bombarded with words like gamma rays, steeped in words like pot plants stood in water, pelted with them like confetti, fed on them like alphabetti spaghetti, given Hamlet's last resort: 'Words. Words. Words.' "

Jake Hope, chair of this year's judging panel, commented: "As librarians, we promote education and knowledge for all, and we heartily endorse Geraldine's call for intellectual freedom through stories with rich language and complex themes which equip all children with the tools to understand--and, in some cases, change--the world around them....

"Sydney Smith's Town Is by the Sea skillfully balances an intimate story of a child's world of play and wonder alongside a bigger story of a whole community and culture built around mining. Its illustrations are impressive and expansive in scope and beautifully evoke both time and place. Both winners are expertly crafted and hold interest and appeal for a range of readers of all tastes and ages."

Recipients in the Amnesty CILIP Honor category, a commendation for the book on each shortlist that "most distinctively illuminates, upholds or celebrates freedoms," went to American author Angie Thomas for The Hate U Give (Carnegie shortlist) and British artist and former Medal winner (Black Dog, 2013) Levi Pinfold for The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold (Kate Greenaway shortlist).


The shortlist was unveiled for Australia's prestigious A$60,000 (about US$44,655) Miles Franklin Award, given annually to a novel which is judged to be "of the highest literary merit" and presents "Australian life in any of its phases." The winner will be announced August 26. This year's shortlisted titles are:

No More Boats by Felicity Castagna
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
The Last Garden by Eva Hornung     
Storyland by Catherine McKinnon
Border Districts by Gerald Murnane
Taboo by Kim Scott

Book Review

Review: What We Were Promised

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan (Little, Brown, $26 hardcover, 336p., 9780316437189, July 10, 2018)

Winner of Ploughshares' Emerging Writer award, Lucy Tan draws an astute portrait of a staid family thrown into disarray in this assured first novel.
After growing up in a silk-farming village, Lina Zhen left China as a new bride to pursue the American dream with Wei, the husband her father chose for her. Years later, the couple returns to Shanghai, though their 12-year-old daughter, Karen, still spends the school term in the United States. Financially successful thanks to Wei's career in marketing, the Zhens move into the luxurious Lanson Suites, where former teacher Lina settles into life as a taitai--a housewife with no housekeeping responsibilities.
Both struggle to adjust: Lina striving to put on a polished appearance to fit in with the other wives in the apartment complex, Wei feeling that his work has no greater purpose. When Wei's brother, Qiang, calls after decades of no communication, his plan to visit throws Lina and Wei into private tailspins. Wei has spent years wondering if Qiang, who fell in with a gang as a teenager, is dead or alive. Lina, whose girlhood love for Qiang has lain dormant but not dead, wonders if he is finally coming back for her. From the sidelines, their new ayi Sunny watches the quiet drama unfold, her understanding of the Zhens' lives and secrets as incomplete as their knowledge of her meager existence working as a housekeeper to send money home to her family in rural Hefei. Set against the backdrop of the 2010 World Expo, the Zhens' reunion will reopen old wounds and uncover the truths that divided them in the first place.
Tan does not explore the Tolstoyan adage that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, but rather throws a stone into the still pool of carefully balanced domesticity. Though set within Shanghai's Chinese-born, Western-educated repatriate community, the push and pull of family ties and rivalries could as easily occur in any place and time. Lina faces the struggle of whether to reach for the elusive passion of youth or cling to the solidity of her marriage. Wei feels adrift in his own family, losing his connection with his wife and daughter as he spends long hours at his unfulfilling job.
However, the background of how Lina and Wei's families met and became friends during the Maoist revolution draw a clear contrast between China's turbulent past and Shanghai's glittering present. Furthermore, the difference between Sunny's flat, spartan existence and the Zhens' opulent lifestyle throws the disconnect between urban and rural China into sharp relief. With its measuring of expectation against reality, What We Were Promised establishes Tan as a new talent with a sharp eye for the intricacies of human relationships. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Set in Shanghai, Lucy Tan's debut novel follows Wei and Lina Zhen's family crisis over the return of Wei's prodigal brother, who was also Lina's first love.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Girl and Her Ren by Pepper Winters
2. Get You Some (The Simple Man Series Book 3) by Lani Lynn Vale
3. Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
4. Temporary Groom by J.S. Scott
5. Queen in Lingerie by Penelope Sky
6. Virgin in the City by Alexa Riley
7. Pretty Girl by Alexa Riley
8. Pregnant by My Boss: A Romance Compilation by Cassandra Dee and Kendall Blake
9. Stuck: A Movie Star Romance by Logan Chance
10. The Varlet and the Voyeur by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

[Many thanks to!]

Powered by: Xtenit