Also published on this date: Thursday, July 12, 2018: Maximum Shelf: Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 12, 2018

Little Brown and Company: This Bird Has Flown by Susanna Hoffs

St. Martin's Press: Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

W by Wattpad Books: Hazel Fine Sings Along by Katie Wicks

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

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

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith

Quotation of the Day

'Make Sure the Customer Is Getting What They Want'

"The most important thing I have figured out is to be there every day, to not lose focus of what the goal is: Make sure the customer is getting what they want first, then everything else falls into place.... Most people who are in here are happy all the time. It's not a place where people are grouchy, generally, so I enjoy being a good part of people's day--that's very satisfying."

--Carol Price, owner and manager of BookPeople of Moscow in Moscow, Idaho, in a Daily News "Sidewalk Series" profile headlined "Bookstore Owner Engages in Local Government, Organic Food'

Parallax Press: Radical Love: From Separation to Connection with the Earth, Each Other, and Ourselves by Satish Kumar


Rowman & Littlefield Buys Pineapple Press

Effective tomorrow, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group is purchasing Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Fla., which was founded in 1982 by June and David Cussen and publishes a range of titles about Florida, including art, folklore, gardening, history, nature and travel. Pineapple's list of more than 400 titles includes A Land Remembered, a historical novel by Patrick D. Smith that has sold more than 250,000 copies. June and David Cussen will continue to oversee the editorial acquisition efforts for Pineapple Press until a new Florida office is opened.

Pineapple Press will become an imprint of Globe Pequot, Rowman & Littlefield's trade division. Globe Pequot publishes books on New England, the Mid-Atlantic and West, and its other regional imprints include Down East Books, which publishes books about Maine, and Two Dot, publisher of books on the Rocky Mountain region.

Immediately with the sale, Rowman & Littlefield's sister company National Book Network will handle sales and distribution of Pineapple Press titles. They had been sold and distributed by Ingram Publisher Services. Ingram's CoreSource will continue to manage the company's e-books.

Jed Lyons, president and CEO of Rowman & Littlefield, said, "The addition of Florida's leading regional publisher, Pineapple Press, enhances our regional trade program and adds hundreds of first-rate books on the fastest-growing state in the nation. With more than 2,000 new residents arriving in the state each day, Florida is now the third largest state in the nation. The Cussens have built a wonderful business which we will do our best to preserve and grow in the future under the Pineapple name."

June and David Cussen said, "We are happy to know that all our treasured books and authors will be in good hands. We trust that Rowman & Littlefield will carry through with the philosophy that we started with in 1982: publishing the best of all Florida has to offer with its long history and precious natural setting."

William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor

Jane Estes and the 10-Woman Team Behind Lark & Owl Booksellers

"It's been so exciting really. People have been starved for a bookstore here," said Jane Estes, the project manager and leader of the 10-woman ownership team behind Lark & Owl Booksellers, opening in Georgetown, Tex., this October. The 3,500-square-foot store will sell all new, general-interest books for children, teens and adults, with a section devoted to local and regional authors. The cafe, meanwhile, will serve coffee, tea, seasonal snacks and a selection of premium cocktails. "The word we keep using for the books and retail and the menu for the cafe is curated," Estes added. "We want to offer something special."

Estes and her colleagues have ambitious plans for events and programming, which will be supported through a successful Kickstarter campaign that they launched on June 1. By the time the campaign closed on June 22, they raised a total of $35,500 from more than 330 backers, and with that money the Lark & Owl team plans to host student poetry competitions and spoken-word performances, story times in multiple languages and community book club events, as well as offer interpreters for American Sign Language. Some of the Kickstarter funds will also go toward creating interactive displays in the store's children's section.

"We wanted everybody [in the community] to feel like they could be involved," said Estes, of the reason behind launching a Kickstarter. The campaign funded at 117%, and the team is busy packaging up tumblers, tote bags, T-shirts and other backer rewards. "We couldn't be more thrilled."

Estes, who is a writer and has ample experience working in retail and with nonprofits, explained that Lark & Owl grew out of an author events series she began running four years ago. Georgetown had no bookstore, and after a book club that Estes had been part of disbanded, she decided to invite some authors from Austin to come up and do something of a private book signing and author talk. Since then, Estes has brought in 20 authors, and for an event last December she invited a panel of children's authors. The event was a huge success, with attendees buying stacks of books.

"That was kind of the light-bulb moment," recalled Estes. At the same time, other changes in her professional life suddenly gave her the time and room seriously to consider opening a bookstore. "It was like a runway lit up."

Lark & Owl partners (l.-r.) Rachael Jonrowe, Amanda Parr, Kristin Rountree, Kelly McClennahan, Mari Ramirez, Misty Adair, Janet Thompson, Sara Ramirez, Jane Estes and Kristina Moore (photo: Phil Butler)

She saw the community's desire for a bookstore and had a sense of the potential, but felt that she couldn't do it alone. For help, Estes turned to a group of her closest friends, among them a CPA and an attorney, and started discussing the idea. Soon, nine of her friends were on board. Estes said that all of the co-owners have day jobs, some have experience in the book business, and each has brought her own particular skill set to the group. "These are all really talented, strong, kick-ass people," she said. "They've spent a lot of time in the work world and in the volunteer and nonprofit world. They've all been in challenging situations."

With Estes serving as project manager, the group of 10 split into smaller teams covering retail, design, book buying, marketing, social media strategy and more, which the group refers to as swim lanes. There is a team leader for each swim lane who is responsible for planning and reporting back to the larger group.

While Estes acknowledged that the "timeline gets tighter everyday," Lark & Owl is on track to open in October. The team has found a space near Georgetown's downtown square that is adjacent to a well-known restaurant called Monument Cafe. The book-buying team has set up accounts with wholesalers and publishers and is working on an opening order; the retail (sidelines and nonbook) team has contacted vendors and has commitments already; shelving has been ordered; and Lark & Owl is going through the permitting process with the city.

Estes reported that once the store opens, they will hire some new staff members to help work the bookstore and the cafe, but all of the team members will still take turns working at the store. "It's important for us that our community can come in and see Jane and Kelly and Rachel and everybody else there," she said. "All 10 of us plan to be the faces of the bookstore." --Alex Mutter

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Kate Sullivan Wins NEIBA's Saul Gilman Award

Kate Sullivan of Random House Children's Books has won the 2018 Saul Gilman Award, honoring "outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores" and sponsored by the New England Independent Booksellers Association.

NEIBA wrote that Sullivan "has always loved books and was known to spend way too much time in the local library as a child. She even became a library volunteer during junior high. Her first paying job with books was at Barnes & Noble in downtown Boston, where part of her job was to work with publishers' reps on backlist orders, and she eventually became one of them as the NE rep for Pocket Books. After a couple of years, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Ballantine Books but discovered that the mid-Atlantic states were a little too warm for a northern girl and moved back to New England. Due to some perfect timing (and Chuck Dresner) she became a rep for the Random House Merchandise Division, later renamed Random House Children's Books, and the rest is history, a 31-year history.

"When she's not selling, reading, merchandising, gift wrapping, driving, baking and selling some more, Kate can be found in a big old house in the country with her many rescue cats, inevitably doing a little more baking, gardening, home improving, and quilting. And always, more reading."

Princeton Univ. Press Launches Audio Imprint

Princeton University Press has launched PUP Audio, which will publish a mix of new and recent backlist PUP titles. PUP Audio books will be available globally across a variety of platforms and libraries, with no exclusive deal for distribution, and will be done in partnership with Sound Understanding, a U.K. production company.

The inaugural list includes the following titles: On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal; Gods and Robots: The Ancient Quest for Artificial Life by National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor; Making Up Your Own Mind: Thinking Effectively through Creative Puzzle Solving by Ed Burger, a mathematician and president of Southwestern University; and Workers' Tales: Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain, edited by children's book author Michael Rosen.

Princeton University Press director Christie Henry commented: "Recognizing the importance of listening as a fundamental component of learning, and with a mission to contribute to the growth of knowledge, we believe audio publishing offers an exciting opportunity to engage listeners and animate book-based conversations the world over. We are keen to adapt to ever-evolving new technologies to ensure that PUP content reaches a diverse and dynamic community, and audiobooks speak to this commitment."

Digital and audio publisher Kim Williams added: "The growth of the audio market for nonfiction has been dramatic in recent years, and alongside the many people trying the format for the first time, there is a growing cohort of loyal audio consumers for whom audio is the first choice of format. PUP has benefited from the expertise of audio consultants and the many listeners among our staff in developing PUP Audio, and we look forward to publishing audio editions of the highest production and narration standards, and promoting them alongside our print and e-book editions."

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Wisdom of Morrie:
Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully
by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz
GLOW: Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz

Twenty-five years ago, Mitch Albom immortalized his former college professor in Tuesdays with Morrie, the blockbuster memoir that shared Morrie Schwartz's profound insights about life as he was dying of ALS. In The Wisdom of Morrie, Rob Schwartz, Morrie's son, resurrects his father's voice, sharing Morrie's philosophical wisdom and humor about the aging process--what can be an emboldening period filled with meaning and purpose. "This book is invaluable to anyone interested in improving their quality of life," says Rick Bleiweiss, head of new business development at Blackstone Publishing. "Readers who enjoy[ed] The Last Lecture and When Breath Becomes Air will expand their awareness and find new ideas and insights into living more fully." Schwartz's musings are timeless, and inspirational for readers of all ages. --Kathleen Gerard

(Blackstone Publishing, $25.99 hardcover, 9798200813452,
April 18, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Full House for House of Night Other World

An enthusiastic crowd turned out Tuesday night at Books-A-Million in Tulsa, Okla., for the launch of P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's Lost (Blackstone), the second novel in the House of Night Other World series.

'Comprehensive Guide to L.A. Comic Book Stores'

Readers were invited to "nerd out on this comprehensive guide to L.A. comic book stores" by L.A. Weekly, which reported that even though Comic-Con 2018 begins July 19, "comic-loving Angelenos don't have to drive two hours south to immerse themselves in the comic book world....  [T]he stores listed here are all doing their part to serve the local comics community and preserve the genre while proving that the essence of the culture isn't cosplay or blockbuster movies--it's storytelling, art and fantasy."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Gabriel Sherman on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Gabriel Sherman, author of The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News--and Divided a Country (Random House Trade Paperbacks, $18, 9780812982732), which is being adapted into a Showtime series.

This Weekend on Book TV: Seymour Hersh

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, July 14
4:30 p.m. Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace, authors of The Ambition Decisions: What Women Know About Work, Family, and the Path to Building a Life (Viking, $26, 9780525558811). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Richard Rhodes, author of Energy: A Human History (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501105357), at Book Passage Bookstore in Corte Madera, Calif. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:50 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Michael Eric Dyson, author of What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America (St. Martin's Press, $24.99, 9781250199416). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

10 p.m. Amanda Carpenter, author of Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us (Broadside, $26.99, 9780062748003). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Anna-Lisa Cox, author of The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality (PublicAffairs, $28, 9781610398107), at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass.

Sunday, July 15
12 a.m. Charlie LeDuff, author of Sh*tshow!: The Country's Collapsing... and the Ratings Are Great (Penguin Press, $27, 9780525522027).

7:15 p.m. Eric Posner, author of Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society (Princeton University Press, $29.95, 9780691177502).

10 p.m. Seymour Hersh, author of Reporter: A Memoir (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307263957).

11:45 p.m. A preview of upcoming Fall titles from PublicAffairs and Da Capo Press.

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Ackerley Winner; Ngaio Marsh Shortlists

English PEN announced that Richard Beard is the winner of this year's PEN Ackerley Prize, which is dedicated to memoir and autobiography, for The Day That Went Missing. Chair of the judges Peter Parker said: "The title of Richard Beard's beautifully written memoir refers to the day in August 1978 when his nine-year-old brother accidentally drowned during a family holiday. The family's way of dealing with this catastrophe was to suppress all mention and memory of it. Determined to discover the truth, Beard turns detective, sifting evidence and comparing conflicting accounts in order to piece together the long-buried events of that dreadful day and its lingering aftermath. Compulsively readable, fearless, and in places surprisingly funny, the book is an extraordinary act of reclamation and reconciliation."

Accepting the prize, Beard observed: "Memoir is somewhere between history and fiction. On the shortlist we had a champion historian and a champion fiction writer, and I was very lucky to fall in between the two of them."


The shortlisted titles for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards for New Zealand crime fiction, as reported by Books+Publishing, are:

Best Crime Novel:
Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
See You in September by Charity Norman
Tess by Kirsten McDougall
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackell
A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave
The Hidden Room by Stella Duffy

Best First Novel:
The Floating Basin by Carolyn Hawes
Broken Silence by Helen Vivienne Fletcher
All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell
Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley

Winners will be announced on September 1.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 17:

The Other Woman: A Novel by Daniel Silva (Harper, $28.99, 9780062834829) is the 18th thriller featuring art restorer/assassin Gabriel Allon.

Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk by John Lingan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544932531) explores the town of Winchester, Va.

My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of Loss, Hope, and Home by Diane Guerrero with Erica Moroz (Holt, $18.99, 9781250134868) is the Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin star's middle-grade memoir.

Flowers by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, $17.99, 9780823437870) is a picture book introduction to flower care, cultivation and life cycle.

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy and Griffin McElroy, illustrated by Carey Pietsch (First Second, $19.99, 9781250153708)

Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown (Anchor, $9.99, 9780525563709).

Made Whole by Cristina Curp (Victory Belt, $34.95, 9781628602944).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Rising: Dispatches From the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush (Milkweed Editions, $26, 9781571313676). "Focusing on the shorelines of our nation, Elizabeth Rush takes us from north to south and east to west on an intimate journey that vividly tells the story of the effects of our rising sea level and its impact on animal and plant life. In Rising, Rush has written a personal, passionate plea for us to take action before it is too late and to rethink our priorities to the benefit of our environment. This is environmental writing at its best. Please read Rising and then grab a friend and make them read it, too. It's that good!" --Bill Reilly, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.

The Lost Family: A Novel by Jenna Blum (Harper, $27.99, 9780062742162). "The characters in Jenna Blum's The Lost Family are deeply real and unforgettable: a man and a woman both trying to compensate for the losses of their previous families by creating a new family, and the daughter who grows up with them, feeling equally lost. Blum gets so many things effortlessly right: the terror of Nazi Germany; the fluctuating zeitgeist of New York in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s; the way the foodie father, the dieting wife, and the eating-disordered daughter all express themselves through their relationship with food. I would recommend it for Meg Wolitzer fans, though Blum's style is definitely her own." --Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, Ill.

Who Is Vera Kelly?: A Novel by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House, $15.95, 9781947793019). "Who is Vera Kelly? Find out in this twisty, turny spy thriller set in 1960s Argentina as Vera, working for the CIA, becomes stuck in the country during a hostile takeover. Through flashbacks, we learn about Vera's past and the forces that worked together to create this devilishly smart, very sexy woman. The book reads like the love child of John le Carré and Rita Mae Brown. I loved Vera immensely, even more so as the plot progressed and the threats became deadlier. What a fun read and what a terrific character! I can't wait for the next installment." --William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.

For Ages 4 to 8
Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484767603). "A grandson and his grandfather--unable to converse--sit in front of a television until the boy loses interest and turns to his drawings. Grandfather then brings out his sketchbook and together they begin to 'talk' without words but with worlds of color, action, and excitement. Once again, Santat's (After the Fall) illustrations create a powerful book, this one about communication between the generations. Sure to be a hit with all ages and perhaps another Caldecott winner." --Karen Briggs, The Booknook, East Tawas, Mich.

For Ages 9 to 12
Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books, $16.99, 9780062499660). "In this intermediate reader, Alix has an imagination as big as the ocean that she and her sister, Jools, are visiting with their parents for the first time. Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea is a charming and sweet look at handling new experiences, making friends, and learning all sorts of fun things along the way. With Perkins' wonderful illustrations, this quick and breezy book is sure to keep the kids reading this summer!" --Jill Beauchamp, Horizon Books, Traverse City, Mich.

For Teen Readers
From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse, $18.99, 9781481495400). "This story captures that moment at the movie theater when your date touches your hand in the dark while knocking the popcorn over in the loudest way possible--it's cute and exciting, but also slightly embarrassing. Sandhya has crafted another excellent teen romance about a shy and ambitious young woman trying to show the world her passion and talent. A fantastic summer read!" --Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Reservoir Tapes

The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor (Catapult, $22 hardcover, 176p., 9781936787913, August 7, 2018)

Jon McGregor's collection of linked stories, The Reservoir Tapes, had an unusual genesis, beginning as a series of BBC podcasts in 2017. In these spare, elliptical tales, McGregor revisits the unnamed village in England's Peak District that was home to his critically acclaimed novel Reservoir 13, a work New Yorker critic James Wood justifiably called one of "visionary power." And though its setting and mood evoke McGregor's earlier book, this collection is a fresh reminder of his versatility and talent.
Save for the strikingly original first story, the 15 that compose the volume are set some time before 13-year-old Becky Shaw--visiting the village with her parents for the New Year holiday--disappears while hiking with them across the moors. That opener is the one-sided recording of the questions posed by an interviewer to Becky's mother. Daring in format, its accumulated glimpses flesh out some of the details of Becky's last hours with her family only hinted at in Reservoir 13
From there all of the remaining stories focus on a single character. In "Liam," Becky leads a handful of the village's teenagers on a dangerous swimming expedition at the local quarry during a summertime visit. It tantalizingly fills in bits of her backstory, revealing her as a daredevil, "like someone who would find it funny to just hide out somewhere and watch people looking for her." "Graham" is the frightening account of another girl who disappears on a hike over the same treacherous ground where Becky is last seen, land that's "featureless to the untrained eye, but in fact was teeming with detail."
The companion stories "Deepak" and "Clive," involving the encounter between a paperboy and a creepy customer shortly after Becky vanishes, add a note of menace.
In other stories, McGregor resurrects characters from the novel, but in contexts that have little or nothing to do with the central mystery. Though he abandons Reservoir 13's structure, featuring long paragraphs that shift seamlessly from the human to the natural world, he's not done so at the cost of his fascination with the quotidian aspects of village life--placid on the surface, but teeming with all the complexity of human existence beneath.
By the end of The Reservoir Tapes we're no closer to solving the mystery of Becky Shaw's disappearance. Whether Jon McGregor chooses to reveal what happened to her in a work that will complete a "Reservoir Trilogy" or moves on to other material, he will remain a writer whose work will be well worth following. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer
Shelf Talker: Jon McGregor returns to an English village touched by the mystery of a young girl's disappearance to delve deeper into its daily life.

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