Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 19, 2018

Little Brown and Company: Wolf at the Table by Adam Rapp

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Severn River Publishing: Covert Action (Command and Control #5) by J.R. Olson and David Bruns

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

Quotation of the Day

'Something to Think About' on Amazon Prime Day

"Something to think about:

When you are shopping, and you have a choice of where to shop, remember that the money you spend in a locally owned business contributes to the community where that business is located. Here on Hatteras, money spent in our shops and restaurants helps pay for lots of things that make Hatteras Island a place you love.

When you shop online please remember a few of the things online shopping DOES NOT pay for on Hatteras:

Clerks in tackle shops that can answer your questions
Apple uglies
Local authors
Handmade gifts
The guy who came to fix your air conditioner
Water rescue

There are so many more things that make Hatteras unique. So please, while you are thinking online shopping is convenient (we know it is) please consider what it IS NOT also. Choose local first. We local shop owners thank you."

--A Facebook post by Buxton Village Books, Buxton, N.C., on Amazon Prime Day, which resulted, owner Gee Gee Rosell wrote, in "a typically stellar day at the store and lots of fist bumps from customers over the post too!"


University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona


HMH Closing Eamon Dolan Books Imprint

Eamon Dolan

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is closing Eamon Dolan Books, the imprint headed by Eamon Dolan. HMH publisher Bruce Nichols commented: "To meet the needs of our changing marketplace, we often must make tough business decisions, including the choice to wind down Eamon Dolan Books. Eamon has been a wonderful colleague and friend. We thank him for his many contributions and wish him the best in his next chapter."

In 2011, Dolan rejoined HMH as v-p and editorial director of the new imprint, which focused mostly on nonfiction. He had earlier been editor-in-chief at HMH before joining Penguin Press in 2007.

Twist on Books and Booze: Drive-In Liquor Bookstore

Shelf Awareness usually doesn't report on used bookstores, but today we must make an exception since this story concerns one of the most unusual hybrid stores we've read about.

At Dave's Drive-In Liquor, Fremont, Neb., owner Jeff Rise "has built dozens of feet worth of shelves, accommodating thousands of books, just across the from towering boxes of Miller Lite, Bud Light and a slew of other alcoholic beverages," according to the Fremont Tribune. Altogether the new bookstore stocks more than 3,000 books, and all proceeds go the Friends of the Keene Memorial Library's general fund, which "helps provide funding toward library programming--food for events, hiring an author, bringing in a children's musician and more."

Many of the books were donated originally to the library for its annual book sale, but the library doesn't have enough storage. As a result, Rise, who volunteers regularly at the library, volunteered space in his liquor store.

So far, books and booze appear to be a good mix. "We've got a lot of regulars all of a sudden," Rise told the paper. "People come in now every week or two and load up since I put new books out every week, there's always new stuff for them to find." Rise has raised nearly $2,000 for the library.

San Francisco's Aardvark Books Building Back on the Market

The building housing Aardvark Books in San Francisco, Calif., is once more up for sale, Curbed SF reported.

The new and used independent bookstore's building went on the market back in 2017, with an asking price of $2.85 million, but the listing expired in January 2018 without a buyer. According to Curbed SF, Aardvark's manager said at the time that the store would remain open "indefinitely." Six months later, however, the building is back on the market, now with an asking price of $2.45 million and a promise that "the property will be delivered vacant."

John Hadreas, owner of Aardvark Books, purchased the Castro/Upper Market building in 1991 for $300,000. The building had previously seen use as a print shop and a movie theater.

Beijing City Government Boosting Bookstore Spending

The Beijing municipal government is investing 50 million yuan (about $7.5 million) to support bookstore construction and operations in the Chinese capital, 2.8 times the annual investment of 2016 and 2017, according to China News Service.

The government aims to "make greater efforts to develop bookstores in the capital through policies such as subsidies and tax reductions, aiming to establish a well-structured reading environment for the public," China News Service added. "Bookstore construction will be included in the national economic and social development plan, with support for companies and individuals who want to build bookstores in commercial centers and tourist spots, on busy streets and in new residential communities, according to a guideline from the Beijing municipal bureau of press, publication, radio, film and television."

Zhang Su, deputy head of the bureau, said, "We are not just helping out the bookstores with financial problems. Our goal is to make use of those policies to entice more social capital into the bookstore industry and guide existing ones to upgrade their operations." Beijing is also encouraging some bookstores to stay open 24 hours a day.

Beijing plans to build 16 large-scale book malls--one in each district--and 200 niche bookstores in the city by 2020. "The book malls will become cultural experience centers for the public," Zhang added. "They will not only sell books but also host lectures, charity activities, branding and events related to innovation."

Liu Mingqing, a publisher and writer in Beijing, told China News Service that while "we have been facing a period of decline in bookstores," Beijing residents in the last two years have read an average of 10 printed books a year compared to the national rate of four. "More than 60% of Beijing citizens bought books in bookstores rather than online, which means that bookstores are still a major channel," he said.

Paz & Associates Running 'Bookstore Boot-Camp' This Summer

Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman

The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates will host a Bookstore Boot-Camp for new and prospective owners August 26-29, on Amelia Island, Fla., at the Center for Bookstore Entrepreneurship within the Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, an independent bookstore that serves the local community and as a model bookstore.

Officially called Owning a Bookstore: The Business Essentials, the workshop retreat is designed for anyone who intends to own a bookstore within the next 12 months, though it will provide all the answers needed for someone still in the planning stages. The program offers new and prospective owners and managers an opportunity to learn best practices of successful booksellers and provides the skills and contacts to help launch a successful and sustainable independent bookstore. Key topics include store design, fixturing and merchandising; what a bookstore computerized management system should do to help run and operate the business; options for selecting the opening inventory, buying and inventory management; branding, publisher co-op, marketing and events, hiring and staff training, and more.

Co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the workshop is offered twice a year and is facilitated by Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman of the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates along with a host of book industry professionals. For more information, click here.


Sandmeyer's Bookstore: A Printer's Row Favorite

"The Grid," a Chicago Sun-Times series that offers an in-depth look at the city's neighborhoods, explored Printers Row, an area which, after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, "became the Midwest hub of the printing industry with historically significant buildings designed by legendary architects."

Among the stops was Sandmeyer's Bookstore, "a favorite of locals and visitors alike" since 1982.... It's a mom-and-pop shop with simple merchandising and minimalist black metal shelving where the books are carefully arranged for display. The ceilings are high, there's a lot of natural light from the windows of the historic Rowe building and the floors creak as you walk around," the Sun-Times wrote. Co-owners Ellen and Ulrich Sandmeyer were early settlers into the neighborhood during its turnaround phase from abandoned, neglected buildings to a residential enclave."

"Only a couple of buildings had been converted to loft buildings," Ellen Sandmeyer said. "It was pretty empty around here when we opened, but the neighborhood's been so supportive, and we've continued to grow over the years."

She added that the bookstore is "an opportunity to come and find something [customers] didn't know they were looking for, and actually hold it in their hands, look at it and smell it. It's all right to write in them, and it's great after you've read it to share it with someone."

'Bookstores for Every Bookworm's Bucket List'

In a piece headlined "10 incredible bookstores for every bookworm's bucket list," Study Breaks noted: "If you're a bookworm, you know the magical rush that comes from entering a good bookstore.... Around the world, several indie bookstores have gone above and beyond to create undeniable locations of book-heaven." Among the bookshops featured was the Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, Calif.

Personnel Changes at Kensington

At Kensington Publishing's communications (publicity & marketing) department:

Samantha McVeigh has been promoted to assistant communications manager, handling publicity and marketing for contemporary romance and romantic suspense titles. Previously she was communications materials assistant.

James Akinaka has been promoted to communications associate, handling science fiction, fantasy and horror titles.

Ann Pryor has been hired as senior communications manager, handling nonfiction and select mystery titles.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rashad Jennings on the Talk

Megyn Kelly: Kerry Cohen, author of Lush: A Memoir (Sourcebooks, $15.99, 9781492652199).

The Talk: Rashad Jennings, author of The IF in Life: How to Get Off Life's Sidelines and Become Your Best Self (Zondervan, $18.99, 9780310765967).

Steve repeat: Louie Anderson, author of Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too (Touchstone, $26, 9781501189173).

This Weekend on Book TV: Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz on To End a Presidency

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 21
3:43 p.m. Douglas Brinkley, author of The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960 (Harper Perennial, $18.99, 9780062005977), at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Tex. (Re-airs Sunday at 8:43 a.m.)

5 p.m. David Michael Slater, author of We're Doing It Wrong: 25 Ideas in Education That Just Don't Work--And How to Fix Them (Skyhorse, $12.99, 9781510725614). (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

7 p.m. John Tamny, author of The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job (Gateway Editions, $28.99, 9781621577775). (Re-airs Sunday at 2:30 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz, authors of To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment (Basic Books, $28, 9781541644885), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

8:30 p.m. A discussion with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and National Archivist David Ferriero on the "collection of physical materials in the digital age." (Re-airs Monday at 6:30 a.m.)

10 p.m. Mark Adams, author of Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier (Dutton, $28, 9781101985106). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. A profile of the St. Martin's Press imprint All Points Books. (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

Sunday, July 22
12:30 a.m. Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062412256), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m.)

1:30 a.m. Jonathan Salk, co-author of A New Reality: Human Evolution for a Sustainable Future (City Point Press, $26, 9781947951044). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

5 p.m. Carl Zimmer, author of She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity (Dutton, $30, 9781101984598).

10 p.m. Ken Auletta, author of Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else) (Penguin Press, $30, 9780735220867).

11 p.m. Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford University Press, $24.95, 9780190841164), at New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville, Va.

Books & Authors

Awards: Toronto Book Longlist

For the first time, the Toronto Book Award jury has released a longlist. The shortlist will be announced August 9, and a winner named October 10. Established by the Toronto City Council in 1974, the award honors books of literary merit that are evocative of the city. The winner receives CA$15,000 (about $7,580) and each shortlisted author will gets CA$1,000. This year's longlisted titles are:

The More by Ronna Bloom
The Unpublished City, curated by Dionne Brand
Brother by David Chariandy
The Bone Mother by David Demchuk
Why Young Men by Jamil Jivani
That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung
My Conversations with Canadians by Lee Maracle  
The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern by David McPherson
Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
Floating City by Kerri Sakamoto
The Videofag Book, edited by Jordan Tannahill and William Ellis

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 24:

The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President by Sean Spicer (Regnery, $28.99, 9781621578147) is a memoir by President Trump's former press secretary.

Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back by Melissa Stephenson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9781328768292) is the memoir of a woman who found comfort in cars after her brother's suicide.

Ghosted: A Novel by Rosie Walsh (Pamela Dorman, $26, 9780525522775) follows a woman whose new love interest mysteriously disappears.

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn (Del Rey, $28.99, 9780525480488) is a novel set in the Star Wars universe.

Gravity Falls: Lost Legends by Alex Hirsch (Disney, $19.99, 9781368021425) is a YA graphic novel of four adventures in the Gravity Falls universe.

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall (Viking, $17.99, 9780425290989) depicts one teen's ordeal lost in the wilderness.

The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer (Thames & Hudson, $19.95, 9780500651193) is the third installment in the nonfiction, picture book series.

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:

The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel by Paul Tremblay (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062679109). "Wen and her dads are taking a break from everything by visiting a remote cabin for vacation. Wen is studying grasshoppers in their yard when a man comes up and warns her that she and her dads are going to have to make a decision. And that's about all I can tell you without spoiling the story. This book was so creepy, in a very good way. I'd classify this as horror, but very realistic." --Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Roswell, Ga.

Providence: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny, $27, 9780399591433). "Providence, a novel for the Stranger Things audience, is a fun and interesting blend of light fantasy and soft horror themes. I am a huge Lovecraft fan and devour fan fiction or books that reference Lovecraft, and author Caroline Kepnes does a nice job creating a weird and entertaining ride while explaining Lovecraft and The Dunwich Horror to those who may not be familiar. Overall, I found this book to be exactly what I needed: a nice escape from the confines of the horror genre. I'm also happy to see more female writers bringing their own voices to horror in new and interesting ways." --Guy Lopez, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.

Paperback: An Indies Introduce Title
The Ruin: A Novel by Dervla McTiernan (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143133124). "Cormac Reilly, an honest and likable 20-year veteran detective recently relocated to Galway, Ireland, is trying to figure out where he fits in at his new police station. Reilly's investigation of a cold case from his rookie days soon intersects with the current case of an apparent suicide that proves to be much more than it appears. With a detailed setting, McTiernan introduces readers to a mystery rife with intriguing characters and tense, suspenseful plot twists. The Ruin will compel readers to keep turning the pages until they reach the satisfying conclusion, which will leave them impatiently waiting for the next installment in this promising series." --Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.

For Ages 4 to 8
A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99, 9781626723146). "This is the first book of 2018 that just screams 'Caldecott.' The text is beautifully melancholy and the phrasing and rhythms are simply made for reading out loud. When combined with Lane Smith's impressionistic illustrations (and the stylistic shift in the middle), this becomes one of those picture books that makes you gasp in wonder even as you're getting misty-eyed. And its impact doesn't lessen with re-reading; in fact, there are new details to discover every time you open its cover." --Billie Bloebaum, Third Street Books, McMinnville, Ore.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods, illustrated by Anuska Allepuz (Philomel Books, $16.99, 9780525515210). "A gentle tale--with a healthy dose of magic--about friendship, hope, and looking to the future. The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker reads like a newly discovered folktale that, once found, becomes essential. Sure to delight questing readers of all ages." --Sam Miller, Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, Ky.

For Teen Readers
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (Wednesday Books, $17.99, 9781250168450). "Sky in the Deep is the YA fantasy I've been waiting for--a breath of fresh air that holds the reader captive from the opening scene. Be warned, you will fall hard for Eelyn and Fiske. You will swoon, you will gasp, you will laugh, and you will cry; this book touches on all the emotions. In a brutal, bloody world, Young pulls no punches when putting the characters in intense situations that leave the reader on the edge of their seat. With lush descriptions, impactful character development, and powerful writing, this debut author will have you clamoring for more of her words." --Sarah Green, Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, Fla.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: A River of Stars

A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua (Ballantine Books, $27 hardcover, 304p., 9780399178788, August 14, 2018)

Early in Vanessa Hua's moving debut, she describes how "long ago, two lovers--a humble cow herder and a weaver girl, a fairy in disguise--were torn apart when the Goddess of Heaven, the fairy's mother, scratched her hairpin onto the night sky, welling up a river of stars to separate them." In the following pages, two pregnant Chinese women arrive in the United States and go on the run after being betrayed and exiled by their lovers.
Scarlett Chen is a 30-something woman sent by Boss Yeung, her well-heeled and married lover, to give birth to their son at Perfume Bay--a posh "birthing hotel" in a Los Angeles suburb--and therefore gain automatic U.S. citizenship for the child. Boss Yeung intends to pay her off and raise the child with his wife, but Scarlett discovers via an ultrasound examination that she will have a daughter. Fearing anger and reprisal, she escapes in a stolen van with teenaged stowaway Daisy, a fellow Perfume Bay resident. They drive north to San Francisco's Chinatown, where they give birth.
Much of A River of Stars then revolves around Scarlett and Daisy's attempt to fly under the radar in Chinatown's slums, surviving in poverty and evading detectives paid by Uncle Lo, Boss Yeung's wealthy friend and Perfume Bay investor, to find Scarlett.
Hua delves into Scarlett's feelings of abandonment and her growing resentment as primary caregiver to Daisy and the babies. The story moves from the uncertain freneticism of despair and escape into a quiet domesticity punctuated by money woes and fear of deportation. As Scarlett struggles to balance motherhood, family and personal ambitions, she must decide whether to risk revealing herself as she chases citizenship or remain hidden from her lover and pursuer.
Hua, a San Francisco Chronicle columnist, has written extensively about the Asian diaspora. She approaches her story with journalistic purpose and warm humor, shedding light on Chinese birth tourism, the process by which pregnant women visit the United States on tourist visas to give birth to babies who instantly become citizens. Hua also addresses the difficulties Chinese women face in finding opportunities for advancement in a stratified economy and the lengths to which these women--factory girls earning meager wages, wealthy wives worried over future prospects--go to in their quest for citizenship.
The heroines in A River of Stars are strong, resourceful and eager to embrace the values of their adopted countries to overcome desperate circumstances. In highlighting the struggles immigrants face in their home countries, Hua gives a very real face to a population often marginalized by political theorizing and racial clichés. They are not outsiders, but the very embodiment of the American dream. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

Shelf Talker: A River of Stars is a revelatory novel that highlights the struggles of immigrant mothers in their quest to achieve citizenship and the American dream.

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