Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 26, 2018

Workman Publishing: Linked: Conquer Linkedin. Land Your Dream Job. Own Your Future. by Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling

Berkley Books: Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

Henry Holt & Company: Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

Wednesday Books: Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Harper: Aurora by David Koepp

Gibbs Smith: Life Is Golden: What I've Learned from the World's Most Adventurous Dogs by Andrew Muse


Trident Booksellers & Cafe Eyes August Reopening

Trident Booksellers & Cafe in Boston, Mass., which closed in early March after a fire broke out in the building and caused extensive water damage, is eyeing a reopening date in mid-August.

In the roughly five months since, manager Courtney Flynn has taken the opportunity to renovate, remodel and completely reorganize the store. The floors have been replaced, the walls repainted and many lights and fixtures updated. The inventory is all new, and the cafe, which also has a new bar, has been relocated to the very back of the store.

Renovations underway at Trident.

The change in layout, Flynn explained, means that on the first floor the books are now closer to the front, where there is much more room for display tables, and the cafe is now in an area with more windows. On the second floor, meanwhile, Trident has created a special children's nook featuring a "magical mural" and "lots of fun decorations." The changes will also allow the store to host simultaneous events in the upstairs space and in the back. Said Flynn: "These will be anything from an author event, to trivia, to murder mystery parties, and everything in between."

While she couldn't give any exact dates because there are still "lots of moving pieces" and "lots of merchandise to receive," Flynn is shooting for a soft opening in mid-August, followed by a grand reopening in mid-September.

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers: Mouse Seasons by Leo Lionni

ABA Sets Dates, Location for 2019 Children's Institute

The American Booksellers Association has announced the dates and location for the 2019 Children's Institute, which will be held from Wednesday, June 26, through Friday, June 28, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh-Green Tree in Pittsburgh, Pa., Bookselling This Week reported.

Next year's event will include three days of keynote presentations, educational sessions, featured talks, and special events, as well as regular features like the Author Reception, Consultation Station and Galley Room. Registration opens in February. Children's Institute 2019 will occur immediately following the American Library Association's Annual Conference, June 20–25, in Washington, D.C.

Ingram Booklove: An Exclusive Rewards Program for Indie Booksellers

Mann Named CEO of 'Rebranded' Bonnier Books UK

Perminder Mann

"As the shake-up at Bonnier Publishing UK continues," Perminder Mann has been named CEO, replacing interim group CEO Jim Zetterlund, the Bookseller reported. In addition to the change at the top, the publisher will now be known as Bonnier Books UK, with a new logo, brand identity and website, "in a bid to align it more closely with its Swedish parent Bonnier Books." Bonnier Publishing's group functions will be absorbed into Bonnier Books UK. The latest changes follow a series of high-level executive departures.

Zetterlund is stepping down from his position and will become chairman of the U.K. arm, with Mann leading the U.K. company and reporting directly to Bonnier Books in Sweden. Zetterlund will continue, however, to "be involved in the day-to-day running of the business," the Bookseller noted.

"Perminder has led the U.K. business with impressive skill and dedication over the past year and I am confident she is the right candidate to lead the company into the next phase of its journey," Zetterlund said." I look forward to continuing to work with Perminder and the senior management team in my new role as chairman."

GLOW: Grand Central Publishing: With Prejudice by Robin Peguero

Obituary Note: Judith Appelbaum

Judith Appelbaum

Judith Appelbaum, author, book marketer, editor and book industry expert, died yesterday at age 78.

In 1978, Appelbaum published How to Get Happily Published, which went through five editions, sold more than 500,000 copies and became the genesis of her book marketing company, Sensible Solutions, which she ran with her partner, Florence Janovic. The firm specialized in targeted marketing for writers and publishers that brought books to readers in innovative, direct, commonsensical ways in the pre-Internet era.

Earlier Appelbaum was managing editor of Publishers Weekly, wrote the "New and Noteworthy" column for the New York Times Book Review, was editor of the IBPA Independent and was an editor at Harper's magazine and Harper's Weekly. She was also an officer and on the board of the Book Industry Study Group, chairing its marketing committee and co-chairing the Rights Committee, and was on the faculty of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver.

In addition, Appelbaum won the Publishers Marketing Association's (now the Independent Book Publishers Association) Lifetime Achievement Award and BISG's Lifetime Service Award.

Berkley Books: Harlem Sunset (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) by Nekesa Afia

Sidelines Snapshot: Puzzles, Board Games, Cards and Socks

At Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Wash., head sidelines buyer Liz Wootton reported that some of the store's perennial favorites include greeting cards, journals, jigsaw puzzles, board games and pens. Among the store's favorite puzzle vendors are Pomegranate, Galison and American Puzzle Company; Elliott Bay also likes adult storytelling and literary-themed games such as The Storymatic and Gloom, along with more traditional games like Quoridor and Quarto. As for pens, Elliott Bay carries a wide selection, with higher-end pens from Retro 1951 and mid-tier pens from IdleWild Co.

Wootton added that among her favorite vendors--who provide everything from journals and greeting cards to enamel pins and patches--are the U.K.-based House of Wonderland, Band of Weirdos and Seattle artist Stasia Burrington. Wootton noted that Burrington creates artful pins and stickers, and her Tarot decks are particularly popular. In the children's section, Elliott Bay carries a variety of puzzles and games, with eeBoo a favorite supplier, and for stuffed animals and plush toys, Wootton pointed to Douglas Cuddle Toys. For book-specific and character-specific toys, Wootton recommended MerryMakers Doll. Elliott Bay has also done very well with socks, and while they sell socks from several vendors, Wootton said Blue Q is probably the favorite. She noted: "Our customers like the snarkiness and cuss words on them."

According to Candice Huber, owner of Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop in New Orleans, La., her store specializes in two things: genre books and board games. While she doesn't consider board games to be sidelines in the traditional sense, as they constitute such a big part of her business and are a major draw for her customers, she offered many helpful recommendations for general-interest booksellers curious about board games. Huber called Settlers of Catan an "evergreen" classic that "everyone always buys," and cited DixIt and Mysterium as two board games that are "super popular" and perfect for families.

When asked about board games that are less widely known, Huber reported that the game World's Fair 1893 is a great entry-level strategy game that also imparts interesting facts about the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. She also suggested Viticulture, in which players try to create their own vineyard, and Brew Crafters, in which players create their own craft brewery, as fun, more complex strategy games that are "easy to cross-sell." On the subject of recent trends in board games, Huber explained that "legacy" versions of games, in which a continuous, long-form story is told over multiple play sessions, are extremely popular at the moment, and mentioned the legacy versions of Pandemic and Betrayal at House on the Hill as examples. As for more conventional sidelines, Huber said she's had success with coffee mugs and finger puppets from Unemployed Philosophers Guild and buttons and bookmarks with nerdy and geeky themes.

In Bethany Beach, Del., Bethany Beach Books manager Amanda Zirn Hudson said that socks continue to sell extremely well, even during the peak summer tourist season, despite the store being right off the boardwalk and the fact that "no one wears socks to the beach." Zirn Hudson explained that Bethany Beach first began carrying Sock It to Me socks and now also carries Socksmith and Unemployed Philosophers Guild socks. The store has seen a "huge increase" in any sideline related to Harry Potter, including officially branded products featuring things like the Golden Snitch and the Sorting Hat, as well as non-branded products reminiscent of the series, including a snowy owl puppet made by Folkmanis. In fact, all of the store's Folkmanis finger puppets have proven popular, Zirn Hudson said.

Bethany Beach Books carries several puzzle lines, including Heritage Puzzle and Galison. Zirn Hudson noted that Heritage is probably the store's most popular puzzle brand and she carries their 500-piece and 1,000-piece puzzles. For games, the store has been bringing in those made by smaller companies like Merry Makers and Mudpuppy as well as classic Hasbro games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Jenga. Bethany Beach has also had success with mugs from Out of Print, stickers and magnets from Free Period Press, and enamel pins and greeting cards from Seltzer Goods; other popular card lines include Sellers Publishing and Compendium. --Alex Mutter

ECW Press: Play It Right: The Remarkable Story of a Gambler Who Beat the Odds on Wall Street by Kamal Gupta


Image of the Day: One Billboard Outside WInchester

A billboard on Route 522 in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., advertises John Lingan's Homeplace (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The book takes place in Berkeley Springs and in neighboring Winchester, Va., home to Patsy Cline, and the Winchester Book Gallery, which hosted Lingan for a raucous and fun-filled event last Saturday. 

Cool Ideas of the Day: Bookshop Voter Registration Initiatives

In an effort "to promote political involvement within the community," SubText Books, St. Paul, Minn., is offering voter registration forms for members of the Ramsey County community to fill out in-store, Bookselling This Week reported, noting that in recent years, owner Sue Zumberge and store manager Matt Keliher "have fostered an environment that supports an ongoing conversation oriented toward issues of politics and social justice."

"We thought that a small way for us to get involved is to offer voter registration forms in-store," said Keliher. "We're a downtown location, so there's a lot of diversity and a variety of people who visit us. We thought that making this available for people if they needed help was a way to [get involved].... One of the reasons we want to [do this] is because there's an idea about voter registration being a difficult process and people not understanding how to do it. Opening up to your community is important."

The response to SubText's initiative has been largely positive. "We put it in our newsletter and got a lot of feedback, which was really exciting to see," said Keliher. "If there're any booksellers out there that have even sort of considered this as something they could do within their bookstore, they should take this as an opportunity to push that a step forward."


"No excuses, Arizona book people!" Changing Hands Bookstore, with locations in Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz., tweeted in featuring a photo of the "updated the language on our register receipts."

A message at the bottom of the receipt reminds customers that "July 30 is the registration deadline to vote in Arizona's primary election on August 28," and includes information on where voters can go online to register, update info, find polling places or request an early ballot for the November 6 midterms. "Let's do this!" Changing Hands said.

Previously on Bookseller Superheroes...

Andrew Shaffer at Fountain Bookstore

Yesterday, Andrew Shaffer, author most recently of Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery, tweeted: "Left my iPad at @FountainBkstore last night and BOOKSELLER CARL RAN IT TO ME IN THE RAIN AND MET ME ON THE STEPS OF THE TRAIN STATION MINUTES BEFORE MY TRAIN ARRIVED LIKE A ROM COM FINALE. #indiesfirst #shopsmall"

Personnel Changes at Frankfurt Book Fair; S&S Children's; Ingram

Effective August 1, Matthäus Cygan is joining the Frankfurt Book Fair as director, business development, trade international. He is currently senior manager, digital development, at Verlagsgruppe Random House, where he has worked since 2013.


Emily Ritter has joined Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing as digital & social marketing manager. She was most recently marketing manager at Bloomsbury Children's Books.


At Ingram Content Group:

Leslie Jobson has been promoted to manager, sales & support for Ingram Publisher Services. Before joining Ingram, she worked in sales and support at Perseus's distribution businesses and worked at independent bookstores for 19 years.

Destiny Womack has been promoted to customer success manager for Aerio, Ingram's marketing and sales software platform for publishers, authors and sellers.
Tori Cushman has joined the company as a sales & support representative for the mass merchandise group. She was formerly sales assistant at Skyhorse Publishing.
Megan Smith has been named a specialty retail manager. She spent 19 years with Ingram Entertainment, where, for the past 12 years, she was manager of the category management/VMI department.

Media and Movies

This Weekend on Book TV: Sean Spicer

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 28
5 p.m. Mark Bodanza, author of Lou D'Allesandro: Lion of the New Hampshire Senate (North Hill Press, $26.95, 9780997014426). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 a.m.)

6 p.m. Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28, 9780374146702), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

7 p.m. Alfredo Corchado, author of Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration (Bloomsbury, $27, 9781632865540), at Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago, Ill.

8 p.m. Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case Against Impeaching Trump (Hot Books, $21.99, 9781510742284). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m.)

9 p.m. Martha C. Nussbaum, author of The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781501172496), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

10 p.m. Sean Spicer, author of The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President (Regnery, $28.99, 9781621578147). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Thomas Frank, author of Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books, $25, 9781250293664), at Book Culture Bookstore in New York City.

Sunday, July 29
12 a.m. Michael Shermer, author of Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia (Holt, $30, 9781627798570). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m.)

1 a.m. Gregory Crouch, author of The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Riches in the American West (Scribner, $30, 9781501108198), at Book Passage Bookstore in Corte Madera, Calif.

7:30 p.m. Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (Beacon Press, $16, 9780807047415), at King's Books in Tacoma, Wash.

10 p.m. Jim DeFelice, author of West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062496768), at King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah.

TV: War of the Worlds; Get Shorty, Season 2

Fox Networks Group Europe and Africa is partnering with France's Canal+ and Atlantis producer Urban Myth Films on an eight-part remake of War of the Worlds, based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells. Deadline reported that the updated version "will be set in the present day and tell the story of an alien invasion."

The series, which was created and written by Howard Overman (Misfits), is in pre-production and scheduled to shoot in the autumn. Deadline noted that this project "comes as the BBC is already in production with its own take on H.G Wells' classic sci-fi story. The Big Short's Rafe Spall and Poldark's Eleanor Tomlinson are to lead the cast of the Mammoth Screen-produced adaptation The War of the Worlds alongside Trainspotting's Robert Carlyle and Sherlock's Rupert Graves, which is set in Edwardian England, rather than America."

"In many ways H.G. Wells' novel is a cautionary tale of racial superiority and ethnic conflict," said Overman. "It is these themes that I wanted to explore more fully in my modern re-imagining. I look forward to bringing our bold, fresh and relatable version, inspired by this much-loved story to a new audience.''


The first trailer was unveiled at Comic-Con for season 2 of Get Shorty, the Epix series based on Elmore Leonard's novel and the 1995 film adaptation. Deadline reported that in the new season, Miles Daly (Chris O'Dowd) "struggles to reconcile his ambitions as a filmmaker and a family man with his skill set as a career criminal. His progress in Hollywood is jeopardized when the washed-up producer (Ray Romano) with whom he partnered in Season 1, agrees to wear a federal wire. Miles faces off with criminal financiers and with a Hollywood power-broker who could be the most dangerous of all."

Get Shorty also stars Sean Bridgers, Carolyn Dodd, Lidia Porto, Goya Robles, Megan Stevenson, Lucy Walters and Sarah Stiles, "who has been bumped up to series regular on the series from MGM Television," Deadline noted.

Books & Authors

Awards: Will Eisner Comic Industry; Thumping Good Read

The winners of the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, presented during Comic Con in San Diego, can be seen here. A special congratulations to Marjorie Liu--co-creator with artist Sana Takeda of Image Comics' fantasy epic Monstress--who became the first woman to win the best-writer honor. The Washington Post reported that this year's Eisner Awards "were largely a celebration of women being recognized as strongly as ever at what’s commonly called 'the Oscars of comics.' "


Laura Purcell won the £10,000 (about $13,125) Thumping Good Read Award for her novel The Silent Companions. The Bookseller reported that the prize, "which re-launched this summer after a 15-year gap, was judged by authors Jojo Moyes and Peter James." In addition to the cash award, Purcell's book will be promoted in all WH Smith stores throughout summer.

"Such a smart and varied group of books, over a range of genres, gave us great pleasure but made judging very hard," said James. "But it was The Silent Companions that ultimately shone, for originality, for the sheer quality of the writing, the characters and some masterly chills. A great ghost story for all seasons. A thumping good read!”

Moyes added: "I loved getting to read the Thumping Good Reads, and, like Peter James, felt The Silent Companions was an extraordinary, memorable and truly haunting book. I'm so glad the public thought so too."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 31:

The Quiet Side of Passion by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $25.95, 9780307908964) is the 12th mystery featuring Isabel Dalhousie.

This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us: A Novel by Edgar Cantero (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385543965) follows sibling private investigators who share the same body.

The Shortest Way Home: A Novel by Miriam Parker (Dutton, $26, 9781524741860) follows a woman who abandons her life in Manhattan to work at a California winery.

Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things by Courtenay Hameister (Little, Brown, $26, 9780316395700) is the memoir of an anxious woman who faced her fears.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (Delacorte, $17.99, 9781524718329) is a YA thriller in which one small town loses five cheerleaders under suspicious circumstances.

What's Your Favorite Bug? by Eric Carle and Friends (Holt, $17.99, 9781250151759) is a collection of 15 beloved children's book artists' illustrations of their favorite bugs.

Nothing Stays Buried by P.J. Tracy (Putnam, $9.99, 9780735212473).

The Darkest Minds, based on the novel by Alexandra Bracken, opens August 3. Teenagers form a resistance group in a future world where adults fear the young. A movie tie-in edition (Disney-Hyperion, $10.99, 9781368022453) is available.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth, opens August 3. In 1993, a teenage girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) is forced into gay conversion therapy. A movie tie-in edition (Balzer+Bray, $9.99, 9780062884497) is available.

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:

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (Flatiron Books, $24.99, 9781250183194). "Neel Patel's debut short story collection is filled with tales of imperfection and longing, of unfulfilled wishes that fight hard against expectations. His flawed characters know what they risk when their actions don't match the standard script of perfection they've been handed, but their need for love and acceptance always prevails, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Patel's empathy toward his characters is palpable, as is the effect of his gorgeously rendered sentences. If You See Me, Don't Say Hi is a wonderful read: necessary, aching, and alive." --Mo Daviau, Powell's Books for Home and Garden, Portland, Ore.

An Ocean of Minutes: A Novel by Thea Lim (Touchstone, $26, 9781501192555). "Polly signs on as a bondswoman with a time travel company to save the life of her boyfriend, Frank. They plan to meet in the future, but Polly is off by five years and arrives disoriented, vulnerable, and alone, with Frank nowhere to be found. This imagined future is as disorienting to the reader as it is to Polly, as Lim leaves us with no hints about who to trust and no understanding of societal rules. I was absolutely blown away by the layered depths of Lim's story. The ending left me reeling and wanting more, and my mind keeps returning to the way Lim describes the power of time to change a person. How many lives do we live in the course of one lifetime?" --Susan Scott, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, Wash.

See What I Have Done: A Novel by Sarah Schmidt (Grove Press, $16, 9780802128133). "See What I Have Done is a spellbinding historic reimagining of a Gothic tale many of us grew up knowing about. Schmidt brings to life all the characters in Lizzie Borden's world and takes the reader on an adventure through time and the investigation into the murder of her parents. Schmidt uses context to make the moment in history as much of a character as the people in the story, and the lively characters will keep you transfixed on the murder mystery. It is hard to say that a book about a murder is delightful, but See What I Have Done is a delightful, suspenseful, and satisfying read." --Steve Iwanski, Turnrow Book Co., Greenwood, Miss.

For Ages 4 to 8
I'm Sad by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781481476270). "It's important to let children know that life isn't so bad and things will get better, but it's equally important to make sure they know that it's okay not to be happy ALL of the time. I'm Sad is a funny and surprisingly sweet examination of those days when you wake up and just aren't at your most cheerful. Sometimes you're just sad and that's okay--it's even a little nice." --Amy Brabenec, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062665867). "Della's mama has schizophrenia. It's been under control for years, except for a bad time when Della was younger, but lots of pressures have been building up, and her mama's stopped taking her medicine. Della's daddy is trying to keep things together at home in addition to keeping their family farm going in the midst of a drought. Della wants her normal mom back, and she's trying everything she can think of to help, but it seems like she's just making things worse. A warm and sensitive story about families living with mental illness." --Nancy Banks, City Stacks Books and Coffee, Denver, Colo.

For Teen Readers
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062652775). "A stunningly imagined version of pre-Victorian England, complete with charming ghosts, combines with timeless, laugh-out-loud humor in this retelling of Jane Eyre. This book is a breath of fresh air in the teen genre, with strong heroines, an irresistible yet complex plot, a light smattering of romance, and a gleeful--yet tasteful--abandonment of the fourth wall. I would recommend this book to anyone who is tired of predictable plot twists, cliffhangers, and endings and is looking for a rollicking adventure through a quasi-historically accurate rendition of Jane Eyre's England (with ghosts added, of course)." --Annika Pfister, Petunia's Place Bookstore, Fresno, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Boom Town

Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding... Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becomin by Sam Anderson (Crown, $28 hardcover, 448p., 9780804137317, August 21, 2018)

Oklahoma City can be a pretty easy punching bag, and New York journalist Sam Anderson rarely misses his jabs--like this faint praise: "one of the great weirdo cities of the world." His first book, Boom Town, is a hilarious history and drive-through study of this Midwestern city born of bedlam and ambition during the 1889 Land Run. Growing with the willy-nilly annexation of the surrounding oil-rich flatlands, its 600 square miles make it one of the geographically largest cities in the world. As Anderson makes clear: it is "the natural habitat of cars," so you better have a motor vehicle if you want to take it all in. Even LA has a higher walkability score than OKC.
Ostensibly on assignment to write about the improbable success of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA expansion team, with its superstar trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the grizzly-bearded dynamo James Hardin, Anderson becomes entranced by the chutzpah and resilience of the Sooners who call it home. While Oklahoma is the Choctaw word for "red people," the nickname "Sooner" comes from those who slipped over the border into "Indian Territory" before the Land Run noon shotgun start.
A nickel-and-dime city with no professional sports team, OKC managed to "steal" the Seattle SuperSonics pro basketball franchise and rename it the Thunder--in recognition of Oklahoma weather in the heart of Tornado Alley. In the process of researching how they pulled it off, Anderson digs relentlessly into the state capital's boom-and-bust history. Illustrated with archival photos, his story jumps between top-flight sportswriting and more lighthearted and diverse chapters on the idiosyncrasies of OKC. Besides the Thunder and the city's lightning-fast origin, Anderson profiles its world-class weatherman Gary England; its visionary mayor and urban renewal aficionado Stanley Draper; civil rights sit-in pioneer Clara Luper; leader of the Flaming Lips rock band Wayne Coyne; and the tragic 1995 Timothy McVeigh bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.
If the Thunder's up-and-down path to the NBA Finals is the primary thread running through Boom Town, the Flaming Lips get almost equal coverage. Perhaps this is because unappreciated Sooner boosters covet a winner. In 2006, the city even created a Flaming Lips Alley in downtown, and in 2009 the band's "Do You Realize??" was named the official rock song of Oklahoma. The irreverent Anderson, however, characterizes local boy Coyne as "the city's most famous goofball clown, a Technicolor rock 'n' roll Willy Wonka... some kind of extraterrestrial born out of one of Pink Floyd's tube amps." Boom Town may not get an OKC Chamber of Commerce blurb, but Anderson clearly has a soft spot for the city he also calls "provincial, amateur, permanently uncool." Ouch. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.
Shelf Talker: New York journalist Anderson goes to Oklahoma City to cover the Thunder and comes away with a much bigger and funnier story of a city always "on the make."

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