Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 9, 2018

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer


Indigo's First U.S. Store 'Likely' Opening in Late September

Indigo in Toronto

Indigo Books & Music's first store in the U.S.--at the Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, N.J.--is "on track" and will open "most likely in late September," Indigo CFO Hugues Simard said yesterday in a conference call about the company's first-quarter results. "We're working feverishly and everything's in place," he added. Three months ago, the Canadian company said the store might open as early as late August.

In other news, Simard said that Indigo is in the process of renovating 16 large-format stores into cultural department stores. Two have been completed and another 12, two of which are in Toronto, will open before the holiday season.

As of a month ago, Indigo operated 85 Chapters and Indigo superstores and 121 small-format stores, under the Coles, Indigospirit and the Book Company names.

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Busboys and Poets' K St. Store Moving This Fall

Opened in 2008, the Busboys and Poets branch in the Mt. Vernon Triangle area of Washington, D.C., is moving across the street to a new location this fall. Its new address will be 450 K St., N.W.

The restaurant and bookstore faced a 15%-20% rent hike in its current location at 1025 5th St. (at K St.), the Washington Business Journal reported. The new location, formerly occupied by a French restaurant, will have 320 seats, down 40, but it will also have a glass-enclosed private dining room, a bar and an outside patio in addition to the bookstore.

Linden Tree Books, Los Altos, Calif., for Sale

Dianne Edmonds and Jill Curcio, owners of Linden Tree Books, Los Altos, Calif., have put the children's bookstore up for sale.

In an announcement, they said, in part, that when they bought the store eight years ago from Dennis and Linda Ronberg, who founded the store in 1981, "our goal was to transition Linden Tree into a sustainable business that would continue to thrive even in the ups and downs of Silicon Valley. We have successfully refreshed the brand, moved the location to the heart of town, and grown the business to be a nationally recognized name. We have also modernized our retail and inventory management systems and launched online sales. Our checklist is complete!"

They emphasized that they are not planning on closing the store. Rather, they're "looking for the perfect buyer/s with the vision and energy to bring Linden Tree Books to even greater levels of success. We're confident that the next great 'chapter' is just around the corner--what ideas do you have for what else Linden Tree can be?"

People with serious inquiries should contact Edmonds via e-mail.

Johns Creek Books & Gifts Opens in Georgia

Tina Newman and Anne Hamilton

On July 26, Tina Newman and Anne Hamilton opened Johns Creek Books & Gifts in Johns Creek, Ga., about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta. The 2,300-square-foot bookstore employs what Newman and Hamilton called a three-pronged approach, with the inventory divided into thirds between new books, used books and gifts. Johns Creek sells books for all ages in a variety of genres, including general fiction, science fiction and fantasy and mysteries.

"Any one prong would not succeed in this market," explained Newman. "We decided to have a third, a third and a third, and then see how it pans out."

At the moment, the store's new inventory is made up primarily of trade paperbacks, with a lot of general fiction, and especially what Newman characterized as book club books. About 30% of the initial order came from Baker & Taylor's new-store recommendations. The other 70%, Newman said, was what she and Hamilton figured would work in their market.

With the help of another staff member hired to be the store's "educator liaison," Newman and Hamilton have "aggressively" gone after partnerships with local schools and have made sure to carry as many assigned summer reading books as possible. For the store's children's inventory, they began with board books, especially the Indestructibles series, and they've also created a board book registry for new moms in the area.

For the store's non-book and gift inventory, Newman said they've worked to source the kinds of things that a customer won't "see all over the place." They sell baby gifts, candles, plaques made by a local artist and Georgia-themed pillows meant for students going off to college. They carry an assortment of jewelry from a local company, whose owner Newman met when their dogs were playing at the same dog park. Puzzles have also proved popular, along with journals and greeting cards--of the latter, Newman said that Shannon Martin and Avanti greeting cards are probably their two bestselling card lines.

Newman said that she and Hamilton have already been approached by several local and self-published authors, and while they don't have an official policy in place for them yet, they are considering doing events that would bring together four or five authors at a time. Other event plans include a variety of book clubs and traditional author appearances. They also hope to partner with Johns Creek Psychology for special talks on anxiety, as well as on financial literacy for high school students.

Most of the staff has ample experience in bookselling. Newman, Hamilton and their educator liaison were all colleagues at the same store for years, and one of their new hires spent nearly three years at Barnes & Noble. And they've hired a senior in high school who handles the store's website and social media, and can troubleshoot tech problems. All of that knowledge and experience, Newman said, has been "instrumental" in getting Johns Creek up and running.

Newman described herself as more of the face of the bookstore, out and about in the community, while Hamilton, for instance, ultimately chose the store's POS system and set up payroll. "We couldn't have done it without each other," Newman said. "We have very complementary skill sets."

Newman reported that customers have responded very well to the store, and the most common description they've heard about the space is that it is inviting. Added Newman: "We've had an incredibly warm welcome from everybody who's walked through the door." --Alex Mutter

Pricey Proposals for Amazon's HQ2 Shrouded in Secrecy

photo: Robert Scoble

While Amazon's penchant for secrecy is nothing new, the company may have reached a new high, or low, during its ongoing search for a home for its planned second headquarters. The New York Times has found that in many cases, even elected officials in the cities that have been named the 20 HQ2 finalists have no idea what their respective cities offered Amazon.

Many of the bids were put together by "private Chamber of Commerce affiliates or economic development groups that aren't required to make their negotiations public." These same groups are frequently not subject to Freedom of Information Act or state open-records requests, and taxpayers in most of the finalist cities may learn what was promised only if their city ends up being chosen. But based on the handful of bids that have become public, there are billions of dollars of public money at stake.

In April, Maryland's state legislature approved an incentive package worth $8.5 billion, while in New Jersey, local and state officials were given approval to offer Amazon some $7 billion as part of the Newark bid. The details of the Newark bid came to light "only after a citizen filed a lawsuit," and the Times reported that officials in several of the finalist cities are currently working hard to quash efforts for greater transparency.

Jared Evans, a member of the City-County Council in Indianapolis, Ind., told the Times that "absolutely nothing" about any financial incentives the city offered Amazon has been shared with him. Leslie Pool, a member of the Austin City Council, likewise said she knows nothing of what Austin, Tex., offered. And Brad Lander, a member of New York's City Council, also has not seen his city's proposal.

According to the Times, many of its own requests for information regarding HQ2 proposals met with similar responses--that is to say, refusals to divulge anything. But in something of a farcical turn, "when officials in Montgomery County, Md., did respond to a request for information on their bid, they delivered, among other items, a 10-page document of incentives--with every single line of text redacted."

As cities continue to race to the bottom in attempts to woo Amazon, there are those advising caution. Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle, Wash., warned at the U.S. Conference of Mayors this summer that HQ2 will likely bring significant downsides along with economic growth, citing her city's astronomical housing costs and the fact that in Seattle there are "4,000 homeless people on the streets every night."

And Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto, resigned earlier this year from the board of directors of Toronto Global, which was involved with Toronto's bid. The lack of transparency, he said, was "galling," and he warned that when taxpayers learn how much they're on the hook for, "there is going to be hell to pay."


Image of the Day: Tombolo Hosts Gilbert King

Last weekend, Tombolo Books, St. Petersburg, Fla., which is operating as a roaming pop-up until it lands in a permanent bricks-and-mortar space, partnered with the Studio@620, a local theater, art gallery and event space. Together they hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King (Beneath a Ruthless Sun, Riverhead) in conversation with Studio@620 founder Bob Devin Jones and Colette Bancroft, book editor for the Tampa Bay Times. Pictured (l.-r.) Tombolo manager Amanda Hurley, co-owner Candice Anderson, Gilbert King, Bob Devin Jones and Alsace Walentine, Tombolo founder and co-owner.

Seven Literary Destinations in Colorado

The Know Outdoors has put together a list of "seven literary destinations for book lovers traveling Colorado," with four of them featuring bookstore pit stops.

Among the destinations are the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, which served as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel featured in Stephen King's The Shining; the Rocky Mountain Land Library in Buffalo Peaks Ranch, which was founded by two former employees of Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store; and the Riverside Cemetery in Fort Morgan, where science fiction legend Philip K. Dick is buried.

Pennie Picks Fly Girls

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9781328876645) as her pick of the month for August. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I've long stopped being surprised at the notable things women have done throughout our country's history. I do, however, marvel at the fact that we've only begun to plumb the depths of their feats. This month's book buyer's pick, Keith O'Brien's Fly Girls, is a great example of real-life remarkable women.

"Fly Girls is the story of five women who raced airplanes in the 1920s and '30s. In soaring text, O'Brien weaves together the stories of a high school dropout, a divorcee, a blue blood, a mother of two and, most famous of all, Amelia Earhart."

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Morgan Maple has joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as a publicity assistant. Maple is a recent graduate of NYU's Summer Publishing Institute.

Book Trailer of the Day: The Universe Ate My Homework

The Universe Ate My Homework by David Zeltser, illustrated by Ayesha Lopez Rubio (Carolrhoda Books), a trailer voiced by NPR Radiolab host Robert Krulwich.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lawrence O'Donnell Jr., D.L. Hughley on Real Time with Bill Maher

The Real repeat: Chrissy Metz, author of This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062837875).

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Lawrence O'Donnell Jr., author of Deadly Force: A Police Shooting and My Family's Search for the Truth (Morrow, $16.99, 9780062870131).

Also on Real Time: D.L. Hughley, author of How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062698544).

This Weekend on Book TV: Onnesha Roychoudhuri on The Marginalized Majority

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, August 11
3:19 p.m. Vicki E. Alger, author of Failure: The Federal Miseducation of America's Children (Independent Institute, $24.95, 9781598132137). (Re-airs Sunday at 2:32 a.m.)

3:30 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.

6:30 p.m. Robert W. Poole Jr., author of Rethinking America's Highways: A 21st-Century Vision for Better Infrastructure (University of Chicago Press, $30, 9780226557571).

7 p.m. J.D. Dickey, author of Rising in Flames: Sherman's March and the Fight for a New Nation (Pegasus Books, $29.95, 9781681777573). (Re-airs Sunday at 10:50 a.m.)

8:20 p.m. Onnesha Roychoudhuri, author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America (Melville House, $16.99, 9781612196992), at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C.

9:20 p.m. Yeonmi Park, author of In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom (Penguin Books, $17, 9780143109747). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m.)

10 p.m. D.L. Hughley, co-author of How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062698544). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Michael Chertoff, author of Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age (Atlantic Monthly Press, $26, 9780802127938). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

Sunday, August 12
12:30 a.m. Coverage of a publication party for former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's book, The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President (Regnery, $28.99, 9781621578147). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.)

1:30 a.m. James Robenalt, author of Ballots and Bullets: Black Power Politics and Urban Guerrilla Warfare in 1968 Cleveland (Chicago Review Press, $27.99, 9780897337038), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

1:40 p.m. John Lingan, author of Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544932531), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

5 p.m. Walter Block, co-author of Space Capitalism: How Humans Will Colonize Planets, Moons, and Asteroids (Palgrave Macmillan, $34.99, 9783319746500). (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

8:39 p.m. Joshua Dunn, author of Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University (Oxford University Press, $31.95, 9780199863051).

10 p.m. George Gilder, author of Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy (Gateway Editions, $28.99, 9781621575764).

10:30 p.m. Nomi Prins, author of Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World (Nation Books, $28, 9781568585628), at Warwick's Books in San Diego, Calif.

11:37 p.m. Charles Sauer, author of Profit Motive: What Drives the Things We Do (SelectBooks, $22.95, 9781590794449).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 14:

Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault Newman (Gallery, $28, 9781982109707) is a memoir by a former Trump assistant--on TV and in the White House.

Burden: A Preacher, a Klansman, and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South by Courtney Hargrave (Convergent Books, $26, 9781984823335) tells the true story--soon to be a film--about a black minister who came to the aid of a former KKK member.

The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476776620) uses molecular biology and DNA to track a new evolutionary history of life.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Putnam, $26, 9780735219090) takes place in coastal North Carolina in 1969, where a loner called the Marsh Girl ends up at odds with the locals.

Cherry: A Novel by Nico Walker (Knopf, $26.95, 9780525520139) follows a college couple split by circumstance--one sent to the Army, the other home--later reunited by drugs and bank robbery.

The Sapphire Widow: A Novel by Dinah Jefferies (Crown, $26, 9780525576327) is set in 1935 Ceylon, where a British woman is widowed by her secretive businessman husband.

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell, illus. by Corinna Luyken (Dial Books, $17.99, 9780735230378) features a young girl who wants it known that her classmate does not have a horse, despite what he may say.

Rules of the Ruff by Heidi Lang (Amulet/Abrams, $16.99, 9781419731372) presents a middle-grade war between dogwalkers.

The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump by Ron Fein and John Bonifaz (Melville House, $16.99, 9781612197630).

Crazy Rich Asians, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, opens August 17. Constance Wu stars as a New Yorker who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family. A movie tie-in edition (Anchor, $16, 9780345803788) is available.

Juliet, Naked, based on the novel by Nick Hornby, opens August 17. Rose Byrne and Chris O'Dowd star as a couple both secretly enamored by a musician (Ethan Hawke).

The Wife, based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer, opens August 17. Glenn Close stars as the wife of a writer (Jonathan Pryce) traveling to Stockholm to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature. A movie tie-in edition (Scribner, $16, 9781982106362) 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:

The Lost Vintage: A Novel by Ann Mah (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062823311). "Reminiscent of Sweetbitter and The Nightingale, The Lost Vintage combines a coming-of-age romance with family and historical drama and a delicious tour of the wines and cheese of Burgundy, France. Switching between World War II and the present, Mah explores what can happen when families--and a nation--keep secrets and fail to acknowledge the tragedies of the past. Part modern mystery and part historical novel, this book will have you turning pages in anticipation of discovering secret passages, missing journals, or those lost bottles of 1939 Côte d'Or white Burgundy." --Ariel Jacobs, Solid State Books, Washington, D.C.

The Last Cruise: A Novel by Kate Christensen (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385536288). "The vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is taking her final voyage before retirement, joined by passengers Christine Thorne, a farmer from Maine invited onboard by her friend Valerie, a journalist who is writing a piece on the treatment of cruise employees; Mick Szabo, a Hungarian sous-chef who was supposed to be on vacation; and Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist who is part of a string quartet hired to entertain the passengers. When things start to go wrong, we learn a great deal about these characters in how they react to a disaster. Not to give anything away, but the ending will have you booking your next vacation by airplane, train, or car." --Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

The City of Brass: A Novel by S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager, $16.99, 9780062678119). "S.A. Chakraborty introduces a fantasy set in the Middle East that thrusts us into the magical world of Daevabad. The City of Brass follows, in parallel, Nahri, a con artist and naturally gifted healer, and Ali, prince of Daevabad and fiercely trained soldier. Nahri and Ali find themselves learning new lessons on how to survive changing environments and difficult challenges, while trying to figure out the complexities of their lives. I found myself turning page after page, following Nahri's and Ali's story while deciphering the fantastic terminology and the world that is Daevabad. The City of Brass is a wonderfully written, mystical adventure that keeps you guessing about what will happen next." --Barry Nelipowitz, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.

For Ages 4 to 8
How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere (Doubleday, $17.99, 9780525578055). "Take one poetic duck and one lovable lion and you have the makings of a perfectly charming, melt-your-heart read aloud. Leonard and Marianne are--against all odds and what others think--the best of friends in this instant classic that will stand the test of time. This book is a gentle yet empowering hug." --Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss (Margaret Ferguson Books, $16.99, 9780823440078). "A funny, heartwarming, and infinitely imaginative story about a friendless 12-year-old girl determined to ride across the country to befriend her hero, Polish bicycling champion Zbigniew Sienkiewicz. Along the way she meets ghosts, pie-makers, and crazy inventors; gets run over in a pig stampede; and accidentally launches a missile. And that's when she's not being chased by the mysterious woman in black. A fun, can't-miss summer read for everyone!" --Chris Abouzeid, Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass.

For Teen Readers
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (Sourcebooks Fire, $18.99, 9781492656623). "Furyborn is exactly the kind of ambitious, well-written YA high fantasy that I've been looking for. This novel is female-focused and driven, with girls who are strong, powerful, pissed off, damaged, unabashedly sexual, and in control. The writing is so beautiful, I found myself re-reading sentences simply for the pleasure of it. It's a story that is complex, compelling, and carefully crafted. Claire Legrand is a jewel. I can't wait for the next installment." --Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Silence of the Girls

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (Doubleday, $27.95 hardcover, 304p., 9780385544214, September 11, 2018)

The Iliad is the story of the Trojan War told by the victors, and by men. At long last, another perspective is offered, in Booker Prize-winner Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls. Briseis was queen of a city near Troy and, after it fell to the Greeks, she was given as prize of honor to Achilles. After Apollo compelled him to forfeit a concubine, Agamemnon took Briseis for his own. This indignity inspires Achilles's famous sulk, which begins the Iliad.
In the tradition of Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad, The Silence of the Girls is a much-needed retelling. Where men sing of honor and glory, women experience a different war. They are controlled by men: by their fathers and husbands, and then by their captors. Briseis is beautiful and royal; she hates her new status as concubine, but sees the far worse treatment of the "common women" who sleep under the Greeks' huts, with their dogs, and are used by any man who pleases. She is clever and gives nuanced portraits of many characters in the Greek encampment below Troy's walls. She is proud, angered by the indignities of slavery. One of the book's themes is the question of authorship: she knows that it is Achilles's story that the world will hear, but she searches for her own within narratives of men and war.
Strong, beautiful Achilles is cold, but stops short of cruelty. Gentle Patroclus eventually befriends Briseis. Ajax, Agamemnon, Odysseus and Nestor are profiled; but equally important are the other slave women. Briseis has friends, allies and antagonists among them, but always considers their struggles. For example, Ajax's concubine is one of several women who recommend pregnancy above all other strategies. Briseis does not love her captors. But one of her revelations involves how the Trojans will survive, in the end: the sons of the Greeks will remember the Trojan lullabies their captive mothers sang to them.
The Silence of the Girls, like the classic it's modeled on, is an epic. Briseis's uncertain situation brings tension and momentum. At just 300 pages, this novel feels much bigger than it is, but is never heavy. Even with the atrocities, violence and loss it portrays, the protagonist's thoughtful, compassionate point of view emphasizes humanity. It would be too much to say she weighs both sides of an issue evenly; she is loyal to her family and angry with her captors, but she also sees the tragedy in ranks of young Greek boys killed.
This mature, reflective narrative manages the cataloging of Homer's telling (how many tripods offered, how many bowls of wine mixed), but with a grace and an interest in individual people that is fresh and novel. Barker uses metaphor and animal imagery deftly. Her prose flows easily, like storytelling between friends. It's an absolute pleasure to read for any devoted fan of the Iliad, but equally accessible to those new to the Trojan story; indeed, The Silence of the Girls might make the perfect entry. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia
Shelf Talker: This retelling of the Trojan War by one of the women on the side of defeat is essential, and essentially human.

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