Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 20, 2018

Aladdin Paperbacks: The Islanders by Mary Alice Monroe and Angela May

Tordotcom: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

Mandala Publishing: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury and Insight Editions

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview: Join us for a virtual panel featuring your favorite authors and their editors!

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson

Liveright Publishing Corporation: Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Zest Books: When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin, Robert Garofalo, Zach Stafford, and Christina Garofalo

Quotation of the Day

'Good Things Happen in Bookstores'

"The local bookstore provides an irreplaceable service (so do libraries, but there is something special about owning and writing in books). Bookstores curate and support and get behind authors that would be otherwise lost in the noise -- particularly local or regional authors. There has been some worry about 'showrooming,' where customers discover books at retail shops but buy online. In reality, the relationship cuts both ways. I have an 'Amazon Wishlist' of books on my phone that I often pull up in bookstores when I am looking for something to buy right then and there.

"Bookstores also host events. Bookstores get kids hooked on reading with weekly story time. Ethnic bookstores provide community for refugees and immigrants; feminist bookstores are a launching pad for political activism; for over a century, Christian Science Reading Rooms have provided a quiet place for prayer and study. Porter's Square Books in Boston recently launched its own 'writer in residence' program. Recovery Cafe and Bookstore in Florida hosts meetings for recovering addicts.

"Great things begin in bookstores, and have for centuries. They serve, along with libraries, the function promised in an ancient inscription above the books belonging to King Ozymandias: 'A House of Healing for the Soul.'

"So here's to bookstores: A haven and a lighthouse guiding us beyond the catastrophes and discord of our daily lives."

--Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the WayEgo Is the Enemy and other books on Stoicism, in a column called "Good Things Happen in Bookstores" in

Harper: The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America by Matthew Pearl


Richmond, Va.'s Book People Celebrates Grand Reopening

Book People, Richmond, Va., held a grand reopening on Saturday to celebrate renovations made possible by donations from customers as well as to celebrate founder Ruth Erb, who is retiring, and new owner David Shuman, who has been manager of the store. Events on Saturday included story time and craft making for children, a literary scavenger hunt and refreshments.

Erb and Shuman (center r. and l.) with longtime employees Alex Huneke (l.) and Mary Lou Sheridan (r.)

"At first it was hard to watch my beloved shop get turned upside down during the renovations," said Erb, who founded Book People in 1980. "But I'm thrilled with the results. And I'm especially happy that David is carrying on my vision as a place where people who love books can share their passion."

Book People raised $14,000 through an Indiegogo campaign in January and received other assistance from local investors. Shuman commented: "We wanted to celebrate Richmond readers who came together and pitched in to keep this community resource alive. Their generosity ensured Book People will survive and even thrive as the anchor for Richmond's reading community."

Specializing in hard-to-find titles, Book People sells new and used books. With the renovation, it's added two new departments focusing on children's literature and science fiction and fantasy. Other work included upgrading lighting, shelving, floors and the point-of-sale system.

Bronzeville Books: Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

Amazon Picks Site for Cherry Creek Store in Denver

Amazon has chosen the site for its new book and electronics store in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood, which was initially announced last winter. Citing tenant finish permit applications submitted to the city, BusinessDen reported that Amazon Books will be located on the ground floor of Financial House, "an eight-story office building under construction at the northwest corner of 2nd Avenue and Detroit Street.... The company will occupy the building's sole retail unit, which is approximately 5,000 square feet."

As expected, Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. The company now has 16 Amazon Books locations nationwide and three in development, including another Colorado store planned for Park Meadows mall in Lone Tree, just south of Denver.  

KidsBuzz for the Week of 04.19.21

Fire & Fury Over Unhinged

The attempt by President Trump to block another book critical of him and his administration has been rebuked both by the publisher and a range of book and free speech groups.

The book is Omarosa Manigault-Newman's Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House, published by S&S's Gallery Books imprint last week. Manigault-Newman had worked on the Trump campaign and in the White House.

Citing a non-disclosure agreement between Trump campaign and Manigault-Newman, Charles J. Harder of Harder Mirell & Abrams, representing the Trump campaign, last Monday wrote to S&S and threatened "substantial monetary damages and punitive damages" against the author as well as "tortious interference with contract and inducement of breach of contract" against S&S.

S&S issued this statement in response: "Despite various legal claims and threats made by representatives of the Trump campaign, Gallery Books and Simon & Schuster are proceeding as planned with publication of Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault-Newman, confident that we are acting well within our rights and responsibilities as a publisher."

The Trump administration attack is reminiscent of its attack in January on Fire & Fury by Michael Wolff, which included a demand that Holt cease and desist publishing and issue an apology. On Friday, a coalition of groups led by the National Coalition Against Censorship, issued a statement supporting S&S. Noting the threats against Fire & Fury and the President's regular attacks on the media, the group said it stands "in solidarity against threats by the president and his administration that undermine our country's commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Efforts to restrict these freedoms are the hallmark of a totalitarian regime."

On Wednesday, Elizabeth A. McNamara of Davis Wright Tremaine, representing S&S, responded to Harder's letter, rejecting his arguments. (Interestingly, Harder wrote the Trump White House's threatening letter to Holt about Fire & Fury, while McNamara wrote Holt's response.) In the Unhinged response, McNamara wrote, in part, that although Harder charged there were "disparaging statements" in the book, "at no point do you claim that any specific statement in the book is false. Your client [President Trump] does not have a viable legal claim merely because unspecified truthful statements in the book may embarrass the President or his associates. At base, your letter is nothing more than an obvious attempt to silence legitimate criticism of the President. S&S will not be silenced by legal threats grounded in vague allusions to 'disparaging statements.' "

She also rejected Harder's claim that the book contained "confidential information," writing, "your letter also fails to specify any statements in the excerpts of the book that contain confidential information. Instead, you merely cite to four news articles published about the book. Yet, these articles do not contain any obvious confidential information."

She also noted that Harder's demand that S&S preserve all communications, documents and materials relating to the book also applies to the Trump campaign. "Should you pursue litigation against S&S, we are confident that documents related to the contents of the book in the possession of President Trump, his family members, his businesses, the Trump campaign, and his administration will prove particularly relevant to our defense."

As with the Fire & Fury controversy, the Trump attacks and threats seem to be acting as remarkably effective publicity. Unhinged is at or near the top of many bestseller lists.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Obituary Note: Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Feminist, activist and author Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, described by longtime partner Leslie Cagan as "living and breathing the dynamic movements of her time," died July 10, the New York Times reported. She was 72. Cagan said that Kaye/Kantrowitz, who "formed her surname by combining her Anglicized name at birth with her family's earlier name, which she reclaimed as an adult--helped shape new ways of thinking about Jewish identity as well as the intersections of race, class and gender, 'before folks used the term intersectionality.' "

Kaye/Kantrowitz's books include The Tribe of Dina (1989), an anthology of Jewish women's writings that she edited with Irena Klepfisz; The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism (2007); My Jewish Face and Other Stories (1990); and The Issue Is Power: Essays on Women, Jews, Violence and Resistance (1995).

In the early 1990s, Kaye/Kantrowitz became the first director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, an organization that defines its mission as 'to fight for systemic change and a just world." She later served on its board.

"Melanie believed in the core goodness of people," Cagan said. "She also deeply believed in the power of art, the power of the written word and the power of collective action."

University of Minnesota Press: Yang Warriors by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Billy Thao

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Starless Crown
by James Rollins

GLOW: Tor Books: The Starless Crown by James RollinsJames Rollins, known for his international thrillers, returns to fantasy in The Starless Crown, the lush and captivating first book in a planned series that is already garnering early-reader comparisons to J.R.R. Tolkien. In a realm of secret societies, mystic arts, epic beasts and nations on the verge of war, a young woman's apocalyptic premonition sends her and an unlikely band of companions on a dangerous journey to save the world. "[It has] action and suspense, inventive and deeply informed use of science and history, all driven by masterful plotting and a rich cast of characters drawn together in the face of doom," says Will Hinton, executive editor at Tor Books. "It feels original and classic at the same time, a thriller merged with an epic fantasy." Rollins has created an enthralling and complex new world that readers will delight in exploring. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor

(Tor Books, $27.99 hardcover, 9781250816771, January 4, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: The Next Generation

Page Edmunds, associate publisher at Workman, offered the inside scoop on the world of publishing to the summer crew at The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, N.Y. "This year's team of summer help was possibly the best ever. It's exciting and incredibly hopeful to see the bright, eager and hardworking young people wanting to work in the book business. I'm hoping they'll return for the holidays," said owner Francine Lucidon. "The really nice thing is that several of these employees used to be customers as young children!"

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Blush by Jamie Brenner

President Obama's Summer Reading

President Barack Obama shopped at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., in 2014 (photo by Pete Souza)

In contrast to the White House's latest threats against a publisher and author, former President Barack Obama yesterday posted on Facebook a summary of his reading this summer, which has included new novels and an old classic that together "reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth." His list:

Tara Westover's Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.

Set after WWII, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.

With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner's first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.

Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.

Help Wanted: Luxury Resort in Maldives Seeks Bookseller

"Wanted: barefoot bibliophile willing to punt Daniel Defoe to rich, modern-day Robinson Crusoes at a luxury desert island resort," the Guardian reported, noting that Philip Blackwell, scion of the bookstore chain family, is seeking a "Man Friday for possibly the world's most remote bookshop, based in the luxury eco resort of Soneva Fushi in the Maldives."

"The pay is derisory but the fringe benefits unparalleled," Blackwell said. "The role will evolve and it is in part up to you to make the most of this unique opportunity. It's a dream job for many people. If I was 25 again I would do it."

The successful applicant will be expected to sign up for a minimum of three months, during which time they must write "an entertaining and lively blog that captures the exhausting life of a desert island bookseller." They should have "a passion for books, the ability to engage guests of all ages," be able to entertain children with storytelling and host creative writing courses for guests.

"We want someone on the ground who is creative and inspiring and can maybe get more people to share the pleasure of reading, which is what people enjoy doing on holiday," Blackwell said.

The bookshop "is a new experiment for Blackwell, who gave up running the British bookshop chain that bears his name in 2006 after the family sold the business," the Guardian wrote. An extension of his Ultimate Library business, the resort shop was "set up almost accidentally while travelling the world after leaving Blackwell's. Finding it tricky to source suitable reading matter on his holidays, he came up with the idea of creating library collections for resort hotels. He now has more than 250 projects around the world, including more than 30 luxury hotels and resorts as well as a cruise ship, a Kenyan game reserve and a London private members' club."

Personnel Changes at Random House

Stacy Horowitz has joined Random House Publishing Group as partnerships manager, where she will aid in promoting "discoverability for our books and authors, pursuing awareness through partnerships with a wide-ranging variety of brands with like-minded audiences," the company said. She formerly was a senior publicist at Hay House and earlier was marketing/publicity manager and digital marketing associate at Open Road Integrated Media.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jimmy O. Yang on Conan

CBS This Morning: Anthony Salvanto, author of Where Did You Get This Number?: A Pollster's Guide to Making Sense of the World (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501174834).

Fresh Air: Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians (Anchor, $16, 9780345803788).

NPR's 1A: C.J. Chivers, author of The Fighters (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781451676648). He will also appear tomorrow on PBS's airing of BBC World News America.

Steve Harvey repeat: Roma Downey, author of Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us (Howard, $24.99, 9781501150937).

The View repeat: James R. Clapper, author of Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (Viking, $30, 9780525558644).

Conan: Jimmy O. Yang, author of How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents (Da Capo, $27, 9780306903496).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Jake Tapper, author of The Hellfire Club (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316472319).

Good Morning America: Jose Baez, co-author of Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez (Hachette, $27, 9781602866072).

Today Show: KJ Dell'Antonia, author of How to Be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute (Avery, $27, 9780735210479).

Last Call with Carson Daly repeat: Padma Lakshmi, author of Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir (Ecco, $17.99, 9780062868572).

Tonight Show repeat: Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone (Holt, $18.99, 9781250170972).

Books & Authors

Awards: Hugos; John W. Campbell; CBCA Children’s Book of the Year

The winners of the Hugo Awards and for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced by Worldcon 76 yesterday in San Jose, Calif., and can be seen here. Among the many winners:

Best Novel: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Best Novella: All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Tor)
Best Novelette: "The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, 9/17)
Best Short Story: "Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™" by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, 8/17)
Best Related Work: No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
Best Series: World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold (Harper Voyager; Spectrum Literary Agency)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Rebecca Roanhorse


Winners and honor books have been announced for the Children's Book Council of Australia's 2018 Children's Book of the Year Awards, "highlighting the extraordinary creativity and talent of Australia's children's authors and illustrators." Check out the complete list of winners here.

"This is our 72nd Book of the Year Awards and the high number of engaging, imaginative and inspiring stories that continue to be published for young Australians each year is very encouraging, particularly in an age where digital technologies compete for their time and attention," said Margot Hillel, chair of the CBCA national board. "Young people will always need well-crafted stories and information books to help them understand themselves and other people and navigate the world around them."

Book Review

Review: Boomer1

Boomer1 by Daniel Torday (St. Martin's Press, $27.99 hardcover, 352p., 9781250191793, September 18, 2018)

To some members of the millennial generation, whose formative experiences have included the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the economic hangover from the Great Recession of 2008-09, the relative ease with which their baby boomer parents have moved through life might seem especially galling. Feeding that resentment is the fact that many of those same boomers refuse to step out of the working world into retirement. That's the fuel to which Daniel Torday (The Last Flight of Poxl West) applies his satiric match in Boomer1.
Torday's novel follows two millennials--Mark Brumfeld and Cassie Black--one-time lovers and fellow bluegrass band members in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mark is a former editor at a glossy magazine in Midtown Manhattan, with a Ph.D. in English literature that has yet to land him an academic job, while Cassie works as a fact-checker for Us Weekly. After Cassie rejects his marriage proposal and with his economic prospects plummeting, Mark decides to move back to his family's home in suburban Baltimore, taking up residence in the basement.
Following an encounter on the basketball court with an entitled boomer, Mark takes on a new identity as "Boomer1" or "Isaac Abramson," the latter an allusion to the biblical narrative of the patriarch Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command. He soon begins to craft a series of "Boomer Missives" on YouTube, railing against the predecessor generation "who had what he wanted, who in their geologic later years had petrified until they were protecting all the natural resources." Mark's videos spark a movement of "Boomer Boomers," who support their ROWRY ("retire or we'll retire you") demand with increasingly brazen electronic guerrilla warfare.
The tension of Mark's return home plays out against the character of his mother, Julia, once a musician in the San Francisco of the 1960s, who's in the process of losing her hearing. Meanwhile, Cassie finds her career and life moving in the opposite direction. She gets a job as research director at a website called RazorWire, creating "native content," a cross between advertising and news, and finds a new lover.
A skilled satirist, Torday takes a premise rooted in the real world and, with only a modest bump, sets it spinning into chaos for his characters. Mark becomes dismayed as he visits chat rooms on the Dark Web and watches imitators don David Crosby masks and deliver impassioned manifestos in front of upside-down posters of Jerry Garcia. When this ragtag movement lurches toward violent confrontation, his consternation is matched only by his unrequited ardor for Cassie. Torday has his finger on the pulse of American society in the 21st century, and he smartly suggests that when it comes to relationships between the generations, the patient may not be in the best of health. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer
Shelf Talker: Daniel Torday tackles the issue of generational conflict in 21st-century America in a sharp satire.

KidsBuzz: FSG BYR: The Adventure Is Now by Jess Redman
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