Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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

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

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

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

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

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

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

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


Fear Goes on Sale Today

Today is pub day for Bob Woodward's Fear: Trump in the White House (Simon & Schuster). It's the latest book either by White House insiders or based on information from insiders to paint a bleak picture of the current administration--and the latest to be attacked on Twitter by President Trump, who called Fear a work of "fiction," among other charming comments. (The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay had the best tweet about the president's habit of drawing attention to books critical of him: "If the publishing industry doesn't name Donald Trump Bookseller of the Year, it's an outrage.")

KramerBooks in Washington, D.C., started selling Fear at midnight last night.

Woodward's book should stand out from others in the new genre because of his journalistic credentials and reputation for solid, detailed reporting--going back to the days of Watergate. Because of advance orders and intense interest, S&S has printed a million copies of Fear. The book is  also currently number one online in Canada, Germany and the U.K., and S&S has sold foreign rights in 16 countries.

Woodward has done several media appearances already. As CNN Money recounted, on the Late Show last night, Stephen Colbert asked him what it feels like to have the President of the United States call him an idiot and liar. Woodward responded that Trump "has his First Amendment rights and he can say anything, but the great editor at the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, during Watergate used to always say when there was a contest back and forth that 'the truth emerges,' and the truth will emerge on this, too."

On the Today Show, he said that people are "underestimating how serious all of this is.... I've never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what's going on."

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

Yours Truly, Brooklyn: Greenlight to Open Stationery Boutique

Greenlight Bookstore, which has two locations in Brooklyn, N.Y., is opening a stationery boutique next to its store on Fulton Street in Fort Greene. Called Yours Truly, Brooklyn, the boutique will be run separately from the bookstores and feature stationery, desk accessories, greeting cards and gift wrap as well as seasonal items and gifts. Construction on the store has begun, and it should have a soft opening in mid-October.

"We've seen how much our bookstore customers love stationery, but we haven't been able to expand our selection without taking space away from the books," co-owner Rebecca Fitting said. "Opening a stationery store next door is an elegant solution! We're excited to be able to offer more writing and desk accessories at Yours Truly, Brooklyn that will enhance and complement what's already on offer at Greenlight."

Fitting and co-owner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo have hired Mei Hyler as manager and buyer at Yours Truly, Brooklyn. Born in Fort Greene, she has had a 20-year career in retail, specializing in boutique sales and management in Brooklyn.

"As an avid collector and lover of stationery since childhood, I'm thrilled to be part of Yours Truly, Brooklyn as the culmination of my professional experience and personal passion," Hyler said. "As reading and writing have always gone hand in hand, the stationery store will complement Greenlight Bookstore and provide a much-needed service to our neighborhood."

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

Afriware Books Relocates, Expands

Afriware Books in Maywood, Ill., recently opened in a larger space in the Eisenhower Tower at 1701 S. 1st Ave., moving from a fifth floor suite to one on the fourth floor. In an e-mail announcing the new location, owner Nzingha Nommo described it as being "like a breath of fresh air," with three times more room and a beautiful view. "It was apparent that every nook and cranny had been used to capacity in Suite 503. We were outgrowing our space for inventory and needed to spread out so customers could see all our merchandise."

Store manager Deshanda Curtain-Rodney "was eyeing the space our accountant vacated recently and suggested that it would be a great location for Afriware Books. Turns out, our lease had to be renewed in August, which just happened to coincide with our official 25th anniversary date (August 15). The timing was ripe for movement and growth," Nommo said. 

Among the benefits of the expansion will be "an entire room/department for children" and "a Black Superheroes section for Black comics (independent artists, Marvel, DC, Image...)," Nommo wrote, noting that the bookstore also plans to add a subscription service, new children's programming and "much much more coming soon."

A grand reopening celebration is in the works. Nommo advised customers to "stay tuned for details. In the meantime, feel free to stop by and check out the new space, and take in the view.... Just like a breath of fresh air."

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Françoise Dubruille Stepping Down as EIBF Director

Françoise Dubruille, who has been director of the European and International Booksellers Federation since 2001, is stepping down from that position, effective April 18, 2019.

Françoise Dubruille

In an announcement from the EIBF, Dubruille said that she "very much enjoyed" her time with EIBF, but this is the right moment to move on and concentrate on other projects. "EIBF represents the longest and most important commitment in my career and I've had the huge privilege of working within a community of highly committed booksellers and representatives of booksellers associations," she continued. "I have learned so much from them and made many lifelong friends that I will definitely stay in touch with."

She gave special thanks to EIBF executive committee members, "led at various stages by Doris Stockmann, the late John McNamee and currently Jean-Luc Treutenaere and Fabian Paagman," as well as "international colleagues from outside of Europe and the constant support we have got from the U.S., Russia, Australia, to name but a few."

EIBF co-president Jean-Luc Treutenaere, president of the Syndicat des Distributeurs de Loisirs Culturels in France, said that Dubruille is "not only a perfect specialist in lobbying, but she has always been very close to her staff, and to the members of EIBF. Good work and good laughs at the same time. I have learned a lot from her and I will miss her, but I know that she will be beginning her new life with energy, plenty of projects."

EIBF co-president Fabian Paagman, owner of Paagman Boekhandels, the Hague, Netherlands, added: "Although we regret Françoise's decision to leave EIBF, we also have the greatest respect for this new chapter she wishes to write in the story of her professional career. Booksellers in Europe and throughout the international community will miss her dearly, but we are very thankful that Françoise will leave while the organisation is in great shape and has a bright future ahead."

When Dubruille departs in April, Julie Belgrado, the EIBF's EU affairs and communication officer, will become director ad interim for an unspecified amount of time. She commented: "Although I am very happy that [Françoise] is moving on to new challenges, I am also saddened to see an exceptional director leaving, a great colleague and most importantly, a friend. Taking over from Françoise and walking in her footsteps will be a challenge, which I am ready to take up. I thank the EIBF co-presidents for putting their trust in me and Françoise for believing in me since the very first day. I will do my best to bring continuity to EIBF, dedicate my time to its members and serve the booksellers' interests."

Memorial Service Set for Russell Freedman

A celebration of the life of Russell Freedman, the author of nonfiction books for young readers, who died March 16, will be held Thursday, October 11, at 5:30 p.m. at Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Ave. (at 54th St.) in New York City. Light refreshments will be served after the service. The event is open to all, but please RSVP here.

September Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for September was delivered to more than half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 132 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 503,538 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore (Graywolf Press).

For a sample of the September newsletter, see this one from Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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

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

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


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Inkyard Authors at Brookline Booksmith

Last Wednesday, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., hosted Inkyard Press authors Greg Katsoulis (his just-released book is Access Restricted) in conversation with Sasha Alsberg (Zenith: The Androma Saga).

Happy 40th Birthday, The Golden Notebook!

Congratulations to The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, N.Y., which is celebrating its 40th anniversary on Saturday, September 15, with an all-day party featuring sales and giveaways. The first 40 people in store will receive a free copy of Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook, which were donated to the store by HarperCollins, and from 3-5 p.m. there will be a party with birthday cake, balloons and the store's semi-annual sale.

In 1978, founders Ellen Shapiro and Barry Samuels named the store after Shapiro's favorite Doris Lessing novel. The two ran the store for the next 32 years, before deciding to retire in 2010. Although they initially had trouble finding a buyer, Jacqueline Kellachan and Paul McMenemy stepped in to buy the store just before it would have closed for good in September 2010. In 2015, James Conrad purchased half of the business along with the building that the Golden Notebook has inhabited since 1978.

Next year, Conrad and Kellachan plan to renovate the store in order to "enhance the experience of shopping and interacting with our many customers," as well as establish a scholarship for local students interested in pursuing careers in creative writing, literature and publishing.

Kate Weiss Joins Binc as Communication Coordinator

Kate Weiss has been named communication coordinator of the Binc Foundation. She was most recently events & marketing manager at Carmichael's Bookshop, Louisville, Ky., and earlier was assistant trade sales manager at Chelsea Green Publishing and was assistant manager, then general manager at Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, Pa. Working primarily from her home office in Louisville, she can be reached via e-mail or at 734-477-4226.

"With her industry knowledge, marketing, website, and social media experience, she will help to continue expand awareness of Binc," Pam French, Binc executive director, said. "And with 10-plus years working with books she has already hit the ground running and is helping make a difference."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bob Woodward on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501175510).

CBS This Morning: Suze Orman, author of Women & Money (Revised and Updated) (Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812987614).

Morning Joe: Lucia Kay McBath, author of Standing Our Ground: The Triumph of Faith Over Gun Violence: A Mother's Story (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501187780). She will also be on MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

CNBC's Power Lunch: Bethany McLean, author of Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World (Columbia Global Reports, $15.99, 9780999745441).

CNBC's Squawk Box: John Kerry, author of Every Day Is Extra (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501178955). He will also appear on Fox News's Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.

MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle: P.J. O'Rourke, author of None of My Business: P.J. Explains Money, Banking, Debt, Equity, Assets, Liabilities, and Why He's Not Rich and Neither Are You (Atlantic Monthly Press, $27, 9780802128485).

Movies: Jagger Joins Burnt Orange Heresy

Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger has joined Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki in director Giuseppe Capotondi's thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy, adapted by Scott B. Smith from the novel by Charles Willeford. Variety reported that Jagger will portray "an English art dealer-collector and patron of Jerome Debney, the reclusive J.D. Salinger of the art world."

Executive producers are Aeysha Walsh of MJZ and Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films. Producers are David Zander of MJZ, William Horberg of Wonderful Films and David Lancaster of Rumble Films. Production will start September 24 in Italy.

Books & Authors

Book Review

Review: Virgil Wander

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (Grove Press, $27 hardcover, 352p., 9780802128782, October 2, 2018)

Readers who enjoy tenderhearted stories seasoned with a dash of intrigue will find much to like in Virgil Wander, Leif Enger's (Peace Like a River) third novel. Populated with characters who range from lovable to sinister, it's a cinematic rendering of life in a small town that churns with complexity beneath its unexceptional surface.
By the shore of Lake Superior, the town of Greenstone, Minn., is home to the novel's eponymous narrator. Virgil's near-fatal automobile plunge into the lake is only the first of several events--including a death by giant sturgeon and a near electrocution caused by a wayward kite--that suddenly make life there seem unusually dangerous. For 10 years the town prospered from taconite mining, but now it's best known for disasters like a frog monsoon, thousands of them "raining down from a dense black cloud," and the fact that Bob Dylan, born in nearby Duluth, once suffered two flat tires there. Things have gotten so depressed that the town, "full of people who could make you sad just by strolling into view," decides to name its festival "Hard Luck Days."
Employed as the city clerk by day, Virgil also owns the failing Empress Theater, which boasts a cache of classic films stolen by a previous owner. That's not Greenstone's only connection to film, as it's now the residence of Alec Leer, a "scandalous filmmaker and malcontent" and the son of the town's founder, who has an uncanny habit of being in the vicinity when bad things happen to people who have crossed him.
As he recovers from his car accident, Virgil invites Rune Eliassen, a Norwegian maker of exotic kites in shapes like an anvil and an overstuffed armchair, to share his apartment above the Empress. Rune has left his home north of the Arctic Circle to visit the place where, unbeknownst to him until recently, he fathered a son almost half a century earlier. That offspring, Alec Sundstrom, is most famous for the perfect game he pitched for the minor league Duluth-Superior Dukes and for his disappearance a decade earlier in the small plane he was piloting.
While all this may make it sound as if there's a manic quality to Virgil Wander, that would be a false impression. Virgil is a patient, observant storyteller, qualities that extend even to his account of the discovery that a homegrown terrorist may be plotting a spectacular bombing in Greenstone. The novel's depiction of how broken souls can begin to mend, as Rune uses his kites to help Virgil heal and to bring himself closer to Alec's teenage son, Bjorn, and as Virgil and Nadine, Alec's widow, tentatively discover their mutual affection, is both thoughtful and moving. Greenstone may be a town shadowed by bad luck, but those who discover this gentle novel will consider themselves most fortunate. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer
Shelf Talker: Leif Enger's third novel is the warmhearted story of how some inhabitants of a depressed small town recover their zest for life.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Billionaire Unchallenged (The Billionaire's Obsession Book 13) by J.S. Scott
2. Love Online by Penelope Ward
3. Memento Mori by Lexi Blake
4. Crew (Crew Series Book 1) by Tijan
5. The Earl of London by Louise Bay
6. Dirty Rich Cinderella Story (Dirty Rich Book 2) by Lisa Renee Jones
7. Unknown Evil by David Archer
8. Fine in Lingerie by Penelope Sky
9. Her Cherry by Penelope Bloom
10. Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen

[Many thanks to!]

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