Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Del Rey Books: The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson

Liveright Publishing Corporation: Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview: Pre-register now! Space is limited!

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

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Shark Summer by Ira Marcks

St. Martin's Press: Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love by Rebecca Frankel


Ingram Buying B&T?: Readers React

Readers of our story yesterday about Ingram's possible purchase of Baker & Taylor--in effect creating one national wholesaler--expressed concern and disapproval for a variety of reasons, including their own experiences as booksellers, examples of related businesses with few wholesaler options and on general principles.

Several B&T customers were particularly unhappy. "As the owner of a very small indie and a long-time customer of Baker & Taylor, I am opposed to Ingram's potential to become the only wholesale distributor," wrote Francine B. Tanguay of Annie's Book Stop in Wells, Maine. "It's not good for my business, for bookselling as a whole, and therefore not my customers. Annie's Book Stop depends on the fast turnaround for special orders which we get daily and is our one edge to keep Amazon at bay. After almost 34 years in bookselling, I think I know a little about the business and one wholesaler is not a good thing."

Another bookseller wrote: "What a nightmare this would be for my store. B&T is responsive to the little guys like me and offers some nice discounts. I've been waiting for two weeks to get an account set up with Ingram."

Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., added: "Should any of this come to pass, authors, publishers, booksellers and the reading public will be the losers. This kind of consolidation, just as with Amazon's hegemonic vertical integration, will imperil the biodiveristy of the industry even further."

Several readers pointed to problems in related businesses. One wrote: "I work at a comic shop. For those who may not know, there is one distributor in the U.S. (and most of the world) for periodical comics, and, in effect, many of the trade books. From our experience, it is a very, very bad thing to have one distributor with no competition."

Another complained about the effect of Follett's 2016 purchase of B&T on school libraries, which led to an "almost complete vertical integration of the entire operation and product in my school district. I always valued working with B&T, especially for certain high school subjects. Miss them. Cannot understand why that consolidation occurred."

Susan Weis-Bohlen, owner of Susan's Kitchen and Breathe Ayurveda and former owner of breathe books, Baltimore, Md., noted there are other options: wholesalers "Nataraj Books, Integral Yoga and New Leaf offer many health and wellness titles, hard-to-find esoteric books as well as some mainstream books too!"

Hiroshi Sogo, director of Books Kinokuniya, observed that there are also some implications from an international perspective, where these two companies have been highly active: "It is assumed that any major bookshop chains in OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries would be dealing with both companies, instead of either one. To see the two become one could be a good thing, provided the unified entity can increase their service levels and offer better terms and conditions, and also provided that their stock management in Tennessee and Momence, etc., can offer the state of the art capability of cascading indent orders from global customers seamlessly and really fast, etc.

"In addition, it could be a game changer in this industry if the united force could develop their joint might to face up against Amazon, although one would hasten to admit that to say that would happen may be a wild speculation and wishful thinking."

Citing American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher's comments that there have been very few instances in the history of the book trade where anything good happened when the competition in a sector de-intensified, Sogo added: "As an international book trade concern, we are inclined to suspect that something negative could befall on us if the merger & acquisition happens in a foreseeable future.

"It is also intriguing to see how Barnes & Noble will find their future in relation to this topic. As commonly known, the Barnes and the Folletts families were originally working together in Chicago before William Barnes moved to New York and tied up with G.C. Noble to set up the B&N business. In a way, it may be seen as a reunion of the parties after a hundred years or so."

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

Charles Gallagher New COO at Arcadia Publishing

At Arcadia Publishing, chief operating officer Paul Raffle is leaving the company and will be replaced by Charles Gallagher, said president and CEO David Steinberger in a letter to staff.

Raffle had agreed to stay on during the transition after Arcadia was sold earlier this year to Lezen Acquisition. "Paul has been true to his word, and over the past months has worked very hard and very effectively to position Arcadia for future growth and success," Steinberger noted. "I want to thank Paul, not only for his outstanding work during this recent transition, but most importantly for his countless contributions to Arcadia over his years with the company." Raffle will help on a part-time consulting basis as he explores other possibilities.

Gallagher, who has been consulting for Arcadia for six months, worked with Steinberger at Perseus Books Group, where he was COO, and earlier held executive roles at Virgin Media and at IBM. "His track record, expertise and experience building and managing businesses of scale make him an ideal fit as we take Arcadia to the next level of growth and performance," Steinberger wrote.

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

Former Bookseller Wins Blackwell's Book of the Year

Three years after working for the company's flagship bookstore, Daisy Johnson won the Blackwell's Book of the Year award for her Man Booker-shortlisted novel Everything Under (available in the U.S. from Graywolf). The Bookseller reported that Johnson worked in Blackwell's Oxford store in Broad Street from 2012 until 2015, when she landed a two-book deal with Cape which included a collection of short stories, Fen (2017).

The award was "voted for by all the company's shop and online booksellers from a shortlist of four category winners, with voting going 'overwhelmingly' in favor of Everything Under," the Bookseller noted. Now it will be heavily promoted by Blackwell's as a key title for the holidays and throughout 2019.

"I started working at Blackwell's when I moved to Oxford and it was the first place that felt like home in the city," Johnson said. "There is no better place. Their support for Everything Under really has blown me away and this win means everything."

Harriet Ware, the store's senior bookseller, said, "Daisy was here for a couple of years and was great, a really friendly bookseller, she loved her job. She worked Saturday, Sunday and Monday and she was our best weekender, very reliable and very happy. We knew she was writing on the side of her job, it was something she talked about. It's been wonderful to see her success this year, and see someone you know do so well. It's a really good book and it's really great to see her do so well. Often booksellers make good writers--they have wider knowledge of how books sell and what customers want." Ware added that the staff is looking forward to championing the novel over the next few months.

GLOW: Simon & Schuster: Smile: The Story of a Face by Sarah Ruhl

NCIBA Donates Trade Show Galleys to Calif. Wildfire Survivors

The show floor at NCIBA

For the second year in a row, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association has donated galleys and other printed material left over from its annual trade show to survivors of wildfires in Northern California.

Angela Cozad, who's been in the book business for 30 years and owns Real Books, a mobile bookstore based in Fairfield, managed the donations. Last year Cozad gathered four pallets of printed material and donated them to the Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, which then distributed the ARCs to schools and evacuation centers affected by the Tubbs Fire. This year Cozad gathered another four pallets or so of galleys and took them to evacuation centers and temporary schools in Butte County, to be given to survivors of the Camp Fire.

Cozad explained that the sheer amount of waste in the industry, especially at trade shows, has always been a pet peeve of hers, and that she eventually decided to do something about the leftover galleys. In years past, she would usually take them to places like prisons, hospitals, cancer centers or pediatric hospitals, and she would be careful to not "flood the market" with advance copies of major upcoming books, to avoid hurting local indies.

"I would love to see more trade shows find outlets for that," she said. "I think it's a win-win-win."

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

Obituary Note: Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay, "the master-showman magician, actor, scholar, special effects consultant and author who was called 'the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive' by writers for the most prestigious publications of his time," died November 24, the New York Times reported. He was 72. Jay "built his fame with what the New Yorker called an 'out-of-left-field brand of gonzo-hip comedy magic, a combination of chops and artistic irreverence.' His Off Broadway productions included Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, directed by [David] Mamet." He was also a familiar face to movie and TV audiences due to his approximately 40 acting roles.

Jay was the author of 11 books and a dedicated bibliophile. "Early on, I knew I didn't want to do the kind of magic other people were doing," he said in a New Yorker profile. "So I started buying old books" to research the history of the form.

Writing about Jay's last book, Matthias Buchinger: "The Greatest German Living" (2016), Charles McGrath offered this capsule description of him: "Master of a prose style that qualifies him as perhaps the last of the great 19th-century authors, he has written about oddities like cannonball catchers, poker-playing pigs, performing fleas and people who tame bees." Jay's other titles include Cards as Weapons (1977); Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women (1986); and Celebrations of Curious Characters (2011); and Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck (2002).

In a tribute to his friend, Mamet observed: "Like the Spartans, Ricky was perfect in obedience to his laws. I worked with him for 30 years, and he never revealed a secret. He leaves his beloved wife, a legion of admirers, and a small and utterly devoted group of friends. He never had a protégé, but most certainly some ne'er-do-well, perhaps yet unborn, will one day discover his writings and films and, through them, be admitted next in the chain of devotion to which Ricky dedicated his life."

Graywolf Press: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga


Image of the Day: Louise Penny Shines at Rainy Day

Author Louise Penny (l.) came from Montreal, Canada, for an event at Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan., this past weekend. She joined Rainy Day founder and president Vivien Jennings for a conversation about her new novel, Kingdom of the Blind: A Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mystery (Minotaur Books), at Unity Temple on the Plaza. Every one of the 600 attendees purchased at least one copy, and Penny autographed them all before the event. One hundred and fifty customers purchased a package that allowed them to meet the author and have their books personalized.

Spiegel & Grau: Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship by Catherine Raven

London Bookshop Featured in Visa U.K. Christmas Video

West End Lane Books in London's West Hampstead is featured with other indie retailers in Visa U.K.'s Christmas ad themed around the hashtag #KeepItLocalThisChristmas and featuring a unique interpretation of Mariah Carey's song "All I Want for Christmas Is You." The Bookseller reported that this "is Visa's first Christmas campaign in the U.K. in its 60-year history. Visa has also sponsored the Great British High Street Awards this year for the first time."

Visa noted that it "is switching the focus from what people are buying or who they are buying for--to where they are buying, encouraging shoppers to support their high streets and local communities this year."

Elf on the Bookshop Shelf: Bookery Manchester

Bookery Manchester in Manchester, N.H., posted a seasonal invitation on its Facebook page: "Follow us on Instagram to see daily updates throughout the holidays of our newest team member, Elf Scott Fitzgerald. Today he's cozying up with a London Fog (earl grey tea with steamed milk) sourced locally from The Cozy Tea Cart in Brookline, NH!"

Personnel Changes at Tom Doherty Associates

Stephanie Sirabian has joined Tom Doherty Associates as associate director of advertising, promotion, and trade operations. She previously held marketing and advertising roles at Grand Central over the past 10 years.

Jennifer McClelland-Smith has joined Tom Doherty Associates as marketing manager for Forge Books. She was previously marketing coordinator at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bernie Sanders on Colbert's Late Show

Today Show: Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Short Cuts to Happiness: Life-Changing Lessons from my Barber (The Experiment, $18.95, 9781615194872).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Senator Bernie Sanders, author of Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance (Thomas Dunne, $27.99, 9781250163264).

TV: Blade Runner-Black Lotus

Alcon Television Group is partnering with Adult Swim and Crunchyroll to produce and distribute Blade Runner-Black Lotus, a new anime series inspired by Blade Runner 2049, which was in turn inspired by the 1982 film Blade Runner, adapted from Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Variety reported. The series will consist of 13 half-hour episodes, and while details of the plot are being kept under wraps, "it is known that the story will take place in 2032 and will include some established characters from the Blade Runner universe."

"I first saw Blade Runner in 1982, at age 11," said Jason DeMarco, senior v-p and creative director of Adult Swim on-air. "It has remained one of the defining films of my life. To be able to explore more of this universe, with the incredible talent we have on board, is a dream come true."

The series will be produced by animation studio Sola Digital Arts. Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama will direct all episodes of the premiere season, with Shinichiro Watanabe, who wrote and directed the short anime film Blade Runner Black Out 2022, serving as creative producer.

Books & Authors

Awards: Saltire Book of the Year; Bad Sex in Fiction

Sue Black won the £6,000 (about $7,660) Saltire Book of the Year prize for All That Remains: A Life in Death, while Canongate picked up the prize for publisher of the year, the Bookseller reported. Black's nonfiction book was selected from the six category winners of the Saltire Society Literary Awards, which are supported by Creative Scotland and celebrate books and publishing in the country.

The judges described the book as "curiously uplifting and life-affirming," noting that "like all good memoirs" it "reveals as much about the reader as the writer." The winner of each individual book award receives £2,000 (about $2,555); publisher of the year gets £1,000 (about $1,275).

The judges also announced that Louise Welsh's The Cutting Room won a special prize, chosen by public vote, as "most inspiring Saltire first book award winner" to mark 30 years since the category was launched.


"Years after gaining notoriety for embellishing parts of his memoir A Million Little Pieces," James Frey "has a new notch in his bedpost" as winner of the 2018 Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his novel Katerina, the Guardian reported. The "honor" is presented annually by the Literary Review to "draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction."

The judges "said they had been swayed by several sex scenes in the novel, which include encounters in a car park and in the back of a taxi, but were especially convinced by an extended scene in a Paris bathroom between Jay and Katerina that features eight references to ejaculate," the Guardian noted.

"Frey prevailed against a strong all-male shortlist by virtue of the sheer number and length of dubious erotic passages in his book," the judges said. "The multiple scenes of sustained fantasy in Katerina could have won Frey the award many times over."

Frey responded: "I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award. Kudos to all my distinguished fellow finalists--you have all provided me with many hours of enjoyable reading over the last year."

Reading with... Nic Stone

photo: Nigel Livingstone

Atlanta native Nic Stone is the author of Dear Martin, which Booklist called "vivid and powerful." Odd One Out (Crown Books for Young Readers) is Stone's second novel and the book she wishes she'd had back when she was trying to figure out who it's okay to love.

You can find her fangirling over her husband and sons on Twitter and Instagram at @getnicced, or on her website,

On your nightstand now:

I'm moving house and always traveling, so the book that's been coming everywhere with me is Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. It's a collection of adult short stories that was longlisted for the National Book Award and is a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. Never in my life have I read a book that's SO relatable. I feel like it was written for me. It's hilarious and gasp-inducing, and definitely my favorite book of the year.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol. I have vivid memories of being in two different elementary school libraries and tearing through the collections of mini-mysteries--with solutions in the back!--like my life depended on it. Leroy was wicked smart and noticed the smallest things, and I wanted to be just like him.

Your top five authors:

Jason Reynolds, voice master; Matthew Quick, king of the existential crisis; Jodi Picoult, goddess of moral dilemmas; Jesmyn Ward, because Jesmyn Ward; and Toni Morrison, the O.G.

Book you've faked reading:

The Odyssey and The Iliad by Homer. In my defense, I was this little black girl in an all-white class, and I was kind of sick of alllllll these assigned reading books that didn't have me in them. Unlike some of the others I went back and read later (Fahrenheit 451, for instance), I haven't given these another go. *shrug*

Book you're an evangelist for:

Spinning by Tillie Walden. It's a graphic novel about a young girl who is simultaneously falling out of love with her childhood passion--figure skating--and in love with someone she doesn't expect. It is a real deal, perfectly drawn (pun intended) coming-of-age story, and everyone on earth needs to read it right now.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather. I haven't read it yet, but the beautiful, overtly-not-skinny-minny black girl in gray scale combined with the pops of color from the illustrated vine leapt off the shelf and into my arms at Barnes & Noble in Charlotte, North Carolina, one stormy Thursday in July.

Book you hid from your parents:

Some Danielle Steel something or other I stole from my mom. Which, looking back, probably means there was no point in hiding it, since I'm sure she realized it was missing. Lots of throbbing members in that one.

Book that changed your life:

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. What's wild is that this book is about five entitled white sisters living in this white microcosmic middle-of-nowhere town who, over the course of a year, all die by suicide--so the furthest thing from my personal experience in concept. BUT. Up until that point, I'd never encountered a book that had characters I could relate to. Luz specifically was bae. I own multiple editions.

Favorite line from a book:

"We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices." --Lord Henry Wotton, from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Five books you'll never part with:

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, my "so black kids can sound like black kids in books?!" book; Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, my introduction to the power of the absurd in YA; The Color Purple by Alice Walker--Shug Avery is my muse; The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, see answer above about life change; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, the book when ish got REAL.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson. Maaaan this book.... The experience of reading through to the end and making the discovery of the Thing... I would love to have that experience again. So much emotion! (**deliberately vague response**)

Book I wish I'd written:

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. The fact that Ms. Woodson spans like 20 years--in-depth!--in fewer than 200 pages?! This is a skill I'd like to develop.

Book Review

YA Review: The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (Wednesday Books/Macmillan, $18.99 hardcover, 400p., ages 12-up, 9781250144546, January 15, 2019)

It is believed that God scattered pieces of the destroyed Tower of Babel across the world. Where each Babel shard landed, civilizations sprouted. In 1889, a number of aristocratic Houses (together known as the Order of Babel) are sworn to "safeguard the location of their Babel Fragment," a source of "Forging" power: the "power of creation" that allows people with an innate magical ability to reform and remake mind and matter. The French section of the Order of Babel once had four houses that protected (and used) the power of a Fragment that had been "brought back" (that is, stolen) "from the Holy Lands." Then, "one House fell. And another House's line died without an heir. Now all that is left is a secret."

Such is the world of Roshani Chokshi's (The Star-Touched Queen) The Gilded Wolves. Wealthy beyond measure and white, the Matriarch of House Kore, one of the two remaining Houses, has a special distaste for Hypnos, the young "mongrel heir of House Nyx." The son of a Martiniquan mother and French father, Hypnos became Patriarch through patrilineal succession. Half-French, half-Algerian Séverin and his best friend, Tristan, were raised alongside Hypnos--Séverin should be the Patriarch of the third house, House Vanth, but it is an open secret that the Matriarch of House Kore denied Séverin his inheritance because the Order felt that "[t]wo heirs of mixed blood would not do." After Séverin turned 16, he liquidated his legal trust and built an extremely successful hotel and cabaret. L'Eden is a front for Séverin's real life work: to get back every House Vanth item that was taken from him, including the House itself. He and a band of other teens on the fringes of society work together to pull off Mission Impossible-level stunts to regain pieces of Séverin's inheritance.

On this team are Tristan, who has the ability to Forge fantastic landscape art and whom Séverin has sworn since childhood to protect; Laila, a cabaret star from India with the ability to read objects' histories; Enrique, a half-Filipino, half-Spanish historian without the ability to Forge; and Zofia, a Polish-Jewish Forging engineer. The third-person narrative slips easily among the teens' perspectives, granting the reader inside views of their loving, tangled lives: Séverin and Laila each seek something greater than themselves while also desiring each other, Enrique wants status and also wants both Zofia and Hypnos; Zofia wants to help her family, and to understand other people. When Hypnos suggests to Séverin a scheme that will allow him to claim his full inheritance, Séverin accepts, even though the deal involves stealing an item of such power that his loved ones--and the world--will be in great danger.

The Gilded Wolves sets up a fantastical great heist with a series of clues and problems the well-developed, diverse group of teens must decipher. Chokshi's world is lush and her characters distinct and engaging--this first in a new series is as sharp and lustrous as the title suggests. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: First in a series, Roshani Chokshi's The Gilded Wolves features a young adult The Da Vinci Code-like setup in a lush, fantastical, late-19th century Paris.

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