Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Quotation of the Day

'Books Play a Huge Role in Resistance'

"If nothing else, fiction has empowered a lot of people in the act of resistance. The Hate U Give, I know, has birthed several young activists and I'm so happy with that, I'm so proud these young people have decided to speak up and speak out on things that concern them....

"Rudine Sims Bishop [the author and educator] says that books are either mirrors, windows or sliding-glass doors, and that's important in the act of resistance. You need that mirror to see yourself, to know what you can be and know what you are. And then you need that window to see into someone else's life so you can understand what's happening around you in the world that you may not notice at first glance. And you need the sliding-glass door so that you can step into someone else's life and walk in with some empathy and use that empathy to make yourself heard. So yeah, I think books play a huge role in resistance. They play a huge role in opening people's eyes and they're a form of activism in their own right, in the fact that they do empower people and show others the lives of people who may not be like themselves."

--Author Angie Thomas, answering a question from "famous fan" Kit de Waal in an interview with the Guardian

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black


ALA: Youth Media Awards

More than 1,000 librarians, teachers and publishing professionals gathered in Seattle's Washington State Convention Center yesterday for the American Library Association's announcements of the 2018 Youth Media Awards. After opening remarks from Association of Library Service to Children president Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, ALA president Loida Garcia-Febo kicked off the celebration with the Asian/Pacific Librarians Association's Award for Literature. As announced last year, the APALA awards--as well as the American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature award and the Association of Jewish Libraries' (AJL) Sydney Taylor Book Award--are the newest additions to the Youth Media Awards program. Next was the Schneider Family Book Award, which honors an "author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences" and the Stonewall Book Award, which gave medals to two titles: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick Press) and Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callendar (Scholastic).

The Coretta Scott King Awards, which are celebrating their 50th anniversary under the slogan "50 years strong," bestowed the John Steptoe Awards for New Talent on Oge Mora (Thank You, Omu, Little, Brown) and Tiffany D. Jackson (Monday's Not Coming, HarperCollins); Ekua Holmes received the CSK for Illustration (The Stuff of Stars, Candlewick) and Claire Hatfield (A Few Red Drops, HMH) was chosen for the Author award. A bevy of Young Adult Library Services Association awards followed, culminating with the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, given to Elizabeth Acevedo for The Poet X (HarperCollins). The ALSC named Neil Gaiman to deliver next year's May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture and announced the late Walter Dean Myers as the Children's Literature Legacy Award recipient, to be accepted by his son, Christopher Myers. The oldest and most famous awards, the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the John Newbery Medal, were saved for last: Sophie Blackall received the Caldecott for Hello, Lighthouse (Little, Brown); and Meg Medina received the Newbery for Merci Suarez Changes Gears (Candlewick).

A full list of the awards and honor winners can be found here. --Siân Gaetano, children's YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

Booker Prize Foundation Seeking New Sponsor

The Booker Prize Foundation is looking for a new sponsor after Man Group, which has supported the award since 2002 and supported the Man Booker International Prize since its inception in 2005, decided to end its backing of the prizes. Man Group said it is focusing resources on the newly established "Paving the Way" campaign.

In a statement, the foundation said its trustees "are in discussion with a new sponsor and are confident that the new funding will be in place for 2020. In the meantime, the two prizes will run as usual this year."

Helena Kennedy, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, commented: "Man Group has been an excellent and very generous sponsor for nearly 18 years since 2002. With their support we have seen the prizes and our charitable activities flourish so that today the prizes can claim to be the most significant literary awards in the world. We would like to put on record the foundation's appreciation of Man Group's sponsorship. However, all good things must come to an end and we look forward to taking the prizes into the next phase with our new supporter."

Man Group CEO Luke Ellis told the Guardian that the Man Booker prizes "have meant a huge amount to all of us at Man Group.... We are truly honored to have been part of something so special and unique for nearly 18 years."

The Bookseller reported that "trade figures have suggested that the change of sponsor 'may open the possibility of rethinking the Booker Prize rules,' which controversially opened eligibility for the prize to U.S. authors in 2014."

Pan Macmillan publisher Jeremy Trevathan emphasized this point, observing that the change in sponsorship "does, inadvertently I'm sure, open the possibility of rethinking the Booker Prize rules. A new sponsor will no doubt be keen to have some sort of moment of maximum PR and I can't imagine anything that would create more positive column inches than a rethink now... both here and around the world."

Wi14: The ABA Town Hall

At the American Booksellers Association's Town Hall meeting last week during Winter Institute 14 in Albuquerque, N.Mex., topics of discussion included an update from the ABA's Diversity Committee (formerly Diversity Task Force), the shortage of key titles last holiday season, minimum wage and more.

Diversity Committee
Board president Robert Sindelar of Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Ravenna and Seward Park, Wash., opened the Town Hall meeting with the announcement that the ABA's Diversity Task Force, created two years ago after the Town Hall meeting at Winter Institute 12, would be renamed the Diversity Committee and become a "permanent part of our organization." Members of the Diversity Committee, meanwhile, gave several progress updates on their initiatives.

ABA Board members at Town Hall

Hannah Oliver Depp of Loyalty Bookstore (formerly Upshur Street Books) in Washington, D.C., reported that a mentorship program is in development, with ABA board member and Duende District Bookstore owner Angela Maria Spring leading. Lane Jacobson, owner of Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Ore., said the committee is working with Edelweiss to create a handful of filters pertaining to diversity to make it easier for booksellers to find diverse titles in catalogues. Denise Chávez, owner of Casa Camino Real Bookstore, Las Cruces, N.Mex., gave an update on the Refugee Book Drive. BrocheAroe Fabian, owner of River Dog Book Co. in Beaver Dam, Wis., encouraged booksellers to join the ABA Diversity Committee Facebook page, and Veronica Liu of Word Up Community Book Shop in New York City discussed the committee's efforts to find ways to help more diverse stores "join the fold."

Holiday Stock Shortages
After booksellers expressed frustration with shortages of several major Simon & Schuster titles last holiday season, a representative from S&S took the floor to respond. He said that printers had some widely publicized problems last year, which caused a "ripple effect" across the industry, and explained that S&S decided to focus on frontlist first, and when other titles "exceeded expectations," it took much longer than anticipated to reprint them. He acknowledged that "none of us want to lose sales," and said the company plans to "get ahead of it" for next year and, if and when shortages do happen, communicate better and more frequently. Sindelar, meanwhile, noted that the "silver lining" was that at least none of his competitors had the books either.

Alternative Business Models
BrocheAroe Fabian asked for the ABA's help in finding more non-traditional funding methods for booksellers looking to open a new store or buy an existing store, and for more ABA education sessions on those topics. She also wondered whether the ABA could help in forming some sort of philanthropy investment group for booksellers. Board member Chris Morrow of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., suggested that some of the bigger publishers could combine resources and help create some sort of bookstore loan fund. Sindelar noted that there were a few publishers who "really like [indies]" and "have that will," and Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Calif., pointed to some existing programs with publishers such those providing new store discounts. Christine Onorati, of WORD Bookstores in Jersey City, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y., said that indies need to raise their "unified voices" when dealing with publishers and show that "we do have power" in the publishing ecosystem.

Minimum Wage
On the subject of how booksellers can cope with the minimum wage rising in many states across the country, Sindelar noted that when this wave began about three or four years ago, the ABA did a good job of gathering and sharing information, but the organization could stand to do more idea sharing now. Other board members also emphasized the importance of using ABACUS data to explain to publishers what these cost increases are doing to their bottom line and, consequently, how they are adjusting their product mixes in store. Net pricing, which would remove the price from the covers of books, was floated as an option that could help, but an informal poll showed that not all booksellers were enthusiastic about it.

Competitor Discounts/Antitrust Advocacy
Janet Geddis of Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga., asked why Amazon is able to secure such low discounts from publishers when indie booksellers, who do a huge amount work that benefits publishers, such as the Indie Next List and other programs, don't get those same discounts. Board v-p/secretary Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C., pointed to advocacy work on the state and national level as the solution to make sure that antitrust and other laws can finally "catch up to where we are." Board member Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Mo., noted that the ABA was able to sue Barnes & Noble and Borders over essentially the same thing back in the 1990s, but the financial reality today more or less precluded the ABA from simply filing another lawsuit. Board member Kenny Brechner of Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, Maine, acknowledged that Amazon has managed to fly under the "antitrust radar" for a long time, and there was a lot of advocacy work to do.

Calls for More Programming/Further Action
There were calls for the ABA to expand programming and take further action on a number of subjects, including: adding queer and trans programming to Winter Institute and other bookseller events; giving more space to both genre fiction and children's books at national events like Winter Institute; providing childcare during Winter Institutes; working with publishers to improve the infrastructure for ordering foreign language books; working with publishers to make bookselling more sustainable and environmentally friendly; and creating a health insurance task force. --Alex Mutter

Amazon Crossing Kids Imprint Launching

Amazon Publishing has launched Amazon Crossing Kids, a new imprint for children's picture books in translation. "Building on the work" of Amazon Crossing and Amazon Publishing's Two Lions imprint, Amazon Crossing Kids "aims to increase the diversity of children's picture books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives," the company said.

PEN America Honoring Bob Woodward, Richard Robinson

Bob Woodward

PEN America is honoring author and journalist Bob Woodward with the Literary Service Award at its annual literary gala in New York City, hosted by John Oliver, on  May 21. The award is given to "a cultural luminary whose efforts help us understand and interpret the human condition in powerful and original ways."

Woodward was cited for the breadth of his work, ranging from "his coverage of the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's role in the ensuing cover-up, to, more recently, the 'remarkable feat of reporting' (New Yorker) of his examination of a chaotic presidency in Fear: Trump in the White House, which has sold nearly two million copies, Woodward has pioneered a form of political journalism that has achieved unmatched power in informing the public about the inner workings at the pinnacle of government. Across his 19 national nonfiction bestseller books (13 of which were #1 bestsellers), countless articles and work as an associate editor of the Washington Post, Woodward's intrepid reporting has moved citizens from across the political spectrum and around the globe to hold their leaders accountable and cast better informed votes."

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel commented: "Throughout his decades-long career and innumerable political bombshells that he has revealed, Bob Woodward's scrupulous reporting and meticulous sourcing have set the standard for dogged and objective reporting and gripping storytelling. His work has helped fortify American democracy for decades and reminds us of the potency of truth and the essential role of a free and fearless press at a time when these values are under attack in Washington and around the world."

Richard Robinson

PEN America has also named Scholastic chairman and CEO Richard Robinson as its annual Publisher Honoree. The organization said that "with Robinson at the helm for more than 40 years, Scholastic has informed the next generation and inspired them to be empathetic, engaged citizens. PEN America celebrates Richard Robinson for his unparalleled leadership of Scholastic. Whether through the high-quality children's literature the company publishes and distributes around the world, or the classroom magazines which present news and current events in an age-appropriate way to 15 million students each year, Scholastic tirelessly engages children's intellects, imaginations, and social consciences."

PEN America president Jennifer Egan observed: "At a time of sharp polarization and fragmented media consumption habits, Scholastic stands out as a beacon of credible, verified nonfiction and great books that are trusted and treasured by teachers, parents, and students around the world, and across race, ethnicity, and political persuasion. Richard Robinson has done a remarkable job of forging Scholastic's essential role as a lingua franca of American civic and literary education. By providing common ground through unforgettable stories and characters and balanced perspectives, he ratifies the power of the written word to transcend cultural divisions."

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Private Rites
by Julia Armfield
GLOW: Flatiron Books: Private Rites by Julia Armfield

In Private Rites, Julia Armfield (Our Wives Under the Sea; salt slow) offers an atmospheric meditation on sisterhood and loss at the end of the world. Living in a bleak, water-inundated city where the rain rarely stops, Isla, Irene, and Agnes are shocked at the abrupt death of their father, who has left his house to only one of them. As they grapple with his last manipulation, they must grapple, too, with what it means to have relationships with each other beyond his reach. As Flatiron Books executive editor Caroline Bleeke notes, Armfield's novel may be about "difficult things," yet it "manages to be so funny, so loving, so brilliant, and so beautifully, singularly written." Private Rites is a testament to the light that can be found in each other, even in the darkest of times. --Alice Martin

(Flatiron, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781250344311, December 3, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Happy 10th Birthday, [words] Bookstore!

Congratulations to [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, N.J., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The store initially planned a party on Sunday, January 20, but the storm that day led most of it to be rescheduled for this Saturday, February 2. [words] will offer a 10% discount, treats, balloons, buttons and other special games and give-aways. Through Saturday, the store is asking friends to sign its wall display and name their favorite books.

[words] commented: "We have thrived thanks to the tremendous and consistent support of Maplewood and our neighboring communities. Community is truly our watchword, and we have been pleased to offer a literary home for all ages at [words] Bookstore, and, in particular, to welcome individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. With the help of our customers and our dedicated and talented staff, our sales have grown significantly each year, enabling us to expand our events and community programming."

Cool Idea of the Day: Poetry Salon for Mary Oliver

On February 1, the Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., will host a Pop-Up Poetry Salon to celebrate the life and work of Mary Oliver, who died January 17. Oliver was a faculty member at nearby Bennington College from 1996 to 2001, and read from her newly published books several times at the bookshop.

"Attendees can read a poem of hers, speak about her influence, or, if the muse strikes, write their own elegy," the Northshire wrote, adding: "Mary Oliver said, 'Poetry wishes for a community.' And so we shall give it one she would enjoy." 

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephanie Land on Fresh Air

Morning Edition: Howard Schultz, author of From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America (Random House, $28, 9780525509448).

Fresh Air: Stephanie Land, author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (Hachette Books, $27, 9780316505116).

Pickler and Ben: Alli Koch, author of Florals by Hand: How to Draw and Design Modern Floral Projects (Paige Tate & Co.).

The View: Chris Christie, author Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics (Hachette Books, $28, 9780316421799).

Movies: Ask Dr. Ruth

Hulu purchased the theatrical and streaming rights to Dr. Ruth Westheimer's Ask Dr. Ruth ahead of the Sundance Film Festival, "pledging the widest theatrical release its ever attempted for a documentary," Variety reported. Directed by Ryan White (The Keepers), the project follows the 90-year-old sex therapist and bestselling author "who became a cultural icon."

Westheimer also revealed that she is writing a new edition of her 1995 handbook, Sex for Dummies, which will be focused on millennials.

"I will talk about loneliness, I will talk about the issue of the art of conversation, the issue of sexually transmitted diseases, all of those issues," she said, referring to questions that she gets asked the most. "And then they can open it, they don't have to read the whole page, just read that paragraph that I'm writing about."

Books & Authors

Awards: Minnesota Book Finalists

The 36 finalists in nine categories of the 2019 Minnesota Book Awards have been chosen and can be seen here. Winners will be announced April 6 at a ceremony in St. Paul.

Top Library Recommended Titles for February

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 February titles public library staff across the country love:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Celadon, $26.99, 9781250301697). "Led on a dark path, readers will quickly guess that there's more to Alicia's story than what meets the eye. But the big surprises lie in the deep betrayals and the shock of an ending. Dark, twisted, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Ruth Ware." --Amy Fellows, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray (Berkley, $26, 9781984802439). "A beautifully written novel told from the viewpoints of three sisters whose dysfunctional childhood has left deep wounds. Family also serves as a source of strength as the women face the damage done and try to heal. For readers who enjoy Tayari Jones and Jessmyn Ward." --Janine Walsh, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, N.Y.

Daughter of Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250137661). "Fans of Moloka'i and new readers will adore this interesting, heartfelt sequel. Taken from her parents as an infant, Ruth is adopted by a loving family who experiences more than their fair share of upheaval and heartache balanced with love and joy. Readers of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko may enjoy." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, N.Y.

Finding Dorothy: A Novel by Elizabeth Letts (Ballantine, $28, 9780525622109). "In examining the meeting between Judy Garland and Maud Baum, Letts weaves two narratives: Hollywood in 1938-39, and Baum's childhood and marriage to L. Frank Baum, author of the book that inspired the movie. A fascinating behind-the-scenes story for Oz fans." --Lauren McLaughlin, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, Conn.

The Girls at 17 Swann Street: A Novel by Yara Zgheib (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250202444). "A mesmerizing glimpse inside a rehab program for victims of anorexia. This fictional account of one young woman's life-saving journey is eye-opening with its descriptions and statistics. For readers who enjoy fiction about social and psychological issues, and books by Wally Lamb and Chris Bohjalian." --Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, Wis.

Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544808256). "An annotated yearbook is an interesting plot device, and Lipman populates it with likable characters that you can't help but root for and with 'villains' so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh at them. Perfectly paced, engagingly written, and fun. For fans of Adriana Trigiani." --Lorri Steinbacher, Ridgewood Public Library, Ridgewood, N.J.

The Huntress: A Novel by Kate Quinn (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062884343). "This is a novel I can happily recommend to patrons who like historical fiction. It excels in both plotting and character development. Nina Markova, a bomber pilot stranded behind enemy lines, becomes the target of a Nazi assassin. For fans of Jackdaws by Ken Follett and Up in Honey's Room by Elmore Leonard." --Maria Gruener, Watertown Regional Library, Watertown, S.D.

Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley (First Second, $19.99, 9781626728080). "This wonderful graphic novel is also the most honest, comprehensive, revealing, and helpful book on pregnancy, miscarriages, birth, breastfeeding, and everything in between that has ever been written. I wish I had had this book as I was leveled with morning sickness for nine months." --Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Neill Public Library, Pullman, Wash.

The Last Romantics: A Novel by Tara Conklin (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062358202). "A fresh look at family dynamics, this is the story of four siblings and their love for one another spanning their entire lives. For fans of The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeny and The Past by Tessa Hadley." --Jennifer Dayton, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, Conn.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (Bloomsbury, $32, 9781635570298). "Brilliant world building, multi-dimensional characters, magic, friendship, plots, secrets, romance, and battles between good and evil…. this book has it all. The best new fantasy I've read in years. I eagerly await the next installment. For fans of Naomi Novik." --Alexa Newman, Algonquin Area Public Library, Algonquin, Ill.

Book Review

Review: Savage Feast

Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (a Memoir with Recipes) by Boris Fishman (Harper, $27.99 hardcover, 368p., 9780062867896, February 26, 2019)

It starts with the bread: a dark sourdough rye called Borodinsky. Then tins of fish. Cucumbers. Meat stewed until it falls off the bone, its original shape mere suggestion. Cold vodka or a fiery shot of Metaxa.

These are some of the many flavors of Boris Fishman's life, which he shares in his vibrant Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes). "Some people don't leave home without umbrellas or condoms," Fishman writes, "mine, without food."

Fishman (Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo, A Replacement Life) often tackles Jewish identity and displacement in his fiction. In Savage Feast, he addresses his family's emigration from Soviet Belarus in the long shadow of the Holocaust. The decision to leave is a heavy one, plagued by the risk of being denied permission and branded "refuseniks." But in 1988, when Fishman is nine, the family makes it to the United States.

In the new country, comfort comes from the familiar--flavors in particular. The family remains tightly knit, spoiling only-child Fishman with bountiful food, love and expectations even once he's an adult. Imagining a visit for dinner, Fishman writes, "When I get in, my mother will hang off my neck, my father will kiss my cheek, and my grandfather will slap me high five in a playful bit of Americana that--other than his ability to sign his name in English and the dozen words he's learned to bargain with the Chinese fishmonger--is the only English he knows after twenty years."

It's easy to feel at home in Fishman's writing; it's warm, reflective and frequently funny. His relationships with his grandfather Arkady, and Arkady's Ukranian home aide Oksana, are particularly compelling. In one instance, when Oksana gets the flu, roles reverse and Fishman's grandfather cooks for her. Seeing Arkady for the first time behind the stove was, Fishman quips, "like seeing the pope at the batting cages." It is from Oksana that many of the book's recipes come, and some of its memorable wisdom, too: "When you need people to leave, serve them dessert."

There's food for times of heartbreak (which Fishman is prone to, given his habit of falling for married women), like Cabbage Vereniki (dumplings) with Wild Mushroom Gravy. There is also food for times of joy, like the petite Syrniki: "pucks of lightly browned farmer cheese studded with raisins and spiked with vanilla... good cold or hot, at midnight or noon." Food anchors the memoir, but the recipes are the proverbial icing on the cake. The real meat of this story is its characters and the love that binds them--even when they bicker, say the wrong thing or go months without speaking.

Even more than a story of hunger, this is a story of love. Love of family and companionship. Love of romance and lore. Love of garlic, fish and the feeling of finally learning to identify and satisfy the simple but crucial loves for which everyone hungers. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: This rich, memorable exploration of immigrant identity, culture clash and Soviet cuisine will linger long after the book has been closed or the last of the dishes within have been served.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Deal with the Devil by Meghan March
2. Securing Caite by Susan Stoker
3. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
4. The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries Box Set Collection I by H.Y. Hanna
5. One Chance, Fancy by Lani Lynn Vale
6. The Cowboy Is a Daddy by Mindy Neff
7. Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely
8. Roadkill by Cheryl Bradshaw
9. Hook by Chelle Bliss
10. We Shouldn't by Vi Keeland

[Many thanks to!]

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