Also published on this date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Hollow Kingdom

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 6, 2019

William Morrow & Company: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne

Quotation of the Day

Local Bookshops: 'A Window to that Community'

"Throughout our 50 years we've encountered so many wonderful people: other booksellers, writers, publishers and our customers. Almost universally, we are united by the drive to make the world a better place through the dissemination of ideas, and to make it more enjoyable and stimulating through the wonderful stories we write, publish and sell. Whenever I travel, one of the places I always seek is the local bookshop, because I know it will be a window to that community....

"As Readings turns 50 and I reflect on its history and my career, I do feel a touch of pride; I do feel that my colleagues and I have made a difference to our town through our nurturing of writers with events and prizes, through inspiring our customers, and through our philanthropy, working with the most disadvantaged in our community. We are, indeed, Melbourne's own since 1969. As I near the end of my career, I wonder what will happen to Readings as my son Joe and his colleagues develop their vision for the future of Readings, and I hope it will be one of caring, innovation and fun."

--Mark Rubbo, managing director of Australia's Readings bookshops in Melbourne, reflecting on the company's golden anniversary

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland


Books & Brews Adds Noblesville, Ind., Franchise

Books & Brews is adding another franchise to its growing roster of locations in Indiana. Stephen and Jordan Fox will own and operate the new store, which anticipates opening at 13230 Harrel Parkway, Suite 100, in Noblesville within the next few months.

In 2014, the couple had visited the newly opened mothership Books & Brews in Indianapolis, fell in love with the concept and became regular customers.

"At that time, Jason [Wuerfel, CEO of Books & Brews] was usually the only one working so we became fast pals," said Jordan Fox, adding that she and her husband "have numerous years between us in the food and beverage industry, but are so excited to leap into the world of owning and managing our own store!"

Wuerfel commented: "We couldn't be more thrilled to add Stephen and Jordan to the Books & Brews team. Their new store is set up for success in a great location, and with their passion and drive, we look forward to seeing them grow it into a community gathering space for all in Noblesville."

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Iconoclast Books & Gifts Seeks More Community Support

Iconoclast Books & Gifts, which relocated two years ago from Ketchum to Hailey, Idaho, sent a heartfelt message to the community yesterday saying the bookshop's future is not guaranteed without increased local support.

In a letter "to my valley" posted on Facebook, owner Sarah Hedrick wrote: "I wanted to be your local bookseller until I was that weird doddering old lady giving books to your kids. And their kids. (Oh, I am already one of those to some of you!) But I think it's time to say, 'A Lady always knows when it's time to say goodbye.' (Thank you, Nana & Petrea Mara, and forgive me for the misquote.)

"But we can't go on like this. All of these fb memories keep popping up from two years ago. A time full of so many hopes, ideas, and dreams for re-locating in Hailey--where we all live--to not be dependent on the season and tourists. Erroneously I thought we would kill it as a place for kids' birthday parties, books and all kinds of other gifts, in a town without a bookstore, without tourism entirely driving our business. How could we fail with this many people?... Apparently, I misjudged things.

"We have ended up worse than we were in Ketchum, despite my expenses being significantly less than Ketchum in terms of rent, overhead, employees, etc. I never intended for the 3-year lease, with options, to not be continuous, given all that I invested, but unless I can turn this around with your support, we'll be done. Sorry folks, that's the fact and it breaks my heart. I love bookselling almost as much as I love my 4 kids and I don't want to leave this book world. Any ideas, please forward!"

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

Amazon Australia Pressured to Add Permanent Jobs

Amazon plans to create 500 permanent jobs in its Australian fulfillment centers after criticism about the "insecure casual employment of its labor hire workers," the Sydney Morning Herald reported, noting that an investigation last year "revealed how casual workers employed through third-party labor hire firm Adecco at the company's Melbourne center felt under unsustainable pressure to meet performance targets or risk losing their jobs packing orders for customers."

Six months after opening its second fulfillment center in Sydney, Amazon said it would be creating the permanent jobs, beginning at its Dandenong South facility in Victoria. Amazon employs about 1,500 people in Australia.

Robert Bruce, director of operations at Amazon Australia, said the company "will be transitioning the majority of the associates to full time permanent employees with competitive pay and benefits, as we have done in other places where we operate around the world."

National Union of Workers secretary Tim Kennedy said Amazon's announcement "comes after consistent pressure for secure jobs from the NUW and public scrutiny since they opened their doors in 2017.... A secure permanent job will change people's lives, our members at Amazon have told us it's their most important issue. Our expectation is that the company will sit down with the NUW and workers to discuss a timeline and roll out of these secure jobs."

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Obituary Note: Charles 'Chuck' S. Hutchinson Jr.

Charles "Chuck" S. Hutchinson Jr., longtime publisher and the 2009 recipient of PubWest's Jack D. Rittenhouse Award, died on March 3.

Hutchinson published books in the life, physical, and earth sciences; physical education; agriculture; home economics; gemology, architecture; environmen­tal design; and statistics. He held positions at Geoscience Press, Harbinger House, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Ross Publishing Co., Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Reinhold Book Corporation, and Burgess Publishing Company.

PubWest noted that "two of his most notable publishing programs have been in collaboration with series editors: the Community Development/Environmental Design Series with series editor Richard. P. Dober, Belmont, Massachusetts (45 books published); and the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series with series editor Dr. R.W. Fairbridge, Columbia University (16 volumes published)."

At the time Hutchinson received the Rittenhouse Award, PubWest's then president Todd Berger said that Hutchinson's "wide-ranging, 50-year career as a regional sales manager, editor-in-chief, founder of two publishing companies, and publishing consultant fits perfectly with the spirit of the award."


Image of the Day: Celebrating Dexter Gordon

Mills College in Oakland, Calif., hosted a celebration of Dexter Gordon's life and artistry last week. The event included a discussion with Maxine Gordon, wife, jazz scholar and author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon (University of California Press), along with journalist Belva Davis, historian and correspondent Ricki Stevensen, and composer and bassist Marcus Shelby.

Video: New Dominion Bookshop 'Continues to Thrive'

WVPT's program Charlottesville Inside Out showcased New Dominion Bookshop and interviewed owner Julia Kudravetz about the bookshop's history as well as its current mission.

Marketing and communications director Sarah Crossland told us: "The spotlight (about the first 10-12 minutes of the program) features a history of our almost 100-year-old shop, interviews with indie bookstore lovers, a feature of our young adult open mic reading series (Friday Night Writes), a brief interview with local artist Uzo Njoku (whose African-inspired art was featured in our gallery last September), and an interview with our owner and manager, who makes a really great case for the resurgence of indie bookshops."

B&N's March Book Club Pick: The Island of Sea Women

Barnes & Noble has chosen The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (Scribner) as its March national book club selection. The book will be the focus of a book club night at B&N stores around the country on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m.

B&N described the book as "an unforgettable story of female friendship and family secrets that cuts across decades while also introducing readers to the fierce female divers of South Korea's Jeju Island."

B&N's book club edition of The Island of Sea Women includes an essay by See and a reading group guide. For more information on the event, click here.

Personnel Changes at Hachette Audio; Little, Brown

At Hachette Audio:

Kim Sayle is being promoted to v-p, associate publisher.

Elece Green is being promoted to producer.

Nita Basu is being promoted to assistant manager, marketing & publicity.


Julie Guacci is promoted to marketing & publicity associate at Little, Brown.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Janice Dean on the View

The View: Janice Dean, author of Mostly Sunny: How I Learned to Keep Smiling Through the Rainiest Days (Harper, $26.99, 9780062877574).

TV: Game of Thrones Season 8 Trailer

HBO has released the official full trailer for Game of Thrones season 8. "Among many other things, the trailer gives a first look at the show's massive battle that lasts an entire episode and is expected to be the longest consecutive action sequence in cinema history," Entertainment Weekly reported.

The trailer also "teases... a frantic Arya running from unseen pursuers ('I know death, he's got many faces, I look forward to seeing this one'), and then later demonstrating a whirlwind of fighting moves. There's also a smug Cersei at the Red Keep, Sansa reacting to Dany's dragons, a confirmation that Jaime Lannister joins the Winterfell battle ('I promised to fight for the living, I intend to keep that promise'), Jon and Dany walking purposefully toward waiting dragons, and much more," EW noted. GOT returns to HBO April 14.

Books & Authors

Awards: RBC Taylor Winner; PEN/Faulkner Fiction Finalists

Kate Harris won the C$25,000 (about US$18,750) RBC Taylor Prize, which honors the best in Canadian literary nonfiction, for her book Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road. As winner, Harris will select the next recipient of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award, which is given to an up-and-coming Canadian writer who will receive C$10,000 (about US$7,500) and the opportunity to be mentored by Harris.

In its citation, the jury said: "From her vantage point of a student of the history of science, explorer and adventurer, Kate Harris presents a rare and unique vision of world, and explores the nature of boundaries. Unable to realize her childhood dream of traveling to Mars, she decides to trace Marco Polo's Silk Road by bicycle. Vivid descriptions of the places and people she meets inspire deep and eclectic reflections on the nature of the world, wilderness, and the struggle of humans to define and limit them. This is a book that changes how one thinks about the world and the human compulsion to define it."


Finalists for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction are:

Blanche McCrary Boyd for Tomb of the Unknown Racist (Counterpoint)
Richard Powers for The Overstory (Norton)
Ivelisse Rodriguez for Love War Stories (Feminist Press New York)
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi for Call Me Zebra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Willy Vlautin for Don't Skip Out on Me (Harper Perennial).

"This year's finalists are proof that we are living in an age in which tremendous, significant stories are being told by a multiplicity of unique voices," said PEN/Faulkner executive director Gwydion Suilebhan. "We are honored to be able to call attention toward such profound, thrilling artistry.'

The winner, who receives $15,000, will be announced April 29. The remaining finalists each receive an honorarium of $5,000. All five authors will be honored May 4 during the PEN/Faulkner Award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Reading with... Andrés Cerpa

Andrés Cerpa is the author of the poetry collection Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy (Alice James Books, January 15, 2019). A recipient of fellowships from the McDowell Colony and Canto Mundo, his work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poem-A-Day, the Kenyon Review, the Rumpus, Frontier Poetry, West Branch, Foundry Journal, Wildness and elsewhere.

On your nightstand now:

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao and Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times, selected poems of Bashō, translated by David Young.

In different ways these books pay attention to the world and are able to articulate that attention with precision. In so many of Rao's sentences I find myself on the other side of a trap door, surprised, fearful and in awe of the world I've been given.

Favorite book when you were a child:

My parents bought me a set of abridged classics for children. The set was wonderful, I had access to these grand and beautiful stories. I particularly loved my small A Tale of Two Cities.

Your top five authors:

Larry Levis
Franz Wright
James Wright
Elizabeth Bishop
Jack Gilbert

Book you've faked reading:

To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm sorry.

Book you're an evangelist for:

domina Un/blued by Ruth Ellen Kocher! I simply have never read a book like it. Kocher is absolutely brilliant, the depths of history and feeling that exist in those pages, and the language she forms to hold them, is remarkable and important. 

Book you've bought for the cover:

The End by Fernanda Torres and Lighthead by Terrance Hayes.

Book you hid from your parents:

My own.

Book that changed your life:

The Selected Larry Levis. My first poetry teacher, Jeanne Murray Walker, gave me the book as a gift during my senior year of college. Since, Levis's work has nourished me in myriad ways. Not only was I astonished by the expansive imagination in the poems, I was, and continue to be, fascinated by Levis's development from book to book. I continually study his trajectory in an effort to move myself forward as a writer, poem by poem, book by book.

Favorite line from a book:

I'm going to cheat a bit on this question. My favorite lines are from the dedication page of East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which is addressed to his friend Pascal "Pat" Covici:

"Well, here's your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts--the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation. And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you. And still, the box is not full."

Five books you'll never part with:

Walking to Martha's Vineyard by Franz Wright. After my father died this was the book I turned to. I am eternally grateful for its presence in my life.

The Selected Larry Levis.

The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos. I read this on my grandparents' hammock in Puerto Rico. I remember thinking, there is so much life in this book, it holds a world.

Geography III by Elizabeth Bishop. Bishop builds a book that is at once absolutely clear and deeply mysterious in its construction.

Moments of the Italian Summer by James Wright. This book gives me hope for the future and fills me with gratitude.

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

Shall We Gather at the River by James Wright.

The most important books you teach:

These are the works that blow my college students away and have fed their writing and thinking in wonderful ways.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, Virgin by Analicia Sotelo, We the Animals by Justin Torres, Look by Solmaz Sharif.

Book Review

Children's Review: Operatic

Operatic by Kyo Maclear, illus. by Byron Eggenschwiler (Groundwood/House of Anansi, $19.95 hardcover, 160p., ages 10-14, 9781554989720, April 2, 2019)

Mr. K is one of those remarkable teachers who is memorable for what he's not: "He doesn't act like it's his job to shape [students] into considerate and well-behaved individuals who'll fit harmoniously with the rest of society." His final assignment for his middle-school music class is the "Soundtrack of My Life Presentation," in which each student must "choose a song for this moment in your life and write about it." He warns, "No attitude. You know, the snobbery that says certain types of music are for certain types of people." Of course, the kids try to argue: "But, Mr. K, people always judge people by the music they like. It's, like, mandatory." Mr. K won't succumb to such generalizations: he enables and enlightens his musical explorers by exposing them to artists as diverse as Patti Smith and A-Ha, and genres as different as bluegrass and punk rock.

For Charlotte Noguchi, aka Charlie, Mr. K's lessons become a catalyst for deep self-reflection. Learning about "Emo" makes her recall her friend Luka, and why he's been missing from school for two weeks. Opera takes her by utter surprise: "It's enough to make me forget everything around me." Her immersive reaction leads her to choose Maria Callas for her "Soundtrack" assignment. Her extensive research about Callas's difficult life beyond her fame encourages Charlie to "[refuse] to be small or ignored" and to admit she wants "to do big things" in her life.

Award-winning Canadian author Kyo Maclear has created stupendous picture books that introduce younger readers to legendary icons in imaginative settings: Virginia Wolf; Julia, Child; The Liszts; and, most recently, Bloom, about designer Elsa Schiaparalli. In Operatic, Maclear turns to the graphic novel format to speak to an older, middle-school audience. Her collaboration with Canadian artist Byron Eggenschwiler (Coyote Tales) is a spectacular, cleverly intertwined, three-part hybrid narrative comprised of Charlie's coming-of-age, Luka's poignant backstory and compelling Callas biography. For each of the stories, Eggenschwiler assigns distinguishing hues--yellow for Charlie, blue for Luka and red for Callas. The colors overlap when stories momentarily converge: Luka's blue desk in Mr. K's golden classroom, red tendrils of Callas's singing flowing from Mr. K's bronze record as he introduces opera.

Eggenschwiler's art, not unlike the story, is wonderfully unpredictable: sometimes the action remains well-ordered in tightly organized panels, other times, the illustrations cascade off the page, especially when emotions can't--and shouldn't--be contained. He shows Charlie being literally swept up by Callas's voice, as the swirling, flowery flow of her music lifts Charlie above and away from her classroom desk and chair. As Charlie attempts nonchalantly to downplay the overwhelming throes of her first crush, Eggenschwiler adds a riotous explosion of magical textures and shapes bursting from behind Charlie's sneaker in the wake of the would-be lovers' stroll à deux. Combining enchanting art, mellifluous music and just the right words, Maclear and Eggenschwiler provide a marvelous composition guaranteed to resonate. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Operatic is a resonating graphic novel for middle-school audiences celebrating the sometimes surprising "Soundtracks of Our Lives."

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