Also published on this date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley


For Sale: Sparta Books in N.J.

Donna and Bill Fell, who have owned Sparta Books, Sparta, N.J., for 12 years, are planning to retire and "are hoping someone will pick up where they are leaving off," Tap into Sparta reported, adding that Donna Fell "is prepared to assure the next owners are successful too, offering to stay on to help make a smooth transition."

"The intent is for the bookstore to carry on its 50-plus-year legacy," she said. "We are not rushing to sell. If it goes quickly, great. If it takes two years, that's fine too."

Bill Fell agreed: "This is not a fire sale. All things in good time."

While Sparta Books "caters to all levels and interests," the shop offers many programs and events for young readers, as well as boys and girls book clubs, Lego night, children's reading nights and a Where's Waldo summer program. In addition, the bookshop sells a variety of gift items from local vendors and local artists.

Serious inquiries can be made to Donna Fell at 973-809-8165.

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

Colorado's Book Cellar Closing

The Book Cellar, the new and used bookstore in Louisville, Colo., is closing on April 16, the Daily Camera reported. Owner Barbara Butterworth is retiring and plans to spend more time with her family. A catalyst for the closing was the sale of the store's building, she said.

Butterworth founded the store in 2003 as a rare book store. When a basement flood destroyed much of her inventory, she began offering more new books. With the expansion of Amazon, she added gifts, art supplies and toys for children.

"What really helped us was that the community here really wanted a book store," Butterworth told the paper. "So they supported us--our customers are the reason we're still here--they supported us through thick and thin, through a period where I wasn't sure if we would make it."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

B&N Opens Prototype Store in Rochester Hills, Mich.

Barnes & Noble is opening a prototype bookstore today at the Village of Rochester Hills shopping center in Rochester Hills, Mich., the Detroit Free Press reported.

The 14,000-square-foot store--B&N's 10th "bookstore of the future"--is about half the size of chain's traditional retail footprint and features a brighter interior with more face-out book displays, lower bookshelves and a wide range of sidelines merchandise.

"The store looks a little different; not your typical Barnes & Noble," said Frank Morabito, v-p of stores for B&N. "From the lighting to the paint color to the flooring, we really wanted to create a bookstore with a more contemporary feel."

The city still has a traditional B&N store on Rochester Road, which will remain open.

 "This is a really strong market for us, so we are excited to have the opportunity to support it with two stores," Morabito added. "We think it's going to add convenience to customers who live on this side of town."

Binc Names DPI Scholarship Winner

Kate Kenney

Kate Kenney of Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo. has been awarded a scholarship to attend the Denver Publishing Institute this summer. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and DPI, launched the new scholarship opportunity in January for current booksellers interested in exploring a career in the publishing side of the industry. It includes tuition, room and board, and up to $2,000 to cover travel and lost wages.

Kenney earned an MFA in creative writing from Western Washington University and previously worked as a bookseller at Copperfield's Books and Brookline Booksmith before joining Boulder Bookstore as a frontline bookseller.

"I'm so grateful for this opportunity," Kenney said. "Having been a bookseller at independent bookstores across the country, it's a dream come true to be able to learn more about the book industry with DPI's prestigious program. Binc is an incredible foundation that provides booksellers with opportunities that wouldn't be possible without their assistance. I also wouldn't have this opportunity without the incredible support from Boulder Bookstore and its entire staff specifically Arsen Kashkashian and Dylan Nealis. They truly believe in their staff and are a shining example of remarkable leadership and kindness."

DPI director Jill Smith commented: "We are delighted to welcome Kate Kenney to the program. As a bookseller, her observations of the magical power of books to change lives for the better make her an excellent candidate for the Denver Publishing Institute. We can't wait to see her publishing career unfold as she helps to bring to life more of these powerful, magical stories for readers everywhere."

"We would like to give a special thanks to our partners at Sourcebooks and the Denver Publishing Institute for working with us at Binc to put together this inaugural scholarship opportunity to attend DPI," said executive director Pam French.

Obituary Note: Brian MacArthur

British writer Brian MacArthur, "one of the longest serving journalists in Fleet Street," died March 24, the Bookseller reported. He was 79. The founding editor of former national newspaper Today and the Times Higher Education Supplement, MacArthur more recently edited material about books for the Times and the Telegraph. As an author, his books include Deadline Sunday; Surviving the Sword; and For King and Country. He edited The Penguin Book of Modern Speeches.

MacArthur "was at the center of the Hitler Diaries scandal of 1983, in which the Sunday Times serialized what emerged to be elaborate faked diaries of the Führer," the Bookseller noted. He left the newspaper shortly after the scandal, "which saw circulation rise," to be editor of the Western Morning News.

Two years later, he became the founding editor of Today with a mission "to adopt the computer technology that would break the stranglehold of the print unions, enable color printing and revolutionize Fleet Street,” the Times wrote. Although he departed Today in 1987, his experience there inspired his book Eddy Shah: Today and the Newspaper Revolution.

MacArthur's final stint at the Times began in 1991 when he was brought back to oversee travel and books. "Paper Round," his weekly column on media matters, ran for 18 years. His last job was as the books editor of the Daily Telegraph from 2006 to 2010.


Image of the Day: Benke at Book Passage

Book Passage in Corte Madera, Calif., hosted Karen Benke (Rip ALL the Pages! 52 Tear Out Adventures for Creative Writers, Roost Books). Pictured (l.-r.): head children's book buyer Susan Kunhardt; Benke; writer Zack Ruskin; Book Passage staff Kayla Beckman and Julie Carlucci; and (front) literary pal Raz!
(Photo: Evan Angle)

Happy 10th Birthday, Boswell Book Company!

Congratulations to Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. "The pundits said there would be no bookstores--or even books!--by 2014," owner Daniel Goldin told the Shepherd Express, which reported that nevertheless he "managed to convince his lenders and his landlord that his was a good business strategy: make Boswell a destination for events, including readings by local and traveling authors, and participants will return to the store to shop. Next step: develop a deeper selection than even the biggest big box store, composed of back catalog titles and academic press publications for an inventory that goes well beyond any bestseller list."

Noting that staff has been a crucial factor in the bookstore's success, the Shepherd Express wrote that three employees have been with Goldin from the beginning--Jason Kennedy, Conrad Silverberg and Amie Mechler-Hickson. All, like Goldin, were also veterans of the former Harry W. Schwartz bookshops. Anne McMahon worked at the now-defunct Book Nook chain.

"What keeps us going is the relationship we have with our customers," Goldin said. "Really, there's no reason to buy anything from us. Even most of our greeting cards are available online.... Bookselling has always been a niche. We'll be around as long as people want us."

Cool Idea of the Day: Dudley's Gives 1% for the Planet

Dudley's Bookshop Café, Bend, Ore., has joined 1% for the Planet and is now donating 1% of its annual gross sales to local environmental nonprofits approved by the organization, a worldwide nonprofit with headquarters in Burlington, Vt.

"As booksellers, our mission is not only to provide entertainment but to educate," said Dudley's owner Tom Beans. "Aside from extensive fiction titles, we feature books about the outdoors, adventure and exploration, and the natural sciences. These books reflect the interests of both our residents and visitors to Bend, one of the Pacific Northwest's premiere outdoor destinations. So, aligning our mission with 1% for the Planet seems a natural fit. I'm sure that our customers will be pleased to know that 1% of their purchases will go towards conserving and protecting our local environment, which we all really value."

"We're excited to welcome Dudley's Bookshop Café to our global network," said Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet. "Currently, only 3% of total philanthropy goes to the environment and only 5% of that comes from businesses--which is not enough to solve the most pressing issues facing our planet. Our growing network of member businesses, like Dudley's, is doing its valuable part to increase giving and support on-the-ground outcomes."

Dudley's donations will support nine local nonprofits certified by the 1% for the Planet organization: the Central Oregon Environmental Center, the Coalition for the Deschutes, the Conservation Alliance, the Deschutes Land Trust, the Deschutes River Conservancy, the High Desert Museum, the Oregon Blue Project, the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.

Storefront Window: Watermark Books

Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan., is gearing up for IBD19 with great storefront window art. On Facebook, Watermark posted: "Can you believe it's already been 5 years since the birth of Independent Bookstore Day?! This year's fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day is sure to be a blast, with a special storytime, a booze truck, and tons of fun exclusives. Mark your calendars and join us on SATURDAY, APRIL 27TH!!"

Personnel Changes at Abrams; Sourcebooks

Mark Harrington has joined Abrams in the newly created role of executive director, national accounts, and will manage the Barnes & Noble, B&N College, and Ingram businesses as well as oversee national accounts overall. He was formerly at Hachette, where he was the senior national accounts manager selling to B&N for Little, Brown, Hachette, and distribution clients, including Marvel.


Ashlyn Keil has been promoted to marketing associate, children's and YA, at Sourcebooks.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: George Papadopoulos on Live with Katy Tur

MSNBC's Live with Katy Tur: George Papadopoulos, author of Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump (Diversion Books, $28.99, 9781635764932).

TV: In Search of Lost Time

French filmmaker Guillaume Gallienne (Me, Myself and Mum) is adapting Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time into a TV series. Deadline reported that Gallienne has teamed with Federation Entertainment's Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan, who will exec produce La Recherche with Cinéfrance Studios' Julien Deris and David Gauquié. The companies are planning three seasons of eight episodes. Gallienne will create, direct and co-produce the series with "a team of writers from the world of drama and literature."

"Should we live every minute as if it were the first or last of our life. Is beauty what we live, or the stories our memories create? Give me 24 hours and I'll give you an answer," he said. "Not mine, but that of Marcel Proust, in the most beautiful saga ever written, Remembrance of Things Past. As much as to lift Proust's work out of its personal museum as to make it my own, I have chosen to set Remembrance in the 1970's-90's. This was a period where time was not accelerated. Telephones were still attached to cords, aristocrats still had servants and my grandmother was still alive. These years were our yesterdays, and if for some they were considered as Post-war, for us they were already our Pre-war."

Breton added: "Few projects demonstrate ambition--not to mention audacity--quite like Galienne's Proust. His flair for creative adventure is essential for renewing the genre in France, and Guillaume is clearly one of our most talented writers."

Books & Authors

Awards: Walt Whitman; Jane Grigson Trust

Leah Naomi Green has won the 2019 Walt Whitman Award for her manuscript, The More Extravagant Feast, which will be published by Graywolf Press in April 2020.

Besides publication of her poetry, Green receives a six-week all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, as well as $5,000, and the Academy of American Poets will purchase and send thousands of copies of the book to its members and feature her on and in American Poets magazine.

Judge Li-Young Lee said the manuscript for The More Extravagant Feast "keeps faithful company with the world and earns its name. The darkness and suffering of living on earth are assumed in this work, woven throughout the fabric of its lineated perceptions and insights, and yet it is ultimately informed by the deep logic of compassion (is there a deeper human logic?) and enacts the wisdom of desire and fecundity reconciled with knowledge of death and boundedness. These poems remind us that when language is used to mediate between a soul's inner contents and the outer world's over-abundance of being and competing meanings, it's possible to both transcend the nihilism of word games, thereby discovering a more meaningful destiny for language, as well as reveal the body of splendor which is Existence."

Green received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and is the author of The Ones We Have, which received the 2012 Flying Trout Chapbook Prize. She is associate editor of Shenandoah, and her poems have appeared in Tin House, The Southern Review, Ecotone, and Pleiades. She teaches at Washington and Lee University.


Elly McCausland and Dan Saladino were named co-winners of the £2,000 (about $2,640) Jane Grigson Trust Award, "marking the first time the judges have decided to award the prize to two shortlisted authors," the Bookseller reported. The prize was created in memory of the British food writer to recognize a debut author of a book about food or drink that has been commissioned, but not yet published.

McCausland won for The Botanical Kitchen, which chair of judges Geraldene Holt called "a very well-researched book taking a refreshing view of cooking with seeds and spices, leaves and flowers of familiar and also little-known ingredients. She brings these flavors into focus in a totally delicious way."

Saladino shared the honors for his book The Ark of Taste, which Holt said "examines the quiet tragedy of endangered foods. He asks important questions about how and why this is happening and inspires us to act. His book is an eloquent cry for action."

Selina Periampillai was named runner-up for The Island Kitchen.

Holt added that the "field of applications was the strongest we've yet received, with an amazingly wide variety of subjects and treatments, and the decision of who should be the final winner was incredibly difficult to make. The judges have therefore decided that, with such talented entrants, the award should be made to two authors who between them exemplify the best of modern food writing."

Reading with... Ali Liebegott

photo: Jen Rosenstein

Ali Liebegott is the recipient of a Peabody Award, two Lambda Literary Awards and a Ferro-Grumley Award. She has read and performed her work throughout the United States and Canada with the queer literary tour Sister Spit. In 2010, she took a train trip across the country to interview poets for a project called The Heart Has Many Doors. She lives in Los Angeles and writes for TV. She is the author of The Beautifully Worthless, The IHOP Papers, Cha-Ching! and The Summer of Dead Birds (Amethyst Editions/Feminist Press, March 12, 2019).

On your nightstand now:

The Poems of Anna Akhmatova. I was introduced to this book in college by my professor and poet Deborah Digges. I recently went back to it craving the stark melancholy lines of a poem entitled, "The Last Toast": "I drink to our ruined house."

Favorite book when you were a child:

I don't remember having a favorite, but I really got into the sagas of the sisters in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. I love when someone has to sell their hair to save the family!

Your top five authors:

James Baldwin is an author that I go back to again and again. Not only do I love his novels, but his essays. Another Country is one of my favorite books of all time. I've read it several times and also listened to it on audiobook. I'm stunned by his talent, his ability to write his characters so deeply from so many perspectives. And I'm also stunned by how his writing still seems ahead of his time, decades after he wrote it!

Anne Carson opened my mind to what a different kind of form poetry and essays could take. I own every book she has ever written--my favorites being her modern epic Autobiography of Red and Plainwater.

Rainer Maria Rilke is in many ways my spiritual guide. His Duino Elegies is a book I return to again and again. When looking for God, I go looking for Rilke.

Emily Dickinson was someone I came to later in life. In high school I was too dumb to get what she was doing and just thought she was some rhyming clown. In my late 20s I rediscovered her and fell in love with her through her poem "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain."

Patricia Highsmith is a new favorite author. I think her writing is masterful and I loved The Price of Salt.

Book you've faked reading:

In high school I faked reading all my books!

Book you're an evangelist for:

Mostly books by friends that are on smaller presses or no longer in print. Some favorites: WillieWorld by Maggie Dubris, Eating Chinese Food Naked by Mei Ng, How to Get into the Twin Palms by Karolina Waclawiak, Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens.

Book you hid from your parents:

A book of lesbian poetry I bought before I came out. This is hilarious to me now! I can't even remember the author. They weren't even sex poems. They were just nature poems written by a lesbian. Hahahahahaha.

Favorite line from a book:

"Dear anyone who finds this. Do not blame the drugs." --Cruddy, Lynda Barry

Five books you'll never part with:

Maggie Nelson's Bluets, The Collected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Joe Brainard's I Remember, Randall Kenan's Let the Dead Bury Their Dead and The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson.

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

The Stranger by Albert Camus. I remember buying this book right before I got on the subway and I was so absorbed I missed my stop. I read straight for two hours completely absorbed on a subway in NYC.

Book Review

YA Review: With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen, $17.99 hardcover, 400p., ages 13-up, 9780062662835, May 7, 2019)

It's the first day of school again, and Emoni Santiago tells her young daughter Emma, more commonly called Babygirl, "make sure you're nice to the other kids and... you learn a lot, okay?" Then 'Buela, Emoni's grandmother, reminds Emoni, "you have a good first day of school. Be nice to the other kids. Learn a lot." Emoni is a high school senior who got pregnant with Emma her freshman year. 'Buela has raised them both--after her mother died, Emoni's father returned to Puerto Rico, leaving her in Philadelphia with his mother; Babygirl's father, too, tends toward missing, reappearing for every-other-weekend visits with his daughter. Despite challenging circumstances, Emoni and Babygirl are thriving in their loving three-generation household: Emoni has managed to stay in school and has a homeroom teacher who really cares; she's got a part-time job to help supplement 'Buela's disability checks; and her BFF Angelica is unconditionally supportive. She's also got "magical hands when it comes to cooking." Her "innate need to tell a story through food" helps her create "straight bottled goodness that warms you up and makes you feel better about your life."

This school year, Schomburg Charter is offering a new elective: "Culinary Arts: Spain Immersion"--which includes a weeklong trip to Spain during spring break. Emoni can dream, but she knows the class would be an impractical choice. However, BFF Angelica's insistence that "if you can't try something new now, when can you?" convinces her to enroll. No one doubts Emoni can cook, but what Chef Ayden has to teach her is more than just making delicious meals: "'Cooking is about respect... for the food... your space... your colleagues... your diners. The chef who ignores one of those is not a chef at all.'" His demands feel so initially stifling that Emoni temporarily quits. She realizes soon enough though, that going back is something she needs to do for herself. Besides, new boy Malachi, who she insists is not even a friend, is in the same class and proving tough to resist. Amidst school, work and parenting, Emoni will need to figure out how to balance what she must do, with what she wants to do.

Elizabeth Acevedo, who won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature with her debut novel-in-verse, The Poet X, turns to prose for her sophomore effort. Her writing remains undeniably insightful and breathtakingly lyrical, though at 400 pages, With the Fire on High lacks the spare sharpness of X. While her characters occasionally seem predictable--teenage mother, deadbeat father, sacrificing grandmother, mean boss, ideal love interest--the positives here win. Acevedo's treatment of teenage pregnancy is fresh and honest, 'Buela gets a secret life of her own, Emoni's solutions are especially creative, deadbeat dads can surprise you, teachers and mentors always matter. Emoni's delicious recipes are tempting treats, as well. With such distinctive ingredients combined with Acevedo's already established sizable audience, this Fire on High should undoubtedly prove to be a sizzling success. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: National Book Award winner Acevedo's sophomore title features a tenacious teen mother determined to follow her culinary dreams.

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