Shelf Awareness for Monday, April 22, 2019

Workman Publishing: Overthinking about You: Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Have Anxiety, Ocd, And/Or Depression by Allison Raskin

Wednesday Books: Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Harper: Aurora by David Koepp

Gibbs Smith: Life Is Golden: What I've Learned from the World's Most Adventurous Dogs by Andrew Muse

Bloomsbury Publishing: Catch the Sparrow: A Search for a Sister and the Truth of Her Murder by Rachel Rear

Zest Books (Tm): How to Be a Difficult Bitch: Claim Your Power, Ditch the Haters, and Feel Good Doing It by Halley Bondy, Mary C. Fernandez, Sharon Lynn Pruitt-Young, and Zara Hanawalt

Scholastic Press: It's the End of the World and I'm in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds


Fla.'s Writers Block Bookstore Moving This Fall

Writer's Block Bookstore, Winter Park, Fla., is moving "a few blocks" to the Orlando suburb's main street, Park Avenue, which the store describes as "a dining and cultural gem [boasting] boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and museums, all in the shadow of oak-canopied Central Park." The new location is expected to open in September. Writer's Block Bookstore was founded in 2014.

"Our books will be surrounded by intimate spaces, sprawled out in an open environment perfect for events," owner Lauren Zimmerman said. "We are hiring award winning interior designers that will come together to design special spaces, such as an interactive tree house that will showcase picture books with a playhouse inside, lighting and ceiling design that will separate and highlight the collections. My plan is to create a state-of-the-art bookstore that is inviting and warm and easy to navigate. We have a covered outdoor patio where customers can enjoy a book, have a glass of wine or tea, window benches carved inside bookcases along the walls, and a wine and coffee bar. I am so excited about our plans where we will finally be able to have great events, more exposure, inviting spaces that our community and tourists will love and come back again and again."

The new location is at 320 N. Park Avenue, Winter Park, Fla. 32789.

Berkley Books: Harlem Sunset (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) by Nekesa Afia

Virginia Beach B&N Closing for Renovations

The Barnes & Noble at the Town Center in Virginia Beach, Va., is closing for renovation this Sunday, April 28, and will reopen in the late fall, according to Southside Daily.

B&N v-p of stores Frank Morabito said the company is renovating the store "to bring the community a redesigned store featuring a more curated book presentation to improve discovery, as well as new looks for our children's section and café."

The redesigned store, based on prototypes, will feature "a contemporary design" that includes lower-profile bookshelves to give customers a full view of the store for easy navigation. In addition, the redesigned children's section will have space for activities and crafts, and the store will also have an event space for author visits and other events.

ECW Press: Play It Right: The Remarkable Story of a Gambler Who Beat the Odds on Wall Street by Kamal Gupta

The Mueller Report: 'A Page Turner'

Released in edited form only last Thursday, The Mueller Report has engendered all kinds of responses, many from people who haven't read it. One person who has read it is Suzy Staubach, who retired in 2015 after a long career as a bookseller and manager at the UConn Co-op Bookstore in Storrs, Conn. Here she offers a review of The Mueller Report, as well a review of the Attorney General's "book report."

On display at Harvard Book Store.

I have just finished reading The Mueller Report and, my old bookseller genes awoken, urge everyone to read it. The writing is sharp and clear. The report is filled with drama and direct quotes. There are unexpected heroes. There is terrible darkness and depravity. Mystery. The legal explanations do not require training to understand. It is indeed a page turner. Once you start to read it, you won't want to put it down.

I came away with a much deeper understanding of what Robert Mueller found than what is evident from even the excellent reporting in the New York Times or Washington Post. You will, too. It is very alarming, but these are things we need to know.

William Barr told us none of this. He totally misrepresented Mueller's work, legal thinking, and findings. You will see this immediately on page one of volume one and in great detail toward the conclusion of volume two. Barr is not a trustworthy guide. I give his book report an F.

Mueller and his team spent two years on the report. What a gift to historians in the future. Reading it, I understood that the way he wrote it, the clarity, is also a gift to us, all of us.

So dear friends, read it for yourselves.

Once we have all read it, we need to figure out what to do.

University of California Press: When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973, with a New Preface by Leslie J. Reagan

PRH Launches Reader Rewards Loyalty Program

In an expansion of what it offers readers directly, Penguin Random House has begun a loyalty program that rewards readers who purchase PRH books in print, electronic, and audio formats, allowing them to collect points for purchases made online and in stores and redeem them for free books.

Readers Rewards Program members accumulate points in an account they create with PRH, earning 10 points for each book purchased. For each 120 points, they receive a code to redeem a free PRH book, up to a $30 value, on The majority of the PRH catalogue is eligible for points, with some format exclusions. In addition to earning points, reader rewards members will also receive customized book recommendations based on PRH's editorial expertise combined with its proprietary AI platform, via e-mail and through the member's account dashboard.

Sanyu Dillon, PRH executive v-p and director, marketing strategy & consumer engagement, explained the program's rationale: "Penguin Random House Consumer Insights research shows that today's consumer expects to be rewarded by the brands they purchase from frequently, and this program delivers an initial step toward building deeper, more meaningful relationships with readers."

In the next phase of the program, PRH intends to hold "a series of special events in collaboration with retailers and partners nationwide." The company said that the "sales team and retailers are supportive since the program is designed to encourage sales from consumers nationwide at any of their favorite retailers, including indies of course."

Obituary Note: Danielle Cumbo

Very sad news: Danielle Cumbo, director of international sales at Simon & Schuster, died April 16 after a long illness. She joined S&S in 2012 after holding a variety of job at other publishers, including Sterling, Chronicle Books and HarperCollins.

Colin Shields, S&S v-p, executive director, global digital & international sales, said that her "knowledge and expertise of international sales and book publishing was truly remarkable, and she unfailingly put these to good use on behalf of our publishers and authors in order to bring their books to readers worldwide. Those of us who were fortunate to work with Danielle--whether sales or publishing colleagues, or the many accounts with whom she had terrific relations--know that each day she brought passion and drive to her work, and expected the same from all of us. And while these high expectations she set for herself and others were an inspiration and a spur to greater performance, we will also remember Danielle for her wry sense of humor, her boisterous laugh, and as a good friend who will be greatly missed."

Seth Russo of Edureach Consulting, who worked with her at S&S, called Cumbo "a true New Yorker, passionate about the arts, movies, dining and above all books. She could hold her own with any editor and had a keen eye for emerging talent. She knew more about pop culture than anyone I know. She traveled the world widely and her souvenirs were the many friendships she forged and held closely. Her buyers also became lifelong and beloved friends. The city she most enjoyed visiting was Paris, and as life was ebbing from her body, a giant hole was also burning in the heart of that great city. During the years we worked together, Danielle referred to me as her boss, but I always demurred, preferring a colleague with influence. She was always her own person and will be missed greatly."

And Shelf Awareness's Jenn Risko said: "I had the supreme pleasure of getting to know and work with Danielle over the years. She was a singular force, a gifted advocate for books and a constant and curious traveler. When you were in 'good' with Danielle, you knew you were in a very select group, as she exuded loyalty and fierceness for those she loved. All of us who knew her, even if just a little, are heartbroken over her passing. We will forever miss her wicked side eye, enormous heart and that incredible laugh. Rest in peace, lovely one."

A service for Cumbo will be held this coming Saturday, April 27, at the Joseph G. Duffy Funeral Home (255 9th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215). There will be a wake from 2 to 4 p.m. and a service from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, she asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

Time 100: 'Most Influential' Book People

Time magazine released its annual list of the "100 Most Influential People." Among the authors showcased:

Marlon James. Salman Rushdie wrote: "I met Marlon James when I interviewed him about A Brief History of Seven Killings at the New York Public Library, and he and his work both deeply impressed me.... It won the Man Booker Prize and turned Marlon into one of the most important voices of his literary generation, a role he has gleefully embraced on social media and elsewhere, speaking out on race, literature, gay rights and whatever else is on his mind. He has followed Brief History with an even more ambitious project: Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first volume of a promised trilogy, a fabulist reimagining of Africa, with inevitable echoes of Tolkien, George R.R. Martin and Black Panther, but highly original, its language surging with power, its imagination all-encompassing. Marlon is a writer who must be read."

Tara Westover. Bill Gates wrote: "If you haven't read Educated yet, chances are you know someone who has. Tara Westover's brilliant memoir has been on the bestseller list since its release, and for good reason.... Her unique perspective on polarization in America feels especially important right now. Educated isn't a political book, but it touches on common divides in our country: red states vs. blue states, rural vs. urban, college-educated vs. not. Tara has a lot of smart things to say about overcoming those divides, and I'm glad Educated's success has given her a platform to use her voice. I look forward to reading--or seeing!--what comes next from her."

Samin Nosrat. Alice Waters wrote: "There is magic in the way Samin teaches. She wins you over immediately with an irresistible combination of warmth, honesty, deep understanding of cooking and that ebullient laugh of hers. If anyone can show us how to cook, it is Samin. So it's no surprise that her book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and her Netflix series are both so groundbreaking.... I love the passion and poise with which Samin delivers this message about food. Because in the end, it's a universal message, and it's one we have forgotten: that cooking is about care."

Lynn Nottage. Martha Plimpton wrote: "Lynn Nottage is dedicated to opening up stories that we're not used to hearing. She brings a sense of curiosity to all sorts of subjects and a clear eye to notoriously difficult parts of American culture and society.... It's been a tremendous privilege to explore this aspect of American life in Sweat--the play for which she won her second Pulitzer, becoming the only woman ever to have won twice in the drama category. The key is Lynn's empathy for her characters and their stories."

Several others on this year's Time 100 list have written books, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, whose memoir Becoming is an international bestseller, and Jane Goodall.


Image of the Day: Wine & Paint with Algonquin Young Readers

Algonquin Young Readers hosted a Spring 2019 preview night to celebrate new and upcoming releases. Local librarians, booksellers and media, along with authors Adele Griffin (The Becket List) and Nicole Melleby (Hurricane Season), got together for a Wine and Paint night where they painted the Van Gogh-inspired cover of Hurricane Season.

Andrews McMeel, Others Honored for Poetry Contributions

Among honorees at the Poetry & the Creative Mind gala this Wednesday night at Lincoln Center in New York City is Andrews McMeel, cited by the Academy of American Poets, sponsor of the gala, for "innovating poetry book publishing by identifying poetry's popularity on social media and translating it into print, expanding the genre to include an emerging field of young adult poetry that is popular and profound."

Andrews McMeel president and publisher Kirsty Melville commented: "As the nation's premier publisher of poetry, we value their mission to share the work of contemporary poets and to advocate for poets and poetry around the world. We are thrilled by the burgeoning interest in this unparalleled art form, as the transformative language of poetry continues to move, resonate with, and empower millions of people of all ages and backgrounds."

Michael Jacobs, chairman of the Academy of American Poets and president and CEO of Abrams, added: "In the past five years, the readership of poetry has nearly doubled. That dramatic growth is in part due to the success of Andrews McMeel in reaching new readers. We're pleased to be able to recognize them."

Other honorees are the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, which provides a residency for the Academy's Walt Whitman Award-winning poet; Eunice "Nicie" Panetta, former chair of the Academy's board of directors who has supported the organization with her generosity and leadership; and poet, playwright and children's book author Sonia Sanchez, winner of the Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in poetry.

For more information and tickets, click here.

Personnel Changes at Graywolf Press; Chronicle Books

Morgan LaRocca is joining Graywolf Press as marketing and events assistant.


Samantha Chambers has joined Chronicle Books as marketing and publicity assistant, children's. Previously she was a marketing intern at HarperOne.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joseph E. Stiglitz on Morning Joe

Morning Joe: Joseph E. Stiglitz, author of People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent (Norton, $27.95, 9781324004219).

Good Morning America: Emily Oster, author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool (Penguin Press, $28, 9780525559252).

The View: Senator Mike Lee, author of Our Lost Declaration: America's Fight Against Tyranny from King George to the Deep State (Sentinel, $27, 9780525538554). He will also appear tomorrow on CBS This Morning.

Rachael Ray: Jorge Cruise, author of The Cruise Control Diet: Automate Your Diet and Conquer Weight Loss Forever (Ballantine, $28, 9780525618690).

Strahan and Sara: Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing (Putnam, $26, 9780735219090).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Myron Mixon, author of BBQ&A with Myron Mixon: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue (Abrams, $29.99, 9781419727023).

The View: Melinda Gates, author of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (Flatiron, $26.99, 9781250313577). She will also be on Good Morning America.

Movies: Rest Stop

"Here comes another Stephen King adaptation!" Deadline noted in reporting that Legendary has hired Alex Ross Perry (Her Smell) to write and direct a film adaptation of Rest Stop, based on King's short story, which was first published in the December 2003 issue of Esquire.

"Described as a propulsive cat and mouse thriller, the plot follows the twisted journey of two women after a fateful encounter at a highway rest stop," Deadline wrote. The story won the National Magazine Award for Fiction in 2004 and was later included in King's 2008 collection Just After Sunset.

Books & Authors

Awards: IPA Prix Voltaire Shortlist; CWC Arthur Ellis Shortlists

The International Publishers Association has announced the shortlist for the 2019 IPA Prix Voltaire, which honors "exemplary courage in upholding the freedom to publish and in enabling others to exercise their right to freedom of expression." The shortlist includes:

  • Khaled Lutfi, a publisher and bookseller in Egypt imprisoned for publishing the Arabic translation of The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel
  • NB Publishers, South Africa, whose Tafelberg imprint published a book entitled The President's Keeper, which the government has sought to repress
  • Azadeh Parsapour, a publisher in Iran and the U.K. whose publishing activities have made it impossible for her to return to Iran
  • Tekin Publishing House, Turkey, which has long suffered for publishing books critical of the country's leaders
  • Moe Way (Sein Win), the poet who established the Eras Publishing House in Myanmar, some of whose books have been censored or restricted

The presentation of the IPA Prix Voltaire, which has a 10,000 Swiss franc (about $9,856) prize, will take place on June 21 during the Seoul International Book Fair.


Crime Writers of Canada announced shortlists in eight categories for this year's Arthur Ellis Awards, which recognize excellence in Canadian crime writing. Winners will be named May 23 in Toronto.

Vicki Delany will be honored with the Derrick Murdoch Award, which is given for contributions to the crime genre. Delany is the author of 34 published books and "has been a strong supporter and advocate for Canadian crime writers through her work with the Crime Writers of Canada, including serving two terms as Chair of the organization," the organization noted. "She has also been a strong supporter of literacy and libraries across Canada and she is one of the founders of the Women Killing It literary festival."

Book Review

Review: Is, Is Not

Is, Is Not: Poems by Tess Gallagher (Graywolf Press, $16 paperback, 160p., 9781555978419, May 7, 2019)

Tess Gallagher (Dear Ghosts) elucidates liminal spaces in her fully realized poetry collection Is, Is Not.

The book is divided into eight sections, all bearing Gallagher's richly layered and evocative style. The poet splits her time between the American Northwest and Ireland, finding similarities but also differences in place and history. Her poems are wide-ranging in form and content, switching from long, complex, flowing meditations to terse, single-stanza observations. She considers the natural world as much as the human world, with a keen eye for where the two meet. Much of Is, Is Not straddles the boundaries between wilderness and civilization, between history and oblivion, life and death. In "Your Dog Playing with a Coyote," the poet writes of "Some ancient tincture of permission/ allows the edge of night/ to blend where wild and tame/ exchange fur in one naked, human/ mind."

Exploring these thresholds changes the poet's perception of the world and the nature of language itself. In "the night-nest of one mind" mingle impressions, memories and words, blending the objective world with the subjective self. Poetry, the poet maintains, springs from this melding of worlds. "But in the mind/ of the room something free/ and glad goes careening and/ will not settle," she writes in "The Seemingly Domesticated." She concludes: "Language itself/ inhabiting the moment/ with uplift."

As much as the poet would like to perceive an experience clearly--every nuance of something's "only-ness"--associations of the self crowd in. Through her poems, Gallagher hints that the observer is like a fabric that itself lends quality to the world, bringing something to the experience of recognition. This is the poet's careful work--tailoring the self to the world in a way that honors both. Perhaps she explains it best in the book's brilliant afterword. "In this pursuit, I find myself trying to out-leap what I can almost say," she writes, "but that, if said outright, would utterly spoil the secret cargo that must somehow halo what is attempting to be given." In this way, she's an experimental poet, more concerned with the "roundness" of experience than linear depiction.

Gallagher is as cerebral and intellectual as she is evocative and sensuous. These poems delight with their willingness to trespass into unknown realms of thought and being. The result is a heady reading experience. As she says in "Encounter," one of the collection's best, "A small entitlement of steps/ led me to mystery, seeking to be/ left out." She then asks: "How else let difference tell you/ what you are?" Is, Is Not will leave such questions spinning quietly in the mind. A bold new work from a poet of consequence. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: Tess Gallagher is in top form with this collection of challenging but intellectually rewarding poems.

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