Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Del Rey Books: The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

Jy: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

St. Martin's Press: The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Legendary Comics YA: Enola Holmes: Mycroft's Dangerous Game by Nancy Springer, illustrated by Giorgia Sposito

Sourcebooks: Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod by Casey Sherman

Soho Crime: Lady Joker, Volume 2 by Kaoru Takamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida

Bantam: All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Quotation of the Day

'A Whole Chain of Awesomeness' Behind Each Book Sold

"It doesn't get said enough, but our publisher reps & the dozens of people who help them get the books to us are some of the nicest, hardest working & most patient people you'll ever meet. So anytime you're buying a book, remember: There's a whole chain of awesomeness behind it."

--Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass., in a tweet to patrons on Monday

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël


To Help B&T Customers, PRH Launches Indie Express Program

In response to the decision last week by Baker & Taylor to stop serving retail accounts, Penguin Random House has instituted a program for indie booksellers who have been ordering all their PRH inventory through B&T. Called Penguin Random House Indies Express, the program aims to make it as easy as possible for those stores to begin buying titles directly, and expires October 1.

According to a letter sent to B&T indie bookstore customers, stores without a current PRH account or an account that's been inactive for more than a year are eligible for the program. Benefits include, the PRH sales team said:

  • "A streamlined new-account application (now available online)--no opening order necessary
  • A streamlined credit-approval process (for Baker & Taylor customers in good standing)
  • Special offer on your first order (includes a lower unit-minimum)
  • Dedicated PRH sales director with expertise in helping B&T customers transition to ordering directly from Penguin Random House
  • Dedicated PRH sales reps (community bookstore specialists) to help you navigate seasonal frontlist ordering and backlist replenishment
  • Special offer from Above the Treeline to help with inventory management"

The sales team added: "Many of us are former independent booksellers, so we know firsthand how busy you are, and how important it is for you to be able to focus on running your business and serving your customers. We hope you will contact us soon, and we look forward to working with you more closely in the future."

Jaci Updike, president, sales, Penguin Random House, commented: "Our sales team is mobilizing quickly with a customized plan to help independent booksellers with this transition. We look forward to working even more closely with the many indie booksellers who have been supporting our books in their local communities."

For more information, booksellers should e-mail

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West

New Owners for Browsing Bison Books in Montana

Jesse and Sasha Mullen have purchased Browsing Bison Books, a 17-year-old bookstore in Deer Lodge, Mont., from founders Nancy Kelley and Cris Walrath, the Montana Standard reported.

The Mullens officially took over operations on May 1 and plan to keep the store's name. They do, however, have a variety of other changes in mind, including adding book signings, expanding the store's selection of local and regional titles, bringing in more graphic novels and creating a vinyl records section. And at some point in the future they want to add a coffee bar and a space to display the work of local musicians, artists and craftsmen.

Kelly and Walrath told the Standard that they had been mulling over retirement for around three years, and in February finally decided to do it. Having no plans to sell the store, they took a notice of the closure to the Silver State Post, a local newspaper that Jesse Mullen purchased from his parents in September 2018. Instead of running the notice, he, Kelley and Walrath discussed other options.

"Many of the large box bookstores have gone out of business, but because of the trend with younger people there are more and more independent bookstores popping up all over the place," Mullen said. "People can find information on their smartphones, but I believe printed information has a presence and is more real."

MPIBA: Last Chance: The Great Summer Reading Guide

Jack & Allie's Children's Bookstore Closing This Month

Jack & Allie's Children's Bookstore in Vernon, Conn., will close at the end of May, reported. While no official final date has been given, the end of the month marks the end of the store's five-year lease in its current location.

According to Patch, a Jack & Allie's staff member said that the owners were "ready to move on [to] new adventures." A post on the store's website, however, says that Jack & Allie's will "actively pursue alternate locations and opportunities."

Owner Barbara Haggerty Khan opened the 2,400 square-foot bookstore in the spring of 2014. Since its opening, the store has focused on books for new and emerging readers, with a selection of middle grade and YA titles available as well.

BookNet Canada: 'Demand for Diversity' Survey Results

Three out of five Canadian readers "actively seek out books about diverse topics/experiences or by underrepresented authors," according to BookNet Canada's new study, Demand for Diversity: A Survey of Canadian Readers. Analyzing responses from 500 English-speaking Canadian readers surveyed in late 2018, the report "highlights readers' experiences with, and interest in, reading books by and/or about those who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled or differently abled, and religious minorities."

The study found that 62% of respondents actively seek out books about diverse topics or experiences or by diverse authors, while 25% are neutral and 13% either "disagree" or "strongly disagree." In addition, 31% of Canadian readers believe they would read more if they were able to access more diverse books, and 13% of underrepresented readers--i.e., readers who identified themselves as belonging to one or more of the above groups--"strongly agreed" that it is difficult to find diverse content in the book market.

Most respondents said they want to read books that are relatable to them, with 54% saying they "agree" or "strongly agree." Of the 54% of responses that were positive, 19% were from underrepresented readers while 35% were from well-represented readers. The full report can be read here.

Obituary Note: Teva Harrison

Canadian writer and illustrator Teva Harrison, "who took her diagnoses of metastatic breast cancer public in efforts to bring attention to the disease," died April 27, the Star reported. She was 42. Harrison's graphic novel In-Between Days "gave voice to a struggle many woman share and became an inspiration to people across the country."

"Shining a light on my experiences takes some of the power away from the bogeyman that is my cancer," she wrote in the preface. "I'm taking my power back." Author Evan Munday described her as "a radiant beam of light who saw beauty and love in all things."

A former marketer, Harrison began drawing and writing after her diagnosis at the age of 37. House of Anansi Press publisher Sarah MacLachlan, who encouraged her to work on a book, said, "We watched her style evolve as she produced 52 graphic panels over a period of less than 10 months--it was always a good day when Teva arrived to unveil her latest work. Anyone who came into contact with Teva Harrison will be aware of how hard it was to resist her. Her innate goodness, her strong hugs, and her open heart were her hallmarks. She was in my view a force of nature--simply undeniable.”

In-Between Days won the 2017 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction, was a finalist for the Governor General's Award and a nominee for the Joe Shuster Award. House of Anansi plans to release Harrison's Not One of These Poems Is About You, a book of poetry and illustration, in the future.


Image of the Day: Books & Brews

Monday night, White Birch Books, North Conway, N.H., held a Books & Brews event at Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Company in Ossipee. Hosts Laura Cummings, owner of White Birch and president of the New England Independent Booksellers Association; Nichole Cousins, manager of White Birch; and Hachette New England sales rep Katrina Kruse presented recent paperback titles that paired well with a flight of Hobbs brews. From l.: Kruse, Cousins and Cummings.

Page & Palette Stars in High School Senior's Portraits

Sloane Hopkins at Page & Palette

"Sloane Hopkins isn't a traditional student, and neither are her senior portraits," noted in reporting that the high school student's commemorative photos feature her "in places she loves near their home in Fairhope," including Page and Palette bookstore, where she works part-time.

"This is my life," she said. "These are things I do, places I love, things I want to cherish and remember about this time. They feel very 'me.' "

Page & Palette tweeted: "We love our Sloane!! AND her family. Bookstores attract the coolest people!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Daniel Okrent on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Daniel Okrent, author of The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law that Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America (Scribner, $32, 9781476798035).

The View: Dr. Jennifer Ashton, author of Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss (Morrow, $24.99, 9780062906038).

Tonight Show: Chris Kattan, co-author of Baby Don't Hurt Me: Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live (BenBella, $24.95, 9781944648497).

Movies: The Power of the Dog; One Thousand Paper Cranes

Director Jane Campion (The Piano) "is readying her first feature since 2009's Bright Star with her own adaptation of Thomas Savage's 1967 novel, The Power of the Dog," IndieWire reported, adding that Campion has cast Benedict Cumberbatch and Elisabeth Moss to star in the film.

"The Power of the Dog is a sublime novel that deserves a life on the big screen," Campion said. "I couldn't stop thinking about the story, it really haunted me. The themes of masculinity, nostalgia, and betrayal are an intoxicating mix. It's also rare to find a story where the themes, the plot and the characters build tension as they reveal each other and even the end is satisfying and unexpected."

She added: "It will be the first time I've worked with a male lead, which is exciting. Phil is a charismatic and complex character who declares war on his brother's new wife and her teenage son."


Evan Rachel Wood will star with Jim Sturgess and Shinobu Terajima in One Thousand Paper Cranes, the story of Hiroshima survivor Sadako Sasaki and author Eleanor Coerr, who wrote the bestselling children's book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, the Wrap reported.

Richard Raymond (Desert Dancer) will direct the project from Ben Bolea's script, while Ian Bryce (Saving Private Ryan) is producing alongside Richard Raymond and Irene Yeung. Production is set to begin later this year.

Books & Authors

Awards: Orwell Longlists

Longlists have been released for the £3,000 (about $3,920) Orwell Prize for Political Fiction as well as the Orwell Prize for Political Writing (nonfiction), both of which recognize works that "strive to meet Orwell's own ambition 'to make political writing into an art.' " Shortlists will be announced later this month and a winner named June 25. Longlists for all four Orwell Prize categories are available here. The longlisted titles for the inaugural Orwell Prize for Political Fiction are:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Brother by David Chariandy
House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Ironopolis by Glen James Brown
Milkman by Anna Burns
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Perfidious Albion by Sam Byers
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
Silence Is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia
The Ice Migration by Jacqueline Crooks

Reading with... Renée Rosen

photo: Charles Osgood

Renée Rosen is the author of Park Avenue Summer (Berkley, April 30, 2019) as well as four other historical novels, including Windy City Blues. She's working on a new novel, The Social Graces, about Mrs. Astor and Alva Vanderbilt vying for control of New York society during the Gilded Age.

On your nightstand now:

My TBR pile is ridiculous, far too many books to list here, but at the moment, I'm milking the last 100 pages of The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I've admired her writing for a long time, but this book took her to a whole new level. Next up is You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian. I was blown away by her New Yorker short story, "Cat Person," so I'm eager to read the rest of her collection.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. I just loved that mischievous Sal and following her adventures on Blueberry Hill. To this day blueberries remain one of my favorite fruits, and I believe it has something to do with my fond memories of that book.

Your top five authors:

Michael Cunningham walks on water for me. I think he's one of the most gifted and compassionate writers out there.

Mona Simpson is a favorite, too. I've re-read Anywhere but Here at least a dozen times.

Donna Tartt brings a character alive on the page like no one else. For me, Boris in The Goldfinch remains one of the best-drawn characters in contemporary literature.

Amor Towles is just plain brilliant, witty and elegant. I can't wait to see what he'll write next.

Jhumpa Lahiri is a stunningly beautiful writer. Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth are books I've gone back to several times.

Book you've faked reading:

Middlemarch by George Eliot but to be clear, I didn't actually fake it as much as I surrendered to it. I've attempted to read this book several times and I get about 60 pages in and break into a sweat. I recognize her immense talent (how can you not?), but it's just frankly too much work. She packed so much into each sentence. I would have to stop and really digest every line. So yes, I have surrendered to the fact that I'll probably never be able to read Middlemarch.

Book you're an evangelist for:

In Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O'Connor McNees. This is seriously one of the most charming novels I've ever read. After the Civil War three very different women venture to the western frontier as mail-order brides. The writing is spectacular, the characters are witty and wonderfully rendered. I just can't say enough good things about this work of historical fiction.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I was in a bookstore on that Tuesday of its release, saw it on the front table and marched right up to the counter and bought it. One page in, I assure you, I was not disappointed!

Book you hid from your parents:

I never really hid any books from my parents, but I do remember feeling quite scandalous and grown up when I read Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York by Gail Parent. I would have been about 12 when it came out so I'm sure my older sister must have been reading it before I got my hands on it.

Book that changed your life:

A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham. I read this right after it was published in 1990 and was completely knocked out by the writing. This book changed my life because later that summer I was able to study with Michael Cunningham at the Santa Monica Writer's Conference. It was because of his workshop that I tapped into a childhood memory which evolved into my first published novel.

Favorite line from a book:

"We are each the love of someone's life." This is actually the first line from The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. Such a powerful and beautiful sentence. How could you not read on after that?

Five books you'll never part with:

A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham. Did I mention that this is the book that changed my life?

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I've re-read this three times and it gets better with each reading.

The Last to Go by Rand Richards Cooper. This is another book that I return to often, relishing my favorite scenes.

Anywhere but Here by Mona Simpson. Whenever I need inspiration, this is the book I reach for.

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. There is just too much wisdom in those pages to ever part with.

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

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I remember reading it when it first came out, and it was the perfect blend of page-turning suspense, coupled with beautiful language and an extraordinary cast of characters.

A book you'd love to see made into a movie:

The One Man by Andrew Gross. This is a historical thriller that takes place during World War II. It tells the story of Nathan Blum, working on behalf of the U.S. government, who sneaks into Auschwitz to rescue the one man who holds the key to the Manhattan Project. The book was so vividly written and cinematic, I would think it's a natural for the big screen.

Book Review

Children's Review: Dogs and Their People

Dogs and Their People by Anne Lambelet (Page Street Kids, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 4-8, 9781624146893, June 18, 2019)

Dogs and Their People, a picture book in the illustrative spirit of Madeline and Babar the Elephant, follows a girl as she makes her way home through what looks like a 1920s-era cityscape. As she walks, the girl takes note of dog and human pairs: "Some dogs and their people look alike,/ and others could not be more different./ But no matter what, everyone somehow seems to have found their perfect match."

Anne Lambelet's (Maria the Matador) watercolor, pencil and digital media illustrations in muted tones have the wry, sophisticated feel of New Yorker cartoons. The stylized figures in glamorous suits and gowns stroll the streets, leashed to their four-legged companions. A short, square-chested gent with a geometrically planed face accompanies a tall, willowy lady in a fox stole and teeny high heels; the couple is regally led by an elegant puffball and a fierce looking, pointy-collared hound. A busty matron clutches her purse in one hand and the leash to a scrawny, poofy poodle in the other. A joyful street musician in suspenders and bow tie plays accordion and belts out a tune while his scruffy tan mutt howls along (our heroine tosses a few dog biscuits in the pageboy cap placed strategically nearby). Dogs and Their People is the kind of book that begs for close and repeated perusal, as with every reading a new detail emerges, such as the black tongue of a panting chow chow or the mournful look on a dachshund's face as his owner refuses to share a hot dog.

Illustrations and text are gently humorous, with charmingly old-fashioned language. The narrator refers to the "matching mustachios... on Lord Banberry and his schnauzer, O'Grady." And when she sees a startled-looking man in top hat, cane and scarf being tugged by a pug, she says, "Augustus Pennyfarthing is very little, and/ his owner, Sir Archibald Pennyfarthing, is very big,/ but everyone knows which one of them/ is really in charge."

The pace of Dogs and Their People is pleasantly sedate, though Lambelet does take readers by surprise with a fun twist of an ending. No wild romps or diabolical plots here: simply a perambulation through the agreeable activity of noticing dogs and their people. Like P.D. Eastman's Go, Dog. Go!, which could be thought of as a younger sibling to Dogs and Their People, the message is plain: Whether you're a dog or a human, it takes all types. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: With art deco-style illustrations of all kinds of dogs with all kinds of people, the delightful Dogs and Their People features a girl lightheartedly commenting on dog/human pairings.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Junk Mail by Kendall Ryan
2. Pulling Profits Out of a Hat by Brad Sugars and Monte Wyatt
3. How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1 by Oobah Butler
4. Lord Have Mercy (The Southern Gentleman Series Book 2) by Lani Lynn Vale
5. Securing Brenae by Susan Stoker
6. Fortune Furlough (Miss Fortune Mystery Book 14) by Jana DeLeon
7. A Modest Independence (Parish Orphans of Devon Book 2) by Mimi Matthews
8. Arranged by R.K. Lilley
9. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
10. Black List by Lynn Raye Harris

[Many thanks to!]

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