Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 6, 2019

Tordotcom: The Saint of Bright Doors by Vajra Chandrasekera

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne

Ballantine Books: The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman

Tor Books: One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart


Author Is New Owner of Cloud & Leaf Bookstore in Oregon

Deborah Reed is buying Cloud & Leaf Bookstore, Manzanita, Ore., from Jody Swanson, effective July 1.

Reed is an author whose most recent title, The Days When Birds Come Back (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt last year), is a love story set in Manzanita, on the Oregon Coast. She called the bookstore, which was founded in 2004, "the nucleus of this very literary community, including selling books for the Manzanita Writer's Series events, and catering to visitors as well as locals who depend on it being here and open seven days a week as part of their Manzanita experience."

Reed said she plans to emphasize smaller presses and translations, including titles by NYRB and Europa Editions, among others. The store will carry "plenty of" fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano

For Sale: Pendleton Book Company in Pendleton, Ore.

Longtime owner Debbie Kerby has put Pendleton Book Company in Pendleton, Ore., up for sale. The store is located on Main Street in downtown Pendleton, and sells new and used titles in a variety of genres. For the past several years, it has been the only bookstore in Pendleton (population: 16,000).

The town is best known for the Pendleton Round-Up, a major rodeo held every September. The town is also home to the Pendleton Center for the Arts, located just across the river from the bookstore, and the region supports the Oregon East Symphony.

Kerby is looking to sell the store, along with her inventory, shelving, cash register, computer and inventory management software. For more information about the bookstore, Kerby can be reached by phone at 541-276-9292 or by e-mail at

Tor Books: One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Bookshop Santa Cruz Opens 'Slug Shop'

Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif., has opened a store-within-a-store in partnership with University of California Santa Cruz called the Banana Slug Shop. The banana slug is UCSC's mascot, and while Bookshop Santa Cruz has long carried some UCSC apparel, there is now a dedicated section within the bookstore featuring a wider array of merchandise.

In addition to shirts and hats, the Slug Shop sells UCSC-branded gifts such as magnets, pins, mugs, pint glasses and water bottles. Books that are related to upcoming events on the UCSC campus are also featured in the Slug Shop, and UCSC and Bookshop Santa Cruz plan to partner for more on-campus events.

Casey Coonerty Protti, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, reported that the Slug Shop came about after she heard the university was interested in having a bigger presence in downtown Santa Cruz. Protti reached out to the university with the idea for the store-within-a-store. In return for the bookshop hosting and running the store, the university pays a management fee.

"Not only are we now the official designated location in downtown Santa Cruz to sell UC Santa Cruz gear to all the students, staff, alumni and tourists who are interested, but we've furthered our partnership with the university for a number of other collaborations," said Protti. "Of course the management fee helps Bookshop Santa Cruz remain sustainable but more importantly, it gives us another reason to let our customers know that we are a one-stop shopping destination."

The Banana Slug Shop had a grand opening celebration on June 3. Santa Cruz mayor Martine Watkins cut a ceremonial ribbon, while the store offered customers free "Slug cookies," a free raffle ticket with a chance to win Slug gear and a coupon granting a discount on a book with a purchase of a Slug item.

GLOW: Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz

Follett Replaces B&N as U. of Houston Bookstore

Follet is replacing Barnes & Noble as the official University of Houston bookstore. The Cougar reported that the change comes after B&N's nine-year contract expired "and a committee made of representatives from different parts of the UH System evaluated their options. The committee primarily looked for a provider that will offer affordability options for course material, new merchandise with different styles and prices, and more online resources."

"We believe our new campus store contract will bring additional benefits to help support student success by providing new affordability options for course materials and stronger options," said Matt Prasifka, interim executive director of UH Auxiliary Services.

Carolyn Brown, B&N's senior v-p, corporate communications and public affairs, commented: "We have served the University of Houston community for more than 30 years, providing a vibrant social and academic hub in the heart of campus. While we are disappointed with the university administration's decision to move in a different direction, we are very proud of our many years spent serving UH students, faculty and alumni."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

BookExpo 2019: Audio Publishers Association Authors Tea

Actor and audiobook narrator Euan Morton, who is currently playing King George III in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, moderated this year's Audio Publishers Association Authors Tea, featuring Philippa Gregory, Jerry Craft and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Morton said that recording audiobooks over the past 20 years had "been a great bonus in my life in that it has allowed me to be an actor even in those periods when I'm not working. They have kept character and soul in me as a performer, and I'm really grateful for that.... I consider recording audiobooks to be some of the most important work I do. It's about being a representative of the author. It's a huge responsibility, one I take seriously and that I know my peers take seriously."

From left: Euan Morton, Philippa Gregory, Jerry Craft, Laurie Halse Anderson

Recalling his introduction to audiobooks as a listener, Jerry Craft (New Kid, HarperAudio) described a long trip to Maine years ago with his wife. They had decided it would be appropriate to listen to Rose Madder by the state's notable native, Stephen King. The book was "on like 18 cassette tapes," which lasted "all the way up and all the way back and before it was halfway through we were like, everything horrible happens in Maine, why did we come here?"

Craft discussed some of the challenges and rewards involved in creating a full-cast recording of his graphic novel. When he heard New Kid for the first time, "I have to say that it was just really pretty amazing because I had listened to so many books, and it didn't really dawn on me when they first said they wanted to do New Kid as an audiobook, I had no idea what to expect from that." Holding his phone to the mic, he shared the opening seconds from the recording, up to the point where the author is mentioned. "That's it, just hearing my name," he joked, drawing a laugh from the audience.

Noting that humans are hardwired in their DNA to hear and to tell stories, Laurie Halse Anderson (Shout, Listening Library) observed: "We all of us come from people who at some point in their journey sat around campfires and shared stories; poets who would go from community to community. Family history is transposed into songs, which eventually became myths. Those stories remind us who we are and that sharing of the stories, with voice, with the rhythm of the words, with friends, and with the drama... of the pause; that's how story connects hearts and spirits....

"And I think we are hungrier to hear stories through our ears now because it's a much more intimate and sharing experience than reading with our eyes. We are so isolated in many of our small corners of the world that the intimacy that comes with hearing somebody tell you the story is really very, very powerful."

While she is "very conscious that I'm not a casting director," Gregory said she can be particular about audiobook casting choices. "I spend a lot of time and trouble making the words sound quite natural. And, in a sense, hiding the research, hiding the craft so that you open the book and you're there and there isn't anything that I have done that comes between you and the story."

Voice matters. Her response to samples from potential audiobook readers of her work "is almost always, dial it back. What I don't want is a very strong accent." On the other hand, she conceded: "When you write a novel and it's printed as a book, it's an interactive process. It's not engraved in stone. People read it and they read completely different things from what you think you wrote. And they write you... It's only my book when I'm writing it. When you're reading it it's your book; it's not my book anymore."

"You are magic," Morton said at the end of the event. "In my opinion, the most magical thing in the world is the written word; second is the spoken one, and third are all the mad colors that come with it. And when you put them together you get euphony." --Robert Gray   

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire


Image of the Day: Lest We Forget at the Last Bookstore

Author Kwan Kew Lai (left) with Lori Dreischmeier (right) at the Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, Calif., where Lai discussed her book, Lest We Forget: A Doctor's Experience with Life and Death during the Ebola Outbreak (Viva Editions). Photo: Julia C. Tsai

ALA Gives Props to Librarian Jeopardy! Champion

The American Library Association paid tribute to the University of Chicago librarian who unseated a seemingly unbeatable Jeopardy champion. On Facebook Monday, the ALA posted: "If someone had to end James Holzhauer's fantastic run, we're glad it was a #librarian. Congrats to Emma Boettcher! And of course, the paper for her MLIS degree was 'Predicting the Difficulty of Trivia Questions Using Text Features' and relied on Jeopardy! clues."

Personnel Changes at Macmillan

At Macmillan, Malati Chavali is being promoted to the newly created position of v-p, publishing strategy operations, effective June 10, and in that role will "examine Macmillan's publishing program in a holistic fashion," the company said. She joined Macmillan in 2011 as e-book channel manager and was promoted to director in 2014. In 2016, she led the creation of the sales strategies department, becoming a v-p and key member of the sales management team and a primary liaison for Macmillan's publishing groups.

Tim Greco is joining Macmillan sales as v-p, field sales and publisher liaison, a newly created position. He formerly was v-p, online, digital, clubs and mass merchandise at DK. Before joining DK, he held sales positions at Baker & Taylor and Borders.

Holly Ruck is being promoted to director of the field sales team, with management responsibility for the independent field reps and independent bookstore accounts. She was formerly senior manager, international sales. She joined Macmillan in 2012 as a national account manager for Barnes & Noble, selling children's books, before being promoted to international sales manager in 2016.

Media and Movies

This Weekend on Book TV: The Printers Row Lit Fest

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, June 8
11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Live coverage of the 35th annual Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, Ill. Topics include education reform, African American pioneers, the White Power movement, domestic violence and American imperialism.

6:45 p.m. Senator Tom Cotton, author of Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062863157). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:10 a.m.)

7:40 p.m. Jonna Mendez, co-author of The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War (PublicAffairs, $28, 9781541762190).

8:50 p.m. Casey Cep, author of Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101947869), at Books Are Magic in New York City.

10 p.m. George Will, author of The Conservative Sensibility (Hachette Books, $35, 9780316480932). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Deborah Lee James, author of Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success (Post Hill Press, $25, 9781642930344). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:10 p.m.)

Sunday, June 9
11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Continuing live coverage of the Printers Row Lit Fest. Topics include workplace equality, gun violence in Chicago, the U.S. welfare system and the Holocaust.

8:10 p.m. Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 (Harper, $29.99, 9780062275646), at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

10 p.m. Adam Gopnik, author of A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism (Basic Books, $28, 9781541699366).

11 p.m. Michael Kranish, author of The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero (Scribner, $30, 9781501192593).

Books & Authors

Awards: Albertine; Women's Prize for Fiction; Dayne Ogilvie

Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated from the French by Tina Kover (Europa Editions) has won the Albertine Prize, announced last night in New York City. In an unusual twist, the Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., is hosting an event this evening featuring the author, the translator and author and translator Tim Mohr, who is a big fan of the book--but, until last night, the store had to advertise the event only as featuring "the winner of the Albertine Prize."

First awarded in 2017, the Albertine Prize, co-presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, recognizes American readers' favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction that has been translated into English and published in the U.S. within the preceding calendar year.

The organizers wrote about Disoriental: "In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, Kimiâ Sadr recalls her family history. As she sits alone amid couples, family narratives and personal recollections mix as her thoughts wander from her grandmother's birth in a late 19th-century harem in northern Iran through her childhood in Tehran to her present incarnation as a 25-year-old French-Iranian punk fan. In this spirited, kaleidoscopic tale, key moments of Iranian history, politics, and culture punctuate stories of family drama and triumph."


Tayari Jones won the £30,000 (about $38,085) 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction for An American Marriage, the Guardian reported. Chair of judges Kate Williams, who said the judges deliberated for four hours to make the tough decision, commented: "It's an incredible examination of America and American life, focusing on the intimacy of a marriage but on a huge political canvas. The prose is luminous, striking and utterly moving. How hard it is even when you're on the outside and are free, how you're not really free when you have someone in prison."

She added: "All the shortlisted novels speak clearly about the lives of women in different ways, about oppression and identity and trying to be free in a regime that doesn't want you to be."


Lindsay Nixon won the CA$5,000 (about US$3,735) Writers' Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize, which is "presented to an emerging LGBTQ writer whose work demonstrates great literary promise." The jury called Nixon's writing "a triumph of decolonial and non-normative storytelling. They assert an acute refusal of the reductive expectations of tragic Indigeneity and white-centered hegemonic queerness, calling upon more rigorous, nuanced, and wholehearted aesthetics and knowledge bases. Nixon is a new, vital voice for queercore culture, ancestral and chosen family inheritances, sex and kink positivity, and Cree and prairie wisdom. Their transformative memoir, nîtisânak, uplifts non-linear narration, poetic prose, and intertextual dialogue and will surely be discussed and beloved for many, many years to come."

Lonely Planet’s Guide to ALA 2019: Welcome to Washington, D.C.!

For attendees of the American Library Association annual conference and exhibition in Washington, D.C., June 20-25, Lonely Planet here offers tips and excerpts from its Washington DC guide. It's one of the publisher's comprehensive city guides that provide extensive coverage of the destination and give visitors the advantage of local knowledge, including history, culture, planning, shopping, eating, nightlife and accommodation. This guide introduces travelers to iconic museums and monuments, arts & culture, political life, history and much more!

Why I love Washington, D.C., by Karla Zimmerman, Lonely Planet writer
It begins with the Mall. How sweet is it to have a walkable strip of museums where you can see nuclear missiles, cursed diamonds and exquisite Asian ceramics in cool underground galleries--for free? Further down the path the Lincoln Memorial just kills with its grandness and sweeping view. As a rabid traveler, it thrills me to see all the embassies flying their flags in Dupont and dream of future trips. (I'm coming for you, Kazakhstan. You too, Bulgaria.) And Shaw wins my affection for its neighborhoody beer halls, cafes and groovy murals.

Arriving in D.C.: What You Need to Know
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Metro trains (around $2.65) depart every 10 minutes or so between 5 a.m. (from 7 a.m. weekends) and 11:30 p.m. (to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday); they reach the city center in 20 minutes. A taxi is $19 to $26.

Dulles International Airport
The Silver Line Express bus runs every 15 to 20 minutes from Dulles to Wiehle-Reston East Metro between 6 a.m. and 10:40 p.m. (from 7:45 a.m. weekends). Total time to the city center is 60 to 75 minutes, total cost around $11. A taxi is $62 to $73.

Union Station
All trains and many buses arrive at this huge station near the Capitol. There's a Metro stop inside for easy onward transport. Taxis queue outside the main entrance.

Getting Around D.C.
The Metro is the main way to move around the city. Buy a rechargeable SmarTrip card at any Metro station. You must use the card to enter and exit station turnstiles.

Fast, frequent, ubiquitous (except during weekend track maintenance). It operates between 5 a.m. (from 7 a.m. weekends) and 11:30 p.m. (1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). Fares from $2 to $6 depending on distance traveled. A day pass costs $14.75.

DC Circulator bus
Useful for the Mall, Georgetown, Adams Morgan and other areas with limited Metro service. Free.

Capital Bikeshare stations are everywhere; a day pass costs $8.

Relatively easy to find (less so at night), but costly. Ridesharing companies are used more in the District.
D.C. in June
June is the end of peak season, as school-group visits start dwindling. Hotel prices are still fairly high. The temperature steams up as the weeks go on.

Capital Pride
Some 250,000 people attend D.C.'s gay pride party held in early to mid-June. The parade travels from Dupont Circle to Logan Circle, featuring wild floats and entertainment along the way. There is also a festival and a concert with bigname headliners.

National Capital Barbecue Battle
Who makes the best barbecue? Teams compete in late June for $40,000 in prizes at this battle. In addition to tender ribs, chicken and sausage, you'll find live bands, cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs and kiddie toys.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
For 10 days around Independence Day, this extravaganza celebrates international and U.S. cultures on the Mall. The fest features folk music, dance, crafts, storytelling and ethnic fare, and it highlights a diverse mix of countries.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, June 11:

Mrs. Everything: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner (Atria, $28, 9781501133480) follows two sisters from the 1950s to the present.

One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, 9781501106293) chronicles the Space Race.

An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer by Julie Salamon (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316433105) explores the 1985 murder of a Jewish man by Palestinian terrorists aboard a hijacked cruise ship.

Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker (Gallery, $26, 9781982100452) is a thriller about the friend of a rich doctor's son staying with the family over the summer.

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery, $26.99, 9781501193620) follows a group of hurricane evacuees at a mutual friend's farm.

Maximillian Fly by Angie Sage (HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99, 9780062571168) features an inadvertent superhero who is part human, part cockroach.

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger Series) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Inkyard Press, $18.99, 9781335218797) is the author's return to the world of her bestselling Dark Elements series.

Rosie Colored Glasses: A Novel by Brianna Wolfson (MIRA, $16.99, 9780778308508).

Gardener's Guide to Compact Plants: Edibles and Ornamentals for Small-Space Gardening by Jessica Walliser (Cool Springs Press, $24.99, 9780760364840).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Lanny: A Novel by Max Porter (Graywolf Press, $24, 9781555978402). "The genius of Max Porter is that he can write a village in its entirety--a mother's love for her son, a brilliant artist's loneliness, a young boy's whimsical adventures, a mythological creature's inner monologue, a whole village worth of secrets and wishes and terrible thoughts--and make it into a bizarre but highly enjoyable little novel. You'll find yourself thrilled by the dark humor Porter captures in his story of one village and its characters, both real and mythologized, as Lanny follows the eponymous young boy and the lives he impacts around him." --Erin Mazza, BookBar, Denver, Colo.

Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer by John Glynn (Grand Central, $27, 9781538746653). "I absolutely loved Out East. It kept me up until 2:30 in the morning because I needed to read one more scene, one more chapter, to find out what happened with all of the characters. As I read, I was able to put myself into the Hive along with the rest of the housemates. The sensory details--music, food, descriptions of the people who populate Montauk--allowed me to step into this world as if I were a housemate myself. The emotional experience, too, was vivid and relatable, and brought me back to my own roller-coaster experiences of first love, longing, and heartache." --Chris Klim, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, N.Y.

The Bride Test: A Novel by Helen Hoang (Berkley, $15, 9780451490827). "This follow-up to The Kiss Quotient is an incredibly diverse and fun story about Khai, Michael's cousin from the previous novel. He is Vietnamese-American, autistic, and believes himself to be incapable of the emotions that matter. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed The Rosie Effect and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Hoang is making important waves, one sweet, sexy romance novel at a time." --Stephanie Csaszar, Books Around the Corner, Gresham, Ore.

For Ages 4 to 8
Camp Tiger by Susan Choi and John Rocco (Putnam, $17.99, 9780399173295). "Camp Tiger is an amazing picture book. Perfect text and gorgeous art combine harmoniously to offer readers an incredible, unforgettable adventure. This story of a friendship between a young boy and a very real tiger is improbable, but through the immense talents of Choi and Rocco it becomes believable, compelling, and beautiful. Camp Tiger is a story of growth and passage that is original, unique, and important." --Christopher Rose, The Spirit of '76 Bookstore, Marblehead, Mass.

For Ages 9 to 12
Planet Earth Is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos (Wendy Lamb, $16.99, 9780525646570).
"It's 1986, and Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger. She loves astronomy, plus her sister, Bridget, promised she'd be back for the launch, no matter what. Nova is autistic and nonverbal, and navigating a new foster family and a new school alone is extra tough; no one but Bridget has ever fully understood that she's a whole, intelligent person. As Nova counts down to the launch, we share in her excitement, her worries, her grief, and her joys. Panteleakos, who is on the spectrum herself, has crafted a compelling, compassionate debut." --Madeline Shier, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

For Teen Readers
There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse, $18.99, 9781534416789). "There's Something About Sweetie is a warm story about loving yourself and opening yourself up to others. I instantly wanted to become best friends with Sweetie; not only is she aptly named and open-hearted, she's hilarious, brilliant, and determined to better herself and the lives of everyone around her. As he falls for Sweetie, Ashish's player-style humor quickly transforms into something sweet, a little self-conscious, and ultimately endearing. They're a perfect match, and their struggles with image, perfectionism, and the everyday difficulty of being a teen strikes true." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Wild Boy

The Wild Boy: A Memoir by Paolo Cognetti (Atria, $16.99 paperback, 176p., 9781501196713, July 2, 2019)

Having just turned 30, Paolo Cognetti (The Eight Mountains) felt restless and unfulfilled in the city of Milan. He missed his childhood summers--the first 20 years of his life--spent in the Italian Alps. Inspired by Thoreau's Walden and the principled quest of Chris McCandless (subject of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild), he rented a renovated but rustic cabin alone in a village of ruins in a high alpine valley and undertook to learn what the mountains had to teach, to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." After years of frustration, he hoped to write again.

The Wild Boy is a memoir of three seasons spent in that cabin, or, more accurately, spent hiking and exploring the mountains he remembered from when he was a boy--that wild boy he hopes to find again. The account opens briefly in winter, for background, as Cognetti makes his decision and locates his mountain home. Spring, summer and fall form the bulk of the story, which ends when he heads back down the mountain again: "I already knew all the dreams that I would have that winter."

In the interim, Cognetti gets to know the local flora and fauna; briefly attempts a vegetable garden; studies other writers' words; travels far and wide on foot; and makes new friends, human and otherwise. Thoreau writes of the pleasures of solitude, but this narrator finds he desires companionship--if they are the right companions. Two men in particular make strong impressions. His landlord, Remigio, is a creature of the mountains, with whom Cognetti literally makes hay. They share few life experiences, but quickly become fast friends, and Remigio turns out to suffer from writer's block as well: "This was the story I had strayed into, hoping to find how to write again." The other is an alpine shepherd named Gabriele, with whom Cognetti shares meals and wine. Gabriele will give him a gift at the end of their season together that Cognetti didn't know he needed.

The Wild Boy has a lovely and profound story to tell about connections to land and history and one another. In seeking simplicity and a new start in his life, Cognetti rediscovers timeless truths about the human condition. In addition to the strength of its contents, this is a stunningly beautiful book. It is a slim volume whose simply titled chapters (Snow, Hay, Vegetable Garden, Neighbors) carry significant wisdom and weight. Cognetti's prose is incandescent when writing about nature, about human history, about friendship and, perhaps most of all, about words: "That was why he had become such a voracious reader. He was looking for the words that would allow him to speak about himself." For any reader who has wondered about the next step, loved a mountain or a book, struggled with writer's block or stared in wonder into a forest, this astonishing memoir is necessary. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: A city dweller returns to the mountains of his youth, and his gorgeous, reflective memoir is full of nature and humanity.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in May

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during May:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Circe by Madeline Miller (Hachette Audio)
3. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Macmillan Audio)
5. The Huntress by Kate Quinn (HarperCollins)
6. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. There There by Tommy Orange (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake (Macmillan Audio)
9. The Overstory by Richard Powers (Recorded Books)
10. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (Penguin Random House Audio)
1. Becoming by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Educated by Tara Westover (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg (HighBridge)
4. Bad Blood by John Carreyrou (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. Furious Hours by Casey Cep (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Calypso by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
9. The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster Audio)
10. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins)

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