Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

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

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

Amulet Books: Batcat: Volume 1 by Meggie Ramm

Berkley Books: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady

Quotation of the Day

Small Shops: 'The Antidote to Endless Choice'

"Business-wise, independent bookstores are doing great, thanks to the dedicated support of readers. We bet on opening an independent bookstore because bookstores are so important to each of us individually, and because we knew that after the rise (and fall) of big bland chain shops and the supremacy of Amazon, readers have whole-heartedly returned to independent bookstores: for a feeling of belonging in a literary community, for the always-surprising and engaging interactions between booksellers and readers, for readings and events, and for a space to be among a curated collection of literature that always presents new ideas and paths to discovery. Endless choice can be exhausting--and small local shops are a great antidote to that. We bet on Beacon as a town full of readers who wanted to share all those near-sacred experiences with us at Binnacle, and we couldn't be happier with how it's turning out."

--Kate Ryan, co-owner of Binnacle Books, Beacon, N.Y., in a q&a with Get Lit Beacon

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


Book Club Bookstore in South Windsor, Conn., Closing Today

Book Club Bookstore & More in South Windsor, Conn., is closing today after nearly six years in business, the Journal Inquirer reported.

Owner Cynde Acanto said her store has suffered due to a lack of foot traffic brought on by online shopping, but even though the store is closing she plans to keep many of the store's book clubs going.

After hosting the final book club meeting in the bookstore tonight, which is for the Chat & Chew Book Club, Acanto will start hosting the book clubs at Wood Memorial Library in South Windsor. The store's striking book arch, originally made for a wedding before being given to the store, will also find a new home at the library.

"I opened the store to bring readers, authors, and books together," Acanto told the Journal Inquirer. "We've seen customers become friends at our book discussions."

Jessica Vogelgesang, spokeswoman for the Wood Memorial Library, said the library is "delighted that Cynde Acanto has chosen to continue on with her passion and is partnering with the Wood. She has done a wonderful job of bringing quality author events to South Windsor, and of supporting local book clubs, authors and artisans."

Acanto pointed to author events with Kimberly McCreight (Reconstructing Amelia) and Emily Liebert (Pretty Revenge) as store highlights. She said: "Our customers love meeting authors, other readers, and getting book suggestions that an algorithm wouldn't provide."

Acanto will host her first book club meeting at the library on August 12.

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

KJ Grow Named Publisher of Shambhala

KJ Grow

KJ Grow has been named publisher of Shambhala, the flagship imprint of Shambhala Publications. She joined Shambhala in 2015 as director of sales & marketing and subsequently became v-p of sales & marketing. She earlier worked at Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster and was a bookseller and events director at Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, Mass.

She will work closely with the publishers of the other imprints at Shambhala Publications, which include Snow Lion, Roost Books and Bala Kids. The Shambhala imprint publishes works on Buddhism, mindful living, contemplative spiritual traditions, yoga, psychology, health and personal growth.

Nikko Odiseos, president of Shambhala Publications, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary as an independent, family-owned publisher, said, "KJ Grow is a strategic thinker, a natural leader, and a great collaborator with authors and with our entire team, ensuring we will be publishing the most authentic, timeless and transformational books that have a direct, positive impact on people's lives. Authors, agents, booksellers, librarians, and the media will quickly see her innovative and highly engaged approach."

Sara Bercholz, co-owner of Shambhala Publications and publisher of Roost Books, added: "KJ has gone from strength to strength here at Shambhala Publications, She has earned our utmost trust and respect and with her growth leadership I can see nothing but the opportunity to flourish."

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Texas A&M-San Antonio Bookstore Reopens Under Follett Management

The Texas A&M University-San Antonio bookstore reopened on July 1 under Follett management, the Mesquite News reported. Although the store has reopened, contract negotiations between the university and Follett are ongoing, and, so far, very little has actually changed in the bookstore. All six bookstore employees have retained their jobs.

In response to questions about what Follett has planned for the store, manager Christa Cooper told Mesquite News: "I honestly do not have any answers currently to that question, as I do not know. So we're just kind of basically going through the process day-by-day as it goes on."

According to Daniel Garza, Texas A&M-San Antonio's director of procurement and auxiliary services, Follett should be funding a renovation of the store's entrance area, though that has not been finalized.

The store had previously partnered with Barnes & Noble. At the beginning of 2019 spring semester, Texas A&M-San Antonio joined several other Texas A&M campuses in a request for proposals, and received bids from B&N, Follett and Texas Book Company.

Johnny Guevara, Texas A&M-San Antonio's assistant director of auxiliary services, said Follett won out because of its "revenue compensation, oral presentation, as well as the ability to provide the highest quality of service."

Obituary Note: Robert Mayer

Robert Mayer, a journalist and author of the 1977 superhero novel Superfolks, died July 23 at the age of 80, Bleeding Cool reported. The cause of death was complications from Parkinson's Disease.

Mayer attended the City College of New York and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. While in journalism school he received a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, and after graduation he joined the Washington Post before going to work for Newsday, where he spent the next 10 years of his career.

Six years into his tenure at Newsday Mayer became its New York City columnist, and in 1968 he won the National Headliner Award, given to the best feature columnist in the country. In both 1969 and 1971, he won the Mike Berger Award, given for the year's best writing about New York City, and was the first person to ever win it twice.

In the 1970s Mayer moved to Santa Fe, N.Mex., to concentrate on writing books. He wrote 13 novels and three works of nonfiction. Superfolks, perhaps his best-known work, is a novel meant for adults that satirizes and deconstructs the superhero genre. It proved influential to major comic book writers like Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek and Alan Moore.

Over the years he continued his reporting and also became a writing teacher, leading workshops at his studio in Santa Fe. He completed one last novel before his death, which will be published by About Comics sometime in the near future.


Image of the Day: Hello New Dominion Hours

At New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, Va., bookseller Audrey Parks poses with her latest sign, inspired by Good Night Moon, which encourages customers to come and take advantage of New Dominion's extended summer hours.

Happy 25th Birthday, Norwich Bookstore!

Congratulations to Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vt., which is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a store-wide sale and party this coming Saturday, August 3. 

The community appreciation sale, which will see everything in the store discounted by 20%, runs from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. From 10 a.m. until noon, Vermont author and illustrator Jason Chin will sign books, and later that day Norwich Bookstore will feature one of his books, Gravity, as part of StoryWalk in Norwich Square, which will run from August 3 until August 26. The festivities will also include a "Find Waldo" prize drawing as well as refreshments and a host of other prizes.

While store owners Bernard and Penny McConnel have put the store up for sale, they assured their customers: "We are not going anywhere until we find new owners who will embrace our history and add their own creative chapters to the story."

Tonight Show Summer Read: Ask Again, Yes

On Thursday, Jimmy Fallon revealed that Mary Beth Keane's novel Ask Again, Yes (Scribner) has been chosen as the Tonight Show Summer Reads pick for 2019.

Viewers chose Ask Again, Yes from a group of five books that also included The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz, Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner and The Chain by Adrian McKinty. Ask Again, Yes won with 50% of the votes, and Fallon reported that almost a million votes were cast.

Participating readers can follow Fallon's Instagram and the Tonight Show on Facebook for updates over the next few weeks, using the hashtag #tonightshowsummerreads. The show will give feedback on the book, answer reader questions and hear what readers have to say.

This is the second year that the Tonight Show has done a summer read. The inaugural pick was Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone (Holt).

Personnel Changes at Penguin Random House Audio

At Penguin Random House Audio:

Taraneh Djangi has been promoted to associate director, strategic marketing.

Nicole Morano has been promoted to senior publicity manager.

Juliette Koronkiewicz has joined the company as senior social media manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Laura Lippman on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Laura Lippman, author of Lady in the Lake: A Novel (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062390011).

The View: Linsey Davis, author of The World Is Awake: A Celebration of Everyday Blessings (Zonderkidz, $17.99, 9780310762034).

Books & Authors

Awards: Willie Morris, Sunburst, Library of Virginia Shortlists

The shortlist for the $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams, is:

Promise by Minrose Gwin (Morrow)
Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin)
The Past Is Never by Tiffany Quay Tyson (Skyhorse Publishing)


The finalists for the 2019 Library of Virginia Literary Award are:

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin
Let's No One Get Hurt by Jon Pineda
Yellow Stonefly by Tim Poland

We Face the Dawn: Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, and the Legal Team That Dismantled Jim Crow by Margaret Edds
Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America by Catherine Kerrison
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy

Search & Rescue by Michael Chitwood
Claude Before Time and Space by Claudia Emerson
Hold by Bob Hicok
Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner


The Sunburst Award Committee has announced the shortlists for the 2019 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. To see the titles in all three categories, click here.

Book Review

Review: The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri (Catapult, $26 hardcover, 368p., 9781948226424, September 3, 2019)

No matter their ethnicity, country of origin or the political intricacies of their situation, refugees flee their homes in search of safety, opportunity and hope. Novelist Dina Nayeri, who fled Iran as a child with her mother and brother, delves into the experiences of many refugees--their varied details and their broader parallels--in her first nonfiction book, The Ungrateful Refugee.

Nayeri relates her own experience of flight and its traumatic aftereffects over many years, and interviews dozens of other refugees from various countries, highlighting their stories. She also asks pointed questions that reverberate through the narrative: Who is worthy of refuge and rescue? Who gets to decide? And "why do we ask the desperate to strip off their dignity as the price of help?"

Nayeri (A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea) begins with her own story of seeking refuge: a long, winding journey with her mother and brother between relatives' houses, refugee camps and eventually a new, unfamiliar home in Oklahoma. She draws the sharp contrasts of her life in Iran before leaving: the comfort and safety of home, her parents' contentious marriage, the religious conflict she saw at home and at school. She also returns, again and again, to her mother's story of "Three Miracles," the polished, practiced explanation of their family's journey toward asylum, which she has honed and presented to the world. Nayeri muses on the (entirely understandable and often complicated) need for refugees to make sense of their narratives, both for themselves and for those on either side of the border who have the power to grant them asylum.

The middle of Nayeri's book explores her visits to refugee camps, her interviews in several different countries with those seeking rescue and those seeking to help them, and her return as an adult to Barba, to the former Italian hotel where she once lived as a refugee. Her story, and the others she tells, have overlapping layers and complexities, but all of them are characterized by waiting, legal trouble, separation from loved ones and a desperate, repeated swing between despair and hope. She explores concepts of escape, rescue, home, waiting, assimilation--all part of the refugee experience, in particular and also universal ways.

Blistering in its unequivocal critiques of the legal systems that keep refugees in limbo, yet strikingly layered and nuanced in its storytelling, The Ungrateful Refugee is timely, unsettling, compassionate and deeply compelling. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: In her first work of nonfiction, Dina Nayeri delves into the difficulties of the refugee experience.

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