Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 19, 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

Quotation of the Day

'Yay for a Day to Celebrate Romance!'

Roseann and Marissa Backlin, Love's Sweet Arrow

"We are so happy when customers walk out with exactly what they want and we are especially happy when people can find romances for them and that represent them. We have a long way to go to be able to get the collection that we are striving for, but we were able to do this already.

"We are on our way and we will continue to stock books and order books to have that diverse selection. We hope to continue to make everyone who has supported us proud. Thank you and yay for a day to celebrate romance!"

--Love's Sweet Arrow Romance Bookstore, Tinley Park, Ill., in a Twitter thread on Bookstore Romance Day (check out more coverage below).

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


'We Had an Amazing #BookstoreRomanceDay!'

At The Well-read Moose in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Indie booksellers nationwide shared highlights from their Bookstore Romance Day celebrations on social media over the weekend. Here's a sampling:

The Book Loft, Solvang, Calif.: "This Saturday come getcha some Summer Lovin' August 17th is Bookstore Romance Day! We're celebrating with treats, surprises, and our favorite local romance writers who'll be signing copies of their books. Plus all Romance titles are 10% off!"

Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill.: "Anderson's Bookshop and Romance Readers go together like @librofm and #Indies! Stop in tomorrow for #BookstoreRomanceDay! All three locations will have discounts, treats and surprises!"

Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.: "Celebrating Bookstore Romance Day this Saturday! What's your favorite romance novel? chalk art cred: Jackie PLB"

Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif.: "Bookseller Maryelizabeth's #bookstoreromanceday recommendation: 'this novella of re-meeting cute offers a lovely New York adventure. The promise of the stunning purple cover delivers!' at Mysterious Galaxy."

The Willow Bookstore, Perham, Minn.: "Happy Happy Bookstore Romance Day!!!! I have a feeling this will be my most favorite day of the year. Here are some books I've read in the last year--come and chat with me at 3 TODAY! There may or may not be chocolate, flowers, and free books."

Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.: Owner Kelly Justice was live for "#BookstoreRomanceDay at Fountain!" And: "Featuring @andrewtshaffer taking a turn with me in the photo booth!"

One More Page, Arlington, Va., offered "treats served to you by a genuine cowboy and Scotsman!"

Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, Fla.: "Lucy, one of our wonderful booksellers, is a huge fan of romance novels and would love to talk to you about them this Saturday (8/17) as we celebrate Bookstore Romance Day! Can't we all use some happy endings in our lives?"

Oblong Books & Music, Millerton & Rhinebeck, N.Y.: "Happy #bookstoreromanceday! We're over on Instagram recommending some new romance novels AND some of our staff picks."

Blue Willow Books, Houston, Tex.: "TODAY is the first annual Bookstore Romance Day! Join us in celebrating this event in honor of romance fiction. Come chat your favorite romance reads + score a Mystery Date with a Book, then join us for romantic cocktails around 4 PM!"

Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo.: "We've got exclusive extra-romantic Blind Date Books for Bookstore Romance Day! Come pick one up in exchange for a donation to Left Bank Books Foundation!"

Postmark Books, Rosendale, N.Y.: "What's that strange stirring in the stony spot in the middle of our chests? It must be #BookstoreRomanceDay!!!"

At Silver Unicorn, panelists Suzan Krohn, Stacie Williams,  Kerry Winfrey and Lindsay D'Angelo discussed "Getting to Know Romance Books."

The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, Mass.: "Our first-ever Bookstore Romance Day was a huge success! Thanks to Kerry Winfrey, Lindsay D'Angelo, Suzanne Krohn and Stacie Williams for making it such a special day!!!"

Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.: "We had an amazing #BookstoreRomanceDay! Romance Displays, Blind Dates with ARCs, Love Letters to Favorite Books, and Cookies!"

Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.: "It's 11PM and time to close, but thank you all for joining us on the first annual #RomanceBookstoreDay. We hope you enjoyed our recommendations and that you're going to be with some wonderful books."

Tor Books: One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Romance: 'One of B&N's Hottest Genres'

Romance is also sweltering this summer at Barnes & Noble, where romance book sales are up 31% compared to the same period last year, according to Barnes & Noble Book Buzz, the B&N newsletter about trends at the bookselling company. It called romance "one of B&N's hottest genres."

Jules Herbert, B&N's romance buyer, said a key reason for growth in romance is "writers and publishers venturing into less traditional topics and protagonists for the genre.... In the past year, we've seen an increase in romance titles that cross over to a wider audience of readers. These include more romantic comedies, books with diverse characters and relationships, and popular movie adaptations that in turn drive book sales."

Examples include Jasmine Guillory, who has written about interracial love; Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, which features two male love interests; and Helen Hoang's The Bride Test, which has an international cast.

The newsletter noted, too, that cover art for many new books isn't "the traditional romantic paintings of lovers and landscapes, but instead [they] have colorful, Instagrammable illustrations with a more playful style."

"We're going to see more crossover books this fall, including romantic comedies that go against type in gender, sexuality, and ethnicity," Herbert added. "For instance, readers should look out for The Bromance Book Club in November, in which a baseball star and his wife have a big blowout. To win her back, the protagonist joins the Bromance Book Club, where he and buddies find their inner Romeo."

At the same time, traditional romance is doing well. "Romance is a reassuring genre, particularly in stressful times," Herbert said. "We know how the book is going to end, but it's fun to get wrapped up in the 'oh no, that didn't just happen' plot twists. We are seeing more writers and publishers showcase that playfulness and escapism as much as the romance."

B&N's top romance titles this summer:

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber
Under Currents by Nora Roberts
After We Collided (After Series #2) by Anna Todd
The Seekers by Heather Graham
The Mister by E.L. James
After (After Series #1) by Anna Todd
After We Fell (After Series #3) by Anna Todd
Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh
After Ever Happy (After Series #4) by Anna Todd
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

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

Harper Perennial Coordinating Cover Reveal with Indies

Eoin Colfer

At noon Eastern time, this Wednesday, August 21, independent bookstores across the country are unveiling the book jacket for Eoin Colfer's Highfire, which will be published by Harper Perennial on January 28, part of a cover reveal coordinated by HarperCollins and the American Booksellers Association. As part of the initiative, booksellers are encouraged to invite customers to pre-order the book from them.

The ABA has been encouraging indies to emphasize pre-publication awareness of titles among their customers as a way to increase their share of pre-orders and early book sales, much of which has been going to Amazon.

HarperCollins did a similar unveiling campaign earlier this year with a children's title, Adam Silvera's Infinity Son. Highfire is the first standalone adult novel by Colfer, best known for his Artemis Fowl series. He has also published two adult crime novels, Plugged and Screwed.

Harper Perennial will provide digital assets, suggested copy, and hashtags to participating stores to help them spread the message. Stores should plan to share the final cover on social media between noon and 3:00 p.m. on August 21. Booksellers who haven't signed up yet for the cover reveal for Highfire can get more information here.

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

Mary C. Francis New Penn Press Director

Mary C. Francis

Mary C. Francis will become director of the University of Pennsylvania Press, effective September 23.

She has been editorial director at the University of Michigan Press/Michigan Publishing since 2015 and was previously executive editor and team leader for the humanities at the University of California Press, where she started in 1999 as an editorial assistant. She also worked in the editorial and production departments at Oxford University Press, Yale University Press, and Mayfield Publishing. She is on the board of directors of the Association of University Presses, and has served AUPresses in various capacities, including as chair of the 2019 annual meeting program committee and chair of the acquisitions committee.

Francis has been a leader in developing new forms of Open Access, including Michigan Publishing's community-based, open-source platform, Fulcrum. Launched with support from the Mellon Foundation, Fulcrum is now being used by many presses across the country. At the same time, she has been an award-winning acquiring editor of books within her areas of expertise in media/film studies, digital culture, literary studies, and music.

Outgoing director Eric Halpern has led Penn Press since 1995, and earlier had worked for 14 years at Johns Hopkins University Press and Cornell University Press. University Provost Wendell Pritchett said, "We are deeply in Eric's debt for the vision and integrity with which he has guided Penn Press for more than two decades. Eric has been, through many unpredictable changes in both the publishing and academic markets, a powerful steward of the Press' highest scholarly traditions."

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

20th Amazon Books Coming to Nashville, Tenn.

Amazon plans to open an Amazon Books book and electronics store in Nashville, Tenn., Geekwire reported. The company currently has 19 Amazon Books stores. It opened the first in 2015 in its hometown of Seattle. 

The Nashville Post reported that based on information in a building permit, the store will be about 4,600 square feet and be located in the Mall at Green Hills. The newspaper observed that last November Amazon announced it will establish the Operations Center for Excellence in an 11-acre development in Nashville Yards in downtown Nashville, which will bring an estimated 5,000 jobs to the city--in exchange for some $230 million in state and local grants and tax abatements.


Image of the Day: Arithmechicks Add to Release Party

Scrawl Books in Reston, Va., hosted a party on Saturday to celebrate the release of AnnMarie Stephens's picture book Arithmechicks Add Up (Boyds Mills Press). The store invited a local family to bring their pet chickens to join the fun. Bookseller Molly McMahon reported, "Readers of all ages crowded in to the store to listen to Stephens read her story and interact with the 'real Arithmechicks!' "

'A Well-Read President' Visits Bunch of Grapes Bookstore

Former President Bill Clinton paid a visit to Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, Mass., yesterday. The bookshop posted a group photo on Facebook, noting: "A well-read President is our favorite kind of President. Thanks for coming in, Mr. Clinton! It was a pleasure to meet you, and we hope you enjoy your books!"

Personnel Changes at Arcadia

At Arcadia Publishing, director of national sales and marketing Kate Everingham will become director of sales and operations, effective September 3. At the end of the year, she will leave the company in a fulltime capacity but will be available to assist with special projects on a consulting basis. 

Noting that Everingham wants to "spend more of her time pursuing other life interests," president and CEO David Steinberger called her contributions to the company over the past 20 years "so vast and multifaceted as to almost defy any attempt to describe them… Suffice it to say that I am deeply grateful for her extraordinary effort and professionalism in enabling Arcadia Publishing and the History Press to develop into a unique and mission-driven company, poised for great things to come."

At the same time, Amy Kaneko is joining the company on September 3 as director of national sales and marketing. She began her career in sales at Bantam Doubleday Dell and held senior sales and marketing roles at Grove, IDG, Chronicle, and most recently Weldon Owen and Insight Editions.

In other Arcadia personnel news, the company has closed on its deal to buy most assets of Pelican Publishing and has added the following Pelican employees: Nina Kooij, editor-in-chief; Antoinette de Alteriis, director of publicity; John Scheyd, sales manager; Devinn Adams, assistant editor; Kevin Johnson, senior production editor & design coordinator; and Cassie Zimmerman, production editor & design coordinator.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jill Heinerth on Fresh Air

CBS This Morning: James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones (Avery, $27, 9780735211292).

Fresh Air: Jill Heinerth, author of Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver (Ecco, $29.99, 9780062691545).

Wendy Williams repeat: Gizelle Bryant, author of My Word (Brown Girls Publishing, $16.99, 9781944359805).

Wendy Williams repeat: Moby, author of Then It Fell Apart (Faber & Faber, $24.95, 9780571348893).

The View repeat: Chelsea Handler, author of Life Will Be the Death of Me:... and you too! (Spiegel & Grau, $27, 9780525511779).

Books & Authors

Awards: Hugo Winners

The Hugo Awards were presented yesterday during Dublin 2019--An Irish Worldcon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention. The winners were:

Best Novel: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Best Novella: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells ( Publishing)
Best Novelette: "If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again" by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
Best Short Story: "A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies" by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)
Best Series: Wayfarers by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton/Harper Voyager)
Best Related Work: Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: The Good Place: "Janet(s)" written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
Best Professional Editor, Short Form: Gardner Dozois
Best Professional Editor, Long Form: Navah Wolfe
Best Professional Artist: Charles Vess
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien
Best Fanzine: Lady Business, editors Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan
Best Fancast: Our Opinions Are Correct, hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
Best Fan Writer: Foz Meadows
Best Fan Artist: Likhain (Mia Sereno)
Best Art Book: The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga Press/Gollancz)
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Jeannette Ng
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Holt/Macmillan Children's Books)

New Prize for Climate Change Poetry

The Academy of American Poets has partnered with Treehouse Investments, a social impact firm, to found the Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize, which will honor "exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present." 

Submissions for the first prize will be accepted online from September 1 through November 1. The winning poets will be announced March 19, 2020, the first day of spring. 

Three poets will be honored, with prizes of $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. In addition, all three poems will be published in the Poem-a-Day series, which is distributed to 500,000 readers. 

Judges for the 2019 Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize are author and environmentalist Bill McKibben and poet and author Julia Alvarez. 

Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets, said, "We're grateful to have the opportunity to address the climate crisis through poetry and hope the poets' poems we'll publish might inspire people to learn more about the issue and how they can help."

Dominique Slavin, managing director of Treehouse Investments, said, "The science of climate change is unequivocal; its negative social and financial consequences are clear; the technological solutions to reverse it exist. And yet we as a society are clearly failing to deal with the issue at sufficient scale and speed. So why address climate change with poems? Because a good poem can remind us of everything we share, and everything we put at risk. Because poems are the backbone of our culture and this, more than anything else, is what needs to change."

Midwest Connections September Picks

The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association has selected its Midwest Connections Picks for September. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood (Putnam, $26, 9780525541844). "Zee is nobody's fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead's temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss. Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee's champion. Both shy and autistic, he's barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid."

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (Atria, $27, 9781476749297). "For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the New York Times bestselling author of Ordinary Grace."

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez (Kokila, $16.99, 9780425290439). "When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up. In their quest for justice, independence, and an unforgettable summer, the girls form their own troop and find something they didn't know they needed: sisterhood."

My Footprints by Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran (Capstone Editions, $19.99, 9781684460007). "Thuy walks home one afternoon, angry and lonely after a bully's taunts. A bird catches her attention and sparks Thuy's imagination. Mimicking the footprints of creatures in the snow, she makes her way home to the arms of her moms. Together, they imagine beautiful and powerful creatures who always have courage, just like Thuy."

Book Review

Review: The Grave on the Wall

The Grave on the Wall by Brandon Shimoda (City Lights, $16.95 paperback, 222p., 9780872867901, September 1, 2019)

By the time Brandon Shimoda's grandfather died in 1996, he had been living with Alzheimer's for almost 20 years. Shimoda was then a college freshman, which meant he had had little opportunity to know the man without the disease. Reacting to "the loss--the losing," Shimoda started writing The Grave on the Wall almost a decade ago, collaging other people's memories, documentation and transcripts in search of Midori Shimoda, his father's father: "A grandfather is a strange, somewhat impossible work of conscience, especially when old, especially when in a state of decline, on the verge of appearing to dream." Relying on his skills as a poet, Shimoda enhances the elusive details of Midori's life with his own journeys of discovery, creating an impressive prose debut. The compelling result is a meditative memoir-of-sorts about his grandfather, his extended family, his ancestral heritage and ultimately himself as a 21st-century Japanese American.

Shimoda begins, in typewriter font, with three disjointed paragraphs presented without identification, later revealed to be FBI report excerpts. "Subject stated he thinks Japan is 'Hell,' " the first reveals. And then, "He represents one of the many individual tragedies of the war.... We recommend... he is paroled... as soon as possible so that his spirit may not be broken.'" And the final, "...he has a plan in mind to do something which may be harmful to the country or the people in it and have been thoroughly satisfied to have him interned." Midori, as the "subject," was conceived in Hawaii and born--in 1909 or 1910 or 1911, depending on who is remembering--on an island off the coast of Hiroshima. At nine, he immigrated to the U.S., where he lived the rest of his life. During World War II, he was one of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry imprisoned without cause: his Japanese birth classified him as "enemy alien"; being a photographer with a camera landed him in unlawful confinement at Fort Missoula, Mont., where he was "held under pretext of being a threat to the national security of [this] country."

Decades later, Brandon Shimoda made his first visit to Missoula, "to the ruins of Japanese American incarceration, [and] found Midori's face" in a photograph hanging on the barracks wall. The unexpected discovery becomes, for Shimoda, "Midori's grave, because it is an icon of his arrest, and was the first, most accessible, place [he] could visit [Midori] after death."

To fathom further that grave on the wall, Shimoda travels to ancestral lands, uncovers voices from the past (including Midori's missing first wife), visits peace monuments, burial grounds, burnt-down temples, considers ritualized suicide. Through his expansive pursuit, Shimoda alchemizes his family's recollections and confessions, his country's trespasses, his legacy of loss, into elegant, haunting testimony. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Poet Brandon Shimoda makes his elegiac prose debut, seeking to understand his paternal grandfather--and ultimately himself--through the enduring legacy of unlawful imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. 

Powered by: Xtenit