Also published on this date: Monday, September 9, 2019: Maximum Shelf: The Third Rainbow Girl

Shelf Awareness for Monday, September 9, 2019

Yen Press: The God of Nishi-Yuigahama Station by Takeshi Murase, Translated by Guiseppe Di Martino

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

St. Martin's Press: Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen


Jennifer M. Brown Rejoins Shelf Awareness

Jennifer M. Brown
(photo: Michael Lionstar)

Shelf Awareness is delighted to announce that Jennifer M. Brown, who founded our children's/YA section and was our children's/YA editor from 2007 to 2015, has rejoined the company as a senior editor, overseeing Shelf Awareness for Readers, the Maximum Shelf and GLOW sections; she will also be involved in new projects. She most recently was librarian at the Bank Street College of Education and publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers. Earlier she was an editor at Harper and edited reviews at Publishers Weekly.

We're very excited that Jenny has returned to Shelf Awareness. She's smart, full of ideas, considerate, focused, always so cheerful and has a wonderful sense of humor. Her extensive background in the book publishing world includes serving on the 2015 Newbery Committee and the 2014 New York Times Best Illustrated Books jury. Her personal book tastes run from James Joyce's Ulysses (the subject of her college thesis) to Toni Morrison to Maurice Sendak and Anne Lamott. When she's not reading, she performs at Don't Tell Mama in New York.

With the change, Stefanie Hargreaves is leaving the company at the end of the month and may be reached via e-mail. We thank her for her work and wish her the best.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Hurricane Update: N.C.'s Outer Banks, Nova Scotia

Hurricane Dorian made landfall along North Carolina's Outer Banks before heading north toward its final landfall in Nova Scotia. Here's a sampling of recent bookseller reports on social media, where some of the shops updated information in real time as the storm progressed:

North Carolina
Books to Be Red, Ocracoke: "As most of you know, Ocracoke was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian. Many people have had their homes under 3 to 5 feet of water and more. I am happy to say my home is ok but Books to Be Red not so much. I thought I had prepared for the storm but I was so wrong. We spent today beginning the clean up and will continue for awhile... our water got cut on this afternoon and that sure made cleaning up a bit easier. Electricity is still being worked out for the island, that will happen after awhile. We all appreciate your calls, texts, emails, etc. Please know we are trying but between phones not being charged and spotty cell service it can be hard. We also have heard of crazy reports on the news. The people that are here are fine. They did evacuate a couple off the island because of pre existing conditions. They sure did not rescue 100's off. The rest of us may be a bit teary but we are strong and will come back strong."

Buxton Village Books, Buxton: "Post Dorian bookstore news. Brief because we're still on generator. No damage to the shop. Outdoors messy but OK."

The rising water at Downtown Books

Downtown Books, Manteo: "And here it is! The post-Dorian video." And: "We got power and are almost done mopping! We're bringing the books down at 2pm--Any and All extra hands welcome!!"

Duck's Cottage Coffee & Books, Duck: "Noon update from the @waterfrontshopsduck... pond is spilling over with rainwater but everything still looking good... and Gandalf The Goose is STILL on duty." And: "Cleaning up & getting ready to open at 12:30 today!"

Island Bookstores OBX: "We've weathered the storm but will remain closed until Monday to allow our staff time to clean up and recoup."

Dee Gee's Gifts and Books, Morehead City: "We are so thankful to say Dee Gees survived Dorian. A lot of nerves, wind, rain and prayers!! Our hearts are with those that are not as fortunate. Thank you for your prayers through this terrible storm. We will keep you updated on opening pending on power!!"

Nova Scotia
Woozles, Halifax: "Woozles will be closed today (September 8) because the store does not have any power. We are planning to reopen tomorrow at 9:30am. Good luck with the hurricane clean up, everyone!"

Lexicon Books, Lunenburg: "We, like the rest of Lunenburg, are without power, so will remain closed today, or until power is restored (hopefully tomorrow but possibly Tuesday). Many thanks to the hardworking crews of Nova Scotia Power!"

NovelTea Bookstore Café, Truro: "We've got power, wifi, and coffee. All the essentials." "NovelTea will be OPEN tomorrow for as long as possible, check back here for updates. If you’re nervous about being home alone, need coffee, wanna talk about the weather, or just don’t like storms, we're here for you!"

GLOW: Torrey House Press: Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell's Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River by Zak Podmore

Patterson Partnership Grant Teachers Named

James Patterson and Scholastic Book Clubs revealed the names of 4,500 teachers across the U.S. who won Patterson Partnership grants to help build their classroom libraries. Four thousand teachers will each receive $250 in cash and 250 Scholastic Book Clubs Bonus Points, while an additional 500 "new" teachers (those with less than three years experience) each receive $500 in cash and 500 Bonus Points. This school year marks the fifth annual installment of the Patterson Partnership, created to save classroom libraries and assist teachers in acquiring books and other materials desperately needed in their classrooms.

"I write children's books with the sole goal of getting kids reading--by (hopefully) giving them a story they like to read, that in turn gets them to pick up another," Patterson said. "But without teachers, who are first showing their students how to read, and second, giving them access to books in their classrooms, we'd be nowhere. So whether they're pointing kids towards the right book, inspiring creativity, or encouraging kindness, teachers change lives every single day. And I'm humbled to be able to give back to them in some way."

The 2019 Patterson/Scholastic Book Clubs campaign drew a total of nearly 125,000 applicants, with more than 26,000 applications coming from new teachers. Patterson has now donated $8.5 million to school and classroom libraries through his partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs.

Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs, commented: "Thanks to James Patterson's unwavering commitment and generosity, we've been able to expand our reach to teachers--including new teachers--across America with this year's Patterson Partnership giveaway.... Every child deserves a classroom that gives them access to limitless independent reading opportunities, and teachers should not have to personally bear the burden of filling their classroom library shelves with books."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Hisae Matsuda New Publisher at Parallax Press

Hisae Matsuda

Hisae Matsuda is the new publisher of Parallax Press, the nonprofit publisher founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and located in Berkeley, Calif. It includes the imprints Plum Blossom Books and Palm Leaves Press.

Matsuda has been senior editor, responsible for editing books on personal and community healing and transformation. Before joining Parallax in 2016, she worked at North Atlantic Books in Berkeley and Obunsha, an educational publisher in Tokyo.

Jacob Surpin, a member of the hiring committee, said Matsuda "stood out from the crowd of enormously talented and qualified applicants that we interviewed because she understood and embraced our lineage as a publisher of books on mindful living and Engaged Buddhism. In addition, she had a clear vision for the future of Parallax that resonated with us and the board."

Matsuda commented: "I have admired Parallax Press books for 30 years and it is an honor to be invited to step into the publisher role at this time. With the commodification of mindfulness in practically every area of life, it is utterly refreshing to work with a community of people genuinely engaged in contemplative practice and to publish from that space."

Obituary Note: James Atlas

James Atlas

James Atlas, "a leading figure in New York literary circles as an editor and publisher and as a writer whose books included well-regarded biographies of Saul Bellow and the poet Delmore Schwartz," died September 4, the New York Times reported. He was 70.

Atlas wrote his first biography, Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet (1977), when he was in his 20s, and four decades later detailed his "obsession with biography" in The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer's Tale (2017). His Bellow: A Biography was published in 2000, followed in 2005 by My Life in the Middle Ages: A Survivor's Tale, in which he observed: "As I write these words, I'm on the threshold of late middle age, which imposes a biological deadline far more terrifying than the demands of any editor."

"He further spread the gospel of biography as the founder of the Penguin Lives book series, a joint venture of Penguin and Lipper Books that he conceived around 1996 as he was struggling with his Bellow biography," the Times wrote. The "eclectic and much admired series" included more than 30 books, among Jimmy Breslin on Branch Rickey, Mary Gordon on Joan of Arc, Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Jefferson and Larry McMurtry on Crazy Horse.

Atlas resurrected the idea in 2003 by launching the Eminent Lives series, a joint venture of HarperCollins and his newly formed Atlas Publishing (later Atlas & Co.). He also established the Great Discoveries series for Norton, exploring science and mathematics.

In a 2008 interview with the Times, Atlas said, "I did not long ago spy on the shelf of an airport bookshop in Oslo a copy of the Modern Library edition of my Bellow." It was shelved alongside Losing It--and Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli and a collection of Alan Bennett's essays. "One ignominious feature of the biographer's life is that your books get shelved alphabetically by your subject's name rather than your own. But I was totally fine with that."

On Twitter, PEN America wrote: "We are saddened to hear that editor, publisher, writer, and PEN America Member James Atlas has passed away. His legacy as an ambassador of biographies will continue to impact and inspire the literary world."


Image of the Day: William Kent Krueger at the Book Stall

On Saturday, the Book Stall, Winnetka, Ill., hosted a reading and signing by William Kent Krueger for his new novel, This Tender Land (Atria).

Pennie Picks: The Invisible Bridge

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Vintage, $16.95, 9781400034376) as her pick of the month for September. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I cannot imagine tiring of reading about familial bonds. That theme is one of the many reasons I chose The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer, as this month's book buyer's pick.

"Andras Lévi is studying architecture in Paris in 1937 when he falls in love with an older woman. When his visa expires, he must return to Hungary; the anti-Semitic climate leaves neither Andras nor his family untouched.

"The novel is made all the more powerful by the fact that the idea for this story started with a conversation Orringer had with her grandfather."

B&N's September Book Club Pick: The Testaments

Barnes & Noble has chosen The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese, $28.95, 9780385543781) as its September national book club selection. The novel, which will be released tomorrow, will be the focus of a book club night at B&N stores around the country on Wednesday, October 9, at 7 p.m.

Liz Harwell, B&N's senior director of merchandising, trade books, said, "Margaret Atwood's much-anticipated sequel to the now classic The Handmaid's Tale takes readers back to Gilead 15 years later to follow three female characters, connected to Offred, living in the patriarchal totalitarian regime. We can't wait to put this book in the hands of readers and then invite them back to our stores to hear their reactions and insights to this landmark publication."

For more information on the event, click here.

Personnel Changes at Flame Tree

Jordi Nolla has been appointed sales director at Flame Tree Publishing. He formerly was rights manager at Carlton Books and Quarto.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephen Kinzer on Fresh Air

Today Show: Antoni Porowski, co-author of Antoni in the Kitchen (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9781328631343). He will also appear on Live with Kelly and Ryan and the Daily Show.

Also on Today: Jodi Kantor, co-author of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement (Penguin Press, $28, 9780525560340). She will also appear today on CBS This Morning.

CBS This Morning: Malcolm Gladwell, author of Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316478526). He will also be on the View tomorrow.

Good Morning America: Brad Meltzer, author of I Am Walt Disney (Dial Books, $15.99, 9780735228757).

Fresh Air: Stephen Kinzer, author of Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control (Holt, $30, 9781250140432).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: CJ Hauser, author of Family of Origin: A Novel (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385544627).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Chelsea Handler, author of Life Will Be the Death of Me: ...And You Too! (Spiegel & Grau, $12.50, 9781684119875).

CBS This Morning: Condoleezza Rice, author of To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth (Twelve, $35, 9781538764671).

Good Morning America: Stephen King, author of The Institute: A Novel (Scribner, $30, 9781982110567).

Watch What Happens Live: Ryan Serhant, author of Sell It Like Serhant: How to Sell More, Earn More, and Become the Ultimate Sales Machine (Hachette Books, $16.99, 9780316449588).

Daily Show: Brad Smith, co-author of Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age (Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877710).

Movies: Doctor Sleep

The final trailer for Warner Bros.' Doctor Sleep "crams in as many visual and auditory references to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film as possible, as if to say, 'This is still The Shining, you're safe here,' " IndieWire reported. Director Mike Flanagan's (The Haunting of Hill House) film, an adaptation of Stephen King's 2013 sequel, stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Danny Torrance. The cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Carl Lumbly and Alex Essoe.

Books & Authors

Awards: Ned Kelly; Edna Staebler Creative Non-Fiction

The winners of the 2019 Ned Kelly Awards, sponsored by the Australian Crime Writers Association, are:

Best Fiction: The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Best First Fiction: The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
Best True Crime: Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Judges praised "Jane Harper's atmospheric and evocative outback mystery; Dervla McTiernan's assured, complex and engaging procedural debut; and Bri Lee's nuanced, impactful and important memoir."


A shortlist has been released for the C$10,000 (about US$7,590) Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, which is administered by Wilfrid Laurier University and recognizes a Canadian writer of a first or second published book with a Canadian locale and/or significance, CBC reported. The winner will be named at the end of September. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris
Mad Blood Stirring by Daemon Fairless

Book Review

Review: Olive, Again

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, $27 hardcover, 304p., 9780812996548, October 15, 2019)

Over the course of seven beautifully written, luminous novels, Elizabeth Strout (My Name Is Lucy Barton) has explored the tenuous bonds of family, secrets, and the aftermath of shattering losses and repressed grief. Binding all of Strout's work are characters humanized in their ordinary lives--lives assailed by hardship, teetering between despair and hope.

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, Strout traced the life of a rigidly stoic, set-in-her-ways, lifelong inhabitant of fictional Crosby, Maine. Olive--a former high school math teacher; the wife of a small-town pharmacist--is judgmental with often grating hard edges that forge her opinions and resilience.

In Olive, Again, Strout picks up Olive's story in her seventh and eighth decades. Olive, an aging widow, contends with a now elusive world and her feelings for widower Jack Kennison, the antithesis of Olive. Jack, a staunch Republican and former professor at Harvard, migrated to Crosby after a co-worker accused him of sexual harassment and he was fired. He is drawn to Olive, questioningly.

As the narrative unfolds, readers learn that Olive and Jack have married. Despite their vastly different pedigrees, they are moored in similar emotional harbors, which unites them. Olive and Jack had first marriages to good people, yet both carry--and grapple with--guilt. Loneliness plagues them. They take stock of their fates, choices and destinies in a changing world, while facing the often-humiliating infirmities of aging. Jack tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter, a lesbian whom he never accepted. Similarly, Olive contends with her strained relationship with her son, who's married and raising a blended family in New York City.

The 13 episodic stories that constitute Olive, Again are deep and meaningful--made richly entertaining and accessible through Strout's skillful blend of the serious with the comedic. Jack gets arrested for speeding and suspected DUI. Olive delivers a baby, hosts her son and his bewildering family, suffers a heart attack and faces colorful caretakers and assisted living. Along the way, former students inspire wisdom in Olive, including a visiting poet laureate and a shunned, gravely ill young wife who helps Olive better understand her feelings for Jack. In stories where Olive takes a supporting or cameo role, Strout delivers some of her finest work, exploring characters mired in deeply personal chaos and emotional exile, bearing immense private burdens, struggling to cope and transcend dysfunction in their own lives and in their families. Devotees of Strout's work will be pleased to revisit several characters featured in previous books.

Insight and humor permeate these vibrant, multi-dimensional stories that could easily stand alone, but are augmented by familiarity with the first book. As Olive searches to make sense of--and find meaning for--her life and the people in it, she muses: it's "never starting over... it's just continuing on." How fortunate for readers that Strout--an astute and sympathetic storyteller--has continued Olive's moving and profound journey. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A prickly Maine woman finds hard-won wisdom as she butts up against the challenges of aging and ordinary life--and others struggling to survive.

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