Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Scribner Book Company: Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn

Flatiron Books: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: You Matter by Christian Robinson

St. Martin's Press: Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey Into the Heart of Africa by Brad Ricca

Quirk Books: This Is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: When I Draw a Panda by Amy June Bates

Random House: Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Quotation of the Day

Indie Bookstores 'Stretch My Existing Notions of the World'


"Indie bookstore are some of my favorite places in the world. Since high school I’ve always hung out in bookstores, exploring shelves, discovering things I would never have encountered through a web browser. I absolutely love the physical connection to books--holding them in my hands, talking with staff, reading the shelf-talkers. Indie bookstores have always been the place to not just find what I might like, but also what might challenge me and stretch my existing notions of the world." 

--David Yoon, whose novel Frankly in Love (Putnam Books for Young Readers) is a top choice for the Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

Anansi International: This Lovely City by Louise Hare


B&N CMO Tim Mantel Let Go

Tim Mantel

Tim Mantel, the chief merchandising officer at Barnes & Noble who once was seen as a possible heir to B&N founder Len Riggio, was quietly let go by the company in recent weeks. The move followed the takeover of B&N in August by Elliott Advisors for $683 million.

B&N did not announce the departure, but several people in the industry have learned of Mantel's departure, which was said to have been abrupt.

A year ago, in the turmoil following the sudden firing of CEO Demos Parneros, who had hired Mantel, Mantel was said to have visited publishers with Riggio and made a good impression. The Wall Street Journal wrote that Mantel was "on the rise at the company," according to sources, and was one of three executives who were running B&N and reporting to Riggio while the company looked for another CEO. (The position wasn't filled until James Daunt became CEO after B&N was sold.)

Mantel was hired in February 2018 and earlier had been chief merchandising officer at GNC Corp.; senior v-p, food, household essentials and food service at Target; and president of Target Sourcing Services, a business analyst, buyer and merchandise planning director.

Mantel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin's Madison School of Business, where he studied marketing and international business. He has served on various boards, including Nibakure Children's Village, a nonprofit that helps communities in Rwanda, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association Apparel Coalition.

University of California Press: The Mating Game: How Gender Still Shapes How We Date by Ellen Lamont

Jonathan Cape's Dan Franklin to Retire

Dan Franklin, associate publisher at Jonathan Cape, will retire after 26 years at the Vintage imprint, the Bookseller reported. Although his retirement is effective October 31, he will continue to oversee the Jonathan Cape graphic novels list on a freelance basis. Franklin joined Cape in 1993 as publishing director and became publisher across Vintage imprints in 2003. Michal Shavit took over as publishing director when Franklin went part-time in 2016 as associate publisher.

"From when I was a teenager, avidly reading novels borrowed from my local library, I knew that Cape was the best list," said Franklin. "It has been a tremendous privilege to be Cape's publisher, and the last 26 years have been wonderful fun, with marvellous authors and fantastic colleagues. But now I've passed 70, and it's definitely time for a rest."

Shavit added: "For the last quarter of a century Dan has dedicated his life to the authors and to the books that have made Cape what it is today. He is an inspiring publisher; voraciously curious, visionary, instinctive, fiercely passionate and always kind and funny. He has been the greatest of champions for his authors, a fabulous colleague, mentor and friend to so many. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude--he's a true living legend."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.06.20

Stanfords Adds 'Foodie Bookshop' to London Menu

Travel book specialists Stanfords has opened a food-themed bookshop in a joint venture with street food pioneers KERB "to showcase London's food and cultural history through literature," the Bookseller reported. Market Bookshop will be a permanent fixture at the newly opened Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden.

The "foodie bookshop" will stock more than 400 food-focused titles, and each month Stanfords buyers will recommend new books for the collection. While Stanfords has traditionally focused on map-making and travel books, CEO Vivian Godfrey said the company hopes to expand into food literature.

"I am very excited that Stanfords has been able to partner with KERB to create our Market Bookshop offering everything we love about London: food, drink and adventure--in print," she said. "Stanfords has been trading in Covent Garden since 1853 and is perfectly placed to showcase London's food and cultural history through literature, in our bookshop."

Berkley Books: Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels

Obituary Notes: Cokie Roberts; Charles Collins

Cokie Roberts

Journalist and bestselling author Cokie Roberts, "who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News," died September 17, NPR reported. She was 75. Roberts was one of NPR's "most recognizable voices and is considered one of a handful of pioneering female journalists--along with Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg--who helped shape the public broadcaster's sound and culture at a time when few women held prominent roles in journalism."

Roberts was the author of six books, mostly recently Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868, which examined the role of powerful women in the Civil War era. Her other titles include Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation; Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation; We Are Our Mothers' Daughters; and From This Day Forward (with husband Steven V. Roberts).

Roberts "grew up walking the halls of Congress" as the daughter of Thomas Hale Boggs Sr., a former Democratic majority leader of the House who served in Congress for more than three decades before dying in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972, NPR noted. Her mother, Lindy Claiborne Boggs, took her husband's seat and served for 17 years, and also served as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

George Will, who worked with Roberts on ABC's This Week, said, "She liked people on both sides of the aisle and had friends on both sides of the aisle. If you don't like the game of politics, I don't see how you write about it well. She liked the game of politics and she understood that it was a game."

The New York Times reported that in a statement, Michelle and Barack Obama called Roberts "a trailblazing figure; a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over 40 years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of the way."


Charles Michael Collins, the long-time sales rep and a former co-owner of Como Sales, died Monday, August 26, at the age of 83 in Cary, N.C.

Collins was a life-long lover of books, movies, comics, toys and art. Before starting out as a publisher rep, his first job in the industry was as a bookseller at Imperial Bookshop in New York. Jock Moore, co-founder of Como Sales, was the one who brought him into the company, where he eventually became part owner.

Collins was an author and editor as well, and even put together a few anthologies for Avon, including the horror collections FrightA Feast for Blood and A Walk with the Beast. Collins was also a publisher--in 1969, he co-founded Centaur Press with Donald Grant, which later became Centaur Books and was active until 1981. Primarily a paperback publisher, Centaur was especially known for its Time-Lost Series, which brought pulp adventure and fantasy novels back in print.

As a rep, Collins visited bookstores throughout New England, and he lived in Middle Village, Queens, N.Y., for much of his life.

University of California Press: A Brief History of Fascist Lies by Federico Finchelstein


Image of the Day: Soccer Star at Maggie Mae's

Maggie Mae's Kids Bookshop in Gresham, Ore., hosted MLS Portland Timbers goalkeeper and children's book author Jeff Attinella (The Great Space Race: The Story of How America Put a Man on the Moon!) for a reading and signing. Store owner Sho Roberts is a proud season ticket-holder for the team, and was thrilled to have soccer and books come together in the shop.

Berkley Books: Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls by Jax Miller

Chicago to Distribute University College Dublin Press

Effective October 1, the University of Chicago Press will distribute all titles from University College Dublin Press in North America.

UCD Press publishes contemporary scholarly writing in a range of subjects, including history, literary studies, music, science, and, more recently, migration and gender studies. It also have a special focus on Irish studies. Located on the University College Dublin campus, the press's most successful titles include The Encylopaedia of Music Ireland, Big Jim Larkin, Migration and the Making of Ireland, and The Maamtrasna Murders, in addition to the books in the Poet's Chair series.

Joseph D'Onofrio, director of the Chicago Distribution Center, said he was "pleased to add our first Ireland-based publisher to our family of distribution clients."

Personnel Changes at Penguin Young Readers

Carmela Iaria has been promoted to v-p, executive director of school and library marketing/creative marketing director, at Penguin Young Readers. She was previously v-p, executive director of school and library marketing, Penguin Young Readers.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Margaret Atwood on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Margaret Atwood, author of The Testaments (Nan A. Talese, $28.95, 9780385543781).

TV: American Gods; Shantaram

Marilyn Manson "is joining up with the beautiful people" of Neil Gaiman's American Gods for the Starz series' third season," Deadline reported. The shock rocker will play blood thirsty Johan Wengren, lead singer of the Viking death metal band Blood Death, which is "also a source of power for the Ian McShane-portrayed Mr. Wednesday in his war with the New Gods." Manson's acting credits include a recurring character on the FX hit Sons of Anarchy.

"As a long-time admirer of his estimable talent as an author, artist, musician, and actor, it is dope indeed to be working with Mr. Manson in Season 3 of American Gods," showrunner Chic Eglee said. "Bringing his specific energy, wit, and boundless enthusiasm for all-things-Neil-Gaiman to the role of Johan, a Norse 'berserker' in service to Odin, his performance promises to be disturbing, original, and uniquely entertaining."


Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) will play the lead role in Shantaram, an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts's novel that has been greenlighted by Apple. Deadline reported that the project hails from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, which in early 2018 won a monthlong bidding war for the rights to the book as well as its sequel, The Mountain Shadow.

There have been "various feature attempts since 2004 when Warner Bros. paid $2 million for the book rights with Johnny Depp's Inifinitum Nihil and GK Films producing," Deadline wrote. "Depp originally intended to play the lead before the film was derailed by the writers strike. In 2013, Depp brought in Joel Edgerton to star, but the movie never got off the ground."

Justin Kurzel (Assassin's Creed) is set to direct the first two episodes of the 10-episode series, which is written by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle). The project is expected to start production in Australia and India in October. 

Books & Authors

Awards: NBA for Translated Literature Longlist; Kirkus Finalists; Hilary Weston Shortlist

The longlist for the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Literature consists of:

When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book by Naja Marie Aidt, translated by Denise Newman (Coffee House Press)
The Collector of Leftover Souls: Field Notes on Brazil’s Everyday Insurrections by Eliane Brum, translated by Diane Grosklaus Whitty (Graywolf Press)
Space Invaders by Nona Fernández, translated by Natasha Wimmer (Graywolf Press)
Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth, translated by Charlotte Barslund (Verso Fiction)
Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, translated by Leri Price (FSG)
Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet (New Directions)
The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Jordan Stump (Archipelago Books)
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder (Pantheon)
Crossing by Pajtim Statovci, translated by David Hackston (Pantheon)
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Riverhead)

Finalists will be unveiled on October 8, and the winners announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 20 in New York City.


Finalists in three categories have been named for the 2019 Kirkus Prize. Winners, each of whom wins $50,000, will be named October 24. To see the 18 finalists, click here.


The Writers' Trust of Canada has announced finalists for the C$60,000 (about US$45,235) Hilary Weston Prize for Nonfiction, which honors a work published in Canada that "demonstrates a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique." The winner will be named November 5. This year's shortlisted titles, each of which receives CA$5,000 (about US$3,760), are:

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person by Anna Mehler Paperny
All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward by Tanya Talaga
The Art of Leaving: A Memoir by Ayelet Tsabari
Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related: A Memoir by Jenny Heijun Wills

Reading with... Carley Moore

photo: Amy Touchette

Carley Moore is an essayist, novelist and poet. She's a queer single mom, Vans lover and #catwife. She is the author of the YA novel The Stalker Chronicles (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), and the poetry chapbook Portal Poem (Dancing Girl Press). In 2018, Tinderbox Editions published her essay collection 16 Pills. The Not Wives (Feminist Press, September 10, 2019) is her first novel. She lives in New York City and teaches at NYU and Bard College.

On your nightstand now:

My cat chews books on my nightstand, so I keep the current reads under my covers. Right now, I'm reading and loving Edinburgh by Alexander Chee. It's a beautiful, haunting book about sexual violence, boyhood, coming of age and sexuality. One of the most perfectly crafted books I've ever read. It puts me in a trance.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams was my favorite book as a child. I was a very sick, sometimes bed-bound kid, and I also had a stuffed bunny I believed was real, so, yeah, that's all pretty straightforward. But as I child I believed my toys were real, so the idea of toy being so loved it became a real rabbit was a dream come true for me.

Your top five authors:

Michelle Tea, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Alice Munro, Elena Ferrante and Jamaica Kincaid.

Book you've faked reading:

Most things by Charles Dickens, but definitely Bleak House. I just can't with him, though I did love A Tale of Two Cities, but that was because my 11th grade English teacher, Ms. Doorman (shout out to English teachers!), was amazing and got us so hyped up about the book with costumes, acting out scenes and plot intrigue.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor. It's one of the most inventive and fun novels I've read in a long while and it's set in the queer '90s, so what's not to love?

Book you've bought for the cover:

Cool for You by Eileen Myles has the sexiest, most badass cover of a butch girl smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer in an old '70s chair with an afghan like my grandma used to make hanging off the back of the chair. It's like all of the living rooms of my childhood.

Book you hid from your parents:

My parents were very cool about books and I could read whatever I wanted, but I did sometimes feel ashamed of my Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews addictions.

Book that changed your life:

So many books have changed my life, but most recently the Neapolitan Quartet by Elena Ferrante. There is no other writer like her--the urgency, the trance-like quality she creates for the reader, the lives of her two female characters and the plot. Wow. 

Favorite line from a book:

"Don't you feel like disappearing from your life sometimes?" --from Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

Five books you'll never part with:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid

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

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I loved a magical revision of a classic, and the shift to Bertha Mason's story from Jane Eyre's. It changes everything about the original and forces us to think about an entirely different narrative.

Book Review

Children's Review: A Day So Gray

A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba, illus. by Alea Marley (Clarion, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 4-7, 9781328695994, October 29, 2019)

A friend with a bright outlook turns a gloomy day into a smorgasbord of colorful detail in this cozy picture book from writer Marie Lamba (Green Green: A Community Gardening Story) and illustrator Alea Marley (The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh).

Gazing out a wooden window frame, a little girl with a straight blonde bob and pale, pink-spotted cheeks proclaims, "This day is so gray." At her side, another girl with a head of dark, smudged curls and a brown, ruddy-cheeked face begs to differ. After venturing out into the softly blurred white snowfall, the second girl splashes through a puddle and points out the "deep soft brown" of the fanning tree branches and the silver and blue of the water as it splashes across her yellow boots. Unconvinced, the first girl tries to hold onto her dispassionate attitude, declaring a field "blah brown" and the snow "boring white." Her light-hearted counterpart corrects the complaints with an artist's eye for the subtlety of natural colors. She finds "dots of orange" and "sticks of licorice red" in the field's winter flora and "stomps of green" where their boot prints broke the crust of snow. She also soothes the blonde girl's anxiety about a "bad luck" black cat by pointing out the animal's pink toes and "eyes glowing yellow-green." Her buoyant charm slowly loosens the other girl's stiff posture and helps her relax into a comforting evening as girls and cat curl up by the warm hearth for cocoa and a sunset the former naysayer describes as "purple and tangerine."

Lamba's words encourage readers to seek out the tiny scraps of beauty that brighten life's doldrums. Through a combination of scanned and digital illustrations, Marley creates an enchanting soft-focus winterscape drenched in light. She also effectively uses her appealing main characters' appearances as visual clues to their attitudes. The gloomy child has flat hair and wears somber colors, her sharp nose pointed upward as she insists on seeing the world as unexceptional; the optimistic girl and her rose-red coat seem to glow with warmth, her loose curls an emblem of her creative spirit. Although the brief text and clear illustrations have definite group read-aloud potential, sharing A Day So Gray's subtle beauty as a colors look-and-find could create a lovely one-on-one bonding time for caregivers and children ages four through seven. Whenever a day is gray and lonely, this cozy reminder to look on the colorful side will invite smiles and lift spirits. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager at Main Branch, Dayton Metro Library

Shelf Talker: In this ethereal, wintry picture book, a cheerful little girl teaches her glum companion that color and beauty lie in the smallest details.

AuthorBuzz: Health Communications: The Pleasure Plan: One Woman's Search for Sexual Healing by Laura Zam
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