Shelf Awareness for Monday, September 30, 2019


Running Press Adult: Ignite Your Light: A Sunrise-To-Moonlight Guide to Feeling Joyful, Resilient, and Lit from Within by Jolene Hart

St. Martin's Press: The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask

Basic Books: America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States by Erika Lee

Random House: This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice That Held It Together by Jon Mooallem

Beach Lane Books: Pluto Gets the Call by Adam Rex, illustrated by Laurie Keller

Workman Publishing: Click to see full Holiday Quick Pick catalog!

News

SCIBA Members Vote to Dissolve Association

 

At the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association's annual meeting last Friday, held during the association's Fall Trade Show, member bookstores voted unanimously to approve a resolution that will dissolve SCIBA at the end of 2019.

The resolution, which the SCIBA board of directors passed earlier last week and announced on Tuesday, came about because of an earlier-than-usual look at the association's finances spurred on by talks with the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association regarding forming a single, all-California association. Projecting SCIBA's finances into next year, explained president Maryelizabeth Yturralde of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore and Creating Conversations, showed that the "viability of the organization" was "not sustainable."

"It's not a decision that we undertook lightly," said Yturralde. "But we feel that it is the way that we are meeting our financial responsibility to the organization."

Prior to an anonymous vote, Yturralde and SCIBA's other board members fielded questions about the association's finances, the merger and the resolution to dissolve the organization. On the subject of SCIBA's finances, Yturralde cited dwindling publisher support for the trade show and producing a combined holiday catalogue with the NCIBA as reasons why the association's income has declined. She also noted that the review didn't show zero income on the books, but enough to cover the association's obligations for the rest of the year as well as an audit. That way, the association can "close the books" while still "in good standing." Any balance left over, she added, will more than likely be transferred to another nonprofit such as the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

When asked about options other than dissolution, such as a reorganization, Yturralde answered that there wasn't "another way to get there," and there was no foreseeable "upswing that would get us where we need to be." She reported that some publishers would have only supported a single California trade show as early as next year and, given SCIBA's financial obligations, she continued, a merger between the two associations as such would not have been viable.

Several booksellers expressed concern with the possibility that given SCIBA's dissolution, association members wouldn't actually be voting on the new all-California entity, and that the ball would be in "NCIBA's court." While acknowledging that that would be the case, Yturralde and other SCIBA board members pointed out that the transition committee, made up of booksellers from Northern and Southern California as well as several publisher reps, will continue to do their jobs soliciting feedback from bookstores across the entire state and making recommendations.

Calvin Crosby, executive director of the NCIBA, reported that since April of this year the NCIBA has kept three seats on the board empty with the intention of filling them with booksellers from Southern California and added that the association is "anxious" to start filling those seats.

Looking ahead, Crosby said that the NCIBA will not dissolve and form an entirely new organization, but it will change and start outreach across all of California. With SCIBA set to dissolve at the end of the year, member bookstores are free to join on an individual basis, and one member of the transition committee who was present suggested that it shouldn't be viewed as just joining NCIBA, but as joining a "whole new organization." --Alex Mutter


Berkley Books: The Return by Rachel Harrison


SCIBA: Notes from the Show

The busy SCIBA show floor

Prior to the annual meeting on Friday, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association held a roundtable discussion on members' hopes for and concerns about a new all-California association. Transition committee members Adrian Newell, of Warwick's in San Diego, Calif., and Alison Reid, of DIESEL, a bookstore in Brentwood, Calif., led the discussion. 

Booksellers were excited about the prospect of having a single, unified voice to better help with advocacy work; a larger, more vibrant trade show; and the chance to bring back some past educational programs that withered away over the years due to attrition. SCIBA members raised the possibility of a trade show that moved around California and were hopeful that there would be smaller education sessions throughout the year that could get even more region-specific than just Northern or Southern California.

SCIBA's closing reception

The most frequently raised concern was that there would be a loss of regional identity in unified California association. While transition committee members couldn't give any specifics on board make up, booksellers hoped that there would be board members from across California. Others also wondered whether the new association or even publishers could help with scholarships.

Reid pointed out that while the working title for the new association is One California, the name is still very much still up for discussion. Booksellers present were enthusiastic about the potential name CALIBA--the California Independent Booksellers Association.

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Walter Mosley

At the SCIBA Awards luncheon on Saturday, Daniel Matthews, author of Trees in Trouble: Wildfires, Infestations, and Climate Change Hit the West, served as master of ceremonies while authors Steph Cha (Your House Will Pay), Walter Mosley (Elements of Fiction) and Walter Thompson-Hernandez (The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland) discussed their recent and upcoming books.

The adult fiction award went to Ottessa Moshfegh for My Year of Rest and Relaxation; Jonathan Lethem received the T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award for The Feral Detective; the Biography award went to Mallory O'Meara for The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick; the Nonfiction award went to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles for the book Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles; and painter Kenton Nelson took home the Glenn Goldman Award for Art, Architecture, and Photography for his book Water: California Idealism.

The children's awards, presented earlier that day, went to Cynthia Kadohata for her middle grade book A Place to Belong; Julie Berry for her YA novel Lovely War; and Isabel Quintero for her picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle.

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While he was in town for SCIBA, ABA CEO Oren Teicher stopped by {pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, Calif.. Pictured: (standing, l.-r.) bookseller Casey Poma, general manager Kristin Rasmussen, co-owner Linda McLoughlin Figel, bookseller Megan Johnson and Teicher.

During a panel Saturday afternoon on carrying romance, columnist Maureen Lee Lenker, who covers the genre for Entertainment Weekly, noted that romantic comedies and contemporary romances in general are "exploding" right now. In other notable trends, the paranormal and dystopian subgenres have declined from their peaks several years ago, while Regency romances still "rule the roost" as far as historical romances go, but stories set in the Gilded Age are having a moment. And in cover art/packaging trends, illustrated covers are booming.

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At the author reception on Friday night, SCIBA board president Maryelizabeth Yturralde, of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore and Creating Conversations, made a farewell toast to outgoing American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher. She thanked Teicher for his "contributions to our industry," and concluded: "I value our friendship and I will miss you." --Alex Mutter


Nimbus Publishing: Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript by Lucy Maud Montgomery, edited by Carolyn Strom Collins


14th Annual Eric Carle Honors

2019 Carle Honors honorees Takeshi Matsumoto and Melissa Sweet, Eric Carle, and honorees David Saylor and Kenny Garcia (photo: Johnny Wolf)

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrated the 14th annual Eric Carle Honors and held the 11th annual Carle Honors Art Auction at Guastavino's in New York City last Thursday. Presented by author/illustrator Grace Lin and editor Alvina Ling, the Carle Honors highlighted "four outstanding luminaries for their creative vision and long-term dedication to the world of picture books": Melissa Sweet, REFORMA, the Chihiro Art Museum and David Saylor. Artwork from 29 picture book artists--including John Parra, Eric Carle and 2019 Artist Honoree Melissa Sweet--was featured in this year's auction, which alone brought in $127,000 of the $350,296 raised by the evening.

Carle Honors co-hosts Grace Lin and Alvina Ling

The museum's executive director, Alexandra Kennedy, and director of development, Rebecca Miller Goggins, opened the event, greeting the more than 350 attendees and welcoming recent-90th-birthday-boy Eric Carle to the stage. With his customary charm and wit, Carle began the evening with laughs, pulling off a well-timed phone gag and a likely unplanned (but still very funny) glasses bit. Leonard S. Marcus, the creator of the Carle Honors, introduced the evening's hosts, lifelong friends and publishing coworkers Grace Lin and Alvina Ling, who have now made more than "12 books together over the years." In complementary ensembles with equal exuberance and spirit, Lin and Ling did a very fine "Amy Poehler and Tiny Fey at the Golden Globes" imitation, taking turns introducing the four honorees. Kennedy and Goggins jumped in occasionally to grace the crowd with videos--such as a "members" video that interviewed only children--and surprises, like Kwame Alexander's recorded reading of his picture book illustrated by Melissa Sweet, How to Read a Book.

Takeshi Matsumoto was the first honoree to speak, representing the Chihiro Art Museum and accepting the Bridge Honor, "for those who have found inspired ways to bring the art of the picture book to larger audiences through work in other fields." The pioneering museum devoted exclusively to children's illustration was, as Miller Goggins put it, "a significant inspiration for the Eric Carle Museum during Eric and Barbara Carle's early visits to Japan." Next was David Saylor, v-p and creative director for Scholastic Trade Publishing Group, who received the Mentor Honor "for the editors, designers and educators who champion the art form." Saylor is the first creative director to receive the Mentor award, and Miller Goggins noted that his "groundbreaking graphic novel imprint, Graphix," changed "the landscape of children's literature through engaging, age-appropriate and wildly popular graphic novels for children and teens." Kenny Garcia represented REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and accepted the Angel award "for individuals whose generous resources make picture book art exhibitions and education programs a reality." Garcia spoke passionately about the mission of REFORMA and how the organization, as Miller Goggins expressed, brings "invaluable resources to the Latino community, ensuring that their rich culture is upheld and affirmed through quality literature and library services."

Before a giant Very Hungry Caterpillar waltzed across the stage to signal the end of the presentations, Melissa Sweet accepted the last award of the evening: the Artist Honor. Lin expressed great appreciation for Sweet's art, saying Sweet's work tells children "here's joy. Here's beauty. I will give it to you with all of my heart." Sweet, who crafts all of her work by hand, closed the event saying that, while the Honor celebrates "lifelong innovation in the field," she's "just getting started."

Following the speeches were dinner and the culmination of the auction. All proceeds from the auction go to "support our mission to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books," Miller Goggins said. Last year's event raised $275,000, which "helped to fund everything from our first graphic novel exhibition to art classes for seniors, both of which proved to be incredibly popular and brought an ever more expansive audience to the Museum." The $350,296 raised in the 2019 event, Goggins stated, "will contribute to the cost of our seven exhibitions and hundreds of programs... onsite in Amherst, as well as our traveling exhibitions in Germany and China, and in several locations in the United States. We are... also expanding access to the Museum through programs like the Carle Community Fund." The Carle Community Fund is a new initiative that "offers professional development workshops to preschool teachers and elementary teachers in Title One schools, free admission to EBT cardholders and local service agencies serving families in need and matching funds for grant-supported outreach to low-income communities." --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA Editor, Shelf Awareness


Quirk Books: Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino


LeVar Burton to Host National Book Awards

LeVar Burton

Actor and host of Reading Rainbow LeVar Burton will be the master of ceremonies for the National Book Awards on November 20 in New York City. At the awards, the winners in five categories will be announced, and lifetime achievement awards will be presented to writer Edmund White and to American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher.

Burton is probably best known for his roles as chief engineer Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation TV and film series and as the young Kunta Kinte in the original TV miniseries of Roots. He was the host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow, which aired from 1983 to 2009, one of the longest-running children's TV shows and winner of more than 200 awards, including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

In 2012, Burton launched RRKidz, a digital educational publishing company, which now holds global rights to Reading Rainbow in a partnership with series creator WNED/Buffalo. Reading Rainbow has relaunched for a new generation of children, especially to classrooms in need, and through Skybrary, a digital online reading service, and Skybrary School, for teachers and students, he continues to promote the joys and benefits of reading.

In his new podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, he chooses a favorite piece of short fiction and performs it. He is currently touring the country with a live version of the podcast.

Burton is the recipient of 13 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards. As the National Book Foundation put it, he "has demonstrated in his career that he can do it all--acting, directing, producing, writing and speaking.... With millions of fans throughout the world, Burton continues his mission to inspire, educate and entertain."


Obituary Note: Sol Stein

Sol Stein, a "prolific novelist and playwright, savvy publisher and visionary editor who helped fashion a collection of trenchant essays by James Baldwin, a former high school classmate, into a literary classic, Notes of a Native Son," died September 19, the New York Times reported. He was 92.

In 1962, Stein and his wife at the time, Patricia Day, founded the publishing house Stein and Day and had immediate success with director Elia Kazan's debut novel, America America, which sold three million copies. Kazan subsequently adapted it into a movie, released the next year.

Stein worked with many notable authors, including Jacques Barzun, Lionel Trilling, David Frost, Budd Schulberg and Dylan Thomas. Stein and Day also published defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey, writer Claude Brown, critic Leslie Fiedler, socialite and memoirist Barbara Howar, and Soviet Union scholar Bertram Wolfe, among many others. Stein's book Bankruptcy: A Feast for Lawyers (1989), exposed the "bureaucratic nightmare" that had accompanied the financial implosion of Stein and Day after 27 years in business.

He was also among the 10 founding members in 1957 of the Playwrights Group of the Actors Studio, which included Robert Anderson, Lorraine Hansberry, William Inge and Tennessee Williams.

Stein's lifelong association with Baldwin began when they were both editors of The Magpie, the literary magazine at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, N.Y. The Times reported that "their friendship resumed after World War II, reaching its literary apex in 1955 with the publication of Mr. Baldwin's Notes, his anthology of essays on the black experience." Stein edited the book and later chronicled their relationship in Native Sons: A Friendship That Created One of the Greatest Works of the Twentieth Century: Notes of a Native Son (2004).

Stein was the author of more than a dozen books, "including how-to guides for novelists, and he sold software that was marketed as 'guaranteed to eliminate writer's block,' " the Times noted. In Stein on Writing (1995), he advised: "Be sure you don't stop the story while describing. You are a storyteller, not an interior decorator.... Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it's raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."

While publishing the works of other authors, Stein "had a thriving writing career of his own," the Washington Post reported. "He completed his first novel, The Husband (1969), in 17 days by rewriting one of his plays. His 1971 novel, The Magician, inspired by his childhood interest in magic, was a page-turning legal thriller that sold more than a million copies."

All of his nine novels were published by companies other than Stein and Day. "I have 100 other authors every year," he said in 1985, "and if I publish myself I am in competition with them."

In 1990, he observed: "I've had 36 years of editing, and at the same time I've had nine novels published. So in a sense what I've got is not the attitude of a teacher, or of a failed writer, but that of the craftsman who wants to pass along that craft to others."


Notes

Image of the Day: Hyde Park Bookselling

The Hyde Park [Chicago] Historical Society presented a panel called "Hyde Park's Independent Booksellers: Use Them or Lose Them," a discussion of the challenges in today's bookselling environment, stores' approaches to those challenges, how the Hyde Park community has shaped their stores and what lies ahead. Panelists were (l.-r.) Mary Rowles, publishing consultant and representative; Jeff Deutsch, general manager, Seminary Co-op Bookstores; Jack Cella, former general manager, Seminary Co-op Bookstores (1970-2013); Doug Wilson, owner, O'Gara & Wilson, Booksellers; and Brad Jonas, managing co-owner, founder, Powell's Books Chicago. The event was held at 57th Street Wines, once home to O'Gara & Wilson. (photo: Marc Monaghan)

 


Car Smashes into Ohio's Paragraphs Bookstore

Last Thursday, a Cadillac XTS crashed through the front window of Paragraphs Bookstore in Mount Vernon, Ohio. On Facebook, Paragraphs noted: "No one was injured. But a car did end up in our window.... Jordan had closed the store at six, and the accident happened around 6:10. I am soooo glad that no one was in the store. The building is owned by the Nazarene University, and they have been Johnny-on-the-spot with the cleanup. I couldn't ask for better help. They are now working on building a frame so they can attach plywood to the window and the door. Business as usual tomorrow."

Paragraphs manager Lois Hanson shared two photos, "one showing our display window after a car ran into it taking out the window and one of our doors.... The other pic shows that exterior boarded up with a totally appropriate cloth/wall hanging/don't know what to call it decorating the plywood. As someone said--making lemonade."


Bookshop Display: Well Read Books

Well Read Books, Fulton, Mo., posted photos of its latest window display on Facebook, noting: "SENBAZURU: a group of 1,000 paper cranes held together by strings. In an ancient Japanese legend, one who folds and strings a thousand paper cranes will have good luck, prosperity, or health. While our windows only have about 500 (which is impressive, don't get it twisted), we hope the sight of them brings a feeling of lightness, playfulness--or even luck--to the viewer."


Book Trailer of the Day: Know My Name

Know My Name by Chanel Miller (Viking), a video written and narrated by the author and including animation created from her own drawings.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton on Colbert's Late Show

Today:
CBS This Morning: Lonnie Bunch, author of A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump (Smithsonian Books, $29.95, 9781588346681).

Good Morning America: Debbie Harry, author of Face It: A Memoir (Dey Street, $32.50, 9780060749583).

Also on GMA: Skai Jackson, author of Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback (Crown, $19.99, 9781984851543).

Ellen: John Cena, co-author of Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla (Random House, $17.99, 9781524773533).

NPR's Here and Now: Ibtihaj Muhammad, author of The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9780316519007).

Tonight Show: Elvis Duran, author of Where Do I Begin?: Stories from a Life Lived Out Loud (Atria, $26.99, 9781982106331).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jonathan Van Ness, author of Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062906373).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, authors of The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501178412).

Tomorrow:
CBS This Morning: Deborah Norville, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy: 101 Stories about Creating Your Best Life (Chicken Soup for the Soul, $14.95, 9781611599923).

Daily Show: Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (Knopf, $26.95, 9780451493248).

Tonight Show: Chris Colfer, author of A Tale of Magic... (Little, Brown, $18.99, 9780316523479).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Rachel Maddow, author of Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Crown, $30, 9780525575474).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Water Dancer: A Novel (One World, $28, 9780399590597).


Movies: The Report

In conjunction with the upcoming premiere of the film The Report, Melville House has re-released The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture, first published in 2014, as the official movie tie-in edition, with an introduction by Dan Jones. Also known as "The Torture Report," it was the result of a years-long investigation of the CIA led by Senator Diane Feinstein and Senate investigator Daniel J. Jones, who wrote the report.

The film, to be released November 15, stars Adam Driver as Jones and Annette Bening as Senator Feinstein. It was written and directed by Scott Z. Burns. The cast also includes Jon Hamm, Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll and Maura Tierney. 



Books & Authors

Awards: DSC Prize for South Asian Literature Longlist

A longlist of 15 novels has been released for the $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. A shortlist will be announced November 6 and the winner named December 16 at the IME Nepal Literature Festival in Pokhara, Nepal. The DSC Prize jury panel includes Paul Yamazaki, head buyer at City Lights Books, San Francisco, Calif. This year's longlisted titles are:

Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy
Half the Night Is Gone by Amitabha Bagchi
The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar
The Runaways by Fatima Bhutto
99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai
The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
There's Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari, translated by Arunava Sinha
Tell Her Everything by Mirza Waheed
In the Time of the Others by Nadeem Zaman
A Lonely Harvest by Perumal Murugan, translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
The City and the Sea by Raj Kamal Jha
The Empty Room by Sadia Abbas
Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup
Sugandhi alias Andal Devanayaki by T. D. Ramakrishnan, translated by Priya K. Nair
Mother India by Tova Reich


Gollancz, Aaronovitch Launching BAME SFF Award

Ben Aaronovitch

Gollancz and author Ben Aaronovitch are launching the Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award, which offers prizes including £4,000 (about $4,915) for the overall winner alongside a critique and year-long mentoring program with Gollancz commissioning editor Rachel Winterbottom, the Bookseller reported. The prize is designed to champion "under-represented voices in science fiction, fantasy and horror after stats showed less than 1% of the genres' books come from British BAME authors."

"There's a problem with British speculative fiction--it lacks diversity," said Aaronovitch, author of the Rivers of London series. "Since it's inconceivable that there are no potential SF writers of color looking to get published, we have to assume that something is getting in their way.... SF is a hungry beast of a genre that constantly devours new ideas and perspectives to drive the churning engines of our collective imagination. It needs to be fed--we need to feed it. Something has to be done and this competition is my small contribution."

The award runs over several months, offering writing advice and insights aimed at demystifying publishing across a submissions period that begins October 1. A shortlist will be announced in spring 2020, with a winner selected in the summer by a panel of well-known SFF authors and industry figures. The second-place author will get £2,000 (about $2,460) and a critique of their work. Five runners-up will receive £800 (about $985) and a Gollancz goodie bag.

Gollancz publisher Anne Clarke commented: "The current lack of representation in science fiction and fantasy is no secret and it has to change. As modern speculative fiction publishers, we at Gollancz have a responsibility not just to say our doors are open, but to actively seek out and support writers whose backgrounds and experience have historically been--and still are--under-represented in our genre. I hope this award will encourage writers who have perhaps not always felt welcome in the world of science fiction and fantasy publishing and I'm looking forward to discovering exciting new writing talent within the submissions."


Book Review

Review: Find Me

Find Me by André Aciman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27 hardcover, 272p., 9780374155018, October 29, 2019)

André Aciman has proven himself to be a keen observer of the human interior from his first novel, Call Me by Your Name, to its highly anticipated sequel, Find Me--as well as the three other novels in between, and several books of nonfiction. He excels in realms of heartrending poignance, overwhelming desire and all-too-human ambivalence, with a mastery of language to pinpoint every emotional hue. After the phenomenal response to director Luca Guadagnino's film adaptation of the earlier novel, the sequel might seem like a foregone conclusion--until one begins reading it.

Catching up with one-time lovers Elio and Oliver is not, from its outset, the obvious intent of Find Me. Instead, the novel chooses Elio's father, Samuel, as its reentry point into heady affairs that span tantalizing Italian settings. It's a decade later, and Samuel is on a train to Rome to visit his son, a professional musician, when he meets Miranda, a striking woman much younger than he. Dissatisfied with the ways love has mistreated them in the past, they bond quickly and deeply, rushing through confessions of insecurity and failings (including Samuel's marriage) into a naked, earnest hope for what could lie ahead for them both. As a result, when Elio meets the couple the following day, he sees "a man in love. I've never seen you like this. It makes me very happy."

From here, the novel picks up with Elio, years farther down the line, establishing an episodic flow reminiscent of its immediate predecessor, Enigma Variations. Still a brilliant pianist, now living in Paris, he becomes entwined with a much older man, Michel, who delights in him endlessly. So much so that Michel presents Elio with a piece of sheet music salvaged from the horrific wreckage of World War II, a composition bestowed upon Michel's father by a mysterious friend and handed down as a keepsake for only the most special companion.

Aciman had his work cut out for himself in crafting a sequel as contemplative and gorgeous as Call Me by Your Name, which ended in its own coda of Elio's and Oliver's paths crossing years and years hence. Threading that needle perfectly, Aciman continues his story, parsing its very structure in his erudite, knowing style. The sheet music, as it happens, proves to be a cadenza, a brief interjection in a piano concerto "when the soloist improvises upon a theme already explored in the concerto itself," before the orchestra resumes playing the movement to a close. As if winking to readers, Elio adds, "This cadenza, however, goes on and on, I don't know for how long yet, but it's obviously more than five to six minutes long."

Oliver does resurface in time, but his haunting absence throughout much of the novel leaves room to explore the maturing resonance of youthful desires deferred. Happily, Aciman's genius holds true and makes Find Me a splendid work in its own right. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: In a marvelous feat of style and craft, André Aciman's sequel to the phenomenally received Call Me by Your Name stands apart as a generous study of time's effect on desire.


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