Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 3, 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


Wis.'s Tribeca Gallery Cafe & Books Now Literatus & Co.

In Watertown, Wis., Tribeca Gallery Cafe & Books, the 12-year-old coffee shop and bookstore, has been bought by a group that has changed the store name to Literatus & Co. and plans to re-emphasize books, the Watertown Daily News reported.

Longtime owner Julie Crnkovich had decided to retire. The new owners are the children and mother of Julie Crnkovich: Jacob, Kate, Erik and Mary Crnkovich-Marks.

Literatus managing director Wes Crnkovich, who is Julie Crnkovich's husband, told the paper: "The books business was wound down a little bit so we are investing heavily on books. We're bringing in probably 30-40 new titles every week."

In addition to expanding the selection of new books, Literatus will add a used, vintage and rare book collection, a new lunch menu emphasizing soups and classic sandwiches, and do an interior redesign. The efforts will bring the store "into the 21st century," Crnkovich added, saying that the new owners aim to create "an environment and atmosphere where we encourage open thinking, thoughts, ideas, creativity, civility. We think civility needs to be emphasized more than anything in today's day and age."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Mango Publishing Acquires Conari Press

Mango Publishing has acquired Conari Press from Red Wheel/Weiser. Several upcoming Conari Press titles will remain with Red Wheel/Weiser, and both Mango and Conari are distributed by Ingram Publishing Services.

"Many of my proudest moments were working with Conari Press authors, whose books continue to make a difference in the world, said Mango associate publisher Brenda Knight, who previously worked at Conari. "I am honored to get to work with these wonderful writers and thinkers again."

Conari Press was founded in 1987 with the mission to publish quality books that make a difference in people's lives, and is known for releasing titles on topics such as spirituality, personal growth, parenting and social issues.

"We are proud of our association with Conari Press over the past 17 years," said Michael Kerber, president of Red Wheel/Weiser. "However, with significant growth of our Weiser Books imprint coupled with the recent acquisition of Career Press and New Page Books, our publishing program has evolved in other areas. It was important to us to find a new home for Conari where its books and authors will continue to flourish."

Among the Conari titles that will remain with Red Wheel/Weiser is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, which will see a new 20th anniversary edition released in 2020.

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

Europa, Iperborea Launch 'The Passenger' Travel Series

Europa Editions and Iperborea will co-publish the Passenger travel series. Each volume has been conceived and edited by Iperborea, which launched the project in Europe last year, collecting "the best long-form essays, investigative journalism, literary reportage, and visual narratives in order to tell the story of a country or city and to portray its shifting culture and identity, its public debates, the sensibilities of its people, its burning issues, conflicts and open wounds."

Europa Editions will be responsible for the translation, publicity, and global distribution of the English-language editions. Sales and distribution will be handled by PGW/Ingram in the U.S. and the Independent Alliance in the U.K. and worldwide.

The first titles in the series, focused on Japan and Greece, will be released in May 2020 in the U.S. and June 2020 in the U.K. Two further titles, dedicated to Brazil and Turkey, will be published in the second half of 2020.

Iperborea publisher Pietro Biancardi commented: "Sandro Ferri, publisher of Edizioni EO and Europa Editions, is a legend, and Europa Editions is one of the most daring and successful book publishing undertakings in recent years. The fact that Sandro and Eva launched into this project which such enthusiasm practically guarantees its success; to collaborate closely with them is a dream come true."

Eva Ferri, publishing director of Europa Editions UK, said, "I greatly admire the work that Iperborea has done in recent years in Italy, where the press's vision and courage has contributed to a sea change in publishing. I believe that the Passenger is a wonderful and unique project, and I can't wait to bring it to the world together with the team at Europa Editions and our amazing collaborators, Independent Alliance in the UK/Export and PGW in the United States. I also think this project offers the opportunity for an interesting, mutually enriching, and fruitful collaboration between independent publishers."

Sandro Ferri, publisher of Edizioni E/O and co-founder of Europa Editions with his wife, Sandra Ozzola, added: "Europa Editions is joining forces with Iperborea to bring the Passenger everywhere there are curious readers: independent bookstores, bookstore chains, museum bookshops, concept stores. All over the world, in English, with solid international distribution."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Arcadia Starting Local First Publishing Program

Arcadia Publishing has launched the Local First Publishing Internship program, a paid internship program for college students that will hire a minimum of three interns per semester in the publisher's Charleston, S.C., offices.

"Retailers keep telling us that their customers want books that are personally meaningful, and that means growth and opportunity for Arcadia," said president and CEO David Steinberger. "We are looking to add talented and hardworking people at every level of the company, and that includes college interns."

While the program will be based primarily in the company's Charleston office, there will also be some opportunities in Arcadia's Austin, Tex., and New Orleans, La., offices. The aim of the semester-long program is to provide students with a first-hand understanding of the entire publishing process, from contracting stages through a title's release and beyond.

Arcadia is the publisher of the Images of America series, and publishes some 500 new titles per year. In 2018, a group of investors including Steinberger, executive Lilli Lynton and former Penguin CEO Michael Lynton acquired the company.

Obituary Note: Jack Lasenby

New Zealand author Jack Lasenby, who "was known for his quirky authorship of children's and young adult fiction, for which he was well regarded," died September 28, Stuff NZ reported. He was 88. The New Zealand Book Council described him as "one of New Zealand's most important children's book authors."

His many books include the Uncle Trev series; The Mangrove Summer; Because We Were the Travellers; and The Lake. His last published book was Grandad's Wheelies (2016). Lasenby was awarded the Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award in 2003, and was honored with the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in 2014. The Jack Lasenby Award was established in his name in 2002 by the Wellington Children's Book Association.

Ruth McIntyre of Wellington's Children's Bookshop said Lasenby used to frequent the shop, was always a joy to be around, and had been good friends with McIntyre's husband: "He was certainly a character, I would definitely rate him as a friend. Him and John used to get on very well, as they both regarded themselves as grumpy old men.... He was always so charming and good fun. It was a joy to see him and have a chat."

In 2012, after winning an award for Calling the Gods, Lasenby told Stuff he made sure to write every day, describing himself then as being "81 and still scribbling away for young people."

Dame Fiona Kidman observed: "The thing that strikes me about Jack was that he succeeded as a writer for children and young people because he really liked them. He understood what it was like to be a kid and when he was with them there was never anything artificial or 'writerly' about his interaction. He awarded one of my grandsons a prize for writing once, and when he came to his school for the awards, you could see the rapport and the magic he created with all the students. He gave my grandson the prize because, he said, the story had made him laugh out loud. And that was his own gift, to make others laugh and draw them into his orbit, and then to reveal a much wider vision of the world."


Image of the Day: Gun Island in Minneapolis

In his first visit to the Twin Cities, Amitav Ghosh presented his new novel, Gun Island (FSG), to a large crowd in Minneapolis. The event, sponsored by Rain Taxi, took place at Grace-Trinity Community Church, with book sales handled by Magers & Quinn Booksellers. (photo: Kelly Everding)

Cool Idea of the Day: 'Coming Soon, Purchase Now"

Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo., shared a photo on Facebook of its "Coming Soon, Purchase Now" sign, noting: "It's true, we're proud of our new sign that alerts you to much-anticipated titles. We're also very proud that you can pre-order those same titles from us online or in person, and we make it so easy!"

Bookstores Display Early #Halloween Treats

As October arrives, indie bookstore displays turn to thoughts of Halloween. Here's a sampling of early treats for the season that booksellers are posting on social media:

Story on the Square, McDonough, Ga., shared a Halloween-themed photo on Facebook, noting: "Please welcome our newest Bookseller! He's a seasonal worker who will be helping us with our scarecrow contest this October! If you see him, give him a big smile back."

Curious Iguana, Frederick, Md.: "Creepy reads are on the cards."

Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, Pa.: "90 degree temperatures be damned! October has begun and our orange lights are going up! #happyhalloween."

Bookstore at Fitger's, Duluth, Minn., shared a photo of its front window display, noting: "Stop by Fitger's to see the Halloween themed windows done by several of our businesses. This is just one photo, but all of our windows are done for the season. Our theme this year (for the adult side) is Ghost Ships on Lake Superior. Our Kids theme is "We've got books that might Scare the Pants off of you."

Book + Bottle, St. Petersburg, Fla.: "Things are getting spooky around here! For October, our #bookandbottlepairing is full of ghosts and gore. Ray Bradbury's short ghost story, The Halloween Tree, is perfect for reading with a flashlight under the covers and we're pairing it with a Washington red blend with a gruesome tale. This story is too brutal for me to tell, so a guest blogger will send shivers up your spine with her recounting of the bloody story behind this month's wine. Creep on over to for her tasting notes and the book review and to get started on your Halloween celebrations early. Cheers!"

Jon Scieszka's Weekend: Bagels & Community Bookstore


Children's book author and longtime Brooklyn resident Jon Scieszka told the New York Post that most weekends, he and his wife fortify themselves with breakfast at La Bagel Delight before heading to Community Books. "I thought Amazon's 'If you liked this, you'll like that' was good, but no, they just recommend the same things," he said. "It was a bookseller at Community who got me reading Salman Rushdie way back when I didn't like that he was so popular. Now I just love his stuff. That's what you want from a bookseller: Someone who'll take you somewhere else."

Personnel Changes at HarperCollins

Theresa Dooley has been promoted to publicity manager at HarperCollins.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Michael D. Shear on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear, authors of Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781982117399).

CBS This Morning: Susan Rice, author of Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501189975).

Rachael Ray: Henry Winkler, co-author of Alien Superstar (Amulet Books, $14.99, 9781419733697).

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

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

This Weekend on Book TV: Edward Snowden

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, October 5
3:15 p.m. Peter W. Singer, author of LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media (Mariner, $15.99, 9780358108474), and Paul Scharre, author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War (Norton, $18.95, 9780393356588), at the Norwich University Military Writers' Symposium.

5:50 p.m. Naomi Klein, author of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781982129910), at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

7:30 p.m. Wil Haygood, author of Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing (Vintage, $16.95, 9780525432579).

8:45 p.m. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, authors of The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501178412), at Politics and Prose. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

10 p.m. Bill Gertz, author of Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy (Encounter, $25.99, 9781641770545). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Edward Snowden, author of Permanent Record (Metropolitan Books, $30, 9781250237231). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:10 p.m.)

Sunday, October 6
12:20 a.m. Irene Butter, author of Shore Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story (Civic Books, $18.99, 9781904104988).

1:40 a.m. Garrett Graff, author of The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501182204).

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Naomi Klein, author of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781982129910). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

6:50 p.m. Coverage of the 84th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for "important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures."

Movies: The Snow Sister

Anonymous Content's "fledgling Nordic division is teaming up with popular Norwegian author Maja Lunde" on a film version of her children's book The Snow Sister, which will be published this fall "in more than 25 territories from 20 international publishing houses," Deadline reported. The novel was published in Norway last October by Kagge Forlag.

Lunde will adapt her novel for the screen. Her books "have been translated into 36 languages and her debut novel, The History of Bees (2015), was a significant hit, selling to several territories before Norwegian publication," Deadline wrote. Her recent screenplays include the Netflix acquisition Battle.

Books & Authors

Awards: Goldsmiths, Stephan Russo Shortlists

The shortlist for the £10,000 ($12,280) Goldsmiths Prize, which honors a novel that "breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form," consists of:

Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
Good Day? by Vesna Main
We Are Made of Diamond Stuff by Isabel Waidner

The winner will be announced November 13.


The shortlist for the Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice, sponsored by Goddard Riverside and honoring a book that "celebrates the power of the written word to create change in the name of justice for all," consists of:

An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz (Nan A. Talese)
Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair by Danielle Sered (The New Press)
No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing by Jan Haldipur (NYU Press)
Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts (HarperOne)
Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns by Igor Volsky (The New Press)
Think Black by Clyde Ford (HarperCollins)

The winner will be announced at Goddard Riverside's annual gala on October 22 in New York City.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 8:

Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press, $27, 9780525558996) collects 11 new short stories.

Child's Play: A Novel by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $28.99, 9780399179501) follows the single mother of three adult children.

Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan (Tor, $27.99, 9781250247650) is the posthumous release of a previously unpublished fantasy novel.

The Giver of Stars: A Novel by Jojo Moyes (Pamela Dorman, $28, 9780399562488) follows five women in Depression-era America.

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501189975) is a memoir by President Obama's ambassador to the U.N. and national security advisor.

On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey by Paul Theroux (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544866478) chronicles a trip along the entire Mexico-U.S. border.

Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law by James B. Stewart (Penguin Press, $30, 9780525559108) explores Trump's antagonism toward federal law enforcement.

Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie (Random House, $28, 9781984854636) is written by the whistleblower who revealed Cambridge Analytica's crimes.

Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Norton, $19.95, 9781324003311) publishes and responds to 101 letters from readers.

Marley: A Novel by Jon Clinch (Atria, $27, 9781982129705) expands on the character Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol.

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780358023937) takes place in Boston, where a late eccentric billionaire has left a citywide treasure hunt.

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro: A Novel by Christine Féret-Fleury (Flatiron, $22.99, 9781250315427) follows a Parisian woman who meets a reclusive bookseller.

It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference. by Ed Stack (Scribner, $28, 9781982116910) is a memoir by the CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods.

The Rift by Rachael Craw (Candlewick Press, $17.99, 9781536211283) is a young adult novel that weaves together science fiction, fantasy, realism and romance.

Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781641290746) is the poet's YA debut based on the Orpheus myth.

A Christmas Home by Marta Perry (Berkley, $7.99, 9781984803191).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

The Chestnut Man: A Novel by Soren Sveistrup, translated by Caroline Waight (Harper, $28.99, 9780062895363). "This is the thriller of the year! From the creator of the Scandinavian mini-series The Killing, The Chestnut Man is an unbelievably fast-paced and exciting page-turner. I literally had trouble putting it down so I could go to sleep! A serial killer is on the loose, a cold case kidnapping is brought back to life, and a politician is attacked from all sides. This is the kind of book Thomas Harris would write, and it's one of the best-plotted mysteries in a long time. What a wonderful group of vivid characters and what a ride! Whew!" --William Carl, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, Mass.

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Bloomland: A Novel by John Englehardt (Dzanc Books, $26.95, 9781945814938). "Englehardt's stunning debut is not for the faint of heart; within the first few pages, a shooting occurs in the library of a fictional southern college. But the story is less about this horrific event than it is about the period leading up to it and what happens to three different people--a student, a professor, and the shooter himself--in the aftermath. In prose that is vivid, specific, and wildly original, Englehardt shows how grief, disillusionment, and, in some cases, resilience take his characters' lives in surprising directions. This is SO good." --Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, Ill.

Ducks, Newburyport: A Novel by Lucy Ellmann (Biblioasis, $22.95, 9781771963077). "In 2019's most ambitious novel, Lucy Ellmann puts us in the mind of one of literature's most overlooked characters: an average woman and mother doing her best in a world that respects neither women nor mothers. Rambunctiously political, tenderly personal, and profoundly humanist, Ellmann's simple respect for her protagonist's thoughts, feelings, faults, and successes is revolutionary. And on top of everything else in this towering achievement of a novel, you'll find yourself desperately rooting for a mountain lion." --Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.

For Ages 4 to 8
Spencer's New Pet by Jessie Sima (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534418776). "I love all of Jessie Sima's work, and this book is unlike anything she has ever done. In the style of a silent film, this picture book tells the story of Spencer and his pet balloon dog. This book is absolutely beautifully drawn and the twist made me gasp. I am still reeling from the trip this book took me on." --Portia Turner, The Book Cellar, Chicago, Ill.

For Ages 9 to 12
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury, $16.99, 9781681191089). "This book is a tribute to the power of place and memory. How do we keep alive the voices of beloved family members, poets, freedom fighters, and heroes? Amara grapples with the pull of the past as she seeks to discover her family's stories, reconcile the mysterious rift between her father and grandfather, and bear witness to the landmarks of memory and celebration spread throughout Harlem. I loved seeing the neighborhood through Amara's eyes as her understanding of history, culture, family, and herself evolved." --Rebekah Shoaf, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (Delacorte, $18.99, 9781984831927). "Annaleigh is one of twelve sisters. Or she was. Mysterious and tragic circumstances are plaguing the Thaumus family, claiming the lives of the girls one at a time. Will Annaleigh be able to put a stop to it before she loses another beloved sister? Or will the curse come for her next? Equal parts gothic ghost story, tale of sea gods and legends, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Craig's thrilling debut will sweep you into its pages and keep its claws latched on until the last page is turned." --Hana Boxberger, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Feed

Feed by Tommy Pico (Tin House, $15.95 paperback, 84p., 9781947793576, November 5, 2019)

What characterizes Tommy Pico's fourth installment of his Teebs tetralogy is his sheer love of language. In Feed, Pico (Junk) lets go of all poetic conventions and expectations and allows his words to dip and soar on strange and beautiful trajectories.

Feed picks up where Junk left off. The poet--a queer member of the Kumeyaay nation--finds himself in an unpredictable New York City spring. He's on book tour, he's dating, eating, reading, writing, traveling. The spring becomes a metaphor for the wild vicissitudes of his life. "Springtime is so insecure, right?" he asks. The temperature fluctuations, the promise of summer, the vestiges of winter and the changing landscape all come to represent "the possibilities of jagged spring," mirroring the possibilities in his own life.

Whereas Junk is more linear in portraiture, Feed is discursive, ruminative and tangential. Pico employs a postmodern mash-up technique, mixing his thoughts with terrifying news headlines, missives to the reader, etymological explorations and, staying true to the spirit of Teebs, a list and discussion of pop songs. Teebs is Pico's poetic persona, an alter-ego, outrageous, funny and fearless in his own way. It's here that Pico ponders the performative nature of the persona, locating something within that is still shy and unsure about success. He dissects the difference between aloneness and loneliness, how he moves through the world as an alienated being, his psyche layered in cunning ways to survive.

The Indian reservation Pico grew up on is never far from his writing. He talks about his ancestors, the hardships of family members, his tribe's lost words and rituals and modes of life. Under this erasure, what is his goal? What can be done? Feed gets as close to answering these questions as possible. "Dear reader, let's make a culture!" the poet proclaims. He's in a position to make new culture, he realizes. This includes his past, his history, but also his raucous life in New York, his queerness, his success as a writer, his relationships, the food he exquisitely writes about and the pop culture that has influenced his life.

What follows, then, is a dazzling fusion of culture. Feed is as much about what we consume as how we consume. Pico's lines are ever-growing, ever-expanding. And while we might seem lost in the abundance, the sheer variety, Pico is a skilled enough poet to ground us. Often, after volcanic eruptions of thought, his mind alights on a line or two of clear distilled beauty. The sensation as a reader is akin to scrolling through a busy newsfeed on social media to discover suddenly a crystalline kernel of truth or simple insight. It's a dexterous feat, not unlike the spring itself: "The vernal bend rendering the cell walls softer, pliable without fully/ spilling into each other."

How Pico pulls all this off is his magic. Feed is engrossing, oddly enlightening and, above all, fun to read. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: In his fourth installment in the Teebs tetralogy, poet Tommy Pico grows into his own as a creator of culture.

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