Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 28, 2019

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

Amulet Books: Batcat: Volume 1 by Meggie Ramm

Berkley Books: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady


NYC's Books of Wonder Moving Flagship Store

Books of Wonder is leaving its longtime space on W. 18th St. in Manhattan and moving to a "wonderful new" location in the Flatiron district "near Eataly and the Rizzoli Bookstore." The store has created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $250,000 to renovate and move into the new flagship space.

Books of Wonder, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in September, has a branch on W. 84th St. on the Upper West Side, that it opened in 2017, in part because owner Peter Glassman recognized at the time that rising retail rents on W. 18th St. made it unlikely he could renew his lease. He wanted, he said, to have another location open and well established when the flagship store might have to close for a time.

On its GoFundMe page, Glassman wrote: "Many of you have received an e-mail from me looking for 'angel' lenders and replied by asking if there was a way for you to simply contribute to our moving expenses. This is the purpose of this GoFundMe campaign."

He added, "Some of you may wonder why after so many years in business, we do not have the resources to handle this move on our own. The fact is that the financial stability of this store was dependent on the contribution of our sub-tenant a bakery/cafe/caterer. They were responsible for 40% of the rent and other expenses. Unfortunately, they went out of business during the Great Recession, owing us over $300,000 in rent and other expenses. We did find another sub-tenant, who paid faithfully the first few years, but unfortunately, ran into financial trouble two years ago and has left us having to pay most of the rent. This has unfortunately, depleted our working capital."

Books of Wonder features children's books, including rare and collectible editions, as well as original children's book art and limited edition prints.

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

Margaret Atwood Honored by Queen Elizabeth

On Friday, Queen Elizabeth named Margaret Atwood a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for her services to literature, the CBC reported, adding that Atwood told British media she felt "a bit emotional" in the presence of the Queen while accepting the prestigious accolade during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family's Twitter account noted the event: ".@MargaretAtwood was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty for Services to Literature. #Investiture."

"When you see the Queen at her age and her schedule that she puts out, it's an inspiration to everybody, you just keep going," Atwood said after the ceremony.

Founded by King George V in 1917, the Companion of Honour is an award for those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government over a long period.

Earlier this month, Atwood was a co-winner of the Booker Prize for her novel The Testaments. She later announced that she would be donating her Booker winnings to Indspire to support education of Indigenous students.

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Daisy Blackwell Hutton to Head Hachette Nashville

Daisy Blackwell Hutton

Effective November 11, Daisy Blackwell Hutton is becoming v-p and publisher of the Hachette Nashville division, which includes the FaithWords, Center Street and Worthy Publishing imprints. She will also become a member of Hachette Book Group's executive management board.

She has been a v-p and publisher at HarperCollins Christian Publishing since 2012, most recently overseeing W Publishing and earlier for Thomas Nelson Zondervan Fiction. Before that, she had more than a decade of experience in licensing, export sales, and subsidiary and foreign rights, working at the Georges Borchardt Agency, the Perseus Book Group and Harvard Business School Press.

Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch said, "Daisy brings to Hachette Nashville a deep understanding of the faith-based, inspirational, and conservative political book markets, combined with a passion for partnering with authors, and proven ability to grow business lines. I'm confident that she will build in exciting ways upon the successful program created by Rolf Zettersten [who announced his retirement last week] and his talented editorial, marketing, publicity and design teams."

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

#NZBookshopDay: 'Honk-Tooting' & 'Crackle-Dackle'

The fifth annual New Zealand Bookshop Day was held on Saturday. Booksellers NZ described it as "a day to celebrate your local bookshop and the wonderful booksellers in your community! And our bookshops have all sorts of activities planned for those of you who stop by on the day to show your support. There are author talks, readings and book signings, face painting, cake, discounts, competitions, and even cute animals at some of our bookstores." Here are a few #NZBookshopDay highlights from NZ booksellers' social media posts:

Marsden Books, Wellington: "TODAY IS NZ BOOKSHOP DAY! We are celebrating by supporting local authors and have filled our window with their wonderful books. Come in for a browse 9-3."

Time Out Bookstore, Auckland: "Happy NZ Bookshop Day!! It's Halloween at Time Out. Today, we've got cookies, blind date books, a guest bookseller, book giveaways and free movie tickets! Come in and say hello."

The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, Auckland: "This amazing pile of books from Gecko Press goes to one lucky shopper tomorrow--NZ Bookshop Day. Just purchase any book on Saturday 26th October to go in the draw!"

The Twizel Bookshop, Twizel: "This weekend is lining up to be a honk-tooting crackle-dackle bum-fizzer ding-donger in Twizel! We have a great line up on Saturday for NZ Bookshop Day--come to the Marketplace to hear Ruth Entwhistle Low talk about her book The Shearers while two local lambs have an appointment with Tony Dobbs and his blade shares...."

And later: "NZ Bookshop Day in Twizel’s Market Place was INCREDIBLE! Thank you to everyone who came along to support us and the incredible authors, photographers, Shearers, SHEEP AND DOGS and everyone in between. What an amazing day, our cup of gratitude is still fizzy and frothing."

Unity Books WGTN, Wellington: "It's getting closer! Visit us on Saturday, NZ Bookshop Day to enter our competition to win reading group books for you and your friends. What have been your top book group picks this year?"

McLeods Booksellers, Rotorua: "It's NZ Bookshop Day this Saturday so if you are in Rotorua pop into our shop for the McLeods Annual Treasure Hunt for all ages! Find a brown paper wrapped book in its corresponding section of the shop and take it home for free! This is our way of thanking all of you--our lovely customers--for supporting us and local business!"

The Women's Bookshop, Auckland: "Happy NZ Bookshop Day! Today we have special deals on some of our most popular titles, giveaways, an incredible children's author painting our shop window, and of course our poetry show tonight! Hope to see you there!"

Scorpio Books, Christchurch: "CONTEST! Share your love of Scorpio Books and be in to win a $30 voucher and a Bookshop Day tote bag! To Enter: Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Take a picture in the shop or take your own book inspired pic. Post it and tell us why you love your bookshop in the caption. Tag us in your post and use #NZBookshopDay. We'll pick a winner on Tuesday, 29th October!"

Books A Plenty, Tauranga: "A sunny NZ Bookshop Day and the Summer Catalogue has landed! Come and pick one up and browse at the same time."

Obituary Note: Georgette Elgey

French journalist, editor and historian Georgette Elgey, who was "best known for her six-volume history of France in the years after World War II, a project that took her nearly a half-century to complete," died on October 8, the New York Times reported. She was 90. In a statement confirming her death, President Emmanuel Macron of France called Elgey "one of the greatest experts of the Fourth Republic."

Although she began her career as a journalist, Elgey had "found more fulfillment in researching and writing about France's Fourth Republic.... She embarked on the project in the early 1960s and labored on it into the 21st century, delving deep into archives and drawing from oral testimonies. The first volume appeared in 1965, the final one in 2012," the Times wrote. After publishing the sixth volume, Elgey revisited her memoir, which was released in 2017 as Toutes Fenêtres Ouvertes (All Windows Open).

The first two volumes of Histoire de la IVe République--the second was published in 1968--were highly acclaimed, leading her to extend the project. Over the decades that she worked on the books, she was also a senior editor for the French publishing house Fayard in the 1970s and an adviser and the head of archives for François Mitterand after he was elected president of France in 1981. From 2007 to 2016 she was the president of the Conseil Supérieur des Archives, an advisory body tied to the culture ministry. She earned the highest rank of France's most prestigious award, the Legion of Honor, in 2013.


Image of the Day: Hillegonds Visits Volumes

Volumes Bookcafe, Chicago, Ill., hosted Tim Hillegonds (far left) for his debut memoir, The Distance Between (University of Nebraska Press).

(photo: Kaye Publicity)

Happy 90th Birthday, Penguin Bookshop!

Congratulations to Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, Pa., which celebrated its 90th anniversary on Saturday with a Customer Appreciation Day featuring an author event, treats and special giveaways. 

This weekend, special friends and Penguin Bookshop staff raised a glass to Isabelle Adams and Eleanor Gilchrist, who started the store in 1929 and named it after their favorite book, Penguin Island by Anatole France.

Since its opening, the bookstore has been a town fixture through six different owners. Susan Hans O'Connor, who took over the store in 2014, explained the origin of the bookshop's name earlier this year, noting: "They named the store after that book, and there is no formal connection with the publishing [house] Penguin. We pre-date them, actually, because Penguin was founded in 1935." She also noted that she has her own informal connection to the name from her time working at Penguin Books in New York City: "It was just serendipity that I ended up moving to a town where there was a store called the Penguin Bookshop."

On Facebook, Penguin Bookshop shared posts of its new ABA banner ("How lucky we are to have such an amazing trade organization behind us."), celebratory front window display ("Hey, Penguin Bookshop -- you're looking good for 90! Or any age, for that matter!"), birthday eve flowers ("We are ready for our big day tomorrow! Check out this gorgeous hanging basket courtesy of local author and floral artist Kathleen Tessaro."), Halloween parade ("Happy Halloween and happy customer appreciation day and happy 90th anniversary!"), author signing, and final preparations for the evening festivities ("It's been a wonderful day celebrating and honoring all of our wonderful customers. Thank you, Sewickley!").

When the celebration was over, Penguin Bookshop posted on Instagram: "Our official 90th anniversary celebration has ended, but we will be continuing the tradition of independent bookselling for years to come and serving our community with pride. Thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday! We hope you enjoyed all the swag from our publisher friends!"

The Book on Books: Reading Group Choices 2020

Reading Group Choices 2020: Selections for Lively Discussions, the 26th annual edition of the guide to book club picks, is now available from Reading Group Choices for $7.95 and can be purchased on its website.

The nearly 70 recommended titles are in three sections: fiction, nonfiction and young adult. For each title, the guide offers bibliographic information as well as review excerpts, information about the author and conversation starters for book club discussions. As Reading Group Choices owner Mary Morgan noted in her introduction, Reading Group Choices 2020 includes "enjoyable, unique and challenging" titles from around the globe chosen "to inspire thoughtful and lively conversation."

Titles featured in Reading Group Choices 2020 include Clock Dance by Anne Tyler, The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian, Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart, The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion, There There by Tommy Orange, Welcome to America by Linda Boström Knausgård, The Fate of Food by Amanda Little, The Hello Girls by Elizabeth Cobbs, Here We Are by Aarti Namdev Shahani, Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin, and Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco.

Reading Group Choices includes a website and monthly e-newsletter. It also organizes events at independent bookstores, book festivals and libraries around the country.

'Meet a Bookseller': Anna Garceau

Anna Garceau of Savoy Bookshop and Cafe in Westerly, R.I., is the most recent guest in's "Meet the Bookseller" series. Among our favorite exchanges:

What do you love most about being a bookseller?
I love handselling books to customers and then hearing back from them on their next visit about how much they enjoyed my recommendation. It's my absolute favorite thing. I even correspond with some customers via e-mail and give them suggestions, and they order books for me to ship to them. It's like I am Frank Doel and my customers are Helene Hanff from 84 Charing Cross Road!

What do you love most about your bookstore?
My coworkers. They are my family and I love them all very much. I feel heard, and respected, and valued, and safe, and appreciated. Working at Savoy is the best job I've ever had and I hope to be a career bookseller there forever.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dan Piepenbring on Fresh Air

CBS This Morning: Ben Horowitz, author of What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture (HarperBusiness, $29.99, 9780062871336).

Fresh Air: Dan Piepenbring, co-author of The Beautiful Ones (Spiegel & Grau, $30, 9780399589652).

Ellen: Robert Iger, author of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company (Random House, $28, 9780399592096).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Radhika Jones, co-editor of Vanity Fair's Women on Women (Penguin Press, $30, 9780525562146).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Gloria Steinem, author of The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Rebellion (Random House, $22, 9780593132685).

Late Late Show with James Corden: John Lithgow, author of Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse (Chronicle Prism, $19.95, 9781452182759).

CNN's Anderson Cooper 360: Guy Snodgrass, author of Holding the Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis (Sentinel, $27, 9780593084373). He will also appear tomorrow on Morning Joe.

Good Morning America: Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana: A Novel (Flatiron, $26.99, 9781250205933).

Also on GMA: Tieghan Gerard, author of Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $29.99, 9780525577072).

CBS This Morning: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, author of Who Do You Say I Am?: Daily Reflections on the Bible, the Saints, and the Answer That Is Christ (Image, $26, 9781984826725).

Tonight Show: Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, authors of The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek: A Novel (Crown, $26, 9781984822130).

Movies: The Pact

Danish filmmaker Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions) will direct The Pact, "a psychological drama about the intense friendship between Karen Blixen, the Danish author best known for her autobiographical novel Out of Africa, and Thorkild Bjønvig, a young and promising poet," Variety reported.

Written by Christian Torpe (Silent Heart), the project is based on Bjørnvig's autobiography. It is produced by Jesper Morthorst at MOTOR and SF Studios, which will release the film theatrically in early 2021.

"The Pact is a relationship drama, the eternal story of seduction and wanting to be seduced, of the art of manipulation, of guilt and innocence, of a highly unusual friendship between two deeply talented people and a relationship that develops into a fateful bond," said August. "A dramatic tale of a dangerous pact and of the unmanageable consequences of an inevitable dependency relationship, a thrilling connection between two of Denmark's greatest personalities."

Books & Authors

Awards: Willie Morris, Kirkus Winners

The Past Is Never by Tiffany Quay Tyson (Skyhorse Publishing) has won the $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, and "The Mercury Poises on the Pinnacle of Nashville's Bygone Union Station" by Melissa Cannon has won the $2,500 Inaugural Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry for Original Poem.

Fiction judge Mindy Friddle said, "The Past Is Never, with its nod to Faulkner, is steeped in local lore, mingling history and the mystery of a missing child into a heart-wrenching ride all the way to redemption. Tiffany Quay Tyson weaves a gripping tale in this stellar novel, taking readers from a haunted quarry in a Mississippi town to the menacing, gorgeous Florida Everglades. She is a masterful storyteller whose grand leaps of imagination, memorable characters and lyrical language delight the reader. The Past Is Never is an important addition to contemporary southern fiction."

Susan Kinsolving, director of the award, said, "Melissa Cannon's poem entitled, 'Mercury Poises on the Pinnacle of Nashville's Bygone Union Station,' embraces southern history through the metaphor of a classical statue. Among the many fine submissions, her artistry and specificity were outstanding."


The winners of the Kirkus Prize, each of whom receive $50,000, are:

Fiction: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
Nonfiction: How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (Simon & Schuster)
Young Readers' Literature: New Kid written & illustrated by Jerry Craft, color by Jim Callahan (HarperCollins)

Top Library Recommended Titles for November

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 November titles public library staff across the country love:

The Starless Sea: A Novel by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385541213). "A moving labyrinth of a story, ever changing and evolving. What begins as a mysterious thread in a book, an opportunity taken or missed and the consequences of the choice, evolves into a story similar to a choose-your-own adventure tale or a mystical video game experience. For fans of Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clark, and Lev Grossman." --Cynde Suite, Bartow County Library, Cartersville, Ga.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (Berkley, $16, 9781984806093). "Thea gave up everything when she became Gavin's wife, and has been faking more than just her happiness. When the marriage is headed for divorce, Gavin's friends bring him into their secret book club to help him win his wife back. For readers who like romance with a little humor, and fans of Curtis Sittenfeld and Jennifer Crusie." --Melissa McNeill, Montgomery County Memorial Library System, Conroe, Tex.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon (Gallery/Saga Press, $19.99, 9781534439863). "An incredibly interesting reimagining of what happened to the slaves that got thrown off the ships while crossing the ocean. For fans of She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore and The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates." --Kelli Ponce, Mesquite Public Library, Mesquite, Tex.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (Avon, $15.99, 9780062941206). "Chloe is doing all she can to avoid being defined by her illness. Redford is a talented artist who was verbally abused by his former girlfriend. Smart and snarky, they find ways to help each other face their challenges. Snappy dialogue, dynamic characters, and a realistic story make this a good choice for fans of Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory." --Paula Pergament, Lincolnwood Public Library, Lincolnwood, Ill.

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316485340). "Weirdly delightful and beyond compare. Essays that provide a look into the comedian's brain. For fans of Miranda July." --Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Neill Public Library, Pullman, Wash.

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher (Berkley, $16, 9781984802682). "A perfect contemporary romance that will make you laugh, swoon, and maybe even get a little weepy. Hannah is a heroine for the ages, prickly, real, and worth fighting for. For readers who loved How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days." --Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, Wis.

Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima (Crooked Lane, $26.99, 9781643851358). "This is a terrific series with characters that are constantly changing. I'm so excited to see what happens to them next! A good pick for fans of Nevada Barr." --Liz Kirchhoff, Barrington Area Public Library, Barrington, Ill.

Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250103482). "Daniel Mayrock is struggling to find his way as a man, husband, and potential father. His story is told entirely in lists. Written as a form of therapy for himself, Daniel's lists show his sense of humor and feelings of inadequacy. Funny, sad, uplifting but always relatable. A must read for fans of Rachel Joyce and Gabrielle Zevin." --Sam Sepulveda, Milford Town Library, Milford, Mass.

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis (Morrow, $15.99, 9780062964564). "A lovely charmer of a book. Jess follows her dream and moves to London and rents a room in a big Notting Hill house with one rule--no dating your flatmates. For fans of One Day (even mentioned in the book), Four Weddings and One Day in December." --Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, Ore.

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West (Hachette Books, $27, 9780316449885). "Lindy West takes on rape culture, climate change, Hollywood and toxic masculinity among other topics. It's funny, relatable and on-point. For fans of Rebecca Solnit and Roxane Gay." --Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich, Mich.

Book Review

Review: Wyoming

Wyoming by JP Gritton (Tin House, $15.95 paperback, 246p., 9781947793446, November 19, 2019)

JP Gritton's first novel, the dark and gritty Wyoming, explores themes of family, love and every kind of trouble. Luckless narrator Shelley Cooper opens his story: "I'll tell you what happened and you can go ahead and decide." His telling is jumbled, though, jumping through time and space, and sometimes readers may be a bit unsure of who's responsible for his actions: Is it Shelley, or the nasty "second voice buzzing in [his] ear"?

In shards and pieces, a backdrop becomes clear. Shelley's lost his construction job. His best friend Mike's kid is really sick. Shelley's wife left him some time back for the next-door neighbor and took their son with her when they moved away. Shelley has longings that he understands to be inappropriate. He hates his brother Clay with deep, visceral force, yet he must accept Clay's offer to drive 50 pounds of marijuana down to Houston from where they live near Denver. The pay is measly--insulting, even, he decides as he drives--but Shelley needs the money. Mike needs his help.

In Houston, the exchange of drugs for money goes okay, but the rest goes south. Shelley can't help but veer toward trouble even when he sees it for what it is. A few acts of self-sabotage later, he's on a bus headed for Kansas City for an impromptu visit with his ex, her new husband and the son he doesn't really know. Meanwhile, back in Montgrand, Colo., problems multiply. Shelley owes Clay a lot of money. As he turns west, he continues to do battle with "that same ugliness rising up and up inside of [him]." Readers must piece together from a fractured narrative how circumstances got this bad, and where the roots of Shelley's love and hate begin and tangle.

Gritton writes Shelley's voice in a vernacular readers can almost hear spoken aloud. He doesn't talk much, but when he does, Shelley's speech bites, and Gritton's prose is curt but expressive. The title is a glancing reference point, since little of the novel's action takes place in Wyoming, but it gestures toward the road map of Shelley's undoing, which easily spans half a dozen states. It also points to the hopes, dreams and hazards on offer on the next stretch of road. The achievement of Gritton's ill-fated protagonist lies in readers' ambivalence: How should one feel about this man who simultaneously deserves revulsion, pity, compassion? Shelley is so determined to make an enemy of the whole world, of himself, of those he loves. Wyoming is a novel both sensitive and brutal, and impossible to turn away from. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This shadowy novel of desperate acts, brothers, friends and grudges pulls readers relentlessly down a complicated and uncertain road.

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