Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 5, 2019

Del Rey Books: Black Shield Maiden by Willow Smith and Jess Hendel

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Tor Books: The Daughters' War (Blacktongue) by Christopher Buehlman

Tommy Nelson: Just in Case You Ever Feel Alone (Just in Case) by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Eve Tharlet

Bramble: The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst

Quotation of the Day

'We Are All More than Our Labels'

"Take that leap of faith with your black, gay, trans, other, different, disabled, rough around the edges, northern, junior assistant. What else would they bring to the editorial table? What else do they have to contribute apart from their identity? Don't continually ask your black member of staff questions about diversity and difference. You might find they're really, really good on cookery books and sci-fi. We are all more than our labels."

--Author Kit de Waal in her closing keynote at FutureBook Live, where she was honored as 2019 FutureBook Person of the Year for her commitment to improving diversity within the publishing business (via the Bookseller)

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman


Novel Books in Clarksburg, Md., Seeks Help

Novel Books in Clarksburg, Md., will likely close in a matter of weeks unless owner Patrick Darby can raise close to $50,000, the Washington Post reported. To that end, Darby has launched a GoFundMe campaign that has raised just over $13,556.

Up until last year, Darby's bookstore was having modest success, but beginning last year a series of professional and personal setbacks jeopardized the store's future, the Post wrote. In fall 2018, Darby's motor home that he used to travel to and sell books at literary events around the country broke down while he was in Tennessee, stranding him there for a month. Earlier this year the store's van broke down, and then, worst of all, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in August.

"It was pretty dark," Darby told the Post. "I could either just give up on everything and call it quits. Or I could decide to try to fight this--that it's worth fighting for. I might lose out, but at least I know I tried. It's better than giving up." But without something miraculous happening, Darby said, the store will almost certainly close.

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Downtown Seattle B&N Closing in January

The Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle, Wash., is closing January 18, the Seattle Review of Books reported. The location is in the Pacific Place mall that the Review described as "suffering from closures, empty storefronts, and a massive remodel that has left the space virtually gutted for months." With the closure, "there will officially be no bookstores in the downtown retail core," although there are many independent bookstores in nearby neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill, Queen Anne and the Pike Place Market.

B&N also has a store about eight miles north of downtown in the Northgate Mall, but that shopping center, too, is having problems: it "has largely been sealed off from the public during a massive reconstruction project, with a half-empty food court at one end and a meager few shops at the other," the Review wrote. "Anchor stores like Nordstrom and J.C. Penney have abandoned Northgate, likely putting that Barnes & Noble's future in peril, too."

In January, B&N closed its store in Westwood Village in West Seattle. Including the downtown store, B&N has 11 stores in the greater Seattle area.

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

Eslite to Expand into Southeast Asia

Eslite Spectrum Corp., owner of the Eslite bookstore chain, which has 50 locations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Japan, is considering opening stores in Southeast Asia, and particularly in Malaysia, the Taipei Times reported.

Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, Eslite Spectrum chairwoman Mercy Wu said that Malaysia is an attractive country for growth in part because 25% of its population is ethnic Chinese.

She also said that Eslite bookstores remain unprofitable: "Today, profitability continues to pose the biggest challenge for Eslite as it turns 30 years old this year," adding that "no enterprise in the world can live off running bookstores as its core operation." Still, the bookstores are an important part of what Wu described as the company's "cultural innovation business."

Eslite Spectrum also runs department stores and restaurants, and sells appliances and equipment for hotels, restaurants, kitchens and wine cellars.

William Morrow & Company: Lula Dean's Little Library of Banned Books by Kirsten Miller

Renovated WH Smith Shop: 'Home of Children's Reading & the Light Reader'

As part of a "trial refurbishment" of its stores, British bookstore chain WH Smith has renovated its shop in Bath, England, the Bookseller reported.

The Bath store, which now features stationery and magazine sections on its first floor and a post office and 2,000-square-foot dedicated bookstore space on its second floor, is the first WH Smith location to be refurbished. The goal of the planned changes is to make WH Smith the "home of children's reading and the light reader," explained outgoing books trading director Al Aldous.

The shop is now more open, airy and more easily navigable, with front-facing bookshelves and display tables replacing central islands. The overall size of the inventory has been reduced, with Aldous noting that many of the removed titles were ones that sat on shelves for a long time without selling.

Should the changes at the Bath store prove successful, WH Smith will begin exploring what other stores could receive the same sort of refurbishment. The company's new head of books Peter Selby hopes to focus more on children's books--especially those with a diverse focus or from diverse authors--expand the chain's pre-order business and continue to grow its Richard & Judy Book Club.

Harper Celebrate: Why Do We Stay?: How My Toxic Relationship Can Help You Find Freedom by Stephanie Quayle, with Keith W. Campbell

Milan Kundera's Czech Citizenship Restored

Milan Kundera

After more than 40 years in exile, internationally acclaimed Czech author Milan Kundera has had his homeland citizenship restored. The Guardian reported that Petr Drulák, the Czech Republic's ambassador to France, visited the 90-year-old author in his Paris apartment recently to hand-deliver his citizenship certificate.

"This is a very important symbolic gesture, a symbolic return of the greatest Czech writer in the Czech Republic," Drulák said, describing the presentation as "a very simple moment, but of great conviviality and human warmth.... He was in a good mood, just took the document and said thank you."

Kundera, whose books include The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, "was expelled for 'anti-communist activities' from the Czechoslovakian party in 1950. He became a hate figure for the authorities and eventually fled to France in 1975. In 1979, his Czech citizenship was revoked and two years later he became a French citizen," the Guardian wrote, noting that Kundera "now lives out of the spotlight and never speaks to reporters."

Obituary Note: Larry Dunphy

Larry Dunphy

Larry Dunphy, owner of Books on First in Dixon, Ill., died November 28, Thanksgiving Day. He was 81. Noting that downtown Dixon had "lost a big chunk of its soul," reported that "Dunphy never stopped working at the store he owned for 21 years, and in fact worked Wednesday, said Brenda Spratt, his employee for 19 years, who likened his sudden death to losing a father."

Spratt opened the bookstore and coffee shop on the Friday morning after Dunphy's death and said in a Facebook post: "Comfort... that's what each and every one of you brought to us today. The wonderful Facebook posts and memories, cards, visits to the bookstore, phone calls... there are no words to express our gratitude. There's a void downtown Dixon that will never be filled.... Again, thank you all. Your love is felt."

Books on First launched in 1998, and Dunphy had credited his wife Carolyn Chin with the original idea, "though it appealed to his sensibilities.... Over the years since, there's been a steady stream of customers into what Dunphy proudly noted was one of the few independent Illinois bookstores west of the Chicago suburbs," wrote. "The locals say, 'I'll meet you at Larry's.' They come for a good read, they come for the coffee and the treats, they come for the live music, the chatter, the camaraderie. They kept coming, in large part, because of Larry."

"He really, really loved books," Chin said. "He loved a lot of things. He loved life. He loved music, and not within a year we started to have live music, once in a while, then once a month, and now it's almost every weekend. He's a very modest man. He didn't feel like he was much of anything, just a regular kind of guy."

"From the beginning, it was really kind of a gathering place, because there were no places like this downtown," said John Thompson, former president of the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce. "He was a catalyst [in] the resurgence of the downtown. He led by example: he wanted other merchants to stay open, worked more days, more hours. Typically, at first, he would work 7 days a week, morning to night.... He was very much adamant about small business and the independent bookstore concept."

Books on First will continue to operate at its usual hours, because "that's what he would have wanted," Chin said. "He looked at this building and said that this was the perfect building. We bought the building because we wanted it to be exactly what we wanted. He asked me, 'Do you think this will be a place that people will want to go and be a destination?' I said, 'Absolutely. That's why we're here.' "

"People who talk about Larry Dunphy often use the word 'community," the Chicago Tribune wrote. "Though his store is a small place in a small town, his life shows the great, universal connective power of books, coffee, conversation and one dedicated person."


Image of the Day: Rep Night at {pages}

{pages} a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, Calif., hosted its most well-attended Rep Night ever, with 80 ticketed attendees. Six publisher reps and a few {pages} staff members shared their favorite titles for the holiday season. Owner Linda McLoughlin Figel reported, "Attendees purchased tall stacks of hot books. It was great fun and we moved some books!"
Pictured: (back row, l.-r.) Casey Poma, {pages}; Wade Lucas, Random House; Pam Page, {pages}; Steve Atinsky, Random House; Shannon Grant, Simon & Schuster; Liliana Lettieri, {pages}; Amy Comito, Penguin; Joe Murphy, Norton; Gabe Barillas, HarperCollins. Front row: Jackie Hansen, {pages}; Kristin Rasmussen, {pages} general manager; Linda McLoughlin Figel; and Rick Cobban, Hachette.

Happy 25th Birthday, Loganberry Books!

Congratulations to Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, Ohio, which celebrated its 25th anniversary yesterday with wine, cheese, live music, discounts--"including 50% off 25th Anniversary Otis Totes for EVERYONE"--as well as a raffle to raise money for @seedsofliteracy and "great holiday cheer!"

"Owner Harriet Logan and shop cat Otis invite the community in for a party to celebrate," CoolCleveland noted. "Come check out Otis' Old Curiosity Shop, the store's holiday pop-up gift shop, featuring toys and games, literary-related items ranging from notebooks to bookmarks to writing materials, and handcrafted items made by local artists and fair-trade artisans.... Otis will probably be sleeping but you can pick up an Otis button to let people know you're a fan."

"We are here because of you," Loganberry said on its Facebook page. "You offer us something we could never find in online shopping, and we hope you feel the same way about us. Swipe left for a walk down Loganberry Memory Lane and check out our stories for more throughout the day!" The bookstore also featured "a #wbw post of our beautiful beginnings at 12633 Larchmere Blvd in the 1990s. Good books and beautiful rugs never go out of style!"

Now offering more than 100,000 volumes of carefully selected new, used and rare titles, Loganberry Books was established in November 1994 by Logan and originally shared space with Dede Moore Oriental Rugs. In 1997, "we annexed the adjacent storefront, and in September 2003, we left the rugs behind and moved into our own building down the street, thereby tripling our space and available inventory," the store's website noted. Strong Bindery, a specialized service for restoring and repairing old books, joined Loganberry at the new location in 2003.

Chalkboard of the Day: Books Inc.

"Everyone gets a book... or a log!" Books Inc. in Campbell, Calif., shared a photo of its latest sidewalk chalkboard message, noting: "Doug Stocks has done our chalkboards for decades at this point, and always wanted one in Shelf Awareness. Here he uses the NCIBA's holiday catalog slogan, Everyone Gets a Book, and riffs on the image of the bear hugging California. He reasons that a bear might prefer a log instead of a book!"

Pennie Picks: The Ambassador's Daughter

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff (Park Row, $16.99, 9780778309130) as her pick of the month for December. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"When an author is passionate about a subject matter it's easy for readers to get lost in the story. This month's book buyer's pick, Pam Jenoff's The Ambassador's Daughter, is a perfect example.

"This historical romance is a rich and satisfying read. Brought to Paris after World War I by her German diplomat father, Margot Rosenthal resents being in the city. As she starts thinking about the fiance she barely knows in Berlin and strikes up some unlikely alliances, she begins to question where her loyalties should lie."

Media and Movies

This Weekend on Book TV: Paul Theroux

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, December 7
2 p.m. Paul Theroux, author of On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544866478).

3:10 p.m. David Kirp, author of The College Dropout Scandal (Oxford University Press, $24.95, 9780190862213). (Re-airs Monday at 5:10 a.m.)

5 p.m. Debbie Cenziper, author of Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler's Hidden Soldiers in America (Hachette Books, $28, 9780316449656). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:40 a.m.)

6:15 p.m. Eric Lichtblau, author of Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee’s Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9781328528537).

7 p.m. Andrea Chamblee, co-author of The Capital of Basketball: A History of DC Area High School Hoops (Georgetown University Press, $29.95, 9781626167209). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m.)

7:45 p.m. Darryl Pinckney, author of Busted in New York and Other Essays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30, 9780374117443).

8:45 p.m. Scott Adams, author of Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America (Portfolio, $27, 9780593083529). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

10 p.m. Lindy West, author of The Witches Are Coming (Hachette Books, $27, 9780316449885). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11:05 p.m. James Stavridis, author of Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character (Penguin Press, $28, 9780525559931). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

Sunday, December 8
12 a.m. Bari Weiss, author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism (Crown, $20, 9780593136058).

1:45 p.m. Stuart Schrader, author of Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing (University of California Press, $34.95, 9780520295629), at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse in Baltimore, Md.

7:10 p.m. Mo Moulton, author of The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women (Basic Books, $30, 9781541644472).

8 p.m. Roland De Wolk, author of American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford (University of California Press, $34.95, 9780520305472).

11:20 p.m. Bruce Riedel, author of Beirut 1958: How America's Wars in the Middle East Began (Brookings Institution Press, $24.99, 9780815737292), at Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Washington, D.C.

Books & Authors

Awards: FT/McKinsey Business Book Winner; Society of Authors Translation Shortlists

Caroline Criado Perez has won the £30,000 (about $39,275) 2019 Financial Times/McKinsey & Company Business Book of the Year Award for Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (Abrams). The authors of the five shortlisted titles each receive £10,000 ($13,090).

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the judges, said, "Invisible Women is a stunning book that tells people about sexism that is hidden in plain sight. The data that Criado Perez marshals are overwhelming and her call for action is compelling."

Kevin Sneader, McKinsey's global managing partner, added: "Unassailable facts, backed by powerful stories, are what moves minds. This year's winner brilliantly uses that combination to cast a bright light on one of the most important issues of our time."

In addition, Jonathan Hillman won the £15,000 ($19,460) 2019 Bracken Bower Prize for his book proposal, The Sinolarity, which provides a map for navigating China's rise as a network power as it wires the world, connecting everything between the ocean floors and outer-space.


The Society of Authors has released the seven shortlists for its 2019 Translation Prizes, which can be seen here. Winners will be announced in February.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 10:

With a Little Help from My Friends by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, illus. by Henry Cole (Little Simon, $17.99, 9781534429833), is an illustrated picture book that brings the famous song to life.

Point of View by Patrick Bard (Delacorte Press, $17.99, 9781984851765) is a young adult novel about one teen's addiction.

How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss by Michael Greger (Flatiron, $32.50, 9781250199225) gives new ways to lose fat.

15-Minute Pilates: Four 15-Minute Workouts for Strength, Stretch, and Control by Alycea Ungaro (DK, $15, 9781465490407).

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:

Twice in a Blue Moon: A Novel by Christina Lauren (Gallery, $28, 9781982135706). "This is a story about forgiveness and second chances, and it is full of heart. When 18-year-old Tate, the long-lost daughter of a famous actor, has a whirlwind vacation romance with Sam, he sells a story about her to the press for the big bucks. Now, 14 years later and an established actress herself, she has to work with Sam while trying not to let him see how his betrayal changed the course of her life. This novel feels more subdued, a slow burn dealing a lot with trust issues and complicated family dynamics. If you're looking for a sweet (and sexy) romance with depth that will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning, this is it." --Leah Atlee, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food From 31 Celebrated Writers, edited by Natalie Eve Garrett (Black Balloon Publishing/IPS, $22, 9781936787791). "The visceral quality of food as it relates to memory is unparalleled--sometimes we eat our favorite foods as comfort during grief, or a dish prepared by a friend becomes healing food from then on. Eat Joy is a lively collection of autobiographical stories in which food plays a starring role (recipes included--and they are lovely!). A diverse selection of celebrated authors tell their stories of growth, loss, healing, and homecoming, and the resulting collection is nothing short of magical." --Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel by Talia Hibbert (Avon, $15.99, 9780062941206). "Get a Life, Chloe Brown is such a wonderful, inclusive, body-positive, fun, moving, and steamy book, the kind of novel I want to shove into every person's hand who says they don't read romance. Chloe Brown is a plus-size black British woman with chronic illness who is confident, sharp, sarcastic, brilliant, and adorable as hell--and, to my great relief, totally comfortable and happy with her looks and her size. After being temporarily knocked down by her illness, Chloe decides to reclaim her life, so she makes a to-do list: ride a motorcycle, have meaningless sex, go camping, etc. It was such an absolute treat to read a novel about a plus-size woman with a disability having amazing, mind-blowing sex and loving her life. I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about this book, so instead I will just force everyone I know to read it." --Elissa Sweet, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn.

For Ages 4 to 8
Saturday by Oge Mora (Little, Brown, $18.99, 9780316431279). "Saturday is the only day of the week that Ava and her mother are able to spend together, and this Saturday does not go as planned. Fortunately, Ava understands that the day was still 'special,' 'splendid,' and 'wonderful' because they spent it together. Oge Mora is a rare talent whose beautiful illustrations--each using hand-picked, textured, found, and created papers--reflect the exuberance of her very special stories." --Cathy Fiebach, Main Point Books, Wayne, Pa.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Ghost in Apartment 2R by Denis Markell (Delacorte, $16.99, 9780525645719). "The Ghost in Apartment 2R confidently straddles the line between spooky and funny, spine-chilling and heart-warming. I got goosebumps! Multiple times! But they were always offset by the arrival of dawn and the charming shenanigans of Danny's parents and friends. Just as Danny's life is inextricably tied to the history of his diverse Brooklyn neighborhood--which is slowly being transformed by encroaching gentrification--the ghost's terror and trauma are tied to this earthly place. Markell writes about Brooklyn, its history, and its people with the warmth and affection only a native could achieve, while also crafting a stellar ghost story that kept me hooked from beginning to end. I can't wait to start shoving this book in readers' hands." --Abby Rauscher, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062693167). "Cass McMurtrey has always known she was adopted, but upon turning 18, she wants to know who she is--not just who her adopted parents raised her to be, but her roots deep down. On a journey surrounded by her fun-loving and caring support system, Cass learns about her family's past through letters written by her biological mother. A heart-wrenching novel, The How & the Why will leave you wanting more of Cynthia Hand's talented writing." --Kelsi Roberts, Story on the Square, McDonough, Ga.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Tenant

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg (Scout Press/Gallery, $27 hardcover, 368p., 9781982127572, January 14, 2020)

Copenhagen Police detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner are the far-from-standard-issue pair who drive Katrine Engberg's crime series. The Tenant, originally published in 2016, is the first of four Kørner and Werner novels and the first to be published in the United States. Here's hoping the rest of the series makes it across the pond. (Engberg's occasional outdated vocabulary and phrasing, including "Damn it!" and "darned," should probably stay in Denmark, though.)

"No one dies in my building," insists landlady Esther de Laurenti, but someone has: her 21-year-old tenant Julie Stender. Before Julie's assailant finished her off with a blow to the temple, he stabbed her repeatedly and carved a pattern into her face.

Not only has someone died in Esther's building, but the killer seems to have modeled his crime on a story that Esther has been writing. Recently retired from her professorship at the University of Copenhagen, Esther is working on a crime novel in which her young tenant features prominently: "When Julie moved in, [Esther] immediately recognized her fictional victim. The pretty small-town girl with the checkered past, almost too obvious, and yet with inexplicable aspects, which made her interesting." The violence in Esther's fiction is the apparent blueprint for Julie's murder, right down to the knife work on her face. Esther has been using Google Docs to share her work with the two other people in her online writing group; might one of them be the killer, or could someone else have read Esther's work in progress?

The Tenant is yet another feather in the plumed cap of Scandinavian noir. Engberg's plotting is dexterous, and her character-centered storytelling aligns nicely with her unhurried descriptions of Copenhagen. Readers are treated to a backstage tour of the Royal Danish Theatre, although they shouldn't expect the show to go smoothly.

On one particular matter, readers will be a step ahead of the detectives, but any corresponding frisson of frustration is ameliorated by the sympathy that Engberg generates for Jeppe, whose point of view dominates The Tenant. Engberg has the odd-couple thing all worked out: Jeppe "thought Anette was a bit of a bulldozer; she called him sensitive and a wimp." Anette is overweight, crude and longtime married; everyone knows that the fastidious Jeppe has just suffered a "divorce-induced nervous breakdown." Sounds like the makings of a buddy comedy. If only there wasn't so much darned blood. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: The first Kørner and Werner thriller published in the United States finds the Copenhagen detectives looking for a killer who took inspiration from a scene in a crime novel.

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