Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Scholastic Inc: Kent State by Deborah Wiles

Scholastic Inc: Kent State by Deborah Wiles

Nancy Paulsen Books: What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado

Flatiron Books: His & Hers by Alice Feeney

Scribner Book Company: An Elegant Woman by Martha McPhee

Chronicle Books: Cross Country: A 3,700-Mile Run to Explore Unseen America by Rickey Gates

Other Press: This Little Family by Inès Bayard, translated by Adriana Hunter

News

ALA's 2020 Youth Media Award Winners

Yesterday morning, at the American Library Association's Midwinter meeting in Philadelphia, the winners of some of the top prizes in children's literature were announced. Jerry Craft won the 2020 John Newbery Medal, for most outstanding contribution to children's literature, for New Kid (HarperCollins)--the first time a graphic novel has won the award. Kadir Nelson won the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children for The Undefeated (HMH/Versify), written by Kwame Alexander; and A.S. King won the 2020 Michael L. Printz Award, which recognizes excellence in YA literature, for Dig (Dutton).

New Kid and The Undefeated also received Coretta Scott King awards, which recognize African-American authors and illustrators.

Four Newbery Honor Books were named: The Undefeated; Scary Stories for Young Foxes (Holt) by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu; Other Words for Home (Balzer + Bray) by Jasmine Warga; and Genesis Begins Again (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum) by Alicia D. Williams.

Three Caldecott Honor Books were announced: Bear Came Along (Little, Brown), illus. by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris; Double Bass Blues (Knopf), illus. by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney; and Going Down Home with Daddy (Peachtree), illus. by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them (Dutton) by Junauda Petrus; Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Disney-Hyperion) by Kwame Mbalia; and Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum) by Jason Reynolds--this year's National Ambassador for Children's Literature.

The CSK-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Mildred D. Taylor, and the CSK John Steptoe New Talent Award recipients are April Harrison (What Is Given from the Heart, illus. by Patricia McKissack; Schwartz and Wade) and Alicia D. Williams (Genesis Begins Again, Atheneum).

The event also included announcement of the Stonewall Book Award honor books and two winners: When Aidan Became a  Brother (Lee & Low) by Kyle Lukoff, illus. by Kaylani Juanita; and The Black Flamingo (Balzer + Bray) by Dean Atta.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, which "recognizes an author and a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature" was given to Steve Sheinkin.

Also announced were the winners of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature from the Asian/Pacific Librarians Association (APALA); the Sydney Taylor Book Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL); the American Indian Youth Literature Award presented by the American Indian Library Association (AILA); the Schneider Family Book Award, which recognizes authors and illustrators "for the excellence of portrayal of the disability experience in literature for youth"; and the Pura Belpré Awards, honoring Latino writers and illustrators whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.

For a full list of prizes and winners, as well as a recording of the event, click here.


Berkley Books: Shadow Garden by Alexandra Burt


Bar, Kids' Pop-up in the Works for Loyalty Bookstore

Changes are coming to Loyalty Bookstore's original location in the Petworth neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Popville reported last week that the Petworth Citizen, a bar adjacent to Loyalty Bookstore, will close on February 1, and the two spaces will then be merged to form a combination bar, event space and bookstore.

At the same time, Loyalty Bookstore will launch a children's pop-up shop at Willow, a clothing and gift store located just down the street from the Petworth location. According to Popville, the pop-up will reside in the back of Willow's shop and feature children's toys, books and games, with space for children and families to relax and read. Loyalty's children's programming will be held at Willow as well, and Loyalty will stock adult books in the front of the store.

"We are looking forward to futher growing the children's selection of both stores and embracing all of our smaller Petworth neighbors with books, games and a welcoming 'please touch' environment," said Hannah Oliver Depp, founder of Loyalty Bookstores. "We will continue to provide excellent, diverse and inclusive books for all ages along with Willow's beautiful clothing and gifts to make sure our neighbors are served."


University of California Press:  Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America by David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe


Wi15: Writing in Times of Crisis

At the standing-room-only Thursday Wi15 panel "Writing in Times of Crisis," Brooklyn's Books Are Magic owner Emma Straub (and author of the novel All Adults Here, Riverhead, May 5) engaged Julia Alvarez, Erik Larson, James McBride and local author David Simon in a passionate conversation about why "crisis is the font of all storytelling," as Larson put it.

Larson began his book The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (Crown, February 25) before the election, but quickly saw the parallels between Churchill's time and the present. He described Churchill's life in terms of the "Vonnegut Curve," Kurt Vonnegut's way of plotting story, with one axis going from bliss to misfortune, and the other axis tracing chronology. "The day Churchill becomes prime minister he goes from bliss [at becoming prime minister] to serious misfortune [Hitler invades Holland and Belgium]."

Emma Straub, Julia Alvarez, Erik Larson, James McBride and David Simon

James McBride, whose novel Deacon King Kong (Riverhead, March 3) describes the 1969 shooting of a drug dealer by a South Brooklyn church deacon, said, "Writing about the past helps me delineate between good and evil. The lines of demarcation were clean. Now everyone's become black. The sidewalk behind you disappears; our history means nothing." Like McBride, David Simon (Homicide; The Wire) was also trained as a journalist, and he added, "You write with more caution or fear when you write in the present: it's an incomplete history." Simon, who's currently adapting Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, which depicts an alternate America where Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR in the 1940 election, for an HBO miniseries, said that the subject "speaks to something now. Looking back is a great device for grieving this moment."

When Straub asked the panelists to describe what crises they return to, Julia Alverez (Afterlife, Algonquin, April 7) said, "I think readers are better at seeing those. I always look for reasons not to write." After laughter from the audience subsided, she said she writes in response to "the pebble in my shoe. I was a 10-year-old immigrant learning English. One theme is how to understand the confusing moment. The other is engaging with the language. Emily Dickinson said, 'There's no approximate language in a poem.' " 

In response to Straub's question about how the authors know which format is best for a particular story, Simon responded that filmmaking is unusual, in that "it's a collaboration--and it costs a lot. Stuff gets made when it gets made. If your heart's there, you have to work on it." He pointed out that they'd mapped out a three-season arc for The Deuce, and Season 1 came out before the Weinstein scandal broke. "If the two were reversed, [The Deuce] wouldn't have gotten made." McBride said that "If you open a history book, there's a novel on every page. I like to show people coming together, not coming apart."

To Larson, Straub said that his research reads like a novel: "How do you know the shape of it?" Larson said that for the Churchill book, "A little part of me hated myself every day. To wade through stereotypes and caricatures, it was like Downton on Downing." He said the narrative isn't clear, but "I always know endings." "Is that because you're writing history?" asked Alverez, to laughter from the room.

An audience member asked the authors, "In times of crisis, when people are suffering, do you feel a responsibility to help them heal? Or just to present it properly?" Alvarez was the first to reply, "We have the tradition of the testimonial: bearing witness is the healing. It's a wonderful healing process, to be accompanied." McBride said, "I try to bring hope to my work." Simon responded that, as a journalist, "I have imposter's syndrome--I don't want to be embarrassed by the real. I want the testimonial to be accurate. I'm not an agent for good, but I don't want to be an agent for bad."

Another question from the audience was for James McBride, asking how to get African American boys to read more. "I work with kids every weekend in Brooklyn," McBride replied. "If [reading] doesn't happen at home, it won't happen. Money isn't our problem; ignorance is our problem. We need to respect education." --Jennifer M. Brown


10th Annual Chuckanut Writers Conference - June 26th-27th


Wi15: Green Retailing

"No matter where people are on the political spectrum, it's becoming more and more evident that global climate change is the existential issue of our time," said Dan Cullen, senior strategy officer of the American Booksellers Association, during a Wi15 panel on green retailing and climate change last week. 

Cullen moderated the discussion, which included Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland; Nic Bottomley, president of the BA and co-owner of Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, England; and Julie Beddingfield, owner and manager of Inkwood Books in Haddonfield, N.J.

Last fall, Cullen reported, the ABA set up a green bookselling task force made up of 18 booksellers. While the task force has had only one official meeting so far, the ABA is looking to follow in footsteps of the BA, which formed a similar task force a few years ago. Halls explained that the BA has so far started a conversation throughout the wider industry and "taken some baby steps." The first step was composing something of a manifesto featuring a mix of aspirations, political goals and practical steps that the BA could take.

Bottomley recalled that during the task force's early meetings, many of those present began "laying into" booksellers' supply chain partners, but they soon began focusing on how to "empower and inform" the BA's own members first. They realized that before bringing in supply chain partners, BA members had to get their own houses "as much in order as possible." Some of the practical first steps that the BA have taken include trying to set up an opt-in program for receiving galleys and ARCs; asking publishers to limit the amount of unsolicited marketing materials that they send to booksellers; working to reduce the size of paper receipts; and other "easy wins."

Looking ahead, Bottomley continued, the industry is going to have the tackle the "huge questions," which will likely involve some sort of systemic change in the industry. The "biggy" is the huge amount of books "shipped around to be destroyed," as well as the waste associated with the ways the industry moves stock. He warned that the issue is not as "black and white" as it may seem, noting that the plants that process and recycle returned books are typically much more efficient than curbside recycling.

On the subject of returns, Halls agreed that it is the single biggest issue and will be the "hardest conversation to have." At the same time, responsibility doesn't lie solely with publishers and distributors. Booksellers have to talk about "being better booksellers," and learn to buy better and reduce their returns. She added that there is still a lot of work to be done in simply assessing the environmental impact of the book business. So far, she said, publishers have been eager to start that process and have agreed to share information.

Beddingfield, meanwhile, offered a breakdown of the many steps she's taken at her store to be more sustainable. She reported that Inkwood Books is certified as sustainable under both a municipal-level program and a state-wide program, and she pointed out that while it can vary from state to state, there are often government rebate programs for things like adding LED lights and buying environmentally friendly appliances such as refrigerators and even HVAC systems. She buys all of her business cards and gift certificates from a local printer, and buys food for events from local sources.

She's eliminated single-use plastics from her store, which has included buying water bottles for her staff and getting reusable, plastic wine glasses to use during events. The store's toilet paper and tissues are from a company called Who Gives a Crap and made entirely from bamboo. Almost all of her cleaning is done with a vinegar and water solution mixed in a spray bottle (she assured the audience that it does not make a store smell like vinegar), and uses recycled Ellerkamp bags.

When it comes to unwanted galleys, she and her staff turn them into a variety of decorations, including bows for gift-wrapped books. And instead of recycling large boxes and other packing materials, Beddingfield stores them in her basement and allows community members to take whatever they need. She also donates cardboard displays for children's books to teachers and librarians. She added that while she would rather not get those materials in the first place, "finding creative ways to use [them] has been fun and challenging." --Alex Mutter


Berkley Books: Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay


Bywater Books Launches Imprint for Diverse, Queer Books

Bywater Books, Ann Arbor, Mich., is launching Amble Press, an imprint that will primarily publish fiction and narrative nonfiction from writers who identify as people of color and those writing across the broader queer spectrum. Amble Press will be led by managing editor and Lambda Literary Award-winning author Michael Nava.

The first title to be published by Amble Press will be As if Death Summoned by Alan Rose, scheduled for this December. Coming in spring 2021 is the eighth book in Nava's Henry Rios mystery series.

"Amble Press will celebrate and amplify our community's diverse voices, and the unique and compelling stories they have to tell," Nava said. "As the forces of reaction are empowered at the highest levels of society, the arrival of Amble Press could not be more timely and more necessary. Amble Press is committed to publishing books that are bold, entertaining, and of enduring value."

Salem West, publisher of Bywater Books, which was founded in 2004 as a feminist and lesbian press, added: "This is the right time to launch this important imprint, and Michael Nava is absolutely the perfect person to lead the way. Amble Press will continue Bywater Books' strong tradition of publishing a vibrant range of thinkers and writers."


Ingram: Direct to Home, Never Miss a Sale


Kids' Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the second part of the American Booksellers Association's Winter 2019/2020 Kids' Next List was delivered to more than half a million of the country's best book readers, going to 515,711 customers of 144 participating bookstores.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features winter Kids' Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Kids' Next List pick, in this case Janae Marks, author of From the Desk of Zoe Washington (Katherine Tegen Books).

For a sample of the newsletter, see this one from Ferguson Books & More, Grand Forks, N.Dak.


Berkley Books: Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Cuyahoga
by Pete Beatty

To the folklore Americans have grown up with, Pete Beatty adds the exploits of Big Son, clearer of forests, whipper of lakes, liar to the Devil. Big Son lives in Ohio City in 1837, across the river from Cleveland. In Cuyahoga, the towns battle over the building of a bridge across the river, with Big Son at the center. Kathryn Belden, Scribner executive editor, knew this was "a kind of special [book] that only comes along a few times in a career. Every sentence in this novel is an event. It isn't all razzle-dazzle. It runs deep and has real emotional resonance, with truths highly relatable to the present--fragile masculinity, American-style myth-making, domestic terrorism and infighting--wrapped in a tall tale." The story is told in the often poetic vernacular of Big Son's brother, Meed: "We drink down such wild stories to drown our worries. They are whiskey to wash out our brains. My brother's stories are more apple cider." But cider with a definite kick. --Marilyn Dahl

(Scribner, $27 hardcover, 9781982155551, October 6, 2020)

CLICK TO ENTER


#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

 


Notes

Image of the Day: Celebrating Paul Yamazaki

At the Indie Publisher Party during Winter Institute, booksellers gave Paul Yamazaki the first of many rounds of love--and drinks!--celebrating his 50th anniversary at City Lights in San Francisco. Pictured: (l.-r.) Slade Lewis, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.; Stacey Lewis, City Lights; Tom Roberge, Riffraff Bookstore, Providence, R.I.; Melinda Powers, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.; and the man of the hour/year, Paul Yamazaki.

Locust Valley Bookstore an L.I. Company to Watch in 2020

The Long Island Press recently highlighted three local companies "as they head into a new year, still beset by challenges, but hoping the wind is now at their backs." Included in the roundup was Locust Valley Bookstore in Locust Valley, N.Y., which is entering its third year in business.

"I said to myself, Who in their right mind would buy a bookstore in this environment?" owner Lisa Scully recalled. "But I wasn't scared. I really believed in it. I believe if you love something enough, you can sell it.... It excites me to get up every morning to come to the bookstore and serve customers."


Chalkboard of the Day: Books & Books

Prentiss Seymore, a bookseller at the Books & Books store in Coconut Grove, Fla., created the sidewalk chalkboard message: "Books: The original handheld device!"


Personnel Changes at St. Martin's Publishing Group

At St. Martin's Publishing Group:

Meghan Harrington has been promoted to publicist. She had been an associate publicist.

Clare Mauer has been promoted to associate publicist. She had been a publicity assistant.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ezra Klein on the Daily Show

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Tommy Davidson, co-author of Living in Color: What's Funny About Me (Kensington, $27, 9781496712943). He will also appear on Tamron Hall.

Also on Today: Jessica Simpson, author of Open Book (Dey Street, $28.99, 9780062899965). She will also appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Kelly Clarkson Show: Danielle Kartes, author of Rustic Joyful Food: Generations (Sourcebooks, $29.99, 9781492697893).

Daily Show: Ezra Klein, author of Why We're Polarized (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476700328).

TV: The House on Mango Street

Sandra Cisneros's novel The House on Mango Street will be adapted into a TV drama by Gaumont, producer behind Netflix hit Narcos. Deadline reported that Cisneros "has previously declined offers to adapt the book for film and TV, according to Gaumont, but she changed her mind amid the explosion in streaming services and the ongoing dialogue about immigration in America."

"I write because the world we live in is a house on fire, and the people we love are burning," she said. "Television has grown up in the last 20 years and now is the time to tell our stories."

Cisneros will serve as an executive producer on the show. The project will be overseen by Alexandra Hunter, Gaumont's senior v-p of creative affairs, and Tely Morrison, manager of creative affairs.

Gene Stein, Gaumont's president of U.S. Television, called the novel "a timeless story that captures the struggles, dreams, and spirit of a young woman who epitomizes the experience of many young women coming of age in America today. It's an inspiring and uplifting story that speaks to the challenges faced by so many trying to find their place in society."



Books & Authors

Awards: André Simon Food & Drink Book Winners

Winners have been announced for the 2019 André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards. Each receives £2,000 (about $2,615), while the Special Commendation and the John Avery awards are worth £1,500 ($1,960). This year's winning titles are:

Food: The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think by Josh Niland
Drink: The World Atlas of Wine (8th Edition) by Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson
Special Commendation: The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren
John Avery Award: Tokyo Stories: A Japanese Cookbook by Tim Anderson


Top Library Recommended Titles for February

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

Favorite
The Authenticity Project: A Novel by Clare Pooley (Pamela Dorman, $26, 9781984878618). "Julian, Monica, and others present themselves publicly in one way, but their entries in an Authenticity Project notebook reveal them to be more insecure, eager to change, and ultimately more interesting. A heartwarming story about how not everyone tells the truth about who they are. For fans of The School of Essential Ingredients, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and A Man Called Ove." --Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, Mass.

The Bear by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press, $16.99, 9781942658702). "A young girl and her father live alone in a mountain forest that fronts a lake in a devastated world. She learns from him how to live off the land, hunting for food, and finding shelter. The Bear is the moving story of a journey they make together to the ocean, and the bear who helps her find her way back home. For fans of The Dog Stars (Heller) and The Road (McCarthy)." --Sandy Jones Boyd, Mountain Regional Public Library, Young Harris, Ga.

The Girl in White Gloves: A Novel of Grace Kelly by Kerri Maher (Berkley, $26, 9780451492074). "An interesting, fictional take on the life of one of America's favorite actresses, Grace Kelly. She struggles to break free from controlling parents and forge her own life. Although she marries her prince, the confinements of her marriage contract assure that she never truly succeeds at happily ever after. For readers who liked The Girls in the Picture (Benjamin) and A Touch of Stardust (Alcott)." --Debbie Lease, Hillsdale Public Library, Hillsdale, N.J.

Golden in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel by J.D. Robb (St. Martin's Press, $28.99, 9781250207203). "Hard to believe that this is #50 in this series. Even harder to believe that the stories remain fresh and the characters compelling, but it does not disappoint. There's a satisfying path to solving the very distressing murders, and particular pleasure in seeing the characters continue to change and grow. For fans of the In Death series, Linda Howard, and Lisa Gardner." --Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Mercy House: A Novel by Alena Dillon (Morrow, $16.99, 9780062914804). "Mercy House, a battered women's shelter run by nuns, is being investigated by an arrogant bishop and threatened by a violent gang leader. In a world full of predators, Sister Evelyn protects her traumatized and diverse flock of women with everything she's got. She is arousing, radical, literary hero of heart-stirring courage. Give to fans of Elizabeth Berg and Anita Diamant." --Jill Minor, Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Va.

Oona Out of Order: A Novel by Margarita Montimore (Flatiron, $26.99, 9781250236609). "During the New Year countdown, 19-year-old Oona Lockhart faints and wakes up in her 51-year-old body. I can't wait for my bookish friends to read this time-jumping debut novel so we can discuss it. For fans of Audrey Niffenegger, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Liane Moriarty." --Darla Dykstra, Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Mo.

The Other Mrs.: A Novel by Mary Kubica (Park Row, $26.99, 9780778369110). "Sadie, Will, and their two children move to Maine following Will's sister's suicide, to care for her teenage daughter Imogen. Soon after, a strange murder happens in the house across the street. The family's past is revealed along with the unraveling of the neighbor's murder. For fans of You by Caroline Kepnes (both the book and the Netflix show)." --Christine Edgar, Farmington Libraries, Farmington, Conn.

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (Celadon, $26.99, 9781250219596). "Claire was a child when her much older sister Alison died and there are many gaps in her knowledge of who Alison was and how she died. This is a deep character study and a story about obsession, grief, and finding a path after loss. For readers who enjoyed What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons and The Other Americans by Laila Lalami." --Rebecca Swanson, Fitchburg Public Library, Fitchburg, Mass.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson (Crown, $32, 9780385348713). "Once again Larson's new book is nonfiction that is as hard to put down as the best fiction. The book recounts the early days of Churchill as prime minister when France fell to Germany and the British Empire stood alone against Hitler. For readers who like John M. Barry (The Great Influenza) and David King (Death in the City of Light)." --Celia Morse, Berkley Public Library, Berkley, Mich.

The Worst Best Man: A Novel by Mia Sosa (Avon, $15.99, 9780062909879). "A classic enemies to lovers plot told from the perspective of both sides of the would-be couple, both likable and the chemistry between the two was well-written and believable. For fans of Red, White & Royal Blue and The Wedding Party." --Karma Campbell, Catoosa Public Library, Catoosa, Okla.

Book Review

Review: Amnesty

Amnesty by Aravind Adiga (Scribner, $26 hardcover, 272p., 9781982127244, February 18, 2020)

"A man without rights in this world is not freed from his responsibilities." So thinks Danny, an undocumented worker in Sydney, Australia, upon realizing that he has information about a murder that by all rights should be reported to the police. Amnesty by Aravind Adiga (Last Man in Tower; The White Tiger) follows Danny, a Sri Lankan national, over the course of a day as he bargains with himself and conducts imaginary negotiations for asylum in exchange for helping the police with their investigation. As the minutes tick by--readers see each timestamp--the tension builds toward a resolution that seems anything but preordained.

Danny entered Australia legally as a student four years ago but dropped out of college and overstayed his visa. Almost immediately he realized the gravity of his mistake, and "from the day he had become an illegal, he had been trying to reverse things. To find some way around his decision." Yet he's not allowed to petition for an extension or apply for permanent residency precisely because he's in the country illegally. In spite of this conundrum, "I am never going back home," he says, and begins his life of hiding in plain sight. "A man needed a certain level of self-confidence even to become a refugee," he thinks, as he works as a housecleaner, dates a woman and moves around Sydney openly but always on guard. Luckily, most Australians--almost exclusively white--don't notice brown people. And, Danny observes, even those white people who want to "protect illegals from exploitation" can't be trusted. They'd be "lecturing you on your rights all the way to the deportation vehicle." He knows from witnessing the deportation of other undocumented workers that it doesn't matter if it's the police or a do-gooder trying to pin you down. "Idealism and corruption flowed side by side in Sydney like parallel streams of sewage."

After four years, Danny has convinced himself that he can live in Sydney indefinitely. So, the news of a body discovered at a nearby riverbed barely registers until Danny realizes it's Radha, one of Danny's former employers. Radha, along with her lover Prakash, discovered Danny's undocumented status without turning him in. Radha even patronized him, referring to Danny as "our little third world baby." When Danny hears details of Radha's murder, he suspects her lover is responsible and, unsure of what to do, calls him, hoping to hear some clue in Prakash's voice as to his guilt or innocence. This call proves to be a grievous error, because Prakash now knows that Danny has suspicions, and threatens to turn him into the police. "If I tell the Law about him, I also tell the Law about myself," Danny knows.

Amnesty moves quickly, as befits a hero on the run, and presents each character as fully formed and complex. Adiga's facility for the cadence and vernacular of street talk and self-talk gives voice, literally, to figures that are often unheard. Danny represents asylum-seekers around the globe who, unsafe in their own country and unwanted in others, wonder, "Where does it end, then, and who is responsible for what has been done to us?" --Cindy Pauldine, bookseller, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.

Shelf Talker: Over the course of one day, an illegal worker in Australia debates whether to provide key evidence to the police in a murder investigation or remain in hiding.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews
2. Securing Zoey by Susan Stoker
3. The Fight for Forever by Meghan March
4. Non Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
6. Inappropriate by Vi Keeland
7. This Is Forever by Natasha Madison
8. Ice's Icing by Dale Mayer
9. The Summer Sisters by Lilly Mirren
10. Delay, Don't Deny by Gin Stephens

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]

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