Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 5, 2021


Inkyard Press: Ring of Solomon by Aden Polydoros

Chronicle Prism: Men in Blazers Present Gods of Soccer: The Pantheon of the 100 Greatest Soccer Players (According to Us) by Roger Bennett, Michael Davies, and Miranda Davis; illustrated by Nate Kitch

Neal Porter Books: I Don't Care by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal

Tor Nightfire: The Spite House by Johnny Compton

Candlewick Press (MA): Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens, illustrated by Monica Mikai

Popular Book Company (Usa): Complete Curriculum Success Series, Math Success Series, English Success Series, 365 Fun Days

Yen on: Fox Tales by Tomihiko Morimi, translated by Winifred Bird

News

Maine Indies Help School Library After Fire

Independent bookstores Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine, and Bogan Books in Fort Kent, Maine, are among the businesses, authors and literary groups helping an elementary school in northern Maine rebuild its library after a devastating fire, the Portland Press Herald reported.

On July 25 a fire broke out in Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville, a small town not far from the Canadian border, destroying the building, along with the library's entire collection of some 9,500 books. Tracie Boucher, the school's librarian, first went to author Lynn Plourde for help.

Plourde, a Maine author who had visited the school, agreed to donate books and started wondering how else she could help. It was Plourde who reached out to Stephanie Heinz, Print's children's manager and community coordinator, about donating books to the school. Boucher gave Heinz a list of the store's most-needed books, which Heinz then posted on the bookstore's website.

Customers purchased all of the books on that initial wishlist in just over 24 hours, Heinz said. She has stayed in touch with Boucher about creating another wishlist, but in the meantime Print is taking direct monetary donations for the school. All money raised will be used to help rebuild the elementary school.

"I think one of the biggest things about independent bookstores is we rely so much on community support and therefore I think it's even more important that bookstores show we are investing back in our community as well," Heinz told the Press Herald. "When I heard about this opportunity I just wanted to do what we could."

Bogan Books, meanwhile, is selling gift certificates that will be given to teachers at Levesque Elementary. Heidi Carter, owner of Bogan Books, said the store has collected roughly $3,000 in donations as of Tuesday, and the store is matching 20¢ for every dollar donated.

"People often go out and buy the books they like and donate that," explained Carter. "The school needs books, but not like 100 copies of the same title. This way we can work with [Boucher] and the teachers to fill their shelves with the books they need for their students."

Boucher noted that the school's 140 students will be moving to other area schools for the immediate future, and she'll be setting up elementary school seating at the Wisdom Middle/High School library. She added that the school has been overwhelmed by the influx of support.


Tiny Reparations Books: Gone Like Yesterday by Janelle M. Williams


Arcadia Buys Commonwealth Editions

Arcadia Publishing has acquired Commonwealth Editions, the regional publisher of children's and adult books that is an imprint of Applewood Books, of Carlisle, Mass. Arcadia, which includes Pelican Publishing and Wildsam Publishing, focuses on books of local history and local interest.

Founded in 1998 by Webster and Katie Bull and acquired by Applewood in 2010, Commonwealth has a catalog of more than 300 titles, including children's backlist bestsellers I Met a Moose in Maine One Day and My Grandma Lives in Florida by Ed Shankman and Dave O'Neill; the Hello! series and Journey Around... series by Martha Zschock; and the Find-the-Animals books by Sage Stossel.

The Commonwealth Editions catalog will merge with the adult and children's divisions at Arcadia. Applewood Books will continue to handle sales and distribution of the Commonwealth titles for the foreseeable future.

Arcadia CEO Brittain Phillips commented: "Commonwealth's deep roots in New England and rich backlist are what initially drew our attention. Plus, Arcadia Children's Books is a key focus of our growth strategy, and Commonwealth's children's program meshes perfectly with our goal to bring in new local titles, series, and collections for kids."

Applewood Books founder Phil Zuckerman said, "I'm thrilled that Commonwealth Editions has found a new, permanent home with Arcadia. I have always admired the deep distribution into local markets that Arcadia has built over the last 25 years. With Commonwealth's emphasis on place, Arcadia will bring even more success to the Commonwealth authors and their amazing books."

Nancy Ellwood, publishing director of Arcadia Children's Books, said, "Commonwealth shares our love for and celebration of place, home, family, and adventure, and they do so with creative, innovative, and immensely talented authors and artists. This acquisition expands our backlist, broadens the genres we publish, and gives us the opportunity to work with amazing creators like Martha Zschock, Ed Shankman, Dave O'Neill, and Sage Stossel. Phil has done a remarkable job developing this imprint into the success it is today, and I am honored to take the helm and usher the Commonwealth list into a new era."


GLOW: Disney-Hyperion: Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow


At Scribner, Roz Lippel to Retire, Stu Smith to Become Associate Publisher

Roz Lippel

At Scribner, Roz Lippel, v-p and associate publisher, is retiring in November. She has worked at Simon & Schuster since 1986 and at Scribner since 1994. Scribner senior v-p and publisher Nan Graham recalled that when she and Susan Moldow joined Scribner to revive it, Lippel was integral to every early triumph and every success since then. "She was supremely competent, the epitome of grace, and singularly devoted, and we could not possibly have relaunched Scribner without her....

"If you were to draw up the ideal job description and skill set for an associate publisher, they would be modeled after Roz: she knows how to produce a book, identify the right jacket, help the sales force sell it, keep it in stock, and troubleshoot when something goes wrong. Put simply, Roz has been deeply, essentially involved in absolutely everything Scribner since she came onboard.

"Beyond her job, Roz's friendships within this company are far too many to count. Roz is the person everyone turns to when they need a confidante, or when there's a task that no one else wants to undertake, and she's the perfect planner when there is something to celebrate. We will miss her, and our authors will miss her. We trust she will thrive in her post-Simon & Schuster life. But not yet! We are holding on to her until November."

Stu Smith

Stu Smith will join Scribner as associate publisher, effective August 30. He is currently national account manager and director, Top Shelf. He began his career at Simon & Schuster 15 years ago in special sales, then moved on to a role as sales and publisher liaison, then account manager, and now manages the airport stores and Costco. He also directs the sales division's Top Shelf program and, during COVID, organized and hosted a series of staged conversations with authors and the sales team.

Graham said Smith "has done a stellar job of championing and selling for all the imprints. We at Scribner are deeply grateful for his nuanced responses to our books and his eloquence in conveying his passion and insight not just to his accounts but to his own colleagues and to our authors."


Harper: Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes


International Update: Survey of Canadian Readers on Diversity, Starmark CEO on Importance of Bookstores

BookNet Canada has released On Diversity: A Survey of Canadian Readers 2021, new, free study on the interest of Canadian readers in diverse literature. The report includes insights into the ways readers discover diverse books, what they consider to be a diverse author or title, their perceptions of diversity in the publishing industry, the topics they want to see more often in the books they read, and more.

For the survey, BookNet said it introduced the term “non-dominant identity. This term serves as an umbrella to include one or more of Blackness, Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, disability, neurodiversity, class, family structure, age, religion, language, or other identities that are generally poorly represented or not advantaged.... For comparison purposes, we split the responses from readers as a whole vs. readers who belong to a non-dominant identity." Among the study's highlights:

  • 94% of respondents agreed or sometimes agreed that "books should be representative of a variety of experiences," with the same being true for 72% of respondents about the statement "books about a group/culture should be written by people from that group," and for the statement "authors should write from their lived experience" (68%).
  • 17% of respondents said they had read more diverse books last year, with 31% saying they sometimes read more. For the 41% of readers who belong to a non-dominant identity, a higher proportion said both that they had (25%) or sometimes had (38%) read such titles.
  • The age group with the lowest interest in diverse books is 55-64 years old (11%), compared to ages 18-29 (32%) and 30-44 (31%). 
  • When asked what readers, in general, wanted to see more of in the books they read, the top five ranking topics were mental health challenges (46%), multi-cultural or immigrant experiences (46%), working class (45%), across ages or multi-generational (44%), and rural or urban area living (42%).
  • Among respondents who read more diverse books, however, the top five were across ages or multi-generational (58%), migrant or non-resident status (57%), neurodiverse/neurodivergent (55%), larger body size (52%) and unconventional appearance (51%).
  • 86% of readers agree with the statement “Libraries should have more books by a greater variety of authors." The same was true for a similar statement but focused on bookstores or retailers (85%), and on publishers (86%). 

---

Gautam Jatia, CEO of Starmark, which operates five bookstores in Kolkata and two in Chennai, "threw some light on the need for and importance of bookstores in this age of e-books and online purchase," the Telegraph India reported, noting that Jatia "remembers last year during the first wave of Covid when the entire economy was not geared up to handle the situation. However, things were different during the second wave, which plagued the country this year. Starmark's online presence was up and running (@starmarkonline.com) and home deliveries became the norm."

"Whatever sales we got last year was from Amazon Marketplace and whether it's online or offline, it is always good books that sell," he said, while also stressing that bookshops and digital platforms need to go hand-in-hand. "How do you get new readers to acquaint themselves to the beautiful habit of reading? You need bookstores! Look at music. The moment it went digital, we stopped listening to that much music. I still have an old playlist that I keep listening to on loop. Discovery of new hobbies, interests, books or art can only happen when there is a physical presence. You can buy online only what you already know that you want to buy. However, you walk into a bookstore and you have people suggesting books to you and the process of discovery becomes so much more pleasant."

--- 

Australian indie bookseller Folio Books, which has operated in Brisbane for more than four decades, will not reopen "for the foreseeable future," Books + Publishing reported. In April, the owners had said the store would close temporarily before relocating.

"Today, we find ourselves in a situation where the continued impacts of Covid remain uncertain, coupled with the strain of relocation due to the demolition of our last premises at 133 Mary Street," said co-owners Angelos, Jenny and Alexis Kakoulidis in a statement, adding that although the business, over the years, "faced many challenges including floods; two relocations; the [global financial crisis]; the ascendance of international online book retailers; and the Covid-19 pandemic....

"For us, it has been an incredible journey to this point, and it has been a pleasure to have shared our passion of books with you all--we take away so many wonderful memories and experiences, and for that we thank you. Being with books daily, and talking about books with our customers, has been an extraordinary experience which we will greatly miss." --Robert Gray


BINC: Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship


Obituary Note: J.W. Rinzler

Jonathan Rinzler

Jonathan Rinzler, who wrote the bestsellers The Making of Star Wars and The Complete Making of Indiana Jones under the name J.W. Rinzler, died on July 28 at the age of 58, Deadline reported. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

Rinzler wrote more than 20 books over the course of his career and was the executive editor at Lucasfilm for 15 years. He joined the company in 2001 and went on to lead its publishing imprint Lucasbooks. He published The Making of Star Wars in 2007, which set "an early and high standard."

In addition to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, he authored "making of" books about Alien, The Shining and Planet of the Apes. He left Lucasfilm in 2016, and last year he published his first novel, All Up, with Simon & Schuster.


Notes

Image of the Day: Wizenberg at Elliott Bay

Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash., hosted its first in-person author event in a long time on August 3, in conjunction with the paperback release of Molly Wizenberg's Fixed Stars (Abrams). Matthew Amster Burton, who co-hosts the comedy podcast Spilled Milk with Wizenberg, joined her onstage in conversation. The event took place in the street; neighboring restaurants served "to go" cocktails for attendees.


#OnWednesdaysWeWearBookstoreShirts: Blue House Books

Posted on Facebook yesterday by Blue House Books, Kenosha, Wis.: "One of the best parts of the indie bookselling industry is how supportive it is! Us booksellers are constantly going to each other for advice and support, tips and tricks. And so I love participating in this wonderful trend started by a fellow bookstore owner: #onwednesdayswewearbookstoreshirts.

"Today's featured store is White Whale Bookstore in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! White Whale is a family-owned shop that got its start similarly to BHB, as a pop-up bookstore! White Whale Bookstore has a beautifully diverse staff that is reflected in their book selection. You can tell the current owners really know their stuff; after all, they did meet when they both worked at a publishing company. Talk about living the bookish dream! White Whale Bookstore hosts some great virtual events, so be sure to hop over to their page and give them a like/follow!"


Masking Up Again: Adventure Bound Books

Adventure Bound Books, Morganton, N.C., is one of many indies once again having to negotiate the ever-shifting waters of the face mask debate in the age of Covid-19. On Facebook yesterday, owner Angela Shores noted: "As an independent bookstore owner and business owner in general, I have to make tough decisions regularly. As a bookstore that offers children's books and books for grown-ups, I make business decisions for a wide range of shoppers and community members. 

"In that vein, I've been trying to keep up with CDC recommendations and guidelines in an effort to keep our book loving community as safe as possible. I love all you wonderful, beautiful book people. I care deeply for the youngest of readers and patrons of my bookstore. As always, there is no judgment in the bookstore, and I strive to make it a safe space in so many ways. 

"It has been weighing heavy on my heart and mind lately, with Covid variants and our county being a high transmission area, that I need to make tough choices to create a safe space for the youngest readers and shoppers that come into my bookstore. I realize that this is a decision that will likely change over time as new data emerges. 

"For now, I am asking all shoppers to please wear a mask when shopping in the bookstore. I’ve mentioned my People Over Profit hat before in posts and our newsletter, and how some choices as a business owner feel like a decision about people or profit rather than being a choice that supports both. For me, I will always choose people. I hope this request doesn’t turn people away from shopping with us, but I realize it might. We continue to offer shipping options and curbside pick up. While there won't be parking in front of the store when we move to our new space, I'll work to have a quick, accessible spot for pick ups. Thank you for helping me ensure a safe space for young readers!"


Bookseller Moment: Vermont Book Shop

Posted on Facebook yesterday by the Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, Vt.: "The naysayers would have you believe summer in Vermont is short. Pay them no mind, we're fully immersed in it now, and we’ve got live music on the green, @breadloafwriter conference is upon us, Addison County Field Days are back and the days are long. Come while away a day or thrice in our fair town of Middlebury."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ben Shapiro on Real Time with Bill Maher

Tomorrow:
HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Ben Shapiro, author of The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent (Broadside Books, $28.99, 9780063001824).


This Weekend on Book TV: Amy Sohn on The Man Who Hated Women

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, August 7
9:20 a.m. Marlene Trestman, author of Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin (‎LSU Press, $39.95, 9780807162088). (Re-airs Saturday at 9:20 p.m.)

4:15 p.m. Amy S. Greenberg, author of A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (‎Vintage, $16.95, 9780307475992). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:15 a.m.)

6:40 p.m. Paulina Bren, author of The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781982123895). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:40 a.m.)

Sunday, August 8
8 a.m. Mike Rothschild, author of The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything (‎Melville House, $28.99, 9781612199290). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.)

9 a.m. Amy Sohn, author of The Man Who Hated Women: Sex, Censorship, and Civil Liberties in the Gilded Age (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30, 9781250174819). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

2 p.m. Trystan Reese, author of How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned about Love and LGBTQ Parenthood (‎The Experiment, $24.95, 9781615197569). (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

4 p.m. Adam Serwer, author of The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America (One World, $28, 9780593230800). (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

5 p.m. Karl Deisseroth, author of Projections: A Story of Human Emotions (Random House, $28, 9781984853691). (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

6 p.m. Abigail Tucker, author of Mom Genes: Inside the New Science of Our Ancient Maternal Instinct (Gallery Books, $28, 9781501192852). (Re-airs Monday at 6 a.m.)

7 p.m. Marc Bookman, author of A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays (‎The New Press, $25.99,  9781620976548). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m.)


TV: Lackey's Valdemar Universe

Radar Pictures will be adapting Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar literary universe for TV after acquiring the small screen rights. Deadline reported that Kit Williamson (EastSiders) is adapting with author Brittany Cavallaro, "who wrote the Charlotte Holmes series of books. The pair bonded over the books in school and will now write and produce the TV adaptation."

"I have hoped for decades that The Last Herald-Mage would be adapted for television," Lackey said. "Now that Radar has optioned the trilogy, I am nearly breathless with excitement. I could not have chosen a better organization to take my work in hand, and Kit and Bri, the producers, absolutely know both their stuff and the material. I love the fact that this is going to be a longform series: episodic TV gives the story all the room it needs. I hope our fans will be as thrilled to see their favorite characters come to life as I am."

Williamson commented: "Vanyel in The Last Herald Mage series was one of the first gay characters I encountered, and as a recently out 16-year-old I can't stress enough the impact that these books had on me. The Valdemar series was far ahead of its time in the portrayal of LGBTQ characters, and Lackey's writing afforded them a level of depth and complexity that is still very rare, especially in genre storytelling.” 

Cavallaro added: "It's an absolute dream to be adapting the Valdemar books alongside Radar Pictures and Kit Williamson. Twenty years ago, Kit and I became friends at boarding school, and bonded over our love for Mercedes Lackey's work, and we're so excited to begin the process of bringing it to the screen."



Books & Authors

Awards: Wainwright Shortlists

Shortlists have been released for the 2021 Wainwright Prize for U.K. Nature Writing, which recognizes works that best reflect Alfred Wainwright's values and include a celebration of nature and the natural environment or a warning of the dangers to it across the globe. The two winners, who each receive £5,000 (about $6,955), will be named September 7. This year's shortlisted titles are:

U.K. Nature Writing
English Pastoral: An Inheritance by James Rebanks
Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour
I Belong Here by Anita Sethi
Seed to Dust by Marc Hamer
The Screaming Sky by Charles Foster
The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn
Thin Places by Kerri ni Dochartaigh

Writing on Global Conservation
A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs
Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn
Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm
Under a White Sky by Elizabeth Kolbert


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 10:

Out on a Limb: Selected Writing, 1989-2021 by Andrew Sullivan (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501155895) collects the journalist's essays and commentary.

Vortex by Catherine Coulter (Morrow, $28.99, 9780063004085) is the 25th book in the FBI thriller series.

Cul-de-Sac: A Novel by Joy Fielding (‎Ballantine, $28, 9781984820259) is a psychological thriller about five suburban families and a shooting.

Ice and Stone by Marcia Muller (‎Grand Central, $28, 9781538733165) is the 27th Sharon McCone mystery.

The Ophelia Girls by Jane Healey (Mariner Books, $26, 9780358106418) follows a mother and daughter in the present day and during a tragedy in 1973.

Pizza and Taco: Super-Awesome Comic by Stephen Shaskan (Random House, $9.99, 9780593376034) is the delicious duo's third book for kids.

The Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis (Tor Teen, $17.99, 9781250299741) is the sequel to the YA magical alternate-history, The Good Luck Girls.

Paperbacks:
Wait for It by Jenn McKinlay (‎Berkley, $16, 9780593101377).

At Summer's End by Courtney Ellis (‎Berkley, $17, 9780593201299).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

Hardcover
Appleseed: A Novel by Matt Bell (Custom House, $27.99, 9780063040144). "This cross between a Shakespeare drama and a Grimm fairy tale is unsettling, attention-grabbing, and thought-provoking in the way stories do so well when reason often fails. A powerful read!" --Helen Eddy, The Book Shoppe, Boone, Iowa

The Startup Wife: A Novel by Tahmima Anam (Scribner, $26, 9781982156183). "The concept of an app that offers custom-made rituals got me to pick up this new novel, but the fact that the protagonist is a woman of color leading a tech start up alongside her very charismatic husband got me to read it. A great summer read." --Amber Taylor, One More Page Books, Arlington, Va.

Paperback
Born Into This: Stories by Adam Thompson (Two Dollar Radio, $15.99, 9781953387042). "I am thrilled to have read Born Into This, which is filled with stories about Aboriginal people existing between cultural heritage and cultural change, and the seemingly inexorable loss of the natural world in which they live." --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
Hardly Haunted by Jessie Sima (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534441705). "An old house is lonely, and thinks if she holds very still and keeps very quiet, she won't seem so spooky and a family will move in. She wouldn't want anyone to think she's haunted! Sima's illustrations are enchanting, and in her usual fashion, the story is pitch perfect." --Tildy Lutts, Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass.

For Ages 8 to 12
ParaNorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse by Stephanie Cooke, illus. by Mari Costa (Etch/HMH Books for Young Readers, $24.99, 9780358168997). "Absolutely sweet graphic novel about a girl with fledgling magic powers that seem stronger than they should be. With evil bunnies, a wolf girl, a forgetful ghost, and a pumpkinhead looking for some basic rights for pumpkins! Charming and fun and I was smiling the whole time." --Cass Moskowitz, Books of Wonder, New York, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
The Sea Is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99, 9781250619242). "Readers will be swept away by the lyrical writing in this fiercely moving tale of three teens facing the storms battering their coastal town and their hearts. Full of passion, grief, and resilience, it's perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Julia Drake, and Jennifer Niven." --Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Happy Hour

Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados (Verso Fiction, $19.95 paperback, 288p., 9781839764011, September 7, 2021)

Two young women vacationing in New York City immerse themselves in borrowed luxury while skewering the city's so-called sophisticates in this sharp and beguiling debut from filmmaker and critic Marlowe Granados. Granados's nuanced characterization, biting observational humor and intoxicating prose make Happy Hour a delicacy to be savored, as well as a poised takedown of New York's cultural elite.

Isa and Gala are international travelers who have just arrived in New York for the summer. Isa is Salvadorean and Pinay, and Gala is from Bosnia. Though they've made short-term living arrangements, their finances are precarious and their travel visas expired or nonexistent--technically speaking, they shouldn't be in the country at all. Rather than quibble over such details, the girls devote themselves fully to the thrills of the moment, propelled by their own whims and their search for complimentary cocktails and food. Amused by the bland pretensions of New York's young intellectual aristocracy ("They seem to find hardship fascinating--dirty hair but suspiciously straight teeth"), Isa keeps a diary detailing her encounters with them, a task she describes as "fieldwork." Her observations are joyfully acerbic, though never without depth or sensitivity. "It's funny how in a place where everything is an Experience, people see such little value in just living," she muses. "People are always nostalgic about the New York they've read about. They are always trying to recreate those feelings, that mystique. It always ends up cheap, garish, and the worst crime of all, inauthentic."

Burning through a loose assortment of friends and acquaintances, Isa and Gala ultimately clash with each other, forcing a reexamination of their bond and an ominous confrontation with the hidden forces that move them. Though hedonism can be healing, no party can last forever--the gray light of a new dawn eventually looms. "Fun is fun but," Isa observes, "a girl can't go on laughing all the time."

Granados's sparkling wit and droll humor add a sharp edge to her sumptuous descriptions of the city's decadent nightlife. The defiant vulnerability of her protagonists infuses the gleefully irreverent narrative with depth, poignancy and warmth. "We have tried to make it a habit to leave right before last call because it really is sobering to be at a place when the lights come on. The dream is over and it's time to go home," Isa reflects, "wherever that is." --Devon Ashby, sales and marketing assistant, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: In this wryly observed novel, a pair of young women embrace the distractions of New York's upper crust while gleefully dissecting its bland, overprivileged exemplars.


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