Also published on this date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014: Maximum Shelf: A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Albatros Media: Words about Where: Let's Learn Prepositions by Magda Gargulakova, illustrated by Marie Urbankova

Blackstone Publishing: Ordinary Bear by C.B. Bernard

St. Martin's Griffin: One Last Shot by Betty Cayouette

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella


Amazon: Minnesota Sales Tax; U.K. Airport Lockers

Starting October 1, Amazon will be collecting sales tax in Minnesota, a move that has led to speculation the online retailer "may open a warehouse, data center or some other operation in the state or buy an existing firm," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Online retailers do not have to collect the 6.875% sales tax from customers unless they have a physical presence in the state.

"We're considering various opportunities and plan to expand to Minnesota," said company spokesman Ty Rogers.

Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis, suggested Amazon could have a distribution center "right now being built, and we wouldn't know about it, as crazy as that sounds. But that could be hard to keep quiet." He also noted the company could be opening a corporate office or expanding Amazon Web Services in the state: "They could have a warehouse here in Prior Lake that is just filled with servers."


On Monday, Birmingham became the first U.K. airport to offer Amazon Lockers, Post & Parcel reported. Christopher North, managing director of, said the company's lockers "at travel terminals are amongst the most popular so it made perfect sense to us that the next step would be to install them at a leading U.K. airport." The number of Amazon Locker locations in shopping centers, supermarkets, universities and libraries across the U.K. is now approaching 300, Post & Parcel wrote.

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Vallejo Bookstore Re-Opening with New Owners

Vallejo Bookstore (formerly Koham Press), Vallejo, Calif., will re-open for business Saturday under new ownership. Dariece Warren and Dave Tilton of Vallejo Yoga purchased Koham Press from Rar Farmer, who launched the bookshop earlier this year, but decided to move with her family back to the Oklahoma/Texas area, the Times-Herald reported.

"I didn't realize how much work it was going to be having my 21-month-old daughter, Opal, and a new store," said Farmer. "It was good, but I felt a little bit over-committed. I felt guilty when I wasn't open when I said I'd be, because I wanted or needed to spend time with her." The August 24 South Napa earthquake complicated the issue further. "We had been talking about moving back, maybe next summer, and then the earthquake happened and that was kind of terrifying for me."

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Daniel Hahn Elected U.K. Society of Authors Chair

Daniel Hahn has been elected as the new chair of the Society of Authors in the U.K., succeeding Anne Sebba. The Bookseller reported that writer, editor and translator Hahn is currently national program director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, has been on the SoA's management committee since 2013, and was previously chair of the society's Translators Association.

"It's hard to overestimate the scale of the changes to the worlds of publishing, bookselling and reading that are happening today, nor the new concerns that these changes bring with them," Hahn said. "At this time of uncertainty--a period in which professional writers do face very real threats, but also extraordinary new opportunities--the work that the Society of Authors does supporting and advising its 9,000 members and championing the rights of writers across the U.K. is perhaps more important than it's ever been."

Fall Shows: Heartland Forum and MPIBA

The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association's joint trade show, the Heartland Fall Forum, takes place Tue.-Thu., Sept. 30-Oct. 2, at the Depot Renaissance Hotel and adjoining Residence Inn Hotel in Minneapolis, Minn. The show starts on Tuesday with a book awards reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. honoring the winners of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards and the Great Lakes, Great Reads awards: Nickolas Butler (whose latest book is Shotgun Lovesongs), Joyce Sidman (What the Heart Knows), Richard T. Morris and Tom Lichtenheld (This Is a Moose), Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass), Kate DiCamillo (Flora & Ulysses) and Andrea Beaty (Rosie Revere, Engineer).

MIBA and GLIBA hold simultaneous separate membership meetings from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday morning followed by an Ideas That Work (and Those That Don't!) booksellers' meeting until 10. Education sessions on topics from handselling to sidelines and entrepreneurship run from 10:15 to 12:30. A Moveable Feast Author Lunch at 12:45 p.m. features keynote speakers Lin Enger (The High Divide) and Meg Wolitzer (Belzhar), with 35 other authors in attendance. Education sessions pick up again from 2:30 to 4:45, followed by roundtable discussions for indie booksellers at 5. A complimentary cocktail from The 12 Bottle Bar (Workman) will be available from 6 to 7. An Adult Author Dinner runs from 7 to 9 p.m., featuring keynote speakers Garth Stein (A Sudden Light), Elizabeth Berg (The Dream Love) and Mary Doria Russell (Epitaph), followed by a quiz bowl at 9:15.

Thursday morning's Children's Author Breakfast, 8-9:30 a.m., features keynote speakers Cassandra Clare and Holly Black (The Iron Trial), Patricia Polacco (Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece) and Judith Viorst (Alexander, Who's Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever). The trade show floor is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., breaks for a Rep Around Lunch until 2, and reopens until 5. The show closes with a 20-author book signing reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


The Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association's Fall Discovery Show 2014 takes place Wed.-Sat., October 8-11, at the Renaissance Denver Hotel in Denver, Colo. Registration opens Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. followed by an Advisory Council meeting at 3 and a reception in the hotel bar at 8. Thursday opens with a Children's Author & Illustrator Breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m., featuring Avi (whose latest book is Catch You Later, Traitor), Marla Frazee (The Farmer and the Clown), Brandon Sanderson (Firefight: The Reckoners, Book 2) and Meg Wolitzer (Belzhar). Two Pick of the Lists sessions run until a General Meeting Luncheon from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. A third Pick of the Lists session goes from 1:45 to 5, when the exhibit hall opens for an evening reception with hors d'oeuvres and author signings until 7 p.m.

Friday's 8 a.m. Authors of Buzz Books Breakfast features Lin Enger (The High Divide), Molly Gloss (Falling From Horses) and Christopher Scotton (The Secret Wisdom of the Earth). The exhibit hall opens first from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. 10 children's authors will attend the Afternoon Children's Author Tea from 4 to 5. A cocktail reception with "Literary Trivia" and a cash bar runs from 6 to 7:30, followed by an author banquet featuring Nicholas Carr (The Glass Cage: Automation and Us), Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania), Mary Doria Russel (Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral) and Garth Stein (A Sudden Light).

Saturday opens with an Authors of Future Releases Breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m., featuring David Gessner (All the Wild That Remains), Stewart O'Nan (West of Sunset) and Antonio Ruiz-Camacho (Barefoot Dogs). Educational events run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including panels on bookstore finances, marketing and Edelweiss, with a break from 12 to 1:15 p.m. for the Reading the West Book Awards Luncheon honoring Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon), Philipp Meyer (The Son) and Eric Pierpoint (The Last Ride of Caleb O'Toole). The show ends with the Books & Brews Afternoon Adult Author Event from 4 to 5 p.m., featuring 9 authors.

National Reading Group Month: Great Group Reads

The National Reading Group Month/Great Group Reads Committee of the Women's National Book Association has chosen 20 books as this year's list:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Back Bay Books)
Cataract City by Craig Davidson (Graywolf Press)
Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani (Atria)
The Commandant of Lubizec by Patrick Hicks (Steerforth Press)
Euphoria by Lily King (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press)
Foreign Gods, Inc. by Okey Ndibe (Soho Press)
Marching to Zion by Mary Glickman (Open Road Media)
Neverhome by Laird Hunt (Little, Brown)
The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis (Harper Perennial)
Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks (Grove Press)
Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement (Hogarth)
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber (Skyhorse Publishing)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster)
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin Books)
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Black Cat)
What Is Visible by Kimberly Elkins (Twelve)
Where Somebody Waits by Margaret Kaufman (Paul Dry Books)
The World of Rae English by Lucy Rosenthal (Black Lawrence Press)

The 26-member committee composed of writers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, publicists and dedicated readers made an effort to concentrate its attention on underrepresented titles from independent publishers and small presses and lesser-known midlist releases from larger houses.

National Reading Group Month Chair Jill A. Tardiff said, "Our goal is to have these superb titles become reading-group staples with facilitators and that booksellers and librarians across the country feature them during the month of October, which is, of course, National Reading Group Month--and throughout the year."

The organization is providing shelf talkers, table-top posters and other display material for download. Find the National Reading Group Month Marketing Toolkit at Get Involved. For more general information, go to and

Obituary Note: J. California Cooper

Author and playwright J. California Cooper, who "was best known for her short stories and plays including Strangers, which earned a 1978 Black Playwright Award," died September 20, Ebony magazine reported. She was 82. Alice Walker praised Cooper's writing style in her stories and novels for being "deceptively simple and direct, and the vale of tears in which her characters reside is never so deep that a rich chuckle at a foolish person's foolishness cannot be heard."

Her many works of fiction include story collections Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns, The Future Has a Past, A Piece of Mine, The Matter Is Life and Homemade Love; as well as novels Family, In Search of Satisfaction, Life Is Short but Wide and The Wake of the Wind

Cooper once recalled that she "was telling stories before I could write. I like to tell stories, and I like to talk to things. If you've read fairy tales, you know that everything can talk, from trees to chairs to tables to brooms. So I grew up thinking that, and I turned it into stories."


Image of the Day: Chance Meeting

Chance meeting: Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth) and Julie Lawson Timmer, author of Five Days Left (Putnam) bumped into each other at {pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, Calif., last week.

Norwich Bookstore Celebrates Anniversary, Expansion

Congratulations to Penny McConnel and Liza Bernard, co-owners of the Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt., who celebrated the bookshop's 20th anniversary last Saturday during the community's annual Fall Fest. Earlier this summer, they announced an expansion throughout the rest of the ground floor at their Main Street location.

An editorial in the Valley News wished the booksellers a happy birthday and noted that the Norwich Bookstore "is a cultural asset in a well-read, collegiate community that appreciates the special attention to local authors and other things local, including regional nonprofits.... Who's to say what the reading and publishing universe will look like 20 years from now?... But it's hard to imagine that readers, assuming they still exist, won't continue to celebrate the bookshop around the corner. In fact, we are optimistic that locally owned businesses in general have a vibrant future if they are smart and connect closely with the customers."

Or, as Bernard put it: "When we opened people asked, 'Why are you opening a bookstore?' And we are still here."

Personnel Changes at Kensington

Anne Marie Turner has been promoted to marketing & projects manager at Kensington. She was formerly marketing coordinator.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Richard Flanagan on the Bookworm

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Geoffrey Zakarian, co-author of My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients (Clarkson Potter, $30, 9780385345668).


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Jeff Hobbs, author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League (Scribner, $27, 9781476731902).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Matt Richtel, author of A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062284068).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Richard Flanagan, author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Knopf, $26.95, 9780385352857). As the show put it: "Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize-nominated The Narrow Road to the Deep North follows the building of the Burma-Siam Railway under the Japanese during World War II. The number of people who died in the process, Flanagan notes, exceeds the number of words filling the pages of his novel. His father was one of the survivors. Literature is amoral, he says. It took him twelve years to find the proper form for his novel (he discarded five versions along the way): his solution is a love-story that borrows the title of a travelogue by 17th century Japanese poet Basho."


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Steven Johnson, author of How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World (Riverhead, $30, 9781594632969).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Walter Mischel, author of The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316230872).

TV: 11/22/63

Hulu has issued  a nine-episode straight-to-series order for 11/22/63, adapted from Stephen King's 2011 bestselling novel. reported the project will be produced by J.J. Abrams's Bad Robot a year and a half after the production company optioned the rights to the book through Warner Bros. TV.

"I've been a fan of Stephen King since I was in junior high school," Abrams said. "The chance to work with him at all, let alone on a story so compelling, emotional and imaginative, is a dream."

King added: "If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event TV programming, 11/22/63 is it. I'm excited that it's going to happen, and am looking forward to working with J.J. Abrams and the whole Bad Robot team."

Movies: The Rosie Project

"The benefit of paying big for a hot book is that sometimes it draws the top-drawer talent," noted in reporting that Sony Pictures had optioned screen rights to Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project for producers Matt Tolmach and Michael Costigan, "and the studio now has the 22 Jump Street and Lego Movie team of Phil Lord & Christopher Miller developing the book to potentially direct." Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer, The Fault in Our Stars) are writing the script.

Books & Authors

Awards: Dayton Literary Peace; Newman for Chinese Literature

The winners of this year's Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which recognizes "writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding," are The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (Grove Atlantic) in the fiction category and Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here by Karima Bennoune (Norton) for nonfiction. Each author receives a $10,000 prize and will be honored November 9 at a ceremony hosted by journalist Nick Clooney in Dayton, Ohio.

"In both clear and subtle ways, each of this year's winners reveal how present struggles--from the war on terror to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to racial inequality in America--are rooted in tangled histories and past injustices that must be acknowledged and resolved in order to achieve lasting peace," said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation.

The runners-up are debut novel Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Grove Atlantic) and Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel's Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe by Jo Roberts (Dundurn Press, Toronto).


Taiwanese novelist and screenwriter Chu T'ien-wen won the $10,000 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, which is awarded biennially to a living author writing in Chinese "in recognition of outstanding achievement in prose or poetry that best captures the human condition, and is conferred solely on the basis of literary merit." She is the first female Newman laureate. The award is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma's Institute for U.S.-China Issues. She will be honored during an academic symposium and award banquet March 6, 2015.

Margaret Hillenbrand, who nominated Chu T'ien-wen's collection Fin-de-siècle Splendor for the prize, called her a "multi-faceted cultural figure... I am calling particular attention to the place she occupies in modern Chinese-language literature as a superb practitioner of short fiction, arguably that literature's most triumphant genre."

Book Brahmin: Hervé Tullet

Hervé Tullet is the author and artist of Press Here (Handprint/Chronicle, 2011), which has captivated children and adults around the world. Its companion, Mix It Up! was just published by Handprint/Chronicle. Tullet lives with his family in France.

On your nightstand now:

At the moment I'm just finishing Nicholas Fox-Weber's biography of Le Corbusier. I'm planning on starting Ayana Mathis's The Twelve Tribes of Hattie next. And frequently, I've been dipping into Design as Art by Bruno Munari.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I really don't remember books around me when I was a child; books came much later. When I was a teenager, the French literature teacher said at the beginning of the term "Every year there's always a student in my class who is interested in surrealism." That year I was the one who raised his hand. I discovered a universe of poetry, painting, pictures, creation, passion, freedom, experimentation, and so much more, all thanks to those surrealists and to that teacher.

Your top five authors:

If you ask people in France who their favorite authors are, the usual, or maybe just the most popular, answer will be: Proust, Celine and Stendhal.

I'd totally agree with that list though I'd want to add so many more, from South Africa's J.M. Coetzee to Korea's Hwang Sok-Yong, India's Rohinton Mistry to Israel's Amos Oz... and so many others. I receive many invitations to visit the countries where my books have been translated, so I'm lucky to be able to travel a lot. I try to discover each country I visit through its literature. Those books let me capture and keep a little bit of each country for myself. That's really one of the great pleasures in my life.

Book you've faked reading:

Difficult to answer! A book you fake one day might turn out to be an amazing read the next year. But the reverse could be true as well. You could re-read a favorite book and not be able to imagine why you should have loved it. It really depends on you, and not on the book.

I've tried to read Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain several times, but just haven't been able to climb it yet.

Book you are an evangelist for:

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke is the most incredible book that I've ever read about creativity. I first read it when I was 20, again when I was 40 and then again this past year. Young or old, it always resonates. If I were teaching art students, this is the one book I would require them to read before we began working together.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The French cover of Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey was terrific; I bought the book for its cover. Also because of its size (I do love long books into which I can immerse myself for a long time), because of the stock it was printed on, because of its publisher, because of the object it was, because of its title. And I wasn't disappointed! It was a great read.

Book that changed your life:

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni was the first book that made me think that literature for children could be created without bears and rabbits. Using just the simplest materials, just a sheet of paper. Lionni illustrated and revealed so many things: from parents to landscapes and even feelings. It fueled my ambitions to one day create--but not to copy--my own Little Blue and Little Yellow. In every one of my books you'll find some tribute of mine to his work.

Favorite line from a book:

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me as is ever so on the road," from Jack Kerouac's On the Road. His original draft on the scroll is my favorite version. I'm not and I've never been as adventurous as Jack Kerouac was. But I would say that creating is in and of itself an adventure. The way he created this book, with such intensity over such a long period of time, that piece of art that is the scroll, it all really moves me. His quote expresses how creating can be accomplished as if always for the first time.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

I'd say Jack London's Martin Eden. I love coming-of-age novels. I only discovered books and culture quite late but this book changed my life. I can remember that when I read it for the first time, I really identified with the title character. I don't remember it all that well today. You've just given me the nudge to read it yet again.

Book Review

YA Review: The Young Elites

The Young Elites by Marie Lu (Penguin, $18.99 hardcover, 368p., ages 12-up, 9780399167836, October 7, 2014)

marie lu, young eliteA Game of Thrones meets X-Men in this 14th-century fantasy from Marie Lu (the Legend trilogy), in a world where "fear is power."

Sixteen-year-old Adelina Amouteru is a malfetto, one whose appearance is "marked" by the blood fever that crippled the country of Kenettra and claimed her mother's life. The blood fever took Adelina's left eye, turned her hair silver, and gave her a power that's remained dormant--until the fateful night her merchant father agrees to trade her to a suitor in exchange for cleared debts. Adelina runs away from home, and once her father catches up with her, she taps into a great hatred within and conjures forth phantoms that quickly cause his death. It was an accident, but the Inquisitors arrest Adelina and sentence her to burn at the stake--a common punishment for malfettos--for the murder of her father.

Master Teren Santoro, the 19-year-old Lead Inquisitor of Kenettra, works to cleanse the world of malfettos with "demon" abilities. When it comes time to burn Adelina in the central market square, Enzo Valenciano, a malfetto known widely as The Reaper, melts her shackles with his burning touch and releases her. He takes her to Estenzia, the northern port capital, where Enzo introduces Adelina to the world of the Dagger Society--a group of Young Elites with dangerous powers--and their mission to find malfettos like themselves before the Inquisition can. Adelina must pass a series of tests before she can undertake bigger missions with the other six Young Elites who can control their talents, and it's here with the Dagger Society that she discovers her ability to conjure illusions is rooted in darkness. But when Teren Santoro takes her younger sister hostage in exchange for information on the identities, location and plans of the Young Elites, Adelina is compelled to betray them, even if it means leaving the undiscovered malfettos all over the world prey to the Inquisitors, and risking her own death as punishment at the hands of the Elites.

In Lu's compelling new novel, the characters are morally complex (the Young Elites are not fully innocent, there are depths to Adelina's darkness and layers to the cross Teren bears)--and no one is safe in the book's final conflict. What at first appears to be romance-lite unfolds in tricky and interesting ways. The many twists, cinematic battles and the overriding epic fantasy will keep readers hooked for book two, which teases to be quite the game-changer. Bring it on. --Adam Silvera, children's bookseller

Shelf Talker: In a Renaissance-like world, children marked by a blood fever gain dangerous powers and become prey to hunters.

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