Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 9, 2015

Blackstone Publishing: An Honorable Assassin (Nick Mason Novels #3) by Steve Hamilton

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Running Press Kids: The Junior Witch's Handbook, The Junior Astrologer's Handbook, and The Junior Tarot Reader's Handbook by Nikki Van De Car

Scholastic Press: Ruin Road by Lamar Giles


Man Group CEO Joins Penguin Random House Board

Emmanuel Roman

Emmanuel "Manny" Roman, CEO of the Man Group, has been appointed to the board of directors of Penguin Random House. The Man Group is the world's largest publicly traded hedge fund and sponsor of the Man Booker Prizes, including the annual Man Booker and the Man Booker International. (On Monday, the Man Booker International and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize merged; the "new" Man Booker International will give an annual award for a work of literary fiction translated into English.)

Before joining the Man Group in 2010 as president and COO, Roman was co-CEO and managing director of GLG Partners, a London investment firm that Man Group acquired, and earlier worked at Goldman Sachs Group for 17 years.

He's also a member of the board of directors of the Paris Review and a trustee of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Tate Foundation and the University of Chicago.

A native of France, Roman received an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor's degree from the University of Paris IX Dauphine.

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

HMH Moving to Boston's Financial District

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt "will write its next chapter in the Financial District instead of the Back Bay," the Boston Globe wrote, reporting that the publisher "has signed a 16-year lease to occupy 162,000 square feet at 125 High St., taking over the entire fifth through eighth floors in the building."

HMH is expected to relocate from its existing headquarters at 222 Berkeley Street, where it has been since 1991, by early 2017. A spokeswoman for the company said the new location was selected because of its proximity to services and transit links, including South Station. Approximately 685 HMH employees will be relocated.

The Globe also observed that the move brings the company "closer to its geographic roots: Its founding can be traced to a small publishing business at a bookstore at the corner of Washington and School streets in Downtown Crossing, more than 180 years ago."

Udesen Is New Loft Literary Center Director

Britt Udesen

Britt Udesen was named the new executive director of the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minn. She succeeds Jocelyn Hale, who announced in January she would be stepping down in August. Prior to joining the Loft, Udesen was the executive director of the Cabin, a literary center in Boise, Idaho.

"We're thrilled to welcome Britt as the Loft's fifth executive director," said board chair John Schenk. "She emerged from a rich pool of talented candidates as the clear choice to lead the Loft into its next chapter.... Britt brings an energy and determination that is rare. She understands the importance of this place to so many people, and among all her great qualities, that passion and dedication impressed the committee the most."
Udesen said she is "honored to be able to return to the place I grew up and continue building on the legacy of a nationally recognized leader in serving readers and writers. Those are the people who make the Loft the special place it is, and I'm eager to hear their thoughts and ideas for the future of this wonderful organization."

Next month, the Loft community will meet Udesen when she accompanies Hale to 40 for 40, a celebration marking the Loft's 40th Anniversary. "I'm excited to start my tenure at the Loft in such a unique way," Udesen noted. "It's especially fun because I get to celebrate the Loft's 40th birthday the same year I'm celebrating my own. Hopefully that means more cake and ice cream."

B&N Expands Graphic Novels/Manga Selection

Barnes & Noble has expanded its selection of graphic novels and manga by doubling the space dedicated to these products at all stores, with the goal of increasing the variety of new releases, keeping backlist titles on the shelves longer and driving sales through "eye-catching" signage, improved organization of books and a permanent promotional space.

In addition to being well-timed with opening day of Comic-Con San Diego, the company's announcement yesterday also complements the chain bookseller's Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble campaign, which will celebrate Graphic Novels and Manga with events and promotions, including DC Comics Days (July 8-12), Manga Mania (July 19) and Fangirl Friday (July 24).

Obituary Note: John Maxtone-Graham

Naval historian John Maxtone-Graham, whose "books and shipboard lectures evoked the lost glamour of trans-Atlantic ocean liners" and who "made hundreds of crossings (16 in 2005 alone), spending more time at sea than on land," died Monday, the New York Times reported. He was 85. Maxtone-Graham wrote about 30 books, including The Only Way to Cross, Liners to the Sun, Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner, Normandie: France's Legendary Art Deco Ocean Liner, and France/Norway: France's Last Liner/ Norway's First Mega Cruise Ship.


Image of the Day: Harper Lee

Documentary filmmaker/author Mary McDonagh Murphy (Harper Lee: American Masters) filmed author Harper Lee with her friend and benefactor Joy Brown on June 30 at the Prop & Gavel restaurant in Monroeville, Ala. Above, Masters is showing Lee an advance copy of Go Set a Watchman, which will be released by HarperCollins July 14. In an American Masters web exclusive, Murphy will report on her meeting with Lee.  

Murphy read an advance copy of Lee's new novel before updating her film for the American Masters broadcast this Friday, July 10, on PBS (check local listings). Murphy will live tweet (#HarperLeePBS) during the broadcast and will do a Reddit AMA on Saturday, July 11, at 2 p.m. ET. These activities are all part of PBS flagship station THIRTEEN's "THIRTEEN Days of Harper Lee," a 13-day, multi-platform event celebrating the release of Go Set a Watchman.

[words] Bookstore Honored for 'Exemplary Practices'

Congratulations to [words] bookstore, Maplewood, N.J., which was one of 10 U.S. businesses honored by the Ruderman Family Foundation for "exemplary practices in hiring, training, and supporting people with disabilities." Rebecca Wanatick, director of Greater MetroWest ABLE, an inclusion initiative at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, nominated the bookstore for the award.

Jonah Zimiles, who opened the bookshop with his wife, Ellen, in 2009, "trains young adults with autism to work in bookstores and occasionally hires them to work for his own store when there is an opening," New Jersey Jewish News reported.

"We were ecstatic,” said Zimiles. "We have so much respect for the work MetroWest ABLE is doing, just the fact that they nominated us felt like a huge honor.... The Ruderman Foundation is a national leader in the field. They run very successful, very useful conferences I've attended. To be selected by them made us very proud."

Event Promo Idea of the Day: Fountain Bookstore

Yesterday, Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., sent an e-mail to her customers that ranks high on the list of best indie promo ideas ever. To entice them to an author event Saturday featuring Harrison Scott Key and his new book, The World's Largest Man, Justice wrote:

I'm actually a little afraid of this event.

My interactions with the publicity department of HarperCollins regarding how his tour is going so far and my brief introduction the author himself have me concerned about my ability to manage the afternoon.

I'm not sure we're allowed to have this much fun in a bookstore. I will have to check the misdemeanor statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia, because I'm pretty sure what we will be doing is illegal.

But, I sense you're a risk taker!

And, from the simple fact that I own an independent bookstore, it should be obvious that I am the opposite of "risk-averse."

So, take a chance with me. I don't think he's dangerous.

I'm pretty sure, anyway.

If you don't want to take a chance, you can still order an autographed copy below and we will ship one to you in the safety of your home and you won't have to take the risk.

Anxiously Yours,

Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain

Personnel Changes at Perseus, St. Martin's

In the Perseus Books Group international sales department:

Edison Garcia has been promoted to senior sales manager and will now handle sales into Europe and the Middle East. Since joining the company in 2013, he has more than doubled sales in his territory.


Katie Bassel has been promoted to senior publicist at St. Martin's Press.

Media and Movies

Movies: Goosebumps; 90 Minutes in Heaven

A trailer has been unveiled for the live-action Goosebumps movie showing "Jack Black as R.L. Stine, the author of the famous young adult horror novels. When his new next door neighbor (Dylan Minnette, Prisoners) takes an interest in his daughter (Odeya Rush, The Giver), the original 'Goosebumps' manuscripts get unlocked, releasing an abominable snowman, killer gnomes and an invisible boy, among countless other monsters."

The movie is directed by Rob Letterman and produced by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner. Deborah Forte of Scholastic Entertainment, which published the books, is also producing. Goosebumps hits theaters October 16.


A trailer is out for 90 Minutes In Heaven, adapted from the 2004 bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey, Indiewire reported. Directed by Michael Polish, the film stars Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth. It opens September 11.

This Weekend on Book TV: Steve Inskeep

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, July 11
4:30 p.m. Peter Schwartz, author of In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive (Palgrave Macmillan, $27, 9781137280169). (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

7 p.m. John Sununu, author of The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush (Broadside, $28.99, 9780062384287). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m.)

10 p.m. Charles Shields, author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Holt, $17.99, 9780805083194). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Adam Bellow and Mark Bauerlein, editors of The State of the American Mind: 16 Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism (Templeton Press, $27.95, 9781599474588).

Sunday, July 12
12:30 a.m. Barry Estabrook, author of Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat (Norton, $26.95, 9780393240245), at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vt.

4:45 p.m. Dan Ephron, author of Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel (Norton, $27.95, 9780393242096).

5 p.m. Jorja Leap, author of Project Fatherhood: A Story of Courage and Healing in One of America's Toughest Communities (Beacon Press, $24.95, 9780807014523).

10 p.m. Hugh Hewitt, author of The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of a Second 'Clinton Era' (Center Street, $26, 9781455562510).

11 p.m. Steve Inskeep, author of Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594205569), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Books & Authors

Awards: Frank O'Connor Winner

Carys Davies won the €25,000 (about $38,400) Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for her collection The Redemption of Galen Pike, the Guardian reported. Éibhear Walshe, part of this year's judging panel, called the book "a truly original and striking collection, full of funny, keenly observed stories replete with twists and turns that surprise.... The language is economical with not a word to spare. Davies takes historical moments and themes and examines them in novel ways which intrigue the reader."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected hardcover titles appearing next Tuesday, July 14:

Go Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper Lee (Harper, $27.99, 9780062409850) is the hugely anticipated sequel of To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Naked Eye: A Novel by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250020543) is a thriller about the hunt for a presumed-dead serial killer.

Maud's Line by Margaret Verble (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544470194) follows a young Cherokee woman in 1920s Oklahoma.

Anchor and Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope, and Service by Kate Braestrup (Little, Brown, $26, 9780316373784) is the memoir of a woman whose husband died and son joined the Marines.

Just Add Water: A Surfing Savant's Journey with Asperger's by Clay Marzo and Robert Yehling (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544256217) chronicles a freestyle surfer's struggle with Asperger's syndrome.

Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals by John LeFevre (Atlantic Monthly Press, $26, 9780802123305) tells the story of the @GSElevator twitter account.


A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: A Novel by Glenn Taylor (Tin House Books, $15.95, 9781941040096).

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares (Ember, $10.99, 9780385736831).


Mr. Holmes, based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin (Anchor), opens July 17. Ian McKellen stars as a retired Sherlock Holmes.

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:

Enchanted August: A Novel by Brenda Bowen (Pamela Dorman, $27.95, 9780525429050). "Four unlikely companions join together to rent Hopewell Cottage on Little Lost Island, Maine, for one glorious summer month during which they gradually open up to one another and rediscover their capacity to give and receive love. A brilliant homage to a beloved classic, Bowen's debut novel is a sparkling read any month of the year." --Rona Brinlee, the Book Mark, Neptune Beach, Fla.

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb (Algonquin, $27.95, 9781616201753). "It was P.T. Barnum who said that 'there's a sucker born every minute,' and there was never a better time to take advantage of that fact than during the Roaring '20s. This is the true story of the devious exploits of Leo Koretz, who forsook his Chicago law career to convince unsuspecting people to invest in a Panamanian oil field that he had concocted out of thin air, as well as an astute assessment of human nature. A fascinating tale of greed and gullibility." --Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian (Vintage, $15.95, 9780307743930). "A very contemporary and controversial subject helps make this novel scarily real. The narrator is Emily, the 14-year-old daughter of parents who both work at a nuclear power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The plant melts down, both parents are killed, and there are questions about their responsibility for the disaster. Experiencing guilt by association, Emily goes on the run and ends up homeless in Burlington. She befriends a nine-year-old boy who is also on the run along with other loners looking to survive. Fast-paced, gritty, and believable, this is a novel perfect for book club discussions." --Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt.

For Teen Readers
Rook by Sharon Cameron (Scholastic Press, $17.99, 9780545675994). "I could tell you that Rook is an homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel set in a post-technological future France, where wealthy families are imprisoned and publicly executed. But that wouldn't help you understand what this book is really about. Rook is about the characters: the smart, stubborn young heroine who risks her life to save those who can't save themselves; the rakish smuggler who may be an opponent or an ally; and the memorable group of supporting characters that make Rook a story that you'll savor until the very last page." --Lelia Nebeker, One More Page, Arlington, Va.

For Ages 4 to 8
Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll (Knopf, $16.99, 9780385755078), "Duncan is a little green dragon who wears red high-tops, enjoys a cold chocolate milkshake, and LOVES stories, but his fiery breath causes a problem. All Duncan wants is to read a good story, but every time he opens a book, the pages catch on fire. What is Duncan going to do? Driscoll's illustrations are bright and cheerful in this tale of friendship, reading, and adventure." --Clara Martin, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, Miss.

For Ages 9 to 12
Woundabout by Lev Rosen, illustrated by Ellis Rosen (Little, Brown, $17, 9780316370783). "After their parents pass away, two kids go to live with their aunt in the mysterious town of Woundabout where nothing changes--not the weather, not your routines, not even your age. The kids find a crank that fits special holes in the ground, and when turned, makes the city grow beautiful and change. They go on a quest to find out why the mayor refuses to use the crank to allow the city to change. This is a great read-aloud--a magical journey into the nature of change and how change is, in itself, good and necessary. I loved it!" --Tanecia Cannon, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Lovers on All Saints' Day: Stories

Lovers on All Saints' Day: Stories by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, trans. by Anne McLean (Riverhead, $27.95 hardcover, 9781594634260, July 21, 2015)

These seven stories from Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez (The Sound of Things Falling), written between 1998 and 2002, are set in Europe where Vásquez was then in self-imposed exile.

Like all of Vásquez's work, the stories in Lovers on All Saints' Day are uncompromising in their focus on the prosaic lives of his characters. Most of them are middle-aged men, bewildered by the turn their lives have taken. They pivot around partners in fractured pairings, two lonely people sometimes splintered by the long shadow of a third, someone often off-stage.

In "Hiding Places," a man staying with newly but unhappily married friends is asked by his landlord and the woman's father to spy on the couple. In "The All Saints' Day Lovers," a man clings to his failing marriage even as he spends the night comforting a young widow he's just met, holding her chastely while wearing her dead husband's pajamas. In "The Lodger," a man mourns the death of his best friend, unable to shake his memories of the man's affair with his wife long ago.

The only story told from the point of view of a female character, "The Return," is also the collection's best. An elderly woman returns to her radically altered ancestral home after serving a long prison sentence for killing her middle-aged sister's fiancé with rat poison.

Vásquez's metaphors are beautiful and haunting: the dead man in "The Lodger" long ago gave his lover intricate hand-drawn maps to places--the Islands of Pleasure; locations in Rajasthan--that did not exist, the photocopies of which become both talismans and currency in the marital tug-of-war over the couple's respective claims to the dead man's friendship.

The stories' narrative voices are aloof, enhancing the sense of the characters as actors dwarfed by the vastness of their stage, their distance unbridgeable. They seem bewildered by the forces of fate that circumscribe their lives and leave them isolated and alone, longing for connection and meaning, each in turn hopeful but "uncertain... vulnerable to words and weather and the portent of love, a body in movement across a map, less alone than before, crossing meridians."

Anne McLean, who has who has twice won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and whose translation of Vásquez's The Sound of Things Falling earned the International Dublin Literary Award, perfectly captures these characters' beautifully rendered internal landscapes and their lives of quiet desperation. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: Seven unblinking stories from Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez about the collision of fate and human hopes and dreams.

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