Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

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

Quotation of the Day


The 2015 National Book Award Winners!

The winners of the 2015 National Book Awards, held last night in New York City, were:

Fiction: Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson (Random House)
Nonfiction: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau)
Poetry: Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis (Knopf)
Young People's Literature: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (HarperTeen)

Adam Johnson

In accepting the fiction award, Johnson seemed a bit shocked, saying, "I was having the most wonderful, calm, peaceful evening because I knew this is one thing that wouldn't happen." He thanked many people, particularly editor David Ebershoff, who is leaving Random House to devote himself full time to his writing. "I'm going to miss him," Johnson said.

Coates dedicated the nonfiction award to the subject of his book, Prince Jones, "a friend of mine at Howard University," who was killed 15 years ago by police because he was mistaken for a criminal. "I'm a black man in America. I can't punish that officer," he said. "I can't secure the safety of my son. [But] I do have the power to say you won't enroll me in this lie. You won't make me a part of it."

Lewis noted that her winning poetry title "is my first book, which is why I'm blown away standing here." She thanked many people, including influential storytellers and poets from a range of cultures and eras. She cited the Mahābhārata, "the longest epic in the world," and finished her remarks by reading Pablo Neruda's poem "Keeping Quiet."

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Shusterman recalled the difficulties his son Brendan had as a teenager and how his story became the basis for Challenger Deep, the young people's winner. At the depth of Brendan's illness, Shusterman recalled, his son said, "Dad, sometimes I feel I'm at the bottom of the ocean screaming at the top of my lungs and no one can hear me." Shusterman couldn't write the story for years, until Brendan was better, and called writing the book "a healing process for both of us." He added that he hopes Challenger Deep continues to help people and "remove the stigma of mental illness." At the end, in what may have been the most poignant moment of an evening of poignant moments, he called Brendan to the stage.

Also at the event, James Patterson was given the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and Don DeLillo received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

James Patterson

Patterson recalled the long road from his rough-and-tumble beginnings in Newburgh, N.Y., to becoming a bestselling author and perhaps the single-largest benefactor to booksellers, bookstores, libraries and literacy and education efforts. He called himself "a serial donor" and urged others to donate. "Let's try to make sure there's another generation of readers out there--and bookstores and libraries and healthy, flourishing publishers."

DeLillo gave listeners a virtual tour of bookcases at his home that hold many old paperbacks that influenced him early in his life. Looking at those shelves, he said, "I'm not the writer at all. I'm the grateful reader."

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

Vermont Book Shop Launching Ollie's Other Place

On November 28 in Middlebury, Vermont Book Shop's owner Becky Dayton and sales/marketing manager Jenny Lyons will host a grand opening celebration for Ollie's Other Place, a new store focusing on selected children's books and gift books, along with coordinating merchandise. The inspiration for the venture--named after Dayton's poodle--came from a feeling that the town "could use a really great place to shop for unique baby gifts and birthday presents, and cool stuff for kids' rooms," the booksellers said. They plan to maintain and expand Vermont Book Shop's children's and YA book sections as well.

Located at 13 Washington St., Ollie's features a core selection of children's books, along with an assortment of creative and educational gifts, games and toys, including toy brands HABA, Folkmanis, tegu, Pal Socks and more.

The Addison Independent noted that Dayton believes Ollie's inventory "will complement the bookstore, while providing a good insurance policy should upcoming construction on the downtown Middlebury rail bridges prove a significant hardship for shoppers."

"We will be adding variety and cheer to Middlebury's retail landscape, as well as ensuring some degree of continuity for Vermont Book Shop, should the worst-case scenario of the railroad project be realized," she said.

Lyons added: "The Washington Street location appealed for a number of reasons--its close proximity to the (Middlebury Natural Foods) Co-op and Shaw's (supermarket) being one, the availability of parking, plus it was a perfect size for what we had in mind: a fun little space. We hope Ollie's will be a destination shop for birthday party and baby shower gift-seekers, plus attract foot traffic and after-school activity."

Battenkill Books to Open New Kids Room on Saturday

This Saturday, Battenkill Books in Cambria, N.Y., is hosting an all-day celebration to mark the grand opening of its new Young Folks' Room. The renovation project, which has moved the store's children's section into a previously unused 350 square foot space connected to the main bookstore, began a year ago, after store owners Connie Brooks and Chris Callahan received a James Patterson grant for the project.

The new kids' room contains board books, picture books, early reader and chapter books, along with toys and crafts. The new space also features a wildlife mural painted by local author and illustrator Anne Hunter.

In addition to sales and giveaways, the November 21 celebration will include a puzzle workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. with Anne Hunte, and from 1:15 to 2 p.m. a visit from Beth Bidwell, the author of Mojo, the Fabulous (Talking!!) Crow: A True Story.

BBC Unveils 2016 'Get Reading' Campaign

Deborah Moggach, Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Joanna Trollope, Tony Hall, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo

BBC has launched Get Reading, a campaign for 2016 designed to "celebrate great authors and their works and get the nation reading and sharing the books they love." The initiative will include a Get Reading Weekend, a digital and social media campaign from BBC Learning and specially commissioned programs across BBC TV, radio and online. Get Reading plans to work with the Reading Agency, BookTrust, the National Literacy Trust, the Society of Chief Librarians and the Scottish Library & Information Council.

"We want to get everyone talking about stories that have influenced them--and inspire them to discover something new," said BBC director-general Tony Hall. "If we can pull that off, it's going to be very special. I hope we can ignite a spark and I'm sure we'll surprise some people. Let's not forget, a book can change your ideas. It can change your life."

Amazon Opening Two Warehouses in Ohio

Amazon is opening two warehouses in Ohio, in Obetz and Etna, the company's first in Ohio, Amazon announced.

The warehouse in Etna, about 10 miles east of Columbus, is 800,000 square feet. The warehouse in Obetz, which is south of Columbus, near the Rickenbacker International Airport, will have more than a million square feet of space.

Amazon has also been building three data centers for its cloud computing operations near Columbus and began collecting sales tax in Ohio June 1.


Image of the Day: Compass Books Takes Off at SFO

Store manager Christine Keelean; general manager Jerry Blume; Michael Tucker, co-owner of Books Inc.; IT factotum Bernie Ciarlo.

Just in time for the 5:30 a.m. flight to Chicago, Books Inc. was able to open its new 2,500-square-foot Compass store in the renovated Terminal 3 at San Francisco Airport yesterday.

Originally opened in 1995, the Compass store had to be closed during the renovation and the company was able to sell only in a temporary 350-square-foot location. (It also has a store in Terminal 2.) Books Inc. co-owner Michael Tucker said that it's "wonderful to have a full general interest store again" and that reconstruction was "a bit of an ordeal," in part because all people and material had to go through security and staff had to wear hard hats and construction vests, which caused "permanent hat-head." The new Compass store is directly in front of the security entrance where more than nine million people a year board United flights. "It was very gratifying to have the airport workers, airline personnel and frequent airline travelers all telling staff how excited they were to get their bookstore back," added Tucker, who as of last night was going home to get some much-needed sleep.

Holiday TV Ad: Sainsbury's Resurrects Mog

Barnes & Noble may have Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga for its holiday advertising blitz, but U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury's has resurrected Judith Kerr's Mog, "the lovable cat with a penchant for calamity, [who] is to make the jump from page to screen as the star of Sainsbury's Christmas TV ad campaign, 13 years after she was killed off," the Guardian reported. Sainsbury's partnered with the bestselling children's book author, who published 15 Mog titles, to create the animated version for the TV ad as well as her first Mog book since 2002. Mog's Christmas Calamity will be sold exclusively through Sainsbury's.

"I have enjoyed illustrating Mog again after so many years and am thrilled that this special Christmas story will help raise funds for Save the Children and the important work they do for children's literacy," said Kerr.

Cool Idea of the Day: NaNoWriMo in a Bookstore

For the past four years during National Novel Writing Month, Red Wheelbarrow Writers has created a collective novel, with author Laura Kalpakian writing the first chapter and 29 people signing up to take a day each. This year, the group is working on a story titled Juicy Fruit Don't Grow on Trees, which takes place in Our House Books, a fictional Northwest bookstore. The central characters are all booksellers or, as Kalpakian hinted, "the books themselves." About 20 of the co-authors will be reading from their collective work at Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., in early December. 

Road Trip: Melbourne's Best Independent Bookstores

Melbourne, Australia, "is home to incredible bookstores--new and old, eclectic and specialist. Here are our favorite literary havens," Broadsheet reported, noting: "Melbourne is full of pleasures for readers and writers. There's the Wheeler Centre's year-round calendar of literary events, and the city's regular writers' festivals (including the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Emerging Writers' Festival. But day in day out, the city's booksellers more than pull their weight to keep the City of Literature supplied with reading material. In no particular order, here are our picks for the city's best independent bookstores."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Gavin McCrea and Gesine Bullock-Prado

Studio360: Gavin McCrea, author of Mrs. Engels: A Novel (Catapult, $16.95, 9781936787296).

The Today Show: Gesine Bullock-Prado, author of Let Them Eat Cake: Classic, Decadent Desserts with Vegan, Gluten-Free & Healthy Variations: More Than 80 Recipes for Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Ice Cream, and More! (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, $35, 9781617690808).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Miami Book Fair

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, November 21
10 a.m. Day one of live coverage from the 32nd annual Miami Book Fair International, at Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

10 p.m. Niall Ferguson, author of Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist (Penguin Press, $39.95, 9781594206535). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

11 p.m. Simon Winchester, author of Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers (Harper, $28.99, 9780062315410), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Sunday, November 22
10 a.m. Day two of live coverage from the 32nd annual Miami Book Fair International, at Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

10 p.m. Bob Woodward, author of The Last of the President's Men (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501116445).

Books & Authors

Awards: FT-McKinsey Business Book

Martin Ford has won the £30,000 (about $45,645) 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award for The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (Basic Books). Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, called the book "a tightly-written and deeply-researched addition to the public policy debate du jour and du demain. The judges didn't agree with all of the conclusions, but were unanimous on the verdict and the impact of the book."

The five runners-up each received £10,000 ($15,215).

Also Christopher Clearfield and András Tilcsik have won the £15,000 ($22,820) 2015 Bracken Bower Prize for their book proposal, Rethinking the Unthinkable: Managing the Risk of Catastrophic Failure in the Twenty-First Century. The prize is "designed to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus this year on the challenges and opportunities presented by growth."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 24:

Boys in the Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon (Flatiron Books, $28.99, 9781250095893) is the memoir of the singer.

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks (Knopf, $17, 9780451492937) contains essays written in the last months of Sacks's life.

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders, illustrated by Lane Smith (Random House, $22, 9780812989632) is an illustrated fable for all ages.

The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters by Karl Rove (Simon & Schuster, $32.50, 9781476752952) looks at the 1896 presidential election.

Cross Justice by James Patterson (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316407045) continues the Alex Cross series. (November 23)

Bang Bang: My Life in Ink by Bang Bang (Dey Street, $25.99, 9780062382221) is the memoir of a tattoo artist.

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24.95, 9780544668256) uses the 1,000 most common words to explain complicated things, from the creator of the webcomic xkcd.

Death Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd (Kensington, $25, 9780758287373) continues the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series.

Chimera by Mira Grant (Orbit, $27, 9780316381031) concludes the sci-fi Parasitology trilogy.

Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars by Kevin Hearne (LucasBooks, $9.99, 9780345544865).

Murder on the Last Frontier (A Charlotte Brody Mystery) by Cathy Pegau (Kensington, $15, 9781496700544).

All of Us and Everything: A Novel by Bridget Asher (Bantam, $15, 9780385343930).

The Danish Girl, based on the novel by David Ebershoff, opens Friday, November 27. Eddie Redmayne stars as the Danish painter who became the first recipient of a sex change operation. A movie tie-in (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143108399) is available.

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:

The Improbability of Love: A Novel by Hannah Rothschild (Knopf, $27.95, 9781101874141). "A girl, a painting, and a cast of delightfully quirky characters are at the heart of Rothschild's debut. At the intersection of London's art auction houses and the pursuit of a dream, Annie navigates her way through the city's wealthy and aspiring elite as she juggles her mother's eccentricities with her own quest to become a chef. Funny, smart, and satisfyingly clever, The Improbability of Love will warm your heart and give you pause the next time you admire that old painting hanging, so innocently, on the wall." --Lisa Baudoin, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.

Corrupted: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250027931). "At 12, Jason is chubby, buck-toothed, and bullied every day by Ritchie. Philadelphia trial attorney Bennie Rosato tries to help Jason when he gets in trouble for fighting back. Thirteen years later, that same bully is dead, Jason appears to be the killer, and once again Bennie is called to help. As always, Scottoline's dialogue is excellent, legal terms are made easy to understand, characters are richly drawn, trial scenes are vivid, and there are huge, well-hidden surprises. I enjoyed it immensely!" --Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, N.Mex.

American Copper: A Novel by Shann Ray (Unbridled Books, $16, 9781609531218). "Every once in a while a book falls into your hands that is so beautifully written, deeply affecting, and powerful that it burrows into your heart and stakes a lasting claim. American Copper is such a book. Ray's novel is a triumph--an ode to the majesty of the early 20th century Montana landscape, a tender evocation of the passions and sorrows of its people, and a piercing look at the ravages of racism, greed, and violence. This is a stunning portrayal of the scope of the human spirit and of the many paths to grace." --Laurie Paus, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-Loving Rubber Ball by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780385373302). "You have not met darling until you have met Buffalo, Stingray, and Plastic. These three best friends venture out to discover snow. Are snowflakes tiny dancers? Is snow a peaceful blanket? Is it all just frozen water? Or could it be that there are many ways to see a snowy landscape? Readers will want to play with these toys over and over again!" --Jessilynn Norcross, Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB by Adam Shaughnessy (Algonquin, $16.95, 9781616204983). "Norse mythology, a winking squirrel, a strange man named Mr. Fox who lives in a cemetery in a house built by a witch, and the belief that magic is real, all combine to give middle-readers an intriguing story. Pru has an empty space inside her left by the death of her dad, a small-town detective. When she receives a mysterious postcard that asks, 'What is the unbelievable FIB?' she can't resist investigating. Luckily the new boy in school, ABE, is good at puzzles and riddles and joins Pru in solving the clues that lead to a dangerous enemy who may be responsible for a war that could destroy her world. Fans of fantasy, adventure, mystery, and mythology will love this series debut. I can't wait for a sequel!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.

The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Tunage (Kathy Dawson Books, $16.99, 9780803739611). "This much-awaited mystery in the series that began with the Newbery Honor-winning Three Times Lucky, followed by The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, opens with sixth-grader Moses LoBeau--Mo--and her partner in the Desperado Detective Agency, Dale Earnhart Johnson III, preparing to testify at the trial of Dale's father. Stoic and funny, this preteen 'Steel Magnolia' reaffirms that good sense, courage, and friendship carry the day. The third time is indeed the charm in this heartwarming series." --Leita Patton, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Midwest Connections December Picks

From the Midwest Booksellers Association, three recent Midwest Connections Picks. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal:

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, illustrated by Jim Yellowhawk (Amulet Books, $16.95, 9781419707858). "Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy--though you wouldn't guess it by his name: his father is part white and part Lakota, and his mother is Lakota. Drawing references and inspiration from the oral stories of the Lakota tradition, celebrated author Joseph Marshall III juxtaposes the contemporary story of Jimmy with an insider's perspective on the life of Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse (c. 1840-1877)."

Crossing the Plains with Bruno by Annick Smith (Trinity University Press, $17.95, 9781595346698). "In Crossing the Plains with Bruno, Annick Smith weaves together a memoir of travel and relationship, western history and family history, human love and animal love centering around a two week road trip across the Great Plains she and her 95 pound chocolate lab, Bruno, took in the summer of 2003."

The Voiceover Artist by Dave Reidy (Curbside Splendor Publishing, $15.95, 9781940430553). "Simon Davies suffers a crippling stutter inherited from his father. At the age of seven, he decides to stop speaking completely--eventually rendering his vocal cords useless from atrophy. Unable to speak, Simon finds solace in the voices piping through his bedside radio. Eighteen years later, Simon rebuilds his voice and learns to mostly manage his stutter with a series of subtle tics he's developed to loosen his vocal cords. He moves to Chicago and pursues his lifelong dream of becoming a voice on the radio--a voiceover artist."

Book Review

Review: First Bite

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson (Basic Books, $27.99 hardcover, 9780465064984, December 1, 2015)

As physical nourishment, a social bonding agent and cultural identity, food is central to human life. Although tastes and cuisines vary wildly across cultures, nearly all of us form powerful habits and attitudes about food from early childhood. These learned behaviors and principles, as well as cultural messages and conversations about food, can have a powerful effect on the rest of our lives. Food writer and social historian Bee Wilson examines eating patterns in the context of weaning, baby food, family meals, eating disorders and nutrition in her fifth book, First Bite.

Wilson (Consider the Fork) begins with a simple premise: humans are born with an innate hunger for food, but nearly everything else that concerns food--tastes, aversions, habits, disorders, attitudes--is learned. There are hundreds of reasons that people relate to food in complicated, often unhealthy ways; Wilson herself has some experience with this, both personal and familial. However, she argues, it is possible to change some of that behavior, to make food "a daily source of delight rather than something to fight against." She draws on a variety of research to explore the complex relationship humans have with food, which often begins as early as toddlerhood.

Wilson explores the connection between food and memory (encompassing both Proust and favorite childhood meals), the influence of siblings (establishing taste as one's identity within the family), and school lunches and other institutional food (with plenty of fascinating historical context). She admits the difficulty of changing food-related behavior and attitudes for a range of people: picky toddlers, veggie-averse teenagers and those who struggle with eating disorders. At the end of each chapter, she highlights a single food that encapsulates that chapter's concept (beets for Likes and Dislikes, milk for Memory, birthday cake for Children's Food). Although she occasionally gets bogged down in the research, Wilson gleans some fascinating insights from food scientists, nutritionists and her own typically complicated history with food.

"Taste may be identity, but it is not destiny," Wilson asserts. She makes the case for thoughtful eating, intentional meal planning and a willingness to experiment with new foods. First Bite is both a rich social history for those interested in the relationship people have with food and an encouraging word for harried parents hoping to expand their children's culinary horizons. Since the human need for food is constant and vital, Wilson points out, there is always the opportunity for change and growth--one bite at a time. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger atCakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: Social historian Bee Wilson examines the complicated relationship humans have with food, and its origins in early childhood.

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