Also published on this date: Wednesday, May 4, 2016: Maximum Shelf: Dark Matter

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

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


Hachette Expands Warehouse Operations

Hachette Book Group has opened a third warehouse building in the Lebanon Business Park, Lebanon, Ind., where it has steadily expanded its operations over the past 20 years and now has two million square feet of space in three adjacent buildings.

The new building accommodates a large new distribution client, pikids, Lincolnwood, Ill., a children's publisher specializing in sound books, whose licensing partners include Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop, among others. Hachette estimates it will ship more than 15 million units annually for pikids, which it began distributing May 1.

The new space also allows Hachette to take in the many titles of the publishing operations of Perseus Books, which it acquired a month ago. Hachette has a range of distribution clients, including Abrams, Chronicle Books, Disney, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Marvel, Moleskine, Octopus, Peterson's, Phaidon, Quarto, Quercus and Time Inc. Books, among others.

Frank Casolaro, v-p, distribution, and head of Hachette's Lebanon facility, said, "We're fortunate that there was a building available across the street from our distribution center. The new space has been built out quickly and efficiently over the past four months."

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

Amazon Redlining: Same-Day Delivery for the Bronx, Chicago

Amazon will bring free same-day delivery service to the Bronx and Chicago's South Side "following criticism from elected representatives that the company's data-driven service boundaries unfairly left out some minority communities," Bloomberg reported. Last week the online retailer added the service to Boston's Roxbury neighborhood.

"I am pleased to see that and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, are doing the right thing and serving all residents of the City of Chicago," said U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat whose district includes much of the South Side. "As I said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last week, 'Black Americans' dollars are just as green as any other Americans' dollars,' and I am glad that recognizes that."

In New York, a letter pledging to bring the service to the Bronx was sent by Brian Huseman, Amazon's v-p of public policy, to the borough's president Ruben Diaz Jr. and New York State Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz. "The over 1.4 million residents of the Bronx deserve the same level of service and amenities as their neighbors," Diaz said. "I will continue to hold businesses and entities of all kinds accountable when they slight my constituents."

Dinowitz added: "I am hopeful that this decision means Amazon will take a second look at the several other cities with excluded neighborhoods."

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Modern Times Crowdsources Loan to Help in Transition

Congratulations to the Modern Times Bookstore Collective, San Francisco, Calif., which since starting a Kiva Zip loan for $6,000 last week has raised more than half of that amount--and still has 35 days to go. Under Kiva Zip loans, the lender pays back the loan, made at a 0% interest.

The loan is being made through Modern Times book buyer Ashton and will go to expand inventory and "to encourage new membership in our worker collective, to train new hires, and provide a living wage to all of our workers."

Modern Times noted last month that after more than 30 years as a bookseller, Ruth Mahaney, the longest-standing member of the Modern Times Bookstore Collective, is planning to retire, beginning in June. Modern Times is thus "reorganizing the collective so that it may carry on its community-serving mission uninterrupted, retaining current staff and programming."

Update: 'Wish Every Saturday Was Authors for Indies Day'

Last Saturday, Canadian booksellers celebrated their second annual Authors for Indies Day, during which writers spent time on the sales floors of their favorite independent bookshops chatting with customers, signing books and even handselling a bit. Here are a few #AFI2016 highlights from Facebook and Twitter:

"Wish every Saturday was Authors for Indies Day!" Toronto's eat your words bookstore posted: "Not only was it incredibly fun--check out our photos--but Authors for Indies 2016 rang in as our highest sales day on a Saturday since we opened almost four years ago. And that sales volume every Saturday would certainly make it easier to pay our bookstore's rent and other expenses!"

From Lighthouse Books, Brighton, Ont.: "What a fantastic day. In the words of store owner, Kathryn, 'There is nothing better than connecting with someone over a book!' And connect we did! Thank you to the authors for taking time out of their busy schedules to support independent bookstores. A great time was had by all."

King's Co-op Bookstore, Halifax, N.S., had the #AFI2016 sidewalk chalk message of the day.

Tom King and John Ralston Saul, "two of Canada's most celebrated and outspoken writers on indigenous issues," participated in a discussion at the Bookshelf, Guelf, Ont. "If you look at the way indigenous education was done traditionally, story telling through song, writing and painting was an incredibly important part of the health of the village as a whole," Tyler told Guelph Today. "The bookstore is a place of story telling shared with people of all ages."

Guy Gavriel Kay, Authors for Indies spokeperson

Guy Gavriel Kay, author and #AFI2016 spokesperson: "Here the deal. I'll sign CHILDREN for you at my two #AFI2016 stores for you, but you also buy one of the books I'm bookselling today! Deal?"

Munro's Books, Victoria, B.C., had cake! Alix Hawley tweeted "before and after" pics.

Guest author Alison Smith tweeted: "So nice to walk into @BoxOfDelights76 on #authorsforindies and find such warm welcome! Exactly what you don't get at the big box bookstores!"

Check out this great Authors for Indies Day video from the Bookmark, Charlottetown, P.E.I

Janie Chang, author and a driving force behind the inaugural AFI, posted: "Authors for Indies Day at Broadway Book Warehouse and Book Warehouse Main Street: rock stars, kittens, gourmet BBQ, and lost photographs. Only managed a few photos--then things got too busy and distracting. OK, need to sleep in now."

Novel Spot Bookshop, shared the perfect wrapup: "Even though @Authors4indies is over please remember Indies need support year round. TY Canadian authors everywhere for a great day #AFI2016."

Obituary Note: Mel Bartholomew

Mel Bartholomew, the creator of Square Foot Gardening who "sold more than 2.5 million books on the subject, making him the bestselling gardening author in North America for more than a generation," died April 28, East County Magazine reported. He was 84. From the proceeds of his book sales, Bartholomew created the Square Foot Gardening Foundation, "which has spread his method throughout the world in an effort to help end world hunger." His books include All New Square Foot Gardening, Square Foot Gardening High-Value Veggies, Square Foot Gardening Answer Book and Square Foot Gardening with Kids.

#BEA2016 Buzz Books: Fiction, Part 1

With BookExpo America just a week away, Shelf Awareness again takes a look at highly anticipated, upcoming books for the summer and fall. Based on the recommendations of more than a dozen independent booksellers from around the country, today's and tomorrow's fiction lists feature three promising debut authors and many returning favorites. Installments on nonfiction, YA and children's will run over the next few days.

First on today's fiction list is Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi's eagerly awaited debut novel that will be published by Knopf June 14. Homegoing begins in 18th century Ghana as the lives of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, diverge in drastically different directions. While Effia is married to an Englishman and lives in the Cape Coast Castle, Esi is sold into the slave trade and imprisoned in the same castle's dungeons. From there, half of the novel follows Esi and her descendants through hundreds of years of American history, as the other half focuses on Effia's descendants as they struggle through centuries of warfare, colonization and the slave trade in Ghana. "It's just a great read," said Stephanie Valdez, co-owner of Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y. "It's going to be a big summer book for us--summer and beyond. It should be a strong candidate for award season." Katie Eelman, media and events coordinator at Papercuts J.P. in Boston, Mass., also sung Homegoing's praises: "This novel beautifully traces the devastating realities of racism from Ghana to a modern America. Spanning generations, the thread of memory connects all of the incredibly drawn characters in this moving novel." And Keaton Patterson, buyer at Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex., called it "one of the most impressive debuts I've ever read."

Another highly anticipated debut novel coming out this summer is Emma Cline's The Girls, which will be published by Random House on June 14. In 1960s Northern California, a lonely teenage girl named Evie Boyd falls in with a group of mysterious, captivating older girls. Evie's infatuation with Suzanne, one of those magnetic older girls, leads her to spending time with a Manson Family-esque cult. As Evie gradually drifts further away from old friends and family, the cult's behavior becomes increasingly dangerous, eventually culminating in a horrifying act of violence. Mark Laframboise, buyer at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., praised Cline's compulsive storytelling. "The book reads so fast," he said. "It's going to be huge, I think." Leigh Malin of BookTowne in Manasquan, N.J., called it a "brilliantly written page turner," while Jason Kennedy, buyer at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, Wis., and Papercuts J.P.'s Katie Eelman both picked The Girls as a book to watch.

Ben Winters, the author of the Last Policeman Trilogy and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, returns on July 5 with his new novel, Underground Airlines (Mulholland Books). Set in an alternate version of the United States in which the Civil War never happened and slavery persists to this day in four states, Underground Airlines tells the story of a young black man named Victor. He's struck a bargain with federal law enforcement to track down a runaway slave named Jackdaw, and as Victor begins to track Jackdaw's trail through the "Underground Airlines," he believes himself to be a good person forced into doing bad work. But the farther he goes, the more complicated things become. Jeff Garrett, co-owner of Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston, Ill., said Underground Airlines works as both an exciting alternate-history thriller and a reflection of race in America. "I have loved Ben Winters' writing for a while now, and this book is quickly one of my new favorite books of the year," said Boswell Book Company's Jason Kennedy. "I will be pushing this book the rest of the year."

Arriving in stores on July 5, How to Set a Fire and Why (Pantheon) is the newest novel from poet and novelist Jesse Ball. It is the story of a teenage girl named Lucia, whose father has died and whose mother is in a mental institution. She's living in her aunt's bedroom and has been kicked out of school yet again. But after Lucia discovers a secret Arson Club at her school, she begins to find new purpose in her life. Kate Layte, the owner of Papercuts J.P., called Jesse Ball one of her favorite writers working today. "His novels are so strange, yet straightforward, full of puzzles and rules. And I didn't think a title could get much better than A Cure for Suicide, but here it is," she said. Keaton Patterson of Brazos Bookstore compared Lucia with iconic characters like Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, and said he "could see [the novel] becoming a cult classic--being passed among precocious high schoolers reading beyond their years and fed up with the ineffectual system around them--for a long time to come."

Blake Crouch's Dark Matter (Crown, July 26) begins with a masked man knocking Jason Dessen unconscious. He wakes up to find himself strapped to a gurney and surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits and in a world where his life is suddenly radically changed. He's married to a different woman from the wife he remembers, his son was never born and his career has changed completely. As he struggles to understand what's real and what isn't, Jason is determined to find out exactly what happened to him. Becky Anderson, co-owner of Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville, Downers Grove and La Grange, Ill., called Dark Matter an "incredible science-fiction thriller that will make you sit back and ruminate after you turn the page" and something like "Quantum Leap meets The Time Machine." Jason Kennedy of Boswell Book Company said it was a "great speculative book that does multiple universes really well." Rebekah Putera, bookseller and event specialist at the Book Cellar in Chicago, Ill., also chose this speculative fiction novel as one to watch for 2016. --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: Wright Brothers Takes Flight at Airport

The Hudson Booksellers store in the Albuquerque Airport, N.Mex., offered this display for the paperback release of David McCullough's The Wright Brothers (Simon & Schuster), which includes the classic photo of the brothers' first flight as well as a recreation of the scene with sand, figures of Wilbur and Orville and a model of their plane.

Road Trip: 'Best Independent Bookstores in New England'

"Where are the best independent bookstores in New England?" Joe Bills, Yankee Magazine associate editor as well as co-owner of a small book, comic and game shop in Jaffrey, N.H., shared a list of his favorites.

"It has been said that I never met a bookstore I didn’t like, and I think that is probably true," Bills wrote. "Big or small, focused or eclectic, bookstores are entertainment, education, relaxation and inspiration all at once. New England is blessed by many wonderful bookstores, and yes, I like them all. But there are some I love. In honor of Independent Bookstore Day on April 30, here, in no particular order, is a baker’s dozen of favorites."

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Saraciea Fennell will join Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as publicist. She was most recently a publicist at Scholastic.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rita Dove on Diane Rehm

Fox News's Red Eye: Pete Hegseth, author of In the Arena: Good Citizens, a Great Republic, and How One Speech Can Reinvigorate America (Threshold Editions, $28, 9781476749341). He will also appear on Fox Business's Mornings with Maria and Kennedy.

Ellen: Cameron Diaz, co-author of The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time (Harper Wave, $27.99, 9780062375186).

The Chew: Rosanna Pansino, author of The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us (Atria, $29.99, 9781501104015).

Diane Rehm: Rita Dove, author of Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (Norton, $39.95, 9780393285949).

Freakonomics Radio: Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Scribner, $28, 9781501111105).

Book & Music... & Book: Hamilton a Hot Ticket

The epic challenge of acquiring tickets to see Hamilton, the hit musical that just garnered a record 16 Tony nominations, is well-documented, but "even the buzzy new book about it is in high demand and short supply," the New York Times reported, adding that Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter "is selling so briskly that it's currently out of stock on Amazon. (Secondhand sellers at the site are asking for up to $621 for their copies.)"

Grand Central had a first printing of 60,000 copies, followed quickly by a second run of 50,000, "but doesn't expect that supply to last long, either. The company has since ordered a much bigger haul and intends to have 400,000 copies in print by summer," the Times wrote.

The musical also boosted sales of Ron Chernow's 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton, "which has sold more than a million copies and inspired Mr. Miranda to write the musical," the Times noted. Paperback sales spiked after the musical opened, from 3,300 copies in 2014 to 106,000 in 2015. In March, the book topped the paperback bestseller list.

TV: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

HBO Films announced that Oprah Winfrey will star in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, adapted from the bestselling nonfiction book by Rebecca Skloot. Deadline reported that "this has been a passion project for the TV mogul and Oscar-nominated actress," who teamed up with Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, True Blood) six years ago to acquire the book with the goal of producing a feature-length adaptation. George C. Wolfe (HBO's Lackawanna Blues; Tony winner for Angels In America) wrote the screenplay and will direct the project, which begins shooting in the summer.

Books & Authors

Awards: Agatha; Christian Book

Among the winners (l. to r.): Laurie R. King, Barbara Peters (recipient, with Robert Rosenwald, of the Poirot Award) and Margaret Maron

Winners of the Agatha Awards, which celebrate the "traditional mystery--books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie," were honored recently at the Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Md. This year's winners are:

Contemporary Novel: Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron (Grand Central)
First Novel: On the Road with Del and Louise by Art Taylor (Henery Press)
Historical Novel: Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
Nonfiction: The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins)
Children's/YA: Andi Unstoppable by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz)
Short Story: "A Year Without Santa Claus?" by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2015)


The winners of the 2016 Christian Book Awards are:

Christian Book of the Year: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing Group)
Nonfiction: The Case for Grace by Lee Strobel (Zondervan)
New Author: Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Russ Ramsey (Crossway)
Inspiration: Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (Tyndale House)
Fiction: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund (WaterBrook)
Children: The Bible Is My Best Friend--Family Devotional by Sheila Walsh, illustrated by Sarah Horne (B&H Publishing Group)
Bibles: Illustrated Study Bible NLT (Tyndale House)
Bible Reference: How We Got the Bible by Timothy Paul Jones (Rose Publishing)

Book Brahmin: Camille Perri

photo: Ash Barhamand

Camille Perri has been a books editor for Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines, a ghostwriter of young adult novels and a reference librarian. She holds a B.A. from New York University and a Master of Library Science degree from Queens College. Perri wrote the first draft of The Assistants (Putnam, May 3, 2016) while working as assistant to the editor-in-chief of Esquire.

On your nightstand now:

My nightstand is stacked with galleys: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott. Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen. Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman. Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman. Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the first book I loved enough to read over and over. I'd make a cup of hot cocoa or have a candy bar nearby because reading it would make me crave chocolate--which turned me on to the incredible power reading can have on one's mind and body.

Your top five authors:

Alice Munro because as it's been said, she is our Chekhov.

Anton Chekhov because he is the original Chekhov.

James Baldwin because I could literally feel my worldview being altered with each of his books.

Toni Morrison because she is the greatest living writer of our time.

Nora Ephron because she taught me that everything is copy.

Book you've faked reading:

The cetology chapters of Melville's Moby-Dick. I trust I'm not alone in this, and I'm not sorry. If I reread Moby-Dick, I'll probably skip them again.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. It's available full-text on What are you waiting for?

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Wisdom of the Heart by Henry Miller. It's my favorite book cover of all time. It features a shirt and tie with a giant black heart for a head and a scribbly title font. I keep this book propped up cover out in my living room. Guests are inevitably drawn to pick it up.

Book you hid from your parents:

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown--the first "gay book" I ever read. And by this time I was probably too old to be hiding books from anyone. But that is my honest answer.

Book that changed your life:

Stephen King's On Writing. There's a line in there that said something like, If you need permission to do all the reading and writing you want, consider it granted by yours truly. I took that to heart because I did need that permission at the time. And for whatever reason, I accepted it from Mr. King. He also said that writing is essentially about enriching your own life and the lives of those around you. I'd never considered enrichment before, which made me realize I'd been missing something critical not only about writing, but about life.

Favorite line from a book:

"I don't want to make somebody else. I want to make myself." Sula Peace said those words in Toni Morrison's Sula. No two sentences in all of literature have moved me more. I knew I'd never forget them.

Five books you'll never part with:

When I was a young scrapper without much money and a debatable moral code, I used to steal books--mostly from my high school. I've saved them all, and they've come to be my most treasured possessions. The Great Gatsby. Of Mice and Men. The Catcher in the Rye. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Lord of the Flies. On any given day I can pick one of them up, open to a page, and see where my teenage self had underlined a passage or made a margin note, and I'm transported right back to that time when what I was learning from these classics felt urgent enough to steal.

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

I have such an awful memory that when I reread a book I often feel like it's for the first time. I'm unfortunately the same way with restaurants I've eaten at and people I've met. But I'll go with Tina Fey's Bossypants because part of the joy of that book is how her jokes can sneak up on you.

Book Review

Children's Review: Sea Change

Sea Change by Frank Viva (Toon Graphics, $18.95 hardcover, 120p., ages 9-12, 9781935179924, May 24, 2016)

All 12-year-old Eliot Dionisi knows about Nova Scotia is that it's "about a million miles away from Lakefield" and it's full of "wrinkly old relatives who smelled like fish." He is incredulous that his parents would cruelly send him off to Point Aconi and deprive him of a glorious summer of eating ice cream and catching pollywogs in jam jars with his best friends Mike and Teddy.

Eliot's "wrinkly old relatives" are Grandmother McNeil and his great-uncle Earl with the icy stare, gold tooth and anchor tattoo. On the bright side--mostly--word of Eliot's arrival in Point Aconi gets around fast with the neighborhood kids. Before he knows it, he's waist-deep in the "grayish green" ocean with the intriguing, chestnut-haired Mary Beth McGillivery, while Jack and Eddie McLeod warn him that their older brother Donnie "won't like some Eye-talian kid from away coming around."

His first day is a sea of humiliating experiences. Eliot is roughed up by Mary Beth's loutish father while clumsily checking lobster traps aboard Uncle Earl's boat, the YNOT. Then, after a hard day's work, his lack of swimming prowess--combined with his fear of spiders--embarrass him even more than the pink mermaid towel his mom made him pack. Worst of all, Donnie is as scary as the kids say, and outside the local store (called What's the Point), he calls Eliot a "wop" and threatens to "beat the little stuck-up frigger within an inch of his life." Promises of future clambakes, blueberry-picking and lighthouse-exploring feel like cold comfort, and even Uncle Earl's "special dinner," involving a bulbous-eyed lobster that "might crawl across the table and eat me" doesn't exactly cheer him up.

Things look up considerably in the following weeks as Eliot builds some good, solid Nova Scotia-style skills, and deepens his relationships with Uncle Earl, Happy the dog, a boy named Timmy and, especially, Mary Beth. Still, dangers lurk. Mary Beth's father turns out to be a bigger menace than the great white shark that swims under the YNOT. Donnie pops up at all the wrong times, and a company called Bushwacker Coal is threatening to strip-mine beautiful Point Aconi into a moonscape. Sea Change, however, is more about evolution, hope, compassion and second chances, and the wonderfully spun narrative is always buoyant.

In his atmospheric debut middle-grade novel, Canadian picture-book author Frank Viva (Young Frank, Architect; Along a Long Road; A Long Way Away; A Trip to the Bottom of the World; Outstanding in the Rain) draws on his own memories of childhood summers in Nova Scotia. He illustrates his often-funny, often-poignant, vividly wrought story with cartoonish, pinkish-red people, trucks and fish, and the type pours into tea cups, curls inside his ancestor's disapproving eyes, or beams in rays through an attic window.

Sea Change, a literary and visual ode to small-town Nova Scotia, is the novel equivalent of the best summer-vacation postcard a person could get. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Canadian picture-book creator Frank Viva draws on his childhood memories of Nova Scotia summers in his delightful, illustrated, splendidly designed middle-grade debut that bursts with heart.

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