Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 22, 2016

Del Rey Books: The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson

Liveright Publishing Corporation: Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview: Pre-register now! Space is limited!

Zest Books: When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin, Robert Garofalo, Zach Stafford, and Christina Garofalo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Shark Summer by Ira Marcks

St. Martin's Press: Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love by Rebecca Frankel


Magic City Books, Tulsa, Okla., Opening Early Next Year

Magic City Books, a for-profit bookstore founded by the Tulsa Literary Coalition, is opening in Tulsa, Okla., early next year, Bookselling This Week reported.

The store, which will have 1,800 square feet of selling space, will stock "books for all ages," including literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, and offer lectures, panels, book discussions, poetry readings and writing workshops.

Tulsa Literary Coalition is a nonprofit organization founded by former Tulsa City librarian Cindy Hulsey and Jeff Martin, the founder of Booksmart Tulsa, a literary organization that coordinates author events throughout the city.

Magic City Books will be the anchor tenant in "a 1920s-era building located at the corner of Archer Street and Detroit Avenue in the vibrant Brady Arts District, which is home to a variety of museums, restaurants, and an urban park," BTW wrote. "The building, which houses 10 other retail tenants, is currently undergoing extensive renovations by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a charity that has been working on refurbishing Tulsa's historic downtown district. The foundation originally approached Martin to see if he would be willing to open a bookstore in the space."

"The idea for the Tulsa Literary Coalition came about after our one independent bookstore in town closed in 2013 or 2014, and we felt like we were seeing the literary community shrink," Martin told BTW. "We created it as a 501(c)3 based on the idea of promoting a literary community, and we thought that maybe the best vehicle to drive that mission would be a physical bookstore. Magic City Books will be a great hub for what we are doing through the coalition."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

WH Smith to 'Expand Bookshop Portfolio'


At Heathrow Airport

WH Smith is "very ambitious" about its recently opened Travel Bookshop at Euston Station in London "and is keen to roll the format out to other travel locations," the Bookseller reported. The new concept stores are "staffed by booksellers with specialist knowledge to provide recommendations to readers and has a greater emphasis on backlist titles with the aim of giving 'the travelling public a wide and distinctive book offer.' "

"We are going to make sure that all landlords see this shop and that they have this in their sights when they're thinking about new retail ranges," said Carl Cowling, managing director of WH Smith Travel. "We are very ambitious about it.... To do this you have got to have a lot of specialist knowledge to get it right. I think we would want to get it right here and then before we thought about opening anymore."

Euston Station was home to the first WH Smith store in 1848. "We wanted to do something different with this shop other than book charts, we wanted to focus on recommendations, we wanted to be more specialist," Cowling added. "We have employed a completely different set of people. People who love books and really believe in what they are doing."

The Euston outlet joins eight other standalone WH Smith Travel Bookshops across the country, at Heathrow Terminals 3, 4 and 5, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Edinburgh Airport and Bristol Airport.

University of Minnesota Press: Yang Warriors by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Billy Thao

Daniel Handler Launches Per Diem Press

Daniel Handler

Daniel "Lemony Snicket" Handler is launching Per Diem Press, which was (at least financially) inspired by his work on the Canadian set of the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

On Facebook, Handler recently posted: "Over the past year or so I have spent some time in Vancouver, peeking at the Netflix production of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Every day I am there, I am given a small handful of American dollars--a 'per diem' designed to cover my expenses. I don't seem to have any expenses--I'm on the set all day long--and in Canada, this American cash seems particularly silly, so it's remained unspent.... In time, this became a somewhat substantial amount of money, and I began to think I should do something suitable with it."

That "something" is the establishment of Per Diem Press, which will publish a single chapbook of poetry early next year on "eight 4"×5" pages, saddle-stitched, with a cardstock cover, hopefully designed by the noted illustrator Lisa Brown just as soon as I make her a martini and ask her."

The winning poet receives $1,000 and complimentary copies, with the remaining chapbooks distributed to Handler's "postal club and on the road as I promote my forthcoming filthy novel All The Dirty Parts. If logistics permit, the poet and I will read together at least once."

Poets "of every stripe" may submit "eightish pages" of previously unpublished poetry in English to Per Diem Press, 912 Cole Street #331, San Francisco, Calif. 94117. Submission deadline is February 28, 2017. Handler added that following the publication of this chapbook, Per Diem Press "will go on an extended hiatus until such time as the proprietor receives a substantial amount of money for no good reason."

GLOW: Simon & Schuster: Smile: The Story of a Face by Sarah Ruhl

In Memoriam: Carlo Bernasconi

Carlo Bernasconi

Carlo Bernasconi, longtime editor-in-chief of the Swiss book trade journal Schweizer Buchhandel, died in late October after battling cancer for several years. He was 64.

Carlo was editor-in-chief of Schweizer Buchhandel from 1998 until the end of 2014. Before that, for many years, he was Swiss correspondent for the Börsenblatt, the German book trade magazine. He was widely considered one of the most knowledgeable people about Swiss publishing, bookselling and authors. He was also an amazing chef, a restaurateur, an author of cookbooks and a novel, and a publisher. He had learned a lot about cooking, especially Italian cooking, from his mother, and had several restaurants in Zurich. The best-known was Cucina e Libri, which for a time stocked books as well as food. It was relatively small, usually open for dinner, and had dishes that featured food Carlo bought in markets during the day. His cookbooks included La Cucina Verde, which featured Italian vegetable recipes, and La Cucina Dolce, about Italian desserts.

I met Carlo for the first time in 2001, while I was on a tour for American editors of publishers in Germany and Switzerland, led by the German Book Office in New York. Carlo attended one of our dinners in Zurich and interviewed the participants for a story about our visit. He was the only book trade journalist to do so, and I was impressed by his enthusiasm, knowledge and sense of humor.

We not only kept in touch but became good friends, meeting regularly at the London Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair. In London, we usually had lunch together, always off-site, since Carlo, ever the gourmet, was particular about his food. In Frankfurt, we had a standing dinner date, at the exceptional Erno's Bistro, for many hours, with multiple courses and a range of drinks. It was always great to catch up, share news about our families, talk about the book business, wonder about the state of the world. Carlo loved to joke and laugh, and it was a highlight of the fair for me.

Carlo also invited me along to events at Frankfurt that I might not normally hear about or be invited to. My favorite was in 2009, the year Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize and was nominated for the German Book Prize for her novel Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel). Carlo got me into the German Book Prize ceremony, which coincidentally took place just days after the Nobel announcement. Müller didn't win a second prize in a week, but at an after-party, Carlo, who of course knew her well, as he did so many authors, talked with her and introduced me. So thanks to Carlo, I had a special conversation in German with a Nobel Prize winner!

Last October, just before the Frankfurt Book Fair, Carlo canceled his trip to the fair and our dinner because cancer had returned. I wrote him several times afterwards, but didn't learn until this week that he was gone. Ich vermisse Dich, Carlo. --John Mutter

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Blush by Jamie Brenner


Image of the Day: Holiday DIY at IPG

At the Independent Publishers Group's annual holiday party last Friday, a festive time was had by all. A highlight of the celebration was a DIY photo booth station, where a Polaroid camera and holiday props sat at the ready. Pictured: (l.-r.) Clark Matthews, Anna Toman, Jamie Connelly, Mallori Bontrager, Katie Logan.

Graywolf Press: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

The Quotable Bookseller: Wigtown's The Bookshop

Posted yesterday on the Facebook page for Scottish bookseller The Bookshop in Wigtown:

"Customer just in--'I'm trying to think of something memorable to say so that I get quoted on your Facebook page.' Consider it done."

Spiegel & Grau: Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship by Catherine Raven

Bookish Podcast: R.J. Julia's 'Just the Right Book'

R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., has launched Just the Right Book podcast, hosted by owner Roxanne Coady, that "will help you discover new and next-to-read books in all genres, give you unique insights into your favorite authors, and bring you up to date with what’s happening in the literary world."

Podcast episodes are free, and the first four are currently available, along with author Amy Bloom interviewing Coady "on everything from her childhood, to her latest venture hosting a new literary podcast and of course, books."

Christmas Book Tree Video: University College Dublin Library

Posted earlier this month on Facebook by the University College Dublin:

" It's officially Christmas time in the library....
...and here's how the UCD Library team built it! #booktree."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Peter and Paul on Diane Rehm

Monday, December 26:
Diane Rehm repeat: Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, co-authors of Peter Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life (Imagine/Peter Yarrow, $29.95, 9781936140329).

Harry: Taraji P. Henson, co-author of Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501125997).

The View repeat: Tim Tebow, co-author of Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms (WaterBrook, $25, 9780735289864).

Last Call with Carson Daly repeat: Andy Puddicombe, author of The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250104908).

Tuesday, December 27:
The View: Andy Cohen, author of Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries (Holt, $27, 9781250116482).

Watch What Happens Live repeat: Trevor Noah, author of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780399588174).

Wednesday, December 28:
The View repeat: DJ Khaled, author of The Keys (Crown Archetype, $18, 9780451497574).

This Weekend on Book TV: Ellen Silbergeld on Chickenizing Farms and Food

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, including videos of previously aired segments scheduled for this weekend, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, December 24
10 p.m. After Words with Ellen Silbergeld, author of Chickenizing Farms and Food: How Industrial Meat Production Endangers Workers, Animals, and Consumers (Johns Hopkins University Press, $26.95, 9781421420301). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out the Next Two Weeks

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 27:

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe (Knopf, $25.95, 9780385353540) examines the reasons for reading and impact of specific books on the author.

The Ice Beneath Her: A Novel by Camilla Grebe, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Ballantine, $27, 9780425284322) is a Swedish psychological thriller about a CEO suspected of murder.

A Pinch of Poison by Alyssa Maxwell (Kensington, $25, 9781617738340) is the second entry in the A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery series, set in post-World War I England.

Endgame: Rules of the Game by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton (HarperCollins, $19.99, 9780062332646) is the final novel in the YA Endgame trilogy.

The Lose Your Belly Diet: Change Your Gut, Change Your Life by Travis Stork (Ghost Mountain Books, $25.95, 9781939457592) is a diet based on the gut microbiome.

Selected new titles appearing Tuesday, January 3:

Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch and Sean Lynch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544716186) looks at the behaviors behind good leadership.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (Grove Press, $25, 9780802125392) is a collection of short stories about women.

The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544706255) follows a British reporter and an American soldier connected by a shared tragedy during the first Gulf War.

The Old Man by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press, $26, 9780802125866) is a thriller about an elderly former army intelligence officer hiding in Vermont.


December 27:
The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander (Kensington, $15, 9781496706126).

Green Smoothies for Life by JJ Smith (Atria, $19.99, 9781501100659).

The Syndicate by Brick and Storm (Urban Books, $6.99, 9781622867745).

January 3:
Mystery in the Channel by Freeman Wills Crofts (Poisoned Pen, $12.95, 9781464206719).

Live by Night, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, opens December 30. Ben Affleck stars as a Prohibition Era gangster. A movie tie-in edition (Morrow, $16.99, 9780062662422) is available.

Hidden Figures, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, opens December 30. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe star in the true story of African American women who were mathematicians at NASA. A movie tie-in (Morrow, $15.99, 9780062363602) 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:

I'll Take You There: A Novel by Wally Lamb (Harper, $25.99, 9780062656285). "Lamb offers another nostalgia-fueled foray into the world of Felix Funicello, last seen in the hilarious and poignant Wishin' and Hopin'. This time around readers find Felix as a film studies professor in the present, being schooled by the ghosts of silent screen icons, all of them women. Through the magic of film, they reveal Felix's childhood and the stories of the unforgettable women who shaped him. Lamb, in his inimitable way, weaves a family dramedy in the era of bobbysoxers and hidden 'women's problems,' with the rise of feminism and one man's history as a brother, husband, and father." --Chrysler Szarlan, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.

Mincemeat: The Education of an Italian Chef by Leonardo Lucarelli (Other Press, $25.95, 9781590517918). "This is not a typical chef story where the aspiring individual goes to culinary school, learns all the traditional styles, and then apprentices under a great chef to become established in the profession. Lucarelli started as a dishwasher and then through dumb luck became the chef in a restaurant after its two chefs fought with each other and left. Subsequent kitchens all offered a variety of challenges and disruptive, combative elements that helped to move Lucarelli's career along. If you want to experience some real 'behind the scenes' views of restaurant life, then do yourself a favor and read Mincemeat." --Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

Ema, the Captive by César Aira, translated by Chris Andrews (New Directions, $14.95, 9780811219105). "Ema, the Captive is a gentle meditation on the natural world in its grotesqueness and its beauty, humanity's place within it, and the effect that human progress has had on both. With his usual incredible attention to detail and in measured, lucid prose, Aira somehow turns this tale into a page-turner, the kind of feat only he could accomplish." --Justin Souther, Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Friend Ship by Kat Yeh, illustrated by Chuck Groenink (Disney-Hyperion, $16.99, 9781484707265). "A lonely hedgehog desires nothing more in the world than to have a friend. When she hears rumors of the Friend Ship, she sets out on a boat to find it. She meets other solitary animals along the way who ask to join her on this most important of journeys, but their search proves fruitless until Hedgehog looks around her full ship and realizes exactly where the Friend Ship is. This simple, beautifully illustrated tale shows that if you open your heart, what you seek might just be right in front of you." --Melissa Posten, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, Mo.

For Ages 9 to 12
Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99, 9781492639091). "What a joy to return to the scene of a beloved children's classic. In the dark days leading up to World War II, the orphans of the Craven Home are evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor. It is there that sad and lonely Emmie Hatton finds some happiness. The kindly gardener and loving owners of the manor offer Emmie refuge for her body and soul. The garden may no longer be secret, but it still possesses magic. Return to the Secret Garden and enjoy the wonder of childhood and the magic of friendship in this sequel that is sure to warm the hearts of young readers everywhere." --Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn.

For Teen Readers
Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly (Kathy Dawson Books, $17.99, 9780525428411). "Digby and Zoe are back and in more trouble than ever in this sequel to Trouble Is a Friend of Mine. Zoe is confused and hurt after not hearing from Digby for months, but she moves on to a new group of friends, a new job, and even a new boyfriend. When Digby comes back to town with a convoluted--and highly dangerous--plan to find his sister, he immediately turns Zoe's new life upside down. Struggling to balance her new priorities, Zoe has to decide: if the trouble Digby's return brings is worth it. With high-stakes action and witty dialogue, this book is sure to delight anyone who loved the first book as well as those who are new to Digby and Zoe." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: I Liked My Life

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi (St. Martin's Press, $25.99 hardcover, 272p., 9781250084873, January 31, 2017)

In a sensitive debut focusing on grief, Abby Fabiaschi follows a family as they try to pick up the pieces after a loved one's suicide, never realizing she remains nearby in spirit form.

After she steps off the roof of the Wellesley College library and dies, Maddy Starling refuses to move on to the next phase awaiting her until she knows her husband, Brady, and teenage daughter, Eve, have the right person looking after them. To that end, she chooses Rory, a local teacher with a terminally ill mother, as Brady's next wife. Able to plant suggestions in the minds of the living, Maddy maneuvers Rory into her family's orbit. While the premise may sound like the setup for an oddball rom-com, the execution is far more profound. Brady and Eve can't function without Maddy, the hardworking, self-sacrificing homemaker who held the family together. Grief numbs Eve to her former life and relationships, while workaholic Brady has no idea how to step into the role of single parent. Both feel frustration over the lack of explanation for Maddy's suicide, as well as an oppressive guilt--perhaps if they had loved her better, appreciated her more, she would still be alive. Well-intentioned people, including Maddy's best friend, Paige, and sister Meg, often intrude when they mean to help. Through subconscious nudges and old journal entries, Maddy tries to help the people she loved most begin to live again without her.

While a few subplots, such as Brady's exploration of a family mystery, add more clutter than interest, Fabiaschi shines when she dives into the messiness of marriage, parenting and loss. She thoughtfully portrays Eve and Brady's grieving--the numbness, anger and sorrow each feels as they cope with the departure of the most important person in their lives. However, incorporeal Maddy is as much the heart of the story as she was the heart of her family, giving the reader wistful insight into an imperfect life that nevertheless contained enough beauty to sustain the mystery of why anyone would voluntarily jump off a building to escape from it. Filled with deaths and myriad ways that human beings fight or surrender to pain, I Liked My Life nonetheless is an affirmation of love and the ability to survive grief and find joy again. Book clubs in particular will take delight in the wealth of emotion to ponder from this talented new voice. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: This graceful drama from newcomer Abby Fabiaschi follows a woman's family after her suicide, watched over by her matchmaking ghost.

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