Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 16, 2017

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Quotation of the Day

'#Resistance Fundamentally Changing Bookstores and Bookselling'

Angela Maria Spring (l.), recently of Politics & Prose, and Hannah Oliver Depp of WORD spoke at the Winter Institute.

"A lot of people are saying, 'We're turned our store over to the revolution.' I do think that it is going to fundamentally change bookstores and bookselling."

--Hannah Oliver Depp, operations manager for WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., quoted in the New York Times article "Bookstores Stoke Trump Resistance with Action, Not Just Words."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi


Bookstore Sales Up 2.5% for 2016, Slip in December

Despite a drop in sales in December, bookstore sales for all of 2016 rose 2.5%, to $11.981 billion, compared to 2015, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. The annual gain marks the second year in a row bookstore sales have risen, after 2015's gain of 2.6%. Before that, bookstores sales had fallen every year since 2007, when the Great Recession began.

December bookstore sales fell 3.1%, to $1.409 billion, compared to December 2015.

Total retail sales for 2016 rose 3.3%, to $5,504 billion. In December, total retail sales rose 4.5%, to $541.8 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

ABA Board Changes, BAC and Diversity Task Force Appointments

The American Booksellers Association board of directors has approved the nominating committee's recommendation of three board members for three-year terms, Bookselling This Week reported. The three are: Kenny Brechner of Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, Maine; Christine Onorati of WORD in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., both of whom would be new board members; and Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C., who would be serving her second term. They will be voted on this spring.

The board also selected current vice-president Robert Sindelar of Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Wash., for a two-year term as president, and Jamie Fiocco to serve as vice-president/secretary.

Board members who leaving are president Betsy Burton of the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah; John Evans of DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland, Larkspur, and Brentwood, Calif.; and Matthew Norcross of McLean and Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

Ballots, which will be sent ABA members in April and must be returned by May 2, include space for write-in candidates. Members can petition to have candidates added to the ballot so long as they are members and are supported by at least 25 members, among other qualifications; the deadline is March 17.

In related news, following up on actions announced at the Winter Institute, ABA president Betsy Burton has appointed seven booksellers to the Booksellers Advisory Council and 10 booksellers to the new Diversity Task Force. See them here.

New Bookstore in Truckee, Calif., Opening This Weekend

Word After Word Bookshop is opening this weekend in Truckee, Calif., about 20 miles north of Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Sun reported. The store is in a space a little under 1,000 square feet in Commercial Row in Truckee's downtown. Co-owner Andie Keith told the paper that the store's focus will be "local history, local outdoors, local nature, environment, bestsellers... and some quirky stuff that we just think is really fun," along with children's and young adult books. The inventory will be all new books, and for the interior Keith and her business partner, Nicolle Sloan, are going for an "old Paris bookstore feel."

Keith and Sloan both moved to the Truckee area a few years ago, and though Keith has no prior experience in bookselling, Sloan worked at a bookstore in Vail, Colo. Last month, Truckee lost its only bookstore when the Bookshelf closed following a long struggle to stay afloat. Keith reported that she "sat there for a good year" while the Bookshelf was struggling, hoping that someone else would come along and open another bookstore, until her husband told her, "I think you're supposed to do this."

Plans for the grand opening weekend include a storytime sessions, signings with local authors, talks by a local artist and a photographer, and a champagne celebration with live music on Saturday night.

John J. Lynch Jr. New Head of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jack Lynch

John "Jack" J. Lynch, Jr. has been named president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He was most recently CEO of Renaissance Learning, which specializes in K-12 learning analytics. Before that, he was a member of the executive board of Wolters Kluwer, president and CEO of the Pearson Technology Group, and founding CEO of He has more than 25 years of experience in the software and information industry.

Board chairman Lawrence K. Fish said that Lynch "brings an uncommon set of K-12 education and technology experience along with an outstanding track record generating exceptional returns for investors. He is the right leader at the right time as HMH and the education industry continue to transform and evolve."

Interim CEO L. Gordon Crovitz, a board member, will work with Lynch during the transition.

Obituary Note: Lev Navrozov

Lev Navrozov, a "literary translator in the Soviet Union who smuggled out his study of Lenin and Stalin's campaigns of terror when he emigrated to the United States in 1972," died January 22, the New York Times reported. He was 88. In his book The Education of Lev Navrozov: A Life in the Enclosed World Once Called Russia (1975), Navrozov described Lenin as a "barbarian" unworthy of his country's deification.

Saul Bellow, in his novel More Die of Heartbreak, placed Navrozov among the dissident writers Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Maximov and Andrei Sinyavsky as "commanding figures, men of genius, some of them."

Shelf Awareness Seeks Children's/YA Editor

Shelf Awareness seeks a children's/YA editor who will lead our children's and YA coverage. Key responsibilities include assigning books to freelance reviewers; writing and/or editing one review a week for the Pro edition and five for the Readers edition; contributing and nominating regular articles and interviews on children's and YA titles and authors to the Pro and Readers editions; read ahead to find candidates for children's/YA Maximum Shelves (one per month); write, edit and assist on any dedicated issues focused on children's/YA subjects (on average three a year); attend ABA Children's Institute, BookExpo and ALA conferences.

This is a full-time position with benefits. Review writing and editing experience necessary, and experience in children's publishing desirable. Extra points for experience working on publications with regular deadlines. Seeking a self-starter with strong editorial skills who can meet deadlines. Can work remotely, but must have room for galley storage. Please respond by Sunday, February 26, to

Current children's/YA editor Karin Snelson will be resuming her career as a freelance book editor/writer in March.


Image of the Day: Stead Sighting in Seattle

Seattle-area booksellers and other industry professionals--including editor Neal Porter--gathered at the Steelhead Diner at Pike Place Market for dinner with Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Erin E. Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee; And Then It's Spring), who's on tour for her new book, Tony, by Ed Galing, and her husband, Philip C. Stead, whose upcoming book is The Only Fish in the Sea (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, August 15), illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Here, left to right: Madison Duckworth of Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, Wash., Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead.

Road Trip: 'The Bookish Side of Parisian Art'

"The recent opening of a standalone book store by esteemed gallerist Marian Goodman is confirmation, if any were needed, that in Paris the art world and the book world frequently overlap," Apollo magazine observed in a feature on the city where artists "are often bookish; books invariably beautiful."

In addition to the new Librairie Marian Goodman ("Marian has always wanted to open a bookshop," said gallery director Nicolas Nahab."), Apollo showcased Yvon Lambert's bookshop (He "sees his work within the long Parisian tradition of great art dealer-publishers."), Section 7 Books  ("tiny but brilliant"), and Le Bal ("an independent non-profit space that combines gallery, café and bookshop").

Personnel Changes at Bookmasters, Workman

Shawn Metts

Shawn Metts has been named v-p of sales at Bookmasters, replacing Deb Keets, who is retiring after 17 years with the company.

Metts formerly was v-p of book sales at F+W Media, where he worked for 12 years. Before that, he was at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, rising to general manager.


At Workman Publishing:
James Wehrle has been promoted to executive director of sales for the company and its distribution partners.

Chloe Puton has been promoted to publicity manager for the Workman imprint.

Megan Harley has been promoted to promotions manager for the Workman imprint.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Daily Show's Trevor Noah on the View

Live with Kelly: Theresa Caputo, author of Good Grief: Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones, and Learn to Live Again (Atria, $25.99, 9781501139086).

The View: Trevor Noah, author of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780399588174).

Dateline: Ken Kratz, co-author of Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What "Making a Murderer" Gets Wrong (BenBella, $26.95, 9781944648008).

Movies: Vita & Virginia; The Master and Margarita

Eva Green (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) and Gemma Arterton have been cast in the lead roles for Vita & Virginia, "a film about the romantic relationship between Bloomsbury Group novelist Virginia Woolf and writer-gardener Vita Sackville-West," the Guardian reported. The project, which is being directed by Chanya Button and was adapted from Eileen Atkins's play, will feature Green as Woolf and Arterton as Sackville-West.


Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita, considered one of the great novels of the 20th Century, has been optioned by Svetlana Migunova-Dali, producer of the Russian Academy Award-winning biopic Legend No. 17, and Grace Loh, former president of New Crime Productions. Deadline noted that the Bulgakov Foundation, "which holds the rights, has allowed the work to be adapted for film, TV and even animation, but most of those have been done for overseas audiences."

This Weekend on Book TV: The Savannah Book Festival

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Tuesday 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, February 18
9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Live coverage from the 10th annual Savannah Book Festival in Savannah, Ga. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.). Highlights include:

  • 9 a.m. John Tamny, author of Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank (Encounter, $25.99, 9781594038310).
  • 10:10 a.m. Cassandra King discusses her late husband's book, A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life by Pat Conroy (Nan A. Talese, $25, 9780385530866).
  • 11:20 a.m. Terry McDonell, author of The Accidental Life: An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101946718).
  • 12:30 p.m. William Daugherty, author of In the Shadow of the Ayatollah: A CIA Hostage in Iran (Naval Institute Press, $12.95, 9781557501691).
  • 1:40 p.m. Gerri Willis, author of Rich Is Not a Four-Letter Word: How to Survive Obamacare, Trump Wall Street, Kick-start Your Retirement, and Achieve Financial Success (Crown Forum, $26, 9781101903797).
  • 2:50 p.m. Dan Slater, author of Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel (Simon & Schuster, $26.95, 9781501126543).

6 p.m. Jon Else, author of True South: Henry Hampton and "Eyes on the Prize," the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement (Viking, $30, 9781101980934), at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Timothy B. Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476714844), at Regulator Bookshop in Durham, N.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and Tuesday at 12 a.m.)

9 p.m. Kevin Deutsch, author of Pill City: How Two Honor Roll Students Foiled the Feds and Built a Drug Empire (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250110039), at the Mysterious Bookshop in New York City. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 a.m.)

10 p.m. Roger Stone, author of The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution (Skyhorse, $29.99, 9781510726925). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Nato Thompson, author of Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life (Melville House, $24.99, 9781612195735), at the Strand in New York City. (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

Sunday, February 19
6 p.m. Steve Early, author of Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City (Beacon Press, $27.95, 9780807094266), at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.

Books & Authors

Awards: BolognaRagazzi Winners; Arabic Fiction Shortlist

Winners have been announced for the 2017 BolognaRagazzi Awards for children's publishing, honoring "the best productions in terms of their graphic-editorial qualities." Organizers noted that the prize "has become a leading international launch pad for authors and illustrators due to the high profile recognition the winners receive during the Bologna Children's Book Fair," which will be held April 3-6. This year's winners are:

Fiction: A Child of Books by Sam Winston and Oliver Jeffers
Nonfiction: The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill
New Horizons ("dedicated to countries with an emerging publishing sector"): La mujer de la guarda by Sara Bertrand, illustrations by Alejandra Acosta
Opera Prima for best debut book: The Museum of Me by Emma Lewis


The shortlist for the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction is:

A Small Death by Mohammed Hasan Alwan (Saudi Arabia)
The Slaves' Pens by Najwa Binshatwan (Libya)
Al-Sabiliat by Ismail Fahd Ismail (Kuwait)
Children of the Ghetto: My Name Is Adam by Elias Khoury (Lebanon)
In the Spider's Chamber by Mohammed Abdel Nabi (Egypt)
The Bookseller's Murder by Saad Mohammed Rahim (Iraq)

The winner will be announced on April 25, on the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, February 20:

A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062356260) creates a story behind the subject of Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting Christina's World.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville, illustrated by Christophe Chaboute (Dark Horse Books, $24.99, 9781506701493) is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic novel.

Humans, Bow Down by James Patterson and Emily Raymond (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316346962) takes place in a grim future where robots have taken over the world. (February 20.)

High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic by Glenn Frankel (Bloomsbury, $19.99, 9781620409480) explores the politics behind the making of the 1952 film High Noon.

Dead Letters: A Novel by Caite Dolan-Leach (Random House, $27, 9780399588853) follows a twin sent on a scavenger hunt after her manipulative sister fakes her death.

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez (Hogarth, $24, 9780451495112) is a collection of 12 short stories from an Argentine author.

The News from the End of the World by Emily Jeanne Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547734415) follows a dysfunctional family reunited on Cape Cod for four days.

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, $19.99, 9781596439504) is a picture-book tribute to the national treasure that's 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper, $35, 9780062464316) looks at the future of human society and evolution.

The Summer Before the War: A Novel by Helen Simonson (Random House, $17, 9780812983203).

Trump's America: Buy This Book and Mexico Will Pay for It by Scott Dikkers (Gallery, $19.99, 9781501172670).

Tulip Fever, based on the novel by Deborah Moggach, opens February 24. Alicia Vikander stars as the young bride of Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz), a wealthy Dutch merchant who commissions a couple's portrait during the 1630s tulip craze.

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:

Little Deaths: A Novel by Emma Flint (Hachette Books, $26, 9780316272476). "In 1965, Ruth Malone, recently separated from her husband, wakes to find her children gone. Both are found dead and Ruth finds herself the prime suspect, tried and convicted by the court of public opinion because she is a single parent and rumors abound about her drinking and dating habits. Flint has created a compelling whodunit based on true events, and I was riveted from page one. This is a literary thriller that will have you parked in your reading chair until you turn the last page!" --Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books, Cable, Wis.

The River at Night: A Novel by Erica Ferencik (Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501143199). "What would you do to save the lives of your friends? In this debut novel, Winifred and her three friends are about to find out. Instead of a trip to a comfortable, fancy resort in some exotic destination, they embark on an excursion to the Allagash wilderness in upstate Maine. What happens next is everyone's nightmare, yet it leads to the kind of wisdom few people ever achieve. This is a tense, disturbing, yet satisfying story of the strength of friendship in the face of a severe challenge." --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.

Dodgers: A Novel by Bill Beverly (Broadway Books, $15, 9781101903759). "Four young black men, following orders, leave their tightly bound South Central Los Angeles community, and drive across the country to perform a hit to prevent a witness from testifying against their boss. They are ghetto born, raised, and trained, so they have outlaw skills and the resulting respect in their community. In wide-open America, they are profoundly out of their comfort zone. What each young man does with his skills, wits, sense of duty, and--for one in particular--a dawning sense of what the future holds for such a lifestyle, forms the core of this powerful novel. Provocative, gripping, and timely, Dodgers is a riveting read that leaves a lasting impression." --Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.

For Ages 4 to 8
Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark (Nancy Paulsen Books, $17.99, 9780399546662). "Plum is everyone's special dog--that is until a new cat moves into the neighborhood. Binky is showered with attention and Plum feels left out and jealous. Binky just wants to be Plum's friend and follows her everywhere, much to Plum's dismay, until her family reminds Plum that she has a big heart and there is plenty of love for both of them. Perfect for families with new siblings!" --Woody Chichester, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, N.Y.

For Ages 9 to 12
NewsPrints by Ru Xu (Graphix, $12.99, 9780545803120). "When newsboy Blue--who is really a girl--stumbles into an apprenticeship with a zany inventor and meets a boy named Crow, she doesn't expect to be dragged into a conspiracy involving her newspaper, her country's military, and dangerous weaponry. But Blue doesn't mind adventure and she's ready to protect her new friend at any cost. Ru Xu's inventive steampunk world is the perfect backdrop for a story about choosing: choosing identity, choosing friends, and choosing to fight and protect your choices. Heartfelt and beautifully illustrated." --Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781616956929). "When Theo is ripped from Griffin's life in a freak accident, the emptiness left behind sends Griffin into a downward emotional spiral. Griffin always believed that even though they broke up when Theo left for college, they would someday end up together. How can you exist when your entire world washes away beneath you? Silvera's book is an unapologetically honest and heart-wrenchingly beautiful story about first love and loss and the cathartic process of diving headfirst into one's grief to come out a better person on the other side. An absolutely stunning novel." --Angelo Santini, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Eggshells

Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (Melville House, $16.99 paperback, 288p., 9781612195971, March 14, 2017)

Caitriona Lally's first novel, Eggshells, portrays an unbalanced but charming narrator stuck in an overwhelmingly complex Dublin, searching clumsily for home. In the opening pages, Vivian settles into the house she's recently inherited from her great-aunt Maud, who "kept chairs the way some people keep cats." This dusty, cluttered house suits the eccentric inheritor, who avoids mirrors and hygiene, preferring to cultivate her own "earthy tang." Vivian believes that she is a changeling, fallen out of a world of fairies and elves and into this one by accident. Her daily chore is to find a magical door through which to reenter her rightful place in that other world.

Unsurprisingly, Vivian's obsessions and whimsies make modern Dublin's other residents uneasy. She has few contacts: her nosy neighbors, given to shaking their heads; a flummoxed social worker; and an impatient older sister: "her world is full of children and doings and action verbs, but I'm uncomfortable with verbs; they expect too much." The sisters share the same name, Vivian, although sharing is not the right word: the older sister comfortably inhabits the name, while Lally's protagonist is forever displaced, lacking an identity of her own.

Vivian walks the city and takes buses and cabs, exploring streets with promising names (Poppintree, Lockkeeper's Walk, Ferrymans Crossing, All Hallows Lane) and performing tricks and charms--circling a particular pole three times, whispering to herself, and otherwise alarming passersby. She maps these routes and analyzes the shapes she's walked, looking for meaning. She advertises her search for a friend named Penelope ("Pennies Need Not Apply"). Vivian is, in her awkward way, a giver: she leaves cryptic but (she believes) encouraging notes in books that she donates to charity shops, and €5 notes in the pockets of cardigans on sale in thrift stores. She makes lists in her notebook--names of birds, favorite sweets, museum artifacts--anywhere she might find weird words and possible anagrams. Vivian's fascination with wordplay echoes Lally's knack for language, and this emphasis is one of the great charms of Eggshells, a sweetly off-kilter novel about loneliness, communication and finding one's place in the world.

Vivian stumbles, and may never find the portal to the place she yearns for. But she makes shaky progress: acquiring a pet goldfish, throwing a dinner party of sorts, finding a new friend with traumas and eccentricities of her own. Eggshells is ultimately a funny, occasionally grim story centering on a sympathetic character who is either disturbed or a changeling from a fanciful world: it is for the reader to decide. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: A narrator who belongs in a fairy tale becomes lost among the indifferent streets of Dublin in this quirky, imaginative debut novel.

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