Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 30, 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


Michigan's Books and More to Become Stirling Books and Brew

Beginning this Saturday, April 1, Books and More, Albion, Mich., will temporarily close to undergo "a top-to-bottom renovation" and then reopen as Stirling Books and Brew, according to the Albion Pleiad, the student newspaper of Albion College.

Dorothy Dickerson, who has owned Books and More for 17 years, has sold the building and store to Jim and Staci Stuart; she and the staff will continue to work at the revamped store.

The Stuarts plan to decorate the space with "a European feel," using warm colors and adding leather chairs and couches. The outside of the store will also be changed. The YA and children's sections will expand, and the store, which sells new and used books, will launch a trade-in credit program. The store also features locally made gifts such as mugs, vases, oil decanters and more.

The store's café will increase its offerings, including bubble tea, juices and bigger selections of coffee and baked goods. The Stuarts aim to encourage community groups to meet at the store and will have live music and author events.

"We think of ourselves as a bookstore and a coffee shop, but we want to be a venue," Jim Stuart told the paper. "Our goal for the first year is to get back to breaking even because right now [Books and More] is not. That's why it's so important to us to get people through the door. We want it to be a place people want to hang out."

The Stuarts plan eventually to expand the store into open space next door, which also needs renovation. Stirling Books and Brew is scheduled to open on May 1.

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

Seattle's Peter Miller Books Moves to Pioneer Square

photo: Ric Peterson

Peter Miller Books, the Seattle, Wash., bookstore that specializes in architectural and design books and supplies, is celebrating its move to new quarters, in Pioneer Square, with a toast tomorrow, Friday, March 31, at "about 6 p.m."

As the store wrote, "The glass is finally in, the 40-year-old doors are plumb and hung, the bookcases freshly squared up and in line and restocked. A handsome bunker on the moors and a true new home for the shop."

Peter Miller added that the store will serve "some wine, a fine gift from David Oldham, who worked for me in Pioneer Square 40 years ago as a rebellious teenager."

Peter Miller Books' new address is 304 Alaskan Way South, Post Alley, Seattle, Wash. 98104.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Bob Dylan Finally to Accept His Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan (via)

After months of speculation, Bob Dylan will formally accept his Nobel Prize for Literature this weekend, though without a Nobel Lecture. On the Swedish Academy blog yesterday, Nobel spokesperson Sara Danius, permanent secretary at the Swedish Academy, wrote: "In a few days Bob Dylan will visit Stockholm and give two concerts. The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend and will show up at one of the performances. Please note that no Nobel Lecture will be held. The Academy has reason to believe that a taped version will be sent at a later point....

"The good news is that the Swedish Academy and Bob Dylan have decided to meet this weekend. The Academy will then hand over Dylan's Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature. The setting will be small and intimate, and no media will be present; only Bob Dylan and members of the Academy will attend, all according to Dylan's wishes." 

And where was Dylan after the Nobel was announced last fall? Yesterday, NPR offered one clue: "Amidst the criticism and his speechlessness, Dylan had been revisiting his own development. Nobody seemed to notice at the time, though proof of it has been out in plain view since late autumn. A day after the Nobel announcement, during a tour stop in Tulsa, Okla.--where his own archives will live--Dylan paid a visit to the archives of Woody Guthrie, the artist who had as profound an influence on his artistic development as anyone."

Bechdel Named Vermont Cartoonist Laureate

Alison Bechdel

Next Thursday, Edward Koren "will pass the torch--er, laurels--to his successor, Alison Bechdel, as Vermont Cartoonist Laureate" in a ceremony at the Statehouse, Seven Days reported. The creator of the syndicated comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," and author of the graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, "will become the third cartoonist laureate in the only state to regularly appoint one."

"It seemed obvious she could have been the choice from the get-go--we're lucky to have so many great cartoonists in the state," said James Sturm, co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies, which originated the initiative a decade ago. "Besides all her accolades and fame, she's really a cartoonist's cartoonist. Cartooning is just essential to who she is and how she makes sense of the world."

In a joint statement, Vermont's congressional delegation said: "For three decades, Ms. Bechdel's talents have been well known to Vermonters, and we have proudly watched her achieve the national acclaim she deserves. Her scope of work--from books to Broadway--has added to our national discourse."

Obituary Note: William McPherson

William McPherson, a Pulitzer-winning literary critic and author "who chronicled his decline into poverty," died March 28, the Washington Post reported. He was 84. McPherson was editor of the Post's Book World section in the 1970s and wrote two novels in the 1980s: Testing the Current, which was reissued in 2013 by New York Review Books Classics, and To the Sargasso Sea.

For his book reviews, McPherson applied what the 1977 Pulitzer jury described as a "broad literary and historic perspective" to authors. In a biographical sketch for the Pulitzer, McPherson wrote: "Grateful to be able to pick the books he likes. Does not enjoy reviewing books he does not like." Soon after his win, he moved to the Post's editorial page staff as a letters editor and occasional columnist. "I didn't want to edit Book World anymore," he later told the Chicago Tribune, "because I knew how hard it was to write a book, and I didn't want to criticize other books."

McPherson "was 53 and at the pinnacle of his craft when he left the Post in 1987 to seek adventure in Eastern Europe ahead of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellite countries," the Post noted, adding that "bad investment decisions and health reversals shriveled his savings. To considerable attention, he wrote a self-lacerating essay in 2014 about his slide into what he called the 'upper edge of poverty.' " 


Cool Idea of the Day: Booksellers Read Their Own Work

Tomorrow, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., is celebrating its fourth anniversary by donating all proceeds to SafeHouse Center and the Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan "to give back to this community that has supported us so much." At 7 p.m., former and current Literati booksellers, including Gina Balibrera, Russell Brakefield, John Ganiard, Sam Krowchenko, Lillian Li and Mairead Small Staid, will read their original poetry and prose.

A Look at Dallas's 'Dynamic' Indie Bookstore Scene

In a look at the "dynamic" independent bookstore scene in Dallas, Tex., the Dallas News noted that Deep Vellum Books is expanding in the coming month into space next door. It's knocking down a wall and building a new doorway and creating more space for events and books.

"The literary community has opened up its arms and said, 'We want an independent bookstore that carries books we can't find on Amazon,' " co-founder Anne Hollander said. "We've proven the model."

In other news, Interabang Books expects to open in early June, with about 17,000 titles. Demolition work has been completed, and construction is about to begin. "We're going full throttle," co-owner and book buyer Lori Feathers told the paper.

Bookmasters Adds Three Publishers

Bookmasters has added the following distribution clients:

Bitmap Books, London, which publishes retro gaming books covering the early days of home computers and consoles. (Effective last December for the U.S. and Canada.)

KiCam Projects, Georgetown, Ohio, which publishes stories of survival and recovery from illness, addiction, tragedy, or other challenges. (Effective last January, worldwide.)

Dalton Windsor, the U.S. imprint of Forgotten Books, London, which specializes in the restoration of classic and public domain titles, both fiction and nonfiction. (Effective last February for Dalton Windsor titles worldwide.)

Personnel Changes at AdventureKEEN; Ingram; Scholastic

At AdventureKEEN:

Meredith Hutchins has joined the company as director of sales. She was formerly national key accounts manager at Arcadia Publishing, where she has been for the past four years. She will work from her home office in Charleston, S.C.

Hutchins replaces Julie Arthur, who has retired after six years with AdventureKEEN. Before that, she had worked at Barnes & Noble for 31 years, most recently as the Midwest regional buyer in Minneapolis.


At Ingram Content Group:

Lisa Tomasello has joined the company as director of mass merchandisers sales. She formerly was senior national accounts manager at Macmillan.

Elenita Chmilowski has been named library marketing manager. She was formerly national accounts manager for Perseus Distribution and director of library sales for Perseus Books Group.

Marissa Baker has been named Barnes & Noble national account manager for Perseus Distribution. Before joining Ingram, she worked at Penguin Random House for seven years, more recently in sales to Walmart, B&N College and Nook.

Mark Hunt has been named a senior national sales manager for Lightning Source, working in the London office. He has more than 20 years of experience in the book industry and has worked at Wiley, Elsevier and Neilsen BookData.

Katie Edwards has been promoted to client manager for Ingram Publisher Services. Most recently, she managed the combined Berkeley, Calif., office for Ingram Publisher Services and PGW.

Sanford Hernandez has been promoted to manager, specialty retail for Ingram Publisher Services. He previously focused on special sales for Ingram.

Tricia Remark has been named marketing manager for international sales at Ingram Publisher Services in the New York office. She was formerly promotions and trade show manager at Workman Publishing.


At Scholastic Trade:

Elizabeth Whiting has been promoted to senior director, national accounts. She was previously director.

Sue Flynn has been promoted to director, field sales. She was previously district sales manager.

Nikki Mutch has been promoted to senior manager, field brand marketing. She was previously district sales manager.

Meaghan Hilton has been promoted to special markets sales manager, retail & premium. She was previously associate manager, special markets retail.

Tracy Bozentka has been promoted to special markets manager, educational. She was previously sales representative, special markets.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Emil Ferris on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics, $39.99, 9781606999592).

Today Show: Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29, 9780544133310).

Good Morning America: Beth Kobliner, author of Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parents' Guide for Kids 3 to 23 (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9781476766812).

The View: Katey Sagal, author of Grace Notes: My Recollections (Gallery, $26, 9781476796710).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Chris Hayes, author of A Colony in a Nation (Norton, $26.95, 9780393254228).

This Weekend on Book TV: In-Depth with Annie Jacobsen

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, April 1
7 p.m. Tom Clavin, author of Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250071484), at Watermark Books and Cafe in Wichita, Kan. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

8 p.m. Ashley McGuire, author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female (Regnery, $27.99, 9781621575818). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:30 a.m.)

9 p.m. Ganesh Sitaraman, author of The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic (Knopf, $28, 9780451493910), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

10 p.m. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, author of Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy (The New Press, $27.95, 9781620972076). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Craig Shirley, author of Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980 (Broadside, $29.99, 9780062456557). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:45 p.m.)

Sunday, April 2
12 a.m. David France, author of How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS (Knopf, $30, 9780307700636). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:15 p.m.)

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Annie Jacobsen, author of Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316349369). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

7 p.m. Rebecca Solnit, author of The Mother of All Questions: Further Reports from the Feminist Revolutions (Haymarket, $14.95, 9781608467402), at the Booksmith in San Francisco, Calif.

10 p.m. Rod Pyle, author of Amazing Stories of the Space Age: True Tales of Nazis in Orbit, Soldiers on the Moon, Orphaned Martian Robots, and Other Fascinating Accounts from the Annals of Spaceflight (Prometheus Books, $18, 9781633882218), at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif.

Books & Authors

Awards: Ted Hughes; RSL Encore

The winner of the £5,000 (about $6,215) 2016 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry is Hollie McNish for her poetic memoir Nobody Told Me.


The shortlist for the Royal Society of Literature's £10,000 (about $12,420) Encore Award, given to the best second novel of the year, is:

Jenni Fagan for The Sunlight Pilgrims
Paul Kingsnorth for Beast
Ian McGuire for The North Water
Eimear McBride for The Lesser Bohemians
Sarah Perry for The Essex Serpent
Sara Taylor for The Lauras

The winners will be announced on April 5.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 4:

Earthly Remains: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25, 9780802126474) is the 26th mystery with Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti.

All by Myself, Alone: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781501131110) is a murder mystery set on a luxurious cruise ship.

Nevertheless: A Memoir by Alec Baldwin (Harper, $28.99, 9780062409706) discusses the actor's private struggles and public performances.

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $20, 9780735213586) advocates forgiveness and being less judgmental, among other spiritual advice.

Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein (Norton, $29.95, 9780393239416) explores the 1877 war between Nez Perce Native Americans and the U.S. Army in the Pacific Northwest.

Sympathy: A Novel by Olivia Sudjic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544836594) follows an English woman in New York who becomes obsessed with a Japanese writer living nearby.

Tell Me How This Ends Well: A Novel by David Samuel Levinson (Hogarth, $27, 9780451496881) takes place in a 2022 America rife with anti-Semitism, where a Jewish family in Los Angeles plots against their tyrannical father.

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith (Random House, $32, 9781400067909) is a biography of Britain's heir to the throne.

Gem and Dixie by Sara Zarr (Balzer + Bray, $17.95, 9780062434593) is a YA novel about two sisters who seek security and trust despite their unstable family life.

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Adam Rex (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062438898) is a picture book relating the epic tale of the origin of the playground decision-making game.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, $17, 9781501173219).

Lift Off: From the Classroom to the Stars by Donovan Livingston and Wes Moore (Spiegel & Grau, $10, 9780399591372).

Foxlowe: A Novel by Eleanor Wasserberg (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143111856).

'Most Blessed of the Patriarchs': Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf (Liveright, $17.95, 9781631492518).

The Case for Christ, based on the book by Lee Strobel, opens April 7. Mike Vogel stars as a reporter investigating Jesus Christ. A movie tie-in version (Zondervan, $16.99, 9780310350576) is available.

Their Finest, based on the novel by Lissa Evans, opens April 7. Gemma Arterton stars as a British copy writer asked to write a morale-boosting propaganda film during the Blitz. A movie tie-in version (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062414915) 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:

Close Enough to Touch: A Novel by Colleen Oakley (Gallery, $24.99, 9781501139260). "It was just a kiss, but it nearly killed her. Jubilee is allergic to people. She can't be touched by strangers, well-meaning or not. She retreats into her shell, away from the world, but her high school years pass, then her parents are gone, and, finally, she must move out into the world or die. She finds a home for her quiet life in a library, until Eric finds her and insists that she discover the truth of a life lived without fear. Close Enough is filled with real life, real people, and the search for happiness that we all recognize. It is a truly moving story from a rare gem of an author." --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan (Norton, $27.95, 9780393246438). "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is the most evenhanded piece of ecological writing I've come across in a long time. It is an excellent account of the effects humankind has upon nature, in this case the Great Lakes, and of nature's own resiliency." --Pete Mock, McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, N.C.

Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson (Norton, $16.95, 9780393353587). "Eruption is everything a nonfiction book should be: Marvelous storytelling mixed with a great cast of characters, fascinating science, and little-known history. Anyone with even a passing interest in the Pacific Northwest or volcanoes will love this book. I read it in three long, satisfying gulps, and, like all great books, its stories linger in the mind long after you've read the last page." --Tom Campbell, The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora (Nancy Paulsen, $17.99, 9780399173844). "The day is done, and Lala's village prepares to go to bed. As her mother and father call her in, Lala stops again and again (to her parents' annoyance) to say goodnight to the fish, the cat, the ants, and the rocks. Finally, she's ready. She crawls into bed and says goodnight to her book, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Rachel Isadora's beautiful pastel illustrations bring to life the African savannah and her characters. I Just Want to Say Good Night is sure to tug on your heartstrings." --Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 9 to 12
Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow, $18.95, 9781910620137). "Nightlights is a stunning, richly detailed ode to the power of creativity to triumph over loneliness and self-doubt. With gorgeous illustrations that evoke the fantastic imagination of Miyazaki, Alvarez builds an enchanting story full of sylphs, school troubles, and one adorable pigtailed heroine. LOVE!" --Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale (Margaret K. McElderry, $17.99, 9781481488419). "In a world ruled by superstition, Alys is taught to fear the forest around her village, the mysterious beast who lives within, and the 'soul eaters' who kill by taking the souls of anyone who crosses their paths. One night, Alys is the sole witness to the destruction of her village by the soul eaters, with no adults left alive. Alys and the other children are sent to a neighboring village with strict religious laws against the Beast, the forest, and anything unusual. As she grows older, Alys begins to fear she has more in common with the Beast and the soul eaters than the other villagers. The Beast Is an Animal is creepy, unsettling, and suspenseful in the best way." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan (Lake Union Publishing, $14.95 paperback, 524p., 9781503943377, May 1, 2017)

Set in Milan, Italy, and the surrounding countryside during the last two years of the World War II, Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan tells in novel form the true story of Pino Lella, a young man caught up in a world of espionage, patriotism and love. As Nazis infiltrate and take command of Milan, Pino's aunt and uncle continue to run their leather goods shop, selling fine handmade products to the wealthy of the city, as well as to the Nazis.

Pino is startled to see the Germans, but he is young and his mind quickly turns to Anna, the beautiful woman he met earlier. The war is closing in on the city, but he can ignore it--until the night Milan is bombed, and Pino and his younger brother, Mimo, narrowly miss dying in a movie theater. For their safety, Pino and Mimo are sent to a camp in the Alps run by priests, where Pino frets about his inability to do anything for the war effort. Then, he is given a series of tasks by the head priest, which changes Pino's outlook. He also learns to drive, a skill that aids him tremendously when he returns to Milan and enlists in the Fascist army to avoid being sent to the Eastern Front. Assigned as driver to one of the highest-ranking Nazis in Milan, Pino uses his position to help the Resistance.

Throughout this taut thriller, Sullivan has interwoven numerous small details of life during the war, based on interviews with Pino Lella and countless hours of research in archives and books. He includes the plight of Jews and others captured and enslaved by the Germans; the constant tension and fear the Italians lived in as the battle for Italy raged around them; and the destruction from the Allies dropping bombs night after night as they advanced toward Milan. Sullivan counters this heaviness with the intricately woven love story of Pino and Anna, who continue to believe in a future and its myriad possibilities, despite the horrors they witness unfolding around them.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky tells an exciting and previously unknown tale of a young man determined to help his country in any way he could. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: Set during World War II, Beneath a Scarlet Sky tells the true story of one young Italian's efforts to thwart the Nazis.

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