Also published on this date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017: Maximum Shelf: Book of Joy

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 10, 2017

S&S / Marysue Rucci Books: The Night We Lost Him by Laura Dave

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao

Tommy Nelson: Up Toward the Light by Granger Smith, Illustrated by Laura Watkins

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker


New Memphis Bookstore Has Name, Lease

The new independent bookstore planned for the former Memphis site of Booksellers at Laurelwood, which closed earlier this year, now has a name and a lease, the Memphis Flyer reported. According to Cory Prewitt, COO and marketing director of Laurelwood Shopping Center, a lease was signed Monday for the bookstore, which will be called Novel. Opening date has been set for August 1. Prewitt said the bookshop will be a smaller but upgraded version of Booksellers and a store that "our city deserves." He expects to rehire much of the old Booksellers' staff, including longtimer Mark Frederick.

In March, a group of local investors had announced plans to step in and work to keep a bookstore in the space.

Prewitt, who is one of the investors, recently told the Daily News that the "response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Memphians love bookstores, and the city deserves one that has the capabilities of a larger store and is owned by the community that supports it. It will truly be a locally owned and operated independent bookstore that Memphians will love for many years to come."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Bookbinders Basalt Sets June Opening in Colo.

Owner Catherine Maas plans to open Bookbinders Basalt in June at the Willits Town Center in Basalt, Colo., Aspen Daily News reported. The new bookshop will occupy space next to Midland Clothing Co., and feature book selections for adults and children, magazines, gift items and toys. The store is focusing on areas of local interest, including Western and mountain-themed merchandise.

An announcement of the opening noted that owner Maas "has a unique vision for how a small bookstore can thrive and enhance our community," and "the space is meant to evoke a gracious, old-time bookstore with room to browse, settle into a seat or plop on the floor for kids' story hour." 

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Authors & Publishers Groups Criticize New Amazon Buy Button Policy

Several publishers and authors organizations have officially joined the many book world people criticizing Amazon's new policy allowing third-party booksellers to "bid" for the primary spot in buy buttons. The change was discussed in detail last week in the Huffington Post by author and publisher Brooke Warner.

A statement from the Authors Guild called the move "deeply disturbing" and said it "has the potential to decimate authors' and publishers' earnings from many books, especially backlist books." It noted, too, that the policy--which could result in " 'new' or 'new condition' copies that seem to be available for almost every book" being featured for all buy buttons--might be connected with Amazon's desire to force publishers to use its print-on-demand services, if POD availability will essentially guarantee a top spot on buy buttons. Such an arrangement, the Guild wrote, "looks an awful lot like a 'tying' arrangement under the antitrust law."

The statement concluded: "Amazon has already done enough damage in the book industry. It has devalued books by setting the price and consumer expectations for e-books and hard copy books artificially low, even taking a loss to do so. And it extracts an unreasonable fee from the sale of any book through its site, as compared to the services it provides, and charges extra for things it calls 'marketing services,' such as making a book discoverable on its site. Amazon gets away with this because it has monopoly and monopsony power over the retail book industry. Without a fair and open publishing marketplace, publishers will soon lose the ability to invest in the books that advance our knowledge and culture."

In a statement, the Independent Book Publishers Association said it believes the new Amazon policy "hurts authors and publishers," and outlined many concerns similar to those of the Authors Guild, including that "Amazon, once again, is attempting to drive down the value of books, and therefore intellectual property and creative work in general." The organization emphasized that under the new approach, "publisher listings may fall off the buy page completely--at Amazon's discretion."

The IBPA also observed that "while in some cases authors may still be making royalties off of third party sales, these sellers may also be obtaining books in ways that will not result in author compensation," particularly if those books are used, recycled, hurts from wholesalers and distributors, reviewer copies, etc. It added, "If consumers don't see the option to buy new, from the publisher, then Amazon is promoting piracy. Authors get nothing from used books because the consumer is buying something that's already been bought and tracked as a sale. If this new policy takes hold for most backlist books, authors' and publishers' revenue will dry up, and more and more books are at risk of going out of print more quickly. Publishers will not be able to afford to keep books in print that are not selling on Amazon. So, this policy is essentially driving books to an earlier death--and thereby hurting authors."

And in the U.K., while noting that Amazon's buy button protocols haven't changed, the Society of Authors CEO Nicola Solomon told the Bookseller that the organization is concerned about a flood of cheap books appearing on Amazon. "We suspect that often they are 'leaked' from high discount or special sales deals made by publishers for example to book clubs," she said. "Authors generally receive very low royalty rates on such sales, much less than on a full priced sale of the book and nothing on the resale and of course the publisher suffers in the same way." Another source may be special export editions that either return to the U.K. immediately--or never leave.

She noted, too, that "we have long noticed that paperback copies are usually available on Amazon from other sellers well before they are available from the publishers, often on publication of the hardback. Where do these books come from?"

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

The American Writers Museum to Open in Chicago

At the pre-opening party for the American Writers Museum: (l.-r.) museum founder Malcolm O'Hagan; Andy Anway, chief designer and creator of the exhibits; and board member Roberta Rubin, former owner, the Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka.

The American Writers Museum, the brainchild of retired executive Malcolm O'Hagan that was created with nearly $10 million in privately raised funding, will open in Chicago May 16. The New York Times reported that "rather than a temple to solitary creation, the nearly 11,000 square feet of galleries--housed on the second floor of an office building on North Michigan Avenue, not far from top tourist draws like the Art Institute and Millennium Park--might be seen as a convivial shared apartment."

Eight years ago, O'Hagan incorporated a nonprofit dedicated to the project and hired lead designer Andrew Anway, founder of the Boston firm Amaze Design. Anway organized brainstorming sessions with writers, publishers, scholars, teachers and booksellers in various cities. "One of the things we got asked a lot when we started was whether the museum was going to be an athenaeum, with leather chairs and lots of oak," he said. "That was something we really wanted to dispel. We want people who come here to have different kinds of experiences around literature."

The museum features "interactive touch screens and high-tech multimedia installations galore, like a mesmerizing Word Waterfall, in which a wall of densely packed, seemingly random words is revealed, through a constantly looping light projection, to contain resonant literary quotations," the Times wrote. "Homier touches" include cozy couches in the children's literature gallery and "even the occasional smell of cookies" that fill the air when a visitor pushes the plaque for Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

On loan to the museum for the first six months is the 120-foot scroll on which Jack Kerouac wrote his iconic novel On the Road, "a treasure that seems perfectly matched to the museum's populist, D.I.Y. spirit--and not just because it's displayed near a table of vintage typewriters, loaded with paper and ready for visitors to use," the Times noted.

"It really illustrates the idea of process, the way that Kerouac taped together tracing paper, cut it and then went nuts," said Carey Cranston, the museum's president. "To be able to physically look down and see the amount of work that went into it is a great way to show what writers actually do."

Roberta Rubin, former longtime owner of the Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka, Ill., commented: "I have been on the board of the American Writers Museum since it was chosen to be located in Chicago, three years ago. I am excited that Chicago responded to supporting a museum such as ours--a first in this country. As Carey Cranston (our president) says, 'Beyond our exhibits, I am just as excited about the programming we look to bring into the space. We are working with authors and book people to create opportunities for readings, dialogues, and workshops that will engage and inspire our membership in exciting new ways.' I hope you will visit the museum in the near future and share in the excitement we feel as it opens its doors to a new and creative experience for everyone."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Bonnier Consolidates U.K. Divisions

Perminder Mann

Bonnier Publishing has consolidated its U.K. divisions under Perminder Mann, who has been promoted to head of the U.K. group, as it prepares for "significant growth" in Britain, the Bookseller reported. Mann will now oversee Bonnier Zaffre, IglooBooks and Kings Road Publishing, where she was already CEO. Dan Shepherd has left his position as CEO of IglooBooks after a year in the role and a search is underway for his replacement.

Bonnier Publishing's global activities have been split into three trading divisions: Bonnier Publishing USA, led by Shimul Tolia; Bonnier Publishing Australia, led by Natasha Besliev; and Bonnier Publishing U.K.

"As we are about to expand very rapidly in the U.K. with some major authors and titles about to be announced, we need a tighter more simple structure which will also help clear up the confusion which still exists externally in relation to Bonnier," said Richard Johnson, Bonnier Publishing group CEO. "Perminder was an easy choice for me to make to head this group up as she is clearly one of the major rising stars in U.K. publishing today."


Image of the day: Booktopia

Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vt., hosted Booktopia 2017, a two-day event featuring nine authors presenting their books in various venues. More than 100 people attended. Pictured: Jason Rekulak (The Impossible Fortress), Jessica Shattuck (Women in the Castle), Lisa Ko (The Leavers), Peter Heller (Celine), Kathleen Rooney (Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk), Lauren Grodstein (Our Short History), Victor Lodato (Edgar and Lucy), Will Schwalbe (Books for Living) and Jim Shepard (The World to Come).

Happy 60th Birthday, Country Bookshelf!

Congratulations to Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, Mont., which is celebrating is 60th anniversary this year. The Daily Chronicle reported that on Independent Bookstore Day, "customers crowded in the two-story shop, sipping refreshments, listening to authors speak and commemorating another year in business for the landmark downtown shop."

"It's just such an honor that Bozeman has supported us for all these years," said owner Ariana Paliobagis. "We're going for another 60 as far as we're concerned."

The store opened in 1957 as the Bookshelf in a building off Tracy Avenue, before relocating to Babcock Street, where it was renamed White Chapel Books. In 1986, the bookshop moved back downtown and eventually became Country Bookshelf.

Noting that she wants Country Bookshelf to be a "community living room" for the Gallatin Valley, Paliobagis said that to survive, indie booksellers must "be open to adapting and looking for creative ways to engage with the community. Independent bookstores that have weathered the storms of the last 10 years have done so because they have strong connections with their communities.... It's about customer service; the personal touch that you can't get from a big online retailer. We try to have the best staff who are knowledgeable and that's not something you get online."

Ken Oxenreider Retiring from S&S Audio

Ken Oxenreider, v-p, audio sales, at Simon & Schuster, is retiring on June 30. He joined S&S in 1976 as a mass market sales rep for Pocket Books. He has sold audiobooks in one form or another since S&S's audio division published its first title in 1985. For the last 20 years has been devoted exclusively to audiobooks and Pimsleur language programs.

In a memo to staff, Christopher Lynch, president and publisher of S&S Audio, commented in part: "On a personal level, Ken's strategic thinking and his desire to push the envelope in pursuit of new revenue have been invaluable to me as has his wise counsel and good humor. Rare was the meeting with Ken without laughter, often brought on by his amazing gift for acronyms that created a unique KO language that only people within the Audio group could truly appreciate.  We will miss him for all of these reasons and for the simple fact that he took as much joy in his work as anyone I've ever known.

"As Ken answers the call of the 3G's (Grandchildren, Golf and Gallivanting), please join me in thanking and congratulating Ken on an outstanding, one-of-a-kind, Simon & Schuster career."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Walter Isaacson Talks About Einstein

NPR's Morning Edition: Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476753836).

CBS This Morning: Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9780743264747). He will also appear today on Morning Joe and Bloomberg Surveillance.

MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews: David McCullough, author of The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781501174216).

Daily Show: D.L. Hughley, author of Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062399793).

TV: Sharp Objects; The Passage

David Sullivan (Flaked), Reagan Pasternak (Being Erica), Sydney Sweeney (Under the Silver Lake) and Hilary Ward (All the Way) will have recurring roles opposite Amy Adams in HBO's eight-episode series Sharp Objects, based on the book by Gillian Flynn, Deadline reported. Sharp Objects is written by Marti Noxon and directed by Jean Marc Vallée.


Fox has ordered a second script for The Passage, a "high-profile drama pilot" adapted from Justin Cronin's fantasy book trilogy. Deadline reported that due to the scope of the project, "which requires longer lead time, the pilot's production was shifted to summer." The Passage, which will be directed by Marcos Siega, "is eyed for a potential midseason launch," Deadline wrote, adding that a "second finished script would help hit the ground running if the pilot is picked up to series."

Books & Authors

Awards: Ruth Lilly Poetry; Maxwell E. Perkins Fiction; Branford Boase

Joy Harjo has won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which honors "a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant singular recognition." The award is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It will be presented June 12 during a ceremony at the Poetry Foundation.

Poetry editor Don Share commented: " 'History,' Joy Harjo writes, 'is right here, right now. We are in it; we are making it.' And we are lucky to be living in a time during which Harjo is making poetry of that history as we live it. Her work is a thrilling and necessary antidote to false news, the ephemera of digital celebrity, and other derelictions. It pushes vigorously back against forgetfulness, injustice, and negligence at every level of contemporary life. Her work moves us because it is in the continual motion of bringing forward, with grace but also acuity, our collective story, always in progress."


Morgan Entrekin, CEO and publisher of Grove Atlantic, has won the 2017 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction, sponsored by the Center for Fiction. The award, which recognizes "an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the United States," will be presented at the Center's December 5 Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City.


A shortlist has been released for the 2017 Branford Boase Award, which "celebrates the most promising book for seven-year-olds and upwards written by a first-time novelist and also highlights the importance of the editor in the development of new authors." The winning writer, who will be announced July 5 in London, is awarded £1,000 (about $1,300). Both author and editor receive a hand-crafted silver-inlaid box. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, edited by Rebecca Hill
We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd, edited by Niamh Mulvey
Little Bits of Sky by S.E. Durrant, edited by Kirsty Stansfield
The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster, edited by Rachel Mann
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, edited by Rachel Leyson
Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard, edited by Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyson
Riverkeep by Martin Stewart, edited by Shannon Cullen and Sharyn November 

Reading with... Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia is the author of novels for young adults and middle grade readers. The spell was cast early when her mother gave her wooden alphabet blocks, and her sister Rosalind slid picture books to her through crib slats. By age 12, she was learning how to prepare and send manuscripts to publishers and writing 500 words a night in preparation for her life as a writer. Known for her 1960s trilogy based on the Gaither sisters, who first appear in One Crazy Summer, Williams-Garcia decided it was time to switch gears and write a male-centered middle grade novel. In Clayton Byrd Goes Underground (Amistad Press, May 9, 2017), "the blues meets old school hip-hop" when grieving Clayton runs away from home. Armed with a harmonica and the words of his grandfather, Clayton plays a blues song of his own.

On your nightstand now:

At Fault by Kate Chopin. Whether it's for my picture book Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street, or when I'm trying to perfect my gumbo, I'm always dreaming of Louisiana in one form or another. Right now, I'm reading At Fault, as well as revisiting Chopin's The Awakening and a few short stories to get the manner, mores and self-determination of women of a certain class in 19th-century Louisiana. At Fault was either panned or ignored during its day, but I glean a lot from it.

Favorite book when you were a child:

31 Brothers and Sisters by Reba Paef Mirsky was a godsend when I was a kid. Nomusa, daughter of a Zulu chief, was dark skinned, had short hair and went on the hunt with her father, which was unheard of. Pair Nomusa with a girl, same description, who shined her dad's army boots and watched boxing and football with him, and we're staring at my mirror! Published in the 1950s, there was no one else like Nomusa in books. I am forever grateful my school librarian put this book in my hands.

Your top five authors:

Toni Morrison was at the top of a survey I'd given myself when I finished college. As much as I was glad to be done with the dead white guys and gals, I learned to appreciate Faulkner, D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf as I sank my teeth into Morrison. I learned to read like a writer.

Zora Neale Hurston knew my people. Not personally. She never laid eyes on them, but her larger than life depictions and even the softer souls were from stories my grandmother had told us about long gone relatives.

Ntozake Shange changed everything for me! She changed the way I heard and looked at text. It was as though words had teeth, womb and a spirit. I devoured for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow was enuf, Betsey Brown and Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo. After having been in school for what seemed an eternity, I marveled at every page and thought, Can you do this?

Jacqueline Woodson has a permanent spot on my nightstand. You know how you take two pills and call the doctor in the morning? I self-prescribe Woodson before bed for whatever ails my writing, from clunkiness to superficiality. I wake up ready to rewrite.

Kate DiCamillo can tell a story! Whether the fictional plain is fanciful or down-to-earth. I reserve rereads of Kate DiCamillo's work as special treats when I need to be enchanted.

I like male authors too. I do! But you asked for my top five.

Book you've faked reading:

Watership Down by Richard Adams. Even though it was the hot new book and I was assured I'd like it because I liked Tolkien, I just didn't have the patience for it in high school. Not when there was Piri Thomas's Down these Mean Streets and scads of knitting books. Survival of the rabbit kingdom? Really? Fast-forward four decades. I'd just finished what I hoped was the final draft of my sci-fi-ish novel The Place of All Games (still working on it). Watership Down was on my list of recommended reads suggested by my VCFA colleagues. Forty years later, I got into the language, the lore and the hierarchy. Who knew?

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. She does everything right! And of course, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which is more than necessary. It's a bridge against the wall.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Heart Has Its Reasons by María Dueñas. A betrayed college professor relocates to rebuild her life and take on the onerous research of a deceased literary figure. I hoped for a little heartbreak and the kind of immersive reading about university culture that would change the way I saw academic passion after having been around doctoral candidates. Halfway in, I thought, "The ex-husband had his reasons."

Book you hid from your parents:

The Catcher in the Rye. I was 13, reading Erich Segal's Love Story, Harold Robbins's The Carpetbaggers and Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead out in the open. No one said a thing. But when my older sister said her class was assigned The Catcher in the Rye, my father put his foot down. "You should read the classics like Ivanhoe." (I can't forget him saying that.) I must have read Catcher in one night by flashlight.

Book that changed your life:

for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow was enuf by Ntozake Shange. I sat inside the Booth Theatre on Broadway watching this play as a junior in college. It wasn't until I bought the book and saw the arrangement of the words, the smallness of them--and yet heard their screams and testimonies--that I thought, "This is big!" During the '70s and '80s, Ntozake Shange's work was critiqued as the work that epitomized the war between black women and black men. Instead of joining in the debate--mainly between my sorority and a fraternity--I studied its form and Ntozake's choices.

Favorite line from a book:

"Don't love nothing," spoken by ex-slave Ella in Toni Morrison's Beloved, when she first lays eyes on Seethe's newly born baby. This line reverberates through other Morrison novels, The Bluest Eye, Paradise, A Mercy, and on and on. It's both a dare and a warning, but in the grand scheme, an illumination.

Five books you'll never part with:

Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons. I loved it some 20 years ago when my friend Sharyn November passed it to me, and I love it now. There's something about unvarnished folk that clings to the soul. The matriarch, Charlie Kate, is as down to the bone as they come. And of course, there's all those natural healing recipes. Trust me; if I have an ailment, I'm shaking out herbs for a healing tea.

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson. Forget the glorious prose Jackie spins in the '70s backdrop of urban decay. Every time I read this book, I just know the Jesus Boy will in fact turn out to be Jesus. My heart becomes a hopeful 10-year-old's heart.

The Bible. There is so much in these hotel Gideon leave-behinds, but I read the Bible daily. Ecclesiastes goes a long way with me. I'm sure it's how I've learned to laugh as an adult.

The Tiger Rising. I love how Kate DiCamillo paints hardscrabble childhood. I feel those textures, from scars to about-to-fall-cigarette ash. And that Sistine Bailey is a sidewinder in a chiffon dress!

Beloved by Toni Morrison is the book I read from time to time to learn more about my own growth. Beloved opens, closes and reopens each time I read it. Sometimes I read it as a technician. Sometimes, as I wander through life. The reader in me is always enthralled, horrified and enlightened.

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

Their Eyes Were Watching God. This was probably the first romance of self for the black woman in America, but it was also the first romantic depiction between black woman and man that I had read. Through it, I first fell in love with the poetry on the page. But it also helped me to think about the balance between humanism and sentiment. Their Eyes Were Watching God made me strive to write truer and to resist myself when necessary.

Book Review

Children's Review: The Quest for Z

The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli (Penguin, $17.99 hardcover, 48p., ages 7-10, 9780670016532, June 13, 2017)

Facing vampire bats, anacondas, assassin bugs and locals with poison-tipped arrows, a real-life Indiana Jones named Percy Fawcett mapped and explored the furthest recesses of the Amazon rain forest for two decades in the early 1900s. After his initial years in South America surveying borders and scouting for wildlife for the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), Fawcett became convinced of the existence of a great mythical city he called Z. Returning again and again to Bolivia, Peru and Brazil, the British explorer and his fellow RGS scientists and mapmakers ventured ever deeper into the jungle in search of the ancient city he believed had been built by an advanced civilization thousands of years ago. "He pictured a paradise of grand temples and palaces carved from stone, hidden from modern man deep within the jungle."

Unfortunately, his bosses at the RGS were not easily persuaded, so Fawcett got creative with his funding and travel logistics and headed back to the rain forest again in 1925. This time traveling with only his son Jack and Jack's childhood friend Raleigh Rimell, plus two local men acting as guides, and two dogs, four horses and eight donkeys, Fawcett sent reports of their progress back to England where they were printed in newspapers, thrilling eager readers. After one final dramatic letter home--"I expect to be in touch with the old civilization within a month and to be at the main objective in August. Thereafter, our fate is in the lap of the gods"--Fawcett and his crew disappeared, never to be heard from again.

In this fascinating and unusual picture book, Greg Pizzoli (Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower; Number One Sam; The Watermelon Seed) tells the true story of Percy Fawcett, a man who "thrived in the jungle," successfully disarming angry natives by singing a medley of British songs, accompanied by accordion, and fighting off a giant anaconda while in a canoe fashioned from fallen trees. Fawcett devoted his life--literally, at the end--to his quest for fame and fortune as much as for the lost city of Z.

With his matte, mixed-media artwork, heavy on the greens, Pizzoli makes Fawcett's fantastic story especially accessible to younger readers who, as they learn about the explorer's daring and sometimes terrifying exploits, will be somewhat comforted by the funny, simple little illustrations of people and wildlife. Informative sidebars give background facts about mosquitoes, other explorers and the Royal Geographic Society, while concluding notes and a glossary provide additional resources and the rather anticlimactically presented news that archeologists and researchers in recent years have used technology such as radar imaging and satellite photos to prove conclusively that Fawcett was right all along--there had been civilizations up to 10,000 years ago just where he thought there were, although they may not have been the elaborate stone cities he envisioned. Still, artifacts from the area reveal that these ancient people "made pottery, built roads, and even designed bridges!"

Adventurers of the armchair and serpent-slaying variety alike will clamor to travel with Pizzoli on Fawcett's magical but deadly real Quest for Z. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: A remarkable lifelong quest takes an explorer into the Amazon jungle in search of an ancient lost city in this thrilling picture book biography.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in April

The following were the most popular book club books during April based on votes from book club readers in more than 35,000 book clubs registered at

1. A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
2. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
4. Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
6. Ordinary Grace: A Novel by William Kent Krueger
7. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
8. Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett
9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
10. News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Rising Stars:
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen

[Many thanks to!]

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