Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 17, 2017

Yen Press: The God of Nishi-Yuigahama Station by Takeshi Murase, Translated by Guiseppe Di Martino

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

St. Martin's Press: Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen

Quotation of the Day

ALA: 'We Stand in Solidarity'

"The ALA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost and injured during this weekend's protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will not forget their efforts to enlighten and safeguard their communities from bigotry while opposing racist, anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, and anti-Semitic violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of Virginia as well as anyone who protests hate and fights for equity, diversity and inclusion.

"The vile and racist actions and messages of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are in stark opposition to the ALA's core values. No matter the venue or the circumstance, we condemn any form of intimidation or discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our differences should be celebrated, and mutual respect and understanding should serve as the norms within our society...."

--The American Library Association's statement regarding the weekend's tragic violence in Charlottesville, Va.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Taking Action: Maine's Print Bookstore Supports Charlottesville

"After the horrific events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend and President Trump's refusal to condemn white supremacist activity," Emily Russo and Josh Christie, owners of Print: A Bookstore, Portland, Maine, have decided, through the end of the year, to donate $5 from the sale of every copy of We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates (being published by One World on October 3) to the Charlottesville nonprofit African American Teaching Fellows, which seeks to increase diversity among teaching staff.

"As store owners, we want to use whatever influence we may have to continue to fight for equality," Russo and Christie added.

GLOW: Torrey House Press: Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell's Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River by Zak Podmore

Mississippi's Square Books: Tax-Free Books, Not Just Tax-Free Guns

From August 24 to 27, Square Books in Oxford, Miss., will run a First Amendment Sales Tax Holiday sale, giving customers 7% off of book purchases for the entire weekend, effectively nullifying the state's sales tax. The sale will occur during the same weekend as Mississippi's official Second Amendment sales tax holiday, which grants sales tax amnesty for purchases of guns, ammunition and certain hunting supplies. Store owner Richard Howorth said the sale gives his staff the opportunity to "promote the importance of the First Amendment, free expression, and the freedom to write and read what you choose," and added that he hopes the event will help encourage the state legislature to someday create a similar tax holiday for the sale of books.

"Nobody dislikes the idea of getting 7% off their purchase, and we are sure to explain that it's not an actual tax amnesty, but we are paying for our customers the tax they ordinarily would be required to pay," explained Howorth. "It keeps the conversation positive, and makes it unnecessary for us to whine and say, 'Isn't it annoying that the legislature has tax amnesty on guns and bullets, but not on books,' because it's obvious."

Square Books held its first such sale last year, in response to the Mississippi state legislature announcing the Second Amendment tax holiday. Last year's First Amendment sale was for one day only, but the event proved popular and, according to Howorth, sales were up 10% compared to that day the previous year, which was enough for Howorth and his staff to bring the sale back for three days. Howorth reported that during last year's sale, customers frequently said things like, "that's such a good idea," and "now I plan to buy an extra book." Moreover, the event as a whole led to many "very receptive" conversations about books. Square Books will promote the sale mostly through social media, along with a press release and limited advertising, and this year the staff will wear signage reading "Love the First Amendment and Save 7%."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Pennsylvania's Doylestown Bookshop Opening Second Store

The Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, Pa., is opening a second bookstore, in nearby Lahaska, that will be called the Lahaska Bookshop, according to Bookselling This Week.

Glenda Childs, who bought the Doylestown Bookshop five years ago, said the new general interest store will open in September in Peddler's Village, an outdoor shopping mall with 65 stores, three restaurants and a hotel.

"We always thought that if an opportunity in Peddler's Village became available, we would consider it," Childs told BTW. "When their representative approached us a couple of months ago, she explained that they wanted to develop a sense of community by opening a bookstore that would also attract more local shoppers. After much research and discussion, we felt it was the right fit for us."

The Lahaska Bookshop will be managed by Nathan Halter, who until July was senior member relationship and database manager at the American Booksellers Association and earlier worked at the Doylestown Bookshop.

"My experience at ABA really broadened my view of what a bookstore can be and how crucial a role they can play in their communities," Halter told BTW. "As a member relationship manager, I was able to travel the country, visiting stores and getting to know and learn from hundreds of amazing booksellers. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to use a small part of the knowledge and experience they shared with me at the Lahaska Bookshop."

Cover to Cover Books in Ohio Has New Owners

Melia and Ed Wolf have purchased Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers in Columbus, Ohio, from longtime owners Sally Oddi and Randy King, according to the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. Oddi and King, who opened the store in 1980, announced their plans to retire and sell the store earlier this year. Their search for a buyer led them to Ed and Melia Wolf, the latter of whom has experience as both a bookseller and a teacher. Currently located at 3560 North High Street, where it has resided since the 1990s, Cover to Cover will move to a new location in the fall before reopening in January 2018. No announcement about the new location has been made.

König First Frankfurt U.S. Booksellers Prize Recipient

Susanne König, executive director of the powerHouse Arena and powerHouse on 8th bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., has won the first Frankfurt Buchmesse U.S. Booksellers Prize, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, Frankfurt Book Fair New York announced. The trip is made possible through funding from the German Foreign Office.

During her 12 years at powerHouse, König has held book launches for authors such as Al Gore, David Sedaris, Colum McCann, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Salman Rushdie, Antje Rávic Strubel and many more. She has also hosted the Festival Neue Literatur and is a member of the New Books in German jury.

König spent her childhood and formative years in Germany, Belgium and France, and in Paris worked at Sotheby's and for French art book publishers. In 2000, she moved to New York to represent Steidl Verlag in the U.S. In 2001, she joined powerHouse Books' editorial staff, and in 2005 she and her husband, Daniel Power, opened the powerHouse Arena, their first bookstore, followed by their second bookstore, in 2013.

To award the prize, the Book Fair's New York office collaborated with Reading the World, the nationwide celebration of translated literature that culminates in two days of literary discussion in New York with authors from around the world.

Frankfurt Book Fair New York and Reading the World will celebrate the award on Monday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the powerHouse Arena (28 Adams St. in Brooklyn).

Annie Chagnot Wins the Ashmead Award

Annie Chagnot, an editor at Spiegel & Grau, has won the Ashmead Award, which honors the late book editor Larry Ashmead and was created "to nurture the career of a promising young editor in the field of book publishing."

The winner of the award attends the Yale Publishing Course: Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing and has access to a distinguished group of preeminent editors in the publishing community, many of whom worked with Larry Ashmead during their careers.

Speaking for the Ashmead Foundation, Sharon Bowers, a partner at Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management, said that Chagnot "impressed us all with her dedication, the significant list she has begun to build, and the enthusiasm of her colleagues for the quality of her work."

Chagnot began her publishing career as a sales assistant at Broadway Books. In 2013, she joined Spiegel & Grau. Her forthcoming books include Yellow Bird: Murder, Oil, and Justice on an American Reservation by Sierra Crane Murdoch; a memoir by essayist Mariya Karimjee; Buy the F**cking Lilies: Essays on Self-Care and Getting Better by Comedy Central executive Tara Schuster; and Below the Edge of Darkness, a memoir by marine biologist and MacArthur Fellow Dr. Edie Widder.


Image of the Day: Summie Launches Own Book

Caitlin Hamilton Summie, former bookseller and longtime book marketer, launched her short story collection, To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts (Fomite), Sunday night in Knoxville, Tenn., at Honeybee Coffee, where Union Avenue Books was selling books. Pictured: Summie (l.) with owner Flossie McNabb.

Field Leaving WaterBrook, Multnomah to Found Own Business

Alex Field

Alex Field, v-p and publisher of WaterBrook and Multnomah, will be leaving the company in September to start an author-consulting business.

Tina Constable, senior v-p & publisher, Christian publishing, Crown Publishing Group, commented: "Since Alex joined us in 2014, he has been a true partner in helping me position WaterBrook and Multnomah for the future. He was integral in our Christian consumer analytic marketplace overview, helping to refine our imprints' mission statements and working with the team to shape a vision for our acquisition strategy. Alex is a man of deep faith, and his in-depth knowledge of the Christian landscape combined with his joyful spirit and exuberant smile will be missed by all."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Penn Jillette on Real Time with Bill Maher

Today Show: Adam Greenberg, co-author of Get Up: The Art of Perseverance (Mackenzie Daniel, $20, 9780998718309).

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Penn Jillette, author of Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales (Simon & Schuster, $16, 9781501139529).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Mississippi Book Festival

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, August 19
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Live coverage of the 2017 Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson, Miss. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.) Highlights include:

  • 10:30 a.m. A conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
  • 11:45 a.m. A panel discussion on Mississippi's heritage and 200th-anniversary of statehood.
  • 1 p.m. Mark Bowden, author of Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam (Atlantic Monthly Press, $30, 9780802127006).
  • 2:30 p.m. A panel discussion on the lives of United States presidents.
  • 3:45 p.m. A panel discussion on the history of Mississippi.
  • 5 p.m. A panel discussion on the history of the Southern United States.

7:30 p.m. Joel Pollak, co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution (Regnery, $16.99, 9781621573951). (Re-airs Sunday at 11:10 p.m.)

8:15 p.m. Angela J. Davis, author of Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (Pantheon, $27.95, 9781101871270). (Re-airs Sunday at 2:30 p.m.)

9:45 p.m. An interview with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden about the upcoming National Book Festival. (Re-airs Sunday at 2:20 p.m.)

10 p.m. Milo Yiannopoulos, author of Dangerous (Dangerous Books, $30, 9780692893449). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. David Baron, author of American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World (Liveright, $27.95, 9781631490163), at Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colo. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:20 p.m.)

11:45 p.m. James O'Keefe, author of Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy (Threshold Editions, $26, 9781476706177). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

Sunday, August 20
12:40 p.m. James Hudson, author of Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean (University of Chicago Press, $45, 9780226459110). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

4:15 p.m. Joseph Hickman, co-author of The Convenient Terrorist: Two Whistleblowers’ Stories of Torture, Terror, Secret Wars, and CIA Lies (Hot Books, $21.99, 9781510711624).

7:15 p.m. A book party for Carl M. Cannon, author of On This Date: From the Pilgrims to Today, Discovering America One Day at a Time (Twelve, $28, 9781455542307). (Re-airs Monday at 5:15 a.m.)

8 p.m. Mark Robert Schneider, author of Gerry Studds: America's First Openly Gay Congressman (University of Massachusetts Press, $29.95, 9781625342850).

Books & Authors

Awards: Midwest Booksellers Choice; DSC for South Asian Literature

The winners of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, sponsored by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, are:

Fiction: Wintering by Peter Geye (Knopf)
Nonfiction: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan (Norton)
Poetry: How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century by Louis V. Clark III (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)
YA and Middle Grade: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
Children's Picture Book: One North Star by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Beckie Prange and Betsy Bowen (University of Minnesota Press)

The winners will be celebrated on October 11 at the Heartland Fall Forum awards dinner.


A longlist of 13 novels has been released for the $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which aims to bring "South Asian writing to a larger global audience through rewarding and showcasing the achievements of the authors writing about this region." This year's longlist represents a mix of established writers and debut novelists from different backgrounds and areas, including seven authors from India, three from Pakistan, two from Sri Lanka and one American living in India. The shortlist will be announced September 27, and a winner named November 18 at a special award ceremony during the Dhaka Literary Festival. The 2017 longlisted titles are:

The Living by Anjali Joseph
The Parcel by Anosh Irani
The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam
Selection Day by Aravind Adiga
The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons by Ashok Ferrey
South Haven by Hirsh Sawhney
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
The Poison of Love by K.R. Meera, translated by Ministhy S.
The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid
Pyre by Perumal Murugan, translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
This Wide Night by Sarvat Hasin
Those Children by Shahbano Bilgrami
In the Jungles of the Night by Stephen Alter 

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 22:

Y Is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton (Marian Wood Books/Putnam, $29, 9780399163852) is the 25th and penultimate Kinsey Millhone mystery.

The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Ekin Oklap (Knopf, $26.95, 9780451494429) follows a master well digger, his young apprentice and the alluring woman who comes between them.

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo (Knopf, $25.95, 9780451494603) takes place in Nigeria, where a young wife struggles to get pregnant.

Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame by Michael Kodas (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780547792088) explores enormous forest fires and how to fight them.

Coming Alive: 4 Tools to Defeat Your Inner Enemy, Ignite Creative Expression & Unleash Your Soul's Potential by Barry Michels and Phil Stutz (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780812994117) gives self-help advice.

Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments: A Stone Reader, edited by Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley (Liveright, $28.95, 9781631492983) collects entries from the New York Times's philosophy column, "The Stone."

Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani (Viking, $17.99, 9780425287538) is a young girl-empowerment "how-to" from the founder of the organization, Girls Who Code.

After the Game by Abbi Glines (Simon Pulse, $18.99, 9781481438933) is the third book in the Field Party series, a southern soap opera for teens.

The Sorbonne Affair: A Hugo Marston Novel by Mark Pryor (Seventh Street, $15.95, 9781633882614).

Tulip Fever, based on the novel by Deborah Moggach, opens August 25. Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander star in this story of a portrait artist who falls for his married subject in 17th century Amsterdam.

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:

What We Lose: A Novel by Zinzi Clemmons (Viking, $22, 9780735221710). "What We Lose is a quietly brilliant book detailing the way loss manifests itself in the life of its narrator, Thandi, and the reader, as Clemmons' writing shines back on you, too. The death of Thandi's mother brings about the loss of childhood innocence, her connection with her past, and her identity as a black woman. Clemmons' book is told in vignettes, stories and thoughts, with the narrative of this time in Thandi's life slowly swirling through it. It's as powerful a meditation on grief as I've ever read." --Stefanie Schmidt, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, N.H.

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham (Holt, $27, 9781250131560). "Heather Harpham's beautiful memoir is a deeply moving testament to love, commitment, and happiness. It might be difficult to find happiness while parenting a sick child alone, but Harpham's honesty about her struggles and fears allows us to connect to this story and see the beauty and happiness she finds. We watch in awe as she digs deep to do the difficult work, allows herself to be vulnerable as she seeks support, and practices patience in the face of anger. Harpham has found the happiness in moments, and her skillful prose will make your heart burst as you feel that happiness with her." --Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

The Summer That Melted Everything: A Novel by Tiffany McDaniel (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250131676). "There are hundreds of coming-of-age stories, but the one told in The Summer That Melted Everything is unique. In the summer of 1984, a series of disturbing events in Breathed, Ohio, are attributed to the arrival of a 13-year-old boy named Sal who claims to be the devil. Gossip and superstitions, exacerbated by the sweltering heat, turn the villagers against Sal. Only the family of the local prosecutor welcomes the boy, who is befriended by their son, Fielding. Through beautiful imagery and rich characters, McDaniel offers an original meditation on what is right and wrong, good and evil, in a magical, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable novel." --Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, Mich.

For Ages 4 to 8
A New Friend for Sparkle by Amy Young (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99, 9780374305536). "Friendship, taking turns, learning new things, and shaking your butt to the beat! It is hard to choose one thing to love with all my heart in the newest Sparkle story. I love that this story makes unicorns cool for girls and boys. Everything IS better when we do it together!" --Amanda Connor, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio

For Ages 9 to 12
York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby (Walden Pond Press, $17.99, 9780062306937).
"This is truly a remarkable novel involving three eighth graders whose apartment building has been bought by a rich landlord. All the families are being forced out, but there is a legendary puzzle that leads to treasure, and the trio decides to find it to save their home. Full of fascinating characters, history, puzzles, fantastical creations, humor, grief, loss, and surprising twists and turns, York is a promising start to a new series." --Richard Corbett, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

For Teen Readers
Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland (First Second, $22.99, 9781596439368). "Tough-as-nails Addison will do anything to provide for her little sister, Lexa--that includes going into the Spill Zone, aka the most dangerous place on Earth. After an unnatural disaster hits her city, killing her parents and causing her sister to become mute, Addison survives by selling pictures of the Spill Zone, despite the danger it puts her in. Spill Zone is the cool, creepy, and awesome story of how Addison breaks all her safety rules for a million dollar payoff--and of how the Spill Zone might want to keep her there forever." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory

Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory by James T. Costa (W.W. Norton, $27.95 hardcover, 464p., 9780393239898, September 5, 2017)

Great scientists are often famous for one or two projects out of a lifetime of study. Charles Darwin is best known for the voyage of the Beagle, which he took in his 20s, and for his book On the Origin of Species. Biologist and author James T. Costa offers a more domestic view of Darwin's life and work in Darwin's Backyard, looking at his systematic explorations of the natural world in the context of his childhood and adult family life, his friends and neighbors and the larger scientific community of his day. At the end of each chapter, Costa provides Darwinesque experiments on seeds, plants, barnacles and earthworms, among other subjects.

Darwin comes across as a charmingly enthusiastic and curious character in this illustrated biography, which includes a college friend's early cartoon of him going beetle hunting, perched astride a giant beetle and waving a butterfly net. His work could make him antisocial, too, leading him to commandeer rooms and furniture for his often smelly and dirty collections, and to "dispatch" his daughter's cat when it ate his fancy pigeons. Overall, however, his family seems to have been tolerant and even enthusiastic about his studies. He graphed the searching behavior of vine tendrils, and studied the dietary preferences of sundew plants, feeding them with "drops of milk, egg white, raw meat infusion, saliva, mucus, nitrate of ammonia, even his own urine." He recruited his seven children to help him with many projects. They played music to worms, surveyed plant populations and tracked bees to their homes after Darwin made the insects more visible by tossing flour over them. A friend had a favorite anecdote about the time one of Darwin's sons was visiting. He "looked around and, seeing no microscope or dissecting equipment, asked of his friend's dad 'Then where does he do his barnacles?' For all the kids knew, everyone's dad worked on barnacles."

This is an unusual look at the daily creative life of a great scientist, with opportunities to dig in and observe the workings of nature first hand using methods very similar to his own. The reading level is high, but the experiments could be done by any sufficiently interested person over the age of 10, or modified by teachers. Costa provides clear instructions, supply lists, resources for unusual materials and suggestions for further reading. "Darwin's approaches were varied... rarely meeting modern standards of rigid experimental design. But for all that, Darwin managed to learn an awful lot about how the world works. And it all began in that smelly boyhood laboratory at the bottom of the garden." --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: This is a biography of Darwin's lesser known, lifelong studies of the natural world, with well-constructed sample experiments for readers to conduct themselves.

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