Shelf Awareness for Friday, August 18, 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


Minnesota's Paperbacks and Pieces Bookstore for Sale

Founded in 1977, Paperbacks and Pieces Bookstore, Winona, Minn., is for sale. The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association noted that Shelley Olsen, who has owned the store for 20 years, is "fine and is very excited and looking forward to starting a new chapter in her life."

The inventory of the store, which has a customer base of more than 4,000, includes 35,000 new and used ,as well as bookmarks, candles, book lights, bags, greeting cards and toys. "All the pieces are in place and ready for the next owner(s) to take it to the next level." The building is not included in the sale.

Interested parties can e-mail with "Bookstore Purchase" in the subject line.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Shambhala Publications to Launch Bala Kids Imprint

Independent publisher Shambhala Publications will launch Bala Kids, a children's imprint focused on "inspiring the next generation through the Buddhist values of compassion and wisdom," in the fall of 2018. In advance of the Bala Kids launch, Shambhala is partnering with the Khyentse Foundation, a Buddhist nonprofit, to run the Khyentse Foundation Children's Book Prize.

Shambhala and Khyentse are looking for a complete children's book manuscript, fiction or nonfiction pertaining to any and all Buddhist traditions, for children ages 0 and 8. The winning submission will receive a $5,000 prize and a publishing contract from Bala Kids. Submissions are open until February 15, 2018; more information can be found here.

Founded in 1969 with headquarters in Boulder, Colo., Shambhala Publications publishes a variety of titles pertaining to Buddhism, wellness, spirituality and more. Its four main imprints are Shambhala, Snow Lion, Roost Books and Prajna Studios. Shambhala is distributed worldwide through Penguin Random House.

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

Harry Potter-Themed Store Opens in Toronto

Curiosa: Purveyors of Extraordinary Things, "a Harry Potter-inspired store that's supposed to make you feel like you've landed in Diagon Alley," has opened in Toronto, blogTO reported. In addition to Potter-related merchandise, the shop sells games, books, toys and home goods that are unrelated to the boy wizard.

"We've tried to create a really immersive retail experience," said Stephen Sauer, co-owner of the business with his wife Heather, who also owns the Paper Place. "We wanted to create a space that was really fun and magical and you really had to be there in person.... We really just wanted to bring a bit of magic into people's lives."

Curiosa is also "only about a 15 minute walk from Toronto's Harry Potter-themed bar, the Lockhart," blogTO noted.

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

All Due Respect to Down & Out Books

All Due Respect, a publisher of "low-life literature and crime fiction," has become an imprint of Down & Out Books. All Due Respect publisher and executive editor Chris Rhatigan will continue in his current role with the new venture. The first new books from the imprint will be published in early 2018, and the entire backlist will be reissued.

"I've known Chris for many years, and have read many if not all of their books," said Eric Campbell, publisher of Down & Out Books. "ADR's unique vision in the world of crime fiction will be a strong asset to our library of titles."

Chris Rhatigan added that he and Mike Monson started All Due Respect Books three years ago to publish hardcore crime fiction. "While Mike is stepping away, I will continue to pursue that goal with support from the Down & Out Books team. The expertise and insight Eric brings will help take us to the next level. Down & Out Books has an amazing roster of celebrated authors and titles. I couldn't be working with a finer group of people."

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

Obituary Note: Paul Oliver

Paul Oliver, "a Briton who wrote some of the earliest and most authoritative histories of one of America's great indigenous musical forms, the blues," died August 15, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Oliver "first heard black American music as a teenager in England during World War II.... The extraordinary sounds sent Mr. Oliver on a lifelong quest as a record collector, field researcher and historian."

After taking a trip through the American South in 1964, interviewing and recording blues singers, Oliver wrote The Story of the Blues. His other books include Blues Fell This Morning: Meaning in the Blues; Conversation with the Blues; Screening the Blues: Aspects of the Blues Tradition; and Savannah Syncopators: African Retentions in the Blues.

Brett Bonner, editor of Living Blues magazine, said, "Paul was one of the founders of blues scholarship. He and Sam Charters set the template for everything that followed. They also set the stage for the blues revival of the 1960s. Without them, people like Mississippi John Hurt, Sun House and Skip James would not have had second careers."

Oliver was also an architectural historian, writing extensively "on local forms of architecture around the world." He edited the three-volume Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World and (with Marcel Vellinga & Alexander Bridge) Atlas of Vernacular Architecture of the World.


Image of the Day: Hugo Winner Launches New Book

On Tuesday, Housing Works Bookstore in New York City hosted a launch event for N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky that attracted more than 200 people. Pictured on the right, Jemison (who this week won, for the second year in a row, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, this time for the previous book in the series, The Obelisk Gate) was joined on the stage by Mika McKinnon, a geophysicist, to talk about the science behind the series.

Summer Presidential Bookshop Visit

Bill and Hillary Clinton with Richard Burcombe, mayor of Lac-Brome.  (via)

The ritual of August bookstore visits by vacationing U.S. presidents and their families may be on hiatus under the current administration, but a fleeting reminder of those times occurred in Canada this week when "former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their daughter Chelsea "popped into Brome Lake Books in Knowlton, Que., on Wednesday and were promptly swarmed by a crowd of well-wishers," CTV News reported. They were "seeing the sights and posing with fans during their vacation in the Eastern Townships."

The Clintons were invited to the Townships by bestselling author Louise Penny, who lives in Knowlton, CBC News noted, adding that Hillary Clinton "has repeatedly mentioned being a fan of Penny's Inspector Gamache series."

"As you might have heard, President and Secretary Clinton, along with family and dear friends, will be visiting Quebec's Eastern Township in mid-August, as my guests, on a brief private getaway," said Penny. "They'll be exploring the beautiful area, enjoying the sights, and most of all, relaxing." 

Eclipse Reading List: Parnassus Books

"Raise your hand if you’ve gone a little eclipse-crazy. (Everyone in this bookstore just raised both hands.)." Under the headline "All the Light We Cannot See (And Other Books That Aren't Really About the Eclipse, Plus a Few That Are)," Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., noted that "Andy, our store manager, called a meeting to brainstorm a list of titles related to the big event." 

Personnel Changes at the University of Chicago Press

At the University of Chicago Press, Laura Leichum has been named the press's first director of intellectual property. Most recently she was digital publishing & rights manager and intellectual property manager at Georgetown University Press. She earlier worked at the United States Institute of Peace Press, the University of Maryland, and Northwestern University Press. In addition, she is a poet and award-winning translator.

Book Trailer of the Day: Good Me Bad Me

Good Me Bad Me: A Novel by Ali Land (Flatiron Books), a trailer that features the voice actress Hannah Murray, who plays Gilly on Game of Thrones. (See our review of the book below.)

Media and Movies

Podcast to Novel: Alice Isn't Dead

Harper Perennial will publish the first novel based on the acclaimed serial fiction podcast Alice Isn't Dead by show creator and writer Joseph Fink. Describing the book as "a fast-paced thriller expanding the story told in the Alice Isn't Dead podcast," the publisher said it is scheduled for a Fall 2018 release. Fink is also the co-author (with Jeffrey Cranor) of Welcome to Night Vale and the forthcoming novel, It Devours!, both based on their hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale.

Universal Cable Productions is also developing the podcast series for television for USA Network.  Fink will serve as executive producer.

Amy Baker, v-p and associate publisher of Harper Perennial, said, "Joseph's ability to explore the complexities of race and gender with subtlety and intelligence while maintaining a sense of humor and irony is brilliant."

TV: The Fifth Season

TNT is in early development with a series based on N.K. Jemisin's Hugo Award-winning novel The Fifth Season, the first book in her The Broken Earth trilogy. Deadline reported that Leigh Dana Jackson (24: Legacy, Sleepy Hollow) will write the adaptation and Imperative Entertainment's (All the Money in the World) Dan Friedkin, Tim Kring and Justin Levy are serving as executive producers.

Jackson brought the novel to Imperative, which secured the rights before the The Fifth Season's Hugo nomination. Deadline noted that Jemisin "went on to become the first black writer to win the Hugo Award for best novel. She followed that up last week by winning the prestigious science fiction award for the second consecutive year for the second book in the series, The Obelisk Gate." The third book in the trilogy, The Stone Sky, was published Tuesday.

Books & Authors

Awards: NAIBA Books of the Year; Ngaio Marsh Finalists

Winners of the 2017 New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Books of the Year Awards, who will be honored during the NAIBA Conference Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 7, in Cherry Hill, N.J., are:

Fiction: Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
Nonfiction: March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions)
YA Literature: Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
Middle Grade: Ghost by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum Books)
Picture Book: They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel (Chronicle Books)


Finalists have been announced for the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards, which "celebrate the best New Zealand crime, mystery and thriller writing; fiction and nonfiction," Booksellers NZ reported. Winners will be unveiled October 28 at a special WORD Christchurch event. You can view the complete list of Ngaio Marsh finalists here

Reading with... Felicity Everett

photo: Lizzy C. Hope

Felicity Everett grew up in Manchester, England, and attended Sussex University. After an early career in children's publishing and freelance writing that produced more than 25 works of children's fiction and nonfiction, Everett published her first adult novel, The Story of Us, in 2011. Her new book is The People at Number 9 (HQ/HarperCollins, August 8, 2017).

On your nightstand now:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Eleanor is a wonderful creation--a sad and dysfunctional woman who nevertheless has charm, humour and a backstory that elicits the reader's huge compassion.

Every Day Is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel. I haven't started this yet, but I love Mantel's dark humour and the blurb suggests this one will be pitch black.

Tracks by Louise Erdrich. I'm savouring the economy and poetry of Erdrich's writing. It's also good to learn about the Native American experience, of which I'm shamefully ignorant.

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Under-Rated Organ by Giulia Enders. Because I'm at that age.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. This is THE go-to book for empathy. I used to be scared of spiders as a child, and I can still get a bit silly if I find a hairy one in the shower, but I remember Charlotte and go running for a glass and a piece of cardboard, rather than turning the tap on!

Your top five authors:

Jonathan Franzen. I love the fact that Franzen's characters are flawed but empathic and often funny, also that they are very much products of the times they live in.

John Updike. Updike gets a lot of flak for misogyny, but I think he's pretty hard on his male characters, too. And for writing prose the way he did, he can be forgiven pretty much anything.

Anne Enright. Like Franzen, a slyly humorous demolisher of the family. Always repays a second reading.

Colm Tóibín. His writing is like a duck swimming on a pond--smooth and serene on the surface, one heck of a lot of paddling going on underneath.

Elizabeth Strout. Love, love, love Olive Kitteridge--for its sense of place, its complex and realistic depiction of character and the tightrope it walks between comedy and tragedy. Can't wait to start Anything Is Possible.

Book you've faked reading:

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer. I love Germaine, but this book was of its time, and I came to it a bit too late.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. The perfect comic novel. Unpretentious, economical and still laugh out loud funny more than half a century after it was written.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. I haven't started it yet, but it looks gorgeous.

Book you hid from your parents:

The Sensuous Woman by "J," for obvious reasons.

Book that changed your life:

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. It opened my eyes to the politics of class.

Favorite line from a book:

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." --Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Five books you'll never part with:

Forever Young by Bob Dylan, illustrated by Paul Rogers

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright, original 1960s Puffin edition

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee--set in the Slad Valley in Gloucestershire, where I now live.

An illustrated copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that belonged to my Mum.

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

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. I read most of her books when they were re-published in the U.K. by Virago in the 1980s. I loved them and they influenced me as a writer, but I haven't really revisited them since. I'm going to start with Mrs P.

Work of art (any medium) that has moved you the most:

Robert Falls's 2005 production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy and Claire Higgins.

Book Review

Review: Good Me Bad Me

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land (Flatiron Books, $25.99 hardcover, 304p., 9781250087645, September 5, 2017)

At one point in Ali Land's debut novel, Good Me Bad Me, the narrator, Milly, says her insides look different from everyone else's--"A curious, twisted shape. The shape you made me. The shape I'm learning to live with." The off-stage voice of "you" that twisted and shaped Milly is that of her mother, a serial killer of children.

Milly turned her mother in after the ninth murder--a boy Milly knew. Now she is in foster care with Mike, a psychologist and expert in trauma, and his wife, Saskia, an anorexic alcoholic and pill-popper. Their teenage daughter, Phoebe, Milly soon discovers, is also an expert in trauma, although "more in the causing than the healing." With Mike's help, Milly has a chance to heal, but her mother's voice is in her head, and she visits in dreams at night as a snake: "Lie your scaly body next to mine, measure me. Remind me I still belong to you." Milly was severely abused, but she misses her mother with the confusion a child feels when tenderness and violence are mixed. Children want the familiar. Milly says:

"The truth. Is. I don't find the idea of people or children hurting and killing each other upsetting.

"I find it familiar. I find it is home."

At school, Milly is an outsider. She speaks "like a robot" and hides her hands because they sometimes shake from permanent damage to her nervous system. A crude, doctored photo of her is taped to her locker. She is jeered at and worse, but she is tough and plays a long game. When Phoebe and her cohorts push and slap her, Milly thinks, "See me, feel me, but know that I come from a place where this is merely a warm-up.... And I never forget." Milly has a compromised ability to read emotions, but she has no trouble understanding Phoebe and her friends.

Her mother's trial is coming up; Milly will have to testify. Her mother is a manipulator par excellence. Milly both dreads and desires their match of wits. One question she knows will be asked: Why did she wait until she was almost 16 to tell the police? Answer: Her mother had planned her "Sweet Sixteen" birthday, with four invitees. "A birthday you'll never forget, you said. Or survive, I remember thinking... I was the present. The piñata to punch."

After the trial, Phoebe pushes Milly to the limit, but what is Milly's limit? She wants to "believe and prove the curious shape you twisted my heart into could be untwisted." She is scalded by brutality, programmed to deception. Can she discard and outrun what lives inside of her?

With savageries only hinted at--"One minute you'd be arranging flowers, the next you'd demand I put on a show"--Ali Land coolly ratchets up tension and takes the reader into a damaged mind, exploring the question of nature versus nurture, and the possibility of redemption. Good Me Bad Me is a heartbreaking, breathtaking chill of a book. --Marilyn Dahl

Shelf Talker: The teenage daughter of a serial killer mother is both her victim and a witness against her in a harrowing novel of deception and torment.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: #LoveYourBookshopDay Down Under

''I think that you can feel at home in any bookstore if it's got a good bookseller.'' --Geraldine Brooks, author and Love Your Bookshop Day ambassador on the magic of bookshops.

For 2017, the Australian Booksellers Association rebranded National Bookshop Day as Love Your Bookshop Day, and last Saturday booksellers across the country celebrated. "Think balloons, bunting, streamers, fairy lights, cake, dressing up, discounts and prizes--the sky's the limit just as long as it's a party for your shop," the ABA had said when it officially launched LYBD during its annual conference in June. One bookseller noted that the name change made it sound "less like a government program and more like a fun event."

And so it was. More than 100 bookshops registered details about their in-store events on the LYBD website, and then documented the fun on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the #LoveYourBookshopDay hashtag. Customers were also invited to post #WhyILoveMyBookshop notes. Here's a small sampling from the festivities:

Continuous storytime at the Little Bookroom in Carlton North

Display windows
"The #loveyourbookshopday graffiti window at Farrells Bookshop is for book lovers of ALL ages."

Beachside Bookshop, Sydney: "Show us your bookshop love. Love our beaches' authors (check out our window showcase of this talent)...."

Fairfield Books, Fairfield: "Favorite books covering the window except for the part where Scott Edgar #supermooper ed!! Harry Potter featured rather prominently but there were some interesting inclusions as well."

Mary Who? Bookshop, Townsville: "We have Love Your Bookshop Day... CAKE... thanks for the love Townsville readers and to Text Publishing for the yummy stuff... and their GREAT books.--with Jessica Gautherot."

The Bookshop Darlinghurst, Sydney: "Let them eat cake! It's our 35th Birthday! Hip hip hoorah! #loveyourbookshopday--attending Love Your Bookshop Day--and celebrate our 35th Birthday!"

'Wall of Love'
Sun Bookshop, Yarraville: "This might be one of our favorite reasons on the wall of love!"

In character at Berkelouw Books

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney: "Today we're celebrating #LoveYourBookshopDay at the Gallery Shop! There's a full day of excitement planned.... Plus, see which literary personalities the Gallery Shop staff have dressed up as!"

Berkelouw Books Hornsby: "To celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day, our staff dressed as their favorite book characters. Can you recognize who they could be?"

Sidewalk chalkboards
"What will you discover today under the Book Tree at Potts Point Bookshop?"

"Oh my word, Avenue Bookstore is literally packed to the rafters with balloons for #loveyourbookshopday."

"Better Read Than Dead are ready for #loveyourbookshopday & they have Catherine Moreland at the door ready to greet book/Austen lovers!"

LYBD balloons in Farrell's Bookshop Mornington

'Bookshops are an unnecessary indulgence: A debate between local authors" at Blarney Books & Art: "Port Fairy (and surrounds)--you are awesome!!! THANK YOU for such a great turnout!... Of course the team who argued in favor of bookshops (or dens of iniquity, as the dark side suggested) won the debate, but it was frighteningly close. P.S.: we have also received some very eloquent love letters!"

Dog selfies
Dillons Norwood Bookshop: "Our Dog Selfie spot is open!! Bring your doggo or pupper in to our store, take a photo in the spot, show us on your phone or camera and we'll enter you into the draw to win an amazing hamper!!"

Books for Cooks, Melbourne: "Our bookstore is now complete--live jazz in store:) #nevergoinghome #lovemybookstore #loveyourbookshop day @vicmarket #jazz #melbournemoment #next generationinjazz #heavenly...."

LYBD-themed nails
"Ok, @booksandmanicures wins hands down for best #loveyourbookshopday themed nails! Also for best color coordination with Beachside Bookshop."

Senator Penny Wong‏: "It was great to visit @Mostly_Books on Love Your Bookshop Day. Get out and support the champions of the written word."

"Who loves books? Text does!" Text Publishing asked some of its authors "to tell us about their favorite bookshops." 

Sarah Ridout‏: "Happy #LoveYourBookshopDay no2 & everything else advice from the Fabulous Cass M #partingwords @avidreader4101 September 1! Go Cass."

Frané Lessac‏: "Everyone loves a good book! #loveyourbookshopday @beaufortstbooks @WalkerBooksAus #aisforaustraliananimals."

Sidewalk art at Book & Paper Williamstown

Farrells Bookshop, Mornington: "Wow, what a day it's been!! A huge thank you to all our wonderful customers young & old that joined in with us celebrating Love Your Bookshop today!! A great big thank you to the local Authors and our face painter for giving your time! Fantastic day all round."

Squishy Minnie Bookstore, Kyneton: "Holy moly, we had the most awesome day yesterday and we're feeling very loved (and very tired!). Thank you so so SO much to everyone that came and showed their support to us. We've been open for about 4 months and in that time, we've gotten to know so many wonderful and kind folks.... We hope everyone's experiences yesterday give yet another reason to love reading and to Love their Book Shop."

New Leaves, Melbourne: "Wow what a weekend! A HUGE thanks to everyone who came in store and joined in the fun of Love Your Bookshop Day!

Happy Reading!
From the LYBD organizers: "Book lovers & booksellers, you've officially outdone yourselves! A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in #loveyourbookshopday. The amount of love and pure bookish joy we've seen across all corners of the internet today has been staggering. We truly believe that you can and should love your bookshop EVERYDAY but you've really made today something to remember. You earned a nice cup of tea, a pat on the back & reading time with all your new purchases! Happy reading."

--Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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