Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 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


B&N 2nd Quarter: Reemphasis on Books

Barnes & Noble sales fell 7.9%, to $791.1 million, in the second quarter ended October 28, and the net loss rose 47.5%, to $30.1 million. Both results were worse than analysts' forecasts, and as a result, in pre-market trading this morning, B&N stock was down about 7.5%, to $7.20 a share.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 6.3%. B&N noted that about half the decline was because of difficult comparisons to the same quarter last year, when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was selling well. The rest of the decline was attributed to non-book products.

In some positive news, CEO Demos Parneros noted that comp-store sales "improved throughout the second quarter and into November. Book sales continued to strengthen, and we saw improved traffic and conversion trends. As a result of the improving trends, we will continue to place a greater emphasis on books, while further narrowing our non-book assortment. We expect these improvements to continue as we head into the holiday season."

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

Introducing GLOW: Galley Love of the Week

Today you'll notice an exciting new addition to our offerings: Shelf's Galley Love of the Week, or GLOW, as we like to call it. Everyone here is a hardcore book addict, just like all of you. And when a coveted new galley makes its way to us? You know, one that has everyone asking: Have you read this? Followed directly by: How do I get my hands on it?

Rather than making you wait, we're going to give you a shot at being one of the first to read it! After all, you depend on us for cutting edge book news. You don't have to be known for your bar tab at the Winter Institute in order to win one of these babies. Once a week we'll find that next gem and make a deal with the publisher for a limited number of galleys. Find the GLOW feature below, and get reading!

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

S&S Holiday Campaign: #BooksILikeToGive

This holiday season, Simon & Schuster is working with Together We Rise, the nonprofit that specializes in providing books, blankets and hygiene products to foster children, in a campaign called #BooksILikeToGive. As part of the campaign, the publisher will donate 5,000 children's books to Together We Rise's "Sweet Cases," which provides duffel bags filled with books, blankets and hygiene products to foster children traveling from home to home. The social media platform Love What Matters, which shares uplifting, positive stories, will help create awareness for the campaign. People who want to spread the word about the campaign are invited to use #BooksILikeToGive on all social media platforms to join the conversation and share book recommendations.

Today, S&S is hosting a a kick-off event with author Laura Schroff to introduce the campaign and pack some Sweet Cases. Then, beginning December 4, S&S will sponsor a series of Facebook Live videos with authors, including Richard Paul Evans, Colleen Hoover, Mary Alice Monroe, Nancy Pearl and Lisa See. Each author will offer gift recommendations for the holiday season and pack a Sweet Case for Together We Rise. The first Live event will be streamed on the S&S Facebook page, with each event thereafter being hosted on the respective author's Facebook page.

"We are happy to partner for the first time with Together We Rise," said Liz Perl, executive v-p and chief marketing officer at Simon & Schuster. "We greatly admire their unique and important work and are grateful for the opportunity to participate."

Penguin Hotline Is Back for the Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, Penguin has brought back the Penguin Hotline. Loosely modeled on the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, which provides turkey-roasting help over the phone during the holiday season, the Penguin Hotline offers personalized book recommendations online: "As in years past, we will again have hundreds of Penguin employees on call starting right after Thanksgiving to help recommend books to anyone who is trying to find the right book for someone on their holiday list," the publisher noted, adding that the hotline is a "publisher-agnostic effort," recommending titles from numerous presses.

Response to the Penguin Hotline, which launched three years ago, has been "so much bigger than anticipated," Penguin said, with the total number of submissions increasing 50% last year over the previous year. Some of the requests hotline volunteers have fielded came not only from across the U.S., but also from the U.K., Canada, China, India, the Netherlands, Singapore, France and the Czech Republic.

Requests have ranged "from a Dad interested in conspiracy theories and aliens to a cousin with a passion for shrimp farming; from a good friend going through a rough break-up to a woman who wondered what to buy for the man who bagged her groceries." Penguin also noted that the initiative has "also acted as an incredibly special team-building exercise among Penguin employees--bringing people together from all different departments, imprints and divisions to swap information, gather insight and help craft the perfect recommendations for the Hotline users."


Cool Idea of the Day: Pic with Santa Paws

This Saturday, the Bookworm, Omaha, Neb., will host its annual Santa Paws event for Hearts United for Animals. Santa and Mrs. Claus will pose with pets, while elves from the University of Nebraska at Omaha take a photo of the pet on Santa's lap to print as a holiday card.

All proceeds go to Hearts United for Animals, a no-kill shelter and animal welfare organization. The annual event is sponsored by the UNO chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. For the last 11 years, students have planned the event and donated the proceeds to a local animal shelter or rescue groups.

Quarto to Distribute Clever Publishing in North America

Effective with the fall 2018 list, Quarto Group's Quarto Distribution Services will distribute Russian children's book publisher Clever Publishing in North America, the publisher's first foray into that market.

Clever Publishing focuses on books and games aimed at entertaining and educating children aged 1-7. The launch list will feature approximately 50 titles, including Clever's bestselling sets of mini board books and flash cards, as well as the "Look-and-Find" titles.

Founded in 2010, Clever Publishing has a backlist of 1,000 titles and operates its own branded bricks-and-mortar stores and an online store in Russia. It plans to open a U.S. office in New York City early next year and wants North American sales to top $10 million within three years.

Personnel Changes at Touchstone; Workman

Effective December 11, Abigail Novak is joining Touchstone as a publicist. She was formerly an assistant publicist at HarperCollins.


Caitlin Kleinschmidt has been promoted to national accounts manager for Workman Publishing, working mainly with the Ingram Content Group, AWBC/Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble College. She will also sell to the gift and stationery arm of Barnes & Noble.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Melissa Rivers on the Real

Fresh Air: Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Anchor, $17, 9780307947901).

Also on Fresh Air: Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women (Free Press, $16, 9781439150290).


The Real: Melissa Rivers, co-author of Joan Rivers Confidential: The Unseen Scrapbooks, Joke Cards, Personal Files, and Photos of a Very Funny Woman Who Kept Everything (Abrams, $40, 9781419726736).

This Weekend on Book TV: In-Depth with Cornel West and Robert George

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, December 2
12 p.m. C-SPAN's Local Content Vehicles tour historical and literary sites in Kansas City, Kan.

2:40 p.m. Linda Gordon, author of The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition (Liveright, $27.95, 9781631493690). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

4:45 p.m. Flo Groberg, co-author of 8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier's Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781501165887).

5:30 p.m. John Bargh, author of Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do (Touchstone, $26, 9781501101212). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 a.m.)

6:30 p.m. Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine (Scientific American/FSG, $27, 9780374117290). (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

8 p.m. Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, author of Hidden in Plain Sight: America's Slaves of the New Millennium (Praeger, $37, 9781440854033), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 8:30 a.m.)

8:50 p.m. David Horowitz, author of The Black Book of the American Left (Encounter, $17.99, 9781594038693). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

10 p.m. Jennet Conant, author of Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476730882). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Matt Taibbi, author of I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780812988840), at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sunday, December 3
12:15 a.m. Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won (Basic Books, $40, 9780465066988). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:50 p.m.)

2:45 a.m. Kenneth Whyte, author of Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (Knopf, $35, 9780307597960). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:45 p.m.)

8:10 a.m. Steve Villano, author of Tightrope: Balancing a Life Between Mario Cuomo and My Brother (Heliotrope Books, $16.50, 9781942762423). (Re-airs Sunday at 11:30 p.m.)

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with authors Cornel West and Robert George. (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

4:15 p.m. Jeffrey Stewart and MaryLouise Patterson discuss Harlem Renaissance writers Alain Locke and Langston Hughes, at the Fall for the Book Festival in Fairfax, Va. (Re-airs Monday at 5:30 a.m.)

7 p.m. Meryl Gordon, author of Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend (Grand Central, $28, 9781455588749), at Book Culture Bookstore in New York City.

Books & Authors

Awards: Irish Book Winners

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, founded "to celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible," have been announced. The Best Irish Published Book of the Year is Atlas of the Irish Revolution by John Crowley, Donál Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and John Borgonovo (Cork University Press). To see winners in other categories, click here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 5:

Mississippi Roll: A Wild Cards Novel, edited by George R. R. Martin (Tor, $27.99, 9780765390523) continues the ensemble Wild Cards sci-fi/fantasy series.

Collected Poems by Galway Kinnell and Edward Hirsch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, 9780544875210) highlights the life's work of the late poet.

Happiness in This Life: A Passionate Meditation on Earthly Existence by Pope Francis, translated by Oonagh Stransky (Random House, $27, 9780525510970) collects speeches from the Pope.

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22, 9781328661593) collects Le Guin's online writing.

The Demon Crown by James Rollins (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062381736) is the 12th Sigma Force thriller.

Canto Bight: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Saladin Ahmed, Mira Grant, Rae Carson and John Jackson Miller (Del Rey, $28.99, 9781524799533) contains four stories set in a location from the upcoming Star Wars movie.

Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey (Orbit, $28, 9780316332835) is book seven in the Expanse sci-fi series.

Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepard (Knopf, $18, 9780525521563) is the final book by a writer who recently died from ALS, in which a narrator experiences a debilitating illness.

Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art by Sam Wasson (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544557208) is a history of American improvisational comedy.

Come Home Already! by Jory John, illustrated by Benji Davies (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062370976) features Duck, who is desperate for his best friend, Bear, to come home from a fishing trip.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills (Holt, $17.99, 9781627799379) follows Claudia's attempt at navigating her senior year of high school after eavesdropping on the epic breakup of the school's it couple.

The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9781328839206) is a cookbook for the Whole30 diet.

The Whole30 Day by Day: Your Daily Guide to Whole30 Success by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99, 9781328839237) is a companion guide for the Whole30 program.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2018 by Sarah Janssen (World Almanac, $14.99, 9781600572135).

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis (Forever, $7.99, 9781538744482).

Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt (Forever, $7.99, 9781538760086).

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:

Seven Days of Us: A Novel by Francesca Hornak (Berkley, $26, 9780451488756). "The holidays are always a stressful time, but imagine being with your immediate family for a full seven days of quarantine! This is the premise of Hornak's Seven Days of Us. To ride out the weeklong quarantine imposed due to daughter Olivia's work treating patients of an epidemic in Liberia, the Birch family plans to spend the Christmas holiday in mother Emma's crumbling ancestral home, Weyfield Hall, in Norfolk. On top of isolation and the lack of escape, each member of the family is dealing with their own secrets. A wonderful tale full of humor and heartache and all the issues families deal with--love, longing, and regret. Sometimes being forced together gives you a new perspective on your family and yourself." --Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, Ill.

We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062693983). "I know what this book looks like, and it's true that it's a '90s celebrity's memoir. But the other parts of this book are so remarkable that to limit its description to that would be an injustice. Gabrielle Union is an honest writer and cultural critic. I'm ashamed I didn't know this until now. Her reflections on race, gender, and authenticity in an industry that values anything but are refreshing and ring true. These are the portions of the book that really sparkle on the page. Writer to reader, friend to friend, Union simply shares some of her stories, and I was glad to be a part." --Lindsay Crist-Lawson, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, Ky.

Perfect Little World: A Novel by Kevin Wilson (Ecco, $16.99, 9780062450340). "Izzy Poole is 18, pregnant with her erratic art teacher's baby, and without any family or money to help her raise her child. Dr. Preston Grind is tragically widowered and estranged from his parents, who raised him using unconventional and unhealthy methods in the name of science. Dr. Grind invites Izzy and nine other couples also expecting their first child to join the Infinite Family Project, an experiment in communal parenting and an attempt to rebuild Dr. Grind's broken family. This is a fascinating and touching exploration of what makes or breaks a family." --Marisa Langlois, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

For Ages 4 to 8
Pup and Bear by Kate Banks, illustrated by Naoko Stoop (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780399554094). "When a wolf pup becomes separated from his pack in the Arctic spring, a polar bear cares for him until he is old enough to be on his own. Stoop's beautiful and sweeping illustrations accompany Banks' charming narrative of an animal family united in kindness, acceptance, and love. Fall into this gentle story as it leads you 'across the tundra, along the path that [goes] round and round in the wondrous wheel of life.' " --Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez  (Viking, $16.99, 9780425290408). "What do you do when your mom moves you to Chicago, far away from your friends, your dad, and his record shop? If you're Malu, you make zines to express your feelings, find your people at school, and start a punk band to reinvent traditional Mexican music. This tour-de-force debut will have you smiling, singing, and cheering for Malu as she explores her family history, culture, and community and comes to better understand herself. A must-have middle-grade book." --Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (Harlequin Teen, $18.99, 9780373212446). "In a dystopian future in which almost all words and gestures have been copyrighted and citizens are charged for even the most basic forms of communication, the ultimate act of resistance may be to choose silence. In this richly imagined novel, Katsoulis explores ideas of free speech and the consequences of intellectual property law through characters that are sympathetic, tough, and thoroughly believable. All Rights Reserved is an excellent sci-fi thriller (with some of the best world-building I've seen in ages) with a great sense of humor and a political conscience. For anyone who feels the need for a little bit of revolution in their fiction, this book is just the thing." --Annie Farrell, Labyrinth Books, Princeton, N.J.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Music Shop

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (Random House, $27 hardcover, 320p., 9780812996685, January 2, 2018)

"There was once a music shop." In a down-at-heel street in a nondescript British city, Frank's record shop doesn't just sell vinyl (and only vinyl), it also gives people the music they don't know they need. Frank, a gentle giant of a man, was raised by Peg, an unconventional mother who passed on her fierce love of music to her son. His shop--stuffed with records arranged according to an instinctive, non-alphabetical cataloguing system--provides a place of warmth and refuge for visitors to Unity Street. In her fourth novel, The Music Shop, Rachel Joyce composes a narrative with as much soul and depth as Frank's beloved records: a richly layered story of loss, love and music.

Easygoing about most things, Frank is unbudging about vinyl, with all its idiosyncrasies. "Life has surface noise!" he shouts at a sales rep touting the "clean" sound of CDs. "Do you want to listen to furniture polish?" He's in good company among the eccentrics of Unity Street: kind Father Anthony, who runs a religious gift shop; taciturn tattoo artist Maud; the quiet Williams brothers, who are undertakers; and Kit, Frank's overeager but perceptive shop assistant. All of them--but especially Frank--are intrigued by the appearance of Ilse Brauchmann, an enigmatic German woman in a green coat with eyes "black as vinyl." Though reluctant to talk about herself, Ilse asks Frank for music lessons, and he is both baffled by and "irresistibly drawn to her great quietness." While Frank and Ilse form a tentative but deep bond, Unity Street struggles against the advances of a wealthy development company. Frank, who has lived a mostly isolated life, must decide whether he can fight for the survival of his shop, his community and the affections of the woman he has come to love.

Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) tells her story in crisp, evocative prose, drawing readers inside the music, just as Frank draws customers into the listening booths in his shop. She portrays her characters with a clear-eyed compassion: Kit, for example, "has a loneliness stored in his smile." Like much of Frank's music, Joyce's novel has melancholy overtones, but it also contains moments of great passion, humor and delight.

Heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful, The Music Shop is a joyous, poignant, utterly human love song to community found in unlikely places, and a tribute to the healing power of music. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams
Shelf Talker: Rachel Joyce's joyous, richly layered fourth novel tells the story of a music shop and its customers.

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