Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 3, 2018: Dedicated Issue: DK Eyewitness Travel

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mariner Books: The Redemption of Bobby Love: A Story of Faith, Family, and Justice by Bobby and Cheryl Love

St. Martin's Press: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: New from Here by Kelly Yang

Other Press: The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier, translated by Adriana Hunter

Poisoned Pen Press: The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk

Berkley Books: The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James


Tallahassee's Midtown Reader Is Expanding

Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, Fla., has unveiled expansion plans. On Facebook, the bookstore, which opened in the fall of 2016, posted that it is building a staircase and "expanding into the upstairs portion of our building, and all this new space is going to bring SO MANY great things to Midtown Reader." 

The renovations will mean a large event area, additional selling space for a revamped and expanded inventory, comfortable seating for curling up with a good book, as well as room for Lucy and Leo's, a local cupcake shop that is moving into the new cafe area.

Noting that the shop will be closed during the second week in January, Midtown Reader said it hopes to have the upstairs space open later this month: "We are so excited to share this news with you--an expansion wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Tallahassee reading community! Keep an eye on this page for more behind the scenes previews of our expansion, and be sure to stop by in late January to check out our new space!"

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Mina by Matthew Forsythe

Chicago's Libreria Girón Closes Flagship Store


Libreria Girón, a Spanish-language bookstore in Chicago, Ill., has closed its flagship store in the city's Pilsen neighborhood due to increasing property taxes, the Chicago Tribune reported. While the 18th Street storefront has closed, Libreria Girón has turned part of its distribution center, a warehouse on West 21st Street in Pilsen, into a bookstore complete with free wi-fi for customers, and the last remaining Libreria Girón bookstore branch is still open for business on 26th Street.

The store opened in 1957, initially selling televisions, radios and other electronics, until founder Ada Alicia Girón began stocking books, music albums and Spanish greeting cards. Eventually Spanish-language books became the store's forte, and at one time there were 10 Libreria Girón branches throughout Chicago's North and South Sides. In addition to the bookstores, Libreria Girón has had a wholesale business for years, selling Spanish-language books to retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Target and, prior to 2011, Borders Books & Music.

Juan Manuel Girón, son of the store's founders, told the Tribune that he plans to "pump up" Libreria Girón's distribution business, and added, "It was a true privilege to be a part of 18th Street for so many years. We are moving, but we are not leaving."

Juan Manuel's sister Patricia Girón operates the Libreria Girón branch on 26th Street.

Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Ashes of Gold by J Elle

Bookstore Opens in Albertville, Ala.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Brandi Atchison has opened Shades of Pemberley, a new and used general bookstore, in Albertville, Ala., the Sand Mountain Reporter reported.

"We have anything and everything," Atchison told the newspaper. "We have it all. I want to expand my local author section. My plan is to grow it bigger than it is now. I am going to eventually have a space for coffee and tea. I just want it to be a relaxing environment for everyone needing a book."

Shades of Pemberley Bookstore is located at 126 N. Broad St., Albertville, Ala. 35950; 256-660-3556.

Disney-Hyperion: Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Obituary Note: Yu Guangzhong

Yu Guangzhong, "a prominent poet, essayist and translator whose best-known work, 'Nostalgia,' came to symbolize the aching separation, displacement and longing for cultural unity felt by many in mainland China and in the Chinese diaspora," died on December 14, the New York Times reported. He was 89. Yu was a college student in mainland China when his family fled to Taiwan in 1949. "He flourished in his new home, finding success as a poet and a scholar," the Times noted. "But like many exiled Chinese who had left behind relatives, friends and homes, he could never quite shake his yearning for the 'motherland.' "

"The Yellow River flows torrential in my veins/ China is me I am China," he wrote in "Percussion," a poem that has been included in the standard literature curriculum in China and Taiwan. Yu's first collection, Elegy of a Boatman, was published in 1952. His passion for Western literature inspired him to publish, in 1957, Chinese translations of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and Irving Stone's Lust for Life. A prolific poet, he ultimately published more than 50 books of poetry, prose, criticism and translations over seven decades.

"He was one of the most accomplished writers not only in Taiwan but in modern Chinese literature," said Sung-Sheng Yvonne Chang, a professor of Chinese language and culture at the University of Texas at Austin. "He could combine images from Tang dynasty poetry with this kind of daring, Western modernist aesthetic."

New Press: Congratulations to Nobel Prize Winner Abdulrazak Gurnah


David Bowie's Son Launches Online Book Club

David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, has launched an online book club that features his late father's favorite literary works, Rolling Stone reported. Its first pick is Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd. Bowie died last January 10.

"My dad was a beast of a reader," Jones tweeted. "One of his true loves was Peter Ackroyd's sojourns into the history of Britain & its cities. I've been feeling a building sense of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad. Time allowing."

He added: "Alright gang! Anyone who wants to join along, we are reading Peter Ackroyd's Hawksmoor, as an amuse cerveau before we get into the heavy stuff." Hawksmoor is one of the titles on Bowie's list of "Top 100 Books," which appeared in 2013 on his website.

And for even more Bowie, check out the Bowie Book Club podcast, in which two friends (one of them Shelf Awareness's own Kristianne Huntsberger) read and discuss the books on Bowie's reading list.

Cool Idea of the Day: Northshire's 'Open Mind' Scholarship

Northshire Bookstore, with locations in Manchester, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has launched the Open Mind Scholarship, which is designed to honor "the diversity of thought, feelings, information and perspectives found in books, as well as the power of books to change people's lives." Each year the Northshire will award $1,000 scholarships to two college-bound high school seniors, one from New York and one from Vermont. To enter the contest, students must write up to one page on how a book has exposed them to something new and how it has impacted their lives.

"We've gotten feedback from many different spectra of people's political and ideological beliefs, opposing books that we carry of the alternate belief," Northshire co-owner Chris Morrow told the Manchester Journal. "This isn't isolated to Republicans or Democrats, it's all over the place.... I've been wanting to do a scholarship program for a few years, and in the last year or two the need for people to see what we have here with open minds has become more apparent. The core value of an independent bookstore is to be unbiased in what we present, and to give the community access to all kinds of ideas and information and entertainment."

He added that feedback has already been positive, and that the message is vital to Northshire's mission: "We live in a day and age where I feel like open, unbiased analysis and access to ideas and information is challenged. That's not the direction we want to go as a society. We're just doing our tiny part to make sure that people know that we can, and do, sell any book that's been published."

Powell's 2018 Staff Reading Resolutions

The staff at Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., shared some of their 2018 Reading Resolutions, including:

"My resolution is twofold: Read 30 books, and read more trans writers and writers of color. 2017 was a year of diverse reading for me, but there are still voices that need to be better represented in my reading lists." --Gary L.

"Gravity's Rainbow. Definitely. Maybe. Probably not." --Drew P.

"Every year for the past few years I have made an effort to be more socially conscious when reading. I try to read books by people from a wide variety of backgrounds (women, POC, LGBTQ+, etc.). I will continue this practice in 2018, while also continuing my practice of only reading something if I love it. If I am not into it, I am not afraid to leave it unfinished. There are too many books in this world to get hung up on a mediocre one." --Erin K.

"Every year I try to read a handful of books that my coworkers are raving about that do not fall into the genres that I usually read. I find that it forces me out of my reading habits, and I discover great books that I would not normally encounter." --Amy W.

"My book resolutions are to seek out books written by women of color, and to read the last five years of Hugo Award-winning novels. It's gonna be a good year!" --Azalea M.

Literati One of '10 Things You Need to See in Ann Arbor'

Literati Bookstore was featured as one of the "10 things you need to see in Ann Arbor [Mich.] that are worth traveling for" by USA Today, which noted that the city "is filled with lots of niche and used bookstores but it's Literati, the wildly popular general bookstore, that's become synonymous with Ann Arbor's rich literary scene.

"With a great coffee bar and lots of top author events, readings and book club meetings, this impeccably-curated indie bookstore has become the place to gather and to discover the next must-read.

"Be sure to leave a message on the vintage Smith-Corona typewriter downstairs; customers' writings are going to be compiled into what is likely to become a bestseller itself." 

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Miliband on Opposition with Jordan Klepper

Harry repeat: Jen Welter, co-author of Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL (Seal Press, $26, 9781580056830).

Conan repeat: JB Smoove, co-author The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool (Gallery, $25, 9781501180712).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: David Miliband, author of Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time (Simon & Schuster/TED, $16.99, 9781501154393).

TV: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 2

A new teaser trailer for the second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events features Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) "interrupting our New Year's Day festivities (and/or celebratory 2018 hangovers) to announce that season 2 of the Netflix series will return on March 30."

"I'm so sorry to disturb your recovery, but it's time for us to get this New Year's Day binge started--but those are the same people who wouldn't recognize handsome if it set your house on fire," he says. "So dive on in, distract yourself with this first look at season 2 of A Series of Unfortunate Events."

Based on the book series by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), A Series of Unfortunate Events also stars Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Presley Smith, Nathan Fillion, Tony Hale, Sara Rue, Lucy Punch, Roger Bart, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Presley Smith and K. Todd Freeman. Season 2 covers books 5 through 9.

Books & Authors

Awards: Costa Book Category Winners

Winners have been named in the five Costa Book Awards categories. Each author receives £5,000 (about $6,800) and is now eligible for the £30,000 (about $40,795) Costa Book of the Year prize, which will be announced January 30 in London. This year's Costa category winners are:

Novel: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
First novel: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Biography: In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott
Poetry: Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore
Children's: The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Reading with... Sophie Kinsella

photo: John Swannell

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I've Got Your Number, Wedding Night, Finding Audrey and Fairy Mom and Me, her most recent title for middle grade readers, from Delacorte. She lives in England.

On your nightstand now:

I'm currently reading Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny, which is a very funny read about marriage, origami and other topics. There are also the books I'm reading to my children. I'm reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie to my 12-year-old and The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton to my six- and seven-year-olds. I can't wait to read the new Philip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage, but I'm saving it up for when I have a few undisturbed days!

Favorite book when you were a child:

I had so many! Each time I'm asked this question I choose a different one. As I write this, I would say my favorite was Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. However, I also loved Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, anything by Enid Blyton or Noel Streatfeild, and the Chalet School series by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. Later on, I read Fifteen by Beverly Cleary about a thousand times.

Your top five authors:

This is impossible! But I'd say at least that among my top 10 would be Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Dorothy Parker and Dave Eggers.

Book you've faked reading:

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. My parents told me a million times I would love this book, which was fatal! I could never get on with it and always abandoned it after a chapter or two. However, I've been in lots of conversations where people refer to Vanity Fair and I always nod sagely as though I know it well.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. It is brilliant. My children ask me to read it to them every night, and then proceed to recite it themselves, howling with laughter.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I bought a lovely hardback edition of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, just because it was so beautiful.

Book you hid from your parents:

Jilly Cooper's Riders. It's absolutely tremendous, like all of Jilly Cooper's books. It's full of dashing heroes and feisty girls and loads of sex.

Book that changed your life:

I remember when I first read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I couldn't believe a book was making me laugh out loud so much. It was such an inspiration.

Favorite line from a book:

"I left the room with silent dignity, but caught my foot in the mat." --from Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

Five books you'll never part with:

My old copy of Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. My childhood copy of Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. All my copies of Emma. The battered copy of Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg that I've read to all my children. And my collected works of Agatha Christie. (Please, may they count as one?!)

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

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It blew me away. The whole concept, the ending... it was a wonderful experience.

Book that was a guilty pleasure:

All the Enid Blytons when I was at school and we were supposed to read more "improving" books, whatever that means.

Book Review

Children's Review: Life Doesn't Frighten Me

Life Doesn't Frighten Me (Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition) by Maya Angelou, edited by Sara Jane Boyers, illus. by Jean-Michel Basquiat (Abrams, $19.95 hardcover, 40p., ages 6-up, 9781419727481, January 9, 2018)

Monsters under the bed, specters hiding in closets, demons just outside the door seem to afflict--and limit--every child at some point in their young lives. But what if those "Shadows on the wall/ Noises down the hall" could be confronted... and even banished? What if an incantation as easy as "Life doesn't frighten me at all" was enough to encourage and enable resolute audacity?

Presented as an impassioned ode to courage, the late poet Dr. Maya Angelou's 1993 poem returns in a handsome 25th-anniversary edition to inspire a new generation of brave readers. No matter the challenge--"Bad dogs," "Big ghosts," "Mean old Mother Goose," "Dragons breathing flame"--fear will not win: "I go boo/ Make them shoo/ I make fun/ Way they run.../ Life doesn't frighten me at all." Angelou faces down panthers and strangers, bullies and snakes with "magic charm" that gives her the power to do the impossible: to "walk the ocean floor/ And never have to breathe." Despite screams and dreams, "Life doesn't frighten me at all/ Not at all/ Not at all."

Born in 1928, Angelou knew firsthand about fear, especially as a child: she endured family separations, was raped as a young child and persevered through the insidious racism of the Jim Crow American South. Nurtured especially by her paternal grandmother who further emboldened her with great literature, Angelou reached legendary status as a writer, teacher and activist. Then, and perhaps even more now, Life Doesn't Frighten Me bears witness to her persistence, a rousing homage to potential and tenacity.

Writer/photographer Sara Jane Boyers, who conceived this now-iconic project, found the ideal complement to Angelou's intrepid stanzas in the exquisite canvases of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose wild-child free spirit imbued his creations. His art, writes Boyers, "depicts the world as he perceived it: diverse, funny, raucous, poetic, and potentially scary--but always real." His raw, can't-turn-away compositions echo the broad-stroked candidness of youthful drawings, creating an ideally empathic invitation to younger readers.

In her afterword, Boyers explains that "[p]airing [Angelou and Basquiat's] work here created a new story for them--a new story for each of us--and it invites us to pen our own stories, on our own terms." Without fear, Angelou and Basquiat in verses and paintings, prove anything is possible. The result is timelessly inclusive, a gift of "hope, understanding, and resolve to be us, together." Because together, life indeed, won't frighten us at all. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: The 25th-anniversary edition of Maya Angelou and Jean-Michel Basquiat's Life Doesn't Frighten Me will surely inspire new generations of fearless thinkers and courageous creators.

The Bestsellers

Top Audiobooks in December

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstore locations during December:


1. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Simon & Schuster Audio)
2. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Simon & Schuster Audio)
6. Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (Simon & Schuster Audio)
8. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
9. The Power by Naomi Alderman (Hachette Audio)
10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins)


1. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins)
2. Grant by Ron Chernow (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie (Hachette Audio)
4. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster Audio)
6. Collusion by Luke Harding (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. What Happened by Hillary Clinton (Simon & Schuster Audio)
10. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (Penguin Random House Audio)

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