Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Little Brown and Company: This Bird Has Flown by Susanna Hoffs

St. Martin's Press: Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

W by Wattpad Books: Hazel Fine Sings Along by Katie Wicks

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith


Greedy Reads Opens in Baltimore, Md.

Congratulations to Greedy Reads, located in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Md., which held its soft opening on Sunday. Owner Julia Fleischaker commented: "It was amazing, packed all day long. I had high expectations but still underestimated the demand. It was a thrill."

The store will hold a grand opening celebration on Saturday, March 10, that will feature author signings, giveaways and food and drinks all day.

Greedy Reads is a 500-square-foot store that is focusing on new releases, both fiction and nonfiction, including children's and YA, a rotating selection of backlist titles. It will also carry gifts and a small inventory of magazines.

Fleischaker is former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House and publicity director at Penguin Group. She's a native of Maryland and a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Parallax Press: Radical Love: From Separation to Connection with the Earth, Each Other, and Ourselves by Satish Kumar

Children's Literature Community Rallies Behind the #MarchForOurLives

After the February 14 fatal shootings of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., student survivors announced a rally and march for increased gun control and school safety measures. Their March for Our Lives will take place on Saturday, March 24, in Washington, D.C.

Last Friday, young adult authors Jenny Han and Raina Telgemeier e-mailed their kidlit community to say they would organize kidlit groups to march together in New York City and in the Bay Area for the #MarchForOurLives. The authors created the hashtag #KidLitMarchesForKids, and Telgemeier--along with Siobhan Vivian's husband, Nick Caruso--designed a graphic so that kidlit people can easily find and distribute info about the march in their towns. There are now organizers in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Ann Arbor, Mich., and other locations are joining the list daily. In the capital, author Ellen Oh has volunteered to be a point person and East City Bookshop will serve as a staging area where people can meet up for the march or make posters.

Details are still forthcoming, but most important, Han and Telgemeier want authors, illustrators, publishers, librarians, booksellers, bloggers, etc., to save the date: on March 24, KidLit Marches for Kids.

William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor

Endowments Honor UConn Co-op Bookstore's Legacy

Two endowments have been created with the remaining funds and assets of the UConn Co-op, the independent, member-owned, student-governed bookstore that served the University of Connecticut for 41 years. The university outsourced the bookstore's operations to Barnes & Noble in 2016. The UConn Co-op's spirit will live on, however, through the new Legacy Research Fellowships and a Distinguished Guest Speaker Series.

Inspired by the UConn Co-op's "commitment to public engagement, innovative entrepreneurship and active mentorship," the Cooperative Legacy Fellowship Program will provide undergraduates with the opportunity to pursue funded research projects and/or creative endeavors. The award can work in conjunction with other research endeavors or function as a standalone grant. The fellowship is under the direction of Cathy Schlund-Vials, professor of English and director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute.

The UConn Co-op Distinguished Guest Speaker will be a leader in her or his field, such as, but not limited to creative writing, fine arts, music, human rights, ecology and evolutionary biology, sustainability, puppetry arts, history, or diversity, and community development. The guest will be available for interaction with students and faculty. It is anticipated that the first speaker will be chosen this spring/summer and be on campus in the fall.

In addition, the UConn Co-op donated $300,000 to the Homer Babbidge Library's Fund for Affordable Textbooks.

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

BookExpo: Adult Book & Author Breakfast Lineup Set

The lineup for BookExpo's Adult Book & Author Breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, May 31, has been announced, with husband-and-wife duo Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman to host. Known for their respective roles on Will & Grace and Parks & Recreation, they are also the co-authors of the memoir The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, coming later year from Penguin Random House. During the author breakfast they will discuss the memoir for the first time.

Joining Offerman and Mullally onstage will be Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show and author of Born a Crime and a second, as-yet-untitled follow-up; Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Barbara Kingsolver, whose next book, Unsheltered, is coming from HarperCollins in October; historian Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman and a forthcoming history of the United States called These Truths; and Nicholas Sparks, who will publish a new novel this fall with Grand Central.

The Children's Book & Author Breakfast, hosted by National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, will take place the following morning on Friday, June 1.

Frankfurt Book Fair's 2022 Guest of Honor Is Slovenia

Slovenia will be guest of honor at the 2022 Frankfurt Book Fair. Renata Zamida, director of the Slovenian Book Agency, and Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, signed the contract for the country's participation last week.

"Literature plays an exceptional role in Slovenian society," said Boos. "The local literary scene is very vibrant and extends far beyond the country's borders. I am delighted to see the great value placed on poetry in Slovenian society. We are very much looking forward to the appearance of Slovenian authors and publishers in Frankfurt and, with them, will discover the stories of the Guest of Honor."

Zamida noted that while Slovenia, which was founded in 1991 following the breakup of Yugoslavia, will be "one of the 'youngest' countries to appear as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurter Buchmesse," Slovenian literature "has existed for much longer than the independent state of Slovenia--and its influence extends far beyond its borders." She added: "The world's most important book fair offers a unique opportunity to present the full spectrum of Slovenian literature and culture to an international audience. The entire Slovenian cultural community--and the book sector in particular, of course--has many positive expectations for Slovenia's appearance in Frankfurt in 2022."


Great Group Reads Sought

The organizers of National Reading Group Month, sponsored by the Women's National Book Association, have called for publishers to submit titles for inclusion in the 2018 Great Group Reads program. The program, in its 10th year, provides book clubs, reading groups, libraries and bookstores with a valuable resource for book selections and recommendations.

The GGR Selection Committee is looking for literary fiction and memoirs published in the U.S. between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018, with a bent toward titles from small presses and midlist releases from larger houses that may have gone overlooked. The committee's reading period will run from February to July. Final selections will be made in late July, with a formal announcement in September.

Titles should be submitted to Great Group Reads co-manager Kristen Knox by April 13, and submissions are limited to two per publisher or imprint.

Booklovers' Gourmet 'Thrives as Cozy Meeting Place'

Booklovers' Gourmet, Webster, Mass., "thrives as cozy meeting place," the Worcester Telegram reported, noting that owner Debra J. Horan, who opened her bookstore 23 years ago, has "stayed viable by remaining true to her mission of offering variety and making the shop a community gathering space."

"Usually people come in and are taken back by how much there is in the store as far as variety," Horan said. "You can come in every day and still not see everything. I try to keep it organized so it is not too overwhelming. I do all the ordering, and I know where each book is.... I have to give them a reason to come in. I'm not selling books online--I cannot compete that way. My goal is to get people to come into the store as a destination with a full-sensory experience, smelling the coffee and pastry and making it a place for people to feel comfortable to sit and chat for a while, wander around and get lost in the books."

One of her main objectives for the shop "was to create a meeting place for people, which she has done since she opened, holding meetings for an Amnesty International group (she is a member), mystery book club, author signings, open mic readings, writers' groups and book discussion groups," the Telegraph noted.

"It is more of a community cultural space that people know they can come to," she said.

Personnel Changes at Basic Books; Viking Penguin

Connie Capone is being promoted to associate publicist at Basic Books. She joined Basic a year ago as a marketing assistant.


In the Viking/Penguin Books publicity department:

Sara Chuirazzi has been promoted to associate publicist. She joined Viking Penguin in 2016, after two summer internships working with the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau.

Jessica Fitzpatrick has been promoted to associate publicist. She joined Viking Penguin as a publicity assistant in 2016, after a year at a book PR agency.

Theresa Gaffney has been promoted to associate publicist. She joined Viking Penguin in 2016.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lauren Slater on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Lauren Slater, author of Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316370646).

The Talk: Iyanla Vanzant, author of Get Over It!: Thought Therapy for Healing the Hard Stuff (Hay House, $24, 9781401944018).

Harry: Laila Ali, author of Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food from My Table to Yours! (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250131096).

Watch What Happens Live: Patton Oswalt discusses I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by his late wife, Michelle McNamara (Harper, $27.99, 9780062319784).

Daily Show: Jorge Ramos, author of Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era (Vintage, $15, 9780525563792).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sebastian Maniscalco, author of Stay Hungry (Gallery, $25, 9781501115974).

TV: Fahrenheit 451

A first look teaser trailer has been released by HBO Films for Fahrenheit 451, the adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon, Deadline reported. Directed by Ramin Bahrani, the project will be out this spring. Sofia Boutella and Lilly Singh co-star.

Bahrani recently said that while Bradbury set his story in the distant future, the HBO movie is set in "alternate tomorrow, right here right now." He co-wrote the script with Amir Naderi and executive produces with Sarah Green, Jordan, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen. David Coatsworth is producer.

Books & Authors

Awards: Mathical Book; Jane Grigson Trust

The winners of the 2018 Mathical Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding fiction and literary nonfiction with a mathematics emphasis for youth ages 2-18, are:

Grades 3-5: A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Grades K-2: Sheep Won't Sleep: Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s by Judy Cox (Holiday House)
Pre-K: Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke (Candlewick Press)

There were honor book selections in all five age categories (including Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12), which can be seen here.

The Prize is awarded by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and in coordination with the Children's Book Council.


A shortlist has been unveiled for the £2,000 (about $2,790) Jane Grigson Trust Award, created in memory of the British food writer to recognize "a first-time writer of a book about food or drink which has been commissioned but has not yet been published." The winner will be announced March 12 in London. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Casablanca: My Moroccan Food by Nargisse Benkabbou
The Vinegar Cupboard by Angela Clutton
A Table in Venice: Recipes from My Home by Skye McAlpine

Book Review

Review: Paris Metro

Paris Metro by Wendell Steavenson (W.W. Norton, $25.95 hardcover, 384p., 9780393609783, March 13, 2018)

The challenge facing a serious novelist who wants to produce something more than a potboiler about the complex relationship between Islam and the West is twofold. First, she must create a fictional world that's at least as plausible as the one that unfolds on the Internet and television every day, and then populate it with multidimensional characters who are more than mouthpieces for clashing worldviews. In Paris Metro, Wendell Steavenson (Circling the Square: Stories from the Egyptian Revolution) succeeds impressively on both counts. Fully engaging with these challenges, her debut novel is sophisticated in both its politics and its treatment of the family drama at its heart.

Like Steavenson, her protagonist, Catherine ("Kit") Kittredge, is a journalist who's spent most of her professional life traveling from one hot spot to another around the world. While in Baghdad following the U.S. invasion in 2003, she meets and eventually weds Ahmed Solemani, the son of a murdered Iraqi diplomat, whose ambition is matched only by his penchant for concealment. Kit undergoes an express conversion to Islam solely for the purpose of their marriage, and a short time later discovers her husband will be bringing a son from his first marriage--the boy Kit calls "Little Ahmed"--into the relationship.

The ill-matched pairing predictably falters and fails, and Kit finds herself in Paris with Little Ahmed in the fateful year of 2015--bracketed by the terrorist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, to which she has a deeply personal connection, and the mass killings centered on the Bataclan theater. Kit's despair over these events is heightened by her anxiety that her adopted son, now 13 years old, is falling under the influence of a radical imam.

Steavenson thoughtfully portrays Kit's growing distress over the threat of terrorism, exacerbated by the fear that both her ex-husband and son may be more involved in perpetrating similar crimes than she is willing to admit. For all her immersion in the Muslim world, she admits, "I didn't hear their fear; my own had canceled out empathy." By the time the novel reaches its climax, events have moved Kit closer to a more sophisticated understanding of the dangers in an early-21st-century world, but Steavenson never suggests there will be any easy solutions to these conflicts. Fans of work by Graham Greene or John le Carré will find much to admire in the engrossing Paris Metro. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: The political and the personal intertwine in this story of a journalist struggling to bridge the divide between Islam and the West.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Change of Fortune (A Miss Fortune Mystery Book 11) by Jana DeLeon
2. The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles Book 6) by Kresley Cole
3. The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie
4. Lake + Manning by Jessica Hawkins
5. The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon
6. Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward
7. The Spy Who Seduced Her by Christi Caldwell
8. Hostage by Skye Warren and Annika Martin
9. The Wrong Kind of Love by Lexi Ryan
10. Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

[Many thanks to!]

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