Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Inkyard Press: The Wrong Kind of Weird by James Ramos

Other Press (NY): The Rebel and the Thief by Jan-Philipp Sendker, translated by Imogen Taylor

Holiday House: Welcome to Feral (Frights from Feral) by Mark Fearing

Charlesbridge Publishing: Too-Small Tyson (Storytelling Math) by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Anastasia Williams

Berkley Books: Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft

Blackstone Publishing: The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page

John Scognamiglio Book: In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari


Natchez, Miss., Bookstore Closing

Turning Pages Books and More, Natchez, Miss., will close on May 31, the Natchez Democrat reported.

Mary Emrick, who founded the store in 2000, told the paper that "an ailing computer system" and a downtrend in sales were the cause for the decision. The store's gross income has halved since its high in 2007, when the store had a high profit, and now she doesn't have enough money for a computer upgrade. She said, too, that "people don't read like they did when I was growing up. And if they do, they can buy e-books or order online. The change has just made my business a dinosaur."

She praised her staff and customers: "I have the most amazing, loyal customers. I just don't have enough of them... I loved my store. I just loved it. I'm sorry it's closing."

The store carries fiction, biography, history, classical literature, Civil War, African-American, gardening, collectibles, southern authors, regional, religion, inspirational fiction, cookbooks, political and children's books. In addition, it carries greeting cards, journals, bookmarks, music CDs, children's plush toys and audiobooks.

Atria Books: The Night Travelers by Armando Lucas Correa

Pew Report: Nearly One in Five Americans Listening to Audiobooks

Around 18% of Americans, or just under one in five, listened to an audiobook in 2017, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January, marking an increase of 4% from 2016. The split between print books and e-books, meanwhile, has remained consistent, with the shares of print and e-book readers similar to figures from a 2016 survey.

The survey found that 74% of Americans read a book in any format in the previous 12 months, with print remaining the most popular format for reading. Nearly 40% of Americans said they read print books exclusively, 29% said they consume a combination of print and digital formats, and only 7% said they prefer digital formats and have not read a single print book in the last year. And while people between the ages of 18 and 29 are slightly more likely to read only digital books, exclusively digital readers still make up only 10% of that demographic.

On average, Americans read 12 books per year, while in the past year, the typical (median) American read four books. Pew reported that these figures have stayed approximately the same since it began researching American reading habits in 2011.

Barefoot Books: Save 10%

Tina Jordan Leaves AAP to Become Pro Surfer

Tina Jordan

One of our favorite people, Tina Jordan, who had been v-p of the Association of American Publishers for 12 years and earlier worked at Reed Exhibitions as director of public relations and special events at BookExpo America, has left the AAP and hopes to become a professional surfer.

A very happy Tina wrote to us: "If a first generation, U.S.-born Greek woman whose immigrant parents could barely speak, read or write in English can become a vice president for the Association of American Publishers, anything is possible. And if I fail, then it will be just one more story to share with the extraordinary book community I've come to call home."

When not riding the waves, she can be reached via e-mail.

Ginger Fox: Free Freight and a Free Book Lovers Mug

Obituary Note: Simon King; Vanessa Lafaye

Publisher Simon King, formerly of William Collins and Random House, died March 1, the Bookseller reported. He was 80. King, who began his career in Germany at the Catholic publisher Herder in 1958, spent a decade working as an agent before joining Collins (now HarperCollins) as an editor in 1970, then "rose through the ranks from editor to publisher in a career there spanning 20 years." In 1991, he was hired by Gail Rebuck and Simon Master to take charge of Century, Arrow and Hutchinson at Random House. He retired in 1999.

Dan Franklin, who worked with King at Collins, called him "an inspirational boss, whose gentle manner disguised a steely will--a necessary attribute in the later days of his Collins career when a new breed of manager arrived more interested in profit margins than literary excellence."

Stuart Proffitt of Penguin Press, who also worked under him at Collins, described King as an "extraordinarily warm and kind person, knew where to draw the lines, believed in the power of books and writing, and was deeply encouraging to young editors like me."

Kate Parkin, who worked with King both at HarperCollins and at Random House, said he "saw his role as enabling the teams he ran to publish to the best of their ability, believing--as he often said--that 'profit is a consequence of good publishing.' A quiet man, he commanded fierce loyalty from those of us fortunate enough to have worked for him.... I, and many others in the industry, owe him a great deal."


Novelist Vanessa Lafaye, who had worked as an editor for Oxford University Press in the 1990s, died February 28, a week after her latest book deal was announced with HarperCollins, the Bookseller reported. She was 54. Lafaye wrote two acclaimed historical novels, Summertime (2015) and First Light (2017), with Miss Marley, inspired by Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, to be published by HQ this year.

HQ publishing director Kate Mills, who published Summertime at Orion and acquired Miss Marley for HarperCollins, paid tribute to the author who "could breathe life into the past in a sentence. She was a sublime storyteller and a force of nature--brave, generous, wryly funny and determined to make every word and every day count. She had many friends across the trade and will be hugely missed by her fellow authors, readers, reviewers and booksellers alike."

Expressing sadness at the news of Lafaye's passing, a spokesperson for Orion said: "We were proud to have been the publisher of Summertime and At First Light, and to have helped her reach readers with her wonderful storytelling. She was an inspiring person and talented writer and we are honored to have been part of her creative journey."

Lafaye worked as a commissioning editor at OUP from 1989 until 1999. Martin Baum, senior commissioning editor for psychology and neuroscience at OUP, said, "Vanessa employed me and was great fun to work with. Although very professional, she had a great sense of humor, and just didn't seem to take life too seriously. She was also a very smart person--I think she could match some of our authors on that front. At that time, it was noticeable that she was an outstanding writer--I witnessed the work she undertook on some of our authors' prose. Hers were big boots to fill."

Red Comet Press: Robin Robin: Based on the Netflix Holiday Special by Dan Ojari, Mikey Please, illustrated by Briony May Smith

Tombolo Books Pop-Up Thriving in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"When people come in, I tell them this is the mini version of the store we're bringing here," said Alsace Walentine, owner of the pop-up bookstore Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg, Fla. Since moving to St. Petersburg in 2015, Walentine has wanted to open an independent bookstore of her own and is hoping to open a 1,200-1,500-square-foot store this fall. Over the last four months Walentine has introduced her store to the St. Petersburg community as a pop-up shop, beginning with several festival appearances in November 2017 and continuing through the holiday season with a longer term "winter pop-up" that is still running.

The winter pop-up is a 180-square-foot space in an arcade-style building, located on St. Petersburg's Central Avenue, that is home to several other start-ups and small businesses. Walentine sells new books for all ages and across many genres, including picture books, middle grade and YA, adult literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and a selection of books in translation and small press titles, of which she said she is particularly proud. She reported that the inventory changes frequently, and most of what she sells is "hot off the presses." Around 25%-30% of the space is shared with a local stationery store from Tampa, which handles most of the sidelines.

Alsace Walentine with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman

"The community response has been just totally astounding and so gratifying," said Walentine, who worked at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, N.C., for 16 years prior to moving to Florida. "It feels so good to provide what people are looking for and to do what I love doing."

And though the winter pop-up has moved since opening in December, from a street-front space to an interior location with no real signage, return customers are still coming in and other shoppers continue to discover the store. Soon, Walentine will have to decide if she wants to extend the semi-permanent pop-up into the spring, or focus entirely on festival and market appearances over the next few months.

Tombolo Books made its debut as a pop-up shop at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading last November. At the time, Walentine planned for that to be her only pop-up appearance, envisioning it as more of a marketing event than anything else. She figured that after the festival ended on November 11, she would be back to scouting for locations and working on raising start-up funds.

"It was going to be a one-off thing," remarked Walentine.

But the pop-up was such a success that in less than a week she was set up at another Tampa Bay-area festival called Et Cultura, which Walentine described as "Florida's little mini South by Southwest." At Et Cultura, Walentine met a few people who wanted to arrange a meeting between Walentine and a local developer known for incubating local entrepreneurs. The reception to the pop-up appearances had been fantastic, with Walentine selling "way more" than she expected. That got her thinking about carrying that momentum into a holiday pop-up shop.

When she finally had her meeting with the developer on November 30, he broached the subject of opening a pop-up shop in his Central Avenue property. Walentine pounced on the opportunity, and set up the store the next day, on December 1.

With the winter pop-up still open, Walentine continues to do other pop-up events at festivals and markets. In early February, she brought Tombolo Books to the fifth annual Localtopia, a one-day celebration of "all things local," and in the middle of the month Tombolo was featured at a Techstars' Tampa Bay Startup Week.

Whether she decides to extend the Central Avenue residence or not, Walentine has plans for several events this spring. Last week, she sold books at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference as well as participated in AWP's Literary Death Match. And on April 12, Tombolo Books will hold its first official author event: an off-site launch party for the children's history book Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders and illustrator Steven Salerno.

Walentine said that when she lived in Asheville, she always had "so much confidence" in independent bookstores, though she would occasionally catch herself wondering whether the rest of the world was as "cool" as Asheville, or if, in other parts of the country, people were simply more devoted to huge discount retailers than local businesses. But since coming to St. Petersburg, she said, her worries have been assuaged. Added Walentine: "The go local movement here is thriving." --Alex Mutter

Camcat Books: Armadas in the Mist: Volume 3 (The Empire of the House of Thorns) by Christian Klaver


Image of the Day: Fountain of Love for Anatomy of a Miracle

"We've been waiting to share this book for MONTHS. We love this book so much. Please come to this okay? The book is really incredible though! Okay done ranting."

The book is Jonathan Miles's novel Anatomy of a Miracle (Hogarth), published today, and that's only the beginning of the praise from Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va. The store also devoted the entire front page of its newsletter to accolades by staffers, and put together the above window display and table displays in-store. Owner Kelly Justice wrote: "In 29 years in this business, I have never pulled out the stops this hard for a book. Anatomy of a Miracle means that much to me. I knew it couldn't be just me, so I made sure my booksellers got their own copies. Sure enough, after they read it too, we knew we had our hands on a diamond--only book-shaped and not nearly as expensive. I'm so happy to finally be able to share it with you! Come meet Jonny on March 28th here at the shop. You'll be glad you did."

Indie Bookstores 'Finding Their Niche in the Community'

In an article headlined "Scrappy bookstores beat the odds by finding their niche in the community," the Kansas City Star spoke with Vivien Jennings, founder and president of Rainy Day Books in Fairway, who said that bookstores will continue to hold an important place in the community and that the "Amazon impact" has plateaued.

"They've done all they can with books," she said. "They came, they pillaged and they moved on. They used books as an entry point because books are easy to order and ship." She added that neighborhood bookstore will continue to exist in the future: "People have to know the impact of their decisions. If you value what we do, you have to give us your business. I think there is more awareness of that now.... People are coming back to the relationships.... I think the outlook is optimistic," she said. "People are realizing we're a place for them, a community space.... We have really good support from the community, and I feel positive about that."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Isikoff and David Corn on Fresh Air, CBS This Morning

Fresh Air: Michael Isikoff and David Corn, authors of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump (Twelve, $30, 9781538728758). They are also on CBS This Morning.

The Real: Roma Downey, author of Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us (Howard, $24.99, 9781501150937).

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

Conan: Sebastian Maniscalco, author of Stay Hungry (Gallery, $25, 9781501115974).

Netflix to Stream Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Netflix "has taken multiple territories" for The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, based on the novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Netflix will stream Guernsey in North America, Latin America, Italy, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Studiocanal, which is financing the pic, will release the film in the U.K. starting on April 20, followed by Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany.

Directed by Mike Newell, the movie stars Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Katherine Parkinson, Matthew Goode, Glen Powell, Penelope Wilton, Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Courtenay. Producers are Paula Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan from the Mazur/Kaplan Company (he is the owner of Books & Books in southern Florida and the Cayman Islands), along with Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin from Blueprint Pictures.

Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker Int'l; Simpson Family; Dr. Tony Ryan

A 13-book longlist has been unveiled for the £50,000 (about $61,700) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world. The award will be divided equally between the author of the winning book and its translator. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000 (about $1,390). A shortlist of six books will be released April 12, with the winner named May 22 in London. This year's longlisted titles are:

The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet (France), translated by Sam Taylor
The Impostor by Javier Cercas (Spain), translated by Frank Wynne
Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes (France), translated by Frank Wynne
Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), translated by Susan Bernofsky
The White Book by Han Kang (South Korea), translated by Deborah Smith
Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), translated by Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff
The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), translated by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet and George Szirtes 
Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), translated by Camilo A. Ramirez
The Flying Mountain by Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), translated by Simon Pare
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), translated by Jonathan Wright
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), translated by Jennifer Croft
The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), translated by Darryl Sterk
The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), translated by Natasha Wimmer


The shortlist for the $50,000 2nd Annual 2018 Simpson Family Literary Prize, recognizing mid-career authors in fiction, are:

Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Ecco)
Samantha Hunt, author of The Dark Dark (FSG)
Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs (Penguin)
Anthony Marra, author of The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth)
Martin Pousson, author of Black Sheep Boy (Rare Bird)

The prize is administered by the Simpson Project, a collaboration of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation and the University of California, Berkeley, English Department.


The semi-finalists for the 2017 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, which honors books with a horse racing background, are:

Flamingo Road by Sasscer Hill
Missionville by Alex Brown
Out of Luck by John Perrotta, illustrated by Jen Ferguson
Pulse by Felix Francis
The Whole Sky by Heather Henson

The winner will be announced April 19.

Midwest Connections April Picks

From the Midwest Booksellers Association, Midwest Connections Picks for April. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary by Lorrie Moore (Knopf, $29.95, 9781524732486). "More than fifty essays, reviews, and pieces of cultural criticism by one of America's most revered and admired novelists who has been parsing the political, artistic, and media idiom for the last three decades. See What Can Be Done ranges from reviews of novels by Margaret Atwood and Nora Ephron, to an essay on Ezra Edelman's 2016 O.J. Simpson documentary, to commentary on the continuing unequal state of race in America and the shocking GOP."

Universal Harvester: A Novel by John Darnielle (Picador, $16, 9781250159991). "It's the late '90s, and you can find Jeremy at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. Suddenly, customers begin complaining that there are mysterious movies on the tapes they've rented. As Jeremy and those around him are absorbed into tapes, they become part of another story--one that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain."

Paris by the Book: A Novel by Liam Callanan (Dutton, $26, 9781101986271). "Leah Eady and her two daughters are left shaken when her husband, Robert, disappears. He leaves behind plane tickets to Paris and a half finished manuscript. Leah uproots her family to Paris in search of him and buys a struggling English language bookstore, hoping to lure her husband back."

Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O'Connor (Putnam, $16.99, 9780399161933). "Eleven-year-old Reenie Kelly is Lake Liberty's newest paper girl. When one customer, Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse, won't answer his doorbell to meet her, Reenie begins to leave him letters. Slowly, the two become pen pals, striking up the most unlikely of friendships. Reenie learns Mr. Marsworth is a staunch pacifist and soon enough the two devise a plan to keep her brother from enlisting in the Vietnam War."

Book Review

Review: Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin, $26.95 hardcover, 320p., 9781616202620, April 3, 2018)

Mike Muñoz, the endearing protagonist of Lawn Boy, Jonathan Evison's fifth novel (West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving), is 22 and lives in a trailer on the rez in Suquamish, on Puget Sound. His chain-smoking mother works double shifts at the Tide's Inn while Mike babysits Nate, his developmentally disabled big brother, and spends his spare time reading books like The Octopus and The Jungle.

He works for a lawn service and loves his job--fresh air and satisfaction. "What's more beautiful than a great green field of new-mown grass... a tidy edge or the clean lines of scrupulously pruned boxwood?" He's also something of a savant with topiary. Arrayed against him: lack of resources, low wages, lower expectations; in contemporary parlance, a culture of poverty. But "you see, old Mike Muñoz would like to figure out who the hell he actually is, what he'd like to do with his life. He aches to be a winner."

On the job, "Tuesdays are a bitch." That's when the lawn service goes over to Bainbridge Island--home to the wealthy and sheltered, where nobody "drives a broke-dick truck unless it's from 1957." This particular Tuesday is his downfall--his boss sends him to the McClures to clean up their St. Bernard's dumps. It quickly goes to sh*t, so to say, and Mike is fired. This might be a turning point--he could start his own business, with clients who appreciated "my professionalism and my mad topiary skills and my immaculate edges."

While looking for work, he hangs out at the library--"the most stable thing in our lives, the only thing in the whole damn society that said to little Mike Muñoz: 'Here you are kid, it's all yours for the asking....' The only currency he needed was a library card." He's guided in his reading by a T-shirted librarian named Andrew, who helps Mike find books with grit and realism, something angry. "Once again, the library had my back."

Andrew helps Mike at least to dream a little, with rambling conversations and political activism picketing Walmart and protesting puppy mills, but Mike needs a job. He finds several, none of which work out. His mower gets stolen, his truck breaks down permanently, he loses a bit of his soul working for a real estate hustler.

Lawn Boy is empathetic and angry in its portrayal of class, poverty, discrimination--destroyers of dreams. But Mike perseveres--"I had poetry in my heart, goddammit"--and learns to blaze his own trail. He "gets his mow on"; he even finds unexpected true love. As he learns that no man is an island, he's able to see increasing moments of grace with his "ragged tribe." In Evison's tough and wry novel, Mike Muñoz is every person who wants a living wage and a little dignity, "the opportunity to think beyond sustenance long enough to dream." --Marilyn Dahl

Shelf Talker: Jonathan Evison has written a fierce and funny novel about a young man's attempts to transcend class and poverty.


Buzz Panel Pick: Maid by Stephanie Land

In yesterday's story about the Editors' Buzz Panel picks at BookExpo, we mistakenly omitted one of the adult titles: Maid by Stephanie Land (Hachette Books, December 26). The Adult Editors' Buzz Panel takes place at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. One Last Time by Corinne Michaels
2. Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan
3. Billionaire Unloved by J.S. Scott
4. Charming Hannah by Kristen Proby
5. Pearl's Dragon by S.E. Smith
6. Dirty Laundry by Liliana Hart
7. Cracked Kingdom (The Royals Book 5) by Erin Watt
8. Reckless by Lex Martin
9. Texas Trouble Series: Book 1-3 by Becky McGraw
10. First Time Lucky by Chance Carter

[Many thanks to!]

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