Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 2, 2018

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Quotation of the Day

Annapolis Shootings: 'Feels So Personal'

"It feels so personal. It has shifted our community, and maybe it's made us more attuned to the fact that we are all in this together."

--Mary Adams, owner of the Annapolis Bookstore, Annapolis, Md., commenting on the mass shooting on Thursday at the Capital Gazette, one of the victims of which was assistant managing editor Rob Hiaasen, brother of author Carl Hiaasen. Adams, who put out a sandwich board reading, "There Are No Words," was quoted by the AP (via the Leader Telegram).

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black


Little Bookworm Children's Bookshop Opens in Metairie, La.

Little Bookworm has opened at 115 Metairie Road, Suite E, in Metairie, La. Owned by Emily French, the business is "committed to offering quality books and safe, natural toys to children from ages 0-6," according to the bookshop's website. "We strive to engage the community by offering weekly story times, special events, and classes. We endeavor to be environmentally friendly by recycling gently loved children's books from local families back into the community for new families. Little Bookworm is dedicated to offering excellent, hands-on customer service for all our guests. It is our ultimate goal to bring families together to engage with each other or with the local community. Books are an excellent way to connect with children, and we seek to foster that relationship and connection."

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

New Owner for Montana Book & Toy Company

Effective yesterday, Chelsia Rice became the new owner of the Montana Book & Toy Company in Helena, the Independent Record reported. She purchased the store from Didi Peccia, who bought it in 1997 with her sister, Jan Peccia, who died in 2015. Didi Peccia told the paper that running the store hasn't been the same without Jan, and she is ready to focus on other things. "I'm just thrilled there's still a bookstore in Helena," she added. "Change is good."

Rice was formerly a cancer patient advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, in which she role she first "met" the Peccias. "I learned about Jan, who had passed away from melanoma," she said, and asked Didi to write an educational op-ed about that type of cancer. "Rice is a cancer survivor herself and connected with Didi over her loss," the paper observed.

Chelsia Rice

Rice plans to make some changes: she is phasing out toys and will add a music section that will include vinyl albums, record players and other music-themed items. She plans to sell more paper products, host more author readings and collaborate with other bookstores in the state "to make a visit to Montana worthwhile travel for authors."

With a master's in nonfiction, she also wants to expand the store's nonfiction stock.

Montana Book & Toy Company was founded 40 years ago by Judy Flanders as a Little Professor franchise. Manager Pam Sommer has worked at the store for 35 years and specializes in children's literature.

Tornado-Damaged B&N in Pa. to Reopen this Fall

Barnes & Noble Wilkes-Barre, before the tornado.

The Arena Hub Plaza Barnes & Noble store in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which was badly damaged by a tornado in mid-June, will reopen before Thanksgiving, the Times Leader reported. The store has been closed since it was hit by an EF2 twister, but B&N said it is committed to serving the community and work is already underway to assess the damage and begin repairs to the store. All employees will keep their jobs and have been helping with the rebuilding process.

"The June 13 tornado in Wilkes-Barre was a shocking event, and we're so thankful that no one at our store was hurt," said Jim Lampassi, B&N v-p, real estate development. "Although the building sustained heavy damage, we immediately knew that we would rebuild and continue to serve the Wilkes-Barre community. The outpouring of support from the community was heartwarming, and we can't wait to reopen our doors. Although it will require a lot of work we are confident that the store will be open for business by Thanksgiving."

Patrick Abdalla, who was working at the B&N store when the tornado struck, recalled the experience for the Citizens' Voice.

Junot Díaz Rejects Allegations, Apologetic Statement

Junot Díaz

In what the Boston Globe calls his "first interview since being accused of inappropriate behavior with women," author Junot Díaz has denied all the allegations and retracted what seemed to be an apology issued two months ago by his literary agent.

That statement, which also referred to the abuse he suffered as a child, read in part, "I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath. This conversation is important and must continue. I am listening to and learning from women's stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries."

The Globe noted that "with a lawyer by his side," Díaz "seemed to disavow that statement and demurred when asked to describe what he meant by 'consent and boundaries.' " He told the paper: "I've written a lot of crap in my life. One does when one's a writer. But, definitely, that statement is the worst thing I've written, the worst thing I've put my name to. Boy, I wish I'd had the presence of mind to rewrite the damn thing."

Díaz won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008 for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and in March published his first children's book, Islandborn. He is also the recipient of a $100,000 MacArthur "genius" grant.

On May 4, at the Sydney Writers Conference in Australia, during a q&a period following a panel that included Díaz, Zinzi Clemmons, author of What We Lose and also a guest of the festival, questioned Díaz about his behavior when she was a graduate student at Columbia, saying he had cornered and forcibly kissed her after she had invited him to speak at a workshop at the school. Following the panel, Clemmons tweeted about the incident, saying that she is "far from the only one he's done this 2."

Soon after, author Carmen Maria Machado tweeted that Díaz had been enraged by her questioning of one of his fictional character's "unhealthy, pathological relationship with women" and tried to humiliate her in front of others, while author Monica Byrne tweeted that he shouted "rape" in her face at a dinner "after knowing me for maybe ten minutes." Another woman, author Alisa Rivera, said that at a lunch he bullied her, then grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her onto his lap.

The Globe said Díaz described himself as "distressed," "confused," and "panicked" by the accusations. "I was shocked. I was, like, 'Yo, this doesn't sound like anything that's in my life, anything that's me.' " He insisted, the paper continued, that he had not bullied the women or done anything sexually inappropriate.

He added that he didn't offer a denial in Sydney because, "I didn't feel like anyone would listen to me. I felt like people had already moved on to the punishment phase."

The Globe observed that Díaz has been cleared to continue teaching at MIT, where he is a professor of creative writing, after an investigation by the school. Also, the Boston Review, where Díaz has been a fiction editor since 2003, said it would continue its "relationship" with the author (although three poetry editors resigned in protest). Díaz remains on the Pulitzer Prize board after stepping aside as chair, while an independent investigation of the allegations is being made.

The newspaper also wrote: "So far, Díaz has been spared, largely because the deluge of #MeToo stories his accusers predicted hasn't come. Also, some of the allegations have withered under scrutiny: An exchange recalled by one woman as 'a blast of misogynist rage and public humiliation' sounded, to others, like an author being defensive about his work. And Clemmons, who accused Díaz of forcibly kissing her in a stairwell, has refused to say whether it was on the lips."

The Globe wrote that Byrne "like other accusers, contends there are additional women who have not spoken out, but she will not disclose their names. She said she's compiling a list that includes secondhand stories and published accounts, like that of a man who tweeted about Díaz belittling his manuscript in a writing workshop." Asked whether belittling a manuscript in a writing workshop "describes a sexual abuser or a jerk," Byrne answered, "What is the difference? MeToo covers a huge spectrum of behaviors as problematic and as specifically misogynist."

Speaking in general of his life, Díaz told the paper: "There is a line between being a bad boyfriend and having a lot of regret, and predatory behavior."

Some people seem to agree with him. The Globe quoted Stanford University English professor Paula Moya, who said that if the allegations are true, "does that then put him in the same category with Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby? It doesn't. And if you care about what happens to women, then one of the things you have to care about is what real damage is and what maybe [jerky] behavior is. I'm not saying [jerky] behavior is OK. We need to be able to make distinctions."

On the other hand, Sarah J. Jackson, a Northeastern University associate professor of communications, said, "Some women have taken the position that we need to be careful to not 'water down' #MeToo by including things that aren't rape or assault, physical assaults. But I think we need to be extremely cautious about that. Because often the men who do engage in egregious bad behaviors do it because they've gotten away with lesser bad behaviors and they escalate. At some point Harvey Weinstein wasn't today's Harvey Weinstein."

Marunas Steps Down as Quercus U.S. Publisher

Nathaniel Marunas

After six years building the Quercus list in the U.S., publisher Nathaniel Marunas has left the company "to explore the next chapter in his publishing career," Hachette Book Group announced.

Marunas commented: "The process of building Quercus from scratch has been hugely rewarding, but also utterly consuming. Having poured myself into launching the business and helping it grow, it is time to take a brief sabbatical, focus on several projects close to my heart, and consider what other publishing adventures the future might hold."

Marunas may be reached via e-mail. Any inquiries about Quercus should go to Quercus marketing manager Elyse Gregov.

Obituary Note: Willie Lee Rose

Historian Willie Lee Rose, "who upended the scholarly consensus of her time by shifting the primary blame for the failure of Reconstruction after the Civil War from freed slaves and Northern interlopers to irresolute federal officials," died June 20, the New York Times reported. She was 91. Before being incapacitated by a stroke in 1978, Rose taught at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University and became a prominent advocate for women who aspired to teach history.

"She looked at the ground level at how the end of slavery unleashed a tremendous set of conflicts over what should follow," said historian Eric Foner. "Her book Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment [1964] depicted Northern teachers, the Army, Treasury Department agents, Northern cotton planters and the former slaves themselves, battling over access to land, control of labor, access to education and political power."

Rehearsal for Reconstruction won two prestigious awards from the Society of American Historians: the Allan Nevins Prize for best dissertation and the Francis Parkman Prize for the best work of American history. Rose's other books include a collection of letters, diaries and other ephemera titled Documentary History of Slavery in North America (1976) and Slavery and Freedom (1982).


Image of the Day: American Sabor

Casa Norberto Libros & CafeBar, San Juan, Puerto Rico, hosted a signing for American Sabor: Latinos and Latinas in U.S. Popular Music / Latinos y latinas en la musica popular estadounidense (University of Washington Press). Pictured: (l.-r.) translator Angie Berrios Miranda (the book is printed with facing pages in English and Spanish), with co-authors Marisol Berrios-Miranda and Shannon Dudley.

Tonight Show Summer Read: Children of Blood and Bone

On Friday, Jimmy Fallon revealed that Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone (Holt) has been chosen as the Tonight Show Summer Reads pick. Fallon launched his book club last week, calling on viewers to select the first pick from a list of five titles.

More than 140,000 votes were cast, with Children of Blood & Bone garnering 47%, followed by Joe Ide's IQ (23%), Chloe Benjamin's The Immortalists (16%), Caroline Kepnes's Providence (8%) and You-Jeong Jeong's The Good Son (7%).

Participating readers can follow Fallon's Instagram and the Tonight Show on Facebook for updates throughout July, using #tonightshowsummerreads. Fallon and the show will give feedback on the book, answer questions and hear what readers have to say about it.

The Tonight Show is teaming up with publisher Macmillan to donate 3,000 copies through First Book, which provides books to classrooms, shelters and community programs across the country.


'7 Bookshops Worth Traveling For'

Noting that some independent bookstores "have managed to stay afloat and even thrive," Outlook Traveller featured "7 bookshops worth traveling for," adding: "Here  are some from around the world that are keeping the joy of reading alive."

Call for Book Swag

Carl Lennertz is once again teaching 100 eager future publishing employees at the Denver Publishing Institute, and he'll use--in the curriculum and for display each day--"every children's and adult marketing item publishers can send: ARCs, F&Gs, books, bookmarks, catalogues, totes, pins, stickers, etc.! The students love it all, are eager readers, and get to see all aspects of promotional materials this way." Items should arrive after July 10 and before July 21. Any questions:

Ship to: Jennifer Conder, Publishing Institute, University of Denver, 2000 East Asbury Ave., Denver, Colo. 80208 ATTN: CARL LENNERTZ

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Brad Thor on Today, Fox News

Fox News with Shannon Bream: Brad Thor, author of Spymaster: A Thriller (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27.99, 9781476789415). He will also appear tomorrow on the Today Show.

The View repeat: Jake Tapper, author of The Hellfire Club (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316472319). He will also appear on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers.

The View repeat: Martha Stewart, co-author of Martha's Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying (Clarkson Potter, $45, 9780307954770).

Daily Show repeat: Bill Clinton and James Patterson, authors of The President Is Missing: A Novel (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316412698).

Movies: The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett "welcome you to a world of witches, warlocks, demon pumpkins and creepy puppets" in the new trailer for The House With a Clock in Its Walls, based on the books by John Bellairs, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Directed by Eli Roth from a screenplay by Eric Kripke (TV's Timeless, Supernatural), the film also stars Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams and Sunny Suljic. It will hit theaters September 21.

"When I was 10, I fell in love with this book," Kripke tweeted when the first trailer came out. "The only fan letter I ever wrote was to its author. It's one of the main inspirations for [Supernatural]. Now we got to make it into a movie. Dreams do come true. If you like [Supernatural], see where it all began."

Book Review

Review: Jell-O Girls: A Family History

Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover, 288p., 9780316510615, July 24, 2018)

"We come from Jell-O," writes Allie Rowbottom in Jell-O Girls, her memoir detailing her family's intertwined legacy with "America's Most Famous Dessert." In 1899, her great-great-great uncle Orator Woodward bought the Jell-O patent for $450 (or $4,000 today). Twenty-six years later, the patent was sold for $67 million.
Woodward's marketing and advertising savvy shaped the sugary, gelatinous product into one of the world's most successful brands. It's been served by generations of housewives keeping boxes of the stuff "stacked like bricks" in their pantries, and using company-produced Jell-O recipe booklets to create ubiquitous salads and colorful fruit-laden molds. The Woodwards' wealth transformed LeRoy, N.Y., where Jell-O was manufactured, "just down the street from Orator's house, the river outside the factory running colorful and sweet, changing color weekly depending on the flavor." 
However, Jell-O stained more than the town's water. Some Woodward family members--especially Rowbottom's mother, Mary Jane Fussell--believed that their wealth was responsible for "the Jell-O curse," an explanation used for "all manner of familial misfortune." Many Woodwards suffered from some combination of mental and physical illnesses, abuse, alcoholism and financial ruin; several died by suicide. As a child, Mary lost her mother to cancer and endured repeated sexual abuse by a manipulative cousin and his friends. At 19, she was hospitalized in a psychiatric center and later, suffered from the same cancer that claimed her mother.
With candid and unflinching descriptions connecting the history of Jell-O, feminism and her mother's unpublished writings, Rowbottom makes a case that the curse wasn't physical, emotional or confined exclusively to their family. (Pearle Wait, the original holder of the Jell-O patent, went bankrupt shortly after the sale.) Instead, the curse was a repressive societal attitude "reflected by the messages about women and their worth that her family sold with each box of Jell-O." Even the product's advertising depicted women and girls conforming to expectations by fitting into a perfect mold and stifling their voices. A modern-day case in point: in 2011, when a group of popular girls from LeRoy suddenly experienced mysterious twitching and convulsions, doctors dismissed the girls' ailments as "conversion disorder" and pleas for attention.
Jell-O Girls is a fascinating family history combined with an examination of an iconic brand, one with double-sided messages of domesticity and nurturing that have influenced generations of women. By sharing her family's most personal tragedies, Rowbottom shows the interconnectivity among women and the continued need for amplification of their voices. --Melissa Firman, writer, editor and blogger at
Shelf Talker: This captivating memoir connects a family "curse" to Jell-O, feminism and changing societal norms.

The Bestsellers

Top Audiobooks in June

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstore locations during June:


1. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Hachette Audio)
3. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Hachette Audio)
4. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (Simon & Schuster Audio)
5. Circe by Madeline Miller (Hachette Audio)
6. There There by Tommy Orange (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Hachette Audio)
9. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (HarperCollins)
10. The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (HarperCollins)


1. Calypso by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
2. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)
6. The World as It Is by Ben Rhodes (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. The Soul of America by Jon Meacham (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. Robin by David Itzkoff (Macmillan Audio)
10. Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston (HarperCollins)

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