Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Algonquin Young Readers: the Beautiful Game by Yamile Saied Méndez

Berkley Books: Books that will sweep you off your feet! Enter Giveaway!

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


AAP Sales: Huge Jump for Trade Titles in November

Wow. Total net book sales in November in the U.S. jumped 15.3%, to $1.3 billion, compared to November 2017, representing sales of 1,374 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the year to date, total net book sales have risen 0.3%, to $13.5 billion.

Trade sales were the major force behind the sales gain, with trade sales as a whole up 18.5%, to $957.8 million. Strikingly sales of adult hardcovers rose even higher than the sales gain of downloaded audio, which has been the leading category for most of the past several years.

Trade hardcover rose 28.5%, to $469.1 million; trade paperbacks rose 10.3%, to $255.3 million; mass markets rose 3.2%, to $21.2 million; trade e-book sales rose 1%, to $85.7 million. In the trade sector, only physical audio sales, which have fallen steadily for years, were down.

Sales by category in November 2018 compared to November 2017:


Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton

Mavjee Named Macmillan's President, Publishing Strategy

Maya Mavjee
(photo: Ian Brown)

Maya Mavjee will join Macmillan Publishers as president, publishing strategy, effective March 1. Reporting to CEO John Sargent, she will also work closely with Global COO Andrew Weber and Don Weisberg, president, Macmillan Publishers U.S., on all aspects of publishing across the company, with a focus on publishing strategy and the overall growth and development of its programs.

Mavjee will acquire books to be published across Macmillan's publishing houses and assume responsibility for the Central Digital Marketing and Communications groups, as well as the company's Diversity and Inclusion efforts. Reporting to her are Wibke Grutjen, v-p, digital marketing; and Erin Coffey, v-p, communications, events and community services.

Mavjee served as president and publisher of the Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House from 2010 to 2018.

"Maya brings a wealth of experience to this new role and will have a broad mandate," said Sargent. "She is ​a huge talent, and I am sure she will make us better at everything we do."

Mavjee commented: "​I am excited to be joining the Macmillan team. I have long admired the publishing programs, authors, talent and leadership of the company and look forward to the opportunities ahead."

Canadian Print Book Sales 'Remain Flat' for 2018

Print book sales in the Canadian English-language trade market remained flat in 2018, compared to the previous year, BookNet Canada reported. The total volume of print units sold in 2018 was 54.7 million at a value of CA$1.13 billion (about US$850 million).

Sales reported to BNC SalesData by a subset of comparable retailers used for year-over-year analysis showed that in 2018, 39.5% of all print books sold were in the juvenile/YA category, compared to 40% in 2017, while nonfiction sales rose by 1.5% and fiction dropped by 0.5%.

Backlist books held a 60% to 40% advantage over frontlist in terms of the sales, which matched 2017's figures. BookNet Canada noted the "dominance of backlist books is reflected in the bestsellers of the year." For example, while Michelle Obama's Becoming was the top-selling print book of the year, the second title on the list was the 2016 paperback edition of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

A detailed report titled The Canadian Book Market 2018 will be released later this year.

Romance-Only Pop-Up Coming to Somerville, Mass.

The Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, Mass., and bookseller Clarissa Murphy, co-director of Metro Boston Bookstore Day, are partnering to bring a romance-only pop-up called A Whirlwind Romance to Somerville, Mass., in February.

A Whirlwind Romance will run from February 12-18, spanning both Valentine's Day and President's Day, and reside in Bow Market in downtown Somerville. The store will carry hundreds of romance titles from a variety of sub-genres, including contemporary, historical, LGBTQIA+, paranormal, young adult and many more. There will be a small selection of love-themed sidelines and children's books, and Katie Eelman, co-director of Metro Boston Bookstore Day and former marketing & events director at Papercuts J.P. in Boston, Mass., will also help run the pop-up.

The pop-up has come about from a desire to highlight the romance genre, which the creators feel is often overlooked despite accounting for roughly a third of the U.S. fiction book market and a billion dollars in sales annually.

"The romance genre rarely gets the attention it deserves," said Paul Swydan, owner of The Silver Unicorn Bookstore. "With 20% of romance readers living in the Northeast, we feel we have a good opportunity to shine the spotlight on the romance genre."

Clarissa Murphy said: "While it will only be open for a week, we hope the pop-up gives romance books the attention they deserve, at the perfect time of year, and help spread the love of romance reading."

Sourcebooks Expands Children's Publishing Division

Sourcebooks is launching Sourcebooks Wonderland, a  children's imprint that "will comprise existing products and forthcoming acquisitions and publications of proprietary, customized and regional books," according to the company. Nicky Benson, former director of product management at Readerlink, joins Karen Shapiro, publishing manager of the Sourcebooks entertainment group and creator of the national bestselling How to Catch series of books, to lead the imprint.

Other notable books and series Sourcebooks has published in these categories include Welcome Little One by Sandra Magsamen and a bestselling regional publishing program that includes Santa Is Coming to [Chicago], Halloween Scare in [Chicago], Tiny the [Chicago] Easter Bunny, and more.

"Our goal is to delight, entertain, and inform kids and parents, and it's incredible to have been able to publish so many bestsellers in such a short period of time," said Todd Stocke, senior v-p and editorial director at Sourcebooks. "Nicky has a remarkable eye for writing and design that connects with a wide audience, and we're thrilled to add her to our growing team."

In further expansion, Sourcebooks is adding a dedicated middle-grade imprint, Sourcebooks Young Readers, and a children's nonfiction line, Sourcebooks eXplore. Helmed by editorial directors Steve Geck and Kelly Barrales-Saylor respectively, these imprints will join the flagship children's picture book and board book imprint, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, and the Little Pickle Press line of books. Together with Sourcebooks Wonderland, they will be under the umbrella of Sourcebooks Kids.

"Our children's business has grown immensely over the past several years" said Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks. "Twelve years ago, we published our first children's book, and today we are the 12th largest children's publisher in the country. This expansion is a result of the extraordinary books our authors create, and the amazing opportunities we have with so many partners."

Heather Moore, director of marketing for Sourcebooks Kids, added: "This has been a really pivotal year for us, and I'm incredibly excited to build on the success we've already created. Bringing these new and established imprints under the cohesive umbrella of Sourcebooks Kids will create even more synergy to our editorial, sales, and marketing teams. It will also allow us to focus on the most dynamic and effective marketing strategies for each of our imprints."

New Bookshops, Increased Sales in New Zealand

Booksellers NZ gained seven new members last year, bringing the organization's total membership to just under 200, including all Paper Plus and Take Note community franchise stores. In addition, there was an uptick in sales figures, with 1.6% growth in value and 3.5% in volume for 2018 compared to 2017, according to Nielsen Book.

Another Chapter

"We have seen a decided increase in the number of new bookshops over the past year," said Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould. "While the likes of Little Unity is clearly owned by a well-established bookshop ownership team, we have Another Chapter in Newtown, Wellington, Petronella's Bookshop in Lake Tekapo and the Twizel Bookshop, all of which were opened by booklovers with no previous experience in the sector.

"We are also seeing greater confidence in independent bookshop ownership particularly, with several of our members moving and expanding their shops over the past year, namely Poppies Howick, Almo's Bookshop in Masterton and Book Haven in Newtown."

Renee Rowland said she opened the Twizel Bookshop in South Canterbury after a busy corporate career because it was "just time to start honoring what I loved and was good at instead of trying to fit into something else. I love knowing for the kids in this town, having a bookshop is normal. My 10-year-old self would be proud of me. And I no longer need to curb my enthusiasm. Owning a bookshop does not feel like work. It's just a fun and interesting thing I've created and get to do every day, something to feel proud of and satisfied by."

Lorna Bingham, a former nurse who opened Another Chapter Bookshop opposite the Wellington Hospital, said, 'I opened Another Chapter to provide an inspiring space for staff of and visitors to the hospital to be able to have a little time out from busy caretaking roles to be able to enjoy browsing & buying books, cards and gifts. I have enjoyed amazing camaraderie since setting the shop up. I am filled with joy because I am living my dream, and my customers have been really positive about the space and selection of books."

Booksellers NZ observed: "We believe that booklovers of New Zealand are gradually coming to understand the value of the bookshop in their own neighborhood. They know they employ local people, they curate their bookshops with their customers in mind, and they are most importantly, wonderful places to be. This is the future of our retail environment."

Bookselling Without Borders Fellowship Applications Open

The application period for fellowships for this year's Bookselling Without Borders program, which supports travel to international book fairs by U.S. booksellers, has opened and will remain so through February 4.

The program, a partnership of 13 independent publishers, connects U.S. booksellers to the international book community through all-expenses-paid trips to book fairs around the world. This year the program has been expanded to include the Istanbul Book Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair, and a residency in India that includes the Jaipur Lit Fest and Delhi Book Fair, in addition to the Turin Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Participating booksellers will be treated to customized itineraries of specially developed panels, meetings, seminars, and receptions with their international counterparts, authors, and publishers.

Booksellers interested in diverse and international literature, in fostering relationships with the international bookselling community, and in traveling to some of the world's great literary cities are encouraged to apply by visiting the organization's website now. For further information, contact Anna Thorn, program coordinator, Bookselling Without Borders, via e-mail or at 202-386-0804.

Bookselling Without Borders' publishing partners are Catapult, Counterpoint, Europa Editions, Graywolf Press, Grove Atlantic, Melville House, Milkweed Editions, Other Press, Princeton University Press, Rutgers University Press, Seagull Books, Seven Stories Press, Soft Skull, Shambhala Publications and the University of Chicago Press. Bookselling Without Borders is also generously supported by Ingram Content Group, media partner Shelf Awareness and participating book fairs.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
A Forty Year Kiss
by Nickolas Butler
GLOW: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler is a passionate, emotionally complex love story that probes tender places within the heart and soul. When 60-somethings Charlie and Vivian--married then divorced in their 20s--reunite after four decades, they are swept up by the very best of what their romantic relationship once offered. "Anyone who has ever thought about what might have been will find this book fascinating," says Shana Drehs, senior editorial director at Sourcebooks Landmark. "The story is a brilliant exploration of a second chance at love, always realistic but never saccharine." As Charlie and Vivian build a bridge from past to present, their enduring love paving over potholes, Butler (Shotgun Lovesongs) raises questions about how life changes people--or does it?--and delivers another heartening, unforgettable novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781464221248, 
February 4, 2025)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Malala at Books & Greetings

Books & Greetings in Northvale, N.J., brought activist and author Malala Yousafzai to visit two nearby schools last week. She talked about her new book, We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). Pictured: owner Kenny Sarfin and Malala.

Blue Willow Bookshop: 'Best of Houston 2019'

Blue Willow Bookshop earned Best Bookstore honors in Houston Press' Best of Houston 2019 roundup. "If you really want to connect with a book, make sure you stop in at Blue Willow Bookshop," the Press noted. "It's a small shop, but what they manage to pack into it is always current. You will find staples, but what makes the store great is its uniquely-curated dedication to new finds and releases. A lot of authors, especially local ones you might not have heard of, come through the store to do signings, and the staff uses their space to maximize a reader's chance for finding something new.

"There are the games and puzzles that most stores use now in order to combat the loss of business to the digital market, and a pretty good selection of them too if that's your thing. Kids and young adult readers will also find lots to love. It is definitely the kind of place that a family can spend an afternoon in.

"Like all good indies, the staff and the atmosphere are the real selling points. The walls are adorned with author autographs, and the clerks are always on hand to find what you want and/or need. The have a wider variety than some other independent bookstores even if they lack some of the pizzazz. It's just a joy of store that can pull any reader out of the mass market doldrums with a treasure."

Manhattan Books Kinokuniya a 'Destination'

Books Kinokuniya in New York City has become a literary and cultural "destination," according to an amNewYork profile. The three-level store, which opened in 2007 across from Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, sells English-language books, manga and magazines, in addition to Japanese-language titles.

Store manager Kotaro Takano reported that English-language manga titles "always sell amazingly," and that a variety of imported sidelines, including Japanese pens, notebooks and other stationery, have become increasingly popular.

Said Takano: "Recently, we are getting more and more tourist customers who are looking for fine gifts, especially during summer and the holiday season."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kevin Curry on Today

Today Show: Kevin Curry, author of Fit Men Cook: 100+ Meal Prep Recipes for Men and Women (Touchstone, $29.99, 9781501178726).

TV: The Hypnotist's Love Story

ABC has given a pilot order to The Hypnotist's Love Story, a drama series based on Liane Moriarty's bestselling novel, Deadline reported. The project is from Heather Graham, who will play one of the two leads and executive produce. The writer is Katie Wech (Jane the Virgin), who will exec produce with Graham, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks of Mandeville Television. ABC Studios is the studio.

Graham "has been the driving force behind the project," Deadline noted. "She brought the book to Mandeville and ABC Studios after meeting with several producers. The pitch was then honed at the studio and sold to ABC in October." She most recently wrote, directed and starred in Half Magic, which was released earlier this year. Her recent TV series credits include Get Shorty, Law & Order: True Crime and Flaked.

Books & Authors

Awards: Plutarch Long List; Golden Kite Winners

The long list for the Plutarch Award, honoring the best biography of 2018 and sponsored by the Biographers International Organization, is:

  • Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David S. Blight (S&S)
  • Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown (FSG)
  • After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet by Julie Dobrow (Norton)
  • In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsay Hilsum (FSG)
  • Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (Liveright)
  • The Improbable Wendell Wilkie: The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and Conceived a New World Order by David Levering Lewis (Liveright)
  • The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O'Toole (S&S)
  • Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts: (Viking)
  • Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time by Hilary Spurling (Knopf)
  • The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart (Oxford University Press)


Winners of the 2019 Golden Kite Awards, presented to children's book authors and artists by their peers and sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, are:

Golden Kite Award Winners

Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction:
Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood (S&S)
Young Adult Fiction: Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen (Philomel Books for Young Readers)
Nonfiction for Younger Readers: Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Nonfiction for Older Readers: Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Picture Book Illustration: Made by Hand: A Crafts Sampler by Becca Stadtlander (Candlewick Press)
Picture Book Text: The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveris (S&S)
Sid Fleischman Award Winner: Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez (Roaring Brook Press)

Golden Kite Honor Books

Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction:
24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling (Sterling Children's Books)
Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher (Margaret K. McEldery Books)
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Young Adult Fiction:
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Harper Teen)
What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Nonfiction for Young Readers:
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace (Paula Wiseman Books)
Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimental (Nancy Paulsen Books)
Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes and Stinkers by Melissa Stewart (Peachtree)
Nonfiction for Older Readers:
Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father and Dealt with Family Addiction by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix/Scholastic)
Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow (Calkins Creek)
Picture Book Text:
The Rabbit that Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Floaty by John Himmelman (Holt Books for Young Readers)
Whale in a Fish Bowl by Troy Howell (Schwartz & Wade)
Picture Book Illustration:
Found by Larry Day (S&S)
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Barbara McClintock (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

The awards will be presented on February 8 during SCBWI's winter conference in New York.

Reading with…Madhuri Vijay

photo: Manvi Rao

Madhuri Vijay was born in Bangalore. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and her writing has appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, Narrative magazine and Salon, among other publications. The Far Field (Grove, January 15, 2018), her first novel, is about a sexually fearless, emotionally lost young woman who travels from Bangalore to Kashmir to track down a mysterious friend of her mother.

On your nightstand now:

One Day You'll Thank Me, a collection of essays about fatherhood by David McGlynn. I've read the first few, and they're wonderful. Sharp, tender, and terrifically funny.

Favorite book when you were a child:

As a child, I owned a book called Tales of Long Ago by Enid Blyton. It contained retellings of a few stories from One Thousand and One Nights, as well as assorted Greek and Roman myths. I'm sure it wouldn't hold up now for all kinds of reasons, but back then I found it dazzling, simply because it was so unlike what I usually read. So much of children's literature is cautious and safe and tediously didactic, but these stories were wild and weird and utterly amoral. And I loved them.        

Your top five authors:

This is a cruel question, but I'll try. In no particular order: J.M. Coetzee, Anita Desai, James Baldwin, Zadie Smith, Alice Munro.

Book you've faked reading:

Jane Eyre. I read it recently, though, and found it just as good as I'd been pretending all these years, so that was a relief.

Book you're an evangelist for:

I rarely recommend books. No doubt this will sound precious, but I'm very protective of the books I love, and I would never recommend one to a person I didn't respect. That said, it's a tie between James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room and Elsa Morante's History, which are two very different books about guilt and the price of survival.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I haven't done it yet, but I intend to buy every single one of the stunning Kafka editions that Peter Mendelsund designed for Schocken Books.

Book you hid from your parents:

My college roommate once gave me a copy of Cunt by Inga Muscio for my birthday. Looking back, I don't think my parents would have cared--they never once interfered in what I read--but I was a bit more skittish then, and I hid it in my cupboard behind a stack of old National Geographic magazines. It's probably still there, in fact; I'm sorry to say I hid it so well, I forgot to take it down and actually read it.

Book that changed your life:

Annihilation of Caste by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Never in my life have I come across a mind so full of rage and yet so lucid as Ambedkar's. If I had my way, everyone--Indian or otherwise--would be required to read it.

Favorite line from a book:

I love these lines from Anita Desai's Baumgartner's Bombay, both for their percussive brilliance and for their chillingly relentless crescendo. "Then why had this boy to come after him, in lederhosen, in marching boots, striding over the mountains to the sound of the Wander vogels Lied? The Lieder and the campfire. The campfire and the beer. The beer and the yodelling. The yodelling and the marching. The marching and the shooting. The shooting and the killing. The killing and the killing and the killing."

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

The experience I had reading Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels was remarkable. It was an unsettling combination of urgency and lassitude, hunger and satiety, shock and familiarity. I doubt I'd feel that way on a second reading, and I'm reluctant to try.

Five books you'll never part with:

A beautiful first edition of Theodore Roethke's posthumous collection of poems, The Far Field, from which I borrowed the title for my novel.

An inscribed copy of Alexander Maksik's third novel, Shelter in Place, which was given to me on the banks of a sunlit river and marks an important occasion in my life.

A tattered, mass-market paperback of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot's Christmas, which I read for comfort whenever I'm sick and confined to bed.

My 15-year-old copy of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, which I pick up whenever I need to remind myself of what an utterly fearless writer sounds like.

And Blindness, because José Saramago knows better than anyone what human beings are capable of when the world around them is collapsing. More and more, it seems a handy manual for our times.

Book Review

Children's Review: Crescendo

Crescendo by Paola Quintavalle, illus. by Alessandro Sanna (Enchanted Lion, $19.95 hardcover, 104p., ages 4-up, 9781592702558, February 12, 2019)

Crescendo takes the reader through human gestation, beginning at the fifth week of pregnancy and extending through the 40th. Each week is honored in a two-page spread featuring Paola Quintavalle's spare, carefully chosen text and a facing illustration. Taken together, every four weeks of snippets read like a freestanding poem. For Month 6: "You are learning to cry/ Your eyes conserve the color of the night sky/ You cannot see, but you sense the light/ As you turn and tip and tip and turn."

This is all lovely, but how is an artist expected to produce dozens of engrossing illustrations based on developments occurring entirely within the womb? Alessandro Sanna has come up with a rather ingenious plan: for each featured month, he offers an illustration of a pregnant woman's body in profile followed by four images--one representing each week--that contain a line mimicking that very same swerve of breast and belly. For Month 2, week nine, the profile line becomes the side of a cliff on which a person stands ("You resemble now who you will become"). For week 10, the profile line is the curve of a horse's leg ("But do not rush, there's a long way to go"). For week 11, the line is the wingspan of a bird in flight ("You move in your space, without a sound"). For week 12, the line is the stem of a moonlit plant ("Silently, now and then, a smile"). What's more, every fourth image plays a part in a story of development (e.g., the moonlit plants at week 12 have begun to flower at week 16, and so on). By Month 9, the now-bulbous belly is the slope of a whale's tail, the edge of a steeply bending river, the bow of a bird angling to meet its babies and the lump made by a swaddled, beatific newborn perched on the chest of its mom, who is at last revealed to be Crescendo's narrator.

Is there a picture book out there that better marries art and science? Sanna seems to be working in watercolor with a brush dipped in celestial light and fairy dust, and yet Crescendo is deeply scientific. Quintavalle has loaded her pen not with sunshine and moonglow but with information about human gestation; her narrative, utterly faithful to the stages of embryotic and fetal growth, concludes with the section "Developmental Facts That Inspired the Text." Crescendo is a book that belongs on multiple shelves in the kids' section of a bookstore or library, but the truth is, it wouldn't be out of place in an adult's collection. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

Shelf Talker: Scientific facts and metaphorical imagery take the reader on a memorable journey through human gestation.


Ingram Entertainment Not Part of Ingram Industries

In our article yesterday about Ingram Entertainment buying the assets of Baker & Taylor's entertainment division, we stated that Ingram Entertainment and Ingram Content Group are both part of Ingram Industries. While Ingram Content Group is part of Ingram Industries, Ingram Entertainment is an independent company. Our apologies for the error.

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