Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Albatros Media: Words about Where: Let's Learn Prepositions by Magda Gargulakova, illustrated by Marie Urbankova

Blackstone Publishing: Ordinary Bear by C.B. Bernard

St. Martin's Griffin: One Last Shot by Betty Cayouette

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella


Wi14 Kicks Off in Albuquerque

The 14th annual Winter Institute officially kicked off yesterday in Albuquerque, N.Mex., with a party in the evening after a busy day of preliminary events. They included a daylong Paz & Associates workshop for prospective booksellers; in-depth seminars on staff management and human resources, merchandising design and used books; and the IndieCommerce Institute. Many booksellers took tours of Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Acoma Pueblo--and spent a lot of time in New Mexican bookstores. This morning the full schedule starts with a breakfast featuring Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code.

Many of the 700+ bookseller attendees were at the Winter Institute opening reception last night.
Shelf Awareness's John Mutter and Jenn Risko, along with ABA CEO Oren Teicher, welcomed everyone to the 14th Winter Institute.
Midwestern booksellers meet up: (l.-r.) MIBA's Carrie Obry; Betsy Von Kerens, Bookworm of Omaha; Rachel Rattenborg and Kate Rattenborg, Dragonfly Books; Kathleen Pohlig, Cherry Street Books; Nancy Simpson-Bryce, Book Vault; (front) Emily Hall, Main Street Books; Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books
Southern style: Shane Gottwals, Gottwals Books; SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell; Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette.
Party people: Seth Marko, The Book Catapult, San Diego; Rebecca George, Volumes Bookcafe, Chicago; and MPIBA's Jeremy Ellis.

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Star Power Backs Fundraiser for L.A.'s Dark Delicacies

Last week, Del Howison, co-owner of Dark Delicacies horror/fantasy bookstore in Burbank, Calif., launched a GoFundMe campaign to finance the relocation of the business, and his campaign has drawn support from celebrities, including award-winning director Guillermo del Toro.

On the fundraising page, Howison wrote: "On December 3, 1994 my wife, Sue, and I opened Dark Delicacies, the original all-horror independent book and gift store in the United States. Located in Burbank, California, we soon became recognized as the 'home of horror'.... We knew we would never become rich running the store, and that was okay. We just wanted to be able to do something we loved and be a part of the community we cherished.

"Unfortunately, like so many other places, the landscape in Burbank is changing. Rents have skyrocketed, and many of the unique stores that put the area on the map have been forced to move or close their doors altogether. This little neck of the woods is so beloved, a Save Magnolia Park campaign and video were created."

The bookstore's lease is up in May, and the co-owners had resigned themselves to the possibility of closing until "a store front around the corner became available. A possible new location, coupled with all the people who wrote and stopped by asking us to stay in business, made Sue and I realize we weren't ready to go quietly into the night," Howison noted, adding: "Anything you can give to help keep the crypt open will be greatly appreciated. We know times are tough, so if you can't, don't sweat it. Promise to still venture on in. After all you're 'one of us.' "

On Sunday, del Toro retweeted the fundraising page and wrote "Horror lovers--help Dark Delicacies!... Please retweet and support!"

Also voicing their support were actresses Barbara Crampton ("Del and Sue are warm and welcoming hosts on a lazy browsing day or for special events held at their shop. Please help if you can... xx"); and Heather Wixson ("Hey everyone! @DarkDel's is doing a fundraiser to help cover moving costs! Please consider throwing Del and Sue a few bucks if you can! It's a location that means a lot to #horror aficionados & book lovers alike."); and director Joe Lynch ("Screw the clock tower... SAVE DARK DELICACIES!!! Please RT."

"I live a five-minute walk from Dark Delicacies and they've hosted events and fulfilled signed-book orders for me in the past," author Cory Doctorow noted on Boing Boing. "They're great, community-minded people, and due to a rent-hike, they're moving to a space around the corner.... I just kicked in $100."

The fundraising campaign has already exceeded its $20,000 goal, with about $25,000 raised so far.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Graphic Arts Books Renamed West Margin Press

Graphic Arts Books, Berkeley, Calif., has been renamed West Margin Press. West Margin Press will retain legacy imprints Graphic Arts Books and Alaska Northwest Books while gradually phasing out WestWinds Press. The publisher is part of the Ingram Content Group.

West Margin Press was originally founded as Graphic Arts Books in Portland, Ore., in 1967. The press publishes books for children and adults in a variety of genres, including nature, travel, history and memoir, as well as fiction and art. Some of the publisher's bestselling titles include One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith and the Build It! series of LEGO instruction books.

"We want to make room for more voices, increasingly engaging visuals, and an expansive view of the world within our house," explained publishing director Jennifer Newens. "West signals our location and foundation. It is a subtle reference to the coastal values we aspire to convey in our list, which will inform our acquisition process. It also evokes a pioneer spirit, reflecting our experimental nature and our willingness to take risks. Margin is a literary reference, evoking a manuscript or a book, as well as a place where things are allowed to unfold outside prescribed boundaries."

Binc Adds Three Board Members

New Binc board members Calvin Crosby, Eileen Dengler and Sarah Bagby

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has added three members to its board:

Eileen Dengler, executive director of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association for 20 years. Earlier she was director of meetings and conventions for the American Booksellers Association for 10 years and ran the annual ABA Convention before it became BookExpo America (and now BookExpo).

Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan. She is also a former ABA board member, past president of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, a former member of the ABA Booksellers Advisory Council, and current member of the ABA's LIBRIS board.

Calvin Crosby, executive director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. He was earlier a bookseller, sales and marketing director for McSweeney's and a longtime NCIBA board member.

At the same time, three members of the Binc board are stepping down: Anne Kubek, Wanda Jewell, and Deb Leonard. Binc thanked them for their "ceaseless passion for Binc's mission, thoughtful decision making to the governance process, and extraordinary dedication to Binc's mission of serving the needs of booksellers across the nation. Binc would like to thank them each for their commitment and for all the good work they accomplished while serving on Binc's board."

Obituary Note: Sam Savage

Author Sam Savage, whose first novel, Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, was published when he was 65 and went on to become an international bestseller, with more than a million copies sold worldwide, died January 17. He was 78. His publisher, Coffee House Press, said, "As we celebrate Sam's life and work, the staff of Coffee House Press joins Sam's family and readers in mourning the loss of a remarkable author and friend, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to publish his work and for his friendship."

Savage went on to publish The Cry of the Sloth, Glass, The Way of the Dog, It Will End with Us, and An Orphanage of Dreams, which was released this month. He was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the PEN/New England Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award.

Chris Fischbach, Coffee House publisher and Savage's editor, said, "To my mind, Sam Savage is one of the greatest American novelists of the last fifty years. Working with him was one of the highlights of my life, and Coffee House is extremely proud to have helped usher his work into the world. We will miss him."


Former Taiwanese President Is Bookseller for a Day

Former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou "has been trying to rebuild his popularity, and the latest effort involves a video clip of the former Taiwanese president working as a 'shopkeeper for a day' at a bookstore in Taipei," the South China Morning Post reported, adding that "the video has been viewed more than 110,000 times since Ma's office posted it on YouTube on Friday."

"We want to let the public know that the ex-president is actually an easy-going person, the man next door type," an official from his office said.

Ma "is not a natural for retail work, judging from the footage," the Post noted. "Dressed casually and wearing a face mask to hide his identity, when a customer asks to use JKo Pay--the local version of Apple Pay--Ma appears to have never heard of it.... Still, it is a chance to try to sell some copies of his book. But he fails to drum up any interest in his memoir until he removes the face mask, to the delight of some of the women customers at least."

Diamond to Distribute Bedside Press

Diamond Comic Distributors will be exclusive distributor of Bedside Press to comic book specialty store markets worldwide and Diamond Book Distributors will distribute new releases to the book market.

Founded in 2014, Bedside Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, focuses on graphic novels and prose books that aim to promote history and showcase uplifting new voices through thoughtful storytelling. Its titles include Eisner-nominated A Bunch of Jews and Other Stuff by Trina Robbins and Enough Space for Everyone Else, which included "The Transplant" by Megan Gedris, the recipient of an Eisner nomination.

Upcoming publications include Maiden, Mother, Crone by transwomen and transfeminine writers and curated by poet and author Gwen Benaway as well as Love After the End, edited by Joshua Whitehead, a semi-sequel to Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time.

Personnel Changes at the University of Chicago Press; Coffee House Press

Carrie Olivia Adams has been named promotions and marketing communications director of the books division at the University of Chicago Press. She worked at the press from 2003 until 2017, most recently as publicity manager and assistant promotions director. Since then, she worked as a freelance publicist for Princeton University Press and private clients, while consulting for Chicago on its new books division system development. She is also the co-founder and poetry editor at Black Ocean and the author of three collections of poetry: Operating Theater (Noctuary Press), Forty-One Jane Doe's (Ahsahta), and Intervening Absence (Ahsahta).


Effective February 4, Daley Farr is joining Coffee House Press as publicist. She has worked at Milkwood Books as a bookseller, buyer and events coordinator and managed the store's marketing, digital media and subscription programs. Earlier she worked in events at Magers & Quinn Booksellers and at many coffee houses.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kamala Harris on the Daily Show

Good Morning America: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, authors of An Anonymous Girl: A Novel (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250133731).

Daily Show: Senator Kamala Harris, author of The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Penguin Press, $30, 9780525560715).

Oscar Nominations: Screen Test for Books

The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards have been revealed, and several movies based on books or with book connections made a strong showing. The awards will be presented February 24. Major bookish standouts include:

BlacKkKlansman, based on Ron Stallworth's memoir Black Klansman: Best picture; director (Spike Lee); supporting actor (Adam Driver); adapted screenplay (Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee)

Black Panther, based on the Marvel comic book character: Best picture 

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, based on Lee Israel's memoir: Actress (Melissa McCarthy); supporting actor (Richard E. Grant); adapted screenplay (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)

If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel by James Baldwin: Supporting actress (Regina King); adapted screenplay (Barry Jenkins)

The Wife, adapted from Meg Wolitzer's novel: Actress (Glenn Close)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, based on a Marvel comic book hero: animated feature

Books & Authors

Awards: Edgars; Edward Stanford Travel Writing; Costa Short Story

The mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees in nine categories for the 2019 Edgar Allan Poe Awards as well as the nominees for the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award and the winner of the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award. Winners will be celebrated at the MWA gala April 25.


Finalists have been announced in multiple categories for the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards, which recognizes "the best travel writing in the world." The winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year (in association with the Authors' Club) receives £2,500 (about $3,245), and winners get with a hand-made globe featuring a design produced exclusively for the ESTW. The prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony February 28 in London. A complete list of finalists is available here.


The first all-female shortlist has been named for the Costa Short Story Award, which honors "a previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words, run alongside with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system," the Bookseller reported.

The finalists are Sophie Wellstood for "Scrimshaw," Caroline Ward Vine for "Breathing Water" and Amanda Huggins for "Red."

The winner, who will be named January 29 at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in London, receives £3,500 (about $4,545), with second and third place getting £1,000 and £500 respectively.

Reading with... Toby Mutter

Tobias Mutter has worked part-time for Shelf Awareness since the company's inception, when he compiled author TV appearances each weekend during high school. Among other duties (including posting this into Shelf Awareness's CMS), he now regularly writes book reviews and Rediscover backlist columns. Toby has also written a bunch of humorous fantasy and science-fiction manuscripts looking for loving homes. He lives in Manchester, N.H., hopefully soon with a rescue dog.

On your nightstand now:

I don't use my nightstand for books. I have a bookcase, and next to that a desk, and next to that, the floor--which is usually where my "to read" pile terminates. So, starting from the book nearest my sofa, here's what's at bat (or already swinging):

Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany. I'm over halfway through this blurry labyrinth of New Wave sci-fi. It's my perfect kind of weird, despite being, for long stretches, a bit of a boring book. The writing itself is marvelous.

Iron Council by China Miéville. I loved Perdido Street Station and The Scar. Bas Lag is my bag--I just wish there was more.

Crash by J.G. Ballard. I don't know if the premise (the sexual attraction to--and seeking out of--car accidents) is more horrifying or humorous, which is probably what got my attention in the first place. Plus, everything of Ballard's I've read has been more than worthwhile.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I'll distinguish between favorite books that were read to me at a very young age and books I read myself a little later.

In terms of bedtime favorites, you've got the classics, Goodnight Moon and Blueberries for Sal... all that good stuff. Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon was my hero, and, to much dismay, I recreated his adventures on the walls of a kindergarten bathroom.

Later, I loved the Goosebumps and Animorphs series. I remember starting a reading club for Goosebumps books in second or third grade, maybe? That was my age, but this was during aftercare, a mix of all grades, and when we wouldn't let an illiterate kindergartner join, the whole club was forcibly disbanded. I've been hostile to authority ever since.

Even later, The Lord of the Rings was very important to me (and still is).

Your top five authors:

Ask me again in six months and you'll get a different answer. That's a common response to this question, one I'm forced to echo: China Miéville, Jeff VanderMeer, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, H.P. Lovecraft.

Book you've faked reading:

Many, all in academic contexts, and none because I couldn't--just wouldn't. Whether seventh or 11th grade, I was usually up to some kind of something, like writing book reports for books I didn't read. I'm not proud of any of it.

Book you're an evangelist for:

It depends on the person. Halfway through Dhalgren, for example, I know my parents would hate it and my brother might (maybe) enjoy it. I think The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has something for everyone, but I'll pile House of Leaves on anyone.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Bought? None. Stolen?

Look, it wasn't from a bookstore and I was in middle school. Literally in middle school, where I found an abandoned 1985 U.K. anthology of H.P. Lovecraft stories. Its cover was a particularly hideous rendition of his work, something out of At the Mountains of Madness, gooey and grisly. I couldn't not pick it up, open it, skim and then slow to read its yellowed pages. Yes, I then indefinitely borrowed it, but I was sitting in that classroom for a while and no one came looking for that book. I still have it.

Book you hid from your parents:

If anything, growing up in my house, I had to hide from the books.

Book that changed your life:

The Lord of the Rings changed my life more than once. Tolkien's world exposed me to the magnificent capabilities of storytelling, specifically via long novels, to create fictional worlds richer and more enduring than any other medium. Plus, it's fun fantasy.

Favorite line(s) from a book:

"A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it." --Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

I still get goosebumps reading that.

Five books you'll never part with:

This question had been rather relevant to me lately, what with moving three times in two years. Which of these heavy things do I haul around? I hate e-readers (nothing personal), so I'm stuck with these pages and pages of pulp. Here are five books I haven't parted with yet, and might even make a special effort to hold on to:

The H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus 1: At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels of Terror (see above).

A copy of Earth Abides by George R. Stewart that I picked almost at random as a kid. It turned out to be a real treat. I still think about my selection process. It scares me, how many amazing books I have and will continue to pass over accidentally.

Family heirlooms, among which I include the bedtime books mentioned earlier. I'm pretty sure that copy of Blueberries for Sal belonged to my dad as a kid. I love that kind of stuff.

A signed copy of my grandfather's self-published family history. I know it didn't make money, not sure if it broke even. That was unfortunate if a little predictable. However, his work is such a gift to us remaining Mutters.

A copy of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, aka the Little Red Book, given by my father to his father upon the latter's election to head of the local school board. The note: "From one chairman to another." Yeah, it's hereditary.

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

Laughing out loud while reading is pretty rare for me. My first trip through Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy led to lots of those, so I'd stick my thumb out for that again.

Book Review

Children's Review: The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away

The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away by Ronald L. Smith (Clarion, $16.99 hardcover, 224p., ages 10-12, 9781328841605, February 19, 2019)

Young readers brought up on R.L. Stine's Goosebumps who are now ready for something darker will be happily spine-chilled by The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, a spooky novel about alien abductions... or a boy with an overactive imagination.

Twelve-year-old Simon is often picked on by other kids (thank goodness they don't know he still occasionally wets the bed!). He lives on an Air Force base with his white father and black mother and is obsessed with aliens. When he gets too shaken up by all his alien reading, he tries to distract himself by writing fantasy stories. But his mind always returns to one kind of alien in particular: Grays. Even the word freaks him out: "It's such a simple word. A color. Not black or white. But something in between. Something unknowable. Something that makes me not want to sleep."

When Simon's military dad, who always seems to have a beer in hand, tells him the family is going camping that coming weekend, Simon is not happy. He would rather play video games inside or write another chapter in his latest story. But his dad is a man's man, always talking up "the great outdoors" and dragging his family along on camping and fishing trips. "Buck up, kiddo. It'll be fun. Don't forget your inhaler," he says before burping.

Savvy readers will not be surprised when something terrifying happens on the trip. Walking in the woods at night, Simon encounters strange lights, an owl looking directly at him and a commanding voice in his head saying, "QUIET. REMAIN STILL." Then, everything goes black.

Simon becomes convinced he has been abducted by aliens who have implanted a monitor under his skin. He feels alone and jumpy. His parents send him to a psychiatrist who loads him up on anti-anxiety medications. His mother keeps feeling his forehead for fever, and his dad grows ever more distant, ordering him to stop all his alien talk. But when Simon finds a group of people who do believe him, he begins to wonder if they and he are, in his words, "nuts."

He's not the only one. Through most of The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, the reader can't be sure if Simon really did have an alien encounter or if his "uncontrolled thoughts" and impressively creative imagination are getting the better of him. Ronald L. Smith, the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning author of Hoodoo and The Mesmerist, infuses every page of this book with a dash of menace. Simon's desperate longing for someone--anyone--to take him seriously will resonate with many young readers, whether aliens are stalking them or not. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: In this riveting novel, a sensitive, nervous boy is convinced aliens are tracking him with sinister intentions, but his family thinks he's overly imaginative and anxious.

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