Also published on this date: Monday, April 29, 2019: Maximum Shelf: The Lesson

Shelf Awareness for Monday, April 29, 2019

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

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

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

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

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

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

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

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


Independent Bookstore Day: A Very Happy Fifth

On Saturday, 577 indie stores around the country--more than ever before--celebrated the fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day, featuring a range of exclusive merchandise, author events, contests, passport programs, special displays, organized tours, scavenger hunts and all kinds of appropriately independent ways of marking the occasion. Stores reported sizable crowds, drawn by the events and, as some said, just to show their support for their favorite indies bookstores.

Showing off the merchandise at Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

Media coverage was positive, with lots of stories in local press. IBD even showed up on the radar of some presidential candidates. Pete Buttigeieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., tweeted: "This #bookstoreday I am thankful for the independent bookstores of America, from the places where I would discover new worlds as a child to South Bend's newest arrival, @brainlairbooks. Each is a treasure." (Brain Lair Bookstore, the children's shop run by Kathy Burnette, opened last summer.)

And former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper tweeted: "Local bookstores like @TatteredCover are a place of discovery and comfort, an escape and an essential part of so many communities. Support them, not just on #IndependentBookstoreDay, but whenever you can--so our kids can know that same joy of discovery. #BookstoreDay #IBD2019."

At Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, N.Y.

On Saturday, helped celebrate IBD by offering a selection of free downloadable audio titles. Stephanie Ballien, director of marketing, commented: "Independent Bookstore Day is a moment to remind people on the importance of local bookstores and many ways to support these community businesses. This Independent Bookstore Day we were able to reach millions of people through the offer of free audiobooks thanks our bookstore partners, authors, and network of influencers. These people now realize their ability to support local bookstores through audiobook purchases which is powerful education."

Stephen Blake Mettee, president and chief visionary officer of Hummingbird Digital Media, which partnered with HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group to offer eight bestselling e-books for $2.99 or less on IBD, commented: "In past years, I've enjoyed watching the degree of  energy and enthusiasm booksellers invested in IBD, but this year the excitement was really over the top. I'm eager to see what happens next year."

Some new stores timed their openings for IBD, including the Lit.Bar, Bronx, N.Y., Madison Books, Seattle, Wash., and Lark and Owl in Georgetown, Tex.

The Boston Bookstore Trolley arriving at Newtonville Books.

For the first time, Boston-area bookstores staged two trolley tours on IBD. Organized by Metro Boston Bookstore Day, both tours were sold out, with 35 riders each, and made 20-minute stops at every store. One trolley went to Porter Square Books, Book Ends Winchester, Belmont Books, Harvard Book Store, Trident Booksellers & Cafe, I Am Books and MIT University Press Bookstore. The other trolley went to Brookline Booksmith, Children's Book Shop, Newtonville Books, New England Mobile Book Fair, Wellesley Books, Blue Bunny Books & Toys and Papercuts J.P.

"Shepherding a trolley full of readers to seven Boston-area bookstores was a delight," said Metro Boston Bookstore Day co-director Katie Eelman. "Many riders made a purchase at each shop they visited, and every rider visited a store they'd never been to before. The energy was vibrant, and the enthusiasm was contagious."

Co-director Clarissa Murphy added: "Riders really felt and saw the individuality of each store they visited as they were welcomed with open arms, goodie bags, VIP back room access, coffee and cookies. Our stores were showing off their best for IBD and our riders were showing off their book love in response. It was the most energetic and magical day a indie bookseller could have, and the trolley was full of laughter and book recommendations."

Calvin Crosby at Book Passage.

In one of the more unusual IBD celebrations, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif., hosted a reception for a display of paintings in its gallery by none other than Calvin Crosby, executive director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and a former Book Passage employee. As the store put it, Crosby's "nostalgia of his summers growing up on the road of the western states, his passion for animal well-being, and sense of humor manifest in his paintings." As if he isn't busy enough, he's also co-owner of Blade and Brush, an artists cooperative in Sonoma.

The Field Guide to Independent Bookstores at WORD.

At WORD bookstores in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., customers who bought a book received a free "blind book," a wrapped title identified only by subject. The stores also held a "Guess That Ending" game--customers were provided the last paragraph of some classic novels, and if they could name the right title, they won a 10%-off coupon for anything in the store. The Brooklyn store participated in the Field Guide to Bookstores of Brooklyn, featuring images of 17 Brooklyn stores with contact information. On Saturday, customers who went to at least five of the stores received a 25%-off coupon on any single purchase at a participating store. Those who visited all 17 stores were entered in a grand prize drawing with an array of gifts.

Fact & Fiction manager Mara Panich-Crouch and a new friend.

On Saturday, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, Mont., featured IBD displays--and guest visits from several goats who cuddled with customers and staff.

Arundel Books, Seattle, Wash., participating in the Seattle IBD challenge for the first time, and the day wound up being "a huge day for us," owner Phil Bevis said. "It won't be our last." On Saturday, the store set an all-time record for foot traffic--some 2,000 visitors--a mix of people attracted by IBD as well as those "attracted by the excitement." Sales were also up: "We simply destroyed our prior store record for number of transactions," Bevis continued. "Almost two-thirds of titles sold were new books (vs. used and rare), which is higher than our usual ratio of just over 50%." Bevis added: "Most important was the visceral sense of fun and excitement among participants." Nine guest author-booksellers included Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage (Scribner). Arundel Books' IBD bestseller was We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books).

At Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., IBD festivities included Antoinette Portis reading at story time from her new children's book about water conservation, Hey Water! (Neal Porter Books); cooking experts Marge Perry and David Bonom presenting and signing their cookbook, Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day (Morrow Cookbooks), an appearance that included some samples; as well as Veera Hiranandani, who presented and signed her new book, The Night Diary (Puffin Books), at Vroman's Hastings Ranch.

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

IBD 2019: Pictures from a Celebration

Booksellers and authors pitched in to make the fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day a success on Saturday.

At Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., co-owner Kris Kleindienst greeted the IBD crowd. Along with prizes, giveaways and a "blind date with a book" fundraiser, the store was also celebrating its 50th anniversary. Customers left notes about their favorite Left Bank memory on the store's wall.

At Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass: (l.-r.) booksellers Rachel Lapkin and Amy Fitzgerald; author and illustrator Youme Landowne; author Heidi Stemple; author Jane Yolen; bookseller Jennifer Manglass. Owner Joan Grenier reported, "A great day! A long-time customer baked 200 cupcakes and several dozen shortbread cookies.... We had a 14% increase in sales over last IBD. We gave away 30 IBD totes with purchases over $50--next year we'll need to order more!"

The Green Team stood ready at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C. The day's events included crafts and coloring for kids, gift bag drawings and visits from the Cat in the Hat and the Poetry Fox, who writes poems on demand on a vintage typewriter.

At Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn., owner Holly Weinkauf (l.) posed with Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and her daughter, Siobhan. Among the day's events, the store did book-and-balloon drops around town, and hosted a performance by the Ramsey Middle School Jazz Band.

At One More Page Books, Arlington, Va., "Our Bookseller Bake-off was highly competitive with an array of delicious treats. Eileen O was this year's winner with her chocolate cake pops. In totally unrelated news, the bake-off competition was also our highest sales hour of the day...hmmmm."

And at the end of the day, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., tweeted, "Goodnight, bookstore. Thanks to our amazing customers who purchased books and tote bags, wrote on our banner, or let our booksellers pet their dogs. Safe to say this was the best #BookstoreDay yet. Until next year..."

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

#IndieBookstoreDay on Social Media

At the Book Stall, Winnetka, Ill.

Social media was buzzing Saturday with Indie Bookstore Day love. Here's a sampling:

American Booksellers Association: "Happy Independent #BookstoreDay to the bookstores, booksellers, and readers celebrating across the nation! Here's to the continued success of these invaluable, irreplaceable community spaces."

Books Are My Bag: Good wishes from the U.K.: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day to our friends from across the pond!"

Prologue Bookshop, Columbus, Ohio: "We're having a blast at Independent Bookstore Day today--come on down and stop in!"

At Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., co-owner Sarah Hutton takes a shift in the "Bookseller Is IN" booth.

Rach the Bookseller (at Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, Minn.): "My daughter Grace and my future son-in-law Jordan came in and completed our very first ever Valley Bookseller wedding registry. Such a special thing to do on Independent Bookstore Day."

Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex.: "An incredible and epic Independent Bookstore Weekend. Thanks to Music & Literature as well as New Directions for lending us your fearless leader. (the last photo is Barbara Epler applying temporary ND tattoos to match Mark's)."

Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day! We have raffles for signed first editions, exclusive IBD swag, and letterpresses from Wolverine Press (including a quote from our very own @zillianzi!) Woo indies!!"

E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, Ga.: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day! #indiebookday Support your local bookstore."

Main Street Books, Lafayette, Ind.: "It's here! The best day of the year! It's #BookstoreDay!" And later: "Thank you all so much for a wonderful #BookstoreDay. We had a fabulous day. Our customers are the best. You make this fun."

Loganberry Books staff

Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, Ohio: "Independent Bookstore Day may be my new favorite holiday."

Dessa: "Heyooo. Happy Independent Bookstore Day. Shout out to a few favorites: @magersandquinn @NextChapterMN @kramerbooks @ThirdPlaceBooks @strandbookstore @bookpassage."

Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, Minn.: "Happy birthday us & Happy Independent Bookstore day! This calls for CAKE & it might as well have artwork by Kevin Cannon on it!"

Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.: "We are feeling the love today. #indiebookstoreday2019 #ibd.

Showing off the shirts at Books Inc.

Books Inc. Laurel Village, San Francisco, Calif.: "Representing four years of Independent Bookstore Day in one shot! We [love books] and our customers."

River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, Conn.: "Just taking a moment on this special day to say: very proud to work at this #indiebookstore AND alongside each of these great #booksellers (+those not pictured). Thanks to all who have jingled our door bell & supported this new addition to our great reading community. Come back!"

Daniel Pink: "Your to-do list today: 1. Crack open your piggy bank. 2. Head to your local indy bookstore. 3. Buy a few books. 4. Thank a bookseller."

Harlan Coben: "Happy #IndependentBookstoreDay to all you beautiful, fantastic wonderful, majestic houses of magic and inspiration. Sporting my new favorite T-shirt courtesy of @ParnassusBooks."

Chuck Wendig: It's #IndependentBookstoreDay! HIE THEE HENCE TO A LAND OF WONDER, where every shelf contains a hundred portals to other worlds. Unsure which portal to choose? Check with your tour guide, the BIBLIOWIZARDS behind the counter! THEIR EXPERT BOOK MAGIC WILL GUIDE YOU." And: "Highfive to my two local stores: @DoylestownBooks (and their sister store @LahaskaBookshop) and @letsplaybooks--always great to readers, great to authors, great for the community. YAY BIBLIOWIZARDS."

Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, Vt.: "Huge thanks to EVERYONE who made this #BookstoreDay a smashing success! We had two Vermont Independent Bookstore Crawl winners in our store today, including these two local bibliophiles! Thanks for helping us build a community of readers."

The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, N.Y.: "Today was Independent Bookstore Day. We couldn't do this without each and everyone of you! A special thank you to all who participated in our living reading window. What a blast! Should we do it again next year?"

Bookstore Day: "Well, #BookstoreDay was a blast. A HUGE thank you to our sponsors @penguinusa @ABAbook @IngramContent! And to the 1,000s of wonderful #booksellers and customers who make this nationwide book party happen!!! "

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

White Nationalists Disrupt Politics & Prose Event

Jonathan Metzl at P&P (via)

A group of around 10 self-proclaimed white nationalists interrupted an author event at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., on Saturday afternoon, speaking through a megaphone and chanting "This land is our land," before exiting the store, the Washington Post reported.

The group entered the store shortly after 3:30 p.m., during an event with Jonathan M. Metzl, a psychiatrist and author of Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland (Basic Books). The event was part of both Independent Bookstore Day and American University's first annual National Antiracist Book Festival. Metzl's book discusses how low-income whites are often drawn to vote for politicians whose agendas actually expose them to higher risk of illness and death.

Through a megaphone, one of the white nationalists accused Metzl of encouraging the "white working class [to] trade their homeland for handouts." As audience members booed, the man continued: "But we, as nationalists and identitarians, can offer the workers of this country a homeland, their birthright, in addition to health care, good jobs and so forth." Following a chant of "This land is our land," the group left the store.

P&P co-owner Bradley Graham told the Washington Post that no one was hurt and nothing was damaged. He remarked: "The audience was not particularly receptive. We just let them have their say, expecting they would leave, and they did. It doesn't often happen here. It's a sign of the times."

Metzl, meanwhile, recalled: "It was pretty intense. I think everyone was really surprised. I get lots of threats on voicemail, but this was the first time in person.... It was very symbolic for me. In case anybody's wondering what's happening right now, they're illustrating my point."

Canadian IBD: 'Ain't No Party Like a Bookstore Party!"

On Saturday, indies north of the border participated in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day. Under the auspices of the Retail Council of Canada, CIBD "is a day to support the amazing independent bookstores in communities and maintain a thriving book industry across the country. The purpose of this celebration is to encourage people to visit their local independent bookstores and experience the unique community space that each store creates." Here's a social media sampling from #CIBD2019:

Otter Books, Nelson, B.C.: "Getting prepped for Canadian Independent Bookstore Day coming this Saturday! (April 27th). Come in and enter to win a gift certificate, take a picture at our fun photo booth, indulge in treats, and support your local indie bookstore!"

At Queen Books, Toronto

A Novel Spot Bookshop, Toronto: "Today's the day!! Happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day to our customers and fellow indie booksellers." And: "Same iconic bookmark, new ode to the importance of supporting your local indie bookstores just in time for #CIBD2019!"

Huckleberry Books, Cranbrook, B.C.: "Tiny delectable cupcakes and snippets of whimsical poetry--there ain't no party like a bookstore party!"

Canadian Booksellers: "We're out and about supporting local shops @BookCityTO. We could spend all day here!"

Ben McNally Books, Toronto: "Happy #IndependentBookstoreDay! Thanks to all our customers for your support. And, a big thank you to all the Indies for all you add to this great city! It wouldn't be the same without you. #KeepFightingtheGoodFight."

Munro's Books, Victoria, B.C.: "Today's the day! We can't wait to see you. Happy Independent Bookstore Day!"

Bookmanager: "[Love] this thread...A BIG thank you to all the loyal readers who make a conscious effort to support local bookshops; and another BIG thank you to those hardworking booksellers!"

Western Sky Books, Port Coquitlam, B.C.: "Happy Booksellers R Us! Thank you for the terrific #canadianindependentbookstoreday everyone. Loyal customers and new customers (yay! You found us!) alike: we hope you had as much fun as we did today. Thank you for shopping with us, supporting small business, and keeping this little indie bookstore a vibrant and lively place in our little corner of the planet. Best Book Love to everyone!"

Audreys Books, Edmonton, Alberta: With the bookshop celebrating its 45th anniversary on CIBD, "Shawna Lemay took some lovely pictures of the Poetry Festival's Literary Cocktails last night. This one jumped out at us! A terrific one of Audreys Books co-owners, Steve and Sharon Budnarchuk. Thank you.

Forster's Book Garden celebrated its anniversary.

Forster's Book Garden, Bolton, Ont.: (Also celebrating its 20th anniversary) "Cake is here. So it's officially Canadian Independent Booksellers Day. Come on over for some great Mount Wolfe Farm crafts, meet authors and illustrators, enter our Spinal Poetry contest and join the Hot Sauce Tasting. Double customer points all day."

Bakka Phoenix Books, Toronto: "Woo! It's #IndependentBookstoreDay! Thank you everyone for the lovely support. Our mentions/notifications have been heartwarming to read today. The continued support of our great community means everything to us. As a small thanks, we have some free cupcakes this afternoon!"

Argo Bookshop, Montreal: "Thanks to everyone who joined us for #CIBD! The last customer took the last cupcake we had, so it was good timing. Thanks to our guest booksellers... as well! Until soon."


Bookshop Wedding Proposal: Bear Pond Books

A very special moment happened Friday night during the "Once & Future Space Prom" at Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt., featuring Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy, co-authors of Once & Future.

"What an epic night!" Bear Pond posted on Facebook. "Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate the release of this special book, and also something else special: a surprise engagement! That's right! After acting out a scene from the book in which Queen Guinevere and Ari (reincarnated female King Arthur) get engaged, author Cori McCarthy proposed to their real Queen, co-author Amy Rose Capetta--and she said YES! <3 A first for Bear Pond Books--our first Space Prom and engagement! As you can see from the pictures, a great time was had by all--dancing, book signing, a reader's theater and overall merriment. Congrats to the lovebirds, and thanks for sharing your special moment with all of us at Bear Pond Books. Big thanks to Outright Vermont for co-sponsoring, and for all the work they do for Vermont youth."

"We've had three weddings at the store but this is our first proposal (as far as we know)!" Bear Pond owner Claire Benedict added.

B&N Picks 21 Summer Discover Great New Writers Titles

Barnes & Noble has picked 21 books for the Summer 2019 Discover Great New Writers program, a list selected by B&N booksellers and focused on "among the best work by writers who are not household names this season." See the list here.

Miwa Messer, director of the Discover Great New Writers program, commented: "The collection of seventeen novels and four works of nonfiction include gripping stories of family and home, historical fiction, literary thrillers, wildly imaginative stories, and unforgettable true tales that will be sure to break through for this year's summer reading and beyond."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: E.L. James on the View

Good Morning America: Craig Ferguson, author of Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations (Blue Rider Press, $27, 9780525533917).

Dr. Oz: Sandra Lee, author of Put Your Best Face Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Skincare from Acne to Anti-Aging (Dey Street, $25.99, 9780062872296).

The View: Newt Gingrich, co-author of Collusion: A Novel (Broadside Books, $27.99, 9780062859983). He will also appear today on CBS This Morning.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jessica Yellin, author of Savage News: A Novel (MIRA, $26.99, 9780778308423).

The View: E.L. James, author of The Mister (Vintage, $16.95, 9781984898326).

Movies: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

A trailer has been released for We Have Always Lived in the Castle, adapted from Shirley Jackson's 1962 novel, Entertainment Weekly reported. The film stars Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Crispin Glover and Sebastian Stan.

"I read Castle first when I was in high school," said director Stacie Passon. "It is smart, suspenseful, dark satire. The story, narrated by an 18-year-old sociopathic girl named Merricat Blackwood, is a rich mix of American political and social commentary. The themes of isolation, gender, class warfare seem even more relevant today." We Have Always Lived in the Castle will be released in theaters and on VOD May 17.

Books & Authors

Awards: Jackson Poetry; SCBWI Emerging Voices

Joy Harjo has won the $65,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, endowed by John and Susan Jackson and awarded annually by Poets & Writers to "an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition."

The three judges--poets Ada Limón, Alicia Ostriker, and D. A. Powell--said in part: "Harjo's work speaks not only to the world we live in, but to the unseen world that moves through us, the thread that has connected us all from the start... Harjo's poems embody a rich physicality and movement; they begin in the ear and the eye, they go on to live and hum inside the body... Throughout her luminous and substantial body of work, there is a sense of timelessness, of ongoingness, of history repeating; these are poems that hold us up to the truth and insist we pay attention."

Harjo has published 10 books of poetry, and her latest collection, An American Sunrise, will be published by Norton in September.


The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators has announced two winners of the On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award, which is part of the SCBWI's effort to foster diverse and underrepresented voices in children's publishing.

Amira Kunbargi won for When a Girl Dreams: The True Story of Fatimah Al-Fihri, Founder of the World's Oldest University, a nonfiction picture book about a woman who changed the face of education in ninth century Morocco; and medina won for The One Who Loves You the Most, an #ownvoices middle grade novel about a 12-year-old Latinx adoptee who begins exploring their gender and embracing a queer identity.

The winning manuscripts will be made available to select agents and editors via a secure website. Kunbargi and medina will also receive an all expense paid trip to the 2019 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles to meet editors, agents, and other industry professionals.

Book Review

Review: How Not to Die Alone

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper (Putnam, $26 hardcover, 336p., 9780525539889, May 28, 2019)

Andrew Smith--a 42-year-old single man--has a name as nondescript as the quiet, solitary existence he endures in a rundown London flat. Andrew loves jazz--Ella Fitzgerald is his favorite--and he takes pride in his model train collection, which has held special significance since childhood. Andrew goes to work every day, but his social life is largely limited to the fellow train collectors he communicates with online via the "ModelTrainNuts" forum.

When Andrew was a boy, his father died, and his grief-stricken mother followed after Andrew was in college. Then, his older sister, a free spirit, took off for the States. Soon, as life continued to throw him heart-wrenching curve balls, there was "nobody for him to share the story with. No one to help him laugh his way through it. Loneliness... was ever vigilant, always there to slow-clap his every stumble."

After nearly two decades of working a lowly admin job for a small London borough, Andrew, in his late 30s, is laid off: "Ten years ago there had been a chance he might have considered a fresh start. Traveling, maybe, or a bold new career move. But these days just having to leave the house left him with an unspecific feeling of anxiety, so hiking to Machu Picchu or retraining as a lion tamer wasn't exactly on the cards."

Andrew finally lands a job interview with the council that deals with deaths covered under the Public Health Act. The agency handles funerals for people who die alone, living on the fringes without next-of-kin. During the interview, in making small talk with his prospective new employer, Andrew--in an effort to fit in and feel accepted--fibs and says that he shares a loving home with a wife and two children. He is offered the job, and, five years later, stories of his "fantasy family" have snowballed. This proves a major obstacle when Andrew's boss starts to have social gatherings for the staff outside of work and also when a woman named Peggy joins the team.

She is the antithesis of Andrew--open, warm and friendly. She has two children and an alcoholic significant other. When Peggy and Andrew partner at work, investigating the lives of deceased clients who died alone, a friendship sparks between them. As the two grow closer, the reality of Andrew's fantasy life imprisons him. How can he set the record straight without having the truth affect his job, his relationship with his co-workers and, most importantly, his deepening romantic feelings for Peggy?

Richard Roper's debut offers a lively blend of humor and earnest emotion. Andrew Smith is a winning--however bewildering--protagonist whose story will entertain readers with its offbeat charm. As Andrew slowly comes to grips with being his true self, without pretense, readers will not only empathize with him and the ratcheting implications of his predicament, but they'll also root for him to find liberation and love. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A wry, humorous story about a lonely, single man in his 40s who is forced to come to grips with the truth of who he is and his past in order to face the future.

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