Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Algonquin Young Readers: If I Promise You Wings by A.K. Small

Mariner Books: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

S&s/ Marysue Rucci Books: The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

W by Wattpad Books: Night Shift by Annie Crown

Shadow Mountain: Under the Java Moon: A Novel of World War II by Heather B. Moore

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole

Minotaur Books: The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen


Paper Boat Booksellers to Open in West Seattle

Paper Boat Booksellers will open this summer in West Seattle, Wash. Desirae and Eric Judy announced recently on the store's Facebook page that they have "signed our lease and will be serving the West Seattle community books this summer! We are so excited and can't wait to meet all you book enthusiasts once we open. Our new location is at 6040 California Ave. SW near the Morgan Junction--stay tuned for updates as we get closer to our mid-summer opening date!" (Eric Judy is a founding member and former bassist of the the indie rock band Modest Mouse.)

On Independent Bookstore Day, Paper Boat Booksellers had a pop-up bookshop at the West Seattle gift shop Alair, but "now they've found a home of their own!" West Seattle Blog reported, adding: "In an earlier exchange, when they were still space-hunting, they told us, 'We are book lovers and believe that an independent bookstore can thrive in our community--it is not only a place to indulge in the love of reading, but also a place to meet your neighbors and share your love of books. We envision our bookstore as a true community meeting space!' "

At the end of IBD, they posted: "Thank You West Seattle for celebrating #seabookstoreday with us and coming out to show your support for our new adventure! We are so grateful to all of you who came out and chatted with us, bought a book and shared your love of books and excitement for a new bookstore in the neighborhood--thank you a million times--we will see you soon!"

Apple TV+: Lessons in Chemistry

Two Readers Visit All 63 NCIBA Passport Game Stores

For the first time in its three-year history, two readers visited every one of the 63 participating stores in the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association's annual Bookstore Passport Game.

Throughout the month of April, winners Matt and Jessica, who asked that their last names not be released, spent their weekends visiting every store on the game's map, including Sundance Books and Music in Reno, Nev. They returned their gameboards to their neighborhood bookstore, Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, Calif., and received the first-prize reward of a $100 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice. They also received more than $500 in books delivered to their home.

Chris Hsiang of San Francisco took second place; he earned 65 points while visiting participating stores on his bike and covered 216 miles in his "Tour de Pages." Third place went to 11-year-old Pete Navratil, and Kaitlyn Goodwin of San Lorenzo took fourth place.

A 10-year-old named Gianmarco Cistaro, son of bookseller Melissa Cistaro, also received the "super bookstore lover prize," for visiting 37 bookstores and earning 52 points. These were the fourth highest totals in the entire game and the highest number of points earned by a child.

Calvin Crosby, NCIBA's executive director, noted that a large number of families participated this year. He said: "When all bookstores work together with the Passport Game, we're really able to create something special for readers and this way we get to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day all month long in April too."

Soho Crime: My Favorite Scar by Nicolás Ferraro, translated by Mallory Craig-Kuhn

Another Threat to a Drag Queen Story Time

Yet another drag queen story time is being targeted by right-wing protestors. This time it's happening in central Maine, in response to a drag queen story time featuring Valerie Honeywell that will be held on June 1 at the Children's Book Cellar in Waterville as part of the Central Maine Pride Festival.

Stating that she wants "to educate people about other lifestyles," store owner Ellen Richmond said, "I'm not inviting pedophiles in to pet little children. I have one man coming in dressed as a woman to read stories to children, and then we’re going to make wands and crowns."

Ellen Richmond

The event "blew up on social media" over the weekend, according to Richmond, and included a thread on the page Maine Conservative Grassroots attacking the event. Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro protested the city council's support of the event, writing "Scandalizing the children in our community--trying to make us San Francisco. Unanimous vote to celebrate by our entire council!"

Several commenters plan to protest the event in person. In response, Richmond and the festival committee are discussing safety concerns.

The protests mirror recent protests against drag queen story times at Little City Books, Hoboken, N.J., last month, and WORD Bookstore in Jersey City, N.J., last Saturday.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 09.25.23

Simon Armitage Named U.K. Poet Laureate

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage has been appointed as the U.K.'s 21st poet laureate, succeeding Carol Ann Duffy. The position "has its roots in the 17th century, when Ben Jonson was granted a pension by King James I for his services to the crown," the Guardian reported, noting that Armitage will receive an annual stipend of £5,750 (about $7,480), "along with the traditional butt of sack: 600-odd bottles of sherry." His tenure will be a fixed term of 10 years.

"It's a big commitment, but if you'd asked me 30 years ago what I want to aim for, this might have been on the list," said Armitage, who has published 28 collections and is one of the U.K.'s bestselling poets. "And I feel I've been writing the kind of public-facing, public-occasion poetry that this role will require for quite a long time now."

He hopes to use the position to "act in an ambassadorial way, as a kind of negotiator between what inevitably is something of a specialist art form, and the people who want to read it and respond on occasions with poetry." Armitage also plans to use his stipend to set up "something in the field of climate change"--either a prize or an event. "It just seems to me that it's the obligation of all of us and every art form to be responding to this issue. It shades into all our politics, so I want to find a way of recording and encouraging poetry's response to that situation."

The hunt for Duffy's successor began last November, when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport appointed a panel of experts to come up with a shortlist, which "is believed to have featured poets including Imtiaz Dharker, Daljit Nagra and Alice Oswald, but Dharker turned the position down to focus on her writing," the Guardian wrote.

"I've done quite a lot of work already, so it's not that I want to retire, [but] I feel as if it's time to give something back," Armitage said. "I've done well through poetry, it's served me well and I think I've served it well, and I think I can encourage other people now setting out on a similar adventure."

Atria Books: Interesting Facts about Space by Emily Austin

Obituary Note: Chuck Kinder

Chuck Kinder, "who turned his friendship with Raymond Carver into a roman à clef, and whose long struggle to birth that book inspired a novel by one of his former students, Michael Chabon," died May 3, the New York Times reported. He was 76. Kinder taught writing at the University of Pittsburgh for many years and "was known for lively classes, livelier parties, a few memorable if underappreciated books and a certain literary-bad-boy posture."

Chabon, who studied under him in the 1980s at Pitt and published Wonder Boys in 1995, spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001 about Kinder's role in inspiring the character played by Michael Douglas in Curtis Hanson's 2000 film adaptation: "I remember peering into his office and seeing this monolithic pile of white paper--the inverse of the monolith from 2001--under his desk lamp. In my memory, it was 4,000 pages long. He was proud of how big a bastard it was."

Kinder "finally wrestled his long-gestating manuscript into a book of reasonable length: Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale," the Times wrote. His other books include The Silver Ghost (1979) and two 2014 poetry collections, All That Yellow and Imagination Motel.

Diane Cecily, his wife, recalled that Kinder's first novel, Snakehunter (1973), earned him a creative writing fellowship at Stanford University, "where he met this incredible collection of writers," including Carver. "It was just that time." She added that Kinder "sought to recreate that environment when he joined the Pitt faculty in 1980. They had married in 1975, and their house in Pittsburgh became a center of gravity for students, faculty members and visiting writers," the Times noted.

"He included hundreds of writers in his embrace, and he'd root for you and read your stuff many years after you had the pleasure to sit in his classroom, which was often his living room," said novelist and former student Jane McCafferty.

"His teaching didn't stop at the classroom," Chabon told the Washington Post. "He was open with his struggles as a writer. I remember him saying to me, 'The book defeats me daily.' But the thing that made him so remarkable and so inspiring as a teacher was that he just loved literature. What you felt after an hour in Chuck Kinder's classroom was that passion for literature and writing."

Flatiron Books: The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert


Image of the Day: Elizabeth Acevedo at WORD

WORD Bookstore in Jersey City, N.J., hosted Elizabeth Acevedo for her new novel, With the Fire on High (Harper Teen). Pictured: booksellers Eliza Thompson, Lorenzo Gerena, Yadira Aguiar, Acevedo, Melody Osorio, Kim Small, Brian Benavides.

Cool Idea of the Day: Public Reading of The Mueller Report

A public reading of The Mueller Report is being hosted by Book and Puppet Co. in Easton, Pa. The Morning Call reported that "a small group gathered Saturday in Easton to take turns reading aloud from the year's most anticipated work of nonfiction.... The Mueller Report drew gasps and wry laughter worthy of any plot twist or double cross in Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. Over the next week, the group, led by journalist Melba Tolliver, will read all 448 pages of the tome--at least the parts that aren't redacted."

"I wanted to read it," said Tolliver, who organized the project called Out Loud: The Mueller Report. "I figured it would be a lot more successful if I could read it with other people."

Book & Puppet Co. owner Andy Laties said he opens his store as a public forum with open mic sessions and compared The Mueller Report reading with public readings of James Joyce's Ulysses around the world on Bloomsday each June 16. He also described Mueller's epic as a great read: "It's exciting and full of drama, and aside of political opinion you might have, it is very entertaining."

Personnel Changes at Doubleday

At Doubleday:

Lauren Weber has been promoted to associate director of marketing.
Michael Goldsmith has been promoted to associate director of publicity.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Howard Stern on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Howard Stern, author of Howard Stern Comes Again (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501194290). He is also on the Tonight Show tomorrow.

Rachael Ray: Akbar Gbajabiamila, author of Everyone Can Be a Ninja: Find Your Inner Warrior and Achieve Your Dreams (Gallery, $26.99, 9781982109752).

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

Ellen: José Andrés, co-author of Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook (Anthony Bourdain/Ecco, $39.99, 9780062668387).

TV: Lincoln

NBC has picked up Lincoln, inspired by Jeffery Deaver's novel The Bone Collector, featuring former NYPD detective and forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme, Variety reported. The cast includes Russell Hornsby, Arielle Kebbel, Brían F. O'Byrne, Tate Ellington, Courtney Grosbeck, Ramses Jimenez, Brooke Lyons, Roslyn Ruff, and Michael Imperioli.

VJ Boyd and Mark Bianculli will write and executive produce, with Seth Gordon directing and exec producing. Lincoln is produced by Universal Television and Sony Pictures Television, in association with Keshet Studios. The Bone Collector was previously adapted into the 1999 film starring starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

Books & Authors

Awards: RSL Ondaatje; Poetry Foundation Honors; CrimeFest

Aida Edemariam has won the £10,000 (about $12,945) 2019 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for The Wife's Tale: A Personal History (4th Estate; published in the U.S. in March by Harper Perennial). The prize is given to "a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place."

Judge Michèle Roberts called The Wife's Tale "beautifully written, carefully researched and richly imagined, an exquisite blend of memoir, fiction, poetry and invocation. This is a book I shall constantly re-read as well as recommend to everyone i know who loves literature."


The Poetry Foundation announced three significant honors:

Marilyn Nelson won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which annually honors a living U.S. poet for outstanding lifetime achievement.

Naomi Shihab Nye was named the 2019-2021 Young People's Poet Laureate (and received the $25,000 prize), which celebrates a living writer in recognition of their devotion to writing exceptional poetry for young readers. The two-year-term laureateship promotes poetry to children and their families, teachers, and librarians.

Terrance Hayes won the $7,500 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism, which honors the best book-length works of criticism published in the prior calendar year, for his book To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight.

"As part of our mission, and core to Poetry magazine's 106-year history, we celebrate the best poetry, and with these awards we honor some of the writers who bring it into the world today," said Henry Bienen, president of the Poetry Foundation.


A range of awards, including the H.R.F. Keating, Petrona, Last Laugh and eDunnit awards, were given over the weekend at Crime Fest, held in Bristol, England. To see the winners and honorees, click here.

Book Review

Review: Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson (Bloomsbury, $30 hardcover, 464p., 9781620405468, June 11, 2019)

For many, old age is a far-off concern shuffled to the back of their minds, where it distorts under the societal obsession with youth and beauty. For Louise Aronson, thoroughly accomplished in both the medical (American Geriatrics Society Geriatrician of the Year) and literary (A History of the Present Illness) fields, aging and the elderly are her passion. In Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life, she gathers roughly three decades of case histories, criticism, curiosity and wisdom to offer readers a holistic, compassionate understanding of the third stage of life: elderhood.

From the beginning, Aronson is quick to point out how limited the dominant cultural understanding of old age is, as it distinguishes between the "successful aging" of some while bemoaning the illness and disability of others. She exposes the default of ageism time and again in her meticulous consideration of medical and family networks, political policy, municipal oversights, capitalist ambition and nearly every other sector of life that comes in contact with (or at the expense of) the elderly. Which is to say, society as a whole.

Older bodies aren't simply longer-lived versions of younger ones, just as adult bodies aren't simply bigger versions of children's. In Aronson's paradigm, each stage of life (childhood, adulthood, elderhood) requires a certain style of attention key to a person's quality of living, but the medical system regularly fails its oldest and most fragile patients by treating them in accordance with standards set by younger, whiter, straighter and maler norms.

Elderhood, like the life station it studies, is dynamic, multifaceted and full of wonder. Aronson's writing, too, flexes with vibrant energy as she discusses in lucid, candid detail the ways she has seen the healthcare system neglect the overall well-being of her patients, her colleagues and herself.

"When health care organizations proclaim value-based patient care is their top priority but institute productivity metrics that prioritize numbers of patients seen over whether those patients' needs are met, when they adopt electronic record systems that undermine the doctor-patient relationship, when their clinicians experience record levels of burnout and work dissatisfaction and they do nothing to alter the fundamental mechanics of daily life in their hospitals and clinics, an Orwellian story unfolds in the imaginations of patients and doctors alike."

Mixing empathy for the whole person and fury toward the systems that undermine that, Aronson draws on published studies and scientific data, as well as numerous literary sources (Rebecca Solnit, Vivian Gornick, Oliver Sacks, Bill Hayes et al.) to craft this monumental book. Intimidating as it may seem, elderhood becomes welcoming and generous in Aronson's deft care. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: A seasoned geriatrician gathers anecdotes and data to craft a more robust representation of what it means to grow old in a society geared toward ageism.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Slow Burn (Moonlight and Motor Oil Series Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
2. Because I Had a Teacher by Kobi Yamada and Natalie Russell
3. Dump and Chase by Toni Aleo
4. Fluffy by Julia Kent
5. The Magical Romantic Comedy (With a Body Count) Starter Pack by R.J. Blain
6. Flashpoint Series Collection by Rachel Grant
7. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
8. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
9. Fortune Furlough (Miss Fortune Mystery Book 14) by Jana DeLeon
10. Terrier Transgressions (Pet Whisperer P.I. Book 2) by Molly Fitz

[Many thanks to!]

Wicked Son: Adam Unrehearsed by Don Futterman
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