Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hachette: Public Affairs 25th Anniversary

St. Martin's Griffin: The Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher

Tordotcom: Leech by Hiron Ennes

Harper: The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II by Buzz Bissinger

St. Martin's Press: Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life by Margaret Sullivan

St. Martin's Press: Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson by Sally H. Jacobs

Del Rey Books: Luda by Grant Morrison

Berkley Books: Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin


Minchew, Aulisio Promoted at HarperCollins Christian Publishing, HarperCollins Focus

Laura Minchew

Laura Minchew has been appointed senior v-p, children's and gift group publisher for HarperCollins Christian Publishing and HarperCollins Focus. She will be responsible for the overall strategy for all children's and gift books for both companies and lead Tommy Nelson, Zonderkidz, Thomas Nelson Gift and Zondervan Gift publishing as well as Blink YA books and launch the strategy and publishing program for children's and gift products under HarperCollins Focus.

With Minchew's appointment, the companies will "share best practices in marketing, editorial, design, and publishing operations on books that specialize in children's and gift book products, while continuing to maintain the uniqueness of each consumer facing publishing imprint," HarperCollins Christian Publishing said. "This approach optimizes expertise around complementary products and sets a strong foundation for creating children's and gift products for the general market through HarperCollins Focus."

With more than 30 years of publishing experience, Minchew led the specialty publishing division for HarperCollins Christian Publishing the past seven years.

At the same time, Michael Aulisio, former v-p of marketing for Tommy Nelson and gift books for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, will become v-p of marketing for the children's and gift group of HarperCollins Christian Publishing and HarperCollins Focus.

University of Notre Dame Press: An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity by Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen

Turkish Author Ahmet Altan Rearrested

Ahmet Altan

Ahmet Altan, the Turkish author who was released from prison last week after more than three years and whose detention had been condemned by 38 Nobel laureates, was rearrested Tuesday. The Guardian reported that an arrest warrant was issued "after the chief public prosecutor appealed against the decision to release Altan."

Calling the move "scandalous," Marie Struthers, Amnesty International's Europe director, said, "It is impossible to see this decision as anything other than further punishment for his determination not to be silenced and it compounds an already shocking catalogue of injustice he has been subjected to."

Karin Karlekar, PEN America's director of Free Expression at Risk Programs, described Altan's re-arrest as "a disgrace and a horror" and called for his immediate release, adding: "Ahmet should never have been imprisoned to begin with; he has committed no crime. His release last week after more than three years in detention was a cause for hopeful celebration, but today we are faced again with the cruelty of a justice system that no longer upholds the rule of law."

University of Minnesota Press: The Ski Jumpers by Peter Geye

An Early Look at Indies First/SBS Plans

With a little over two weeks to go until Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season, independent bookstores around the country are finalizing their plans for the seventh annual Indies First/Small Business Saturday

This year's spokesperson is science fiction and fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin, the first author to win three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, all for her Broken Earth trilogy (Orbit). Her most recent book is the story collection How Long 'til Black Future Month?, published by Orbit last November.

In South Hadley, Mass., Odyssey Bookshop will be celebrating Indies First with refreshments, free gifts, guest booksellers and more. Customers will have the option of getting 20% off their purchases or having the store donate that amount to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. With every purchase of $50 or more, shoppers will receive a free bookish gift, such as an advanced copy of an upcoming book, and refreshments will include a Make-Your-Own hot chocolate bar.

For Indies First, Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston, Ill., will welcome a pair of children's authors to celebrate shopping local. In the morning, Sydni Gregg will read from her debut children's book, Seagull and Sea Dragon, and in the afternoon Betsy Bird will drop by to talk about all sorts of children's books as well as her newest picture book, The Great Santa Stakeout. Bookends & Beginnings will also be partnering with other local businesses for a special promotion that will give customers a chance to win prizes after spending a certain amount on November 30.

Chevalier's Books in Los Angeles, Calif., will welcome a host of authors for Indies First. In the morning, Abbi Waxman, author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill; Naomi Hirahara, author of Hiroshima Boy; and Michael Tolkin, author of The Player, will be among those who stop by. In the afternoon, guests include Devon O'Brien, author of Of Life and Men; Aline Brosh McKenna, author of Jane; and Chris Harris, author of I'm Just No Good at Rhyming. Other planned guests include Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay; and Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank with Me.

Indies First/SBS will see a local cheese tasting at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Va. The tasting will be part of a signing with cozy mystery author Mollie Cox Bryan, whose Christmas Cow Bells features an amateur sleuth who's also an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheesemaker. A variety of other local authors will appear as guest booksellers throughout the day.

And in Lake Forest Park, Seward Park and Ravenna, Wash., all three Third Place Books locations will offer holiday book recommendations as well as a special promotion giving customers a $10 gift card with a purchase of $50 or more.

GLOW: Union Square & Co.: The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond by Amanda Glaze

Obituary Note: Peter Collier

Peter Collier, "a prolific writer who midway into his career made a high-profile ideological shift from left to right, becoming a leading conservative voice as well as a publisher of others," died November 1, the New York Times reported. He was 80. Collier, who often wrote with David Horowitz, "was well regarded as a biographer of dynastic families."

They co-wrote The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976), The Kennedys: An American Drama (1984) and The Fords: An American Epic (1987), and in 1994 Collier published The Roosevelts: An American Saga, with Horowitz contributing. In addition, Collier wrote a novel, Down River (1979); a children's book, The King's Giraffe (with his wife, 1996); and books honoring military figures like Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty (2003).

During the 1960s and '70s, Collier and Horowitz worked together on the New Left journal Ramparts, but "made a 180-degree turn and began writing books and articles from the conservative side of the spectrum," the Times noted. Their 1989 book, Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties, attacked what they perceived to be the nostalgia that had grown up around that decade.

In 1998, Collier founded Encounter Books, which has published a range of authors, many of them conservative, the Times wrote, adding that "Collier saw a link between his early days on the left, opposing the status quo, and his later career as his own polar opposite, arguing against what he called the 'feel-good ideology' of political correctness."

"We are the counterculture," he told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1993. "We're the people in opposition to what Orwell called the smelly little orthodoxies."

Del Rey Books: Luda by Grant Morrison


Image of the Day: Back of Beyond Celebrates Customers and the Sun

Back of Beyond Books, Moab, Utah, recently hosted its annual customer appreciation party, featuring discounts, prize raffles, food & drink, music and more. The event doubled as a celebration of the store's new solar panels. Here, the BoBB staff, in sun-themed costumes, forms a chorus line.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Old Place by Bobby Finger

Happy 15th Birthday, Talk Story Bookstore!

Congratulations to Talk Story Bookstore, Hanapepe, Hawaii, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month and "continues to go strong," according to the Garden Island, which checked in recently with co-owner Ed Justus for a q&a session "to see how he and wife Yuriko keep the customers flowing through their doors." Among our favorite responses:

What's your key to success?
Our customers. When Talk Story was first opened, I read an old book about success called Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell. It had a great point that always stuck with me: "If customers ask for something, and you don't have it, start selling it!" The things that customers ask for over the years has helped widen the range of books we carry that are of interest to people, and because of that diverse array of subjects and titles, that may be one of the reasons why we are still in business today. The other reason I say it is our customers is because they are the ones who keep coming back to buy at our store, both residents and visitors alike. We are grateful every day for them, because they are the ones who make this store possible to be here and continue to provide for their needs. And many friends and customers over the years have been kind and helpful to us all along the way in making Talk Story Bookstore what it is today.

Do you and your wife Yuriko divide duties? What are your strengths as a team?
We are a team! What could be better than working everyday with your best friend and the love of your life at the same time? We have fun together. While I am handling the sales floor, Yuriko always has creative ideas with display, marketing, merchandise, social media, branding, anything. All the Talk Story merchandise she created has become popular sellers, too. On top of that, she is fantastic at data analysis, and I am very lucky to have her 13 years of experience as a model cost controller at Panasonic Manufacturing UK Finance Department! She and I are such a natural team; it is just always fun coming up with ideas, being creative together. We laugh a lot. Never knew what getting along was really like before! I am always very proud of her.

What's the best part of owning and operating your bookstore?
Again, the customers. 99% of the people who come in are really, really happy with what they buy. It is amazing to be in a business that everyday brings people so much happiness. And the other cool thing is the product; it's always interesting and different. Being in the bookstore is like having a continuing education; because of the nature of the product, we get to learn a little bit about everything.

Personnel Changes at the New Press

Derek Warker has joined the New Press as publicity manager. He was formerly a publicist at Columbia University Press.

Media and Movies

N. Scott Momaday Featured on American Masters

A new documentary exploring the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning Kiowa novelist N. Scott Momaday will premiere next Monday, November 18, on PBS. N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear, will be the finale of the 33rd season of PBS's American Masters series, and was directed by Kiowa filmmaker Jeffrey Palmer.

Coinciding with Native American Heritage Month, the documentary examines Momaday's life and career, following him from his childhood spent on several reservations in the Southwest, through his time as an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico and a doctorate fellow at Stanford University, to the publication in 1968 of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel House Made of Dawn.

In addition to new interviews with Momaday himself, Words from a Bear also features interviews with indigenous author Rilla Askew; Joy Harjo, the first Native American United States Poet Laureate; and actors Robert Redford, Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges and James Earl Jones.

"I describe my filmmaking as a personal exploration of Native American life in 21st-century America," said Palmer. "Much like N. Scott Momaday, I was a young Kiowa artist growing up in the shadow of the Wichita Mountains, dealing with issues of poverty, racism and marginalization. I also experienced the triumphs of using art to maintain the stories of my people, a feeling of respect and honor that I will always present in my work."

Media Heat: Whoopi Goldberg on Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams: Whoopi Goldberg, author of The Unqualified Hostess (Rizzoli, $35, 9780847866984).

This Weekend on Book TV: Nikki Haley

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, November 16
2:45 p.m. Ruha Benjamin, author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity, $19.95, 9781509526406).

5:45 p.m. Stephen Harding, author of Escape from Paris: A True Story of Love and Resistance in Wartime France (Da Capo, $28, 9780306922169), at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va.

6:30 p.m. Meghan Daum, author of The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars (Gallery, $27, 9781982129330), at the Strand in New York City.

7:40 p.m. John Browne, author of Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilization (Pegasus, $29.95, 9781643132129). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:45 a.m.)

8:55 p.m. Ed Stack, author of It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference. (Scribner, $28, 9781982116910).

10 p.m. Martha Minow, author of When Should Law Forgive? (Norton, $27.95, 9780393081763). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Donald Trump Jr., author of Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us (Center Street, $30, 9781546086031). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

Sunday, November 17
12 a.m. James Zirin, author of Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits (All Points Books, $28.99, 9781250201621).

3:30 p.m. Alberto Cairo, author of How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information (Norton, $25.95, 9781324001560).

6 p.m. Jerrold Post, co-author of Dangerous Charisma: The Political Psychology of Donald Trump and His Followers (Pegasus, $27.95, 9781643132181), at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

8 p.m. Andrew Marantz, author of Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation (Viking, $28, 9780525522263), at the Strand.

10 p.m. Nikki Haley, author of With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250266552).

11 p.m. Richard Brookhiser, author of Give Me Liberty: A History of America's Exceptional Idea (Basic Books, $28, 9781541699137).

Books & Authors

Awards: Goldsmiths, Ernest J. Gaines Winners

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann has won the £10,000 (about $12,855) Goldsmiths Prize, which aims to "reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form." Chair of judges Erica Wagner called Ducks, Newburyport "that rare thing: a book which, not long after its publication, one can unhesitatingly call a masterpiece. In her gripping and hypnotic book, Ellmann remakes the novel and expands the reader's idea of what is possible with the form."

The organization described the book this way: "Latticing one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless information that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of 'happy couples,' Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks 'n' beans? A scorching indictment of America's barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder--and a revolution in the novel."


Lot by Bryan Washington (Riverhead Books) has won the $15,000 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the award recognizes "outstanding work from promising African-American fiction writers" and honors Ernest J. Gaines, the acclaimed writer who died last week at the age of 86. The award is in its 13th year.

The judges said that Lot, a collection of short stories, is "set in the city of Houston, particularly its East End. The narrator is a young man who often doesn't feel at home in his hometown and keenly watches others as they desperately struggle or thrive."

Washington's fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Boston Review, and other publications. He has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Houston and a master's in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. He is a lecturer at Rice University.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 19:

A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci (Grand Central, $29, 9781538761601) is the second thriller with FBI Agent Atlee Pine.

Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures: Volume 2 by Louis L'Amour and Beau L'Amour (Bantam, $30, 9780425284926) is a posthumous collection of unfinished work.

Tom Clancy Code of Honor by Marc Cameron (Putnam, $29.95, 9780525541721) continues the Jack Ryan thriller series.

The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2: Political Scandal, Personal Struggle, and the Years that Defined Elizabeth II (1956-1977) by Robert Lacey (Crown, $28, 9780525573371) is a companion to the Netflix series.

Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen: A Novel by Dexter Palmer (Pantheon, $27.95, 9781101871935) is based on the true story of a woman who claimed to give birth to rabbits in 1726 England.

Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice by Michelle Obama (Clarkson Potter, $19.99, 9780593139127) is a companion to the former First Lady's memoir.

Great Society: A New History by Amity Shlaes (Harper, $32.50, 9780061706424) is an economic history of the 1960s.

From Russia with Blood: The Kremlin's Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin's Secret War on the West by Heidi Blake (Mulholland, $30, 9780316417235) explores Russia's history of killing its former spies on foreign soil.

Canyon Dreams: A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation by Michael Powell (Blue Rider Press, $28, 9780525534662) tells the story of a Navajo high school basketball team.

Lost in Space: Return to Yesterday by Kevin Emerson (Little, Brown, $13.99, 9780316425933) is a novelization of Netflix's Lost in Space focused on young Will Robinson.

Labyrinth: A Novel by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Umit Hussein (Other Press, $15.99, 9781590510988) follows a Turkish man who loses his memory after a suicide attempt.

The Heavens by Sandra Newman (Grove Press, $15.99, 9780802147974).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

All This Could Be Yours: A Novel by Jami Attenberg (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544824256). "I am in love with Jami Attenberg's writing, and was gripped by All This Could Be Yours from the opening pages. Everything about the Tuchmans felt so true to me: Alex's confusion and anger toward the family's toxic, now-comatose patriarch, Victor; Barbra's isolation in her later years after a long marriage to a brute; Twyla and Gary's unwinding secret selves--all of it is so perfectly told and paced. Full of Attenberg's trademark dry wit and precise, uncomfortable insight into the psychology of family love (and its close cousin, family hate), this novel had me laughing with genuine joy and crying in real sadness at the same time." --Liv Stratman, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira Díaz (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616209131). "Too often, those of us who grow up below the federal poverty line spend the rest of our lives erasing ourselves. If we manage to migrate out of poverty, we do so at a cost. The gatekeepers of academia, and of literature, often only want to hear our stories if we make a spectacle of our people, or if we tell our stories in the language of the elite at the expense of our own voices. I think this is one of the most powerful things about Ordinary Girls. Díaz tells her sad and beautiful stories in her own voice, a voice that still holds the people and the places that made her. What a gift. Growing up poor means that we are taught, every day and in a million tiny ways, that our families are wrong, our speech is ugly, our stories shameful. This is oppression and Díaz banishes it with beauty, love, honesty, and insight. Ordinary Girls is a book that makes me feel less alone in this world." --Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers, The Dalles, Ore.

Come With Me: A Novel by Helen Schulman (Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062459145). "A gripping, expertly written story of love and fate, Helen Schulman's Come With Me resonates for all of us who are engaged in our modern, complex families; intrigued and confused by the technology in our lives; and curious enough to wonder how our lives might have turned out if we had made different choices." --Linda Kass, Gramercy Books, Bexley, Ohio

For Ages 4 to 8
Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler (Nancy Paulsen, $17.99, 9780399162909). "This heartwarming story of a family that works together to make a new home is enhanced by gentle illustrations that reflect the bettering of their situation as the seasons go by. This is a book that every child, hustled along by the fast pace of life today, needs to hear, a quiet affirmation of the simple joys of hearth and home." --Cindy Brewer, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.

For Ages 9 to 12
Cog by Greg van Eekhout, illustrated by Beatrice Blue (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062686077). "Since its creation date some months before, android Cog, designed for realistic human cognition, has lived happily with Gina in a house in the suburbs. When a misunderstanding sends Cog to a new 'home' at the headquarters of the tech firm that funded its creation, Cog makes friends with a talking car, a trash-bot, a robo-dog, and a sibling. Cog quickly gets to the heart of artificial intelligence, morality, and a road-trip adventure. This will engage young readers at once and inspire them to question assumptions about appearances, the law, and family." --Myles Mickle, Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, Vt.

For Teen Readers
Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781641290746). "Queer poet Brynne Rebele-Henry's debut novel is based upon the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Raya and Sarah, childhood friends in small-town Texas, discover that their feelings for each other go deeper. Queerness is ultra-taboo in their community, so much so that when the girls are found in a sexual act together, they are sent by their families to a gay conversion camp. Raya's obsession with myths leads her to view the challenge as if she is Orpheus--she must do whatever it takes to save her love and escape with her from Hell. A whirlwind of courage, love, and sacrifice, Orpheus Girl is a triumph." --Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Evacuation

Evacuation by Raphaël Jerusalmy, trans. by Penny Hueston (Text Publishing, $14.95 paperback, 164p., 9781925603378, December 3, 2019)

Conversations in vehicles offer a particular intimacy: occupants have no choice but to be present. In Evacuation, by Raphaël Jerusalmy and translated from the French by Penny Hueston, a car's interior provides the opportunity for a young man to reveal his experiences during an evacuation of Tel Aviv, and for Jerusalmy, a former member of the Israeli military intelligence service, to show people upholding life and art in the midst of warfare.

The novella opens with Naor, an aspiring filmmaker, talking to his mother at the beginning of a drive. His voice serves as the primary narration throughout the book, as it's his story that unfolds. Typical small talk (put on your seatbelt, sorry about that turn) precedes his unexpected comment: "Don't be sad, Mum." With this remark the reader enters the car, too, and listens to Naor, as he drives, explain what happened during a recent military attack on Tel Aviv.

Naor and his girlfriend, Yaël, had planned to accompany Saba, his grandfather, on a bus to the countryside after the mandatory evacuation of the city. At the last minute, Saba gets off the bus and refuses to leave. Naor and Yaël follow him, initially to change his mind, but when he refuses, they decide, in an act of "dissidence," to defy the evacuation orders. Naor himself isn't really sure why the trio defied orders, and attempts to explain their motives to his mother. It's possible, Naor says, that Saba is "playing at being a rebel so people think he's younger." But his mother counters with, "Just like you're playing the rebel so you come across as more mature."

As for Yaël's motivation, she is the most enigmatic of the three. They were cut off from the world, and she "didn't want to surrender to the war." "We were going to behave as if there was no war. As if the war had never happened," Naor struggles to explain. He concludes, "Staying in deserted Tel Aviv was an act of resistance, of hanging on, standing firm." The trio scavenges for food and water, wanders the city reminiscing, and Naor even scripts a film for Yael and Saba to perform. "Have you never done that, pretended you're not part of what's happening around you?" he asks his mother. The reader, too, is lulled into pretending that there isn't a war going on. Thus, when the situation deteriorates, the devastation they experience is all the more shocking for the ordinary routines they'd established.

The politics of the Arab-Israeli war are barely mentioned in the novel. But readers see the street-level view of an aerial attack through Naor's eyes, in contrast to the typical distant perspective seen on news channels. There are people on those streets that are invisible in the larger theater of war. "War is for everyone, civilians as well as the military," Naor says. The trio's refusal to bow to the chaos of war is their ultimate act of resistance. Evacuation is no typical war novel: spare yet compelling, and extraordinarily moving in unexpected places, it challenges those who glance impassively at a televised war to step into the experience of those nearby. --Cindy Pauldine, bookseller, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.

Shelf Talker: Three people defy an evacuation order during a military attack in Tel Aviv, leaving them to survive on their own and make choices about what matters in life.

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