Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 7, 2020

William Morrow & Company: Polostan: Volume One of Bomb Light by Neal Stephenson

Shadow Mountain: The Legend of the Last Library by Frank L Cole

Atlantic Monthly Press: The Elements of Marie Curie: How the Glow of Radium Lit a Path for Women in Science by Dava Sobel

Ace Books: Dungeon Crawler Carl by Matt Dinniman

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Millicent Quibb School of Etiquette for Young Ladies of Mad Science by Kate McKinnon

Annick Press: Bog Myrtle by Sid Sharp

Minotaur Books: Betrayal at Blackthorn Park: A Mystery (Evelyne Redfern #2) by Julia Kelly


Ownership, Name Changes for Liberty Bay Books in Wash.

After 23 years in business, Suzanne Droppert is selling Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, Wash., to children's author Suzanne Selfors. Droppert will continue to operate the Bremerton location, which opened four years ago, under a new name. Liberty Bay Books started as Shotwell's Bookstore in 1977 and was purchased by Droppert in 1996.

"The last day of operation under my ownership will be the 30th," Droppert said in a video with Selfors announcing the change. "The bookstore will continue as Liberty Bay Books in February... but I am keeping the Bremerton store and it's going to be Ballast Book Co. So I'm going to be down in Bremerton."

Selfors and Droppert (r.)

She added that current customers' accounts will go to the Bremerton location, while Kobo e-book accounts will stay at Liberty Bay Books. Gift cards will be valid at either store.

"I'm very excited about this transition," Selfors said. "I'm a little nervous, too. But it's going to be a new chapter for both of us. We wanted to make sure that everybody knew the bookstore, Liberty Bay Books, was going to remain open."

Plans call for Liberty Bay Books to close temporarily on February 1 "so we can do new carpet, we can do new paint and we're going to make some improvements to some of the shelving," Selfors noted. "And then we'll be open again that Saturday. Please come down and meet me. I'm very excited to become a member of this wonderful community and keep this bookstore alive. It's been a part of my life for a long time and this is a great honor to have Suzanne pass the torch to me."

Selfors has published more than 30 books, including Wish Upon a Sleepover and Fortune's Magic Farm, with Little, Brown, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Walker/Bloomsbury, and has written for Dreamworks and Mattel. She was also a board member of Seattle 7 Writers. Her next book, Braver: A Wombat's Tale, written with her son Walker Ranson, will be published in June by Imprint/Macmillan.

She added that plans for the store include enlarging the kids' and Pacific Northwest sections. "But rest assured, it will remain the cozy bookstore that the Poulsbo community has loved for 23 years. As a writer, I'm looking forward to hosting lots of writing events and guest authors."

Running Press Kids: Your Magical Life: A Young Witch's Guide to Becoming Happy, Confident, and Powerful by Amanda Lovelace

Short Stories in Madison, N.J., Closing in March

Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub, Madison, N.J., which opened in September 2014, will close by March 31.

"Our nearly six-year-old adventure is coming to a close," wrote co-owner Barbara Short in a message to customers on the store's Facebook page. "As for us, we are just plain grateful for all of you, for all of the friendships made in and around our little bookshop, and for the honor to be a part of your lives."

Short encouraged customers to help her and her team "close in style," by making sure to redeem their gift cards, take part in the store's closing sale and book the store's community space for a final time.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: William by Mason Coile

Amazon to Open Fulfillment Center in Deltona, Fla.

Amazon plans to open a one million-square-foot fulfillment center in Deltona, Fla. The company currently has warehouses in Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville. Alicia Boler Davis, v-p of global customer fulfillment, said, "Since 2013, Amazon has invested more than $5 billion in Florida through local fulfillment centers and cloud infrastructure, research facilities, and compensation to thousands of employees in the state."

"I applaud Amazon for this newest fulfillment center and their continued investment in Florida," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "I look forward to the positive impacts this center will have on Volusia County."

Amazon said there "are more than 139,000 authors, small and medium-sized businesses, and developers in Florida growing their companies and reaching new customers on Amazon products and services."

Obituary Notes: James A. Misko; Dennis Showalter

James A. Misko, a writer whose body of work ranged from novels to books on real estate investment, died on December 31 from complications due to cancer. He was 87. 

Born in Ord, Neb., Misko had a vast and varied career before ever turning to books, working at different times as a mink rancher, forest service lookout, truck driver, journalist and real estate broker, among others. His first book, How to Finance Any Real Estate (Any Place, Any Time), was published by Square One in 2003 after company president Rudy Shur hired him to write a book on the subject.

After 2003, Misko turned to fiction, publishing his first four novels independently. In February 2017, Square One published The Path of the Wind, which won a number of awards and was nominated for the PNWA Nancy Pearl Contest Award. Misko was also an active member of the Alaskan writing community, having helped establish the Alaska Writers Guild.


Dennis Showalter, a renowned military historian and author, died on Monday at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the age of 77, the Gazette reported. The cause of death was complications related to esophageal cancer.

Over the course of his career as a historian, Showalter wrote 27 books, including Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18 and Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth

Showalter was a professor at Colorado College for 47 years, and while his field of study was German military history, he taught classes on everything from African history to Jews in the modern world. He also taught at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Air Force Academy, West Point Military Academy and the Marine Corps University.

In 2018, Showalter won the Pritzker Military Museum and Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The award organizers praised Showalter for "his research demonstrating the interrelationship between the military and civil society" and his "long and brilliant record of writing, especially about World Wars I and II."

January Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for January was delivered to more than half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 150 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 619,206 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (Putnam).

For a sample of the January newsletter, see this one from Port Book and News, Port Angeles, Wash.


Image of the Day: Mindfulness at Book Revue

Book Revue, Huntington, N.Y., hosted Cory Muscara for the launch of Stop Missing Your Life: How to Be Deeply Present in an Un-Present World (Hachette).

Happy 10th Birthday, Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe!

Congratulations to Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Café, Boulder, Colo., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Owned by Kate Hunter and Brian Buckley, it is one of the few poetry-only bookstores in the country.

On Facebook, the store posted: "In 2010, Innisfree opened its doors on University Hill in Boulder as the third poetry-exclusive bookstore in the United States. It was a family affair and has remained so for 10 years. There were as many risks then as there are today, yet Goethe still whispers: 'Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.' To the poets, to the fair-trade coffee lovers, to the local business lovers, to the dedicated staff, to the local suppliers--we send a mighty thank you as you were all the seeds of the miracle. THANK YOU!"

Pennie Picks: The Girls with No Names

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick (Park Row, $27.99, 9780778309994) as her pick of the month for January. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I spend plenty of time marveling at how fiction is my gateway to learning about various aspects of history. This month's book buyer's pick, Serena Burdick's The Girls with No Names, is a perfect example.

"Luella and Effie Tildon live near the House of Mercy, a home for 'fallen' women in New York City. When they learn of a secret from their father's past, Luella acts out and soon disappears. Effie's efforts to rescue her sister lead to her own stay at the House of Mercy.

"This haunting tale will stay with you long after you finish the last page."

Personnel Changes at Holt

Caitlin O'Shaughnessy has been promoted to executive director of marketing & brand strategy at Holt and will now oversee the marketing department in addition to working on brand strategy and promotion for Holt, Metropolitan, and Andy Cohen Books.

Media and Movies

Movies: Gretel & Hansel

An official trailer has been released for Gretel & Hansel, inspired by the Brothers Grimm story. As the filmmakers describe the movie: "A long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil."

Directed by Osgood "Oz" Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House), the project stars Sophia Lillis (It, Sharp Objects), Sammy Leakey, Alice Krige (Star Trek, The OA), Jessica De Gouw (Underground, Arrow) and Charles Babalola (Black Mirror, The Legend of Tarzan).

The movie was written by Rob Hayes (Chewing Gum), produced by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger on behalf of Automatik and executive produced by Sandra Yee Ling and Macdara Kelleher. Orion Pictures will release Gretel & Hansel in theaters January 31.

Media Heat: Peggy Orenstein on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Peggy Orenstein, author of Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity (Harper, $28.99, 9780062666970).


CBS This Morning: Kelly McGonigal, author of The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage (Avery, $27, 9780525534105).

Wendy Williams: Suzanne Somers, author of A New Way to Age: The Most Cutting-Edge Advances in Antiaging (Gallery, $28, 9781982110949).

Books & Authors

Awards: Costa Book Category Winners

Winners have been named in the five Costa Book Awards categories . Each author receives £5,000 (about $6,465) and is now eligible for the £30,000 (about $38,795) Costa Book of the Year prize, which will be announced January 28 in London. This year's Costa category winners are:

Novel: Middle England by Jonathan Coe
First novel: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
Biography: The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero Who Infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather
Poetry: Flèche by Mary Jean Chan
Children's: Asha & the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

Top Library Recommended Titles for January

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 January titles public library staff across the country love:
Dear Edward: A Novel by Ann Napolitano (The Dial Press, $27, 9781984854780). "A dear, dear wonderous novel. Edward is The Miracle Boy, the only survivor of a plane crash. As he struggles to navigate the landscape of his new life, we hear the voices of those who didn't make it. Napolitano is an amazing writer who deserves a wider audience. For fans of Did You Ever Have a Family (Bill Clegg), The Grief of Others (Leah Hager Cohen), and The Friend (Sigrid Nunez)." --Jennifer Dayton, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, Conn.
All the Ways We Said Goodbye: A Novel of the Ritz Paris by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062931092). "Three time periods, three women, three authors combine for an absorbing read. Aurelie is ready to fight the Germans during World War I. Daisy, a woman with a collaborator husband, is embroiled in the fight against the Nazis. Babs, an Englishwoman in the 1960s, is anxious to find the truth about her dead husband. For readers who liked The Alice Network and Sarah's Key." --Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, N.Y.
American Dirt: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins (Flatiron, $27.99, 9781250209764). "A literary thriller chronicling the migration of a mother and her young son. Under threat, Lydia and Luca leave their middle-class life in Acapulco and begin a traumatic journey to the border, evading cartels, thieves, corrupt police, and others forced into malevolent behavior by extreme violence and poverty. For readers who enjoyed The Other Americans (Laila Lalami) and And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)." --Molly Riportella, Westwood Public Library, Westwood, Mass.
Followers: A Novel by Megan Angelo (Graydon House, $26.99, 9781525836268). "A thrilling, satirical critique of societal values. The timeline alternates before and after 'the Spill,' a psychological terrorist attack using online data, and society is wildly changed. But one thing is still the same--family is complicated. For fans of The Circle (Dave Eggers) and Super Sad True Love Story (Gary Shteyngart)." --Jessica Rodrigues, Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library, Chicago, Ill.
Highfire: A Novel by Eoin Colfer (Harper Perennial, $19.99, 9780062938558). "Vern, a dragon living in the Louisiana swamps, may be the last of his kind, so he tries to remain unnoticed. When teenage Squib stumbles on Vern's hideout, he ends up working for him and keeping his secret. A fantasy with suspense, humor, and danger and a heartfelt story about family and friendship. For readers who enjoyed Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman) and Bad Monkey (Carl Hiaasen)." --Carolynn Waites, Manvel Library, Manvel, Tex.
How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann (Berkley, $26, 9781984805171). "In 1941 Alaska, a woman whose twin disappeared 20 years earlier crosses paths with a sinister stranger threatening to reveal the truth of what happened. Does she dare risk what little she has left to save her sister? For readers of moody thrillers such as Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown and The Dry by Jane Harper." --Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, N.J.
Long Bright River: A Novel by Liz Moore (Riverhead, $26, 9780525540670). "A compelling literary police procedural set in an opioid ravaged Philadelphia neighborhood and centered on the relationship between two sisters whose lives have taken opposite paths. Your heart will ache as you grow to love the complex, strong, and incredibly vulnerable characters. For readers of Tana French and Dennis Lehane." --Maggie Thomann, Northbrook Public Library, Northbrook, Ill.
Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel by Tessa Bailey (Avon, $15.99, 9780062872852). "This story of a married couple losing--and then finding--their way together is beautiful, touching and hot, with just the right touch of comic relief. For readers of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren." --Carole Tossman, Howard County Library System, Ellicott City, Md.
When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald (Gallery/Scout Press, $27, 9781982126766). "A beautifully written novel about a young woman--and unabashed Viking enthusiast--born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Zelda feels not quite 'normal,' but as she discovers through her quests, who really is? Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and The Silver Linings Playbook." --Kat Neal, Tulsa Library, Tulsa, Okla.
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley (Berkley, $16, 9781984806468). "Mia is happily married to Harrison, but keeps dreaming about another man. One day her path crosses with this mystery man, and the results are devastating. This is a realistic, engrossing love story suited for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult." --Danielle Hansard, Public Library of Westland, Westland, Mich.

Book Review

Review: The Authenticity Project

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley (Pamela Dorman/Viking, $26 hardcover, 368p., 9781984878618, February 4, 2020)

Online, everyone's lives look happy and perfect, which makes Clare Pooley's charmed novel, The Authenticity Project, a fresh, welcome and necessary change of pace. Her uplifting story considers what happens when a person tells the truth about the soulful realities of life.

The story opens with Monica, a single, 37-year-old Brit. The former corporate lawyer--who gave up her career to open a London café--discovers a simple exercise book left behind in her coffee shop, with three words etched on the cover: "The Authenticity Project." The first page reads: "How well do you know the people who live near you? How well do they know you...? Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead? The one thing that defines you, that makes everything else about you fall into place? Not on the internet, but with those real people around you?"

Intrigued, Monica learns the book was initiated by 79-year-old Julian Jessop, who committed his truth to its pages, using the written word as a form of catharsis--a "comfort, like loosening the laces on... uncomfortable shoes," allowing one's feet to "breathe a bit more easily." Julian expresses the deep-seated loneliness he's experienced for five years since the loss of his wife, Mary, whom he appreciated only once she was gone. Julian created the Authenticity Project to purge his own feelings and deliberately left the book with his story behind, hoping that whoever read his entry would be inspired to share their own truth in its pages and then leave the book for others to do the same.

When Monica searches for Julian online, she discovers he is a famous portrait painter "who had enjoyed a flurry of notoriety in the sixties and seventies," and he lives just a few blocks away from the café. While Monica drafts her own entry in the book (admitting she is "a bit of a control freak" and how she wants "a baby. And a husband. Perhaps a dog and a Volvo, too. The whole, stereotypical nuclear family thing"), she devises a plan to flush out Julian, to combat his loneliness. She wants him to teach an art class at her café.

In the meantime, Monica leaves the notebook, with her entry added, in a local wine bar. The book lands with a cocaine addict, Hazard, who takes it with him as he sobers up on a remote island in the South China Sea. What ensues is a story of how the notebook travels from person to person, its pages filling up with heartfelt, moving messages that connect six strangers who come clean about their lives. They ultimately discover each other and form bonds of commonality, friendship and love.

Truth and kindness establish a sense of unexpected community in Pooley's (The Sober Diaries) entertainingly clever, well-drawn story that offers a sense of hope and respite for people struggling through life in a troubled world. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A notebook created for the purpose of confessing intimate, personal truth turns British strangers into friends as they form an unlikely bond of trust.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Trouble After Dark by Marie Force
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
3. Devious Lies by Parker S. Huntington
4. Rough Love by Lauren Landish
5. Enemies by Tijan
6. Accidental Shield by Nicole Snow
7. In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen
8. Wait For Me by Tia Louise
9. Sin & Spirit by KF Breene
10. The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent

[Many thanks to!]

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