PW reports cookbooks and SciFi were biggest gainers in recent retail sales figures (Cooking and Sci-Fi Are the Hot Print Segments This Year So Far by Jim Milliot).

Also of note is a 10% increase in Western sales (genre extinction again delayed) and slight declines in biography, art and architecture, and crafts.  Cooking and entertaining were up 21% and self-help up 12%.  Romance was down 16%, which given its success in e format might be understandable.

Some of you have noticed I’ve been a bit cuckoo for cookbooks this year and nothing tells me to stop, but I am really trying to dial it back on some other new non-fiction categories going forward after an initial influx from an allocation increase this year and a need to stock two new demonstration branches.  I’m going to take it easy on biographies, especially of social media stars whose book following is unknown, and well-reviewed titles of quality but maybe not needed quantity.  I welcome feedback on relative investment in non-fiction from what you observe on your shelves.



book cover

NORTON summary: Andre Dubus III’s first novel in a decade is a masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

Few writers can enter their characters so completely or evoke their lives as viscerally as Andre Dubus III. In this deeply compelling new novel, a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, is driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades.

Daniel Ahearn lives a quiet, solitary existence in a seaside New England town. Forty years ago, following a shocking act of impulsive violence on his part, his daughter, Susan, was ripped from his arms by police. Now in her forties, Susan still suffers from the trauma of a night she doesn’t remember, as she struggles to feel settled, to love a man and create something that lasts. Lois, her maternal grandmother who raised her, tries to find peace in her antique shop in a quaint Florida town but cannot escape her own anger, bitterness, and fear.

Cathartic, affirming, and steeped in the empathy and precise observations of character for which Dubus is celebrated, Gone So Long explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become, and probes the limits of recovery and absolution.

Sorry no ARC for this, but I wanted to mention as it’s been coyly advertised as “Murder Mystery” by “John Smith” but its identity is now revealed. It is due out September 18th. Here is a story on the fan Mugglenet site.

From Hachette website:

Lethal White is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series from the international bestselling author Robert Galbraith…When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.  Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

Lethal White



Nancy just confirmed with Acquisitions that A Conspiracy of Bones, which was going to be published at the end of next month, has been cancelled due to a health concern. Hope all will be well with Kathy Reichs!

From Reichs’ website:

So.  The bad news.  While I was very much looking forward to releasing a book this fall, and to touring and interacting with many of you, I find I must cancel.  At the urging of my physician, and with the blessing of my publisher and my agent, I will be taking what Tempe might call a sabbatical in order to heal and recover.  What Pete might refer to as R and R.  A period of rest and relaxation. 

A Conspiracy of Bones

This is the last ARC I have leftover from conference but we get many shipped to us as well so I’ll try to keep going this summer.  Comment to claim.

Ganeshram, Ramin. The General’s Cook. Arcade, November 6th.

The General's Cook by Arcade PublishingPublisher summary: Philadelphia 1793. Hercules, President George Washington’s chef, is a fixture on the Philadelphia scene. He is famous for both his culinary prowess and for ruling his kitchen like a commanding general. He has his run of the city and earns twice the salary of an average American workingman. He wears beautiful clothes and attends the theater. But while valued by the Washingtons for his prowess in the kitchen and rewarded far over and above even white servants, Hercules is enslaved in a city where most black Americans are free. Even while he masterfully manages his kitchen and the lives of those in and around it, Hercules harbors secrets– including the fact that he is learning to read and that he is involved in a dangerous affair with Thelma, a mixed-race woman, who, passing as white, works as a companion to the daughter of one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious families. Eventually Hercules’ carefully crafted intrigues fall apart and he finds himself trapped by his circumstance and the will of George Washington. Based on actual historical events and people, The General’s Cook, will thrill fans of The Hamilton Affair, as they follow Hercules’ precarious and terrifying bid for freedom.

A couple of years ago Ganeshram’s children’s picture book A Birthday Cake for George Washington was pulled by publisher Scholastic, which explained :

While we have great respect for the integrity and scholarship of the author, illustrator, and editor, we believe that, without more historical background on the evils of slavery than this book for younger children can provide, the book may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves and therefore should be withdrawn.

Ganeshram, who is Trinidadian and had researched this topic for years, gave her side to the story in a Guardian article , pointing out for instance that children’s authors often have little opportunity to consult with their illustrators.  The General’s Cook seems to be a different vehicle to tell the same story in perhaps more depth for an adult audience.  It will be interesting to see how it’s received critically and by readers.




Comment to claim.  The Ali book is an interesting and highly visual presentation, in many places resembling magazine article formatting. I’m only now ordering this but wondered if someone out there would be in to sports related ARCs.  While on the subject of daughters writing about fathers, I wanted to mention the upcoming title Small Fry: A Memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs.  The word at Day of Dialog was that this portrays a highly unconventional and sometimes severe upbringing by a late tech icon, but expressing admiration all the same.  I’m starting with 15 copies which will be in the catalog soon. Sorry no ARC of that.

Arthurs, Alexia. How to Love a Jamaican. July 24th.

How to Love A Jamaican

“In these kaleidoscopic stories of Jamaica and its diaspora we hear many voices at once: some cultivated, some simple, some wickedly funny, some deeply melancholic. All of them shine.”–Zadie Smith

Named one of Entertainment Weekly ‘s “Hot Summer Reads of 2018” and BuzzFeed ‘s “Summer Books to Get Excited About”

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret–Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life. In “Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,” an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In “Mash Up Love,” a twin’s chance sighting of his estranged brother–the prodigal son of the family–stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In “Bad Behavior,” a couple leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In “Mermaid River,” a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In “The Ghost of Jia Yi,” a recently murdered student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in “Shirley from a Small Place,” a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother’s big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital.


Brennan-Jobs, Lisa. Small Fry: A Memoir. Grove Atlantic, Sept. 4th.

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents—artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs—Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be.

Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise, and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents’ fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.


Ali, Hana.  Ali on Ali. Workman, 2018.

Ali on Ali

The Greatest—in his own unforgettable words. This collection of quotes is accompanied by family photographs and the stories behind the sayings by Ali’s daughter and biographer, Hana Ali. A book of inspiration, humor, and Ali’s inimitable way with words, it’s a unique look at a unique and beloved person.

These two were just lying around (I think from Nancy’s connection).  Comment to claim.

Steinhauer, Olen. The Middleman. Minotaur, August.

The Middleman

With The Middleman , the perfect thriller for our tumultuous, uneasy time, Olen Steinhauer, the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including The Tourist and The Cairo Affair , delivers a compelling portrait of a nation on the edge of revolution, and the deepest motives of the men and women on the opposite sides of the divide.

One day in the early summer of 2017, about four hundred people disappear from their lives. They leave behind cell phones, credit cards, jobs, houses, families–everything–all on the same day. Where have they gone? Why? The only answer, for weeks, is silence.

Kevin Moore is one of them. Former military, disaffected, restless, Kevin leaves behind his retail job in San Francisco, sends a good-bye text to his mother, dumps his phone and wallet into a trash can, and disappears.

The movement calls itself the Massive Brigade, and they believe change isn’t coming fast enough to America. But are they a protest organization, a political movement, or a terrorist group? What do they want? The FBI isn’t taking any chances. Special Agent Rachel Proulx has been following the growth of left-wing political groups in the U.S. since the fall of 2016, and is very familiar with Martin Bishop, the charismatic leader of the Massive Brigade. But she needs her colleagues to take her seriously in order to find these people before they put their plan–whatever it is–into action.

What Rachel uncovers will shock the entire nation, and the aftermath of her investigation will reverberate through the FBI to the highest levels of government.

Swallow, James. Nomad. Forge, September.


Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Dane the only survivor—and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6—he’s forced into the front line.

Matters spiral out of control when the evidence points toward Dane as the perpetrator of the attack. Accused of betraying his country, he must race against time to clear his name. With nowhere to turn to for help and no one left to trust, Marc is forced to rely on the elusive Rubicon group and their operative Lucy Keyes. Ex US Army, Lucy also knows what it’s like to be an outsider, and she’s got the skills that Dane needs.

A terrorist attack is coming, one bigger and more deadly than has ever been seen before. With the eyes of the security establishment elsewhere, only Keyes and Dane can stop the attack before it’s too late.