Also published on this date: Monday, August 2, 2021: Maximum Shelf: Beautiful World, Where Are You

Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 2, 2021


Disney Lucasfilm Press: Queen's Hope by E K Johnston

Legendary Comics: The Heart Hunter by Mickey George, illustrated by V Gagnon

Simply Read Books: When I Was Small by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Etch/Clarion Books: The Heist Age, 2 (Dinomighty!) by Doug Paleo, illustrated by Aaron Blecha

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Barb the Last Berzerker, 1 by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson

News

Mickey's Bookstore & Coffee Shop Opens in New Albany, Ind.

Mickey's coffee shop and bookstore has opened at 624 Vincennes St. in New Albany, Ind. Louisville Business First reported that the shop, which will sell primarily used books along with "new books from Hoosier authors, such as Kurt Vonnegut," is owned by Mickey Ball, who seven years ago was one of the three partners that opened McQuixote Books & Coffee in Louisville, Ky., which recently closed.

Ball moved to New Albany last year and happened to see the for-lease sign in a window. "When I showed interest in doing another shop, people were trying to guide me downtown or a few other different areas, but I really wanted to be more of a neighborhood destination," he said. "That was a big part of why we chose to do it on Vincennes Street."

The 1,200-square-foot space "was a total build-out with new flooring and fresh paint, in addition to the construction of bookshelves and a coffee bar," Louisville Business First wrote. The landlord offered to build a drive-thru for the new storefront, but Ball declined.

"I don't want this to be a place where you just drive through and get coffee and go on about your day--it's more about community and just stopping for a moment instead of rushing through life," he said. "I think that's a part of the digital age and instant information. I wanted to create a place where people would want to stay."


Random House Graphic: Yummy: A History of Desserts (a Graphic Novel) by Victoria Grace Elliott


Davoll's General Store, S. Dartmouth, Mass., Meeting 'Imminent Community Need'

In South Dartmouth, Mass., brothers Ben and Will Shattuck have reopened Davoll's General Store, the country's oldest continually operating general store, as a "19th-century mall with a tapestry of businesses," featuring groceries, a cafe, a pub and a 300-square-foot bookstore. The general store, Ben Shattuck explained, dates back to 1793 and has sold books at different points in its history. 

"Opening this store has not been an exercise in nostalgia but about meeting an imminent community need," said Shattuck. That need was for a place where people can gather and meet each other outside the home, a need that existed before the Covid-19 pandemic and has only been exacerbated since it began.

He saw the store as something like a town square, and he wanted "books to be a part of that." There is also a deep family connection to the store--Shattuck "grew up getting candy there as a little kid," and his grandmother used to shop at Davoll's.

At present, Davoll's sells fiction, nonfiction, poetry, cookbooks and children's books, as well as home and gardening titles. Shattuck, who manages the bookstore side of the business--though he considers himself more of a writer and a painter by trade--has handpicked every title in the store. He said he's turned it into "one big staff recommendation section," from a "staff of one, being me."

There's a large emphasis on "local-ish authors," a category that Shattuck noted spans "both time and space." Moby Dick is included largely because Herman Melville once went through New Bedford, Mass., which is next to Dartmouth. The work of Henry David Thoreau is featured because it encapsulates "agrarian Massachusetts," and Annie Dillard is there because she's from Provincetown, Mass., at the end of Cape Cod. There are also books by Nathaniel Philbrick, Geraldine Brooks and actress Jenny Slate, to whom Shattuck is engaged.

Prior to the store's official opening on July 22, Shattuck recalled, there was a ton of enthusiasm in the community for the greengrocer, cafe and bar sides of the business (getting an alcohol license in particular required a "billion letters of support"), while people thought of the bookstore as a sort of "nice gift to the community" at best. Every day since opening, however, "books have outsold everything in the store." By just the third day, he added, the store ran out of an entire shelf of poetry.

Shattuck said that between the ongoing pandemic and how recently the store opened, few traditional book events have been scheduled, but readings and book launches are absolutely in the works. Through his time spent running the Cuttyhunk Island Writers' Residency, he has ample experience organizing events with authors and has made plenty of connections with writers from Massachusetts.

Shattuck, who lived in Holland for two and a half years, said the store's pub was modeled after a Dutch country pub. It's only open for a few hours in the evening, with the idea being that customers will stop by for a drink after work before heading home for dinner. One event series that's already underway is the very casual Adult Writers' Support Group, where people gather at the bar to "talk about writing and have a Guinness."

He described renovating, reopening and running Davoll's as a process akin to "rigging an incredibly complicated ship," with everything requiring its own procedures and steps. "I hope it starts sailing soon." --Alex Mutter


Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Barb the Last Berzerker, 1 by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson


International Update: Canadian Book Market Half-Year Review, Vaccinated Booksellers in T&T

Print sales of English-language books in Canada for the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 show an increase of approximately 1.5 million units and C$47 million (about US$38 million), BookNet Canada reported in a market update, citing combined data from BNC SalesData, BNC BiblioShare and its own Canadian Book Consumer survey. 

Although sales are still running behind 2019, much of the Covid-19-related losses that occurred at the start of 2020 have been surmounted. Book sales for the first six months of 2021 are about one million units and C$16 million (about US$12.8 million) short of 2019 numbers.

Retailers across Canada were able to begin opening in late spring and/or early summer; as a result, sales in March and April 2021 were well ahead of those in 2020 and 2019, BookNet Canada noted. The juvenile/YA category continues to dominate, accounting for 42% of all print book sales in the Canadian English-language trade market, up from its 41% share for the same period in 2020. Nonfiction is next, with 30%, down slightly from 32% in 2020, while fiction comes in at 27%, up from 26% in 2020.

The subjects/genres with the largest increases year over year are: comics & graphic novels (up 92%, with manga seeing a 145% increase), poetry (up 81%), psychology (up 84%) and YA/fantasy (up 129%). Frontlist sales accounted for 27% of the market in 2021, up from 23% in 2020.

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Trinidad & Tobago bookstore chain Nigel R. Khan Bookseller said employees who refuse a Covid-19 vaccine must take a PCR test every two weeks to be able to work, the Sunday Express reported. Owner Nigel Khan said he stands by his company's policy for the 11 branches.

In a memo sent out last Thursday, employees were advised that effective August 2, all members of staff--those who engage with the public as well as back-line staff--are encouraged to become vaccinated or must subject themselves to the test every 14 days. It further stated: "In the event that you contract Covid-19, your sick leave does not extend to cover the virus. This as such shall be treated as no pay absence on your records."

“We are 95% vaccinated. We just have one or two people who refuse to get vaccinated because of the social media comments and fear propagated," Khan said, adding that vaccinated staff members had approached management, expressing concern and discomfort working with unvaccinated colleagues.

"I'm also looking at it from a humanitarian standpoint," he said. "This is a public health emergency. I cannot allow someone to enter the store with a gun, in the same manner I cannot allow an unvaccinated person to pose risk to others. We cannot put lives at risk. That sort of irresponsibility does not fly well with us. Vaccination is for the greater good of everyone."

The Sunday Express noted that another bookstore, R.I.K., which has six locations nationwide and about 75 employees, "indicated it will encourage vaccination, but leave it up to employees to make that choice."

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In Australia, seven bookshops within the boundaries of Melbourne have jointly launched Melbourne City Reads, an initiative that "will offer a particular new book by a Victorian author for sale with 25% off the cover price" for the next four months, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The first title to be featured will be the debut novel Small Joys of Real Life by Allee Richards.

The participating stores are Dymocks Melbourne, Hill of Content, Mary Martin Southbank, North Melbourne Books, the Paperback Bookshop, Readings Carlton, and Readings State Library. 

"The idea is to boost the shops, attract more people into the city after the end of Melbourne's fifth lockdown, and give a fillip to local writers," the Morning Herald noted, adding "towards the end of each month, the chosen author will feature in an event to be held at the Wheeler Centre, although the first will be in early September as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival." --Robert Gray


Book*hug Press: Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day That I Was Born by Mona Høvring, translated by Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin


Obituary Note: Michael Rockliff

Michael Rockliff

Michael Rockliff, longtime sales and marketing executive at Random House and Workman, has died.

He began his career in 1968, when Bennett Cerf was still running Random House from the old Villard Houses on Madison Avenue, and he mentored multiple generations of salespeople, until his departure in 2006. He then joined Workman Publishing and spent eight years there, retiring as director, school & library sales and marketing, in 2015.

Random House colleagues remembered, "At sales conferences, he could be counted on to discuss, with equal passion, a book on displaced European Jews or a biography of a relatively obscure musician, and over time, his colleagues simply began referring to these books--many of which went on to win prizes--as 'Mike Books.' " He was also an ardent supporter of public libraries and library marketing.

Workman colleagues remembered that Rockliff "brought a treasure of wisdom and experience to Workman and made us immeasurably better in so many ways.

"Michael was renowned for his title presentations at library conferences--never looking at his notes, his love and knowledge of the books immediately apparent. Librarians and colleagues alike admired his dedication to connecting a book with its reader and were drawn to his gracious and kind presence. And to know Michael was to know how cherished his family was. Whether it was Carla's appearance at a show or his fatherly pride whenever his daughter published a book, it was an inspiration for all."

In lieu of flowers, his family suggests a donation to the Musicians Foundation, one of the many causes Rockliff supported.


Shelf Awareness Delivers Indie Pre-Order E-Blast

Last Wednesday, Shelf Awareness sent our monthly pre-order e-blast to more than 850,000 of the country's best book readers. The e-blast went to 851,120 customers of 179 participating independent bookstores.

The mailing features eight upcoming titles selected by Shelf Awareness editors and a sponsored title. Customers can buy these books via "pre-order" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on each sending store's website. A key feature is that bookstore partners can easily change title selections to best reflect the tastes of their customers and can customize the mailing with links, images and promotional copy of their own.

The pre-order e-blasts are sent the last Wednesday of each month; the next will go out on Wednesday, August 25. Stores interested in learning more can visit our program registration page or contact our partner program team via e-mail.

For a sample of July's pre-order e-blast, see this one from Story on the Square, McDonough, Ga.


Notes

Image of the Day: Bringing The Social Graces to the Book Stall

Author Renée Rosen (second from l.) brought her historical novel The Social Graces to the Book Stall in Winnetka, Ill., this week for the store's first live author event since the pandemic. A large crowd gathered outside the nearby Good Grapes wine shop for the lively discussion. Book Stall owner Stephanie Hochschild (center) and her staffers hosted the event. 


Dee Robinson on 'Growing Village Books'

Dee Robinson spoke with Whatcom Talk about the long, challenging and rewarding journey she and husband Chuck have taken over the past few decades as co-founders--and now former co-owners--of Village Books in Bellingham and Fairhaven, Wash. 

"I feel like I've been retired for eons," she said. "I think it has something to do with being housebound for the most of a year, which for me wasn't all that bad."

Dee and Chuck Robinson

They did, however, miss traveling, and Robinson recalled that it "was their travel adventures more than 40 years ago that brought them to Bellingham and started their life as booksellers. Before that, they had been teachers living in the Midwest. A year-long cross-country trip inspired them to turn their dream of a bookstore into reality."

"Looking back, it seems like it was crazy, but at the time it didn't feel that way. I guess we were probably idealists," she said. "We just knew what we wanted to do, we found a place where we thought it would work and we wanted to live, and so we just flew blindly ahead and somehow managed to make it work."


Personnel Changes at Tom Doherty Associates

Yvonne Ye has joined Tom Doherty Associates as ad/promo assistant. Ye most recently interned with production at Macmillan while working part-time as a marketing assistant with TDA. Prior to that she was a marketing and publicity intern with Tordotcom Publishing.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephen King on the View

Today:
Good Morning America: Georgina Pazcoguin, author of Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina (Holt, $27.99, 9781250244307).

Tamron Hall: Rebecca Minkoff, author of Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage, and Success (‎HarperCollins, $25.99, 9781400220717).

The Talk: DeVon Franklin, author of Live Free: Exceed Your Highest Expectations (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063031173).

The View: Mary L. Trump, author of The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal (‎St. Martin's Press, $28.99, 9781250278456).

Ellen repeat: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, author of Unfinished: A Memoir (Ballantine, $28, 9781984819215).

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Mena Suvari, author of The Great Peace: A Memoir (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306874529).

Kelly Clarkson repeat: Ayesha Curry, author of The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled, Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and a Lot to Do (Voracious, $30, 9780316496179).

The View: Stephen King, author of Billy Summers (Scribner, $30, 9781982173616).


Movies: Lyle, Lyle Crocodile

Winslow Fegley will join Javier Bardem in Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, based on the children's book by Bernard Waber. Deadline reported that "Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, the Oscar winning songwriting team behind the music of La La Land and upcoming Dear Evan Hansen movie, will write original songs for the film." Will Speck and Josh Gordon are directing a script adapted by Will Davies for Sony Pictures. The film will be released July 22, 2022.



Books & Authors

Awards: Louisiana Writer Winner

Fatima Shaik has won the 22nd annual Louisiana Writer Award, which is sponsored by the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana and recognizes "outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life exemplified by a contemporary writer's body of work."

Shaik's books include her recent narrative nonfiction Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood (the Historic New Orleans Collection), which the Center called "a meticulously researched work on a largely forgotten aspect of Louisiana history."

Shaik's other work includes the short story collections The Mayor of New Orleans: Just Talking Jazz and What Went Missing and What Got Found; two children's picture books, The Jazz of Our Street and On Mardi Gras Day; and the young adult novel Melitte, all set in Louisiana, as well as numerous articles and essays.

Her work has appeared in the Southern Review, Callaloo, Literary Hub, the Root, In These Times, and the New York Times and the anthologies N.O. Lit: 200 Years of Louisiana Literature and Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction, among others. She has received awards from the NEH, LEH, the Kittredge Fund, and the Platforms Fund. Founder of the Communication Department at Saint Peter's University, Shaik is a member of the Writers Room NYC and a trustee of PEN America.

State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said, "With all of her books set in Louisiana and spanning many literary genres, Fatima's writing is an incredibly important contribution to Louisiana's ongoing literary heritage. In her most recent work, she gives a voice to those whose voices would have been lost to history without her careful and dedicated research. She joins a distinguished and varied array of past Louisiana Writer Award recipients from Ernest Gaines, the first honoree, through last year's recipient, John Barry. It is an honor to present this award to such a truly outstanding writer."

Shaik responded by saying, "I am honored to be recognized by my state. Louisiana is dear to my heart, and its cultural history is central to my work. Anyone who knows me knows that Louisiana is 'home.' "


Book Review

Review: The Last Chance Library

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson (Berkley, $16 paperback, 336p., 9780593201381, August 31, 2021)

With The Last Chance Library, British author Freya Sampson delivers a refreshingly feel-good first novel about the sustaining power of books and how libraries unite communities and forge lasting relationships that improve lives.

The story orbits around a shy, small-town Brit, June Jones, 28 years old and suffering protracted grief after the death of her mother, who was the local librarian of Chalcot, a residential enclave. June is content continuing to live in the home she shared with her mother and working as an assistant librarian in the same library. There, June is privy to fascinating books and interacts with a host of quirky locals who depend on the library and all it has to offer. The patrons include two older ladies who are hang-abouts and gossips, one of whom constantly complains about noisy kids. A shy, bookish teenager relies on the respite of the library to escape her crowded family home. A mother and son who love to bake are constantly in search of new cookbooks. A precocious boy, the grandson of June's neighbor, frequents the library to nourish his overactive curiosity. And a retired, 82-year-old man shows up--always dapper in a suit and tie--to tackle the daily crossword puzzle. 

When budget cuts in town threaten closure of the library, the patrons rebel and devise ways to save it--enlisting the help of June and the library director, whose husband happens to be a wheeler-dealer on the town council. Shy June is forced out of her shell. She aids and abets the cause, participating in protests and sit-ins to save the beloved town meeting place. Along the way, June reconnects with a former classmate, Alex Chen, now a lawyer in London, who returns to help at his family's local Chinese take-out restaurant. The kindness of his attention and support is just what June needs to empower her in the library fight. What will it take to finally turn the tide?

The Last Chance Library unravels with great wit and tenderness. Sampson assembles clever, funny scenes where June transforms from a wallflower into a take-charge, crafty young woman who is forced to handle difficult people and navigate situations that enlarge her ingenuity. Readers will eagerly invest in the cause to save the library and be greatly amused by plot twists that play out with pleasant surprises and heart-tugging twists. -- Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: In this delightfully heartwarming first novel, quirky residents of a small English village band together to save the local library.


The Bestsellers

Libro.fm Bestsellers in July

The bestselling Libro.fm audiobooks at independent bookstores during July:

Fiction
1. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Macmillan Audio)
4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster Audio)
6. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. Falling by T.J. Newman (Simon & Schuster Audio)
8. The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (Macmillan Audio)
   
Nonfiction        
1. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith (Hachette Audio)
3. This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
5. What Happened to You? by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry (Macmillan Audio)
6. Cultish by Amanda Montell (HarperAudio)
7. Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)


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