Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Union Square Kids: The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod

Shadow Mountain: The Queen and the Knave (Proper Romance Victorian) by Sarah M. Eden

Andrews McMeel Publishing: The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms by Fiona Cook, illustrated by Jessica Roux

Tor Nightfire: What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier #2) by T. Kingfisher

Amulet Books: Nightbane (the Lightlark Saga Book 2) by Alex Aster


New Owner for Two Sisters Bookery in Wilmington, N.C.

Christine Greer has bought Two Sisters Bookery, Wilmington, N.C., "signing a three-year lease to continue occupying the store's current location at the Cotton Exchange," the Greater Wilmington Business Journal reported. Last month, Barbara Galvin announced her plans to retire and put the 40-year-old bookshop on the market. Galvin, who bought Two Sisters in 2011, will remain for about a month to help with the transition. Katie, the store's popular calico cat, will continue to reside there.

Greer's daughter had noticed the Two Sisters sale announcement in an Internet post by Island Bookstore in Kitty Hawk. "She sent it to me. She's also an avid reader. That's a passion we share," said Greer, who is stepping away from her career as a registered nurse to focus on the bookstore. "I'll always be a nurse, but this is an exciting new adventure."

Joan Loch of MoMentum Companies, which brokered the transaction, noted that 13 potential buyers had expressed interest within about 48 hours of her listing the sale online: "That reinforces the love and connection people still have for independent booksellers, particularly the following that Two Sisters Bookery has built over the years."

Greer does not plan to make any drastic changes right away: "I do have a lot of marketing ideas and a lot of event ideas, and I'm pretty savvy with social media, so I think I'm going to maximize that," she said, adding: "I've been researching local authors. There's a really nice line of local books in there [at the store], and I'd just really like to take advantage of that."

On Facebook last Thursday, Galvin wrote: "Two Sisters Bookery is off the market and sold. It will be in good hands and the new owner will introduce herself in the coming days.... Thank you again for all the good wishes through the sales process. Please show the same love to the new owner."

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Inaugural BookFest St. Louis Set for September 23

Left Bank Books, the Left Bank Books Foundation and Central West End will hold the first annual BookFest St. Louis on Saturday, September 23.

The festival will host a mix of local and internationally known writers, including Ann Leckie, George Hodgman and Charlie Jane Anders, and Sherman Alexie will begin the festival with a keynote address on Friday, September 22. Panels will highlight "the best of contemporary literary fiction, mystery, poetry, memoir, science fiction, young adult fiction and history." Family-friendly programming for children and middle readers will kick off the festival on Saturday morning, in cooperation with the St. Louis Public Library-Schlafly Branch. During the day, attendees will be able to purchase books, listen to live music and visit booths hosted by other St. Louis arts and literary institutions.

"We are so proud to be able to bring this event to life, and to be able to work with the incredible team at Left Bank Books to welcome so many interesting and important authors to our neighborhood," said Kate Haher, executive director of the Central West End CID. "Our neighborhood has such a rich cultural history, as well as an incredible active contemporary arts scene, and BookFest St. Louis will be a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase that to book lovers from the neighborhood, the city and throughout the region."

Located in the Central West End since 1977, Left Bank Books created the Left Bank Books Foundation in 2009 to promote and increase education, literary and cultural activities in the St. Louis area. "It was a natural fit for us to bring our mission of curating an intelligent and culturally diverse selection of books together with our deep commitment to the Central West End and St. Louis for this festival," Left Bank Books co-owner Kris Kleindienst said.

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Dallas's Interabang Books Opening on Saturday

Interabang getting ready for opening day.

Congratulations to Interabang Books, which opens this coming Saturday, July 1, in Dallas, Tex. The store will host a grand opening party on Monday, September 11.

Interabang will carry books in a variety of categories, with a special focus on fiction, creative nonfiction and children's books. The store will also host regular book signings, storytime and games for kids, along with other book-related events. It will also be a community center where children can visit after school, authors can mingle with readers and neighbors can share ideas. Among the first authors visiting Interabang for book signings are Beatriz Williams, Ace Atkins and Randy Schmidt.

The owners are Nancy Perot, general manager Jeremy Ellis and book buyer Lori Feathers.

Interabang Books is located at 10720 Preston Rd, Dallas, Tex. 75230; 972-364-1911.

Weird in Austin: Amazon to Be BookPeople's Landlord

"Assuming the sale goes through, Amazon will be my landlord," said Steve Bercu, owner of BookPeople in Austin, Tex. BookPeople is across the street from the Whole Foods flagship store, in a building owned by the company. Should Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods occur, Bercu will have to pay rent to a company often seen as the enemy of independent bookstores.

"I have a lease; the lease won't be affected," Bercu continued. "In that sense it doesn't really matter."

Bercu was traveling when news broke on June 16 that Amazon intended to buy Whole Foods. Noting that there had been talk of sales the past two years, Bercu said that it was not a "super big surprise" that Whole Foods would sell, though the news that it would be sold to Amazon did cause some of his staff to get "excited about it a little bit." After Bercu sent out a message to staff members "letting them understand that it doesn't make any difference," things have calmed down in store.

Looking ahead, Bercu has adopted a wait-and-see approach. It remains to be seen whether the sale will go through, and if it does, what exactly Amazon plans to do with Whole Foods. Bercu noted that Amazon may be interested in using existing Whole Foods locations as pick-up centers, which would be significant but could have a greater impact on nonbook bricks-and-mortar retailers. He also pointed out that with the deal drawing so much attention, it may draw interest to Amazon's antitrust issues.

"I've never spent much energy thinking about what they're doing one way or another," said Bercu of Amazon. "I know a lot of people are bent out of shape. I just figure we should do what we do and they can do whatever they do. It seems to have worked for us so far." --Alex Mutter

Aussie Booksellers: Love Your Bookshop Day; Talking Shop

Held in Melbourne a week ago, the Australian Booksellers Association's 93rd annual conference had the theme "collaboration and community" and resembled one of the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institutes. The gathering drew more than 300 people and featured lots of panels at which a mix of veteran and younger booksellers shared ideas, a brief exhibitor session, a very entertaining gala dinner and keynotes by Waterstones' managing director James Daunt (see yesterday's story here) and Shelf Awareness's John Mutter.


At the conference, the ABA announced that it is rebranding the annual National Bookshop Day as Love Your Bookshop Day. On Saturday, August 12, booksellers across the country will be hosting parties for themselves, their customers and their staff.

"Think balloons, bunting, streamers, fairy lights, cake, dressing up, discounts and prizes--the sky's the limit just as long as it's a party for your shop," the ABA said. It's putting together a range of LYBD material featuring well-known Australian authors sharing #whyIlovemybookshop. ABA member booksellers will also receive copies of a special edition of Five Go Bookselling

Member reaction was highly positive. One ABA bookseller said that the name change made the event sound "less like a government program and more like a fun event."


Catherine Schulz
Sarah Deasy

The gala dinner featured the presentation of several awards. Besides the Miles Franklin shortlist, these included:

ABA Nielsen Book Booksellers Choice Award (the book Australian booksellers most enjoyed selling last year): The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)
ABA Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year: Catherine Schulz of Fullers Bookshop, Hobart, Tasmania
ABA Penguin Random House Young Bookseller of the Year: Sarah Deasy of Avid Reader Bookshop & Café, West End, near Brisbane.


Analogue Marketing
A panel called "analogue marketing" served as a reminder that despite the growing power of social media and digital, there are many highly effective, old-fashioned methods of marketing.

Moderator Jay Lansdown, owner of the Constant Reader in Crows Nest, near Sydney, discussed an unusual example of analogue marketing: his long, narrow store's lack of signage. Not having signs "creates an air of mystery," he said, and leads to customers discovering titles in areas that might have avoided if there were signs. In addition, having no signs "encourages me and the staff to be engaged with customers," he continued. "Customers walking around with a 'where-am-I?' look gives us a great opportunity to start a conversation and help them."

Anna Low, owner of Potts Point Bookshop, Potts Point, near Sydney, called sidewalk chalkboards "probably our most successful analogue marketing tool." The boards, she explained, get a lot of social media attention, are a great way of advertising events, and "start conversations with customers."

Fiona Stager, co-owner of the Avid Reader Bookshop & Café, West End, near Brisbane, praised shelf talkers ("they're a way to handsell when I'm not in the shop"); a staff pick stand (very effective with the many customers who trust a particular staff member's recommendations); and the store's book of the month program, featuring a fiction and a nonfiction title ("people come straight up and grab them").

Jane Seaton, owner of Beaufort Street Books, Mount Lawley, near Perth, "thoroughly recommended" having a cookbook book club. Her store has had one for three years, and members are so devoted that one of them flew back from Melbourne to participate in a recent meeting (a trip of about 1,700 miles).

Seaton also uses a large chalkboard on the wall behind the cash register to highlight the store's calendar, events and other information.

Fun Sideline
One of the most amusing sidelines mentioned during panels was the "solar Queen Elizabeth," a figurine of the Queen with a small solar panel on her purse that powers her signature wave. The solar Queens are made by Kikkerland Design in "basic," "90th birthday" and "derby" models. Scott Whitmont, owner of the Lindfield Bookshop & Children's Bookshop in Lindfield, near Sydney, said staff thought he was crazy for ordering the waving Queen, but he happily reported that he's sold 300. --John Mutter

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Pangu's Shadow
by Karen Bao
GLOW: Carolrhoda Books: Pangu's Shadow by Karen Bao

Teenage academic rivals become murder suspects and reluctant co-investigators in this gripping far-future space mystery reminiscent of Alecia Dow's The Sound of Stars. Aryl and Ver together uncover rampant inequality in their scientific field, and moons-wide corruption. "Once they start looking past their assumptions about each other, they can't stop--and they can't help loving what they see," says Amy Fitzgerald, editorial director of Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab. "But even after the girls team up, they're wary; either could sell out the other to walk free." This high-stakes, enemies-to-lovers science fiction grapples with real-world issues in an ambitiously imagined universe. --Samantha Zaboski

(Carolrhoda Lab, $19.99 hardcover, ages 12-up, 9781728477510, 
February 6, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Don Winslow at Poisoned Pen

Don Winslow (r.) did a prelaunch event for The Force (Morrow) at the Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, Ariz. Winslow was interviewed by Robert Anglen, lead investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic.

Happy 90th Birthday, Strand Book Store!

The Strand's 90th birthday cake.

Congratulations to the Strand Book Store, New York City, which last night celebrated its 90th birthday with a party in its Rare Book Room. Among the many grateful booklovers who spoke were Mayor Bill de Blasio, who proclaimed yesterday as Strand Book Store Day in New York, and Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation. Owners Fred Bass, who himself turns 90 very soon, and his daughter Nancy Bass Wyden happily accepted the accolades.

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Sandra Cohen is joining Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as director, licensing & brand management, effective July 5. She was most recently senior publishing manager, Latin America, at Hasbro. Prior to that, she was senior director, international media & publishing at Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Wallis on Fresh Air

Today Show: Lin-Manuel Miranda, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution (Grand Central, $45, 9781455539741).

Fresh Air: Michael Wallis, author of The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny (Liveright, $27.95, 9780871407696).

Imus in the Morning: Mark R. Levin, author of Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism (Threshold Editions, $27, 9781476773087).

Fox Business's Kennedy: Brad Thor, author of Use of Force: A Thriller (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27.99, 9781476789385).

The View: Adriana Trigiani, author of Kiss Carlo: A Novel (Harper, $27.99, 9780062319227).

TV: Little Women

Angela Lansbury "is in talks" to join the cast of Little Women, a three-part series adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel for BBC One and PBS Masterpiece. Deadline reported that the project, from Colin Callender's Playground, is written by Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife) and directed by Vanessa Caswill (Thirteen). Filming is scheduled to be begin in July.

Books & Authors

Awards: McIlvanney Scottish Crime

A longlist has been released for the £1,000 (about $1,270) McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year. The finalists will be revealed in early September and the winner announced September 8. The 2017 longlisted books are:

None But the Dead by Lin Anderson
Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre
Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves
Perfect Remains by Helen Fields  
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid  
Cross Purpose by Claire MacLeary
The Long Drop by Denise Mina  
Games People Play by Owen Mullen  
Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin  
Murderabilia by Craig Robertson  
The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid by Craig Russell  
How to Kill Friends & Implicate People by Jay Stringer 

Book Review

Review: The Clockwork Dynasty

The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson (Doubleday, $26.95 hardcover, 320p., 9780385541787, August 1, 2017)

Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse) looks to the past in a novel about a race of robots more ancient and yet more advanced than humans can comprehend, hiding in plain sight among us.

Years ago, June Stefanov's grandfather opened a locked box in his shed and showed her a "crescent-shaped slice of metal the size of a seashell" with "a labyrinthine pattern of grooves--a language of bizarre angles." Before he immigrated to the United States, he told June, he fought in World War II and witnessed a man of supernatural strength withstand a hail of bullets and turn back a German tank singlehandedly, speaking to no one and leaving behind the metal artifact. He called the man an angel of justice, something old and alien and able to appear human, and entrusted June with the relic upon his death.

June, now a grown woman, spends her life in pursuit of the mystery behind the story and the relic. An anthropologist specializing in ancient technology, she hunts across the world for examples of antique automatons, complex clockwork dolls she believes may hold the key to the secret of the relic. However, her investigations have been noticed by the very beings she seeks out, a handful of sentient automatons who call themselves the avtomat and want the relic back. When two of them catch up to her, June gets caught in their centuries-old feud. Her only hope for survival is to trust Peter, an avtomat whose current memories date to the court of Peter the Great in 18th-century Russia.

The Clockwork Dynasty is a hybrid: engrossing historical fiction starring ancient androids and mile-a-minute present-day action thriller. Wilson's novel sweeps readers from imperial courts to blood-soaked battlefields and tinkerer's workshops both futuristic and arcane. June's mad dash to flee a secret society bent on taking her knowledge and her life evokes the best moments of Dan Brown. Peter proves to be the unrivaled heart of the story, with his steadfast devotion to truth and his sometimes overprotective concern for his "sister" Elena, a brilliant strategist avtomat fashioned in the shape of a fragile young girl. Genre readers will detect homage to classics such as Interview with the Vampire and Blade Runner, especially in its explorations of isolation and otherness. Although the ending gives some closure, Wilson allows gears of mystery to tick away, leaving the reader hopeful for a sequel exploring the workings of the clockwork angels. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: An anthropologist digs too close to the truth of an ancient race of alien robots still walking among humans, and must solve their mystery to save her life.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Issued to the Bride: One Sniper (Brides of Chance Creek Book 3) by Cora Seton
2. Beauty: Learning to Live by Jordan Marie
3. Hook, Line and Blinker (A Miss Fortune Mystery Book 10) by Jana DeLeon
4. Dark Desires by Various
5. Hot Cop by Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone
6. The Wonder Cats Mysteries 3-Book Box Set by Harper Lin
7. His Lordship's True Lady (True Gentlemen Book 4) by Grace Burrowes
8. Letters to Die For by Richard Houston
9. The Coxwell Series Boxed Set by Deborah Cooke as Claire Cross
10. Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

[Many thanks to!]

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