Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 3, 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


Red Ventures Buys Lonely Planet

Red Ventures has bought Lonely Planet from NC2 Media, the company announced. Red Ventures, Indian Land, S.C., is a platform of digital businesses that include Healthline Media, The Points Guy, Bankrate, and CNET Media Group, which it acquired from ViacomCBS in October for $500 million and includes CNET, Gamespot, Metacritic and

Founded in 1973 by Tony and Maureen Wheeler, Lonely Planet has produced more than 150 million travel guidebooks, reaches 186 million people annually, and covers 22,000 destinations around the world.

Red Ventures said it "aims to propel Lonely Planet into the digital era while remaining committed to publishing the guidebooks that have made Lonely Planet the iconic brand it is today." Red Ventures's travel-related businesses, which include The Points Guy, "will combine Lonely Planet's existing premium content with a proprietary data platform and channel expertise to create end-to-end experiences designed to help more travelers research, book and enjoy their trips."

Red Ventures co-founder and CEO Ric Elias commented, "While the travel industry is experiencing an unprecedented downturn, we believe it will come back stronger than ever, and no brand represents the magic of the modern explorer better than Lonely Planet. By joining our travel portfolio, Lonely Planet positions us to revolutionize the consumer journey for travelers, helping more people discover and decide where they'll go, how they'll get there, and what to do when they arrive."

NC2 Media bought Lonely Planet in 2013 from BBC Worldwide. NC2 Media was described by the New York Times as a digital media company "controlled by Brad Kelley, a businessman from Kentucky who made a fortune in tobacco and later turned his attention to real estate and other interests." Kelley is said to be one of the largest landowners in the U.S., and NC2 Media's only other division in 2013 was OutWildTV.

At the time of the purchase seven years ago, Daniel Houghton, executive director of NC2 Media who became CEO of Lonely Planet, said, "The challenge and promise before us is to marry the world's greatest travel information and guidebook company with the limitless potential of 21st century digital technology. If we can do this, and I believe we can, we can build a business that, while remaining true to the things that made Lonely Planet great in the past, promises to make it even greater in the future."

Houghton stepped down as head of Lonely Planet two years ago, and the publisher was then reportedly put up for sale by NC2 Media.

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

Indigo Bridge Books to Reopen in New Location

Indigo Bridge's new home

Indigo Bridge Books and Café, Lincoln, Neb., closed its Historic Haymarket location temporarily last spring due to the Covid-19 pandemic, then later announced that a decision had been made permanently to shutter the Creamery Building store in August, after 12 years in business.

Now, however, Indigo Bridge is "in the process of renovating a former laundromat at 1346 B St.," the Journal Star reported, adding that the renovation should be finished in the coming months, but coronavirus restrictions will determine when the bookstore officially reopens.

"It could be in the spring," said general manager Kaya Smith. "We've tried to be intentional and deliberate about every decision we've made.... We want to serve the same group we set out to serve 12 years ago when we started this. Our goal has always been to serve this community."

Marketing director John Nguyen said, "Right when we closed, we knew we were going to reopen again."

In a June Facebook post about the decision to close, owner Kim Coleman and her staff had noted: "We'll be reevaluating how we fit into and serve the Lincoln community with a hopeful eye to future endeavors.... We love our community and our awesome staff and are hopeful we'll find a new and meaningful place in the community someday."

The relaunch is already underway with an online focus on marketing subscription boxes of books. Nguyen described this as a first step toward opening the new store, which will drop "Books and Cafe" from its original name and be known simply as Indigo Bridge. The Journal Star wrote that the new space "will still have a coffee counter, as well as places to read. It will also sell basic grocery items such as milk."

Nguyen told ABC8: "I guess with Covid it was a silver lining with all the other factors going on. It allowed us to take a pause and re-evaluate what we wanted to be and who we said we were going to be.... When we sat down as the team, just the five of us, we were figuring out what our mission was and a lot of it was serving those under-represented communities."

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

Loyalty Bookstore Curates Coffee Shop's Book Pop-Up

Downtown Silver Spring, Md., businesses Loyalty Bookstore and Bump 'n Grind coffee and records are collaborating on a curated book pop-up inside the coffee shop's storefront, Source of the Spring reported.

"Check out Loyalty's pop up @bumpngrind_coffee_records! A curated selection of books for kiddos and adults alike are now available," Loyalty Bookstore posted on Instagram.

"You like books? We like books!" Bump 'n Grind noted. "Come shop at our new book store, curated by Loyalty Bookstore, with amazing works for all ages. Support local business; support artists; support your local economy--now more than ever, we need you."

Waterstones Book of the Year: Hamnet

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell has been chosen as the Waterstones Book of the Year. In making the announcement, the bookseller said, "Indisputably Maggie O'Farrell's masterpiece, Hamnet recreates both a vibrant Elizabethan world and the short, tragic life of Shakespeare's only son in peerless, evocative prose. Passionately championed by our booksellers since its publication in March, this uniquely powerful meditation on love, family and loss demands to be read by all. Our special Waterstones edition is sumptuously designed with gold foil on cloth binding, stunning endpapers and an exclusive essay."

Waterstones' special edition

Bea Carvalho, Waterstones fiction buyer, added: "We have been hugely impressed by the abundance of brilliant books published this year and, for our booksellers, Hamnet is the clear standout title: a work of immense style and emotional heft which will surely go on to be a future classic."

Last year, the Waterstones Book of the Year was The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. Several days after the pick was announced, Barnes & Noble, in its first holiday season headed by James Daunt, also Waterstones' managing director, announced that the inaugural B&N Book of the Year was The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

Hamnet won the Women's Prize for Fiction in September and is one of the New York Times's 10 Best Books of the Year. It is published in the U.S. by Knopf.

How Bookstores Are Coping: Expanded Holiday Hours; Watching Major Titles

In early November, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass., closed temporarily after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. General manager Alex Meriwether reported that the store reopened after a thorough cleaning and sterilization, and staff members who shared a shift with the bookseller who tested positive did not return to work until they received a negative Covid-19 test. All of those booksellers, he added, tested negative.

Harvard Book Store has been open to browsing with limited hours and capacity since early July. For July and August, the store was closed on Sundays but open the other six days. When the school year started (only first-year Harvard students came to campus), Harvard Book Store switched to being closed on Mondays instead of Sundays. Until recently the store was open for about half of its pre-pandemic hours, though the store has now extended hours by two hours per day to accommodate increased holiday traffic.

Meriwether noted that some of the store's staff members have remained fully remote, and handle web orders, marketing and virtual events from home. In preparation for the holidays, the store closed its used-books basement to shoppers and transformed it into workspace for shipping orders and storing curbside pick-up orders.

Buying and inventory manager Rachel Cass said that in some ways, the store approached this holiday season like any other, by choosing books the team feels confident in recommending and ordering up on those. In particular, Cass and the team thought about the "kinds of books people would want in months 8 and 9" of staying at home, such as cookbooks, light reading and politics and history to contextualize current events. At the same time, given so much uncertainty associated with the pandemic, the team has tried to be as nimble as possible.

This year, Harvard Book Store launched the store's annual Holiday Hundred list in mid-October, about five weeks earlier than usual. The team also turned the store's annual Frequent Buyer Sale, which is usually a one-day sale in November, into a three-day Shop Early event, and throughout October and November the store consistently pushed the "October/November Is the New December" message. That messaging, paired with a letter to the community from store owners Jeff Mayersohn and Linda Seamonson, led to record sales during the Frequent Buyer Sale. There were so many online orders, in fact, that the store had to briefly delay its plans to extend hours for the holidays.


After reopening to browsing in May, Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita, Kan., has gradually expanded its hours over the past several months, reported owner Sarah Bagby. The store is now open seven days a week, with no more than 25 people allowed in at a time. Bagby noted that the limit of 25 is based on her team's "own little calculations" about "how much space people need around them to be safe."

The store has been reconfigured to create clear traffic patterns for the staff, so employees are not "coming in contact with each other" while working. Bagby remarked that this was a big adjustment, as she and her team were "so used to doing whatever we want."

The cafe, meanwhile, has been doing only take-out service since reopening. The cafe side of the business is down by about 70%, which the store is trying to make up for by managing expenses as much as possible. She added that the bookstore component of the business, however, has been "flat to up" since reopening.

When it came to holiday ordering, Bagby and her team tried to anticipate which titles they'd sell through. So far they've been correct, though with some titles like A Promised Land, they're beginning to realize that even their larger-than-usual orders may not have been enough to last the whole season. One surprise, she pointed out, has been Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. They've reordered the memoir several times already and, in general, the store is finding that it can "get most things" back in stock without too much trouble.

During the couple of months that the store was closed to browsing, Watermark's online sales skyrocketed, but tailed off a bit when the store reopened. Starting about the first of November, online sales began increasing again, and now it's "higher than it's ever been." While it is still very labor intensive, the store has found ways to be more efficient, and Bagby emphasized that the "messaging to online customers is really important." They've gotten their system to the point that no customer "is ever wondering where their book is." --Alex Mutter

International Update: EIBF Highlights Shopping Local, Seville's Booksellers Unite

As the the holiday season gets underway, the European and International Booksellers Federation has highlighted initiatives calling for gift shopping that supports local businesses and communities. "The book industry has not been spared by the impacts of the pandemic, and sales indicators show that local lockdowns have been devastating," the EIBF wrote. "However, customer demand for books has only increased and booksellers are optimistic for the upcoming holiday season. End of the year celebrations and Christmas sales are a strategic game for booksellers around the world: from carefully selecting and preparing stock to increasing the number of staff available to help deal with the rush of last minute customers. However, this year is turning that game on its head--not only are there usual technical preparations to consider, there's also an added element of strict health and safety regulations to manage.

"In the past few weeks, we have seen numerous campaigns calling for customers to do their Christmas shopping early, and support local businesses while doing so. This is important, as it could help smooth out the concentration of trade in the last few days and hours in the lead up to Christmas, and help mitigate the risks of supply chain disruptions. Additionally, shopping locally is crucial for sustainable development of local communities, and while doing so, customers will enable small- and medium-sized businesses to enter the last quarter on a more positive note."


In Spain, the Seville and Province Booksellers Guild currently has 28 members, "ranging from small shops in the suburbs and villages to vast branches in the city center," EuroWeekly News reported. The group's goals are "to form a cohesive voice to negotiate with city and provincial officials, as well as work together promoting book sales and reading."

Guild president Manuel Padilla of Padilla Libros, said "the idea arose during the pandemic when we saw that we did not have a direct dialogue with the town hall." He added that the guild "wants to focus on local commerce," particularly as the busy Christmas season draws near.

The guild also highlighted the website Todos tus Libros (All Your Books), where "customers can choose from 1.1 million titles across 200 independent Spanish bookshops to buy their next pageturners with convenience while supporting a precious and struggling industry," EuroWeekly noted.


Thomas King

This year's recipients of the Order of Canada include several members of the literary community. Quill & Quire reported that among the 114 new appointees was cultural critic and bestselling author Thomas King, who was promoted to the office of Companion, the highest rank within the Order. Linda Jane Leith, the Montreal publisher and founder of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, was appointed Officer. Acknowledged as Members were playwright Jean Marc Dalpé, biographer Sandra Djwa and art critic Sarah Milroy. --Robert Gray


Jason Reynolds's #GivingTuesday Book Buying Spree

Jason Reynolds at Winter Institute earlier this year.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday during the year of Covid-19, bestselling author Jason Reynolds "bought the entire inventory of his own books from local shops across the District on Tuesday and Wednesday, so readers could get them for free," DCist reported.

Reynolds tweeted that he was purchasing his books at all Politics and Prose locations, Solid State Books, Kramers, MahoganyBooks, Sankofa, Loyalty Bookstores and East City Bookshop, noting: "I would suggest calling each store to see what they have before showing up. But they all have them, and they're now, ALL free."

"It kind of works for everybody, where people can go get anything they want for free, since I bought them all," Reynolds told DCist, "and then while they're in the store shopping or picking up their books, maybe they'll grab something extra." He began reaching out to stores on Tuesday morning and bought around 20 to 25 books at each shop.

MahoganyBooks co-owner Ramunda Young noted: "There's thousands of bookstores across the United States, so for an author to select an independent bookstore or a Black-owned bookstore, I think that speaks volumes.... [It's a] challenging time for people... and so for them to have the opportunity to walk in and grab one of his books for free, I think it's just so dope."

Reynolds observed: "These bookstores are glue for a lot of our communities, and if there's a way for us to drive people there, then there's a way for us to lift the community in certain ways, at least momentarily, which we all could use."

Holiday Window Display: Inner Geek

Inner Geek, Huntington, W.Va., shared a video, noting: "We’ve put a ton of love and effort into our Harry Potter holiday window and would greatly appreciate your vote in the Downtown Huntington Window Decorating Contest!... We appreciate every vote, share, & like!"

BrocheAroe Fabian Joins Sourcebooks as Marketing Consultant

BrocheAroe Fabian has joined Sourcebooks as marketing consultant with a focus on campaigns and strategies directed at the indie bookstore channel. She will continue to run her bookstore, River Dog Book Co. Fabian is a member of the American Booksellers Association's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and a member of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association board.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dr. Daniel Monti on The Doctors

CBS's The Doctors: Dr. Daniel Monti, co-author of Tapestry of Health: Weaving Wellness into Your Life Through the New Science of Integrative Medicine (Kales Press, $25.95, 9780979845697).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Jamie Oliver, author of 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week (Flatiron Books, $35, 9781250787576).

This Weekend on Book TV: The National Book Awards

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, December 5
1 p.m. Brian Greene, author of Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Knopf, $30, 9781524731670), and Janna Levin, author of Black Hole Survival Guide (Knopf, $20.95, 9780525658221), at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison, Wis.

2:05 p.m. Laila Lalami, author of Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America (Pantheon, $25.95, 9781524747169), at the Wisconsin Book Festival.

3 p.m. Paola Ramos, author of Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity (Vintage, $16.95, 9781984899095), at the Wisconsin Book Festival.

7:15 p.m. Unni Turrettini, author of Betraying the Nobel: The Secrets and Corruption Behind the Nobel Peace Prize (Pegasus, $27.95, 9781643135649), at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

8:15 p.m. Coverage of the 71st annual National Book Awards. (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

10 p.m. Kevin Williamson, author of Big White Ghetto: Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the "Real America" (Regnery, $28.99, 9781621579694). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Astra Taylor, author of Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone (Metropolitan Books, $16.99, 9781250231284).

Sunday, December 6
12:30 a.m. Dan Blumenthal, author of The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State (AEI Press, $30, 9780844750309). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:45 p.m.)

8:45 a.m. Andrew S. Curran, author of Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely (Other Press, $19.99, 9781635420395), at the Boston Book Festival.

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own (Crown, $27, 9780525575320). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: An Post Irish Book Winners; Porchlight Business Book Longlist

Donal Ryan, Dara McAnulty and Sinéad Burke were among the winners of the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards, which "showcase a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 16 categories." Check out the complete list here. Readers will now vote for the overall An Post Irish Book of the Year, which will be announced December 10.


Porchlight Book Company, formerly 800-CEO-READ, has selected the longlist for its annual Business Book Awards, which honor the year's best business books in eight categories and can be seen here.

"These books help us make sense of the challenges 2020 has presented us with and understand the depths of the existing cracks they have exposed in our society," said Porchlight editorial director Dylan Schleicher. "We all yearn for a return to normal, to business as usual, but we also know now more than ever that what we considered 'normal' wasn't working for everyone. It is time to upend business as usual and find a new way forward together. One other thing I've learned this year is that page-turning is much better than doom-scrolling--for both our understanding and our anxiety levels--so let's get to it."

Porchlight marketing director Blyth Meier added: "We believe in books. When we were working on our company's rebrand last year, one of our mantras was to 'keep books human'--to remember to keep the human touch apparent in all the services we offer, and to highlight the humanity in the books we promote. With all that has happened this year, we think that is more important than ever, and that these 40 books help keep business focused on the human beings they were created to serve."

The shortlist will be announced December 17, and the Business Book of the Year and Jack Covert Award for Contribution to the Business Book Industry will be announced January 14.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 8:

The Last Days of John Lennon by Casey Sherman, Dave Wedge and James Patterson (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316429061) is a true-crime story about the former Beatle's death.

Blowing My Way to the Top: How to Break the Rules, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life and Career You Deserve by Jen Atkin (Harper Wave, $27.99, 9780062940551) gives advice from a celebrity hairstylist.

Unsinkable: Five Men and the Indomitable Run of the USS Plunkett by James Sullivan (Scribner, $30, 9781982147631) tracks a U.S. Navy destroyer during World War II.

Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic by Kenya Hunt (Amistad, $26.99, 9780062987648) contains essays about being a Black woman.

Snowdrift by Helene Tursten, trans. by Marlaine Delargey (Soho Crime, $27.95, 9781641291606) is the third mystery with Swedish Detective Inspector Embla Nyström.

D: A Tale of Two Worlds by Michel Faber (Hanover Square Press, $27.99, 9781335916747) begins when the letter D disappears from the world.

The Mermaid from Jeju: A Novel by Sumi Hahn (Alcove Press, $26.99, 9781643854403) follows a diver from Korea's Jeju Island in the aftermath of World War II.

A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert (Crooked Lane Books, $26.99, 9781643854762) is book five in the Blue Ridge Library mystery series.

Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, illus. by Isabelle Follath (Aladdin, $17.99, 9781534478893), features a hungry monster who convinces a selfish, immortal man to find him a child to eat.

The ABCS of Black History by Rio Cortez, illus. by Lauren Semmer (Workman, $14.95, 9781523507498), is a poetic abecedarium about key moments, figures and places in Black history.

A Promise of Ankles by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $15.95, 9780593313282).

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:

Goodnight Beautiful: A Novel by Aimee Molloy (Harper, $27.99, 9780062881922). "A good-looking couple from New York City move upstate for a slower lifestyle, but things quickly take a turn when the husband goes missing. When Sam Statler, a therapist with a range of diverse clients, doesn't come home, his wife, Annie, is desperate to find him and begins to suspect one of his clients. As secrets unravel, Molloy keeps the reader excited and engaged in this intriguing thriller." --Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, Ga.

Tsarina: A Novel by Ellen Alpsten (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250214430). "Ellen Alpsten's debut is a riveting, delicious escape into the world of Catherine I, Tsarina of Russia. My head is swimming with the sights and sounds of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Alpsten's fascinating account reveals the unforgettable woman who went toe to toe with her husband, Peter the Great. Exactly the kind of book I needed to read right now!" --Anderson McKean, Page and Palette, Fairhope, Ala.

The Selected Works of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde, edited by Roxane Gay (Norton, $16.95, 9781324004615). "This stellar selection of the wonderful Audre Lorde's work is a must-have. These powerful words deserve a wider audience, and it is wonderful to see Lorde's work introduced to a new generation by the excellent Roxane Gay." --Christie Schaefer, Octavia Books, New Orleans, La.

For Ages 4 to 8
No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-Aloud Book Ever by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, illus. by Bryce Gladfelter (Sourcebooks Explore, $17.99, 9781728206592). "A fabulous follow-up to P Is for Pterodactyl! This book of homonyms is a silly delight for kids of all ages. The best picture books are the ones you want to read slowly to savor all the little details in the word choice and illustrations, and No Reading Allowed definitely accomplishes that." --Lizzy Nanney, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Mouse Watch by J.J. Gilbert (Disney-Hyperion, $16.99, 9781368052184). "Bernie Skampersky, a small-in-stature mouse, wants nothing more in life but to be part of the Mouse Watch, headquartered in New York City but operating all over the world. This conglomeration of mice perform top-secret adventures to keep the world safe. Will Bernie's lifelong dream come true? Reminiscent of Disney's The Rescuers Down Under, this is a tale filled with adventure that middle readers and Disney fans of all ages will enjoy." --Pat Trotter, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, Wis.

For Teen Readers
Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (Simon Pulse, $19.99, 9781534425170). "Another incredibly captivating read from Jenn Bennett! The chemistry between Josie and Lucky is palpable as former best friends become quarreling rivals. A picturesque setting in a seaside bookstore makes this a fun and charming read that you won't be able to put down." --Katie Kenney, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Our Darkest Night

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson (Morrow, $17.99 paperback, 384p., 9780062674975, January 5, 2021)

As the Nazis' hold tightens over occupied Italy, life becomes increasingly difficult for Jewish citizens. Antonina Mazin, the daughter of a doctor, is shocked to discover her father has made a plan for her safety: she will travel to the countryside with Nico Gerardi, a young Christian man, and pose as his wife. No one--even his family--must know the truth. Jennifer Robson (The Gown; Moonlight over Paris) weaves a rich, compelling story of danger, sacrifice and steadfast love in her sixth novel, Our Darkest Night.

Like so many people during wartime, Antonina finds her life changed in an instant: she must bid her father and her invalid mother goodbye, change her name to Nina Marzoli, and leave her beloved Venice behind. Robson vividly renders Nina's fear and disorientation as she accompanies Nico to his family's farm. Once there, she finds a warm welcome from his younger siblings and his widowed father, but his sister Rosa, who runs the household, greets her with suspicion and disdain. Gradually, Nina settles into her new life, learning how to do chores in the house and on the farm. She and Nico become friends, then find themselves falling in love, even as Nico's work helping refugees escape takes him away from home for weeks at a time. But a local Nazi officer, a man who was once a seminary classmate of Nico, grows suspicious of Nina, and his investigations into Nina's background may put the entire family in peril. 

Robson has a gift for illuminating the struggles and hopes of ordinary people against a backdrop of life-changing events. Nina and the Gerardis listen to the war news with mingled fear and hope, but they also must tend to their daily duties: planting and harvesting, scrubbing floors, the never-ending piles of mending. As Nina settles into her new life, she also learns to stand up for herself, ignoring catty whispers in the village and even becoming friends with Rosa. Her unexpected but deep love for Nico and his family, and her newfound fortitude, help her to survive when her life takes a dangerous turn. Although Robson's readers know the broad outcome of the war, Nina's story contains multiple twists that will keep readers guessing as to how things will turn out for her.  

Powerful, heartbreaking and full of wise, compassionate characters, Our Darkest Night is the story of a woman learning to fight for what--and whom--she loves in the face of great evil. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: Jennifer Robson's compelling sixth novel centers on a young Italian Jewish woman living in disguise during World War II.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in November

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during November:

1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Macmillan Audio)
2. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (Simon & Schuster Audio)
3. The Searcher by Tana French (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (HarperAudio)
6. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (Hachette Audio)
8. The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperAudio)
9. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin Random House Audio)

1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. The Best of Me by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
5. Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
7. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Shit, Actually by Lindy West (Hachette Audio)
9. Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams (Macmillan Audio)

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