Shelf Awareness for Friday, April 30, 2021

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Tender Beasts by Liselle Sambury

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Doubleday Books: The Husbands by Holly Gramazio


Morrow Family Sells Northshire Bookstore to Local Couple

Founded in 1976 by Ed and Barbara Morrow and run now by their son Chris, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has been sold to Clark and Lu French of Manchester, Vt.

The Frenchs are principals of French & Co., a real estate brokerage, investment and advisory firm. They are longtime residents of Manchester and serve as board members of local institutions, including the Manchester Community Library, Taconic Music and Burr and Burton Academy. In Northshire's announcement about the sale, the Frenchs said they have been "loyal patrons of the bookstore and admirers of its founders, the Morrow family. As this beloved family-owned business approaches its 45th anniversary, we are thrilled and honored to become its next stewards. Along with our ownership team members Jon & Tom West, we are committed to continuing the legacy and high standards the Morrows have cultivated over their long tenure."

Northshire Saratoga

They called Northshire "one of our community's most important cultural and business institutions. It has fostered a love of reading, knowledge and discourse while offering the area's finest retail shopping experiences, both in Manchester and in Saratoga Springs....

"The Northshire Bookstore is a significant local landmark and a vital community center. This conviction and our life-long love of reading and book collecting are what drew us to this endeavor. Equally important to us is the bookstore's dedicated staff. We value their decades of expertise in creating an unparalleled retail experience and are grateful for their guidance as we begin this exciting new chapter."

Clark and Lu French

Chris Morrow said he had started the process of selling Northshire before the pandemic, which "reinforced that the time was right for me to move onto other things. When thinking about selling, my main worry was always finding someone (or two) who had the right sensibilities as well as the chops; someone who appreciated The Book, the art of bookselling and our amazing staff and who also had the background, energy, vision and resources to carry the bookstores into future decades. Amazingly, my first conversation led to today's announcement."

Chris Morrow

Morrow recalled the store's founding in 1976 and living for a time "in a dark apartment underneath the bookstore. I was 9. While the ladder leading to the trap door in the floor of the service desk area was very cool, I was not coaxed into bookselling full time until 1998. It was just for a couple of years to help my parents with an expansion.... And here we are 23 years later."

He added: "What is bookselling without paradox, irony, humor, hope and fear, and a whole lotta hard work? The books that have lived in the stores are so varied and numerous, like a beach with each grain of sand a different color. But, as I sit here letting memories flow over me, it is the people I am most grateful for--the amazing colleagues who have worked at the bookstores, the inspirational authors who have convened with us in Manchester and Saratoga, the kindred souls at other bookstores and at publishing houses, and the generations of guests who have made all this possible for us. What a beautiful adventure! I am grateful to all of you--thank you!"

Ed and Barbara Morrow called the sale "a bittersweet watershed event for us to be sure, but one we are confident will be seamless and beneficial to the welfare of the bookstore and its service to the several marvelous communities it serves... the communities of Manchester and Saratoga, the community of book-loving visitors who continue to support us from their homes, near and far away, the community of publishers with whom we labor to connect author and reader, and our vast community of authors, who provide us with the riches we endeavor to share. Without the support of these various communities the Northshire Bookstore would not have prospered and grown to its current place in the world of books."

The Morrows praised the new owners as "book-knowledgeable, community-oriented, long-time residents, and have proven business and leadership acumen. Most importantly to us, they have a deep appreciation for the existing team of booksellers whose experience and institutional knowledge is irreplaceable, and who are well prepared to see the bookstore through its next few decades of growth and service to the community we love."

The Morrows have all been deeply involved in the bookselling business. Chris recently was on the board of the American Booksellers Association. Ed Morrow is a former president of the ABA (during the time when the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie), and Barbara Morrow is a former president of the New England Independent Booksellers Association.

Holiday House: The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith by Tom Llewellyn; The Selkie's Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan

Seattle Booksellers Buy the Norwich Bookstore in Vt.

The Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt., which was put up for sale by co-owners Liza Bernard and Penny McConnel last year, has new owners. Emma Nichols, who has served as buyer and manager of Elliott Bay Book Company, and Sam Kaas, author events manager at Third Place Books, are moving from Seattle in late May to take over the business. Former American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher is an investing partner in the venture and will serve as an adviser.

"Penny and I are thrilled to have found energetic and experienced booksellers to shepherd the Norwich Bookstore into the future," Bernard said. "Like all good stories, we look forward to the next chapter."

Emma Nichols and Sam Kaas

Founded by Bernard and McConnel in 1994, the Norwich Bookstore reopened for browsing last Saturday, on Independent Bookstore Day, after a year of operating behind closed doors. The Valley News wrote that "although the bookstore has been serving its loyal customers via online ordering and curbside pickup, the only time it has been open to in-store browsing in the past year was a brief October-to-Thanksgiving window 'until the (Covid-19) numbers got bad and we couldn't stay open,' Bernard said."

She added that "what's really sustained us is the fact that people have been turning to us and the kind words and appreciation she regularly hears from customers," adding: "I've worked hard all my life, but I've never worked as hard as I have the past year."

With nearly 20 years of combined bookselling experience, Nichols and Kaas have long planned to be bookstore owners. Kaas started his career at Village Books in Bellingham, Wash., and Nichols worked for WORD, helping to open the store's Jersey City, N.J., location and eventually serving as staff manager, before moving to Seattle. Kaas is a member of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association's board of directors. Nichols serves on Binc's finance committee and is the co-host of the Drunk Booksellers podcast. The couple met at Winter Institute 11 in Denver, in 2016.

"When Emma and I first visited the Upper Valley, it immediately felt like home," Kaas said. "It's a rare place that would have that effect, but the bookstore and the community that supports it are something special. We're both thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to be stewards of the Norwich Bookstore for many years to come."

Teicher said that the new owners "embody the very best in a new generation of indie bookstore owners: entrepreneurial, passionate, experienced, and highly knowledgeable. With folks like Emma and Sam owning bookstores, I have every confidence in the long term viability and success of the indie bookstore channel."

Bernard and McConnel will work with the new owners during a transition period in June, after which both have new adventures in the works and lots more time to read.

Amistad Press: The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin

Amazon First Quarter: Sales Rise 44%, Profits Triple

At Amazon, in the first quarter ended March 31, net sales rose 44%, to $108.5 billion, and net income more than tripled, to $8.1 billion. The results, reflecting consumers' increasing reliance on Amazon during the pandemic, were better than analysts' expectations. Thus, in after-hours trading, Amazon stock rose about 2.5%, to $3,560 a share. In 2020, Amazon's stock increased 76% in value.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Amazon's results, along with other tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, underscore "how the pandemic has helped strengthen technology companies and put them increasingly at the center of daily life around the world." The newspaper said that in 2020, "the combined revenue for Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft grew by one-fifth to $1.1 trillion. Their collective market capitalization soared to almost $8 trillion at the end of 2020, compared with about $5 trillion at the end of 2019."

Amazon has announced it is increasing the pay of some 500,000 workers between 50 cents and $3 an hour. It will continue its opening pay of $15 an hour. Amazon has more than 1.2 million employees.

Amazon predicts that in the second quarter, net sales will be between $110 billion and $116 billion, up 24%-30% compared to the second quarter of 2020.

Sassafras on Sutton Opening Second Location This Summer

This summer, Sassafras on Sutton will open a second location, Sassafras on Main, in downtown Waynesville, N.C. At 17,000 square feet, the new store is nearly three times the size of the original store in Black Mountain, N.C., which owner Susanne Blumer opened in 2018.

Blumer reported that the new store will span three levels of a historic building that dates back to the 1870s. Around 10,000 square feet of the space will be used for retail and events, while the rest will be used for shipping, receiving and storage. Like Sassafras on Sutton, Sassafras on Main will be a general-interest bookstore and toy store, but the toy and book selections will be more mixed together (in the original store, they are located on separate floors). 

Additionally, Sassafras on Main will have a dedicated space on the third floor for author events and children's birthday parties, as well as a puzzle and gaming area on the lower level. Blumer and her team will also make use of the greater retail space to have a larger Christian book section, more store merchandise, a bigger baby area with registry, and more STEM toys.

Blumer explained that she started looking for a space for a second store last summer. She wanted a location that would work well for a mix of books and toys and was not too far from the original store. Waynesville is about 45 minutes away from Black Mountain and the towns are very similar. She added: "We fell in love with the building the first time we saw it and are thrilled to become part of Main Street."

Blumer hopes to have Sassafras on Main open to the public by late July.

Shelf Awareness Delivers Indie Pre-Order E-Blast

On Wednesday, Shelf Awareness sent our monthly pre-order e-blast to almost 800,000 of the country's best book readers. The e-blast went to 791,887 customers of 171 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, May 26. Stores interested in learning more can visit our program registration page or contact our partner program team via e-mail.

For a sample of Wednesday's pre-order e-blast, see this one from Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Obituary Note: Barry Hoberman

Barry Hoberman, longtime bookseller at Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass., died suddenly on April 23. He was 69.

The store wrote: "Beloved by staff and customers alike, Barry held court at our front register for over 20 years--he was proud of having been hired on the very first day the bookstore opened on Central Street in 1999. Considered by many the unofficial mayor of Wellesley, he took a genuine interest in those around him, warmly greeting customers (and their dogs) by name and recalling every detail of previous conversations. Barry was a gifted writer and a formidable scholar, possessing a deep knowledge of history, religion, baseball and music. He always relished the challenge of helping a customer track down some esoteric and often out-of-print treatise on one of his favorite subjects. We will miss his sense of humor, his affectionate banter, his freely-expressed opinions, his extraordinary intellect and his kind heart. Our community has lost a dear colleague and a true friend. We love you, Barry. Rest in peace."

According to the Swellesley Report, Hoberman published a scholarly book, The Early Jews in China: The Origin of the Jewish Community of K'aifeng; articles on Middle Eastern and Central Asian history, including one for Harvard Magazine on the origins of Good King Wenceslas of Christmas Carol fame; and poetry for Spitball, the Literary Baseball Magazine and other publications.

The Swellesley Report highly recommended Hoberman's essay "Thinking Outside the Boomer Box," which appeared in Rumpus, saying, "If you want to know who Barry was, read every word of that extraordinary, impeccably researched, and imminently readable piece. In it he covers religion, civil rights, feminism, sports, and world events in a tone that juxtaposes the serious with the frivolous. His well-reasoned and backed-up argument that he was not--repeat, not--older than rock 'n' roll is priceless."


Personnel Changes at ReaderLink Marketing Services

Laura O'Neal, former book & media buyer for Event Network, is now product manager with ReaderLink Marketing Services in San Diego, Calif.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Andy Weir on CBS This Morning Saturday

CBS This Morning Saturday: Andy Weir, author of Project Hail Mary: A Novel (Ballantine, $28.99, 9780593135204).

On Stage: Great Gatsby, the Musical

Rock star Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine), Thomas Bartlett and Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok are collaborating on a musical stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby, which entered the public domain earlier this year, Playbill reported.

Directed by Rebecca Frecknall (Summer and Smoke), the production will feature lyrics by Welch, music by Welch and Bartlett (Call Me By Your Name's "Mystery of Love"), and a book by Majok (Cost of Living). Jeanie O'Hare serves as story consultant.

"This book has haunted me for a large part of my life," Welch said. "It contains some of my favorite lines in literature. Musicals were my first love, and I feel a deep connection to Fitzgerald's broken romanticism. It is an honor to have been offered the chance to recreate this book in song."

Books & Authors

Awards: MWA Edgar Winners; Branford Boase Shortlist

The winners of the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America and honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced in 2020, are:

Novel: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Random House)
First novel by an American author: Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen (Gallery Books)
Paperback original: When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (Morrow)
Fact crime: Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre (Scribner)
Critical/biographical: Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane (Chicago Review Press)
Short story: "Dust, Ash, Flight," Addis Ababa Noir by Maaza Mengiste (Akashic Books)
Juvenile: Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Algonquin Young Readers)
YA: The Companion by Katie Alender (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
Television episode teleplay: "Episode 1, Photochemistry"--Dead Still, written by John Morton (Acorn TV)
Robert l. Fish Memorial Award: "The Bite" Tampa Bay Noir by Colette Bancroft (Akashic Books)
Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award: The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart (Minotaur Books)
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award: Vera Kelly Is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House Books)


A shortlist has been released for the 2021 Branford Boase Award, which recognizes "an outstanding debut novel for children... [and] highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent." The prize was established in memory of author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, which sponsors the award. The winner will be announced July 15. The winning author receives £1,000 (about $1,390) and, along with the editor, an inscribed crystal plaque. This year's shortlisted titles are:

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten, edited by Sarah Odedina
Witch by Finbar Hawkins, edited by Fiona Kennedy
And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando, edited by Jane Griffiths
A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll, edited by Eishar Brar
Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann, edited by Carmen McCullough
Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray, illustrated by Manuel Sumberac; edited by Ben Horslen
The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Rob Biddulph; edited by Rebecca Hill & Becky Walker

Reading with... Henry Hoke

photo: Myles Pettengill

Henry Hoke is the author of the novel The Groundhog Forever (WTAW Press, April 27, 2021)--described as "a queer sequel to the movie Groundhog Day"--the story collection Genevieves and The Book of Endless Sleepovers. He co-created and directs the performance series Enter>text, a living literary journal. His memoir Sticker will be released in January 2022 by Bloomsbury's Object Lessons.

On your nightstand now:

Just Us by Claudia Rankine, I'm from Nowhere by Lindsay Lerman and the queer issue of McSweeney's, edited by Patrick Cottrell. All three are helping me process grief and rage.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Its gymnastic use of language is embedded in my DNA.

Your top five authors:

Jamaica Kincaid, Elena Ferrante, Sarah Manguso, Haruki Murakami, Tove Jansson. Each found me at a different point in my life, and saved it.

Book you've faked reading:

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Bought it at the wrong time, when I didn't have the patience. Lied to my signif about having read it. Found the missing patience last year in early quarantine, had a really good time being immersed in Catton's gold rush New Zealand, then had to admit that I had lied before. Overall, a harrowing experience.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Stages by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. This documentary assemblage of interviews with staff and residents at an end-of-life care home illuminates the often-invisible labor that surrounds dying in America, the immense devotion involved. An absolute must-read in this moment and every moment we've got coming.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Musical Brain by César Aira. All New Directions covers are masterpiece magnets for my eyeballs. I never regret impulse-grabbing global lit in translation.

Book you hid from your parents:

Anything by Henry Hoke.

Book that changed your life:

Underneath New York by Harry Granick. It warped my sense of the place where I sat reading, and minutes after finishing, I wrote the first piece for The Book of Endless Sleepovers.

Favorite line from a book:

When they're getting in bed and Hobbes says to Calvin, "I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night!" And Calvin says "Hey, yeah!" And they shake hands and Calvin says "Well, I'll see you in a few minutes, ol' buddy!" And Hobbes says, "I'll be there!"

Five books you'll never part with:

These five are never far from my writing desk, and are always in my hybrid heart when I get to work: Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote, 365 Days/365 Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks, Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges, The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, Speedology: Speed on New York on Speed by Timothy "Speed" Levitch.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Honestly, I just want to buy and read Donna Tartt's The fuckin' Goldfinch every day like a kid jumping back on a rollercoaster.

Book Review

Review: The Blackmailer's Guide to Love

The Blackmailer's Guide to Love by Marian Thurm (Delphinium, $26.95 hardcover, 336p., 9781953002006, May 25, 2021)

Relationships and marriages fraught with flaws and imperfections are consistent hallmarks of the always thought-provoking work of Marian Thurm (Today Is Not Your Day). Over three decades, she's consistently published lively fiction that leans toward the absurdities of life. She sets her sights on ordinary, however eccentric, people whose lives are complicated by fate, poor choices and a search for happiness and fulfillment.

Her seventh novel, The Blackmailer's Guide to Love, is set in 1978, in a world where "Google and Wikipedia are decades away." A trio of young, sophisticated, upwardly mobile New Yorkers are embarking on their lives in post-Nixon Manhattan. "Suburban-bred innocent," Ivy League alumna and literary writer wannabe Mel Fleischer, 25, lands an entry-level job at a prestigious--unnamed in the narrative--Madison Avenue magazine. Her boss, Austin Bloch, is a middle-aged, esteemed editor who works with some of the finest writers. However, that doesn't make his moral character exemplary. He is moody and often condescending to Mel, who, when she's not making copies and combing through the slush pile, is put in the precarious position of covering for and hiding Austin's dalliances from his wife, as he keeps "a stable of a half-dozen women to choose from."

This is all new to Mel, who has "no idea how to navigate a universe where husbands and wives betray each other or snort coke with straws off glass tables while their toddlers are asleep in beds down the hall." She shares her experiences with Charlie, her caring and supportive husband, a Manhattan psychotherapist. He is faced with his own dilemma in counseling Julia Meyerson, a young, divorced Ph.D. student who, unable to secure a teaching position, cares for an aging and infirm childless couple. Around the same time that Mel has one of her short stories accepted for publication by the New Yorker, doctor-patient lines start to blur for Charlie and Julia. Each character, on the brink of personal change, faces a crossroads. And a complicated love triangle develops that tests the wisdom and truth of each character as she/he undergoes personally dramatic twists and turns that ultimately ensnare the three lives.

Clever, surprising plots developments abound, and exquisitely drawn characters have their perceptions radically changed when they are forced to confront temptations, conflicts and unexpected challenges. Thurm's literary authority is on full display in this deeply engrossing and dramatically juicy novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A richly drawn, juicy love triangle ensnares the lives of three young, upwardly mobile sophisticates in post-Nixon Manhattan.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: I'm Puzzled 

I'm puzzled. In seven decades on the planet, I've never completed a jigsaw puzzle. I can recall some hopeless attempts when I was a kid that always resulted in abandonment or destruction (with four younger brothers, invasion of personal space was just part of the game). That I have a color deficiency and can't always distinguish between shades--dark red/brown, dark blue/purple, yellow/light green, etc.--was probably a contributing factor to my jigsaw puzzle-solving deficiency as well.  

At DIESEL, A Bookstore.

Why write about this now? I'll blame DIESEL, A Bookstore in Brentwood, Calif., which posted on Facebook earlier this week: "When it comes to our puzzle table, the only missing piece is you."

Yes I am (missing, that is), but for what it's worth I've had a virtual front-row seat watching the spike in jigsaw puzzle sales nationwide since our pandemic year began. I know how important a healthy puzzle inventory has become for indie booksellers trying to find their way through the Covid-19 retail morass. 

Last April, NPR was already reporting that with Americans "stuck at home, demand for jigsaw puzzles is surging. Puzzlemakers can't keep up." It never stopped. 

More recently, on the NBC hit series Shark Tank, Kaylin Marcotte struck a $500,000 deal with Mark Cuban to invest in her company Jiggy, which features "works of art designed by female artists from around the world with a percentage of each sale going directly back to the artist," the New York Business Journal reported, adding: "As the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in stay-at-home orders globally, Marcotte took the opportunity to market Jiggy to people stuck at home. The company said puzzle sales nearly quadrupled, which convinced Cuban of the brand's potential."

In addition to a flood of puzzle biz news over the past year, I've seen hundreds of social media posts by friends who showcased their jigsaw puzzles in every stage of evolution, from unopened box to jumbled pieces to partial image to finished picture to, yes, framed art on the wall. 

A wall of puzzles at Anderson's

So I have been paying attention. Beginning on National Puzzle Day, January 29, I even started collecting indie bookstore puzzle posts like trading cards (everybody needs a lockdown hobby). Here's a sampling: WORD Brooklyn; The Bookstore of Gloucester; the Bookstore of Glynn Ellen; Darvill's Bookstore; Vermont Book Shop; Greenlight Bookstore; Title Wave Books; Litchfield Books; Commonplace Reader; Kona Stories; Anderson's Bookshop; Main Street Books; Copperfield's Books.

So many puzzles, so much time. 

I read somewhere that engraver and mapmaker John Spilsbury is credited with inventing the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. He drew a map on a piece of wood, then used a jigsaw to cut it into small pieces. I hope that's true. 

At the Book Stall in Winnetka

In January, the comedy website Funny or Die took a shot at the jigsaw puzzle craze, suggesting they are bad for us and must be stopped: "Step one, you buy a puzzle with your hard earned money. Step two, you stare at the pieces dumped on your coffee table going, 'Uhhhhhh where's the blue piece? No that's the wrong blue piece. That's the wrong blue piece. That's the wrong b--' etcetera for hours, even days. Step three, eventually you finish the puzzle and discover that, surprise surprise, it's exactly the picture it told you it was going to be. Now what? Now you do it all over again? Excuse me? Do you know how insane that is?!... Go buy a desk from IKEA and spend your free time putting it together and taking it apart, since we're doing things that don't make any sense. At least whenever you decide you're finally done you'd have a goddamn desk."

A scene from Puzzle

It's easy to make fun of puzzleheads, but here's a little secret: I wish I did have the patience, ability and color-awareness to be a jigsaw puzzle master. I did not know this until a couple of years ago, when I first saw Marc Turtletaub's film Puzzle, starring Kelly Macdonald as Agnes, a suburban housewife who discovers she has world-class gifts as a jigsaw puzzle solver; and the late Irrfan Khan as Robert, a former puzzle champion who partners with her to compete in team tournaments. I didn't know such things existed, but quickly wished I had the talent to be in one. 

"Life is messy," Robert says. "It doesn't make any goddamn sense. Sorry to break the news to you. Life's just random. Everything's random. My success, you here now. There's nothing we can do to control anything. But when you complete a puzzle, when you finish it, you know that you have made all the right choices. No matter how many wrong pieces you tried to fit into a wrong place, at the very end, everything makes one perfect picture. What other pursuits can give you that kind of perfection?"

Jigsaw puzzles have served a lot of folks well--economically, creatively, psychologically, emotionally--for more than a year. As Robert observes in Puzzle: "It's a way... to control the chaos." And who can argue with that solution?

--Robert Gray, editor

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