Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 3, 2021

Union Square Kids: Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston

Tor Teen: Into the Light by Mark Oshiro

Peachtree Teen: Junkyard Dogs by Katherine Higgs-Coulthard

Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz and Rob Schwartz

Neal Porter Books: All the Beating Hearts by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Cátia Chien


Posman Books Opens in Boston, Planning Store in Pittsburgh

Posman Books in Boston

Later this year, Posman Books, which has two stores in New York City, two Atlanta and is just opening another in Boston, plans to open a 3,243-square-foot shop in Pittsburgh, Pa., its first store in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The new Posman Books will be located in The Terminal in the Strip District, a mixed retail development that opened earlier this year, and it will include a cool sideline: ice cream, provided by OddFellows Ice Cream Co. of New York.

Posman v-p Robert Fader told the Post-Gazette, "We feel the unusual combination of a bookstore with an ice cream store is a winner. To my knowledge, it has not been done before. Who doesn't love ice cream and books?"

Fader added that Posman is making the move because "Pittsburgh really appealed to us as a city that we feel has the right balance between the college population and the tech companies that are moving in or have moved in," he said.

He pointed out that Posman Books has a store in New York City's Chelsea Market, which is owned by Google. "We understand the Googlers. The Googlers are our customers. We feel that it is the same kind of demographic in Pittsburgh."

The Boston store had its soft opening on Friday. The 1,500-square-foot location at 127 Newbury was "a long time in the making," Fader said. "We signed the lease in August 2018, ran into multiple delays with permits, and then Covid shut construction down, so we're thrilled to finally open our doors. We feel at home already in this lively shopping and dining destination. Boston's residents and visitors are just the kind of people who appreciate Posman's special brand of joy, inspiration and wonder that can only come from stepping into a brick-and-mortar store. As we're fond of saying, we're the opposite of the Internet."

Posman had intended to have an ice cream counter in the Boston store, too, but "ran into a mountain of red tape and had to give it up," Fader added.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline

Warwick's Building Bought by Friendly Investors

The "hero investors" who rescued Warwick's.

What a way to start to celebrate a 125th anniversary: a group of more than 30 investors have purchased the building where Warwick's, La Jolla, Calif., has been for 70 years, to protect the site from possible development and to insure the store's long-term viability.

As recounted in a letter to customers from Nancy Warwick, fourth-generation owner of Warwick's, in February she had expected to sign another 10-year lease for the 10,000-square-foot space, but learned that the building's longtime owners "had accepted an unsolicited offer to sell the building to an unnamed buyer--all cash." That offer was for $8.3 million, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an amount far beyond the Warwick family's means.

"The news was dire," Warwick continued. "We were offered only a three-year lease, a time frame which suspiciously suggested that the buyer planned to pull permits to completely rework the building--a result which would have permanently ousted Warwick's from its historic home, and possibly left Warwick's without a place to do business. We were given no assurances to the contrary."

But there was "a slender reed of hope--Warwick's had 15 days to present a better offer from a 'Warwick's friendly' buyer." Led by Warwick's real estate broker Steve Avoyer and civic leader and investor Jack McGrory, both "loyal customers," the group organized, bought the property and gave the store a new 10-year lease with two five-year options to extend.

The group's offer was for $8.35 million. McGrory told the Union-Tribune: "It's not a barn-burner investment, but it's good enough. Nancy is a good businesswoman. The store survived the '08 recession, it survived Amazon. It's in good physical shape. Even in the pandemic, it has a good balance sheet."

Nancy Warwick called the purchase "an incredible story of community, and my family could not be more honored." On Saturday, the store celebrated its "hero investors," who include several staff members.

As if that's not enough to mark the store's 125th anniversary, Warwick's is also celebrating by having a new history wall painted by local artist Lori Mitchell; publishing its first online history album and guestbook; offering originally designed dog bandanas; creating a commemorative children's bookmark; hosting a 125th anniversary tea time; and holding a holiday open house with author visits and $125 gift cards as raffle prizes.

GLOW: Tordotcom: The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill

Book Cottage, Jackson, Mich., Moves to Larger Location

The Book Cottage, a new and used bookstore in Jackson, Mich., has moved to a larger, 9,700-square-foot location, Michigan Live reported.

Owner Nancy Oakley, who founded the business in 2013, made the move in January. The new space is more open and allows the bookstore to carry more inventory. The extra space will also come in handy when the bookstore resumes hosting events, especially Harry Potter's birthday on July 31.

Oakley told MLive that the store's original location was just 600 square feet. "I look back at that place and I think, how on Earth? We didn't even have enough books to fill that place when we opened. Now we have well over 100,000." The store has moved three times since it first opened. She added that the store's most recent space in Vandercook Lake simply "wasn't the right fit."

Soho Press: Black Dove by Colin McAdam

ABA Board Nominations Voted In

In the election for the American Booksellers Association board of directors, the slate recommended by the nominating committee was voted in, the association announced. As a result, the following booksellers will serve three-year terms, running from 2021 to 2024:

  • Danny Caine of Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kan., will be a new board member.
  • Jake Cumsky-Whitlock of Solid State Books in Washington, D.C., and Melanie Knight of Books Inc. in San Francisco, Calif., will serve their first three-year terms. They were appointed to the board last September, following bylaw changes that expanded the board to 13 directors from 11 and required at least four directors to be Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.
  • Kelly Estep of Carmichael's Bookstore in Louisville, Ky., for a second three-year term.
  • Angela Maria Spring of Duende District in Albuquerque, N.Mex., and Washington, D.C., also for a second three-year term.

In addition, Michelle Malonzo of Changing Hands in Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz., has been appointed to serve the remainder of Chris Morrow's two-year term, which ends next year. Morrow announced the sale of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Friday.

The board had earlier this year elected current ABA vice-president Bradley Graham of Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., to be president for a two-year term, replacing Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C., whose two-year term as president ends this month. Kelly Estep of Carmichael's Bookstore in Louisville, Ky., and Christine Onorati of WORD Bookstores in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., have been elected as co-vice president/secretary.

In addition to Fiocco, Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Calif., will be leaving the board this month.

Board changes will be part of the program at the ABA's annual membership meeting and town hall, which will be held virtually on Thursday, May 27, 2-4 p.m. Eastern.

Weiser Books: Mexican Sorcery: A Practical Guide to Brujeria de Rancho by Laura Davila

Peachtree Publishing Launches YA Imprint

Peachtree Publishing is launching a young adult imprint called Peachtree Teen that will be headed by editors Ashley Hearn and Jonah Heller and will focus on "fresh, empathetic storytelling that empowers teens and inspires conversation."

Peachtree publisher Margaret Quinlin said, "Peachtree has published a first-rate, but small collection of young adult fiction over the years. Now, we are thrilled to make a larger commitment to this dynamic category under the exciting leadership of Ashley Hearn and Jonah Heller, two exceptionally talented editors with a vibrant vision of what young adult publishing should be."

The first Peachtree Teen titles, which will begin appearing a year from now, are:

The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero (May 2022), a magical realism verse novel about a 16-year-old Latina violinist who travels to Prague and becomes entranced by the ghost of a boy at the Jewish cemetery she restores. Romero is the author of The Dollmaker of Kraków.

Hell Followed with Us (June 2022), a post-apocalyptic horror novel by debut author Andrew Joseph White about a 16-year-old transgender boy who has escaped from a fundamentalist cult and teams up with an LGBTQ+ youth center fighting for survival.

Boys I Know (July 2022), a coming-of-age story from debut novelist Anna Gracia that follows a "year in the life" of 18-year-old June, a Taiwanese American girl navigating sex, love and Planned Parenthood in her small Midwestern town, while clashing with her mother's expectations.

Publishers Lunch & ABA to Host Buzz Books Editors Panel

On Wednesday, May 19, at 7 p.m. Eastern, Publishers Lunch and the American Booksellers Association will host a virtual Buzz Books Editors Panel, during which six "breakout authors" will talk with their editors. The event will be hosted by Emma Straub, author and co-owner of Books Are Magic bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y. The editors and authors of the featured titles are:

  • Marysue Rucci, S&S, presenting The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
  • Jhanteigh Kupihea, Quirk, presenting Dare to Know by James Kennedy 
  • Sara Birmingham, Ecco, presenting Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim 
  • Tara Singh Carlson, Putnam, presenting The Family by Naomi Krupitsky 
  • Karen Kosztolnyik, Grand Central, presenting Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti 
  • Patrik Bass, Amistad, presenting Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant's Search for Her Family's Lasting Legacy by Gayle Jessup White 

Obituary Note: Anthony Thwaite

Anthony Thwaite, the poet, editor, author and reviewer who was a "mover and shaker in postwar English literary life," died last week, the Guardian reported. He was 90 years old.

Thwaite published Home Truths, his first book of poems, in 1957. He went on to publish numerous collections, including The Stone of Emptiness (1967), New Confessions (1974) and Victorian Voices (1980), which was his most popular and bestselling title. In 2007, Enitharmon Press published Thwaite's Collected Poems, and the volumes Late Poems and Going Out followed in 2010 and 2015. In 1990, he was appointed Order of the British Empire.

While he was associated with the literary group the Movement, which consisted of writers like Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jennings, Thwaite's work differed in its outlook and its emphasis. His marriage and his faith were prominent subjects, and he was a lover of archeology. He was particularly fascinated with Greek and Roman ruins in North Africa, and he even took part in an archeological dig in Tocra, Libya.

His perspective was also more global than that of many of his peers. In addition to his travels in Libya, he spent part of his childhood in the U.S., where he searched for Civil War relics in Confederate trenches in Fairfax County, Va., and he taught literature in Tokyo for two years.

Over the course of his career, Thwaite worked for the BBC and its weekly journal the Listener, where he was literary editor. He was also literary editor of the New Statesman from 1967 until 1972, and was co-editor of Encounter. In 1986, he chaired the Booker prize panel and read all 128 submitted novels.

Thwaite was a longtime friend of Philip Larkin, and after Larkin's death in 1985 he served as Larkin's literary executor, editing Larkin's Collected Poems (1988), Selected Letters (1992) and Letters to Monica (2010).


Introducing McLean & Eakin's 'Pages' Fragrance 

McLean & Eakin Booksellers commissioned June Apothecary to make a fragrance for the store and "Pages" is the result. "We think it speaks to the feeling you have when you put your nose between the pages of a book," the bookshop posted on Facebook. "Don't worry. We've all done it. Your secret is safe with us. And now you can take it home for hours of that same feeling!"

Scent description: "Crisp juniper fir mixes with luscious fig and bright lemon to create this truly unique and refreshing scent. Perfect to burn all year when you are missing your favorite book store up north!"

Spencer Ruchti New Author Events Manager at Third Place Books

Spencer Ruchti

Spencer Ruchti has been named the new author events manager at Seattle's Third Place Books, effective May 10, succeeding Sam Kaas, author events manager since 2018, who is leaving the company to move to Norwich, Vt., to become the new owner, with his partner, Emma Nichols, of the Norwich Bookstore.

Ruchti started as a bookseller in 2017, where he helped curate the author series of the Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass. He's worked in editorial roles at Boston Review, Camas magazine and, most recently, Tin House Books, and is currently the co-editor of the Du Mois Monthly, a newsletter about literature in translation, with Du Mois creator Justin Walls. Before joining Third Place Books, he was a bookseller at Broadway Books in Portland, Ore.

Robert Sindelar, managing partner at Third Place Books, said, "As this new move makes clear, Sam is and has always been a 'lifer' in the bookstore business. His tireless creative work this past year to transform our large successful events program from physical to virtual has been invaluable. He is leaving our program in peak form; perfectly poised for someone of Spencer Ruchti's knowledge, experience and passion to take over."

Personnel Changes at Catapult; HMH Books & Media

Alyson Forbes has been promoted to COO of Catapult/Counterpoint/Soft Skull. Previously, she was associate publisher, head of sales. In this new role, she will oversee the business and operations teams, including marketing, publicity, sales, finance, and the writing program at Catapult.

Forbes began her career at Penguin Group, where she held a variety of roles at Viking, Penguin, Putnam, and Riverhead. From there she moved on to become the deputy director of creative services of the Random House imprint. Prior to joining Catapult, she was a founding member of Hachette Book Group's corporate marketing strategy team, eventually holding the title of v-p, executive director of marketing strategy.


At HMH Books & Media:

Katie Tull has joined the company as marketing manager. She was previously at Random House and One World.

Francesca Carlos has joined the company as marketing specialist. She was previously at Simon & Schuster.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Nicole Lynn on Fresh Air

Good Morning America: Sunny Hostin, author of Summer on the Bluffs: A Novel (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062994172).

Fresh Air: Nicole Lynn, author of Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families (Beacon Press, $22.95, 9780807056035).

Tamron Hall: André Leon Talley, author of The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir (Ballantine, $18, 9780593129272).

The Talk: Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, editors of You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience (Random House, $27, 9780593243626).

Good Morning America: Rainesford Stauffer, author of An Ordinary Age: Finding Your Way in a World That Expects Exceptional (Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062998989).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Patricia Heaton, author of Your Second Act: Inspiring Stories of Reinvention (Simon & Schuster, $17, 9781982141615).

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

Ellen: Emmanuel Acho, author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy (Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, 9781250801067).

The View: Senator Elizabeth Warren, author of Persist (Metropolitan Books, $27.99, 9781250799241).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: George Saunders, author of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life (Random House, $28, 9781984856029).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Senator Mazie K. Hirono, author of Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter's Story (Viking, $28, 9781984881601).

Movies: Favorite Son

Favorite Son, inspired by Tiffany L. Warren's novel, premieres this Thursday, May 6, on BET Plus. Directed by Robin Givens, the movie stars Rotimi (Power), Jonathan McReynolds, Serayah (Empire), Loren Lott (Cherish the Day), E. Roger Mitchell (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Keke Wyatt, Anthony Evans Jr., Anton Peeples (Insecure, Mr. Mom), Lisa Arrindell (Madea's Family Reunion), and Walnette Santiago (Atlanta).

Written by Patricia Cuffie-Jones, the project is executive produced by Eric Tomosunas, Ron Robinson and Keith Neal for Swirl Films, Devin Griffin and Maureen Guthman for BET+, and Rotimi.

Books & Authors

Awards: ReLit Winners

The ReLit Awards, presented to work published by independent presses, concluded a month-long celebration of its return by announcing its 2020 winners, Quill & Quire reported, noting that ReLit has come back from a four-year hiatus this month by honoring books from all the years it missed, including the 2018, 2019 and 2021 winners.

The ReLit Awards "don't offer a cash prize, instead presenting the winners with the ReLit Ring, designed with four dials engraved with the English alphabet which can be spun to spell words," Q&Q noted. 

Book Review

Review: Honeycomb

Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris, illus. by Charles Vess (Saga Press/Gallery, $32 hardcover, 432p., 9781534433052, May 25, 2021)

With Honeycomb, the prolific Joanne M. Harris (Chocolat; Peaches for Father Francis), who has written fantasy, historical fiction, suspense, cookbooks and more, offers an enchanting collection of darkly delightful, imaginative fairy tales and parables of the modern world. (These stories began as a series on Twitter.) Illustrator Charles Vess (Stardust; Sandman) brings to life Harris's Silken Folk, "weavers of glamours, spinners of tales... whom some call the Faërie, and some the First, and some the Keepers of Stories," in richly detailed images.

In the world of Honeycomb, the Sightless Folk (regular humans) unwittingly often share space with the numerous and diverse Silken. "There are many doors between the worlds of the Faërie and the Folk. Some look like doors; or windows; or books. Some are in Dream; others, in Death." These 100 stories form a whole that is magical, fanciful, enchanting and occasionally nightmarish. Some center on single-appearance characters, and some characters are revisited, but all belong to the same universe. "Dream is a river that runs through Nine Worlds, and Death is only one of them." In special moments, "all Worlds were linked, like the cells of an intricate honeycomb, making a pattern that stretched beyond even Death; even Dream," and the stories are likewise linked cells.

Some act as allegories, as in "The Wolves and the Dogs," in which the Sheep elect a Wolf to protect them because at least he is honest. In "The Traveller," the titular character passes quickly by many delights in pursuit of his destination, which turns out less impressive than he'd hoped. "Clockwork" is a horrifying tale in which a husband rebuilds his wife piece by piece. "The Bookworm Princess," on the other hand, ends with deep satisfaction. There is the Clockwork Princess and the watchmaker's boy; a girl who travels with a clockwork tiger; and a mistrustful puppeteer who manifests what he fears. A recurring farmyard is packed with colorful animal characters--a troublesome piglet, a petulant pullet--and allegory, Orwellian and otherwise. The connecting character is the Lacewing King, whom readers meet at his birth in "The Midwife" and follow for hundreds of years, as the fate of Worlds hangs in the balance. "There are many different ways to reach the River Dream. One is Sleep; one is Desire; but the greatest of all is Story...."

Completely engrossing, exquisitely inventive, brilliantly illustrated and thought-provoking, Honeycomb is a world, or Worlds, to get lost in. "Some of these tales have stings attached. But then, of course, that's bees for you." --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: Fairy tales for grown-ups, allegories, visions and horrors: these gorgeously illustrated linked stories are guaranteed to transport.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in April

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during April:

1. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (Harlequin Audio)
2. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Macmillan Audio)
5. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (Macmillan Audio)
6. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Macmillan Audio)
8. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Macmillan Audio)
9. Northern Spy by Flynn Berry (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (HarperAudio)

1. Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson (Macmillan Audio)
3. The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman and Oprah Winfrey (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
9. Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Penguin Random House Audio)

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