Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 8, 2021

Yen Press: The God of Nishi-Yuigahama Station by Takeshi Murase, Translated by Guiseppe Di Martino

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

St. Martin's Press: Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen


New Story Community Books Opens Seasonal Location in Battle Creek, Mich.

New Story Community Books has opened a second, seasonal location in downtown Battle Creek, Mich., in a retail collective called BC Cargo, Second Wave Media reported.

Owners Tom and Kimberly Batterson, who also own and operate New Story Community Books in Marshall, Mich., held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new store on June 24. It is located in a metal cargo container, and the Battersons told Second Wave that they hope eventually to open a more permanent bricks-and-mortar shop in Battle Creek.

"Battle Creek has a need and a love of books," Tom Batterson said. "It's finding that right niche. We want something that will be unique and different. There's a bookselling history here and we're going to make it happen."

In May 2020, the Battersons purchased The Mitten Word Bookshop in Marshall from previous owners Ginny and Jim Donahue and changed the name to New Story Community Books. New Story sells a mix of new and used books and has started hosting a variety of events in the area.

The Battersons have created unconventional pop-up shops by setting up book-filled vending machines in local schools, and later this month they'll host a "Book Fair for Grownups" at a local brewery. They have also started looking into the possibility of creating a bookmobile.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

International Update: U.K. Booksellers Keeping Covid Safety Measures, Dutch Government Supports Bookshops

U.K. booksellers plan to "continue some level of Covid-19 safety measures, despite the government's scrapping of all mandatory precautions in England, including face masks" beginning July 19, the Bookseller reported.

"We won't enforce face masks--staff will have their own choice about wearing them, and our screens will remain up," said Ron Johns, who owns three bookshops in Cornwall. "It's still important that my staff and customers feel in the safest environment. We still will have sanitizer availability. It's sort of see what happens and see if the landscape and confidence returns."

Nigel Jones, bookseller and co-founder of East Gate Bookshop, Totnes, observed: "I dislike wearing a face mask all day, but appreciate that mask wearing is the number one factor for preventing the spread of Covid infection. I can't speak for any staff members, but I will probably continue to wear my mask and we will keep our Perspex counter shield in place. We will also continue to provide hand sanitizing stations in the shop. Hopefully everyone will behave responsibly and not act as if Covid is vanquished, as it isn't."

Mog Harris, co-founder of Warwick Books, Warwick, said, "We are looking forward to not having to police restrictions and having our shop open to be accessed freely. We are not looking forward to having to deal with the inevitable bumpy road that the lifting of restrictions will mean and hope that locally people will be understanding of people wanting and needing to take things at their own speed."


The Dutch Booksellers Association announced that the government has approved €20 million (about $23.7 million) funding to support booksellers. The European & International Booksellers Federation's NewsFlash reported that the amount "will be divided into establishing a €15 million [about $17.7 million] bookshop fund, while the remaining €5 million [about $5.9 million] will be distributed among the bookshops as compensation for distribution costs."


More than three years after Amazon launched in Australia, the online retailer has opened the website to New Zealand customers. Tony Austin, general manager of exports for, said, "We are excited to offer Kiwis access to millions of products at great prices on We know that many New Zealand customers are already shopping on the U.S. store and we are pleased to be offering them a faster option." 

Retail NZ CEO Greg Harford told that he did not believe the impact would be "that huge in the short term.... People here are shopping on Amazon all over the place and this is just opening another Amazon channel. Retailers have been working pretty hard to stay ahead of the game over the last few years. The question is going to be how quickly do New Zealanders move to shop on what is still an Australian website."

Jenna Todd, manager of Time Out Bookstore, Auckland, and deputy chair of Booksellers Aotearoa NZ, commented (via 1News): "We just need to concentrate on making sure our customers see the value on their dollar when they shop local.... The Booksellers Association is working really hard with some of our overseas booksellers associations to innovate and try to keep up with these online giants.... We develop relationships with our customers. It's not about algorithms. It's about people." --Robert Gray

GLOW: Torrey House Press: Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell's Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River by Zak Podmore

Shahina Piyarali New President of Hugo House

Shahina Piyarali

Shahina Piyarali, who writes reviews for Shelf Awareness as well as a regular column and conducts author interviews (Megha Majumdar, Tahmima Anam and Ayad Akhtar, among others) has been elected president of Hugo House, the organization that promotes writing and reading in Seattle, Wash.

A former attorney, leader in the Seattle literary arts community, and an expatriate from Pakistan, Piyarali is, Hugo House said, "passionate about promoting South Asian art and culture and has been a key member of the Hugo House board for the last several years."

From 2018 to 2021, Piyarali was the board president of Tasveer, a local social justice and arts organization and is currently the co-chair of the National Council of Graywolf Press and a board member of Daarna, a Seattle nonprofit working to empower refugee communities.

"I am excited to guide the strategic growth of Hugo House as we expand its offerings to reach diverse communities across Greater Seattle and add more enrichment programming for young writers," Piyarali said. "Hugo House is a literary beacon in our beautiful city, and I am honored to play a part in its growth."

"This is an exciting time for Hugo House, a moment of outreach and growth, and I believe that Shahina--with her keen leadership skills and passion for writing--is the ideal leader for this next phase," interim executive director Rob Arnold said. "And I'm personally delighted that, for the first time in its history, Hugo House is entirely BIPOC-led."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Professional Bookseller Certification Program's Inventory Management Module Begins

The first Inventory Management Module of the Professional Bookseller Certification Program started yesterday with its 50-person class filled and with a growing waitlist. The program's 16 classes cover everything related to book and merchandise buying, including criteria, finances, tools of the trade, etc., and classes run until February 2022. MVB, which provides the commerce services Pubnet and Pubeasy in North America, is sponsoring the program.

The dean of the course is Jill Hendrix, owner, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C. Instructors are Javier Ramirez, co-owner, Exile in Bookville, Chicago, Ill.; Alison Reid, co-owner, Diesel, A Bookstore, Del Mar, Calif.; Josh Christie, co-owner, Print: A Bookstore, Portland, Maine; Erin Caudill, book buyer, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Latonia, Ky.; Melissa DeMotte, owner, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Kate Reynolds, book buyer, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; Valerie Kohler, owner, Blue Willow Bookstore, Houston, Tex.; and Catherine Langer, former book buyer, Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo. They will be joined by guest speakers from industry partners, including MVB US.

Ted Hill, CEO of MVB US, said, "We are very proud to support this important part of the PBC Program. Smart, efficient inventory management is an essential component of store profitability. We have learned from long experience with Pubnet and Pubeasy that booksellers who can practice effective direct ordering are able to significantly reduce their cost of goods sold."

Eileen Dengler, executive director of NAIBA, who is spearheading the creation of the Professional Booksellers School, said, "MVB's support for our efforts to train booksellers reaffirms the value of the PBC program. We need all our industry partners to assist in training booksellers in the complicated business of selling books."

Obituary Note: Elizabeth Martínez

Elizabeth Martínez, a feminist, writer and community activist "who helped organize the Chicana movement, which sought to empower people, like her, who were of Mexican descent and born in the U.S.," died June 29, the New York Times reported. She was 95. Known as Betita, Martínez "used her literary skills as an editor and writer to inspire, provoke, educate, strategize, organize and build cross-ethnic and cross-racial alliances, all in pursuit of social justice."

In New Mexico in 1968, she co-founded a bilingual newspaper, El Grito del Norte (The Cry of the North), and "was among the first to explore how issues of race, class, poverty, gender and sexuality could be connected under overlapping systems of oppression," the Times wrote. Her mission, as she described it in a manifesto written when she was 16, was to "destroy hatred and prejudice."

In her 20s, she had worked at the U.N., researching colonialism in Africa. She later worked at the Museum of Modern Art, assisting the photographer Edward Steichen, the museum's director of photography; and then as a book editor before joining the Nation magazine as books and arts editor.

"During this period, Liz had one foot in the world of upwardly mobile diplomats and the scribbling class, the other in the demimonde of outsiders, leftists and Lower East Side rebels," longtime friend Tony Platt, a social justice scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in 2013 in an issue of the journal Social Justice dedicated to Martínez.

Among the books she brought into print as an editor was The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality (1964). After the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Martínez joined the Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964, registering Black voters. The next year she edited Letters From Mississippi.

By the mid-1960s, "she gave herself over to left-wing causes. joining feminist groups and short-lived Marxist organizations," the Times wrote, noting that Angela Davis was an admirer and wrote the foreword to Martínez's book De Colores Means All of Us (1998).

After editing El Grito del Norte, Martínez helped create the Chicano Communications Center, which published one of the most significant books she edited, 450 Years of Chicano History in Pictures (1976), later reprinted as 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures. She also wrote a companion volume, 500 Years of Chicana Women's History (2008), when she was in her 80s.

Martínez later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she again focused on community organizing, teaching women's studies, conducting anti-racist workshops and mentoring young activists. She also helped found the Institute for MultiRacial Justice. Martínez was lecturing and writing into her 80s and attending demonstrations until she moved into a residential care facility in San Francisco in 2012. 


Live from the Poisoned Pen Bookstore

On Tuesday night, the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, Ariz., hosted its first live author event since March 2020, a publication day party for T.J. Newman and her debut thriller, Falling. Owner Barbara Peters said, "We were touched and thrilled to welcome a limited number of readers into the store for our conversation which can be viewed on our FB video page (no need to belong to FB to view) or download the podcast. Newman lives locally which is a boon for the future."

Penn Press to Distribute Wharton School Press

The University of Pennsylvania Press (Penn Press) is now handling worldwide distribution, including digital asset management, warehousing, and marketing to all retail and wholesale channels, for Wharton School Press (WSP). Penn Press has distribution centers in North America and the U.K. and printing facilities on three continents, and also plans to increase WSP's sales reach online. Earlier this year, WSP, the book publishing division of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, had designated Penn Press its agent for sublicensing agreements.

The first book published under the new distribution partnership is Wharton professor Peter Cappelli's The Future of the Office: Work from Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face (August 10).

"As Wharton School Press celebrates its 10th year in operation, we are thrilled to build on our roots in digital publishing to reach a new level of growth through the partnership with Penn Press, an organization with more than 130 years of publishing experience," WSP director and publisher Shannon Berning said. "This partnership will enable WSP to expand the availability and impact of the business books we publish by Wharton faculty and other leading experts."

"This agreement between Wharton School Press and Penn Press is a milestone for both of our organizations," Penn Press director Mary Francis said. "This is an exciting and advantageous partnership that highlights the overlap of our shared missions: to publish and disseminate the timely and path-breaking scholarship that the University is producing."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rabbi Steve Leder on the Talk

Kelly Clarkson repeat: Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, author of The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable (Penguin Life, $14, 9781984878274).

The Talk: Rabbi Steve Leder, author of The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift (Avery, $26, 9780593187555).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Craig Melvin, author of Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father (Morrow, $26.99, 9780063071995).

This Weekend on Book TV: James Patterson and Bill Clinton

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, July 10
10 a.m. Fred Gray, author of Bus Ride to Justice (Revised Edition): Changing the System by the System, the Life and Works of Fred Gray (‎NewSouth Books, $29.95, 9781588384515). (Re-airs Saturday at 1 p.m. and 10 p.m.)

Sunday, July 11
8 a.m. Clint Smith, author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316492935). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. James Patterson and Bill Clinton, authors of The President's Daughter: A Thriller (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316540711). (Re-airs Sunday at 12 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Dambisa Moyo, author of How Boards Work: And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World (‎Basic Books, $30, 9781541619425). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and 10 p.m.)

3 p.m. George Packer, author of Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 9780374603663). (Re-airs Monday at 3 a.m.)

4:05 p.m. Peter Coleman, author of The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization (Columbia University Press, $27.95, 9780231197403). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m.)

5:40 p.m. Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song (Penguin Press, $30, 9781984880338). (Re-airs Monday at 5:40 a.m.)

7 p.m. Carol Roth, author of The War on Small Business: How the Government Used the Pandemic to Crush the Backbone of America (Broadside Books, $28.99, 9780063081413).

Books & Authors

Awards: CWA Dagger Winners

The Crime Writers' Association announced winners in 11 categories for the 2020 Dagger Awards. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker won the Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, with S.A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland and Nicci French's House of Correction receiving a "highly commended" nod in the category. The debut winner was Deception by Hannah Redding, with "highly commended" honors going to Underwater by Fiona McPhillips. Check out the complete list of Dagger winners here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 13:

Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency by Michael Wolff (Holt, $29.99, 9781250830012) concludes Wolff's Trump trilogy.

Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom by Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay (‎Hachette Books, $29, 9780306925634) outlines ways to protect abortion rights.

Rake's Progress: The Madcap True Tale of My Political Midlife Crisis by Rachel Johnson (‎Knopf, $26.95, 9780593318195) is the memoir of a British politician.

Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training by Adam Stern (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780358434733) is the memoir of a psychiatry resident.

Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light: Essays by Helen Ellis (‎Doubleday, $23, 9780385546157) contains 12 essays about being a middle-aged woman.

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan (‎Little, Brown, $28, 9780316704267) follows a couple obsessed with an Instagram star.

Ascension by Oliver Harris (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780358206668) is the second thriller with British spy Elliot Kane.

The Comfort of Monsters: A Novel by Willa C. Richards (‎Harper, $27.99, 9780063053021) follows a woman exploring the disappearance of her sister three decades ago.

The Curse of the Crystal Cavern by Francesco Sedita and Prescott Seraydarian, illus. by Steve Hamaker (Viking, $12.99, 9780425291900) is the second book in this middle-grade graphic novel series about five campers on a dangerous treasure hunt.

My Voice Is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen, illus. by Cathy Ann Johnson (Flamingo, $17.99, 9780593352182) is the country music singer-songwriter's picture book debut.

I Couldn't Love You More: A Novel by Esther Freud (Ecco, $16.99, 9780063057180).

How Sweet It Is by Dylan Newton (Forever, $15.99, 9781538754405).

The Cellist: A Novel by Daniel Silva (‎Harper, $28.99, 9780062834867).

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:

The World Gives Way: A Novel by Marissa Levien (Redhook, $28, 9780316592413). "The World Gives Way gave me so many things: a crime novel, a science fiction epic, but also something that explores the beauties of love and the strive to survive through it all. This is an adventure that I won't be forgetting any time soon." --Christian Vega, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, N.Y.

The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood by Krys Malcolm Belc (Counterpoint, $26, 9781640094383). "One of the best memoirs I've ever read about the messiness about parenthood, especially as a parent who gives birth both outside of and within 'motherhood.' I--we--so needed this book." --Anna Weber, White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Tangleroot Palace: Stories by Marjorie Liu (Tachyon Publications, $16.95, 9781616963521). "These small bites of fantasy and dark magic and even more dangerous characters are the best. Whether you devour it all at once or take those small bites and relish each short story, you will thoroughly enjoy this short story collection." --Sandi Cararo, The Book Dragon, Staunton, Va.

For Ages 4 to 8
Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott by Joyce Scott and Brie Spangler, illus. by Melissa Sweet (Knopf, $17.99, 9780525648116). "Judith Scott was a fiber artist with Down Syndrome living in an institution for 35 years before learning to create mixed media art. I loved this beautiful book by Judith's sister Joyce; and the reminder that too often we keep people who are different from us at a distance." --Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, N.C.

For Ages 8 to 12
Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter by Rich Moyer (Crown, $12.99, 9780593308912). "Ham Helsing is a surprising delight and a fresh take on the vampire-hunting legend. This graphic novel is chock-full of hammy humor, perfect puns, and swashbuckling adventure." --Cat Chapman, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, Fla.

For Teen Readers
We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9781534440272). "I really enjoyed this book. The romance is cute, but I felt like the main character's journey to figure herself out and how she fits in with her family was even more important than the romance, and was very well done. I enjoyed going on Quinn's journey with her." --Alissa Hugel, Folio Books, San Francisco, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Reading List

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (Morrow, $27.99 hardcover, 384p., 9780063025288, August 3, 2021)

In Sara Nisha Adams's sweet, pleasing debut, The Reading List, two lonely characters in contemporary London--and a host of friends and family--learn just how much books, and other people, have to offer.

Mukesh is grieving after his wife's death: "Now here he was, alone, still without any clue as to what he should do now she was gone, left in a lifeless, soulless, bookless house that had once been their home." He wishes he were as close to his granddaughter, Priya, as she was to her grandmother, but he does not share their love of reading. Then he finds an unreturned library book his late wife loved and gives it a chance.

Aleisha, 17, works at the library, but begrudgingly. Her older brother is the reader in the family. Both are slowly being crushed by their mother's oppressive depression; they've lost touch with their friends and even each other, leaving Aleisha alone in the world, traveling between work and home until even the boring local library begins to feel like a sanctuary. In a returned book, she finds a handwritten note that begins, "Just in case you need it," with a list of book titles. Not knowing why, she tucks it away.

Following a prologue introducing the titular reading list, sections of the novel are named for books (The Time Traveler's Wife, Rebecca and more); most chapters follow either Aleisha or Mukesh. In interstitial chapters labeled "The Reading List," other characters interact with the same mysterious document in their own ways--a crime thriller fan grieving a break-up; a lonely divorcé; a young woman who collects lists.

Out of guilt and boredom, Aleisha begins reading the books on the found list and recommending them to the elderly Hindu man who has tentatively begun to visit her library. Together, Mukesh and his teenaged librarian share what they read. Both are unpracticed, but each has much to gain from the developing friendship and the fictional worlds that transport them away from their daily struggles. When tragedy strikes, the friendship and the reading list may help them get through: " 'Aleisha,' Mukesh said softly. 'Please try to remember that books aren't always an escape; sometimes books teach us things. They show us the world; they don't hide it.' "

The Reading List is a tender novel about human connection and community and the healing power of reading, about the support and compassion that all people need at one time or another. This book is a soothing salve. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: A shared reading list improves the lives of two lonely individuals in this charming novel about the power of a good book.

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