Shelf Awareness for Friday, August 6, 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


Beausoleil Books, Lafayette, La., Unfazed by Defaced Pride Mural

"We don't want to give oxygen to hate," Bryan Dupree, owner of Beausoleil Books in Lafayette, La., told the Acadiana Advocate, after the bookstore's pride month mural was defaced at the end of July.

"We feel a lot of good support from our community, and whoever did that is just one person," Dupree continued. "We get praise and love and thanks for the type of environment we've created all the time. The number of people who support us far outnumber the person who came and defaced our temporary Pride sign."

Artist Ben Koch works on Beausoleil's Pride mural.

On July 30, Beausoleil Books general manager Alex Lemoine noticed that the store's Pride mural, which featured authors Yukio Mishima, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin and Virginia Woolf and more, had been defaced with the letters "KKK." On the same day, Dupree and his team found out that the store was featured in a VICE article about queer bookstores creating inclusive spaces. Both things happening on the same day, he remarked, helped him reframe it in his mind as a sign of success.

Dupree and his husband opened Beausoleil Books and the in-house bar the Whisper Room in October 2020. The store sells new books in English and French with a focus on local and diverse authors. Local artist Ben Koch, a friend of Lemoine, painted the mural in June.

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

International Update: France's 'Culture Pass' Boosts Manga Sales, New ABA Board Member

When the French government launched Culture Pass, a smartphone app that gives €300 (about $355) to every 18-year-old in the country "for cultural purchases like books and music, or exhibition and performance tickets, most young people's impulse wasn't to buy Proust's greatest works or to line up and see Molière. Instead, France's teenagers flocked to manga," the New York Times reported. 

As of the end of July, books represented more than 75% of all purchases made through the app since it was introduced nationwide in May, and two-thirds of the books were manga. The French news media has described it as a "manga rush," fueled by a "manga pass."

Naza Chiffert, who runs two independent bookstores in Paris, said the Culture Pass has already had a positive impact on her business: "Getting young people who read but who are more used to Amazon or big-box stores to come to us isn't easy," but now she has teenagers in her stores every day.

There has been pushback. The Times noted that "one large union representing hundreds of public cultural institutions, mainly in the performing arts, called the pass a 'presidential gadget' with 'exorbitant' funding.... Opponents accuse [French President Emmanuel] Macron of throwing cash at young people to court their vote before next year's presidential election and choosing an unregulated approach instead of funding existing cash-strapped outreach programs, like those run by youth community centers, that broaden access to culture in a more structured way."


Mark Laurie, co-owner with his wife Sarah of South Seas Books and Trading in Port Elliot, S.A., has joined the board of the Australian Booksellers Association. In the ABA's latest newsletter, Laurie noted that the bookshop, which they opened in 2009, is located in "a small, laid-back coastal town accessible to day-trippers and holiday makers from the city. We are well supported by our diverse local community and, in a low-key way, endeavoring to establish ourselves as a destination for visitors, to be seen as a central part of the southern Fleurieu experience. Our engaged and engaging staff are really the attraction we hope will yield this.... 

"As an independent bookseller, I've been very glad that there is an active and effective association representing and assisting us navigate the challenges we face, whether existential or more prosaic. I hope that, as a new member of its management committee, I'm able to play some small part in it continuing to provide the advice and support we all value as members. It's cliched to note that the world, and our part in it, is ever-changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. 

"As an industry, we have a vital role to play in opening eyes to such change, what it is and may become, a bulwark against passive acquiescence. Helping to ensure that reading remains at the core of culture and learning is no minor responsibility in the great scheme of things, balancing out the day-to-day joys of seeing new books pass into new hands."


Canadian bookseller Entershine Bookshop has opened at 196 Algoma St. S. in Thunder Bay, Ont. Co-owner David Tranter told the Chronicle-Journal that he and his business partners Lynne Warnick, Lori Carson and Jennifer McKenzie had been talking about opening the bookstore for a long time.

"With the pandemic, it kind of was that catalyst to say let's just do it," Tranter said. "There is such an emphasis on local shopping and supporting local businesses so we did our homework and found out that communities all over North America have local bookstores. We found this space and it was a perfect location in the Bay and Algoma neighborhood and we said, let's do it.... We sort of knew what we were getting into but you really never know what you are getting into. It was a lot of labor to renovate the space, build the bookshelves and think about what kind of books we wanted on the shelves." --Robert Gray

Noting that the bookshop has had a great response since opening July 24, Carson added: "We are doing our best to support the community's local artists and authors--in fact, we purchased our sign out front from someone in the community who made that for us. Our bookmarks are made by a local artist. We made a decision that we would not try to compete with our neighbors so we are trying to offer things like giftware that is unique and different."

Kranter noted that "people have been incredibly supportive. They have been so excited about having a (new) bookstore in Thunder Bay." --Robert Gray

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

Marysue Rucci to Head New Eponymous Imprint at Scribner

Marysue Rucci

Marysue Rucci is joining Scribner as v-p, publisher and editor-in-chief of a new imprint, Marysue Rucci Books. Rucci will begin at Scribner on September 7, and her authors will be published on the Scribner list beginning with the Summer 2022 season.

Rucci has been at Simon & Schuster for 24 years, and Scribner senior v-p and publisher Nan Graham called her "a singularly effective advocate for her books who is among the most respected and successful editors in the publishing industry. Her relationships with in-house colleagues, agents, booksellers, and other influencers are exceptional. She is one of those rare editors whose range spans from bestsellers to distinguished, award-worthy works.... Her facility and flair as an editor of bestselling suspense, literary fiction, and memoir will complement and build upon areas of publishing in which Scribner has historically excelled."

Among authors Rucci has worked with are Mona Awad, Mary Higgins Clark, Alafair Burke, Alice Elliott Dark, Nelson DeMille, Jessica Knoll, Lisa Lutz, Megan Miranda, and Cara Wall. (In one of the best lines in these kinds of announcements, Graham added that Rucci "also managed to survive working up close with Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.")

Among fiction titles Rucci has published are Little Bee by Chris Cleave, The Need by Helen Phillips (longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction), We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas, White Ivy by Susie Yang (a selection of the Read with Jenna/Today Show Book Club), Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon (longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction) and The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. Nonfiction titles include The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs and Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister. Two of her upcoming S&S titles are Smile by Sarah Ruhl and The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman.

Rucci's shift to Scribner also represents a kind of homecoming: she earlier was an editorial assistant at Scribner.

B&N Closes Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Store

Barnes & Noble has closed its store on Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre, Pa. WBRE reported that the bookstore "was run by Wilkes University, King's College and Barnes & Noble. The store also sold merchandise from both schools. Both schools decided this year to move on and to operate their own book stores on campus."

Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown said, "Naturally we don't like to see any business close downtown or in any other part of the city. But the city is coming back. I keep saying that there's always interest where businesses or other people expanding or bringing business from outside the area. I'm optimistic."

B&N customer John Puchniak told WBRE he would like to see another bookstore open here: "With Tudor Bookshop gone, B-Dalton Books gone, Willow Green Bookstore gone, Mike's Library gone, Book and Recordmart gone, it's a pity for the Wyoming Valley. It is."

Obituary Note: Bob Walsh

Bob Walsh, co-founder and former owner of Logos Bookstore in Oak Park, Ill., died July 28. He was 92. The Wednesday Journal reported that after a quarter-century as an investment analyst, Walsh and his wife Marietta "started their second chapter" by opening the Christian book and gift shop in 1976.

Logos Bookstore "flourished for the next quarter century and became a hub for family, friends, and community members to shop, work, and--most importantly--connect," the Wednesday Journal noted, adding that the Walshes sold their shop in 2001, and the new owner stayed in business until 2006, when she had to close after a search for a buyer proved unsuccessful. 


Image of the Day: '(Pandemic) Motherhood, Labor and Loss' Event in Minneapolis

Dreamsong Arts in Minneapolis, Minn., hosted Shannon Gibney, Kao Kalia Yang and Catherine Squires, editors and contributor to What God Is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color (University of Minnesota Press) and other community members in an event called "(Pandemic) Motherhood, Labor, and Loss." 

The event looked at how mothers were some of the most challenged during the pandemic, leaving the workforce in record numbers to care for their children with little governmental or societal support, examining the stories and experiences of mothers during this time, and now, as we emerge from it. Attendees also had the opportunity to view Dreamsong Art's inaugural exhibition, "A glitter of seas," which explores maternity through art by contemporary female artists. 

Pictured: (l.-r.) Rebecca Heidenberg, Kao Kalia Yang, Shannon Gibney, Beaudelaine Pierre, Catherine Squires 

Indie Bookseller at the Library

Read Books, Virginia Beach, Va., posted on Facebook yesterday from the Virginia Beach Public Library (Pungo-Blackwater): "[W]hen folks apologize for not purchasing a #book when they visit the shop and follow it with, 'I use the library,' I always respond with, 'Me too!'

  1. Please don't ever feel the need to apologize for not purchasing anything from our shop! We are just truly happy you stopped by!!
  2. Kristin is a librarian.  
  3. We just want you to #readbooks and we are honored and tickled when you choose to trust us to help you!
  4. We are personally committed to supporting our community by shopping small and hope you feel the same.
  5. We are committed to seeing the independent book selling community thrive in support of variety in voices.
  6. If you read this whole post, you are our people and we thank you."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lesley M.M. Blume on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Lesley M.M. Blume, author of Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World (Simon & Schuster, $17, 9781982128531).

TV: Sag Harbor

Boat Rocker Studios has put in development Colson Whitehead’s novel Sag Harbor as a TV series at HBO Max, Deadline reported. Daniel “Koa” Beaty will write the pilot. Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland’s Cinema Gypsy Productions (grown-ish, black-ish) is executive producing, alongside Koa and Whitehead.

"Colson is a once-in-a-generation author who has the unique ability to craft beautiful and authentic stories that captivate and transform readers and Sag Harbor is a true expression of that gift," said Katie O'Connell Marsh, vice-chair, Boat Rocker Studios, who is also an exec producer. "We're thrilled to be working with HBO Max, Cinema Gypsy, and Koa to bring this coming-of-age story to the screen."

"I'm honored to partner with this wonderful team, and to adapt Colson's beautiful book," said Beaty. "It's a world and family rarely seen on screen, and that's thrilling during these transformational times."

Movies: Spoiler Alert

Focus Features has greenlighted Spoiler Alert, a film adaptation of the memoir Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello, Deadline reported. Ben Aldridge (Fleabag) will star opposite Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory). Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) will direct from a script by David Marshall Grant, Dan Savage and Ausiello.

Showalter is producing with Jordana Mollick under their Semi-Formal Productions banner. Parsons is also producing with Todd Spiewak and Alison Mo Massey under their That's Wonderful Productions banner.

"The moment I finished Michael Ausiello's incredible book, I knew Focus needed to make this film," said Kiska Higgs, Focus Features' president of production and acquisitions. "We fell head over heels in love with Michael and Kit, and their classic New York romance, and we can't wait to see what Jim and Ben breathe into the roles. With Showalter's vision for the story's heart and humor, we hope not only to do justice to Michael and Kit's story but also to inspire the audience to love them as much as we do."

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Ackerley Winner

English PEN announced that Claire Wilcox won the £3,000 (about $4,170) PEN Ackerley Prize, which is presented annually to a literary autobiography of outstanding merit, written by an author of British nationality, and published in the U.K. in the previous year, for her memoir Patch Work: A Life Amongst Clothes. Two other books were shortlisted for the award: Darran Anderson's Inventory: A River, A City, A Family and Jean Sprackland's These Silent Mansions: A Life in Graveyards.

Noting that all three titles "achieved the same high standards that J.R. Ackerley did in his own autobiographical writings: imaginatively constructed, beautifully written, and unafraid to confront sometimes uncomfortable personal truths," chair of judges Peter Parker said: "In the end, however, it was not just the sheer quality of the writing, but the inventive and wonderfully aslant approach Claire Wilcox took to telling her own and other stories that made Patch Work this year's winner.... As its title suggests, the book is made up of vivid scraps skillfully stitched together to create a wonderfully glancing account of her life."

Reading with...Sara Nisha Adams

Sara Nisha Adams is a writer and editor. She lives in London and was born in Hertfordshire to Indian and English parents. Her debut novel, The Reading List (Morrow, August 3, 2021), is partly inspired by her grandfather, who lived in Wembley and found a connection with his granddaughter through books.

On your nightstand now:

There is a whole stack of books on my nightstand at the moment, because I'm excited for so many yet am reading slower than usual, finding time in short snatches here and there between reading for work and writing. But a selection of these I can't wait to read are: Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud; The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee; Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout--I know, I'm very late to the party; Popisho (or This One Sky Day in the U.K.) by Leone Ross; and The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. It was the book I read repeatedly. It got to the point that I knew the book so well, I could sometimes just replay the whole plot in my head when I was bored, or I would pick it up and dip in if I couldn't settle, and immerse myself fully. It taught me about the power of imagination, I think, and sometimes, the scenes are so memorable, I forget if they're real or fiction.

Your top five authors:

This is so hard, because I probably have a top 20 authors. But the authors I love and who I have read again and again ever since I was a teenager are: Arundhati Roy, Zadie Smith, Ali Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri and A.M. Homes.

Book you've faked reading:

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (I've read it now!): I once went to a talk Donna Tartt did at my university, before The Goldfinch came out, and I got to meet her and have my book signed. I felt like such a fraud going along because I'd never read her books before, but had always wanted to, and was surrounded by stalwart fans. So, when I met her, I told her I loved The Secret History and felt so guilty about it for days afterwards. But then I read The Secret History and The Little Friend and adored them both. So maybe it wasn't a lie after all--just a premonition.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. This is the book I've re-read the most. My copy is so worn and well-loved, one of my friends refused to borrow it from me in case it fell apart in their hands, for which they knew I'd never forgive them. But it's the book I recommend everyone to read. (As well as, more recently, Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny, which is joyous and smart.)

Book you've bought for the cover:

I buy lots of books because of their covers--one of the most obscure ones I've picked up is a cloth-bound artsy coffee-table book called From Cats to Kittens by Walter Chandoha (published in 1965), which we found in a second-hand bookshop, with a fancy Russian doll-style silhouette of a cat and a kitten on the front cover. And it's full of gorgeous black-and-white photos of cats and kittens. Who could resist?

Book you hid from your parents:

There is only really one book that I've hidden from my parents, and it was passed around between so many of my friends over months and months that the cover was completely battered and barely legible, so I can't remember the title now, and it spent most of its time with me hidden under my pillow or read with the cover obscured from view anyway, but it was a YA novel about relationships and sex, told from the perspective of teenage boys--and all the girls I knew read it and shared it with fascination and a terrified kind of curiosity.

Book that changed your life:

It has to be The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy--for so many reasons, but particularly because it made me think about books, prose and literature, and the power they hold, in a very different way.

Favorite line from a book:

I think it'd be too hard to pick just one favourite, but a line that moved me recently, and has felt particularly poignant since, is from Daisy Johnson's incredible novel Sisters: "Grief is a house with no windows or doors and no way of telling the time."

Five books you'll never part with:

The copy of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett that my Granny gave me when I was little--she saved it for years, determined the text was too small for me to read until I was a bit older, so when I eventually got to enjoy it, I savoured every page. My copies of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, of course, and the battered 1963 Penguin paperback copy of The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck that my dad lent to me that I've never given back--but have never read, either.

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

The Shining by Stephen King: I read it in the middle of the night during my school holidays one year, when I was probably a bit too young, and I've never felt so tense as I turned the pages, and I'd love to feel that rooted to the spot again.

Book Review

Review: Now Beacon, Now Sea: A Son's Memoir

Now Beacon, Now Sea: A Son's Memoir by Christopher Sorrentino (Catapult, $26 hardcover, 304p., 9781646220427, September 7, 2021)

As bohemian childhoods go, Christopher Sorrentino's sounds pretty dreamy: in Now Beacon, Now Sea: A Son's Memoir, he reports that in 1970, when he was in the first grade, he and his parents moved into a Greenwich Village subsidized housing complex for artists. (His father was the novelist and poet Gilbert Sorrentino.) Young Sorrentino got to chat with Mark Rothko at a New Year's party, and he once had "a profoundly inappropriate" Hubert Selby Jr. as a babysitter. But Sorrentino's mother, Victoria, was a barricade between him and a happy childhood, likely a response to her own unhappy adulthood. In his sagacious and heartbreaking memoir, Sorrentino says of Victoria's stake in her free-flowing exhibitions of anger, "Laying blame for the thing she endured was always the delayed reward for having endured it."

Sorrentino offers a survey of Victoria's lifelong discontent, which manifested itself as social isolation and rage against everyone she knew--behind their backs if they didn't live with her and to their faces if they did. Her cruelties, which met little to no resistance from Sorrentino's father, could be physical, as when she gave her son a bloody nose when he caught her making a mistake, but she was more likely to wound internally, as when she discouraged her son's artistic ambitions (he would go on to write the celebrated novel Trance, among others). Toward the end of Victoria's life--she died in 2017--she had become, writes Sorrentino, "this person with whom I had, in her last decade, sometimes gone for months and years without speaking."

Now Beacon, Now Sea teems with anecdotes about Victoria that suggest collaborative causes of her chronic depression: the physical abuse she suffered as a child, her conflicted feelings about her Puerto Rican heritage and the lupus that began to affect her in the late 1960s. With neither vengefulness nor varnish, Sorrentino has written a stupendous exploratory work with perhaps a single blind spot. His mom complained about the one job she held during his childhood, when the family was briefly in a tight financial spot, but readers may wonder if Victoria, who always had a book at hand and never met a piece of paper that she didn't festoon with a list or a schedule, might have found fulfillment in a career--something that her generation of women had been discouraged from pursuing, much less admitting that they wanted. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: Novelist Christopher Sorrentino has written a stunning, gutting memoir about his life as the son of a chronically depressed mother and a celebrated writer father.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: National Book Lovers Day & Instagrammable Bookshops

Bookshops lend themselves easily to Instagram. So much effort goes into the design of each book, and then into their presentation in a shop, that the results can't help but dazzle.

--TimeOut London in a piece headlined: "London has one of the most Instagrammable bookshops in the world"

How did you celebrate National Book Lovers Day 2020? Housebound, perhaps, by an earlier Covid-19 pandemic variant (in an apparently endless series), you might have had a hard time of it. Or maybe you didn't, since celebrating this particular unofficial holiday can so easily be accomplished with just a novel, cup of tea and cozy reading chair.

So, do you have more ambitious plans for National Book Lovers Day 2021 this coming Monday, August 9? No? What's that? You mean to tell me you've never heard of it?

My own annual festivities have long been AWOL, too, but I did have a great excuse. Despite being a lifelong reader and a relatively professional book person, I'd never had #NationalBookLoversDay cross my path. But now I have, thanks to the Knowledge Academy, which provides classroom and online training courses globally, and introduced me to the holiday in an e-mail earlier this week. 

The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles

This is what I learned: For National Book Lovers Day 2021, the Knowledge Academy commissioned an Instagram exploration to find the most "Insta-worthy" bookstores around the world in an effort to help book lovers "gather inspiration for their travel bucket lists." The goal was to determine the most picture-worthy bookstores by analyzing Instagram hashtag volumes. 

How, you might ask, does a bookshop achieve high-end Instagrammability? Good question. Employing in-house metrics, the Knowledge Academy created a seed list of famous bookstores worldwide, based on total Instagram hashtag counts that were collected for each store. Where appropriate, variations of each hashtag were considered, then all the data was amalgamated and ranked. According to the study, the top 15 bookstores Insta-worthy bookstores worldwide are:  

  1. The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S. (110,498 hashtags)
  2. Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., U.S. (94,241)
  3. Book and Bed, Tokyo, Japan (83,989)
  4. Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France (80,660)
  5. Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal (76,042)
  6. Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy (43,793)
  7. Cărturești Carusel, Bucharest, Romania (36,854)
  8. BooksActually, Singapore (24,635)
  9. City Lights Books, San Francisco, Calif., U.S. (21,452)
  10. Daunt Books, London, England (21,121)
  11. Barter Books, Alnwick, England (14,331)
  12. El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina (13,952)
  13. Livraria Ler Devagar, Lisbon, Portugal (10,552)
  14. El Pendulo, Mexico City, Mexico (9,521)
  15. Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece (6,933)

For the U.S., in addition to taking gold and silver medals in the unofficial Knowledge Academy Instagram Hashtag Olympics with the Last Bookstore ("Their doors first opened in 2005 and this now two-story shop filled with over 250,000 new and used books, has become one of the largest independent bookstores in the world," the Knowledge Academy noted) and Powell's Books ("has been serving as an oasis for booklovers since 1971 which just goes to show that paperbacks aren't going out of fashion anytime soon"), the legendary destination bookshop City Lights also made the top 10.

Time Out London was one  of the first media outlets to feature the Insta-worthy list this week, reporting Wednesday that the city "obviously has plenty of beautiful bookshops, but only one made it into the Knowledge Academy's top 10 most Instagrammable bookshops in the world chart: Daunt Books came in at number 10--and it's not hard to see why. Daunt's Marylebone branch is a long, narrow refuge of deep oak bannisters, ornate green lamps and arching stained glass. Opened in 1912, it claims to have been the first custom-built bookshop in the world."

Checking in Thursday was TimeOut Los Angeles, which noted: "The Last Bookstore's arched tunnels of tomes and peekaboo windows of hardcovers are an Instagram fixture, but we're not sure we ever realized just how popular they really are."

Some of the booksellers in the top 15 are quite familiar stops for gorgeous bookshops of the world list aficionados, among whom I am a card-carrying member in good standing. We've all seen the usual suspects over the years ("Coolest Bookstores Around The World"; "The World’s Most Beautiful Bookstores"; "12 Beautiful Bookstores That Are Worth Traveling For"; even, coincidentally, "11 of the most Instagrammable Bookshops in the World"). 

Barter Books, Alnwick, England

Atlantis Books ("Established in 1922 by magicians it's said to be a birth-place of modern witchcraft, with coven meetings held regularly in their basement," the Knowledge Academy wrote) has long been a staple of those lists, as have Shakespeare and Company and Livraria Lello.

Singapore's wonderful BooksActually, alas, had to transition to an online-only bookshop during the Covid-19 pandemic, but owner Kenny Leck seems to be doing well despite the loss of his beautiful bricks-and-mortar location.

Between the Covid-19 Delta variant, airline delays and international travel restrictions, Instagram may be the best way to travel anywhere at the moment, so visiting these irresistible bookshops will have to be a virtual adventure. Perhaps I'll celebrate National Book Lovers Day on Monday with the proverbial book, coffee and cozy chair combo and, at some point, work in an Instagram tour of beautiful bookshops worldwide to imagine the possibilities. Guess that's what a reader's mind does best anyway.

--Robert Gray, editor

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