Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 12, 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


Booksweet, Ann Arbor, Mich., Hosting Grand Opening

After a soft launch on August 6, Booksweet in Ann Arbor, Mich., is hosting its grand opening today, Michigan Live reported.

Store owners Shaun Manning and Truly Render have opened Booksweet in the storefront that previously housed the indie bookstore Bookbound. Peter and Megan Blackshear, the owners of Bookbound, announced in May that they would close their store. Manning and Render, who had always talked about owning a bookstore, decided to jump in and "continue the vision" of the Blackshears.

The store sells academic titles as well as books that "appeal to the general community." Compared to Bookbound, Booksweet will have an expanded selection of children's and YA graphic novels. 

This evening's grand opening celebration will feature a host from the literacy nonprofit Black Men Read, who will lead a "Reading Rainbow-like experience." There will also be poetry, live music and desserts, and everything will take place outdoors.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Jenny Wapner New Publisher of Hardie Grant North America

Jenny Wapner

Jenny Wapner has been named publisher of Hardie Grant North America, a newly created position. She was most recently executive editor at Ten Speed Press, and has 20 years of experience in book publishing, working in a range of genres, including cooking, design, photography, natural science, and lifestyle.

Julie Pinkham, Hardie Grant Publishing Group managing director, said, "We are thrilled that Jenny will bring her publishing expertise and deep understanding of the U.S. market to this new role. As our publisher in North America, I know Jenny will publish books that are beautiful, important, and award-winning, adding to the already exceptional Hardie Grant list."

Wapner commented: "I've long admired Hardie Grant, and the opportunity to expand their publishing into the United States is both thrilling and an absolute honor. As an independent publisher with a stellar reputation, I feel that this is an exciting and needed addition to the American publishing landscape."

Founded in 1997 in Melbourne, Australia, Hardie Grant publishes from Australia, London, and San Francisco. The company focuses on illustrated books in categories that include food and drink, design and interiors, popular culture, and craft. Last month, it became fully independent when Pinkham, founders Fiona Hardie and Sandy Grant and publishing veteran Ian Webster bought out the part of Hardie Grant owned by Associated Media Investments.

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

Dedicated Marketing/Publicity Teams for Viking Penguin and Riverhead

In a reorganization at Penguin Publishing Group, Riverhead and Viking Penguin will no longer share marketing teams and will each have their own marketing and publicity teams, effective immediately.

Allison R. Dobson, president of the Penguin Publishing Group, explained in a memo to staff that both imprints "have experienced such tremendous growth during this time, thanks in part to runaway hits and perennial bestsellers amid their acclaimed fiction and nonfiction jewels," and the move will "ensure we can continue to grow and to build upon our collective strength and the richness of our publishing programs."

As a result, at Riverhead, Jynne Dilling Martin has been promoted to v-p, deputy publisher, Riverhead, "now overseeing both Riverhead's publicity and marketing teams, and continuing to report to Geoff Kloske, president and publisher of Riverhead." She has headed Riverhead's publicity department since she joined the company in 2011.

Now reporting to Martin is Ashley Sutton, director of marketing, Riverhead. Continuing to report to Sutton--and now focusing exclusively on Riverhead books--are Nora Alice Demick and Kasey Feather. Joining this team is Tasha Harris.

In 17 years at Penguin, Kate Stark, senior v-p, and associate publisher, has "played a significant and immersive role in the numerous publishing triumphs at both Riverhead and Viking Penguin--spearheading innovative marketing efforts for both imprints, as well as leading the publicity group at Viking Penguin for these last four years," Dobson continued. With the reorganization, she will report to Brian Tart, president and publisher of Viking Penguin, and focus full-time on Viking and Penguin, with equal emphasis on frontlist at Viking, Pamela Dorman Books, Penguin Life, and the Open Field, and backlist at Penguin Books and Penguin Classics.

Stark is responsible for both the marketing and publicity departments at Viking Penguin. Mary Stone, director of marketing, will continue to report to Stark, and lead a marketing team that is now focused exclusively on Viking Penguin. On the team are Lydia Hirt, who continues to report to Stark, as well as Molly Fessenden, Brooke Halsted, Alex Cruz-Jimenez and Amanda Inman.

Lindsay Prevette, executive director of publicity, continues to report to Stark. The Viking Penguin publicity department will be realigned to concentrate on the expanding and distinct categories of the Viking Penguin list, in particular, commercial and literary fiction, as well as inspiration, wellness and high-profile non-fiction.

In related changes, Rebecca Marsh is promoted to director of publicity for Viking Penguin, and Sara Leonard is promoted to publicist for Viking Penguin.

Viking Penguin director of publicity Louise Braverman will be leaving the company. She joined Viking Penguin in 2006 as associate director of publicity.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

International Update: Scottish Indie Dedicated to Women's Writing Opens, U.K. Bookseller Retiring After 45 Years

Rare Birds Book Shop, an independent bookseller dedicated to women's writing, opened recently at 13 Raeburn Place in Stockbridge, a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland. The store is owned by Rachel Wood and was born out of her "desire to center and 'celebrate' words by women," the Bookseller reported. Wood launched the Rare Birds Book Club and subscription service four years ago, and considers the bookshop an extension of that online community. 

"The success of the book club certainly made it possible to make this dream a reality," she said. "I had a vision of a headquarters for us; where we could work from and run the subscription, host events and showcase the books and authors we love."

Rare Birds Books is a trans-inclusive celebration of women's writing. Wood observed: "I'm sure I'm not alone in my experience of studying English literature at school--the reading lists were dominated by male authors and I became conscious of the fact that the male perspective of the world was basically the default lens we were viewing the world through.

"At some point I started thinking about what would happen if this were the other way around--what if the default point of view was female? What themes would come up? What would we notice? It was an interesting idea for me and I started making a point of seeking out female authors in my own reading."

When she launched Rare Birds, Wood said she "wanted to shine a spotlight on all the interesting books women were writing and bring them to the notice of our readers, and then I wanted to completely neutralize the tedious conversation that's so often attached to women's writing."


Mandy Vere at News from Nowhere

Mandy Vere, a "steadfast member of the radical bookselling community," plans to retire after working for 45 years at News from Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop in Liverpool, England, which is run by a women's co-operative, the Bookseller reported. She is the longest-serving member of the shop's staff, having started her full-time job when she was 21. 

"I realized that this was my vocation really--I loved bookselling, I loved the books, obviously the politics--all right up my street," she said, adding: "Liverpool is a very political city, and people absolutely love the bookshop. It wears its heart on its sleeve. We have books about every subject under the sun but always with a social justice message. We've got loads of young people coming in at the moment, buying their badges and flags, buying their books on feminism and anti-racism. There's a lovely vibe to the place. It's much more than a bookshop."

Vere added: "I never thought I would want to retire because I love my job, I love being a bookseller, I love News from Nowhere, I love Liverpool, I love all our customers and I love finding the right books for people--but having said that there's a number of things that have come together in my life. I've become a granny so I'm very involved with my grandson, and I was on furlough for part of the year last year. When you get a bit older it does take it out of you, running so fast. I'm very involved in campaigns--we're trying to stop the arms fair that's coming to Liverpool in October, there's a lot I'd like to continue doing with feminism and women's rights campaigns. I also love walking and bird watching--so there's lots of things I want to do more of, all the things you can't manage when you're working full time.... I'm sure I will come in and help out whenever they need someone, but I've got a lot of things in my life I love. It's a big thing to leave when it's your life's work."


For the latest entry in a series run in partnership with the Melbourne City of Literature Office to showcase bookstores in the UNESCO Cities of Literature network, Books+Publishing connected with La librairie de la bande dessinée et de l'image ("or, in its (non-literal) English translation, The comics museum bookshop of  Angoulême") in Southwestern France.

"Angoulême is well known for is its annual International Comics Festival, an event that reflects the vibrant comics culture of the area--something which has been growing over the past 50 years," Books+Publishing noted. 

"The bookstore itself was opened about 30 years ago," said bookseller Aurélien Chaignepain. In 2009, the store moved to new, more spacious premises, "located in the Saint-Cybard district of Angoulême, at the bottom of the center of the town. The actual building we are in is a beautifully renovated architectural structure from the 19th century, which used to be warehouses for all sorts of industries, and most recently cellars to stock felt pens and pencils, linked to the paper industry which flourished in the town many years ago."

Asked about future plans for the shop, Chaignepain replied: "To continue to be a major part of the local and national cultural life--and of course to continue to read and sell many, many fabulous comic books to come!" --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Doris Orgel

Doris Orgel, author of more than 40 children's and YA books as well as translations and retellings of classic fairy tales, Greek myths and other titles, died August 4. She was 92.

Born in Vienna, Orgel and her family fled Austria after the Nazi takeover in 1938, traveling via Yugoslavia and the U.K. to the U.S., where she lived the rest of her life. She wrote in part about her childhood in the novel The Devil in Vienna, which was a Phoenix Award Honor book, an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and the Golden Kite Award. Centered on the friendship of two girls, one Jewish and one whose family becomes involved with the Nazis, the book was made into a 1988 Disney Channel film retitled A Friendship in Vienna, which starred Jane Alexander, Stephen Macht and Edward Asner.

Two of her books--Sarah's Room and her translation of Dwarf Long-Nose by Wilhelm Hauff (which won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award)--were illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Merry, Rose, and Christmas-Tree June was illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Many of her works addressed contemporary issues, including busy parents, divorce, the death of pets, and first sexual experiences.

Besides Hauff, her translations included work by the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano and Theodor Storm. Her translations of Nero Corleone: A Cat's Story by Elke Heidenreich and Daniel Half Human by David Chotjewitz were Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Books, recognizing outstanding translated children's books.

She also reviewed for the New York Times and was a longtime participant in the Bank Street Writers Lab.

She once advised writers to "Dig back in your life to when you were the age you're writing for. Keep writing to confirm that you are meant to do so. At best, you will discover you are a strong writer. If not, then facing how hard writing is will help you sense how far you've come, and how much farther you still have to go."

On the Children's Book Council Web site, Orgel explained the sources of her inspiration: "The ancient Greeks believed the Muse, a goddess of the arts, inspired (literally, breathed) words, whole songs into a poet's ear. For us now, inspiration comes from many sources. Encouragement can bring it on. Or someone we admire, an agent or an editor, suggests a topic, the topic catches on fire... And for a blessed interval, before I face up to the problems and sheer hard work ahead, I bask in feeling certain that I'm in to something I was born to write."


'Best Independent Bookstores Across the U.S.'

To celebrate National Book Lovers Day earlier this week, Veranda showcased its picks for the "best independent bookstores across the U.S.," noting: "One of the most powerful attributes of books are their ability to unite people from different walks of life, and there's no place to experience this connection than at your local bookstore.

"In recent years, online retailers and the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic have challenged small, locally owned bookstores. However, many have proven their importance as community staples, offering one-of-a-kind lectures and rare editions you can only find within that shop's four walls. Discover some of our favorite independent bookstores in the country that not only impress with their collections but in their roles as cultural institutions."

Personnel Changes at Workman; Disruption Books

Christian Westermann has been promoted to associate manager, field sales & retail marketing for all Workman Publishing Co. imprints. Before joining the company two years ago as assistant manager, trade sales & retail marketing, he was sales & marketing manager at Europa Editions. In his new role at Workman, Westermann will continue to create programming for the independent bookstore market, as well as oversee cross-imprint marketing and promotions on


Janet Potter, formerly events & marketing manager at Independent Publishers Group, has joined Disruption Books as marketing director.

Video: Next Page Books Featured on Good Morning America

ABC's Good Morning America was in Iowa in anticipation of today's inaugural MLB Field of Dreams game, and as part of its coverage checked in with several local businesses, including Next Page Books in Cedar Rapids. 

Owner Bart Carithers posted on Facebook Wednesday: "It's not every day that a crew from ABC's Good Morning America stops by the store. They were great and, hopefully, I didn't say anything to embarrass myself. Who knows, they may edit me out of the final piece." They didn't, and yesterday Carithers added: "I did my best."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kent Babb on the Today Show

Today Show: Kent Babb, author of Across the River: Life, Death, and Football in an American City (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062950598).

Tamron Hall repeat: Samantha Busch, author of Fighting Infertility: Finding My Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF, and Miscarriage (Health Communications, $16.95, 9780757323836).

Wendy Williams repeat: Margaret Josephs, author of Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget: How to Survive in Business and Life (Gallery, $28, 9781982172411).

The Talk repeat: Gina Yashere, author of Cack-Handed: A Memoir (Amistad, $26.99, 9780062961716).

This Weekend on Book TV: Michael C. Bender on Frankly, We Did Win This Election

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, August 14
4 p.m. Erik Dorr and Jared Frederick, authors of Hang Tough: The WWII Letters and Artifacts of Major Dick Winters (‎Permuted Press, $30, 9781682619179). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m.)

7 p.m. Katherine Carte, author of Religion and the American Revolution: An Imperial History (University of North Carolina Press, $49.95, 9781469662640). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 a.m.)

Sunday, August 15
8:40 a.m. Michael C. Bender, author of Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost (Twelve, $30, 9781538734803). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:40 p.m.)

9:45 a.m. John Fund, co-author of Our Broken Elections (Encounter, $28.99, 9781641772082). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:45 p.m.)

2 p.m. Robert Pearl, author of Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors and Patients (PublicAffairs, $30, 9781541758278). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 a.m.)

3:30 p.m. Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $40, 9780374185138). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:30 a.m.)

4:35 p.m. George Gilder, author of ‎ Gaming AI: Why AI Can't Think but Can Transform Jobs (Discovery Institute, $7.95, 9781936599875).

4:55 p.m. Jackie Calmes, author of Dissent: The Radicalization of the Republican Party and Its Capture of the Court (‎Twelve, $32.50, 9781538700792).

6 p.m. Zachary Karabell, author of Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power (‎Penguin Press, $30, 9781594206610).

7 p.m. Meighan Stone and Rachel Vogelstein, authors of Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women's Rights (‎PublicAffairs, $28, 9781541758629).

Books & Authors

Awards: Pushkin House Russian Book Shortlist; NZ's Sir Julius Vogel Winners

A shortlist has been released for the £10,000 (about $13,905) Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, which is "designed to showcase, reward and encourage original, insightful and well written books and to encourage public understanding and intelligent debate around the country and its culture." The winner will be announced in late October. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Turned on the West by Catherine Belton

The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War by Archie Brown
Late Stalinism: The Aesthetics of Politics by Evgeny Dobrenko

The Lockhart Plot: Love, Betrayal, Assassination and Counter-Revolution in Lenin's Russia by Jonathan Schneer

Leo Tolstoy by Andrei Zorin

Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin's Russia by Katherine Zubovich


Winners have been named in several categories for this year's Sir Julius Vogel Awards for New Zealand science fiction, fantasy and horror, Books + Publishing reported. The awards are administered by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand and were presented  August 7 at the organization's one-day event in Wellington. The winning titles include:

Adult novel: The Stone Wētā by Octavia Cade
YA novel: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Novella/novelette: No Man's Land by A.J. Fitzwater
Collected work: The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater
Professional artwork: Laya Rose, cover art for No Man's Land by A.J. Fitzwater

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new hardcovers appearing next Tuesday, August 17:

All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King, Johnette Howard and Maryanne Vollers (‎Knopf, $30, 9781101947333) is the memoir of the groundbreaking tennis star.

Complications: A Novel by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $28.99, 9781984821492) follows the guests and new management of a recently renovated Parisian luxury hotel.

Bloodless by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (‎Grand Central, $29, 9781538736708) is the 20th book with FBI Special Agent Pendergast.

What Do You Say?: How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson (‎Viking, $28, 9781984880369) is a guide to communicating with adolescents.

The History of Bones: A Memoir by John Lurie (‎Random House, $28, 9780399592973) is the memoir of a musician in 1980s New York.

Mystery: A Seduction, A Strategy, A Solution by Jonah Lehrer (Avid Reader Press/S&S, $28, 9781501195877) explores the psychology behind mystery and suspense.

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao (Bloomsbury Teen, $17.99, 9781547603978) is a YA thriller in which four teens are suspected of having made their classmate disappear.

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride (Feiwel and Friends, $18.99, 9781250780362) is a bildungsroman ghost story.

Night Music: A Novel by Jojo Moyes (Penguin Books, $17, 9780735222311).

The First Survivors of Alzheimer's: How Patients Recovered Life and Hope in Their Own Words by Dale Bredesen (Avery, $17, 9780593192429).

Battle Royal: A Novel by Lucy Parker (Avon, $15.99, 9780063040069).

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:

It's Not What You Thought It Would Be by Lizzy Stewart (Fantagraphics, $24.99, 9781683964353). "Through Lizzy Stewart's wistful art, these stories feel like bruises that leave you tender, thoughtful, and forgiving for not living up to your own expectations when adulthood isn't at all that you'd imagined." --Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.

The Book of Accidents: A Novel by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey, $28.99, 9780399182136). "Despite the classically creepy content of a true horror tale, I found myself devouring these pages before going to sleep at night and seeking them out again first thing in the morning, nightmares be damned." --Sara Knight, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo.

It Happened One Summer: A Novel by Tessa Bailey (Avon, $15.99, 9780063045651). "This story opened its broad arms and admitted me into the recharging station that I needed so badly in 2021. It was cute. It was sweet. It was heart-wrenching. It was steamy. It was everything!" --Stephanie Arrache, Waterwheel Gifts and Books, Dubois, Wyo.

For Ages 4 to 8
Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Atheneum, $17.99, 9781534466982). "A normal day at the zoo for the Dracula family quickly goes awry when Baby Dracula switches places with a penguin! Definitely one of my new favorite Halloween-adjacent books." --Abby Rice, The Briar Patch, Bangor, Maine

For Ages 8 to 13
Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, trans. by Avery Fischer Udagawa, illus. by Miho Satake (Yonder, $18, 9781632063038). "Temple Alley Summer is like a three-in-one book--a manga-like feel, a modern Japanese story, and fable, all in one. I loved the ghost girl, Akari, and the genuine Kazu. This could be a read aloud or a stand-alone book. One of my summer picks!" --Kira Wizner, Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062894250). "Eerie and chilling to the bone, The River Has Teeth holds back no punches. Unique magic and two girls set on their own quests for vengeance will keep readers turning these pages--and looking over their shoulder for any monsters in the night." --Brad Sells, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Shaadi Set-Up

The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale (Putnam, $16 paperback, 368p., 9780593328712, September 7, 2021)

The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale features young star-crossed ex-lovers who stubbornly resist each other's charms while everyone around them--their families and a popular Indian matrimonial website's sophisticated algorithm included--wishes they would just figure it out already!

The story is narrated by Rita, a talented antique furniture restorer with a vivacious personality and two adorable sidekicks, a French bulldog named Freddie and a Jack Russell terrier mix named Harrie. The love of her life, Milan, broke up with her a few years ago, but Rita is doing a pretty good job of moving on. She's in a relationship with her handsome Tinder date, Neil, and likes everything about him except for his maddening habit of talking with his mother as he gets ready for work every morning--nothing kills romance like a daily wake-up call from a lover's mother.

Maternal characters loom large and bring refreshing comic relief to The Shaadi Set-Up,including Rita's and Milan's moms, best friends who hatch a plot to get their children back together. Rita has a good eye for interior design, and Milan is a successful realtor with a listing that just won't sell. It's clear to the moms that he needs Rita's help to make the house attractive to potential buyers. Initially horrified when Milan shows up at her family home (thanks to some devious planning on her mother's part), Rita is blown away by his magnetic presence. She agrees to help him, attracted by the idea of an exciting decorating challenge that pays well. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with Milan again, despite his undeniable charisma.

The Shaadi Set-Up is YA author Vale's first novel for adults (after Small Town Hearts), a pitch-perfect contemporary love story set in North Carolina. Rita is unapologetically sensual and represents a generational wave of confident female literary characters successfully straddling their Indian subcontinental heritage with lives lived entirely in the United States. Convinced that she can deflect her mom's focus on getting her and Milan back together again, Rita signs up with an Indian matrimonial website,, and is shocked to discover that the website seems to know her better than she knows herself.

Entertaining throughout, Vale's delightful storytelling will charm readers with mouth-watering depictions of Rita's favorite meals, hilarious antics by Freddie and Harrie and the delicious drama that unfolds as Rita and Milan find their way back to each other. --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer

Shelf Talker: This lighthearted romantic drama with a South Asian twist features a woman searching for her soulmate against the backdrop of a gorgeous old house in the North Carolina countryside.

Powered by: Xtenit