Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 25, 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


Grand Opening for Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop in Rome, N.Y.

Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop recently hosted a grand opening celebration with the Rome [N.Y.] Area Chamber of Commerce, the Central New York Business Journal reported. Jason Tockey, executive director of the Rome Art & Community Center, presented a "First Dollar of Profit" award during the ribbon cutting to owner Julie Whittemore.

Whittemore said she aims for the bookshop, which is located at 236 W. Dominick St. in the Rome Arts District, to be "a safe place for people of all backgrounds and to carry a unique array of literature of all genres for teen and adult readers."

"Well, that was fun," Whittemore posted on Facebook at grand opening day's end. "I want to thank everybody who came out today to support my bookshop's opening! A further note: today was so wonderfully attended that I actually sold out of many items. I'm busy restocking, but hope you will come to visit me this weekend to browse the thousands of books that are here!"

On Saturday, she noted: "Today wraps up my first few days of business. I will be closed Sunday and Monday. It's been an exhausting week! But well worth it. I have had nothing but good wishes and amazing vibes. I'm spending the evening placing orders to restock. I promise there are more copies of Dune on the way!"

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

Ownership Change at Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, N.C.

Shannon Jones

Dave and Deb White, who co-owned Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, N.C., with Steve Mitchell and Brian Lampkin, have sold their interest in the store to long-time employee Shannon Jones and her husband, Darren Jones.

In a message to customers announcing the change, Lampkin and Mitchell noted that Dave and Deb White were part-owners of the store for seven years, and "their commitment to keeping Scuppernong alive was unwavering and their generosity behind the scenes went unacknowledged, but was a life force for the store." They've moved to Virginia.

Shannon Jones has been a "fixture at Scuppernong for seven years," and responsible for making the store's "children's and young adult sections the talk of the town." Beyond that, she's "brought life to many once moribund sections of the store." Mitchell and Lampkin added they are "thrilled she's thrown in with us even as we question her choice of business partners."

GLOW: Tordotcom: The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill

International Update: Thalia's Online Sales Jump 65%, Three Bookshop Tips for Holiday Season

Online sales in the year ended September 30 rose 65% and now account for 40% of overall sales at Thalia Books, Germany's major bookstore chain, the company announced. Bricks-and-mortar sales fell 16%, and the company's overall sales rose 7%, to €1.1 billion (about $1.28 billion). Thalia has approximately 350 bookstores in Germany and Austria and owns 50% of Orell Füssli Thalia, which has more than 30 bookstores in Switzerland.

Thalia said that the drop in sales in bookstores was because of  government-ordered pandemic closures over five months, which caused "the important bricks-and-mortar Christmas business to completely disappear." Nonetheless, the company didn't close any stores or let any staff go because of the pandemic.

CEO Michael Busch said that "the joy over our sales gain doesn't lessen our disappointment that we didn't meet our goals for the fiscal year. The damage of the forced closings of our bookstores in both years of the pandemic has amounted to about €65 million [about $75.7 million]. The government has contributed a modest double-figure amount in the millions. We've had to finance the rest through credit--as a result we're missing many millions of euros for necessary investments."


BookNet Canada offered three tips to boost bookstore's holiday shopping season, including:

Welcome holiday shoppers online and in-store
During the first half of 2021, 39% of Canadians visited a bookstore online and 24% of Canadians visited a bookstore in-person. This is expected to continue throughout the holiday season. As of June 2021, 58% of U.S. holiday shoppers will shop online more this season than in previous years and 86% of U.S. shoppers will shop in-store this holiday season.

Make sure holiday shoppers can find your store
In the first half of 2021, 50% of Canadian book buyers browsed for books on a store's website, 24% by search engine, and 19% in-store.... It's estimated that 26% of U.S. shoppers plan to use social media to assist them in their holiday shopping. For Canadian readers, 22% discover books on social media.

Be ready for holiday shoppers earlier than ever
In 2020, Canadian holiday shoppers started buying books in the first half of November--a week or two earlier than usual.... More than half of U.S. holiday shoppers will shop earlier to avoid an item being out of stock (59%)--so much so that by June 2021, 31% of U.S. shoppers had already started their 2021 holiday shopping.


"There are moments when I have this kind of crazy thought, that our job is the easiest in the world," La libreria del Golem in Turin, Italy, posted on Facebook, noting: "It's easy to feel placidly alive, part of a bigger organism, but always alive and dynamic. It's those moments that you enjoy the numbness of being able to relax while working. Like when you pedal a straight line without hands, maybe they're even in your pocket, listening to music; you keep going because it's natural to do it, but at the same time you're still in your inner place. Sometimes it's really easy to do our job, thanks to everyone who makes it so." --Robert Gray

Soho Press: Black Dove by Colin McAdam

Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton: An Unusual ABA Meeting in 1995

Oren Teicher

Oren Teicher, former CEO of the American Booksellers Association, remembers an unusual meeting at the ABA show in 1995 involving the late General Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton, then First Lady, a meeting that is striking now for its cordiality among political leaders with different views and from competing political parties.

General Powell had been selected as the headline speaker at the Sunday morning ABA Book & Author Breakfast in 1995 in Chicago for his upcoming memoir, My American Journey. Powell's publisher, Random House, and its head, Alberto Vitale, made it clear that Powell needed to be the centerpiece and highlighted speaker of the event considering how big the book was going to be. At the time, Powell was so popular that he was being urged to run for President in 1996 as a Republican against incumbent President Bill Clinton--a groundswell he didn't discourage.

Speakers for the breakfasts were selected way in advance, and then, sometime in late spring after the breakfast panel had been set, Simon & Schuster announced it would publish First Lady Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village that fall. They planned to hold a private reception for Clinton during the show at an off-site location. It was probably the first time in my ABA career that I worked with Carolyn Reidy, then head of Simon & Schuster's trade division, who was deeply engaged with Clinton's book.

Given my White House connections back then, I made the case to my friends there that if the First Lady was coming to Chicago, we ought to find a slot for her at the show. (I didn't know at the time that she was attending an old friend's birthday party Saturday night.) They agreed, but it turned out the only time she was available was on that Sunday morning--when the Powell breakfast would take place.

That set off a bizarre series of negotiations with Random House and S&S, resulting in an agreement that after the official breakfast program was concluded, we would clear the stage, end the program, ask the audience to stay for a "special guest"--and then bring Clinton to the stage. Random House agreed that this would not upstage Powell--and Vitale, who would be sitting at the dais during the breakfast, wouldn't have to sit there while Clinton spoke.

Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell at the ABA show in 1995.

The first part of the breakfast went as planned: Powell and the other authors spoke, then cleared the stage as the audience remained for the special guest.

But backstage, the Powell and Clinton entourages basically collided. Powell was very tall, and Clinton saw him. They went over to each other. There were warm hellos, and not only were they civil and cordial with each other, but they obviously had a lot of respect for each other. I was nervously trying to nudge the First Lady to the stage (since almost 3,000 people were waiting). Just as the First Lady and the General were about to part company, she said to him, "Why don't you come out with me?"

To Vitale's dismay, Powell glanced at his watch, then said, "Sure," and the two of them, with Vitale and others, proceeded onto the stage.

ABA president Avin Domnitz introduced Clinton, who got a warm reception. She was very gracious about acknowledging Powell and joked that she hoped everyone would read his book--after reading hers. She also said warm things about what Powell meant to the country and then delivered her speech. Vitale warmed up, and in the end it was just fine. It provided an interesting insight to both Clinton and Powell's personalities and showed how two famous people, even with obvious political differences, could be friends. It also showed how the best-laid plans could fall apart in an instance--and why my job was so cool.

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


Image of the Day: Hachette's Book Brunch Turns 10

Hachette celebrated the 10th anniversary of its popular Book Club Brunch on Saturday with a virtual program that featured lively discussions and plenty of raffles and prizes for the more than 335 attendees.

Author Bill Goldstein hosted two panels: Fiction, featuring Naima Coster (What's Mine and Yours), Leesa Cross Smith (This Close to Okay) and Constance Sayers (The Ladies of the Secret Circus); and Narrative Nonfiction, with Kat Chow (Seeing Ghosts); Mike Duncan (Hero of Two Worlds) and Kate Fagan (All the Colors Came Out).

The event wrapped up with a conversation between Katie Couric, author of Going There, and Sutton Foster, author of Hooked.

R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn., was the official bookseller for the event; signed copies of the featured titles are available with free shipping for the next two weeks.

Pictured: (clockwise from top left) Constance Sayers, Naima Coster, Hachette's Karen Torres, Leesa Cross Smith.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning: Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, authors of Renegades Born in the USA (Crown, $50, 9780593236314). Springsteen will also appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Good Morning America: Tamron Hall, author of As the Wicked Watch: The First Jordan Manning Novel (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063037038).

The View: Katie Couric, author of Going There (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316535861).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (‎Harper, $30, 9780062964618).

Tonight Show repeat: Jane Goodall, co-author of The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times (Celadon, $28, 9781250784094).

Good Morning America: Missy Robbins, co-author of Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy's Greatest Food, with Recipes (Ten Speed Press, $40, 9781984857002).

Also on GMA: Rachael Ray, author of This Must Be the Place: Dispatches & Food from the Home Front (Ballantine, $32, 9780593357217).

CBS This Morning: David Chang, co-author of Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave) (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9781524759247).

The Talk: Alyssa Milano, author of Sorry Not Sorry (‎Dutton, $28, 9780593183298).

Tonight Show: Drew Barrymore, co-author of Rebel Homemaker: Food, Family, Life (Dutton, $30, 9780593184103).

TV: Faith Martin's DI Hillary Greene Series

Faith Martin's DI Hillary Greene book series will be adapted by Becky Southwell and Dylan Neal's Southwell Neal Entertainment, with the support of Canada's Play Media, Deadline reported. Southwell Neal Entertainment optioned the film and TV rights to the 18-title series, which has sold more than two million copies worldwide.

"We are thrilled that Faith has entrusted us with bringing Hillary to the TV screen and know that her millions of loyal readers will be joined by even more TV viewers," said Neal. He and Southwell are the writers and execs behind Hallmark's Gourmet Detective series.

Books & Authors

Awards: NAIBA Book Winners

The 2021 NAIBA Book Awards, sponsored by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association and recognizing an author who was born or has lived in the region and/or a book whose story takes place in the region, have been announced. The winners are:

Fiction: Libertie by by Kaitlyn Greenidge
Non-Fiction: Crying in H Mart by by Michelle Zauner
Children's Literature: Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
Middle Grade: Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh
Picture Book: Addy's Cup of Sugar by Jon J Muth

Top Library Recommended Titles for November

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 November titles public library staff across the country love:

Top Pick
All Her Little Secrets: A Novel by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063204331). "All is not as it first seems in this thriller set in present-day Atlanta. In-house attorney Ellice is suddenly elevated to corporate general counsel after her boss's death, but things don't add up. A beautifully written, entertaining mystery with on-target social commentary about workplace politics and racial and sexual discrimination. For fans of Hank Phillippi Ryan, Attica Locke, and S.A. Cosby." --Nina Radakovich, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Atlanta, Ga.

The Donut Trap: A Novel by Julie Tieu (Avon, $15.99, 9780063069800). "Jas is lost and working in her family's donut shop. When she accidentally follows her crush on Instagram, things start to change. An all-around good book that touches on family dynamics, friendships, and issues faced by recent college grads. For fans of Get a Life, Chloe Brown and The Friend Zone." --Suzy Card, Grapevine Library, Grapevine, Tex.

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams (Berkley, $16, 9780593101926). "Absolutely loved the body-positive message of this fun romance between a lifestyle web reviewer and the fitness coach she's supposed to be evaluating. Wonderful, well-written characters make this a winner. For fans of Olivia Dade and Kate Clayborn." --Rebecca Moe, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, N.Y.

Guild Boss by Jayne Castle (Berkley, $27, 9780593336991). "In this wonderful return to the Harmony paranormal romance series, Gabriel finds a kidnapped Lucy sitting on a crystal throne with a dust bunny feeding her pizza. Adventure and sexual tension ensue. For readers who enjoy Christine Feehan and Gena Showalter." --Angely Jibaja, Queens Library, Rockaway Park, N.Y.

Just Haven't Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens (Putnam, $16, 9780593331521). "When her boss wants more like her 'How did you meet?' video interviews, Laura travels to the island of Jersey to explore her parents' story. She learns the truth about her family, makes friends, learns how to follow her passion in work, and has her own meet-cute. A well-rounded romance novel for fans of One Day in December and Good Luck with That." --Heather McIntosh, Botetourt County Libraries, Roanoke, Va.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske (Tor, $27.99, 9781250788870). "An Edwardian baronet mistakenly becomes the bureaucratic liaison to a hidden magical society in this trilogy starter. Features great character development and a strong story line weaving fantasy, mystery, and a study in manners, all with a twist of humor. For fans of Zen Cho and V.E. Schwab." --Courtenay Reece, Millville Public Library, Millville, N.J.

Never Fall for Your Fiancee by Virginia Heath (St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99, 9781250787767). "Hugh's the handsome nobleman and Minerva is his fake fiancee--a fully realized hero and heroine sure to win over many fans in this delightful Regency romantic comedy brimming with appealing characters. For fans of Bridgerton and League of Extraordinary Women." --Janet Schneider, Peninsula Public Library, Lawrence, N.Y.

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW, $27, 9780756416096). "What's the price of harnessing the wind? Who really benefits from 'clean' energy? Okorafor explores these themes and more in her tale of a woman who discovers she's much more than her cybernetic implants. Masterfully written, this is a thoughtful, accessible page turner for fans of Octavia Butler and Martha Wells." --Jennifer Ohzourk, West Des Moines Public Library, Des Moines, Iowa

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (Harper, $28.99, 9780062671127). "A weird novel that is occasionally very funny, this is set in Birchbark Books, Erdrich's own Minneapolis bookstore, which is haunted by the ghost of its most annoying customer. The story moves through the pandemic and the explosion of protests after George Floyd's murder, but Erdrich's warmth is always there. For readers of Isabel Allende and Tommy Orange." --Diana Armstrong, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.

The Singles Table by Sara Desai (Berkley, $16, 9780593100608). "Desai provides so much warmth, humor and heat as Zara, free-spirited lawyer with commitment issues, promises to help driven, entrepreneurial CEO Jake find the woman of his dreams. This opposites-attract romcom is perfect for fans of Farah Heron, Farrah Rochon, and Alisha Rai." --Laura Eckert, Clermont Library, Cincinnati, Ohio

Book Review

Review: Dark Night

Dark Night by Paige Shelton (Minotaur Books, $26.99 hardcover, 288p., 9781250796271, December 7, 2021)

Dark Night, book three in Paige Shelton's Alaska Wild series, continues the adventures of thriller writer Beth Rivers in the insular small town of Benedict, Alaska. Like Thin Ice and Cold Wind, this installment offers intrigue in a low-gore, cozy package.

Beth is known to the rest of the world under her pseudonym, Elizabeth Fairchild, but after an abduction and skin-of-the-teeth escape, she's retreated to this remote hamlet to live quietly and anonymously: only the local police chief knows who she really is. With winter closing in and a few friends kept at arm's distance, Beth tries to heal from the trauma and go on with her writing, hoping to hear that her abductor has been caught. Instead, her mother turns up unexpectedly. Mill Rivers is a loose cannon, on the run from the law herself--and she may be Beth's best hope at finding peace and finally feeling safe again. A local murder, of course, spices things up. Between Beth's reluctant romantic interest in the comically named Tex Southern, the propensity of Benedict's residents to keep their secrets, an ill-mannered, unwanted census taker and yet another fugitive in town, mother and daughter will have their hands full solving mysteries large and small.

Beth's relationship with local law enforcement (and Benedict's unconventional boundaries in this regard) allow her to act as an unofficial investigator. Mill is a force to be reckoned with in every way: another amateur detective, but with a violent streak, she still seeks her husband (Beth's father), who has been missing for decades. The librarian is a special-ops dark horse, and the local dog sledder and tow truck driver may have a checkered history of his own. Beth is a by-choice tenant at a halfway house for female felons; the list of eccentrics lengthens from here. Benedict is the town where people go to keep their secrets, but Beth may have to open up if she's going to learn the truth of her own past.

Shelton's plot is twistier than a path through the dark Alaska woods. Her characters may be bumbling, but they are generally well-meaning, except when they are revealed as decidedly otherwise. Suspicions shift and suspense builds in this novel of discovery, growth, relationship building and investigatory hijinks. As a bonus, Dark Night ends with a lead-in to the next episode: Beth Rivers's trajectory will surely extend and continue to complicate as she deepens her roots in the captivating town of Benedict. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: Piles of intrigue and secrets populate a remote town in Alaska, where an amateur sleuth hopes to reinvent herself, in book three of this cozy mystery series.

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