Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 2, 2021

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine


Sherman's Buys Book Review in Falmouth, Maine

Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops, which has eight locations along the coast of Maine, has purchased Book Review in Falmouth, Maine, and will relocate and expand the bookstore early next year. 

Sherman's owners Jeff Curtis and Maria Boord Curtis told the Portland Press Herald that Book Review will more than double in size when it reopens in a new space a few doors down from its current location. They plan to keep the store's atmosphere and offerings intact, and to retain Book Review's employees. And while the store's name will change, they'll hang Book Review's sign in the new store as a way of honoring the 41-year-old Book Review.

The store will close on December 29 and reopen under Sherman's ownership on January 2. The plan is to complete the move before the end of January 2022, with Curtis noting that they won't move until the new space is "fully prepared." He also hopes that the Falmouth community will lend a hand in moving books from one store to the other.

Jeff Curtis and Maria Boord Curtis are buying Book Review from Clare Lygo, who purchased the store in 2017 from original owners Donna Williams and Stephen Fournier. Lygo was a regular customer at the time and felt compelled to buy the store to make sure it didn't close. After getting Book Review through the pandemic so far, she decided to reach out to the Curtises about buying the store.

The timing proved serendipitous, with Boord Curtis explaining that they've been "longing to be in Falmouth" for a while, but they didn't want to open a brand-new store in direct competition with a longstanding indie. Lygo decided to sell once she was convinced that Sherman's had the store's best interest in mind.

"Customers will be looked after," she said. "I know that Sherman's is going to do a fantastic job. I hope the community will continue to shop and support local."

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black

Hooked Coming to Lansing, Mich., in Spring 2022

Hooked's future home under construction.

Hooked, a bookstore, coffee shop and wine bar, will open next April in Lansing, Mich. The business will occupy a 3,000-square-foot ground floor space at 3142 E. Michigan Ave., in the new Red Cedar development.

Co-owner Sarah Reckhow told the Lansing State Journal that long before she and her husband, Matt Grossman, dreamed up a business plan for Hooked, one of the couple's favorite haunts was a San Francisco coffee shop that became a bar at night. "You could scope out a table there with your laptop as a grad student and then stay until the evening and be able to wrap up your day with a glass of wine and go home," she recalled.

Tenured professors at Michigan State University, they have talked about opening a coffee shop/wine bar for years, and in 2019, after a sabbatical in Cambridge, Mass., they added a bookstore to their concept.

Reckhow and Grossmann want to create a space where books, coffee, wine and community intersect. "And we know that we'll have lots of ideas, and some of them won't work out, but we're willing to kind of start a lot of them and see what works, see where communities develop," Grossmann said.

The location made sense "because the development is perfectly positioned between Lansing and East Lansing--two communities from which they want to draw," the State Journal noted. "We wanted it to be a mixture of Lansing and East Lansing," Grossmann said.

Reckhow added: "We really did like the fact that the space sort of physically embodies what we're hoping to accomplish in terms of bridging the university community and Lansing. It just is right in that sweet spot and really accessible from the East Lansing campus."

She also noted that the growing number of independent bookstores in Greater Lansing is exciting: "I think it speaks to the fact that people want to buy their books locally and connect with communities locally, where the owners are local, where you're getting books that might be kind of thought about in terms of, what do people in this community want to read?" 

Christine Bennett, co-owner of A Novel Concept, one of five bookstores that have opened along a mile-long stretch on Washington Avenue and Washington Square within the past year, agreed: "The fact that a lot of creative folks were recognizing the need for that and filling that void I think is really cool." Shop owners along what they're calling "Lansing's Bookshop Row" will host a book crawl this Saturday. 

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

The Vibrary Builds Community in Stone Mountain, Ga.

The Vibrary, a wine and bookbar that opened in Stone Mountain, Ga., over the summer, is finding its footing and building community, Atlanta Eater reported.

Store owner Candace Walker focuses on books with uplifting stories and messages by Black authors or featuring POC protagonists. The books are displayed on shelves and bookcases as well as on the Vibrary's bistro tables, allowing patrons easily to browse books while they have a drink. Walker has hosted three book signings since the store's August grand opening, and more are in the works for the coming months.

The Vibrary's bar menu emphasizes wines that are organic and biodynamically harvested, and while individual wines are swapped in or out, there are always four reds, four whites and three sparkling wines on the menu. The store doesn't have a full kitchen, but Walker does serve a variety of light snacks including charcuterie boards, with vegan options available.

In addition to an eight-seat bar, the Vibrary has bistro tables and couches, with an elevated, comfortable atmosphere that has a "wine speakeasy feel." Walker added: "I just wanted people to be able to get away from the crazy madness of the outside world and the inundation of bad news, to be able to come and relax."

Walker, who has lived in Stone Mountain since she was in middle school, also works in forensics for a local police department by day and does voice acting gigs. She told Atlanta Eater that she always wanted to give back to the Stone Mountain community in some way and help the town's revitalization.

She came up with the idea that would become the Vibrary with the help of a business partner. Though that business partner eventually backed out for personal reasons, Walker decided to go ahead with opening the store on her own.

Atlanta Eater noted that the Vibrary, which is a Black-owned business, is located in a building that "may have once housed a Confederate museum" and is less than a mile from a park featuring a monument to Confederate leaders. Nevertheless, the vast majority of all of Walker's interactions with community members have been positive and affirming.

"I get the feeling I will be there as long as I feel like I'm supposed to be there," Walker said. "Then, times that by infinity, because I would love to be a longstanding business in the village operating amongst other great businesses."

Waterstones Book of the Year: The Lyrics

Paul McCartney's The Lyrics has been chosen as Waterstones Book of the Year 2021, and Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston as the bookseller's Children's Gift of the Year. Last month, Barnes & Noble, which is owned by Waterstones, named McCartney's The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (Two-Volume Set), published in the U.S. by Liveright, as B&N's Book of the Year.

Waterstones said: "From the moment booksellers heard about the imminent publication of The Lyrics we all recognized its enormous significance as a key piece of cultural history. When the stunningly designed two-volume slipcase edition arrived in shops, we realized it was even more special than that. Paul McCartney has stated that it is highly unlikely he will ever write a conventional autobiography. This, then, stands as the defining literary statement of Britain's most influential living songwriter. From 'Yesterday' to 'Hey Jude' to 'Live and Let Die' and beyond, The Lyrics--crafted in collaboration with celebrated poet Paul Muldoon--abounds in evocative, never-before-seen images from McCartney's personal archive alongside fascinating commentary on 154 career-spanning songs that have soundtracked all of our lives. The Lyrics is undoubtedly, in the words of Waterstones CEO James Daunt, 'a true joy for bibliophiles.' "

McCartney commented: "What an amazing honor! Thanks Waterstones for this prestigious accolade. I'm really happy at the reaction to The Lyrics and to be chosen by the bookselling experts themselves for this is truly overwhelming. All those involved in putting the book together worked really hard and this is a great way for us all to celebrate. Bookshops rule! Cheers Waterstones!"

International Update: Gardners Launches Sister Company in France, Ingram's Lightning Source Opens POD Facility in Sharjah

U.K. wholesaler Gardners is opening a separate sister company in France to mitigate the "frustrations, paperwork, and additional costs" for European customers since the beginning of 2021 due to the changes introduced by Brexit, the Bookseller reported. 

Parent company the Little Group said Gardners EU "offers the same great range of 500,000-plus books, film, music, and merchandise as Gardners UK but without the administrative complications and costs.... This new business provides our suppliers and customers with the seamless service they have come to expect. As we progress into 2022, additional services will be added to our European offer."

The two businesses will "work alongside each other to form a cohesive partnership allowing customers to order quickly and hassle free from within the EU," according to the company. "There is a focus on intra-EU trade, so currently there are no customs charges, border fees or duty at the point of delivery. There are also no brokerage fees to contend with."

Existing Gardners UK customers can open an EU account, with both accounts running concurrently. Gardners EU will also accept new customers who want to have a single account only with Gardners EU. 

Nigel Wyman, sales and marketing director, said the company's goal is to "offer customers the very best experience, and the service they need in this ever-changing landscape." 

Simon Morley, buying director, added: "This will enable publishers to work even more closely with us enabling the depth and range of their books to be purchased with speed and efficiency within the EU and removing the possible frustrations in the chain of supply."


Sharjah Publishing City

In a joint venture with the Sharjah Book Authority, Ingram's Lightning Source has opened a print-on-demand facility in the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone, "one of the first large-scale POD operations in the Middle East," the partners said.

The new facility provides POD and distribution services for publishers and retail channels across the Middle East and Gulf regions. Its presence will expand access to content and enable publishers to meet consumer demand more rapidly in the area.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, said that the new facility "represents an important addition to the free zone's operational capabilities and will offer publishers, retailers and other stakeholders significant opportunities to expand their access to books and content, as well as their outreach into regional markets." He added that the facility is "is indicative of the strategic opportunities Sharjah provides to publishing business in the region, and also firmly reflects on the emirate's leading status on the global cultural stage."

John Ingram, chairman of the Ingram Content Group, said that POD "is fuelling the modern-day publishing industry, making the digital and physical distribution of diverse content across different languages and regions seamless. This new facility will bring these world-class innovations to scale in the Middle East in a way that will benefit the publishing world and consumers alike."

David Taylor, senior v-p for content acquisition international at Ingram, added, "Ingram works with tens of thousands of publishers from around the world and is trusted with many millions of their titles in our Lightning Source print on demand supply model. The Sharjah operation will be an additional distribution option for our publishers, and there is great excitement about the potential."


The continued rise in books sales in Germany, compared to previous years, "is good news for booksellers, who are preparing for the holiday rush," the European & International Booksellers Federation's NewsFlash reported. "In weeks 1 to 44, the book sales increased by 5%, compared to the same period last year, as well as by 2%, compared to 2019. However, retail book trade is lagging behind, with the sales deficit of almost 4%."


Bernardine Evaristo

Author Bernardine Evaristo will be the next president of the Royal Society of Literature, succeeding Marina Warner, who is retiring at the end of 2021. The first writer of color and only the second woman to be named president of the organization, she will act as an ambassador for the society and its overall mission, the advancement of literature.

Evaristo was elected a fellow of the RSL in 2004 and has been the society's v-p since November 2020. She currently chairs the RSL's Open Fellowship recruitment panel in its first year; she also took part in the 40 Under 40 Fellowship initiative as a panelist. In 2021, she was appointed a Sky Arts Ambassador and launched the Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards providing mentoring with RSL Fellows to emerging writers of color.

Noting that she is "deeply honored to take on the role," Evaristo said: "Literature is not a luxury, but essential to our civilization. I am so proud, therefore, to be the figurehead of such an august and robust literature organization that is so actively and urgently committed to being inclusive of the widest range of outstanding writers from every demographic and geographical location in Britain, and to reaching marginalized communities through literature projects, including introducing young people in schools to some of Britain's leading writers who visit, teach and discuss their work with them." 

Marina Warner praised Evaristo as "one of literature's most passionate and effective advocates. She is a garlanded writer of brilliant inventiveness and long been a leading inspiration in the vision of the RSL. In the lingering aftermath of the pandemic, her vivid, strong spirit, experience and dedication will bring fresh dynamism and energy to all our plans and activities."


Image of the Day: Brewery Book at Browseabout

On Sunday, at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Sam Calagione, Mariah Calagione and Andrew C. Greeley signed copies of The Dogfish Head Book: 26 Years of Off-Centered Adventures (Wiley), their book celebrating the famed brewery. Alex Colevas, Browseabout's buyer & manager, said, "Dogfish Head is a staple of Rehoboth Beach, and [co-founder] Sam has always been an advocate for local business and independent bookstores."

Cool Idea of the Day: Delivering Books on Horseback

"Delivering books on horseback. Amazon ain't got nothing on us." --Harriett's Bookshop, on Twitter

Over the past year, Jeannine A. Cook, owner of Harriett's Bookshop in Philadelphia, Pa., has been partnering with a nonprofit called the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club to deliver books on horseback. Cook completed her first ride in December 2020, and has done more horseback deliveries since.

"The reaction is always awe," Cook told the blog Because of Them We Can, noting that it is believed that Harriet Tubman stole a horse to help her elderly parents escape slavery. "It's important to keep the awe and excitement in storytelling."

Based in North Philly, the Flecter Street Urban Riding Club was founded in 2004 and promotes horseback riding for inner-city youth.

Personnel Changes at Wm. B. Eerdmans

Sarah Gombis has joined Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company as director of marketing for all academic, trade, and children's titles. She was most recently marketing manager at Baker Academic and earlier was marketing manager at Zondervan Academic.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rachael Ray on the View

Kelly Clarkson Show: Hannah Brown, author of God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life's Best (and Worst) Moments (‎Harper, $27.99, 9780063098206).

The Talk: Lauren Alaina, author of Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be (‎Thomas Nelson, $22.99, 9781400226801).

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

This Weekend on Book TV: Noam Chomsky

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, December 4
9 a.m. Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy (Viking, $30, 9780525562177). (Re-airs Saturday at 9 p.m.)

4:45 p.m. Susan Kamei, author of When Can We Go Back to America?: Voices of Japanese American Incarceration during WWII (Simon & Schuster, $22.99, 9781481401449). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:45 a.m.)

7 p.m. Woody Holton, author of Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution (Simon & Schuster, $37.50, 9781476750378). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 a.m.)

Sunday, December 5
8 a.m. Douglas London, author of The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence (Hachette Books, $30, 9780306847301). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Noam Chomsky, co-author of Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance (Haymarket Books, $19.95, 9781642592634). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

11 a.m. Kristin Henning, author of The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth (Pantheon, $30, 9781524748906). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America (‎Basic Books, $30, 9781541647534). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

4 p.m. Coverage of the 72nd annual National Book Awards. (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

6:30 p.m. Coverage of the eighth annual Kirkus Prize. (Re-airs Monday at 6:30 a.m.)

7:10 p.m. Huma Abedin, author of Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds (Scribner, $30, 9781501194801).

Books & Authors

Awards: Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Winner

Nicole Perlroth has won the £30,000 (about $39,950) 2021 Financial Times/McKinsey & Co. Business Book of the Year for This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race (Bloomsbury). Perlroth is a New York Times reporter.

Magnus Tyreman, managing partner Europe, McKinsey & Company, said: "Nicole Perlroth has written a book that is more than just a timely wake-up call to the fact that the world has largely ignored the realities and profound implications of the arms race between hackers, cybercriminals and businesses and national governments. It is an alarming book, one in which the author makes a compelling, granular and matter-of-fact case for how vulnerable global computer systems have become, even as it also comes with an urgent plea for specific and systematic action."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 7:

Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home by Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen (Knopf, $27, 9780593320099) explores the widening use of flexible work arrangements as catalyzed by COVID.

Dark Night by Paige Shelton (Minotaur, $26.99, 9781250796271) is book three in the Alaska Wild mystery series.

The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White (Delacorte, $18.99, 9780525581758) is the final book in the YA Camelot Rising trilogy in which Guinevere must rebuild a kingdom and take down a great evil.

The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh (Putnam, $19.99, 9781984812612) is the third book in the Beautiful quartet, a YA vampire series that takes place in 19th century New Orleans.

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:

Pity the Beast: A Novel by Robin McLean (And Other Stories, $25.95, 9781913505141). "An epic Western adventure that subverts any and all preconceived notions of the genre. McLean twists the sharpest edges of gender, philosophy, and the landscape itself into a compassionate meditation on what it means to survive." --Josie Smith, Madison Street Books, Chicago, Ill.

The Interim: A Novel by Wolfgang Hilbig, trans. by Isabel Fargo Cole (Two Lines Press, $22.95, 9781949641233). "A transcendent reading experience about a German culture cleaved in two, and a man trying to find his way through the middle. A masterpiece of one of European literature's finest authors." --Matt Keliher, SubText Books, St. Paul, Minn.

Memorial: A Novel by Bryan Washington (Riverhead, $17, 9780593087282). "Washington's writing is so intimate and direct that you feel the exhilaration, frustration, and uncertainty that Benson and Mike feel about their relationships, which inspires a heart-felt connection to these characters that is hard to find in the world during socially distant times." --Colleen Ellis, Lark and Owl Booksellers, Georgetown, Tex.

For Ages 4 to 8
Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan, illus. by Mercè López (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, $17.99, 9781534431393). "Truly stunning illustrations are on display as a crowded dala dala makes its way to the Zanzibar shore. Is there room for more? Yes!" --Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.

For Ages 8 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui (Scholastic, $17.99, 9781338702064). "Such a pleasure to read! Barakah Beats is an enlightening look at middle school, with all its angst and energy, through the eyes of a devout Muslim girl. It shows that though we might have differences, we have so much in common, too." --Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.

For Teen Readers
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood (Wednesday, $18.99, 9781250787101). "When I heard about this Ethiopian retelling of Jane Eyre, I knew I had to read it, and boy, was I glad I did! Within These Wicked Walls is an enthralling gothic tale full of eccentric and witty characters, horrifying entities, and a tantalizing romance." --Kassie Weeks, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, Fla.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi, trans. by Elena Pala (HarperVia, $27.99 hardcover, 304p., 9780063158559, January 25, 2022)

The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi (Quiet Chaos; The Force of the Past), translated from the Italian by Elena Pala, is a shape-shifting, multigenerational novel of family, love, loss, joy, change and pain.

When readers meet Marco Carrera, the year is 1999 and he is a 40-year-old ophthalmologist in Rome, about to meet destiny in the form of a psychoanalyst breaking his confidentiality oath. From here, chapters jump back and forth in time from 1960 to 2030. Readers meet the great love of Marco's life, visit his childhood, witness his marriage and divorce. When he is just a boy, Marco stops growing, remaining small and childlike well into his teenage years: his mother nicknames him "the hummingbird" for his stature, a moniker that will echo into his adulthood. He becomes a father and eventually a grandfather, so that four generations of his family flash kaleidoscopically across these pages; Marco is ever at the novel's center, however, even as he is accused of holding still through life's storms. "You can keep still as time flows around you, you can stop it flowing, sometimes you can turn back time, even--just like a hummingbird, you can fly backwards and retrieve lost time." The novel mimics this movement with its nearly stop-action chronology.

Some chapters take a straight narrative form, others are transcribed conversations, letters, postcards or e-mails. Elena Pala's translation from the Italian feels perfectly suited to this twisting, many-faceted form, as different voices take the lead. The pieced-together story moves between Rome and a Tuscan coastal town where the Carreras have a vacation home; its characters travel much farther (Spain, Germany, the United States), but Marco's orbit is limited. Rather, as he keeps still, his family and friends revolve around him.

In these various forms, across time and space, Veronesi refers to numerous other literary voices (a Samuel Beckett epigraph sets the tone) and concepts from ophthalmology, psychotherapy, architecture and design, among other disparate fields. The Hummingbird is clearly an intellectual exercise, but can also be read more simply as a story about a single, deceptively ordinary life: Marco might appear unremarkable at first glance, but he has lived remarkable tragedies and triumphs, which will define him. He is affected by his experiences as if by ocean waves, his life a series of natural forces, or natural disaster. Packed with pathos, humor and tragedy, the novel's finish is both a quiet goodbye and a crescendo, the only fitting end to such an unobtrusive but resounding life. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This family saga set in Italy, with one life at its center, is moving, literary, philosophical and multi-layered.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in November

The following were the most popular book club books during November based on votes from book club readers in more than 75,000 book clubs registered at

1. The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press)
2. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster)
3. The Lincoln Highway: A Novel by Amor Towles (Viking)
4. The Midnight Library: A Novel by Matt Haig (Viking)
5. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley)
6. The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Bennett Brit (Riverhead Books)
7. American Dirt: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins (Flatiron Books)
8. Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman (Atria Books)
9. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Holt)
10. Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

Rising Stars:
Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel by Sally Rooney (FSG)
The Children's Blizzard: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin (Bantam)

[Many thanks to!]

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