Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 8, 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

News

Grand Opening for Shop Around the Corner Books in Redding, Calif.

Shop Around the Corner Books, featuring new and used titles as well as sidelines, hosted its grand opening recently at 1430 Butte Street in downtown Redding, Calif. KRCR reported that this is the first time passionate book lover Amber Treat has owned a physical bookshop.

"I started with an Etsy shop," she noted. "I sell vintage books on Etsy, but this is my first brick-and-mortar store. My first business. And I've had amazing support from family. My husband built all the bookshelves."

Encouragement from the community supporting local businesses has also made Treat thankful and hopeful for her new venture as a business owner. "First of all, Downtown Redding is a very exciting place to be right now," she said. "There's nothing like coming to a locally-owned shop and shopping local, keeping your money in the community. And I have inventory here that you don't have to order and wait for a book."

On Sunday, Treat posted on Facebook: "I am completely undone by the support and love shown to me and my little bookshop. My first week exceeded my wildest dreams! Thank you, Redding, for welcoming me with open arms. And thanks to @reddingchamber and @vivadowntownredding for the support."


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


Serendipity Books, Chelsea, Mich., Moving Next Month

Michelle Tuplin with shop dog Ody

Serendipity Books in Chelsea, Mich., will move from its current home at 113 W Middle St. to a new space on East Middle St. early next year. Owner Michelle Tuplin plans to close the store on January 1 and reopen in the new spot on January 15.

Tuplin reported that the new space is roughly the same size as the previous one, but features some great architectural details, along with double windows facing the street (the current location has no display windows). There is also a clean, dry basement for storage, and air conditioning. The move has been in the works since the summer, Tuplin added, and was made possible by a BINC Survive to Thrive grant.

And while the community is "keen to lend a hand and move the inventory via a human chain," there is a "main state thoroughfare dividing the street" and January weather in Michigan is no joke. "Instead, Serendipity Books has booked a moving company."


GLOW: Tordotcom: The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill


International Update: Crowdfunding Sustains Indies in U.K., Waterstones in 'Very Good Shape' for Holidays

While independent bookstores have kept readers around the U.K. going throughout a series of Covid-19 lockdowns, the reading community has also been "coming together to back their local bookshops, with tens of thousands of pounds donated to support stores," the Guardian reported. 

In Crickhowell, Wales, Emma Corfield-Walters faced the challenge of a landlord who said he would be selling the building that housed Book-ish by the end of the year. "We were given the first opportunity to buy it, but we had a shortfall," she said. "One night, it was looking really impossible. I had a bit of a cry, and then I had a bit of a panic. And then I did what I've done for the past two years when I'm having a difficult time--I just put it all out there on Twitter. Everyone said I should do a GoFundMe page, but I didn't really feel comfortable doing that for myself. I've done it for authors, and to get books to schools and things, but it felt really weird doing it for me." Ultimately, however, she created a GoFundMe campaign that surpassed her £25,000 (about $33,355) goal. 

"There's been a groundswell of support for indie bookshops," said Corfield-Walters. "I'm very open and honest online about what it is like to run a bookshop and going through the pandemic, and I think they feel a little bit of ownership. They feel part of a community, and that community has helped us."

Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. & Ireland, noted: "It's really heartening to see the love and support from local communities for their bookshops, recognizing the tremendous creativity and resilience of booksellers during the challenges of the past two years. Bookshops have long been leaders on their own high streets and as they have reopened, they are continuing to provide for book lovers to come together and share their passion for reading. It is likely that Brexit, supply chain issues and Covid will provide further challenges in 2022, but with the support of their communities--and with an enlightened and creative approach to high streets and town centres by national and local government--there is reason to believe that the future of bookshops is bright."

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Waterstones managing director James Daunt said the retailer is in "very good shape" heading into the holiday season, despite problems with the global supply chain, the Bookseller reported. Daunt told BBC Radio 4's Today that the company bought more books in anticipation of supply problems: "We got ahead of it and publishers were extremely organized, so actually thus far we are in very good shape. Perhaps as we get towards Christmas Eve the odd thing may run out, but right now it's fine."

He also observed that one of the "unexpected benefits" of Covid-19 lockdowns was that people started reading more and that trend has continued, adding: "When the shops were closed people were buying very predictable things and lots of bestsellers amongst the classics and so on. Once the shops reopened people have been in and browsing and buying across a whole swathe."

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Bookstores in Madrid have been running out of copies of books by Spanish author Almudena Grandes since her death November 27. Radio Madrid (via [PM] Post) reported that most of the city's bookshops have had "a corner dedicated to Almudena Grandes since last Saturday. Some stand out in the shop window, others among its numerous shelves. They remember her through a photograph or by highlighting one of her famous phrases, but they cannot accompany these makeshift altars with her works. They don't because they can't. Many of these establishments have exhausted their reserves of books by the Madrid writer. They do not have a single copy or they have very few left. A week after farewell, the inhabitants of the city that Grandes carried as their flag, pay their particular tribute with 'a boom' in sales."

The Madrid booksellers' union confirmed the lack of stock in stores. Pablo Bonet, the group's secretary, said that this often happens when an author dies, but in Almudena's case "we still have no idea of the magnitude of her loss." Bonet added that the organization has contacted Tusquets, the publisher of Grandes, to order more books. 

"Sources of this group confirm that they have already ordered the reprint of those titles to replace them 'as soon as possible' and confess that 'they are overwhelmed' because 'never' had this happened to them," Radio Madrid reported, adding that despite worldwide paper shortage problems, Tusquets insisted "that in their case they do not believe that there is a problem to guarantee the necessary replacements. There are about 200 bookstores in the region and that figure rises to 800 in the case of stationery that also sell literary products."

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Luddites, "a literary bookstore in a lovingly-restored Antwerp town house with creaking wood floors, tall bookshelves and antique fireplaces," was showcased by the Brussels Times' "Hidden Belgium" series, which noted that the owners describe Luddites as "a bookstore, wine bar, and hideout from the modern world," stocking Dutch- and English-language books and serving wine and craft beers in a bar on the first floor. --Robert Gray


Soho Press: Black Dove by Colin McAdam


Obituary Note: Robert Holman

Robert Holman

British dramatist Robert Holman, the "playwright's playwright who was revered for his finely crafted, hugely insightful and humane dramas," died December 3, the Guardian reported. He was 69. His death was announced by the agency Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, who called him "an extraordinary playwright and an extraordinary human being".

Among those paying tribute on social media was David Greig, who celebrated Holman for his "quiet, finely wrought work" exploring "the human ache for connection." Greig wrote that Holman was "overlooked in his time" but was "a much-loved influence and mentor. His integrity and poetry set a fine example. He will be missed." Holman's publisher, Nick Hern Books, praised his "beautiful, masterful plays, which influenced a whole generation of writers."

Holman's theater career spanned 50 years and more than 20 plays, beginning with German Skerries (1977), which won the George Devine award for most promising playwright. The Guardian noted that the play "had an admired revival at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond in 2016, shortly after the closure of the Redcar steelworks on Teesside, which provides its backdrop."

Paul Miller, the Orange Tree's artistic director, said Holman embodied George Eliot's ideal of a "keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life" and was "a very English artist: the plays are rooted in real life yet suggest other worlds and realities." Playwright Caitlin Magnall-Kearns called Holman "a master of the understated and unsaid."

His other plays include Making Noise Quietly, A Breakfast of Eels, The Lodger, Holes in the Skin, Jonah and Otto and A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky. Holman also wrote for TV and radio and was a resident dramatist at the National Theatre and with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

"All my plays are a mixture of memory and imagination," he wrote, "and they have mostly used landscapes that I know well. I was born and brought up on a farm on the moors in North Yorkshire. Middlesbrough and the Tees Estuary, with the chemical and steel industry close by, were 20 miles away."


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


Notes

Image of the Day: Olga Dies Dreaming on the Streets of Brooklyn

Last Friday, members of the Flatiron Books marketing and editorial team hit the wintery streets of Brooklyn to drop ARCs of Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez (January 4, 2022) at locations throughout Sunset Park, where the novel is set. Drop spots included Más Que Pan bakery, Judy's, Sunset Park Diner & Donuts and the 36th St. N & R subway station.

Clockwise from bottom left: Katherine Turro, Jordan Forney, Erin Kibby and Kukuwa Ashun.


Happy 10th Birthday, Byrd's Books!

Congratulations to Byrd's Books, Bethel, Conn., which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday "as we cut the ribbon again and look forward to the next ten."

In a note to customers, owner Alice Hutchinson and her son, Steve, wrote: "It is hard to believe that is has been 10 years since we opened our doors in Dolan Plaza above Molten Java. What started as a 'let's do this see [and] what happens' tiny bookstore has grown over the years to an independent bookstore that serves the area! We have you to thank for it. You have told us what you are looking for and each request helps us to be better at our jobs, and make so many friends along the way.

"We have done our best to be responsive to the needs and wishes of our customers, and we are more grateful than you will ever know. Steve and I are so proud to still be here providing books to Bethel and the surrounding area. Hope to see you at the Ribbon Cutting on Saturday the 11th at 10 a.m.! Thank you!"


Holiday Season Gallery: Indie Bookshops' Displays & Decorations

Independent booksellers across the U.S. are showcasing their stores for the holiday season by sharing photos of decorations and displays on social media. Here's a sampling:

Napa Bookmine, Napa, Calif.: "Can you believe the first week of December is behind us? We are feeling the holiday energy at the shop! On that note, remember to get your shopping done as early as you can this year to ensure your books and gift items arrive in time for Christmas!... Thank you to @mrsvivandherbooks for this gorgeous shot of Pearl St."

Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.: "We are here until 7 p.m. every evening this week for Village Common Sales Days. Join us for great deals on books, gift certificates, and more."

Bookstore1Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla.: "Stop by and see Tony's new holiday board. We're feeling festive!"

Grass Roots Books and Music, Corvallis, Ore.: "[Our] storefront is holiday ready. Check out our twinkle lights and new seasonal window art!"

Next Page Books, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: "We're all decked out for the season, just in time for our neighborhood's annual Deck the District celebration.... Pop in if you find yourself in New Bohemia. And finally, don't forget about Ho! Ho! Ho! in NewBo on Thursday, December 9 between 5 and 8 pm. If this event doesn't put you in a holiday mood, nothing will!"

Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C.: "Getting into the holiday spirit."

Frenchtown Bookshop, Frenchtown, N.J.: "Garlands have been hung. Shelves have been stocked. Every day we're adding something to help celebrate the holidays. Come by, browse, say 'hello!' "


Personnel Changes at Workman Publishing; Catapult

Elizabeth Drooby has been promoted to assistant manager, online retail, catalogs, and specialty wholesale, for all Workman Publishing imprints. She was formerly sales associate, special markets. Before joining Workman in 2019 as special markets assistant, she was children's events coordinator and books-by-the-foot coordinator at Strand Bookstore and earlier worked at Barnes & Noble.

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Miyako Singer has been named writing programs operations coordinator at Catapult. Singer was formerly publishing operations associate at Catapult/Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Gov. Gavin Newsom on the Late Late Show

Tomorrow:
Ellen: Brené Brown, author of Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience (Random House, $30, 9780399592553).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Gov. Gavin Newsom, co-author of Ben and Emma's Big Hit (Philomel, $17.99, 9780593204115).


Movies: Cyrano

MGM has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Cyrano, as well as "Somebody Desperate," a single written and performed for the film by indie rock band the National, Deadline reported.

Director Joe Wright's first musical is an adaptation of Erica Schmidt's 2018 stage production, which was based on the classic 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. The cast includes Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin, Ben Mendelsohn and Ray Strachan.

Scripted by Schmidt, the movie features an original score and songs by Aaron and Bryce Dessner, with lyrics by Matt Berninger and Carin Besser. Cyrano premiered at Telluride and will hit theaters in Los Angeles on December 17 via United Artists Releasing, expanding to select theaters nationwide January 21.



Books & Authors

Awards: Portico Literature Shortlist; Diagram Oddest Book Title Winner

The shortlist has been unveiled for the £10,000 (about $13,340) Portico Prize for Literature, which "aims to celebrate the diversity of the North of England and to engage public interest in Northern stories, voices, and places." the Bookseller. The winner will be named January 20. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Ghosted by Jenn Ashworth.
Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan 
Toto Among the Murderers by Sally J. Morgan 
The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain 
Sea State by Tabitha Lasley
The Outsiders by James Corbett 

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Is Superman Circumcised? by Roy Schwartz "has cut through the competition to claim the 2021 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, earning a 51% share of the public vote," the Bookseller reported, adding that the winning title, "an academic study on the Jewish origins of the iconic DC Comics character, flew faster than a speeding bullet to quickly grab the number one spot in the polls when the public vote was first announced in early November, a lead it never relinquished."

Horace Bent, the Bookseller's legendary diarist and Diagram Prize administrator, said: "Congratulations to Is Superman Circumcised? and its author Roy Schwartz for the heroic effort put into winning the 43rd Diagram Prize. Mr. Schwartz seems smarter than Lex Luthor (and presumably less evil) as I can't recall any author being so pleased to make the Diagram shortlist. He has been busier than Meryl Streep’s publicist during Oscar season in pushing Is Superman Circumcised? out to his fans.... There were obstacles--including a concerted effort by Kremlin-backed troll farms to swing the election to The Life Cycle of Russian Things--but truth, justice and the Kryptonian way ultimately prevailed."

Schwartz said: "The competition was stiff, but I'm glad I was able to rise to the challenge.... I'm sincerely honored to receive this august literary prize. It's a great reminder that even serious literature is allowed to be fun."


Reading with... Nicole Baart

photo: Ellenvelde Photography

Nicole Baart is the author of 10 novels, including You Were Always Mine, Little Broken Things and Book of the Month pick Everything We Didn't Say (Atria, November 2, 2021). This haunting mystery follows a mother who must confront the summer that changed her life forever in order to reclaim the daughter she left behind. Baart lives in Iowa with her husband, five children, two turtles and their beloved dog.

On your nightstand now:

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty. I love everything Liane Moriarty writes--she's definitely an auto-buy for me. The hint of mystery, gorgeous prose and unparalleled characterization in her novels get me every time.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery. L.M. Montgomery is best known for her Anne of Green Gables books, but Emily of New Moon is even better in my opinion. Slightly darker and more realistic, the Emily books made me want to be an author.

Your top five authors:

William Kent Krueger
Erin Morgenstern
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Seanan McGuire
Tana French

Book you've faked reading:

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. I've started and stopped this book a dozen times. I know it's an important work of American literature and I should have at least a working understanding of why it's considered a classic, but I just can't do it. Give me Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Dickens, Hardy, Twain, Hemingway...  I love them all. But I've never read Moby-Dick.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. It's 20 years old, but I never tire of this beautiful book. It's honest and dreamy, unflinching and poetic, a contradiction in terms and yet filled with a little something for everyone. It made me cry the first time and upon every reading thereafter. 

Book you've bought for the cover:

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more stunning, evocative cover. It's haunting and lovely and rich. I love a good gothic story and just looking at this cover gives me the happy chills that accompany what will surely be a lyrical, haunting ride. Spoiler alert: the book is as good as the cover.

Book you hid from your parents:

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. I slipped out from the young adult shelves and made my way to adult fiction when I was 12. I fell madly in love with Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, John le Carré, Vince Flynn and Harlan Coben. Probably far too much sex and violence for a preteen, but I didn't care! 

Book that changed your life:

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. My dad bought me this book as a gift in high school and I read it like one eats fine chocolate: a delectable bit at a time. I don't exactly remember why it hit me so hard, but I suspect it had to do with the way Dillard can spin a phrase and her deep, enchanting love of nature.

Favorite line from a book:

"Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

I was a high school English teacher for many years, and To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorite books to teach. This line never failed to ignite heated discussions about life and courage and what it means to be a person of integrity. There's a lot to mine here.

Five books you'll never part with:

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

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

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I remember reading this book for the first time and being utterly transported. For the days that I was immersed in the world of Le Cirque des Rêves, I was wholly under Morgenstern's spell. I never wanted it to end. And though I've re-read The Night Circus a couple of times, that very first, magical experience can never be recaptured. 

Book that you love reading out loud:

There's two tied for first: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I have read The One and Only Ivan to all of my children around the age of eight, and by the end of the book we were always in tears. It's such a sad, beautiful, life-affirming book that I think every child should read. And A Wrinkle in Time was for my slightly older kids. It's so exciting and filled with adventure, but a dark sense of foreboding ripples through every page. It's the perfect curl-up-by-the-fire autumn read.


Book Review

YA Review: Augusta Savage

Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life by Marilyn Nelson (Christy Ottaviano Books, $18.99 hardcover, 128p., ages 14-up, 9780316298025, January 25, 2022)

Marilyn Nelson skillfully uses poetry to form the image of Harlem Renaissance sculptor Augusta Savage (1892-1962) in this distinctive and thought-provoking YA biography. This astute portrait of Savage, who overcame many obstacles to pursue her calling, celebrates the talent, tenacity and benevolence that shaped her character and changed the world of art.

Savage, the seventh of 14 children, faced opposition to her art from her father. Nelson hauntingly illustrates the unstoppable fortitude that art ignited in Savage despite this opposition, even at a young age: "Her father's/ fear of his God drove him to search for her/ secret hiding places, to cut switches,/ to beat the living daylights of art's sin/ out of her, a man beating back wildfire." As Savage pursued her passion, she married a supportive partner with a wonderfully suitable name she would keep even after their marriage ended. Who, Nelson asks, "given a choice, wouldn't toss off/ her meh surname, like a wedding/ bouquet, and become a Savage/ from now on in?" And Savage managed to forge a career out of the very skill her father attempted to smother: "My first real artist's job: teaching/ .../ Maybe my gift isn't a sin, a curse,/ just another of God's back-assed blessings." Nelson takes her readers through Savage's commission to sculpt W.E.B. Du Bois, her role in the Harlem Renaissance and the devastation of losing a scholarship to study in France because of her race ("I'm mad enough to spit!/ Not just for my sake, but for the whole race,/ for all of us denied opportunity!"). Yet no matter the roadblock, Savage powered on.

Nelson's striking verse gives powerful voice to the highs and lows the artist experienced, and the accompanying photographs of Savage's sculptures are awe-inducing. Nelson periodically uses concrete poems to mirror Savage's art, such as the harp shape for the poem "The Harp," which conveys the story of Savage's commission to create a sculpture for the 1939-1940 World's Fair, or the penguin form of "I Don't Know," a narrative about Savage later in life. The inventive approach to this biography is fitting for a woman who was born to create. The visual aspects of the collection appropriately bring her accomplishments back into the eyes of the world, remembering her for the trailblazer she was. Nelson has created a stunning work; Savage, the teacher, would certainly approve. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: This collection of poems vividly tells the inspiring story of Augusta Savage, a groundbreaking Harlem Renaissance sculptor. 


Deeper Understanding

Audiobooks: AudioFile's Best Audio Titles of 2021

Our friends at AudioFile Magazine present the best audiobooks of the year:

Audiobook sales continue to see strong growth for another year, and the crossover with podcast listeners has added a dimension to the growth of both audiences. (AudioFile also reached out to the narrators and spoke with them for short podcast episodes on Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.) Changes in work and lifestyle habits seem to have added to the appetite for audiobook listening.

Within the nonfiction choices of AudioFile's 2021 Best, author-read titles had a strong showing, including Beginner's Mind by Yo-Yo Ma (Audible Originals) and Mary Roach's Fuzz (Brilliance Audio). In memoirs, more authors lent their own voices: Quiara Alegría Hudes's My Broken Language (Random House Audio), Ashley C. Ford's Somebody's Daughter (Macmillan Audio), and Ron and Clint Howard's Hollywood memoir, The Boys (Harper Audio).

Sometimes a serendipitous connection occurs between narrator and the subject. Narrator George Guidall recorded most of Tony Hillerman's mysteries, and this year, he had the opportunity to record James Morris McGrath's biography Tony Hillerman: A Life (Recorded Books). Publishers made strong efforts to establish cultural connections between the narrator and the story. For example, Isabella Star LaBlanc answered a casting call for a Native American actor, succeeding brilliantly with Firekeeper's Daughter (Macmillan Audio).

Highlights from the nine subject categories--including fiction, history & biography, memoir, romance, mystery, and young adult--are featured below:

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead, read by Dion Graham (Random House Audio). Dion Graham's performance invites listeners into the world of New York in the early 1960s. As his voice captures the feel of the times, he skillfully brings listeners the coffee shops, storefronts, and conversations of the era. Whitehead's audiobook centers on Ray Carney, who operates a struggling furniture store but is unable to escape his background in crime.

Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown, read by Louis Ozawa (Penguin Audio). Louis Ozawa narrates this true story about Japanese-Americans at home and abroad during World War II. He modulates between hope and despair with the deftness of a film composer. These heartbreaking stories shine a much-needed light on the way those of Japanese heritage were treated during the war, and Ozawa's deft narration makes them even more compelling and hard to forget.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, read by JD Jackson, Kevin R. Free, January LaVoy, Robin Miles, Dion Graham, Angela Y. Davis, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and a full cast (Random House Audio). An outstanding cast brings these essays and poems vividly to life. Ninety entries, including 10 poems, encapsulate the African-American experience from 1619 to 2019. The authors tell stories both little and well known that together give the listener a symphony of voices that bring the complex, often horrific, history of Black people in the U.S. into relief.

Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter's Love Story in Black and White by Kitt Shapiro and Patricia Weiss Levy, read by Karen Chilton (Dreamscape). Entertainment icon Eartha Kitt's daughter, Kitt Shapiro, offers a stirring and nuanced memoir of both her mother and herself--their lives were so very intertwined. Narrator Karen Chilton's performance is a showstopper, at once superb, stunning, evocative, and moving. The love shared by mother and daughter is most palpable throughout the transfixing bravura narration.

The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman, Dirk Maggs, read by James McAvoy, Neil Gaiman, Kat Dennings, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, John Lithgow, and a full cast (Audible). Anchored by Neil Gaiman's hypnotic storyteller's voice, the second act of The Sandman bewitches. As Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, James McAvoy sounds both imperious and weary, otherworldly and very human. The star-filled cast of actors and lush production guide listeners back and forth in time and in and out of fantastic worlds. Sound effects and original music make for a completely immersive experience.


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