Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 8, 2022

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley


Gardners Opening U.S. Wholesaling Business Specializing in British Books

Gardners, the main U.K. book and entertainment wholesaler, is opening Gardners US, a book wholesale service with an extensive range of British books that aims to give U.S. bookstores a streamlined and efficient way to order British books and associated products available to the U.S. market. Gardners US will have more than 200,000 British books in stock.

Gardners is owned by the Little Group, which is also the parent company of several other book trade businesses, including Askews & Holts, Browns Books, All Media Supply, Lasgo Worldwide Media, Book Protectors,, Gardners EU and Baker & Taylor (UK). Gardners US will be located in Hialeah, Fla., where All Media Supply has a warehouse.

Nigel Wyman, Gardners sales & marketing director, said, "At Gardners (UK & EU) and the wider Little Group, we strive to offer customers the very best experience and service they need in this ever-changing landscape. With the support of the Little Group, the creation of Gardners US means our customers will have access to over 200,000 British books from a single source of supply and we are pleased to offer books for any title that we can supply from our Florida-based operation. We are very excited to bring this new book wholesale offer to our US customers."

Gardners US welcomes new customers as well as existing Gardners (UK) and All Media Supply customers. Application information is on Gardners US's website; booksellers can also contact Gardners via e-mail, and those with existing accounts can speak with their account manager for details.

Founded by Alan Little in 1986, Gardners has been the main U.K. book wholesaler since Bertrams went bankrupt two years ago. The Little Group bought the assets of Bertrams, including its Norwich warehouse, which reopened as a Gardners facility. In May, the Little Group bought Baker & Taylor UK. A month ago, Ingram announced it would launch wholesale operations in the U.K.

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

For Sale: Hicklebee's, San Jose, Calif.

Hicklebee's in San Jose, Calif., is up for sale. Co-owner Valerie Lewis told the Mercury News that after more than 40 years in business, it was time for her to step away from the much-loved children's bookstore.

"I could probably stick with Hicklebee's past 100 years old, but I believe in exiting with grace," Lewis said, adding that she and co-owner Monica Holmes have "every intention of finding the right owners to carry on the Hicklebee's tradition."

In an announcement sent to customers last week, they noted that "the key ingredients that will contribute to the success of a new owner are all in place: a loyal customer base; a dedicated, hard-working staff; the technology tools to remain current and relevant; and a beautiful environment that appeals to customers of all ages."

Per the Mercury News, their "ideal new owner would be passionate about books and possess sound judgement, some creativity and a good sense of what it takes to operate a retail business."

Hicklebee's first opened in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood in March 1979, with Lewis, Jan Gottlieb, Georgia Osborne and Vicki Villarreal as co-owners. The original name was Hicklebee's: The Evolution of the Bookworm, and 10 years after opening, the store moved to its current location. While the shop mainly carries books for young readers, it also sells a collection of titles for adults along with family-friendly games and toys.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Zeppelin Books Lands in Orlando, Fla.

Zeppelin Books, a bookstore offering a "carefully curated" selection of about 100 titles, has opened in downtown Orlando, Fla., the Bungalower reported. Located inside the Downtown Credo coffee shop in the North Quarter Market, the bookstore has a focus on local authors and independent publishers.

Store owners and husband-and-wife Alex Gurtis and Andrea Penuela hosted a grand opening celebration for the bookstore on Saturday. Festivities included a celebration of Erin Slaughter's new book, The Sorrow Festival, and readings by Tyler Gillespie and Laurie Uttich.

Penuela and Gurtis have been together since 2014. They met in college and quickly found that they shared a love of both books and coffee. Whenever they traveled, they liked to visit new bookstores and coffee shops, and eventually they decided "it was time to bring their favorite pastime to downtown Orlando."

Gurtis is a poet, book critic and barista at Downtown Credo, while Penuela is a landscape architect.

Gilbert Cruz Named New York Times Books Editor

Gilbert Cruz

Gilbert Cruz has been named books editor of the New York Times, replacing Pamela Paul, who became a Times opinion columnist in April. Cruz has been culture editor since 2018, in charge of arts and culture coverage, including the Sunday Arts & Leisure section.

An announcement from Times editors Sam Sifton, Joe Kahn and Carolyn Ryan said that Cruz will focus on "three important pillars of coverage. The first is to reimagine the New York Times Book Review, the nation's last stand-alone newspaper book-review section, for the digital age. The second is to increase and embolden our reporting on and criticism of ideas and intellectual life, the publishing world and all that lives within it. And the third is to build new muscles in service journalism that will help our readers choose their next books with ease and joy."

The three called Cruz "a seasoned manager and a digital innovator, possessed of superb news judgment and a fount of ideas, and a wise practitioner of journalism that answers readers' needs. A natural leader, he will push for provocative coverage and challenging ideas, and bring fresh perspectives to our books report... He is a lifelong passionate reader with deeply catholic taste."

Cruz began his journalism career at the Tuscaloosa News in Alabama, before moving to Entertainment Weekly as an editorial assistant in the books department and, later, to Time and New York. He joined the Times seven years ago as television editor.


Image of the Day: Danielle Blau at Book Club

Book Club in New York City hosted a reading by Danielle Blau from her debut poetry collection, peep (Waywiser Press), as a part of the Poetry in New York reading series. (photo: Robert Galinsky)

BookTowne Scores in N.J. Devils Local Business Campaign

The New Jersey Devils hockey team is highlighting local businesses as part of its "Made in New Jersey" campaign. BookTowne, Manasquan, N.J., was the recent focus, with information about the shop and a video of owner Peter Albertelli talking about the store. Check him out here.

Bookstore Moment: Arctic Tern Books

At Arctic Tern Books, Rockland, Maine:
"It's going to be HOT in the Midcoast today. Stay cool and go on a journey of discovery in our air-conditioned bookshop. Just look at all those wondrous books!! And swipe to see this week's selection of beautiful bouquets from @greenacre_flowers.
Books + flowers = perfect Sunday."

RIP, Teddy, Bookshop Dog at Subterranean Books

Subterranean Books, in St. Louis, Mo., shared this sad news over the weekend:

"Teddy took his sunset in the loving arms of his person, Gena, passing Sunday evening, July 31st, 2022.

"Due to perhaps the most provident of chance encounters to take place in a Walmart parking lot Teddy--Tedster, Ted-Ted, Tedward, Mr. Otter, aka Little Baby Dog--began his new life with Gena and left whatever rough first go he had at life behind.

"From the beginning of his arrival at Subterranean Books and up until his last shift, Teddy's presence at the store was one of sweetness, levity, and overall ease. He was the most perfect little dog in the window.

"You all loved on him so fiercely and made sure every day he was dutifully reminded of his title: The Best Little Bookstore Dog anyone could wish for; and for that we are deeply indebted. 🙏"

Personnel Changes at Macmillan

At Macmillan:

Molly Kong has joined the trade sales international team as an international sales manager.

Matthew Miller has joined the e-book sales team as analyst, sales planning.

Susan Carner has been promoted to national account manager on the Amazon team.

Olivia Kasdin has been promoted to associate national account manager.

Diego Molano Rodriguez has been promoted to senior national accounts manager and will head the e-book team.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sen. Chris Murphy on Colbert's Late Show

Good Morning America: Emiko Jean, author of Mika in Real Life: A Novel (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063215689).

Today Show: Josh Peck, author of Happy People Are Annoying (HarperOne, $26.99, 9780063073616).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sen. Chris Murphy, author of The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy (Random House, $18, 9781984854599).

CBS Mornings: Sen. Tim Scott, author of America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity (Thomas Nelson, $28.99, 9781400236497).

Good Morning America: Jennette McCurdy, author of I'm Glad My Mom Died (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 9781982185824).

Also on GMA: Michael W. Twitty, author of Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew (Amistad, $28.99, 9780062891754).

The View repeat: David Duchovny, author of The Reservoir (Akashic Books, $19.95, 9781636140445).

Book Review

Review: Sugar Street

Sugar Street by Jonathan Dee (Grove Press, $26 hardcover, 224p., 9780802160003, September 13, 2022)

Sugar Street, Jonathan Dee's pitch-dark eighth novel, is an intense character study of a man in crisis. It's a bleak tale of someone running from a troubled past into an equally perilous future, and Dee (The Locals; A Thousand Pardons) succeeds in maintaining the tension about his character's fate throughout.

Theunnamed protagonist takes to the American road heading eastward, lacking ID, credit card or any discernible resources save for an envelope stuffed with exactly $168,548 in cash. He alludes often to unspecified transgressions, alternating between expressions of remorse and self-justification over those events.

Soon making his way to an unidentified city, he scouts "poor neighborhoods, though not so poor that people would be suspicious of the sight of me." Once there, he finds a barely habitable room in the home of a hard-edged woman named Autumn, paying her six months' rent in advance and furnishing the spartan living space with purchases from the local Goodwill. Autumn and her secretive tenant play a cat-and-mouse game, with the suspicious landlord intermittently threatening eviction, while her boarder fitfully attempts to ingratiate himself with her.

What ensues is a precisely drawn portrait of the near futility of attempting to lead a life totally off the grid. When he's not hanging out in the public library, where he meets a Black man named Oscar but discovers a library card and Internet access are off limits to someone with no identification, he spends his days sitting at his window, watching children on their way to and from school. He's especially fascinated with a girl whose name he learns is Abiha, the child of a refugee family. Obsessed by the possibility of having his face captured by video surveillance, he goes to great lengths to avoid any cameras, and when that's impossible, to disguise his appearance. But he knows that a day of reckoning is inevitable.

The narrator, a once-privileged, highly educated (he has a law degree) white male, ruminates obsessively on his personal predicament while sharing acerbic observations on the "cesspool" that is modern life. "I've made a lot of mistakes," he confesses. "It's hard to draw breath in this world--to feed yourself, to work, to move from place to place--without doing damage of some kind." As for his politics, he notes, "Politically, I guess you could say that I'm a progressive. I firmly believe that everything in and about human society is progressing toward its end." With the skill of a virtuoso, Dee plays his character's shifting voice over its full emotional range--cunning, desperate, cynical, resigned and more.

At barely more than 200 pages, Sugar Street is a novel that easily can be consumed in a single sitting. But that brevity is deceptive, because it's far from a simple book, and the feeling of unease it induces makes it an unsettling reading experience. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: A bleak portrait of a man on the run from his past and from contemporary American society.

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