Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 15, 2022

Overlook Press: Bad Men by Julie Mae Cohen

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley

Akaschic Books, Ltd: Go the Fuck to Sleep Series by Adam Mansbach, Illustrated by Ricardo Cortés

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta

Quotation of the Day

'So, Yeah, Please Don't Ban My Books in My Hometown'

"You know what's weird? When one of the candidates for school board in the school district where you were once a student wants to ban your first novel from all schools and libraries in that school district.... It's weird on a few levels. For one thing, I know some of the people involved. Like, I remember you from middle school.... I just don't think Looking for Alaska is pornography, and I think reading it that way is a little weird. So, yeah, please don't ban my books in my hometown. It's really upsetting for my mom. She has to deal with all these people talking to her on Facebook now."

--John Green, in a TikTok about finding out people are seeking to ban his book Looking for Alaska in Orange County, Fla., school libraries (via Vulture)

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Bleak House Books to Reopen in Upstate N.Y.

Bleak House Books, which closed its doors in San Po Kong, Hong Kong, in 2021 in the wake of a national security law that "has also forced bookstores and libraries to pull specific titles off their shelves, impacting business," plans to open a new store in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., RADII reported. 

Founded by Albert Wan and Jenny Smith in 2018, Bleak House Books "was beloved by a vibrant community of bibliophiles in Hong Kong, especially consumers of English literature," RADII noted, adding that after the closing last year, the family moved back to the U.S. and settled in the "small sleepy town with just over 700 residents in upstate New York," near Rochester.

Bleak House Books in Hong Kong.

In a post on the booksellers' social media sites earlier this week, Wan and Smith wrote: "One year ago today we announced that Bleak House Books would be closing in Hong Kong. It was a day I will never forget for as long as I live. What came after though would be equally unforgettable: an unshakeable and wholly unexpected force of love and support from our readers near and far who showed up en masse to send what was mostly an unspoken yet unmistakable message: we are sad to see you go but we understand and support your decision to leave Hong Kong.

"It was during that period that Jenny and I understood what it was we had to do. Yes, we would close the bookshop and physically leave Hong Kong. But we could not give up on the wonderful people who gave Bleak House Books its existence, its success and its spirit. So today we have another announcement for everyone. One of a very different sort from the one we made one year ago....

Interior of Bleak House's new home in Upstate N.Y.

"It will reopen not in the city, which perhaps is where one might expect to find a bookshop like ours, but in a place just as beautiful and inspiring called Honeoye Falls, in Western New York. It is a place where our family now calls home and where we hope to build and foster the same kind of community that kept us sane and gave us a sense of purpose during some of the darkest and hardest days in Hong Kong."

The owners recently signed a lease for what will become the new home of Bleak House Books, and if all "goes according to plan, our new bookshop will, in many ways, mirror the bookshop of old: a kiddie corner, lots of fiction, an eclectic mix of used and new books, and, of course, our own 'Love Letter to HK' in books. But it will also be bigger, in space and selection, and operate in a climate of considerable uncertainty, conflict and cost. No one ever said this would be easy though. And so we roll up our sleeves, take a deep breath and start the process all over again: the journey of building another bookshop from the ground up, one book and one reader at a time. Won't you join us?"

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Ga.'s Newnan Book Company Relocates

Newnan Book Company has relocated to 2C Jackson St., closer to Newnan, Ga.'s downtown square, and reopened this week. Owner Laura Meredith launched the business in April as Candle Wick Book Company on W. Washington Street and changed the store's name to Newnan Book Company in June. Last weekend, "several friends and members of the community helped her relocate all the books over to the new location," the City Menus reported.

"The mission of my store is to create more connections in Newnan--between customers, neighbors, book lovers, and authors," Meredith told the City Menus last spring. "Well, that, and to set a fire inside children to love reading from their earliest years."

On the bookstore's website, Meredith recalls that the dream of Newnan Book Company "was ignited years ago. From a young age I was drawn to the inviting atmosphere of bookshops and libraries, and that positive experience led me to a career in teaching.... Because I enjoyed the experience of bookstores so much, I began to wonder if the dream of owning my own bookshop could become a reality. This was a dream that I sat on the shelf for a long time. I didn't see how it could ever happen. However, every time I would go into a bookstore, I would be quietly reminded of the dream. This year, I saw a quote from Walt Disney that moved my dream off the shelf and into reality. The quote read, 'all dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.' These were the words I needed for motivation and inspiration. Words are powerful, and this one sentence called me into action. I could not question the dream any longer; it was time to pursue it. Many extraordinary events have happened in the process of opening Newnan Book Company."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Candlewick's Nosy Crow Plans

Following Nosy Crow's launch of Nosy Crow Inc. in the U.S., announced yesterday, Candlewick Press, which has published many Nosy Crow titles over the past 11 years, will no longer publish titles using the Nosy Crow imprint. Under Candlewick's own banner, the company will continue to publish many essential Nosy Crow backlist titles and new series entrants. These include the Bizzy Bear series by Benji Davies, which has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide; the felt flaps and Peekaboo series, both illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius, which together have sold almost six million copies worldwide; and the 100 First Words series illustrated by Edward Underwood, which has sold more than 280,000 copies worldwide. Titles previously published under the Nosy Crow imprint will change to the Candlewick imprint upon reprint.

Beloved titles have also included Axel Scheffler's Pip and Posy series; David Melling's Ruffles series about an inquisitive dog; and Ross Collins's There's a Bear on My Chair and There's a Mouse in My House.

Karen Lotz, president and publisher of Candlewick Press and group managing director of the Walker Books Group, said, "Over the past eleven years, since their founding, we have truly enjoyed our partnership with the talented Nosy Crow team under managing director Kate Wilson and establishing their many innovative, beloved, and popular creators, titles, and series in our market. We look forward to continuing to bring these series to U.S. and Canadian shelves even as we focus more firmly on our homegrown initiatives going forward, including our partnership with the MIT Press on MIT Kids Press and MITeen Press."

International Update: Hong Kong Sentences Children's Books Publisher; Bookstores Close for Queen's Funeral

A Hong Kong police officer displays one of the allegedly seditious books.

A Hong Kong court sentenced five speech therapists to nearly two years in prison for their role in the publication of children's books deemed seditious. The Associated Press reported that the defendants have already been jailed for more than a year and may be eligible for early release under the terms of the 19-month sentence. They had pleaded not guilty but were convicted of sedition Wednesday after "they printed a series of children's books about sheep and wolves that a court said was aimed at inciting hatred against authorities."

In a statement, the International Publishers Association said it "is very concerned about the degradation of the freedom to publish situation in Hong Kong after five speech therapists, turned authors and publishers, were sentenced to 19 months in prison."

Kristenn Einarsson, chair of the IPA's freedom to publish committee, said: "The freedom to publish situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating rapidly. What was once a vibrant, free publishing market is being constrained, with cases like this clearly intended to scare other authors and publishers into self-censorship."


Queen Elizabeth II

Waterstones and WH Smith will close their stores for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday, September 19, the Bookseller reported. The date has been declared a bank holiday, but the government has said there is "no obligation to suspend business" during the national mourning period, though some businesses "may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the state funeral," but this would be at their discretion.

A spokesperson for Waterstones said the chain will be closing all U.K. shops "to allow booksellers the opportunity to mark the occasion and pay their respects," while W.H. Smith said all of its high street stores will be closed on Monday "and our stores in travel locations will also be closed for at least the duration of the funeral in order to honor Her Majesty and so that our colleagues can pay their respects."

Several independent bookshops have also opted to close on Monday, including all three of Ron Jon's bookshops in St Ives, Falmouth and Padstow and all four branches of Rossiter Books in Monmouth, the Bookseller noted. 

"We feel the overwhelming mood of our customers and staff is that we should close as a mark of respect," said owner Andy Rossiter. "This would allow anyone who wants to share in this collective experience of mourning the Queen the opportunity to do that."

Beckenham Bookshop, Beckenham, posted on Facebook: "The bookshop will remain closed on Monday 19th Sept as we raise a glass to HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Safe passage Ma'am and dubonnets all round!" 


The changing of the seasons in Australia was marked by the Turning Page Bookshop in Springwood, NSW, which shared a photo of its front widow display, noting: "Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the birdies iz." Come in and check out our range of gardening books and seed infused cards!" --Robert Gray


Image of the Day: Viral Justice

Ruha Benjamin signed copies of her forthcoming Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want (Princeton University Press; October 11) at Labyrinth Books in Princeton, N.J.

Columbia University Press Distributing Wallach Art Gallery

Columbia University Press is now selling and marketing both frontlist and backlist Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery titles worldwide.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery is located at Columbia University and has been publishing exhibition catalogues and related publications since its founding in 1986. Among its titles are The Protest and the Recuperation, edited by Betti-Sue Hertz and Sreshta Rit Premnath; Goddess, Heroine, Beast: Anna Hyatt Huntington's New York Sculpture, 1902-1936, edited by Anne Higonnet; and Finesse by Leah Pires.

Personnel Changes at Page One Media; Macmillan Children's Publishing

Laura Di Giovine has joined Page One Media as publicity manager. She was formerly a senior publicist at Smith Publicity.


Samantha Sacks has joined Macmillan Children's Publishing Group as publicist. Previously, she was associate publicist at Sounds True.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Buzz Bissinger on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Buzz Bissinger, author of The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II (Harper, $32.50, 9780062879929).

Good Morning America: Cynt Marshall, author of You've Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected (Ballantine, $28, 9780593359419).

This Weekend on Book TV: The National Black Writers Conference

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, September 17
4:55 p.m. Don Brown and Amy Rupertus Peacock, authors of Old Breed General: How Marine Corps General William H. Rupertus Broke the Back of the Japanese in World War II from Guadalcanal to Peleliu (‎Stackpole Books, $29.95, 9780811770347). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:55 a.m.)

6 p.m. Ethan Carr and Rolf Diamant, authors of Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea (‎Library of American Landscape History, $28, 9781952620348). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 a.m.)

Sunday, September 18
9:10 a.m. Deborah Liu, author of Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work (Zondervan, $27.99, ‎ 9780310364856). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:10 p.m.)

10 a.m. Cynt Marshall, author of You've Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected (Ballantine, $28, 9780593359419). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Coverage from the National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College in New York City. Highlights include:

  • 2 p.m. Jelani Cobb, Marlon Jones, Maaza Mengiste and Khalil Gibran Muhammad discuss "how their books speak to the experiences of Black people."
  • 3:26 p.m. Monica Coleman, Kiese Laymon and Martha Southgate discuss "Black literature as a catalyst for social change & healing."
  • 4:59 p.m. Emily Bernard, Brittany Cooper and Nicole Dennis-Benn discuss "gender, sexuality and feminism in Black literature."

7:30 p.m. Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson, 25th Anniversary Edition (‎Crown, $17, 9780767905923). (Re-airs Monday at 7:30 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Dayton Literary Peace, Mo Siewcharran Finalists

Finalists have been announced for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which honors one fiction and one nonfiction author "whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict, and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view." A winner and runner-up in both categories will be named September 22. Winners receive $10,000 and runners-up $2,500. Margaret Atwood will also be honored with the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. The 2022 finalists are:

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim (HarperCollins)
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster)
Infinite Country by Patricia Engel (S&S) 
North by Brad Kessler (Abrams)
The Love Songs of W.E.B Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (HarperCollins)
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins (Riverhead)

High Conflict by Amanda Ripley (S&S)
How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith (Little, Brown)
Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott (Random House)
The Last Nomad by Shugri Said Sahl (Algonquin)
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee (One World) 
Wildland by Evan Osnos (Macmillan)

"With compassion and a sharp-eyed view of history, this year's finalists provide some much-needed guidance in finding our way to peace," said Sharon Rab, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. "The stories featured this year help us take comfort in our shared humanity and assure us that, no matter what, the human spirit, and the hope indomitable within it, prevails."


Hachette has released a shortlist for the Mo Siewcharran Prize, which was launched in 2019 "to help discover unpublished fiction writers from Black, Asian and marginalized ethnic backgrounds," the Bookseller reported. This year the prize, run as part of Hachette UK's Future Bookshelf initiative, is being hosted by Quercus Books, focusing on fiction writers in the crime and thriller genre. The winner and runners-up will be named September 28. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Arranged Murder by Faaiza Munir
Incarnations of an English Subject by Kalbinder Dayal
The Labelled Bones by Felicity Yeoh
The Search for Othella Savage by Foday Mannah
Their Unseen Truth by Kingsley Pearson

Named in memory of Nielsen BookData's former director of marketing and communications, the prize is co-founded and sponsored by Mo Siewcharran's husband John Seaton. The winner receives £2,500 (about $2,980) along with "editorial feedback in the form of a two-to-three-page editorial letter from a Quercus editor, as well as a follow up one-hour editorial session with a Quercus editor, either online or in person," the Bookseller noted. "They will also have introductory meetings with at least two different literary agents, an introductory session with the Quercus rights team and meetings with the publisher's marketing and publicity teams."

In addition, the winner's novel will be considered for full publication with an advance against royalties by Quercus. Second place receives £1,500 (about $1,790), editorial feedback in a 2-3-page letter from a Quercus editor and a book basket. Third place receives a basket of books.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, September 20:

Dreamland: A Novel by Nicholas Sparks (Random House, $28.99, 9780593449554) unites a failed musician with a new romantic interest.

The Last Dreamwalker by Rita Woods (Forge Books, $27.99, 9781250805614) follows two women over two centuries in South Carolina's Gullah-Geechee islands.

Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley, $27, 9780593100875) is a romance about a winery owner and her new employee.

The Girl in the Castle by James Patterson and Emily Raymond (jimmy patterson, $18.99, 9780316411721) is a YA thriller about a girl split between the Middle Ages and present day. (September 19.)

The Kiss Curse: A Novel by Erin Sterling (Avon, $27.99, 9780063271814) is a supernatural romance followup to The Ex Hex.

The Big Fix: Seven Practical Steps to Save Our Planet by Hal Harvey and Justin Gillis (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781982123987) presents plans to address climate change.

The Gift of Influence: Creating Life-Changing and Lasting Impact in Your Everyday Interactions by Tommy Spaulding (Currency, $27, 9780593138632) explores interpersonal influence.

Abominations: Selected Essays from a Career of Courting Self-Destruction by Lionel Shriver (Harper, $26.99, 9780063094291) collects 35 essays.

Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power by Samira Ahmed (Little, Brown, $16.99, 9780316318617) is the middle-grade fantasy sequel to Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds.

Eternally Yours edited by Patrice Caldwell (Viking, $19.99, 9780593206874) is a paranormal romance anthology featuring authors such as Melissa de la Cruz, Anna-Marie McLemore and Chloe Gong.

Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe (Harper Paperbacks, $18.99, 9780062964625).

Nice Girls: A Novel by Catherine Dang (Morrow Paperbacks, $17.99, 9780063027565).

Best Debut Short Stories 2022: The PEN America Dau Prize, edited by Yuka Igarashi and Sarah Lyn Rogers (Catapult, $16.95, 9781646221639).

Near Dark: A Thriller by Brad Thor (Atria/Emily Bestler, $17.99, 9781982194611).

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:

Run Time: A Novel by Catherine Ryan Howard (Blackstone Publishing, $25.99, 9781982694685). "Now THIS is what I love about Catherine Ryan Howard--plots that defy trends, characters dangling over the abyss. Run Time had me exactly where I love to be: teetering on a high wire, completely off balance, and loving every minute of it." --Tarin Paradise, Naughty Dog Books, Nashville, Ind.

Witches: A Novel by Brenda Lozano, trans. by Heather Cleary (Catapult, $26, 9781646220687). "Witches features the most distinctive voice I've come across in fiction this year. Feliciana's life as an indigenous healer--or curandera--is hypnotic. Her story combines with Zoe's to highlight women striving to find their own voices." --Jude Burke-Lewis, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

A History of Wild Places: A Novel by Shea Ernshaw (Atria, $17.99, 9781982164812). "This twisty thriller gave me similar vibes to The Village and absolutely kept me on my toes! Shea Ernshaw really hit it out of the park with this brilliant adult debut." --Kassie Weeks, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, Fla.

For Ages 4 to 8
My Pet Feet by Josh Funk, illus. by Billy Yong (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9781534486003). "My Pet Feet is funny and exciting to read! The wordplay creates many entertaining scenarios and will have kids searching the illustrations for additional cases of the 'missing R.' Families, teachers, and KIDS will love this!" --Joanna Robertson, The Treehouse Reading and Arts Center, New York Mills, N.Y.

For Ages 8 to 11
A Taste of Magic by J. Elle (Bloomsbury Children's Books, $16.99, 9781547606719). "J. Elle has created the magic school we've all been waiting for--it is funny and sweet and absolutely charming, and middle grade readers will be going wild for this gem of a novel that is literal Black Girl Magic." --Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo (HarperAlley, $24.99, 9780063056312). "In this bewitching graphic novel, it's up to Abigail to uncover what lurks in the woods before it's too late. Over My Dead Body combines gorgeous art with a compelling storyline full of magic and mystery. You'll be turning the pages all night!" --Emma Butler, The Briar Patch, Bangor, Maine

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Gilded Mountain

Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning (Scribner, $28 hardcover, 464p., 9781982160944, November 1, 2022)

"Strikes are all the same. Same songs. Same reasons. Same hope and rage. In those years it was struggle and strife all over the mountains, in the cities and on the plains of the country, wherever there was industry or toil." Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning (Whitegirl; My Notorious Life) is an expansive novel of passions: love, beauty, suffering; struggles for labor rights, women's equality and the rights of formerly enslaved people. Set in the early-1900s Colorado mountains, this enthralling story stars Sylvie Pelletier, who travels west at age 17 to find the world broader, more lovely and more terrible than she'd imagined. Gilded Mountain tracks her coming of age and the troubles of her family and the marble miners of Moonstone.

Sylvie's father, Jacques, is beloved by his family and his coworkers in the marble quarry, who call him "Frenchy," but Sylvie's mother fears he will again meet danger with his union organizing. Sylvie graduates from high school and apprentices as "printer's devil" to the freethinking K.T. Redmond, who further shocks townspeople by being a newspaperwoman. As conditions in the mines deteriorate and K.T. nurtures Sylvie's rebellious streak, the young protagonist is also invited into the household of Company owner Duke Padgett and his wife, the Countess. Their royal titles are self-assigned, but their wealth is real. The Duke's son, Jace, becomes something of a romantic interest, but there is also United Mine Workers' representative George Lonahan. Sylvie is torn between her principles and love for her family, her class and her boss, and the temptations of the other life. "I forgot to observe with the sharp eyes of a printer's devil because my sight was dulled by sugar and awe," she realizes. "My loyalties gnarled and snared me."

Gilded Mountain is an ambitious novel, swelling to encompass labor rights (complete with Pinkerton Detective Agency goons), women's rights, the societal role of the free press, the rights of Black Americans immediately following the Civil War, lynching, immigration and more. Starring real characters from history (union organizer Mother Jones, Belgium's King Leopold II), it contains romance, historical fiction and inspired, high-minded thinking on important issues. Moonstone, Colo., is a fictionalized composite town, but its marble mining and the standard operating procedures of the Company are well based in historical fact. It also contains lovely writing about the natural world: "[T]he Diamond River overflowed its banks and rushed downhill, rooks sang in the trees, and leaves unfurled like new little salads on the ends of their branches. A corduroy of greens softened the hard folds of the mountains, and the meadows bloomed with swaths of blue columbine and dashes of yellow sneezeweed." The result is a painfully beautiful novel of big ideals, heartbreaks and tragedies, sewn together by an admirable and unforgettable heroine. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This gorgeously evocative novel of the early-1900s American West takes on issues of race, class, labor and women's rights via a remarkable young woman's coming of age.

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