Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 8, 2023

Algonquin Young Readers: If I Promise You Wings by A.K. Small

Mariner Books: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

S&s/ Marysue Rucci Books: The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

W by Wattpad Books: Night Shift by Annie Crown

Shadow Mountain: Under the Java Moon: A Novel of World War II by Heather B. Moore

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole

Minotaur Books: The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen


Fourth Street Books Coming to Meridian, Idaho

Chelsea and Chase Major, co-owners of Pearl House Collective, are planning to open a bricks-and-mortar shop called Fourth Street Books at 909 NE Fourth Street in Meridian, Idaho. BoiseDev reported that the new shop, which was established in 2021 as a hybrid bookstore selling new and used books online and at pop-up markets, "would also have a 'micro-café' that would have a small selection of coffee, tea, canned beer, and wine."

The City of Meridian will need to approve the project, and a public hearing date has not been set. The Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled to hear the proposal May 18 at City Hall.

The application letter said the store would showcase local artists and authors through different workshops and activities: "Indoors, customers can shop a curated selection of literary fiction, poetry, short stories, translation, and other literary titles. There will be a handful of seating options inside the storefront available for customers. A portion of the space will also be available for local artists and makers to display their wares on a rotating basis."

Fourth Street Books' owners would take over and renovate an old home that is about 800 square feet, which the application called "ideal for an intimate and curated bookstore." A small backyard space would be used for author signings, poetry readings, book clubs, and other events. 

"In addition to the growth Meridian currently is experiencing, makes this proposed location in downtown Meridian ripe for a community bookstore," the application said. "The recent Meridian city survey indicated citizens believe Meridian is making progress to both be a great place to start/do business and build a strong sense of community, but there is more work still to be done. We look forward to partnering with you to make downtown Meridian an even more vibrant and creative community with 4th St. Books."

Apple TV+: Lessons in Chemistry

Owners of the New Saltwater Bookshop, Kingston, Wash., on Bookselling, Baking, and More

Lacey Anders (l.) and Madison Duckworth at Saltwater Bookshop.

Madison Duckworth and Lacey Anders, co-owners of the Saltwater Bookshop, Kingston, Wash., talk with Shelf Awareness publisher and co-founder Jenn Risko about their store, which opened on Independent Bookstore Day:

Shelf Awareness: Tell us the story of Saltwater Bookshop. How did you come to do this? What was the journey?

Madison: We've been BFF's for for a very long time, I think like 20 years. Lacey grew up in Kingston, and I grew up in Indianola. Lacey worked for Suzanne Droppert at Liberty Bay Books first for about 10 years. Then she left to start her bakery and told me to talk to Suzanne and ask for a job because I had just returned from college. I went into see Suzanne, and she hired me right then and there, and I worked for 10 years under her, and then another year and a half under Suzanne Selfors who bought the store, and helped her in that transition. I stopped working for Suzanne Selfors, because I was very pregnant and needed to take some time off. My son is now two. I started putting books in Lacey's bakery. We started with cookbooks, and then we started adding local-interest titles, and it took off from there. We kept adding more titles to a point where it was taking over the bakery. The space next door to the bakery, which we're in now, was open, but I wasn't ready.

Lacey: I was patiently waiting for Madison to be ready. I knew she'd get there. I thought about just starting to bring books over to the new space so Madison could see it.

Madison: Actually, the landlord was annoyed by us, as this space was open for a while and on the day we told him we wanted the space, he had just hired a property manager to lease it out. He owns the space that Lacey's bakery is in. In January we said, yes, we're doing it, and we opened for Independent Bookstore Day. The store traffic that day was crazy, way more than we ever imagined, and it was very, very cool. It was so great to see friends in the book business that I knew from Liberty Bay.

SA: How big is the store?

Madison: 1,250 square feet. The front is all new adult, and the back is for children's. We will have a very strong local and indigenous section, as we have some very prominent tribes nearby, including the Little Boston S'Klallam and the Suquamish. I love mysteries and fiction.

Lacey: Which is a problem, because Madison and I have very similar taste in books, so it's been a little challenging to get a broader mix. Luckily, we have Nathaniel, who worked at Liberty Bay, and he has very different tastes than us. He's working here on the weekends, so he provides us some variety.

Madison: And of course, Suzanne Droppert is helping, and she reads EVERYTHING.

SA: So Suzanne Droppert is serving as a consultant, friend... sherpa?

Madison: All of the above! We hear ourselves talking sometimes and think, 'Oh that's such a Suzanne thing to say.' Even when I worked at Liberty Bay, her own daughter thought I was her sometimes.

SA: Did you always dream of owning a bookstore?

Lacey: I wanted to buy Liberty Bay from Suzanne, but she sold it to Suzanne Selfors. She thought I was too busy with the bakery, but I always wanted the bookstore. But now I'm glad we didn't go that route, because now we have this! Which is perfect because it's next door.

SA: So you owned a bakery, because you're a baker. But you always wanted to own a bookstore. Those are two of the hardest things you could possibly do, and you wanted to do both of them,  because you like the pain?!

Lacey: My first job was editing for June Cotner, a local poet. Her daughter worked for Suzanne at Liberty Bay and wasn't going to be able to work for the summer. She offered to help me get a job at the bookstore. So my 16-year-old self walked down there and said "Hi, I'm here for a job!" And she gave me one! I worked for Suzanne until I was 28, a long time. I always thought I'd buy Liberty Bay, but then I went to Western Washington University and I worked at Village Books for Chuck and Dee Robinson. I majored in English Lit and thought I'd go into publishing.

SA: Well, of course, that's what you do if you want ALL THE MONEY.

Lacey: But then I fell into baking. It's a spiteful story. At the coffee shop, the loaves would come up all different sizes. So I said to the owner, "I could do a better job of this" and she said, "Do you think you could?" And I said, "Yeah. I know how to measure." So I went home and started baking bread, just to prove I could. It escalated from there.

Madison: You started selling your loaves at the farmers market.

Lacey: Yeah. But people would come to our baking location, where we didn't sell directly, and knock on the door and ask what we were doing in there because it smelled so good. We'd tell them, "You can find our products at the Poulsbo Farmers Market." I was so tired, baking all the time and being pregnant and then having a baby. Finally we got to: What are we doing here? People are coming to our door, asking to buy our stuff, and we're not selling it to them! That was in 2011, and now we have our retail location. It's called The Borrowed Kitchen Bakery.

SA: What is the bestselling item from your bakery?

Lacey: Our chocolate cake.

Madison: It's like the chocolate cake from Matilda.

SA: I love you tying baked goods to beloved books!

Madison: We partner by offering a free cookie for spending $25 in the bookstore. That's working well. We'll be doing events and readings, book clubs, and educator nights.

Lacey: I'm obsessed with what the Book Larder [the cookbook store in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle] does. We'd love to do events with cooking. Focus on methods like baking, noodles, the wok.

Madison: We want to put a hole in the wall, so there's a pass through between the bakery and the bookstore. We'll keep them mostly separated because the bakery is so noisy and the bookstore should stay quiet.

Soho Crime: My Favorite Scar by Nicolás Ferraro, translated by Mallory Craig-Kuhn

B&N Relocating Store in Highland Village, Tex.

A Barnes & Noble store in Highland Village, Tex., will be relocating from the Shops at Highland Village to a new space nearby, the Cross Timbers Gazette reported.

Per a B&N spokesperson, the store's landlord intends to redevelop the shopping center and has terminated the bookstore's lease. The company is "very close" to finalizing a new location for the bookstore, and though B&N could not announce specifics, it does expect the store to reopen in its new space in early November.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 09.25.23

Obituary Note: David Elliott

David Elliott, editorial director of Quartet Books and co-founder of Elliott & Thompson, has died. He was 79. Born in Leyton, east London, Elliott's "love of books was first ignited after working a summer job at Foyles," the Bookseller reported.

In 1976, he was introduced to Naim Attallah, who had recently acquired Quartet Books. Elliott became sales director and later editorial director. His partnership with Attallah lasted almost 50 years.  

During a hiatus from Quartet Books in the 1980s, Elliott established the small publishing house Elliott & Thompson, which he co-founded and ran with Brad Thompson; it was later purchased by current owner Lorne Forsyth. 

Elliott was also the author of several books, including Boy with a Dolphin: The Life and Work of David Wynne and A Trade of Charms, and served as ghostwriter on other titles.  

In the Guardian, Anthony Rudolf wrote that his friend "spent 60 years selling, writing and publishing books. David became a well-known figure, supporting and advising Naim Attallah, the owner of Quartet Books and the Women's Press, but is best remembered as a facilitator to other writers. He was a great editor: intuitive, educated and professional, he enabled many authors to raise their game." In the 1980s, he co-edited Book Preview with Brian Perman, a magazine appraising forthcoming books. 

"Apart from a brief period in Wiltshire in the early 2000s, David spent his life living in London. He had a lifelong love of classical music, opera, art, cinema and, above all, books," Rudolf wrote. "He campaigned effectively on social issues--especially unpopular ones--and had a gift for loyal friendship and unconditional love. Friends and colleagues remember a fun-loving, forceful presence whose strong convictions enhanced their political and cultural awareness. Even after retirement, youngsters continued to see him as a mentor and kept closely in contact."

Atria Books: Interesting Facts about Space by Emily Austin


Image of the Day: Remembering Joyce Meskis

Attending yesterday's memorial service for the late Joyce Meskis, longtime owner of the Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo., and former president of the American Booksellers Association, were many booksellers and past ABA presidents, board members, and staff: (from l.) Len Vlahos, Richard Howorth, Carole Horne, Mitchell Kaplan, Cathy Langer, Chris Finan, Suzy Staubach, Matt Miller, Barbara Theroux, Mary Gay Shipley, Kristen Vlahos, Dee Robinson, Oren Teicher, Richard Hunt, and Chuck Robinson.

Flatiron Books: The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert

Chronicle Books to Distribute Paperblanks

Chronicle Books will distribute Paperblanks in the U.S. and Canada, effective July 1. Chronicle Books and its Canadian distributor Raincoast Books will sell approximately 50 new Paperblanks titles per season and a backlist of 1,200 titles.

Founded in Vancouver, B.C., in 1991 and now headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Paperblanks publishes high-quality journals and creative tools, with image art inspired by classic book binding design, literature, science, music, mysticism, and creativity. In addition to its own product lines, Paperblanks has global co-branding partnerships with the Getty Museum and New York Public Library, as well as licensing relationships with cultural institutions around the world, including the British Library, the V&A, the Van Gogh Museum, and more.

Chronicle Books president Tyrrell Mahoney said, "We are deeply honored to be expanding our roster of gift publishing to include Paperblanks, a market leader in the industry. It is an exciting opportunity for us at Chronicle to build upon the beloved brand's longstanding success and cultivate new channels of distribution throughout the United States and Canada."

Personnel Changes at Naval Institute Press

Sam Caggiula has joined Naval Institute Press as publicity manager. He is a publishing veteran whose prior experience includes time at working at Casemate, Skyhorse, and Running Press, among other houses.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: James Risen on Fresh Air

Good Morning America: Andrew McCarthy, author of Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain (Grand Central, $28, 9781538709207).

Today Show: Andy Cohen, author of The Daddy Diaries: The Year I Grew Up (Holt, $29.99, 9781250890924). He will also appear tomorrow on Live with Kelly and Mark.

Fresh Air: James Risen, author of The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys--and One Senator's Fight to Save Democracy (Little, Brown, $32, 9780316565134).

Dr. Phil: T.D. Jakes, author of Disruptive Thinking: A Daring Strategy to Change How We Live, Lead, and Love (FaithWords, $27, 9781546004004).

Jennifer Hudson Show: Rainn Wilson, author of Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution (Hachette Go, $28, 9780306828270).

CBS Mornings: Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes, authors of Queen Charlotte (Avon, $30, 9780063305083).

Good Morning America: Senator Amy Klobuchar, author of The Joy of Politics: Surviving Cancer, a Campaign, a Pandemic, an Insurrection, and Life's Other Unexpected Curveballs (St. Martin's Press, $30, 9781250285140). She will also appear on the View.

Also on GMA: Aurora James, author of Wildflower: A Memoir (Crown, $27, 9780593239452).

Drew Barrymore: Chasten Buttigieg, author of I Have Something to Tell You--For Young Adults: A Memoir (Atheneum, $18.99, 9781665904377).

Movies: The Zone of Interest

A first  look has been released for The Zone of Interest, based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis. The Film Stage reported that it has been "nearly ten years since Jonathan Glazer debuted Under the Skin at Telluride Film Festival and now the English director has finally put the finishing touches on his follow-up." Backed by A24, The Zone of Interest will premiere in competition at Cannes Film Festival. The film features Toni Erdmann star Sandra Hüller and Christian Friedel (Amour Fou, The White Ribbon). 

Books & Authors

Awards: Carol Shields Fiction Winner; Ben Franklin Winners

When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar (One World/Random House) has won the first Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, the new English-language literary award celebrating creativity and excellence in fiction by women and non-binary writers in Canada and the U.S. and managed by the Carol Shields Prize Foundation. Asghar receives $150,000 and a residency at the Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland and Labrador. Finalists each receive $12,500.

The jury said, "A debut novel written by a skilled, assured hand, When We Were Sisters absolutely dazzles. Following three orphaned Muslim American siblings as they navigate great loss and painful comings of age, Fatimah Asghar weaves narrative threads as exacting and spare as luminous poems, their fragility a mere guise for their complete, unflinching indestructibility. Noreen, Aisha, and Kausar show us what they truly need to survive, even when everything seems taken away. Asghar's novel is a tour de force, at once stirring and beautiful, breathtaking in its lyricism, and head-turning in its experimentations."


The 168 Gold and Silver winners of the 35th annual Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Awards were celebrated at the IBPA Publishing University on Friday and can be seen here.

Reading with... Brian Alessandro

(Photo: Anthony Scutro)

Brian Alessandro has written for Interview magazine, Newsday, PANK, the Huffington Post, and recently adapted Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story into a graphic novel for Top Shelf Productions. Additionally, he co-edited Fever Spores: The Queer Reclamation of William S. Burroughs, an anthology of essays and interviews about Burroughs, for Rebel Satori Press. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the literary journal The New Engagement. His first novel, The Unmentionable Mann, was published in 2015 by Cairn Press and his first feature film, Afghan Hound (available to stream on Amazon, Tubi, and Plex) was produced by Maryea Media in 2011. His new novel, Performer Non Grata, was just published by Rebel Satori Press.

Handsell readers your book in 25 words or less:

An insecure American narcissist moves his family to Madrid to buy his way into bullfighting and invites horror for everyone in so doing.

On your nightstand now:

My Year of Rest & Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by YiYun Li, Demons by Dostoyevsky, and The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Complete Grimm's Fairytales.

Your top five authors:

Vladimir Nabokov, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Don DeLillo, and Mary Gaitskill. This list changes every few years, though Nabokov always remains.

Book you've faked reading:

Ulysses by James Joyce, but now I must read it because I am hosting a Culture Connection event about it in June for the Queens Public Library and need to fake being an expert.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Greenland by David Santos Donaldson. It's so damn inventive.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. The drawing of Howard Roark was hot.

Book you hid from your parents:

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.

Book that changed your life:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I was 16 and it, along with Kubrick's film, made me want to write fiction and make films.

Favorite line from a book:

Very many, but here is one: "There is always something left to love," by Gabriel Gárcia Márquez from One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Five books you'll never part with:

Lolita by Nabokov, Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, White Noise by DeLillo, and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

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

Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. I was 19 and I never knew a book could do what it did.

What themes or topics does your new novel, Performer Non Grata, explore?

Hot-button issues of toxic masculinity, cancel culture, social media, gender roles, and the Western urge to relocate and reinvent. It is also largely about non-human animal cruelty and how that abuse and exploitation carry over into human cruelty. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz calls Performer Non Grata "a madhouse novel."

Book Review

Review: Hedge

Hedge by Jane Delury (Zibby Books, $26.99 hardcover, 272p., 9798985282856, June 6, 2023)

Hedge by Jane Delury (The Balcony) is a roller coaster of a novel about family, creation, love, and shifting priorities, lush with detail and delicately rendered. Readers will be thinking of Delury's protagonist long after these pages close.

Maud is a garden historian, "with her odd mix of botany, archaeology, history, and practical gardening skills," and she loves her work. Originally from California, she was well suited to England, both London (where she finished her education) and the countryside, but reluctantly returned to the United States for her husband Peter's career. When Hedge opens, Maud is at work on a restoration project in New York's Hudson Valley. It is beautiful, stimulating work, and she is likewise stimulated by the company of Gabriel, a handsome, intriguing archeologist at work on the same site. Her two daughters, Ella and Louise, are about to join her for the rest of the summer. Peter remains in California: the couple has separated "both geographically and maritally," and Maud plans to make this separation permanent and legal, but their girls don't know this yet. On the cusp of an affair with Gabriel, she feels enlivened, awakened by his attention, her own physicality, the thrill of discovering flower beds from the Civil War era and the turning of the earth. She allows herself to dream of what a new life could look like for her as well as for the scotch roses, lilac, clematis, and honeysuckle she plants. But when the girls arrive from California, 13-year-old Ella suffers a trauma that snowballs into life-changing events for all involved.

The idyll in New York ends suddenly, and Maud's next months and years are spent dealing with hard choices between undesirable outcomes. She wrestles to balance meaningful work and practicalities; lustful, soulful connection, and the mundane compromises of marriage; her own needs and those of her children. "You could comfort yourself with statistics, tell yourself that a twenty-year relationship was a good run. After all, when marriage was invented, no one lived this long. But it was still a jagged gash through your life, even if it was what you wanted." Delury's prose is finely detailed, saturated with color and feeling; Maud's passion for her work is as substantial and sympathetic as her love for her daughters. Both a quiet domestic tale and a novel of surprising suspense, Hedge cycles from hopeful to harrowing and back again. Maud is nurturing and steely, riveting and unforgettable. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: In this profound novel about love, loss, and choices, a summer's exciting work and exhilarating affair will reverberate through the lives of a deeply likeable protagonist and her family for years.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in April

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during April:

1. Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Happy Place by Emily Henry (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes (HarperAudio)
8. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperAudio)
9. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (HarperAudio)
10. Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez (Hachette Audio)

1. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
2. Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (Simon & Schuster Audio)
4. Chokepoint Capitalism by Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow (Cordoc-Co)
5. The Wager by David Grann (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
8. Spare by Prince Harry (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith (Simon & Schuster Audio)

Wicked Son: Adam Unrehearsed by Don Futterman
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