Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 4, 2024

Flatiron Books: The Courting of Bristol Keats: [Limited Stenciled Edge Edition] by Mary E Pearson

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Chronicle Books: Taste in Music: Eating on Tour with Indie Musicians by Luke Pyenson and Alex Beeker

Doubleday Books: Death at the Sign of the Rook: A Jackson Brodie Book by Kate Atkinson

Groundwood Books: Who We Are in Real Life by Victoria Koops

Agate Bolden: 54 Miles by Leonard Pitts Jr.


Monstera's Books Opening in Overland Park, Kan.

Monstera's Books will open tomorrow, March 5, in the old Wyldewood Cellars building at 7930 Floyd St. in downtown Overland Park, Kan. In an e-mail announcing the launch, owners Kate and Justin Wieners noted that they "still have some things to do, but we've got wall-to-wall books and plants. This month has been a whirlwind."

They also offered some updates in anticipation of the opening, including: "Our space is looking great. We built all the bookshelves ourselves in our driveway--which has been worth it, but it's a labor of love. They're built with reclaimed wood from a warehouse in Harlan, Iowa (Thanks, Alan!). It feels good that the shelves have a story, and some character and patina... but it meant hours and hours of pulling out rusty nails and sanding.

"The website is live! You can poke around to see what kind of inventory we have... all of our products are on the website, except for used books.

"Plant inventory was delivered a few days ago. After months of planning and coordinating all of these different pieces, it feels SO SO good to have our shop filled up with books and plants. It was a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get to this point."

The co-owners expressed appreciation "to all the folks who have stopped by to say hello and peek at the store. It's been so fun to meet everyone and hear about how excited people are. It's very meaningful that this store is bigger than just our own personal dreams. It's something the community is excited about, too."

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Books-A-Million Expands Same-Day and Next-Day Delivery

Books-A-Million and Walmart have expanded their partnership so that customers across the country can now receive same-day delivery service through Walmart GoLocal. The companies launched same-day delivery for BAM customers last September, beginning in the Southeast and Midwest.

To place an order, customers shopping at can select the "same-day delivery" option during checkout. Thousands of products that are in stock in nearby stores, including "all top-selling books, toys, games, and collectibles," will be available. Customers who place an order before 3 p.m. will receive deliveries the same day, and orders placed after 3 p.m. will be delivered the next day.

Pete Zophy, senior v-p of e-commerce at Books-A-Million, said, "We are excited to offer the convenience and speed of same-day delivery across our entire chain of Books-A-Million stores nationwide. Our commitment to providing exceptional service and value is at the forefront of everything we do, and this new offering is just one more way we are delivering on that promise."

The nationwide service began with a deal that lasts through March 9: customers who place online orders receive a $5 off $25 coupon and a free reusable tote.

Obituary Note: Ellen Bernstein

Ellen Bernstein

Ellen Bernstein, author, rabbi, and "birthmother of contemporary Jewish environmentalism," died February 26 at age 70. Her most recent book, Toward a Holy Ecology: Reading the Song of Songs in the Age of Climate Crisis, was published just two weeks ago, on February 20, by Monkfish Book Publishing/Consortium. Her other books include The Promise of the Land: A Passover Haggadah, Splendor of Creation: A Biblical Ecology, and Ecology & the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature & the Sacred Meet.

Bernstein studied environmental science, seeking a path that included a spiritual approach. In 1988, she founded Shomrei Adamah (Keepers of the Earth), the first Jewish national environmental organization. She has been involved with a variety of religious environmental organizations including Third Act Faith and the Green Sabbath Project, and she was an advisor to the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. She became a rabbi in 2012.

She was remembered (via the Jewish Telegraphic Agency) in part by her friend Shira Dicker, who called Toward a Holy Ecology "sure to be her masterwork":

"She was super-smart, something often difficult to discern in shy people. I've been with her at large settings where she was tormented by the torrents of talk and the high volume of voices. I've also seen her sidestep her way through crowds to the podium and deliver eloquent, poetic, visionary words. I last heard her speak at the United Nations General Assembly this past fall and she was magnificent--speaking about the role women can play in responding to the climate crisis.

"Ellen was entirely authentic; she lived the mission of the organization she founded. Yes, there was her make-up-free, untrendy natural appearance, but it was her organic, unadorned soul which was most luminous....

"Ellen changed my life, and that of so many others, by rooting us in our authentic skins and teaching us to feel the earth move under our feet. She peeled away the artifice of contemporary society and popular culture and gave us permission to see and inhabit the true essence of life--the seasons, flowers, birds, animals, mountains, rivers, the sun rising and setting, rainbows, the smell of rain, fields, deserts, the scent and sweep of great winds, the majesty of the ocean, deep lush forests, fragrances and sounds, the great swirling hullabaloo, orchestrated by God, given to humankind to protect."

Shelf Awareness Delivers Indie Pre-Order E-Blast

Last week, Shelf Awareness sent our monthly pre-order e-blast to nearly 960,000 of the country's best book readers. The e-blast went to 956,075 customers of 243 participating independent bookstores.

The mailing features 11 upcoming titles selected by Shelf Awareness editors and a sponsored title. Customers can buy these books via "pre-order" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on each sending store's website. A key feature is that bookstore partners can easily change title selections to best reflect the tastes of their customers and can customize the mailing with links, images and promotional copy of their own.

The pre-order e-blasts are sent the last Wednesday of each month; the next will go out on Wednesday, March 27. Stores interested in learning more can visit our program registration page or contact our partner program team via e-mail.

For a sample of the February pre-order e-blast, see this one from Beacon Hill Books & Cafe, Boston, Mass.

The titles highlighted in the pre-order e-blast were:

Funny Story by Emily Henry (Berkley)
The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron)
Table for Two by Amor Towles (Viking)
Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes (Tor Nightfire)
The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson (Crown)
Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie (Random House)
The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez (Algonquin)
PlantYou by Carleigh Bodrug (Hachette Go)
Like Love by Maggie Nelson (Graywolf)
The Reappearance of Rachel Price by Holly Jackson (Delacorte Press)
Last Comics on Earth: Too Many Villains! by Max Brailler with Joshua Pruett, illus. by Jay Cooper and Douglas Holgate (Viking Books for Young Readers)


Image of the Day: Bookstore Training Spring Class

Last week, 22 trainees representing 19 potential new bookstores were at Story & Song Bookstore Bistro on Amelia Island, Fla., for hands-on training with the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates. All represent general-interest and specialty bookstore start-ups from across the country in small communities as well as urban centers.

Cool Idea of the Day: 'Reader-in-Residence' Program

Perelandra Bookshop, Fort Collins, Colo., is offering a reader-in-residence program that, unlike more traditional artist-in-residence or writer-in-residence programs, does not require anything "except show up to the bookstore a couple of times per week and read," the Coloradoan reported.

"I think the residence paralleled my own personal concerns about the extent to which we focus ourselves on production," said Joe Braun, principal book buyer and creator of the position. "In focusing on production, foregrounding content creation, what we do is necessarily create a consumer in the process. The idea is: produce, consume, produce, consume.

"Having gone through undergrad and grad school--even though they were great experiences--there was that constant drive to show that you understand. To make something of your understanding. I'm like, you know what, we kind of just need understanding. We don't always need proof of it."

The reader-in-residence gets a small stipend for their three-month stint--$50 per month for books, and another $50 per month for coffee. They also have access to Perelandra's wholesale book catalog. The Coloradoan noted that the "overt goal of the residency is to foster a space for people to experience literature more thoughtfully. The underlying goal is to make them want to smash their phones with a sledgehammer."

"We do so much reading now, but it's mostly reading for information at best. At best. At worst it's like a pure little shot of dopamine before moving to the next post," said Steven Shafer, Perelandra's current reader-in-residence. "It is almost the exact opposite of what I've gotten to experience here."

B&N's March Book Club Pick: After Annie

Barnes & Noble has chosen After Annie by Anna Quindlen (Random House) as its March national book club selection. In a live virtual event on Tuesday, April 2, at 3 p.m. Eastern, Quindlen will be in conversation with Lexie Smyth, category manager for fiction at B&N, and Jenna Seery, associate producer of Poured Over, the B&N Podcast.

Smyth commented: "After Annie cements Anna Quindlen's status as one of the great chroniclers of familial relationships. A novel about a year in the life of a family reeling after the death of a young mother, After Annie is a moving novel of resilience and community. Quindlen has crafted a story that demonstrates the ways we come together after tragedy strikes, and the ripple effect we have on the lives of those around us. Intimate, hopeful, and rich, our Book Club readers will undoubtedly have great discussions about the Brown family and their circle of friends."

The Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of After Annie features a jacket with silver foil, gloss, heavy textured paper stock, and green endpapers. It also includes a conversation between Anna Quindlen and author J. Courtney Sullivan and a book club discussion guide. Leading up to the event, readers can share their thoughts and engage in conversation on social media using the hashtag #BNBookClub. During the livestream, readers are encouraged to participate in the discussion and submit questions to be answered throughout.

For more information, click here.

Personnel Changes at Zibby Media; Candlewick Press, Holiday House, and Peachtree

At Zibby Media:

Anne Messitte has been promoted to president.

Graca Tito has been promoted to director of events.


At Candlewick Press, Holiday House, and Peachtree:

Tracy Miracle has been promoted to v-p, publicity. She was formerly senior executive director of publicity and marketing campaigns at Candlewick Press.

Michelle Montague has been promoted to v-p, trade marketing. She was formerly executive director, marketing at Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel+Ink.

Karen Walsh has been promoted to v-p, consumer and brand marketing. She was formerly executive director of marketing and publicity, brands, and key titles at Candlewick Press.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: RuPaul on GMA, Fresh Air, Colbert, the View

CBS Mornings: Emily Calandrelli, author of Stay Curious and Keep Exploring: Next Level: 50 Bigger, Bolder Science Experiments to Do with the Whole Family (Chronicle Prism, $22.95, 9781797226484).

Good Morning America: RuPaul, author of The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir (Dey Street, $29.99, 9780063263901). He will also appear today on Fresh Air, tonight on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and tomorrow on the View.

Live with Kelly and Mark: Linsey Davis, co-author of Girls of the World: Doing More Than Ever Before (Zonderkidz, $19.99, 9780310749660).

Drew Barrymore: Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, author of JoyFull: Cook Effortlessly, Eat Freely, Live Radiantly (Simon Element, $35, 9781982199722).

Tamron Hall: Blake Butler, author of Molly (Archway Editions, $17.95, 9781648230370).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: David Sedaris, author of Pretty Ugly (TOON Books, $18.99, 9781662665271).

Good Morning America: Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier Revised Edition: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story (Dey Street, $17.99, 9780062917607).

Today Show: Phil Rosenthal and Lily Rosenthal, authors of Just Try It! (Simon & Schuster, $18.99, 9781665942638). They will also appear on the Drew Barrymore Show.

Kelly Clarkson Show: Hoda Kotb, author of Hope Is a Rainbow (Flamingo Books, $19.99, 9780593624128).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sen. Bernie Sanders, author of It's OK to Be Angry About Capitalism (Crown, $20, 9780593238738).

Tonight Show: Savannah Guthrie, author of Mostly What God Does: Reflections on Seeking and Finding His Love Everywhere (Thomas Nelson, $29.99, 9781400341122).

TV: Long Bright River

Ashleigh Cummings (Citadel), Callum Vinson (Chucky), and John Doman (The Wire) have been added to the cast of Long Bright River, Peacock's limited suspense thriller led by Amanda Seyfried and Nicholas Pinnock, Deadline reported. The project is adapted from Liz Moore's bestselling 2020 book. 

Nikki Toscano and Moore are writing and exec producing, with Toscano serving as showrunner. Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, and Amanda Lewis exec produce for Original Film, along with Amy Pascal for Pascal Pictures, Seyfried, and Russell Rothberg. Hagar Ben-Asher is directing and exec producing the first episode of the show which hails from Sony Pictures Television and UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Books & Authors

Awards: European Union Literature Nominees

The nominees have been announced for 2024 European Union Prize for Literature, which recognizes emerging fiction writers from the European Union and beyond and is organized by a consortium of associations comprising the Federation of European Publishers and the European & International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), with the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The 13 authors and their novels were nominated by national entities knowledgeable about the literary scene in their countries and used to promoting their own literature abroad. The winner and five special mentions will be revealed on April 4 during the Brussels Book Fair's Place de l'Europe. To see the nominees, click here.

Jean-Luc Treutenaere, co-president of EIBF, said: "Once again, the EUPL has achieved what it does best: conveying the richness and diversity of European literature, outlining every year some of the most promising fiction authors in the participating countries. In 2024, EUPL has spotlighted 13 authors, out of which a European jury will select five special mentions and one overall winner. What truly matters, however, is the lasting contribution that each of these novels make to the nurture of European literature. On behalf of the European & International Booksellers Federation, I want to congratulate all the authors, and I cannot wait to see their works grace the shelves of bookshops across Europe."

Book Review

Review: The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club by Helen Simonson (The Dial Press, $29 hardcover, 432p., 9781984801319, May 7, 2024)

The summertime beach resort setting could not be more dazzling for Helen Simonson's marvelous third novel, The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club, a historical drama navigating topics of class and women's rights in England after World War I. Strong on comic relief, the plot unfolds for the most part at the perfectly respectable, if not top of the line, Meredith Hotel in the British seaside town of Hazelbourne on the eve of Armistice celebrations. Here, Simonson summons an impressive and entertaining cast of trousers-wearing female motorcyclists, snooty aristocrats, one particularly pompous American and, at the center of it all, a young woman from a farming family struggling to define the next phase of her life.

Constance Haverhill recently lost her mother, and her home as well. During the war she managed her benefactor Lady Mercer's estate, but now the job will go to a returning veteran. She'll have to find employment and a new home soon, but in the meantime, she is to serve as a companion to Mrs. Fog, Lady Mercer's mother, as she recovers from influenza at the Meredith. Constance is soon befriended by the delightfully unconventional Poppy Wirrall, owner of a motorcycle club and a women's taxi service made up of former female "despatch riders." Poppy's glamorous mother lives at the hotel, while her handsome but prickly brother, Harris, an aviator, struggles to reclaim his independence after losing a leg in the war.

Matters take an alarming turn when Lady Mercer unexpectedly arrives at the Meredith and puts a stop to Constance's and Mrs. Fog's fun. Lady Mercer, a clever caricature of aristocracy behaving badly, is matched only by her daughter's boorish Washington politician husband, Percy. As the much awaited "Peace Day" events get underway, Constance vows to forge her own postbellum legacy, starting with affairs of the heart that take her in unexpected, yet truly wondrous, new directions, while the newly recuperated Mrs. Fog announces an amorous surprise of her own.

Dazzling sunshine and gloriously green countryside, the backdrop for Poppy's and Constance's adventures, bathe the story in a warm light, even as Poppy's purchase of a damaged warplane causes friction among club members and money troubles drive Harris further into despair. Simonson (The Summer Before the War) expertly probes cultural tensions hindering her characters' efforts at post-war reinvention, including the immense human cost of combat, the hypocrisy of letting women work during wartime but not afterward, and class differences that place Constance at a steep societal disadvantage. --Shahina Piyarali

Shelf Talker: A delightful historical drama set in a British seaside town and starring an impressive cast of trousers-wearing female motorcyclists seeking to rebuild their lives after World War I.

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