Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 28, 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.


The Pretty Posy Books & Gifts Boutique Opens in Overland Park, Kan.

The Pretty Posy Books & Gifts Boutique has opened at 7942 Santa Fe Drive in downtown Overland Park, Kan. Last November, owner Erin Oliva had announced the temporary closing of her specialty clothing shop, the Pretty Posy Boutique--located in the same space--with the goal of relaunching the business as a bookstore. 

Oliva told the Johnson County Post that while she loved putting together the boutique's collections and connecting with customers, she had started to feel burned out about selling clothes, but wasn't ready to give up the space. As a former elementary school teacher and lifelong reader, the alternative strategy was a logical one. 

Pretty Posy carries books in several genres, but particularly caters toward women and children, with a large romance section and substantial children's books section. The former boutique's smaller dressing rooms have become reading nooks, and there is also a "creator's corner" with a table and chairs in the back of the store for children to write and color, the Post noted. Pretty Posy also sells a range of gifts, such as greeting cards, stickers, journals and mugs.

"I'm just really excited to see where it goes," Oliva said, adding that she also plans to host book clubs and read-alouds for younger readers at the store. 

Early community support has been strong, including from the recently opened Monstera's Books. The Post wrote that Oliva "paid a visit to that store when it opened, and when hers opened three weeks later, Monstera's Books owner Kate Wieners was there in support too--and armed with a plant from her store."

"I think people are kind of swinging back to wanting the experience of coming into a bookstore," Olivia said. "We can buy from Amazon, it's not going anywhere, but if we want these small book shops to be around, we have to support them or they will just not be here."

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Vroman's to Close Hastings Ranch Bookstore 

Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., will close its Hastings Ranch store on Foothill Boulevard on May 12. Joel Sheldon, whose family has owned Vroman's for most of its 130-year history, announced in January that the company, which also includes the main store on Colorado Boulevard as well as Book Soup in West Hollywood, was seeking new ownership

In a message to customers released yesterday, Vroman's noted that at the time of the earlier announcement, it was in lease negotiations for the Hastings Ranch location and optimistic about continuing to do business there. The company was not, however, able to reach an agreement with the property owner of Hastings Ranch that was sustainable, due to increasing occupancy expenses. 

"After more than 20 years at that site, we have a dedicated customer base and an equally dedicated group of booksellers," Vroman's wrote. "We know that because we frequently hear from customers how much they love that store and the staff.... While this development is unexpected and disappointing, we are most disheartened by the impact on our co-workers. Their dedication and hard work made that store successful, and we are forever grateful. Twelve co-workers are impacted by this and we will do everything we can to support them through continued employment with the company where possible. Bookstores matter. Our top priority has always been to be a healthy and thriving bookstore destination no matter how many locations."

Vroman's added that it will "use this opportunity to concentrate our efforts on making the customer experience at our flagship store on Colorado Boulevard better than ever.... Rest assured, our Colorado Boulevard location is secure and the search for the right new ownership continues. As always, we greatly appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to serve you at our Colorado Boulevard location in the months and years to come."

Nicole Winstanley Named President, Publisher of Simon & Schuster Canada

Nicole Winstanley
(photo: Simon Remark)

Nicole Winstanley has been named president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Canada, effective April 11, and will be a member of S&S's executive committee. She was most recently publisher of Penguin Canada and v-p of Penguin Random House Canada. She first joined Penguin Canada in 2006 as a senior editor and was made publisher in 2010 and president and publisher in 2012. She was named v-p of Penguin Random House Canada in 2015. Prior to joining Penguin Canada, she served as director of international rights at Westwood Creative Artists Literary Agency.

S&S president & CEO Jonathan Karp called Winstanley "one of the most highly regarded publishers at work in Canada. Nicole's reputation for excellence, her commitment to authors, and her keen editorial eye will help us become an even greater force throughout Canada and all of the territories in which we publish. We are thrilled to be welcoming Nicole to our executive leadership team and committed to her vision of publishing an even broader range of books in Canada--works of great popular interest and high literary quality."

Karp added: "Simon & Schuster Canada plays a vital role in both our North American publishing strategy and as a member of our international family of companies. Our Canadian colleagues are an outstanding group of publishing professionals who have achieved considerable success in their marketplace for both Canadian-originated titles and books from their fellow Simon & Schuster companies. We can look forward to seeing them build on that success under Nicole's leadership."

Winstanley said she has been "enormously impressed" by S&S Canada's "significant impact on the Canadian publishing landscape in a relatively short period of time. I look forward to building on that success and to working closely with Jon Karp, whom I have long admired, and the rest of the Simon & Schuster team." She added, "I feel fortunate to have worked with some of the most outstanding editorial talents during my time at Penguin Canada, and I will always be grateful for all they taught me and the books we published together, which I will continue to cherish and celebrate."

During her time at Penguin, Winstanley published a strong list of Canadian books and authors, including Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley, Bunny by Mona Awad, The Strangers by katherena vermette, The Maid by Nita Prose, The Push by Ashley Audrain, Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee, and numerous works by bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay. She also published such international authors as Arundhati Roy, Zadie Smith, Khaled Hosseini, NoViolet Bulawayo, Sarah Winman, Helen Oyeyemi, Stieg Larsson, Deborah Levy, John le Carré, Aleksandar Hemon, and Ali Smith.

New B&N Stores Coming to Mount Kisco, N.Y., Papillion, Neb.

Barnes & Noble is opening a store in downtown Mount Kisco, N.Y., later this year, the Examiner News reported.

B&N has signed a lease effective August 2 for a 13,700-square-foot space at 59 S. Moger Ave. The store will include a cafe and likely will open by October or November, said Janine Flanigan, senior director of store planning and design for B&N. It will be the sixth B&N in Westchester County.

Chamber of Commerce co-executive directors Lorretta Brooks and Beth Vetare Civitello called the arrival of B&N "a great addition to the already vibrant downtown area."

Borders had a popular store in downtown Mount Kisco that closed when the company went out of business in 2011.


Barnes & Noble will open a store at Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion, Neb., in late 2024 or early 2025. WOWT reported that the move fills a longtime gap: "A Barnes & Noble once stood at 74th and Dodge Street near Target at the former Crossroads Mall. A Borders bookstore was across the street on the corner of 72nd and Dodge."

B&N is taking over the former Best Buy Store in Papillion, which closed in 2023.

Obituary Note: Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff, "whose incisive, at times idiosyncratic readings of avant-garde artists like Ezra Pound, John Cage and John Ashbery made her one of the world's leading scholars of contemporary poetry," died March 24, the New York Times reported. She was 92.

Perloff, who spent the latter part of her career at Stanford University, "made her name as a forceful advocate for experimental poetry, reaching back to early 20th-century writers like Pound and Gertrude Stein and embracing more recent movements like Language poetry and conceptual poetry," the Times wrote, noting she argued that a critic's task was not to search for meaning, but to explicate the form and texture of a poem.

"Many people faced with difficult, abstract, nontraditional writing don't know what to say," Charles Bernstein, a poet and professor emeritus of English at the University of Pennsylvania, observed. "She'd make it familiar, she'd solve the puzzle, to some degree."

Perloff was a critic of the Western canon, though her concern "was not that it left out people of color or of non-European heritage, but that it was an obstacle to the avant-garde," the Times noted, adding that she was an advocate of close reading.

"She definitely turned against the reigning mode of whom to read and how to write about them to expand the canon and look at more challenging experimental work," said Andrew Epstein, a professor of English at Florida State University.

Perloff gained notice with her book Frank O'Hara: Poet Among Painters (1977). Beginning in the early 1980s, she wrote a series of works that traced the history of avant-garde poetry, as well as exploring art, music and philosophy. She also argued that the rise of electronic media required radical new ways of writing and thinking.

After teaching at the Catholic University of America in Washington from 1966 to 1971, she moved to the University of Maryland, and later taught at the University of Southern California until 1986, when she started at Stanford.

Though she took emeritus status in 2001, Perloff remained active, writing reviews and essays for journals as well as seven more books, including a memoir, The Vienna Paradox (2004), and, in 2022, her translation of notebooks that philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein kept during World War I. 

Her other works include Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire (2016), Poetics in a New Key: Interviews and Essays (2014), Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century (2010), and Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy (2004). A few weeks before her death, Liveright released a new translation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, with a foreword by Perloff.

"Many people in my field were always waiting to see what she'd do next," Epstein said.


Personnel Changes at Berkley; Holt

Craig Burke has been promoted to v-p, associate publisher at Berkley. He was previously v-p & executive director of publicity and director of special projects.


At Holt:

Laura Flavin has been promoted to senior director, marketing.

Clarissa Long has been promoted to senior manager, publicity.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Nancy A. Nichols on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Nancy A. Nichols, author of Women Behind the Wheel: An Unexpected and Personal History of the Car (Pegasus Books, $28.95, 9781639365593).

The Talk: Tembi Locke, author of From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home (Simon & Schuster, $18, 9781501187667).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization (Holt, $18.99, 9781250861511).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Tucson Festival of Books; Jonathan Karp on S&S

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, March 30
5:55 p.m. Jeffrey Rosen, author of The Pursuit of Happiness: How Classical Writers on Virtue Inspired the Lives of the Founders and Defined America (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781668002476).

Sunday, March 31
10 a.m. Jonathan Haidt, author of The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness (Penguin Press, $30, 9780593655030). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

11 a.m. Amanda Collins Johnson, author of Beyond Survival: Reclaiming My Life After I Survived Rape (Redemption Press, $19.99, 9781646450619). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

2:30 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. Coverage of the 2024 Tucson Festival of Books in Tucson, Ariz. Highlights include:

  • 2:30 Kashmir Hill, author of Your Face Belongs to Us, Jeff Horwitz, author of Broken Code, and Barbara McQuade, author of Attack From Within, on digital information and disinformation.
  • 3:30 Martin Baron, author of Collision of Power, Franklin Foer, author of The Last Politician, and Brian Stelter, author of Network of Lies, on the future of the free press.
  • 4:28 Jonathan Eig, author of King: A Life, Antonia Hylton, author of Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum, and Edwin Raymond, author of An Inconvenient Cop, on race and the legacy of MLK Jr.
  • 5:33 Martin Baron, author of Collision of Power, Robert Jones, author of The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy, and Barbara McQuade, author of Attack From Within, on First Amendment protections and abuses.
  • 6:36 Steven Levitsky, author of Tyranny of the Minority, and Stephen Vladeck, author of The Shadow Docket, on the future of democracy.

7:40 p.m. Simon & Schuster president and CEO Jonathan Karp discusses the company's history and authors.

Books & Authors

Awards: PROSE Winners; Women's Non-Fiction Shortlist; Joyce Carol Oates Finalists

The Association of American Publishers has announced the Excellence winners of its annual PROSE Awards--recognizing best-in-class scholarly publications--as well as the R.R. Hawkins Award, the overall prize.

The winner of the Hawkins Award--and winner of the Excellence in Biological and Life Sciences Award--is The Voices of Nature: How and Why Animals Communicate by Nicolas Mathevon (Princeton University Press)

The other three Excellence winners are:
Humanities: Giotto's Arena Chapel and the Triumph of Humility by Henrike Christiane Lange (Cambridge University Press)
Physical Sciences and Mathematics: Mnemonic Ecologies: Memory and Nature Conservation along the Former Iron Curtain by Sonja K. Pieck (The MIT Press)
Social Sciences: Residual Governance: How South Africa Foretells Planetary Futures by Gabrielle Hecht (Duke University Press)


The shortlist has been selected for the inaugural Women's Prize for Non-Fiction. The winner, who receives £30,000 (about $37,760), will be announced June 13.

Chair of judges Suzannah Lipscomb said, "Our magnificent shortlist is made up of six powerful, impressive books that are characterised by the brilliance and beauty of their writing and which each offer a unique, original perspective. The readers of these books will never see the world--be it through art, history, landscape, politics, religion or technology--the same again."

The shortlist:
How to Say Babylon: A Jamaican Memoir by Safiya Sinclair
All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles
Code Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI by Madhumita Murgia
A Flat Place: A Memoir by Noreen Masud
Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life & Sudden Death by Laura Cumming
Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein


Finalists have been selected for the 2024 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, which honors "emerged and continually emerging authors of major consequence--short stories and/or novels--at the relative midpoint of a burgeoning career," and is sponsored by the New Literary Project. The winner, who receives $50,000 and will have a brief fall residence at the University of California, Berkeley, will be announced in April. The finalists:

Jamel Brinkley whose most recent book is Witness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Patricia Engel, The Faraway World (Avid Reader)
Ben Fountain, Devil Makes Three (Flatiron)
Idra Novey, Take What You Need (Viking)
Bennett Sims, Other Minds and Other Stories (Two Dollar Radio)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 2:

Table for Two: Fictions by Amor Towles (Viking, $32, 9780593296370) contains six short stories and a novella.

Sharpe's Command: Richard Sharpe and the Bridge at Almaraz, May 1812 by Bernard Cornwell (Harper, $30, 9780063219298) is the 14th Richard Sharpe military historical fiction book.

City in Ruins: A Novel by Don Winslow (Morrow, $32, 9780063079472) is book three in the Danny Ryan thriller trilogy.

Toll of Honor by David Weber (Baen, $30, 9781982193317) is the 15th Honor Harrington military sci-fi book.

Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction by Ann Leckie (Orbit, $30, 9780316553575) contains sci-fi and fantasy short stories and a novelette.

Continental Drifter by Kathy MacLeod (First Second, $14.99, 9781250813749) is a middle-grade debut graphic memoir about growing up in both Bangkok and a seaside town in Maine.

The Reappearance of Rachel Price by Holly Jackson (Delacorte, $20.99, 9780593374207) features a young woman trying to solve her mother's disappearance even as her mother reappears during the filming of a true crime documentary.

Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI by Ethan Mollick (Portfolio, $30, 9780593716717) explores positive new uses for artificial intelligence.

Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781668003183) is the memoir of a sociopath.

Puerto Rico: A National History by Jorell Meléndez-Badillo (Princeton University Press, $29.95, 9780691231273) traces Puerto Rican history from pre-Columbian times to today.

Swamp Kings: The Murdaugh Family of South Carolina and a Century of Backwoods Power by Jason Ryan (Pegasus Crime, $32, 9781639365678) investigates a criminal lawyer's crime spree.

The Propagation Handbook: A Guide to Propagating Houseplants by Hilton Carter (CICO Books, $30, 9781800653108) includes plentiful photography.

Garment of Praise: An Amish Romance by Linda Byler (Good Books, $16.99, 9781680999068).

Macho Man: The Untamed, Unbelievable Life of Randy Savage by Jon Finkel (ECW Press, $22.95, 9781770417588).

The Rested Soul: 30 Meditations to Quiet Your Heart by Tessa Afshar (Moody Publishers, $17.99, 9780802431172).

All the Fiends of Hell by Adam Nevill (Ritual Limited, $15.99, 9781739378417).

Favor Ain't Fair: 90 Promises for Experiencing God's Blessing, Abundance, and Provision by T.D. Jakes (Destiny Image, $18.99, 9780768476583).

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez (Forever, $17.99, 9781538704431).

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:

Bye, Baby: A Novel by Carola Lovering (St. Martin's Press, $29, 9781250289360). "Tell Me Lies made me a Carola Lovering fan, and she has not disappointed since. Bye, Baby is as dark and thrilling as ever and may be my favorite work she's ever done." --Kailey Fox, Kingfisher Bookstore, Coupeville, Wash.

Thunder Song: Essays by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe (Counterpoint, $27, 9781640096356). "Thunder Song is an insightful account of growing up Indigenous and Queer on stolen land. LaPointe is not consumed with sitting in trauma, but in finding a way forward joyfully and caring for herself and the people around her. Not to be missed." --Margaret Leonard, Dotters Books, Eau Claire, Wis.

Red Clay Suzie: A Novel by Jeffrey Dale Lofton (Post Hill Press, $18.99, 9798888455289). "Red Clay Suzie and Philbet's coming-of-age story stole my heart. Jeffrey Dale Lofton is a writer to watch. Highly recommend!" --Karen Schwettman, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, Ga.

Ages 3 to 6
Doris by Lo Cole (Boxer Books, $18.99, 9781915801289). "Doris the elephant doesn't want to be noticed, so she tries to find the perfect hiding place. She goes through the birds, flowers, and fish in her attempt to stay hidden. This is a perfect book for any child who struggles with being shy." --Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books, New Orleans, La.

Ages 8 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Daughters of the Lamp by Nedda Lewers (Putnam Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780593619308). "A magical tale of a science-minded kid encountering things she can't explain as Sahara and her father travel to Egypt for a family wedding. This was an adorable book full of family love and Arabian traditions!" --Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.

Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
How the Boogeyman Became a Poet by Tony Keith, Jr. (Katherine Tegen, $19.99, 9780063296008). "This affirming memoir in verse walks the reader through the beautiful journey of being honest with yourself and fostering community. This book is for anyone trying to put the puzzle pieces of life together, but feel like they are missing just one piece." --Maryan Liban, Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, Columbus, Ohio

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Fire Exit

Fire Exit by Morgan Talty (Tin House Books, $28.95 hardcover, 256p., 9781959030553, June 4, 2024)

Fire Exit by Morgan Talty (Night of the Living Rez) centers on one man navigating issues of family: the death of his father figure, his mother's lifelong and worsening health conditions, the daughter he knows only from afar and who doesn't know who he is. In hardscrabble circumstances, surrounded by poverty, alcoholism, and family violence, he wishes to give his daughter a meaningful gift: the truth. Stark and tender, Talty's debut novel compassionately addresses tough choices in matters of family and love.

Charles Lamosway has grown up on the Penobscot reservation in Maine, but does not have Native American blood. Although very close to his Native stepfather, Frederick, whom he generally refers to as father, his biological parentage meant he had to move off the reservation when he came of age. Frederick purchased land and helped to build the house where Charles lives now, just across the river. Largely isolated with few friends, Charles watches from his porch the family on the other side: Mary, Roger, and their daughter, Elizabeth. Charles is Elizabeth's biological father, a secret he has kept at Mary's request. But as he ages, and as his mother Louise's health worsens, he feels increasingly that Elizabeth, now an adult, must know the truth.

Charles insists, "Maybe her body and mind know something is missing." This urge becomes a fixation, a bodily need. Elizabeth faces medical problems, and he is convinced she needs the truth--including Louise's medical history--to survive: "I felt she should know her body was special, and she should know its history, especially the one it would not tell her and the one she could not see. And I decided to tell what I knew, because she deserved to know it." But it is just possible that what Charles sees as necessary will have an entirely different outcome from what he intends.

Fire Exit is concerned with bodies, with visceral needs not only for food and shelter but for truth. Louise's failing body and mind are wrapped up with unresolved questions about Frederick's death. Talty's tersely poetic, descriptive prose grounds this story in the physical: "Between the river's flow and the summer breeze rippling hard-to-see leaves and the sound my scraping shoe made on the porch, I heard night silence. I heard the workings of my inner body, the pump of my heart and the expanding of my lungs." In Maine's harsh winters, Talty's characters face elemental as well as human dangers.

This first novel grapples with family issues and hard choices about love and responsibility; blood, culture, and belonging. It is an utterly absorbing story, always firmly rooted in the corporeal; tough, honest, but not bitter. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: On the boundary of Maine's Penobscot reservation, a solitary man wrestles with questions of truth, family history, and what is owed to the next generation.

Deeper Understanding

Among Friends: Cole Becker on B. Dalton

Among the many contributors to Among Friends: An Illustrated Oral History of Book Publishing and Bookselling in the 20th Century, published last fall by Two Trees Press and distributed by Ingram Content Group, is B. Dalton Bookseller veteran Cole Becker. Here we reproduce his contribution, "The Twentieth Century," a poem about bookselling and publishing.


Books from the beginning of time

Books to the end of time

The years passed


Strange, and I would live in their luxury.

So once upon a time seduced by word and thought

I took to the open road with fortuitous luck and joy.

The summer of '73 I found myself unemployed

Without a future, and a lot of time to read

Philosophy and literary criticism, and impossible

Kantian thought, the poetry of Robert Lowell and John Berryman.

Had I known what was to come, wouldn't I have prepared?

Then it happened: B. Dalton opened its one hundredth store.

An advertisement ran, a fearful ambition channeled the quest.

Trepidations abounded like snow in summer.

This is what happens when something synchronistic

Comes your way, verse and chapter, the book opened.

Way too many applicants chasing a dream

Yet something was on its way once upon a time.

So I did not make the cut off, retreating into simple reality,

I headed for the front door; fate is a fortune without regret.

How I got into a conversation with the store manager

As I was leaving I'll never know, but he was a fellow

North Dakotan willing to hire me for that fact alone.

What was to happen happened.

We had a week to get the store open, before a very prestigious

Corporate crowd descended. Thousands upon thousands of books

Were shelved. Dick Fontaine and Allan Kahn showcased the glamorous

Event. Three months later, once upon a time, Dalton hired their first

Assistant buyer. Once again fortuitous luck opened its bridge into

Another land. I landed an interview with Mr. Fontaine.

That new position was one in children's books.

What did I know about children's books, absolutely nothing, and

That was the way they wanted it. Someone without knowledge of the genre,

Someone they could mold. I set out to learn as much as possible, the world

Of children's books was vast and exotic, arcane and splendorous. Months later

My mentor Gracie Henry the solo person entrusted with operating the department

Assigned me the publishers I would be responsible for, and they were many. From

Sea to shining sea, soon there were Daltons from coast to coast, urban and rural,

Very large stores, some major stand alones like our New York City location, store

Number 300.

In the middle and late seventies Dalton was opening at least one hundred stores

A year; sometimes more than twenty stores a week. Competition was intense with

Our chief adversary Waldenbooks. While battling wars of real estate, technological wars

pursued as an Absolute necessity, growth and profit depended on warlike sentiments,

each other's juggernaut advancing, Even in this peaceful realm victory

Was the name of the game? The computer programs for controlling these ordering

And inventory systems were foundational to success. In the world of books by far and

away technology is The greatest innovation of the 20th century. What remains

Is proof that a book's physical presence and persistence acts as a communication

oracle, antecedent to Every prosperous end, assured as the world is round. The

paper-centered book is in for the long haul, Always ready to catch on once the digital

Acquiesces, like a flickering light burning out.


Writers and artists, these people are the greatest innovation, retelling and inventing

What must be a keepsake of a soul, making it nearly impossible to be alone; the

Heart beat and the kaleidoscopic eye, which reminds me about the day I met the

Queen of England! Such uncanny beauty angels flew up; I didn't know what to say.

Rather it was Margaret McElderry bringing the jewels of Atheneum Books, and they were

many. How many great and profound books can a publisher publish? By this time the

late seventies Dalton was representing as many quality books as possible.

Titles like Nancy Bond's A String in the Harp would go on to sell way over a thousand

copies. Certain Dalton stores carried as many as possible Newbery &

Caldecott titles.

Many authors and illustrators visited the home office, while sales representatives

Were selling new titles or working their backlist books. Lunch with Judy Blume,

Weeks away from Tiger Eyes release, probably the largest opening order we ever

Placed, something like 7,500 copies. That lunch was impressive, a rock star writer

Who wished only to talk about her young adult readers.


The most moving and gripping force behind B. Dalton's success was Kay Sexton,

The only person who was not expendable both personally and professionally; one

cannot overestimate her Importance. Bookselling had become complex, so it was

Something desperately simple that Sexton's weekly report printed on green paper

Collecting on a weekly basis sales information across every department, short snappy

book reviews, most Treasured sales data on titles, and individual buyer's comments,

was an inside look at key titles. Simple and straightforward, Kay's merchandise

bulletin "Hooked on Books" was the engine driving this stick shift car, sporty and

great on the curves. Internally orchestrated

Kay Sexton's iconic brand acted as one of the few truly creative enterprises

Monetizing, betting and predicting, the Green Sheet, with its astute & charmed

Narrative, a force to be reckoned with, Kay was a mentor to publishing itself.


So much change and turmoil, competition and managerial shenanigans closed

Out the twentieth century, hundreds of bookstores opened, thousands closed.

Had the owners of bookstore chains lost their acquisitive common sense? Profit

And growth should never share their esteem. Dalton and Walden were they mirages

Of success, had technology not got the upper hand, had reasonable expectations

Prevailed. When Dayton-Hudson thought it prudent to divest itself of Dalton

Though it was still a profitable operation, speaks for the ambiguous designs these

retailers brought to the bottom line. Mind you the lead contender for buying Dalton

Was Sears, and Walden sought refuge in Kmart. Subjectively looking back the

twenty-five years before the 21st century were tumultuous, yet these years were

Not without excitement and glory. It's my vehement belief books have proven

They can and will survive.

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