Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 30, 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.


By Any Beans Necessary Coming to Richmond, Va.

By Any Beans Necessary in progress.

By Any Beans Necessary, a coffee shop and bookstore, will open later this year at 3006 First Ave. in the Highland Park neighborhood of Richmond, Va. Mo Karnage is leasing a space next door to the building at 3008 First Ave., which is owned by Karnage and serves as headquarters for their construction company, Karnage Construction, Richmond BizSense reported. Karnage founded the firm in 2014, and focuses on historical preservation work as well as other construction services.

In addition to coffee and books, By Any Beans Necessary is also planning to offer a consignment space dedicated to crafts and gifts made by locals. Karnage is aiming to launch the retail side in June, with the cafe debuting by July or August.

"I'm counting on them to piggyback off each other. Three separate draws for separate audiences," they said. "I think they go together pretty well and I know a lot of bookstore places have a gift-style retail area."

The cafe will have seating for 30 to 40 people in the 1,700-square-foot space, and will also have a small, rentable conference room. The bookstore side of the business will split its inventory roughly 50-50 between new and used books. 

"I'm going to have a larger-than-normal number of radical queer feminist books and I'm going to have a section specifically for books banned by various Virginia school districts," Karnage said. "I want it to be a pretty comprehensive bookstore in terms of there being a little bit of everything."

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Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex., Expanding into Adjacent Storefront

Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Tex., is expanding into an adjacent storefront and adding about 1,400 square feet. 

Owner Valerie Koehler and her team plan to use the additional space for storage, shipping, and receiving, as well as events. The two storefronts won't be connected in the front, but Koehler intends to remove a wall and connect the spaces' back rooms. The events portion will be flexible, and the team will use screens to adjust the space as needed.

Koehler noted that the expansion will mean "we don't have to go to storage every day," and given the way the store's shipping and pre-order business has increased since the pandemic, the team is "very excited for more working space." And while the move won't add any selling space directly, it will allow Blue Willow to "recapture" its existing selling space.

Renovations are underway, and Koehler hopes to have the addition up and running around mid-July.

Leana's Books & More Adding Niles, Ohio, Store

Leana's Books & More, an independent bookstore with locations in Grove City, Pa., Hermitage, Pa., and Austintown, Ohio, will open a new store in Niles, Ohio, this summer, WKBN27 reported.

The Niles store will replace the Leana's Books & More location in Hermitage, and all of the Hermitage store employees will stay on. The new store will reside in the Eastwood Mall, and store owner Leana Hillard expects to open in early July. The other Leana's Books locations will continue unchanged.

ABA Files Motion to Intervene in FTC Suit Against Amazon


The American Booksellers Association has filed a motion to intervene in the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust suit against Amazon, a move that the association said supports the FTC's case and "looks to bolster its claim that Amazon is guilty of unlawful exclusionary conduct by explicitly including the concerns of independent booksellers in the case."

The FTC and 17 state Attorneys General (now 18 after Vermont joined) filed the antitrust suit against Amazon last September, accusing the company of building and protecting a monopoly in various ways, including: forcing independent retailers on its online marketplace not to sell for lower prices elsewhere; favoring its own branded products over those from other retailers in searches; and requiring that retailers' products sold via Amazon Prime be handled and delivered by Amazon. The suit also said that many retailers have felt required to buy various Amazon services, including ads on its sites. In a statement at the time of the filing, the FTC called Amazon "a monopolist that uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power."

A motion to intervene is usually filed by a party that shares an interest in the case but that "may not be protected without adequate representation by existing parties," as the ABA put it. Independent bookstores were not a focus of the FTC's case even though they were the first businesses affected by Amazon, which began in 1994 selling only books.

ABA CEO Allison Hill

In its motion to intervene, the ABA argues: "Amazon has stifled such competition by ABA members by exercising its monopoly power to coerce publishers to accede to its demands for substantial and unjustified price discrimination, enabling Amazon to sell books to retail customers at prices that ABA members cannot match except by forgoing a sustainable margin, or incurring a loss, given the higher wholesale prices concurrently paid by ABA members for the same books."

ABA CEO Allison Hill commented: "In 1994, the year Amazon launched, there were 7,000 independent bookstores in the U.S. Today there are only 2,500. The ABA believes our motion to intervene will help the FTC's efforts to stop Amazon's exclusionary conduct that has hurt small business, the book industry, and ultimately consumers. We're not talking about simply an unlevel playing field; left unchecked for almost 30 years, Amazon now owns the playing field and sets the rules of the game. As independent bookstores' biggest competitor, Amazon's exclusionary conduct directly impacting independent booksellers must be addressed explicitly in this suit. We believe the facts we bring to the table will significantly bolster key arguments made by the FTC in their already strong and compelling case. We applaud FTC's efforts to release Amazon's stranglehold on the marketplace."

ABA director of advocacy & public policy David Grogan added: "This challenge to Amazon's anticompetitive behavior impacting independent booksellers has been a long time coming. No one knows that better than ABA's members, who, for decades, have persistently called out Amazon's monopolistic and monopsonistic practices in bookselling. We believe the law is firmly on our side and that our motion will be accepted by the court. As such, Amazon's anticompetitive behavior impacting the bookselling industry can finally come under legal scrutiny."

If the motion to intervene is denied, the association has requested amicus curiae status in support of the FTC's complaint.

Obituary Note: Ray Garton

Ray Garton, author of nearly 70 books, most of them in the horror genre, died April 21, Locus magazine reported. He was 61. 

Garton's debut novel, Seductions, appeared in 1984. His other novels include Stoker Award finalist Live Girls (1988), International Horror Guild Award finalist Sex and Violence in Hollywood (2002), Scissors (2004), The Girl in the Basement (2004), 'Nids (2006), The Loveliest Dead (2006), Graven Image (2007), Ravenous (2008), Serpent Girl (2008), Bestial (2009), Meds (2011), Frankenstorm (2014), Loveless (2023), and Trailer Park Noir (2023).

His story collections include Methods of Madness (1990), Pieces of Hate (1996), The Girl in the Basement and Other Stories (2004), 'Nids and Other Stories (2006), Slivers of Bone (2008), and Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth (2012).

Garton co-edited several anthologies. He also wrote YA novels under the name Joseph Locke, and sometimes used the pen name Arthur Darknell. He wrote several tie-ins, including for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series.

He was named a World Horror Grand Master in 2006. 

Author Jonathan Maberry posted on social media: "So sad that another great horror writer has passed. Ray Garton was one of my inspirations when I began writing. In 2006, the year my first novel came out, Ray was presented with the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award."

Stephen King posted: "I'm hearing that Ray Garton, horror novelist and friend, died yesterday. This is sad news, and a loss to those who enjoyed his amusing, often surreal, posts on Twitter."


Image of the Day: Arvida Book Co. Poetry Event

Allie Rigby (standing, second from the right, holding the book) celebrated the launch of her poetry collection Moonscape for a Child (Bored Wolves), as well as the culmination of National Poetry Month, at Arvida Book Co. in Tustin, Calif. Standing to Rigby's left is Julia Rigby, her sister and illustrator of the book. The event featured a reading from the collection, followed by an open mic led by poet Margaret Elysia Garcia.

Personnel Changes at Macmillan

At Macmillan Publishers:

Amanda Crimarco has been promoted to associate director on the library marketing team.

Kristin Boran has been promoted to manager on the international sales team.

Jessica Sorentino has joined the diversified sales team as senior manager, marketing.

Jennifer Golding has been promoted to senior manager, national accounts on the sales team.

Emily Day has been promoted to manager on the library marketing team.

Abigail Burrus has been promoted to manager, data science on the sales team.

Nikita Chatoredussy has been promoted to senior analyst, sales planning on the sales team.

Madeline Winter has joined the sales team as business development specialist.

Jennifer Macancela has been promoted to associate on the sales team.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Leigh Bardugo on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Leigh Bardugo, author of The Familiar: A Novel (Flatiron Books, $29.99, 9781250884251).

Today Show: Benny Blanco, co-author of Open Wide: A Cookbook for Friends (Dey Street, $35, 9780063315938).

CBS Mornings: Judi Dench, co-author of Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent (St. Martin's Press, $32, 9781250325778).

Good Morning America: Patrick J. Kennedy, co-author of Profiles in Mental Health Courage (Dutton, $30, 9780593471760)

Also on GMA: Shana Novak, author of The Heirloomist: 100 Treasures and the Stories They Tell (Chronicle, $27.95, 9781797224404).

Sherri Shepherd Show: Rocco DiSpirito, author of Everyday Delicious: 30 Minute(ish) Home-Cooked Meals Made Simple (Rodale, $32.50, 9781984825230).

Also on Sherri Shepherd: Sarah Jakes Roberts, author of Power Moves: Ignite Your Confidence and Become a Force (Thomas Nelson, $29.99, 9780785291909).

TV: The Hunting Wives

Karen Rodriguez (Swarm), Michael Aaron Milligan (Outer Banks), and Hunter Emery (Orange Is the New Black) have been cast in recurring roles for the upcoming Starz series The Hunting Wives, Deadline reported. Rebecca Cutter adapted May Cobb's 2021 novel for the project, with production currently underway in Charlotte, N.C.

Starring Brittany Snow and Malin Åkerman, the project's cast also includes Dermot Mulroney, Evan Jonigkeit, Chrissy Metz, Jaime Ray Newman, Katie Lowes, and George Ferrier. Showrunner Cutter executive produces with Cobb and 3 Arts' Erwin Stoff. The series is produced by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Books & Authors

Awards: Danuta Gleed Literary Finalists 

The Writers' Union of Canada has released a shortlist for the C$10,000 (about US$7,315) Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which recognizes "a Canadian writer for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language." Two finalists are also awarded C$1,000 (about US$730) each. The winners will be named June 11 on TWUC's Facebook Live. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Cocktail by Lisa Alward 
Her Body Among Animals by Paola Ferrante 
The Girl Who Cried Diamonds & Other Stories by Rebecca Hirsch Garcia  
Anecdotes by Kathryn Mockler  
The Private Apartments by Idman Nur Omar 

Top Library Recommended Titles for May

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 May titles public library staff across the country love:

Top Pick
The Last Murder at the End of the World: A Novel by Stuart Turton (Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99, 9781728254654). "After a deadly fog decimates most of humanity, the small population that's left lives on an island. As one villager begins investigating a murder, what once seemed like utopia begins to reveal dark secrets that no one could have predicted. Turton raises tantalizing social questions, presents an inventive world structure, and keeps readers intrigued and surprised throughout the novel." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, N.Y.

The Ministry of Time: A Novel by Kaliane Bradley (Avid Reader Press, $28.99, 9781668045145). "An employee of the Ministry of Time becomes a 'bridge,' helping an Arctic explorer adjust to modern life after being rescued from the lost Franklin expedition of 1845. But as she begins to grow closer to him, she finds herself wondering who she can trust, what the real reason for pulling people out of time may be, and whether her life might be in danger. Totally gripping, with great character development." --Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign Public Library, Ill.

Daughters of Shandong by Eve J. Chung (Berkley, $28, 9780593640531). "At times both heartbreaking and uplifting, this novel follows the journey of the women of the Ang family from their farm in rural China to Taiwan during the horrific land reforms of 1948-1950. With this story based on Chung's grandmother's experience of a turbulent era, readers will be riveted from page one by the mother/daughter bonds and their will to survive." --Martha DiVittorio, Bellmore Memorial Library, N.Y.

Savor It: A Novel by Tarah DeWitt (St. Martin's Griffin, $18, 9781250329424). "This Pacific Northwest rom-com has delicious tension from the first interaction. Add in fake dating and a steamy scene in a library, and who could ask for more? Readers will appreciate how much attention and care DeWitt put into creating fully-formed characters grappling with grief, chasing dreams, and figuring out how to live in the moment." --Ebby Bowles, Hingham Public Library, Mass.

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune (Berkley, $19, 9780593638880). "Filled with emotional moments as well as fun and flirty scenes, this wonderful story set in picturesque Prince Edward Island is about friendships and found family. More than a love story, this novel has a lot that readers will relate to, including friendship and family. A perfect steamy romance book for the summer." --Karen Troutman, LibraryReads Ambassador

Lies and Weddings: A Novel by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday, $29, 9780385546294). "Arabella Leung is doing everything she can to match her son Rufus to a very wealthy titled woman in this romp around the world with controlling parents, one of whom is desperately matchmaking to save the family estate. Readers who love high entertainment and the bad behavior of the haves and the have-even-mores will devour this wild ride." --Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Tex.

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth (Tor, $19.99, 9781250855480). "This painful and fascinating (but ultimately hopeful) urban fantasy set in Chicago is a packed novella steeped in Slavic folklore. Dymitr is on a quest to retrieve a guarded plant that might relieve the demon Ala of a deadly curse so he can bargain with her for a hint on how to seek an audience with Baba Yaga herself." --Jessica Trotter, Capital Area District Libraries, Mich.

Long After We Are Gone: A Novel by Terah Shelton Harris (‎Sourcebooks Landmark, $29.99, 9781464218613). "This moving story follows four siblings trying to hold onto their family property. Secrets and dubious life choices threaten to break the family apart as the siblings experience despair followed by self-discovery and self-determination, seeking what truly matters. An engaging and satisfying read, featuring believable, complex characters." --Monica McAbee, PGCMLS Surratts-Clinton Branch, Md.

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club: A Novel by Helen Simonson (The Dial Press, $29, 9781984801319). "Constance, companion to an elderly woman, meets Poppy, a young woman trying to start a business for women motorcycle riders. Constance gets drawn into the circle of friendship and independence the motorcycle ladies enjoy. Readers will love the characters, the setting, and the portrayal of life after The Great War." --Linda Quinn, LibraryReads Ambassador

Can't Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne (Bramble, $19.99, 9781250333292). "This book is so cozy, readers will want to snuggle under a heap of blankets with a delicious cup of tea. Kianthe and Reyna were the perfect opposites-attract couple--determined to make things work no matter the obstacles. Lots of humor with a serious amount of heart. Perfect for fans of Legends & Lattes." --Laura Eckert, Clermont County Public Library, Ohio

Book Review

Review: Take Me Home

Take Me Home by Melanie Sweeney (Putnam, $19 paperback, 368p., 9780593716090, July 9, 2024)

A perfectly placed wingback chair in a Texas book-lined coffee shop unites two wounded hearts in Take Me Home, a refreshing first novel by Melanie Sweeney. This simple set-up unspools into a tender rom-com--an enemies to friends to lovers story--that will entice readers to tag along eagerly on an armchair journey of their own with these likable, 20-something protagonists.

The push-and-pull of romance and burgeoning sexual chemistry begin when Hazel Elliot--a dramatic, frazzled psychology Ph.D. student--locks horns with Ash Campbell, a laidback architecture student who lives above and also works at the Living Room Café. The wingback chair in the shop is Ash's "regular spot," the place where he likes to unwind. The chair is situated next to an electrical outlet, which Hazel urgently needs for her laptop in order to submit a college paper on deadline. The inflexibility that manifests between Hazel and Ash is magnified by the fact they have suffered through a contentious yet flirty relationship with each other since high school. Ash was the best friend of Justin, Hazel's old flame. Ash always secretly felt Hazel was too good for Justin, and carried a torch for her.

With winter break and the December holidays looming, Ash becomes determined and desperate to get home to see his family. But with his car on the fritz, he needs a ride to Lockett Prairie, Tex. Hazel offers to give him a lift as she, too, has been summoned home--she is leery and reluctant to attend the second wedding of her rather estranged, weather-newsman father. Quelling their shared angst, Hazel and Ash set off on a road trip rife with amusing complications. In the process of the long ride, they get reacquainted and start to bond. They realize the friction of their former animosity is helping deepen passions in their budding romantic relationship--a relationship tested by secrets kept and emotional dilemmas each faces with their respective families once they return home.

Readers will be held rapt by these two fully drawn characters who struggle with distinct familial dynamics. Ash's family is happy, loving, and close-knit, while Hazel, an only-child product of divorce, feels very lost amid her father's large new family. This clear delineation allows Sweeney sensitively to probe the meaning of love and the many facets of "home." -- Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A feel-good rom-com about 20-somethings with a contentious past who share a ride back to their families in a Texas hometown, sparks flying along the way.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Taming 7 by Chloe Walsh
2. Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton
3. Wild Love by Elsie Silver
4. Twisted Love by Ana Huang
5. The Teacher by Freida McFadden
6. When the Moon Hatched by Sarah A. Parker
7. Hunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton
8. The Corpse in the Closet by Lucy Score
9. One by One by Freida McFadden
10. Twisted Games by Ana Huang

[Many thanks to!]

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