Shelf Awareness for Friday, June 23, 2017

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves


S.F.'s Booksmith Opening the Bindery on July 4

On July 4, the Booksmith, long a fixture in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, is opening the Bindery, a 2,800-square-foot "satellite space" that will have a dedicated events area with a beer and wine bar and a full-service café available for rent for all kinds of events, as well as a bookstore that will feature the Arcana Project.

The Arcana Project is "an experimental keystone," a 10,000-title "deep, highly inclusive array of books--fiction and nonfiction, from all over the world--presented in chronological order, by the date they were written," a method of organization intended "to offer a way to get lost, be surprised, find new things, and remember what might have been forgotten. It hopes to anchor to the past, and imagine the future."

The Project will have a suggestion box for adding titles and aims to be a constantly changing "index of converging and diverging stories that lead towards our literary, cultural moment."

The Bindery will be located at 1727 Haight Street, about 500 feet from the Booksmith, at 1644 Haight Street.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

New Owners for Juneau's Rainy Retreat Books

Rainy Retreat Books in Juneau, Alaska, changed ownership June 15 as Don and Toni Birdseye, who had been operating the new and used bookstore since 2001, officially turned the keys over to Tori Weaver and Alexei Painter, Capital City Weekly reported.

"It's been a wonderful adventure. It's connected us to downtown and to the people who come in the store and self-select. They're already readers. We buy most of our books from the locals who are very well-read," said Toni Birdseye. "I always looked at the process of looking to get the right person with the right book with a social value and as a good thing. That's the high point. You have a person and you introduce them to a book that you know that they're going to love. Not only did you make a sale, but you did a good thing too."

She added that they have "spent a long time waiting to get the right couple" to succeed them.

New co-owner Weaver, originally from Georgia, said, "I'd been working for Hearthside for three years and I'm ready to try it on my own. Also, I have a degree in English and I never wanted to be a teacher."

Juneau native Painter added: "There's an idea generally that print media is dying and everyone will just get their books from Amazon. But the truth is, independent bookstores are actually doing better and are getting more sales than online sources. And it's because people want a connection with other people and the books they are buying. Juneau has a history of supporting local businesses.... We're part of that legacy and we plan to help strengthen that even more over time. Juneau is a special place because of our community."

Regarding the bookshop's future, the new owners do not plan to change "the look of it, the stacks are going to stay lazy and overfilled. But the front will be changed up as soon as possible," Weaver said, explaining that opening up the area will allow for a music venue.

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Walls of Books Store Opens in Columbus, Ga.

A Walls of Books store has opened at 4508 Armour Road in Columbus, Ga. The 2,400-square-foot shop is part of Gottwals Franchising, which has 16 locations in Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, Louisiana and Washington, D.C. The Columbus bookshop will carry about 30,000 new and used books in English and Spanish, and have couches and chairs for customers, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.

"I've always wanted to have a bookstore all my adult life because I'm an avid reader," said owner Andrew Oliver. "I always thought that one day I would retire and I'd have a bookstore to putter around in, the golden years sort of thing. Then all of the stars lined up and the opportunity arose.... With Walls of Books as a franchise, I've got the backup. I've got the expertise of people who've been doing it for a while, saying 'change this' or 'yeah, you're doing good,' to kind of soothe my nerves."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Stock Up 7.7%, B&N Outlines Steps to Increase Sales

Yesterday Barnes & Noble's stock rose 7.7%, to $7 a share, on more than three times the usual volume, following the company's fourth-quarter results, which were better than expected by financial analysts.

In a conference call (transcript courtesy of SeekingAlpha), CFO Allen Lindstrom attributed B&N's 6.3% decline in sales at stores open at least a year both in the fourth quarter and full year to "lower traffic, the challenging retail environment and comparisons to the prior-year coloring book phenomenon. Whereas non-book sales lifted overall comps in the prior year, they declined in the current year."

Noting that B&N opened three stores and closed 10 during the past fiscal year, which ended April 29, Lindstrom said B&N expects to open and close the same number of stores in the current fiscal year.

New CEO Demos Parneros said that the company is changing the layout in many of its 633 stores, reducing space for "underperforming businesses" like the Nook and music DVDs, while expanding the space for children's books.

Demos Parneros

Parneros also said the company is pleased with its new-concept stores, three of which were opened in the last year and two more of which are opening this year. "We'll continue to test and learn from these new stores," both to develop the new format as well as "modify and enhance" existing stores.

The company is improving its membership program and increasing "creative marketing offers," he said. The company is also redesigning its desktop and mobile sites.

In general comments, Parneros said, "There is no question retail is changing and customers are shopping differently. We don't view this as a winning or losing proposition, it's just simply changing. Barnes & Noble has a rich history of evolution beginning with the transition from small format, small stores to large superstores to competing online and launching our own digital platform. As a company, we have and continue to evolve, providing customers the ability to shop however they choose [whether in-store, online or on a smartphone].

"There is no doubt the customers have a love affair with their bookstores, and more specifically with their local Barnes & Noble store. They want their bookstore to be there for them. We just need to continue to evolve the experience and make it better for them."

Binc, Macmillan Create Diversity Scholarship Program

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation and Macmillan Publishers have created the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, aimed to provide professional development to booksellers from groups traditionally underrepresented in the industry. During the scholarship's initial pilot period, it will provide nine booksellers with up to $500 each to attend a regional booksellers association trade show, with one scholarship given for each regional booksellers association.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must be a regular part-time or full-time employee of a bookstore belonging to a regional booksellers association with at least 90 days of continuous employment and must fall into one of the following categories: a person of color, someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, or a person with disabilities. To apply, booksellers must answer three brief essay questions and submit their applications by July 17. A panel of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners and publishers will select the winners.

"In 2015, Binc created a diversity task force to explore how we could help expand career opportunities for booksellers in diverse groups," said Binc executive director Pam French. "Through this committee's good work and a new partnership with Macmillan Publishers, booksellers in under-represented groups will now have more options for valuable enrichment and ideally long careers within the book industry."

Don Weisberg, president of Macmillan Publishers, said: "We at Macmillan are committed to publishing a greater diversity of voices; and this partnership with Binc and the bookseller community is a step towards those voices reaching an ever-growing audience of readers."


Image of the Day: Walking for Dogs with PRH

More than 340 Penguin Random House employees participated in the New York City leg of the Penguin Random House Global Walk 2017 last Friday, June 16. Over $51,000 was raised, by both walkers and employee donations that kept flowing in this week, to benefit the Good Dog Foundation's Reading with Good Dogs Program. After completing the 4.7-mile walk along the Hudson River Walkway, participants gathered at the West 79th Street Boat Basin in Riverside Park, where CEO Markus Dohle (center) accepted a thank you plaque from the Good Dog Foundation on behalf of PRH. (photo: Sean Sime)

'Meet Your Neighbor': Bookseller Joanne Sinchuk

Joanne Sinchuk

Joanne Sinchuk, founder of Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, Delray Beach, Fla., which she sold in 2007, was featured in the Palm Beach Post's "Meet Your Neighbor" series. Sinchuk remains with the bookshop as store manager.

"My book group in Connecticut was drinking wine and discussing books," she recalled of her original decision to open a bookstore. "I asked them to brainstorm with me, and that's how we came up with the name."

She still works on the sales floor because "it's my baby," she said. "I gave birth to it in 1996. I've always loved to read, and the store allows me to share that with other like-minded people."

'Vintage Photos of Traveling Libraries'

Celebrating a "long tradition" whose most recent incarnation is New York City's "Subway Library," Atlas Obscura shared a selection of "Vintage Photos of Traveling Libraries."

"One of the earliest mobile libraries was the Warrington Mechanics' Institution Perambulating Library in London," Atlas Obscura wrote. "In January 1860, Illustrated London News noted the difficulty 'of getting working men to wash their faces and come to the library bar and ask for a book.' Despite this, in its first year readers borrowed 12,000 volumes."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: John McEnroe on Weekend Edition, CBS Sunday Morning

NPR's Weekend Edition: Mandy Len Catron, author of How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501137440).

Also on Weekend Edition: John McEnroe, author of But Seriously (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316324892). He'll appear on CBS Sunday Morning, too.

CBS's Face the Nation: Sally Mott Freeman, author of The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501104145).

TV: Game of Thrones; Dracula

HBO has released its latest trailer for Game of Thrones, season seven, and io9 noted that "winter is here, everyone, and while things aren't looking great for the peoples of Westeros--particularly everyone who's dumb enough to be fighting against Daenerys--season seven is looking utterly fantastic for us viewers."


Sherlock writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat are reteaming with Sue Vertue's Hartswood Films for a new miniseries based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Deadline reported that "the pair, who have yet to start work on the project, will write the series based on the vampire literary classic and are already in talks with the BBC for U.K. broadcasting rights."

Books & Authors

Awards: Independent Bookshop Week; Trillium; Kelpies

The winners of the Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards, which will be celebrated during the week, which begins tomorrow, Saturday, June 24, are:

Adult: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Children's: A Poem for Every Night of the Year edited by Allie Esiri
Picture Book: Tidy by Emily Gravett


Melanie Mah won the CA$20,000 (about US$15,105) English-language fiction Trillium Book Award, which honors the best writing by Ontario authors, for The Sweetest One. Meaghan Strimas took the CA$10,000 ($7,553) prize in the poetry category for her collection, Yes or Nope. Winning the $20,000 French-language Trillium Book Award was Jean Boisjoli for La Mesure du temps. The $10,000 French-language children's literature prize went to Pierre-Luc Bélanger for Ski, Blanche et avalanche.


Edinburgh publisher Floris Books announced the shortlist for this year's £2,000 (about $2,535) Kelpies Prize, which "recognizes the finest new Scottish children's writing for readers aged 8-14." The winner, who receives a publishing deal with Floris Books' Kelpies imprint in addition to the cash prize, will be named at the Edinburgh International Book Festival August 23. The shortlisted titles are:

Lottie Larkin's Magical Mishap by Kate Bolden
David and the Surprisingly Smart-o-saurus by Debbie Cannon
The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow by Emily Ilett

Reading with... Julia Fierro

photo: Rubidium Wu

Julia Fierro's second novel, The Gypsy Moth Summer (St. Martin's Press, June 6, 2017), was named one of the most anticipated novels of 2017 by the Millions, the Huffington Post and Nylon. Jodi Picoult calls it "a hazy, hot daydream of hidden truth, scandal, and racial prejudice," and Amy Bloom says it's "irresistible storytelling." A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Fierro founded The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop in 2002, now a creative home to more than 4,000 writers, with workshops offered in New York City, Los Angeles and online. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, Glamour and other publications, and she has been profiled in the Observer and the Economist. Her first novel was Cutting Teeth.

On your nightstand now:

I'm often reading several books at once--oh, the joy of having piles of books, and the tragedy of not having enough time (in the moment and in a lifetime) to read them all.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: the most remarkable novel I've read this year. I'm not a patient reader, and after the first chapter, I almost gave up. Thank goodness, I bashed on. The experimental structure (told in many epistolary voices) is balanced by a churning emotional urgency that transforms this literary novel into a page-turner.

Smoke by Dan Vyleta: a fabulous genre-bending novel set in an alternative Victorian England where class hierarchy is determined by a person's ability to hide their wicked thoughts which roll of their bodies as visible smoke.

The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky: a new novel that is sexy and subversive.

No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal: this second novel is funny, poignant and thought-provoking, and follows a fascinating ensemble of Indian American characters outside Cleveland.

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory: The other day, in Diesel Brentwood, I asked veteran bookseller Anna for her favorite horror reads and left with an armful of books. Raising Stony Mayhall is one of the most original zombie books out there--as touching as it is terrifying.

Favorite book when you were a child:

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire. My tattered copy is a book I'll never part with. I even brought it to college, my teenage version of a security blanket. I waited (somewhat impatiently) for my son to be old enough so I could pass it on, and when he turned nine, he fell in love with the book--perhaps even more ardently than I had as a kid.

Your top five authors:

For me, the most significant authors are those who have inspired me as a writer and as a reader--writers whose novels give me the escape I crave as a reader through thrilling storylines and meticulously imagined worlds, but who also teach me how to craft a compelling story with distinctive characters who have much at stake.

Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake, the first book in her MaddAddam series, is one of those books I wish I could reread for the first time. This is literary genre bending at its best, with exquisite prose and a world so fully imagined that it feels real and otherworldly at the same time.

Alice McDermott: I have enjoyed all of McDermott's novels, but it is the slim That Night--set in the Long Island suburbs at the end of the 1960s, just as the nation's disillusionment post-Vietnam War was taking hold--that was a major influence on The Gypsy Moth Summer.

Tana French: When I hear there's a new Tana French book coming out, I feel like a teenager whose favorite band is playing at the local arena. My favorite is the super tense crime thriller Broken Harbour, the fourth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. It is set in a Dublin real estate development gone bust and focuses on a murdered family who seemed to have an ideal life. French is that rare writer who can spin a story that has you guessing every page up to the big reveal, all while examining the complexity of class.

Sarah Waters: Every Sarah Waters novel is a treasure. The plot of Fingersmith is the most successful example of a twist (and even a twist within a twist!) I've read. And Affinity, set in Victorian London's Millbank prison during the age of "parlor spiritualism," is simply put a perfect novel. Perfect.

Shirley Jackson: I wish Shirley Jackson were still with us and writing. The Haunting of Hill House is a classic story that must be read, but I have read We Have Always Lived in the Castle a dozen times--a spellbinding tale (with a twist) told by an unreliable narrator who readers will never forget. Henry James would've loved this book.

Book you've faked reading:

Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, which I started but did not finish for a book club. I feel extra ashamed since my father grew up outside Naples before and during the years Ferrante covers, but the summary style of the prose left me feeling a lack of emotional connection to the characters. I am, however, ready to try Ferrante's many other novels.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian--a novel set in a children's hospital that bobs along in a flooded post-apocalyptic world? Check. Did I mention there are angels within the hospital walls--singing, prophesizing, cracking jokes? The Children's Hospital defies category and this is one reason I recommend it to everyone. It's risky, recommending a novel that experiments with structure, story, character, language, even basic reality and sometimes readers don't enjoy my recommendation. But when they do, they love it with total abandon. I have yet to meet Chris Adrian in person but I have several copies of The Children's Hospital ready for him to sign. His short story collection, A Better Angel, is full of the same authentic emotional intensity and is another must-read.

Book you hid from your parents:

One of many Danielle Steel novels I stole from my grandmother's house and then hid under my bed. One in particular stands out in my memory--I can't remember the title but do remember the sex scene that took place underwater in a pool, which was educational to say the least.

Book that changed your life as a reader:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I wept when I finished it. I must have been 12, an age when great books can shatter and then reassemble your preconceived notions in an instant, so your perspective feels completely altered.

Favorite line from a book:

"Why do gentlemen's voices carry so clearly, when women's are so easily stifled?" --Affinity by Sarah Waters

Five books you'll never part with:

Moon Palace by Paul Auster: I met my husband, writer Justin Feinstein, in college. I loaned him my copy of Moon Palace for a trip he was taking to Ecuador--the pages covered with my notes and exclamations. He claims those notes made him fall in love. We still have the book 20 years later.

A first edition of Raymond Carver's story collection Cathedral.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky: I was an obsessive underliner and note taker in college, and even more so when I began writing and studying the craft of writing. This is the book whose pages wear the most.

Andrew Solomon's Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity: a collection of hundreds of interviews Solomon conducted over a span of 10 years with parents of children who are exceptional. He reveals, with great compassion, families living with deafness, dwarfism, autism, schizophrenia, as well as children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals and who are transgender. This is a life-changing read--one that changes the reader--and makes her or him a better person.

The four books my great uncle Padre Salvatore Fierro wrote about Tramonti, the small town in Southern Italy where my father's family has lived for many generations as farmers, surviving poverty, famine and war. My great-uncle was a Franciscan monk and self-published. I hope to translate them some day.

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

In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien. It has a mysterious and thrilling storyline that transforms a literary novel into a page-turner. I read it in one sitting, completely entranced by the mysterious disappearance of a senator's wife soon after the crimes the senator committed in the Vietnam War have surfaced. In fact, I read it almost 10 years ago, and may have just enough time-induced amnesia to read it again.

Book Review

Review: The Hole

The Hole by Hye-young Pyun, trans. by Sora Kim-Russell (Arcade Publishing, $22.99 hardcover, 208p., 9781628727807, August 1, 2017)

By the time Hye-young Pyun's taut psychological thriller The Hole has tightened its grip on the unsuspecting mind, it's too late to escape. The shadows lurking in the novel become manifest, and dark poetic justice reigns.

It takes a maestro to create a short novel of such atmosphere and depth. Pyun is a rising star in contemporary Korean literature, known for her short stories, including "Caring for Plants," to be republished in English in the New Yorker. Sora Kim-Russell's excellent translation of The Hole finally brings Pyun's impressive novelistic talents to an English-speaking audience.

The novel is a deceptively simple story of loss and grief. Oghi, a South Korean professor of geography, awakes from a coma paralyzed, incapable of speech and terribly disfigured. His wife has perished in the same car crash that crippled him. With no other family, Oghi's forlorn mother-in-law becomes his sole caretaker. Pyun seamlessly switches from her characters' present situation to flashbacks. As secrets from Oghi's past gradually emerge, the relationship between Oghi and his mother-in-law thickens with unspoken tension.

The Hole is an exercise in subtlety. Pyun begins with slow-burning character studies of Oghi, his wife and their respective parents: their shortcomings and resentments, their arguments and power struggles. Always brought back to Oghi's present disabled state, though, Pyun carefully grafts onto this familial understory layers of symbolism. For instance, Oghi, who specializes in cartography, is obsessed with the inadequacies of maps. "No matter how hard you tried to draw the world, you could never be exact," Oghi concludes. "It was impossible to capture the trajectory of life in a map." The novel's greatest symbol becomes the garden outside Oghi's townhouse, where his late wife tried to grow plants and flowers with little success. The only plants that survived were the climbing vines, "planting their roots wherever, willfully burrowing, gorging themselves." These early images foreshadow a home and domestic life in disarray. After the accident, Oghi's mother-in-law turns her attention to the same garden, obsessively digging holes, upturning the soil, trying to redeem her daughter's efforts at sustaining life. These veins of imagery and metaphor, as subtle as they begin, grow larger in the novel's final act and culminate in a harrowing scene. Only after it's over does one realize how skillfully Pyun crafted and coiled her disturbing narrative.

The Hole is an unshakable novel about the unfathomable depths of human need. --Scott Neuffer, freelance journalist, poet and fiction author

Shelf Talker: South Korean literary star Hye-young Pyun focuses on the desperate relationship between a crippled professor and his mother-in-law in this exquisitely crafted, slowly gripping psychological thriller.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Booksellers Gather for Bookmanager Academy

As a big fan of small (a relative term) indie bookseller gatherings, I was pleased to learn recently that the second Bookmanager Academy, held June 8-11 in Kelowna, B.C., was a resounding success. The inaugural BMA took place in 2015, and this year's event drew representatives from more than 60 stores, with just over 100 booksellers in attendance, along with about 50 reps, publishers and industry leaders. In addition to the forums, panels and education sessions, BMA featured numerous social outings like the Usborne Houseboat Cruise, the Canadian Manda Group "BBQ" at Hanna's, the Penguin Random House Cocktail Party at Mosaic Books, and the Raincoast/PGC/BookExpress Wine tour.

In his post-show roundup, Bookmanager president and Mosaic Books owner Michael Neill wrote: "All said, I think the mission was accomplished. Our primary goal was to try and fill an industry gap by creating the opportunity for booksellers, and their suppliers, to meet face-to-face. I was very impressed with the professional and positive dialogue between everyone, including discussions on more sensitive and troubling issues. Kudos to all. Diana and I met with over 20 publishers and reps for three hours on Sunday morning. It was wonderful to see competing companies show each other mutual respect and focus on common ground. The interest in independent booksellers seemed especially strong this year, and they were all eager to continue supporting and improving the tools we build for booksellers. Lots of new ideas here."

Diana O'Neill, Bookmanager's head of sales & technical support, added that "a big takeaway from this event is how hungry we all are for excuses to get together, and share ideas and woes and concerns and have an audience to share with. Hopefully several action points on key things should be addressed within the coming weeks and months. It was so great to see booksellers old and new in attendance, some with sage wisdom and advice, others with keen new perspectives and ideas on things."

Black Bond booksellers on Usborne's housboat tour.

The booksellers I contacted enthusiastically agreed. Cathy Jesson of Black Bond Books (10 locations in B.C.) described BMA as "amazing. The attention to detail and frenetic pace was filled with aha moments. The ability to get booksellers from across Canada to come together was a feat. Even booksellers from the north made the trip. The education sessions were packed, loved the town hall, getting a feeling for what we need as an industry and where we can go together."

Kirsten Larmon of Munro's Books in Victoria said: "Like the previous event two years ago, it was a rare opportunity to be in the same room with booksellers and publishers from across Canada and the U.S. Each session covered a topic essential to our industry.... Probably the most memorable were the Round-table and Bookmanager Town Hall forums at the end of Friday and Saturday. In these sessions, booksellers, reps and publishers had a very frank, productive and memorable exchange of ideas. On the fun side, the sponsors of the Academy made sure we were very well treated indeed.... It was a fantastic weekend that managed to inspire, educate and rejuvenate."

Calling the conference "an incredible, mind-melting few days" of learning and fun, Erin Dalton of Lotus Books in Cranbrook praised the Bookmanager and Mosaic Books team for doing "an outstanding job of organizing and hosting the event. I took something home from every presentation. The BookManager sessions were a great confidence-booster regarding new ways of using the program to run my business more effectively. The Paz & Associates 'Show & Sell' was fascinating, and I have some great, practical ideas to implement in my store in the very near future. The bookseller round-table and town hall sessions were fantastic opportunities to share ideas, stories, and tips."

She also noted that "the opportunity to connect both professionally and personally with other book-folk from across Canada (and into the States) was invaluable. (Also, frankly, validating! Nothing like a gathering of the tribe to re-energize a person.) I think the conversations and connections will continue going forward, and I'm excited to see where that leads. I came away invigorated (well, once I caught up on my sleep), with a to-do/wish list as long as my arm. I really hope that once the BMA folks catch their breath, they feel it was worth their while, because I'm already looking forward to 2019."

Asked about the prospect of a future BMA, Neill replied: "It may be too soon to pen anything in for the next BMA. The joke was it was like asking a mother just after delivery if she would do it again. However, we could and should do it again if there is still an appetite from the booksellers and publishers (judging from the feedback we received, I think we are on the hook). We seem to be the only venue in Canada getting everyone together. That's pretty important even if it continues as a bi-annual event put together by a bunch of now semi-professional event coordinators." 

Black Bond's Jesson summed it all up nicely: "I covet what has been attained south of the border by indies. Publishers there have come to value the independent bookseller voice. Socially, all was fun, from the houseboat to dancing at the Manda party, a throwback to what indies in Canada used to like to do when we are together: talk books, drink some wine and then dance. I heard from my team the wine tour finale was great fun. Our crew gave it 10 out 10; lots learned, new friends made and old ones renewed. What could be better?"

--Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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