Also published on this date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Where the Heart Is

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

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

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Quotation of the Day

Public Libraries: 'Defiantly, Proudly, Communal'

"A public library is predicated on an ethos of sharing and egalitarianism. It is nonjudgmental. It stands in stark opposition to the materialism and individualism that otherwise define our culture. It is defiantly, proudly, communal. Even our little book-lined room, with its mismatched furniture and worn carpet, was, as the sociologist Eric Klinenberg reminds us libraries were once called, a palace for the people."

--Sue Halpern in a New York Review of Books essay titled "In Praise of Public Libraries"

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley


The Book Attic Hosting Grand Reopening This Week

The Book Attic, a new and used bookstore in Tomball, Tex., will host a grand reopening celebration this week in its new location. Owner Cyndi Sager, who purchased the bookstore at the end of December, has moved the shop from a 2,000-sq.-ft. storefront in a shopping center to an 1,800-sq.-ft. space in a building that was built as a home.

Sager began the moving process on February 23 and has continued to do business while still moving and unpacking. "Even though my website said not to come yet," Sager recalled, "people came anyway." And while some were "put off" by the bags and boxes of books, others did not mind at all.

Sager explained that she moved the store because the shopping center rent was too high--sometimes as much as 40% of the store's revenue in a given month. In moving to a more affordable location, Sager said that she's lost a little foot traffic and the new space is less open, with walls, doorways and lower ceilings to contend with. But she loves the "old used bookstore in the old house thing" and considers the space a perfect fit aesthetically. There is a large, wrap-around porch and some of the rooms are themed. Cookbooks, for example, are located in the kitchen.

Looking ahead, Sager will continue to work on "flow" in the store, noting that her romance section was currently laid out in a confusing way. Beyond those sorts of tweaks, Sager plans to add online selling and more gift items, including essential oil products, handmade journals and book art.

"I have already had people who didn't know there was a bookstore find me at my new location because they were driving by and saw my sign," Sager said. "I am hopeful that the move was a good one and that the revenue will continue like it used to be, but I guess time will tell."

Bologna Children's Book Fair: BWB Winners Attend; Illustration Focus

Some 1,400 exhibitors from more than 70 countries are attending the 56th annual Bologna Children's Book Fair, taking place at the BolognaFiere convention center in Bologna, Italy, through April 4.

Both Shelf Awareness and Bookselling Without Borders, a collection of independent publishers that awards fellowships to American booksellers to attend international book fairs, are making their first trips to Bologna this year. Bookselling Without Borders has sent BWB coordinator Anna Thorn and children's booksellers Clarissa Hadge from Trident Booksellers and Café in Boston, Mass., and Melissa Posten from The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves, Mo., to the conference to, in founder Michael Reynolds's words, "become a part of an international community of bookselling." "There are some extraordinary stories," Reynolds said, "about courageous, imaginative, passionate, successful booksellers from all over the world getting books into the hands of readers in the most inspiring and beautiful ways. I would love American booksellers to be a part of that."

Reynolds is particularly excited about adding Bologna to BWB's list of international fairs. "Because none of the fairs BWB has been sending booksellers to thus far has focused on children's books," he said, "I think the perception in the bookselling community has been that BWB is not for children's booksellers. Nothing could be further from the truth." He believes that "if we want adult readers in this market to be more open to diverse and international voices, we have to get to them while they're young," which means "introducing them to global voices, works in translations, international artists and writers when their tastes and predilections are forming." With one of BCBF's focuses this year being "books by and about people of color," Reynolds looks "forward to seeing what kind of ideas the BWB booksellers encounter and what they contribute to the fair in this area and others."

BWB coordinator Anna Thorn won the Turin, Italy, fellowship last year and has been engaged with the program ever since: "Since I first heard of Bookselling Without Borders, I was captivated by the concept. I lived abroad as a kid and I've been a bookseller for most of my adult life, so the ideas of bringing more international literature to the U.S. and bringing more U..S booksellers to international fairs were both important to me." Thorn is the "only actual employee of the program" and, in her role, coordinates fellows' travel plans and itineraries while at the fairs. She also uses her BWB work to help expand her own personal project, Bookstore Vagabond, "a year-long tour of indie bookstores beginning in May (on Instagram and online)." Thorn will be "visiting lots of bookstores and talking with booksellers, publishers, readers and authors" with the goal of celebrating indies and telling "stories about the book industry today."

Thorn, Hadge and Posten will be visiting bookstores and speaking with booksellers in addition to attending the fair. This year's BCBF is particularly focused on illustration. The "Guest Country" is Switzerland, "a small country with an amazingly lively mix of cultures," and the country's exhibition, "The ABC of Switzerland," focuses on its art of illustration. The 53rd annual Illustrator's Exhibition features the work of 76 artists from 27 countries and regions, their pieces chosen from a pool of 14,505 individual works created by artists representing 62 countries. There are also three solo exhibits--Russian illustrator Igor Oleynikov, Croatian artist Vendi ​​Vernić and Masha Titova--and an art show titled "Our Voice," which celebrates 50 years of the Coretta Scott King Award. Following along with this celebration of the CSK Award, one of the fair's main themes this year--alongside "China: A Huge Market for Children's Books" and "Handwriting in the Digital Era"--is "AfroAmerican Culture: Black Books Matter." --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Spanish-Language Audiobooks Now Available from

A selection of some 2,000 Spanish-language audiobooks, spanning genres from contemporary fiction and children's books to business and science fiction and fantasy, is now available from digital audiobook supplier Booksellers can browse the inventory and view recommendations at

"The big thing for us is audiobooks are growing and they're growing in all different categories, including Spanish-language," said Mark Pearson,'s CEO. Pearson explained that adding Spanish-language titles was one of the requests that heard most often from its customers and bookseller partners. "We want to make it easy to discover Spanish-language audiobooks."

" has given us an extra tool to battle the apathy of long-lost readers," said Juan Giron, owner of Giron's Books in Chicago, Ill., which specializes in books by Latin American authors and Spanish-language translations. He added that this will help bring the "age of smartphones" to his customers and into his bookstore.

Adding Spanish-language titles has been in the works for the better part of a year, Pearson said. He noted that more and more publishers are making efforts to expand their Spanish-language offerings and he expects's selection to continue to grow over the months and years ahead. And on the subject of other foreign-language audiobooks, Pearson said is looking into it, but there is nothing to announce just yet.

And with Audible expanding its inventory of Spanish-language titles, Pearson continued, it became important to offer a competing selection. Said Pearson: "The fact is, we're competing on behalf of bookstores with Amazon's Audible."

"It's an example of how we're growing," said Pearson. "We're looking to different markets and trying to serve our customers in a way that would be difficult to do with print books."

Books International Buys Marston Book Services, Orca Book Services

Books International has bought Marston Book Services and its subsidiary, Orca Books Services, both of which have headquarters in the U.K.

Books International CFO Vartan Ajamian commented: "The acquisition of Marston Book Services extends the capabilities of all three organizations and creates a manufacturing and distribution powerhouse with truly global reach... The combined organization will be able to offer extended product reach, improved fill rates, and accelerated delivery while allowing publishers to reduce their investment in standing inventory by leveraging the significant manufacturing, technology, and fulfillment capabilities available at the Books International, Marston and Orca facilities."

Marston Book Services chairman John Holloran added: "As third-party distribution services have evolved, robust book manufacturing capabilities and global reach have become essential features of the competitive landscape. Publishers have refocused their operations on content development and outsourced non-core activities to specialist firms such as Books International and Marston and Orca Book Services."

With the purchase, Martyn Chapman, commercial director of Orca Book Services, has been appointed group managing director, responsible for all U.K. operations, and Mark Chaloner has been appointed group commercial director.

John Holloran and Ross Clayton have resigned their directorships and will continue to advise the board during the transition period as consultants.

Walter Dean Myers Awards Honor Diverse Authors

The 2019 Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children's Literature ceremony, hosted by We Need Diverse Books and the Library of Congress, took place March 29 in the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building. The winners for 2019 are Elizabeth Acevedo for The Poet X (in the Teen, ages 13-18, category) and Jewell Parker Rhodes for Ghost Boys (Younger Readers, ages 9-13). The Teen honorees are Tiffany D. Jackson for Monday's Not Coming and Emily X.R. Pan for The Astonishing Color of After; the Younger Readers honorees are David Bowles for They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems and Veera Hiranandani for The Night Diary.

The 2019 Walter Dean Myers Award winners and honorees: (l.-r.) WNDB CEO Ellen Oh, Christopher Myers, Meg Medina, Elizabeth Acevedo, Tiffany D. Jackson, Emily X.R. Pan, WNDB COO Dhonielle Clayton, Daniel Bowles, Veera Hiranandani, Jewell Parker Rhodes and Linda Sue Park.

Inaugurated in 2016, the mission of the Walter Dean Myers Awards is to "recognize diverse authors whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way." "The Walter" is named for prolific, multi-award-winning children's and young adult author Walter Dean Myers. The​ ​third​ ​National​ ​Ambassador for​ ​Young​ ​People's​ ​Literature, Myers spent his career championing diversity in children's books.

Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Linda Sue Park​, ​​the​ ​ceremony's​ ​emcee​ ​and​ ​guest speaker, noted that 2019 marks five years for We Need Diverse Books; the first tweet with the hashtag was posted April 21, 2014. The goal, she said, remains the same: to create "a world in which children can see themselves in the pages of a book."

Author/illustrator Christopher Myers, the son of the late Walter Dean Myers, spoke as an honored guest, discussing the need for works that reflect the experiences of children from marginalized communities: "We're starving for images."

The ceremony was preceded by a symposium titled "On Writing, Voice, and Courage: A Conversation with Walter Honorees," moderated by Newbery and Pura Belpré Award-winning author Meg Medina. Medina and honorees Jackson, Pan, Bowles and Hiranandani discussed the development of their protagonists, creating structure and format and finding their voice. She also asked them, "How do we write the nuanced stories of our communities?" "It's a matter of honesty," Pan replied, adding that it's important to "put mistakes on the page" and to let readers see the "difficult" things. Medina agreed, noting that "we can get things wrong ourselves, even about our own communities." Jackson replied that it's "a delicate balance between perpetuating stereotypes and telling the truth.... I knew I was going to get slack for... exposing dirty laundry," she continued, nodding to Pan's point of putting the difficult things on the page. "I feel the weight of the dirty laundry, too," Medina said before moving on to lighter matters. "This is a joyous day, friends!" she exclaimed, then opened the floor to questions from the many teen readers in the audience.

WNDB​ ​will​ donate​ ​a​ ​minimum​ ​of​ ​2,000​ ​copies​ ​of​ ​each​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Walter​ ​Award-winning titles to​ ​schools​ ​with​ ​limited​ ​budgets​ ​across​ ​the​ ​United States. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Seriously HAPPY:
10 life-changing philosophy lessons from Stoicism to Zen to supercharge your mindset
by Ben Aldridge
illus. by Michelle Brackenborough
GLOW: Holler: Seriously HAPPY: 10 Life-Changing Philosophy Lessons from Stoicism to Zen to Supercharge Your Mindset by Ben Aldridge

Mental health matters are unpacked through philosophy and quirky challenges in Ben Aldridge's uplifting first YA title, Seriously HAPPY, which mixes personal stories and synopses of teachings from OG philosophers. Alongside Aristotle and Socrates, Aldridge includes insights from lesser-known great minds like Bao Gu, a female Chinese Taoist physician, and Nigerian philosopher Orunmila, to show readers how to be confident, decisive, and resilient. Aldridge personally "employed Stoicism and other philosophies as key strategies in overcoming severe and debilitating anxiety and panic attacks as a young man," says Holler publisher Debbie Foy, adding that Aldridge's conversational tone makes the subject matter accessible and inviting to a young adult audience. "He is clear that everyone deserves happiness in their lives but what constitutes 'happiness' is different for all of us." --Rachel Werner

(Holler, $12.99 Hardcover, ages 12-up, 9780711297807, 
September 3, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Celebrating Flannery O'Connor

The Book Lady Bookstore in Savannah, Ga., partnered with the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home to bring local and regional authors to the annual street fair, parade and party celebrating the birthday of Savannah's most famous local author, Flannery O'Connor. Savannah Local Author Day is one of The Book Lady's many fundraisers throughout the year that benefit the ongoing programs of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Foundation. Bookstore owner Joni Saxon-Giustihas been been a long-term volunteer with the foundation and serves on its advisory board.

The Lit. Bar: 'Putting the Community First' in the Bronx

Although the Lit. Bar "is technically not open yet," Noelle Santos's bookshop in the Bronx, N.Y., is already "putting community first," according to the headline for Teen Vogue's feature on "a space that not very long ago would have been considered its own kind of fantasy: a place where proud Bronx residents can look at the shelves and see affirmations of themselves and the lives they lead. A place where women of color don't have to leave to thrive or discover new parts of themselves."

"I've had to learn everything along the way," said Santos, adding that the community has had her back throughout the process. "They supported me. Just cheering me on social media. When they see me, they treat me like Beyoncé. It's dope, and it's humbling."

Teen Vogue noted that at a recent author event, "dozens of people--most of them young, black, and Latinx--pack into the Lit. Bar, the Bronx's only general-interest bookstore, to hear [Lilliam] Rivera and fellow YA novelist Jason Reynolds talk about her new book, Dealing in Dreams."

During the conversation, "Rivera is framed by a bookstore that reinforces that message. Thanks to Santos, women and people of color are front and center in this space, each of their stories, histories, and illustrations offering affirmation and discovery. After the talk is over, a line snakes through the store as people wait to pick up their copies of Reynolds's and Rivera's books, the authors engaging in quick conversations as they fold their book covers back and sign them," Teen Vogue wrote.

Great Group Reads Sought

The organizers of National Reading Group Month, sponsored by the Women's National Book Association, have called for publishers to submit titles for inclusion in the 2019 Great Group Reads program. The program, in its 11th year, provides book clubs, reading groups, libraries and bookstores with a valuable resource for book selections and recommendations.

The GGR Selection Committee is looking for literary fiction and memoirs published in the U.S. between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, with a bent toward titles from small presses and midlist releases from larger houses that may have gone overlooked. The committee's reading period will run from February to July. Final selections will be made in late July, with a formal announcement in September.

Titles should be submitted to Great Group Reads co-manager Kristen Knox by April 12, and submissions are limited to two per publisher or imprint.

Structural and Personnel Changes at IPG

At Independent Publishers Group:

Cynthia Sherry has been promoted to group publisher of IPG's in-house publishers, Chicago Review Press and Triumph Books. She had been publisher of Chicago Review Press.

Noah Amstadter, formerly associate publisher, has been promoted to publisher, Triumph Books.

Jeff Palicki has been named v-p, director of national accounts, calling on Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million and overseeing Amazon and other major accounts.

Annette Hobbs Magier has joined IPG as v-p, marketing & publicity, a new position that reflects the company's expansion of its marketing and publicity services for client publishers. She was formerly director of sales & marketing at Albert Whitman & Company.

Kelly Peterson, formerly of IPG's INscribe Digital division, has joined the marketing & publicity team.

In a move further to integrate INscribe Digital under IPG's corporate umbrella, the publisher development team, headed by v-p Richard T. Williams, is expanding to include INscribe Digital team members Ana Szaky and David Madruga, and Inscribe Digital's Alli Davis will now report to Mallori Bontrager, digital services manager.

Salma Yaqubi has been promoted to director, data management.

Six former employees of Midpoint Trade Books, which IPG bought last year, have joined the company: Julie Hardison and Dawn Brindle are joining the supply chain department, James Fischer and Kirsten Coale are joining the finance department, and Matt Mich and Tyler Starks are joining the sales department.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Douglas Brinkley on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning: Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race (Harper, $35, 9780062655066).

The View and Good Morning America: Valerie Jarrett, author of Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward (Viking, $30, 978-0525558132).

Also on the View and Good Morning America: Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, authors of #IMomSoHard (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062857699).

Good Morning America: Victoria Osteen, author of Exceptional You!: 7 Ways to Live Encouraged, Empowered, and Intentional (Faithwords, $24, 9781546010623).

The View: Chelsea Clinton, author of Don't Let Them Disappear (Philomel, $17.99, 9780525514329). She will also appear on Good Morning America.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Stacey Abrams, author of Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change (Picador, $17, 9781250214805).

TV: The Library Book

Television rights to The Library Book, the bestselling title by Susan Orlean, have been acquired by Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, in association with Brillstein Entertainment, Variety reported. Orlean is adapting the book for TV in addition to serving as executive producer. James Ponsoldt (The End of Tour, The Circle) will executive produce and direct the pilot.

"Susan has created a captivating narrative that is part mystery, part magic, and part love letter to the dedicated stewards who fight to keep these beloved institutions alive," said Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount TV. "Each day at the library, the human drama that unfolds among staff and patrons of every socio-economic level--funny, sad, inspiring, unexpected--speaks to the highs and lows of our country right now."

Orlean commented: "I am so excited to see this book leap from the page to the screen and tell the story of a place that's so well-loved and complex and interesting. I've been a fan of James' since his first film, and to have Paramount Television and Anonymous Content as our partners, with their great respect for writers and writing, makes this my dream team."

Books & Authors

Awards: Republic of Consciousness Winners

Galley Beggar Press and CB Editions jointly won the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, "as its founder announced the contest would no longer be restricted to just one winner," the Bookseller reported. The award, which is open to publishers in the U.K. and Ireland with fewer than five staff and a commitment to "hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose," went to CB Editions for Murmur by Will Eaves and to Galley Beggar Press for Lucia by Alex Pheby. Both houses receive £3,500 (about $4,590), with £2,500 going to the press and £1,000 to the author.

Judge Catherine Taylor said Murmur is "a transfixing work, an epic despite its 176 pages, which, while examining the uncomfortable truths about a past of discrimination and prejudice, is also a novel of the future."

Judge David Collard described Lucia as "a very rich and strange novel that investigates consciousness, agency, selfhood, mental disorder, medical callousness and misogyny."

Founder Neil Griffiths said that the prize may be expanded further: "If we raise more money next year, there could be more: it may be that a single book wins, it may be that four do. We want to get to a place where we don't have to choose between books that we can't choose between. What I really want is that we don't have winners at all, but a celebration of the best work of small presses. However, I'm not foolish enough to think a short list will work on its own."

Midwest Connections April Picks

The Midwest Booksellers Association has selected its Midwest Connections Picks for April. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

Little Faith by Nickolas Butler (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062469717). "Lyle Hovde's daughter has become deeply involved with an extremist church. While reckoning with his own faith--or lack thereof--Lyle soon finds himself torn between his unease about the church and his desire to keep his daughter and grandson in his life. But when the church's radical belief system threatens Isaac's safety, Lyle is forced to make a decision from which the family may not recover "

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) by Lorna Landvik (University of Minnesota Press, $25.95, 9781517905996). "With her customary warmth and wit, Lorna Landvik summons a lifetime at once lost and recovered, a complicated past that speaks with knowing eloquence to a confused present."

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward (Park Row, $26.99, 9780778369103). "Maddie and Ian's love story began overseas; he was in the army and she was visiting her best friend, Jo. Two decades later, married with a son, they are living the perfect suburban life. But when an accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she reveals her fears about Ian's PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo."

Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny by Thomas D. Peacock (Holy Cow! Press, $15.95, 9780998601052). "Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny will resonate with anyone who longs to make the journey home, wherever that may be, as well those who seek or have experienced cultural or spiritual awakening, and healing."

Book Review

Review: Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales by Oliver Sacks (Knopf, $26.95 hardcover, 288p., 9780451492890, April 23, 2019)

The late neurologist and prolific author Oliver Sacks (Awakenings; The River of Consciousness) crafted a series of essays as varied as they are wise in Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales.

The book reads as a postscript to a brilliant career focused on the mind. These essays are divided into three sections. Their central core is a section devoted to "clinical tales" in which Sacks discusses freely, and always with a deep sense of humanity, several patients and their neurological disorders that fascinated him. In "Seeing God in the Third Millennium," Sacks explores out-of-body and near-death experiences, respecting the personal meaning of such experiences while attempting to ground them in the physical realities of the brain. In "The Seduction of Madness," he chronicles manifestations of bipolar disorder and the heightened mania that can become a drug for those who experience feelings of superhuman ability.

Many of his essays include critiques, mostly praise, of medical memoirs, so that he builds a canon of sorts for each disorder, directing readers to relevant works. His essay on Alzheimer's and other degenerative mental diseases, "The Aging Brain," delves into issues that affect many families and loved ones. Though these types of diseases are tragic, Sacks provides useful discoveries along the way, such as pointing out that a love of learning helps the brain into old age. "If we are lucky enough to reach a healthy old age, this sense of wonder can keep us passionate and productive to the end of our lives," he writes.

That sense of wonder distinguished Sacks's own life, evidenced by the two sections bookending his clinical tales. The first is composed of boyhood reminiscences. He describes his youthful affinity for swimming and for libraries and museums, and how he fell in love with science. The last section of the book is written from the perspective of old age, in which those same loves have matured and directed his interest even more outward toward the mysteries of the world. These later essays are full of curiosity and awe. Some serve as short vignettes. In "Pocket Spectroscopy," for example, Sacks walks around New York City with the eponymous instrument in his pocket, breaking down light into different colors and spectrums, eventually drawing an amused crowd.

Whether discussing botany or the intricacies of the brain, Sacks writes with the natural candor and wisdom of a great teacher. Everything in Its Place is his thoroughly illuminating last word. He will be missed. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: Famous neurologist Oliver Sacks details his adventures with the mind and the greater natural world in this posthumous collection of essays.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Tyrant (Banker Book 3) by Penelope Sky
2. The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan
3. Hissy Fit by Lani Lynn Vale
4. The Wizenard Series: Training Camp by Wesley King and Kobe Bryant
5. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
6. The Gorison Traveler Incident by Laurann Dohner
7. Big Things Have Small Beginnings by Wes Berry
8. The Devil and the Dancer by Elizabeth Hunter
9. The Boyfriend Experience by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
10. Thick by Alexa Riley

[Many thanks to!]

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