Shelf Awareness for Friday, April 26, 2019


Sharjah Publishers Conference: October 27th-29th - Register Now!

Minotaur Books: The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

Tor Books: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

DK: Free Pack of The Wonders of Nature Wrapping Paper - Click to Sign Up!

Bloomsbury Publishing: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Other Press: Nvk by Temple Drake

Editors' Note

Independent Bookstore Day!

Tomorrow is the fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day, which is being celebrated across the country by more than 500 bookstores. Please send reports and pictures at news@shelf-awareness.com for our extensive coverage in Monday morning's issue. We wish all participants a busy, successful day.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Firewatching by Russ Thomas


News

Amazon First Quarter: High Profits; Slower Sales Gain

In the first quarter ended March 31, net sales at Amazon rose 17%, to $59.7 billion, and net income more than doubled, to $3.6 billion compared to $1.6 billion in the same period a year earlier. The net sales gain, the lowest in a quarter in four years, was consistent with analysts' expectations, while the profit gain was more than double expectations.

Among highlights:

The company's traditional core business of retail has experienced slowing growth: online store sales rose 14%, to $29.3 billion, while third-party selling rose 23%, to $11.1 billion.

Sales at physical stores, which mostly consists of Whole Foods, rose just 1%, to $4.4 billion.

International sales rose 9%, to $16.2 billion, compared to a 34% gain in the same period last year.

Once again AWS, the cloud computing division, had the largest gains, up 41%, to $7.7 billion.

Spending will increase somewhat this year because Amazon plans to make one-day shipping standard for Prime members, instead of the current two-day shipping. The company is investing $800 million in the effort.

The Wall Street Journal noted that "after years of plowing nearly every dollar made back into its business, Amazon has entered a new era of more modest revenue growth and consistent profits. The company had spent heavily in prior years to build out its warehouses to meet surging retail demand and branch into new industries such as cloud computing, filmmaking and groceries.

"Amazon started delivering record profit last year as it eased spending while newer businesses like advertising and cloud computing took off, helping to offset the lower margins of its traditional retail business. Its online retail marketplace now relies more heavily on third-party vendors--58% of sales on the platform come from taking a cut from these outside businesses, as opposed to selling goods directly itself."


Arcadia Publishing: Stock Your Shelves!


The Lit. Bar Set to Open on IBD

After more than four years of planning, owner Noëlle Santos is set to open The Lit. Bar, an independent bookstore and wine bar in the Bronx, N.Y., this Saturday on Independent Bookstore Day, Bookselling This Week reported.

Located in the Mott Haven neighborhood in the South Bronx, the Lit. Bar resides in a 1,700-square-foot space that features chandeliers, a 14-foot tree and several giant graffiti murals. The inventory consists of around 4,000 titles for children, teens and adults, and the shop is peppered with a variety of specialty displays with names like "Dear White People," consisting of books on race relations, and "Mind Right, Money Right," devoted to self-help books.

The bar, meanwhile, serves wine, beer, cider and an assortment of non-alcoholic drinks, along with a seasonal food menu. The bar itself is actually made of used books donated by community members. Santos told BTW that she plans to create a buy-back program for books purchased at the store, which would allow her to keep the inventory more affordable while also maintaining a curatorial edge. At the start, Santos will have three part-time staff members who will help with both bookselling and tending bar, and over the weeks and months ahead she plans to bring on more staffers.

Santos has a slate of events scheduled for the store's opening weekend. She held a pre-opening party and first look at the store on Thursday night, while a ribbon-cutting is planned for Saturday morning. Also on Saturday Santos will have a DJ and photo booth, as well as a party that night. On Sunday, Santos will debut Kiddie Lit'r, the store's children's book club and events program. And on Tuesday, Santos will be in conversation with Forbes contributor and author Sara Bliss.

Santos's bookselling journey began back in fall 2014, after Barnes & Noble closed its only location in the Bronx. In early 2015 she attended the Paz & Associates "Owning a Bookstore" course, and later that year began training at various bookstores around New York. In 2016 she won second place in the New York Public Library's StartUP! Business Plan Competition, for which she received a prize of $7,500. During 2017 she launched a book club called Readers & Shakers that has since brought in over 900 members, and ran an Indiegogo campaign that raised more than $170,000. Last year she left her full-time job and began the laborious process of building out her store, acquiring the proper construction permits and obtaining a liquor license.

"I had no experience, I never worked in retail or bookselling, but I was embraced by the bookselling community," Santos told BTW. "I'm so grateful to everyone who came together to give me membership and the resources to do this amazing thing that not only opened doors for myself, but through me has opened doors for so many other people. And they didn't have to. I can't imagine any other industry that is as tight-knit or as generous with information."


Grove Press, Black Cat: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo


Jackson Hole Book Trader Launching 'Summer Pop-Up'

Susie Temple

Susie Temple, owner of Jackson Hole Book Trader in Jackson, Wyo., is in planning stages to open Wilson Book Gallery, a pop-up bookstore in the Westbank Center near the new branch of Persephone, a popular bakery and coffee shop, the News & Guide reported. The 700-square-foot space, including a children's section, will primarily feature new books.

"It's going to be a place hopefully where locals and tourists can find a book to read without going to town," she said. "The way the West Bank is growing, the more we can have on the West Bank the better.... The tie to Persephone is big. We're hoping people having a cup of coffee will wander over."

Although she is calling Wilson Book Gallery a summer pop-up, Temple would like it to become permanent if the shop catches on. She had considered opening a Wilson or West Bank bookstore in the years before she bought Jackson Hole Book Trader, where she had worked, in 2017. When she spoke with former owner Cindy Parker about her idea, she discovered Parker was interested in selling the store and that altered Temple's plans. 

"My goal is to put books in peoples' hands," she said. "I think it's so important, especially right now, to have an intellectual hub of a sort. It's my mission... to have books available."


Berkley Books: Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin


Bookmanager Academy Scheduled for September 6-8

Bookmanager Academy 2019 will be held September 6-8 in Kelowna, B.C., at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort. Registration and travel information is currently available. The full itinerary of education sessions and parties will be released early in the summer.

BMA, which was previously held in 2015 and 2017, features three days of Bookmanager software, webstore and general bookselling education and roundtable discussion, organizers said, noting that the 2019 BMA "will be similar to 2017's event, with full days of education on the Friday and Saturday, a special half-day session on Sunday for Canadian booksellers hosted by Penguin Random House Canada, and a smattering of social events throughout the weekend."

Since the Canadian Booksellers Association became part of the Retail Council of Canada in 2012, the Bookmanager Academy is one of the few events where Canadian booksellers meet.


Nimbus Publishing: Making a Life: Twenty-Five Years of Hooking Rugs by Deanne Fitzpatrick


Linda Stratmann Elected CWA Chair in U.K.

The Crime Writers' Association has elected Linda Stratmann as the organization's new chair, effective immediately. Stratmann is the author of two Victorian era fiction series: the Frances Doughty Mysteries set in 1880s Bayswater; and a series set in 1870s Brighton featuring Mina Scarletti, "a diminutive writer of horror stories who exposes the activities of fraudulent spirit mediums."

"I'm delighted to become chair of an association which continues to grow and now has more members, in the U.K. and overseas, than ever before," Stratmann said. "It's an honor to follow in the footsteps of Martin Edwards."

Edwards was the longest-serving CWA chair since John Creasey, who founded the CWA in 1953. Martin, who continues as the archivist and anthology editor of the CWA as well as archivist and president of the Detection Club, said, "Congratulations to Linda on taking over as Chair of the CWA. I know she’ll be a great asset, as she’s already demonstrated with her tireless work for the CWA over the last decade, and wish her every success."


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors


Notes

Image of the Day: Publishing Triangle Awards

The Publishing Triangle Awards, honoring the best LGBTQ books of 2018, were presented last night at the New School in New York City. Pictured: (l.-r.) Carol Rosenfeld, chair of the Publishing Triangle; Jaime Manrique, recipient of the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement; and Trent Duffy, awards chair and treasurer of the Publishing Triangle. WORD Bookstore sold books at the event. See the complete list of Publishing Triangle Award winners below. (photo: Tracy Ketcher)


Video: 'The Fellowship' at Waco's Fabled Bookshop & Cafe

Fabled Bookshop & Cafe is opening later this summer in Waco, Tex., "but we still wanted to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day," said Alison Frenzel, co-owner with Kimberly Batson. "So, we are opening our membership program, Fabled Fellows (The Fellowship), for just the weekend, which we've given a secret society vibe."

To introduce a special video that has been created to accompany the promotion, Fabled Bookshop wrote: "Independent Bookstore Day is a special day for us, and we want to make it special for you, too. On April 26-28, we're launching Fabled Fellows, a unique 'membership' program we know will be the heartbeat of our book-centric community! This will be your *one* chance to Join the Fellowship before we open our doors this summer, and with our Independent Bookstore Day release, we're adding on some exclusive perks. We'll be sending out details through our newsletter soon--be sure you're signed up so you don't miss it. Long live the bookshop, future fellows!"


Chalkboard of the Day: Mysterious Galaxy

Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif., shared a photo of bookseller Darcy's recent Shakespearian/skateboarding chalkboard art for an upcoming event with Ian Doescher, author of William Shakespeare's Get Thee... Back to the Future! and William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Mean Girls.


Personnel Changes at Workman

At Workman:

Cindy Lee has been promoted to senior manager, marketing & visual content for the Workman imprint. Most recently, she was marketing manager.

Neil Hiremath has been promoted to senior manager, digital operations. Most recently, he was manager, metadata & digital operations.

SarahMay Harel has been promoted to associate manager, web operations & ecommerce. Most recently, she was assistant manager, web operations & ecommerce.

Claire Gross joins the Workman imprint as publicity assistant. She was formerly a bookseller at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven, Mass., and ran the store book club.

Rina Mody joins the company as manager, digital operations. She formerly worked in the editorial and marketing departments of Thieme Publishers.



Media and Movies

TV: Catch-22

A trailer has been released for Hulu's six-part series adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 that "shows Christopher Abbott as the novel's classic protagonist Yossarian, who tries to do everything he can to avoid being stuck in the crosshairs of World War II," Indiewire reported.

The ensemble cast includes a "majestically mustachioed" George Clooney as Lieutenant Scheisskopf, Hugh Laurie and Kyle Chandler. A co-production with Italy's Sky Italia, this version of Catch-22 (Mike Nichols's was released in 1970) was co-written by Luke Davies (Lion) and Animal Kingdom director David Michôd.

"The horror and hilarity becomes even more pronounced," said series producer and director Grant Heslov. "The horror becomes even bigger and hopefully funnier, as well. We wanted to keep the tone real." Other directors on the series include Ellen Kuras and Clooney, who will each take a pair of episodes. Catch-22 premieres May 17 on Hulu.


Movies: Nightmare Alley

Leonardo DiCaprio "is in negotiations" to star in Fox Searchlight's Nightmare Alley, based on William Lindsay Gresham 1946 novel, Variety reported. Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) is directing and co-wrote the script with Kim Morgan. The project is being produced and financed by del Toro and J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment, with Fox Searchlight acquiring worldwide distribution rights. Shooting is set to begin this fall, and while there was a 1947 movie adaptation starring Tyrone Power, the new version will be based more on the book.  


Books & Authors

Awards: Edgars; Publishing Triangle

Here are the winners of the 2019 Edgar Awards, who were honored last night at the Mystery Writers of America banquet in New York City:

Best novel: Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Hachette/Mulholland)
Best first novel: Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Best paperback original: If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (Morrow)
Best fact crime: Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler (Norton/Liveright)
Best critical/biographical: Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
Best short story: "English 398: Fiction Workshop"--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Art Taylor (Dell Magazines)
Best juvenile: Otherwood by Pete Hautman (Candlewick)
Best young adult: Sadie by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books)
Best TV episode teleplay: "The One That Holds Everything"--The Romanoffs, teleplay by Matthew Weiner & Donald Joh (Amazon Prime Video)
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: "How Does He Die This Time?"--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Nancy Novick (Dell Magazines)
S&S/Mary Higgins Clark Award: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
Putnam Sue Grafton Memorial Award: Shell Game by Sara Paretsky (Morrow)
Grand Master: Martin Cruz Smith
Raven Award: Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
Ellery Queen Award: Linda Landrigan, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

---

Winners of the Publishing Triangle Awards, honoring the best LGBTQ fiction, debut fiction, nonfiction, poetry and trans/gender-variant literature published in 2018, were presented last night in New York City. The winners are:

The Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction: Drapetomania by John R. Gordon (Team Angelica)
The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction: Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry (Beacon Press)
The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Trans & Gender-Variant Literature: Some Animal by Ely Shipley (Nightboat Books)
The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction: The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara (Ecco)
The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry: Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen (Coffee House Press)
The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry: Rest by Margaree Little (Four Way Books)
Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award: Julian Randall
The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement: Jaime Manrique, a novelist, poet, essayist and translator who writes both in English and Spanish. His work has been translated into 15 languages. Among his publications in English are five novels: Colombian Gold, Latin Moon in Manhattan, Twilight at the Equator, Our Lives Are the Rivers, and Cervantes Street. He has also published the memoir Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me. Manrique's selected poems were published in Spanish in 2016. His sixth novel, Like This Afternoon Forever, will be published in June by Kaylie Jones Books/Akashic Books.
Leadership Award: Paul Willis, who established the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2003. Now in its 16th year, the festival has grown into an internationally recognized event that brings together LGBTQ publishers, writers and readers from throughout the U.S. and beyond.


Reading with... Devon Ashby

Devon Ashby is Shelf Awareness's marketing and sales assistant. She is a former bookseller and video store clerk from Los Angeles, Calif. She worked at Alias Books in West L.A. and the Last Bookstore in Downtown L.A. before relocating to Seattle in 2017. She has written for Guff.com, CraveOnline, California Literary Review and Rue Morgue magazine.

On your nightstand now:

Merchants of Culture by John B. Thompson, which I borrowed from someone a long time ago and should really return; Black Gangster by Donald Goines, which is one of my boyfriend's all-time favorites; They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib; Frolic of the Beasts by Yukio Mishima.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I was obsessed with the Elfquest graphic novels for years after I discovered them at the Missoula Public Library when I was eight. I was really blown away by the concept of a comic book acknowledging things like sexuality, mental illness and systematic brutality yet still being so optimistic and fun to read.

Your top five authors:

This is impossible, of course, but the first five who come to mind are Jean Rhys, Mary Gaitskill, Banana Yoshimoto, Richard Yates and Han Kang. All of whom write about cultural alienation and suffering in ways that are vaguely surrealistic yet also painfully hyper-realistic.

Book you've faked reading:

I fake-read a lot of Bukowski in my late teens and early 20s to impress people who, I now realize, probably weren't worth the effort.

Book you're an evangelist for:

House of Psychotic Women by Kier-la Janisse is one of the weirdest, most important and most unique books about film, mental illness and gender identity that I've ever read. I also recommend Inio Asano and Shuuzou Oshimi to people a lot.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall.

Book you hid from your parents:

I have always flaunted my questionable reading choices in order to deliberately frustrate and annoy my parents, except for the one time in middle school when I batch-printed an entire 200-page, multi-chapter, erotic X-Files fanfiction off the Internet and hid it in my bedroom for weeks, terrified my stepmother would find it and ban me from using the computer.

Book that changed your life:

The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor was a very important book for me in high school. Periodically re-reading the short story "Parker's Back" helped me understand how many layers of meaning a single piece of fiction can have. O'Connor's life, and her vision of spiritual redemption as a process of inevitable humiliation and self-destruction, resonated with my own, budding Mall Goth sensibilities as a teenager.

Favorite line from a book:

"There are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull." --Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Five books you'll never part with:

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, Neurosis and Human Growth by Karen Horney, Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis, The Vegetarian by Han Kang and Pure Trance by Junko Mizuno.

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

Two Girls, Fat and Thin by Mary Gaitskill, which somehow, improbably, made me actually consider possibly reading Atlas Shrugged someday (as pulp, not as political theory).

Honestly, though, most books get better the more times you read them.


Book Review

Review: A Brightness Long Ago

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay (Berkley, $27 hardcover, 448p., 9780451472984, May 14, 2019)

World Fantasy Award-winner Guy Gavriel Kay (Ysabel) returns to the world of Children of Earth and Sky in a standalone alternate-history adventure that revolves around Batiara, the author's version of Renaissance Italy.

Newly out of boyhood, Guidanio Cerra, a tailor's son from the city-state Seressa, finds that a quality education and his natural wit draw him into circles above his station. Engaged to serve at the court of Uberto the Beast, ruler of Mylasia, Danio recoils at his master's vicious appetites but has no power to stop him. When Adria Ripoli arrives at the court, Danio knows she has come as an assassin on behalf of her uncle Folco Cino d'Acorsi, a powerful mercenary who would love to add a port city like Mylasia to his holdings. Danio must choose whether to reveal Adria's identity or allow her to proceed, and his split-second decision brings unrest to the region.

As Folco and his rival mercenary commander Teobaldo Monticola di Remigio vie for dominance, fortune drags Danio into their paths repeatedly. At times, Adria Ripoli flashes back through his life like a bright ribbon in a windstorm, her hunger for life driving her to chase "more freedom than the world wished to give a woman," particularly a noblewoman destined for an advantageous marriage or convent position. In a landscape of intrigue, political tension and murder, Danio will need every scrap of wit and luck he possesses to find his path to maturity.

Now an elderly man looking back on the passion and tumult of his youth, Danio reflects on "the choices we make. The person we become." Every action and reaction of the characters, no matter how trifling, has effects that may reach as far away as the besieged holy city of Sarantium, or as near as a bystander's heart. Kay charts these connections, often telling the reader a secondary character's destiny in brief at their first appearance, then circling back to fill in the details as events branch.

Among the memorable faces swept up by the schemes of powerful men are Jelena, a healer wanting nothing more than to practice in peace; Brother Nardo, a young cleric of Jad hungry for martyrdom; and Antenami Sardi, the frivolous son of a wealthy banker. Kay sketches the scope of a world through their disparate life experiences. Above all, bold, brilliant Adria is destined to become a fan-favorite character for her insistence on a life lived on her own ambitious terms. A surefire hit for historical fiction and fantasy readers, A Brightness Long Ago further cements Kay's reputation as a wise and beguiling storyteller. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: In his first novel in three years, Guy Gavriel Kay riffs on themes of connection and memory in a setting reminiscent of Renaissance Italy.


Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Celebrating IBD with a Revolutionary Bookseller

In anticipation of Independent Bookstore Day tomorrow, I've been thinking about the bookselling life of Henry Knox, who was born in Boston (1750) and self-educated. According to David McCullough's 1776, he became a bookseller as a young man, and in 1771 opened his own establishment, the London Book-Store, offering "a large and very elegant assortment" of the latest books and magazines.

"In the notices he placed in the Boston Gazette, the name Henry Knox always appeared in larger type than the name of the store," McCullough writes. The Gazette also noted that his stock included "the most modern books in all branches of Literature, Arts and Sciences."

Henry Knox
(portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1806)

In his introduction to The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox, editor Phillip Hamilton portrays a bookshop environment that sounds quite contemporary, noting that Knox's store "thrived under his direction, largely due to his personality.... Knowledgeable about literature, history, and politics, he loved engaging in conversations and easily struck up friendships.... Ambitious, eager to rise above the hardships of his youth, and supremely confident in himself, Knox always engaged customers in similar discussions."

The bookshop also prospered because of his business mind, including an ability to master commercial and financial details. Hamilton writes that Knox's surviving wastebook (a financial ledger in which he wrote daily transactions) and correspondence with customers "reveal the care with which he managed the overall operation." In addition, his ties to London gave him "regular access to thousands of recently published books and magazines, as well as to the latest news regarding literary trends, social fads, and political intelligence."

Now let's talk about location, location, location. The London Book-Store was on Cornhill near the center of Boston, which "further contributed to its success," Hamilton notes. "Before 1771, the city already supported 15 book and print shops, due to the fact that its 16,000 residents were mostly literate, because of the Congregationalist's belief that all people should read the Bible for themselves."

Because it was located less than a block from the Massachusetts Town House, "not only Whigs and members of the Sons of Liberty frequented the bookstore, but Crown officials, American Tories, and British officers also stopped by on a daily basis," Hamilton observes. Prominent Boston historian Harrison Gray Otis later characterized the store as "one of great display and attraction for young and old, and a fashionable morning lounge."

McCullough adds that the clientele also included troublemakers like John Adams, a frequent patron who remembered Knox as a youth "of pleasing manners and inquisitive turn of mind"; as well as Nathanael Greene, "who not only shared Knox's love of books, but also an interest in 'the military art,' and it was thus, on the eve of war, that an important friendship had commenced."

Booksellers' lives are deeply influenced by their patrons. Sometimes the relationships become something more. Knox fell in love with one of his customers, Lucy Flucker, whom he eventually married despite objections from her Loyalist father, a royal secretary of the province.

Lucy "probably entered Knox's establishment for the first time in 1772," Hamilton writes. "Though only 16 years old, she already possessed a formidable personality. Her correspondence reveals that, even as a teenager, she had a quick mind, strong opinions, and deeply felt emotions, which she rarely hesitated to share with others.... she developed an exceptionally strong streak of independence. The historical record is silent regarding Lucy's education, but it was clearly substantial. Trained to write in the italianate hand, she learned to express her thoughts and sentiments with precision and vigor. Like her future husband, she developed a love of reading and particularly enjoyed conversations about literature and other social topics."

I particularly like Hamilton's description of their bookish courtship ritual and suspect more than a few booksellers can relate to the recollection that "at some point in 1773, they started to exchange furtive glances inside Knox's bookstore and then had flirtatious tête-à-têtes at a nearby coffeehouse."

Henry and Lucy married in 1774, but any future bookselling life together was quickly shattered. By 1775, as "the 'carnage and bloodshed' Henry feared approached, he struggled to keep the bookstore open," Hamilton writes. The last Boston Gazette advertisement for the London Book-Store featured a pamphlet titled The Farmer refuted:.. intended as a further vindication of the Congress by a man who would soon become his comrade-in-arms, Alexander Hamilton.

Knox went on to become a Revolutionary War hero, playing an instrumental role when he conceived and executed the daring relocation of more than 50 captured British cannons overland from Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain to Boston--an arduous winter journey of nearly 300 miles--to help end the British siege of the city. He eventually rose to the rank of Major General, and later served in President George Washington's cabinet.

The bookshop, vandalized during the war, did not ultimately survive. As bookselling lives go, however, Henry's was a particularly intense, exciting and, yes, independent one, in every sense of the word. So I'll raise a glass to his memory tomorrow as I celebrate another Independent Bookstore Day.

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

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