Also published on this date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Out of Darkness, Shining Light

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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


Love's Sweet Arrow to Strike Tinley Park, Ill.

Roseann and Marissa Backlin

Mother-and-daughter team Marissa and Roseann Backlin plan to open Love's Sweet Arrow, a new and used all-romance bookstore, in Tinley Park, Ill., during the weekend of June 15. The store will have around 1,000 square feet of retail space and an opening inventory of around 1,000 new books, combined with a small used section of about 300 titles.

Marissa and Roseann, who are both teachers, will be the store's only employees at the beginning. While most of their sidelines plans are still in flux, they will definitely stock a variety of candles made by local makers. They've also spoken to their local Romance Writers of America chapter and are looking into having a focus on local and regional romance authors.

The night before the store's official opening, Roseann and Marissa plan to host a small opening night party for family and close friends. Over that weekend they will have a larger, customer-facing event.

The Backlins reported that their community has been very supportive, particularly the owner of a new coffee/tea place who is "super excited to have a bookstore next to her." And the romance community itself, they added, has been super welcoming. Authors have reached out to them and sent books and swag, and when they attended KissCon in Chicago in April, authors wore their store's buttons to help spread the word.

"We feel really supported by the romance community and we can't wait to sell their books," said Marissa Backlin.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Grand Opening Set for S.C.'s Turning Page Bookshop


Turning Page Bookshop will host its grand opening this coming Saturday, June 1, at 216 St. James Avenue, Unit F, in Goose Creek, a suburb of Charleston, S.C., the Chronicle reported, adding: "Not only will this be one of the few independent owned bookstores in the Charleston area, it will be only the second African American owned bookstore in South Carolina, following Malcolm X Center for Self Determination in Greenville."

VaLinda Miller, who previously owned the Booksmith in Seneca, announced earlier this spring that she would be moving the business closer to her home after the lease ended at the previous location.

"Goose Creek is growing fast, and I want to be part of the mixtures of imagination by showing the world that we are more than readers and support our small businesses," Miller said. "We are what a diverse community can do and do well."

Turning Page Bookshop is selling new books, including Bibles, Christian fiction, African-American books and YA titles; as well as serving coffee and providing a relaxing space for book lovers and others. The Chronicle noted that "in the future there will be more events, including book signings from local and South Carolina authors, book club discussions and children's events."

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

Round Table Bookstore Coming to Topeka, Kan., Next Month

Round Table Bookstore, a new and used independent bookshop, will open late June in the NOTO Arts District in Topeka, Kan. Owner Andrew Howard plans to sell books for children, teens and adults along with a variety of no-nbook items such as T-shirts, tote bags, baby blankets, socks and more. The store will have several small seating areas and will offer a small drink and snack menu.

Howard has a variety of events planned for Round Table Bookstore, including author readings, book clubs and a regular Dungeons & Dragons game night called the Round Table Guild. Howard expects to host a grand opening celebration on July 5, and the first monthly book club meeting will be held on July 18, with the inaugural book being The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

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

Viking, Penguin Books, Pamela Dorman Books Create Joint Publishing Program

Viking, Penguin Books and Pamela Dorman Books are creating a program across the three imprints that will publish 15 books next year and focus on inspiration, personal development, lifestyle, and healthy living.

The editorial, publicity, and marketing groups at all three imprints have been "deeply involved in lifestyle and wellness books to great success, and the time has come to define these books within a program to better represent how important and successful these books are on these lists," Viking/Penguin said. Viking Life, Penguin Life, and Pamela Dorman Books Life will feature authors with "new theories, big ideas, and high-profile platforms, including practitioners and writers with credentials and first-hand experience in the areas of inspiration, self-help and personal growth, health and wellness, spirituality, home and nature, psychology, and personal finance."

Viking Life will make its debut with supermodel and nutritionist Maye Musk's book of advice, A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty and Success. Pamela Dorman Books Life will publish psychotherapist Philippa Perry's The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: (And Your Children Will Be Glad You Did). Penguin Life launches with The Book of Ichigo-Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles and Laughter Yoga: Daily Practices for Health and Happiness by Madan Kataria, M.D.

Brian Tart, president and publisher of Viking, said, "I have watched my Viking UK colleagues' success with their Penguin Life program with great admiration. Although we will not be formally aligned with them, I thought we could use their model as inspiration and tailor it for our American audience. This will help Viking maximize the success of lifestyle and wellness books, and show our commitment to finding the widest possible audience for these books."

Kathryn Court, president and publisher of Penguin Books, said, "In the last few years Penguin Books has been expanding its reach in this area, and we are publishing books from other parts of the world such as The Art of Simple Living by Japanese Zen monk Shunmyo Masuno, and The Power of Nunchi by Euny Hong. These are works that help people understand their lives and the potential for improvement in the widest and best sense."

Pamela Dorman, publisher of Pamela Dorman Books/Viking said, "I have always been interested in books on one's inner self, whether it is a book about spirituality and inspiration, or a book of serious psychology, or a book about life changes, especially in the lives of women. I am excited to dive more deeply into these areas with Pamela Dorman Books Life."

Obituary Note: Tony Horwitz

Tony Horwitz

Tony Horwitz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and bestselling author "known for embedding himself in the worlds he wrote about, whether joining a slaughterhouse assembly line or an army of Confederate battlefield re-enactors," died on Monday, the New York Times reported. He was 60 and collapsed suddenly while walking in Chevy Chase, Md., apparently suffering cardiac arrest. He was in the Washington area on tour for his latest book, Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide, published two weeks ago by Penguin Press, and was going to appear at an event last night at Politics & Prose.

Horwitz was probably best known for Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (1998). His other books included Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (2002), A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World (2008), and Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War (2011). He was married for 35 years to Geraldine Brooks, author of, among other books, Year of Wonders, March and People of the Book.

"Tony created his own unique genre of history and journalism in book after book," said David William Blight, a professor of American history at Yale and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. Speaking about Spying on the South, which retraces a 6,000-mile journey Frederick Law Olmsted took in the South in the 1850s reporting for the New York Times, he noted that Horwitz's "search for Olmsted's journey was Tony's own brilliant mirror held up to all of us about the awful social and political sicknesses we face now as Olmsted's epic journey showed the same for the South and the road to the Civil War."

"He was easily bored with conventional explanations, and his restlessness led him to places a normal person wouldn't get to," said author and financial journalist Michael Lewis, who recalled that Horwitz was driven by an antic energy and unquenchable curiosity.

In an April Times op-ed piece headlined "Can Bar-Stool Democracy Save America?", Horwitz wrote that part of the research for his latest book involved "trailing Olmsted from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. To get my bearings, I often stopped first at a chamber of commerce or small-town newspaper office. But my best sources were cultivated after hours, at dive bars and pool halls.... Wandering into red-state Southern bars with a reporter's notebook, to quiz drinkers about race or guns or immigration, isn't always a walk in an Olmsted-designed park....

"But I can count such hostile receptions on one hand. In almost every other instance, I've been met affably, by drinkers open about their views and curious to know mine, as a visiting writer from 'Taxachusetts'.... Now that I'm back home in Massachusetts, I listen differently when I hear comments that cast blue-collar conservatives as some sort of alien, monolithic species. I conjure instead the three-dimensional individuals I drank and debated with in factory towns, Gulf Coast oil fields and distressed rural crossroads."

While on the Wall Street Journal's staff, he won the 1995 Pulitzer for national reporting "for his vivid accounts of grim working conditions in low-wage jobs, including those at garbage recycling and poultry processing plants." Horwitz later wrote for the New Yorker on the Middle East "before amplifying his brand of participatory journalism in nonfiction books."


Image of the Day: Flatiron Turns Five

In one of several events held last night in New York City on the eve of BookExpo, Flatiron Books celebrated its fifth anniversary. Here founder Bob Miller addresses the crowd.

Sean Doolittle: All-Star Pitcher, Indie Bookstore Fan

Sean Doolittle

Sean Doolittle, two-time All-Star relief pitcher for Washington Nationals, has embarked on a project "to seek out an independent bookshop on every road stop this year and share his adventures with his Twitter following of nearly 100,000," the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that in taking advantage of a job that allows him to travel to cities around the U.S., he can "use his platform as a famous athlete for a cause that matters to him."

"I want to support local businesses," Doolittle said. "I want to support these places that are active in their communities, that are trying to be supportive and inclusive spaces for their communities.... These places like Amazon, they might sometimes be a little bit more convenient. They might be a little bit cheaper. But they're not furthering anything as far as authors' careers or supporting their workers in the same way."

Before a recent game in New York, he and his wife, Eireann Dolan, visited Three Lives & Company. In Los Angeles, he found Vroman's in Pasadena, and a series in Denver against the Colorado Rockies brought him to Tattered Cover

"In indie bookstores, Doolittle feels comfortable," the Journal wrote. "With his bushy red beard, hipster glasses and jean jacket, 'I blend more into my natural habitat,' he said."

Doolittle tweeted in April: "One thing about my job that I'm grateful for (there are many) is the opportunity to experience so many different places during the season. Once a road series I try to get out & explore the city we're in. This year my goal is to make it to an indie bookstore in each city we visit."

A Favorite Bookseller Spring Moment: Harvard Book Store



Harvard Book Store, Cambridge Mass., shared a gorgeous photo on Facebook of the bookshop on a sunny weekend day, noting:

" 'Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on.'
--Heinrich Heine
Book of Songs, New Spring, No. 5

...It's late May in New England."

Personnel Changes at Europa Editions; Workman; Penguin Young Readers

Kathy Wiess has joined Europa Editions in the newly created position of director of sales, marketing, and business development. She was formerly senior sales director at Spring Publishing Company and started her publishing career at Random House, where she rose to senior sales director of the international division. She has also held executive positions at Ingram Content Group and the Book Depository.


Mary Rose Amoresano has been promoted to assistant manager, mass and club sales, at Workman Publishing. Most recently, she was mass market sales coordinator, and before that she was mass market sales assistant for all Workman imprints.


James Akinaka has joined Penguin Young Readers as digital marketing assistant. He was formerly a communications associate at Kensington Publishing.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman on Fresh Air

Today Show: Michael Ian Black, author of I'm Worried (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534415867).

Fresh Air
: Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman, authors of Sara Berman's Closet (Harper Design, $27.99, 9780062846402).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Gayle King, author of Note to Self: Inspiring Words From Inspiring People (Simon & Schuster, $17, 9781982102098).

TV: Little Fires Everywhere

Joshua Jackson (The Affair) is "set as a lead opposite Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington and Rosemarie DeWitt in Little Fires Everywhere, Hulu's upcoming limited series based on Celeste Ng's book," Deadline reported.

Developed and written by Liz Tigelaar (Casual), the series comes from Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine, Washington's Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios. The cast also includes Megan Stott, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis and Lexi Underwood.

Tigelaar is serving as executive producer and showrunner, with Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter executive producing for Hello Sunshine, along with Washington and Pilar Savone for Simpson Street, and Lynn Shelton.

Books & Authors

Awards: RSL Encore; Gordon Burn

A shortlist has been unveiled for the Royal Society of Literature's £10,000 (about $12,655) Encore Award, which celebrates the achievement of outstanding second novels. The winner will be announced June 13. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Perfidious Albion by Sam Byers
Gamble by Kerry Hadley-Pryce
Kitch by Anthony Joseph
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Crocodile by Daniel Shand
Jott by Sam Thompson


A 12-title longlist has been released for the Gordon Burn Prize, which recognizes "work that stands out in the scale of its endeavor, often challenging readers' expectations or pushing perceived boundaries of genre, sensibility or even the role of literature itself." The winner receives £5,000 (about $6,330) and the chance to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn's cottage in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders. See the complete longlist here.

The award is open to works by writers of any nationality or descent who are resident in the U.K., Ireland or the U.S. The shortlist will be announced July 17 and a winner named October 10 at the Durham Book Festival.

Reading with... Jennifer Weiner

photo: Andrea Cipriani

Jennifer Weiner is the author of 16 books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes and her memoir, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Weiner lives with her family in Philadelphia. Her new novel, Mrs. Everything, will be published by Atria Books on June 11.

On your nightstand now:

Ruth Reichl, Save Me the Plums--her memoir of her stint at Gourmet magazine, with recipes. Reichl writes about food in a way that lets you taste it, an ability which I admire and covet.

Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind--I found this on a list of "what to read if you loved Game of Thrones." I'm having a hard time getting into it, so far, but I am persisting.

Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver--I loved her Temeraire books, which I found on the aforementioned list, so now I'm trying this one.

Anissa Gray, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls--I'm a sucker for a family saga, and the review in the New York Times made it sound great.

Jami Attenberg, All This Could Be Yours (ARC)--I've loved all of Jami's novels, going back to The Middlesteins, and this story of a dysfunctional family, a dying patriarch and adult children questioning their choices, is right up my alley.

Favorite book when you were a child:

A Wrinkle in Time, the Little House on the Prairie collection, the Narnia Chronicles: I was an avid reader as a girl, and all of these were stories that drew me into their worlds so completely that I was always surprised when the recess bell would ring or when my mom would call me in for dinner.

Your top five authors:

Stephen King, Susan Isaacs, Andrew Vachss, Nora Ephron, KJ Charles.

Book you've faked reading:

Moby-Dick--I gave this one the old college try. Really I did. But something between the language and the overwhelming maleness of it all just left me stuck at the starting gate.

Books you're an evangelist for:

Shining Through by Susan Isaacs and Veronica by Nicholas Christopher.

Susan Isaacs is one of my favorite authors. When people ask me for a beach read, with a funny, sharp, relatable heroine, who gets the guy because of her smarts and her courage, and who literally saves the world, this is the one I press into their hands.

Veronica is one of my favorites, a noir-ish, atmospheric, otherworldly tale about magic, and music, and the enduring power of love. I found it at random in the library, and I think it was a book I was meant to read. I'd never heard of the book, or its author, but it fell into my hand, as if by magic.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas--I tried, and failed, to write a dystopian book about a future where abortion was illegal, so of course I was drawn to this book. Also, I can't be the only one who looked at its cover and heard Maude Lebowski announcing, "My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal." So I bought it--and if the book doesn't live up to the cover, hey. At least it'll tie the room together.

Book you hid from your parents:

The Diaries of Anaïs Nin--everything I know about sex I learned from this book.

Book that changed your life:

Crazy Salad by Nora Ephron. I never knew that books could consider topics like being flat-chested, or the Pillsbury Bake-Off, or that they could be written in such an intimate and conversational way.

Favorite line from a book:

"Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry... have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere--be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost." --Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Most of the lines I remember from books have been from poems. But A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the story of a reader, of a girl who wants to feel everything the world gives her to feel; who doesn't want to miss anything, not even the painful parts. I think this quote summarizes the gifts that books give us. Through fiction, you get to live a hundred lives, you get to be the hero and the sinner. You get to do it all.

Five books you'll never part with:

The Stand by Stephen King
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs (my mom got me a signed copy for my 40th birthday)
The Most of Nora Ephron
A Song of Ice and Fire series (Can I have them all?)

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

The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Probably because I can remember so vividly what it was like reading it for the first time, lying in bed, turning the pages faster and faster, wanting the world to stop so I could find out what happened next. I remember crying my heart out when Wolf sacrificed himself so that Jack Sawyer could find the Talisman and save his mother, and the world, and all the worlds. It was so big, and so vivid, and every time a scene in one of King's subsequent works would nod at its world, I was reminded of being that young again, and tearing through that book, and seeing how completely a great story could pull a reader inside of it.

Favorite quote about reading and writing:

"If there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." --Toni Morrison

Book Review

Children's Review: Small World

Small World by Ishta Mercurio, illus. by Jen Corace (Abrams Books for Young Readers, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 4-8, 9781419734076, July 2, 2019)

When Nanda is young, "the whole" of her world is composed of comforting circles. Just after she's born, this means being "wrapped in the circle of her mother's arms." As a toddler, the meaning expands to include "the circle of her loving family" and, as a girl of elementary-school age, there is room for "a bubble of giggling playmates."

It's not long before Nanda's world encompasses other shapes, as well. Nanda gets "bigger and bigger," and her world grows with her. It opens up to include not only the natural wonder that is "a sway of branches," but also human creations like "scaffolds of steel" and "cables and cogs." Nanda's world continues to increase in size as she rides a train from the "sun-kissed maze of wheat" near her hometown, past "pinecone-prickled mountains and the microscopic elegance of fractals in the snow," all the way to the "symphony of glass and stone" that defines her college years.

Nanda's lifelong love of science "spool[s] through spirals of wire and foam" at school, where she helps to create "a human-powered helicopter" with her classmates. Still, Nanda and her world continue to grow. As Nanda gets "bigger and bigger and BIGGER," her world becomes "the roar of twin engines, a glittering ocean far below, and the curve of the planet beneath her." Nanda's world expands even more, to include "a sea of stars, moonless and deep," as her feet touch "foreign soil" in outer space.

Mercurio's gorgeously poetic text effortlessly balances the wonders of the natural world with the wonders created by scientists and engineers. Her repeating refrain as Nanda gets bigger and bigger ensures that this story is comforting to its youngest readers, while including enough variation to inspire older ones. Corace's gouache, ink and pencil spreads are always warm and bright, anchored by geometric shapes and patterns. Of particular importance are those comforting circles--on the very first spread, baby Nanda forms the bottom half of a circle which is completed by her mother's loving arms, a strong image that is mirrored at the end by two distinct half circles that form the "softly glowing" Earth, "a circle called home." The illustrations reinforce the text's premise that, with encouragement and self-motivation, Nanda will continue to feel secure in her "safe, and warm, and small" world, even as its boundaries expand. An author's endnote relates how the inspiration for this story came from a photograph taken at the Indian Space Research Organization showing five women "celebrating after they had helped put a satellite into orbit around Mars." Small World, like that photograph, depicts the joy there is to be found when young girls and women "all over the world" follow their dreams. --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI

Shelf Talker: As Nanda grows, so does her world, in this sweet and inspiring story about perspective and following your dreams.

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