Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Graphix: Unico: Awakening (Volume 1): An Original Manga Created by Osamu Tezuka, Written by Samuel Sattin, Illustrated by Gurihiru

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Immortal Dark (Deluxe Limited Edition) by Tigest Girma

Bramble: Swordcrossed by Freya Marske

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!


NYC's Book Culture in Trouble, Seeks Help

Book Culture on Columbus

In a "letter to the community" posted yesterday on Facebook, Chris Doeblin, owner of Book Culture, which has four stores in New York City, wrote, "Our 4 stores are in danger of closing soon and we need financial assistance or investment on an interim basis to help us find our footing. This is true in spite of the fact that business has been good and we are widely supported and appreciated."

The key problem, apparently, is payroll: "In the last 30 months the payroll costs for Book Culture have risen by 50% and it has been difficult to adapt quickly enough. We have now made the structural changes to our company and the cuts that will allow us to move ahead profitably once we find the financial resources we need." Much of the increase comes from rising minimum wage laws in New York City, and some may come from terms of the contract Book Culture signed with union employees in 2014 (after a very contentious period that included staff pickets outside Book Culture stores), but this isn't apparent from the Facebook letter. Doeblin did point out to Gothamist that since 2016 the minimum wage has risen to $15.25 from $10.

Although Doeblin wrote that "we need financial help to continue our transition," the store isn't launching a crowd-sourcing campaign or otherwise seeking donations. Instead, he asked that supporters write to the city council, the Manhattan borough president, the mayor, the governor and other officials to "help us make the case for our continued existence."

He added: "Book Culture's stores generate over $650,000 in sales tax revenue each year for the city and state. We employ over 75 people at peak season and had a payroll over $1.7M last year. All of that payroll along with the $700,000 a year that we pay in rent goes right back into the New York economy, which is why I address our government here. Many large development plans, Amazons HQ2 in LIC for example, included a cost to taxpayers of $48,000 per job. There is a history here of local government aiding business when it produces a return for the locality."

Doeblin told Gothamist that Book Culture needs at least $500,000 in loans "but I hope to find $750,000 to $1 million." He stated, too, that he wants the city to guarantee the loan.

Founded near Columbia University in 1997 as Labyrinth Books and renamed Book Culture in 2007, the store has transformed from having an academic emphasis to a general trade bookstore. As Book Culture, it opened two more locations on the Upper West Side in Manhattan and most recently, in late 2017, it opened a branch in Long Island City in Queens.

Chris Doeblin

In his open letter, Doeblin also broadly outlined the contributions Book Culture makes to the city from the company and staff spending most of their money in the city to its ability to "take an empty storefront and spin it into a wonderful community asset that transforms a neighborhood."

He continued: "This combination of talent and industry, so common in smaller businesses is too often overlooked and not given the support and nurture that it deserves. The capital pools that allow projects like Amazon's near entree into New York or building projects like Hudson Yards aren't available for small businesses like ours. But they ought to be. We have been financed by credit card, by 30% a year interest loans and by remortgaging our home."

He added: "We do not reject large business, or internet commerce, but we know that we can't build a future by accepting that businesses simply extract and accumulate. We need to support a culture of businesses that serve our communities holistically. And we need to move to a greater diversity of ownership not towards more consolidation."

Henry Holt & Company: A Banh Mi for Two by Trinity Nguyen

Fabled Bookshop & Café on Track for Opening

Fabled Bookshop in progess.

Fabled Bookshop & Café "is a dream come true nearing reality" in Waco, Tex., the Tribune-Herald reported, adding that preparations for the space at Fourth Street and Franklin Avenue are "winding down, and an unveiling is imminent."

"We call it the literary linger," said Kimberly Batson, co-owner with Alison Frenzel.

Shelving has arrived for the 6,400-square-foot space, which will feature "thousands of titles and serve coffee, beer, wine, light meals, sandwiches, soups and 'shareable' foods in a relaxing reading environment," the Tribune-Herald wrote.

A target date has not been officially set, and Batson said the information will remain a secret until she notifies supporters she promised would be the first to know. She added: "We have received so much encouragement, such positive feedback. We hope this will become a hub of activity."

On Facebook recently, Fabled Bookshop & Café posted: "It's only going to get dreamier, friends. Bookshelves are almost in, and we're placing book orders this week! If we've been quiet on here, because we've been busy selecting thousands upon thousands of books to fill all our gorgeous shelves like these. 10,000 down... how many more to go? We've been ASTOUNDED by all the enthusiasm about our shop coming together! A massive thank you (and hug) to each of you. Now tell us: WHAT BOOK(s) do you want to see on these shelves??"

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

Book Warehouse Opens in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Book Warehouse has opened a new outlet in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Buffalo Business First reported. The 3,743-square-foot store at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls shopping center stocks a range of bargain books, puzzles, audiobooks, DVDs and CDs.

"We are excited to add yet another brand exclusive to Western New York to our roster of retailers," said John Doran, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls property manager.

Book Warehouse, which emphasizes remainder titles, has more than 40 stores across the country.

DC to Reorganize Publishing Imprints

Effective January 2020, DC is reorganizing all of its publishing content and existing imprints into three age-specific labels: DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label. DC Kids will offer content for middle-grade, ages 8-12; DC will focus on ages 13 and up and include the majority of DC's comic books and graphic novels; and DC Black Label will feature content for readers 17 and up.

As a result of the reorganization, DC's middle-grade and YA imprints, DC Ink and DC Zoom, will no longer be separate entities. All of their titles slated to be released in 2020 and later will be assigned to either the DC Kids or DC labels, depending on their target age groups. At the same time, DC will dissolve its Vertigo publishing imprint at the end of 2019.

"We're returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material," explained DC publisher Dan DiDio. "That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group."

Obituary Note: Molly O'Neill

Molly O'Neill, the food writer who "would transform herself from a chef into one of America's leading chroniclers of food," as the New York Times put it, died June 16. She was 66 and had cancer.

"She came of age when the seeds of the modern farm-to-table movement were being planted, became a keen observer of what she called the 'essential tension in the American appetite,' which to her mirrored the conflicts in American culture. It was a tension between the refined and the lowbrow, the processed and the natural, 'the civilized and the wild,' " the Times wrote.

In The New York Cookbook, published in 1992, she focused on the culinary highlights of the city, exploring "the nooks and crannies of all five boroughs, bringing back tales of pierogi makers and grillers of Jamaican jerk chicken and stirrers of avgolemono soup," the Times continued. "She included 500 recipes from the famous and the people who should have been famous, including roast chicken from the city's four-star chefs, Katharine Hepburn's brownies, Edna Lewis's greens and Robert Motherwell's brandade de morue."

Her American Food Writing: An Anthology with Classic Recipes, published in 2009, focused on 250 years of American culinary history. Other books included A Well-Seasoned Appetite: Recipes from an American Kitchen (1995), The Pleasure of Your Company: How to Give a Dinner Party Without Losing Your Mind (1997) and One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking (2010). In Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food, and Baseball (2006), she touched, in part, on her baseball-loving family. Her brother Paul O'Neill was a major league player, for the Cincinnati Reds, and from 1993-2001, the New York Yankees.

O'Neill also was restaurant critic for New York Newsday before joining the Times in 1990 and writing for the Sunday magazine and Style section for a decade.

MIBA on the Move: Address Update

Earlier this month, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association announced it was moving its headquarters to a more central location, in St. Paul, Minn. Noting that it had used an incomplete suite number in the original announcement, MIBA has since updated the information. The correct new address is:

1375 St. Anthony Ave, Suite 202-3
St. Paul, Minn. 55104

The phone number is 612-208-6279.


Image of the Day: The Furious Hours at the Midtown Scholar

Midtown Scholar, Harrisburg, Pa., hosted Casey Cep, author of The Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee (Knopf). More than 100 people attended.

'5 Latino-Run Bookstores in L.A. that You Can Support'

"In the last few years, we've seen an increase in both book sales and number of indie bookstores," Remezcla noted in showcasing "5 Latino-run bookstores in Los Angeles that you can support."

"While selling books is their first mission, they're also about creating welcoming spaces for the community, connecting and advocating over the lack of exposure to literature for communities of color," Remezcla wrote. "It's likely why we've seen more niche bookstores pop up in the last few years. This is no different in Los Angeles, where Latino-run bookstores are not only on the map, but are also thriving."

Happy Birthday, The Well-Read Moose Bookstore!

Congratulations to the Well-Read Moose Bookstore & Café, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a special story time, family trivia, free wine tasting and a Moose Madness Prize Wheel. Before the festivities started, the bookshop posted on Facebook: "Thank you all for five fabulous years! We are here because you all shop local and support our local businesses here in Coeur d'Alene. We love that you come to us to find your next great read and to enjoy a beverage & relax in our cafe."

"When former finance executive Melissa DeMotte traveled for work, she made it a point to visit independent bookstores, but didn't envision owning one," the Spokesman-Review reported. Then Borders closed, "creating the need for a community bookstore.... DeMotte attended a one-day seminar about the bookstore business and after some research and contemplation, she opened The Well-Read Moose."


"It's been really good. I feel like since our inception, our sales level has exceeded what I anticipated in the first five years," she said. "People are really enjoying browsing and talking to experts about books, and we have a good mix of tourism that helps as well. I've been pleased with our sales growth."

She hopes to see sales continue to grow and recently renewed her lease, but will consider the need for a bigger space in the future: "I don't think I want to open a second store, but it's more the question of, 'are we going to outgrow our space?' It's a problem, but a good problem."

DeMotte told the Coeur d'Alene Press she loves "that people can come here and have a quiet conversation. We have book clubs over in book-club corner, we have our own clubs we host and we probably have a dozen other clubs that meet. We've had Bible studies here, knitting, there's a grandma and grandson who come and they bring their chess board and play chess here. I love that. It's just a place to be."

She added: "I'm very proud. I get kind of emotional. It's been hard, but way more rewarding than I ever would have thought. I was excited because I love to read, but I didn't really grasp how much people would love us and how rewarding it would be."

A Favorite Bookseller Moment: Blue Willow Bookshop


Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex., shared a photo of its kids' books section on Facebook, noting: "Happy Friday! Can you smell the books? Someone needs to bottle the magical air in here. We hope you're all having a great day. We'd love to see you this weekend!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Peter Shinkle on Here & Now

CBS This Morning: Kim Wehle, author of How to Read the Constitution--and Why (Harper, $26.99, 9780062914361).

NPR's Here & Now: Peter Shinkle, author of Ike's Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler (Steerforth Press, $29.95, 9781586422431).

Dr. Phil
: Mike Bayer, author of Best Self: Be You, Only Better (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062911735).

TV: Brave New World; Upcoming Fantasy Adaptations

Demi Moore will have a recurring role in Brave New World, the upcoming USA Network series from UCP and Amblin Television based on Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel, Deadline reported. The project, which was written by David Wiener, Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor, features a cast that includes Alden Eisenreich, Harry Lloyd and Jessica Brown Findlay.

Brave New World "moved to USA Network from NBCUniversal sibling Syfy with a straight-to-series order and a co-licensing deal with a digital platform to distribute it," Deadline wrote.


"With Game of Thrones and its monstrous ratings officially as dead as the Mother of Dragons, it's reasonable to assume that every network executive is currently sitting in their office, laptop out, and Googling 'oh my God, please give me a fantasy adaptation that can sustain itself for eight seasons,' " Vulture noted in previewing "15 fantasy adaptations we're excited to see on TV soon."

Books & Authors

Top Library Recommended Titles for July

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

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Berkley, $16, 9780451491879). "Nina likes her bookish life just fine. She works in a bookstore and is on a highly competitive trivia team. She is funny and snarky and great company (says this reader). Suddenly, a father she never knew dies and leaves her with a pack of brothers and sisters and Nina may be forced out of her comfortable reading chair. For readers who enjoyed Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey and The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald." --Eileen Curley, Hagaman Public Library, East Haven, Conn.

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins (Gallery, $16, 9781982105549). "Sarah is the librarian in a small Southern town called Dove Pond. Her magic is matching the right book to the right reader at the right time in their life. Grace is a city girl, new in town and in need of a little magic herself. For readers who enjoyed The Library of Lost and Found and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry." --Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Escape Room: A Novel by Megan Goldin (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250219657). "Highly successful colleagues Sam, Vincent, Sylvie, and Jules are no strangers to the competitive world of high finance but after they become trapped in an elevator escape room they find themselves having to work together. For readers of Tana French, Karin Slaughter, and Harlan Coben." --KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Library, Fairfield, Conn.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey, $26, 9780525620754). "In 1920s Mexico, a young woman unwittingly awakens a Mayan god and is pulled into his quest for vengeance. The odyssey that follows takes her through the jungles to Mexico City and the underworld as she realizes her inner strength and passion. For readers who enjoyed Uprooted and Circe." --Emily Plagens, Allen Public Library, Allen, Tex.

How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway (Graydon House, $15.99, 9781525834257). "It's no secret that women in the tech world are undervalued and have to work twice as hard for their success. This persistent problem in the tech industry is tackled here in a pithy and engaging way without diminishing its importance. For readers who liked The Assistants by Camille Perri." --Josie Myers, Greenwood Public Library, Greenwood, Ind.

The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman, $26, 9780399563058). "A heartwarming and witty novel with a distinctly Minnesotan feel, the author follows two sisters and their grandmother who become involved in the brewing industry. For readers who loved Where'd You Go Bernadette." --Katelyn Boyer, Fergus Falls Public Library, Fergus Falls, Minn.

Layover by David Bell (Berkley, $26, 9780440000860). "Joshua's life has become a predictable pattern of departures and arrivals, a lot of his time spent in airports until he meets Morgan on a layover and there is an instant connection. The next time he sees her is on the news as a missing person. For readers who liked Faithful Place by Tana French and Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker." --Michelle Magnotta, Mamaroneck Public Library, Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Lock Every Door: A Novel by Riley Sager (Dutton, $26, 9781524745141). "A young woman gets a job house sitting in one of New York's oldest and most glamorous apartments. A slow-burn full of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion. For readers who enjoyed The Wife Between Us and The Woman in the Window." --Megan Alabaugh, Rocky River Public Library, Rocky River, Ohio

The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385537070). "An incredibly powerful story about an abusive boys' reform school in the 1960s. Whitehead skillfully brings each character to life even as they suffer physical and emotional horrors. For fans of Panopticon by Jenni Fagan." --Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, Ill.

Wanderers: A Novel by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey, $28.99, 9780399182105). "A pandemic is sweeping the nation that causes affected people to sleepwalk. They cannot be awoken and family and friends must accompany them on their journey while the CDC tries to find the cause and cure. For fans of Cryptonomicon and The Windup Girl." --Kyle Sederstrom, Overbrook Public Library, Overbrook, Kan.

Book Review

Review: The Chelsea Girls

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis (Dutton, $27 hardcover, 368p., 9781524744588, July 30, 2019)

Fiona Davis weaves a complex story of female friendship and conflicting loyalties, set against the glamour of the iconic Chelsea Hotel, in her fourth novel, The Chelsea Girls. Growing up in New York City, Hazel Ripley and her brother, Ben, are expected to follow in their actor father's footsteps, especially after he has a stroke that effectively ends his career. When Ben is killed in a plane crash in World War II, the burden of creative accomplishment falls solely on Hazel. Frustrated with her streak of understudy jobs and her mother's constant nagging, she signs up for a United Service Organizations tour and finds herself in Italy, suddenly thrust onstage in the company of several other young women. Hazel's friendship with fellow actress Maxine, and the experiences they share, will shape the next several decades of both their lives.

Davis (The Masterpiece) tells her story from both Hazel's and Maxine's perspectives, highlighting the contrasts between them. Hazel is a shy, dutiful daughter who has ambition in spades--it just might not be the kind her mother wants for her. And Maxine, redheaded and flamboyant, is hiding layers of secrets, beginning with her memories of seeing her German grandmother harassed when she was a child.

After returning from Italy, the women go their separate ways for several years. But when their paths cross again at the Chelsea in 1950, Hazel has written her first play, based on the wartime experiences she shared with Maxine. As Hazel struggles to get her play mounted on Broadway, both women come up against the growing specter of McCarthyism and the insidious accusations plaguing the theatre world.

Davis expertly renders the climate of fear and intimidation, and its damaging effects on actors, playwrights and other artists who were blacklisted. Maxine, juggling her acting career and her complicated involvement with a married man, wants to help Hazel but is dealing with pressures her friend knows nothing about. And while Hazel is finding her own voice as a playwright and an independent woman, she's terrified that a political misstep could end her career before it has really begun.

The glitz and glamour of the Chelsea Hotel provides a perfect backdrop for Davis's story of friendship, ambition and behind-the-scenes theatrical intrigue. Hazel and Maxine are complex characters struggling with conflicting questions of loyalty, love and professional success in a turbulent time. Their story is both a sharp-eyed commentary on female friendship and a vivid glimpse into the life of a New York City icon. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: Fiona Davis's fourth novel traces the complex friendship and Broadway dreams of two women during the McCarthy era.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Dirty Money by Denise Grover Swank
2. Hide Your Crazy by Lani Lynn Vale
3. Wild, Crazy Hearts by Melissa Foster
4. Take Me Down (The Knight Brothers Book 3) by Carly Phillips
5. The Edge of Us by Jamie McGuire
6. Once Upon a Wedding by Various
7. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
8. 10 Bodies Lying by Stephanie Bond
9. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
10. Accidental Knight by Nicole Snow
[Many thanks to!]

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