Also published on this date: Monday, July 1, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Here We Are

Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 1, 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




A Room of One's Own, Madison, Wis., is donating at least 10% of its sales this upcoming holiday weekend, July 5-7, to RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), an organization working to help detained refugees, including children, at the U.S.-Mexico border. At the same time, the bookstore is launching an initiative calling on indie bookstores, publishers, authors and readers to donate to RAICES.

In an open letter to other booksellers, asking them to donate 5%-20% of sales this coming weekend, Gretchen Treu, co-owner and co-manager of A Room of One's Own, explained: "We booksellers are watching the horrors at the border and are feeling small and admittedly helpless. But we are neither of these things. We are part of an engaged, active, caring literary community of booklovers. We are involved in our local schools, business associations, and artistic communities. We have community leaders like Denise Chávez of Casa Camino Real Book Store and Art Gallery [in Las Cruces, N.Mex.], who has spearheaded the 'Libros Para el Viaje' book drive for refugee families. We are involved in our local and national communities. We are integral cultural institutions and have an opportunity, an obligation, to assert what a culture of words and books and imaging has given us--the ability to see and form a better future."

Called #Bookstores Against Borders, the initiative is also aimed at "the literary community at large," and participants are asked to share the initiative's link with friends and family and networks, to tweet about it and to talk about it "to make sure these injustices don't go unseen."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

BookBar Update: More Hate, Vandal Caught


BookBar, one of several Denver businesses "with openness and inclusivity at the core of their philosophy" that were vandalized last Wednesday by a hate group, was attacked  again Thursday during its scheduled Drag Queen Storytime. The Denver Post reported that as Miss Shirley Delta Blow read the children's book Just Add Glitter "to a rapt audience filled with dozens of children and parents," she saw "a man in a black T-shirt and black mask sprint up to the window and spray-paint the storefront in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood. Two people inside, along with police officers stationed nearby, chased the man, eventually catching him in an alley." (9News was filming at the event)

BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan told the Post she had never considered canceling Drag Queen Storytime "because then where do you draw the line as a business? You have one person trying to intimidate, but you have an event you feel strongly about doing and a community that is coming out to support you."

As police conducted an investigation outside, Blow continued reading after saying: "Let's take a couple of deep breaths. Now, let's get back to storytime."

Less than five hours after the vandalism occurred and everyone had gone home, Sullivan received a call informing her that a neighbor had come over to scrub the graffiti off her window. "The neighbor just said, 'I love you guys and I wanted to do something to help,' " she said.

On Friday, a block party was held in the neighborhood as "a show of unity against hate," 2News reported.

In a blog post Saturday headlined "BookBar's Extremely Official Response to Extremely Negative Comments... with Book Recommendations!" the bookstore noted that it had "received an outpouring of support and kindness from our community. We also received some negative comments via phone messages, email, social media, and in response to the news reporting of the incidents. We took the time to answer your questions and reply to your comments. We're including some book recommendations because we are booksellers and Just. Can't. Help. Ourselves." Some highlights:

Has there been any negative response from your previous Drag Queen Storytimes?
Nope. Nada. Zilch. We host these events quarterly.  This event was probably our 5th or 6th one, including the one that was featured on the Opposition Show (be sure and watch this clip as it may answer some of your questions in case we don't hit on some of them here). The only thing that has sparked outrage about Drag Queen Storytime was the one in which we were vandalized by a member of a white supremacist group. Being targeted by nazis somehow sparks anger against drag queens and bookstores....

Why are you using innocent children to force an agenda?
Because grown-ups already have fully formed opinions. We recognize that we really have to start when children are young in order to indoctrinate them to a message of unconditional love and acceptance of everyone everywhere. Grown-ups have already decided whether or not they are going to be meanies and poopoo heads (as evidenced by some of the comments we've received). We like to teach children how to be nice to others (aka not meanies and poopoo heads). We also like to teach children to read at a young age so they grow up to be readers as adults with empathy and understanding of others. Also, you have probably noticed the significant uptick in little boys walking around Denver in dresses, I'm guessing? Oh, wait, you haven't? Hmmm.

We do not want this shoved down our throats
We hear you. K. How about this. The next time we host a Drag Queen Storytime we will not round everyone up and forcibly shove them into the store against their will and make them listen to children's stories. We are all for compromise and will happily make that concession.

We think that what you are doing is disgusting
Cool. Cool. We live in a democracy and you have a voice. You used it. Good for you. Now, can we interest you in an enjoyable beach read?

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

Kinokuniya Opening Store in Abu Dhabi

Kinokuniya's store in Dubai.

Kinokuniya Bookstore, which has had a store in Dubai since 2008, is opening its second store in the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi, in spring 2020, the company said.

The store will be in the Galleria Al Maryah Island, which is expanding and will include 70 dining spots, more theaters and more retailers. Its Luxury Collection already includes more than 130 fashion, jewelry and watch shops.

Naoya Hirata, managing director of Kinokuniya UAE, commented: "We are very excited to celebrate our unique Japanese heritage within the Galleria Al Maryah Island's vibrant mix, and we look forward to welcoming the Abu Dhabi community to our store. Young children will love Kinokuniya's learning and development series, teens will be captivated with popular young-adult titles, and thousands of classic and contemporary fiction and non-fiction titles will suit all preferences." The company also will offer an "array of educational materials, art supplies, crafts and gifts."

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

Ci7: Notes from the Show

Some 330 booksellers from 44 states attended the ABA's seventh annual Children's Institute, in Pittsburgh, Pa., last week. It was another energetic and dynamic meeting that featured the first ABA town hall at a children's institute, as well as two full days of keynotes, panels, meet-and-greets--and conversations about everything from nuts-and-bolts bookselling matters to diversity and how to help smaller and non-traditional bookstores.

ABC Advisory Council members (l.-r.) Summer Dawn Laurie, Books Inc., San Francisco, Calif.; Javier Ramirez, The Book Table, Oak Park, Ill.; Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak and Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, Maine; Sara Grochowski, McLean and Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.; and Emily Hall, Main Street Books, St. Charles, Minn.

On Thursday morning, members of the ABC Advisory council moderated a high-energy and passionate conversation in a session titled Talking Productively About Content Issues. The attendees worked together to create a list of subjects to discuss, and the group as a whole responded with suggestions and personal stories of success. The topics included "how to book talk titles to schools that find the content objectionable," "stocking problematic books," "having better in-store conversations," "starting on the front end with books that have been pulled from publication" and "positive representation of people with disabilities."

(l.-r.) Jonathan Hamilt (aka Ms. Ona Louise), Drag Queen Story Hour; Anastasia McKenna, The Twig Bookshop, San Antonio, Tex.; Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Co., Seattle, Wash.; and Angela Whited, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn.

In The Art of Reading Aloud, three children's booksellers and a representative from Drag Queen Story Hour held a mock story time to display their own methods for reading aloud. Each presenter had specific suggestions to go along with their story time, taking a few moments after the reading of the book to point out the different tools they had used throughout. Angela Whited of Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., suggested booksellers choose titles with sparse text and rhyming words; Anastasia McKenna of The Twig Bookshop in San Antonio, Tex., acted out her personal brand of reading aloud by displaying "poetic license" with the text; Ms. Ona Louise (Jonathan Hamilt) from Drag Queen Story Hour started with a song to get the crowd up, moving and engaged; and Tegan Tigani of Queen Anne Book Co. in Seattle, Wash., pointed out how a book's illustrations and the size of the text often give the reader hints as to how to perform the book.

Caitlyn Morrissey of Bank Street Books in New York City moderated a group discussion about creating space for LGBTQ+ youth. Topics included whether booksellers find specifically defined LGBTQ+ spaces to be helpful or harmful for their readers; how to approach discussions about content a customer finds problematic; how to handsell (and when not to handsell) works featuring trans characters; the ways in which staff use non-gendered plural nouns; and whether children's book recommendations are kept separate from adult book recommendations.

Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo's immense talent as a slam poet is on beautiful display any time she is called upon to give a speech. As Ci7's afternoon keynote speaker on the last day of the conference, Acevedo drew a crowd of large, attendees were standing along the walls and sitting on the floor. As she has so successfully done before, Acevedo built her speech around "a couple of stories" which she then wound together until seemingly unrelated experiences coincided in grand and meaningful ways. As always, she herself is asking of the greater community the same question one of her students asked her: "Where are the books about us?" And, as always, she's doing her part to create them. "People like us," she said, were always told, "You are not canon." These "Nobles of Canon" "leave people like me in the gutters and say that we are not well read." Well, she asked, "What does it mean to reinvent canons?" She's clearly working to figure that out.

Alyssa Milano (l.) and Kris Kleindienst

"There was a time when activism meant progressing things forward," said activist, author and actor Alyssa Milano during the closing keynote at Children's Institute 7 on Friday. Milano was in conversation with Kris Kleindienst, owner of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Mo., to talk about her decades-long career as an activist and her new middle-grade book, Hope: Project Middle School, written with Debbie Rigaud and illustrated by Eric S. Keyes.

"Right now activism means we're trying not to have our rights that were already set forth rolled back," Milano continued. "You're not fighting for progress: you're just trying to dig your heels in and make sure that they don't take away what we've already fought for."

On the subject of her book, Milano said she wrote it to "encourage what's already innately in our kids," by which she means their goodness, resilience and hope. She said: "It's not about indoctrinating them into a certain political ideology--there's nothing political in any of these books--it's about encouraging what a child already has in them.... I think every child wants to help. They want to make a difference." --Siân Gaetano and Alex Mutter

WNDB Names 2019 Internship Grant Recipients


We Need Diverse Books has announced the 2019 recipients of WNDB Internship Grants, which provide $2,500 to support interns during their internship as well as a two-month public transportation stipend. In the program's first four years, WNDB Internship Grants have been given 33 people, 22 of whom have gone on to full-time work in the publishing industry.

"This year we awarded grants to eleven interns, whom we hope will follow the lead set by most of our previous grantees by going on to careers in the children's book world," said Linda Sue Park, honorary chair of the WNDB Internship Grants committee. "We're grateful to the publishers and agencies who work with us, and we would also like to thank our supporters. Their generosity allows us to help move the publishing industry toward better serving all young readers." The 2019 WNDB Internship Grant recipients are:

Savannah Bowen, Serendipity Literary Agency
Mikayla Lawrence, HarperCollins/Greenwillow Books
Analia Cabello, Candlewick Press
Samantha Leong, Simon & Schuster
Tiana Coven, Barry Goldblatt Literary
Shanese Mullins, Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Leigh Higgins, Scholastic Book Fairs
Connor O'Brien, Writers House
Kristen Joseph, Lee & Low Books
Kilson Roque, Simon & Schuster
Frankie Knuckles, Candlewick Press


Image of the Day: Enemy Child Speaks

photo: Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

At the Hammer Theatre Center, Hicklebee's, San Jose, Calif., hosted Norman Mineta, the subject of the middle-grade biography Enemy Child by Andrea Warren (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House). He spoke about his time in a U.S. internment camp as a young Japanese-American boy, as well as his experiences as San Jose's mayor, a Congressman and as a White House cabinet member of two administrations. Pictured: Warren and Mineta.

Boston's Best: Trident, Brookline Booksmith, Harvard Bookstore

In its annual "best of" issue, Boston Magazine has named Trident Booksellers & Café the best bookstore of Boston in 2019, writing:

"Sprinkler damage from a small fire in the winter of 2018 forced this Newbury Street fixture to close its doors for the first time in 34 years. When it finally reopened six months later, bookworms and café dwellers alike were relieved to find Trident's thousands of books and diverse selection of international, national, and niche magazines placed neatly back on shelves. The reopening brought a fresh layout, too: With a revamped children's area and additional first-floor café seating, lingering with a new read has never felt so good."

Boston Magazine also honored Brookline Booksmith in Brookline for "best literary series":

"A great bookstore does more than bring you the latest blockbuster--it promises to surprise you. And so it is with the eclectic readings staged at Brookline Booksmith. From eye-opening appearances by authors such as sci-fi icon Neal Stephenson and former Teen Vogue editor in chief Elaine Welteroth to horizon-expanding initiatives like the Transnational Literature Series (which focuses on books about migration, displacement, and exile), the Booksmith offers a steady stream of programming that promises to keep your bedside table stocked."

And Harvard Book Store in Cambridge won "best neighborhood shop, Harvard Square":

"With two floors filled floor to ceiling with new and used titles, bestsellers, and staff picks, we dare you to leave Harvard Square’s book mecca empty-handed."

Bookstore Window of the Day: Pride at Books & Books

In honor of Pride Month, bookseller Kimberly Standiford created this window display at Books & Books' store in the Suniland Shops, Pinecrest, Fla.

Personnel Changes at Random House; Arcadia

Chloe Aryeh is promoted to marketing manager for the Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed, and Waterbrook gift programs at the Random House Group.


Shane Hennigan has joined Arcadia Publishing as sales specialist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kim Russo on Dr. Oz

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Myron Mixon, author of BBQ&A with Myron Mixon: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue (Abrams, $29.99, 9781419727023).

Wendy Williams repeat: E.L. James, author of The Mister (Vintage, $16.95, 9781984898326).

Dr. Oz: Kim Russo, author of Your Soul Purpose: Learn How to Access the Light Within (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062854858).

Ellen repeat: Chelsea Handler, author of Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and you too! (Spiegel & Grau, $27, 9780525511779).

Movies: Enola Holmes; Across the Void

Henry Cavill will play Sherlock Holmes in Legendary Entertainment's film adaptation of Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes Mysteries novel series, Deadline reported. Millie Bobby Brown is starring as the title character, with Helena Bonham Carter playing her mother. Harry Bradbeer is directing the film from a screenplay by Jack Thorne (Wonder). Brown and Paige Brown will also produce under their PCMA Productions company along with Legendary.


Skybound Entertainment, Circle of Confusion, and Universal Pictures are developing S.K. Vaughn's novel Across the Void, which will be released tomorrow. Deadline reported that Shane Kuhn, "who wrote the novel published by Skybound Books under the pen name S.K. Vaughn, will adapt the script. The novel has been sold in more than a dozen foreign markets."

Books & Authors

Awards: McIlvanney Scottish Crime

A longlist has been released for the £1,000 (about $1,270) McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year. Finalists will be revealed in early September, and the winner named September 20 at the opening reception of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling. Check out the McIlvanney Prize longlist here, and McIlvanney Debut Prize shortlist here.

Midwest Connections July Picks

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

The Most Fun We've Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385544252). "A multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Midwestern couple--still madly in love after forty years--recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they've built. Spanning nearly half a century, Lombardo's debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us."

Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America by Ayaz Virji (Convergent Books, $26, 9780525577201). "In Love Thy Neighbor, Dr. Ayaz Virji relates his story as a Muslim doctor in a small town in an unforgettable narrative that shows the human consequences of our politics, the power of faith and personal conviction, and the potential for a renewal of understanding in America's heartland."

Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color by Gilbert Baker (Chicago Review Press, $26.99, 9781641601504). "Gilbert Baker's unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement debuted in 1978 at San Francisco's Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker had no idea his creation would become an international emblem of liberation, forever cementing his pivotal role in helping to define the modern LGBTQ movement. Gilbert Baker often called himself the 'Gay Betsy Ross,' and readers of his colorful, irreverent, and deeply personal memoir will find it difficult to disagree."

Tallgrass by Cindy Crosby and Thomas Dean (Ice Cube Press, $24.95, 9781948509060). "Journey into a realm where birds, plants, and seeds mix with water, roots, wind, and the sky, revealing about how each of us can learn to best live wherever we might call home. Designed as a conversation, Cindy Crosby and Thomas Dean inspire new understandings of the Midwestern tallgrass prairie, encouraging looking and listening to the prairie through the heart and mind as well as eyes, ears, and other senses, advancing both conservation and creative efforts."

Book Review

Review: The Escape Room

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (St. Martin's Press, $26.99 hardcover, 368p., 9781250219657, July 30, 2019)

The Escape Room's fictional Stanhope and Sons is a typical Wall Street investment-banking firm: the hours are punishing, the pay is astronomical and loyalty is the law. As Sylvie, one of Stanhope's disillusioned highflyers, notes at one point, "I always thought the only way out of this team was in a box."

Or maybe in an elevator. As Megan Goldin's novel begins, Sylvie and three other Stanhope higher-ups are in the lobby of an unfamiliar building in the South Bronx, where each has been invited by HR to attend an unscheduled Friday-night meeting. Among the four invitees is their boss, Vincent, who has also received a text telling him to bring everyone to the 80th floor for some sort of team-building activity.

As soon as the four bankers enter the elevator, the doors shut and the car goes black before it starts to climb. When it stops, a monitor on the wall displays a message: "Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive." Whoever is behind the message knows that the elevator lacks Wi-Fi and hence a way to summon help. What this person can't know is that one of the four captives has a gun.

In most of The Escape Room's odd-numbered chapters, a roving point of view reports the bankers' thoughts as they attempt to solve a half-dozen puzzles presented to them. The first of the puzzles, which take different forms, appears on the monitor: "Dead but not forgotten. / ASLHARLA." Jules, a lawyer with both an MBA and an alcohol problem, remarks, "Well, that's a blast from the past," before offering that rearranging the jumble of letters produces "SARA HALL." Who is Sara Hall? In most of the book's even-numbered chapters, she tells the story of her time at Stanhope, during which having a conscience made her less than a natural fit.

Australian novelist Goldin spent nearly two decades working as a foreign-affairs journalist but seems to know the corporate world cold, from its Ferragamo suits to the number of figures in a Wall Streeter's sign-on bonus. Her American debut is a shrewd, brilliantly structured thriller doubling as a takedown of corporate culture. While the four elevator captives initially appear to be types, especially philanderer Sam with his shopaholic wife, Goldin lavishes time on their stories, ultimately making them, if not entirely sympathetic, more than a quartet of Gordon Gekkos. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: This steely thriller, in which someone traps four Wall Street colleagues in an elevator, slathers on the suspense while making a point about corporate culture's depravity.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in June

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during June:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Circe by Madeline Miller (Hachette Audio)
5. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (Macmillan Audio)
6. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Macmillan Audio)
7. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
8. The Overstory by Richard Powers (Recorded Books)
9. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Simon & Schuster Audio)
10. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)
1. Becoming by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (Macmillan Audio)
3. Educated by Tara Westover (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg (HighBridge)
5. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Furious Hours by Casey Cep (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott (Simon & Schuster Audio)
10. Calypso by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)

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