Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 9, 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


Easton, Pa.'s Book & Puppet Co. Opening Third Store


Longtime bookseller Andy Laties and his wife, Rebecca Migdal, a puppeteer, author and illustrator, who founded Book & Puppet Co. in Easton, Pa., in 2017, will soon open their third bookstore in the city, LehighValleyLive reported.

The new 1,500-square-foot bookstore will have a soft opening on July 27 and a grand opening in August. This Book & Puppet Co. will focus on children, selling children's literature, toys and games, and offering puppet shows, book character appearances and community programs.

The original Book & Puppet Co., on Northampton Street, will keep some puppet shows for children, but will be more geared toward community programming for adults. The second Book & Puppet Co., opened last October, is near the Easton Public Market and sells children's books about food, farm and garden topics, as well as adult cookbooks.

Concerning the new store, Laties said, "We're going to be able to expand our footprint quite a bit. It'll be even easier to browse."

Laties also co-founded the Easton Book Festival, which will make its debut October 25-27. Geared to adults and children, the festival will feature author readings, book signings, seminars, panel discussions, entertainment and local restaurant participation. Some 90 authors have signed up to participate.

Laties was owner of the Children's Bookstore in Chicago from 1985 to 1996; founding manager of the Eric Carle Museum Bookshop in Amherst, Mass.; and manager of the Bank Street Book Store, New York City, He is the author of Rebel Bookseller: Why Indie Bookstores Represent Everything You Want to Fight for from Free Speech to Buying Local to Building Communities, whose second edition was published in 2011 by Seven Stories Press.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

NCIBA Launches Indie Bookseller Maker Marketplace

The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, in conjunction with the other regional booksellers associations, has launched the beta version of the new Indie Bookseller Maker Marketplace, an online portal for independent booksellers to sell their own crafted items to other independent booksellers around the country.

To create a listing, booksellers must provide a description of their item, including its dimensions, weight and material, along with a photo, the item's wholesale price, shipping information and the seller's contact information. Final terms and conditions are the responsibility of the buyer and seller, and while there are no listing fees during the beta, there will likely be a small charge when the service is finalized, in order to cover administration costs.

"I hope it is a game changer for stores staying unique and supporting one another," said Calvin Crosby, executive director of the NCIBA, adding that Ann Seaton of the NCIBA and Wanda Jewell of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance were the "big drivers" behind the Maker Marketplace.

Interested booksellers can reach Ann Seaton via e-mail.

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

Audreys Books Co-Owner Retires After 50 Years in Book Biz

Steve and Sharon Budnarchuk
(photo: Shawna Lemay)

Canadian bookseller Sharon Budnarchuk, co-owner of Audreys Books in Edmonton, Alberta, retired earlier this month after 50 years in the book business. The CBC reported that Budnarchuk "got her start in 1969, when she was a university student in Winnipeg and worked as a textbook buyer for Classic Books, a bookstore chain that was later swallowed up in a merger with Chapters Inc. [now all part of Indigo]. She was a full-time book buyer for Classic Books when she was transferred to Edmonton in the early 1970s. For a decade, she worked as a book agent until 1988 when she and her husband Steve purchased Audreys."

"We have learned to dance on our feet," she said about Audreys, now Edmonton's oldest independent bookstore, which faced many challenges over the years, including the dominance of Chapters. "We moved away from bestsellers because that's what chains had. We started to create very good history sections, very good psychology sections--to the point where we do big conferences in that area and we're known for it."

Budnarchuk added that they have been fortunate to do something they both love: "My husband and I will be married for 50 years in August and only five [of those years] we didn't work together. That deserves a medal I think."

With her family taking control of the store while she enjoys retirement, Budnarchuk said, "I'm going to read without feeling guilty about all the paperwork on my desk."

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

Obituary Note: Louie Howland

Editor, writer, agent and antiquarian bookseller Louie Howland, who was "best known in boating circles as an award-winning writer and historian of all things maritime," died June 21, the Boston Globe reported. He was 81. A former longtime senior trade editor at Little, Brown, "he filled his days and nights with books and marked-up manuscripts."

"Mine has been a life in books: buying and selling, editing and publishing, agenting, packing and shipping, appraising and cataloguing, reviewing, and, on occasion, even reading," he wrote in 1999. The Globe noted that Howland "read 'occasionally' the way a famous conductor might occasionally listen to music."

Bill Phillips, a former Little, Brown editor-in-chief, recalled: "He had this ability to sit in a chair when there was noise all around him, editing with those little red pencils and scratching his head, working at it. His devotion to his authors was quite remarkable. It's a cliché, but he really was a sort of one-of-a-kind individual in his human qualities and intellectual gifts."

Howland left Little, Brown in 1978 to found antiquarian bookseller Howland and Co., selling rare and out-of-print editions, "paying particularly close attention to maritime titles that illuminated the history of yachting and seafaring," the Globe wrote.

"Louie was remarkable in that he had a whole network," said Greg Gibson, a longtime friend. "It was just a club or society of people who shared his enthusiasm for yachting, and with whom he used his considerable personal skills to get them to buy antiquarian books about yachting.... [T]he reason I valued him so much as a friend and a human being is that he was just an irrepressible enthusiast. He was very generous with transferring his own energy to other people."

"In later years, his voyages were mostly across the written page," the Globe noted. "The books he wrote and edited included a history of the New Bedford Yacht Club and a biography of W. Starling Burgess, a naval architect and designer."

Howland once wrote: "A bookman I have been, a bookman I shall remain."


Image of the Day: 'Girl' Books

Staffers at Books Inc., San Francisco, Calif., were curious about how many books had "girl" in the title. They found out there are so many that they can't be stacked up without falling over! (Beyond the ones pictured, there were 25 or so more off to the side.) Elena Eustaquio, marketing & events, reported, "I am 5 feet tall and the top of my head reached up to the title Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys (Delacorte Press). Hannah Walcher (who manages book fairs & YA/kids events) is 5'5" and the top of her head reached up to the title Girl Talk by Jacqueline Mroz (Seal Press). And Paul Murufas (book fair staffer extraordinaire) is 5'10" and the top of his head reached up to Girl Trouble by Kerry Cohen (Hawthorne Books)."

RIP: Noble, Kona Stories' Bookstore Cat

bookstore cat Kona Stories

"We have sad news to report; we lost our store cat, Noble, recently," Brenda McConnell, co-owner of Kona Stories Book Store, Kailua, Hawaii, informed us, adding that Noble joined the bookstore team as a kitten before Kona Stories opened in 2006.

"She unpacked the very first box with me," said McConnell, who noted that the feline bookseller "worked her entire life greeting bookstore customers with her witty personality. Noble would follow customers around the courtyard encouraging them to come into the store and shop. She would then reward them by allowing them to pet her back.... Noble had very loyal fans who visited her regularly as well as tourists who would return to the bookstore just to see her."

To celebrate Noble's life and hard work, Kona Stories is hosting a Day of Memorial in her honor this coming Saturday, July 13, with 10% of the day's sales to be donated to AdvoCATS. 

PRHPS to Distribute America's Test Kitchen Kids

Beginning with 2020 spring titles, Penguin Random House Publisher Services will sell and distribute all frontlist titles for America's Test Kitchen Kids books across all sales channels worldwide. PRHPS has been distributing ATK's adult titles since 2016.

America's Test Kitchen Kids features kid-tested and kid-approved cookbooks, board books, picture books, digital products, and comprehensive video programming. The titles use food to create natural--and delicious--hands-on activities that teach about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics).

The first book to be sold under the new partnership is My First Cookbook (March 2020), which has 60 approachable and fun recipes designed to bring kids ages 4-7 to the kitchen along with their grown-ups.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs, A Is for Artichoke, 123 The Farm and Me, and The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook will continue to be published and distributed by Sourcebooks, as will upcoming Fall 2019 titles from America's Test Kitchen Kids, including The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs, Cookies for Santa, and Stir, Crack, Whisk, Bake.

Personnel Changes at Chronicle Books

At Chronicle Books:

Natalie Nicolson has been hired as marketing manager, entertainment. Previously she was a publicist for Lonely Planet and Insight Editions.

Kimiko Vann has been hired as export sales assistant, international sales.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ari Berman on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Picador, $20, 9781250094728).

CBS This Morning: Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451642292).

NPR's 1A: Lauren Mechling, author of How Could She: A Novel (Viking, $26, 9780525559382).

The View: Ellie Kemper, author of My Squirrel Days: Tales from the Star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Office (Scribner, $17, 9781501163357).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Preet Bharara, author of Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law (Knopf, $27.95, 9780525521129).

TV: Dracula

BBC One revealed a photo of actor Claes Bang (The Square, The Girl in the Spider's Web) from the new Dracula miniseries, which it is co-producing with Netflix. Entertainment Weekly reported that the project, "a new take on Bram Stoker's classic character," is from Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who will write and executive produce. Dracula will make its debut on Netflix outside of the U.K. and Ireland.

Additional cast members were also announced, including Lyndsey Marshal, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Paul Brennen, Sarah Niles, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong. They join John Heffernan, Joanna Scanlan, Dolly Wells, Lujza Richter, Sacha Dhawan, Jonathan Aris, Morfydd Clark, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Catherine Schell, Youssef Kerkour, and Clive Russell.

"I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock," Bang said. "I'm so excited that I get to dig in to this iconic and super-interesting character. Yes he's evil, but there's also so much more to him, he's charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy. I realise that there's a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged to be taking on this incredible character."

Books & Authors

Awards: Goldsboro Books Glass Bell

London bookseller Goldsboro Books has unveiled the longlist for the £2,000 (about $2,500) Glass Bell Award, which celebrates "an outstanding work of contemporary fiction, rewarding quality storytelling in any genre," the Bookseller reported. The shortlist, judged by Goldsboro Books founder and managing director David Headley and his team, will be announced on August 1, and the winner named September 16. The longlisted titles are:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Memo from Turner by Tim Willocks
Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Our House by Louise Candlish
The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven
VOX by Christine Dalcher
The Poison Bed by E.C. Fremantle
Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

Book Review

Review: The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City

The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City by Anna Sherman (Picador, $28 hardcover, 352p., 9781250206404, August 13, 2019)

The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City is Anna Sherman's exploration of a city that is not originally her own, but her perspective is perhaps all the more closely attentive, thoughtful and serious. Through Tokyo's Bells of Time, which rang out the hours for hundreds of years, Sherman examines many aspects of both city and time. Her prose is careful, contemplative, even solemn. The result is philosophy, travel writing, elegy and love letter.

"Tokyo is one vast timepiece," begins Sherman. "Time is counted out in incense sticks; in LEDs; and in atomic lattice clocks," and in so many other ways she will consider. Time is ignored, too, in this city where residents "have their eyes fixed on the future, and are impatient when a word is said of their past." Sherman never states the reasons for her preoccupation with time, clocks and Tokyo's past, but her book thrums with it. She views the first Bell of Time, at a former prison at Nihonbashi, and the smallest, in Akasaka; seeks the lost bell of Mejiro; meets the man who rings the bell at Ueno; and visits a widow surrounded by "an island of old clocks" in Nezu. She also consults with numerous sources, modern and ancient, and studies the Japanese language and its translations. This is a narrator deeply immersed and committed to her subject; Sherman's bibliography and notes are extensive for such a slim book.

A point of stillness at the center is a special coffee shop where Sherman makes a friend. "Tokyo is a restless city, where everything changes and shifts, but not Daibo Coffee." Daibo is the one character she returns to, and his influence is felt in her love for the city and in her questions.

"[Author and composer] Yoshimura believed that a temple bell's sound was as much about silence as about its ringing." Sherman's writing similarly respects white space as much as it does words: her approach is lyric and minimalist, and respectful of the culture she studies. An American living in Japan, she is sensitive to her outsider status, as when writing about the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo: "Growing up, I was part of the old soldiers' we. I had never thought about what we had done to them." She is present for the 2011 earthquake and Fukushima reactor explosions that followed, and her writing about these events is spare: "I bought tickets... I wanted to see Daibo... I said nothing." At times, Sherman slides into prose poetry. "Mirrors and clocks in love hotels and the time they tell, the translucent sheeting over building sites, the streetlamps, the slopes, the signs I can read and the ones I can't."

The Bells of Old Tokyo is an elegant series of musings, a beautifully written evocation of a place and a philosophical inquiry into the nature of time itself. Sherman has given the world, and one city in particular, an astonishing gift. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: These lovely, understated ruminations on time and Tokyo will please those interested in Japanese culture, language or history--or lovers of any city, anywhere.

Deeper Understanding

Comics & Graphic Novels: Drawn Histories

History comics are a growing and influential part of the comics and graphic novels market. Some of the most lauded titles of the past 25 years--such as Maus, Persepolis, Smile and March--are "drawn histories," encompassing nonfiction, personal memoirs and semi-autobiographical works. For July, the seventh month, here are seven new and notable drawn histories for summer enjoyment:


Berlin by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly, $49.99, 9781770463264)
Totaling almost 600 pages, Berlin is a 20-year endeavor of cartoonist Jason Lutes to tell the story of a city at the crossroads of war, identity and belonging. This is Berlin during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), told from the point of view of everyday citizens. Weaving together fact and fiction with many illustrations based on archival photos, Lutes's Eisner-nominated work reads like a documentary, a diary, a love letter, a warning. With extensive back matter suggesting further reading, this should appeal to readers of cultural and micro histories, as well as of graphic journalists like Joe Sacco and Sarah Glidden. This may be the heaviest book you read all year--and it's worth every page.


Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from a New Europe by Ali Fitzgerald (Fantagraphics, $24.99, 9781683961321)
Based on 10 years of comic workshops with asylum-seeking communities in Berlin, Fitzgerald's work makes visible the "invisible." Similar in tone to Humans of New York and other recent anthologies like Escaping Wars and Waves: Encounters with Syrian Refugees, this text illustrates the power of graphic storytelling to literally "see" through another's eyes. The narrative also operates on multiple levels--as Fitzgerald is running these workshops, she is also struggling to find her feet professionally and personally in a changing city and in a changing Europe. Drawn to Berlin is hope, despair, apathy and empathy all whirled together in 196 pages. Recommended for fans of comics journalism and for non-comics readers alike.


Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists by Martha H. Kennedy (University Press of Mississippi, $50, 9781496815927)
With a foreword by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, this title reveals the wealth of LOC's comics collection (more than 200,000 items)--and exposes hidden histories of women in illustration from the 19th century to the present. Written by LOC librarian Kennedy and featuring 250 color illustrations, this title is nominated for an Eisner as Best Comics-Related Book, one of a growing body of comics cultural histories. Recommended for readers of Jill Lepore's The Secret History of Wonder Woman and Nancy Goldstein's Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist.


Hot Comb by Ebony Flowers (Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95, 9781770463486)
Equal parts memoir, fiction, and cultural history, Hot Comb has its origins in Ebony Flowers's non-traditional start to cartooning while completing a Ph.D. research in curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. While studying under mentors like Lynda Barry, Flowers began to experiment with storytelling via comics using hair as a cultural lens. Hot Comb should resonate with adult readers of Lynda Barry and Gabrielle Bell, with strong appeal to teen readers of titles like American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang and New Kid by Jerry Craft.


Lafayette: A Revolutionary War Tale by Nathan Hale (Amulet Books, $13.99, 9781419731488)
Full disclosure: I (finally) binge watched Turn: Washington's Spies and have been devouring all things Revolutionary War-era since. The eighth title in Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales graphic history series for young readers focuses on Lafayette as a 19-year-old, overly zealous French noble eager for battle--who goes on to become one of Washington's most trusted advisers. Both cheeky and historically accurate, this graphic rendering pairs with complementary titles: The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinken, the Alex & Eliza series by Melissa de la Cruz and Sarah Vowell's Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. All titles, of course, best read while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack.


They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker (Top Shelf Productions, $19.99, 9781603094504)
Best known as Sulu on Star Trek: The Original Series, George Takei spent several years of his childhood in two Japanese-American internment camps during World War II: the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas and Tule Lake Segregation Center in California. Takei's experiences previously inspired the Broadway musical Allegiance, and now his graphic memoir brings renewed focus and attention to the lives and experiences of the 120,000 Japanese-Americans relocated during World War II. Recommended for young and adult readers alike, including fans of Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference, Farewell to Manzanar and Snow Falling on Cedars.


Let's end with an Easter Egg: as we go into the 50th anniversary of San Diego Comic-Con this month, wonder what Con life is really like in all of its comic highs and graphic lows? Check out Pros and (Comic) Cons, edited by Hope Nicholson (Dark Horse, $19.99, 9781506711676), with true stories from Amy Chu, Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Pak, Sina Grace, Tini Howard and others.

--Barbara Gordon aka Amie Wright

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Seven Nights of Sin by Kendall Ryan
2. There Goes My Heart by Bella Andre
3. I Will Not Beg by Cherise Sinclair
4. Till There Was You by Marie Force
5. Superfan by Sarina Bowen
6. The Wolf and the Sheep by Penelope Sky
7. Moonstruck by Dannika Dark
8. Hitched to the Alien General by Mina Carter
9. BlackWolfe: Sons of de Wolfe by Kathryn Le Veque
10. Letters to Molly by Devney Perry
[Many thanks to!]

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