Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 11, 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


The Book Dragon Opens in Staunton, Va.


The Book Dragon, a new and used bookshop at 102 W. Beverly Street in Staunton, Va., has opened "with the hope of creating a welcoming and fun space in the downtown area, and can't wait to see our shelves filled with books and our floor filled with people!" A grand opening celebration is scheduled for August 3.

"I really like the Staunton area and love going downtown," owner Sandra Cararo told the News Leader. "I wanted someplace that had a walking area and the historical downtown fits that. I think it is great being right on a corner, especially with the mural that is going to be updated." The shop's exterior wall will feature the new mural, thanks to a $10,000 grant the city received.

"It has always been my goal to own my own business and I love books too. It made sense to combine owning a business and having it be books," Cararo added.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

#BookstoresAgainstBorders Update: Over $70K Raised

#BookstoresAgainstBorders, the fundraiser aimed at raising money to help immigrants and refugees detained along the southern border of the United States, has raised over $70,000, Bookselling This Week reported.

The fundraiser began with Gretchen Treu, co-owner and manager of A Room of One's Own Bookstore in Madison, Wis., who asked independent bookstores around the country to donate 5%-20% of their sales from the long 4th of July weekend to RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), an organization working to help those detained at the border, including children.

Treu sent out a call-to-action e-mail to booksellers on June 27, and since then roughly 150 other booksellers and publishers joined with A Room of One's Own. As of Wednesday, July 10, the total stood at $70,170 raised from 82 donors, far exceeding the initial goal of $50,000.

And while July 4th weekend is over, booksellers continue to raise money. Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vt., for example, will be donating 10% of its sales on Friday, July 12 to RAICES. Booksellers (and others) can still donate to the original fundraiser, and learn more about getting involved here.

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

ABA CFO DesHotel Stepping Down

Robyn DesHotel

American Booksellers Association CFO Robyn DesHotel will be leaving her position in August to join the National Co+op Grocers, a business services cooperative for retail cooperative grocery stores located throughout the U.S., Bookselling This Week reported. DesHotel joined the ABA in 2015, replacing longtime CFO Ellie Chang. Prior to that, she had worked as the PEN American Center's director of finance and administration.

"This is bittersweet news for all of us at ABA," said CEO Oren Teicher. "Robyn has served ABA extraordinarily well. She’s vastly improved our financial reporting capability, helped us budget far more effectively, and ensured that ABA has continued to receive a perfectly clean annual letter from our outside auditor. Beyond that, she has managed our ever-changing insurance company, LIBRIS; delivered quality financial education to our members; and improved our IT audit compliance and services. It would be difficult to list all of her accomplishments; they have been many."

Teicher, who is retiring later this year, will defer the appointment of a new permanent CFO until his successor as CEO is in place, BTW noted. He is currently working with Concorde Accounting and Financial Staffing, Inc. to recruit an interim CFO to serve ABA through February 2020.

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

Cinco Puntos Press Names New President, CFO

Cinco Puntos staff: (l.-r.)  Bobby Byrd, Lee Byrd, Jessica Powers, Mary Fountaine, John Byrd.

Cinco Puntos Press has named John Byrd as president and CFO. Co-founder Bobby Byrd is stepping away from his leadership role, but will serve as publisher emeritus, developing special projects, collaborating with staff as needed, and working on his poetry. Co-founder Lee Merrill Byrd will continue as publisher and editor-in-chief.

John Byrd joined Cinco Puntos as financial and sales director in 2004, though the company noted that "he grew up helping out by packing books when the office was based in the Byrds' home in the Five Points neighborhood" of El Paso, Tex., where they founded the publishing house in 1985.

Cinco Puntos has also expanded its editorial and marketing teams. Jessica Powers will become the editorial and foreign rights director; Stephanie Frescas Macías joins the company as publicity director; and Zeke Peña is working part time as the publisher's first artistic director.

"I'm really happy to announce these changes at Cinco Puntos," John Byrd said. "They come at a time when my parents are able to teach and share their well-earned institutional knowledge. This will insure the company maintains its tradition of groundbreaking publishing while incorporating new ideas and talents. We think the authors, illustrators, publishing partners and clients we work with will be pleased to see this foundation for an orderly succession plan, growth and continued success."

Obituary Note: Michael Seidenberg

Michael Seidenberg

Michael Seidenberg, owner of the legendary speakeasy-like bookstore Brazenhead Books ("the little shop where time stood still") in New York City, died July 9. He was 64. In a 2008 New Yorker profile, Patricia Marx observed: "To say that Seidenberg's shop is back in business is not quite accurate, for business was never his model. He envisions a hangout, where readers can relax in comfortable chairs with a favorite book. 'I had this idea of telling customers they couldn't buy anything the first time they came,' he said, 'so that they'd believe me when I say nobody is obliged to buy anything.' His wife nixed that idea."

"Michael's stories and the stories that lined the walls flowed into and out of each other for hours at a time," David Burr Gerrard wrote this week in a Lit Hub tribute, adding: "When you were at Brazenhead you became a Michaelized version of yourself; your stories were a little more embroidered, you were a little funnier, you felt more comfortable saying embarrassing things. It was difficult to be buttoned up when the proprietor of the establishment usually had most of his shirt unbuttoned, chest hair protruding."

In 2015, Seidenberg had to move from his Upper East Side apartment to a new space and set up shop again. Brazenhead had been in its old location since 2008 and before that was a more traditional bookstore, which operated at several storefronts in Brooklyn and Manhattan going back to 1979.

"Whatever shape the bookstore takes in the future, Brazenhead has long been in the process of building its own mythology," the Guardian wrote at the time. "It's a tale of a bookstore that has never actually closed, but only reveals itself to the people who seek it out. Those people will be relieved to know that reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated."

Visiting the Upper East Side location in 2015, the New York Times reported: "The tenement building on East 84th Street does not have a sign or a label on the downstairs buzzer for the apartment housing the secret bookstore. But regulars know the correct buzzer, the floor and which nights a certain unlocked apartment door can lead, almost magically, to a literary salon. And everyone inside knows who runs the joint: Michael Seidenberg, there in his regular spot next to a small bar, lighting his pipe, pouring himself a drink and holding court amid an adoring throng of bon vivant literary types."

Untapped Cities described the more recent incarnation of Brazenhead Books as "a one-of-a-kind hidden bookstore that charmed many a visitor who found a way to visit the quirky apartment-turned shop in an Upper West Side walkup. Books were piled high in every conceivable place, down hallways, on the book of doors, in the middle of rooms, stacked on bookshelves, but Michael knew where everything was.... With Seidenberg goes another anchor of idiosyncratic New York City. Brazenhead was a special place, much more than a used bookstore. It was a place where the curious could come knocking, intending to stay for just a few moments, and stay for hours in deep conversation or delving into the myriad of books available."

Gerrard closed his tribute with a line Seidenberg "used in a promotional video, in which he implored viewers to find his hidden location by opening the phone book: 'Come find me and visit me and I'm yours.' For everyone who found and visited Brazenhead, Michael will always be ours."


Image of the Day: Two Women Talk About Three Women

photo: Morgan Hoit

Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., hosted author Lisa Taddeo and broadcast superstar Katie Couric in conversation Tuesday night to celebrate the launch of Taddeo's book, Three Women (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster).

'The Heart (and Power) of an Indie Bookstore'


"Marcie Colleen is a favorite children's author" at Run for Cover Bookstore, San Diego, Calif., owner Marianne Reiner posted on the bookshop's Facebook page, along with a link to Colleen's blog post, headlined "The Heart (and Power) of an Indie Bookstore."

The post chronicles a heartwarming encounter at the shop over the weekend that speaks volumes for the indie experience. "The events she describes in her beautiful blogpost illustrate why I have the best job in the world," Reiner noted. "Indie bookstores are indeed a special place. And you sure can't get these stories from Amazon! Thank you Marcie!"

After sharing her tale of a father, a daughter, a bookseller and an author, Colleen wrote: "You will not get this kind of love and care through Amazon. This is the heart of an indie bookstore. This is the heart of bookseller, Marianne Reiner, and Run for Cover Bookstore.... Thank you, Marianne! Connecting readers to books is a magical endeavor and you are a generous sorceress, indeed."

Chalkboard of the Day: The Silver Unicorn Bookstore


"It's true... we not only have air conditioning, but we also have lots and lots of books!" the Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, Mass., posted on Facebook, along with a photo of its latest sidewalk chalkboard, which reads: "Did we mention we have air conditioning? It's because we have so many hot new releases!! (bah dum crash)."

Personnel Changes at Gallery

At Gallery Publishing Group:

Effective July 22, Sally Marvin is joining the Gallery Publishing Group as v-p, director of publicity. She began her publishing career at Ballantine Books, joined Random House publicity as assistant director in 1997 and in 2006 became publicity director.

Jennifer Robinson will step down from day-to-day management of the publicity department and take on the newly-created position of v-p, executive publicist, and will focus on campaigns for big celebrity and pop culture titles. She joined Simon & Schuster in 2005 as director of publicity for Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

Jean Anne Rose, deputy director of publicity, will be leaving the company August 15 but will continue to work on a freelance basis for some key Gallery authors.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tim Alberta on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning: Tim Alberta, author of American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump (Harper, $29.99, 9780062896445).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Vanessa Bayer, author of How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? (Feiwel & Friends, $16.99, 9781250298430).

This Weekend on Book TV: Joy-Ann Reid

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, July 13
3:50 p.m. Charles Fishman, author of One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, 9781501106293), at Brazos Books in Houston, Tex. (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

5:30 p.m. Martha Saxton, author of The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780809097012). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

6:30 p.m. Holland Michel, author of Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544972001).

8 p.m. Lisa Duggan, author of Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed (University of California Press, $18.95, 9780520294776), at the Strand in New York City. (Re-airs Sunday at 2:45 p.m.)

9 p.m. Ralph Peters, author of Darkness at Chancellorsville: A Novel of Stonewall Jackson's Triumph and Tragedy (Forge Books, $29.99, 9780765381736).

10 p.m. Joy-Ann Reid, author of The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062880109). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Timothy Goeglin, co-author of American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation (Gateway Editions, $28.99, 9781621579113). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:45 p.m.)

Sunday, July 14
12 a.m. Jon Gertner, author of The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future (Random House, $28, 9780812996623).

7:15 p.m. Don Kulick, author of A Death in the Rainforest: How a Language and a Way of Life Came to an End in Papua New Guinea (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616209049), at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

8:15 p.m. Chris DeRose, author of Star Spangled Scandal: Sex, Murder, and the Trial that Changed America (Regnery History, $29.99, 9781621578055).

10 p.m. Ash Carter, author of Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon (Dutton, $30, 9781524743918).

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Ackerley, Georg Büchner Winners

English PEN announced that Yrsa Daley-Ward is the winner of the £3,000 (about $3,750) PEN Ackerley Prize, dedicated to memoir and autobiography, for The Terrible, which was praised by chair of judges Peter Parker for its "sheer originality, energy and fearlessness," the Bookseller reported.

In an acceptance speech read by Penguin Press editorial director Josephine Greywoode, Daley-Ward said: "I never expected to write a memoir. I still feel strange telling anyone that I have written a memoir. Two years ago I sat down to write what I thought would be a fantasy book about children and magic, but what followed was a different kind of thing altogether, because everything was true. Sometimes when you have a lot of what feels like heavy truth inside you, it has to move out of the way to make space for other things. And so, here we are. The truest thing I have written so far. I never thought I'd tell another living soul some of the things that are in this book."


Swiss writer Lukas Bärfuss has won the €50,000 (about $56,225) 2019 Georg Büchner Prize of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, Börsenblatt reported. The jury called Bärfuss "a distinguished writer and playwright of contemporary German literature."

His works have included the novella Die Toten Männer and the novels Hundert Tage, Koala (winner of the 2014 Swiss Book Prize), and Hagard.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new hardcover titles appearing next Tuesday, July 16:

The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385537070) tracks two black boys sentenced to an abusive reform school in 1960s Florida.

Window on the Bay: A Novel by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine, $27, 9780399181337) follows a divorced single mother with a newly empty nest.

Please Send Help by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (Wednesday Books, $18.99, 9781250216533) is the authors' follow-up to their bestselling I Hate Everyone But You.

The Expectations by Alexander Tilney (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316450379) focuses a rich kid disillusioned by his exclusive New England boarding school.

Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood by Maureen Stanton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9781328900234) is the memoir of a woman raised in 1970s Walpole, Massachusetts, home of a maximum security prison.

On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane by Emily Guendelsberger (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316509008) explores inhumane conditions endured by the half of Americans working hourly jobs.

Searching for Stonewall Jackson: A Quest for Legacy in a Divided America by Ben Cleary (Twelve, $30, 9781455535804) chronicles the life and legacy of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson.

One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, 9781534404434), is a bright, boldly illustrated counting book with birds as the central focus.

Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby by Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden (Princeton University Press, $19.95, 9780691191706).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
The Travelers: A Novel by Regina Porter (Hogarth, $27, 9780525576198). "I'm blown away by the fact that this stunning work is a debut effort. It's a sweeping history of our country and the traumas we have yet to fully heal from, spanning the American South in the '50s through the early days of Obama's presidency. It's told through a series of narratives that connect unexpectedly and beautifully... the writing is both powerful and restrained." --Vanessa Diaz, The Book Catapult, San Diego, Calif.

Bunny: A Novel by Mona Awad (Viking, $26, 9780525559733). "Mona Awad tells a harrowing story of a writer trying to overcome her writer's block while simultaneously refusing to look deeper into herself or acknowledge her own needs or desires. This lack of self-knowledge leads her to a friendship with a group of young MFA students who are always 'workshopping'... with disastrous consequences. The writing feels cinematic at times, moody and illustrative. Home, identity, love (both romantic and platonic), inner (and outer) demons, and academic elitism all play a part in this spectacle of creation and destruction. Awad creates a kind of magic that changes with the wind, a contemporary Prometheus tale." --Katrina Feraco, The Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, N.H.

The Secrets Between Us: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar (Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062442215). "This wonderful novel--loosely a sequel to The Spaces Between Us--is the rich, moving story of an amazing friendship, one that would never have occurred under the old restrictions of India and as the new India feels its tentative way. The lives of Bhima and Parvati are ones of unbelievable poverty and struggle, but the dignity and richness their friendship manifests took my breath away. A bit Dickensian in the best ways, this novel had me in tears several times. These women are two I will not soon forget." --Michael Coy, Third Place Books Ravenna, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison (Kokila, $17.99, 9780525553366). "I LOVE this charming and empowering story about Zuri, a girl who gets a little help from her dad to achieve the perfect hairstyle for a very special occasion. Hair Love is a sweet and heartwarming celebration of natural hair and loving daddy-daughter relationships with absolutely perfect pictures from one of my favorite illustrators. This picture book will have you cheering enthusiastically alongside Zuri!" --Tomoko Bason, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca (little bee books, $16.99, 9781499808889). "An enchanting treat of a middle-grade novel, LaRocca's debut is baked to perfection. You don't need to be a Shakespeare fan to enjoy this modern fantasy twist on A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the third act (so to speak) takes a wonderful, unexpected turn. It's the perfect book for young bakers and those who love stories about family and friendship!" --Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, Mass.

For Teen Readers
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062839367). "Like a Love Story broke me and fixed me at the same time. Set in New York City in 1989, it chronicles the lives of three teens as they navigate the AIDS crisis. Abdi Nazemian captures perfectly what it felt like to be both excited and repelled by the thought of finding other gay kids to share experiences with, as well as the constant fear of wondering if AIDS was inevitable for all young gay men. I finished Like a Love Story with tears streaming down my face; they were tears of recognition to see myself so accurately reflected on the pages of a book." --John McDougall, Murder by the Book, Houston, Tex.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Thirteen

Thirteen: The Serial Killer Isn't on Trial. He's on the Jury. by Steve Cavanagh (Flatiron, $26.99 hardcover, 336p., 9781250297600, August 13, 2019)

Legal thriller extraordinaire Steve Cavanagh (The Defense, The Plea) has an uncanny aptitude for placing his star lawyer in plausibly impossible positions. Watching Eddie Flynn work his way out of them is any reader's sheer delight.

At the beginning of Thirteen, he is the defense attorney for a former prostitute busted on drug charges. Flynn makes quick work of the prosecution's evidence and gets the case dismissed. In the process, however, he chalks up another enemy in the NYPD, which attorney Rudy Carp finds mighty appealing in a potential co-counselor. Carp is working on an explosive celebrity double-murder case and hopes Flynn will aid the defense in poking holes in evidence mismanaged by the police. If this tactic succeeds with the jury, Carp and Associates are that much farther ahead; if it doesn't, they can just as quickly fire Flynn and spin him as a vigilante with a vendetta against law enforcement officers. While the offer isn't entirely appealing at first, Flynn could use the generous fee Carp promises--as well as the possibility of greater stability, if he hopes to win back his wife and daughter. What's more, after meeting with Carp's client--top-tier movie star Bobby Solomon--Flynn believes the guy is innocent.

What Cavanagh could have written as a straightforward case of courtroom intrigue and rhetorical flourishes in the pursuit of truth and justice becomes exponentially more tense as serial killer Joshua Kane meticulously plans his infiltration of the jury for the Solomon trial. Fitting the profile associated with the most intelligent 1% of this criminal type, Kane goes to extreme lengths to fulfill his mission. His pattern of killing, framing and convicting may seem farfetched to some, but chillingly possible to true-crime fans.

Flynn is a legal dynamo, due in large part to Cavanagh's extensive personal history in the courtroom, with the added flair of Flynn's past as a con man. Bait and switch, sleight of hand, misdirection: he'll need every trick up his sleeve to get Bobby acquitted, especially after Carp's cataclysmic recusal. The prosecution's evidence seems rock solid, so Flynn will also need to head up his own reinvestigation of the crime scene, with the help of some old friends. He has one week to craft a defense and catch a killer.

Thirteen is a thrilling blitz of a novel, for new readers or old fans. Even as the driving question is less who and more how, there is no shortage of plot twists. Cavanagh serves Flynn a tall order, and the lawyer steps up with aplomb. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Former con man and current lawyer Eddie Flynn takes on the celebrity murder trial of the decade while attempting to catch the serial killer behind it in this propulsive thriller.

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