Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Quotation of the Day

'We All Have the Privilege of Our Own Voice'

"We all have the privilege of our own voice, we all have the privilege of our own background and the uniqueness of that and the richness that can bring to the table.... Seeing people who actually do the jobs to create a book and to get it to the final product on the shelves is something we can definitely improve upon. I never had anybody at careers day at university come from publishing to talk to me to say 'this is an option for you.' I was very much pushed into teaching or being a journalist and it was never publishing. I think we can trickle that down to schools."

--Aimée Felone, co-founder of inclusive children's book publisher Knights Of, speaking on a panel with Bonnier Books UK CEO Perminder Mann at a Society of Young Publishers event in Brixton. (via the Bookseller)

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White


Book Rack, Newburyport, Mass., Closes

HugoBooks has closed the Book Rack in downtown Newburyport, Mass., because of declining sales and changing reading habits, the Newburyport News reported. The adjoining Coffee Factory, which has several cafes in New Hampshire, has remained open and will expand into the bookstore's space. The Hugo family owns the building, and owner John Hugo and his family have offices and live upstairs.

In an announcement, Hugo said he made the decision to close the Book Rack "with much dismay." Referring to the café, which was originally an Atomic Café branch, he said, "It was a partnership that worked extremely well for five years. However, sales [in the bookstore] began to decline steadily in the fall of 2018 and throughout the usually busy Christmas season and subsequent 2019 summer months."

He added: "People read less in today's fast paced social media and Netflix world and those that do read have taken their purchases largely to Amazon for its cost and convenience. The Bookstore cannot meet the fixed costs any longer. The Hugo Family will continue to operate its other three stores in Andover and Marblehead. Keep reading and keep shopping locally."

This is the second major recent change in business for HugoBooks. During the summer, Hugo sold Cabot Street Books & Cards in Beverly, Mass., to Meg Wasmer and Julie Karaganis, who renamed it Copper Dog Books. (Wasmer had been Cabot Street's manager and Karaganis was a bookseller there.)

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Eslite Opens First Store in Japan

Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite opened its first store in Japan on Friday, Taiwan News reported.

Located in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district, the store sells new books as well sidelines and gifts from more than 50 Taiwanese brands. The store's design seeks to "incorporate local characteristics while preserving the essence that defines Eslite" and combines aesthetic elements drawn from Japan's Edo period with modern industrial arts. There are themed light fixtures throughout the store that feature work from the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho as written by Taiwanese artist Tung Yang-tzu.

To celebrate the opening, Eslite is holding a book exhibition in store, in partnership with Japanese publishing company Yurindo and real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan.

The first Eslite store opened in Taiwan 30 years ago, and now the chain has 44 stores in Taiwan, three in Hong Kong, two in mainland China and now one in Japan.

MPH Bookstores Returning to Singapore

MPH in Alamanda Putrajaya, Malaysia

MPH Bookstores, which closed its last store in Singapore just two months ago, will open a new concept store at SingPost Centre in Singapore in November, the Straits Times reported.

The 1,900-square-foot store will carry books, stationery and gifts, as well as snacks and beverages. The retailer also plans to offer computer and printing services, and MPH group chief executive Donald Kee said that around 55% of the store's offerings will be books and magazines.

MPH's last stores in Singapore, which officially closed on July 28 and September 1, were much larger: the Raffles City outlet measured 6,500 square feet. At the time, MPH attributed the closure to high rents. The Straits Times noted that the MPH closures also coincided with several other bookstore chains, including Books Kinokuniya and Popular, closing some outlets in Singapore.

"We would like to reassure all our customers and business partners that MPH is still very much in the game," Kee told the Straits Times. "We still believe in the retailing of books and our passion in curating the best selection for our customers is still intact."

While MPH does plan to open more smaller stores in Singapore in the future, the chain has not said exactly where or when.

Obituary Notes: Mordicai Gerstein; David Roy Chaplin

Mordicai Gerstein, author and illustrator of dozens of works for young readers, among them The Night World, Sleeping Gypsy, and I Am Pan, died September 24. Gerstein provided the artwork for numerous works by other writers, and was awarded the 2004 Caldecott Medal for his picture book The Man Who Walked between the Towers.

Richard Michelson, his gallerist, confirmed Gerstein's death in a Facebook post: "RIP my friend--I will miss our monthly lunches sharing poetry, fiction, and children's book industry gossip; along with stories about our shared passion: the many bicycle trip adventures we each enjoyed; Caldecott-winning artist Mordicai Gerstein was one of the first illustrators to join R. Michelson Galleries, and one of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever met." R. Michelson Galleries will pay tribute to Gerstein at its 30th annual Illustration Celebration on November 10. Gerstein has been with the gallery for more than three decades.

In a tribute on the Horn Book's Calling Caldecott blog, Julie Danielson observed that to say Gerstein "had a distinctive artistic style would be a massive understatement. What stands out to me is his especially eloquent, fluid line work. He had a way of drawing in pen and ink that was so... Gerstein-esque. That's my inelegant way of saying you could spot a Mordicai Gerstein book in no time flat. No one else drew and painted quite like him."

Among the titles Danielson cited from his "impressive bibliography" are Tales of Pan; Stop Those Pants!; The Night World; The Old Country; How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers; I Am Hermes!; Eden Ross Lipson's Applesauce Season; The Sleeping Gypsy; The First Drawing; Jacques Prévert's How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird; The Story of May; Elizabeth Levy's Something Queer Is Going On, "and so, so much more."

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass., posted on Facebook: "Our deepest sympathies to Mordicai Gerstein's family, from the staff at the Carle. Mordicai was a brilliant illustrator, and a true gentleman--and he will be missed by all of us in the children's literature community. Mordicai's work is in our permanent collection and will be enjoyed by future generations."

"I'm always looking for things that puzzle and disturb or amuse me, things that are fun to make pictures of," Gerstein staid in his Caldecott acceptance speech. "I make books for people, most of who happen to be children, and I try to address the most essential parts of all of us."


David Roy Chaplin, founding manager of Bookstore1Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla., died on August 23 at age 69.

Throughout his professional life, which began in Portland, Maine, Chaplin managed bookstores. He moved to Sarasota in 1993, where he managed Kingsley's Book Emporium for several years, then Shakespeare & Company and Sarasota News and Books. When Sarasota News and Books closed in 2010, he was hired to lead the start-up of Bookstore1Sarasota. Even though he was in a difficult fight with prostate cancer, David continued to work as often as he could at Bookstore1, retiring finally in 2018.

Bookstore1Sarasota owner Georgia Court said, "The wonderful, intelligent, patient David Chaplin is no longer with us and I miss him greatly. He had endured years of illness, yet when he came to see us at the bookstore a couple of months ago, hugging each of us and smiling, he gave no hint of the struggle he was going through. But that was just like David. He was always a calming, warm presence and there it was again--that presence--during that final visit. I am forever grateful to David, who led Bookstore1 into existence with kindness and generosity of spirit. It was David who accomplished this while playing French music that we came to love because it was a sign that David was 'in the house.' All of us at Bookstore1--staff, customers, vendors--are richer for having known David Chaplin."


Image of the Day: Full Barn for Craig Johnson

The Longmire Posse turned out for a reading and signing by Craig Johnson for his latest novel, Land of Wolves (Viking), hosted by McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, N.C., at the Fearrington Village Barn.

27th Letter Books Is a Hatch Detroit Contest Semifinalist

27th Letter Books, Detroit, Mich., is one of 10 semifinalists in this year's Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest, which was created in 2011, during the recession, and "has not only survived, but thrived," Model D reported. At $100,000, the grand prize is the largest ever for the initiative. Patricia Alexander, Comerica Bank v-p of business banking and Hatch Detroit board member, said the timing was right to "double down, citing the rising cost of doing business.

Bookstore co-owners Drew and Erin Pineda launched their business in June after being inspired by their travels. "Out of that came this idea of opening a bookstore, creating a space for community... and finding a way to help connect people through stories because there is such a magic to sharing our personal stories with each other, interacting with books and being in a community," Erin Pineda said.

After talking to other entrepreneurs, they were encouraged to apply for Hatch Detroit. As a fairly new business, "we were completely surprised and so thankful and grateful for the opportunity and to be in community with these other great businesses. It was really cool to see a lot of people excited about the city and about entrepreneurship," Pineda said.

Public voting began September 28 and runs until October 3. Four finalists will battle it out at the annual Hatch Off event on October 17 at The Beacon at One Woodward in downtown Detroit.

Bookstore Video: Shakespeare & Co. Book Sculpture

Legendary Paris bookseller Shakespeare and Company shared a video exploring Karine Diot's book sculpture The Shakespeare & Company Bookstore. "Look familiar?" the bookshop posted on Facebook. "A huge thank you to artist Karine Diot, for shrinking us down and taking us back in time with this exquisite recreation of the bookshop, as it was in the '70s, in tribute to our founder George Whitman. Amazing!"

"I fell in love with the George Whitman passionating life and bookshop in Paris, and I wanted to give life and make tribute to this incredible 'wonderful world of books' as Henri Miller used to say," the artist noted. "11 months later, more than 4300 tiny paper books later and based on '70s photographs, I am proud to say that my goals are achieved! Everything is handmade, unique and the only paper I used are the pages of the book I choose to transform. Which one could have been better than a Shakespearian big and old book ?? :) In my dreams, George would have appreciated and been proud of my work."

The Neverending Bookshop: 'A Fairy Tale in Edmonds'

"Once upon a time in Kingston, Kitsap County, a little girl fell in love with books," the Seattle Times noted in its profile of owner Annie Carl and the Neverending Bookshop, which opened four years ago in Bothell, Wash., and last year relocated to the Edmonds neighborhood of Perrinville.

"To describe Carl as 'bookish' would be an understatement: She wanted to devote her life to books," the Times wrote, adding: "When she was 14, Carl started visiting downtown Kingston used-book store Mr. B's Bookery with one goal in mind: 'I went in once a week and asked them to hire me.' A year later, they finally acquiesced, bringing her on at six hours a week. Carl always kept books close: She published a books column in the North Kitsap Herald and worked at Third Place Books for four years. When she finally decided to open her own small bookstore in downtown Bothell, Carl didn't have to think twice about what to name it."

Although Carl loved Bothell's foot traffic, the new location offers more than twice the square footage, plenty of room to grow. She also likes that her landlord at Perrinville Village aspires to develop the property "into more of a retail hub, like a smaller, funkier version of the Redmond Town Center," which aligns with her goal to make her store a community destination.

"This year has been really rocky, to be perfectly honest," Carl said, noting that she is going to have to reevaluate whether the business plan makes sense at the beginning of next year. But as a cancer survivor who is "10 years in remission and five years cured" from stage four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, she knows the most important thing is to believe in yourself and to keep going. "I'm still here because I'm really stubborn," she said.

The Times agreed: "It's right there in the name of the shop: Who has time for happily-ever-afters with all these books to read?"

Personnel Changes at Quirk Books

Jennifer Murphy has joined Quirk Books as marketing manager and publicist. She was previously at Magination Press and HarperCollins.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jack Goldsmith on Fresh Air

Morning Edition: Aarti Shahani, author of Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares: A Memoir (Celadon Books, $26.99, 9781250204752).

Fresh Air: Jack Goldsmith, author of In Hoffa's Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth (FSG, $28, 9780374175658).

Today Show: Rachel Maddow, author of Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Crown, $30, 9780525575474).

The View: Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, authors of The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501178412).

Daily Show: Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone: A Novel (Riverhead, $26, 9780525535270).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Evan Funke, co-author of American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pasta (Chronicle Books, $35, 9781452173313).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Jonathan Van Ness, author of Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062906373).

On Stage: The Sleepy Hollow Experience

The Sleepy Hollow Experience, an interactive musical event conceived and directed by Brian Clowdus, will begin performances October 4 on the estate of original Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, Playbill reported, sharing photos from the production that will run through November 4 in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The cast features storytellers Lindsey Weiss and Alex Burnette, with Austin Mirsoltani as Ichabod Crane, Haley Barna as Katrina Van Tassel, and Blake Burgess as Brom Bones. "The outdoor staging asks audiences to travel with the storytellers through an immersive retelling of Irving's 1820 ghost story," Playbill noted.

Books & Authors

Awards: Bard Fiction Winner; New Mexico-Arizona Finalists

Clare Beams won the $30,000 Bard Fiction Prize, which was established in 2001 "to encourage and support young writers of fiction, and provide them with an opportunity to work in a fertile intellectual environment," for her debut story collection, We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books). In addition to the cash award, the winner receives a residency at Bard College for the fall 2020 semester, during which time she will continue her writing and meet informally with students.

The prize committee noted that the "nine stories in Clare Beams' debut collection of fiction, We Show What We Have Learned, range from factual, historical settings and characters to eerily fantastical ones, displaying a startling depth and an epic scale of imagination. While the characters, and the situations they find themselves in, are sometimes surreal, their psychologies are always absolutely real--fully, compassionately drawn. Every one of these stories has a world and a lifetime behind it, and every one is a compelling, disquieting, and immensely pleasurable journey, reverie, and dream for its reader. Clare Beams is a subtle, quiet master of short fiction, who writes in beautiful and exquisitely crafted prose."


The finalists in 40 categories for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards can be seen here. Winners will be announced at a banquet on November 9 in Albuquerque, N.Mex.

Book Review

Review: Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights

Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights by Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Katie McCabe (Algonquin, $16.95 paperback, 304p., 9781616209551, November 5, 2019)

In this apparent golden age of memoir, some stories shine brighter than others. Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights is one lucent example of the brighter variety.

After her father dies in the flu epidemic of 1919, five-year-old Dovey Johnson Roundtree moves with her sisters and mother into the Charlotte, N.C., home of her maternal grandparents. The adults, while poor, see to it that the girls get college educations--"the 'way out' for black people," Roundtree writes. In 1938, she graduates from Spelman, Atlanta's historically black college for women, with a dream of becoming a doctor but without funds for medical school. She takes a job as a schoolteacher in South Carolina and finds it less than fulfilling: "I couldn't long remain in the cocoon of that tiny town, tucked away in my classroom while the world charged forward."

In 1941, Roundtree heads to Washington, D.C., making use of her well-connected grandmother's acquaintance with Mary McLeod Bethune, adviser to President Roosevelt. Bethune is in charge of enforcing Roosevelt's ban on racial discrimination in hiring, including in the military. Feeling obliged to support the cause, Roundtree is among several dozen black women who enlist in the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. After the war ends, she still wants a career in medicine, but goes to Southern California to make "conversion speeches" on behalf of Roosevelt's Fair Employment Practices Committee. In California, she meets the trailblazing black feminist lawyer Pauli Murray, who tells Roundtree that "the answer for black people... lay in the law."

Roundtree enrolls at Howard University School of Law in 1947, when a female law student was such a rarity that a clerk asks her, "Are you registering for your husband or your brother?" Upon graduating, Roundtree and a black male colleague open a practice in D.C., where "a black lawyer had to leave the courthouse to use the bathroom or eat a meal." Robertson and Roundtree start out drafting wills, but soon get cases through the local NAACP branch. Mighty Justice devotes individual chapters to Roundtree's most significant cases, like the desegregation powder keg Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company.

In her afterword, coauthor Katie McCabe reports that she began trailing Roundtree when the lawyer was "an eighty-two-year-old diabetic with arthritis and failing eyesight who navigated the courtrooms and streets with a walker." Mighty Justice, which Algonquin Books is giving a second life following its 2009 publication with a university press, is the product of McCabe's decade-long collaboration with Roundtree, who died in 2018 at age 104, no doubt convinced that her work wasn't done. The awe-eliciting Mighty Justice makes an airtight case that Roundtree accomplished more than enough. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: This memoir by pathbreaking black attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree deserves a spot alongside works by and about Pauli Murray and Barbara Jordan.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Oracle by Jonathan Cahn
2. Flame by Chelle Bliss
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
4. Bayside Romance by Melissa Foster
5. Gold Is a Better Way by Adam Baratta
6. Galaxia by Various
7. Lucas by Dale Mayer
8. Rogue Skies by Various
9. Beard With Me by Penny Reid
10. Before Girl by Kate Canterbary

[Many thanks to!]

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