Also published on this date: Tuesday, July 7 Dedicated Issue: Magic Cat

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

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

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer


S&S Moves Pub Date for Trump's Niece's Book Up Two Weeks

Simon & Schuster has moved up the pub date for Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump to Tuesday, July 14. The center of a Trump family legal battle, the book by President Trump's niece was originally to be published July 28. S&S said it was changing the pub date "due to high demand and extraordinary interest in this book."

Last Wednesday, a New York appellate court judge lifted a temporary restraining order against publication of the book that another judge had issued a day earlier. At the same time, however, the appellate court judge let stand a suit against Mary L. Trump by her uncle Robert S. Trump, President Trump's brother, saying that by publishing the book, she might well have broken a confidentiality agreement she signed in connection with the settlement in 2001 of a bitter Trump family lawsuit. The suit concerned the will of Fred Trump, the president's father and Mary L. Trump's grandfather, who died in 1999 and left only a small cash bequest to Mary L. Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III. A hearing July 10 is intended to decide whether the book violates the confidentiality agreement.

Late last Thursday, Mary L. Trump filed an affidavit saying, according to the New York Times, that "she consented to the agreement--and signed away her interests in several family properties--only because Donald J. Trump and his siblings lied to her about how much they were worth."

She wrote: "I relied on the false valuations provided to me by my uncles and aunt and would never have entered into the agreement had I known the true value of the assets involved. I never believed that the settlement agreement resolving discrete financial disputes could possibly restrict me from telling the story of my life or publishing a book."

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for Mary L. Trump, said, "Because the settlement agreement was based on and induced by fraud, it cannot be enforced--and cannot bar publication of Ms. Trump's book."

He added, the Times wrote, that "it was preposterous that the agreement's secrecy provision could be construed as a 'sweeping, lifetime gag-order' that could stop Ms. Trump from writing about her family now. Donald Trump, as Mr. Boutrous pointed out, has given interviews about his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, and his brother, Fred Trump Jr. Dozens of books, Mr. Boutrous noted, have been written about the Trumps, including nearly 20 that the president wrote himself."

A spokesperson for Mary L. Trump issued a statement that read: "The act by a sitting president to muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic. If Mary cannot comment, one can only help but wonder: what is Donald Trump so afraid of?"

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Comma Bookstore & Social Hub Coming to Flint, Mich.

Egypt Otis at the future Comma Bookstore.

Egypt Otis, a Flint, Mich., native and activist, plans to open Comma Bookstore and Social Hub at 526 Buckham Alley on September 1. reported that Otis, who has spent years working as a community organizer for organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, "dreamed of opening a space that connects people seeking a progressive outlook on life." The bookstore's opening date may have to change, depending on the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the support of her boyfriend, Dorian Jackson, she is creating a space for Black authors and business owners that reflects Flint's community. "This is going to be a social hub that's reflective of the community at large," Otis said. "We are not one-dimensional people. We carry on intersections and different types of identities."

Books on a variety of social issues, including LGBTQ+, feminism and civil rights, will be featured at the store. Otis added that a space for conversations and content on these issues is a good addition to Flint. In the past, she had to travel to Ann Arbor or Detroit to find a venue similar to the one she is trying to create: "We don't have a space like this in Flint. I'm excited to provide this to the city."

Otis, who has launched a GoFundMe campaign, posted on Facebook: "I want to express my appreciation for the amount of support I'm receiving for Comma Bookstore & Social Hub! I am overwhelmed with happiness. I am launching a fundraising campaign to assist with the costs associated with opening the store and Covid-19 related PPE to ensure best safety practices. Again, I want to say thank you for the love and kind words."

Caprichos Books Shifting to Pop-Up Model

New and used bookstore Caprichos Books in Bel Air, Md., is shifting to a pop-up model later this year, owner Liz Decker announced. 

"This will allow me to be where you are more often and to build a place where you can come anytime, regardless of hours," Decker wrote in a message to her customers. "I will be able to bring you events with authors and artists online and partner with businesses you already frequent, and markets you already go to so we can build the community together."

The two-year-old bookstore will remain in its current home in Bel Air's Armory Marketplace until the end of August. On Independent Bookstore Day, the store will celebrate its second anniversary, the closing of its original location and the start of its new chapter.

In the meantime, Decker is still taking special orders and fulfilling any requests. Customers can use their gift cards in store or reach out to Decker to receive a code for her online store. She'll continue to partner with local artists by listing their items on her website and doing virtual events with them.

Dana Canedy New Senior V-P, Publisher of Simon & Schuster Imprint

Dana Canedy

Dana Canedy has been named senior v-p and publisher of the Simon & Schuster trade imprint, effective July 27. She succeeds Jonathan Karp, who became president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, Inc., following the death of Carolyn Reidy in May.

Since 2017, Canedy has been administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes and before that spent 20 years at the New York Times, writing on a range of topics including business and finance, race and class, terrorism, politics, law enforcement, and crime. She was a lead writer and editor on the series "How Race Is Lived in America," which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Earlier she was a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Palm Beach Post.

During her tenure at the Times, Canedy was part of the senior management team, leading in areas including talent acquisition, management training, and staff development across media platforms. She also served as special adviser to the Times CEO and executive editor on strategic planning, change management, and diversity and inclusion practices.

Canedy is also the author of the 2008 memoir A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor, about life with her war-hero partner and the journal he left behind for their infant son before he was killed in combat in Iraq. A screen adaptation of the book is set to begin production this fall, starring Michael B. Jordan and directed by Denzel Washington.

A founding board member of the Digital Diversity Network, Canedy also serves on the board of Project Morry, a nonprofit youth development organization that supports at-risk students.

Canedy commented: "I look forward to leading the storied Simon & Schuster flagship imprint, a publishing powerhouse that has long produced some of the most important and impactful books in our culture. We have an incredible legacy on which to build, and it is an honor for me to join this talented group of editors and publishing professionals as it continues to tell the stories that demand to be told, through the voices of so many of the best authors of our time."

Jonathan Karp stated: "The Simon & Schuster imprint has long been defined by books that explain and capture the spirit of the times, through works of journalism, history, memoir, lifestyle, fiction, or anything else that our editors want to champion, reflecting and shaping the cultural conversation of the moment. I am confident that as our new publisher, Dana can deepen our strengths while expanding our field of vision, combining broad editorial expertise with hands-on management skill and the proven ability to effect strategic change."

July Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for July was delivered to two-thirds of a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 171 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 667,932 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey).

For a sample of the July newsletter, see this one from the Book Vault, Oskaloosa, Iowa.


N.H. Bookstore Working with Other Local Businesses

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S., MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, Warner, N.H., has worked with a neighboring business, the Warner Public Market, to coordinate pick-up hours and in other ways to promote local business, the Concord Monitor reported.

On Easter, bookstore owner Katharine Nevins "got to act as Easter Bunny for dozens of children, hopping around the shop to pick out the perfect book or present," the Monitor wrote. "With customers unable to browse, they're relying more on her expertise to choose a perfect gift for themselves or a loved one."

"Main Street is really thriving," Nevins told the paper. "These businesses... we're all responding [to the pandemic], and the community is responding back in terms of support."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jasmine Guillory on the Takeaway

NPR's the Takeaway: Jasmine Guillory, author of Party of Two (Berkley, $26, 9780593100813).

Fresh Air: Larry Tye, author of Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator McCarthy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $36, 9781328959720).

Good Morning America: Hank Green, author of A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor: A Novel (Dutton, $27, 9781524743475).

The View repeat: Stacey Abrams, author of Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (Holt, $27.99, 9781250257703).

Partnership Launches 'Stan Lee Universe' Venture

Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment are collaborating on a deal to create a venture called "Stan Lee Universe" for properties that were made by the late creator, writer, editor and publisher outside of Marvel Entertainment, Variety reported.

"In all of Hollywood, there is no greater prize," said Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands. "This is the Holy Grail. Stan Lee Universe is a once in a lifetime asset drawn from over 100 original, heretofore unexploited properties, created by the most successful creator of intellectual property of our time.... Having worked with Stan and been a close friend for almost 30 years, nothing could make me prouder than for Genius Brands to become the guardian of both his brand and body of work. I have no doubt that the greatest characters, the greatest stories, and the greatest hits from the mind of Stan Lee have yet to be told. As big as Spider Man, Black Panther, X Men, and the Avengers are today, tomorrow it will be Stan Lee's 'Tomorrow Men,' his 'Stringbean,' his 'Black Fury' and 'Virus.' "

POW! Entertainment, which was created by Lee in 2001 to manage his creator rights and licenses as it developed film, TV and video game properties, and Genius Brands co-produced the adult animated series Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders. Stan Lee Universe programs would be part of Genius Brands' new Kartoon Channel.

Books & Authors

Awards: Bread & Roses; Taste Canada

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers has announced a shortlist for the £500 (about $625) Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, which "seeks to celebrate excellence in the field of radical political nonfiction." Organizers are hoping to hold an in-person award ceremony sometime in mid-September, but will opt for an online award ceremony if this proves impossible due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The shortlisted titles are:

Afropean: Notes from Black Europe by Johny Pitts
Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People by Frances Ryan
Disarming Doomsday: The Human Impact of Nuclear Weapons since Hiroshima by Becky Alexis-Martin
The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism by Ruth Kinna
Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent by Priyamvada Gopal
Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide. A Graphic Guide to Lesbian and Queer History 1950-2020 by Kate Charlesworth


Finalists have been unveiled for the 2020 Taste Canada Awards, honoring the country's best food writing in five English-language and five French-language categories. Winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on October 25. Check out the shortlisted titles here.

Book Review

Review: The Wild Laughter

The Wild Laughter by Caoilinn Hughes (ONEWorld Publications, $24.95 hardcover, 208p., 9781786077806, July 30, 2020)

Few nations felt the sting of the global recession that began in 2007 more than Ireland, when its roaring "Celtic Tiger" economy imploded. Caoilinn Hughes sets her second novel--a taut, acerbic family drama--against the backdrop of that economic cataclysm in her native land.

Like many of his countrymen, farmer Manus Black (affectionately known as the "Chief") falls for the lure of a can't-miss investment in apartments in Spain and Bulgaria, only to lose all when the real estate market collapses. Overnight he's transformed from a comfortable, if hardworking, landowner in western Ireland to an impoverished debtor staring financial ruin in the face in a heavily mortgaged house "that had gone up in value by three hundred percent in a decade and dropped nearly that again in year." By the fall of 2014, his financial woes are compounded by the relentless advance of terminal cancer, an affliction that leads him to hint to his sons, Cormac and Doharty ("Hart"), the novel's narrator, that he wants their assistance in hastening his departure from the world.

The Black siblings are loyal to their imposing father, and dutifully go about trying to carry out his last wishes. But when their hastily researched and haphazardly executed plan goes awry, legal consequences ensue, compounding the tragedy of Manus's death, especially for his widow, Nóra, a former nun, and heightening the tensions that frequently bubble to the surface in the family. The novel's climactic scenes play out in a sterile Dublin courtroom--far from the earthy simplicity of the Blacks' rural village--where the unyielding dictates of the law clash with love and duty to produce a morally ambiguous ending. Though it's too artful a work of fiction to be considered purely a polemic on the subject, The Wild Laughter does serve as a provocative brief in favor of euthanasia.

With frequent flashes of humor, "the thing austerity couldn't touch," Hughes skillfully captures the flickering tension between brothers separated by two years. Cormac is launched on the path to conventional success. Hart, whether through stunted ambition or simply an inability to shed the sense of filial obligation, becomes entangled in the bonds of family and land, even as his girlfriend, Dolly--a part-time actress he first met when she was involved with his older brother--attempts to lure him away.

As she demonstrated in her first novel, Orchid & the Wasp, Hughes is both an incisive observer of contemporary life and someone who's able to penetrate its surface to explore more enduring themes. The Wild Laughter is a compact but potent novel that explores its themes of love, loyalty and sibling rivalry with keen insight. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: In Caoilinn Hughes's keenly observant second novel, a dying father's last wish provokes a family crisis.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. All My Loving by Marie Force
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
3. Dear Sexy Ex-Boyfriend by Lauren Blakely
4. Dawn Caravan by Elizabeth Hunter
5. Somethin' About That Boy by Lani Lynn Vale
6. Sweet Beginnings by Nicole Ellis
7. Secrets of the World's Worst Matchmaker by Piper Rayne
8. Deadly Vows (The Lizzie Grace Series Book 6) by Keri Arthur
9. Healing of the Wolf (The Wild Hunt Legacy Book 5) by Cherise Sinclair
10. The Romeo Arrangement by Nicole Snow

[Many thanks to!]

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