Also published on this date: Monday, August 31, 2020: Kids' Maximum Shelf: All Because You Matter

Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 31, 2020


Jy: Gabby and Gator by James Burks

St. Martin's Press: The Unwilling by John Hart

Simon & Schuster: Unicorns Are the Worst! by Alex Willan

Algonquin Books: Let's Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih

Candlewick Press: In the Half Room by Carson Ellis

News

#IBD2020: Pictures from a Celebration

Independent Bookstore Day, in its delayed and socially distant form, looked rather different this year. But bookstores and their friends still celebrated in style.

American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill stopped by The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, N.Y. (photo: ABA)

ABA COO Joy Dallanegra-Sanger captured this shot of Independent Bookstore Day shoppers at Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, N.Y.

On Thursday night, Uncle Bobbie's Bookstore in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborbood was broken into--the third time in little over a month. On Saturday, after boarding up the broken window, the store was able to open for business, and the community turned out in support.

At Arts & Letters Bookstore, Granby, Tex., Diane Hedges from nearby D'Vine Winery suggested book & wine pairings.

At the Book Revue, Huntington, N.Y., bookseller Ally Cirruzzo (l.) greeted Anthony Pomes of Square One Publishers.

Murder by the Book in Houston, Tex., hosted a dual celebration: Independent Bookstore Day and the store's 40th birthday. The store wrote: "Thanks for all the support today. We certainly feel loved!"


Weiser Books: Witch Hunt: A Traveler's Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch by Kristen J Sollee


Independent Bookstore Day 2020

Narrow Gauge Book Co-op in Alamosa, Colo., welcomed customers.

More than 600 bookstores participated in Independent Bookstore Day 2020 this past Saturday, an event postponed from its original April 25 date because of the pandemic. This year, too, the emphasis was on virtual events that began with a range of children's, middle-grade and YA events, including drawing classes, author talks and genre discussions. The second half of the schedule focused on adult books and included a panel discussion about Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of Covid-19, the anthology edited by Jennifer Haupt and meant to benefit independent bookstores. The day's final official event was a talk featuring authors and past IBD ambassadors Tayari Jones, Lauren Groff and Emma Straub. (This year's IBD ambassador was Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle.) IBD also featured, as in previous years, exclusive bling and, in a change, IBD masks.

Despite the changed circumstances, readers were enthusiastic, visiting many stores as well as participating from afar.

Because of Independent Bookstore Day, Intermission Bookshop, Brownwood, Tex., opened to the public for the first time a few days earlier than planned, from 3-8 p.m., and festivities included a grand opening ribbon cutting. On Facebook the store wrote late Saturday, "You guys, we are BLOWN AWAY at the amount of people who came to support us today! Thank you so much Brownwood, we are excited to be a part of this amazing community!"

Intermission Bookshop is in the renovated Historic Queen Theater and is owned by Kim Bruton, who also owns the Runaway Train Café.

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On Saturday, Swamp Fox Bookstore, which opened in mid-July in Marion, Iowa, handed out free books and collected more than $1,000 for the Marion Public Library Foundation, whose library building was declared a total loss after the August 10 derecho windstorm that tore across the Midwest.

Old Town Books, Alexandria, Va., asked people to share their quarantine reading.

Terri LeBlanc, who owns Swamp Fox Bookstore with Amanda Zhorne and Ursla Lanphear, said, "We never imagined when we opened our store a month ago that we would be facing a natural disaster along with a pandemic. It was tough enough figuring out how to provide a safe browsing space in just 180 square feet of space, and then the derecho hit, damaging 90% of the properties in Marion." Wind speeds hit 140 miles per hour in some areas.

"Each day presents a new challenge to get books into the hands of readers," LeBlanc added. "But books are in the blood of all three of the us and we are proud of our community for their support, and we look forward to finding more ways to support our community as we move on beyond the storm."

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Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, Minn., celebrated its 30th birthday on Saturday and held a contest asking customers to "tell us what you love about our store (or indie stores in general) and you'll be entered to win a $30 VB gift card."

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Although Seattle Independent Bookstore Day cancelled its usual, highly popular passport challenge this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is offering a "2020 Stay at Home Edition" T-shirt, designed by Stephen Crowe of Third Place Books. The shirts can be ordered through September 6 and will be shipped starting September 15. Proceeds go to funding next year's Seattle Independent Bookstore Day and to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

Similarly, the Hudson Valley Book Trail, a grassroots effort to encourage community and collaboration among independent book shops in the Hudson River Valley of New York, is offering a "Hudson Valley Independent Bookstore Day" T-shirt, featuring a map of 26 independent bookstores along the Hudson River. The T-shirt is available for 17 more days and begins shipping on September 25.

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Showing off IBD swag at Curious Iguana, Frederick, Md.

The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, Ariz., supplemented IBD's virtual events and giveaways with two Saturday events. One featured Sophie Hannah and Alex Pavesi, and the other focused on longtime friends C.S. Harris, Anna Lee Huber, Susanna Kearsley and Christine Trent--joint authors of The Deadly Hours, whose pub date is tomorrow. Poisoned Pen's Barbara Peters wrote to customers, "I love the fact we're connecting you with British and Canadian authors, emphasizing the global nature of shopping at independent bookstores... and really, independent retailers of all sorts everywhere."

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Libro.fm celebrated IBD in several ways. Throughout August, Libro.fm asked bookstore customers to share short videos explaining why their local bookstores and Libro.fm are important to them. When readers submitted their videos, they received one free audiobook credit, and on Saturday, Libro shared some of those videos on its blog and offered a "supercut." Creators who have their videos featured on the website got the choice of a $100 gift card to their local indie or a 12-month Libro.fm membership. The winners and their local bookstores were:

Amya Franklin, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.
Chris Trew, Garden District Book Shop, New Orleans, La.
Jarett Bonner, Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo.
Talia Basma, Kepler's, Menlo Park, Calif.
Valerie Wood-Lewis, Phoenix Books, Burlington, Vt.
Vanessa Aldaz, Cafe con Libros Press, Pomona, Calif.

Libro.fm also offered a pre-order promotion on Saturday: customers who pre-ordered print editions of any of six upcoming books receive for free either the audiobook version of three of the titles or another audiobook by the authors of the other three titles.

Thank-you note from a young fan to Blue Cypress Books, New Orleans, La.

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Support for Independent Bookstore Day came from people outside the book world. For example, Daniella Levine Cava, a Miami-Dade Commissioner who is running for mayor, tweeted: "Now more than ever, small businesses need our support, #IndieBookstores. On #IndependentBookstoreDay, show love for your favorite local bookstore & for the people who their hearts & souls into building a community of readers."


KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.28.20


#IndependentBookstoreDay on Social Media

At Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, Pa.

Social media was buzzing Saturday with #IndependentBookstoreDay love. Here's a sampling:

The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, Colo.: "It's here!!! Independent Bookstore Day has finally arrived!!"

Buxton Books, Charleston, S.C.: "Independent Bookstore Day isn't about celebrating us but celebrating you for all the love and support you send our way. This is YOUR bookstore."

Pages Bookshop, Detroit, Mich.: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day! We are so grateful to be able to write these words to you. This year in particular, this greeting and celebratory phrase feels particularly weighty. So much about the world has changed since we last celebrated this holiday (and yes, amongst book lovers it is indeed a holiday), and yet despite it all we are still here. And that, in a large part, is because of you, our dear readers and customers."

At Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.: "An Independent Bookstore Day's worth of online orders (that Genni is processing right now). We love y'all!"

Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.: "Independent Bookstore Day 2019 vs 2020--what a difference a year makes! We can't host quite as many people at one time as we used to, but we're happy to be here and glad we can open our doors to you once again."

The Ivy Bookshop, Baltimore, Md.: "Today is Independent Bookstore Day! On this day in 2019, we were busy welcoming customers to our previous location on Falls Rd. for an in-store party. This year is... a little different, but no less spirited."

Harriett's Bookshop, Philadelphia, Pa.: "Today, for Indie Bookstore Day, we hope you'll stop by and stock up on books and merch and love. And if nothing else, grab a free organizing skills guide for leading activism in your community. We are truly honored to do this work and feel made whole by the support you all share with us on the daily."

Vroman's, Pasadena, Calif.: "We want to take a minute to thank everyone for your unwavering support (always but especially the last 6 months). You keep our proverbial lights on (and literal too)! We hope you join us in celebrating Indie Bookstore Day by picking up a book that brings you joy."

Charis Books and More/Charis Circle, Decatur, Ga.: "We are feeling all the Indie Bookstore love! Keep it coming."

Main Street Books, Davidson, N.C.: "Indies show up rain or shine! Chrissie Rotko built this gorgeous fruit, chews, and veggie board in the pouring rain. And she did it with a smile. It was so good to see your familiar faces out there. Thank you for showing up and making for a very successful market morning, in spite of the weather."

Out West Books, Grand Junction, Colo.: "That's it, folks! Thank you SO MUCH for all the love--we are so honored by you. Winners will be randomly selected tomorrow morning (so feel free to keep playing!) and privately notified, and your winnings will be available to pick up at the shop! Thanks for another GREAT Independent Bookstore Day!"

At Books Are Awesome! in Parker, Colo., sign spinners lured customers.

Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.: "Thanks to everyone who came downtown to help celebrate Independent Bookstore Day! Though we weren't encouraging crowds, crowds came anyway!... The party continues with our online-only sale, which begins tonight at midnight and goes through Monday at midnight."

Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore, Middletown, Conn.: "When you shop local, you're supporting your community and your peers. You create opportunities for community members, students, authors, and booklovers of all stripes to come together and flourish. So to close out #indiebookstoreday, we want to simply say THANK YOU!"

Off the Beaten Path, Lakewood, N.Y.: "This is the first moment, since we opened the store at 10:00, that we haven't had a customer in the store. I wanted to capture this moment, and thank you for your overwhelming support on #indiebookstoreday and welcoming us into our new location!"

The Little Bookshop, Midlothian, Va.: "A HUGE thank you to our awesome customers who came out to support us on #independentbookstoreday!!! We are over the moon with gratitude and were so happy to see so many of our favorite faces throughout the day. It is people like you who keep small businesses going!!!"

Once Upon A Time Bookstore, Montrose, Calif.: "Thank you to all who celebrated Independent Bookstore Day! Your visits, calls, online orders, and socially distant festivity meant the world to us. We would not be here if it wasn't for your continued support, love, encouragement, and of course READING!"

IBD merchandise display at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.

Viewpoint Books, Columbus, Ind.: "What a day! Thank you all so much for your support, and for coming to enjoy an incredible afternoon with us at Independent Bookstore Day. We are exhausted but grinning. Thank you for loving on your local bookstore. We appreciate you more than you know!"

The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, Mo.: "That's a wrap on #IndependentBookstoreDay! Whether you shopped in person or ordered online, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for reminding us why we're here and why we do what we do. Times are challenging and uncertain and every good day is a gift. Today was a good day."

McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.: "Thank you for the AMAZING support during #indiebookstoreday! We made a little video to give all of you who couldn't visit a little peak behind the red door. We hope you are curling up with a book today, and if you aren't, we can help with that."


GLOW: Temple University Press: Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D'Angelo


#CanadianIndependentBookstoreDay: 'What We Do Is Passion Beyond Words'

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day was also celebrated Saturday, and many indie booksellers shared their enthusiasm on social media:

Queen Books, Toronto, Ont.: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day! We can't even begin to describe how much we appreciate your ongoing support and hope to see you soon in-store, online, or through a wave at the pickup window during this whirlwind of a year!... We miss you all so much and are so grateful for this beautiful book-loving community!

Munro's Books, Victoria, B.C.: "Today is the day--Independent Bookstore Day, that is!... Happy reading today and always!"

Audreys Books, Edmonton, Alb.: "Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is today!! We want to thank our customers for all their support during the Covid Pandemic."

McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnepeg, Man.: "We also want to give a BIG thank you to everyone who's showing us the love today!... We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our loyal readers and our community, and it warms our hearts to see such buzz and excitement about an indie bookstore like us. Thank you!"

At Bookmark, Charlottetown, P.E.I.: "Our 2020 Canadian Independent Bookstore Day Ambassador and talented poet, Deirdre Kessler, writing a poem for our friend, Tamara Steele."

Type Books, Toronto, Ont.: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day to independent bookstores everywhere. Here at Type Books we're supported by an incredible community that extends throughout our neighborhood, and that reaches so so far. We're grateful. We're humbled, we're honored, we're excited to keep selling books. We're a whole lot of things. Many many thanks for being a part of it all with us."

Galiano Island Books, Galiano Island, B.C.: "Please help us celebrate Canadian Independent Booksellers Day! We are so proud to be booksellers today!"

LaHave River Books, La Have, N.S.: "Today is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day! We want to express our gratitude to all of you who have offered us such support and love the past months. We live in an amazing community!"

Otter Books, Nelson, B.C.: Happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day! (Don't worry, we are a bubble)."

Glass Bookshop, Edmonton, Alb.: "Happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day! We can't thank you enough for the ways you've shown up to support us, from budding idea to pop-up store to delivery outpost!"

The Book Wardrobe, Mississauga, Ont.: " 'The soul of a bookstore comes from those who believe in its purpose.' Happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day! Thank you to all who came to visit us today, who ordered online, who supported us numerous times (you know who you are!), and who dropped by earlier this week! It's been a busy day and how we wished we could have taken more photos! We are also sending our heartfelt cheers and love to all our fellow bookstores and booksellers.... What we do is Passion Beyond Words."


Soho Press: The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata by Gina Apostol


B&N Closes Roxbury, N.J., Store

Barnes & Noble closed its store in Roxbury, N.J., last week after 26 years in business "and will not be reopening nearby in the Shops at Ledgewood Commons as planned," Tap into Roxbury reported, adding that the decision "throws a wrench into a plan, approved by Roxbury officials, wherein the Barnes & Noble building was to be razed and the bookseller was to move into a nearby part of the mall that formerly housed a Sports Authority and is now being renovated.

"Yes, we can confirm that they pulled out," said Dan Ivers, a spokesman for the Shops at Ledgewood Commons developer Advance Realty Investors.

"The manager just told us they are not going forward with the lease in the new building. She looked like she was taken completely off-guard by the decision," said a member of the staff, who were offered positions at other B&N stores if they wanted to transfer.

Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo said he was caught off guard as well: "As recently as a couple of weeks ago, I was at a planning board meeting and Advance Realty came in to discuss their plans and there wasn't a word mentioned about Barnes & Noble."


Obituary Note: Alfredo Breitfeld

Alfredo Breitfeld, a rare bookseller from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who had attended the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair for the past two decades, died July 11, the New York Times reported as part of its series about people who have died in the novel coronavirus pandemic. He was 82.

"All year, every year, the gregarious and courtly Mr. Breitfeld, whose specialty was Spanish material, looked forward to the fair," the Times noted, adding that despite health issues, he had attended this year's event in February, where he "was seen zipping around on a scooter through the armory's vast Drill Hall because of his bad knee." He became one of a half dozen dealers who subsequently contracted Covid-19.

As a young man, Breitfeld studied medicine, but dropped out to start a business selling photocopied medical texts in front of a medical school. "He was a brilliant man but a terrible student," said his son, Gustavo Breitfeld. As the business became successful, he opened a small publishing house for medical texts, Delta Editoriale. "And then someone put a rare book in his hand."

In a 2008 interview with the Bookdealer, Breitfeld said, "It was a case of 'amor a prima vista.' " In 1973, he opened Librería de Antaño, which sells works related to the Spanish-speaking world, from the 16th to the 20th centuries. He told the Bookdealer: "There are several universes in this business, and it is a constant challenge as one discovery leads on to the next. First you encounter the universe of 'small' books for general reading purposes, and then you move out into the rarefied world of good, very good and impossibly scarce books until you are thoroughly poisoned by the urge to explore ever further afield.... I'm not pessimistic about the future of the rare book trade. I cannot imagine a time when one of my clients will start to tremble and perspire holding in his hands a first electronic version of Don Quijote de la Mancha."


Notes

Hong Kong Bookstore Celebrates #IBD

Hong Kong bookseller Bleak House Books in San Po Kong, Kowloon, also celebrated Independent Bookstore Day, noting on Facebook: "Did you know today is Independent Bookstore Day #independentbookstoreday in the United States? As a gesture of productive and friendly cross-border relations we would like to celebrate this day at Bleak House Books here in Hong Kong."

And later: "Happy Independent Bookstore Day! Here's a late night treat from Ye Olde Bookseller to all our dear readers on this Indie Bookstore Day: an evening video tour of the bookshop."


Cool Idea of the Day: Bookstore 'Elopement Packages'

M. Judson Booksellers, Greenville, S.C., is offering elopement packages. WYFF4 reported that the bookshop "has heard from brides and grooms who had to cancel their wedding because of the pandemic." People can choose to hold their ceremony in the loft gallery, outdoor patio or the bookstore itself. The officiant is an author who can incorporate the couple's favorite book or poem into their vows.

Special event coordinator Debi Horton said the elopement packages are "special, they're unique, and they just are these one of a kind experiences I think will be a happy memory for many years to come for you. And, hey, it's the beginning of your story. Why not do it in a bookstore?"


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff on Good Morning America

Today:
Good Morning America: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, author of Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady (Gallery, $28, 9781982151249).

Today Show: Michael S. Schmidt, author of Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President (Random House, $30, 9781984854667).

Also on Today: Chasten Buttigieg, author of I Have Something to Tell You: A Memoir (Atria, $27, 9781982138127).

The View repeat: Mary Trump, author of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781982141462).

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Valorie Burton, author of Let Go of the Guilt: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Take Back Your Joy (Thomas Nelson, $18.99, 9780785220213).

Tamron Hall repeat: Adrienne Bankert, author of Your Hidden Superpower: The Kindness That Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone (HarperCollins, $24.99, 9781400218141).


TV: His Dark Materials Season 2 Teaser

"Dark materials just keep getting darker," AV Club noted in reporting that HBO has released a new trailer for the upcoming second season of His Dark Materials, based on Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy.

"Building off footage that the show first showed off at Comic-Con, the new His Dark Materials teaser dives even deeper into the underlying 'witches vs. fascists' running battle that underpins much of the show's conflicts, showing the religious fascists of the Magisterium facing off against a mysterious coven," AV Club wrote.

The series, starring Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda, returns to HBO in November.



Books & Authors

Awards: Ned Kelly Shortlist

Shortlists in the four categories of the 2020 Ned Kelly Awards have been announced and can be seen here. Sponsored by the Australian Crime Writers Association, the awards honor "standout selections" in Australian crime writing and this year includes a new category: Best International Crime Fiction published in Australia.


Book Review

Review: And Now She's Gone

And Now She's Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge Books, $27.99 hardcover, 384p., 9781250753175, September 22, 2020)

In Rachel Howzell Hall's complex, emotionally charged mystery-thriller And Now She's Gone, an African American PI with a troubled past investigates the discrepancy-laden disappearance of a woman who may have fled an abusive relationship. 

Although she's excited Rader Consulting has asked her to work in the field, instead of just writing the reports, 39-year-old Grayson Sykes still feels "nervous" and "nauseous" about her first missing persons case. Nick Rader, a family friend and her boss at the firm in Los Angeles, wants Gray to find Isabel Lincoln, fiancée of gorgeous cardiologist Ian O'Donnell. Gray takes the case with caution, knowing some women vanish on purpose. An interview with Ian leaves her mostly convinced that Isabel dumped her arrogant, overbearing groom-to-be and skipped town. Ian agrees, calling Isabel selfish, but explains that his priority is recovering his beloved Labradoodle, Kenny G, last seen in Isabel's company.

As Gray digs further, she begins receiving text messages from Isabel, claiming that Ian will kill her if he finds her. For Gray, the investigation brings up vivid memories of a woman named Natalie Dixon, who disappeared to escape her violent spouse, and whose connection to Gray is slowly revealed in brief interludes. Much as Gray tries to sympathize, Isabel's unwillingness to cooperate or return Kenny G raises a red flag, as do conflicting accounts of her personality and motivations. The more Gray learns, the less sense Isabel's story makes. Soon Gray finds herself caught between her own dangerous past and Isabel's manipulations--if the person texting her is really Isabel.

This #ownvoices mystery keeps to a fast pace and has plenty to say during the ride, offering a strong, likable sleuth. Wry, smart-mouthed Gray may forget to bring a pen for notetaking, but she makes up for her lack of organizational skills with intelligence and a keen understanding of human behavior. Her will-they-won't-they dynamic with sexy, honorable Nick adds a sweeter layer of tension in an already suspenseful atmosphere, but Hall (They All Fall Down) also showcases a dynamic cast of supportive women coworkers.

Domestic abuse acts as a through line in the plot, and Hall portrays her characters as survivors with complex inner lives, not as helpless victims. Questions abound and should confound readers as much as they do Gray. The twisted answers will likely appeal to Gone Girl fans. And Now She's Gone combines heart, smarts and wit in one package. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Focusing on strong, complex women characters, Hall's mystery-thriller pits a PI with a past against an incongruous missing persons case.


KidsBuzz: Vesuvian Books: 7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner
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