Shelf Awareness for Friday, October 16, 2020

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


Canvasback Books Opening in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Canvasback Books, a general-interest independent bookstore, will open in downtown Klamath Falls, Ore., on Saturday, October 24. Owner Anne Marie Kessler has already started doing pick-up service and special orders at the store, but won't be allowing customers inside until next weekend.

Kessler hopes Canvasback Books will be a gathering space for the Klamath Falls community, a home for diverse voices and a "safe place for children and young adults to grow in their appreciation of books and ideas." In addition to books, the store will sell games, toys, stationery and cards.

The store resides in an historic building that was originally built as a hotel in 1906. Renovating the space has been an "enormous undertaking," with the building requiring all new electricity, heat, plumbing, interior walls, floors, a new roof and more. Kessler described the renovations as a "huge labor of love," and earlier this year launched a GoFundMe to help with that and building-out the store.

"We've watched our community come together to help, too," Kessler wrote. "Nearly 100 family members, friends and neighbors have contributed volunteer time, energy and expertise to help with this renovation."

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White

Closing National Keynote: Allie Brosh

Clockwise from top left: Allie Brosh, Jennie Lawson, Lauren Spiegel

During the closing national regional booksellers association keynote event held over Zoom on Wednesday night, authors Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy)--who also owns Nowhere Bookshop in San Antonio, Tex.--and Allie Brosh discussed Brosh's new book, Solutions and Other Problems (Gallery Books), Brosh's writing process, their reclusive natures, how they handle making art amid depression and much more. Mary Laura Philpott, former indie bookseller and author of I Miss You When I Blink, introduced the pair, and Lauren Spiegel, Brosh's editor, joined for the q&a portion of the talk.

Comparing Solutions and Other Problems to Hyperbole and a Half, Brosh said her new book explores "things you start to face in your 30s," such as feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness and confronting mortality. Despite the book's heavy themes, Brosh hopes readers feel uplifted after they finish the book.

On the subject of her writing process, Brosh explained that every one of her stories begins with an image, as she "thinks in pictures," but she actually does the writing long before she starts drawing. If she started with the pictures first, she explained, she would end up wasting too much of her own time with all of the editing she would have to do later. She wrote a significant portion of the book, in fact, while on long, nighttime walks.

Brosh and Lawson also discussed their shared love of horror, with Brosh adding that she "learned a lot about comedy from horror." Both comedy and horror feel similar to her in that they both sometimes feel like a "defense mechanism for sensitive people," and a way of "proving to yourself that you can handle it."

Brosh showed some of the reference pictures she takes for her work

When asked about the extreme honesty on display in her work and why she decided to "let it all out there," Brosh doubted there was a single, definitive answer to that question. She noted that she's always had a desire to connect and communicate with people in that way, though she also acknowledged that earlier in her career, part of it may have come from a "drive for attention." Once she got that attention, however, it was a "very strange experience" for her, and it led in part to her realizing just how introverted she is. The motivation behind her honesty now, though, is very different. She values honesty in her work so much because when people respond to that work, they're "really responding to you."

Asked what she's been reading lately, Brosh said that she doesn't read a lot of fiction while writing, as another author's voice can interrupt the flow of her own writing. She does, however, read a lot of technical and scientific writing, and recommended Calculus, Better Explained by Kalid Azad. "That book changed my life," Brosh remarked.

After the discussion turned to how they are able to make art while dealing with depression, Brosh compared learning to live with depression to "learning how to take care of an animal," and cautioned that everyone experiences depression in their own way. But in her case, she creates playlists for specific moods and emotions, goes on lots of walks, and does a variety of journaling exercises. Lawson observed that when she's in the midst of depression, she doesn't "have the ability to write at all," and has had to learn to give herself permission to know "it's not going to happen." Brosh agreed, added that you have to "give yourself permission to not be feeling it," and said it's a "weird thing to be writing comedy" when you're feeling sad or numb or whatever else. --Alex Mutter

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

Heartland Book Awards

Clockwise from top left: Isaac Fitzgerald, Carrie Obry, Ida Cuttler and Larry Law

The winners of Heartland Booksellers Awards were announced last night during a lively online event hosted by Ida Cuttler of Women & Children First bookstore, Chicago, Ill., and Isaac Fitzgerald, author of the picture book How to Be a Pirate and two adult books about tattoos.

Carrie Obry, executive director of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, and Larry Law, executive director of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, started the ceremony. They noted that the Heartland Summer, which began in June and wrapped up last night, offered 23 events, with more than 680 total attendees, and the related videos have been watched more than 2,100 times.

The winners of the 2020 Heartland Booksellers Awards (with selected comments from the recipients):

Fiction: Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump (Algonquin). "Thank you especially to all you wonderful Midwestern booksellers. My fondest memories of touring are something I'll always remember in what we now call 'the before times'--just traveling across the Midwest and chatting with you about your favorite recent titles and what excites you about literature. As you can probably tell from my writing, there aren't many places in America where I, a young Black man, can feel anchored and secured and safe. Bookstores have always given me a place to feel like myself."

Nonfiction: In the Dreamhouse by Camen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press). "Thank you to the independent bookstores of the Midwest. I couldn't have done any of this without you."

Poetry: Homie by Danez Smith (Graywolf Press). "Thank you so much for all the work you do. My heart goes out to all the booksellers this year, to all of us in books this year. What a year it's been. Thank you so much for charging, for providing these escapes for all of us readers during these times we so desperately needed an escape and so desperately needed to plug into the world."

Young Adult Middle Grade: The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel Books). "I want each and every one of you to know that you are heroes and you are lamplighters during a very dark time. Amidst this darkness, you are healing hearts, you are illuminating dark corners, and you are providing hope to so many readers, and that is the power of books."

Picture Book: A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang (Carolrhoda Books). "I want to thank all the booksellers out there, not only for this moment, but for all the moments before when I emerged as a young American writer, as a Hmong American writer, into the scene. It was first your bookstores that sold my books. You've given me time to mature and grow this craft that I love and for that I thank you."

International Update: Daunt on U.K. Holiday Sales, NZ Bookshop Day

James Daunt

Conceding that local lockdowns have been "devastating" for sales in the U.K., Waterstones managing director James Daunt expressed confidence stores can meet demand in the run-up to Christmas. The Bookseller reported that Daunt told a virtual Frankfurt Book Fair audience that key factors in responding to the challenge include having "teams of professional booksellers running their stores being sensible, hard-working and responsive to it," and needing "all parts of the business to work. As the bookstore goes down we need the online to come up, which indeed you can see happening regionally as well. We're fortunate in having very large DCs [distribution centers] and able to meet that logistic challenge reasonably effectively so far."

Looking toward the holiday season, Daunt observed: "We need to find a way to smooth out the concentration of trade in the final days and the reality that it's not just in the final days, its within certain hours during those final days. So we need to encourage early shopping, we need to encourage late shopping. We need to give every encouragement to customers to shop earlier and not leave it till later."

Noting that the "brutal truth is the best of our stores and the best of our booksellers are doing it brilliantly and the less good ones are struggling," Daunt said: "It's a significant challenge and for a large business also a significant logistics challenge of how do you ensure that you keep enough books in stock? I think we're quite challenged this year and I think, frankly the pressures on publishers printing enough and quickly enough is making our life as booksellers more difficult than it would normally be. You can't pile up enough copies of many of these books, just because the printing capacity isn't there."


Tomorrow is the sixth annual New Zealand Bookshop Day, with booksellers throughout the country celebrating their communities with a range of events, competitions and activities. The theme for 2020 is "engage your senses."

"We are excited for this coming Saturday to celebrate Bookshop Day!" Poppies New Plymouth posted ion Facebook. "We have goodies coming out of our ears! And we have some local talent to sweep you away with some literary fun.... We hope to see you there!"

Schrödinger's Books in Petone noted: "Cookies, Yorkshire tea, face painting, make a bookmark, music, make a wish at the wishing tree and try to guess the best smell in the world!... Buy a book and be in the draw to win a box of goodies! Join us on Saturday to help us celebrate NZ Bookshop Day."


House of Anansi Press has become the first Canadian publisher to receive Benetech's Global Certified Accessible certification for e-books, which recognizes that all of the publisher's e-books will be accessible to readers with print disabilities. The goal of GCA certification is to help publishers create "born accessible" content.

E-book accessibility is a priority for the House of Anansi Press cross-media team, led by director Laura Brady, who said: "I am so pleased to have this certification for our e-books. It feels like the work to make content born accessible dovetails nicely with broader work at Anansi to publish inclusively, and our efforts are part of a larger cultural calling to meet the diverse needs and tastes of our readers. We have an excellent cross-media team here whose hard work has paid off."

With more education options transitioning online during the Covid-19 pandemic, "the accessibility of e-books is more important now than ever," House of Anansi Press noted, adding that the company is "proud to be contributing to a more accessible landscape of digital publishing for all and will continue to follow Benetech's imperative: 'If content is "born digital," it can--and should--be born accessible.' " --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Maynard Solomon

Maynard Solomon, "a musicologist and record producer best known for his influential, lucidly written biographies of Beethoven and Mozart, as well as a hotly debated scholarly article on Schubert's sexuality," died September 28, the New York Times reported. He was 90.

Reviewing Beethoven Essays (1988), Times music critic Donal Henahan described Solomon as "one of the most persuasive voices on behalf of the perilous intellectual voyage known as psychobiography--or, less kindly, 'psychobabblography.' " But in investigating the mysteries of creative energy, Solomon "builds even his most speculative essays on musicological foundations, not moonbeams."

Solomon's 1977 biography of Beethoven, revised and reissued in 1998, "offered fresh, meticulously researched accounts of his life and perceptive yet mostly nontechnical discussions of his compositions," the Times wrote, adding that "his approach resonated outside the realm of classical music. His book Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination (2004) was also influential."

Solomon's Mozart: A Life was a finalist for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in biography. In his New Yorker review of the book, Edward W. Said observed that Solomon's depiction of the father-son dynamic "shows how it imprisoned the young Wolfgang Mozart creatively and personally in the older man's sphere as rebel and--here Solomon's ingenuity gives an audacious edge to his interpretation--as willing captive." Leopold's feelings are seen as "predicated on love and admiration, not merely venality and greed." Said concluded he "did not know a musician's biography as satisfying and moving as this one."

In 1950, with a $10,000 loan from their father, Solomon and his brother, Seymour, founded Vanguard Records, which, along with its Bach Guild label, "released an impressively diverse catalog of valuable recordings, especially of overlooked works, and issued pivotal albums of folk music, blues and jazz" as well as classical works.


Image of the Day: Polar Bear at Copperfield's

"This was by far the craziest, most successful pre-order campaign Copperfield's has ever participated in!" raved Patty Norman, children's specialist at Copperfield's Books, which has nine stores in Northern California.
Author Mac Barnett and illustrator Shawn Harris encouraged followers of the Mac's Book Club Show and fans of their animated cartoon, The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza, to pre-order signed copies of their first book together, A Polar Bear in the Snow (Candlewick), from Copperfield's. The store sold more than 800 copies--400 in the first 24 hours--to readers in 48 states and six continents. The duo did a socially distanced signing at Copperfield's in Petaluma, drawing a polar bear in every book. 

Cool Idea: 'Born to Read--Booksellers Talk Bruce Springsteen'

This Saturday, celebrate the poetic genius of the Boss and support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation by attending a the Crowdcast event "Born to Read--Booksellers Talk Bruce Springsteen."

Josh Cook and Meaghan O'Brien of Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.; Danny Caine of Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan.; and Daley Farr of Coffee House Press will "share their favorite Springsteen songs, discuss the Boss's narrative and poetic chops, answer questions, enjoy adult beverages, and come together around art they all love." Binc donations will be collected at the event, which takes place on Crowdcast, and is free and open to all.

Penguin Random House Publisher Services to Sell and Distribute Kingston Imperial

Effective May 1, 2021, Penguin Random House Publisher Services will sell and distribute the entire frontlist and backlist across all sales channels worldwide for Kingston Imperial, a new independent press founded by music industry veteran, audiobook producer, author, and publisher Marvis Johnson.

Kingston Imperial publishes a range of both fiction and nonfiction, with specialities in urban thrillers, music, memoir, true crime, and cookbooks. The list includes such novelists as Miasha and SLMN, actors Columbus Short and Erica Peeples, and upcoming biographies of figures in hip hop and pop culture.

Before starting Kingston Imperial, Johnson formed Urban Audio Books in 2008, one of the largest independent Black-owned audiobook publishers. In 2013, he branched out to print and, in altogether has published more than 800 titles.

Personnel Changes at Microcosm, Harper, W Publishing

Kalen R. Landow has joined Microcosm Publishing as sales director. She was previously an account manager for National Book Network.


Heather Drucker has been promoted to senior director of publicity for the Harper Perennial and Harper Paperbacks group. She was formerly director of publicity and joined HarperCollins 14 years ago. In addition to her new role, she will continue to work on Harper and HarperBusiness titles.


Allison Carter has been promoted to publicity director for the W Publishing division, a nonfiction imprint of Thomas Nelson. She has more than 18 years of publicity and journalism experience, the past four of which she has spent at HarperCollins Christian Publishing managing publicity for Thomas Nelson and Zondervan fiction titles and most recently W Publishing.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Fareed Zakaria on Real Time with Bill Maher

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Fareed Zakaria, author of Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World (Norton, $26.95, 9780393542134).

Movies: Caste

Ava DuVernay (13th, When They See Us) will direct, write and produce an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The project "reunites DuVernay with Netflix exec Tendo Nagenda after the two collaborated on A Wrinkle in Time, the 2018 Disney sci-fi adventure pic that cemented DuVernay as the first Black woman to direct a live-action film that grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office." Deadline reported. DuVernay, Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes are producing the project via Array Filmworks.

Books & Authors

Awards: Ned Kelly Winners

The winners of the 2020 Ned Kelly Awards, sponsored by the Australian Crime Writers Association, are:

Crime fiction: The Wife and the Widow by Christian White
True crime: Bowraville by Dan Box
Debut crime fiction: Present Tense by Natalie Conyer
International crime fiction (published in Australia): The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Judges praised The Wife and the Widow as "a cleverly plotted thriller with a twist that will knock you sideways"; Bowraville as "an important story that addresses themes of endemic racism and justice as well as the ethics of true crime reporting"; Present Tense for the "well realized setting, flawed characters, and complex, taut plot"; and The Chain as "a wild rollercoaster ride of read... a gripping and original thriller."

Reading with... Dewaine Farria

photo: Iryna Farria

Dewaine Farria's writing has appeared in the New York Times, CRAFT, War on the Rocks, The Rumpus and the Southern Humanities Review. He is a co-editor at the Maine Review. Farria holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MA in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma. As a U.S. Marine, Farria served in Jordan and Ukraine, and worked for the United Nations, with assignments in the North Caucasus, Kenya, Somalia and Occupied Palestine. Tobias Wolff selected his debut novel, Revolutions of All Colors (Syracuse University Press, October 15, 2020), as the winner of Syracuse University's 2019 Veterans Writing Contest.

On your nightstand now:

I just finished George Pelecanos's The Man Who Came Uptown. I always fly through Pelecanos's novels and this was no exception--great characters, gritty situations, and absolutely Elmore Leonard-level dialogue. Whenever someone brings up the subject of white authors writing modern Black American vernacular, I mention the dialogue in "String Music" from Pelecanos's short story collection, The Martini Shot.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series. My fourth grade teacher, Ms. Chandler (a wonderful woman who, of all my former teachers, is most responsible for my love of fiction), organized a class field trip to see the play. It took me seeing the Black Panther film a few years ago to realize just how important the fantasy landscapes of Narnia, Middle Earth and Camelot had been for me as a child. I'm glad my kids can add Wakanda--a radically reimagined African kingdom--to that list.

Your top five authors:

James Baldwin
Sebastian Junger
Toni Morrison
Joyce Carol Oates
George Orwell

Book you've faked reading:

The Bible.

Also, once in an airport I bought a copy of Bridget Jones's Diary and carefully tore off the paperback's cover because I was embarrassed to be seen reading it. Does that count? I thoroughly enjoyed Helen Fielding's novel, by the way.   

Book you're an evangelist for:

Dispatches by Michael Herr. Some of the best American writing on war ever done.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir by Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple. Molly Crabapple has illustrated some of the most important stories of this decade--from the Ferguson riots to Guantanamo Bay--and remains one of the most influential visual artists of our time. Crabapple compared the process of transforming Hisham's photos and verbal descriptions into illustrations with "downloading memories." Many of Crabapple's more fantastic illustrations--including Brothers of the Gun's cover image of Tareq, a sniper hardened on the battlefield against ISIS forces, playing his knock-off Russian rifle like a violin--depict more truth than would be possible in other mediums.

Book you hid from your parents:

I'm happy to report that I never felt compelled to hide a book from my parents.

Book that changed your life:

God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.

Favorite line from a book:

From James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room:

"When Giovanni wanted me to know that he was displeased with me, he said I was a 'vrai américain'; conversely when delighted, he said that I was not an American at all; and on both occasions he was striking, deep in me, a nerve which did not throb in him. And I resented this: resented being called an American (and resented resenting it) because it seemed to make me nothing more than that, whatever that was; and I resented being called not an American because it seemed to make me nothing.

Five books you'll never part with:

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Tribe by Sebastian Junger
On Writing by Stephen King
Bloods--Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History by Wallace Terry
On Boxing by Joyce Carol Oates

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I could use those deep belly laughs right now.

Book Review

Review: Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls: Women, Music and Fame

Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls: Women, Music and Fame by Lisa Robinson (Holt, $27.99 hardcover, 256p., 9781627794909, November 10, 2020)

Here's an idea: instead of publishing a cool book of archival interviews with several dozen famous women in music, publish an even cooler book of their insights organized around themed chapters (e.g., "Motherhood," "Sex," "Drugs"). This bright idea comes from pioneering rock journalist Lisa Robinson, whose Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls: Women, Music and Fame is part music history, part social history and no part minced words.

Robinson (There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll) began editing rock magazines in the 1970s, when "rock music journalism, just like rock music, was a boys' club." She spent more than four decades racking up interviews with heavy hitters, among them Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Beyoncé and Adele. Inevitably, Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls gets into the sexism encountered by many of Robinson's interview subjects. In the 1980s, Joan Jett relayed to Robinson what radio stations were telling her: "We can't play you on the radio.... We're playing a woman already. We're playing Pat Benatar."

Some of the challenges that Robinson's subjects face are common to male musicians as well--how to be a good parent despite a rigorous tour schedule, say--but Robinson is attuned to the different expectations placed on women. Of Patti Smith's decision to move to Detroit in 1979 to be with her eventual husband, the guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith, Robinson notes, "There never was any thought whatsoever of him moving to New York to be with her--even though she certainly had the bigger career."

Robinson supplements her interview snippets and blunt opinions with choice autobiographical asides ("I got the nickname 'Hot Pants' on the 1975 Stones tour as a sarcastic nod to my prudishness"). She's measured about whether, back in the day, she was remiss in not writing about the exploitation of groupies by rock stars, but she's unequivocal when the music business disappoints her, as it did when it produced what she clearly sees as the twin evils of Madonna and MTV.

Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls touches on some of the positive changes Robinson has seen in the business, especially the fact that women, having all too often been exploited by their male managers, are increasingly taking charge of their own careers. Another improvement: there are many more female rock journalists out there now, although it's hard to imagine one as winningly blunt, unpretentious and on-target as Robinson. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: The pioneering rock journalist collects insights--about sex, drugs and more--from four decades' worth of interviews with dozens of music-world goddesses.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: MPIBA FallCon--'So Glad We Can at Least Do This, but Just Wait Until Next Year!'

"There's an Irish phrase--'you're in your granny's'--and tonight I'm in my granny's," author Colum McCann said during last year's Gala Author Dinner Party at the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association's FallCon in Denver, Colo. "Because what that means is, you're with your friends, you're with your family, you're in a safe space. I do feel like I'm in a safe space with people that I've been working with now for over 20 years. And I'm delighted to be here."

In the devil year 2020, physical "safe spaces" may be at a premium, but when indie booksellers gather, even in the alternative reality of Zoom, they do what they've always done best--adapt, create and connect.

Heather Duncan

Noting that overall and individual event attendance at MPIBA FallCon 2020 "was great, and we're excited to have most of the show recorded and available for everyone to enjoy through the end of the year," MPIBA executive director Heather Duncan said: "While I felt confident in our author programming and our topics for education, it is always hard to imagine what will actually happen when you go live. In this virtual world, having few technology glitches and meaningful engagement feels like a win! The overarching sentiment of the show seemed to be 'so glad we can at least do this, but just wait until next year!' "

Duncan observed that she was surprised "with how connected I felt to everyone, and we heard that feeling expressed quite a bit in direct feedback and in the chats. Because there were opportunities to chat during events and connect face to face (screen to screen?) during Conversations with Colleagues, it really was somewhat like being together. These sessions were some of my favorite things about the show. There were just enough booksellers in each group to have really thoughtful (and useful) conversations. We had a moderator for each group to start and keep the conversation going, but we probably didn't even need them! Booksellers love to chat."

Stephanie Schindhelm

MPIBA board member Stephanie Schindhelm of Boulder Booksore, Boulder, Colo., agreed. "I went to Holiday Marketing Plans, Handselling When You Can't Handsell, and Successful & Profitable Virtual Events; and it was really nice to get a chance to see other booksellers and hear about what other stores have been doing during the pandemic. Honestly, these sorts of exchanges are some of my favorite things about indie bookstore gatherings in general, so I was glad that there was so much time put into these conversations. It's great to get ideas, but it's also comforting to hear that we're all going through similar struggles, and to just commiserate and know we're not alone out there."

Schindhelm added that she picked up some great ideas at these sessions, including "online wishlists (particularly for teachers and grandkids); doing themed days during the holidays where you put out lists of particular kinds of books (picture books, mysteries, romance) on particular days of the week across your online platforms; picking one book & gift item to feature per month. As I've been running all of our virtual events, it was also really great to hear from other stores hosting events about what's been working and what hasn't."

Attendees at the Buying in Challenging Times session "have asked to have regular, monthly buyer chats," Duncan noted. "We're going to have our first one next month and will start doing them regularly in the new year, along with owner/manager chats, marketing/events chats and frontline bookseller chats." She said the show's website "was bustling. Views of the homepage, individual event pages, Exhibit Hall, and of course the Author Event Galley Room were fantastic over the three days of the show. They were strong before, and we hope will continue to be, as we continue to promote the recordings and Exhibit Hall."

The virtual author events were also a hit. "Booksellers talked about which cocktails they chose for enjoying Keynotes & Cocktails, toasted with their 'brews' during Books & Brews, exchanged contact information during round-tables, and generally supported and engaged with each other. It was really cool to see," Duncan noted

Schindhelm hosted the festive Keynotes and Cocktails event, during which one of the guest authors, Rebecca Roanhorse (Black Sun, Gallery/Saga Press) said, "It's great to be here again. This time last year we were all together in Denver. It had just snowed. We weren't sure we were getting in and out of the airport. But I was there for breakfast.... And to be honest that feels like a lifetime ago."

Jenny Lawson

That it does, but the FallCon 2020 indie spirit was summed up nicely by author Jenny Lawson (Broken (in the best possible way), Holt, April 2021), who also owns Nowhere Bookshop in San Antonio, Tex. As host of the Saturday Spotlight Keynote Authors event, she concluded by saying: "Libraries and bookstores are my sanctuary in the same way that I assume religious people feel when they go into a church. That's my safe place. That's it."

Which, I guess, is another way of saying "we're in our granny's."

--Robert Gray, editor

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