Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 4, 2020


Shambhala: Wait: A Love Letter to Those in Despair by Cuong Lu

Other Press: Nuestra América: My Family in the Vertigo of Translation by Claudio Lomnitz

Scholastic Press: Muted by Tami Charles

Berkley Books: The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Quotation of the Day

'Whatever Happens, We Are with You'

"Whatever happens, we are with you.... Voting is one of the many essential tools we possess in our toolbox for building the world we all deserve. We also possess the tools of community organizing, care work, information sharing, and learning from art, culture, and story. We believe that now is the time to use all of the tools at our disposal and to continue to dream intergenerational, strategic, liberation dreams, knowing that the choices we make today can help our people in this lifetime and in lifetimes we will not personally see. Our duty to one another includes voting, absolutely, and is so much grander and more beautiful than voting alone....

"Today, we want you to know we see you. We see you in your exhaustion, in your struggle, in your terror, and in your brief flickers of hope. Whatever you have lost this year we mourn with you. Whatever lessons you have gained, however hard won, we cherish with you. We have no idea what the next few days hold. What we know is you, our people, Charis people, who show up for our world, who put their talents to use, who give of their time and their money no matter how meager. We believe in you. No matter what comes, we will be here with you on the other side of this election. Fighting, dreaming, planning, and scheming until the systems of this world are generous and human enough to contain all the beating, messy hearts within it."

--Charis Books and More, Decatur, Ga., in a Facebook post on Election Day

Aftershock Comics: Kill a Man by Steve Orlando and Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by Alec Morgan


News

Brookline Booksmith Expands

Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass., has completed its expansion into a 4,000-square-foot adjacent storefront, the Boston Globe reported.

The Novel Kitchen, a book-themed restaurant, will open in that space later this month, and the bookstore team has already moved the top 100 titles of the year, along with cookbooks and children's books, into the new space, allowing for wider aisles and better social distancing throughout the store. The addition also includes new registers and plenty of sidelines and gift offerings.

Given the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the store had to scale down its plans for the renovation a bit, co-owner Lisa Gozashti told the Globe. "But I'm still proud of what it's become. With bookstores, you're offering comfort. You’re offering great food and drink, but you’re also offering something that’s humble and genuine and goes beyond the actual commerce aspect."

When the Novel Kitchen opens, it will operate as a "no-cook" space due to pandemic restrictions and will serve prepared foods along with wine, cocktails and cheese. Initially it will seat up to 16 people, and will be able to accommodate 45 whenever social distancing restrictions end. Jenn Mason, founder of the cheese shop Curds & Co. in Brookline, is running the Novel Kitchen, and some of the restaurant's prepared food will be sourced from local chefs.

The store had originally planned for the renovations to include a community gathering space with sofas, a fireplace and extra space for events. Given the pandemic, those plans are on hold. The final touches of the renovation, including a few murals and bathroom renovations, should be completed within a week.


GLOW: Beacon Press: Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother by G'Ra Asim


International Update: London Book Fair Moves to June, Books 'an Essential Good' in Belgium

The London Book Fair, originally scheduled for March 2021, will be held June 29 to July 1, "to provide the best possible opportunity of creating a live event where the publishing industry can reconnect and do business," according to Reed Exhibitions, which cited feedback from LBF participants showing that 89% of exhibitors and 76% of visitors believe face-to-face meetings are extremely important for business. LBF plans to return to its usual spring dates in 2022.

In addition, Andy Ventris, who joined Reed Exhibitions in 2013, has been appointed LBF's new director. Darren Johnson, CEO at Reed Exhibitions UK, said, "We are delighted that Andy Ventris will be taking on the role of director. Working together with the experienced and passionate LBF team, we are looking forward to bringing the industry back together in 2021."

Andy Ventris

Ventris called the decision to move LBF to June the best opportunity for hosting a live event: "Given the dynamic nature of the pandemic we will continue to closely monitor the situation, and if the current outlook changes will make a final decision on the live event's feasibility by the end of March 2021 at the very latest. We want to give all our partners, exhibitors and visitors this date to work towards, as we appreciate how much planning and resource goes into preparation for a trade fair of this scale. We thank the publishing community for its ongoing support and we look forward to meeting again in 2021."

Nigel Nathan, managing director of LBF's venue, Olympia London, commented: "Working with the LBF team, we're putting a wide range of safety measures in place ready for this big event--sensible measures to make sure the show is as enjoyable and memorable as always for the publishing community. We can't wait to welcome everyone back."

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Belgium drastically tightened its Covid-19 restrictions Monday, but in "the now desolate alleys of central Brussels, one type of business is keeping the light on during one of Europe's toughest coronavirus lockdowns: the bookstore," AFP (via France 24) reported, adding that Belgium considers books "an essential good."

"In a period of anguish and uncertainty that brings us back to our own mortality, the book probably remains the best food for thought and reflection," said bookseller Marc El Khadem of Librairie Tropismes

Noting that French booksellers are still fighting to stay open under new restrictions, he added: "We sympathize, we feel absolutely in solidarity with our French colleagues--and sad for their readers."

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Readings reopened.

Booksellers in Melbourne, Australia, welcomed back customers for the first weekend since restrictions eased, ABC News reported.

"There was so much build-up and anxiety and anticipation. We're exhausted, we're excited, we're a little bit nervous and so emotional," said Leesa Lambert, owner of Neighbourhood Books, Northcote. She felt a sense of relief when the reopening went smoothly. The shop is limited to five customers at a time. "We've also had to increase our staffing levels so that there is a person who is able to make sure that we don't go over that person limit. We've put a time limit of 10 minutes into play as well, which means that we're minimizing that face-to-face contact and we're enabling as many people to come through the shop as possible but we don't need to keep records as bars and pubs do." She added that the reaction from customers had been overwhelmingly supportive: "We've been really delighted and a little bit surprised."

Readings posted on Facebook: "Our first in-store customers in months! What a wonderful feeling to know readers are happily finding the book they need on our shelves again. All our shops (except Readings State Library) are open today again for browsing and we're doing a special welcome back book giveaway for all purchases over $30! We want to make sure we stay open too, so there are a few safety requirements, which include facemasks, hand sanitizer, physical distancing, customer limits in shops, and limiting your browsing to 15 minutes." --Robert Gray


Berkley Books: Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto


'Raise UP' Is University Press Week Theme

The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has chosen "Raise UP" as the theme for this year's University Press Week, scheduled to run from next Monday, November 9, through Sunday, November 15. The theme was chosen to emphasize the role university presses play in "elevating authors, subjects and whole disciplines that bring new perspectives, ideas and voices to readers around the globe."

Members of the AUPresses have put together a Raise UP gallery and Raise UP reading lists; selected books from those lists are available on Bookshop.org. The university press community will host online celebrations of this year's theme via a blog tour, and there will be webinar on November 10 concerning antiracism in scholarly publishing. The University of Illinois Press Fall Publishing Symposium will be held virtually on November 12, coinciding with UPWeek 2020. There was also a panel about Raise UP held during this year's virtual Brooklyn Book Festival, which can be viewed here.

The Canadian members of AUPresses, meanwhile, will be hosting a webinar on November 10 called RaiseUP Indigenous Voices in Canada, in which members will present various titles. They've also put together their own booklists to be found on Catalist and BookManager, as well as 49th Shelf.

Niko Pfund, president of Oxford University Press USA and president of AUPresses, said: "University presses are unparalleled in the publishing world when it comes to the use of peer review and rigorous editorial processes to ensure that the books we 'raise up' are among the best in their subject areas. We are proud of our work, and revel in the opportunity to ensure that authors who may be overlooked elsewhere have a platform to share their unique ideas and discoveries."

A list of all UP Week events can be found here.


How Bookstores Are Coping: Being Booksellers Again; 'Lovely' Private Appointments

East Bay Booksellers in Oakland, Calif., began offering appointment browsing last month, owner Brad Johnson reported. The store is still doing front door pick-up and shipping orders, and up to three parties of browsers can be in the store during any given appointment slot. Each party can be in for about 30 minutes at a time, and when shoppers book appointments, they're asked what kinds of things they're looking for. That way, Johnson explained, he and his team can pull out some books in advance and "get to be booksellers" again.

When asked what it would take for East Bay Booksellers to allow walk-in shoppers, Johnson said he wasn't sure. The decision to be open only by appointment has more to do with "the general comfort level of everybody in the store," rather than case numbers or government mandates. He pointed out that he doesn't want to impose any additional exposure risk on anyone, and he doubted that the store will have its doors open for walk-ins even during the holidays.

As with many stores around the country, the pandemic has forced East Bay Booksellers to "learn how to do better with the online stuff." In addition to expanding the store's online capabilities, Johnson and his team have created a separate website, Marginalia, for their stationery, greeting cards, journals and more. While that hasn't been a huge success, he and the team enjoy having it available. And while they have no plans to become an exclusively online retailer, they are starting to think of being an Internet store as well as a physical space.

Looking ahead to the holidays, Johnson said that he and his team have been "desperately trying to figure out ways of being proactive booksellers" again. The expectation is that the bulk of the store's sales will come from online orders, but as much as possible they want to be able to handsell titles and connect with customers. To that end, the store has been putting together holiday book catalogues that will be e-mailed to customers and available on the store's website. They've already put together a large nonfiction catalogue, and Johnson is putting the finishing touches on a fiction catalogue. Soon every bookseller on staff will start putting together their own catalogues.

The team has also bought differently for this holiday season. In past years, they occasionally stocked up on specific titles, but they've done that much more this year. They've gone with larger quantities of books, and in general they are "more inclined to have 75 copies of a book." Johnson noted that although they expect online orders to be a big deal this holiday season, they don't expect those numbers to reach the peak the store hit in the spring, when Amazon had de-prioritized books and many other indies were still getting a handle on online fulfillment.

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Early in October, The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, Md., reopened in a new, larger location. Owner Emma Snyder and her team have been open for three weeks and are offering appointment shopping in addition to porch pick-up. Snyder explained that for the appointments, each party gets the entire store to themselves, and so far customers and staff have "found that really lovely." The idea is to give everyone the opportunity to feel safe and to browse in as normal a way as possible without feeling rushed or anxious.

Many people have remarked that they hope the private appointments continue after the pandemic ends, Snyder added, and she and her team are considering ways to implement that, possibly having the first and last hour of each retail day available for booking.

The new space has a large covered patio and more than 2.5 acres of ground, Snyder noted, and if anyone shows up without an appointment they encourage those customers to make use of the porch or outdoor space while booksellers bring out titles for them to peruse. There is a counter at the front of the store, with a bookseller stationed there who keeps track of appointments and makes sure masks are worn and hand sanitizer is used.

Given the "endless transitions of the last eight months," The Ivy Bookshop is still in the process of buying for the coming holiday season. Though Snyder and her team essentially spent the summer without a physical storefront, they were still selling books online, and that data has affected their buying choices. They've ordered large quantities of things they know will be top sellers, with the expectation that many of those copies will be sold online. In-store buying habits have changed, too, with people being more intentional and deliberate. People are really responding to displays, and the store has moved copies of titles that they haven't sold since around 2016. --Alex Mutter


Obituary Notes: Fred Klein, Joan Bingham

Fred Klein

Fred Klein, who worked at Bantam for nearly 35 years, died October 22. He was 97.

He started at Bantam Books in 1955 when the company, led by Oscar Dystel and Marc Jaffe, was becoming the country's leading mass market publisher. Klein "instilled a vigor to book promotion previously unseen," former colleagues wrote in a tribute. "Be it by sending Jacqueline Susann out to meet those route drivers who distributed her Valley of the Dolls or by painting blood-red paw prints in New York City crosswalks for The Wolfen, Fred directed a promotion group that used moxie and merchandising to turn Bantam authors into celebrities and their books into bestsellers.... Fred was a tireless organizer, advocate, and go-to guy who did more to make books available to anyone and everyone who wanted to read or listen to a book than did many presidents of publishing companies."

In the 1970s, Klein became an executive editor at Bantam, securing paperback rights to thrillers and movie tie-in novelizations by Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, Thomas Harris and many more.

Klein loved the theater, and his passion for musicals and all types of theatrical performances led to the tradition of the Bantam Revue. By cajoling and cudgeling colleagues into re-writing song lyrics about authors and editors, they performed this misanthropic medley at the December sales conference. He retired from Bantam in 1990 and relocated to Santa Barbara, Calif.

During a busy retirement, he served with the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, the Los Angeles Book Festival, the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival, Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic, became a book reviewer for the Santa Barbara News-Press, and hosted Literary Gumbo, a local access TV program about books that ran for seven years with 227 interviews.

A memorial is being planned in New York City for May 27, 2021, which would have been Klein's 98th birthday. "Somehow we hope to put on a show, a tribute, a big loud encore performance for the greatest ringmaster the publishing world ever known." In the meantime, friends and former colleagues can share memories, photos and lyrics with Richard Hunt, Paul Fedorko, Jason Alderman or Nancy Pines.

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Joan Bingham

Joan Bingham, longtime executive editor at Grove Atlantic, died Saturday, October 31, at age 85.

She helped create Grove Atlantic when Grove Weidenfeld and Atlantic Monthly Press merged in 1993, joining the new company as executive editor and serving on the board ever since. She acquired, edited and published more than 100 titles. Her authors and books included Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss, winner of the 2007 Booker Prize), David Von Drehle (Triangle: The Fire That Changed America), Gail Lumet Buckley (The Black Calhouns), Claire Keegan (Antarctica), Elizabeth Mitchell (Liberty's Torch) and Juliet Nicolson (The Perfect Summer and other titles). In addition, she oversaw the Grove Poetry series, publishing books by Kay Ryan (Best of It, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry), Claudia Rankine, Jesse Ball and Sarah Lindsay (Primate Behavior, finalist for the National Book Award).

Grove Atlantic publisher Morgan Entrekin said, "Everyone in the Grove family is deeply saddened by the news of Joan's passing. She was a beloved colleague, dear friend, and stalwart partner. Grove Atlantic would not exist without her original commitment and her continued support over almost three decades. We offer our condolences to Clara and her family, and our gratitude for everything Joan contributed to Grove for so many years. Joan may be gone but Grove will carry on as an independent literary publisher as I know she wanted."

Donations can be made in honor of Bingham at the Robin Hood Fund for Covid relief.


Notes

Nick Petrulakis Joining DIESEL: A Bookstore as Events Manager

Nick Petrulakis

Longtime bookseller on both coasts, California native, mixologist and podcaster Nick Petrulakis is joining DIESEL: A Bookstore, which has locations in Brentwood and Del Mar, Calif., as the stores' bookseller in charge of events. DIESEL commented: "As Covid has pushed store events online, we have been retooling our events program to keep pace with the chaotic times--have books, be agile. Nick brings passion, warmth, expertise, playfulness, and insight to his work and we are so pleased to have him working with us."


BISGNY Virtual Program Focuses on Bookselling in 2020

 

On Tuesday, November 17, the Book Industry Guild of New York will host a program called "Innovation at the Storefront" at which retail and industry experts will discuss the evolution of bookselling in 2020, from reaching customers at home to safely welcoming them back to stores. Panelists will also discuss genre trends, including cooking, education, and social justice.

The panelists are Kalima DeSuze, owner of Café con Libros, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books and Browser Books, San Francisco, Calif.; Stacey Lewis, v-p, director of publicity, marketing, and sales at City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, also in San Francisco; and Charley Rejsek, general manager of BookPeople, Austin, Tex. The moderator is Brittyne Lewis, director of marking and publisher services at LSC Communications.

The event will be held via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Eastern, with limited capacity. There is a $5 suggested donation. For more information and to RSVP, click here.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Sedaris on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Tomorrow:
Kelly Clarkson Show: Julie Andrews, author of Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette Books, $17.99, 9780316349246).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: David Sedaris, author of The Best of Me (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316628242).


TV: Pachinko

Apple has set the cast for Pachinko, "its epic international drama series based on Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel," Deadline reported. The project, written and executive produced by Soo Hugh (The Terror), who also serves as showrunner and created the vision for the series, began production October 26 on multiple continents. The series will be told in three languages: Korean, Japanese and English.

The cast includes Min Ho Lee (Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs), Jin Ha (Devs, Love Life), Anna Sawai (Fast & Furious 9, Ninja Assassin), Minha Kim (Call, After Spring), Soji Arai (Cobra Kai, Legacies) and Kaho Minami (Angel Dust, Household X).

Kogonada will direct four episodes, including the pilot, and is an executive producer. Justin Chon is directing four episodes and will exec produce on those. Michael Ellenberg and Lindsey will executive produce through Media Res. Theresa Kang-Lowe will also executive produce through Blue Marble Pictures, along with Richard Middleton, and Media Res' Dani Gorin will co-executive produce with David Kim and Sebastian Lee.


Books & Authors

Awards: Waterstones Book of the Year, Toronto Book Shortlists

The shortlist has been unveiled for the 2020 Waterstones Book of the Year. Nominated by booksellers, the finalists now go before a Waterstones panel, headed by managing director James Daunt, to choose a winner, who will be announced December 3. The winning title receives the full support of Waterstones. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Ex Libris by Michiko Kakutani
Island Dreams by Gavin Francis
The Ratline by Philippe Sands
One, Two, Three, Four: The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
Black and British: A Short, Essential History by David Olusoga
Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
The Book of Hopes, edited by Katherine Rundell

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A shortlist has been released for the C$10,000 (about US$7,590) Toronto Book Awards, which celebrates books of literary merit that are evocative of the Canadian city. The winner will be named November 30 in a livestream hosted by the Toronto Public Library. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
Dancing After TEN by Vivian Chong & Georgia Webber, project management and access support by Kathleen Rea
In the Beggarly Style of Imitation by Jean Marc Ah-Sen
The Missing Millionaire by Katie Daubs
The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole


Reading with... Sherry Thomas

photo: Jennifer Sparks

Sherry Thomas writes historical fiction, romance and YA. Her novels have appeared on many "Best of the Year" lists. Her historical mysteries include the Lady Sherlock series (A Study in Scarlet Women, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, The Hollow of Fear, The Art of Theft), Beautiful Enemy and The Luckiest Lady in London. Her latest Lady Sherlock novel is Murder on Cold Street (Berkley, October 6, 2020). Thomas immigrated from China at age 13 and English is her second language. She lives in Austin, Tex., with her husband and sons.

On your nightstand now:

My phone, on which I've been reading a xianxia (Chinese fantasy) web novel for months.

Favorite book when you were a child:

There was this Chinese book called 365 Nights of Tales, a collection of children's stories both Chinese and international. I'm not even sure I can recall any specific stories from it, but I read that book front to back and back to front countless times. And the funny thing was, in my hometown in that era, it wasn't always easy to get stuff. So, all I ever had was the first volume of this two-volume collection. Never seen the second volume ever, anywhere.

Your top five authors:

Jin Yong (Louis Cha)
Gu Long
J.R.R. Tolkien
Judith Ivory
Laura Kinsale

Two legendary writers of wuxia (Chinese martial arts epics), one fantasy writer and two romance writers. My sensibility has always been and would probably always remain genre.

Book you've faked reading:

I'm pretty sure I never read Paradise Lost, which I was supposed to for the English IV correspondence class I took to graduate early from high school.

Book you're an evangelist for:

I have recommended the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner a lot of times. To this day, I look at book 2 in the series and am astounded by the romance that happened.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I have never bought a book for the cover, lol.

This is not because I am a person of substance, but because I was not given pocket money as a child. So, when I lived in China, I depended on my grandmother to buy me books--or my friends to loan me theirs. And when I came to the U.S., I relied on libraries.

Even today, that old habit persists. I will buy books to support my author friends, but for myself I only buy books I've already read wholly or partially and really, really love.

Book you hid from your parents:

Books by Gu Long (Louis Cha) which I rented to read. (That was a thing when I was growing up in China. Old men would have these little stalls in parks--or just a tarp on the ground--with books you can rent. You pay a deposit and then a daily fee to take a book home to read. I was a fast reader so typically I could get through a big martial arts epic overnight on a 30-cent daily fee.)

Book that changed your life:

A never-to-be-named historical romance that disagreed with me so violently that I decided to take up writing myself. Really changed my life. :D

Favorite line from a book:

My memory is bad so I can only recall "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." I could have also put the opening line from Pride and Prejudice, but it's a little longer and I'd have to Google to make sure I'm not wrong with the wording.

Five books you'll never part with:

These are the books I brought with me from China when I came to the U.S. more than 30 years ago, so I'm confident I'll never part with them.

Happy Heroes by Gu Long, which is a take on the martial arts epic so radically different from anything else I'd read before that I fell in love instantly.

Dream of the Red Chamber, one of China's four great classic novels. My grandmother, who raised me, bought the books for me when I was in sixth grade. I used to read whole chapters aloud to myself because the language was so beautiful.

The Chinese dictionary I received from my great-aunt for my 10th birthday.

The English-Chinese dictionary that belonged to my grandmother and bears the alphabet written in her hand along the fore edge as a kind of quick index.

Stories of the Sahara by Sanmao. Actually, what I have is a mainland Chinese recompilation of her autobiographical and travel essays both from Stories of the Sahara and some other sources. The book was hugely popular in China when I was growing up, and Sanmao had such a wry, endearing, yet fierce voice.

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

Writing about the books I brought with me from China all those years ago has made me nostalgic. So, I'm going to say Stories of the Sahara by Sanmao. It was astonishing to me, as a preteen, to read about the experiences of an ethnically Chinese woman living, just living, in such faraway places. She wasn't in those faraway places to get a degree or job training or anything else that was considered "useful." She was just living there, and experiencing life deeply, sometimes in hilarity, sometimes in heartbreak.

I miss that experience, that wonder. I also miss--a little--the girl I was then, so long ago, so far away.


Book Review

Children's Review: The Midnight Fair

The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer, illus. by Mariachiara Di Giorgio (Candlewick, $16.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 3-7, 9781536211153, February 2, 2021)

Ask 100 children what might happen if you put wild animals in charge of a country fair in the middle of the night--there's a good chance that variations of their answers appear in this gloriously imaginative wordless picture book by Gideon Sterer (From Ed's to Ned's) and Mariachiara Di Giorgio (Professional Crocodile).

Dozens of animals watch from the nearby woods as evening turns to night and the swirling, neon-bright magic of a country fair begins to wind down. Human children yawn and are carried out on the shoulders of parents. A worker switches off the main power switch and drives away. But the night of thrills, games and fried dough is not over. Emerging from the trees is the second shift of fairgoers: bears, rabbits, owls and deer. A pair of raccoons--of course!--are the ringleaders, finding the gap in the fence and turning the power back on. What follows is a fanciful wordless story with myriad familiar fair tableaux: the ring toss (winner takes home a live goldfish in a baggie of water), magnificent carousel horses, cotton candy bigger than the indulger's head... all enacted by local wildlife under the inviting glitter and glow of lights. The energetic arc of The Midnight Fair comes down from its heady peak in a series of alternating pre-dawn scenes as the animals clean up the fairgrounds and the (human) worker wakes, brushes his teeth and heads back to work--where he finds the cash box filled with berries, feathers and acorns.

Lush watercolor, gouache and colored pencil artwork by Di Giorgio is spectacular not just in its liveliness and beauty but in its remarkable depth and perspective. On first "reading," viewers might focus on the main action: animals lining up for rides, waiting at the concession stands, playing games. But look again! In the foreground of these positively frame-worthy illustrations, roller coaster riders' expressions range from thrilled to terrified, and weasels crack up over a buddy's grinning head in the cutout face of a wooden bathing beauty. Surprise after surprise emerges for the keen-eyed reader, and not a detail is neglected, including what happens to the goldfish prize at the end of the night.

The Midnight Fair--like a ride on a Ferris wheel--will likely elicit entreaties of "Again, again!" --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: Under neon and moonlight shadows, woodland animals take over a country fair after the humans go home for the night.


The Bestsellers

Libro.fm Bestsellers in October

The bestselling Libro.fm audiobooks at independent bookstores during October:

Fiction
1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Macmillan Audio)
2. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (Simon & Schuster Audio)
3. The Searcher by Tana French (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (HarperAudio)
6. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (Hachette Audio)
8. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperAudio)
10. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin Random House Audio)

Nonfiction
1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Shit, Actually by Lindy West (Hachette Audio)
5. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
8. All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, et al. (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (Brilliance Audio)
10. Becoming by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)


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