Also published on this date: Tuesday, January 26, 2021: YA Maximum Shelf: The Nature of Witches

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Overlook Press: Bad Men by Julie Mae Cohen

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley

Akaschic Books, Ltd: Go the Fuck to Sleep Series by Adam Mansbach, Illustrated by Ricardo Cortés

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta


ALA's Youth Media Award Winners

Yesterday morning, the American Library Association held its 2021 Youth Media Awards, announcing the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, among others.

The 2021 John Newbery Medal--which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year--went to Tae Keller for When You Trap a Tiger (Random House Books for Young Readers); the Randolph Caldecott Medal was given to Michaela Goade for We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom (Roaring Brook Press); and Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri (Levine Querido) won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards, decided by the ALA Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), were presented in four categories: Dorothy L. Guthrie received the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award; the CSK/John Steptoe Award for New Talent went to Tracy Deonn for Legendborn (Margaret K. McElderry/S&S); Frank Morrison received the CSK Illustrator Award for RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Atheneum); and Jacqueline Woodson won her third CSK Author Award, for Before the Ever After (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin).

While this year's ALA Midwinter conference was held entirely virtually, streaming the award ceremony live is not new territory. Over a swelling soundtrack, Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., president of ALA, Dr. Linda Pruitt-Annisette, chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, Amanda Barnhart, president of Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), Oscar Baeza, president of REFORMA, and Kirby McCurtis, president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced the ALA and affiliate awards. A full list of winners and honorees can be found here. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

[We'll feature interviews with many of the winners over the next week.]

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

AAP Sales: 24.5% Jump in November; Trade Up 34.5%

Reflecting another full month when much of the country was under stay-at-home orders or business was otherwise limited because of the Covid-19 pandemic, total net book sales in November in the U.S. jumped 24.5%, to $1.194 billion, compared to November 2019, representing sales of 1,354 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers.

It was the fourth rise in sales during the pandemic months, following gains of 0.3% in August, 14.6% in September and 7.3% in October. For the year to date, total net book sales are up 0.8%, to $13.6 billion.

In November, trade book sales rose 34.5%, to $943.6 million, and were up 9.7%, to $7.8 billion, in the first 11 months of the year. In November, hardcover sales rose 58.3%, to $464.2 million; paperbacks rose 35.6%, to $257.2 million; while mass markets were off 23.2%, to $14.7 million. E-book sales rose 5.1%, to $87.9 million.

Some of the sales gains--especially in hardcover categories and trade in general--are likely attributable to holiday sales that took place earlier than usual in reaction to pandemic pressures.

In an unusual twist, sales of downloaded audio sales fell for the first month since 2012, with a decline of 1.6%, to $56 million. In a related unusual twist, physical audio sales, which have fallen steadily over the past few years, were up 30% in November, to $4.1 million.

Sales by category in November 2020 compared to November 2019:

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

IPG Forming In-House Sales Force for U.S. Indies and Trade Accounts

Independent Publishers Group, which has used commission rep groups to sell to independent bookstores and other trade accounts in the U.S., is forming a new in-house field sales force to sell to indies and other trade entities. The distributor said that as a result of this change, it will end selling arrangements with its current commission sales representatives effective May 1.

Focusing on three territories--East Coast, Midwest and West Coast--the local sales reps will work directly to establish closer ties between IPG and the stores and chains. IPG's longtime corporate team will continue to work directly with national accounts, library and education accounts, and special sales accounts.

The new field sales team will be led by Michael Riley, v-p of sales, who said, "This is an opportunity to deepen our relationships with booksellers and partner with them more closely to bring independent voices to readers." He thanked IPG's commission sales reps, saying, "Our reps have been valued colleagues supportive of independent publishing for many years, and we thank them for their work on behalf of IPG and its publisher clients."

Newly hired trade sales manager and publishing veteran Chris Conti will lead the field sales team and focus on the Midwest territory. In Canada, IPG continues to be represented by the Manda group, which reports to Scott Hatfill, IPG's director of international sales.

IPG said the move is part of a series of growth initiatives to mark its 50th anniversary in 2021. Other parts of the effort include Chicago Review Press's acquisition of Fulcrum Publishing titles and Triumph Books and Authentic Brands Group's launch of Sports Illustrated frontlist books.

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Binc Board Changes; New Staff Member

At the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation, Kuo-Yu Liang has been named to the board, as Jen Reynolds and Lori Tucker-Sullivan are stepping down from the board. In addition, Kera Yonker has joined the Binc staff as development coordinator.

Liang has more than 30 years in the book and comics business, which began at Central Park Bookstore in San Mateo, Calif. He has since worked at Random House, Diamond Comics and BookExpo and New York Comic Con. He is the founder of a pop culture publishing consultancy, Ku Worldwide.

Jen Reynolds is a national accounts manager for W.W. Norton and has worked in bookselling and publishing for 25 years, including at Joseph-Beth/Davis-Kidd Booksellers, PGW/Perseus, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. At Binc, she is especially known for "her advocacy and strong showing in Binc's annual year-end fundraising campaign," Binc said.

Lori Tucker-Sullivan is an author and a program manager for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Wayne State University. She was previously executive director of the Independent Booksellers Consortium and for seven years was Binc board president, spending the last year as immediate past-president. Binc thanked her for "her long service and deft counsel as the Foundation has grown in the past eight years in its mission of serving booksellers and comic retailers across the country."

Kera Yonker began her career as a bookseller at Green Apple Books & Music in San Francisco, Calif., and has since worked in sales and marketing for a number of publishers and distributors, including PGW, Oxford University Press, and Perseus Books Group. Most recently she was a freelance book editor and marketer.

Binc executive director Pamela French added, "We thank Jen and Lori for their advocacy and leadership, and welcome Kuo-Yu to the board and Kera to the staff. I am thankful for all of the talented individuals who lend their expertise to move the Foundation forward."

Brittain Phillips New Arcadia CEO, Succeeding David Steinberger

Brittain Phillips

At Arcadia Publishing, Brittain Phillips, currently director of business development, is succeeding David Steinberger as CEO. Steinberger will remain an investor in the company and join Arcadia's board of directors.

Steinberger, who has headed the company since its purchase in 2018, commented: "It's been a privilege to steward Arcadia's growth as a home for the best voices in local publishing. The company is strongly positioned for growth, and Brittain Phillips has the ideal set of skills and experience to lead the company into the future." Steinberger is chairman of the National Book Foundation and former CEO of the Perseus Books Group.

Phillips, who had spent more than a decade with the History Press, where he was in sales & marketing and chief operating officer when it was bought by Arcadia in 2014, said, "David launched us on a program of growth that has taken Arcadia beyond its traditional roots, and we're excited to build on that vision. The addition of the Wildsam, Pelican and River Road imprints has enhanced what was already the premier publisher of local content, with more than 17,000 titles in print."

The company said that in his time at Arcadia, Phillips has "pioneered strategic initiatives across multiple areas of the organization, from editorial to sales and business development, where he established and rapidly grew a range of new distribution channels."

Michael Lynton, Arcadia's chairman and head of the investor group that owns Arcadia, including Lily Lynton and Steinberger, said, "David has been critical to Arcadia's development, and we are grateful that we will now have his guidance as a board member as we continue to develop our local and regional vision. Having set Arcadia on an outstanding growth path, David is ready to step away from day-to-day leadership of the business and turn the reins over to Brittain. Brittain is uniquely qualified to take Arcadia forward, possessing a deep understanding of what makes Arcadia special and an instinctive connection with our customers and readers."

Kids' Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the second part of the American Booksellers Association's Winter 2020/21 Kids' Next List was delivered to nearly two-thirds of a million of the country's best book readers, going to 615,201 customers of 176 participating bookstores.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features Winter Kids' 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 Kids' Next List pick, in this case B.B. Alston, author of Amari and the Night Brothers (Balzer + Bray).

For a sample of the newsletter, see this one from Blacks Bookshop, Argillite, Ky.


Toadstool Bookshops Named N.H. Retailer of the Year

Holly and Willard Williams

Congratulations to the Toadstool Bookshops, with locations in Keene, Peterborough and Nashua, which was named 2021 New Hampshire Retailer of the Year by the N.H. Retail Association. The honor is given in recognition of "a retailer in the state who has met the highest standards of excellence. They show creativity and initiative so their business thrives and provide excellent customer experiences. The N.H. Retailer of the Year is committed to their community and creates a positive work experience."

Owned by Holly and Willard Williams, the Toadstool Bookshops "started from scratch when the Willard family got together in 1972 and germinated an idea to start a bookstore," Business N.H. magazine reported. "Their late father, Sydney Williams, had given all his children a love of reading and a great respect for books and what they had to offer. The Peterborough location was first, followed by Keene in 1982 and Milford in 1989. Last year the Milford location moved to Nashua."

Personnel Changes at Random House; Macmillan Children's Publishing

Leslie Prives, senior director, consumer strategy & engagement, at Random House, has been promoted to v-p.


Robert Brown has been promoted to associate director, marketing at the Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Previously he was senior marketing manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Cicely Tyson on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning: Cicely Tyson, author of Just as I Am: A Memoir (HarperCollins, $28.99, 9780062931061).

Also on CBS This Morning: Ron Lieber, author of The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make (Harper, $27.99, 9780062867308).

Good Morning America: Claudia Oshry, author of Girl with No Job: The Crazy Beautiful Life of an Instagram Thirst Monster (Gallery, $27, 9781982142865).

TV: The Daughters of Kobani

HiddenLight Productions, the new company founded by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sam Branson and Chelsea Clinton, has acquired the series adaptation rights to The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. According to Deadline, Lemmon's track record with bestselling books adapted into feature films made the bidding war "quite competitive with several bidders before HiddenLight emerged the victor. For the Clintons, the property feels like the perfect IP to help launch their banner given the subject matter and strong women that helped Lemmon write it."

Describing the book as "an extraordinary account of brave, defiant women fighting for justice and equality," Hillary Clinton said, "We created HiddenLight to celebrate heroes--sung and unsung alike--whose courage is too often overlooked, and we could not be more thrilled to bring this inspiring story to viewers around the world."

Lemmon added: "No one has fought harder than Secretary Clinton to lift the voices of women around the world and to shine light on the lives of women fighting each day for their futures. She is a true trailblazer, and there is no better partner to bring The Daughters of Kobani and this story of the women who broke ISIS to the screen than HiddenLight."

Books & Authors

Awards: T.S. Eliot Winner; MWA Edgar Nominees

Bhanu Kapil won the £25,000 (about $34,210) T.S. Eliot Prize, which recognizes "the best new poetry collection written in English and published in 2020," for How to Wash a Heart. Chair of judges Lavinia Greenlaw said: "Our shortlist celebrated the ways in which poetry is responding to profound change, and the stylistic freedom that today's poets have claimed. From this impressive field, we unanimously chose Bhanu Kapil's How to Wash a Heart as our winner. It is a radical and arresting collection that recalibrates what it's possible for poetry to achieve."


The Mystery Writers of America unveiled its nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced in 2020. The full list of nominees can be viewed here. The 75th Annual Edgar Awards will be celebrated on April 29.

Book Review

Review: We Run the Tides

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida (Ecco, $26.99 hardcover, 272p., 9780062936233, February 9, 2021)

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida (The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty) is a dreamy, tricky tale of girlhood, secrets and the shifting sands of truth set in mid-1980s San Francisco. This captivating coming-of-age novel asks readers to consider friendship, cruelty, deception and consequences.

Narrator Eulabee begins her story with the first-person plural point of view. "When I say 'we,' I sometimes mean the four of us Sea Cliff girls who are in the eighth grade at the Spragg School for Girls. But when I say 'we,' I always mean Maria Fabiola and me." The foursome is close, but it is beautiful Maria Fabiola who enraptures Eulabee and, apparently, everyone else--children as well as adults--in their rarified world. Theirs is a neighborhood of au pairs, chauffeurs and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. "Sea Cliff is for solitude, for when you want to protect yourself from people." Bad things still happen here, but the community handles them in whispers, while looking away.

Earnest, awkward, devoted Eulabee is perhaps less polished than her friends, or perhaps it only seems so because readers are privy to her insecurities. The trouble begins when she and Maria Fabiola fail to see a minor event in the same way, literally. Did Eulabee miss a small, important detail? Or did Maria Fabiola make it up? The truth almost doesn't matter; what matters is that the girls are equally firm in their divergent truths. An insignificant moment snowballs until Eulabee's world is shattered. Lives may be endangered; the foursome disintegrates; nothing will ever be the same again. "I stand there, on the cusp of the ocean and listen to its loud inhale. And then it recedes and takes everything from my childhood with it--the porcelain dolls, the tap-dancing shoes, the concert ticket stubs, the tiny trophies, and the long, long swing."

We Run the Tides is an enchanting, literary novel, realistic but a little unreal. Vida gives a tender, incisive portrayal of adolescence. The girls' cruelties are visceral and impermanent, the stressors of Sea Cliff somehow both superficial and profound. Decades later, the events of 1984-85 remain "part of the lore. The newspapers called what happened the Sea Cliff Seizures," and in adulthood, Eulabee both has and has not outgrown them. Her friends and classmates have moved on; San Francisco has changed. "Symphonies of tiny violins play themselves to shreds." And Vida's readers will be changed, too, by this cleverly woven story about honesty, betrayal, charm and illusion, about what matters in youth and what matters always. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: An uncertain adolescent girl narrates a heart-aching tale of coming of age in a city in transition.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
2. Shielding Riley by Susan Stoker
3. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
5. Repeat Offender by Lani Lynn Vale
6. Pass the Pig by Anne Lakusta
7. Redwood by Janie Crouch
8. Spark by Chelle Bliss
9. Roommate by Sarina Bowen
10. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins

[Many thanks to!]

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