Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 4, 2021

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

Amulet Books: Batcat: Volume 1 by Meggie Ramm

Berkley Books: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady


San Francisco's Booksmith Moving

The Booksmith, San Francisco, Calif., is moving across the street and down a short block into the Bindery, the events space that it opened in 2017, Hoodline reported.

Co-owner Christin Evans said that from the beginning, Booksmith, recognized by the city as a "legacy business" and a fixture in Haight-Ashbury for 45 years, considered the Bindery a possible relocation site, noting, "The question was always more about timing than anything else." The time is right because January through March are historically the store's slowest months, and the store hasn't resumed browsing this year, Hoodline noted.

Booksmith has finished renovations in the Bindery and is ready to put up book shelves. After the store's 26,000-volume inventory is moved, it hopes to open in April. "It's kind of a carefully coordinated dance between taking the books down, moving the shelves, and putting everything back together," Evans said.

At the same time, Evans, who bought the store in 2007 with her husband, Praveen Madan, have taken on a new co-owner, Camden Avery, who has been on the staff for a dozen years. Avery noted that both Booksmith locations have about 3,000 square feet of space, although the new location's three rooms will allow separate nooks to be created for different types of readers.

Events will continue to be important. All fixtures in the new location will be on wheels, and multiple events may take place in the different rooms simultaneously. The store may also offer a hybrid program of virtual and in-store events.

Evans added: "We've always wanted events to be hospitable, and having The Alembic right next door, with a license to offer drinks before and during the events, will only enhance that hospitality."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

Tattered Cover to Commemorate LoDo Store with 'Bookworm'

With Tattered Cover's LoDo location in Denver, Colo., set to close on March 17 in advance of a move to McGregor Square, the bookstore is planning to commemorate the event with the "bookworm." 

A chain of people will pass the very last book from the LoDo store person-by-person to the new McGregor Square store, which is four blocks away. While the store will close in the middle of this month, the actual move will not take place until the first or second week of May, with more details to be announced.

Customers and community members interested in being part of the bookworm can fill out forms at the LoDo location until March 17, or online until April 15. Bookstore staff will then draw the inners from those forms, with Friends of Tattered Cover members (the bookstore's rewards program) favored more heavily. Winners will be contacted no later than April 30.

At the same time, the bookstore is inviting customers to share their favorite memories of the LoDo store in person, on social media or via e-mail.

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Bronx Bound Books Hitting the Road Later This Month

Latanya Devaughn, owner of the mobile bookstore Bronx Bound Books, has nearly finished converting a bus into a bookmobile and plans to hit the road by the end of the month, the BronxTimes reported.

Devaughn founded Bronx Bound Books in 2019, but after losing her payroll job during the pandemic, she decided to focus all of her time and attention on the mobile bookstore. She spent most of 2020 doing virtual Bronx Bound Books events, and last September she received a $4,000 grant to help remodel and renovate the bus. Her GoFundMe campaign has also raised just over $3,500.

Once the bookmobile is up and running, Devaughn will set up shop at the James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center every Saturday, and she'll spend Sundays at a farmer's market in Riverdale until November.

She plans to partner with local businesses, schools, shelters, parks groups and other organizations, and she will host outdoor read-aloud sessions, open mics, writing workshops and more. When it is safe to do so, she also intends to host small events inside the bookmobile itself.

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Righton Books, St. Simons Island, Ga., Adding Jittery Joe's Cafe

Righton Books on St. Simons Island, Ga., is adding a Jittery Joe's coffee shop and cafe in early April. With headquarters in Athens, Ga., Jittery Joe's is a wholesale coffee roaster that runs just over a dozen coffee shops throughout the state. The Righton Books location will be the first Jittery Joe's on St. Simons Island.

Righton Books first opened in summer 2019. Owned by Darryl and Anne Peck, the 2,000-square-foot store sells books of all kinds, but has a focus on architecture, design, music and cooking. There is also a robust children's section.

David Goldberg Joins Hanover Publisher Services as Sales & Marketing Director

David Goldberg

David Goldberg has joined Hanover Publisher Services (HPS), the distribution unit of Steerforth Press, as sales and marketing director. He was formerly sales manager at the MIT Press and earlier was mid-Atlantic and New England sales rep at Norton and sales and marketing director at David R. Godine, Publisher.

Goldberg will work with HPS's clients: Archipelago Books, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Pushkin Press, London, U.K.; Campfire Graphic Novels, New Delhi, India; and Steerforth, Lebanon, N.H. (and its new T2P imprint). All HPS clients' titles are sold and distributed through Penguin Random House Publisher Services.

Goldberg is working from a home office in the Boston area and may be reached at 908-652-9587 or via e-mail.

Steerforth Press publisher Chip Fleischer said that the company's use of team workflow technology because of the pandemic helped the company hire Goldberg. "In the past, we were limited to hiring people wanting, or at least willing, to live in rural northern New England. Now we are able to post some job openings as 'remote' and recruit candidates from all over. It greatly enhances the talent pool available to us, and we are thrilled to have someone with David's experience and expertise joining our team as sales and marketing director."


Marcus Books Founders Remembered

PBSNewsHour aired a segment on Marcus Books, Oakland, Calif., "the oldest Black-owned bookstore in the country" and "hallowed ground for some."

Blanche Richardson, daughter of Julian and Ray Richardson, who founded Marcus Books in 1960, after establishing a printing business, said about her parents, "Part of the basis of their relationship was their love of literature when they were teenagers. And it stayed like that. I mean, they, they always read together. They read to each other. They just had a love of books...."

"And they would really scour the country looking for books about Black people. At that time, very few Black people were being published. My parents saw the need for Black people to have a source of information about themselves."

Granddaughter Jasmine Johnson added: "They were publishing all kinds of things--posters, artwork--but they were also republishing Black books that had gone out of print... Success Printing turned into Richardson Printing and then turned into Marcus Books."

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster; Bloomsbury; Kaye Publicity

Stephen Bedford has been promoted to senior marketing director for the Simon & Schuster imprint. He joined the company eight years ago.


Lily Yengle is being promoted to senior marketing manager at Bloomsbury Children's U.S.


Katelynn Dreyer has joined Kaye Publicity as publicist.

Jordan Brown has joined Kaye Publicity as marketing and events assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Diane von Furstenberg on the Kelly Clarkson Show

Drew Barrymore Show: Jamie Kern Lima, author of Believe IT: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable (Gallery, $27, 9781982157807).

Kelly Clarkson: Diane von Furstenberg, author of Own It: The Secret to Life (Phaidon Press, $14.95, 9781838662226).

This Weekend on Book TV: In-Depth with Elizabeth Kolbert

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, March 6
1:05 p.m. Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire, authors of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School (The New Press, $26.99, 9781620974940).

2:15 p.m. Robert Elder, author of Calhoun: American Heretic (Basic Books, $35, 9780465096442), at Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, S.C.

4 p.m. Nicole LaPorte, author of Guilty Admissions: The Bribes, Favors, and Phonies behind the College Cheating Scandal (Twelve, $28, 9781538717097), at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif. (Re-airs Sunday at 8:05 p.m.)

5 p.m. Silvia Lindtner, author of Prototype Nation: China and the Contested Promise of Innovation (Princeton University Press, $24.95, 9780691207674), at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich.

6 p.m. Joseph Tachovsky and Cynthia Kraack, author of 40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles (Regnery History, $14.99, 9781684510481). (Re-airs Monday at 6 a.m.)

6:55 p.m. Sarah Jaffe, author of Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone (Bold Type Books, $30, 9781568589398).

8 p.m. Charles Koch and Brian Hooks, authors of Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250200969). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m.)

9 p.m. Jed Rakoff, author of Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 9780374289997).

10 p.m. Sara Horowitz, author of Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up (Random House, $28, 9780593133521). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, March 7
12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future (Crown, $28, 9780593136270). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

5 p.m. Simon Winchester, author of Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World (Harper, $29.99, 9780062938336).

6 p.m. Noreena Hertz, author of The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That's Pulling Apart (Currency, $28, 9780593135839).

7:10 p.m. Thomas C. Holt, author of The Movement: The African American Struggle for Civil Rights (Oxford University Press, $18.95, 9780197525791). 

Books & Authors

Awards: L.A. Times Book; Green Earth Longlists

The finalists for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced and can be seen here. Winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony on April 16, the day before the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books begins.

In addition, winners in three special categories were announced:

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is the recipient of this year's Innovator's Award. Binc was cited for "helping stores severely affected by closures due to the pandemic."

The Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, which recognizes "a writer's contributions to literature about the American West," is going to Leslie Marmon Silko. The organization said that Silko, "who grew up on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico, writes primarily about the Native American experience and native traditions and community. She is a MacArthur fellow and the author of Laguna Woman, Ceremony and Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit, among other books."

The Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose is going to Andrew O'Hagan for his coming-of-age novel Mayflies, cited for being "both deeply personal and universal. In one seminal night and one all-encompassing friendship, Andrew O'Hagan captures youth and joy and the possibilities in the shimmering future."


The longlist for the 2021 Green Earth Book Awards, given annually to "children's and young adult literature that best convey the message of environmental stewardship" and sponsored by the Nature Generation, have been announced and can be seen here. The winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 9:

The Impudent Ones: A Novel by Marguerite Duras, trans. by Kelsey L. Haskett (The New Press, $25.99, 9781620976517) is the first English translation of Duras's debut novel.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781982115852) is about the Nobel Prize-winning scientist behind the CRISPR gene-editing tool.

Strong Women Lift Each Other Up by Molly Galbraith (Harper Horizon, $27.99, 9780785239086) advocates solidarity among women.

Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century by Josh Rogin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780358393245) chronicles U.S.-China relations under Trump.

Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316429856) follows a woman obsessively in love with a writer.

The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories by Kevin Brockmeier (Pantheon, $26.99, 9781524748838) contains 100 supernatural tales.

The Arsonists' City by Hala Alyan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780358126553) reunites a scattered family in Beirut after their father's death.

Amina's Song by Hena Khan (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534459885) is the middle-grade companion to Amina's Voice and features a tween trying to share the beauty of Pakistan with her U.S. friends.

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 9781534468214) is about a group of teens coming to terms with an act of violence perpetrated against one of their loved ones.

Her Dark Lies: A Novel by J.T. Ellison (MIRA, $16.99, 9780778388302).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Milk Blood Heat: Stories by Dantiel W. Moniz (Grove Press, $25, 9780802158154). "Milk Blood Heat grabbed me and wouldn't let go. The prose blisters with a beauty so raw and intense it borders on horrifying. With widely differing characters, voices, and settings, each story makes its own unique contribution to the collection, yet each propels the reader onward in turn. Dantiel W. Moniz is a jaw-dropping new star on the literary stage." --Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, Conn.

Zorrie: A Novel by Laird Hunt (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781635575361). "Zorrie's life was not an extraordinary one for a woman of her generation. She experienced the trials of the Depression and loss brought by war. Most of her years were spent tending a farm in rural Indiana. Her quiet life, with its disappointments and possibilities, heartbreaks and hopes, is held before the reader unadorned until, in its simplicity, one comes to see a nearly sacred beauty. This is a stunning work, and one that I believe will hold an important place in American literature."--Janis Herbert, Face in a Book, El Dorado Hills, Calif.

Grown Ups: A Novel by Emma Jane Unsworth (Gallery/Scout Press, $16.99, 9781982141943). "Grown Ups is told with humor and angst (both causing laughter and anxiety) in traditional prose supplemented with e-mails, texts, and social media columns and comments--much like our lives today. Jenny is living in London and tethered to her Instagram as her real life is slightly falling apart. This book is filled with fantastic writing and insights relevant to the modern balance of social media life with real life. I don't want to say too much more, other than I will miss Jenny now that I've finished reading." --Melissa Summers, Main Street Books, Davidson, N.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
Sunny-Side Up by Jacky Davis, illus. by Fiona Woodcock (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062573070). "The images and color palette of this book really help to illustrate the feelings of a rainy day and the joy that can be found in imaginative play. I also love that the father is represented as the caregiver while the mother is the one coming home from a day of work." --Dana Grimes, Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, Columbus, Ohio

For Ages 9 to 12
The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as Told to His Brother) by David Levithan (Knopf, $16.99, 9781984848598). "The whole town is in an uproar when Aidan, Lucas's older brother, completely vanishes. When Aidan is found in the attic almost a week later, that concern turns into frustration. None of the adults believe what Aidan is telling them, that he accessed another world through the old attic wardrobe, a portal that has now closed. What Lucas finds hardest to believe is that when Aidan describes the green skies and foreign creatures of Aveinieu, it seems that he would rather be back there than home with his family. A thought-provoking novel of magical realism that leaves much to the imagination in both the ordinary and extraordinary. Bound to become a modern classic." --Andrew King, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

For Teen Readers
As Far As You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper (Bloomsbury, $17.99, 9781547600175). "As Far As You'll Take Me is a profound and relatable coming-of-age story about leaving home for the first time in search of true belonging. When closeted, socially anxious, oboe-playing Marty Pierce flees his small Kentucky hometown for London, he reinvents himself, going on to find an LGBTQ-friendly community of musicians and have a meet-cute with a guy coincidentally named Pierce. Stamper's follow-up to The Gravity of Us will resonate strongly with readers struggling to break out of their shell or start over when they feel stuck." --Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Festival Days

Festival Days by Jo Ann Beard (Little, Brown, $27 hardcover, 272p., 9780316497237, March 16, 2021)

It's been more than 20 years since the publication of Jo Ann Beard's collection of personal essays, The Boys of My Youth, one that included the classic "The Fourth State of Matter," the terrifying account of a mass shooting at her University of Iowa workplace. In Festival Days, Beard returns with a set of diverse pieces that sometimes challenge the boundary between fiction and nonfiction but that are consistent in the intensity of their perception and their vivid prose.

Most prominent in this genre-bending category is "Cheri," the story of the title character's two-and-a-half-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. Beginning as a deeply reported piece of personal journalism, it shifts almost imperceptibly into the territory of the imagination, without sacrificing any of its integrity purely for emotional effect. "Werner," which describes the artist Werner Hoeflich's escape from a deadly fire at his Upper East Side apartment building in 1991, relies heavily on its subject's recollections of his near-death experience, but Beard's keen eye for novelistic detail subtly transforms pure fact into art.

"The Tomb of Wrestling," a short story that displays Beard's talent as a fiction writer, is no less intense. In it, an artist named Joan engages in a life and death struggle with a man who invades her upstate New York home. The story's well-timed transitions from the violence of the encounter to Joan's memories heighten the pure drama of what happened.

Beard hints at her approach in "Close," explaining how she aspires to a "lofty goal, to imagine translating one's own personal experiences in a way that instructs and illuminates, moves and inspires, another human being." In "Now," she begins with reflections on a craft talk, then moves into stories of her father's service in World War II. "You let the writing lead and you simply follow," she writes, "letting the memories and the images and the language take over."

Festival Days concludes with the collection's bravura title essay. Beard travels to India (with her friends Emma and Kathy, who is terminally ill), Arizona and Portugal (with an ex-lover), but those physical journeys don't begin to capture the piece's emotional scope, as it recalls the funeral of John F. Kennedy, Beard's childhood memories of her "Barbie Dream House" and her contemplation of suicide and the "erased chalkboard of the rest of my life." On whichever side of the fact/fiction line she acknowledges for her is sometimes "permeable," Jo Ann Beard's stories fall, they undeniably resonate with the feeling of truth. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Vital and diverse, Jo Ann Beard's second collection is an intriguing blend of fact and fiction.

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