Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 22, 2021

William Morrow & Company: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne


New Owner for Fact & Fiction Books, Missoula, Mont.

Mara Panich, who has been running Fact & Fiction Books, Missoula, Mont., since 2017, will become the bookstore's official owner, effective April 1. She took over as general manager when Barbara Theroux, who founded the bookshop in 1986, retired. Panich launched her bookselling career around 2005 at the Bookstore at the University of Montana, which purchased Fact & Fiction in 2007. She helped out at the downtown location occasionally, and then, after a few years absence from the bookselling world, returned to become the Bookstore at U.M.'s textbook buyer. Over the next couple of years, she also worked part time at Fact & Fiction during the holidays and when the textbook division was slow. Eventually she heard about Theroux's plans for retirement, and that she was being considered as a possible successor. The succession plan began around 2015.

Mara Panich

In 2018, Barnes & Noble College took over operations of the Bookstore at the U. of Montana, but Fact & Fiction's downtown store, which is completely separate from the campus bookstore, remained in business under the UM Bookstore Foundation.

On its website, the store said, "With the transition in ownership comes some changes that must occur to transfer accounts and other technical adjustments. Due to this, we have turned off the capability on our website to pre-order books and to special order books that are not currently in our inventory. Not to worry! We can still take pre-orders and special orders over the phone ... and we will re-activate these features on the website on or after April 1."

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Book Warehouse to Open in Lake George, N.Y.

Book Warehouse will open a new outlet in Lake George, N.Y., the Albany Times Union reported. The 4,000-square-foot store at the Outlets of Lake George is scheduled to open in April. Emphasizing bargain and remainder titles, Book Warehouse has more than 40 stores across the country.

"We're happy to welcome Book Warehouse to our growing tenant community," said Sobert Realty Corporation president Corey Shanus. "The Outlets at Lake George is committed to offering a distinctive mix of retailers with great merchandise at superb savings."

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Shelf Awareness Concludes INL, KNL E-Partnership

For five years, Shelf Awareness has worked with the American Booksellers Association to create and deliver the e-newsletter versions of the Indie Next List and Kids' Next List, which previously had appeared only in print form. The e-versions of the INL and KNL grew an average of 20% every year to its current audience of almost 700,000 for the INL, and just over 600,000 for the KNL on behalf of almost 200 indie bookstore partners. The partnership ends following our last delivery in April. We've been honored to help the ABA in this endeavor, and wish it continued success.

ABA CEO Allison Hill said, "Shelf has been such a great partner for the INL and KNL e-newsletters. Shelf and ABA have worked together since 2016 to deliver this content for booksellers to share with their customers online and we've greatly appreciated Shelf's work and commitment to growing the program. Although we won't be working on this particular project together anymore, we continue to appreciate all of the ways that Shelf supports indie bookstores."

For details on the INL and KNL e-newsletters going forward, please e-mail the ABA at

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

B&N Introducing Nook 10" HD Tablet

Barnes & Noble has collaborated with Lenovo to create the Nook 10" HD tablet, which succeeds the Nook 10.1" tablet that was introduced in 2018. The new tablet will cost $129.99 and will be available in early April.

The companies described the Android device, which weighs 0.9 lbs., as "a stylish yet durable tablet with full metal body and 85% screen-to-body ratio." It will offer e-books, digital newspapers and magazines, Google Play, Google Assistant, Kids Space from Google and FM radio, and has front and rear cameras, Bluetooth capability, and dual audio speakers powered by Dolby Atmos. It is also designed to be easy on the eyes.

Susan McCulloch, senior director, Barnes & Noble Press and Nook operations, said that the new Nook is "great for reading, playing games, or watching video. It will hit stores just in time for spring and it makes a wonderful gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day or graduations."

Tony Chen, v-p of Android business, consumer segment of intelligent devices group, Lenovo, added: "We're excited to turn the page with Barnes & Noble on the thin and light design of the new connected Nook tablet that offers e-book lovers the best of both worlds--a full featured Lenovo Android tablet beloved by fans with everything you know and want from Nook at its heart."

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Obituary Note: Daisy Maryles

Daisy Maryles

Daisy Maryles, longtime editor at Publishers Weekly, died on March 18 at age 73. She was a larger-than-life personality who was beloved throughout the book industry and had a remarkable 44-year career at PW, rising from an editorial assistant to executive editor. Several of us at Shelf Awareness worked with her for many years and feel a collective sadness and sense of the end of an era. For a full account of her life and accomplishments, see PW's obituary.


Asian American and Pacific Islander Reading Lists

At Harvard Book Store

Since the murders last Tuesday in Atlanta, Ga., of eight people, six of them Asian, bookstores have made reading lists of books that address the hatred and violence directed at Asian Americans in the U.S. as well as tell the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

For example, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., offered a list that includes many titles that focus on "the voices of Asian American women telling their own stories, through memoir and nonfiction."

Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., listed "some immediate resources to learn more about the specifics of the attacks happening now, and to find ways to help current victims of these hate crimes. We've also collected a small sampling of books by and about Asian Americans--nonfiction histories that dig into how Asian American identity was created; fiction titles that explore the experience of being Asian American in this country; and books that celebrate Asian American joy."

For its part, on Friday, Eastwind Books of Berkeley, Calif., posted a link on Facebook to a book launch event from last August "relevant to our times." The book was Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S. by Annie Isabel Fukushima (Stanford University Press), who spoke with Carolyn Kim, Hediana Utarti, and Cindy Liou. The panel was presented by Eastwind and co-sponsored by the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Department of UC Berkeley. shared a list of AAPI-owned bookstores, tweeting: "All our support and love to the AAPI community. We're with you. #StopAsianHate."

NBA Bookseller Judges

Congratulations to the judges for the 2021 National Book Awards who have bookselling backgrounds:

Emily Pullen, a fiction judge, is the reader services coordinator for the New York Public Library and has been a bookseller at WORD in Brooklyn, N.Y., Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif., and Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass. She was also a member of the Bookseller Advisory Council of the American Booksellers Association.

Aaron John Curtis, a nonfiction judge and essayist, has been a bookseller at Books & Books in southern Florida since 2004 and was a member of the ABA's Bookseller Advisory Council.

Cool Idea of the Day: #UnlikelyPicks

"If you've driven past our store recently, you may have noticed something new across the street," An Unlikely Story, Plainville, Mass., posted on Facebook. "Check out these #UnlikelyPicks! We are very excited about these giant posters of new books, available in store & on our website. We'll highlight new ones every few weeks. We are also very happy about the ray of sun shining right over The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna."

Personnel Changes at Abrams

Kim Lauber has been promoted to executive director, children's marketing from senior director at Abrams.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Don Lemon on Wendy Williams

Drew Barrymore Show: Steven Bartlett, author of Happy Sexy Millionaire: Unexpected Truths about Fulfillment, Love, and Success (Quercus, $19.99, 9781529301496).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Michelle Obama, author of Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers (Delacorte, $18.99, 9780593303740). She will also appear tomorrow on Tamron Hall.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Walter Isaacson, author of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781982115852).

A Little Late with Lilly Singh: Melinda Gates, author of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (Flatiron, $17.99, 9781250257727).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Jessica Simpson, author of Open Book (Dey Street, $17.99, 9780062899972).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen, authors of The Zen Mama Guide to Finding Your Rhythm in Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond (Harper Horizon, $34.99, 9780785241508).

Wendy Williams: Don Lemon, author of This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316257572).

TV: The Crossover

Disney+ has greenlighted The Crossover, a drama pilot based on the Newberry Award-winning book by Kwame Alexander, Deadline reported. The project will be written by Alexander and Damani Johnson (All Rise), with Dee Johnson (NashvilleThe Good Wife) supervising, and directed by George Tillman Jr. (The Hate U GiveFor Life).

Alexander noted on Instagram that a worldwide search is underway for young actors to play the leads: "Maybe some kid will get discovered or be an extra." 

Books & Authors

Awards: RNA's Romantic Novel Winners

The Romantic Novelists' Association recently presented its 2021 Romantic Novel Awards in an online event, with RNA chair Imogen Howson observing: "This year's shortlists showcase, yet again, the wonderful variety of romantic fiction, with books from publishers large and small, from some authors who are household names and others who may well be the next big thing. In difficult times, the sales of romantic fiction rise, and these books--with all their humor, drama, excitement, and romance--remind us exactly why." The RNA category winners are:

Katie Fforde debut romantic novel: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Libertà Books shorter romantic novel: A Will, a Wish and a Wedding by Kate Hardy
Romantic saga: Bobby's War by Shirley Mann
Romantic comedy novel: Sunny Days and Sea Breezes by Carole Matthews
Jackie Collins romantic thriller: The House by the Sea by Louise Douglas
Fantasy romantic novel: Echoes of the Runes by Christina Courtenay
Goldsboro Books contemporary romantic novel: My One True North by Milly Johnson
Goldsboro Books historical romantic novel: Rags-to-Riches Wife by Catherine Tinley
Sapere Books popular romantic fiction: Sing Me a Secret by Julie Houston
Outstanding achievement: Mike Gayle

Top Library Recommended Titles for April

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 April titles public library staff across the country love:

Top Pick
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan (Berkley, $15.99, 9780593101629). "Having built the Shameless platform to teach people how to find their own pleasure, Naomi wants to take that sex positivity to a lecture circuit, but no one will hire her. Enter Ethan, a young, handsome rabbi with a struggling synagogue. A seminar series on modern intimacy seems like a good way to build a sense of community and attract a younger congregation. What happens is their own lesson in intimacy, as two people passionate about their work and trying to make the world a better place sizzle with chemistry. Give to fans of The Roommate, The Kiss Quotient, and Meet Cute." --Hebah Amin-Headley, Johnson County Public Library, Overland Park, Kan.

Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson (Holt, $27.99, 9781250077035). "Lawson is a hot mess of depression and anxiety. She is also funny as hell. In this book she lays herself open. She celebrates all those awkward and difficult parts of herself and invites you to celebrate your own. She will make you laugh until you cry, and then she wraps up the episode with some profound truth that catches you unaware. For readers who like David Sedaris and Ali Wong." --Beth Morrill, Canton Public Library, Canton, Conn.

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto (Berkley, $16, 9780593333037). "Meddy's blind date doesn't end as planned, and she now has a corpse to dispose of. Her mother's solution: call in the three aunties. What follows is a roller coaster ride of a weekend with the Chan family trying to get rid of the body while working at a high profile wedding. A fast-paced and darkly humorous debut with sweet romantic moments throughout. For fans of My Sister, the Serial Killer and Get a Life, Chloe Brown." --Laura Eckert, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, Ohio

Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez (Forever, $15.99, 9781538715666). "Jimenez hits it out of the park again. She combines real-world issues with the get-the-girl, lose-the-girl dynamics of a romance. In this case, Adrian has a good chance of losing Vanessa to ALS. They both have multiple family issues including a hoarding father, an abandoning parent, a sister with addiction issues, and a baby niece that needs attention. Give to fans of Mia Sosa and Josie Silver." --Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, Mass.

Malice: A Novel by Heather Walter (Del Rey, $27, 9781984818652). "Alyce is the sole Dark Grace in Briar, a kingdom whose people love their Graces (the magical ladies who give them special elixirs). But Briar has a problem with their princesses: they die at 21 unless they kiss their one true love. Princess Aurora doesn't seem to be interested in any of the princes. This LGBTQ re-telling of Sleeping Beauty is creative and fun, with a perfect ending. For fans of Spinning Silver and Gods of Jade and Shadow." --Carrie Minthorne, Cedar Mill Library, Portland, Ore.

The Music of Bees: A Novel by Eileen Garvin (Dutton, $26, 9780593183922). "Beekeeper Alice is an older widow who is working to save her small town from big corporate greed. She forms an alliance with two young adults who both find unexpected joy in nature. For those who enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine." --Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, Wis.

The Night Always Comes: A Novel by Willy Vlautin (Harper, $26.99, 9780063035089). "Lynette is trying to buy the family home from her landlord as housing prices rise around her. At the last moment, her mother says she will not cosign for the loan and Lynette does not qualify on her own. In a last-ditch effort, Lynette sets off on an odyssey of collecting old debts and a miniature crime spree. For readers who like Raymond Chandler, John Banville, and Elmore Leonard." --Mary Robinson, Vernon Area Public Library, Lincolnshire, Ill.

Second First Impressions: A Novel by Sally Thorne (Morrow, $15.99, 9780062912855). "Ruthie Midona, twenty-something, works in a retirement community and feels like she fits in more with the residents than with her peers. Enter an attractive tattooed man assistant hired by the eccentric 90-year-old Parloni Sisters. This romance is filled with heart and laughter. For readers of Helen Hoang and Jasmine Guillory." --Melissa Stumpe, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, Ind.

To Love and to Loathe: A Novel by Martha Waters (Atria, $16.99, 9781982160876). "This enemies-to-lovers Regency romance takes Diana, Lady Templeton, and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, from engaging in a no-strings-attached affair to their happily ever after. For readers who love Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Jennifer Crusie (contemporary, but witty dialogue and hilarious hijinks)." --Kathleen Fais, New York Public Library, New York, N.Y.

You Love Me: A You Novel by Caroline Kepnes (Random House, $28, 9780593133781). "In this, the third installment in the You series, Joe Goldberg moves to the cozy island of Bainbridge in the outskirts of Seattle and sets his sights on the town librarian, who becomes his new obsession. For fans of Behind Her Eyes and The Silent Patient." --Joann Im, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, Calif.

Book Review

Review: The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020

The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 by Rachel Kushner (Scribner, $26 hardcover, 272p., 9781982157692, April 6, 2021)

Rachel Kushner's The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 starts with a bang: an account of her participation in the 1992 Cabo 1000, a perilous motorcycle race from San Ysidro, Calif., to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. But in this collection, featuring 19 pieces of edgy memoir, eclectic journalism and diverse criticism, Kushner consistently delivers on the promise of that exciting opener.

Among the most entertaining entries are Kushner's reminiscences about growing up in San Francisco. "Not with the Band" describes the series of bartending jobs that brought her into the heart of the city's rock music scene in the 1990s, and features a memorable encounter with Keith Richards. In the titular essay, a video clip shot from a vehicle driving down Market Street in 1966 sparks memories of her time working in the notorious Tenderloin and living in Haight-Ashbury. But Kushner doesn't draw only on recollections of her home turf. "In the Company of Truckers" is a brief, disarming piece about a random act of kindness received while on a cross-country drive in the late 1990s.

Admirers of Kushner's novel The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, will delight in the essay "Made to Burn," which, in addition to Kushner's prose, features arresting images that provided some of her inspiration for the novel. In "Popular Mechanics," she reflects on the Italian labor movement in the late 1960s--the era of the Red Brigades guerrilla movement--that furnished source material for the novel.

Kushner bravely dives into controversial territory, as in "We Are Orphans Here," a sympathetic portrait of the inhabitants of East Jerusalem's Shuafat Refugee Camp and her host on a tour of the camp, 29-year-old Palestinian community organizer Baha Nababta. In "Is Prison Necessary?" she illuminates the work of Ruth Gilmore, one of the leaders in the prison abolition movement.

The subjects of Kushner's criticism are similarly diverse. "Earth Angel" is an appreciation of Pulitzer Prize winner Denis Johnson, a writer whose "passion for wrecked people certainly spawned a kind of cult status," but who "was much more serious than a cult phenomenon might ever suggest." Kushner also offers admiring sketches of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy and of the writers Marguerite Duras and Clarice Lispector.

Not every one of Kushner's pieces will enchant every reader, but The Hard Crowd consistently showcases the work of a conscientious, engaged journalist. Her talent for writing fiction is already well-recognized, but this introduction to her nonfiction showcases the breadth of her talent. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Rachel Kushner displays a wide-ranging and occasionally idiosyncratic set of interests in her first nonfiction collection.

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