Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bloomsbury YA: This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Other Press: Barcelona Dreaming by Rupert Thomson

Magination Press: Jacob's School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Ian Hoffman and Sarah Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case

Simon & Schuster Children's Fall Preview: Join us for a virtual meetup featuring your favorite authors and illustrators!

Tordotcom: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

Mandala Publishing: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury and Insight Editions

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson


PRH Giving Indies Extra Month to Pay Invoices

Effective May 1, independent bookstores in the U.S. will receive an additional month to pay their Penguin Random House invoices, the company announced yesterday. This extended payment plan will become effective with all titles in the May invoice cycle, including initial orders for May titles, and reorders placed during the May billing cycle. The extended payment plan will cover all titles on PRH invoices, including DK and Penguin Random House Publisher Services' publishers.

Jaci Updike, president, sales, Penguin Random House U.S., said, "We have been listening carefully to what kinds of support will be most helpful to indies in 2021, especially those who have been struggling during the pandemic, and what we hear most consistently is that small businesses need flexibility, and the ability to manage their invoices and split payments in different ways during times of uncertain cash flow."

She added, "We believe there is no one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter approach to independent bookstores. Different stores have different needs, and this new plan provides indies with the time and opportunity to design a monthly schedule that works best for them."

Allison Hill, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, said, "In our conversations with publishers, ABA has been stressing the importance of helping booksellers with cash flow. We appreciate that Penguin Random House is listening and responding with a payment plan that supports all independent bookstores."

Independent booksellers can contact their Penguin Random House credit representative for more information.

Neal Porter Books: Bright Star by Yuyi Morales

Book Workers Call for Day of Solidarity with Amazon Workers

Publishing professionals, independent booksellers, literary publicists and others throughout the book business have pledged to join a day of solidarity scheduled for tomorrow, March 26, in support of Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Ala., who are voting in a union election this month.

Those joining the day of solidarity say they "recognize the importance of the right of all workers to collectively bargain over working conditions and they support the Amazon workers in Bessemer organizing for safer working conditions," a switch from "at will" to "just cause" employment, and fair and accessible grievance procedures. In addition, they stand with all book workers "in the struggle for a more just and sustainable industry for all of us."

Workers at publishing houses 7 Stories Press, Europa Editions, Feminist Press, The New Press and Verso Books, as well as booksellers at The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kan., Pilsen Community Books in Chicago, Ill., Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis, Minn. and East Bay Booksellers in Oakland, Calif., are among those who have signed the pledge.

The group invites workers from across the book industry to join. Interested parties can contact, and the full statement and list of signatories can be viewed here.

Harper: The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America by Matthew Pearl

How to Resist Amazon and Why: Audio Edition; Virtual Event

More news about How to Resist Amazon and Why: The Fight for Local Economics, Data Privacy, Fair Labor, Independent Bookstores, and a People-Powered Future! by Danny Caine (Microcosm Publishing):

Pear Press, owned by co-founder and CEO Mark Pearson, is publishing an audiobook version of the title that will be narrated by Caine, owner of Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan. The audio is not a exclusive but can be pre-ordered via here.

Pearson commented: "It is a critical moment for independent bookstores. We want to make sure that Danny's important message about the impact of shopping locally reaches as many readers as possible, and publishing an audiobook edition means it will be more widely accessible."

Additionally, next Wednesday, March 31, 3-4 p.m. Central, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association in conjunction with the other regional booksellers associations is hosting a virtual event, "How to Resist Amazon and Why: Concrete Steps for Booksellers," that will feature Danny Caine and Joe Biel, publisher of Microcosm, discussing strategies to help small businesses thrive in the face of tech monopolies. (Microcosm is also sponsoring a bookstore display contest highlighting the book; for details, click here.)

MIBA executive director Carrie Obry said, "We regionals are always on the look-out for experts who can collaborate with us to deliver inspirational and educational content to our members. To have this come together with Danny Caine and Microcosm Publishing is a perfect match. We're so excited to share this event with booksellers and industry partners across the country!"

People from across the book world and allied organizations are encouraged to attend. Already nearly 200 people have signed up for the event, including some from the U.K. and Ireland. Register here.

Bronzeville Books: Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

International Update: Dutch Booksellers Association Highlights Challenges; U.K. Book Industry Staffers Concerned

Anne Schroën

Anne Schroën, director of the Dutch Booksellers Association, has written an open letter to the country's policymakers, culture sector experts, readers and the wider public, highlighting the precarious position of the country's booksellers--who fall between the culture and retail sectors--due to severe Covid-19 measures, the European & International Booksellers Federation's NewsFlash reported.

"Culture in the Netherlands is under unprecedented pressure," Schroën wrote. "The entire system is faltering, and it is only a matter of time before blows with far-reaching and irreversible effect will occur. This also applies to the book industry, where bookstores are closest to the reader and the buyer. Keep our city hearts alive, where booksellers play a very important and unique role, precisely because they are both retailers and cultural centers."


Book industry employees in the U.K. "have expressed worries about staff freezes and reduced opportunities for promotion and development," according to a recent survey by the Bookseller, marking the anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown.

"The social impact has been great," a London literary agent said. "Assistants not growing up together and learning about the industry and meeting each other. The inability just to drop into somebody's office and chat things through, to work through problems. The inability to bond with new staff. These are far greater problems for us than the predicted financial issues."

A publishing staffer noted that the "move to home working is good, because it should make things more accessible to the industry, but I remain concerned the people being hired for entry level roles are [now] people who are moving within the industry and are seen as safer, more experienced bets who will require less training. The suspension of work experience and internship programs is also concerning--young people learn so much from just being in an office environment and seeing how things work."

Many survey respondents said they felt less likely to take professional risks and change jobs because of lockdown, the Bookseller wrote.

"[I'd be] more risk averse, having lived through so many changes, with the library closing then opening then closing then opening, it has been stressful," a librarian said. "There is comfort in the known at the moment." A publishing employee said: "I think I would really struggle moving to a new team remotely and not having the social aspect of meeting the team."

Some respondents, however, said that the last year had made them want to step out of their comfort zone, including a publishing house staffer who was "less risk-averse as I feel I want to make the most of opportunities and get the most out of each situation that I'm in."


Mysterious moves: In England, Bearded Badger Publishing Company tweeted: "Imagine if someone took this unit on in Belper (Derbyshire) with a view to opening a small bookshop with a real focus on showcasing the indie / small press community, whilst also using it as a base for a small press???? Hmmmm.... Thinking face." 

Meanwhile in Canada, a Twitter thread from Woozles Bookstore, Halifax, N.S., hinted at big changes ahead: "Woozles is proud to be Canada's Oldest Children's Bookstore and we aim to hold that title for a long time to come. With that in mind, we have some exciting news and wanted our faithful Woozles family to share in our journey.

"These past months of adapting to Covid have forced us to reflect on many things including something that's become increasingly apparent. Our current home--our sunny yellow shop with the green door on Birmingham Street--is no longer the best spot for us to survive and thrive. It's time for us to move. We're looking forward to finding a new, fresh spot for Woozles that is entirely awesome--bright and cheerful, family friendly in every way, and easily accessible for strollers, wheelchairs, scooters, and you!

"You, our customers, have been nothing short of INCREDIBLE and have been integral in our success story so far. We simply cannot thank you enough and we hope you will follow us on this upcoming adventure. So here's to chapter 43... it'll likely be an epic one, so stay tuned as we release more details in the coming weeks and months. Love, The Woozles." --Robert Gray

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

John Yates Retiring as Head of University of Toronto Press

John Yates, president, publisher and CEO of the University of Toronto Press, is retiring this year, effective when the press finds a successor, which is estimated to be this summer or fall.

Citing "personal reasons," Yates said, "As of June 2021, I will have spent 17 years in this position. Whether or not the pandemic is over by then, I can confidently say that together with my leadership team, managers, and staff of the Press, we have successfully navigated through the most challenging time in the history of UTP, and are heading into a bright future."

The Press said that during his tenure, Yates oversaw "the expansion of UTP's retail, distribution, and publishing divisions."

Before joining the Press, Yates spent 12 years with legal publisher LexisNexis Butterworths Canada, first as CFO and then as president.

Obituary Note: Ann Beneduce

Eric Carle and Ann Benaduce in 2016.
(via the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art)

Ann Beneduce, the longtime children's book editor who founded Philomel Books, died last week at the age of 102.

Beneduce's publishing career began in 1960, and over the years she worked at J.P. Lippincott, World Publishing and T.Y. Crowell, before founding Philomel Books, an imprint of G.P. Putnam's Sons, in 1980.

She edited and published books by award-winning authors Jane Yolen, Ed Young, Tasha Tudor and Katherine Paterson, but she was perhaps best known for discovering Eric Carle when he was working as an advertising artist. The pair worked on more than 40 titles together, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Beneduce continued to edit his work after she retired.

"A special relationship between author and editor is crucial to the success of a book," Carle wrote in The Art of Eric Carle, describing his and Beneduce's relationship as "marked by deep mutual respect and affection. Neither of us has ever imposed his or her will upon the other. An organic and easy flow of ideas, just plain talking and a lot of listening to each other, has given birth to many books since we first met. In that way some ideas have also faded away--quietly and peacefully, without a rejection slip."

Patricia Gauch, Beneduce's successor at Philomel, called her an "editor's editor. She had an extraordinary eye for design and illustration. When I came to Philomel, Ann and I overlapped, and she mentored me, inexperienced writer turned editor. It was an extraordinary privilege to learn from the gracious Ann, who believed so passionately in the power and beauty of a picture book."

In 2006, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art gave Beneduce the first Carle Honors Mentor Award, which goes to editors, designers and educators who champion the art form of the picture book.


City Lights on Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Birthday

Yesterday was the birthday of legendary bookseller, poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who died February 22 at the age of 101. To mark the occasion, City Lights tweeted a photo of crowds gathering outside the bookshop in less Covid-restricted times ("The scene at the store on Lawrence's 100th birthday. Remember crowds??"), along with a "pic from today--we busted out the happy birthday banner!"

Avid Bookshop: 'Favorite Local Business' & More

Congratulations to Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga., which took several categories in Flagpole magazine's annual readers' picks contest. In a Facebook Post, Avid noted: "Oh. My. Gosh. Thank you. We are humbled and grateful for your votes! As our ad (designed by our very own Luis Correa!) in the paper says, we are so lucky to be loved by you. Your votes in the Flagpole Favorites contest brought us FOUR awards this year! Favorite Local Business. Uniquely Athens Store. Favorite Store to Buy a Gift for Him. Favorite Store to Buy a Gift for Her. We appreciate you so much. Thank you."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick on the Today Show

Today Show: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on the PBS documentary Hemingway, airing April 5-7.

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Meaghan Murphy, author of Your Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Approach to Having Endless Energy and Filling Every Day with Yay (TarcherPerigee, $26, 9780593188576).

Drew Barrymore Show: Cleo Wade, author of What the Road Said (Feiwel & Friends, $18.99, 9781250269492).

The Real: Marina Khidekel, author of Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps (Hachette Go, $28, 9780306875137).

Jimmy Kimmel Live repeat: Michelle Obama, author of Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers (Delacorte, $18.99, 9780593303740).

This Weekend on Book TV: Mikki Kendall on Hood Feminism

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 27
12 p.m. William Sturkey, author of Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White (Belknap Press, $29.95, 9780674976351). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m.)

1 p.m. Julia Cooke, author of Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780358251408).

5 p.m. Bruce Levine, author of Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary, Fighter for Racial Justice (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476793375). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:10 p.m.)

5:50 p.m. Carl Zimmer, author of Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive (Dutton, $28, 9780593182710).

6:55 p.m. Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, authors of Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency (Crown, $30, 9780525574224).

9 p.m. Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (One World, $18, 9781984820389), at the Strand in New York City. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

10 p.m. Joby Warrick, author of Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America's Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World (Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544467). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, March 28
1 p.m. John Matteson, author of A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation (Norton, $35, 9780393247077).

2 p.m. Dennis C. Rasmussen, author of Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America's Founders (Princeton University Press, $29.95, 9780691210230).

4 p.m. Kathryn E. Stoner, author of Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order (Oxford University Press, $29.99, 9780190860714).

5:30 p.m. Nicole Perlroth, author of This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race (Bloomsbury, $30, 9781635576054).

6:45 p.m. Eric Berger, author of Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062979971), at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Tex.

7:30 p.m. Wesley Morgan, author of The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley (Random House, $35, 9780812995060).

10 p.m. Martha MacCallum, author of Unknown Valor: A Story of Family, Courage, and Sacrifice from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima (Harper, $27.99, 9780062853851).

10:30 p.m. Mikki Kendall, author of Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot (Penguin Books, $16, 9780525560562), at Charis Books in Decatur, Ga.

Books & Authors

Awards: Walter Scott Shortlist; PEN America Literary

The shortlist for the £25,000 (about $34,270) 2021 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is:

The Tolstoy Estate by Steven Conte
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

The winner will be announced in mid-June.


The recipients of the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards Career Achievement honors, recognizing "distinct, lifelong contributors to literary and artistic excellence," are:

PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature: Anne Carson
PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing: Kwame Dawes
PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award: Daniel Alexander Jones
PEN/Manheim Award for Translation: Pierre Joris
PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award: George C. Wolfe

The recipients will be celebrated at the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 8. To register for the event, click here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 30:

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman (Viking Books for Young Readers, $15.99, 9780593465271) is a special edition of the poem read at President Biden's inauguration by the youngest presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history.

100 Poems to Break Your Heart by Edward Hirsch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544931886) highlights 100 poems from the last 200 years.

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib (Random House, $27, 9781984801197) contains essays about Black entertainers.

The Red Book by James Patterson and David Ellis (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316499408) is a sequel to The Black Book. (March 29)

Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid: America's Original Gangster Couple by Glenn Stout (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780358067771) chronicles a Jazz Age jewelry theft gang.

To the Greatest Heights: Facing Danger, Finding Humility, and Climbing a Mountain of Truth by Vanessa O'Brien (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27, 9781982123789) is a memoir by the first American woman to climb K2.

Murder at Wedgefield Manor by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Kensington, $26, 9781496725882) is a mystery set at an English manor in 1926.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (Imprint, $22.99, 9781250142306) is the second and final novel in the YA King of Scars duology.

Careless Whispers by Synithia Williams (HQN, $9.99, 9781335419989).

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:

Good Eggs: A Novel by Rebecca Hardiman (Atria, $27, 9781982164294). "Filled with warmth and hilarity, this book reads like a mix of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye and a Maeve Binchy novel. The Irish setting is especially welcome on this side of the pond, and of the three plotlines following different generations, the absolute best paints 83-year-old pistol of a grandma Millie as a delightfully quirky and determined soul. A charming, offbeat novel--perfect to savor as we emerge from this particular winter." --Deb Wayman, Fair Isle Books, Washington Island, Wis.

Every Last Fear: A Novel by Alex Finlay (Minotaur, $26.99, 9781250268822). "This is a riveting debut crime novel featuring a nonstop propulsive plot with twists and turns that will keep you up at night racing through the pages to figure out what will happen. Finlay has crafted an unforgettable story that glides between past and present while moving from locales in the U.S. to Tulum, Mexico. This will surely earn a legion of fans." --Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

Cosmogony: Stories by Lucy Ives (Soft Skull, $16.95, 9781593765996). "Ives writes boldly; her stories are strong and wild, as if she left the door open to the dream world and let all that magic saturate. Her writings are grounded in the real world, but there's a shimmering rind to them, magical realism at its toughest. She's also mastered that tricky art of creating beautiful content while offering an intimate and substantial reflection on very human happenings and feelings. Perfect for those who love the minds of women who are unafraid to blast boundaries apart." --Aimee Keeble, Main Street Books, Davidson, N.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold, illus. by Suzanne Kaufman (Knopf, $18.99, 9780525579748). "A great jumping-off point for discussions about all those big feelings! This is a beautiful book about working through whatever is happening and whatever you're feeling. It doesn't minimize one's emotions, but rather shows tools for coping. I love looking at how each individual approaches the different situations--you could write a whole thesis on community and personal relationships with this book." --Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Memory Thief by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Aladdin, $17.99, 9781481480215). "Rosie's mom is incapable of loving her. Rosie tries to make up for it by pretending to write parental notes of encouragement, and writing stories for herself and her best friend, Germ. Imagine Rosie's surprise when she discovers with the help of a ghost friend that her mom has been cursed by witches. Now that Rosie has been thrust into this new world with ghosts and witches and a moon goddess, she begins a quest to find the truth and save her mom. This first in a trilogy is a fun fantasy adventure about the power of story and believing in yourself." --Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.

For Teen Readers
Can't Take That Away by Steven Salvatore (Bloomsbury, $17.99, 9781547605309). "Salvatore brings every character to life in Can't Take That Away. The characters are flawed and beautiful, and Carey and his friends remind me so much of me and my friends during my high school days. I am so happy young people today have books like this to read, and have the ability to be heard and seen in a way we didn't have when I was growing up. Can't Take That Away is going to be an important book in young people's literature." --Rayna Nielsen, Garden District Book Shop, New Orleans, La.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: To Love and to Loathe

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters (Atria Books, $16.99 paperback, 352p., 9781982160876, April 6, 2021)

Following To Have and to Hoax, Martha Waters's To Love and to Loathe returns to Regency-era England with a witty enemies-to-lovers romance that sparkles with banter and tension. Young widow Diana, Lady Templeton, is looking for an affair but doesn't have the reputation to let eligible gentlemen know she might be interested. Her brother's longtime friend Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, is known in society for his many liaisons. Isn't it convenient that they're both available at the same time, that he's holding a two-week house party and that they've been carrying a torch for each other for years?

The plot is a bit more complicated, however. Diana bets Jeremy that he'll be married within a year and enlists the help of his grandmother in her matchmaking scheme. So even as she's attempting to set him up with an eligible young woman during the house party, Diana negotiates a short-term fling with Jeremy--a practical arrangement that of course won't involve their hearts at all. "His intention had been to remind her of the strange, potent connection between them, to leave her wanting more. He had no idea... if he'd accomplished that aim--but he'd undoubtedly succeeded at reminding himself."

To Love and to Loathe is told in alternating points of view, illustrating two similarly delusional perspectives. Both express their attraction through good-natured bickering as funny as it is obvious (to everyone but them). " 'I'm surprised you weren't cozying up to Lady Helen...' Willingham said, giving her a dazzling smile. It was one she had seen him use on numerous ladies, with universal success. She gave him a severe look. His smile widened."

Waters employs several classic romance tropes, including a bet, a meddling grandmother and two characters convinced they can have a fling to get years of attraction out of their systems. After all, they're both too intelligent and worldly to develop any pesky feelings for one another.

The Happily Ever After guaranteed by a romance novel puts readers in the position to revel in the antics of two characters while knowing they'll never succeed in denying their feelings as they're so determined to do. It's this experience--a shared knowing with the author--that makes To Love and to Loathe so enjoyable. While Diana and Jeremy attempt to lie to themselves and each other, readers know the delicious truth: that they've been meant for each other since the day they met. --Suzanne Krohn, editor, Love in Panels

Shelf Talker: Martha Waters's second historical romance is a delightful enemies-to-lovers escape filled with banter and humor--perfect for readers looking to laugh and swoon in equal measure.

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