Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone: Start your entrepreneurial journey with affordable packages, starting from $1,566

Candlewick Press: Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara González Hoang

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Big Picture Press: Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution by De Nichols

Callaway Arts & Entertainment: The Beatles: Get Back by The Beatles, photographed by Linda McCartney

St. Martin's Press: The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont


Keaton & Lloyd Book Shop Coming to Rome, N.Y.

Keaton & Lloyd Book Shop will open this fall in Rome, N.Y. The Sentinel reported that when Julie Whittemore, assistant director of operations at Rome Capitol Theatre, began "noticing the hustle and bustle that was beginning to build downtown, she wanted to become part of this thriving arts community."

Her new bookshop, to be located in the 200 block of West Dominick Street next to the Capitol Theatre, is a reflection of Whittemore's passion for silent films and books. "I began volunteering for the Capitol Theatre when I was in high school," she recalled. "At the time, I obviously loved the theater, but the neighborhood was somewhat dismal. I watched retailers and restaurants move in, and move out just as quickly. But over the past several years, I have worked each and every day downtown. I am amazed.

Julie Whittemore

"We now have several music studios, dozens of studio artists who come here as part of the Rome Art Association, a wide array of movies and live performances, outdoor arts classes, and more. They are successful and there is demand. People come from long distances to take part. I really believe Rome has found its niche as an arts city."

Keaton & Lloyd Book Shop will add a missing link to the district as "a place where local authors could come give readings and lectures to help support their work," the Sentinel wrote.

With plans to sell both new and used books, as well as book-related items, Whittemore said: "I will offer everything from Manga to presidential history. The environment will be rather mature, but I will offer a unique selection of books for children. I believe my children's section will be a great opportunity for me to infuse work by CNY authors since there are so many that enjoy publishing material for kids."

Whittemore also noted that as soon as she "made the first post about my shop on Facebook, I got an incredible response. People are clamoring for a book shop in Rome and I am really excited to be the one to give it to them People are even offering to pitch in and help. I am getting order requests over social media and requests for interviews about my opening."

Conceding that she has occasionally "gotten the expected, 'Why books? That won't be profitable,' many times over," Whittemore countered: "Having lived in the budding Arts District for several years now, I can honestly say I am amazed at our success. Our community is special in all the right ways, and I feel the love. We have film, we have studio arts, we have performing arts... now it's time for the literary arts to shine."

Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

Vt.'s Bennington Bookshop Relocating

The new Bennington Bookshop

The Bennington Bookshop, Bennington, Vt., which was established in 1928 and purchased in 2015 by current owners Linda Foulsham and Phil Lewis, is relocating. The store, which closed temporarily on Monday, will reopen June 28 at 109 South Street.

On Facebook, the Bennington Bookshop has been providing updates on the pending transition, including: 

"We are moving!... While closed, we will continue to take online orders, but pick up and delivery might be affected. See you in the new space!"

"It's almost moving time for the bookshop! We are seeking donations of sturdy boxes to pack and move books from 467 Main Street to 109 South Street. Remember all those boxes you stored because you knew they would come in handy some day? Well, that day has arrived!"

"Thanks to Ben Oyola of Berkshire Sign Studio for crafting these wonderful signs for our new space. Ben hung them up today--stunning, classy, bookshop-perfect!"

Paraclete Press: Mr. Nicholas: A Magical Christmas Tale by Christopher de Vinck

A Look at Regional Plans, Part 2

This fall, booksellers in the western half of the country will have the chance to gather in-person once again for regional trade shows and conferences. Below is a look at what the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association and the California Independent Booksellers Alliance have planned.

Yesterday Shelf Awareness took a look at what the other five regional associations have lined up for the fall. It was incorrectly stated that registration is not yet open for New Voices, New Rooms, but NAIBA and SIBA members can currently register here.

The PNBA Tradeshow
PNBA's 2021 Tradeshow will be held in person at the Red Lion on the River hotel in Portland, Ore., from October 3-5. 

While registration is not yet open and specifics have yet to be released, there is a tentative schedule in place. The show will begin on Sunday, October 3, with a Sunday Brunch event, and over the next few days there will be rep picks, mixers, author meet-and-greets, educational programs, keynote sessions and more.

A trade show virtual annex, meanwhile, will begin the week of October 11. The annex will feature virtual author events, rep picks and galley grabs, and the recordings of some of the sessions from the in-person conference will be made available.

CALIBA's Fall Discovery Lab
CALIBA is taking a hybrid approach to this year's Fall Discovery Lab. The show will run from October 24-29, and while the bulk of the event programming and the annual town hall will be held virtually, there will be in-person events in Northern California and Southern California.

The first in-person event will be held on October 24, at the Books Inc. location at Opera Plaza in San Francisco. The second in-person event will take place on October 28 at Vroman's in Pasadena. A complete schedule and registration details are still to come.

MPIBA's FallCon
This year's FallCon, the annual conference put on by MPIBA, will be held in Denver, Colo., from October 7-9. Registration is not yet open and more details will be released soon. MPIBA's Bookseller Summer Camp, meanwhile, is kicking off in just a few short weeks.

Berkley Books: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot

International Update: Amazon Destroying 'Books Galore' in U.K., Malaysian Booksellers Association on Covid Restrictions

Amazon is destroying tens of thousands of unsold stock items, including "books galore" in one of its U.K. warehouses every week, the Bookseller reported, citing an ITV News investigation that included footage from Amazon's Dunfermline warehouse.

During one week in April, a leaked document from inside the warehouse "showed more than 124,000 items were marked 'destroy'. In contrast, just 28,000 items in the same period were labelled 'donate.' A former employee told ITV News the 'target was to generally destroy 130,000 items a week,' " the Bookseller wrote.  

An Amazon spokesperson denied the charge: "We do not send any items to landfill in the U.K. and to suggest otherwise is highly misleading and untrue. Our priority is to resell, donate or recycle any unsold products. As a last resort, we will send items to energy recovery, but we're working hard to drive the number of times this happens down to zero."


The Malaysian Booksellers Association said parents, teachers and students are frustrated they cannot buy materials to support home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) because of the closure of bookstores due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Star reported.

Executive committee member Mak Chee Kin said many are in need of new materials and stationery: "Though these can be bought online, some are not as tech-savvy as others. They require these materials and stationery immediately but have to wait for a few days (for delivery). Worse, books and stationery departments in department stores are closed as they are deemed non-essential." 

The domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry said it will make a suggestion for premises selling items related to PdPR to operate during the lockdown, FMT reported. Deputy minister Rosol Wahid noted that the proposal would be forwarded to the National Security Council for consideration, adding that among the premises would be stores selling books and stationery, as well as printing shops.


Donations continue to pour into the fundraising campaign for Samir Mansour's Bookshop in Gaza City, which was destroyed last month by an Israeli air strike targeting the building where it was located. The Guardian reported that the appeal, managed by human rights lawyers Mahvish Rukhsana and Clive Stafford Smith, has thus far raised more than $215,000 of its $250,000 goal, "while tens of thousands of donated books have been sent from all over the world to help Mansour restock."

"Dropping bombs on Samir Mansour's bookshop is not the worst tragedy to have hit the people of Gaza--but this particular air strike targeted access to books," said Rukhsana. "It was an attack on the knowledge and literacy of this community. Samir lost almost 100,000 books and served schoolchildren and adults alike. I knew hospital and roads would receive funding, but secondary cultural institutions such as libraries are often overlooked but equally critical to the community."

In addition to replacing all of Mansour's 100,000 books and rebuilding his bookshop, the goal of the campaign is also to help him establish a new project: the Gaza Cultural Centre, which would be a library next door, from which readers could borrow books.


Smaller booksellers in Paris are being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, real estate prices and online retailers, but the city's romantic Latin Quarter is particularly "in danger of losing its unique charm," DW News reported. --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: George Corrette

George Corrette, who worked for and later became co-owner of fulfillment and distribution company Pathway Book Service in Keene, N.H., died recently. In a tribute published by the Keene Sentinel, Julie Anne Eason of Thanet House Publishing wrote: "My heart is breaking tonight. Your community lost an incredible gentleman this week and my little company, Thanet House Books, would not be where it is today without his generous help."

Eason noted that Corrette "knew so much more about the book industry and how the whole distribution chain functioned outside of the digital marketplace. Any time I needed to know something about bookstores or distribution or transporting books from shipping containers in China, he was always the cheery voice on the other side of the phone. Sometimes he had the answer, sometimes he would spend some time researching and get back to me. But he always made the time.

"George was a paragon of patience with this baby publisher who was totally confused by the ins and outs of an industry that likes to keep its secrets. When I learned he passed away suddenly this week, I wished I had made the trip to Keene one more time to see him."

Peter Sarno of PFP Publishing/AJAR Contemporaries observed: "He was a very gracious and helpful man who assisted me and others immensely from the beginnings of my venture into the publishing world to just a couple of days ago when he was helping me with the distribution of Joe Torra's new memoir that we just released. George--and Pathway--were, and continue to be, a significant cog in the wheel of indie publishers like myself and much larger ones. I've always felt like Pathway treated me like family and this was due in no small part to the tremendous efforts of George. I am very sad to hear of Pathway's--as well as our--loss."


Maurice Sendak Exhibit Open in NYC Until July 10

We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (finished study for the New Yorker cover, published on Sept. 27, 1993; ©The Maurice Sendak Foundation)

Open now through July 10, the Society of Illustrators in New York City is hosting an exhibit of more than 100 original drawings by Maurice Sendak, the late children's book author and illustrator. Many of the works have not previously been shown to the public, and nearly a third of the art in the exhibit and sale is new to the market. Collectively Maurice Sendak: Genius of American Picture Books, Exhibit and Sale shows Sendak's work as an artist, from his first book through his only front-cover design for the New Yorker in 1993, and includes pencil sketches, ink drawings, full watercolors, lithographs, studies for published illustrations, poster designs and operatic stage sets.

Highlights include:

  • Six drawings from the first book Sendak illustrated at age 18 in 1946.
  • A 3-D Kiko Wild Thing Flower created for six-year-old Nicholas Hentoff, son of writer Nat Hentoff
  • Finished artwork for the cover of The Children's Friend, a magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • Alternate drawings for In the Night Kitchen, published by Harper & Row in 1970
  • Story boards from the 1975 CBS-TV animation special Maurice Sendak's Really Rosie
  • Program cover design for New York City Opera
  • Finished study for the New Yorker cover, published September 27, 1993

The exhibit and sale is open Wednesdays through Saturdays through July 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with timed reservation tickets issued for 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Admission: members free; $15 for adults; children under 10 with an adult free; $10 for seniors; $10 students with current ID. The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 E. 63rd St. in Manhattan.

The exhibit catalogue and a virtual tour is available here.

Oprah Features '53 LGBTQ-Owned Bookstores'

Oprah Daily featured "53 LGBTQ-owned bookstores you can be proud to support," noting that these businesses "are more than shops to browse for books; they are hubs for both entertainment and enlightenment, meeting grounds for hearts and minds. They are, above all, vital community spaces."

Oprah's comprehensive directory highlights "shops that go above and beyond selling hardcovers and paperbacks to foster a sense of community, acceptance, and solidarity. We'll continue to add to this list, and if there are any that we missed, please make sure to let us know in the comments below! From New York to San Francisco, from Montgomery, Alabama to Verona, Wisconsin, we hope you'll find an indie bookstore near you to support--during Pride month and beyond."

Bookshop Wedding Proposal: Zenith Bookstore

Zenith Bookstore, Duluth, Minn., which was the setting for a wedding proposal yesterday, shared the moment on Instagram: "Tucked away in the stacks, JT got down on one knee, and Savannah said yes! (Reenacted here in front of the Romance section) Savannah loves books and always goes to bookstores whenever she travels. The Georgian couple is visiting family in the Northland this week. Knowing they would be in the area, JT decided to pop the question at Zenith. Best of luck and warmest wishes for the future Savannah and JT! Thank you for sharing your special day with us." 

Personnel Changes at Columbia Global Reports

Allison Finkel has joined Columbia Global Reports as assistant director of marketing. She was a senior marketing manager at Basic Books, where she worked on a range of titles and handled many marketing campaigns for the feminist publishing house Seal Press. Allie started her publishing career at Oxford University Press.

Media and Movies

TV: Inspector Maigret Series

Georges Simenon Limited has signed a license and co-production arrangement with Colin Callender's Playground (Wolf Hall, Howards End, All Creatures Great and Small) to co-develop, with Red Arrow Studios International, a "new premium, English-language returning drama TV series" based on Simenon's Inspector Maigret novels. 

This marks the first major global TV deal for GSL since International Literary Properties acquired 90% of the literary estate in 2020. Playground's option extends to all 75 novels and 28 short stories based on the Maigret character. 

GSL CEO and director John Simenon commented: "As the administrator of the various components of Simenon's IP estate, I am constantly reminded of the rare privilege, and the corresponding responsibilities, associated with the management of such an exceptional legacy. It is a challenging mission to reach out, through all media, to the widest potential audience for my father's works and values, while preserving their integrity as well as his own. In that respect, this very special project is a key opportunity and I look forward to working on it with Playground and Red Arrow."

Playground's joint managing directors Scott Huff and David Stern called the deal "a rare opportunity to adapt a work that is both distinctive and timeless and we're incredibly grateful to the Simenon Estate and for the partnership of Red Arrow as we bring Maigret to a global audience."

Hilary Strong, CEO of ILP and director of GSL, said: "ILP was formed to acquire IP in the world's best literary estates, and to work with those estates and their representatives to preserve their legacy and develop them in a way that ensures that wonderful stories like George Simenon's continue to be re-told by the most talented voices to bring enjoyment for decades to come. I am excited by the opportunity to work with GSL and John Simenon to make this happen."

"Playground has an eminent reputation for bringing award-winning and striking series to international audiences, and we look forward creating a fresh and distinctive adaptation that will appeal to Maigret's existing fans as well as new ones," said Tim Gerhartz, president & managing director at Red Arrow.

Books & Authors

Awards: Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Longlist

A 12-title longlist has been released for the 2021 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award, which celebrates "a compelling novel with brilliant characterization and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realized." The shortlist will be announced August 5, and the winner, who will receive £2,000 (about $2,840) and a handmade glass bell, will be named September 30. This year's longlisted titles are:

The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
The First Sister by Linden Lewis
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
Apeirogon by Colum McCann
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield

Reading with... Joss Lake

photo: J. Aharonov

Joss Lake is a novelist and educator living in New York. He runs a literary sauna series called Trans at Rest. His debut novel is Future Feeling (Soft Skull Press, June 1, 2021), about a hex gone awry and trans self-actualization.

On your nightstand now:

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa and N.K. Jemisin's How Long 'Til Black Future Month? I've been on a quest to figure out how to write a "contemplative novel," and Trungpa Rinpoche's spiritual work and writings have influenced many people I admire, including Pema Chödrön. I'm a big fan of N.K. Jemisin's sprawling, speculative worlds, and it's interesting to see how she plays around with the seeds for these worlds in her short stories.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Without question, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. That book opened a portal for me.

Your top five authors:

Angela Carter
Renee Gladman
Tommy Pico
Marcel Proust
Virginia Woolf

(The list is representative of a much larger one.)

Book you've faked reading:

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace. My high school English teacher was so sure that I would love it, but the title, and related content, did not appeal to me.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren. We all need to spend some time inside this strange, breathing, apocalyptic queer city.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Olio by Tyehimba Jess. While experiencing sensory overload at the Brooklyn Book Festival, I was drawn to the simplicity of this cover, which has, like all Wave Books, black text on a cream background. (There are many better reasons to read this book of poetry.)

Book you hid from your parents:

Kathy Acker's Pussy, King of the Pirates. I couldn't believe they sold it in a suburban St. Louis Borders. I had a lofted bed, so my reading material was quite private (until I went to college and my Lesbian Sex book was discovered).

Book that changed your life:

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. I had reservations about writing a book about mental health and translating certain experiences into lyrical prose, and then I saw how Emezi completely altered the landscape for talking about interiority.

Favorite line from a book:

"It is enough for us to state the simple fact; Orlando was a man till the age of 30; when he became a woman and has remained so ever since." --Orlando by Virginia Woolf

The authority of this line, the unwavering declaration, undid me when I first read this in college. I've never really recovered.

Five books you'll never part with:

Burn Your Boats by Angela Carter
Blow-Up and Other Stories by Julio Cortázar
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

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

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. I was so charmed and delighted by the "serious play" of this book and the way it expanded my sense of the possible.

A book that makes you ridiculously happy:

Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham. The book came into my life under strange circumstances, after I delivered cookies to a well-known horror writer and was thanked with a pile of books, including this one.

Book Review

Children's Review: Survivor Tree

Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen, illus. by Aaron Becker (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 hardcover, 48p., 9780316487672, August 31, 2021)

Those under the impression that a hero must be a sentient being may reconsider once they've read Marcie Colleen and Aaron Becker's Survivor Tree. This reverberant picture book tells the true story of a tree that not only lived through the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center but endures as a symbol of hope at the very spot where, for one moment in time, all hope seemed to be lost.

The tree's story, told through mildly lyrical omniscient narration, begins unassumingly: "A tree stood steel-straight and proud at the foot of the towers that filled its sky. It grew, mostly unnoticed, silently marking the seasons." The tree changed with the seasons without incident for nearly 30 years, until the September day when "the perfect blue sky exploded."

The tree appears to be a casualty of the violence on 9/11: a dystopian image shows it burned and collapsed in a bed of rubble. But intrepid recovery workers see signs of life--a few green leaves--and the tree is whisked away and planted in new soil. As it rehabilitates, workers honor the tree's history with a heartrending gesture: "Two stone blocks were placed in its stunted shadow--a memorial of makeshift towers in a makeshift home." The tree doesn't blossom on schedule that spring, but when it's finally ready, bloom it does. Nearly a decade later, "it was time to go home," to the site of the devastation, which became a public memorial.

In an author's note, Colleen (The Bear's Garden) says that the tree is a Callery pear, which is known for its "brilliant seasonal display: white blossoms in spring, green leaves in summer, red leaves in autumn, and bare branches in winter," all of which Becker (A Stone for Sascha) captures in felicitous detail with watercolors and colored pencils. He also seizes on opportunities to work dabs of charged color into his illustrations. Workers' green helmets, their orange or yellow safety vests, the red shirt of a young visitor to the 9/11 memorial--all suggest the unsinkability of post-9/11 city denizens. One particularly noteworthy image shows a side view of the regenerated tree, a thin horizontal strip of earth separating what onlookers see when they admire it and, beneath the ground, the Callery pear's roots clinging reassuringly to the soil. Survivor Tree, which marks the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, is like its subject: a stately monument to resilience. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

Shelf Talker: Marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this august picture book tells the true story of a tree that survived the World Trade Center attacks.

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