Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Storey Publishing: The Universe in Verse: 15 Portals to Wonder Through Science & Poetry by Maria Popova

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

Jimmy Patterson: Amir and the Jinn Princess by M T Khan

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout


Virginia Highland Books Opens in Atlanta, Ga.

An independent bookstore called Virginia Highland Books has opened in Atlanta, Ga., Atlanta Intown reported.

Located near the intersection of Virginia Avenue and N. Highland Avenue, the bookstore sells general-interest titles for all ages. Adult fiction, YA books and a children's area are located on the store's main floor, and a staircase leads to a lower level that features nonfiction books and space for events.

Owner Sandy Huff, whose background is in event planning, public relations and marketing, hopes to start hosting events in August. Currently her store carries nonbook items like reading glasses, blue light glasses and puzzles, and she plans to stock vinyl records in the near future.

Huff has no plans to sell used books, but she does intend to collect used books and donate them to various nonprofits, including an organization called Hillside that provides mental health services to 700 families per year and residential treatment for children. She will also start displaying the work of local artists, with travel photographer Jonathan McKown up first.

"The amount of interest is very reassuring," Huff told Atlanta Intown. "Bookstores have to have neighborhood support to succeed. So far, people seem excited so that's a step in the right direction!"

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

The Book & Cover Coming to Chattanooga, Tenn.

Future home of The Book & Cover.

Blaes Green, Sarah Jackson and Emily Lilley have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help open a new bookstore in Chattanooga, Tenn., called The Book & Cover, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. With 20 days remaining, the campaign has raised just over $75,000.

Green, Jackson and Lilley, Chattanooga natives who attended school together, have found a space in North Chattanooga on Hanover Street. The general-interest bookstore will sell new titles for all ages along with a variety of snacks and refreshments. There will be a sizable children's area and the owners' event plans include book clubs and children's programming.

Jackson, who will manage the store day-to-day, told the Times Free Press that there will be a "story for everyone" at The Book & Cover. The owners have kept inclusivity and access in mind both in terms of planning their inventory and choosing a space that is accessible to people with disabilities. "We're not interested in only catering to or curating an experience for a certain type of reader."

Green said they spent months learning the ins-and-outs of running a bookstore and getting advice from established indie booksellers in the Southeast who operate in similar communities. 

Conversations with those booksellers, in fact, led to them starting a crowdfunding campaign rather than pursuing a start-up loan.

They would rather build the store with the community, explained Lilley, and have community members think "I was a part of this, I was a part of starting this and this means something to me."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

International Update: NZ Publishers 2020 Book Sales Up, Indie Notes from Canada, U.K.


New Zealand publishers "have proved remarkably buoyant, despite the turmoil of bookstore closures, shipping delays and canceled author events," Booksellers NZ reported, citing the latest New Zealand Publishing Market Size Report 2020, completed by Nielsen Book Research for the Publishers Association of New Zealand/Te Rau o Tākapu.

The report highlights the NZ$302.2 million (about US$213.5 million) contribution the publishing industry made to the country's creative economy, an increase of 3% over 2019. All New Zealand-published content sold domestically grew 13% year-on-year, with digital formats for the general consumer market increasing 15% by units and the online sales channel up 60% by value. 

Although digital revenue growth was accelerated by bookstore and library closures during the pandemic, "Kiwis still have a strong preference for physical print books," BooksellersNZ noted. In 2020, print book sales increased 6%, to NZ$135.3 million (about US$95.5 million), accounting for a 90% volume share of the total market. There was continuing growth in Māori-language publishing, with a 24% increase in unit sales during 2019.

The export market experienced a 13% decline in earnings from New Zealand content "as access to international markets, rights fairs and other routes to market were curtailed during the pandemic," Booksellers NZ wrote, adding that the drop "was particularly felt in the educational publishing sector which faced a reduction in exports to the U.S. and U.K., however exports to other markets grew in 2020, with content sent to Australia up 12% and Asia increasing by a significant 39%."


The Canadian Independent Booksellers Association showcased Hilary and Cliff Atleo, who launched Iron Dog Books, Vancouver, B.C., in 2017. "Their bookstore was based out of an 80 square foot renovated cube van, which they referred to as the 'food (for the brain) truck.' They spent two years travelling to events, markets, and festivals in BC's lower mainland before expanding to a brick-and-mortar location in Vancouver," CIBA noted.

Curation is key at the bookshop. "I don't believe in a hierarchy of literature, but rather a topography," Hilary Atleo said. "Each area of the map has highlights worth visiting."

CIBA noted that Iron Dog Books "has become a beloved community hub, and the truck still rides on. One of the unique benefits of the truck is being able to bring the store to new audiences. At events that are not about reading, the truck becomes a conduit of discovery or rediscovery--not only of a particular title, but of books and reading more generally."


Amazon plans to open a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Parkland County, Alb., Canada that will be used to pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics, and toys. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the decision "a vote of confidence in our economy, and will create over a thousand jobs for Albertans, right when we need them most." 

Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec said, "The facility is a major investment and will create a significant number of jobs in the region." William Morin, Chief of the Enoch Cree Nation 135, added that the decision "means our young people have a real example of the future global economy they can be a part of."


"Did we mention that we've got more space?! Surprise!" British bookseller Drake--The Bookshop, Stockton-on-Tees, posted on Facebook yesterday. "We've expanded to the shop next door! If you keep looking through the photos you can see the progress of setting it all up. 

"We are so thrilled to have a whole shop for children's books and the original shop will have even more fiction, nonfiction, etc. for adults! We're also excited to have more seating areas for customers to enjoy coffee or tea! We want to give a huge shout out to all of our amazing customers for making this possible! We wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't for your amazing support throughout the pandemic. Thank you." --Robert Gray

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Obituary Note: Thomas Cleary

Thomas Cleary, who "began translating at the age of 18 and went on to write and translate close to 100 books," died June 20. He was 72. His translations from classical Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Pali, Bengali, Arabic, and Old Irish "are recognized for the clear, accurate, natural style in which he made accessible both well-known and little-known classical texts: Buddhist and Taoist works, works from the Art of War tradition on leadership and strategy and building strong organizations, the Qur'an, the sayings of Muhammad, the counsels of Hadrat Ali, the counsels of Cormac."

In a remembrance, Shambhala Publications president Nikko Odiseos observed that Cleary "was the twentieth century's most prolific translator of Asian classics to English... Shambhala Publications publishes over 60 of his works. He was a very private person, shunning the limelight and preferring to work quietly, producing some of the most important works of the Buddhist world into English....

"Yet despite his reclusive ways, he was a giant. Robert Thurman said of him, 'There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas Cleary is the greatest translator of Buddhist texts from Chinese or Japanese into English of our generation, and that he will be so known by grateful Buddhist practitioners and scholars in future centuries. Single-handedly he has gone a long way toward building the beginnings of a Buddhist canon in English.' "

Odiseos added that Cleary's bestselling books were the classics of ancient Chinese thought: The Art of War (for which he translated multiple related texts), The Book of Five Rings, various iterations of the I Ching, and many other books. "I hope you join me in gratitude to Thomas for a life of dedication to these works and the figures behind them. They have benefitted--and will continue to benefit--countless seekers with the aspiration to achieve the highest potential of what it can mean to be human."

Cleary's obituary in the East Bay Times noted: "He always remained deeply interested. He strove always to convey the spirit of the originals but in contemporary language, so that his translations were never stilted. His introductions brought a breath of fresh air as they reviewed vast bodies of knowledge, distilling their essential message. Only someone with the depth and breadth of his scholarship could present such complex concepts in light, lucid prose. He continued his work to the end, despite his worsening illness."


Artbook | D.A.P. Distributing MFA Publications Worldwide

Artbook | D.A.P. has expanded its distribution agreement with longtime partner MFA Publications, the publishing imprint of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, so that it is now worldwide distributor. It had been the distributor for MFA Publications in the U.S. and Canada.

Recently released titles from MFA Publications include Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories, which accompanies an upcoming exhibition at the Museum, and Cy Twombly: Making Past Present, exploring the modern master's passion for classical culture. Forthcoming titles include Genji: The Prince and the Parodies (October 2021), on how artists have interpreted the intrigues and love stories of The Tale of Genji, and Kay Nielsen: An Enchanted Vision (September 2021), a survey of the images of fantasy and fairytales by this master illustrator.

MFA Publications backlist favorites include John Singer Sargent: Watercolors, Klimt and Schiele: Drawings, Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation and Hokusai's Landscapes.

Sharon Helgason Gallagher, president and publisher of Artbook | D.A.P., said, "We are thrilled to bring the publications of this world-class museum to an international market. The scope of the MFA's programming and publications is expansive; it's an exciting venture to bring these books to the widest possible audience."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Pollan, Patti LaBelle on Good Morning America

CBS This Morning: Danny Trejo, co-author of Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood (Atria, $27, 9781982150822). He will also appear on Wendy Williams.

Good Morning America: Michael Pollan, author of This Is Your Mind on Plants (Penguin Press, $28, 9780593296905).

Also on GMA: Patti LaBelle, author of LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About (Gallery/13A, $30, 9781982179083).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: Michael J. Fox, author of No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Flatiron, $27.99, 9781250265616).

Tamron Hall repeat: Jason Brown, co-author of Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters (WaterBrook, $24, 9780593193358).

TV: LeningradSacred Hunger

Michael Hirst (Vikings, The Tudors) will write a TV series adaptation of Anna Reid's 2011 book Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944, which draws on personal diaries, Deadline reported. The project is a co-production between Range Media Partners and Svetlana and Alexey Kuzmichev's Orangery Productions.

"Because the authentic voice of the people is crucial to telling the true story, one of the great resources are the diaries kept by so many people, specifically women, in the city," Hirst said. "The majority of our main characters are women, not only because they are often overlooked or even ignored in historical accounts, but also because while many of Leningrad's men went to war and died in battle, the women remained. I think it's entirely right to tell the story of the Siege through the female experience."


Plan B and Marshall executive producer Chris Bongirne and his production company Smokestack Films have teamed up with financier Stephen Leist to acquire the rights to Barry Unsworth's novel Sacred Hunger, which was published in 1992 and shared the Booker Prize with The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Deadline reported

"We're honored to have the opportunity to adapt Unsworth's poignant work for the screen," Bongirne said. "The deeply powerful story dives deep into England's early slave trade to reveal a tale of shared humanity as stunningly relevant today as it was bitingly critical at the time. Television is the perfect medium for the brutal relevance, scope and sweep of this timely story."

Books & Authors

Awards: Desmond Elliott Winner

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore has won the £10,000 (about $13,820) 2021 Desmond Elliott Prize, sponsored by the National Centre for Writing and honoring "the best first novel across the U.K. and Ireland." Set in England in 1643, the historical novel will be published in the U.S. by Catapult August 10.

Chair of judges Lisa McInerney said, "The Manningtree Witches is a stunning achievement. Blakemore takes limited historical detail and, with what seems like effortless grace and imagination, crafts a breathing, complex world full of wrenchingly human characters, and tells us their stories in language that bears endless rereading, so clever and unexpected and pleasurable it is."

Book Review

Review: Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage

Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage by Eleanor Henderson (Flatiron, $27.99 hardcover, 400p., 9781250787941, August 10, 2021)

Anyone who has read Ten Thousand Saints, Eleanor Henderson's first novel, may recognize her husband, Aaron, in her enthralling and devastating memoir, Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage. In it, Henderson says of writing Ten Thousand Saints, "For nine years I had been building a fictional universe out of the scraps of [Aaron's] childhood"; the story she crafted was "the one I wished for him." Everything I Have Is Yours contains Aaron's true story, and no one would wish it on anybody.

Henderson and Aaron met at a CD Warehouse in Florida--he was working; she was shopping--and throughout the 20-plus years bridging their courtship and the Covid-19 pandemic, the vast majority of their time seems to have been spent seeking diagnoses and remedies for Aaron's medical problems. Where to begin outlining them? Henderson writes this of meeting with yet another new medical expert: "Aaron describes his symptoms, a song he's long ago memorized. Anemic. Disoriented. Falling. Can't concentrate. Can't sleep. The flare every two weeks. The skin crawling. The stuff coming out of his hands." To introduce themselves at a Recovering Couples Anonymous retreat, Henderson and Aaron recap "the drugs, the suicide attempts, the childhood abuse, separation, recovery." There's also Aaron's alcoholism, his visit to a psych ward, his inexplicable lifelong headaches and his conviction that he has parasites. Understandably, Aaron is often unable to hold a job, so he and Henderson get by, sometimes barely, with family money and her income, ultimately as a teacher at Ithaca College.

Everything I Have Is Yours can be rough going, and not just because of Aaron's fairly unremitting agony. Also tough on some readers will be his and Henderson's choices outside the medical setting: Could they really not have foreseen that their financial extravagances would eventually compound their suffering? Might they have sheltered their two young children a bit more from their father's self-destructive impulses? Meanwhile, readers who register pangs of conscience for occasionally doubting Aaron's accounts will find themselves in good company: Henderson, too, has been there.

Perhaps particularly unsettling, and certainly humbling, Everything I Have Is Yours may prompt readers to consider whether they would have Henderson's fortitude to stick with her unceasingly difficult marriage. Her memoir has aspects of medical mystery and horror story, but most readers will leave it with the impression of having taken in a love story as blisteringly beautiful as it is truthful. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: This wrenching, immersive memoir centered on novelist Henderson's efforts to help her chronically ill husband is a love story with elements of medical mystery and real-life horror show.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. How Much I Love by Marie Force
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
3. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
4. Verity by Colleen Hoover
5. Friction Fatigue by Paul Dyer
6. Ascend Your Start-Up by Helen Yu
7. Courage by Kristen Proby
8. The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
9. Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland
10. The Splendid Hour (The Executioner Knights Book 7) by Kathryn Le Veque

[Many thanks to!]

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