Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 26, 2021

Del Rey Books: Black Shield Maiden by Willow Smith and Jess Hendel

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

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Tor Books: The Daughters' War (Blacktongue) by Christopher Buehlman

Tommy Nelson: Just in Case You Ever Feel Alone (Just in Case) by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Eve Tharlet

Bramble: The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst


CALIBA Names Ann Seaton, Kristin Rasmussen Co-Executive Directors

The California Independent Booksellers Alliance has appointed two co-executive directors to succeed Calvin Crosby, who is leaving the association after becoming co-owner of The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The new co-executive directors are Ann Seaton, who is CALIBA's director of operations and will take on her new role on August 1, when Crosby leaves CALIBA, and Kristin Rasmussen, general manager of {pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, who will start August 23.

The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association merged to form CALIBA in January 2020, just as the pandemic was starting.

Ann Seaton

Before joining NCIBA as administrator/operations director six years ago, Seaton worked as a bookseller, buyer and manager in independent bookstores for more than 30 years, including most recently manager of Hicklebee's children's bookstore in San Jose. CALIBA said Seaton "has much gratitude for the ways she was embraced, educated, and supported by the booksellers, publishing professionals, and customers along the way. She looks forward to continuing this education and intends to pay it forward, being a resource and support for bookstores that make up the sacred spaces where books change lives and independent booksellers show the way."

Kristin Rasmussen

Kristin Rasmussen has managed {pages} a bookstore since 2017 during which time the store has grown and expanded. CALIBA said she "has worked very hard to build a team of diverse booksellers committed to meeting the needs of the community and expanding their reach nationally through growing their online and social media presence. Kristin is eager to apply her experience as a bookseller in both Northern and Southern California bookstores to help face the unique challenges that lie ahead and to ultimately enhance the value of CALIBA among its membership and the wider bookselling community."

Concerning the appointments, CALIBA board president Melinda Powers of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, commented: "Given the magnitude of California, its influential economy and its concentration of excellent independent bookstores, we recognize the need for dynamic, visionary, and responsive leadership and believe our members will be best served by the collaborative power of Ann and Kristin as we expand beyond this past year of global shutdown and explore the true opportunity in a California Independent Booksellers Alliance. I am so excited for what lies ahead."

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Ohio's Books-N-Things Moving, Expanding and Renaming

Later this summer, Books-N-Things in New Philadelphia, Ohio, will move, change its name and add a cafe.

Per the TimesReporter, store owner David Croto is moving the bookshop two blocks north, to 173 N. Broadway, and has chosen The Bookman's Cafe as the business's new name. The store will continue to offer primarily used titles along with new books while adding beverages and a selection of pastries made by Croto's daughter Shelby Croto, a retired U.S. Army pastry chef. The cafe will have a small amount of indoor and outdoor seating.

Books-N-Things has operated in New Philadelphia's downtown for 17 years. Croto, who is 66 years old, took over the business in 2000 from his aunt Colleen Taylor, who founded the store. He plans to pass the store to Shelby Croto when he retires.

Croto told the TimesReporter that he had offers from locations outside of downtown and that he had even considered taking the business online-only, but decided to stay downtown where his customer base is.

"The joy of browsing in a bookstore cannot be overstated," said Croto. "The internet's great when you're looking for something specific. But it's useless for browsing."

Books-N-Things will close on August 1 and reopen as The Bookman's Cafe on September 1.

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

B&N Moving Store in Illinois

B&N at Spring Hill Mall

This fall, Barnes & Noble is moving its store in the Spring Hill Mall Shopping Center in West Dundee, Ill., to Algonquin Commons in nearby Algonquin, northwest of Chicago, the Daily Herald reported. Under the plan, the current B&N location will close October 5.

The company said that the new bookstore "will showcase a fresh design and layout with a focus on providing a warm and welcoming environment for browsing along with a locally-tailored selection curated by our expert booksellers."

Many of the B&N stores that have moved in the last year have downsized somewhat and feature a new look that has been developed under new CEO James Daunt.

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

Shelf Awareness Review Submission Guidelines

Shelf Awareness is once again accepting print galleys for review consideration, starting with October 2021 publications for adult review copies. We ask that publishers resume sending printed review copies to our Seattle address below, in addition to electronic galleys by e-mail.

Mailing address for ARCs:

Shelf Awareness
811 1st Avenue, Suite 315
Seattle, WA 98104

If print galleys are not available for a title, please submit a digital galley as you have been doing. (Full submission guidelines can be found here.)

Children's/YA review copies should continue to be submitted as digital copies to Siân Gaetano via e-mail.

We do accept finished children's board books at the above mailing address (811 1st Ave., Suite 315, Seattle, WA 98104).

William Morrow & Company: Lula Dean's Little Library of Banned Books by Kirsten Miller


Image of the Day: Under the Umbrella Pops Up at the King's English

The King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah, invited Kaitlyn Mahoney of Under the Umbrella: A Queer Little Bookstore to set up a pop-up shop on TKE's outdoor patio this past weekend. TKE co-owner Calvin Crosby wrote, "Experience a taste of what Under the Umbrella will feature in their own brick-and-mortar store, opening soon near downtown! Check out tables of new and used books, all with queer and diversity-embracing titles and topics."

He added, "I could not think of a better way to celebrate the exciting news than to welcome Kaitlyn and her store to our family of Utah stores, making Salt Lake City an even more vital indie bookstore town."

Harper Celebrate: Why Do We Stay?: How My Toxic Relationship Can Help You Find Freedom by Stephanie Quayle, with Keith W. Campbell

Indies to Bezos: 'We'll Be on Earth Selling Books like We Always Do'

After Amazon's Jeff Bezos dipped his toe (helmet?) into space briefly last week, responses back here on the planet generally ranged from irritation to mockery. Several indie booksellers joined in the post-flight debrief fun, including:

Bookish, Fort Smith, Ark. (sidewalk chalkboard message): "In a world of wealth-hoarding astro-billionaires, Shop Local."

Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass.: "Shop local. Stay on earth."

Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.: "Literati Bookstore: proudly phallic-rocket-free since 2013."

Back of Beyond Books, Moab, Utah: "If you need us we'll be on earth selling books like we always do."

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.: "We are open daily, 10am-9pm in Downtown Santa Cruz, California, USA, Earth, and 24/7 in cyberspace at Though we won't go into space on any day, we will climb the tallest ladder to reach any book on our shelves for you. The tallest. Ladder. For you. Every day."

Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks

Brian Grogan is joining Sourcebooks as senior director of mass market sales. He was most recently senior v-p of sales at HarperCollins, where he managed adult sales in mass merchandising and wholesale club channels as well as the field sales force and e-book sales and promotions. At Sourcebooks, he will oversee the company's mass market business, including Readerlink.

Chris Bauerle, Sourcebooks v-p, director of sales and marketing, said that Grogan's impact "at HarperCollins is so tangible in both the lasting market share and glowing endorsements from customers, and we are excited for his vision and leadership to amplify our program on behalf of some of the best authors in the country."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Georgina Pazcoguin on Good Morning America

Good Morning America: Georgina Pazcoguin, author of Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina (Holt, $27.99, 9781250244307).

The Talk: Casey Wilson, author of The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays (Harper, $26.99, 9780062960580).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: Neil deGrasse Tyson, co-author of Cosmic Queries: StarTalk's Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going (National Geographic Society, $30, 9781426221774).

Good Morning America: Mena Suvari, author of The Great Peace: A Memoir (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306874529). She will also appear on the View.

Also on GMA: Tyler Cameron, author of You Deserve Better: What Life Has Taught Me About Love, Relationships, and Becoming Your Best Self (Plume, $26, 9780593183564). He will also appear on Watch What Happens Live.

Movies: Dune; Being Heumann

Warner Bros released a new trailer for Dune, Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert, Deadline reported. The film will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September before hitting theaters and HBO Max on October 22.

The project stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen and David Dastmalchian, with Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem.


Apple Original Films has landed rights to a package based on Judy Heumann's memoir Being Heumann. Deadline reported that Siân Heder (CODA) is "adapting the film to direct, with Ali Stroker, the first actress who uses a wheelchair for mobility to appear on Broadway and the first to win a Tony for her work in Oklahoma, is being eyed to star."

Books & Authors

Awards: Kitschies Winners

Winners have been named for the 2020 Kitschies, awarded for "the year's most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic," Locus magazine reported. The winning titles are:

The Red Tentacle (novel): Piranesi by Susanna Clarke 
The Golden Tentacle (debut): The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson 
The Inky Tentacle (cover art): The Arrest, written by Jonathan Lethem, designed by Allison Saltzman and illustrated by Dexter Maurer 

Simon Key of the Big Green Bookshop was awarded the Glentacle, "a discretionary award for a person or group who, the directors determined, contributed something significant and special to the community."

"The Glentacle exists to allow us to recognize something that doesn't fit the Kitschies' criteria but which we believe deserves recognition," award directors Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry said of Key's win. "His 'Buy a Stranger a Book' initiative every Wednesday allowed readers to access books during a tumultuous and difficult year, at a time that even libraries were closed. This deceptively straightforward initiative brought joy to hundreds of readers across the U.K. during a time when joy could sometimes feel in short supply."

Top Library Recommended Titles for August

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

Top Pick
If the Shoe Fits: A Meant to be Novel by Julie Murphy (Hyperion Avenue, $26.99, 9781368050388). "Low on job prospects, fashion school grad Cindy moves in with her stepmom, a reality show producer. When a spot opens up in the Bachelor-style series, Cindy seizes the chance to get nationwide exposure for her designs. The last thing she expects is to find love. A Cinderella-inspired romance with a plus-sized heroine and a multicultural cast. For fans of Red, White, & Royal Blue, The Hating Game, and Dumplin." --Eva Thompson, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Battle Royal: A Novel by Lucy Parker (Avon, $15.99, 9780063040069). "Sylvie and Dominic met during a baking competition when her unicorn cake kicked him in the face. Now they're both in the running to bake the royal wedding cake. A slow burn, enemies-to-lovers romance with witty banter and fantastic secondary characters. For fans of 99 Percent Mine and The Ex Talk." --Laura Eckert, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, Ohio

Dark Roads: A Novel by Chevy Stevens (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250133571). "Stevens often writes about the outdoors, but this one is really steeped in survival. Vanishing travelers and serial murders along a wilderness highway bring the sister of one victim to town for a memorial. There are the requisite fast-paced thrills, and a small town packed with secrets and fear. For fans of The River and A Gathering of Secrets." --Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, Ohio

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson (Berkley, $16, 9780593201381). "June is stuck. After her mom dies, she continues to live quietly in her mother's house and work in the library where her mother worked. When the library is threatened, she finds a new purpose, saving it and finding so much more. This one is full of heart, humor, and love of literature. For fans of The Authenticity Project and How to Find Love in a Bookshop." --Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library-Johnson Branch, Genesee, Mich.

Mrs. March: A Novel by Virginia Feito (Liveright, $26, 9781631498619). "Mrs. March has a lovely apartment, a famous author husband, and a life of luxury. Her husband's new novel features an unlikeable, sordid woman. Mrs. March is horrified when people assume the character is based on her. Her stability fractures, and the reader is caught between paranoia and reality. An excellent character study for fans of Tangerine and The Other Typist." --Sandra Heitzman, Forest Park Public Library, Forest Park, Ill.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones (Gallery/Saga Press, $26.99, 9781982137632). "Jade's convinced her passion for slasher films is not obsession, but preparation. When strange things start occurring in town, she's sure a massacre is imminent--and she's ready to play her role to perfection. A highly stylized delight for horror movie buffs and fans of The Final Girl Support Group." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, N.Y.

The Reading List: A Novel by Sara Nisha Adams (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063025288). "A list of recommended classics helps a widower spark a friendship with a teen librarian dealing with overwhelming family issues. An uplifting tearjerker about libraries and the books that touch our soul. For fans of Ellie and the Harpmaker and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine." --Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Public Library, Austin, Tex.

The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle (Berkley, $16, 9780593334195). "After a prince and princess move to her British Columbia town, a local teacher falls for their grumpy bodyguard. This charming romantic comedy is unexpectedly moving and features deep and layered characters. Perfect for fans of The Royal We and Royal Holiday." --Janet Schneider, Peninsula Public Library, Lawrence, N.Y.

A Slow Fire Burning: A Novel by Paula Hawkins (‎Riverhead, $28, 9780735211230). "A brutal crime is committed on a London houseboat, and numerous friends, family, neighbors, and lovers seem to have a motive for the fatal stabbing. As the number of suspects grows, the lies begin to unravel in what promises to be a hit summer read. For fans of Shari Lapena  and Mary Kubica." --KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Library, Fairfield, Conn.

Yours Cheerfully: A Novel by AJ Pearce (Scribner, $26, 9781501170096). "Fans of Dear Mrs. Bird will cheer Emmy Lake's return as a young advice columnist in wartime London. A chance meeting leads to Emmy visiting a munitions factory where she learns about the struggles of the women working there. A wonderful, well-told story for fans of Lissa Evans and Jojo Moyes." --Brenda O'Brien, Woodridge Public Library, Woodridge, Ill.

Book Review

Review: Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter's School

Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter's School by Courtney E. Martin (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover, 400p., 9780316428262, August 3, 2021)

In Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided Public from My Daughter's School, Courtney E. Martin (Do It Anyway) grapples with questions of parenting, education and racial divides in the United States through the lens of her daughter's school: first selecting it, then attending it.

Martin and her two daughters had walked past Emerson Elementary in their Oakland, Calif., neighborhood nearly every day. But when it came time to enroll Maya, her eldest daughter, in elementary school, Martin and her partner were faced with school choice: place Maya in Emerson, a racially diverse school with poor test scores; enter the Oakland Public Schools lottery for a more highly rated, predominantly white school nearby; or flee the public school system altogether in favor of private school. Determined to live her values, which include not just eschewing racism but working to be anti-racist, Martin ultimately chose to send her daughter to Emerson--a decision informed by dozens of conversations with other parents, families, educators, school board members, neighbors, and one that ultimately led to even more conversations well into Maya's school year(s). Those conversations form the core of Martin's book.

In the opening chapter of Learning in Public, Martin writes about the making of this book, including the feedback received from anti-racist educators and education experts. Martin includes comments from one early reader in particular, Dr. Dena Simmons, in footnotes throughout the text; by including the feedback from Simmons, a Black woman, Martin is "showing [her] work" and allowing her mistakes to serve as further educational opportunities for readers.

Learning in Public would be rife with such opportunities for learning even without these footnotes, transparent as this approach may be. Martin brings to her perspective on her daughter's education a self-reflection that goes well beyond her one daughter and their one family, or even their one school, placing instead the story of her white family in the racial history of the U.S. and the gross disparities seen in the American public education system. This reflection, combined with Martin's willingness to admit her own mistakes and acknowledge where her actions may have harmed others (particularly Black people), is what allows Learning in Public to live up to its title. Martin states that she believes writers need to "reach for more honest ways to think about our own power when crafting stories." She's done exactly that in this earnest and reflective account that urges readers to engage with questions of power and access and race and education long past the final page. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

Shelf Talker: An earnest and reflective account of a white mother's decision to send her daughter to a racially diverse school, and the many questions about race and education engendered by that decision.

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