Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Tender Beasts by Liselle Sambury

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Doubleday Books: The Husbands by Holly Gramazio


Wild Geese Bookshop in Franklin, Ind., Relocating

New location for Wild Geese.

Wild Geese Bookshop, Franklin, Ind., is relocating to a new space at 48 E. Madison St. after five years on Water St. Daily Journal reported that owner Tiffany Lauderdale Phillips "has had her eye on a 1911-built former hotel for a while, and is eagerly awaiting renovations to be finished."

Franklin Heritage is working to update the building, with plans to open October 1. The bookshop will occupy the bottom floor of the two-story building, in a larger space where Phillips plans to host events onsite for the first time, and expand the care package and subscription box side of her business.

Phillips moved to Franklin with her husband in 2015. "An attorney working remotely, she was originally just looking for an office space to get out of the house and closer to the downtown coffee shops," Daily Journal wrote. When she saw the current space, "she couldn't help but think it would make a nice bookshop.... With time, support from the Franklin community and the nationwide indie bookshop community, the store took off."

"Franklin has been the secret to my success," Phillips said. "My store wouldn't have as much success in another community. You have to have a community that believes in itself, a community that loves itself and wants to be better.... I want to be a space where you can feel warm, safe and respected. My focus in doing this has never been to be the biggest. I want to grow deep roots and be a big oak tree. We don't need to be a forest."

In a recent Facebook post announcing the lease-signing, Phillips wrote: "About five years ago, I took the biggest risk of my life and decided to open a bookshop.... I remember at the time thinking five years seemed like an eternity. I didn't know if I would make it that long as a business, but I was determined to try. It has been such a wonderful place to grow." 

Holiday House: The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith by Tom Llewellyn; The Selkie's Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan

Roundabout Books, Greenfield, Mass., Moving and Expanding

Roundabout's future home.

Roundabout Books, a new and used bookstore in Greenfield, Mass., will move from its home at 26 Kenwood St. to a 10,000-square-foot space at 85 Pierce St. 

Owner Raymond Neal told the Recorder that the additional space will allow him to increase the store's inventory from around 10,000 volumes to 100,000. There will be a large children's area on the building's first floor, and the second floor will have plenty of space for browsing as well as couches for sitting and reading.

Neal plans to add solar panels to the building, add a ramp to the front entrance and replace the building's HVAC system. He expects the renovations and move to take at least a year, with Roundabout reopening in the new space in the second half of 2022.

"Now we're at the fun part," Neal told the Recorder. "The first nine years was trying to get it operating, the selling and the hiring; now, we'll just keep making it better, if we can."

Neal noted that he wasn't planning to move when he saw that the building at 85 Pierce St. was up for sale. He had always admired it, however, and felt it was an opportunity he had to take. "Seeing something like this, this was amazing."

Amistad Press: The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin

International Update: Thalia Buying 10 Weltbild Bookstores; Dymocks Adding 20 Stores

Weltbild is selling 10 of its bookstores to Thalia, Germany's largest bookstore chain, Börsenblatt reported. The 10 stores are mostly between 150 and 200 square meters (about 1,600 to 2,150 square feet) and are in downtowns or shopping centers.

After the sale, which will be completed October 1, Weltbild will continue to operate some 50 bookstores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Thalia, which includes Mayersche, has some 350 bookstores in Germany and Austria and owns 50% of Orell Füssli Thalia, which has more than 30 bookstores in Switzerland.

Weltbild is making the move in part because it is continuing to emphasize online bookselling, something that increased because of the pandemic, according to Christian Sailer, CEO of the Weltbild D2C Group. The company is expanding online offerings to include Live Shopping, Home Academy and streaming. Sailer added that the company's remaining bookstores are important to Weltbild, and will increasingly take on the character of "a showroom for the brand."

Ingo Kretzschmar, general manager of sales and Thalia Retail Concepts, said bricks-and-mortar bookstores are a key element of Thalia's multi-channel strategy, and the company will continue to invest in them.

Both companies noted that they had together decided on the 10 bookstores that are changing hands, finding the Weltbild locations most suitable to being transformed into Thalia stores.


Australian bookstore chain Dymocks plans to open "at least 20 more stores over the next three years as it plots its growth across the country," Inside Franchise Business magazine reported. Both suburban and regional sites will be included in the mix.

The country's far north is particularly ripe for the company's expansion, according to CEO Mark Newman, who noted, "We're not in the Northern Territory and Queensland is under represented." He added that despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, "regional and suburban has done very well, the [Central Business District] is improving." 

Among the key elements for the company's business growth are increasing the network from 50 to 75 stores, as well as harnessing omnichannel as Dymocks "boosts the search function, and in-store installs assisted self-checkout and online ordering and provides easy-to-navigate store maps." The strategy to boost profitability will focus on improving mark-ups on books and increasing book-related products like Dymocks' own range, which includes booklights and bookmarks, that is set to launch soon, Inside Franchise Business noted.


A third of indie bookshops have had staff self-isolating during the past month, according to a survey by the Booksellers Association of the U.K. & Ireland. The Bookseller reported that respondents said "they were also worried about how government policies will affect staffing and the ability to open, with almost three-quarters of the 204 booksellers surveyed saying they were either 'very concerned' or 'somewhat concerned' that requests via the Test & Trace app for staff to isolate will negatively impact the running of their business."

Laura McCormack, head of policy and public affairs at the BA, said: "Over recent weeks the Booksellers Association has been hearing from a number of booksellers who have had to close their shops owing to self-isolation staffing issues. We are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact that these closures and event cancellations will have on the recovery of the bookselling sector, as the number of businesses impacted by the 'pingdemic' continues to rise." --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Isla Dewar

Scottish author Isla Dewar, who started her writing career in the 1960s working for teenage magazines and at her peak "topped the U.K.'s bestseller lists, toured bookshops and spoke at literary events, lighting up when speaking about her characters," died June 20, the Guardian reported. She was 74. 

After completing her first novel, Keeping Up with Magda, in the mid-1990s "she rather doubted that the stories she had started transferring from her head to paper would go much further. Nonetheless, within a fortnight a publisher took up her tale of intrigue centered on a cafe in a Scottish fishing village, and after its publication in 1995 it was longlisted for the Orange prize," the Guardian noted.

Her next book, Women Talking Dirty (1996), caught the attention of Elton John and David Furnish, who bought the rights for Rocket Pictures. The movie adaptation featured Helena Bonham-Carter and Gina McKee.

For a while, Dewar published a book a year, including Giving Up on Ordinary (1997), Two Kinds of Wonderful (2000) and Dancing in a Distant Place (2003). She also wrote Briggsy (2008), a novella for young adults, and a children's book, Rosie's Wish, illustrated by her husband, Bob Dewar. Her final two novels were It Takes One to Know One (2018), about the Be Kindly Missing Persons Bureau in Edinburgh, and A Day Like Any Other (2020), on the lifelong friendship of two women from the city. Her more than 20 books are translated into 17 languages.

"Making up stories came as naturally for Dewar as breathing," the Guardian wrote. "Her writing was not polemical or particularly pacey. Instead, she told stories about the beauty, and pain, of the everyday--of ordinary women, leading ordinary lives. Fans felt that she spoke directly to them, sharing their triumphs and failures humorously."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dr. Leana Wen on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Dr. Leana Wen, author of Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health (Metropolitan Books, $27.99, 9781250186232).

Kelly Clarkson Show repeat: Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Tanous, authors of Food Between Friends: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $32, 9780593136539).

Drew Barrymore Show repeat: Neil Patrick Harris, author of The Magic Misfits: The Fourth Suit (Little, Brown, $7.99, 9780316391924).

Movies: Parable of the Sower

A24 has acquired the rights to Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower and has set Garrett Bradley (Time) to direct and Paul Mezey to produce the film. Deadline reported that the rights deal was negotiated by Anonymous Content on behalf of Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House. A24 will finance and distribute.

Books & Authors

Awards: Booker Longlist

The 13-title longlist for the £50,000 (about $68,860) 2021 Booker Prize has been announced:

A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
The Promise by Damon Galgut
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
An Island by Karen Jennings
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford

The shortlist will be announced September 14 and the winner on November 3.

Chair of judges Maya Jasanoff said in part: "It's particularly resonant during the pandemic to note that all of these books have important things to say about the nature of community, from the tiny and secluded to the unmeasurable expanse of cyberspace. Reading in lockdown fostered a powerful sense of connection with the books, and of shared enterprise among the judges. Though we didn't always respond in the same way to an author's choices, every book on this list sparked long discussions amongst ourselves that led in unexpected and enlightening directions. We are excited to share a list that will appeal to many tastes, and, we hope, generate many more conversations as readers dig in."

Book Review

Review: Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America

Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28 hardcover, 320p., 9780374140182, August 17, 2021)

Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America presents a series of heartbreaking case studies in support of its provocative thesis, arguing that Americans have delegated their society's most unpleasant, morally troubling tasks to a "separate, largely invisible class of 'dirty workers.' " Journalist Eyal Press, author of Beautiful Souls and Absolute Convictions, introduces readers to a variety of dirty workers, including prison guards, "joystick warriors" who help execute drone strikes and workers in industrial slaughterhouses. Press argues that these laborers solve "various 'problems' that many Americans want taken care of but don't want to have to think too much about." As a result, dirty workers are simultaneously stigmatized and essential to maintaining "the prevailing social order." Dirty Work makes a powerful case that, instead of vilifying dirty workers, Americans must reckon with what is being done in their name.

As Press explores many different examples of dirty work, certain commonalities begin to emerge. One is inequality: these workers often feel trapped in their occupations by economic circumstances, even as the grim work they do sometimes translates into enormous profits for their employers. The unequal distribution of dirty work therefore becomes yet another symptom of economic inequality, allowing more fortunate Americans to occupy more socially respected professions. Another is a concept Press calls "moral injury," a term used to describe the psychological or even spiritual cost of transgressing one's own sense of morality. The invisible class that Press describes also suffers from invisible wounds, he argues, incurred on behalf of the American status quo. While it may be simple for progressive-minded individuals to look down on, for example, slaughterhouse workers, it does not stop the majority from consuming massive quantities of meat. Dirty Work muddies the moral lines that many readers might unconsciously maintain, showing their complicity in labyrinthine, deeply unfair systems where the privileged never have to get their hands dirty.

Dirty Work is about weighty moral questions, but it's also about people, profiling dozens of workers and empathetically engaging with their crises of conscience. While never absolving his interviewees, he forces readers to ask themselves whether, under similar circumstances, they would have behaved any differently. Dirty Work is not a comfortable or comforting read, nor is it meant to be. Instead, it is a rigorously argued, compassionately framed moral appeal that for some readers might serve as a wake-up call. --Hank Stephenson, the Sun magazine, manuscript reader 

Shelf Talker: Dirty Work confronts readers with the morally troubling work taking place in American prisons, slaughterhouses and elsewhere, raising provocative questions with compassion.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Come Together by Marie Force
2. The Spark by Vi Keeland
3. Verity by Colleen Hoover
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
5. Exposed (VIP Book 4) by Kristen Callihan
6. The End of Forever by Steve Berry and M.J. Rose
7. Pause by Kylie Scott
8. From Striving to Thriving by Cliff Walker
9. Tangled Sheets by Various
10. The Secrets of Lord Grayson Child by Stephanie Laurens

[Many thanks to!]

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