Also published on this date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Maximum Shelf: Olga Dies Dreaming

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Algonquin Young Readers: the Beautiful Game by Yamile Saied Méndez

Berkley Books: Books that will sweep you off your feet! Enter Giveaway!

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber


Winnie & Mo's Bookshop Coming to Idaho Falls, Idaho

Future home of Winnie & Mo's

Whitney Holmes and Amanda Poitevin will open Winnie & Mo's Bookshop later this fall in Idaho Falls, Idaho. reported that last January, Poitevin, a former Taylorview Middle School teacher, took over the Book Shelf, "a used bookstore her husband, Michael Barber, opened about 10 years ago. Several months ago, she started thinking about expanding. As she told her friend, Whitney Holmes, about it, they eventually decided to open a bookstore together."

Renovations on the building at 343 A St. are underway, and a grand opening celebration is planned for November 27. Poitevin noted that Winnie & Mo's will offer a robust selection of new books for children and adults "curated to the local interests, A well-curated selection of books that's not decided by a corporate chain. Current bestsellers and the newest interesting books that are coming out (will also be available)."

There will be a treehouse for kids to read and play in, along with a counter and barstools where customers can enjoy snacks and drinks. The co-owners are planning to host book signings, storytime and other events. "We want Winnie & Mo's to welcome people in and invite them to stay a while," Holmes said.

Poitevin is planning to run the Book Shelf in conjunction with the new venture, which is named after her son, Winston, and Holmes's daughter, Maureen. "We used to get together with our kids, who are little, and we called them Winnie and Mo, and so that's where the name of the bookstore came from," said Poitevin.

Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton

Chicago's Frontline Books & Crafts Trying to Avoid Closure

Frontline Books & Crafts, a Chicago bookstore "focused on Black liberation and community education, is in imminent danger of being forced to leave its Hyde Park storefront after 17 years" unless it can improve sales dramatically and raise funds to remain at 5206 S. Harper Ave. on a month-to-month basis, Block Club Chicago reported. 

Founder Sekou Tafari cited slowing business and increasing costs as reasons for the dilemma, but said he wants to sustain the Harper Avenue storefront through sales rather than donations, a fundraiser or other "handouts."

"If the community wants to offer to help or donations, we're not going to say no," he added. "But because we believe in independence, we want to get them something in exchange for their money."

Frontline "got its start more than 30 years ago, publishing books and distributing titles by British authors to local Black bookstores after Tafari moved to Chicago from London," Block Club Chicago wrote. Following the bookstore's move to Hyde Park in 2004, the storefront has expanded and its rent has increased. "It's a free market, an open market," Tafari said. "This kind of stuff is going to happen. If you can't pay, you're going to leave. That is how capitalism works." The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in dwindling foot traffic for the business.

Tafari said he is doing everything he can "to not leave Hyde Park--and to not leave this space, because it has a long history." If he does have to close, "we would miss that part, because we love being part of our community. We are an integral part of our community--we love our Black community."

Only the Harper Avenue storefront is at risk of closing for now. Frontline Books & Kultural Emporium at 6357 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Woodlawn will remain open. That location is "trying to keep its head above water, but it also needs help," Tafari said.

Regional Plans, Part 3

This year's regional booksellers association trade shows and conferences are a mix of virtual, in-person and hybrid and will soon be in full swing. Here in the last of three overviews, we offer highlights from the schedules of the CALIBA and Heartland events:

This year's Heartland Fall Forum, sponsored by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, has already begun hosting virtual events and will continue to do so through the end of October.

The next session is later this afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m. Central: Spinning a Midwest Yarn is hosted by booksellers Stephanie Skees (The Novel Neighbor, St. Louis, Mo.) and Apryl Chapman (The Book Table, Oak Park, Ill.). Panelists are authors Dane Bahr (The Houseboat), Nicole Baart (Everything We Didn't Say), Kayla Chenault (These Bones), Kai Harris (What the Fireflies Knew) and Kelsey Ronan (Chevy in the Hole).

Other sessions include panels on social media, Thursday, September 23; pandemic marketing lessons, Thursday, September 30; shelf talkers, Tuesday, October 5; trans-inclusive bookselling, Thursday, October 7; representation matters, Monday, October 11; book clubs, also Monday, October 11; working with reps, Tuesday, October 12; and Midwest Future America, Monday, October 18.

The Heartland Booksellers Award Celebration, at which winners will be announced, is scheduled for Thursday, October 14, 7-8 p.m. Central.


The California Independent Booksellers Alliance is taking a hybrid approach to this year's Fall Discovery Lab, which runs from Sunday to Friday, October 24-29. Most programming and the annual town hall will be held virtually, but the Lab opens with an in-person event on Sunday, 5-8 p.m., at Books Inc. Opera Plaza in San Francisco. The other in-person event is Thursday, 6-9 p.m., at Vroman's in Pasadena. Both in-person gatherings will feature author appearances.

Monday through Wednesday. CALIBA will hold virtual sessions; content is yet to be determined. Monday and Tuesday will also have author speed dating at lunchtime. Tuesday includes an editors' buzz panel, and Wednesday's highlight is a breakfast keynote. The annual meeting will be held virtually on Friday, 3-4 p.m.

International Update: Booksellers Association Conference 2021

The Gardners Trade Show and Booksellers Association Conference took place September 12 and 13 in Leicester, England. Social media posts chronicled the return of the conference, which had been postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Early Tuesday, BA managing director Meryl Halls tweeted: "We are all set for @BAbooksellers Conference after a fantastic opening day with @Gardners trade show and @Indies_Alliance dinner and @IndieThinking author afternoon tea. Booksellers are in good heart and happy to be #backtogetheragain #baconf21." Among the conference's highlights, as reported by the Bookseller:

The BA revealed plans for getting bookselling "back on track" this year. The Bookseller reported that "high on the agenda is promoting a sustainable supply chain and committing to its equality and inclusion group." 

Andy Rossiter, BA president and owner of Rossiter Books, said the organization had been meeting with publishers and distributors for the past four years to maintain a dialogue about the supply chain. "We plainly have challenges now and as we head towards peak with Brexit hitting the supply chain badly with a lack of qualified HGV drivers and lack of seasonal workers to pick stock quite apart from the continued rise in Covid numbers and the faint rumblings in the media in recent days of potential further lockdowns."

Halls observed: "We will be amplifying the work we are doing with out BA equality and inclusion action group. Much of our moving forward is actually us getting back on track, and much of that is entirely in line with what the wider world is telling us. Just as Black Lives Matters reminds us about the importance of diversity and inclusion, so we will be amplifying the work we are doing with our BA equality and inclusion action group--which held its very energetic and engaged second meeting this week--and our work across the industry and across retail."


Early results of a recent survey, which is led by the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and was commissioned by the BA, indicated that bookshops are playing a "vital" role in the recovery and regeneration of high streets in towns across the U.K. and Ireland. The Bookseller noted that the results, presented at the BA Conference, collate the responses of more than 150 bookshop staff to gauge how bookshops bolster the community. 

The survey found that 98% of booksellers "increase the pedestrianization of a town, while 96% contribute to the functionality and role of the high street, which promotes the local economy. Booksellers were also found to be champions at reducing barriers to entry, through work experience programs and local hiring, alongside reducing crime," the Bookseller wrote.

"We have always known the important role our members play within their communities, acting as leaders on the high street and providing spaces for book lovers to come together and share their passion for reading," said Halls. "This important research from IPM helps show just how vital bookshops are for our towns and cities. It's gratifying that such a respected organization as IPM recognizes what booksellers have to offer and do provide."


"As booksellers continue to recover from the financial and emotional cost of the pandemic, publishers must commit to supporting bookshops and 'reframe the conversation' around recovery," BA Conference delegates were told during an event featuring Halls and American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill, who appeared virtually at the event, the Bookseller reported. 

"We have to be careful to talk about this recovery in a nuanced way. We don't want publishers to say 'oh, it's fine,' " said Halls. "We need them to keep paying attention and keep coming back with decent terms on the high street sector, the bricks and mortar sector. Otherwise, without that attention, they will just turn away again, and we can't have that."

Hill noted that the Covid-19 crisis had put American indies "in a vulnerable position right away" and the lockdowns had "exposed some of the cracks" that were already apparent in the indie scene. "What was critical during the pandemic is still critical--ongoing commitment [by publishers] to putting their money where their mouth is in supporting the bookstores long term, and recognising the value they bring to the ecosystem."


Several awards were presented at the BA Conference. Gardners won the BA award for Outstanding Contribution, which recognizes the winner's long-term support of the industry, "becoming the first organization to receive the accolade." Headline's Caitlin Raynor received the Sophie Christopher Publicist of the Year Award, while Richard Fortey of the Independent Alliance won Rep of the Year for the second time. Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookseller Dan Fridd was the first recipient of the inaugural Bookshop Hero award, and Bookseller editor Philip Jones was named Bookseller Champion.
"After a challenging time for the entire publishing industry, it is wonderful to come together in person at the BA Conference to reconnect, share stories and celebrate those who have demonstrated incredible passion, creativity and resilience in their support of the trade during this period," Halls said. "We are delighted to recognize the hard work and dedication of our winners."

Obituary Note: Camille Rosengren

Camille Rosengren

Camille Rosengren, who, like "a sommelier for fine books instead of wine... could pick the perfect work of fiction, Texana or other literature for even the most discerning reader," died September 11, the San Antonio Express-News reported. She was 94. 

Rosengren "was carrying on a family tradition that made Rosengren's Books the most storied bookseller in San Antonio, starting in the 1930s with Frank and Florence Rosengren and continuing well into the 1980s with their bibliophile daughter-in-law, whom everyone called 'Cam.' Now the story of Rosengren's Books' last matron has come to an end," the Express-News noted, adding that for 52 years, the downtown store, which closed in 1987, "was the South Texas salon for the intelligentsia, drawing famous patrons whose own best-selling books lined the shelves. Poet Robert Frost once called Rosengren's 'the greatest of bookstores,' an endorsement he left on a signed photo of himself for the store in 1938."

Former Express-News business editor and columnist David Hendricks, who frequented Rosengren's during his 42 years at the newspaper, said: "She was one of the last great independent booksellers in America. And she certainly was a bright light on the San Antonio literary scene."

San Antonio historian Mary Carolyn Hollers George, who celebrated the bookshop's legacy in her 2015 book Rosengren's Books: An Oasis for Mind and Spirit, said Rosengren relished running the downtown store and made the most out of keeping it alive for as long as she did: "It wasn't about selling books. It was about loving books."

Rosengren's "was the vanguard for independent bookselling in 20th century San Antonio, paving the way for later local stores such as Booksmiths and Red Balloon as well as the still-standing Twig Book Shop in the Pearl," the Express-News wrote.

"I always thought of Rosengren's as being just so connected with writers and the literary world," said Twig Book Shop buyer and longtime employee Susanna Nawrocki. "(And Camille) was just so knowledgeable. Of course she worked with books forever."

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
A Forty Year Kiss
by Nickolas Butler
GLOW: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler is a passionate, emotionally complex love story that probes tender places within the heart and soul. When 60-somethings Charlie and Vivian--married then divorced in their 20s--reunite after four decades, they are swept up by the very best of what their romantic relationship once offered. "Anyone who has ever thought about what might have been will find this book fascinating," says Shana Drehs, senior editorial director at Sourcebooks Landmark. "The story is a brilliant exploration of a second chance at love, always realistic but never saccharine." As Charlie and Vivian build a bridge from past to present, their enduring love paving over potholes, Butler (Shotgun Lovesongs) raises questions about how life changes people--or does it?--and delivers another heartening, unforgettable novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781464221248, 
February 4, 2025)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Leibovitz's Wonderland

Vogue and Vanity Fair celebrated the forthcoming release of Annie Leibovitz's Wonderland (Phaidon, Nov.), recollections of her encounters with fashion from the 1970s through present day, in more than 340 photographs. The party took place at Studio525 in Manhattan. Pictured: Deb Aaronson (left), v-p, publisher of Phaidon; Annie Leibovitz (middle); and Keith Fox (right), CEO of Phaidon. (photo: Hunter Abrams)

Chalkboard: We Are Water Protectors at Bookbar

Bookbar, Denver, Colo., shared this photo of illustrator Michaela Goade holding her Caldecott-winning book We Are Water Protectors in front of the store's chalk mural featuring the book. The chalk art was created by Bookbar's former book manager, Ally Ducey. 

Cool idea of the Day: 'New Neighbor Night'

Posted on Facebook by Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, Fernandina Beach, Fla.: "Hardly anything is more gratifying than to have a newcomer enter Story & Song for the first time and exclaim, 'My neighbor told me this should be one of my first "go-to" places on the island!'

"Held on the third Wednesday of the month, 'New Neighbor Night' is an opportunity to welcome new neighbors, make new friends, and exchange tips about goods and services. Complimentary nibbles, cash bar for wine and beer at happy hour prices. Everyone is welcome to join us in the courtyard--old-timers and newcomers alike. No reservations necessary."

Bookshop Marriage Proposal: Harvey's Tales

Harvey's Tales, Geneva, Ill., shared a photo of a romantic moment at the bookshop on Facebook, noting: "We were so excited to be a part of Angelo's surprise engagement to now fiance, Hayley (she said yes!). Angelo mentioned Hayley loves bookstores, so he wanted to create this very special memory here at Harvey's Tales. Of course, we also said yes and asked how can we help? Angelo had it all figured out including a hidden photographer (Dad) to capture this moment. This was our 1st engagement in the store (we hope there will be others) and we wish Angelo and Hayley a lifetime of happiness!!!"

New Publicity Team at Melville House

Melville House has expanded its publicity team with the hiring of several experienced publicity executives:

Maya Bradford

Maya Bradford is the company's new director of publicity. She was previously senior publicist in the adult trade division of Abrams Books, where she worked for 11 years.

Gregory Henry is Melville House's new senior publicist. He was previously senior publicity manager at HarperCollins, and also worked as assistant publicity director at ReaganArts.

Sammi Sontag is the company's new publicist. She was previously at Simon and Schuster, where she was a marketing and publicity assistant.

And earlier this year, Michael Barson joined as senior publicity executive. He has had a long career as a senior figure in the publicity departments of Putnam, Riverhead, Pantheon, and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Melville House co-publisher Valerie Merians commented: "Essentially, we've doubled the size of our publicity department, and quadrupled the depth of its experience. And given her history of winning campaigns for a variety of books reminiscent of our list, we're thrilled to have Maya leading the team.  She's got the vision to see the extremely complicated times we live in as a time of not just new challenges, but new opportunities."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Colson Whitehead on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Colson Whitehead, author of Harlem Shuffle (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385545136).

CBS This Morning: Ron Lieber, author of The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make (Harper, $27.99, 9780062867308).

Watch What Happens Live: Antoni Porowski, author of Antoni: Let's Do Dinner (Mariner, $30, 9780358395324). He will also appear on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

The Real repeat:  Senator Tammy Duckworth, author of Every Day Is a Gift: A Memoir (Twelve, $30, 9781538718506).

Movies: Lyle, Lyle Crocodile

Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) will co-star opposite Javier Bardem and Winslow Fegley in Lyle, Lyle Crocodile for Sony Pictures, Deadline reported. Will Speck and Josh Gordon are directing a script being adapted by Will Davies. The film is based on the classic children's book by Bernard Waber. The film will be released November 18, 2022.

Speck & Gordon produce alongside Hutch Parker, with Dan Wilson executive producing for Hutch Parker Entertainment and Kevin K. Vafi for Speck & Gordon. Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, the Oscar-winning songwriting team (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen), are writing original songs for the movie and also executive producing. Brittany Morrissey is overseeing the project for the studio.

Books & Authors

Awards: Booker Shortlist

The six-title shortlist has been released for the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction. Shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 (about $3,460) and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner, who gets a further £50,000 (about $69,200), will be announced on November 3 during during a prize ceremony at the BBC Radio Theatre in London. This year's shortlisted titles are:

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
The Promise by Damon Galgut 
Bewilderment by Richard Powers 
A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam 
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed 
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead 

Chair of judges Maya Jasanoff, commented: "With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself. We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.

"Perhaps appropriately for our times, these novels share an interest in how individuals are both animated and constrained by forces larger than themselves.... While each book is immersive in itself, together they are an expansive demonstration of what fiction is doing today."

Reading with... David Bowles

photo: Paul Chouy

David Bowles is a Mexican American author and translator from South Texas. Among his two dozen books is the multiple award-winning They Call Me Güero, as well as the speculative series Garza Twins, 13th Street, Clockwork Curandera, Tales of the Feathered Serpent and The Path. His work has been published in several anthologies, and in the New York Times, School Library Journal and the Journal of Children's Literature. Bowles's debut picture book, My Two Border Towns, was just published by Kokila.

On your nightstand now:

A great middle-grade supernatural mystery by Guadalupe García McCall titled The Keeper (which I luckily got an ARC of) and the moving debut picture book by my friend Gloria Amescua, Child of the Flower-Song People, a biography of model and teacher Luz Jiménez, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Favorite book when you were a child:

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle, which I read every Thanksgiving from the age of nine to 15. Though I now recognize the book as flawed and fraught, for a young Chicano reader in the 1980s, the inclusion of Native and Latin American people and places was very validating.

Your top five authors:

My answer to this question shifts often, but this year it's N.K. Jemisin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Rolando Hinojosa and the poets Matsuo Bashō and Nezahualcoyotl.

Book you've faked reading:

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, so that one of my English professors would stop needling me to read it. I recommend others avoid it as well, heh.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya. Arguably, the novel is the godfather of all Mexican American literature for adolescents (though Anaya didn't intend to write a YA book). A truly spectacular work that sets the bar high for all of us who choose to walk the trail Anaya blazed.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac. The image of an airborne Native American girl firing two pistols at something looming beneath her? Hooked me immediately. And the book didn't disappoint!

Book you hid from your parents:

Fortunately for me, my parents were always supportive of my love of reading, allowing me to grapple with books well beyond my age (or reading level) without any censorship. Instead, my father would read the books he was suspicious of alongside me, engaging me in conversations about anything he saw as problematic. It was very healthy.

Book that changed your life:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, which I read in college when I was 19. It was the first book by a Mexican American I had ever read, and it opened me to possibilities I'd never imagined, setting me on the road to becoming the sort of author I am today.

Favorite line from a book:

"What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?" from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I'm a huge believer in speaking up, of using my voice and whatever power I possess to push back against injustice.

Five books you'll never part with:

The books I return to again and again for unparalleled lessons in what it means to be human--Popol Vuh, The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

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

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. The twist toward the end is a poignant gut-punch that left me reeling and pondering my identity for weeks afterward. It's an amazing example of how to use science fiction as a narrative tool for exploring the human condition. I wish I could experience it once more.

Book Review

YA Review: Bad Girls Never Say Die

Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99 hardcover, 304p., ages 12-up, 9781250232588, October 19, 2021)

More than a half century since the 1967 publication of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, the beloved young adult novel's message about the perniciousness of classism--delivered by an almost entirely male cast--still needs broadcasting. With Bad Girls Never Say Die, Jennifer Mathieu has rather ingeniously taken the social dynamics of The Outsiders and refocused them on a pack of teenage girls whose low status in 1964 Houston is both a mark against their future prospects and a unifying force.

Fifteen-year-old narrator Evie Barnes, who lives with her mother and grandmother, considers her four-girl posse at Eastside High her true family: "In my mind we're four corners of a tiny square, drawn close to protect ourselves from the rest of the world." But Evie's friends aren't there to protect her the night Preston Fowler, a rich River Oaks boy, tries to rape her outside the bathroom at the Winkler Drive-In. Her unlikely rescuer is Diane Farris, who Evie comes to think of as "this strange girl from the right side of the tracks who had the guts to save my life." Diane's only recourse against Preston was a switchblade, and using it proved fatal.

After the girls flee the murder scene, they lie low and bond over their predicament, although for Evie there persists a central mystery about Diane: why a "tea sipper" like her is living with her alcoholic aunt and going to Evie's school. A few days after the murder, the cops pick up an Eastside boy, and hence an easy target, as a suspect; as Evie puts it, "Who was going to believe a bunch of kids from the wrong side of the tracks over tea sippers with daddies in important places?" Still, Evie is reluctant to come forward with the truth: "What if the cops don't believe that Preston was trying to hurt me? What if they think Diane and I were just making it up? Or worse, that I asked for Preston to mess with me?"

Bad Girls Never Say Die offers a guided tour through outdated thinking about gender, especially the idea that it's the girl's fault when she's pursued by an aggressively libidinous male. The book has some stock characters, but Mathieu (Moxie) is supremely good at getting at the intuitive feminism of the disadvantaged teenage girls anchoring her story. Bad Girls Never Say Die isn't a corrective to Hinton's timeless work; it's a worthy expansion. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

Shelf Talker: Teenage girls are at the center of this inspired feminist spin on S.E. Hinton's beloved young adult novel, The Outsiders.

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