Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 12, 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


Tattered Cover Expanding to Colorado Springs, Colo., Next Year

Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colo., will expand to downtown Colorado Springs in early 2022, the Denver Gazette reported. The 8,400-square-foot store at 112 N. Tejon St. will be the store's first outside of the Denver metropolitan area and will sell books for all ages, coffee, beer, wine and a variety of gift items.

Kwame Spearman, Tattered Cover's CEO and co-owner, told the Gazette that the bookstore was attracted to the development boom and growth in population that Colorado Springs has seen in recent years. "There is a vibrancy and excitement in downtown Colorado Springs and I think, in general, Colorado Springs is experiencing massive growth."

The bookstore will be in an 18,000-square-foot building that dates back to the 1880s and features "historic red brickwork, original skylights and maple floors." The bookstore's fellow tenants will include a brew pub and a tiki bar, among others, and Tattered Cover will have access to a backyard patio. The building is a block away from where Chinook Bookshop operated for nearly 45 years.

Tattered Cover's McGregor Square location.

Spearman praised the "really neat character and the rich history of the building," saying it would provide the "perfect home" for the bookstore. "That's what I think is going to set this location apart from any new building that we could build today." And while no specifics were provided, Tattered Cover's Colorado Springs lease allows the bookstore to make rent payments based on a percentage of sales.

The Colorado Springs plans continue a busy year for Tattered Cover. This year the store opened a children's-focused store in Aurora, moved its LoDo store to McGregor Square, and a new location is set to open in Westminster later this month or early next month.

Spearman and the Tattered Cover team are looking to open the Colorado Springs store between February 15 and March 15 next year.

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

AAP: 2020 Overall Sales Flat; Trade and Online Jump

In 2020, revenue for the U.S. book publishing industry as a whole dipped 0.2%, to $25.71 billion, according to estimates by the Association of American Publishers' StatShot Annual report. Some categories, notably trade, had strong years, while other categories saw sales decline substantially.

Revenue for trade books, the industry's largest category, rose an estimated 6%, to $16.67 billion. In other major categories, revenue from higher education fell 5.7%, to $3.1 billion, and preK-12 revenue fell 12.3%, to $3.84 billion.

Print books continued "to dominate the market during the year, with hardback, paperback, and special bindings each seeing an increase," the AAP said. E-book revenue, which had declined for five years, also rose in 2020, climbing 11.7%, to $2.12 billion. Downloadable audio continued to grow, rising 13.2%, to $1.42 billion.

Online retail, including both printed books and digital products, rose 19.2%, to $9.53 billion, and represented 37.1% of all industry revenue. For trade, 2020 was the first year where online retail represented 50% of revenues, up from 43.3% in 2019.

Because of lockdowns during the year, revenue at physical retail--which includes bookstores and other bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as their online sales--fell 11.3%, to $5.13 billion.

AAP president and CEO Maria A. Pallante called 2020 results "remarkable and inspirational for a year that people will long associate with an unprecedented public health crisis, worldwide suffering, and colossal business disruptions. That publishing is resilient is nothing new, but we should nevertheless take a moment to recognize the incredible dedication and innovation of the industry in serving readers and the public interest during such an isolating and confusing time."

The full report is available for purchase on the AAP's website.

International Update: Celebrating Bookshop Day in U.K., Australia & New Zealand

U.K. booksellers celebrating Bookshop Day this past Saturday had "record-breaking' sales and high footfall inspiring confidence in the lead up to Christmas trading," the Bookseller reported. Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Association, said: "The creativity and enthusiasm of booksellers is simply awe-inspiring, and it's been brilliant to see them share that energy and passion with their local communities in person this Bookshop Day, particularly after such a challenging year. We've had author events in store, celebrity booksellers behind the tills, children's story times, poetry slams, treasure hunts, and of course the epic Edinburgh billboard takeover featuring Dapo Adeola's stunning limited-edition Books Are My Bag tote bag design. Bookshop Day is such a wonderful celebration of bookshops big and small, doing what they do best, and I'd like to congratulate everyone for really pulling out the stops."

Richard Drake, owner of Drake the Bookshop in Stockton-on-Tees, commented: "The book industry continues to be amazing and Bookshop Day once again showed just how amazing booksellers and book buyers are. New customers, old customers and even newfound local authors finding their books on our shelves.... We had a visit from our local MP, Alex Cunningham and generally the day was a festival from start to finish. Cake, fizz, posh outfits and book talk galore. What a great way to start the run up to the Christmas season."

Many indie booksellers shared their #BookshopDay enthusiasm on social media, including:

At Kibworth Books, Leicestershire

Cogito Books, Hexham, England: "It's hard to believe but #BAMB #BooksAreMyBag #BookshopDay has come around again already; once more giving us an opportunity to thank our customers for the fantastic loyalty they've shown us over this past year of continuing challenges! It's been absolutely wonderful being fully open again throughout the summer and we've been overwhelmed by the support and lovely comments which we've received since opening our doors again in April."

Lighthouse Books, Edinburgh, Scotland: "It's #BookshopDay! Our annual reminder that for all else we do, we are, first and foremost, a Bookshop. We're a community bookshop. Our glorious community of readers includes all who deserve a bookish space that sees, celebrates & champions them. Love you, wherever you are."

Bridge Books, Dromore, Northern Ireland: "Honey, I'm home! Well now, what can I say other than THANK YOU, YOU AMAZING LOVELY PEOPLE for making #BookshopDay an absolutely overwhelming success! I had actual queues all day, over 100 goodie bags given out & most importantly many books sold.... Let's do it all again next year!"


For Australians, October 9 was Love Your Bookshop Day, an initiative created by the Australian Booksellers Association "to celebrate bookshops across the country and highlight what makes local bookshops great." Among those sharing #LYBD2021 thoughts:

Readings, Melbourne, Vic.: "To celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day we have released a very special, limited edition tote featuring original artwork from beloved children's illustrator Tai Snaith. In the tradition of Peg Maltby and May Gibbs, Snaith's artwork depicts a magical new Readings bookshop situated under a plump toadstool and visited by well-read local wildlife."

The Bookshop, Bowral, NSW: "It's Love Your Bookshop Day, but we are already feeling the love!! Over the past few months, our #bookish communities have shown us so much support and loveliness--we're truly grateful.... This year at The Bookshop Bowral and The Bookshop Kiama, we're declaring our own Love FROM Your Bookshop Day. See you soon!"

The staff at Avenue Bookstore welcomes customers for Love Your Bookshop Day.

Mary Who? Bookshop, Townsville, Qld.: "A few more snaps from Saturday... thanks to everyone, there were certainly a lot of you, who supported our Love Your Bookshop Day celebrations. Actually the whole weekend at Mary Who? was extraordinary!"

Verso Books, Healesville, Vic.: "Thank you to everyone who came today for #lybd2021. we love seeing all your smiling faces. have been overwhelmed by support for our little shop during our various lockdowns. When we first started on this journey nearly 4 years ago we had no idea our community would show us so much love. We thank you every day--for embracing our store and for enabling us to do what we love every day."

The Little Bookroom, Melbourne, Vic.: "Dears, Love Your Bookshop Day was a bit overwhelming this year! We're deeply humbled by the generous outpouring of support you sent our way. Thank you! We're reminded of how much we miss you! So many friendships formed thanks in our little bookshop! But so many reunions on the nearing horizon.... Bittersweet. But mostly sweet! We're all book people. But turns out our community is made up of people people too. The best combo ever! Working together--as booksellers AND a community--inspires us to do our best. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"


Aotearoa NZ Bookshop Day for New Zealand booksellers was also celebrated Saturday. Beforehand, Booksellers Aotearoa NZ noted: "It's Bookshop Day this Saturday 9th October! We're joining with our friends in Australia and the U.K. to celebrate everything great about bookshops. The fabulous Selina Tusitala Marsh  has designed this limited edition Aotearoa-themed Books Are My Bag tote for the occasion. The tote will be available for purchase in select bookshops front this Saturday...." Among the booksellers checking in on social media were:

Unity Books, Wellington: "Saturday is Bookshop Day! Send us your book pick (title, author, review--30 words max, book photo optional) & we'll post our 8 favourite reviews on social media. If yours is chosen you'll win a $30 Unity token AND one of these cool Booksellers totes, modelled here by Ash! Please email us your review with the subject line 'The Customer Knows Best.' "

Wardini Books, Havelock North: "It's National Bookshop Day--much aroha to all of our nation's book shops, especially those in Auckland. Our Phill's love letter is to Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land. Phill says: 'I loved getting lost in this amazing book. It is magical and captivating.' Agreed!"

Schrödinger's Books, Petone: "It's Bookshop Day--you might have heard!! To celebrate, Gecko Press asked booksellers around Aotearoa to share a book that was special to them growing up, a book that raised them.... We are proud to be part of such an awesome community of booksellers up and down the country and send our aroha to them all, especially those in Auckland." --Robert Gray

MPIBA Friday Night Feature: Author Dinner

The Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association's FallCon Friday Night Author Dinner ran the gamut of emotions, from Adiba Nelson's astonishing journey as the Afro-Latina mother of a daughter living with cerebral palsy (Ain't That a Mother, Blackstone, May 3, 2022) to the unlikely founding of the first National Park, in Megan Kate Nelson's Saving Yellowstone (Scribner, March 1, 2022). Nelson exudes joy and gratitude, even as she gets real about what it's like to be a single mother of color, raising a child with special needs--themes she also delves into in the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Full Nelson. She described Ain't That a Mother as bringing together unlikely themes of "prayer, community and burlesque." As a plus-size burlesque performer, she says, "You have to walk the walk of body love if you're going to talk the talk of body love." 

(l.-r.) James Rollins, Megan Kate Nelson, Lorena Hughes, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Adiba Nelson. (photo: Renee Becher)

Veterinarian and "former thriller writer," as he referred to himself, James Rollins launches a fantasy series with The Starless Crown (Tor, January 4, 2022). In it, Nyx lives on a planet that has stopped rotating, so that one half is always facing the sun, and therefore subject to extreme heat, and the other is in total ice and darkness; the "crown" of the title refers to the circle around the planet that demarks these two halves, and Nyx bands with two others in a mission to save her planet.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, who was a bookseller at West Side Books in Denver, Colo., for more than a decade, credited booksellers with the success of her first book, Sabrina and Corina (One World), winner of the 2020 American Book Award and a 2019 National Book Award finalist. She called her forthcoming Woman of Light (One World, June 7, 2022) "the book I was born to write." Spanning five generations of her indigenous Chicana/o family, it blends fiction and research about urban centers during the Great Depression, Fajardo-Anstine explained. The seeds of the book began in high school, when she started interviewing various family members, storytellers all.

Lorena Hughes left Ecuador at age 18 to come to the United States. Her second novel, The Spanish Daughter (Kensington, December 28), was inspired by Hughes's discovery of a Spanish woman, María Purificacíon García, who was said to have invented and patented a cacao bean roaster in 1847. For a decade, Ecuador was the top exporter of cacao beans. In the novel, Puri, who lives in Spain, inherits her father's cacao plantation in Vinces, Ecuador. But the stakes are high, and as she travels there by boat with her husband, someone attempts to kill her but murders her husband instead. Disguised as a man, Puri moves among her father's other family to try and figure out who is responsible for her husband's death.

Megan Kate Nelson's The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. Her forthcoming book Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America (Scribner, March 1, 2022) lays bare the conflicts within a nation attempting to repair the damage from the Civil War while also destroying the homeland of Native peoples. When geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden "discovered" one of the last unmapped places, in the Yellowstone Basin in 1871, he set in motion events leading to the passage of the Yellowstone Act in 1872, under President Ulysses S. Grant and the 42nd Congress. Saving Yellowstone will be published on the 150th anniversary of the Act's establishment. At a time when more tourists than ever have flocked to the National Parks, many might agree with Hayden's claim that our first national park, Yellowstone, is "the heart of the continent." --Jennifer M. Brown

Frankfurt Book Fair: Virtual Conference Today on Trade Publishing

Today the Frankfurt Book Fair's virtual conference focuses on trade publishing with a range of sessions. One of particular note to booksellers is "International Perspective: Book Sales and Bookselling," featuring Cyrus Kheradi, senior v-p, international sales and marketing, Penguin Random House.

As the program describes it: "From temporary bookstore closures and delayed publication dates to accelerating online book sales and out-of-the-box strategies for reaching readers online, the pandemic has changed and disrupted many of the ways books are marketed and sold to readers. Looking at the global book marketplace through the lens of book sales and bookselling, Cyrus Kheradi will share his insights on the past year and a half and explore whether we'll see these trends continue in the near future."

Other sessions include a discussion of what's ahead for children's publishing by Scholastic's new CEO Peter Warwick and a session on trends in translation featuring five publishers, including François von Hurter, co-founder of Bitter Lemon Press.

The conference begins this morning (2:30 p.m. local time; 8:30 a.m. Eastern). See the full program here. Register here and get a 10% discount using "trade10."

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: MPIBA's Kid Lit Author Lunch

On Friday, 10 children's and YA authors had up to four minutes each to speak about their books at MPIBA's Kid Lit Author Lunch. Topics and themes ranged from Avi's novel Loyalty, which exposes the tensions during the American Revolution from the perspective of a boy whose father was killed by the Sons of Liberty, to Claire McFall's romance between a dead girl and her captain on the River Styx in Ferryman to Jamar J. Perry's fantasy novel Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms, which explores the grief that comes with bullying.

Pictured (front row, l.-r.): Jessica Speer (BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends), Familius); Tim Harris (The Book of Hugs, Flowerpot Press); Jennifer Richard Jacobson (Twig and Turtle 5: Time for Teamwork, Pixel + Ink); Crystal Maldonado (No Filter and Other Lies, Holiday House); (back row) Haven Iverson (Slow Down, Tumbleweed!, Sounds True); Avi (Loyalty, Clarion); Claire McFall (Ferryman, Walker Books US); Jamar J. Perry (Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms, Bloomsbury); Jarrett Dapier, Mr. Watson's Chickens (Chronicle Books). (photo: Renee Becher)

Personnel Changes at Workman; S&S Children's Publishing

At Workman Publishing:

Jacklyn Wertman joins the company as senior digital marketing manager, for all imprints. She was formerly digital marketing manager at Bridal Guide Magazine and held several marketing positions at JCC Manhattan.

Gabriella Rubino joins the company as sales assistant, online and digital, for all imprints. She formerly was a bookseller at Barnes & Noble in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and completed the Columbia Publishing Course this past summer.


At Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing:

Lisa Moraleda has been promoted to the newly created role of executive director, publicity and will now serve as head of the publicity department, for all imprints.

Tara Shananan has joined the team as publicity director. She was previously associate director of publicity at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Nicole Valdez has joined as senior publicity manager. She was previously marketing & publicity manager for Random House Graphics imprint.

Morgan Maple has joined as publicist. She was previously associate publicist at Random House Children's Books.

Shivani Annirood and Jenny Lu have been promoted to publicist from associate publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Questlove on Fresh Air

Today Show: Ron Howard and Clint Howard, authors of The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family (Morrow, $28.99, 9780063065246).

Also on Today: Dylan Dreyer, author of Misty the Cloud: A Very Stormy Day (Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780593180389).

Fresh Air: Questlove, author of Music Is History (Abrams Image, $29.99, 9781419751431).

Drew Barrymore Show: Gillian Laub, author of Gillian Laub: Family Matters (Aperture, $49.95, 9781597114912).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Senator Elizabeth Warren, author of Pinkie Promises (Holt, $18.99, 9781250801029).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (‎Harper, $30, 9780062964618).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: David Chang, co-author of Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave) (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9781524759247).

Today Show: Alan Bergo, author of The Forager Chef's Book of Flora (Chelsea Green, $34.95, 9781603589482).

TV: Atlas of the Heart

HBO Max has given an eight-episode order to Atlas of the Heart, an unscripted series based on Dr. Brené Brown's latest book, Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience. The show goes into production in Austin, Tex., this month.

In the series, Brown "takes viewers on an interactive journey through the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human," Deadline reported. "Grounded in more than two decades of research, Brown brings together powerful storytelling, pop culture references and researchers to share the language, tools and framework for meaningful connection."

"At HBO Max, we pride ourselves on telling stories representative of all walks of life, and those stories would mean nothing without the language of emotion and the shared experience," said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. "By bringing Dr. Brown's extensive research to life through film, television, and pop culture, we are able to demonstrate deep connection and insight that will resonate with our viewers."

Books & Authors

Awards: Nobel Peace Prize 

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.... At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions."

Ressa "uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines," said the Norwegian Nobel Committee. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. Ressa is the author of Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center and From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism.

Muratov "has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions," the committee noted. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta and has been the editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power.

In a statement, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said, in part: "This is the first time in its history that the Nobel Committee has so explicitly recognized the global freedom to write and those who risk their freedom and safety to uphold it. This timely honor comes at a moment when that liberty faces unparalleled menace. And they got it exactly right: Free expression and the freedom to write are prerequisites for peace and democracy. Like so many journalists and writers whom PEN America defends, Maria and Dmitry put their lives and the lives of their families on the line every day to unmask truths, uplift facts, and hold the powerful to account."

Book Review

Review: A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske (Tordotcom, $27.99 hardcover, 384p., 9781250788870, November 2, 2021)

Freya Marske begins the Last Binding series with a romantic, fascinating historical fantasy debut, A Marvellous Light. The book starts with an intense scene in which a magic-using government employee, Reggie, is tortured for information, an event that kicks off a race to find a magical contract that could change the world forever.

It's 1908 and Robin Blyth's first day at his new government post in London is a bit of a disaster. As Reggie's replacement, he is expected to know about magic, but is instead "unbusheled" and is shocked to learn that there is a magical society operating unseen all around him. His colleague Edwin Courcey has little patience for Robin's ignorance and is eager to find Reggie and bring him back. When Robin is attacked in an alley that night by faceless men and cursed until he retrieves the contract for them, Edwin realizes that Reggie's disappearance is part of something much bigger and more sinister than he imagined.

Marske's writing strikes the right balance, with lovely descriptions of the world she's built and the relationships between her large but not unwieldy cast of characters. For example, magic-users employ complicated hand gestures to work their spells, a process she likens to the classic game of cat's cradle: "Robin, nibbling gingerbread, watched with interest as Edwin pulled out his cradling string and built a spell that created a syrupy rainbow shimmer between his hands, like petroleum on puddles."

Robin and Edwin's relationship builds slowly as they work together, their initial bad impressions melting away as friendship and then romantic attraction take hold: "Robin managed to hold his tongue on something truly unwise like You look like a Turner painting and I want to learn your textures with my fingertips. You are the most fascinating thing in this beautiful house. I'd like to introduce my fists to whoever taught you to stop thinking about the things that interest you. Those were not the things one blurted out to a friend. They were their own cradles of magic, an expression of the desire to transform one thing into another. And what if the magic went awry?"

A murderous hedge maze, a game of booby-trapped boating, searing intimacy and a doozy of a final act make for a read that's in turn funny, romantic and anxiety-inducing. Perfect for readers of Emily Tesh and C.L. Polk, Marske is a writer to watch. --Suzanne Krohn, editor, Love in Panels

Shelf Talker: Freya Marske's debut is a captivating historical fantasy novel filled with adventure, mystery and gay romance.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Seabreeze Book Club by Jan Moran
2. Verity by Colleen Hoover
3. Beneath the Willow Tree by Rachel Hanna
4. Dirty Daddies: 2021 Anniversary Anthology by Various
5. Mr. Park Lane by Louise Bay
6. Have Laptop, Will Travel by Philip Nicozisis
7. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
8. Power Up Power Down by Gail Rudolph
9. The Torid Affair (Veslor Mates Book 5) by Laurann Dohner
10. Deadly Valor (Crimson Point Series Book 6) by Kaylea Cross

[Many thanks to!]

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