Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 19, 2021

University of Texas Press: Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating Loss by Lisa Keefauver

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!

Berkley Books: The Hitchcock Hotel by Stephanie Wrobel

Queen Mab Media: Get Our Brand Toolkit

Ballantine Books: Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me by Glory Edim

Ace Books: Rewitched by Lucy Jane Wood

Graywolf Press: We're Alone: Essays by Edwidge Danticat

St. Martin's Press: Runaway Train: Or, the Story of My Life So Far by Erin Roberts with Sam Kashner


Books & Bagels Opens in Wilmington, Del.

Books & Bagels has opened in Wilmington, Del., "the first bookstore to open within city limits since the closure of Ninth Street Book Shop in 2018," according to the Delaware News Journal.

Located in Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation's small business incubator space, Books & Bagels features shelves "full of colorful books, with an array of diverse and up-and-coming authors," the newspaper noted. "In one corner, tiny leather chairs make up a reading nook for children. Leafy green plants fill in the spaces between stacks of books, and a countertop filled with tea, snacks and pastries greets customers when they enter."

Owner Ellen Cappard said she wants the store to be a place "where you can let your hair down and relax."

Ellen Cappard

Cappard became an educator after volunteering with a school reading program. In her spare time, she writes and illustrates children's books she hopes to publish. And "if she isn't reading from her own To Be Read list, she's reading with her 12-year-old daughter Sophia," the News Journal added. The idea of one day opening a bookstore "was like a tiny little song in my heart."

She was also inspired by the many bookstores in Washington, D.C., where she lived before moving to Wilmington in 2017.

Jacqueline Castañeda, a small business coordinator with Cornerstone West, noted that as a Black woman owning a bookstore in Black-majority Wilmington, Cappard will inspire many residents. "Just a couple of blocks away there is someone who looks like yourself who is being able to succeed in the neighborhood," she said.

BINC: Click to Apply to the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships

Oregon's Books Around the Corner Has New Location, New Focus

Books Around the Corner, Gresham, Ore., has opened in its new space--appropriate timing for a new and used bookstore that has shifted focus from being a general store to a genre fiction bookstore focusing on science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror, with a year-round Halloween theme. The store will also carry "spooky and bookish" candles, bookmarks, gifts and more. Books Around the Corner's bookstore cat is named Spooky. (See a video introduction to the new location here.)

As owner Stephanie Rose Csaszar explained, "I've always loved books and Halloween and all things spooky and horror. As I shared this passion with others, I noticed how many people who experience anxiety and depression tend to love fall for all of the wonderfulness of this special time of year. Now they can experience it year round. I couldn't be more excited to share my passion with other Halloween and spooky lovers along with readers of genre fiction, metaphysical and true crime books."

Before founding Books Around the Corner in 2018, Csaszar had been a therapist, then got her master's in library and information sciences and worked as a librarian for several years. "I thought opening a bookshop would be a dream come true," she remembered, "but it was actually this Halloween-themed genre fiction bookshop that is the real dream come true."

The store will celebrate its third anniversary on Saturday, October 30--Halloween weekend--from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a costume contest, a prize wheel and trick or treating all day.

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

'Save Our Beloved Bookstore' Fundraiser for East End Books Ptown

East End Books Ptown, Provincetown, Mass., is currently raising money through a GoFundMe campaign to purchase the shop's location. In a letter to friends of the bookstore, owner Jeff Peters wrote: "Please donate to help us buy our bookstore space. We have just found out the bookstore space will soon be placed for sale. We have a small window of time to raise the money to purchase the store before it's officially listed for sale. Otherwise, we'll have to move or shut down, which would make us very sad! We appreciate your help!... The price will be substantial, but with your help, we can remain in Provincetown."

East End Books Ptown has raised more than $14,000 of its $25,000 goal thus far. The bookshop opened in 2017

"We truly appreciate your support over the years!" Peters added. "It has been wonderful to see you in our bookstore and at our many book events! We're a vibrant part of Provincetown and our bookstore has fans world wide. With your help, we'll continue to be an integral part of the literary scene. We love what we do and hope to continue for years to come!"

Reimagining Bookstores Off to Fast Start

Praveen Madan greeted attendees at Reimagining Bookstores yesterday.

Reimagining Bookstores, the two-day virtual conference organized by Praveen Madan, CEO of Kepler's Books & Magazines, Menlo Park, Calif., and co-hosted by more than 20 bookstores, held its first round of sessions yesterday and addressed a range of subjects, from how to pay a living wage to booksellers and deal with high rents to nontraditional business models for bookstores, working with other community organizations, and mentorship and bookseller-publisher relations.

The main purpose of the event, Madan said, is how to reimagine bookstores "to deepen literacy, strengthen our communities and pay decent living wages to our employees." Citing figures that show living wages for a single person at $20 an hour and more in such cities as Seattle, New York and Washington, D.C., he called living wages a "critical" need. "The rising cost of living continues to outpace our ability to raise wages."

He called recent Pew Reserch Center findings that 23% of Americans did not read a book in the last year "an opportunity for us as booksellers," whom he encouraged to develop new readers, facilitate the free flow of ideas, and help people "of all beliefs in having a shared reality."

He added that it is "time to embrace bookstores as a social cause" and called the gathering "a starting point" whose future would be determined by participants.

A few of the hundreds of attendees at yesterday's session.

Participants spent much of the first day in small groups discussing topics of interest. For example, in one room, Jill Hendrix of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., led a thoughtful conversation focusing on how indie bookstores can remain true community spaces in a polarized environment. Participants touched on the different approaches a mission-driven store could take compared to a general bookstore. Many agreed that while there is no "neutrality"--every action a store takes, from who to hire to choosing what to stock, to displays and programming, is a choice--the goal is still to make the community feel welcome and seen in your store.

In comments at the end of the day, Donna Paz Kaufman, co-owner of Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, Fernandina Beach, Fla., and a principal of Paz & Associates, said that after the day, "I am even more aware that our future is precarious, and we need to step up to make it financially viable to be bookstore owners for the future. One of the threats that was addressed in a couple of the sessions were the escalating price of just being in business. Real estate for sure, and certainly labor--and all of us agree we want to pay our people better. The challenge is making the numbers work, and the numbers are getting tighter. Many of us who've been in this industry for decades see young people surfacing with passion and purpose, and we certainly want them to be part of our future. We all need to get together to find some models and some real estate pathways into this business for startups and for many simply to continue."

BrocheAroe Fabian of River Dog Book Co., said that a core solution is "simply access to more capital, and capital that doesn't come from traditional lending sources," which have barriers to starting and growing bookstore businesses. "One idea is to start some kind of fund that would allow anyone wanting to do a bookstore business of some kind," whether a traditional bricks-and-mortar store or a pop-up or a bookmobile. The fund would provide support over years or provide a one-time grant or loan.

More than 600 people signed up to attend the event, 60% of whom are booksellers, 20% authors, 16% publishers, and the rest media and other interested parties. They're from 49 states and a dozen other countries.

Reimagining Bookstores continues today.

Obituary Note: Colin Powell

Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, who died yesterday at age 84, was the author of a blockbuster memoir, My American Journey, written with Joseph D. Persico, and published in 1995.

PRH's Igloo Daily remembered: "Powell was noncommittal for a long time about writing a book. While he flirted with many publishing suitors--meeting in 1993 at his request with Bantam Doubleday Dell CEO Jack Hoeft and publicity head Stuart Applebaum in his Pentagon office--he ultimately signed with Random House, whom he later privately admitted was always his first choice, in part because of his respect for CEO Alberto Vitale and publisher Harry Evans.

"As speculation swirled and intensified on the nightly newscasts and newspaper front pages whether he would run for U.S. President on the Republican ticket [in 1996], the General unflappably worked on his book with Mr. Persico and his editor Jonathan Karp (now head of Simon & Schuster)."

The New York Times Book Review called My American Journey "a great American success story... an endearing and well-written book," while the Wall Street Journal described it as "profound and moving.... Must reading for anyone who wants to reaffirm his faith in the promise of America."

Powell was a model author, remembered fondly by many booksellers who didn't necessarily agree with his politics but found him cordial, kind, and considerate to all customers and bookstore staff. And we at Shelf Awareness remember meeting Powell at a pre-publication party in Frankfurt hosted by Alberto Vitale. We had wondered why a general was receiving so much adulation and attention, but in an instant, it was apparent that he had unusual charisma and charm and a special personal touch.

"Putnam, Dutton, and Berkeley president Ivan Held, then a Random House publicist under Carol Schneider, recalls accompanying him to 28 cities in 20 days," Random House added. "He performed every piece of PR and book signing with aplomb. Some of his signings had over 1,000 people--and everyone felt like they had a moment with him." The following year, Powell went on tour, with publicist Kim Hovey, for the Ballantine paperback edition, which was updated in 2003.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Remember You Will Die
by Eden Robins
GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

Despite the title, Eden Robins's Remember You Will Die is a joyously enlivening masterpiece. Only dead people inhabit the pages of this novel, their stories revealed predominantly through obituaries ranging from deeply soulful to hilariously delightful. As Christa Désir, editorial director for Bloom Books at Sourcebooks, promises, it's "a book about life and art and loss and being human and messy." By 2102, the singularity has long happened, and an AI called Peregrine learns that her 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, is dead. Unraveling this requires a three-century excavation of relationships, cultures, science, history, and brilliantly sourced etymology. Désir predicts "a cult classic" that readers will want to "immediately pick back up... to find more Easter eggs and clues." Eden Robins could have the singular bestseller of the year. --Terry Hong

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99 paperback, 9781728256030, 
October 22, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Bookish Pumpkins at Books & Company

"Bookstore crafting party? Yes please!" Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis., posted on Facebook recently, adding: "We Booksellers gathered together after hours to decorate our hearts out for you! Stay tuned here or come see our bookish creations in the front windows. 
Be sure to tag us in any bookish pumpkins YOU create for a chance at a free galley!"

The booksellers have since been showing off their creations matched with recommended titles:

"Don't you just love that Halloween can be Spooky or Antique? Bookseller Chloe gave us a gorgeous fairy tale pumpkin just waiting to become a carriage while Bookseller Lynn broke out the gauze for a spooky sweet mummy!"

"Today's pumpkins are a Deathly Hallows symbol from Bookseller Toni & a clever depiction of Three Pines from Bookseller Judy! Don't forget to tag us in photos of your book themed pumpkins for a free galley!"

"How cute is Bookseller Toni's Hungry Little Caterpillar? And Bookseller Chloe made another elegant pumpkin modeled on the fancy journals with ribbon bookmarks!" 

"Our last featured pumpkin art includes an epic hair wave from the book set in the 80s #werideuponsticks by local author @quanberry123, a cute but deadly porcupine by Bookseller Lynn, and the punniest pumpkin from Bookseller Judy, The Girl on the Train."

Personnel Changes at HarperCollins Children's Books

At HarperCollins Children's Books:

LaToya Maitland has joined the conferences & conventions department as senior manager. She was previously marketing manager at Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Kim Silverton has been promoted to manager of sales forecasting and analysis, and was previously assistant manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Billy Porter on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Billy Porter, author of Unprotected: A Memoir (Abrams Press, $28, 9781419746192).

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

Tamron Hall: Shelly Tygielski, author of Sit Down to Rise Up: How Radical Self-Care Can Change the World (New World Library, $25.95, 9781608687442).

Movies: The Lost Daughter

A trailer has been released for The Lost Daughter, based on the novel by Elena Ferrante and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. IndieWire reported that the film "received rave reviews out of its premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, with critics singling out performances from [Olivia] Colman, Dakota Johnson and Jessie Buckley as potential awards contenders." 

The cast also includes Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Dagmara Dominczyk and Paul Mescal. Netflix will release The Lost Daughter in theaters on December 17 and on Netflix December 31, "clearly hoping for an awards-friendly reception," IndieWire noted.

Books & Authors

Awards: German Book Prize Winner; Baillie Gifford Nonfiction Shortlist

The winner of the €25,000 (about $29,000) German Book Prize is Antje Rávik Strubel for her novel Blaue Frau (Blue Woman), published in Germany by S. Fischer.

Jury chair Karin Schmidt-Friderichs commented, according to Börsenblatt: "With existential force and poetical precision, Antje Rávik Strubel delineates the flight of a young woman from her memories of a rape. Layer by layer the disturbing novel lays bare what happened. The story of female empowerment grows to become a reflection over competing cultures of memory in East and West Europe and power differences between the sexes. In a tentative narration Antje Rávik Strubel succeeds in putting the essentially unspeakable about a traumatic experience into words. In dialogue with the mythical figure of the blue woman the writer presents her engaging poetics: literature that despite all doubt acts as a fragile counterpower against injustice and violence.


A shortlist has been released for the £50,000 (about $68,040) Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction. The winner will be named November 16. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flyn
Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945–1955 by Harald Jähner, translated by Shaun Whiteside
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
Things I Have Withheld by Kei Miller
Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston
Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi

Book Review

Review: The Night Will Be Long

The Night Will Be Long by Santiago Gamboa, trans. by Andrea Rosenberg (Europa Editions, $18 paperback, 368p., 9781609457112, November 23, 2021)

The Night Will Be Long by Santiago Gamboa, author of Night Prayers and Necropolis, is an engrossing thriller set in a modern-day Colombia haunted by the legacy of decades of armed conflict. The novel begins with a harrowing description of an ambush in rural Colombia that recalls the violent conflagrations common before the 2016 peace accord with FARC. Prosecutor Edilson Javier Jutsiñamuy, veteran reporter Julieta Lezama and her assistant Johana Triviño--a former FARC rebel--are drawn to the case not only because of the scale of the violence, but the unsettling thoroughness with which it has been covered up. What follows is a satisfying procedural as the trio's investigations, spanning Colombia and even French Guiana, gradually uncover the surprising motivations behind the violence.

The case soon takes an odd turn as early leads point to the involvement of evangelical Christian churches. Gamboa brings readers inside the church of one of the main suspects, the services "a cross between a rock concert, a popular mass, and a TV show." The heavily fortified church is led by a charismatic pastor who forges an unexpected connection with Julieta after sharing his personal story. Gamboa casts an unflattering light on evangelical churches, which Julieta sees as holding its undereducated believers as hostages, "easy prey for the nonsense, slogans, and quackery that these calculating, smooth-talking gurus put in their heads." The armed guards, ostentatious wealth and the collection of tithes--"tithing was obligatory and strictly monitored; followers had to present paystubs to calculate their contributions"--only add to the perception of these churches as a new kind of mafia.

However, nothing is ever black and white in The Night Will Be Long. The pastor's personal story is presented to readers as a lengthy, sympathetic tale of childhood abandonment, something like a short story crafted in the pastor's voice. Other similar tales are found throughout the novel, giving deep insight into characters that in a weaker novel would be bit players serving only to move the plot along. Intertwined with the main narrative, they help to form a complex portrait of a nation fraught with bitter ironies. Seeing a photo of very young FARC guerillas, Julieta reflects: "Her own children... posed for this kind of photo, except they were at malls or dance clubs." Gamboa has crafted an effective thriller that thrives on his empathetic imagination. --Hank Stephenson, the Sun magazine, manuscript reader 

Shelf Talker: The Night Will Be Long provides an empathetic look at post-conflict Colombia through an eccentric thriller plot involving powerful evangelical churches.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Swamp Sweets (Miss Fortune Mysteries Book 21) by Jana DeLeon
2. Verity by Colleen Hoover
3. Hold on to My Heart (The Sullivans Book 22) by Bella Andre
4. A Moment for Us by Corinne Michaels
5. Not Without Your Love by Lexi Ryan
6. Turnaround by Lisa Gable
7. Broken Sparrow by Chelle Bliss
8. Chalk Dirty to Me (Madd CrossFit Book 3) by Lani Lynn Vale
9. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
10. Tinsel and Tatas by Various

[Many thanks to!]

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