Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 2, 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


Denver's BookBar Purchasing the Bookies

BookBar, the independent bookstore and wine bar located in northwest Denver, Colo., is purchasing the Bookies bookstore, an indie bookseller that had operated in the city for more than 50 years before being put up for sale earlier in 2021 after the death of owner and founder Sue Lubeck

"We weren't seeking to purchase another bookstore or even contemplating a second BookBar location, but I couldn't bear the possibility of Denver losing such an iconic bookstore," said BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan. "This will not be a second BookBar and, sorry, but we will not be adding a bar. The Bookies will remain the Bookies. Our intention is to continue, the best we can, to carry on with Sue's vision and honor her legacy." 

Nicole Sullivan

Although she met the Bookies' owner only a few times, Sullivan said she had always admired Lubeck's commitment to community literacy and her determination to get books into readers' hands. She added that she does not anticipate many changes in the first several months of ownership. 

"We will go in as sponges and just take everything in. We are eager to get to know all of the staff, learn processes, new systems and inventory," said Sullivan. "There is so much for us to learn from a bookstore that has been in business for fifty years!" 

She also noted that BookBar staff is especially excited about the Bookies' extensive children's programming and inventory. 

"It's never been more clear, after the last couple of years, just what an impact children's literacy has on communities and on children themselves," said Marilyn Robbins, BookBar's children's program coordinator. "It was necessary for children and teens to be able to escape the day-to-day anxiety of Covid and online learning by getting lost in stories." 

She added that virtual visits during the pandemic were particularly crucial to supplementing literacy programming in online schooling last year and credits BookBar's children's programming with keeping kids engaged with literature, keeping authors connected with their readers, and contributing significantly to BookBar's bottom line. 
In a letter to the Bookies staff, the Lubeck family thanked all employees for their years of support and continued dedication to the bookstore's mission. Acknowledging that Sue Lubeck can never be replaced, they noted that the goal has been to find a new owner who would sustain the Bookies and its legacy. "We believe Nicole has the capability, energy, and excitement to bring the business into the future." 

As a part of the purchase process, both stores will reincorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation, a first step to becoming a Certified B Corporation. Sullivan plans to integrate the Bookies with her nonprofit organization, BookGive, just as BookBar has--by donating 10% of all book sales and 100% of all VIP Membership dues to the organization and offering staff opportunities to "volunteer" for paid shifts at the nonprofit headquarters. BookGive redistributes gently used books to Metro Denver. Since opening at 4890 Lowell Blvd. in March 2020, BookGive has collected and redistributed more than 70,000 books to those in need. 

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

AAP: July Sales Rise 6.9%; Trade Up 9.7%

Total net book sales in July in the U.S. rose 6.9%, to $1.65 billion, compared to July 2020, representing sales of 1,358 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. July 2020 was the fourth full month reflecting lockdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the year to date, total net sales rose 15.6%, to $8 billion.

Trade sales rose 9.7%, to $750.7 million, in July, and rose 15.8%, to $4.9 billion, in the first seven months of the year. Trade sales of traditional books showed growth in every category in July: hardcovers rose 1.8%, to $250.5 million, paperbacks jumped 30%, to $274.3 million, mass market rose 9.8%, to $25.8 million, and board books were up 3.9%, to $17.6 million. E-book sales fell 16%, to $86.2 million.

Sales by category in July 2021 compared to July 2020:

Ann Arbor's Crazy Wisdom Bookstore to Close Unless Buyer Found

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tearoom, Ann Arbor, Mich., will close in mid-February unless a buyer is found before then. In a letter to patrons posted on Facebook, co-owners Bill Zirinsky and Ruth Schekter wrote that they will be shuttering the physical bookshop on the eve of its 40th anniversary, and after a third of a century of owning it, on the day after Valentine's Day 2022.

Zirinsky and Schekter plan to continue expanding the Crazy Wisdom Community Journal (print and online) and enhance their digital presence with the Crazy Wisdom Biweekly Ezine. They will also reinvigorate the websites,, and

"There is a relentlessness to a retail business--open 7 days a week, 360 days a year, and to the hamster-wheel aspect of staffing and management issues," they noted. "Our own family has grown up, and we're in our 60s, and we're ready to look out upon a new and different horizon. The bookstore had a very profitable year (due to having closed the tea room at the onset of the pandemic), and that's not a bad way to go out!

"We know that Crazy Wisdom has been a unique destination and special bookstore in our region, and treasured by its friends and customers. We and our longtime managers and staff, past and present, have so much gratitude for having had the privilege over these decades to serve people in our region who are searching in their lives--spiritually, psychologically, holistically and in terms of sustainable and conscious living. We intend for Crazy Wisdom to continue to be a beacon of consciousness in the region, though perhaps not in the form of a bricks-and-mortar retail business."

Although they own the renovated Main Street building in which the bookshop is located, it is not for sale. Zirinsky and Schekter will be taking some months to decide how to best use the building, so Crazy Wisdom's bookstore operation will go "on sabbatical" as they consider next steps. Serious inquiries into buying the bookstore, and renting the space, or related ideas, are welcome. Interested parties can contact

House of Books, Kent, Conn., Gets Ready to Move Back to Original Space

The renovated House of Books.

House of Books in Kent, Conn., which has spent about two and a half years in a 900-square-foot temporary location while its original space underwent renovations, will return to that spot on November 27. At 1,800 square feet, the original space is double the size of the temporary location, and general manager Benjamin Rybeck noted that he has "$40k in inventory stored in a very cramped basement" that he'll now be able to display on the shelves.

The bookstore will celebrate the move with a variety of events that weekend. On November 27, which is Indies First/Small Business Saturday, guest booksellers such as Jerry Saltz will stop by, and on Sunday there will be a Sunday author brunch featuring Fiona Davis and Amy Poeppel. More plans are coming together, but given that Covid-19 is still "very real," events will be spaced out and relatively informal to prioritize safety.

House of Books will say goodbye to its home of nearly three years on November 13, with one last author event featuring Gregory Galloway, author of Just Thieves (Melville House). Galloway is local, and the event will also feature Otto Penzler, owner of The Mysterious Bookshop, who lives in Kent. Books for the in-person event have been pre-ordered and pre-signed, and Rybeck noted that they'll be "shipping from us to people all over the country." Launches 1619 Project Donation Program has partnered with the Penguin Random House imprint One World to create a donation program for The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones, set to be published on November 16.

Independent bookstores around the country have identified schools, libraries, book banks and other organizations that would benefit from donated copies of The 1619 Project. Individual customers can purchase a copy of the book through and have it donated to a participating organization, with 30% of the book's retail price going to a participating indie. More than 15% of the bookstores participating in the donation program are Black-owned and -operated, and customers can filter by state to find their closest bookstore.

Hannah-Jones explained that when the book's publication was announced, an "organic movement rose up of individuals offering to purchase copies for educators and educational organizations. Inspired by that effort, as well as campaigns across the country to suppress the teaching of the project, we thought it would be amazing to create a larger campaign that would allow more people to give books and get them inot the hands of an even larger number of people in need."

"Bookstores play a crucial role in ensuring stories such as these live on within our communities," said Andy Hunter, CEO of "By purchasing a copy of the book through, not only are customers able to donate to a participating organization, but they are also able to financially support their local independent bookstore."

The initiative will run until January 31, 2022.

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: Homegrown Authors

As part of the town's annual Homegrown Festival, Little Point Bookshop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., hosted four New Jersey cozy mystery authors: (l.-r.) J.D. Griffo, Peggy Ehrhart, Eileen Watkins and Tina Kashian.


Consortium Adds Three New Publishers

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution will handle sales and distribution for three new publishers, effective January 3:

CLASH Books, Troy, N.Y., which highlights "diverse and unique voices in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art books" in multiple genres and topics, including literary fiction, horror, hybrid, humor, and music culture. Key forthcoming titles include The Bee & the Fly: The Improbable Correspondence of Louisa May Alcott & Emily Dickinson by Lorainne Tosiello & Jane Cavolina, Life of the Party by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic, and Gag Reflex by Elle Nash.

Little Island Books, Dublin, Ireland, which was founded in 2011 by Siobhán Parkinson, Ireland's inaugural children's laureate. It publishes writing for young readers, from toddlers to teens, specializing in fiction and non-fiction that can change young lives, with the mantra that books create waves. Spring titles include Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson and illustrated by Anna Tromop, A Short, Hopeful Guide to Climate Change by Oisín McGann, and Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan.

Saraband Ltd, a U.K. publisher of fiction, nature writing, environmental issues, and biographies and memoir--books that "inspire, inform, and entertain, often by emerging voices from Scotland and northern England." (Originally incorporated in the U.S. in 1994, Saraband relocated to the U.K. in 2000.) Its authors have won or been nominated for such awards as the Paul Torday, Rathbones Folio, Wainwright Nature Prize, and the Booker Prize. Select forthcoming titles include Extraction to Extinction by David Howe, In a Veil of Mist by Donald Murray, and the Desmond Elliott Prize-nominated novel Castles from Cobwebs by J.A. Mensah.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Gary Shteyngart on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9781984855121).

Good Morning America: Jamie Oliver, author of Together: Memorable Meals Made Easy (Flatiron, $35, 9781250821799).

Today Show: Danny Seo, author of Naturally, Delicious Dinners (Gibbs Smith, $28, 9781423658269).

Drew Barrymore Show: David Chang and Priya Krishna, authors of Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave) (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9781524759247).

Tamron Hall: Misty Copeland, author of Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy (Aladdin, $19.99, 9781534474246).

The Talk: Andy Cohen, author of Glitter Every Day: 365 Quotes from Women I Love (Holt, $24, 9781250832399). He will also appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The View: Tamron Hall, author of As the Wicked Watch: The First Jordan Manning Novel (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063037038).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Joe Pera, author of A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape (Forge Books, $15.99, 9781250782694).

Movies: Brat: An '80s Story

Network Entertainment has optioned Andrew McCarthy's memoir Brat: An '80s Story and will produce a documentary adaptation. Deadline reported that Brat "will follow McCarthy across the country as he goes directly to the source, seeking out other Brat Pack members, to find out what it has meant to each of them to have been a part of that famed acting group. He'll reconnect with actors he hasn't seen in years, discuss the iconic films they made from 1982 to 1989, and learn about their experiences since those days."

McCarthy will direct the film and produce it with Brian Liebman of Liebman Entertainment, with Derik Murray, Paul Gertz, and Brian Gersh exec producing for Network Entertainment.

"This is a personal journey of discovery," said McCarthy. "It's been pulling at me for years. I need to know if the other members of the Brat Pack have felt like I've felt or if they've had a different experience entirely."

Books & Authors

Awards: Global Cultural Understanding Winner; Warwick Women in Translation Longlist 

Sujit Sivasundaram won the £25,000 (about $34,235) British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding for his book Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire. The award, formerly known as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize, was established in 2013 to "reward and celebrate the best works of nonfiction that demonstrate rigor and originality, have contributed to global cultural understanding and illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide."

Speaking for the jury, chair Patrick Wright said: "Waves Across the South is a riot of ingenuity, a truly powerful and new history of revolutions and empires, re-imagined through the environmental lens of the sea. The jury was spellbound by Sivasundaram's skill in combining compelling story-telling with meticulous research. Even as a work of world history it speaks directly to the politics and military interventions of today."


A longlist of 17 titles has been released for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, which recognizes "the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel or play text, written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a U.K. or Irish publisher." The £1,000 (about $1,370) award is divided between the writer and her translator. The shortlist will be announced in early November and a winner named November 24. See the longlisted titles here.

Book Review

Review: Manifesto: On Never Giving Up

Manifesto: On Never Giving Up by Bernardine Evaristo (Grove Press, $27 hardcover, 224p., 9780802158901, January 18, 2022)

In Manifesto: On Never Giving Up, Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo peels back the layers of her literary life, exploring the childhood origins of her creativity, recounting her activism on behalf of British writers of color, and sharing the profoundly life-altering personal development strategies that guide her artistry. Fans of Evaristo's work will discover in Manifesto the passionate core of this unstoppable force in 21st-century literature.

One of eight children born to a white English mother and a Nigerian immigrant father, Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other; Lara) grew up in '60s South London, absorbing from an early age the class, race and cultural barriers her parents overcame to build their multiracial family. A passion for history leads the author to trace her English roots back to 1703, while her Nigerian family history remains frustratingly elusive.

The author's soulful exploration of her early years, accompanied often by hilarious observations, reveal a courageous young woman who compromised nothing in pursuit of her artistic endeavors, including drama and theater. Living independently, with freedom to explore her sexuality and the privacy of a room of her own, helped Evaristo's writing blossom. Poetry offered a creative outlet for self-expression, and the city of London was her muse.

Readers will encounter many memorable personalities in Manifesto, from the author's disciplinarian father to the controlling, abusive female lover--"The Mental Dominatrix"--with whom she had a "torture affair" instead of a love affair. Her fearless mother, a beloved schoolteacher, encouraged her children's individualism and opened the door to the author's love of literature.

Evaristo's career ambitions are intertwined with her vision for the communities she inhabits: women, people of color, working-class and immigrant families, and older women. With an open heart and passion for guiding others, Evaristo, now in her 60s, derives pleasure from "bringing on the next generation," championing emerging writers of color through various creative initiatives. Her most recent project, as curator of the Black Britain: Writing Back series, reintroduces into circulation overlooked books from the past that deserve a new readership.

Evaristo's personal manifesto, summarized at the end of this remarkable book, is ripe with inspiration for those who come after her, her advice timeless and applicable to readers at every stage of their artistic endeavors: "Be wild, disobedient and daring with your creativity, take risks instead of following predictable routes; those who play it safe do not advance our culture or civilization." --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer

Shelf Talker: A Booker Prize-winning British author's soulful memoir captures the essence of her creativity and offers inspirational guidance to emerging writers.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout
2. Finding Kenna by Susan Stoker
3. Verity by Colleen Hoover
4. Endless Shadows (Shadows Landing Book 7) by Kathleen Brooks
5. The Authenticity Code by Sharon Lamm-Hartman
6. Holiday Fake-out by Various
7. Shades of Truth by Denise Grover Swank
8. Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey
9. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
10. Only One Regret by Natasha Madison

[Many thanks to!]

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