Also published on this date: Monday, November 8, 2021: Maximum Shelf: In a New York Minute

Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 8, 2021

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

Amulet Books: Batcat: Volume 1 by Meggie Ramm

Berkley Books: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady

Quotation of the Day

Indie Bookshops Are 'Sustenance and Sanctuary'

"Sustenance and sanctuary! The hours I've spent haunting the aisles of Fact & Fiction (Missoula, Mont.), Maria's Bookshop (Durango, Colo.), Collected Works and Garcia Street Books (Santa Fe, N.Mex.), Books on the Common (Ridgefield, Conn.), Amherst Books (Amherst, Mass.), City Lights (San Francisco, Calif.), Kennys Bookshop (Galway, Ireland), Phoenix Books (Burlington, Vt.) and my local joint, Bear Pond Books (Montpelier, Vt.), not to mention some wonderful comic shops that have all since departed... well, needless to say, I could scarcely count them.... Regardless of how the book does out in the world, this staggering encouragement will sustain me for years and years."

--Nathaniel Ian Miller, author of The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven (Little, Brown), the #1 November Indie Next List pick, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams


Joybird Books Opening This Month in Orlando, Fla.

Joybird owners Andrew Walker and Ollie Bird at a recent pop-up (photo: Facebook)

Andrew Walker and Ollie Bird are set to open Joybird Books, a 1,200-square-foot general-interest bookstore, in Orlando, Fla., before the end of the month, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

While the inventory will be predominantly used books, Joybird will carry new titles from local authors and especially local independent press Burrow Press, and Bird and Walker plan to gradually expand their new book inventory after opening. They also plan to build a stage for things like open-mics and storytime sessions.

All told the store will have an opening inventory of around 15,000 titles, the majority of which came from a college library auction that Walker and Bird won earlier this year. Prior to that they had been selling books at pop-up locations around Orlando. Once they won the auction, Walker told the Sentinel, opening a bookstore "went from a dream to a very possible reality."

The store will reside at 3018 Corrine Drive in Orlando's Audubon Park neighborhood.

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Catherine Onder Joins Sourcebooks as V-P, Publisher, Children's Books

Catherine Onder

Catherine Onder has joined Sourcebooks in the newly created role of v-p and publisher of children's books. She has nearly 20 years of experience in children's publishing, most recently as senior v-p, publisher at HMH Books and Media. Before that, she worked at Bloomsbury, Disney-Hyperion and HarperCollins.

While at HMH, Onder oversaw the growth of the Little Blue Truck program, the launch of the Versify imprint, and the development of a graphic novel list, including the Click series by Kayla Miller and Hooky by Miriam Bonastre Tur. She also acquired and edited We Are Not Not Free by Traci Chee, which was a National Book Award finalist, a Printz and Walter Honor, and one of the New York Times's 100 Best YA Books of All Time.

At Sourcebooks, Onder will focus on working with editors, marketers, and sales staff to grow the company's major children's and YA brands, including How to Catch, Sandra Magsamen, Baby University, Marianne Richmond, Bill Cotter and Marieke Nijkamp, among others. She will also work with Sourcebooks' marketing and digital marketing teams and aid in expanding Sourcebooks's regional publishing program. She will also help lead the further growth of the internal packaging group.

Onder said, "I deeply admire Sourcebooks' innovative, entrepreneurial, and agile approach to publishing. They've achieved an extraordinary amount in children's books since their inaugural kids title in 2005. I'm looking forward to working with the ingenious team and brilliant creators to build off their impressive successes and to take the list to new heights."

Todd Stocke, v-p and editorial director of Sourcebooks, said, "2021 will close as our biggest year ever in our children's business. That'll be up 35%-plus over last year, which was also our largest year ever. We're thrilled to add Catherine to our immensely talented team to help continue to fan the flames of growth for our authors, publishing and retail partners, and ultimately kids and families across the world."

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

International Update: IPG's Hybrid Autumn Conference, Swiss Book Trade Associations Team Up for Promotion

Attendees at the Independent Publishers Guild's hybrid Autumn Conference in London were told that delays in the supply chain could continue into 2022 with book prices inflating to levels "not seen for a long time," the Bookseller reported.  

"I do think we're in for book price inflation that we've not see for many years," said Ingram Content Group UK senior v-p David Taylor. "The specter of inflation is looming over our industry and there are several reasons for that... prices are rising and printers are going to charge publishers more and publishers are going to suck it up or it will feed through into book price inflation. I would say, a little controversially, that I think books are still an incredible value. I think we'll see an increase in book prices because publishers really won't have any choice."

In a separate session hosted by Quarto UK CEO David Graham, Taylor was joined by Gardners buying director Simon Morley who agreed, the Bookseller wrote, that a combination of the pandemic, Brexit and the decline of Bertrams had significantly affected the global supply chain.

"The last 24 months have been quite extraordinary," Taylor said. "In the last six months in particular we are seeing huge costs in everything from labor, energy, print, shortage of [computer] chips.... Christmas is coming earlier, because people are panicking and they want their items."

Morley said warehouses across the U.K. are currently having difficulty picking orders because of staff shortages and a lack of truck drivers. He added that Gardners was "fortunate to be working with the larger players, such as Royal Mail, so 90% to 95% of our orders are turning up on time in the U.K., but things are slower." Looking ahead to the holiday season, he observed that Gardners was preparing for both November and December to be "really busy.... We want to fill up shops ready for Christmas. We've purchased early from publishers."

Taylor cited the detrimental effects globally of a shortage of paper, and described the Brexit landscape for Ingram as "a complete pain in the arse." He also cautioned: "People worry about what is going to happen after Christmas. A certain Internet retailer is buying huge swathes of stock--we may have a bit of a headache coming down the track.... Things will cost more, and things will be slower, but I hope 2022 will be a better version of 2021."


Switzerland's book trade associations, representing more than 600 companies involved in the book market and 1,000 authors, "have come together to launch LIBER book vouchers to help the sector recover following the Coronavirus pandemic," the European & International Booksellers Association's NewsFlash reported. For a contribution of 60 francs (about $65.70), customers receive a voucher worth 100 francs (about $110), which can be redeemed in 400 bookshops across the country.

"LIBER is a campaign in favor of Swiss book creation that is aimed directly at readers. Today, Switzerland is a country with a great variety of books, which has to be preserved even after the corona crisis," said Tanja Messerli, managing director of the Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association and one of the leading partners of this project.


The Australian Booksellers Association's latest newsletter welcomed a new member to the group: Canungra Books and Art in Canungra, Queensland, which noted: "Our funky shop started in 2015 as a weekend books and collectibles shop behind the Shoe Vault in Canungra's main street. After two years of learning, listening and experimenting, shooing the possums out, and visiting bookshops around Australia and the world, it was time to move on.... We had always had our eye on this delightful Queenslander, it just felt like it was made to be a bookshop and we were fortunate enough to finally obtain a lease which commenced on April Fool's Day 2017!"


Lights, camera, bookish action! Canadian bookseller Once Upon a Bookstore in Kelowna, B.C., posted on Facebook: "Remember WAAAY back in February when we closed for a day to be part of a movie shoot? Well, the trailer for Snowed in for Christmas is here and it is releasing in a couple weeks. Check out where you watch your favorite Christmas movies to find it!" --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Anne Bradford

British author Anne Bradford, best known for Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary, died October 30. She was 90. The Bookseller reported that Bradford was an active member of the Crossword Club, and "devoted time every day to solving crosswords, avidly collecting new solutions for her dictionary and compiling every entry with meticulous care. The latest edition of her book, published by Collins this October, was the fruit of 60 years' analysis of more than 500,000 crossword clues."

HarperCollins described her dictionary as "a unique and innovative work that pairs thousands of clue words with possible solutions, it broke the crossword dictionary mould in being compiled by a real author from actual crossword clues."

In a tribute, the publisher said: "Anne was blessed with extraordinary intelligence and a lively sense of humor that was occasionally mischievous, but always warm. She was in correspondence with editors as recently as September, discussing suggestions and amendments and, as ever, entertaining all with an anecdote and a witty remark. Anne Bradford will be much missed by her friends at Collins and everyone in the crossword world. The Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary will be continued by her daughter Gillian."

The first incarnation of her work was Longman Crossword Solver's Dictionary (1986). Since then Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary, as it is now known, has been through various editions. The Times reported that in 2013 "she was still solving 20 crosswords a week, finding new ideas for the latest edition of her dictionary. She had no specialist software or computer program, only accepting a basic word processor with reluctance."

"I've been working on it for more than 50 years but I don't think it will ever be finished," she had said of the project.


Image of the Day: Shop Early Saturday at Unabridged Bookstore

In light of supply chain problems and shortages, Chicago's Unabridged Bookstore held a "Shop Early Saturday" event this past weekend, offering 10% off all purchases. Co-owner Patrick Garnett reported that local residents came out in large numbers to shop early, "and the day was a huge success--so much so that it was one of the store's top 10 busiest days ever in its 41 years of business. We want to thank our amazing customers for their continued support of Unabridged."

Bookseller Moment: MahoganyBooks 

Posted by MahoganyBooks, Washington, D.C.: "We love it here. Black Books All Day. Have you ever walked into a place and felt seen? Or heard? Like you belonged? So often those are the generous comments and loving reflection folks share with us during their visit. It's nothing short of a blessing to us.  

"It's the same emotions we felt walking into a Black-owned bookstore in D.C. over 20+ years ago (they've since closed), but it lit a spark of pride in us. To see our stories and faces reflected on the shelves. One we'd excitedly carry as we imagined what our own space would look like one day. Thank you for seeing us. Photo of our first baby. Our Anacostia spot in D.C. A space filled with intention and gratitude. By the way, what you reading this weekend? Where's one of the places you feel seen and in what city?" 

Reading Group Choices' Most Popular October Books

The two most popular books in October at Reading Group Choices were The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley (Sourcebooks Landmark) and The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber (Graywolf Press).

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rep. Adam Schiff on the View

The View: Emily Ratajkowski, author of My Body (Metropolitan, $26, 9781250817860). She will also appear today on Late Night with Seth Meyers and CBS This Morning and tomorrow on the Daily Show.

Late Late Show with James Corden: Michael Eric Dyson, author of Entertaining Race: Performing Blackness in America (‎St. Martin's Press, $32.50, 9781250135971).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Kal Penn, author of You Can't Be Serious (Gallery, $28, 9781982171384).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jonathan Karl, author of Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show (Dutton, $28, 9780593186329).

The View: Rep. Adam Schiff, author of Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could (Random House, $30, 9780593231524).

Tonight Show: Will Smith, co-author of Will (Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877925).

TV: A Man In Full

Regina King and David E. Kelley are adapting Tom Wolfe's 1998 novel A Man in Full. Deadline reported that Netflix has given the limited project a straight-to-series order of six episodes. Kelley will serve as showrunner, writer and exec producer with King directing and exec producing as part of her first-look deal with Netflix via her Royal Ties production company. Matthew Tinker also exec produces.

Books & Authors

Awards: Max Ritvo Poetry Winner; Southern Book Finalists

Ryann Stevenson has won the 2021 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize for his manuscript Human Resources, which will be published next June by Milkweed Editions. Stevenson also receives $10,000.

Judge Henri Cole said about Human Resources: "The controlled anxiety of the present is captured brilliantly by this wary, lucid book. We live in an era when our humanness is worn down--by virtual beings, bots, synced devices, battery life, data, radiation, sulfates, and lead--so we must practice mindfulness to keep from losing track of who we are. This brave, tough book suggests that flowering maples, yoga, orcas, and the hands of our mothers might help us preserve our innocence. Human Resources is a lyric transcript of what it is to be a citizen at a punishing time."


Finalists have been chosen for the Southern Book Prize, representing "bookseller favorites from 2021 that are Southern in nature--either about the South or by a Southern writer." Voting by the public has begun at, and winner will be announced February 14. The finalists are:

The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington (Algonquin Books)
Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson (Morrow)
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia (Flatiron Books)
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron Books)
When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash (Morrow)
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (St. Martin's Press)

Black, White, and the Grey by Mashama Bailey (Lorena Jones Books)
Bress 'n' Nyam by Matthew Raiford (Countryman Press)
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis (Doubleday)
Fight Songs by Ed Southern (Blair)
Graceland, at Last by Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions)
How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith (Little, Brown)

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (Balzer + Bray)
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray)
Ground Zero by Alan Gratz (Scholastic Press)
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray)
Keep Your Head Up by Aliya King Neil (Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Key to You and Me by Jaye Robin Brown (HarperTeen)

Book Review

Review: The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe

The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe by Matthew Gabriele, David M. Perry (Harper, $29.99 hardcover, 336p., 9780062980892, December 7, 2021)

In The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, Virginia Tech medieval studies professor Matthew Gabriele and historian and journalist David M. Perry offer a spirited rebuttal to what they call the "myth of the Dark Ages," a "centuries-old understanding of the medieval world that sees it cast in shadow, only hazily understood, fixed and unchanging, but ultimately the opposite of what we want our modern world to be." Instead, in this fast-moving popular history that roughly spans the time from the middle of the fifth century to the Black Death that began in the 1340s, they succeed in painting what they propose as a "much more complicated, more interesting picture of the period," one that rescues this epoch from both those who misunderstand it and, perhaps more dangerously, others who misrepresent it.

Gabriele and Perry blend a chronological and subject matter approach. They're especially fond of debunking popularly held views of the Middle Ages--Rome never "fell" in 476 C.E., in their opinion, and life was anything but static, as "many people roamed far from home in search of fortune, fame, knowledge, sanctity, diplomacy, or escape"--to cite but two of their myth-busting claims. While The Bright Ages doesn't purport to offer a comprehensive survey of the Middle Ages, it does provide readers with a useful overview of and context for the main historical events of the age, among them the shift of the Roman Empire's center of gravity eastward to Constantinople, the rise of Islam and the Crusades.

The authors move with ease from describing broad social and cultural trends to more intimate subjects. Especially informative are concise portraits of figures like Maimonides, the 12th-century Jewish physician who attempted to apply Aristotelian logic to the task of reconciling science and religion, and Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, who played a significant role in melding the cultures of East and West. Gabriele and Perry are especially intent on refuting the attempts of white supremacists who misrepresent the past and who "continue to reach back to medieval European history as a way to tell a story about whiteness, a sense of lost (but imagined) masculinity, and the need to shed blood."

Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry liberate the Middle Ages from stereotypes and half-truths in The Bright Ages, revealing that world as "not simple or clean, but messy and human." If their book sparks more thoughtful interest in the period and a continuing reappraisal of its importance in the history of civilization, they will have accomplished their goal. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Two historians illuminate the "Dark Ages" in this lively account of a misunderstood era.

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