Also published on this date: Monday, January 31, 2022: Maximum Shelf: Free

Shelf Awareness for Monday, January 31, 2022

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves

Quotation of the Day

'If We Oppose Banning Some Books, We Should Oppose Banning Any Book'


"Book banning doesn't fit neatly into the rubrics of left and right politics.... If we oppose banning some books, we should oppose banning any book. If our society isn't strong enough to withstand the weight of difficult or challenging--and even hateful or problematic--ideas, then something must be fixed in our society. Banning books is a shortcut that sends us to the wrong destination."

--Viet Thanh Nguyen, in "My Young Mind Was Disturbed by a Book. It Changed My Life," a guest essay in the New York Times that discusses how a novel about racist U.S. soldiers in Vietnam affected him and his writing, current efforts to censor books in schools and libraries, the importance of "thrilling, addictive, thorny and dangerous" writing, no matter how discomforting, and more.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Uncle Hugo's/Uncle Edgar's Find New Location in Minneapolis, Minn.

Don Blyly, owner of Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore and Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore, Minneapolis, Minn., which were burned in 2020 during the protests and vandalism after George Floyd's murder, has found a new site for the stores, as he outlined in the stores' newsletter. He is buying the building, with a tentative closing date of March 24, and hopes to open for business in June.

Future home of Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's.

The building is about two miles east of the old location and a short block and a half from Moon Palace Books. Blyly noted that "the Moon Palace people and I believe that having two bookstores with such different selections so close will do good things for both stores."

The building is currently occupied by a company that makes and repairs stained glass windows, among other glass-related work, whose owners have decided to retire. "The building has a large WPA painting of Minnehaha Falls painted directly onto an interior plaster wall, a large walk-in safe which is probably helping to hold up the roof, and massive support beams in the basement to hold up the first floor, so that you could probably park a fully loaded semi-trailer on the first floor without danger of collapse--which is just as well, given how heavy books are," Blyly continued. "There is no off-street parking, but a lot of on-street parking, most of it without parking meters."

Before the Uncles stores can open for business, electrical, plumbing, insulation and security work must be done. Blyly also needs to buy and build "a lot of book shelves," and the used books from his house and storage area have to be moved and shelved. The stores require a new computer system, and the data from the current system, which includes more than 21,000 titles the stores stocked for more than two decades before the fire, has to be transferred and updated. He also has to order upcoming titles as well as titles that have been released since the fire.

Blyly sold the stores' destroyed old site and has some insurance money. In addition, the stores' GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $191,000.

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Binc: New Officers, New Directors, New Staff Members


The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has added several new staff and board members and elected new officers for the board.

Annie Philbrick, owner of Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn., Title IX, New London, Conn., and the Savoy Bookshop & Café, Westerly, R.I., has been elected president of the board. She was previously vice-president and has been on the board since 2013.

Matthew Gildea, COO of Arcadia Publishing and former president, is now immediate past president.

Julia Cowlishaw, CEO of Vroman's of Pasadena, Calif., and Book Soup of West Hollywood, Calif., has been elected vice-president. She was formerly secretary.

Ken White, founder of Query Books in San Francisco, Calif., has been elected secretary. He has been a director since 2014 and is chair of Binc's program committee.

One of two new board members, Jonathan Putnam, author of historical fiction, including the Lincoln & Speed mystery series, and a lawyer of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis, has been elected treasurer. He is a founding member of Binc's Author Leadership Circle and has served on Binc's finance and governance committee.

The other new board member is Erin Coffey, senior v-p, communication and events, for Macmillan Publishers US, and a member of Macmillan's trade management committee.

Binc also has two new staff members:

Jennifer Rojas has joined the organization as development coordinator. She began her career in the book industry as a part-time bookseller before becoming sales manager at Borders. She has been editor for various collegiate literary magazines and done everything from copyediting to cover design.

Judey Kalchik has joined Binc as communication and project manager. Her book career started as a part-time bookseller in Waldenbooks in 1987 and included serving on the Borders Group Foundation board of directors.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Ana Maria Allessi to Head Hachette Audio

Ana Maria Allessi

Hachette Book Group, which bought Workman Publishing last year, is combining Hachette Audio and Workman Audio. As part of the merger, Ana Maria Allessi, publisher of Workman Audio, will become v-p and publisher of Hachette Audio. Anthony Goff, senior v-p, audio publisher at Hachette, is leaving the company, effective February 11.

In a memo to staff about the change, CEO Michael Pietsch wrote in part, "Ana Maria has over 20 years of leadership in digital content creation, product innovation, and new business development. Before joining Workman two years ago, Ana Maria spent most of her career at HarperCollins, most recently as v-p, publisher HarperAudio.  Prior to that she was v-p, digital innovation at HarperAudio and v-p, publisher of Harper Media. In those roles and at Workman she has led audio innovation projects including podcast development."

Pietsch offered Goff "tremendous thanks for his long service at Hachette Audio. He joined in 2003 and has led the group since 2014, a period of exciting growth for audiobooks. Under his direction, Hachette Audio has created a stellar catalog, produced numerous bestsellers, and won major honors including Grammys, Audiobook of the Year awards, and other industry accolades. Anthony is deeply committed to author partnership and worked with hundreds of authors from across our publishing groups. We will miss him very much, and I know you will want to join me in thanking Anthony for leading Hachette Audio so successfully and for being such a warm, enthusiastic, and always engaged collaborator."

Malinda Lo: 2022 Stonewall Book Award Winner

Malinda Lo

Last week, at the 2022 ALA Youth Media Awards, Malinda Lo won the Stonewall Book Award and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, as well as Michael L. Printz and Walter Dean Myers honors for her National Book Award-winning YA novel Last Night at the Telegraph Club (Dutton Books for Young Readers). Her debut novel, Ash, a Sapphic retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Lo lives in Massachusetts with her wife and their dog.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club is having a big year. How are you feeling?

I'm feeling so grateful to everyone who worked on the committees for every single one of those awards and lists, who made the time to read so many books (during a pandemic!) and who saw what I was trying to do with Last Night at the Telegraph Club. I truly feel honored, and I'm proud of what I accomplished with this novel. I also have to shout out my editor, Andrew Karre, who contributed so much to making this novel as good as it could be.

This is your first young adult historical fiction, correct? What inspired you to write it?

Yes, this is my first historical novel. It began as a short story, which was published in the anthology All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages. The story was inspired by two histories I was reading, one about the women computers who worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab in the 1940s and '50s, and one about the history of queer San Francisco. These two histories aren't related to each other, but in my mind they combined to inspire the character of Lily, a 17-year-old Chinese American girl who wants to be a rocket scientist, and who also suspects she is a lesbian.

Why did you want to write this book now?

It was my agent, Michael Bourret, who suggested that Lily's story was bigger than the short story. When I thought about it, I realized he was right. I had a lot more to say about Lily. That was back in early 2017, at the start of the Trump administration, and the story I wanted to tell seemed to have many parallels for contemporary life. It took me three years to write it, but those parallels kept coming the entire time. History does seem to repeat itself, unfortunately.

How does it feel to see your queer girls receive so much love?

It's wonderful. I'm thrilled that readers love Lily and Kath so much!

What do you hope Last Night at the Telegraph Club brings to readers? Is there anything specific you want readers to get from it?

I hope readers will be able to step into Lily's life when they open this book. I want them to be able to feel what Lily feels, and to experience the world of 1950s San Francisco as she knows it. One of the most magical things about books is that they enable you to walk in someone else's shoes for a while, and that's such a powerful experience.

Are you working on anything new?

I'm preparing for the release of my next novel, A Scatter of Light, which comes out in the fall. It's sort of a companion novel to Last Night at the Telegraph Club, but it's set 60 years later, in 2013. You'll find out what happens to some of your favorite characters from Telegraph Club, but I'm warning you now, it's not a direct sequel. It's about an 18-year-old girl named Aria during the summer after high school, when she lives with her grandmother, an artist, and experiences a complicated first love. It's about art and self-discovery.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell Shelf Awareness readers?

Yes. Every reader is part of making a book a success. Whether they buy it at a bookstore or check it out from their library, whether they leave a review on Goodreads or tell a friend about it, readers and booksellers and librarians all contribute to a book's success. Word of mouth is so important. I want to say thanks to everyone who has helped bring Last Night at the Telegraph Club to new readers. --Siân Gaetano, children's/YA editor, Shelf Awareness


Obituary Note: Ron Goulart

Ron Goulart

Ron Goulart, a "remarkably prolific science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance novelist who cast Groucho Marx as a detective and collaborated with William Shatner on a series of books set in the 22nd century," died January 14, the New York Times reported. He was 89. Goulart wrote at least 180 books, "and that number may underestimate his output. His goal was to write as many books as Isaac Asimov, who at his death was credited with having written about 500."

"He might have gotten writer's block at some point, but it didn't last long," said his wife, author Frances Sheridan Goulart. "He would just switch from one genre to another if he got stuck."

Goulart was also a comic book historian; the writer of a syndicated comic strip in the 1970s (Star Hawks, drawn by Gil Kane); and a cultural critic. His book The Assault on Childhood (1969) "scorned parents for not protecting their children from being exploited by toy makers, television and the Walt Disney Company," the Times noted.  

"The guy was a chameleon," Mark Evanier, a fellow comic book historian, said. "He was really good at nailing the style of whatever work was available to him."

But Sean Goulart, his son, said that Goulart's heart was mainly in science fiction: "Deep down, he wanted to be the Ray Bradbury of humorous science fiction."

One of his best-known sci-fi novels, After Things Fell Apart (1970), was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. It was the first of five books in his Fragmented America series, which he wrote in the 1970s and '80s. Goulart started working with William Shatner in the late 1980s; TekWar was the first of their nine novels in a series published through 1997. He also wrote novelizations of films, including The Island of Dr. Moreau, Cleopatra Jones and Capricorn One, as well as three Laverne & Shirley tie-in books. 

"Let's understand," he told the Knight Ridder News Service in 1981 when his oeuvre had reached more than 100 books, "you don't compare this to, say, David Copperfield. But I've never written a book I was ashamed of. I've written a good 20 books I'd put up against anything. Thirty maybe."

Goulart wrote under his own name and also under numerous pseudonyms, including Kenneth Robeson, for novels inspired by the Avenger; and Con Steffanson, for several Flash Gordon novels based on Alex Raymond's comic strip and for the Laverne & Shirley books. His love of mysteries and Groucho Marx led him in the late 1990s to turn the comedian into a wisecracking private eye in six novels, including Groucho Marx, Secret Agent (2002).

He also turned his passion for comic strips and comic books into histories like The Great Comic Book Artists (1986), The Funnies: 100 Years of American Comic Strips (1995) and Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History (2000).

Gary Groth, editor-in-chief of the Comics Journal, said: "Ron had an enormous expertise in the history of what were previously thought of as the more lurid side of pop culture: comics, newspaper strips, pulps, dime novels, and invested his histories with the same attention to factual detail and the same respect historians of highbrow culture invested in their subjects."


Image of the Day: Bear Pond's Puzzle Swap

Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt., held its first puzzle swap last week. Some 100 customers came to the store to swap their gently used puzzles, and the bookstore gave out coupons good for the purchase of a new puzzle. Event and marketing coordinator Samantha Kolber reported, "Business was up over previous January days, even pre-pandemic days. We advertised on social media, our newsletter and our town's local listserv, so this was a no-cost, easy way to bring people to the store during a cold snap--a perfect time for new puzzles! It was so popular, attendees have reached out to ask for us to hold more."

'Snow Day' at Books Are Magic

Posted on Instagram Saturday by Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.: "Snow day! We're going to be closed today (Sat., Jan 29) to let our staff stay home and read books, watch several hours of reality television, or both! If you walk by and see us shoveling and want to pop in for a pick-up, you totally can. Happy hibernating, all, and see you tomorrow!"

Personnel Changes at Abrams

Monica Shah has been promoted to v-p, sales at Abrams. She was formerly the executive director, national accounts & special markets.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rep. Ro Khanna on Colbert's Late Show

PRX/GBH's the World: Mark L. Clifford, author of Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China's Crackdown Reveals About its Plans to End Freedom Everywhere (St. Martin's, $29.99, 9781250279170). He will also appear tomorrow on Fox Business's Mornings with Maria.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Rep. Ro Khanna, author of Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781982163341).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Porsha Williams, author of The Pursuit of Porsha: How I Grew Into My Power and Purpose (Worthy Books, $26, 9781546015901).

TV: An Olive Grove in Ends

Pulse Films optioned the rights to Moses McKenzie's debut novel, An Olive Grove in Ends, "following a competitive bidding war," and will adapt it for TV, with McKenzie writing the series, Deadline reported.

"From the first conversations with the Pulse team, my agent and I knew we'd found people who understood what I'm aiming to achieve with this story, and who have the creative flair and determination to develop an outstanding TV adaptation," said McKenzie.

Pulse CEO Thomas Benski called McKenzie "an exceptional new and exciting talent, and we can't wait to bring this unique and compelling story to global audiences. He is the perfect example of the up-and-coming, stand-out writing talent we search out. We are committed to championing new and diverse talent in the industry and feel incredibly proud to be at Moses' side at the start of his career."

Books & Authors

Awards: Branford Boase Longlist

The longlist has been released for the 2022 Branford Boase Award, which is sponsored by Walker Books and presented annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. The prize also honors the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent. The shortlist will be announced April 28 and a winner named July 14. Check out the complete Branford Boase longlist here.

Book Review

Review: Paradais

Paradais by Fernanda Melchor, trans. by Sophie Hughes (New Directions, $19.95 hardcover, 128p., 9780811231329, March 22, 2022)

Mexican writer Fernanda Melchor's exhilarating novel Hurricane Season made a grand entrance on the global stage, stacking up numerous award nominations and winning the 2019 International Literature Prize. Paradais, her second book translated into English, comes hot on those heels with all the same brilliant and blinding force.

Polo works as a gardener in a gated community called Paradais (a gringoism he despises, "Pa-ra-dais, not Pa-radee-sey"). There he meets Franco, a loathsome white boy around his own age of 16. Unlike Polo, who works long hours only to sleep on the floor of his mother's house in the poorer neighborhood of Progreso, Franco lounges around the pool of Paradais and spies lecherously on Señora Marián, who lives next door with her husband and two children. The utter disdain Polo has for Franco is naked from the outset of the novel, which gushes forth in vigorous and brooding narration for just over 100 pages.

Nonetheless, he befriends this "pain in the ass, a spoiled little rich kid," because Franco has access to booze, and that means Polo can drink away a few more hours before facing his domineering mother and clingy cousin at home. Moreover, Franco's proximity to wealth might be Polo's ticket to a better life. He just has to tolerate listening to Franco's obscene fantasies about Señora Marián, and the cockeyed scheme he's cooking up to make her his.

What makes Melchor's fiction so enthralling is the fortified complexity of her sentences, again under the superb stewardship of translator Sophie Hughes. They are intricate and cyclical, exhibiting a deep understanding of gender violence. Melchor ruminates on moment after disturbing moment, boring deeply into adolescent fantasies, as common as they are transgressive, before bursting into the horrendous reality they're capable of producing. Two boys inhabit Paradais, puffing out their chests like big men, overeager to adorn themselves in machismo without first realizing its cost, dazzled as they are by the allure of their unhappily conjoined paradises.

Paradise, though, is an illusion, and an innocence lost can scarcely be recovered. Short and potent, Paradais forcefully casts aside flippant cliches like "boys will be boys" with chilling consequence. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: This second novel in translation by Mexican powerhouse Fernanda Melchor is as engrossing as it is disturbing in its depiction of adolescent male fantasies.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in January

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during January:

1. The Maid by Nita Prose (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster Audio)
3. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Simon & Schuster Audio)
5. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Macmillan Audio)
6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Macmillan Audio)
8. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (HarperAudio)
10. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (HarperAudio)

1. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Cultish by Amanda Montell (HarperAudio)
3. Atomic Habits by James Clear (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow (Macmillan Audio)
5. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. Taste by Stanley Tucci (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (Macmillan Audio)
8. The 1619 Project by Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman and Jake Silverstein (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith (Hachette Audio)
10. Wintering by Katherine May (Penguin Random House Audio)

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