Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Forge: Mr Katō Plays Family by Milena Michiko Flašar, translated by Caroline Froh

Ballantine Books: The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Island Press: The Jewel Box: How Moths Illuminate Nature's Hidden Rules by Tim Blackburn

Berkley Books: Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Berkley Books: The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne


Bradley Graham Resigns as ABA President

Bradley Graham

Bradley Graham, co-owner of Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C., has resigned as president and from the board of the American Booksellers Association. He cited contract negotiations with the bookstore's new union, which will begin this Friday, as well as upcoming store projects, all of which will be time consuming. He has served on the board for five years and was elected president in May 2021.

In a letter to members, the ABA said it is "grateful to Brad for his service as board president" and that Christine Onorati, owner of WORD Bookstores, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., has become president. Onorati has served as co-vice president with Kelly Estep of Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, Ky.; Estep continues as vice president/secretary.

During Graham's tenure as president, the board funded a major upgrade of IndieCommerce; set new social responsibility criteria for the ABA's investment portfolio; refined its historical support for free expression in light of a recent commitment to antiracism, equity, access and representation; and adopted policy language recognizing the role bookstore staff play in ensuring the sustainability of their stores. He also was instrumental in strengthening the ABA's governance by helping update the board's rules and procedures.

William Morrow & Company: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs

Shelves Bookstore, Charlotte, N.C., Pivots During Pandemic

Abbigail Glen, Shelves Bookstore

Shelves Bookstore, an independent bookstore that began as a pop-up store in Charlotte, N.C., in 2019, has pivoted to a primarily online bookstore complete with a monthly subscription service called Reading Is a Lifestyle, Queen City Nerve reported.

Owner Abbigail Glen said she's wanted to open an independent bookstore of her own for a long time, and she quickly saw the need for another indie in Charlotte after moving there from Philadelphia in 2016. In 2018, she started to research opening her own store in earnest, thinking she would open a bricks-and-mortar store first before rolling out pop-up appearances, book fairs and a subscription service. Eventually she decided to do the reverse, and she held her first pop-up at Queen City Grounds in Uptown Charlotte in June 2019.

Over the next few months she hosted pop-ups at Enderly Coffee Co., Lenny Boy Brewing and Pepperbox Donuts, curating her selection of fiction and nonfiction for all ages based on community feedback. She has focused on lesser-known writers and narratives and on expanding readers' horizons.

After the Covid-19 pandemic began, Glen saw an uptick in online orders and made a "full pivot" to online sales by summer 2020. Focusing on online sales also allowed Glen finally to launch a subscription service, which she named Reading Is a Lifestyle. When customers sign up, they tell her what sorts of books they are open to reading, and each month Glen ships them a new adult hardcover based on their selections.

"When you read a book, you are freeing yourself from your biases, especially when you are reading books that are not necessarily about topics and subjects that you're comfortable with, which is why we also push the narrative of really diversifying the subject matter that you read," Glen told QCN. "When you only go back to things that you're comfortable with, you will never get comfortable with being uncomfortable and that could be in other cultures, among other thought processes."

William Morrow & Company: A Death in Denmark: The First Gabriel Præst Novel by Amulya Malladi

Buzz Books YA Editors Panel Tomorrow

Registration is still open for tomorrow's Buzz Books Young Adult Editors Panel, which will bring together four YA authors and their editors to chat about their upcoming books. The panelists include Daniel Jose Older, author of Ballad & Dagger (Rick Riordan); Kelis Rowe, author of Finding Jupiter (Crown Books for Young Readers); Sabaa Tahir, author of All My Rage (Razorbill); and Loridee De Villa, author of How to Be the Best Third Wheel (Wattpad Books). Zoe Detlaf, YA expert at Books of Wonder in New York City, will host the discussion.

Publishers Lunch and the American Booksellers Association have teamed up for the event. The panel will begin at 12 p.m. Eastern Wednesday. The first 25 booksellers to register will receive either physical galleys or instant access to e-galley downloads via NetGalley.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 02.06.23

Tenn. Comic Shop's Maus Fundraiser Garners $90K

After the McMinn County Board of Education in Tennessee voted to ban Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus, about the Holocaust, from its eighth-grade curriculum last week, Nirvana Comics in Knoxville, Tenn., started a GoFundMe campaign to provide students with free copies of the graphic novel.

"Maus was a book that opened my eyes and changed my worldview, because I grew up in a small town in Tennessee where I honestly don’t know if to this day there is a single Jewish person," Nirvana Comics owner Rich Davis told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Davis said he became "immediately angry" when he heard that the school board voted to remove the book. "But then I realized you don't fight anger with anger, hate with hate," Davis said. "I just felt like I needed to do something."

The JTA reported that Penguin Random House negotiated a deal to sell 500 additional copies of Maus to Nirvana at a reduced price to give away to students. Actor Wil Wheaton shared Nirvana's story on social media, and "that's when it really, really exploded," Davis said. 

The GoFundMe campaign opened on January 28 with a goal of $20,000; as of this morning it had raised more than $90,000, from more than 2,800 donors. Although Nirvana Comics initially had planned to provide copies to local students, they will now donate copies to students anywhere in the U.S.

Students can request a copy of Maus from the store on Facebook or Instagram.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon

Catharine Meyers Named Publisher of New Harbinger

Catharine Meyers

Catharine Meyers has been named publisher of New Harbinger Publications. She started at New Harbinger in 1995 as a freelance copy editor after attending the University of California, Berkeley's publishing program, then joined the publisher as a full-time acquisitions editor, later becoming acquisitions manager, v-p of development and, most recently, associate publisher.

She succeeds Matthew McKay, co-founder of New Harbinger Publications, who led the employee-owned company since its beginnings in 1973. McKay will stay on staff in a part-time capacity, lending  his expertise and knowledge to the New Harbinger team and will serve on the board of directors and other committees throughout the company.

Meyers said, "I'm looking forward to carrying on the vision that Matt McKay set out for New Harbinger when he started the company. As the founder, he really laid the groundwork for these incredible resources that continue to help relieve suffering in the world. He taught me how to examine a manuscript and always asked 'how is it going to help someone, and does it have evidence or research to support that?' The more that we can continue to find ways to help readers using either new therapeutic modalities or with a new author voice that brings a new perspective to a problem."

McKay commented: "The elevation of Catharine Meyers to be publisher and president of New Harbinger brings a new generation of leadership to our 50-year-old company.  Her years as director of acquisition and then associate publisher, her work building  our list, her ability to recognize future directions, and her deep commitment to our mission, have admirably prepared Catharine for her new position. Catharine brings both continuity and new vision to her role as publisher, preserving the practices and processes that have made New Harbinger the foremost psychology self-help publisher while lighting the way to new opportunities for growth and service to our readers."

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Shelf Awareness Delivers Indie Pre-Order E-Blast

Last Wednesday, Shelf Awareness sent our monthly pre-order e-blast to nearly 900,000 of the country's best book readers. The e-blast went to 883,212 customers of 192 participating independent bookstores.

The mailing features eight upcoming titles selected by Shelf Awareness editors and a sponsored title. Customers can buy these books via "pre-order" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on each sending store's website. A key feature is that bookstore partners can easily change title selections to best reflect the tastes of their customers and can customize the mailing with links, images and promotional copy of their own.

The pre-order e-blasts are sent the last Wednesday of each month; the next will go out on Wednesday, February 23. Stores interested in learning more can visit our program registration page or contact our partner program team via e-mail.

For a sample of the January pre-order e-blast, see this one from the Food Temptress Cookbook Store, Virginia Beach, Va.

Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano


Cool Idea of the Day: A 'Grown-Up Book Fair'

Kismet Books at Saturday's Grown-Up Book Fair

Five independent bookstores sold books and gift items at a "Grown-Up Book Fair" in Madison, Wis., over the weekend, Spectrum News 1 reported.

A Room of One's Own, Leopold's, Itty Bitty Bookstore, Mystery to Me Books and Kismet Books all participated in the event, which took place at a music venue called the Sylvee last Saturday.

The event also featured a bar serving "adult Capri Suns" and literary-themed cocktails; a photo booth; a bake sale; raffles and trivia sessions, all aimed to re-create the joy of school book fairs. Tickets cost $25, and a portion of the proceeds benefited the Madison Public Library Foundation. The event was sold out, and Spectrum News 1 reported there was a line around the block of people waiting to get in.

Klindt's Booksellers: Oregon's Oldest Bookstore

Klindt's Booksellers in The Dalles, Ore., the oldest continually operating bookstore in the state, was profiled recently in Oregon Live. Founded in 1870 by Ingwert Nickelsen, today the store is owned by Kristin Klindt and her husband, Joaquin Perez.

The shop has resided in the same building since the late 1800s and was sold to the Weigelt siblings in 1928, who operated it under the name Weigelt's Bookstore & Stationers. In 1981, Philip and Linda Klindt purchased the store from the Weigelts, renaming it Klindt's Booksellers. Klindt and Perez inherited the store in 2010.

Personnel Changes at Random House

In the Random House Group publicity department:

Jennifer Garza is promoted to v-p, director of publicity, Ballantine Bantam Dell.

Dyana Messina is promoted to v-p, director of publicity, Crown & Currency.

Rachel Rokicki is promoted to v-p, director of publicity, Hogarth.

Greg Kubie is promoted to deputy director of publicity, Random House imprint.

Lisa Beech is promoted to associate director of publicity, WaterBrook/Multnomah.

Stacey Stein is promoted to senior publicist.

Andrea Pura is promoted to publicist.

Jordan Pace is promoted to publicist.

Erin Richards is promoted to publicist.

Maya Franson is promoted to associate publicist.

Courtney Mocklow is promoted to associate publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Florence Williams on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Florence Williams, author of Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey (Norton, $30, 9781324003489).

Good Morning America: Janine Kwoh, author of Welcome to the Grief Club: Because You Don't Have to Go Through it Alone (Workman, $15.95, 9781523511716).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Heather Moday, author of The Immunotype Breakthrough: Your Personalized Plan to Balance Your Immune System, Optimize Health, and Build Lifelong Resilience (Little, Brown Spark, $28, 9780316262170).

Movies: The Outrun

Four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Little Women, The French Dispatch) will star in The Outrun, based on the memoir of alcoholism and nature by Amy Liptrot, Variety reported. Nora Fingscheidt (The Unforgivable) is set to direct the project, as well as co-write the adaptation with Liptrot.

"It was Amy's voice that first drew me to The Outrun," Ronan said. "Her unusual way of seeing things in a way that perhaps you only can when you've been to the darkest place you can go within yourself. I have been waiting to play a part like this--the messiness, hopefulness, dreaminess, authenticity and humor we want to achieve--I've been scared of it, but with Nora I feel ready."
Fingscheidt commented: "Amy's intriguing and poetic story shows how one can find their lives broken into pieces, and that recovery can happen in the most unexpected of ways and places. There are wonderful gifts already in place to make this a powerful and immersive film. One is the setting, the vast and cinematic landscapes of the Orkney islands; the other is our main actress, Saoirse Ronan, who brings magic to the screen with her unique mix of charisma and emotional depth!"

Books & Authors

Awards: Wingate Literary Shortlist

A shortlist has been released for the £4,000 (about $5,400) Wingate Literary Prize, which honors "the best book, fiction or nonfiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader." The winner will be named February 16. This year's shortlisted titles are:

At Night's End by Nir Baram, translated by Jessica Cohen 
Letters to Camondo by Edmund de Waal 
Judaism for the World by Arthur Green 
To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss 
The Ravine by Wendy Lower 
The Last Interview by Eshkol Nevo, translated by Sondra Silverston 
Ethel Rosenberg by Anne Sebba 

Book Review

Review: Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech's Titans and Misfits

Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech's Titans and Misfits by Laurie Segall (Dey Street, $27.99 hardcover, 368p., 9780063016446, March 8, 2022)

Anyone eager for a glimpse inside the worlds of technology and network television journalism will enjoy Laurie Segall's candid and engaging memoir, Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech's Titans and Misfits. Segall's energetic chronicle of her rise from an entry-level position at CNN to the network's senior tech correspondent is both an engrossing coming-of-age story and a revealing cautionary tale of the power Silicon Valley wields over modern life.

When Segall arrived at CNN in 2008, fresh out of college, she embarked on a job whose duties included routine tasks like rolling the teleprompter for anchors. But as she quickly makes clear, she always had her eyes on a much larger stage. She describes in a casual, confiding voice how she "mixed hustle with hangovers" attending social events with rising tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to gain the foothold in the industry that helped set her career in motion.

By 2010, she was interviewing Silicon Valley heavyweights like Twitter/Square's Jack Dorsey and soon understood that social media sites like his "weren't just changing our social culture; they were transforming how the media did their job." But the luster of encounters with technology's celebrities soon wore off and, in some of the book's more interesting chapters, Segall describes how her perspective evolved on the relationship between technology and the lives of ordinary people. That process culminated in the creation of CNN's first-ever streaming show, Mostly Human, a documentary series that covered stories as disparate as those of a hacker who served as a top recruiter for ISIS and the eerie poignancy of digital afterlives.

To add texture to the account of her professional life, Segall exposes the details of her complicated romances, describing how her relationships with the heads of two tech startups flourished and then foundered, as the idea that she could be "courageous in my work but terrified in my personal life" perplexed her. She's equally direct in exploring the emotional turmoil that dogged her when her self-image failed to match the string of firsts and other successes she accumulated with the network.

After a decade at CNN, Segall made the difficult--but necessary for her--decision to leave. In December 2019 she started Dot Dot Dot Media, a company self-described on its website as "focused on creating content that explores the complicated intersection of technology and humanity." Whatever she decides to do, with the talent she's displayed thus far in her career, it would be a serious mistake to bet against her. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Former CNN correspondent Laurie Segall describes the exciting first decade of her career in the world of technology journalism.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
2. Forever Lies (Forever Bluegrass Book 17) by Kathleen Brooks
3. Your Baby's Ugly by Justin A. Goodbread
4. The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland
5. The Best Men by Lauren Blakely and Sarina Bowen
6. Pack Darling: Part Two by Lola Rock
7. Just One Spark by Carly Phillips
8. Unforgettable in Love by Bella Andre, Jennifer Skully
9. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
10. Baby Steps Millionaires by Dave Ramsey

[Many thanks to!]

AuthorBuzz: Berkley Books: Lemon Curd Killer (Tea Shop Mystery #25) by Laura Childs
AuthorBuzz: Nonlinear Publishing LLC: Moral Code by Lois and Ross Melbourne
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