Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 10, 2022

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger


Rooted MKE Opening in Milwaukee, Wis., This Month

Rooted MKE in progress.

Rooted MKE, a children's bookstore with a focus on stories by and about Black people, Indigenous people and people of color, will open this month in Milwaukee, Wis. Owner Ashley Valentine told SpectrumNews 13 that the bookstore, located at 5312 W. Vliet St., will also serve as a space for tutoring and craftsmaking.

Valentine, a Milwaukee native whose background is in education, is a lifelong reader and said she couldn't "remember a time where I didn't want to own a bookstore." She added that when she worked as a teacher, it was difficult to find diverse books representative of students of color, and she always felt there was a need for a diverse bookstore in Milwaukee.

"If you're trying to create a space for kids I think it's really critical that you bring in different perspectives of who Brown people are," Valentine said. "Let them absorb that as they start to make decisions of their own."

She noted that all children and families will be welcome in the bookstore, saying "It's important that everyone become exposed to more than what they feel comfortable with and more than what they perceive on an everyday basis."

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White

Flagship Books, Kansas City, Kan., Relocates

Flagship Books, an independent bookstore in Kansas City, Kan., has moved to a new location in the city's Strawberry Hill neighborhood, the Pitch KC reported. 

Brothers and co-owners Joel and Ty Melgren opened the store in Kansas City's Iron District in early 2021, in a space built out of a shipping container. Earlier this month, they hosted a soft opening at their new space, at 600 Ohio Avenue, and are set to host a grand opening on February 12. There will be a storewide sale and free donuts and coffee from Kinship Cafe.

"We really think that KCK deserves and will support an independent bookstore," Ty Melgren told Pitch. "We're excited to open in our own neighborhood."

The store's inventory will be based on the neighborhood's interests and will include books in Spanish and Burmese. The owners' event plans include book clubs, poetry readings, book signings with local authors and zine-making workshops. Melgren mentioned that at the soft opening, a neighbor had said he couldn't remember a bookstore in the area since the 1970s.

"We want to be a place that people can come find a book they can escape into," he said. "Or a book that can teach them something new--a new idea, new information and a new perspective."

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Pan Yan Bookstore Pops Up in Tiffin, Ohio

Pan Yan Bookstore, a pop-up bookstore with a selection of new and used titles for children and adults, has made its debut in Tiffin, Ohio. Owner Judy Smith told the Advertiser-Tribune that she plans to open a bricks-and-mortar storefront in downtown Tiffin in the late spring or early summer, and until then she'll be selling books at pop-ups around town.

Smith has so far set up shop at the Laird Arcade Brewery and the coffee shop Bailiwicks, and she has more appearances scheduled for February, including a Galentine's Day event at fitness studio Relevé Tiffin. Her inventory rotates from appearance to appearance, usually featuring some mix of fiction, nonfiction, religion titles and children's books.

"It's been going pretty well, especially because my main purpose in doing the pop-ups is to get the word out about my business," she said.

Once open in its permanent home, Pan Yan Bookstore will feature a wider selection of books, as well as hang-out spots where shoppers can sit, read and chat. There will be single-serve coffee and a variety of snacks available, and Smith's event plans include readings with local authors, trivia contests and Dungeons & Dragons game nights.

The store's name comes from the Pan Yan Tavern, which was established in 1817 in what would become Tiffin, Ohio, by a man named Erastus Bowe. The choice reflects the store's roots and Smith's "dedication to community."

Smith, who works full time as a model and data analyst at the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, first came to the city to study at the university. An avid reader, she was a regular customer of Paper & Ink bookstore in Tiffin until it closed after a fire in April 2021. Smith was talking about the bookstore's closure to a friend when they asked why she didn't open one herself.

"Those simple words hit me like a ton of bricks," Smith said. Since then she's been working on opening Pan Yan Bookstore. "I've never been so stressed and yet so happy in my entire life."

Michelle Malonzo Joins The Word Non-profit

Michelle Malonzo

Michelle Malonzo, most recently a buyer at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, Ariz., and current member of the American Booksellers Association board of directors, has joined the nonprofit The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary as its head of operations. 

Founded in 2018, The Word aims to build a more inclusive and diverse publishing community. Its initiatives include the Editor-Writer Mentorship, the [margins.] Conference + Literary Festival, the #MarginsBookstores Month and the Duende-Word BIPOC Bookseller Award. Malonzo will oversee those existing efforts as well as the organization's financial and fund-raising operations.

"The Word does important work for marginalized readers, writers and industry professionals," said Malonzo. She was the recipient of last year's BIPOC Bookseller Award and is on the ABA's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Prior to joining Changing Hands, she worked at Penguin Random House for close to 10 years. "I have benefited from their programs and being in their spaces. I'm honored to join the team and continue to uplift and celebrate the authors and stories that allow all of us to see ourselves with possibility."

Viniyanka Prasad, executive director and founder of The Word, said: "It has been astonishing to realize the innovations of our small Word staff and beloved partners over the past four years, building new supports for marginalized communities in spaces where none previously existed. We are incredibly lucky to bring Michelle’s insights to our team and to gain her partnership in solidifying a strong base to deepen and expand The Word’s programs."

This month The Word also brought on two new board members: Jenna Nishimura, a writer and nonprofit professional from Colorado, and Deidre Dumpson, currently a retail and library client success manager at Edelweiss and former bookseller. The organization also received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts' American Rescue Plan.

Obituary Note: Jane Pitkin Curtis

Jane Pitkin Curtis, former co-owner of the Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, Vt., and an author, died on February 7. She was 103.

For many years, beginning in the 1960s, with her husband, Will Curtis, she owned the Yankee Bookshop, "Vermont's oldest continuously run bookstore."

She and her husband also wrote several books, including Antique Woodstoves; Welcome the Birds to Your Home, reprinted as Backyard Bird Habitat; and the two-volume Nature of Things. With Frank Lieberman, they wrote Times Gone By: Woodstock, The World of George Perkins Marsh; Frederick Billings; Return to These Hills: The Vermont Years of Calvin Coolidge; Monhegan: The Artist's Island; and Vermont's Long Trail. With Howard Coffin, they wrote Guns over Lake Champlain.


Personnel Changes at Abrams; Chronicle Books

At Abrams:

Jody Mosley has been promoted to v-p, associate publisher, Abrams Children's Books, ComicArts, and calendars. Previously she was associate publisher.

Lauren Moye, formerly sales staff assistant at Abrams, has joined Abrams Children's Books as marketing & publicity assistant.


At Chronicle Books:

Cynthia Shannon has been promoted to senior marketing manager, partnerships.

Olivia Butze has been promoted to brand marketing and social media manager.

Maddy Kalmowitz has been hired as distribution sales assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Symon on the View

The View: Michael Symon, author of Fix It with Food: Every Meal Easy: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Anyone with Autoimmune Issues and Inflammation (Clarkson Potter, $32.50, 9780593233108).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: John Dickerson, author of The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency (Random House, $30, 9781984854513).

This Weekend on Book TV: Annette Gordon-Reed

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, February 12
3 p.m. Lucas Morel, author of Lincoln and the American Founding (Southern Illinois University Press, $24.95, 9780809337859). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 a.m.)

4:55 p.m. Annette Gordon-Reed, author of On Juneteenth (‎Liveright, $15.95, 9781631498831). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:55 a.m.)

5:45 p.m. Caroline Janney, author of Ends of War: The Unfinished Fight of Lee's Army after Appomattox (The University of North Carolina Press, $24.99, 9781469663371). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:45 a.m.)

Sunday, February 13
8 a.m. Maggy Krell, author of Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker (NYU Press, $22.95, 9781479803040). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Larry Spencer, author of Dark Horse: General Larry O. Spencer and His Journey from the Horseshoe to the Pentagon (Naval Institute Press, $24.95, 9781682477021). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Will Haskell, author of 100,000 First Bosses: My Unlikely Path as a 22-Year-Old Lawmaker (Avid Reader Press, $27.99, 9781982164010).  (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Roosevelt Montas, author of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation (Princeton University Press, $24.95, 9780691200392).

3 p.m. Patrisse Cullors, author of An Abolitionist's Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250272973).

5:45 p.m. Rep. Jamie Raskin, author of Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy (‎Harper, $27.99, 9780063209787).

6:55 p.m. Michael Stewart Foley, author of Citizen Cash: The Political Life and Times of Johnny Cash (Basic Books, $32, ‎ 9781541699571).

Books & Authors

Awards: CWA Diamond Dagger

C.J. Sansom is the recipient of the 2022 CWA Diamond Dagger, which is sponsored by the Crime Writers' Association and recognizes "authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre."

Noting that Sansom is one of Britain's bestselling historical novelists, the CWA said he combined both history and law in his debut novel Dissolution (2003), which "was an immediate bestseller, and critical success.... This success sparked the bestselling Shardlake series, set in the reign of Henry VIII and following the sixteenth-century lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. Now running to well over four million copies in print, it is one of the most successful crime series of all time. After Dissolution came Dark Fire, which won the 2005 Crime Writers' Association Historical Dagger."

Sansom said: "I feel so honored to be awarded this year's Diamond Dagger, and my heartfelt thanks to the CWA members and committee. Wonderful to think I now join such a distinguished group of authors. To think it all started with the idea that a novel set around Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries might make a good story. Thank you."

Maxim Jakubowski, chair of the CWA, commented: "C.J. Sansom has proven himself to be the modern master of the historical thriller, regardless of periods. Equally at ease evoking sixteenth century England, Spain in the aftermath of its Civil War or even an alternate post-WW2 Britain, he weaves a web of compelling reality around his characters and brings the past to life like no other, making him a splendid and deserved addition to the prestigious ranks of Diamond Dagger winners."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, February 15:

The President's Man: The Memoirs of Nixon's Trusted Aide by Dwight Chapin (Morrow, $28.99, 9780063074774) is written by Nixon's deputy assistant who went to jail for Watergate.

Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Disney Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484728352) is a fantasy middle-grade novel featuring a princess-to-be who is given a great gift that is also a burden.

Spy School the Graphic Novel by Stuart Gibbs, illus. by Ajan Sarkar (Simon & Schuster, $21.99, 9781534455436) begins the graphic novelization of the popular middle-grade series about a nerd secret agent.

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 6 by Various (DC Comics, $24.99, 9781779508003).

Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World by Cade Metz (Dutton, $18, 9781524742690).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Joan Is Okay: A Novel by Weike Wang (Random House, $27, 9780525654834). "A smart, moving, and entertaining book. Joan is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and an ICU doctor in New York City. There's a pandemic looming, but Joan's going to be okay. A witty and insightful story." --Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt.

The Good Son: A Novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Mira, $27.99, 9780778311799). "A thrilling mystery and complex redemption story that raises questions about criminal justice, love, resentment, forgiveness, and hope. The Good Son is perfect for book clubs and for fans of We Begin at the End and What Comes After." --Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, Mass.

Electric Idol (Dark Olympus) by Katee Robert (Sourcebooks Casablanca, $14.99, 9781728231761). "A fantastic Neon Gods follow-up, Katee Robert's modern Olympus is full of drama, sinful men, and spice! A reimagined Eros and Psyche with a plus-sized, cunning Psyche, fake marriage, and a murderous mother-in-law. What's not to love?" --Kristin Saner, Fables Books, Goshen, Ind.

For Ages 4 to 7
Wutaryoo by Nilah Magruder (Versify, $17.99, 9780358172383). "Sometimes animals ask her, 'Wutaryoo?' Wutaryoo doesn't know the answer herself. Determined to find an answer, she sets off on a worldwide adventure. A gorgeously illustrated tale of endurance, discovery, and what it means to belong." --Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 10 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
The Way I Say It by Nancy Tandon (Charlesbridge, $16.99, 9781623541330). "This incredible debut centers on a character whose speech impediment makes it difficult to pronounce his own name. Drawing on the author's profession, this moving exploration of what it means to hear your name in the world is a must read!" --Meghan Hayden, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, Conn.

For Teen Readers
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long (Wednesday Books, $18.99, 9781250785060). "Sena is a tough loner on a rough planet. When she crosses the wrong gangster, she'll live only if she can heal his prize fighter wolf Iska. Hop on for a freezing cold, terrifying ride with a blazingly warm, you-can-breathe-now end." --Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott (Atria, $27 hardcover, 288p., 9781982160784, April 12, 2022)

Mary Laura Philpott (Penguins with People Problems; I Miss You When I Blink) is worried. According to her amusingly fretful essay collection Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives, she's worried about her children's health, her aging parents' health, her own health, climate change, school shootings, the imminent empty nest, losing her looks, not being taken seriously and the turtle who lives in her Nashville neighborhood. Other than the turtle bit, these are fairly standard anxiety arenas, but Philpott has a leg up in the Handwringers' Olympics even beyond her snappy sentences, disarming self-awareness and winning self-deprecation.

When he was in 10th grade, Philpott's son had an epileptic seizure on the bathroom floor. Philpott greeted this harrowing sight with a "sense of recognition": "Oh. There it is... the worry had finally materialized." Call it an affirmation of a life spent wearing "disaster-colored glasses," which allow one to appreciate the need to prepare for the possibility of, say, a school shooting or the next epileptic seizure. Hence a morning spent like so: "While my son was at school, practicing how to evade a shooter attempting to take his life, I was at home, practicing how to shoot medicine up his nose to save him."

Philpott's son's newfound vulnerability is a recurring touch point throughout Bomb Shelter, whose essays explore worry-churning developments, both immediate (Philpott's father's triple bypass) and ongoing (Philpott has a cache--"my secret showcase of gullibility"--of pricey anti-aging skin creams). Throughout her book, whose occasional lapses into mawkishness are soon enough undercut by humor, Philpott makes a persuasive case for the worrywart. To those who malign overprotective parents she wants to say, "Hold up, buddy. How are you alive right now? Did you pop fully formed out of a petri dish and land on your feet in the street, with a head full of smarts and a nutritious meal in your pocket?" And could it be that worrying reflects an enviable love of life?: "I grieve in advance of loss--losses that will definitely happen, along with some that may not--because I recognize that what I have is so good.... I'm sad because I'm so happy. See?"

Readers of Bomb Shelter will see, and they may well join Philpott as, felled by worrisome herniated discs, she lies on the floor and stares at the ceiling, working through her anxieties, a supine but proud poster child for nervous Nellies everywhere. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: Mary Laura Philpott's funny, filigreed essays about her myriad anxieties amount to a proud defense of the worrywart.

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