Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 22, 2022


Little Brown and Company: This Bird Has Flown by Susanna Hoffs

St. Martin's Press: Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

W by Wattpad Books: Hazel Fine Sings Along by Katie Wicks

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

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

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith

News

South Fla.'s Murder on the Beach Bookstore Closing

Murder on the Beach Bookstore, Delray Beach, Fla., will be closing April 15 after 25 years in business. In a social media post announcing the decision, the bookshop noted: "Although we have tried our best to keep the store alive, Covid and its aftermath have done us in. Joanne and Cheryl will move on to other things, and Stacey will be working for Book Wise. Thank you to all our customers, friends and authors who have supported and helped us over the years. Twenty-five years is a good run, and we have enjoyed every minute of it. Our only regret is we never got to give a big party for our 25th anniversary two months ago! Thank you all for everything! Come to see us before April 15."
 
Founder and manager Joanne Sinchuk told the Sun Sentinel: "We knew we weren't making any money. We knew business was bad. But we thought we could wait out the pandemic, and then people would come back.... We did plenty of stuff over Zoom, but nobody bought books, so we were just providing free entertainment."

The bookshop opened in 1996 in Sunny Isles Beach, then moved to Delray Beach's Pineapple Grove neighborhood in 2002. Sinchuk eventually sold the business in 2008 to David Wulf, owner of Booksmart in Boca Raton. The Sun Sentinel wrote that the "MO was similar, but the scene of the crime changed when Murder on the Beach moved to its current Atlantic Avenue home in 2019, less than a year before the literary minded began to quarantine at home. Their perch on touristy Atlantic Avenue courted voracious gumshoes seeking thrillers, detective potboilers and modern suspense, often from its vast selection of Florida authors. Inside the sunlit shop, kitschy-ghoulish décor filled long hallways of books: police caution tape slanted across shelves, a skeleton with glasses curled up in an armchair with a novel, 'Vampire's Blood' soap in the bathrooms."

"It was more than just a bookstore--it was a place to socialize, to put on costumes for Halloween, to meet authors we know locally and nationally," said author Charles Todd. "It's sad, because there are so few bookstores, let alone indie mystery booksellers. And it's especially sad when it's a place dear to my heart."


Parallax Press: Radical Love: From Separation to Connection with the Earth, Each Other, and Ourselves by Satish Kumar


Frugal Bookstore Fundraiser Nearly Doubles Goal

Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury, Mass., which launched a GoFundMe campaign late last week to help restore its children's section following a fire, has suspended donations after raising $57,413, nearly double the initial goal of $30,000.

"I'm speechless because it's like wow, the love that we're receiving from our community and not just our community but all over the country," store co-owner Clarissa Cropper told NECN over the weekend. "People really have been showing us so much support and we're very thankful for it."

On February 12, a mattress fire broke out in an apartment above the bookstore. The building's sprinkler system caused extensive water damage to Frugal Bookstore's children's, young adult and early reader section, which Cropper said is the store's most popular. She and store co-owner Leonard Egerton will put the raised funds toward replenishing stock as well as replacing damaged furnishings.

The only Black-owned bookstore in Boston, Frugal Bookstore has "the largest and most diverse collection of African American children's literature" in the city.


William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor


International Update: U.K. Indies 'Concerned' About Potential Blackwell's Sale, Weekly Book Sales Up

Indie booksellers in the U.K. "are concerned about the dominance Waterstones would have on the high street if the sale of Blackwell's to the chain's owners goes ahead," the Bookseller reported, adding that most are, however, "grateful the former family-owned chain would be re-homed" and have positive views of Waterstones. Earlier this month, it was reported that Elliott Advisors, the hedge-fund owner of Waterstones and Barnes & Noble, is in "exclusive" talks to buy Blackwell's.

"No one wants to see fewer physical bookshops but, with Waterstones already owning Foyles, it could be argued that they will have an effective high street monopoly, and I'm not sure this would be allowed in other retail sectors," said Marie Moser, owner of the Edinburgh Bookshop in Scotland.

"I'd be sorry to see Blackwell's lose its independence," said Hazel Broadfoot, manager at Village Books in Dulwich, south London. "I think Waterstones are a force for good in the book trade, and essential to the health of our high streets. However, I'd prefer not to see more erosion of the independent sector, with all that brings in the further polarisation of power between a very few large retailers and the body of smaller independents."

Richard Drake, owner of Drake--The Bookshop in Stockton on Tees, observed: "Books on the high street is important and high profile on the high street is essential. If this is eroded, that can't be good news, so Blackwell's continuing to be an entity has to be a good thing." 

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For the first six weeks of 2022, the print market in the U.K. "has recorded its highest weekly sales since pre-digital-revolution 2011," the Bookseller reported, adding that the market was up 15% in units sold and 12% in value compared to 2020.

Thus far in 2022,  the print market has dropped only once below 3.5 million books sold, and its lowest value has been £29.9 million (about $40.7 million). In terms of units sold, "no year since 2011 has notched up weekly sales so high so early. It's been 13 years since any week in the first six weeks has hit a value above £30 million [about $40.8 million], in 2009," the Bookseller wrote. Adult fiction and children's are up 34% and 23% in units sold, respectively, over the last six weeks compared to two years ago. 

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Winter weather update:

The American Book Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands: "We are open today. After Eunice ravaged our country yesterday and cost four people their lives, most of us woke up today, healthy and whole, with only some devastating news stories to watch on TV or read about it in the newspaper. Yesterday evening one of our windows at the Amsterdam store blew out and we were afraid for major damage to our book collection, but some heroic glazier named Rik went out into the storm and placed security glass, so the damage was minimal. Thank you Rik. In the scheme of things we were lucky. So if you feel you want to take your mind of what happened yesterday, know we are open, as is Harar for coffee."

Westbourne Bookshop, Bournemouth, England: "We've taken the decision to close while Storm Eunice passes.... So we're encouraging you all to hunker down and stay safe tomorrow--put the kettle on and read a book...." And later: "We're back today--just a bit of sweeping up to do! Need to find out whose roof is missing some tiles now."

Uppsala English Bookshop, Uppsala, Sweden: "Perfect reading weather!! And both shops are open--in case you run out of reading materials...." --Robert Gray


Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job


Obituary Note: George Gaylord

George Gaylord

George Gaylord, once co-owner of 19 Little Professor Book Centers in Ohio, died on February 3 at the age of 95.

After serving in the Navy in World War II and a 20-year career at North American Aviation, in 1970 he opened a Little Professor Book Center franchise in Columbus, Ohio. Under the Gaylord Companies name and with his son John, he eventually opened 19 bookstores, becoming one of the largest Little Professor franchise groups. (The Gaylords also founded and opened six Cookstores and two Gaylord's Bath, Bed and Linen stores.) In 1992, when superstores were expanding across the country, in partnership with the Little Professor Book Center franchising company--which at one point included almost 150 stores--the Gaylords also developed a superstore version of Little Professor, the Little Professor Book Company, which became a franchise offering.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude, Alzheimer's Association or Disabled American Veterans.


Shelf Awareness's Best Ads of 2021

Last year, we ran thousands of ads across all of our publications--so we know a thing or two about great book marketing!

Join us today, Tuesday, February 22, at 12 p.m. Eastern or Thursday, February 24, at 3 p.m. Eastern for a virtual session celebrating the best ads in the Shelf for 2021.

We'll go over all the Shelf's offerings, highlight our highest-performing and most innovative Shelf Awareness ads from last year, and break down what's so special about them. Join us as we geek out on stats, swoon over awesome creative, and bow to our publishing colleagues who will take home the top honors.

Registration is required, and is open to all publishing industry folks, as well as any curious booksellers or librarians. Capacity is limited to the first 100 approved registrants, so be sure to register early. For more information and to register, click here.

We hope to see you then!


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Wisdom of Morrie:
Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully
by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz
GLOW: Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz

Twenty-five years ago, Mitch Albom immortalized his former college professor in Tuesdays with Morrie, the blockbuster memoir that shared Morrie Schwartz's profound insights about life as he was dying of ALS. In The Wisdom of Morrie, Rob Schwartz, Morrie's son, resurrects his father's voice, sharing Morrie's philosophical wisdom and humor about the aging process--what can be an emboldening period filled with meaning and purpose. "This book is invaluable to anyone interested in improving their quality of life," says Rick Bleiweiss, head of new business development at Blackstone Publishing. "Readers who enjoy[ed] The Last Lecture and When Breath Becomes Air will expand their awareness and find new ideas and insights into living more fully." Schwartz's musings are timeless, and inspirational for readers of all ages. --Kathleen Gerard

(Blackstone Publishing, $25.99 hardcover, 9798200813452,
April 18, 2023)

CLICK TO ENTER


#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

Notes

Still Masking Up: Readers' Books

Posted on Facebook by Readers' Books, Sonoma, Calif.: "All of our staff has been vaccinated, and for the sake of our health and yours we ask that you wear a mask while in the store. Please help us stop the spread of the variants and continue to wear your mask whenever you are in an indoor public place."


'12 Authors Share Their Favorite Black-Owned Bookstores'

"Here's how to shop like Stacey Abrams, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Jacqueline Woodson, and more," noted Oprah Daily, which "asked several esteemed Black authors to share their own go-tos, from Marc Lamont Hill's favorite in Philadelphia to the must-visit bookstore for Rachel M. Harper's family to several authors' beloved Bay Area literary hangouts. Whether you're taking a road trip or ordering online, we encourage you to support Black-owned bookstores."


Personnel Changes at Little, Brown

Cassie Malmo has joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as associate publicity director and starts on February 28. Previously she was senior publicity manager at Simon & Schuster Children's Books.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Apolo Ohno on Tamron Hall

Today:
Kelly Clarkson Show: Kwame Onwuachi, co-author of My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf, $35, 9780525659600).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: John Avlon, author of Lincoln and the Fight for Peace (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781982108120).

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Morgan Harper Nichols, author of Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation to Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life (Zondervan, $25.99, 9780310361701).

Tamron Hall: Apolo Ohno, author of Hard Pivot: Embrace Change. Find Purpose. Show Up Fully. (Sounds True, $24.99, 9781683649328).

Also on Tamron Hall: Kel Mitchell, author of Blessed Mode: 90 Days to Level Up Your Faith (Thomas Nelson, $22.99, 9781400229185).



TV: Great Expectations

Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter, The Crown) has been cast as Miss Havisham in the FX and BBC limited series adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic novel Great Expectations, Deadline reported, adding that Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) will play Pip. The cast also includes Ashley Thomas, Johnny Harris, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Hayley Squires, Owen McDonnell, Trystan Gravelle and Matt Berry.

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight will write and executive produce the six-part series, which will also be executive produced by Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker, Kate Crowe and Mona Qureshi.

Great Expectations marks Knight's second adaptation of the writer's works, following A Christmas Carol. These are the first of a number of Dickens adaptations ordered by the BBC and FX, Deadline noted.



Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Dau Short Story, Wingate Winners

The winners of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, which recognizes 12 emerging writers "for their debut short story published in a literary magazine, journal, or cultural website, and aims to support the launch of their careers as fiction writers," have been announced. Each winner receives a $2,000 cash prize and will be published by Catapult in its annual anthology, Best Debut Short Stories: The PEN America Dau Prize. The dozen winning stories:

"A Wedding in Multan, 1978" (The Asian American Literary Review) Yasmin Adele Majeed
"All We Have Left Is Ourselves" (Reckoning) Oyedotun Damilola Muees
"Beat by Beat" (Barrelhouse Magazine) Emma Shannon
"For Future Reference: Notes on the 7-10 Split" (Cincinnati Review) Patch Kirschenbaum
"Man, Man, Et Cetera" (Virginia Quarterly Review) Cal Shook
"Sacrilege" (BOMB Magazine) Edward Salem
"The Black Kite and the Wind" (Virginia Quarterly Review) Erin Connal
"The Cacophobe" (Ploughshares) Seth Wang
"The Chicken" (The White Review) RZ Baschir
"Them Bones" (Hobart) CK Kane
"Work Wives" (Typehouse Literary Magazine) Preeti Vangani
"Writing with Blood" (Flock) Catherine Bai

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To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss has won 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."

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, chair of the judges, called To Be a Man "a collection of remarkable stories. It is a contemporary and beautiful piece of writing, which is original in its approach and cohesive as a collection.

"In each story the themes emerged organically and we particularly admired the fact that the subject matter supported the literature rather than the literature being subordinate to it--a testament to Krauss’s special talent as a writer."


Book Review

Review: The Candy House

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (Scribner, $28 hardcover, 352p., 9781476716763, April 5, 2022)

After she won the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2011 for A Visit from the Goon Squad, a novel that focused on the business of pop music and the inexorable passage of time, Jennifer Egan shifted in a more conventional direction with Manhattan Beach, a crime thriller set in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II. Now, in The Candy House, she returns to the stylistic brio and edgier substance of Goon Squad with a novel that revives many of the characters of its literary soulmate while using them to explore a set of fresh and compelling themes.

In chapters that function both as discrete stories and devices that subtly link the lives of a handful of recurring characters, The Candy House ranges over more than seven decades, beginning in the mid-1960s. Egan conjures an unsettling but clearly plausible next stage of social media, where Internet visionary Bix Bouton invents a "memory externalization device" he calls the Mandala Cube, which allows individuals to upload and store a lifetime of memories in mere hours. If they choose, they can share those recollections with the "Collective Consciousness," granting them "proportionate access to the anonymous thoughts and memories of everyone in the world, living or dead, who had done the same."

But as Egan recognizes, "knowing everything is too much like knowing nothing; without a story it's all just information." As she travels forward and backward in time, her stories reveal what is lost in the embrace of this new technology. Pitted against those who welcome it is an "invisible army of data defiers" known as "eluders" who resist its allure. Egan deeply understands what it means to live in a world whose inhabitants are both hyperconnected and atomized, a reality that's only been exaggerated since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. "Human beings are unknowable," she writes, "hence the Faustian allure of consciousness sharing."

In employing diverse voices and a variety of narrative styles, Egan displays here the same assurance that propelled Goon Squad. "Lulu the Spy, 2032," for example, is presented in the form of a terse instruction manual to a "Citizen Agent" involved in a dangerous espionage mission. In its aftermath, Lulu reappears in "See Below," a chapter narrated entirely in e-mails. In other chapters, Egan shifts from more conventional third- to first-person voices with ease.

The Candy House holds a mirror up to contemporary society while simultaneously casting a skeptical eye on a future that may already be here. Readers who delighted in the ingenuity of A Visit from the Goon Squad will luxuriate in this novel's Easter eggs and the many plot elements and character appearances that echo across the novel's pages to forge connections over time and space, making the urge to reread it immediately almost irresistible. While its sensibility is coolly observant, at its center is a warm, strongly beating heart. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Jennifer Egan paints an unsettling portrait of life in a near future in which the sharing of consciousness becomes possible.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. The NeuroPreneur by James Nitit Mah
2. Rescuing Annie by Susan Stoker
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
4. Caught by Love: Archer Steele by Melissa Foster
5. A Chance for Us by Corinne Michaels
6. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
7. He Gets That from Me by Jacqueline Friedland
8. Tactical LinkedIn Secrets by David Cobb
9. All The Pretty People by Barbara Freethy
10. Cain's Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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