Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 24, 2022

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


The Shire Bookstore Opening March 1 in Eddyville, Ky.

The Shire Bookstore, a new and used independent bookstore with an emphasis on being a community gathering space, will host a grand opening celebration in Eddyville, Ky., on March 1. Owner Anna Tobey told the Herald Ledger that she secured her space at 115 Newman Drive in January and has been renovating it with the help of friends and family.

Tobey has already started selling books online, and the bricks-and-mortar space will have a similar selection of general-interest titles. Alongside books, the Shire Bookstore will carry gift items like bookmarks, toys, puzzles, mugs and T-shirts. Coffee and wi-fi will be available for customers and Tobey plans to build a stage in the store.

Her event plans include open-mic performances, poetry readings, author events and children's storytime sessions, as well as game nights for tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. Tobey noted that a number of area book clubs have already reached out to ask about using her space.

"It's not just a bookstore, it's a place for the community where people can enjoy books together," she said.

Tobey will be keeping her day job at the H.O.P.E. Clinic in Lyon County, and will run the store with the help of family, friends and some community volunteers.

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

The Wise Owl Books & Music Comes to Seattle, Wash.

The Wise Owl Books & Music, a book and vinyl record store offering a mix of new and used titles, has opened a bricks-and-mortar store in Seattle, Wash., the Seattle Times reported.

Owner Christina Gilbreath opened the Wise Owl as an online and pop-up store in October 2020, and officially opened the physical store on December 4, 2021. There are sidelines, such as stickers, pins, candles and cards, in the front of the store, vinyl records in the back and shelves of books throughout. While Gilbreath sells books for children and adults across all genres, the store's used inventory has a definite lean toward science fiction and fantasy.

Gilbreath explained that her mother, who had always dreamed of owning a used bookstore and had been collecting used titles for years, was an avid reader with a particular fondness for SF and fantasy. When she died in 2019, Gilbreath inherited about "40 boxes of used books," many of them genre titles. Gilbreath had no idea about her mother's bookstore dream until after her death, and as a tribute to her decided to merge that dream with her own dream of owning a record store. It became a "legacy project."

The store's name, she added, is a tribute to her mother, who "knew everything. You could ask her anything and she always had an answer."

The shop is located at 2223 N. 56th St. in Seattle's Tangletown neighborhood. Gilbreath was careful not to open too close to any existing bookstores, and she said the Tangletown community has been "lavishing" her book and record store with love. Her plans for events include author events, readings, game nights, live music and book clubs. She continues to host monthly pop-up appearances at Pilgrim Coffeehouse, where the Wise Owl got its start.

The success of the pop-up shops, she said, and the need for more storage and display space accelerated her plan to get a permanent storefront. "Everybody just kept asking, 'where’s your storefront, where can we come visit you?' "

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

W.Va.'s Paperback Palace Closing Permanently

Founded in 2004, Paperback Palace, the new and used bookstore in Vienna, W.Va., will close next Monday, February 28, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.

Owner Lee Campbell told the newspaper that since the pandemic started, many regular customers who were seniors weren't able to shop as often at the store, which led to financial problems. In addition, Campbell had had to spend time taking care of family members before the pandemic, explaining, "I had been planning to transition and come back and really focus on the store and almost immediately, we (got) hit with Covid. I had all of these kinds of plans."

Used books are currently being sold at a 50% discount; Campbell will donate any remaining books to local organizations.

Campbell also told the newspaper that when the store closes, she wants to use her library and education background to do similar work  and wants to pursue genealogy.

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

International Update: Vivendi Files Lagardère Takeover Bid, Canadian Bookseller Wins Freedom to Read Award

Vivendi has filed its proposed takeover bid for the Lagardère group, merging France's two largest book publishing groups--Hachette Livre and Editis--with the French financial regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). The Bookseller reported that Vivendi "has increased its bid from €24.10 [about $27.40] to €25.50 [about $28.95] a share for the 55.12% of the capital it doesn't already own" and said the offer would open on April 14 and close on May 20.

Opposition to the merger has increased in the past few weeks. At a Senate commission of inquiry on media mergers in France, Guillaume Husson, director of the French Booksellers Assocation (Syndicat de la Librairie Française), said Vivendi was a "disproportionate media power" in promoting its own publications, the Bookseller noted. "Publishers already have clout over booksellers and their distributors' set book prices and booksellers' margins, he said, according to Public Sénat, the Senate's news service. This is particularly the case with Hachette Livre. 'What would happen if the market leader doubled its sales?' he asked."

Laurent Lafon, president of the Culture Committee, said it had not planned to look into book publishing, but developments had prompted it to do so.

"The prospect [of the takeover] is a real threat for the whole sector," said Antoine Gallimard, head of Madrigall, the Gallimard holding company and president of the Bureau International de l'Édition Française, which promotes French publishing abroad. The deal would "undermine editorial vitality and diversity in France," he observed, adding that small publishing houses were often behind editorial discoveries. 


Toronto bookseller, community builder and event coordinator Anjula Gogia is the recipient of this year's Freedom to Read Award, presented annually by the Writers' Union of Canada in recognition of work that is "passionately supportive of access to books and the freedom to read." 

Gogia was the long-time co-manager of the Toronto Women's Bookstore, which "was in its time the largest non-profit feminist bookstore in Canada. Thanks in no small part to Anjula Gogia's community outreach skills, TWB was a hub for authors, especially BIPOC, racialized and those focused on social justice writing. Twice damaged in firebomb attacks on a nearby abortion clinic, TWB introduced generations of Canadians to diverse and boundary-pushing literature," TWUC noted.

She later became events coordinator at Another Story Bookshop, where she was instrumental in continuing ASB's schedule of author events and bookselling during the initial and subsequent lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gogia was nominated for the Freedom to Read Award by a Canadian author, who wrote: "Anjula has spent decades building bridges between well known and unknown writers to enlarge CanLit, forging connections between academics and the general public, between various communities, and across difference. Anju's knowledge, skill and approach to publishing and bookselling transcends any particular store, and transforms it. She is an astute reader, brilliant sales strategist, and unique book champion."

Canada's Freedom to Read Week, which is being held February 20-26, is a national annual celebration that encourages Canadians to think deeply about and value access to print materials, and their rights to read, write and publish freely. 


New Dutch research is examining the D&I space within the book trade. The European & International Booksellers Federation's Newsflash reported that in recent years the theme of diversity and inclusion has gained importance in social debate, "leading the Dutch cultural sector to embrace the Diversity and Inclusion Code. After all, the book market has traditionally been a place of polyphony and the written word is a fundamental pillar of freedom of speech. But the D&I Code is also about diversity in organizations, an inclusive audience approach and fair access to opportunities. New research takes a closer look at these topics and examines the views on the D&I and its implementation in the book trade." 


Bookseller moments: "Early morning in the shop," posted on Instagram by Clarke's Bookshop in Cape Town, South Africa. And: "Early morning light reflecting off our window." --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Jan Pieńkowski

Jan Pieńkowski

Jan Pieńkowski, the beloved illustrator and author of more than 140 children's books whose work included the Meg and Mog pop-up books, died February 19. He was 85. The Guardian reported that Pieńkowski's work "was often inspired by his Polish childhood and experiences as a wartime refugee. His interest in paper cut-outs stemmed from his time in an air raid shelter in Warsaw, where a soldier had kept him amused by cutting newspapers into shapes for him."

Pieńkowski collaborated with the late writer Helen Nicoll on the Meg and Mog series. After Nicoll's death in 2012, he worked on new titles in the series with his civil partner, David Walser, a translator, artist, musician and writer. In addition to the Meg and Mog and his pop-up books, he is known for his illustrations of fairytales by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, The Nutcracker, and The Glass Mountain: Tales from Poland. The Guardian also featured a gallery of "the world of Jan Pieńkowski in pictures."

Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children's Books, said: "Jan was one of the great storytellers: an exceptionally talented creator, who was led by what interested him, and who treated children as his equals. There was an impatience and wonderful curiosity to him, as he looked for new ways to tell stories: drawing on his Polish roots with his cut-out and silhouette work; his extraordinary use of color; his pioneering interest in drawing on the computer; and of course his award-winning pop-ups which challenged publishers and printers to find new ways to create his books."

She added that Pieńkowski pored over every detail meticulously "and yet achieved the near-impossible: simple, magical storytelling, which is why his books--such as my personal and our family favorites, the brilliant Meg and Mog stories--endure. I was very lucky to have had the chance to know him and to work with him."

For his work as a children's author, Pieńkowski was awarded the 2019 Booktrust lifetime achievement award. He was also twice the U.K. nominee--in 1982 and 2008--for the international Hans Christian Andersen award. He won the Kate Greenaway award in 1971 with the writer Joan Aiken for their second collaboration, The Kingdom Under the Sea; and took his second Greenaway award in 1979 for the pop-up book Haunted House.

BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald observed that Pieńkowski "was a hugely influential figure in the children's books world. His witty and innovative illustrations delighted and inspired so many children through the years, which is why we were honored to present him with BookTrust's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. He truly understood the power of books to open children's minds and help them to make sense of the world: he will live on in the minds of children and adults alike through his prolific work."


When Sidewalk Chalkboards Go Rogue: Inklings Bookshop

Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, Wash., posted a photo yesterday of the shop's latest sidewalk chalkboard message: "Warning! Employees may be unable to shut up about Boobs." Some time later, the bookstore posted a corrected version: "There! 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐊𝐬!!! We can't remember the last time we laughed so hard in the office. Your comments and messages are hysterical. Thank you all for the good humor!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Oliver Milman on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Oliver Milman, author of The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World (Norton, $27.95, 9781324006596).

Drew Barrymore Show: Nicole Lapin, author of Miss Independent: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Start Investing and Grow Your Own Wealth (HarperCollins, $27.99, 9781400226320).

Tamron Hall: Linsey Davis, author of How High Is Heaven (Zonderkidz, $18.99, 9780310770060).

This Weekend on Book TV: Al Sharpton

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 26
9:05 a.m. Kevin Boyle, author of The Shattering: America in the 1960s (Norton, $32, 9780393355994). (Re-airs Saturday at 9:05 p.m.)

10 a.m. Reed Gochberg, author of Useful Objects: Museums, Science, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford University Press, $74, 9780197553480). (Re-airs Saturday at 10 p.m.)

3 p.m. Robert Parkinson, author of Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence (University of North Carolina Press, $20, 9781469662572). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 a.m.)

4:30 p.m. Kent Masterson Brown, author of Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command (University of North Carolina Press, $35, 9781469661995). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:30 a.m.)

5:30 p.m. Ian Johnson, author of Faustian Bargain: The Soviet-German Partnership and the Origins of the Second World War (Oxford University Press, $29.95, 9780190675141). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:30 a.m.)

Sunday, February 27
8 a.m. Al Sharpton, author of Righteous Troublemakers: Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America (Hanover Square Press, $27.99, 9781335639912). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

10 a.m. Laura Coates, author of Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor's Fight for Fairness (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781982173760). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Doug Fine, author of American Hemp Farmer: Adventures and Misadventures in the Cannabis Trade (Chelsea Green, $19.95, 9781603589192). (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

3:25 p.m. Jeff Danzinger, author of Lieutenant Dangerous: A Vietnam War Memoir (Steerforth, $14.95, 9781586422738). (Re-airs Monday at 3:25 a.m.)

4:25 p.m. Tanja Hester, author of Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change (BenBella, $17.95, 9781953295590). (Re-airs Monday at 4:25 a.m.)

6 p.m. Elijah Anderson, author of Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life (‎University of Chicago Press, $25, 9780226657233).

7 p.m. Brian Karem, author of Free the Press: The Death of American Journalism and How to Revive It (Prometheus, $29.95, 9781633887664).

Books & Authors

Awards: Lionel Gelber, Lukas Shortlists

Finalists have been announced for the C$15,000 (about US$11,800) Lionel Gelber Prize, which is administered by the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Foreign Policy magazine. The award honors "the world's best nonfiction book in English on foreign affairs." The winner will be named April 12. This year's finalists are:

To End a Plague: America's Fight to Defeat AIDS in Africa by Emily Bass 
The Long Game: China's Grand Strategy to Displace American Order by Rush Doshi 
Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson 
The American War in Afghanistan: A History by Carter Malkasian 
In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918–1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust by Jeffrey Veidlinger 


The shortlists for the Lukas Prizes, sponsored by the Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and honoring "the best in American nonfiction writing," are:

J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize:
Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott (Random House)
The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice by Scott Ellsworth (Dutton)
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday)
The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias by Jessica Nordell (Metropolitan)
The Family Roe: An American Story by Joshua Prager (Norton/Liveright)

Mark Lynton History Prize:
The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell's Quest to End Deafness by Katie Booth (Simon & Schuster)
The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America by Noah Feldman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers by Amanda Frost (Beacon Press)
All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles (Random House)
Surviving Katyń: Stalin's Polish Massacre and the Search for Truth by Jane Rogoyska (Oneworld/Simon & Schuster)

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards:
We Were Once a Family: The Hart Murder-Suicide and the System Failing Our Kids by Roxanna Asgarian (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
American Scare: A Cold War in the Sunshine State by Robert Fieseler (Dutton)
Disillusioned: How the Suburbs and Their Schools Undermine the American Dream by Benjamin Herold (Penguin Press)
The Life: Sex, Work, and Love in America by May Jeong (Atria)
The Prince and the Revolutionary: Children of War by Suki Kim (Norton)

Winners will be announced on March 16, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony on May 3.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 1:

I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir by Harvey Fierstein (Knopf, $30, 9780593320525) is the memoir of the actor, playwright and gay rights activist.

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found by Frank Bruni (Avid Reader Press, $28, 9781982108571) chronicles the New York Times columnist's struggle with sudden partial blindness.

The Greatest Invention: A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts by Silvia Ferrara, trans. by Todd Portnowitz (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374601621) explores undeciphered languages across the globe.

Tell Me an Ending: A Novel by Jo Harkin (Scribner, $27.99, 9781982164324) is a dystopian thriller about a tech company that can delete memories.

One Italian Summer: A Novel by Rebecca Serle (Atria, $27, 9781982166793) follows a mother and daughter vacationing on the Amalfi Coast.

On a Night of a Thousand Stars by Andrea Yaryura Clark (Grand Central, $28, 9781538720295) follows two generations of a family affected by Argentina's Dirty War.

Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction by David George Haskell (Viking, $29, 9781984881540) explores sounds of the natural world and human threats to them.

Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys and Andrew Weiner, illustrated by Brittney Williams (HarperAlley, $19.99, 9780063029569) is the 15-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist's YA graphic novel debut about a young woman who discovers she has telekinetic abilities.

Once Upon a Tim by Stuart Gibbs, illustrated by Stacy Curtis (Simon & Schuster, $12.99, 9781534499256) features a peasant boy who aspires to be a knight.

By Any Other Name by Lauren Kate (Putnam, $15.99, 9780735212541).

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter (Berkley, $16, 9780593437261).

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $16.95, 9780593311295).

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:

What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel by Kai Harris (Tiny Reparations Books, $26, 9780593185346). "What the Fireflies Knew is a fantastic, powerful debut that tackles difficult themes with empathy and respect. KB's voice is funny and heartbreaking. I expect this to be taught in schools someday alongside Toni Morrison." --Ellie Eaton, Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C.

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (Holt, $27.99, 9781250776747). "In the Shadow of the Mountain intertwines the lives of sexual assault survivors with Vasquez-Lavado's experience leading these survivors to summit Mount Everest. A collective story of perseverance, community, and healing." --Clancey D'Isa, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Chicago, Ill.

Jawbone: A Novel by Mónica Ojeda, trans. by Sarah Booker (Coffee House Press, $16.95, 9781566896214). "When a group of friends find an abandoned building, their afternoons escalate from scary stories and dares into dangerous rituals and grave consequences. An unsettling novel of friendship, adolescence, and 'inquietude.' " --Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.

For Ages 4 to 8
Tía Fortuna's New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey by Ruth Behar, illus. by Devon Holzwarth (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9780593172414). "Having helped move my grandparents into an apartment and going through family mementoes, this one hit very close to home! This book is the perfect guide to help children see that new spaces and experiences are not something to be feared." --Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.

For Ages 8 to 11: An Indies Introduce Title
Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry (Bloomsbury Children's Books, $16.99, 9781547606948). "I truly enjoyed Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms. The adventure and mystery of Cameron's family and the Chidani people is sure to capture readers. Books steeped in Black history and mythology are much needed on our shelves." --Rayna Nielsen, Blue Cypress Books, New Orleans, La.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
And We Rise by Erica Martin (Viking Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9780593352526). "And We Rise is an extraordinary history-in-verse of the Civil Rights Movement, hauntingly written with unflinching honesty. This book belongs on every shelf and in every classroom." --Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, N.Y.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: New and Selected Stories

New and Selected Stories by Cristina Rivera Garza, trans. by Sarah Booker et al. , , and (Dorothy, $16 paperback, 280p., 9781948980098, April 19, 2022)

Cristina Rivera Garza, one of Mexico's most important contemporary authors, is progressively gaining renown in the U.S. (where she's lived since 1989) and has won a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship and a 2020 National Book Critics Circle finalist nod in Criticism. Indie press Dorothy's release of New and Selected Stories, which gathers 30-plus years of intriguing work, ensures English-speaking readers enhanced access to Rivera Garza. Sarah Booker, who also translated Rivera Garza's The Iliac Crest, leads the Anglophone team, which includes Francisca González Arias, Lisa Dillman, Alex Ross and Rivera Garza herself.

New audiences, perhaps, warrant an early caution: straightforward narrative cannot describe Rivera Garza's oeuvre. In her must-read introduction, she reveals, "After every ending I was nagged by the uncanny sensation that I had been close to something I could never fully grasp. That was enough, I told myself; even more than enough." Transparent understanding, definitive endings, convincing closure won't be found here; what Rivera Garza offers is invention, challenge, linguistic acrobatics and a more-than-occasional embrace of the impenetrable.

The collection's four parts retain their original Spanish titles: the first three sections were previously published, the fourth is a collection as yet unpublished in Spanish. In Part I's "La Guerra no importa" (War Doesn't Matter), Rivera Garza's main character in both "Unknowing" and "Like Bitches, Like She-Devils" is a woman named Xian, who recounts an overnight encounter with an abandoned lover in the former and who becomes the victim of a kidnapping in the latter. Xian returns, at least in name, in "The Last Sign" in Part III, La frontera más distante (The Utmost Border), in which she becomes a missing object-of-sorts for "the Man Who Swore He Had Lost a Woman from China." There are multiple mysteriously lost characters in that section, from the Stranger in "Autoethnography with the Other" to a stalker-maybe-murderer in "Carpathian Mountain Woman" to several journalists in "City of Men," a traveler in a snowy village in "Offside" and a headless corpse in "Simple Pleasure. Pure Pleasure." An unnamed Detective also recurs through numerous stories--searching but never quite finding. Part IV, Diminutus (Diminutive), composed of "speculative stories and flash fiction," points, in its final entry, "The Survivor of Pripyat," to Rivera Garza's extant blog, as if offering another portal to her enigmatic writing.

Gender disparity, violence, migration and disorientation are a few of the recurring themes throughout this collection; Rivera Garza's presentations invite continued interpretations and interrogations. As if aware of her stories' lingering, puzzling effects, Rivera Garza presciently summarizes, "We have shared the unintelligible together. We are kin now. We will never be alone." --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Cristina Rivera Garza's New and Selected Stories offers English-language readers access to more than 30 years of intriguing writing by one of Mexico's greatest contemporary authors.

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