Also published on this date: Wednesday, March 2, 2022: YA Maximum Shelf: This Vicious Grace

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 2, 2022

William Morrow & Company: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne


ABA Issues Statement Condemning Russia's Attack on Ukraine 

The American Booksellers Association issued a statement condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine, noting: "We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and with the people of Russia protesting this act of war and international threat.

"We stand with our colleagues--booksellers, publishers, and authors--who we know will face danger as they make information that is critical to democracy available to their communities.

"In the coming weeks, we pledge to amplify Ukrainian authors and books; offer support directly to Ukrainian booksellers; and promote organizations working to resist, inform, and offer aid.

"We ask our booksellers to help by exercising their freedom to promote and sell books that educate people about the region and about the ongoing war, and offering comfort to customers and bookselling colleagues with familial ties in the Ukraine.

"As we learn more, we will join our colleagues at the European and International Booksellers Federation in sharing information about human rights and Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian custody with the hashtag #SolidarityWords.

"We are here to do our part as a resource to our community of booksellers and booksellers associations, national and international. We remain open to new ways of offering our support, and we are in this together."

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

San Francisco's Black Bird Bookstore Relocates

Black Bird Bookstore, San Francisco, Calif., has moved to 4541 Irving St., not far from the original Outer Sunset neighborhood location on Judah St. that owner Kathryn Grantham opened in 2017. Last weekend, the bookstore hosted a Community Caravan of Moving Books, spending the day "carrying, wheeling, strolling and singing the books over to our new home."

In the shop's newsletter recently, Grantham had announced plans for the move, noting: "In the blurry days of 2020, with the sands shifting beneath so much of what we knew and loved, the neighborhood learned that the beloved 3 Fish Studios folks were moving their studio to the foothills of the Sierras. I remember feeling two strong feelings all at once--deep sadness to lose such incredible neighborhood people and also excitement for these creative spirits to be closer to the nature they so inspirationally bring into their artwork. When they told me they were hoping for a similarly community-oriented business to take over their building, and I saw a space twice the size for so many more books and events, a spark was lit for what is now the new home for Black Bird: 4541 Irving Street. It took many yarns to spin this into reality, but here we are. I can taste it, we are so close to opening the doors and sharing the block with new neighbors...."

The bookstore chronicled its big move in an Instagram video: "Wow what a community we have! Thank you thank you thank you! We moved everything that wasn't bolted to a wall in 2 hours. And now the transformation begins at our new home on Irving. We will be stocking the new shelves all week. Re-Opening day will be announced soon!"

The bookseller also posted: "Goodbye Judah! Beautiful faces all day in here, our last day at our first home. See you soon at 4541 Irving St! Thank you for the five years in this special space of book buying, backyard reading, treehouse snuggles, train table action, storytime, conversation, first dates, first books and so many more memories."

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Hachette's Michael Pietsch Keynoter at BISG Annual Meeting

Michael Pietsch

Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch will give the opening keynote at the Book Industry Study Group's annual meeting on Friday, April 22, at the Harvard Club in New York City. Pietsch has been CEO of Hachette since 2013. Earlier he was publisher at Little, Brown and held editorial positions at Crown and Scribner. He's also chairman of the Association of American Publishers and serves on the boards of PEN America and Poets & Writers.

The first in-person BISG annual meeting since 2019, this one has a theme of "Build Books Better." Topics to be covered include a report on the work of four of BISG's committees; a conversation among industry associations about their work to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in book publishing; advice on how to future-proof publishing work; and improving the industry supply chain. In addition, BISG's annual industry awards will be presented.

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

Four Indie Booksellers Among CABS-Minnesota Diverse Voices Fellows

Four independent booksellers are among the inaugural cohort of the CABS-Minnesota Diverse Voices Fellowship program, which provides professional and career development in the antiquarian book trade for those who have been "distanced from the trade by reason of race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and/or income."

The 2022 Diverse Fellows are Jaime Harker of Violet Valley Bookstore in Water Valley, Miss.; Warren Lee of 44th & 3rd Bookseller in Atlanta, Ga.; Katie Mitchell of Good Books in Atlanta, Ga.; Michelle Walton of The Collective-Oakland, in Oakland, Calif.; and Nahid Khan, a collector in Minnesota.

The fellows will participate in virtual events and a two-day field school in New York City and attend CABS-Minnesota, the week-long, intensive seminar about the antiquarian and second-hand trade administered annually by the Antiquarian Book School Foundation.

They were chosen from a pool of 30 applicants by the CABS-Minnesota Diversity, Equity and Outreach Committee. The group's areas of expertise include Black, queer, feminist and Muslim-world materials.

"We are delighted to welcome this group of talented Fellows to the antiquarian book trade and the CABS-Minnesota community," said Lorne Blair, director of CABS-Minnesota. "The selection committee was impressed with the Fellows' deep knowledge in specialty areas and their passion for learning about antiquarian bookselling."

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

International Update: BCBF Suspends Participation of Russian State Organizations; Personal Perspective on African Bookselling

Organizers of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, scheduled for March 21-24, have suspended all cooperation with Russian state organizations organizing the Russian collective stand at the fair.

In a statement, BCBF said: "The Bologna Children's Book Fair and its associated brands wish to express their condemnation of Russian aggressions in Ukraine. BCBF can confirm that, with immediate effect, the cooperation with all the Russian state institutions in charge of the organization of the Russian collective stand in the forthcoming fair is suspended.

"BCBF, BolognaBookPlus and Bologna Licensing Trade Fair have been, and continue to support, the Ukrainian Publisher's Association and will continue to promote their books, illustrators and writers in their absence at this year's event. 

"Books across all ages remain a bridge between cultures and never before has the publishing industry, for children and everyone, been more important."


The European & International Booksellers Federation featured a guest blog post, headlined "A Personal Perspective on Bookselling and Reading in Africa," by Lily Nyariki, who wrote: "After training as a librarian in the 1980’s, I fell in love with books and have over the years been involved in the book world in multiple roles. Fourteen years were spent in the Kenya National Library Services Board, where I worked for the most part as the acquisition librarian. This is how I got introduced to the book world and by extension to book development.... 

"In 1995, I joined Moi University as the bookshop manager and was thus thrown into the bookselling space. To date I continue to be a bookseller, now with my own outfit--Afrireads Book Company Ltd. trading as Afrireads Bookshop in Eldoret Town. I love bookselling because it keeps me closely tied up with books and reading, while also making some income after retiring from Moi University in June 2020." 

Since 1997, Nyariki has been the focal point on book and learning materials at the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), "and in this role I have interacted with all stakeholders in many African countries and what is interesting to note is that whereas most of the developed world reads as a habit, Africans have not yet woken up to the importance of reading culture as a habit and having systems that enable easy access to books for leisure and knowledge acquisition. It is our contention that Africa is missing out and hence the need for all African countries to formulate and implement their book and reading policies which will ensure purposeful development of their book sectors which will go a long way into supporting educational quality and national development....

"Unfortunately, in my interaction with most African countries, bookselling remains the weakest link in the book chain. So, the question as to whether Africa can be made into a reading continent remains a pipe dream, unless there is a deliberate effort to have booksellers across Africa mainstreamed and allowed to participate as equal members of the book chain. Without bookshops especially in the rural areas, the Africa Union Commission Agenda 2063 will remain an illusion."


Charming bookshop animal moments at Wardini Books in Napier, New Zealand: "Our Adele, demonstrating impeccable customer service. Lending an ear (scratch), providing a warm welcome. Ash is a regular customer at Wardini Books Napier; he's also a good boi, waiting for his mum to tell him he can come in. He absolutely made our day." And: "Adele was like Snow White or something yesterday--all the furred and feathered friends popped in to Wardini Books Napier to see her!" --Robert Gray

Author Brandon Sanderson Launches Mega-Kickstarter Campaign for 'Secret New Books'

Brandon Sanderson

Bestselling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson launched an extraordinary Kickstarter campaign yesterday, offering a multi-tiered subscription plan to sell "four secret new books" directly to his fans through 2023. The novels (in "premium hardcover," e-book and/or audiobook formats), as well as "a swag box of cool items," would be produced by his Dragonsteel Entertainment.

For the record, the Kickstarter's March 31 goal of $1 million in pledges was blown away on day one of the campaign, and as of this morning the total has already risen to more than $14 million. 

"Over the last two years, a group of ideas wormed their way into my brain and I found I couldn't let them go," Sanderson wrote on the fundraising page. "Despite all of my other obligations, I had to write these stories. So I squeezed them in during moments of free time, crafting four brand new novels. I'm extremely proud of them, as each represents some new aspect of storytelling that has forced me to grow in an interesting way. Each also takes you to someplace new, original, and vibrant. Three of these are Cosmere books taking place on new worlds, and the other one is something completely different.... 

"Our goal is to deliver these to you all through 2023, along with--for those who want it--a swag box of cool items relating to one of my already established worlds or concepts. (There's one dedicated solely to Hoid, for example.) So please, join us for a Year of Sanderson and experience for yourself the secret I've been keeping these last few years."

Sanderson tweeted last night: "I started this all off by doing my best to surprise you. Now you've turned it back on me. Ten million? This is incredible, overwhelming, and a little unbelievable. I went to bed last night hoping people would enjoy my little reveal and woke up to a phenomenon.... Thank you so much for your support, enthusiasm, and kind wishes. We were the fastest kickstarter in history to pass several important thresholds, we're trending worldwide on Twitter, and were the #1 trending video on YouTube.... This response has been incredible. Thank you for spreading the word, and for all that you do to make it so that I can share my imagination with you."


Image of the Day: Books for Ukrainian Refugees

Theodore's Books in Oyster Bay, N.Y., is hosting a drive to send children's books to facilities in Europe being used by Ukrainian refugees. Former U.S, congressman Steve Israel, Theodore's owner, said, "As a congressman, I was able to support funding for humanitarian assistance to refugees around the world. Now, as a private citizen and bookstore owner, I want to do my part to support the needs of displaced Ukrainian children. The best way for me is donating books." Theodore's Books is making its own direct contribution of books that will be shipped to facilities housing displaced Ukrainian children, and throughout March, any children's books purchased at the store and donated to this cause will be discounted 10%.  

Happy Fifth Birthday, Bright Side Bookshop!

General manager Amy McClelland with co-owners Lisa Lamberson and Annette Avery.

Congratulations to Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, Ariz., which celebrated its fifth anniversary on Monday "with a day full of activity to 'surprise and delight' our amazing loyal customer base," noted Lisa Lamberson, co-owner of the business with her husband, Ben Shaffer, and Annette Avery.

"We're proud to say we've realized our intentions of developing a dynamic and versatile space for community interaction and events," Lamberson added. "Bright Side Bookshop is a gathering space for locals and visitors alike in the heart of Historic Downtown Flagstaff and we're so grateful for these five years of tremendous support. We're looking forward to many, many more years serving our mountain town as the local indie bookshop."

Bright Side's way "was paved by another local bookstore--Barefoot Cowgirl Books--opened by Nancy Nelson in 2015, " the Arizona Daily Sun reported. 

Lamberson, who at the time was focused on her other business, Mountain Sports, recalled that Nelson had the "tenacity and bravery" to bring an independent bookstore back into downtown Flagstaff. "As a neighbor and downtown business just down the street, I was so excited to have a local bookstore back in town," she recalled. Unfortunately, Barefoot Cowgirl failed to thrive and in 2016 was put up for sale. Lamberson, spurred by a desire to "save the local bookstore," asked friend and co-worker Annette Avery, half-joking, if she wanted to try to buy it with her.

"What followed was the right mix of gumption, stick-to-it-iveness, and 'not knowing enough to know better,' " Lamberson told the Daily Sun, which added that the two women, along with Shafer, "pooled their resources and dove headfirst into the process of buying the bookstore, just waiting to see if a door would close along the way. But no door ever closed, and two months later the team was handed the keys to the bookstore in February 2017. They chose the name Bright Side Bookshop to reflect the optimism embraced by the three owners."

Personnel Changes at Hachette Book Group; Simon & Schuster

Todd McGarity, who has been running Hachette Book Group merger & acquisitions and client services, is expanding his purview to include corporate strategic planning. His new title is v-p, corporate business development and strategy.


Stephen Bedford has been promoted to v-p of marketing at Simon and Schuster.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Eitan Bernath on the Drew Barrymore Show

Drew Barrymore Show: Eitan Bernath, author of Eitan Eats the World: New Comfort Classics to Cook Right Now (Clarkson Potter, $29.99, 9780593235362).

AMC Networks Launches Book Publishing Arm   

AMC Networks has launched AMC Networks Publishing, a book publishing arm that will work with established and up-and-coming talent in developing, producing and selling fan-focused specialty books, comics, original graphic novels and more. 

After the successful debut of The Art of AMC's The Walking Dead Universe coffee table book, in partnership with Image Comics and Skybound, AMC Networks Publishing plans to release several new projects this year, including two comic series: Nights of Lono by Metallica's lead guitarist and horror aficionado Kirk Hammett and his writing partner/co-creator Marcel Feldmar; and Oubliette by Brenden Fletcher (Batgirl, Gotham Academy).

The publisher will also release two books based on AMC Networks' shows, including the original graphic novel Miss Fisher's First Mysteries, based on the Acorn TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries; and Shudder's Creepshow: From Script to Scream (working title), from Cartel Entertainment and Creepshow showrunner and executive producer Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) and brokered by Striker Entertainment.
"We're excited to launch this new initiative with talented creators, writers, artists and storytellers to further engage our passionate fanbases with the stories and characters they love, as well as open the doors to discover new and compelling worlds," said Mike Zagari, head of AMC Networks Publishing. "From deeper dives on AMC's The Walking Dead Universe, Shudder's Creepshow and Acorn TV's Miss Fisher, to a brand-new collection of fantasy and comic-based tales from Kirk Hammett, Marcel Feldmar, Brenden Fletcher and more, we can't wait to entertain and thrill our audience and fans in new and innovative ways."

Books & Authors

Awards: Stella Longlist

The longlist has been released for the A$50,000 (about US$36,180) Stella Prize, which celebrates Australian women and non-binary writers. See the 12 titles here. Each of the longlisted authors receives A$1,000 (about US$725). The shortlist will be announced March 31 and a winner named April 28.

Chair of the judging panel Melissa Lucashenko said: "In the aftermath of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, Stella writers are not holding back.... Australian women and non-binary writers are producing innovative, sophisticated literature in very difficult times. It has been a great privilege to read and assess their work for the 2022 Stella Prize."   

Reading with... Jamar J. Perry

photo: CCP Photos

Jamar J. Perry's debut novel is Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms (Bloomsbury Children's Books). Perry taught middle school Language Arts for four years before pursuing his Ph.D. Like Cameron, he hopes that one day all Black boys can understand how magical and joyful they really are, no matter how different they may feel.

On your nightstand now:

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride. When I first read this novel in verse a few years ago before it was published, I bawled for days because there is so much in it with which anybody can empathize and sympathize. There are several scenes in it that are raw, to the point and tears-inducing. As I read it now, I am reminded that there is so much beauty after life is over, that there are those who watch over us and provide us with energy. Also Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, one of the best middle-grade novels I've ever read. It is inventive with great worldbuilding and mythology.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. There are few books that can capture a life, a decade, a moment in time, a cultural experience of a group of people... I found myself transported to the time of the Logans. I remember being able to feel the dust and mud on my toes as Cassie walked to and from school, most days in drenching rain as a school bus full of white children drove past her. I remember feeling the horror she felt when a kid she knew was accused of something he didn't do and was about to be lynched. What a novel!

Your top five authors:

Octavia Butler will always be my number one author, the woman who explained the Black existence, distilling our histories and culture through fantasy and science fiction. Mildred D. Taylor and the Logan Family Saga gave me a course in Black history that connects to what Black people are still going through. Scott Westerfeld's inventive storytelling and worldbuilding left me breathless as a teenager. Erin Entrada Kelly is another favorite of mine, specifically because her middle-grade voice is so authentic--I always teach and recommend Hello, Universe. Finally, I absolutely love Christopher Paul Curtis; his novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 captures northern Black American life. His work is funny, relatable and it's no wonder that it has endured for decades.

Book you've faked reading:

When I was a senior in college, I was assigned Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in my capstone graduation English course. Although it's a classic, it never spoke to me. Most days during class I would read the first few pages of the assigned chapters and then use those few lines to fuel conversation. I still don't know how I was able to fake read that book, capture my professor's attention when we had one-on-one conversations and receive an A in the class.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is truly magnificent. When I bought a copy of it, I was in a reading funk, and needed something to bring back my love for literature. It's brilliant--I love it because it is so different from other books out there. I make sure to talk about it to anyone and everyone.

Book you've bought for the cover:

When the cover for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi was released, my jaw dropped. Nothing could prepare me for the illustration that rocked the Internet for days after it was released. I preordered about five copies on the spot and then gave them away to family and friends. And I must say, the reading experience was just as beautiful as the cover!

Book that changed your life:

Octavia E. Butler's Kindred changed my life while I was an undergraduate and Dawn changed my life as an adult. Kindred was an awakening for me, especially when it came to my writing. It was the first time I had ever seen Black people at the center of a science fiction novel. I found myself rooting for Dana, even when she made poor decisions, but I also started to understand the double consciousness of the Black person during slavery. After reading, I picked up my laptop and started taking my writing seriously. Dawn thrust Black people into the future, in a world where aliens have taken over the Earth. This novel showed me that even in the future, the Black presence is precarious, but we also possess the strength to create a new humanity.

Favorite line from a book:

"Sometimes I wrote things because I couldn't say them, couldn't sort out my feelings about them, couldn't keep them bottled inside me." --Dana from Octavia E. Butler's Kindred.

Five books you'll never part with:

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko because of how transformative it was for young adult fantasy; Kindred by Octavia Butler because it opened me up to writing and seeing Black main characters in fantasy and science fiction; Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris because he was one of the first to explore Black queer characters as main characters in their own stories; Family by J. California Cooper because of how epic it was, spanning Black history in America in a way that left me breathless; and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, a novel that celebrates the struggles one must go through to achieve the purest form of love.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

In Search of Satisfaction by J. California Cooper. I think that this author is underrated in American consciousness, especially because of how epic her work is, spanning centuries of history through the Black lens. My friend from college gave me this novel to read when I was taking a course called African American Literature. I remember being swept away by it, awash in its majesty; the book was so good and impactful on my life that I haven't picked it back up in 11 years. I've thought about it every once in a while and I pass it on my bookshelf almost every day. Soon, it will be like I'm reading it for the first time because it has been so long, and I want to make sure I can experience her words the same way I did when I was in college.

Book Review

Children's Review: The Wolves of Yellowstone

The Wolves of Yellowstone: A Rewilding Story by Catherine Barr, illus. by Jenni Desmond (Bloomsbury Children's Books, $23.99 hardcover, 48p., ages 6-12, 9781547607983, April 5, 2022)

For hundreds of years, wolves roamed Yellowstone, the world's first national park. But, by 1926, humans had killed all the wolves in the area. Catherine Barr (Invisible Nature), a former Greenpeace International campaigner, tells the incredible story of the impact wolves had on the region and the devastation that resulted from their removal. Her meticulously researched narrative (first published in the U.K. as Fourteen Wolves) is accompanied by beautifully detailed, realistic nature illustrations by Jenni Desmond (Migration). This partnership produces a rich nonfiction picture book that perfectly highlights the interconnectedness of the natural world.

Wolves were prime targets for hunters in the early 20th century because they provided a valuable fur pelt and killed cattle. Little by little, hunters culled the wolf population, with the support of the government. But Yellowstone began to see dramatic changes after park rangers killed the last wolf. The elk population grew and grazed, the grasslands went barren, trees thinned. With plant life changes came wildlife changes: birds and other animals had fewer places to live and went elsewhere. Even the flow of the rivers transformed, due to the loss of trees. Humans realized they had made a mistake and needed to correct it: 14 Canadian wolves were trapped and brought to Yellowstone to repopulate the park.

Barr breaks down the stages of the wolves' reintroduction as well as the myriad positive impacts the wolves' return had across the ecosphere of Yellowstone. For bears, "Hunting wolf packs leave plenty of leftovers--hungry bears seek and scrounge these wolf-killed carcasses across the park." Plant life began to flourish because the wolves kept elk on the move: "Trees grow tall and strong." And the re-emergence of plant life brought back the animals--and insects--that rely on it. Barr deftly illuminates the circle of life reforming in Yellowstone while Desmond's dynamic, mixed-media images include texture, light and color that give all the animals--especially the wolves--a lifelike appearance. Her brushstrokes evoke a sense of movement, and her hues visually relate the temperatures of the changing seasons.

The final section of the book includes several pages on "Understanding How Nature Works." This addition to the wolves' story nicely reinforces the connectivity of nature. While The Wolves of Yellowstone is a picture book, any lover of nature and science should find plenty to absorb within. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: An engrossing account of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone Park with stunning, lifelike illustrations.

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