Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 3, 2022


Workman Publishing: Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think about Abortion by Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Blackstone Publishing: River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

Sourcebooks Explore: Black Boy, Black Boy by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, illustrated by Ken Daley

News

Amazon Closing All Amazon Books Stores

Big news from Amazon: the company is closing all of its Amazon Book books and electronics stores, as well as all of its pop-up and "4-star" stores, a move that was first reported yesterday by Reuters. Altogether, 68 stores are involved--66 in the U.S. and two in the U.K. There are some 24 Amazon Books stores around the country.

The company said it was making the move to concentrate its bricks-and-mortar efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, Amazon Go and a new venture, Amazon Style fashion and accessories stores, the first of which is set to open in Los Angeles this year, and will feature a variety of high-tech touches, including "just walk out" cashierless technology.

Amazon Books initially opened in Seattle in 2015 (a story first reported by Shelf Awareness) and slowly expanded over the years. Observers noted that one of the main functions of the bookstores was to promote Prime membership as well as introduce Amazon's electronic products. The selection of books, usually displayed faceout with much room around each, was thin. Especially since the pandemic started, Prime membership has grown dramatically, to about 150 million in the U.S., possibly a saturation point, making the stores' function as a Prime signup spot moot.

The AP quoted Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, stating that Amazon's non-food stores "were designed for people to pop in and browse rather than as destinations where people would head on a mission to buy something. Ultimately, this wasn't great for driving footfall--especially in an era where people are visiting shops less."

CNBC noted that the closing comes after Amazon recorded its slowest growth rate for any quarter since 2001, and that its bricks-and-mortar stores, including Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh, had lower sales in 2021 than 2018.

Tom Nissley, who worked at Amazon for a decade before opening indie bookstores Phinney Books in 2014 and Madison Books in 2019, told GeekWire that Amazon's decision to close its bookstores "emphasizes that it's not what they're good at and it is what we're good at." He continued, as GeekWire put it, to say that "the stores, like the company's website, should have seized on what Amazon was good at, which is being able to provide everything. Instead, Amazon's super curated, face-out approach to selling books was the opposite of that."

Nissley added, "I always wondered if they would try to do something like Powell's or something where, 'Yep, we're Amazon. We have everything. And now we have it right here.' I'm sure the cost would have been immense."

Allison Hill, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, commented: "The closing of Amazon's physical bookstores proves that there is more to a successful bookstore than the transaction of selling books. Amazon learned the hard way that what independent bookstores do is special, and it's hard. Especially when faced with an unfair competitor. Hopefully, these closures bring the book business one small step closer to a level playing field. In the long-term, breaking up and regulating Amazon is the only way to achieve that goal."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox


Liberation Station, Raleigh, N.C., Opens Museum Pop-up

Liberation Station, an online children's bookstore founded by author Victoria Scott-Miller in 2019, has opened a pop-up shop at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C., ABC11 reported. The pop-up shop is the latest in a series of Black Lit Libraries Scott-Miller has created. They sell children's books written by authors of color and are intended to provide a safe reading space for children of color.

"We understand the power of a narrative," Scott-Miller said. "We understand the power of community. We understand that there are a lot of stories that aren't represented, so we wanted to make sure there was an over-representation of marginalized communities."

Scott-Miller had previously worked with the North Carolina Museum of Art to host virtual storytime sessions for families. She was inspired to start the online bookstore by her own children's desire to see more characters like themselves in books and stories.

She noted that for the month of February she actually shut down Liberation Station's online store in order to give herself and her family time for rest and self-care. At the same time Scott-Miller encouraged shoppers to buy books from other Black-owned bookstores around the country.

"Because when they win, we win as well," she said. "I think what we have to understand is that with the flow of reciprocity, there's enough for all of us."


Disney-Hyperion: Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad


Orlando B&N Goes Retro, Changes to B. Dalton Bookseller

The Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Oviedo Mall in Orlando, Fla., "switched names to B. Dalton Bookseller in February, making it the only location for the brand that Barnes & Noble acquired in 1987," the Sentinel reported, adding that the B. Dalton Bookseller brand has been used only online in recent years.

"The only thing that has changed is the name," said Josh Gunderson, the mall's marketing director. "Having them around is a huge plus for us." A post on the mall's Facebook page noted: "We heard you liked retro! The same great bookstore you know and love has a new (old) name! Stop by and see all your familiar friends at B. Dalton Bookseller in your Oviedo Mall!"

B&N wanted to "freshen up" the location, according to an unsigned statement from the company that was sent to the Sentinel, which added that the company said it is giving all of its stores more autonomy as each location looks to better serve local customers. "At a meeting with some of our Florida booksellers, the suggestion was made to try the B. Dalton Bookseller branding, given that the store is unusual in its smaller size than the majority of Barnes & Noble stores," the statement added.


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Magnolia Publications Founded in Partnership with HarperCollins

Joanna and Chip Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines, best known for HGTV's Fixer Upper, Magnolia Network and a range of Magnolia home, cooking and lifestyle businesses, have created Magnolia Publications, which will publish books in partnership with various divisions of HarperCollins, depending on which is most appropriate for the title.

The first book to be released through the new venture will be The Road to J.O.Y.: Leading with Faith, Playing with Purpose, Leaving a Legacy by Scott Drew, head coach of the national-champion Baylor University men's basketball program, with Don Yaeger. The book will be published on May 3 by W Publishing Group, an imprint of HarperCollins's Thomas Nelson Publishing. The second Magnolia Publications book is The Ranch Table, a cookbook by Elizabeth Poett, which will be published by Morrow in fall 2023.

Chip Gaines commented: "Jo and I have been changed for the better by people's stories. These past few years, we've had the opportunity to introduce some of these inspiring people to the world, and we're convinced that there are far more stories out there that need to be told. That's our hope for Magnolia Publications--that it would be a source of storytelling where people walk away encouraged and inspired.

"Coach Scott Drew's story does just that--his vision and passion for these student-athletes have absolutely transformed what the world thinks of Baylor basketball, not to mention the city we call home. We're honored to have Coach Drew's story be first in the lineup of this new imprint."

Chip and Joanna Gaines have published several bestselling titles, including The Magnolia Story and Magnolia Table, from Nelson, Morrow Cookbooks and Harper Design.

Matt Baugher, senior v-p and publisher at HarperCollins, commented, "It's been a great honor to work with Chip and Joanna Gaines and Magnolia since the beginning of their publishing journey in 2016. Now, at HarperCollins, we have the opportunity to come alongside them in a new creative venture, as together, we find incredible voices and talents to bring to readers around the world. These book projects will happen somewhat organically, across multiple genres, with no set number of releases each year. Should a project be deemed as a good fit for the Magnolia Publications imprint, that book will be assigned the Harper division most skilled at bringing that particular book to market. Both Harper and Magnolia will edit the content as well as promote the releases upon publication."


International Update: Georgian Publishers & Booksellers Assn. Condemns Russian Attack, World Book Day in U.K., Ireland

The Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association released an open letter to the Ukrainian people expressing support for the country and condemnation of Russia's ongoing attacks. 

"We, Georgian Publishers and Booksellers--the citizens of Georgia--who have experienced the devastating consequences of Russian imperialism and aggression, express our unconditional support for the fight of the Ukrainian people against Putin's Russia," the organization stated. "We comprehend that this process requires enormous sacrifice and is associated with the human tragedy for every Ukrainian, but we strongly believe that this war will lead to the defeat of the evil empire.

"Georgian people express their full support for the unity and sovereignty of Ukraine through large-scale demonstrations in all major cities of Georgia. We condemn the militaristic aggression of the Russian Federation against an independent European country. We stand where the civilized world stands, we stand by the brave, admirable warriors--for humanism, education, equality, freedom and a peaceful future. Solidarity and victory to Ukraine!"

--- 

Publishers and literary organizations across the U.K. and Ireland celebrated World Book Day on Wednesday "with a variety of innovative schemes, including giving away audio and braille editions of children's books to those with loss of sight, and organizing sustainability-themed events in local schools," the Bookseller reported, noting that bookshops prepared displays and were "selling hundreds of copies of this year's designated £1 titles ahead of the event, flooding last week's children's charts and the Top 50."

WBD organizers also issued a statement of support for Ukraine: "World Book Day stands in solidarity with the people and children of Ukraine. World Book Day encourages children to see reading as a superpower that helps them understand difficult things, to find comfort and kindness and to explore the world around us all. This year we hope World Book Day brings joy and hope at a time when children need it most."

Indie bookseller Bookbag in Exeter noted that on WBD, "booksellers give books out, for free, to children, from a selection of WBD special titles. Please come in and get one, or a bunch for your school, or homeschooling crew. We are also celebrating in a Mega Way by offering £1 off all books, all day, for all. Note: For parents, this day has different connotations, often filled with dread at having to make/buy a book character costume for dress up at school. Parents--we're not with you on this one. Think of it as a funner Halloween only with less focus on witches, sweets and treats and instead about reading? THINK OF THE PEACE AND QUIET. Thank you."

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The French Independent Booksellers Association (Syndicat de la libraire française) has published 12 proposals for the upcoming French presidential and legislative elections. The European & International Booksellers Federation's Newsflash reported that the SLF "calls on all election candidates to integrate the question of the future of bookshops into their cultural and economic policy projects. The association's proposals highlight the importance of independent booksellers for cultural diversity, local development, employment and readers, and they call for new measures to help strengthen the economic position of bookshops." --Robert Gray


Obituary Note: Duvall Hecht

Duvall Hecht
(photo: ucirowing.com)

Duvall Hecht, a pilot, Olympian rower, banker and entrepreneur who, in 1975, "sold his 1965 Porsche, hired a college drama coach and created what would become volume No. 1 in the soon-to-be-massive Books on Tape catalogue, a recording of George's Plimpton's football tale, Paper Lion," died February 10, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 91. 

"It never once seemed like a wacky idea to me," he said in 2001, shortly after selling his startup to Random House for an estimated $20 million.

Hecht competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, and four years later won gold in Melbourne, Australia. While in the Marines during the mid-1950s, he became a fighter jet pilot and, after his discharge, a Pan Am pilot, which he found to be little better than being a bus driver, according to his wife, Ann Marie Rousseau. 

As a commuting investment banker in downtown L.A., "he sought alternatives to the radio. For a while, he set up a reel-to-reel tape recorder on the passenger seat and listened to books that had been recorded for people who were blind. When cassette tapes first arrived on the scene, he turned to those as a possibility, but could find only motivational recordings," the Times wrote.

The rest is history. After recording Paper Lion, he began placing ads in newspapers around the U.S. and within five years sales were approaching $2 million and he had tens of thousands of customers for his audiobooks. Customers would rent book tapes for 30 days, and since Hecht didn't charge a deposit, they were on an honor system to return them. 

After selling the company, he pursued a new career as a long-haul truck driver, a dream he'd had since he was 16. Rousseau said she would sometimes accompany him on his cross-country trips and marveled at how much he enjoyed the open road. "And on those trips, of course, we would listen to Books on Tape."

"We have weavers and sculptors who rent from us," Hecht told the Wall Street Journal in 1986. "There's even an undertaker who listens with a tiny earpiece during funerals." Most of his customers were overachievers, Hecht noted, people "crazy with frustration because they're two hours behind the wheel and all that time is going down the sewer."

He once observed: "Listening is just returning literature to its original form, before Gutenberg got into the act."


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!

How Am I Doing?
40 Conversations to Have with Yourself

by Dr. Corey Yeager

GLOW: Harper Celebrate: How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself by Dr. Corey YeagerWho is the most important person in your life? What determines your joy? What mistakes have you learned from the most? Corey Yeager--a psychotherapist who works with the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise--poses 40 self-reflective questions to facilitate positive personal change. His inviting, empathetic approach came to prominence via the Apple TV series The Me You Can't See, produced by Oprah and Prince Harry. Dr. Yeager draws from his own life story to dispel mental health stigmas and help others gain greater personal clarity. Danielle Peterson, senior acquisition editor at Harper Celebrate, says, "The format of How Am I Doing? makes it a stand-out in the mental health genre--an excellent choice for someone looking for high-density wisdom in small, bite-sized doses." Yeager's winning insights deliver a slam-dunk of empowered inspiration bound to elicit tremendous personal reward. --Kathleen Gerard

(Harper Celebrate, $22.99 hardcover, 9781400236763, 
October 18, 2022)

CLICK TO ENTER


#ShelfGLOW
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Notes

Bookseller Visits Bookseller

Posted on Facebook by VaLinda Miller, owner of Turning Page Bookshop, Goose Creek, S.C.: "My beautiful & intelligent & book loving friend is on the most gorgeous and amazing ancestor journey going camping at a black woman own farm in Georgetown, S.C. to regroup and restore her soul. 

"So, she made a stop at my store. Man, we talked books and more books, until it started getting dark and she had to get back on the road. She is now my sister in book selling, book stores, ancestors, restoration and the love of reading. What an amazing woman DeAndra Beard of Beyond Barcodes Bookstore [Kokomo, Ind.]. Keep your friends close, they are so valuable. Have fun DeAndra, you deserve it."


Personnel Changes at Berkley; Macmillan

In the Berkley publicity department, Stephanie Felty has been promoted to associate publicist.

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Jennifer Macancela has joined Macmillan as a sales assistant.


Reading Group Choices' Most Popular February Books

The two most popular books in February at Reading Group Choices were The Department of Rare Books & Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk (Poisoned Pen Press) and City of a Thousand Gates by Rebecca Sacks (Harper Perennial).


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Meghan O'Rourke on Good Morning America

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Meghan O'Rourke, author of The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness (Riverhead, $28, 9781594633799).

Drew Barrymore Show: Carla Lalli Music, author of That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9780593138250).

Ellen: Ciara and Russell Wilson, authors of Why Not You? (Random House, $18.99, 9780593374405).


This Weekend on Book TV: Live In-Depth with Sam Quinones

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, March 5
4 p.m. Mary Frances Early, author of The Quiet Trailblazer: My Journey as the First Black Graduate of the University of Georgia (Scholarly Publishing, $29.95, 9780820360812). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m.)

5 p.m. Tegan Kehoe, author of Exploring American Healthcare through 50 Historic Treasures (Rowman & Littlefield, $38, 9781538135464). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 a.m.)

6 p.m. James Gaines, author of The Fifties: An Underground History (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781439101636). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 a.m.)

Sunday, March 6
8 a.m. Mark Clifford, author of Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250279170). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Mansoor Adayfi, author of Don't Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo (Hachette Books, $29, 9780306923869). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Kelly Weill, author of Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything (Algonquin, $27.95, 9781643750682). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

11 a.m. Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, authors of The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III (Doubleday, $35, 9780385540551). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Sam Quinones, author of The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth (‎Bloomsbury, $28, 9781635574357). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

4:45 p.m. Etan Thomas, author of Police Brutality and White Supremacy: The Fight Against American Traditions (Edge of Sports, $18.95, 9781636140568).

6:30 p.m. Jonathan Katz, author of Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America's Empire (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250135582).

7:30 p.m. Brad Meltzer, author of The Lightning Rod: A Zig and Nola Novel (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062892409).



Books & Authors

Awards: European Union for Literature Nominees

Nominees have been announced for the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), which recognizes emerging fiction writers from the E.U. and beyond. Engaging the 41 countries participating in the Creative Europe program of the E.U., the prize "aims to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works." The winner will be named April 21, during the opening ceremony at the Paris Book Fair. See the complete list of nominees here.

For 2022, the EUPL has introduced a change in the organization of the prize. Instead of awarding one laureate in each of the participating countries, a seven-member European jury will for the first time award one overall winner, along with recognizing five special mentions. 

The EUPL said it "remains committed to celebrating diverse literature and cultures, which is especially important in these uncertain times. The EUPL consortium is honored to be able to include a nomination from Ukraine on the 2022 list. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and, in particular, with Ukrainian writers, translators, publishers, booksellers and librarians. Four years ago, the EUPL had a first Ukrainian laureate, Haska Shyyan, and in 2022, the Ukrainian Book Institute has nominated Eugenia Kuznetsova as the best emerging fiction voice in the country. Together with the book community across the world, the EUPL consortium condemns the Russian attacks and calls for the restoration of peace in Ukraine."

The EUPL is organized by a consortium of associations comprising the Federation of European Publishers and the European and International Booksellers Federation, with the support of the European Commission. 


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 8:

The Lightning Rod by Brad Meltzer (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062892409) is the second Zig & Nola thriller.

One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General by William P. Barr (Morrow, $35, 9780063158603) is a memoir by Bush Sr. and Trump's attorney general.

Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth by Elizabeth Williamson (Dutton, $28, 9781524746575) chronicles the social and legal aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom (Random House, $26, 9780593243947) explores the author's husband's battle with Alzheimer's.

The Golden Couple: A Novel by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (St. Martin's Press, $28.99, 9781250273208) is a domestic thriller about an unfaithful couple and an unlicensed therapist.

Hideout by Louisa Luna (Doubleday, $27, 9780385545532) is the third mystery with bounty hunter Alice Vega.

Quantum Girl Theory: A Novel by Erin Kate Ryan (Random House, $27, 9780593133439) follows a clairvoyant woman searching for missing children in the Jim Crow South.

Cinder & Glass by Melissa de la Cruz (Putnam Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780593326657) is a retelling of "Cinderella" that takes place in 17th century Versailles.

Pretty Perfect Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale, illus. by LeUyen Pham (Abrams, $18.99, 9781419750939) is the duo's follow-up to their 2021 "breathtakingly adorable" picture book Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn.

Paperbacks:
Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey's Head, the Pope's Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul by Brandy Schillace (Simon & Schuster, $18.99, 9781982113780).

What the Devil Knows by C.S. Harris (Berkley, $17, 9780593102688).

Last Exit by Max Gladstone (Tor, $18.99, 9780765335739).

Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts by Matt Bell (Soho Press, $15.95, 9781641293419).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

Hardcover
The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn, trans. by Martin Aitken (New Directions, $19.95, 9780811231350). "The Employees is haunting, poetic, sterile yet bursting with sensation. A series of reflections on what it means to be human, to spend life working, disconnected from the natural world and others. For those who ask 'is this all there is?' " --Henry Williams, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Family Chao: A Novel by Lan Samantha Chang (Norton, $28, 9780393868074). "An expertly crafted novel of literary family intrigue. Full of character depth and a mysterious death, The Family Chao is a page-turner on immigration, family turmoil, racism, small-town drama, and revenge. It will keep you guessing." --Danica Ramgoolam, Townie Books, Crested Butte, Colo.

Paperback
Must Love Books: A Novel by Shauna Robinson (Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99, 9781728240732). "Being an editorial assistant seems like a dream job for a book nerd. But low pay, long hours, and mundane tasks lead Nora to rethink her career path. Must Love Books is a fun read that I'll share with family and friends!" --Melissa DeMotte, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

For Ages 4 to 8
Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady, illus. by Gracey Zhang (Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 9780063056282). "Nigel wants to share his dreams with his classmates, but he doesn't have the courage to do so. Instead, he shares them with the moon. A gorgeous picture book that celebrates a child's courage to dream." --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.

For Ages 8 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow (Quill Tree Books, $16.99, 9780063043435). "A wonderfully told tale of family, friendship, grief, and longing. When a powerful mermaid is determined to reclaim what is rightfully hers, Kela discovers what really happens when you get the one thing you most want in the world." --Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, S.C.

For Teen Readers
In Every Generation by Kendare Blake (Disney-Hyperion, $18.99, 9781368075022). "A wonderful book filled with family, mystery, and action. A second generation, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was fun and exciting throughout the whole book. I highly recommend it!" --Kennedy Noorda, The Book Bungalow, St. George, Utah

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Ill Feelings

Ill Feelings by Alice Hattrick (Feminist Press, $17.95 paperback, 352p., 9781558612303, May 10, 2022)

In their first book, Ill Feelings, British writer Alice Hattrick bears fascinating witness to the arduous burden of sickness and chronic infirmity. It is a deeply personal, thoroughly researched, philosophical memoir.

In 1995, Hattrick's mother contracted pneumonia. In her long struggle to recover, she developed a series of chronic, disabling symptoms that greatly diminished her quality of life, stymied doctors and markedly shaped Hattrick's childhood. Her symptoms included overwhelming fatigue, painful muscle aches and weakness, sleep disturbances, heart irregularities, brain fog and lack of concentration. Over many years, Hattrick's mother was belittled and cruelly undermined by medical practitioners who disbelieved and dismissed her, often attributing her symptoms to "hysteria."

She was ultimately diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a complex manifestation of greatly misunderstood symptoms due to an "overactive immune system," for which there is no definitive cause or cure. Doctors have come to tailor protocols based on a patient's specific set of indicators, which can vary greatly from person to person, and mostly settle into long-term cycles of remission and flare-ups.

Hattrick's mother's story is remarkable in itself. However, when Hattrick starts to manifest chillingly similar symptoms, their stories entwine and tangle: sick, heartbroken mother and daughter are both forced to battle a cold, impersonal medical bureaucracy.

Probing the experiences of their shared, long-term disability inspires a quest for insight, understanding and meaning. Hattrick draws on journal entries, sifts information gathered from medical consultations and case notes, and mines the lives of other notable women who also struggled with mysterious illnesses that isolated and marginalized them from society. They include Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Alice James, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Florence Nightingale, and Hattrick examines how their endless loop of inexplicable pain and lack of answers challenged their lives and psyches.

Hattrick's multi-faceted, poetically drawn account elevates the traditional illness narrative. The breadth of information presented--the astute, carefully considered issues raised--even stretches into the Covid-19 virus, which has left legions to combat a range of staggering long-haul symptoms that often mirror the disruptive manifestations of ME/CFS. Hopefully, Hattrick's moving account will encourage more research into mysterious ailments and their long-term bio-social-physiological implications. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: This deeply personal, painstakingly researched memoir explores the complex illness known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).


The Bestsellers

Libro.fm Bestsellers in February

The bestselling Libro.fm audiobooks at independent bookstores during February:

Fiction
1. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (HarperAudio)
2. The Maid by Nita Prose (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont (Macmillan Audio)
6. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Simon & Schuster Audio)
8. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Macmillan Audio)
9. The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano (Macmillan Audio)

Nonfiction
1. How to Be Perfect by Michael Schurnto (Simon & Schuster Audio)
2. Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman and Jake Silverstein (Penguin Random House Audio)
5. The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow (Macmillan Audio)
6. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Stolen Focus by Johann Hari (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. Will by Will Smith (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (Macmillan Audio)


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