Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 8, 2022

One More Chapter: The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz by Eti Elboim and Sara Leibovits, translated by Esther Frumkin

Andrews McMeel Publishing: The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms by Fiona Cook, illustrated by Jessica Roux

Tor Nightfire: What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier #2) by T. Kingfisher

Amulet Books: Nightbane (the Lightlark Saga Book 2) by Alex Aster

Forge: Deep Freeze (Revival #1) by Michael C. Grumley

Shadow Mountain: Janitors School of Garbage: Volume 1 by Tyler Whitesides


MacArthur Books Coming to Carmel, Ind., Next Month

On April 1, Cynthia Compton will open MacArthur Books, a general-interest store focused on adult books, in Carmel, Ind. Located in a planned community within Carmel called the Village of WestClay, the store will encompass just under 2,000 square feet, and is located about two miles away from Compton's other bookstore, the children's-focused 4 Kids Books & Toys.

After owning and operating 4 Kids in Zionsville for 19 years, Compton said she's looking forward to branching out into genres, subjects and authors that "aren't always appropriate for kids." While many genres will be represented, the store will carry "a lot of fiction," with a particular emphasis on authors from Indiana and across the Midwest. There will also be a small number of book-focused sidelines catered to adult shoppers, but Compton said she has no desire to compete with the wide selection of toys and sidelines she carries at 4 Kids.

MacArthur Books' future home.

Compton said MacArthur Books has already participated in the Village of WestClay's winter carnival and will have its first author event on March 11, before the store officially opens. She'll host race car driver Al Unser Jr. for a discussion of his book A Checkered Past (written with Jade Gurss) at a meeting hall in the Village of WestClay. This summer there will be a series of events with mystery writers sponsored by Prime Crime, and she noted that many of her event plans will make use of public spaces in the Village of WestClay.

"The opportunity to host events in public spaces is a total gift to a bookseller," she remarked.

Cynthia Compton

Asked whether MacArthur Books has been in the works for a long time, Compton answered that it came together quickly, describing the plan as a "December Covid fever dream." She caught Covid-19 in December 2021, and while recovering during her "forced convalescence" she put together a business plan. "I don't like watching television," Compton said, laughing. "So I'm giving myself a bookstore."

Compton explained that Carmel is a city of about 100,000 people that has no "non-chain, independent bookstore" of its own, with a single Barnes & Noble on the "northern edge of the county." She and her husband live in Carmel, and throughout the pandemic she became acutely aware of the "strong need for an indie bookstore in this area." The pandemic has also emphasized that one shouldn't wait to make a dream a reality.

When she opened 4 Kids, Compton added, her children were all between the ages of one-and-a-half and nine. "My kids are now grown-ups. It seems appropriate at this point to launch a general adult store." The new bookstore's name is also a tribute to her family--MacArthur was her grandmother's maiden name.

Compton said she found her storefront by "complete happenstance." The Village of WestClay has a "small but thriving restaurant and retail community," and she and her husband frequent the area, and while they were on a walk she saw the perfect space. She made a phone call and things quickly "went from there." One of the major draws is that it's in an "incredibly central location in Carmel" and will be able to serve a large part of the community. 

"Everybody has been so welcoming and excited," Compton reported, when asked about the community's response. "Who doesn't want a bookstore?" --Alex Mutter

Soho Crime: Union Station (John Russell WWII Spy Thriller) by David Downing

Shelf Awareness Welcomes Hartley Christensen

Welcome to Hartley Christensen, who has joined Shelf Awareness as sales and marketing assistant! She was formerly a publicity intern at Holt and an editorial, publicity and sales intern at Apollo Publishers. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English and social justice and a minor in Spanish.

GLOW: Scribner Book Company: Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford

International Update: FEP's 'Special Guest' Is Ukrainian Publishers & Booksellers Association, Flooding Hits Australian Booksellers

As part of a continuing effort to voice its condemnation of the Russian war against Ukraine, the Federation of European Publishers has invited the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association to be its Special Guest. 

FEP president Peter Kraus vom Cleff has written to Oleksandr Afonin, president of the UPBA, extending the invitation because "Ukrainian publishers are European publishers and FEP wants to show its full solidarity to colleagues in Ukraine," FEP noted.

"This attack is a war on Ukraine and it is a war on Europe," said vom Cleff. "Although it may seem derisory when one sees the bombs killing brave Ukrainians, European publishers want to support their fellow colleagues in inviting them to be Special Guest of our joint federation."

FEP said it aims to support the UPBA as much as possible with concrete actions.


Flood damage at Book Warehouse. Lismore

"It is with the deep distress that we watch floodwaters inundate towns on the east coast at record levels," Australian Booksellers Association CEO Robbie Egan wrote in the organization's newsletter. "A number of members have been affected--we will provide fee relief for you and any other assistance we can.... For those most affected your issues are more acute--to be safe and to care for those who need you."

The Book Warehouse, Lismore, New South Wales, was hit by the flooding, posting on February 27: "We're too sad and still trying to comprehend this latest disaster to post very much today. Thanks to our wonderful community for supporting us in our packing up process. We got a lot of books onto our top floor. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those of you whose homes and businesses are once again devastated by flood waters." 

On March 4, the Book Warehouse offered an update: "We have begun. So many wonderful volunteers, too many to name. Some known, others not, but all giving their everything to help. Lismore you are a glorious community. Wet books gone. Dry books still dry! Huge mountain of challenges ahead of us & that's all we know for now. We'll keep you posted."

The Avid Reader bookshop, Brisbane, Queensland, noted last week: "If you need a load of washing done, if you would like a cuppa, a biccie and a chat come to the back deck of Avid Reader until 5:30 p.m. There is some delicious guacamole which has been donated by a friend of Avid's. Also we have snack packs! You can charge your devices and grab a free read. Doesn't matter how you have been affected, all welcome."

Bookstore chain QBD Books reported on March 1: "To our QLD and NSW friends affected by flooding, you are in our thoughts and we hope that you are all safe. "In these areas, some of our stores have been impacted. Currently, our Toombul, North Lakes Kiosk, and Chermside stores have been temporarily closed due to damage. However, all but Toombul are expected to re-open as per normal tomorrow. We would also like to apologize as some online orders may be slightly delayed. As our warehouse is located in SEQ and many of our team members have been affected by the floods, order processing and stock delivery has been marginally impacted. However, we will continue to do our very best to continue our regular service. Together, we can get through this! Stay safe everyone."


Bookseller moment, courtesy of the American Book Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands: "We know what you are thinking: there they are reading on the job... again. But in reality, our days at the bookstore leave little room for our favorite pastime. We are busy unpacking shipments, pricing books and magazines, putting them on the shelves, ordering new ones with suppliers, processing web orders, managing the cash desk and of course helping customers find the perfect book. So usually we just read during our break. When our break rooms are completely quiet and we're engrossed in our book--so we can tell you all about them once we're back on the floor." --Robert Gray

Weiser Books: The Weiser Tarot Journal: Guidance and Practice by Theresa Reed;  The Weiser Tarot: A New Edition of the Classic 1909 Waite-Smith Deck (78-Card Deck with 64-Page Guidebook) by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith;  The Weiser Tarot Card Sticker Book by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith

Obituary Note: Daniel Foster

Dan Foster

Daniel Foster, longtime bookseller at Classic Bookshop in Palm Beach, Fla., died suddenly on March 1 from a heart attack. He was 54. 

Jeffrey Jacobus, owner of Classic Bookshop, wrote: "Every day for nearly 30 years Daniel Foster could be found at Classic Bookshop in Palm Beach opening boxes of new books, arranging them on the shelves just so; talking to customers, helping them find just the right book; placing orders with the sales reps and researching throughout the book world."

Foster became the store's book buyer in 2014, stocking the store "with new and unique releases that became favorites of the customers. When a customer asked about a certain book, Dan would find it. An avid book collector himself, Dan was well-known in the book community. In addition to his mother, sister and nephew, Dan leaves behind a host of friends all around the world. To the members of Classic Bookshop he was a family member. He will be missed."


Chalkboard: Book Culture on Broadway

"Did you know we have a beautifully curated YA section downstairs in our kid section?" Book Culture on Broadway in New York, N.Y., posted on Facebook, where the bookstore also shared a photo of its sidewalk chalkboard message: "Check out our [talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before] young adult section downstairs!"

Odd Things in Used Books

Nicole Lintemuth, the owner of the mission-driven independent bookstore Bettie's Pages in Lowell, Mich., recently shared some unusual things she's found in used books. Per WKFR, they include a letter to a cop thanking them for not arresting the writer; a pitch for a thriller about a homicide detective who fears she may be a serial killer; and a very specific disclaimer about what exactly paying someone for companionship entails.

Personnel Changes at Blackstone Publishing

John Lawton has joined Blackstone Publishing as director of national accounts, focusing on retail and wholesale channels. He was formerly senior v-p at Penguin, where he worked for 20 years, and earlier held several positions at Barnes & Noble, including publishing marketing director.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Marie Yovanovitch on the Today Show

Fresh Air: Amy Bloom, author of In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss (Random House, $27, 9780593243947).

NPR's Here & Now: Kenji López-Alt, author of The Wok: Recipes and Techniques (Norton, $50, 9780393541212).

Today Show: Marie Yovanovitch, author of Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir (Mariner Books, $30, 9780358457541)

Late Late Show with James Corden: Bob Odenkirk, author of Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir (Random House, $28, 9780399180514).

TV: Shuggie Bain

The BBC is developing A24's adaptation of 2020 Booker Prize winner Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Deadline reported that "talks have commenced and decision over greenlight will be made by Ben Irving, who will take over as interim drama director from incumbent Piers Wenger in May.... A24 and Scott Rudin Productions won the rights to produce the novel for TV in late 2020. At the time, Scott Rudin and Eli Bush were slated to produce and author Douglas Stuart set to adapt. Rudin has since been embroiled in scandal after ex-staffers spoke out about his abusive behavior, and he has removed himself from active projects including five films with A24."

Stephen Daldry (The Crown) is reported to be attached to direct Shuggie Bain, which will likely air in 2024, Deadline noted, adding that the adaptation "fits within the BBC's strategy of telling more working class stories from outside of London as it seeks to represent the country in its entirety amid accusations of metropolitan bias."

Books & Authors

Awards: Edward MacDowell Medal Recipient

MacDowell is awarding poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, author of more than 20 books of poetry, children's literature and plays, the 2022 Edward MacDowell Medal, given "to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to American culture." The presentation, including introductory remarks by novelist and MacDowell Fellow Walter Mosley, will be made Sunday, July 10, at MacDowell in Peterborough, N.H., the one day a year the colony is open to the public.

"Sonia Sanchez's illustrious career spans seven decades," said Claudia Rankine, a MacDowell fellow and chairman of this year's medal selection panel. "Her commanding oeuvre continues to elevate language's ability to give voice to entire communities (their daily pleasures and pains) inside our shared and troubled history. A founding member of the Black Arts Movement, this poet, activist, scholar, and American treasure is, without doubt, a major figure in the landscape of American letters."

MacDowell board chair, fellow and author Nell Painter commented: "The magnificent Sonia Sanchez--lifelong poet, crafter of the complex and the clear, the hard and the beautiful--acknowledges who we are on this earth through American eras hopeful, frightening, and imponderable. She is an eloquent international figure, helping us understand the world. Over our many decades, I have looked up to Sonia Sanchez as bard and also as a forger of the new intellectual field of Black studies that has remade our consciousness."

Sanchez observed: "I had tears in my eyes as I learned about this award. When I consider my dear friend, Sister Toni, and so many others who have been given this award, I feel so welcomed to be part of that group. It is a great honor to be this year's awardee. MacDowell has such a great herstory and history of caring and concern for artists; it is a joy this place exists to keep the world on a path toward re-civilization, peace, and humanity."

Book Review

Review: Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild (Putnam, $27 hardcover, 336p., 9780593331545, April 19, 2022)

Sascha Rothchild (How to Get Divorced by 30) draws readers into a suspenseful and disturbing character study of an unrepentant killer in Blood Sugar, her first novel.

It isn't Ruby Simon's fault people have a habit of turning up dead around her, even if she did murder them. When, at the age of five, she drowned a seven-year-old boy, she "waited for guilt to set in. But it never did." She did it to protect her sister, whom the boy bullied. As a teen, she felt no guilt for killing a friend's father when he tried to assault her. She's gotten away with it, until now. Thanks to the sudden death of Ruby's husband, Jason, Detective Keith Jackson has noticed the trail of bodies in her wake and is convinced she murdered her spouse. Caught in a game of cat and mouse, Ruby pleads her case to readers in chapters alternating between her past crimes and her present predicament. Of course she didn't kill her husband, she insists. She's only killed two people. Well, to be precise, she did kill a third victim and failed to mention it to readers up front. Still, even if she killed three people and lied to readers, she still wouldn't murder the man she loved and lie to readers. Honest.

Rothchild perfectly paces the shifts between humanizing her narrator to make her tension over the investigation sympathetic and dropping bombshell reminders that Ruby is a cold-blooded killer. She also manages to create a truly worthy adversary in Jason's mother, a narcissist whose disdain for Ruby makes readers want to forget the corpses and root for the young couple to succeed. Each time Ruby shows her true colors, she goes on to make readers slowly forget she's a villain again, showing her as a supportive friend, loving sister and devoted pet owner. Readers trying to separate Ruby's truths from her dissembling or even pin down her true motivations will find themselves outfoxed even as Detective Jackson draws closer to an arrest. Rothchild keeps the question of her possible role in Jason's death tantalizingly difficult to answer, offering enough clues to support or discredit Ruby. This disturbing thriller begs to be inhaled in a single sitting, but the experience may raise the question of how many friends and loved ones are quietly, happily getting away with murder. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Although she's killed three people, an unreliable narrator insists she didn't murder her husband in this provocative, unsettling psychological thriller.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
2. A Wild Card Kiss by Lauren Blakely
3. Bully God: An Anthology by Various
4. The Power of Breath by Monica Garcia Duggal
5. Wisteria Winds by Rachel Hanna
6. Blind Bake by Denise Grover Swank
7. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
8. Lady Violet Investigates by Grace Burrowes
9. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
10. Ravaged Crown by Nicole Fox

[Many thanks to!]

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