Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Workman Publishing: The Reverse Coloring Book(tm) Mindful Journeys: Be Calm and Creative: The Book Has the Colors, You Draw the Lines by Kendra Norton

Aladdin Paperbacks: Return of the Dragon Slayers: A Fablehaven Adventure (Dragonwatch #5) by Brandon Mull

Norton Young Readers: Children of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo

Union Square & Co.: Wait for Me by Sara Shepard

Grove Press: Sugar Street by Jonathan Dee

Peachtree Teen: Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt


At DK, Coesfeld Leaving, Kelly and Smart to Be Co-CEOs

Paul Kelly
Rebecca Smart

Carsten Coesfeld, who was named CEO of DK worldwide in March 2020, is leaving to become CEO of Bertselsmann Investments, effective June 1. At the same time, Paul Kelly and Rebecca Smart will become co-CEOs of DK worldwide.

Smart is currently managing director, publishing, of DK and earlier was CEO of Osprey Group and led Ebury as managing director at PRH UK.

Kelly joined Random House in 2008 and has been commercial and strategy director at PRH UK and International. In 2016, he became DK CFO and strategy director and in May 2021 took on the added role of president of DK US.

In letters to staff announcing the changes, Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said, "During my time working with Rebecca and Paul, I've seen a rare partnership, one imbued with openness and mutual respect. Their complementary skills and experience will allow them to continue to implement the successful growth strategy developed by the DK leadership team."

Carsten Coesfeld

Concerning Coesfeld, Dohle wrote that when he became CEO two years ago, "No one could have predicted the seismic shift the world would soon collectively experience. I am sure that few could have managed stepping into a CEO role during these tumultuous times with the level of energy, care, and fortitude Carsten has displayed. He successfully navigated the immediate challenges of the pandemic while developing a holistic strategy with the leadership team to propel DK's growth in the global marketplace."

He added that 2021 was DK's "best year in its 48-year history. "By strengthening its creative core, expanding the discovery of its books online while continuing to support all retail channels for books, and implementing strategic partnerships with our Penguin Random House sister companies, Carsten and his team have generated significant organic growth and positioned DK to thrive in an online-driven book world. Furthermore, Carsten's entrepreneurial mindset, collaborative style, and clear focus on strategy implementation and excellence in execution have been pivotal to achieving these results."

Berkley Books: City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita

Open Books: A Poetry Emporium Reopening Soon in Seattle's Pioneer Square

Open Books is moving to Seattle's Good Arts Building.

Open Books: A Poem Emporium will reopen this month in a new space in the historic Good Arts Building in Pioneer Square in Seattle, Wash., Crosscut reported.

The new location--a block from the Pioneer Square light rail station and a short walk from the waterfront (and from Shelf Awareness's office)--is about 350 square feet smaller than Open Books' previous home in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, where the store resided for 25 years. Despite the smaller size, it has a wider, more open layout, and owner Billie Swift and her team have put in a space called the Parlor, which features a cozy reading chair, a turntable and library desk.

After announcing her plans to move late last year, Swift turned to the community for help, and Open Books raised $51,300 through donations. The all-poetry bookstore struggled during the first two years of the pandemic and its previous building was put up for sale. Swift hopes it will thrive in the new space and benefit from better foot traffic.

"We're going to create a space that we are hoping is going to be around for another 25 years," Swift told Crosscut.

KidsBuzz for the Week of 08.08.22

Candle Wick Book Company Comes to Newnan, Ga.

Candle Wick Book Company, a general-interest bookstore with titles for all ages, will host a grand opening in Newnan, Ga., on April 16. Per the City Menus, owner Laura Meredith held a sneak preview for the bookshop during the town's Art Walk on March 25 and 26.

Meredith, a book lover with a background as an educator, carries fiction and nonfiction for children, teens and adults, along with cookbooks. There is a coffee bar as well as a sofa and chairs, and her event plans include book clubs and storytime sessions for children.

"The mission of my store is to create more connections in Newnan--between customers, neighbors, book lovers, and authors," Meredith told City Menus. "Well, that, and to set a fire inside children to love reading from their earliest years. Just like a candle wick imparts warm light into a room, so do books impart light to a person's soul."

Throughout her career in education, Meredith recalled, she always had a dream of owning a bookstore. That dream "sat on the shelf for a long time," though she was reminded of it every time she entered a bookstore. In the past year a quote from Walt Disney--"all dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them"--inspired her finally to pursue that dream.

The Understudy Bookstore & Cafe Coming to Chicago 

The Understudy, a bookstore and cafe whose owners are "hoping to serve as a resource and hub for Chicago's theater community," will open this summer at 5531 N. Clark St. in the Andersonville area in Chicago, Ill., Block Club Chicago reported. 

Owners Adam Todd Crawford and Danny Fender, who consider the business an extension of their careers as theater professionals, are recent graduates of the Theatre School at DePaul University. With the theater industry severely affected by the pandemic, the couple considered what resources were available to stage artists and professionals, then came up with the idea for the Understudy, a cafe and bookstore that will stock titles primarily about theater.

"As students and professionals, this is a resource we wished was out there," said Crawford, an actor. "We want this to be a community resource."

The cafe will serve coffee from West Loop Metric Coffee and tea from Lakeview's The Coffee and Tea Exchange, as well as local baked goods. The bookshop will stock about 3,000 titles, including a guest curation series in which local theater artists select books and plays with their own recommendation cards. Panel discussions, play readings and networking nights are also planned.

"We want to crowd source knowledge from the community," said Fender, a freelance stage manager. "One of our immediate goals with the shop was to find as many ways as possible to highlight the brilliant voices in this city.... It's going to be so exciting to be in Andersonville. We're going to fit in nicely."

Yale University Press Launching Ancient Lives Series

Yale University Press is launching Ancient Lives, a series of biographies of "thinkers, writers, kings, queens, conquerors, and politicians--both the well known and the lesser known--from all parts of the ancient world." The series editor is James Romm, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College and author or editor of many books on the classical world. The series follows Yale University Press's other series, the Little Histories, Jewish Lives, Why X Matters and the upcoming Black Lives series.

James Romm

Ancient Lives will launch with three titles in November: Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth by Francine Prose, Demetrius: Sacker of Cities by James Romm and Crassus: The First Tycoon by Peter Stothard.

The series will then usually offer one title per publishing season and include the following works: Philip Freeman on Julian, Sarah Ruden on Vergil, Toby Wilkinson on Ramesses the Great, Donald Robertson on Marcus Aurelius, Emma Southon on Agrippina the Elder, Michael Scott on Themistocles and Thomas R. Martin on Phocion of Athens.

Series editor James Romm said, "The marble busts that now appear stark, blank stones were once painted in vivid colors that made them seem fully human. The Ancient Lives series is founded on the conviction that what has been lost--the psychological depth of the biographical portrait--can be recovered. Our authors will on both expertise and imagination as they explore the meanings of ancient lives."

Yale University Press director John Donatich said, "We are very excited to add Ancient Lives to Yale's successful series of interpretive biographies as a fresh way of telling history. Imagining ancient lives is a way to recapture not only the wisdom and humanity but the guidance of our deep past."

Obituary Note: Martin Pope

Martin Pope

Martin Pope, co-founder of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, died March 27. He was 103. Pope and Keats created the EJK Foundation in 1962. When Keats died in 1983, his will directed that the royalties from his books go to the foundation, "to do good." 

Deborah Pope, executive director of the foundation, noted that "Martin and Lillie Pope, his dear friends and my parents, made sure it did. It was Martin, my father, and Lillie, my mother, an educational psychologist devoted to teaching reading to those whose learning styles or life's circumstances made it difficult, who made the programs that today define the work of the foundation; the Ezra Jack Keats Awards, the EJK Bookmaking Competition and the EJK Mini-Grant program, all of which continue to move the mission of the foundation forward." 
She added that Pope "was a great man in his own right. His scientific discoveries made possible, among other things, the advances in the technology behind all OLED displays, and most importantly, more efficient solar panels.... Martin and Ezra grew up in poor immigrant families, surrounded by a world saturated by bigotry and prejudice, believing that they would not be allowed to pursue any of their dreams. They were very lucky to have been wrong. Each in his own way, changed the world."

A physical chemist by profession, Pope's "fundamental work on molecular semiconductors more than 60 years ago led to the development of organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, which are used in digital cameras, mobile phones, solar panels and televisions," the New York Times reported, adding that his "insight into some of the strange quantum mechanical phenomena shown by tetracene also turned out to be well ahead of its time."

Pope wrote (with Charles E. Swenberg) Electronic Processes in Organic Crystals and Polymers, which was first published in 1982, and at more than 1,300 pages remains the principal reference in the field of organic semiconductors.


'It Seems Like Every Book in the World Hit Shelves Today'

Posted on Facebook yesterday by Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.: "We are having one of those Tuesdays! It seems like every book in the world hit shelves today, including some of our booksellers' most anticipated releases from @ocean_vuong @ashwrites @chloecooperjones and @emilystjohnmandel. AND we have signed copies. So many choices here but we wanna know, what are you reading and loving this week?"

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown; Sourcebooks; Little Bee Books

Cheryl Lew has been promoted to senior publicity manager at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She was most recently publicity manager.


Madeleine Brown has been promoted to marketing associate at Sourcebooks.


Hilary Brown has joined Little Bee Books as sales assistant. Over the last few years she has interned at Writers House, Nancy Yost Literacy and Pegasus Books.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Shaquille O'Neal on CBS Mornings

NPR's Takeaway: Dorothy Roberts, author of Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World (Basic Books, $32, 9781541675445).

CBS Mornings: Shaquille O'Neal, co-author of Shaq's Family Style: Championship Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends (Ten Speed Press, $29.99, 9781984860064).

Drew Barrymore Show: Lilly Singh, author of Be a Triangle: How I Went from Being Lost to Getting My Life into Shape (Ballantine, $20, 9780593357811).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Chrishell Stause, author of Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work (Gallery Books, $28.99, 9781982186258).

Movies: The Antisocial Network

Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya, Hulu's Pam & Tommy) will direct MGM's feature adaptation of Ben Mezrich's book The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees. MGM "landed the rights to Mezrich's book proposal in January 2021," Deadline reported, "only a week after the true-life story began taking shape on Wall Street, and quickly made it a priority at the studio by tapping Lauren Schuker Blum & Rebecca Angelo to adapt."

The project reunites Michael De Luca with Mezrich, whose book The Accidental Billionaires was adapted into the Oscar-winning film The Social Network, which De Luca produced. Aaron Ryder of Ryder Picture Company is producing. Kevin Ulrich, Gillespie, Mezrich, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss will exec produce. The project is currently slated to begin production late this summer or early fall.

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Faulkner for Fiction Winner, CBCA Book of the Year Shortlists

Rabih Alameddine won the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for The Wrong End of the Telescope (Grove Atlantic). He will receive $15,000, with the other shortlisted writers each getting $5,000. All five will be honored May 2 at the annual PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration, a live virtual event featuring an appearance by the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion, Oprah Winfrey.

"This year's judges have done the seemingly impossible," said Louis Bayard, PEN/Faulkner Awards committee chair. "They have found a 'first among equals' in a diverse slate of five extraordinary titles. We look forward to celebrating Rabih Allameddine's exquisite novel, as well as the enduring work of his fellow finalists."

The judges said: "Impassioned and remarkably constructed, Rabih Alameddine's The Wrong End of the Telescope takes us into the life of a transgender Lebanese-American doctor, Mina, working in Lesbos at a refugee camp for Syrians. Alameddine makes original use of second-person narration, positioning Mina against a 'you' character who, though a veteran collector of refugee stories, is overcome by his experiences in Lesbos. Putting no moral gloss on its subjects, and infused with the gravitas of a fittingly Greek mythos, this novel explores the complexities of the refugees' lives and the intricacies of Mina's relationships, examines the many angles of a timely and vital subject, and probes the life-changing choices humans are forced to make. The exquisite language suspends time and investigates the intricacies of seeking refuge, both from geo-political disruptions and from one's own patterns of life. In a year of stunning and important fiction, this work stands as a particular achievement: a novel that cries out to be heard and that teaches us, both intrinsically and extrinsically, what story can do." 

"I am beyond excited for receiving this great award," said Alameddine. "I wish to thank all involved, the PEN/Faulkner board, the judges. This is such an honor. No writer can look at the list of books that have won the PEN/Faulkner Award and not be humbled and honored to have their book listed among them."


The Children's Book Council of Australia released the CBCA Book of the Year Awards shortlists and announced that this year's final prize pool will exceed A$100,000 (about US$74,950) for the first time. See the complete list of CBCA Book of the Year finalists here.

CBCA Chair Wendy Rapee said it was "turning out to be a year of firsts. We saw a record number of award entries, a record prize pool, and right now young readers around Australia are being invited to choose their own CBCA Book of the Year from the shortlist for the first time. That's for our new Sun Project: Shadow Judging, made possible by funding from the Australian Government RiSE Fund."

Reading with... Katharine Gregorio

photo: Lacey Khiev

Katharine Gregorio was inspired to write The Double Life of Katharine Clark (Sourcebooks, March 15, 2022) when she uncovered a family secret about her great-aunt, who worked as a foreign correspondent in Europe at the height of the Cold War. Gregorio used what she learned earning degrees in history from Dartmouth College and international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in her quest to unravel the story, which was years in the making. She lives with her family in San Francisco.

Handsell readers your book in 25 words or less:

Would you risk your life for a friend? Correspondent Katharine Clark did. This thrilling Cold War adventure tells how this decision changed her and history.

On your nightstand now:

There are three: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan, the last book in the Percy Jackson series. My son got me hooked on them, and we've been reading the series in parallel, comparing our impressions and thoughts about this amazing half-human, half-mythological adventure story. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. I found it while unpacking some boxes in the garage and have just started rereading this wonderful book. Hell of a Book by Jason Mott. I am almost done with this beautiful story. It is absolutely brilliant. I am in awe.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Am I allowed to say all of them? If I had to pick one, it would be the poetry of A.A. Milne found in Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young. I loved the content and rhythm of the poems, which my mother made richer with different voices, emphasis and volumes. Some of my favorite poems were and still are "Disobedience," "Buckingham Palace" and "King John's Christmas."

Your top five authors:

Hard to answer this one, as there are so many. The authors whose works I've read completely and who I most often recommend to others are: Evelyn Waugh, Nikolai Gogol, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Milan Kundera.

Book you've faked reading:

I honestly can't think of one. When I was younger, I forced myself to finish every book, even if I disliked it. Now I am much more protective of my time; I have no problem adding something to a DNF pile. My philosophy is there are too many books to enjoy in the world to bother with ones that don't sing to you.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough. It's one of the most amazing accounts about the making of the Panama Canal, detailing the sacrifices and ingenuity required to build it. And there is a connection to my book! In the late 1930s and up until 1941, my great-grandparents were stationed in Panama. (And Katharine stays with them for part of this period, giving her a stepping stone into radio). While in Panama, my great-grandmother befriended the daughter of William Gorgas, the doctor who discovered the connection between mosquitoes and diseases like yellow fever and malaria. McCullough details this scientific breakthrough in stemming the tide of worker deaths.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The cover was red and had an illustration of an upside-down dog. The title font was rounded, friendly and all lowercase. Who wouldn't buy it?

Book you hid from your parents:

My parents encouraged me to read everything, exposing me to different authors and subject matters so that I could gain a broad perspective and form my own opinions. If you're asking how many nights I turned on a flashlight and read under my covers after I was supposed to be asleep, that would require a different response.

Book that changed your life:

I read The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham the summer before my senior year in college. I was in Rome, interning for the United Nations and starting to think about what I wanted to do after graduation. The book is about a man seeking the meaning of life after returning to Chicago society after war. His rejection of the material in order to find deeper meaning leads him ultimately to a sunset on a mountain peak in the Himalayas. It was the right book at the right time and made me realize I alone controlled decisions that would make me happy. Its lessons still guide me today.

Favorite line from a book:

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Like every other American teenager, I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald in high school. (Unlike every other American teenager, I wrote a paper on the book, arguing that eyes were like toilets, because Fitzgerald used words like plunging and flushing when he described his characters' eyes.) I loved every sentence in the book, but with this single last one Fitzgerald captured the book's entire premise. It stopped me the first time I read it and has stuck with me ever since.

Five books you'll never part with: 

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

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

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I read it in a two-quarter Humanities class at Dartmouth that covered literature from Homer to present day and grouped stories by time and geographies so that we could compare and contrast similarities and differences. I had never heard of this book until that class. When I finished it, I felt it was the most fascinating story I had ever read, one that defied any prediction I could make of the plot. I wish I could go back to not knowing how it unfolds and experience that joy of delight and surprise all over again.

Fictional character would you most like to meet in real life:

Hands down, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, the title character in the series by Betty MacDonald. She lived in an upside-down house and had pirate treasure buried in her backyard.

Book Review

YA Review: Family of Liars

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart (Delacorte Press, $19.99 hardcover, 320p., ages 12-up, 9780593485859, May 3, 2022)

E. Lockhart (Again Again) powerfully explores grief and betrayal in this unforgettable prequel to the bestselling We Were Liars.

The Sinclair sisters--17-year-old Carrie, 16-year-old Penny and 14-year-old Bess--spend every summer at Beechwood, their family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts. The summer of 1987 is the first one without their 10-year-old sister, Rosemary, who drowned the year before. While the rest of the family have seemingly moved on from Rosemary's death, Carrie numbs herself with pills left over from a jaw surgery her parents forced her to have to look less "weak" and "foolish." Carrie, now armed with a strong-looking jaw and a narcotics addiction, is ready for a typical Beechwood summer filled with "tennis and ice cream and suppers cooked on the grill."

This summer will be anything but typical for the Sinclair sisters, though. First, Rosemary's ghost haunts Carrie, as Rosemary "searches for rest." Then, their cousin Yardley arrives with her boyfriend and his two friends. Carrie is immediately pulled into Lawrence "Pfeff" Pfefferman's orbit when he spontaneously kisses her, telling her "I had to kiss you. Because look at where we are.... It would be a shame to waste it." As the fateful summer continues, lies are told, secrets spilled and a tragedy occurs that tests the teens' bonds.

E. Lockhart begins the Sinclairs' story with a present-day Carrie talking to the ghost of her dead teenage son, who wants to hear about "the absolute worst thing you ever did, back then." What follows is an unforgettable, sorrowful story of grief, guilt and regret. The Sinclair motto is "be a credit to the family" but perfection has a price, and Lockhart skillfully uses Carrie's addiction to show the cost--the drugs console her grief and block out the "full force" of her parents' expectations. Carrie uses vivid language ("A ball of hot fury and pain... melts my face. My features ooze like wax, sliding down my bones, dripping onto the boards beneath my feet.") and switches to fairy tales, like "Cinderella" and "Mr. Fox," to explain the emotions for which she has no words. These elements bring an ethereal feeling to an otherwise heavy story. Lockhart further contrasts death, lies and grief with movie nights and sunny afternoons on sailboats, giving depth to this unsettling yet striking story. --Lana Barnes, freelance reviewer and proofreader

Shelf Talker: A summer of lies and secrets unfolds on a private island in 1987 in this unsettling yet striking prequel to the bestselling We Were Liars.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in March

The following were the most popular book club books during March based on votes from book club readers in more than 75,000 book clubs registered at
1. The Lincoln Highway: A Novel by Amor Towles (Viking)
2. The Midnight Library: A Novel by Matt Haig (Viking)
3. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster)
4. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley)
5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
6. The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press)
7. The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose (Ballantine)
8. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Holt)
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
10. Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman (Atria Books)

Rising Stars:
These Walls Between Us by Wendy Sanford (She Writes Press)
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney (Flatiron)

KidsBuzz: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova
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