Also published on this date: Thursday, April 14, 2022: Maximum Shelf: Widowland

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 14, 2022

Atria Books: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: Deluxe Edition by Taylor Jenkins Reid

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Ace Books: Toto by AJ Hackwith and The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society by CM Waggoner

 Harpervia: Only Here, Only Now by Tom Newlands

Webtoon Unscrolled: Age Matters Volume Two by Enjelicious

St. Martin's Press:  How to Think Like Socrates: Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life in the Modern World  by Donald J Robertson


Bluebird Books Coming to Detroit Lakes, Minn., Next Month

Later this spring Amy Erickson will fulfill a "lifelong dream" when she opens Bluebird Books in downtown Detroit Lakes, Minn. She is aiming for a mid-May opening for the 1,850-square-foot bookstore, which will sell new titles for children, teens and adults.

Bluebird Books will carry titles across all genres, with Erickson noting there will be a particularly robust children's section as well as an emphasis on adult fiction. Thanks to the input of her teenage children, there will also be plenty of graphic novels and YA fiction. Erickson is currently working on her opening orders, and she remarked that when it comes to fiction she is very much attracted to the idea of "newest thing that just came out." She finds it difficult to read through things like the IndieNext list without "stopping and reading the description of every book."

The future home of Bluebird Books

Asked about her plans for sidelines and nonbook items, Erickson said the store's overall inventory split will be about 75% books and 25% sidelines. She has puzzles, games, candies and coffee mugs, and she's working on partnering with a local institution called the Holmes Art Cellar, which is a bit out of the way from downtown, to display and sell the works of local artists. She's also in talks with a local artist to do an art installation on one of the bookstore's walls.

While not every sideline in the store will be book-related, there are lots of bird-themed items that tie into the store's name. Elaborating on that name, Erickson said she likes the alliteration in the name and she loves birds. "Bluebirds are symbols for happiness, and books make me happy."

She described the interior of the store as one large open space, with one wall featuring exposed brick. She plans to display local art on clotheslines strung above the bookshelves and she plans to put a large conference table in the center of the store. She hopes community members will make use of it to hold book clubs, committee meetings, work and relax during their lunch breaks. Though she hasn't quite "firmed up" her event plans just yet, she's "open to any possibilities."

On the subject of serving food or drinks, Erickson said she has no plans to do so, as there are "three coffee shops within sight" of the bookstore and one literally right next door.

Prior to opening Bluebird Books, Erickson was an elementary school teacher and then a stay-at-home mom. When her youngest son entered sixth grade, she felt she needed a change and decided to pursue her dream of opening a bookstore. While she's been "talking about it seriously for a couple of years," she waited until there was a space available in downtown Detroit Lakes, operating under the assumption that "if it's not downtown, it's going to be all the harder."

Erickson emphasized that although opening a bookstore is her dream, it has very much been a family endeavor. Her husband and her children were all involved in the decision-making process, and in addition to helping select inventory her children have helped with renovations and building out the space. "They have a lot of sweat equity at this point."

The Detroit Lakes community, meanwhile, seems very excited about her plans, Erickson added. "I've had just an overwhelmingly positive, wonderful response." --Alex Mutter

ABA Votes in New Board Members


American Booksellers Association members have voted in favor of the nominating committee's recommendations for new board members, Bookselling This Week reported. Raquel Roque of Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla., and Jeff Deutsch of the Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books, in Chicago, have been elected to three-year terms. They fill vacancies created by the departures of Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., whose second term is ending, and of Michelle Malonzo, who is leaving the board because she has reduced her hours at Changing Hands, Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz., to a part-time role so she can work as head of operations at the Word, a Storytelling Sanctuary.

In addition, Jenny Cohen, Waucoma Books, Hood River, Ore., will begin serving a second term; and Cynthia Compton, 4 Kids Books & Toys, Zionsville, Ind., appointed last year to take the seat of Bradley Graham, Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C., when he became president, will begin her first full term. And Michael Herrmann, Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H., who was appointed to the board after Kenny Brechner, DDG Booksellers, Farmington, Maine resigned, is also beginning his first full term.

Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Ga., has been appointed to fill the position that was vacated when Christine Oronati, WORD bookstores, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., became president following the resignation of Bradley Graham.

The Collective Book Studio: Women's Voices Non-Fiction Coming Fall 2024

Kitri Wood Named GM at Third Place Books, Seward Park, Wash.

Kitri Wood

Kitri Wood is now the general manager of the Third Place Books location in Seward Park, Wash. Previously Wood was an assistant manager at Third Place's Lake Forest Park store, where she worked for five years. Prior to 2017, Wood worked at Secret Garden Bookshop in Seattle as well as at University Book Store. She officially became general manager on April 8.

She has succeeded Kim Hooyboer, who had managed the Seward Park location since 2017. Later this month Hooyboer will take on a new role for the American Booksellers Association as director of education. Prior to joining Third Place Books, she worked at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, WORD Bookstore in Jersey City, N.J., and Powell's Books in Portland, Ore.

Robert Sindelar, managing partner at Third Place Books, said Hooyboer was "immensely instrumental in helping us grow that store into the bookstore the community truly needed. I am so happy for her and her new position at ABA--it's absolutely perfect for her skill set.

"While the Seward Park store will miss Kim dearly," he continued, "I could not ask for a better leader to continue our work there than Kitri Wood. She is beloved by our employees and a great collaborator and book lover."

International Update: EIBF's RISE Bookselling Program Launches

The European and International Booksellers Federation has launched a training and network initiative for booksellers and the wider bookselling industry. RISE Bookselling (Resilience, Innovation & Sustainability for the Enhancement of Bookselling) is a three-year, EU co-funded program aiming to upscale, reinforce and maximize the capacity and resilience of the European bookselling sector by helping bookshops innovate and stay up to date with modern technologies while ensuring their long-term sustainability. This a network program, open to all members of the EIBF, including the American Booksellers Association and U.S. booksellers.

Organized by the EIBF, and jointly funded together with the Creative Europe program of the European Commission, RISE Bookselling is designed to help booksellers acquire skills, tools and resources to ensure they are properly equipped to support the ongoing transformation of the bookselling sector. Participants will take part in numerous activities, including: 

  • Join thematic webinars and training sessions 
  • Host and visit bookseller colleagues from all over the world through the Booksellers Exchange Program
  • Attend the RISE Bookselling Conference
  • Read the Industry Insight reports
  • Visit international sector events, such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, Rencontres nationales de la librairie or Bologna Book Fair, sponsored by RISE Bookselling program 
  • Support the advocacy outreach campaigns highlighting the importance of the book sector 

The first round of applications for the booksellers exchange program will open April 20 on the RISE Bookselling website. Booksellers wishing to apply will have to fill in the application form and send it to before May 8. Selection criteria and application process are described here.

The exchange program's goal is to connect booksellers with colleagues and industry experts around the world, enabling them to share experiences and explore new initiatives within the industry. All selected participants will be granted a three-day stay in a bookshop abroad, with the first exchanges expected to take place in the summer. The exchange program is open to booksellers who are a member of their national booksellers association, part of the RISE network, or EIBF members. 

"RISE Bookselling is an exciting new initiative, led by the European and International Booksellers Federation," said EIBF co-president Fabian Paagman. "We're hoping to bring together booksellers from all over the world, to share their experiences, establish new professional contacts and build a community to ensure a long-term sustainability of the sector."  

EIBF co-president Jean-Luc Treutenaere added: "Through this three-year program, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, we will be offering a variety of trainings, hosting a pan-European bookselling conference, supporting booksellers to attend international industry events and enable booksellers to participate in a tailored booksellers exchange program. We hope to connect as many booksellers from as many regions around the world as possible." --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Christopher Robin Finch

Christopher Robin Finch (Polaroid portrait by Chuck Close)

Christopher Robin Finch, author of more than 30 books, art critic and painter, died on April 1. He was 82.

While attending the Chelsea Art School in London, he became friendly with other young British painters, and began to write critical essays on their work, which soon appeared regularly in such publications as British Vogue, Art International, and Art & Artists. Recognized for his writings about such British Pop artists as David Hockney and Richard Hamilton, he later also wrote about contemporary American artists including Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine and Ed Ruscha. This period culminated in the publication of two collections of essays, Pop Art: Object & Image and Image as Language: Aspects of British Art 1950-1968, as well as a monograph devoted to the paintings of Patrick Caulfield.

In 1968, Finch became associate curator of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minn., where he wrote for and edited Design Quarterly and curated several major cutting-edge exhibitions.  From there he moved to New York, contributing articles to Arts, Art News, Art in America and other periodicals. 

In the mid-'70s, Finch began writing a series of books on popular culture that included the bestsellers The Art of Walt Disney, Rainbow: The Stormy Life of Judy Garland, Norman Rockwell's America, Of Muppets & Men, Jim Henson: The Works, Gone Hollywood: The Movie Colony in the Golden Age (co-written with his wife, Linda Rosenkrantz), Beer: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best and Highways to Heaven: The Auto Biography of America. His passion for both animation and special effects were reflected in The CG Story: Computer-Generated Animation and Special Effects: The Making of Movie Magic. Later books on fine art included three volumes devoted to the history of watercolor painting, and two volumes on the artist Chuck Close: a monograph on the work and a biography.

In 2013, he began publishing mysteries that were set in and around the New York art world and counterculture scene of the '60s: Good Girl, Bad Girl was the first in a projected series featuring private eye Alex Novalis, which was followed by The Girl from Nowhere.


Bookstore TikTok: Schuler Books

From Schuler Books, Grand Rapids and Okemos, Mich.: "One of Schuler Books' recent viral tiktoks, now sitting at 14.6 million views with 3.2 million likes, 70.4 thousand shares, and 20.7 thousand comments, continues to sell out titles nationwide. We were honored to be featured on our local news this morning as the 'tok of the town.' "

"The mastermind behind the videos is a young woman named Hailey Ciesluk, who used to be a bookseller at the store until she applied to join the marketing department," WOOD TV-8 reported.

"One of the first things I said was, 'You guys are gonna make fun of me, but we need to get a TikTok,' " she said. "I just knew from being a bookseller that we had an amazing group of people and it would work out so well, and it has."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Scott Kelly on Good Morning America

Good Morning America: Scott Kelly, author of Ready for Launch: An Astronaut's Lessons for Success on Earth (Crown Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9781524764326)

Kelly Clarkson Show repeat: Seth Meyers, author of I'm Not Scared, You're Scared (Flamingo Books, $18.99, 9780593352373).

This Weekend on Book TV: Jeff Deutsch on In Praise of Good Bookstores

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, April 16
9:10 a.m. A.J. Baime, author of White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America's Darkest Secret (Mariner, $30, 9780358447757). (Re-airs Saturday at 9:10 p.m.)

10:05 a.m. John Avlon, author of Lincoln and the Fight for Peace (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781982108120). (Re-airs Saturday at 10:05 p.m.)

Sunday, April 17
8 a.m. Elizabeth Williamson, author of Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth (Dutton, $28, 9781524746575). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Mary Sarotte, author of Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate (Yale University Press, $35, 9780300259933). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Will Hurd, author of American Reboot: An Idealist's Guide to Getting Big Things Done (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 9781982160708). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

3:11 p.m. Benjamin Gilmer, author of The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice (‎Ballantine, $28, 9780593355169), and Chip Jones, author of The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South (‎Gallery/Jeter Publishing, $28, 9781982107529), at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Va.

4:17 p.m. Michael Krepon, author of Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace: The Rise, Demise, and Revival of Arms Control (Stanford University Press, $45, 9781503629097), at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

5:20 p.m. Peter Richardson, author of Savage Journey: Hunter S. Thompson and the Weird Road to Gonzo (University of California Press, $27.95, 9780520304925).

6:25 p.m. Peter Goodman, author of Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World (Custom House, $29.99, 9780063078307).

7:30 p.m. Jeff Deutsch, author of In Praise of Good Bookstores (‎Princeton University Press, $19.95, 9780691207766).

Books & Authors

Awards: Story Prize, Pollard International Poetry Winners

Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor (Riverhead Books) has won the $20,000 Story Prize, which honors the author of an outstanding collection of short fiction and is underwritten by the Chisholm Foundation. The other finalists were Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King (Grove Press) and Think of Me by J. Robert Lennon (Graywolf Press), whose authors receive $5,000 each.

Story Prize director Larry Dark and founder Julie Lindsey selected the three finalists from among 119 short story collections published in 2021. The three judges--writer and librarian Dev Aujla, critic, writer, and librarian David Kipen, and writer Kirstin Valdez Quade--chose the winner.

The judges said that Brandon Taylor is "incredibly attuned to the slightest shift in the emotional weather in his characters and writes with absolute precision and compassion about their desires, vulnerabilities, failings, joys, and longings. His careful attention makes these very ordinary people extraordinary. His sentences are finely tuned, his language subtle and gorgeous.

"The writing feels like it has a familiarity with the narrative arcs of physical choreography. That it knows not only dance but how physical bodies moving throughout time can craft a story as rich as the one crafted by words. Bodies are being pushed to do things that are uncomfortable and fulfilling often in the same act."

Taylor is also the author of the novel Real Life, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He was also named a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and was named a 2022-2023 Fellow at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.


Gail McConnell won the €10,000 (about $10,915) John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, which recognizes an outstanding debut collection of poetry in the English language, for The Sun Is Open. The award is sponsored by the John Pollard Foundation and administered by the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin.

Chair of the judging panel Eoin McNamee said: "Out of a very strong shortlist the panel recognised the authority and lyric command of The Sun Is Open. Working on the very edge of what can be said, The Sun Is Open is both a work of adamantine witness and a patient unearthing of what is rare and beautiful. This is a work of gravity and importance and we are delighted to have the opportunity to acknowledge it."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 19:

Death of the Black Widow by James Patterson and J. D. Barker (Grand Central, $17.99, 9781538753095) is a thriller about a female serial killer.

The Religious Revolution: The Birth of Modern Spirituality, 1848-1898 by Dominic Green (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $35, 9780374248833) explores shifts in Western religions during the late 19th century.

Your Data, Their Billions: Unraveling and Simplifying Big Tech by Jane S. Hoffman (Post Hill Press, $28, 9781637580745) looks at how tech companies profit from identifying information.

Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace by Christopher Blattman (Viking, $32, 9781984881571) chronicles commonalities in the cause of conflicts.

Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter's Search for Truth and Renewal by Laura Trujillo (Random House, $27, 9780593157619) is a memoir by a woman whose mother committed suicide.

Monarca: A Novel by Leopoldo Gout and Eva Aridjis (HarperOne, $26.99, 9780063057333) is an illustrated story about a Mexican American girl who transforms into a monarch butterfly.

Hope and Glory: A Novel by Jendella Benson (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063080577) follows a British Nigerian woman who returns to London after her father's death.

Spear by Nicola Griffith (Tor, $19.99, 9781250819321) is a queer Arthurian fantasy.

Kingdom of Bones by James Rollins (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062892980) is the 16th Sigma Force thriller.

Flint and Mirror by John Crowley (Tor, $26.99, 9781250817525) is fantasy about Irish clans fighting an invading English queen.

Switch-Hitter by Derek Jeter (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $16.99, 9781534499775) is the ninth book in a middle grade series based on the former baseball star's life.

The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson (Candlewick, $18.99, 9781536222555) is a middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old boy living in the Mississippi Delta around the same time as Robert Kennedy's southern "poverty tour."

Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes (Razorbill, $18.99, 9780593404454) is the YA debut from the author of the middle-grade series Storm Runner.

A Short History of Humanity: A New History of Old Europe by Johannes Krause and Thomas Trappe, trans. by Caroline Waight (Random House, $17.99, 9780593229439).

Food Self-Sufficiency: Basic Permaculture Techniques for Vegetable Gardening, Keeping Chickens, Raising Bees, and More by Robert Elger (Skyhorse, $19.99, 9781510768215).

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis by John Woodrow Cox (Ecco, $17.99, 9780062883940).

A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation by John Matteson (Norton, $20, 9780393882421).

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley (Margaret K. McElderry Books, $12.99, 9781534453869).

My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption by Ian Manuel (Vintage, $16, 9781984897985).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

Nine Lives: A Novel by Peter Swanson (Morrow, 9780062980076, $27.99). "It's impossible to describe the experience of reading Nine Lives as anything other than edge-of-your-seat. Death truly lurks around every corner, around every page. It eats at the characters and it eats at you. Wicked fun." --Thatcher Svekis, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, Calif.

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Reptile Memoirs: A Novel by Silje Ulstein, trans. by Alison McCullough (Grove Press, $27, 9780802158864). "This dark, twisty novel will snake into your thoughts and not let go. Multiple storylines ebb and flow, coming together to reveal shocking secrets that will change your perspective. This debut thriller set in Norway is not one to miss!" --Katrina Bright-Yerges, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.

Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett (Celadon, $17.99, 9781250621559). "In the specificity of his story, Mikel Jollett somehow makes space for all of us. This memoir is a raw balancing of the accounts that make up a self, and I have nothing but respect for Jollett's vulnerability. It will turn you inside out." --Afton Montgomery, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.

For Ages 6 to 10
Sir Ladybug by Corey R. Tabor (Balzer + Bray, $12.99, 9780063069060). "Sir Ladybug is a sweet tale about being the best version of yourself you can be, and the magic of a well-made lemon cake. Sir Ladybug and his pals will charm any reader; this is a sure classic for little ones learning to read on their own." --Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square, McDonough, Ga.

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
A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft (Wednesday Books, $18.99, 9781250623652). "Allison Saft's writing drips with color and paints a world so real you feel like you can touch it. A thrilling adventure full of magic and danger reminiscent of Fullmetal Alchemist, A Far Wilder Magic is a story you won't put down." --Marielle Orff, Towne Book Center & Café, Collegeville, Pa.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: How to Be Eaten

How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover, 304p., 9780316450843, May 31, 2022)

Maria Adelmann reimagines the victims of classic fairy tales as modern-day heroines of their own stories in How to Be Eaten, a darkly comedic novel that explores the power of storytelling to shape--and reshape--individual lives.

An invitation is sent to a group of women with strange backstories, asking them to participate in experimental group narrative therapy. In walks Bluebeard's girlfriend, the only surviving lover of the tech billionaire-turned-serial killer; a newly empty-nester whose husband is known as a good, kind hero; a slightly deranged woman named Ruby, who wears the grungy pelt of a wolf for a coat; Gretel, "the one from the strange kidnapping story that captivated the nation more than two decades before"; and a young woman flashing an enormous engagement ring. Week by week, the women return to tell each another their stories--of being kidnapped and threatened, wooed and trapped, corralled and manipulated in any variety of ways. Beyond their true stories, however, they start to explore how they each came into the public eye (media frenzies, true-crime podcasts, reality television) and in so doing, reveal how each of their stories had been re-framed by the attention paid to it by outsiders: "They shift the focus onto one little detail--like what choices we made--and miss the bigger picture."

How to Be Eaten requires some small suspensions of disbelief, which Adelmann expertly crafts to parallel the same suspensions required to truly believe the stories of each woman in this group. Was Ruby really threatened by a talking wolf? Was Gretel held hostage by an evil old woman, or was the woman merely caring for two abandoned children left on her block? Is Ashlee actually in love with her reality-star fiancé, or was she manipulated into her relationship by the show's producers? The answers to these questions become unimportant as How to Be Eaten unfolds, sweeping readers up not in the details of each woman's backstory but in the ways those misconstrued details have been used against them. In so doing, Adelmann invites readers to think about the power of stories and storytelling, and the often fine line between making space for others' stories and making entertainment (and profit) out of the same. A sardonic, poignant novel that moves in unexpected directions across each and every page, How to Be Eaten is a whip-smart invitation to reimagine familiar fairy tales in a modern age. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer

Shelf Talker: A dark, comedic novel reimagines the victims of classic fairy tales as 21st-century heroines who come together for group therapy to tell their own stories.

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