Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Harper: The Farewell Tour by Stephanie Clifford

Dial Press: Sam by Allegra Goodman

Flatiron Books: The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland

Blackstone Publishing: Blood Circus by Camila Victoire

Wednesday Books: Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones

Berkley Books: Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina

Ronin House: So Close (Blacklist #1) by Sylvia Day

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair


Noir Bookshop, St. Louis, Mo., to Host Soft Opening on IBD

Noir Bookshop in progress.

The Noir Bookshop, a new and used independent bookstore in St. Louis, Mo., specializing in Black and POC literature, will host a soft opening this Saturday, Independent Bookstore Day. Store owner Ymani Wince told St. Louis magazine that she plans to host a grand opening in June, but will open the storefront at 2317 Cherokee St. for a one-day preview this weekend.

Wince has envisioned a three-part mission for the store that includes education, inspiration and community. In addition to books, the store will carry gifts, art and other items made by Black and brown makers, and Wince's event plans include author signings as well as free lunch programs and clothing drives.

Wince said that when she was a kid, "the books that I knew, the authors that I knew, they weren’t Black. They were Beverly Cleary. They were Judy Blume, Stephenie Meyer from Twilight—all of those series books that centered around white, female, heterosexual characters. I never saw myself when reading those books, so now I’m getting deeper into Black authors.”

Wince announced her plans to open the Noir Bookshop in December. She started out by selling books online and in February held her first in-person pop-up at clothing store Profield Reserve. Last week she launched a crowdfunding campaign to help her fill out the store's inventory, which has brought in nearly $1,400 so far.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Hunter by Jennifer Herrera

International Update: PA's CEO Lotinga Leaving Organization; Booksellers Persist in Lviv, Ukraine

Stephen Lotinga
Dan Conway

Publishers Association CEO Stephen Lotinga will be leaving the organization later this year, with Dan Conway, current director of external affairs, succeeding him. Lotinga, who has held the position since 2016, will join Sky, the British media company, as group director of public affairs. Conway has worked at the PA since 2018. 

"It's been my absolute privilege to lead the Publishers Association for the last six years and to represent the interests of such an important industry," Lotinga said. "I am so proud of all that's been achieved in my time here, which has all only been possible due to the incredible PA team and the support of our members. I am thrilled that Dan will be appointed as the new CEO and that this will allow a smooth transition, and for the organization to benefit from his significant expertise and knowledge. His contribution to the Publishers Association's work has been immense, his understanding of the sector considerable. I know he will lead the organization brilliantly."

David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK and PA president, commented: "Stephen has been an absolutely exceptional leader of the Publishers Association and has led the organization from strength to strength during his tenure. Dan has also contributed massively and his appointment to the position of CEO is testament to the enormous impact of the work he has led and the leadership qualities he has demonstrated in his current role. It's an absolute pleasure to welcome him to the role and marks an exciting new chapter for the organization." 

Conway added: "I am hugely excited to be taking on this role and continuing my work at the Publishers Association in this capacity. It's an incredible opportunity and I am grateful to the organization's members for their belief in me. Stephen has been a brilliant leader and mentor and I have learnt a vast amount from him. I can't wait to get started."


"In the basement of the bookshop she manages in western Ukraine, Romana Yaremyn shows hundreds of books stacked half way to the ceiling after they were evacuated from the country's war-torn east," AFP (via France24) reported, adding: "Packed together in white parcels, the titles rescued from Kharkiv fill up what was once the children's reading room. They are just a fraction of those at the shop's publishing house in the eastern city under Russian fire."

"Our warehouse workers tried to at least evacuate some of the books. They loaded up a truck and all this was delivered through a postal company," said Yaremyn, who is in Lviv. They started with their most recent and popular publications, many of which are children's books. "I don't know how my colleagues in Kharkiv have stayed there." 

The bookshop quickly reopened a day after the Russian invasion, "providing shelter in the basement when the air raid sirens went off, and holding reading sessions there with displaced children," AFP wrote. "During the first wave of arrivals, parents who had left home with next to nothing flooded in seeking fairy tales to keep their children distracted in the bunkers."

Lviv's numerous bookshops are open. "In a pedestrian tunnel under a road in the city center, several tiny stalls sell translations of foreign classics like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or even manga titles," AFP noted. "Near the Royal Arsenal museum, a pigeon sits on the head of a tall muscular statue of Ivan Fyodorov, a 16th-century printer from Moscow buried in Lviv. At his feet, when it does not rain and there are no sirens, a few second-hand booksellers wait for customers." 

A woman named Iryna, who sat near rows of literature and history books for sale or rent, said she stopped working for more than a month after war broke out. When she returned to the square in early April, many parents from the east came looking for books for their children. "I gave them a lot, because kids want to read."


In La Paz, Bolivia, Carlos Ramírez has revived his vocation as a bookseller by refurbishing an old van into a mobile library called the Book Truck. His trade had dried up after 23 years when the pandemic hit, Efe reported. Although the initial plan was to purchase, fix and sell the van, he changed his mind when the idea of using it to sell books arose.

"After two years of the pandemic, there was no longer any income.... I was living off my savings," said Ramírez, who found a noisy, faded Volkswagen van with worn tires eight months ago. His architect daughter designed the internal shelves that can transport about 2,000 books.

The Book Truck draws attention from people who gather to take photos once Ramírez has stopped and set up shop. "I'm not selling it for anything," he said, "they've offered me a lot of money, I'm not selling my van." --Robert Gray

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Women's Health Care Physicians: Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month (7TH ed.)

Andrew Medlar Named President & Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Andrew Medlar

Andrew Medlar has been named the next president & director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pa. He succeeds Mary Frances Cooper, who retired at the end of 2021 after a decade-long career with the organization. Medlar, currently director of BookOps for the New York Public Library, will officially assume his new role May 31, as the 12th president and director in the library's 126-year history. 

Patrick Dowd, chair of the board of trustees, said Medlar was the unanimous choice of the search committee and the board: "We are thrilled that Andrew will be leading our historic system. Throughout the search process, Mr. Medlar's work to increase community engagement, actively lead and facilitate library shared services and improve Equity, Diversity and Inclusion outcomes for employees and patrons stood out as skills that will greatly benefit the Library and Pittsburgh as we begin to plan strategically for our next 125 years."

"It is my commitment to ensure that every member of our community has access to the knowledge they want, need and deserve," said Medlar. "Our collective minds are more robust when materials that represent the whole community are readily available. Pittsburgh is fortunate to have a world-class library system that is a space for residents to learn something new and engage with their neighbors. Generations of Pittsburghers have been inspired by not only the grand nature of the buildings themselves, but by the staff who truly make the Library a welcoming place. I am thrilled to be part of its legacy."

Berkley Books: Jane & Edward: A Modern Reimagining of Jane Eyre by Melodie Edwards

Springfield, N.J., B&N May Have to Relocate

The Barnes & Noble in Springfield, N.J., may have to relocate if its landlord's plans to replace the bookstore with a Chick-fil-A restaurant are approved, TAPinto Springfield reported.

The end of the Springfield B&N's lease is approaching, and rather than renew it, the property owner has plans to demolish the building and replace it with a drive-through Chick-fil-A. Those plans are pending approval from the Springfield board of adjustment, and a B&N manager told TAPinto Springfield that should those plans be approved, the bookstore chain would look to open another location in the area, possibly nearby on Route 22.

The Springfield B&N has been in its current location since 1992.

ECW Press: We Meant Well by Erum Shazia Hasan

Obituary Note: Maryann Palumbo

Maryann Palumbo

Long-time publishing marketer Maryann Palumbo died on April 3. She had been recovering from open-heart surgery and was 75.

She began her publishing career at In-Text Publishing and moved to World Publishing, which was owned by the Times Mirror Company, which also owned paperback publisher New American Library. Palumbo later transferred to NAL, where she began in the publicity department. She quickly moved up to become publicity director. She was there when NAL, known for its paperback reprints and Signet Classics, launched its first hardcover line, NAL Books, in the early 1980s. During this period, she oversaw the publicity campaigns for some of NAL's biggest authors, including Stephen King, Ken Follett, Erica Jong, Mario Puzo and Robin Cook.

In 1984, Palumbo was named director of advertising, promotion and publicity and was named a v-p in 1985. She became known for her marketing programs, staging a gambling casino party for attendees of the American Booksellers Association show to promote the Signet publication of Mario Puzo's Fools Die, for example. Perhaps her best-known campaign was the six-volume "serialized" publication of Stephen King's The Green Mile, with each volume reaching the top of bestseller lists and the special boxed set selling 250,000 copies. For this campaign Palumbo was included in Advertising Age's "Marketing 100" in 1997. Signet was the only publisher included in a group featuring Starbucks, Energizer batteries, Coca-Cola, The X-Files and Beanie Babies.

She and her team also created consumer and trade campaigns for titles such as Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem, Growing Up by Russell Baker and Weight Watchers cookbooks, as well as Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia by former FBI agent Joseph Pistone.

Palumbo left Viking Penguin to establish her own firm, Maryann Palumbo Marketing Concepts, in 1998. She set up her office at Jericho Communications, where she worked on her own projects, such as The Guinness Book of Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, as well as corporate clients. She retired in 2016.


Image of the Day: The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza Honored

The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza was recently voted #1 bookstore in the Capital District of Albany, N.Y., for the second consecutive year. The Albany Times Union wrote: "Yes, there are not as many as there would've been 30 years ago, but the bookstores remaining have the undying loyalty of their bibliophiles. And for square footage of floor space between first and second place, the accomplishment of the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza is all the more amazing. Who needs a Starbucks and a media department?"

The bookstore said, "Thank you to our loyal customers and Times-Union readers & voters! Thank you for supporting indie!" Pictured: Kathleen Carey, children's department manager & buyer.

IBD Spirit Week: #PlaidTuesday

Independent Bookstore Day Spirit Week celebrated Plaid Tuesday yesterday. Among the Indies participating:

Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.: "Today the booksellers of Books & Company are Plaid to the Bone on our second day of Spirit Week leading up to Independent Bookstore Day. Either come in wearing plaid or tag us in a photo of you in your plaid shirts, pants, skirts, scarves, etc and get a special bookmark/coupon!"

Once Upon a Time Bookstore, Montrose, Calif.: "For Tuesday’s #BookstoreSpiritWeek we wear plaid!... Isabel wearing blue and white plaid, Maureen wearing pink and purple plaid, Maddi holding Pippi and wearing tan and black plaid, and Jessica wearing copper and brown plaid. All are masked and waving at the camera inside the bookstore."

Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, Fla.: "Tuesday is Plaid Day for #independentbookstoreday Spirit week! Tag us in your plaid to be featured in our stories and show your support for your local bookstore!"

Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.: "#IndieBookstoreDay Spirit Week is in full swing! We're gearing up for an exciting IBD this Saturday with silly spirit days all week... first slide: 9 booksellers, all wearing plaid, making silly poses in front of our nonfiction wall. second slide: four booksellers in various kooky hats. third slide: Emma poses with a detective hat and three mystery novels."

Main Street Books, Davidson, N.C.: "The 90s called! They want their slouchy plaid button-up back. Your Tuesday edition of #BookstoreSpiritWeek is brought to you by Angela Chase if she had a couple kids and owned a bookstore."

Bards Alley Bookshop, Vienna, Va.: "Channel the '90s with us: It's Plaid Day for #IBDSpiritWeek! Jen and Amy are jumping for joy as we prep the store for the big day. Show us your plaid, in-store or online, to get in on the fun!"

Alice, Ever After Books, Buffalo, N.Y.: "It's Independent Bookstore Day Spirit Week and today is Plaid Day! Meg wore this same outfit through most of the nineties...plaid shirt over another shirt, hat, pigtails, hoop earrings, and high tops. Thanks @americanbooksellers for picking such a comfy Spirit Day! We're about to play some Seattle grunge all day to complete the whole thing."

Chalkboard: Bookmarks

Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, N.C., shared a photo of its colorful sidewalk chalkboard message (created by bookseller Lore): "Bookmarks has expertly curated selection of books including new releases, bestsellers & more. Also Bookmarks: Have you seen this month's staff picks yet?!"

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster

At Simon & Schuster, Christopher Cosgrove has been promoted to director of national accounts and will manage S&S's client publishing business with Readerlink, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, supermarkets, and drugstores.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jessi Klein on Fresh Air

Morning Joe: Joel Simon and Robert Mahoney, authors of The Infodemic: How Censorship and Lies Made the World Sicker and Less Free (Columbia Global Reports, $15.99, 9781735913681).

Fresh Air: Jessi Klein, author of I'll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife and Motherhood (Harper, $26.99, 9780062981592).

Good Morning America: Marcela Valladolid, author of Cocinando on Cook Street: A Collection of Mi Familia's Recipes (Lil' Libros, $19.99, 9781948066198).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Sophie Liard, author of The Folding Lady: Tools and Tricks for Making the Most of Your Space Room by Room (Harper Design, $22.99, 9780063217027).

Tamron Hall: Hannah Brown, author of God Bless This Messy Journal: A Guide to Embracing the Beautiful, Messy You (Harper Design, $16.99, 9780063111899).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Shaquille O'Neal, co-author of Shaq's Family Style: Championship Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends (Ten Speed Press, $29.99, 9781984860064).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Molly Shannon, author of Hello, Molly!: A Memoir (Ecco, $27.99, 9780063056237).

Movies: Wicked

Universal will release Wicked, its film adaptation of the Broadway musical, in two parts, on December 25, 2024 and December 25, 2025. Deadline reported that the strategy was "a bold swing for a musical, which of late have been risky onscreen. However, this one is based on a legacy crowd-pleaser."

Jon M. Chu is directing the movie, based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, which was adapted for the screen by the stage production's book writer Winne Holzman and Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Deadline noted that "working to Wicked's advantage is that it's a near $3 billion-grossing Broadway musical seen by more than 30 million people worldwide."

Books & Authors

Awards: Oregon Book Winners; CWA Dagger Longlists

The winners of the 2022 Oregon Book Awards, sponsored by Literary Arts, are:

Ken Kesey Award for Fiction: Omar El Akkad for What Strange Paradise: A Novel (Knopf)
Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry: Dao Strom for Instrument (Fonograf Editions)
Award for Graphic Literature: Breena Bard for Trespassers: A Graphic Novel (Graphix, Scholastic)
Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction: Jacob Darwin Hamblin for The Wretched Atom: America's Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology (Oxford University Press)
Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction: Allison Cobb for Plastic: An Autobiography (Nightboat Books)
Eslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature: Courtney Gould for The Dead and the Dark (Wednesday Books)
Eloise Jarvis Mcgraw Award for Children's Literature: Jennie Englund for Taylor Before and After (Square Fish/Macmillan)

And the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, recognizing "outstanding, long-term support of Oregon's literary community," went to Cynthia Whitcomb.


The Crime Writers Association announced the longlists for the annual Dagger Awards. Shortlists will be revealed May 13 at CrimeFest, and the winners named at a ceremony in London on June 29, coinciding with National Crime Reading Month. The CWA Diamond Dagger, presented to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, will be given to C.J. Sansom. Check out the complete Dagger longlists here.

Reading with... Sascha Rothchild

photo: Sela Shiloni

Sascha Rothchild is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter who has written and produced shows including GLOW, The Bold Type, The Baby-Sitters Club and The Carrie Diaries. She adapted her article "How to Get Divorced by 30" into both a memoir of the same name and a screenplay. Her first novel, Blood Sugar (Putnam, April 19, 2022), is a character study of an unrepentant killer.

Handsell readers your book in 25 words or less:

A twisty, stay-up-all-night-to-finish thriller about a murderess accused of killing her husband--ironically, perhaps the only murder she didn't commit.

On your nightstand now:

I am extremely organized and prefer uncluttered surfaces, so I have one book on my nightstand at a time, with several others patiently waiting to be read in my bookcase. On my nightstand now is The House of God by Samuel Shem. I'm almost finished and it's riveting. Within the first few chapters I absorbed the satirical shorthand and horror of hospitals, and am along for the disturbing ride. I laugh and gasp and recommend this novel but perhaps not right before bedtime. It has given me really weird dreams.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I knew it was supposed to be a cautionary tale, but instead of learning from Harriet's mistakes, I was inspired to emulate her. I was always an eavesdropper, but after reading this novel I took it up a notch and absorbed information around me, especially information I was not supposed to have, in a more formal manner. And took copious notes in my diary.

Your top five authors:

Anne Rice. She defined my tween years, filling me with yearning for beautiful vampires and immortality, a wonderful escape from being a very pale and often misunderstood kid.

Jane Austen. She defined my teen years, giving voice to my dramatic first loves and losses.

Ayn Rand. She defined my college years and infused me with the bravery to be an individual ready to make a stand.

David Sedaris. He defined my 20s and solidified for me that the deepest emotions often come in a package of humor.

Ann Patchett. She defined my 30s, her truthful characters a reminder that life is messy and wonderful and complicated and that I'll be okay.

Book you've faked reading:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I tried to read it. Over and over and the same sentences went into my eyeballs and out of my brain. I could never get past the damn windmills in chapter eight.

Book you're an evangelist for:

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. I bought this memoir because I am curious about birds of prey, and often read about owls and falcons. What I did not expect was Macdonald's poignant deep dive into grief that was raw and heartbreaking. I sobbed several times while reading, one time on an airplane and I had to explain to the flight attendant that I was alright and this was the best book ever. There is also a fascinating and touching history within her memoir of another writer turned falconer, which she weaves into her own story. This book is a complex and captivating catharsis.

Book you've bought for the cover:

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I remember seeing the cover in my local bookstore and immediately being both drawn to it and repelled by it. I felt dread when I looked at the sketch of the dapper man's soulless eyes and immediately wanted to know more. If a cover could make me feel so much, I was excited to read the work inside. I was not disappointed.

Book you hid from your parents:

My parents were avid readers and never shielded me from mature subjects. They felt if I was old enough to understand the meaning behind words, I was old enough to read them. I read Fear of Flying by Erica Jong when I was 15, and what struck me was not the erotica, but the strong, unapologetic feminist point of view I had not before read.

Book that changed your life:

My book agent passed on taking out Blood Sugar, with advice that my main character needed to be "more likable." I was disheartened, thought about changing my heroine. And then I read Circe, Madeline Miller's genius take on a historically maligned lesser goddess. This novel inspired me to change my agent, instead of changing my manuscript.

Favorite line from a book:

In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Darcy says, "My good opinion once lost, is lost forever." This could be his great flaw but this line resonates with me. I can learn to respect someone I once didn't like. But if someone I respect lets me down, it is difficult for me to rebuild my good opinion.

Five books you'll never part with:

Emma, Jane Austen
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

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

Middlemarch by George Eliot is so full of relatable minutiae and sweeping drama that I savored each page and never wanted it to end. When it did, I went back and read it again, capturing details that I missed the first time. Reading Middlemarch is like drinking yummy hot chocolate and listening to a good friend gossip about people you love to hate and love to love.

Book Review

Children's Review: Wretched Waterpark

Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White (Delacorte Press, $16.99 hardcover, 256p., ages 8-12, 9780593379042, June 7, 2022)

In Wretched Waterpark, readers may wallow in gothic mystery at its finest... and its most delightfully gloomy. The first in the Sinister Summer middle-grade series is filled with characters and scenes that would make Edgar Allan Poe shiver, and its absolutely hilarious quips and asides draw an even finer point on the ghastliness. Under suspicious and puzzling circumstances, the Sinister-Winterbottom children have been deposited at a weird water park with a cryptic assignment from their aunt: "Find what was lost."

The three siblings can't quite remember how they ended up spending the summer with their spooky aunt Saffronia Sinister, "whom the children had never met, and who, by all appearances, had never encountered an actual human child before." After they arrive, Aunt Saffronia asks, "How often would you say you need to eat? If I set out some food in the morning, will that be enough?" When she tells them they are to get a week's pass at a water park, they are initially excited, picturing the usual scene: "The scents of chlorine, sunscreen, and water drying on pavement... everyone in tropical-print suits, board shorts, bikinis, wraps." Fathoms of Fun is not the usual water park, however. Stone gargoyles leer, their lolling tongues acting as slides. Angel statues with looks of horror adorn the mausoleum, er, cabana, where the kids are told to leave their belongings. Employees are dressed in high, starched collars and long gowns or "old-timey" striped bathing suits that go down to the knees. And is that a hand the children keep seeing pressed against the window at the top of an inaccessible tower?

Like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, this first title in the Sinister Summer series follows three siblings through one disastrous experience after another, the bleak circumstances lifted by hilarious wordplay and easy sibling teasing. (The 12-year-old twins continually test the attention of their 16-year-old phone-obsessed sister by making ever-more-dramatic comments like, "A man outside offered us candy and asked us to get in his van, if that's fine with you," to which she regularly replies with a grunted, distracted assent.)

Kiersten White, author of the Camelot Rising trilogy and Chosen, brings a playfulness to the macabre. Wil, Alexander and Theo Sinister-Winterbottom are each distinct and appealing personalities. Their pursuit of the mystery is exhilarating, with evocative visuals that would translate thrillingly to the big screen. Thoroughly entertaining! --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: Packed with wordplay and mock-gothic mystery, this first title in the Sinister Summer series is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket, Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl.

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