Also published on this date: Wednesday, May 11 Dedicated Issue: Quirk Books Celebrates Turning 20

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Graphix: Unico: Awakening (Volume 1): An Original Manga Created by Osamu Tezuka, Written by Samuel Sattin, Illustrated by Gurihiru

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Immortal Dark (Deluxe Limited Edition) by Tigest Girma

Bramble: Swordcrossed by Freya Marske

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!


Little Visioneers Comes to Southern California



Little Visioneers, an independent bookstore focused on the work of women writers, has started hosting pop-up appearances around Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif, after debuting as an online bookstore earlier in the pandemic. 

Owner Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley does a monthly pop-up at the Del Amo Fashion Center's outdoor grotto in Torrance, Calif., and last Sunday set up shop at the Modern Makers Mart in Yorba Linda for Mother's Day. Her next appearance, scheduled for May 21, will be at the KJLH Women's Health Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach.

Her inventory consists exclusively of books by women, with a lean toward memoir, fiction and nonfiction. There is also a "slightly metaphysical, spiritual slant," which Jackson-Buckley said is a reflection of her own interests. She does carry some children's books, and has a "dynamic duo" list of titles that were both written and illustrated by women.

Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley (l.) with Maria Sellers and Bobbie Butler.

"The point is to really celebrate and highlight the indelible contribution of women to the literary world," said Jackson-Buckley, who has a background as an author and educator. Recently she started carrying a variety of handmade gift items such as bracelets and journals, all sourced from local women entrepreneurs and creatives. Those highlight "the creativity and artistry of women."

In 2018 Jackson-Buckley published her first book, The Gift of Crisis: How I Used Meditation to Go from Financial Failure to a Life of Purpose. Between the book's publication and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, she was trying to get her foot in the door with appearances at book festivals and on author panels, "mostly unsuccessfully." Then the shutdown took place, in-person book events were canceled and she had some time to "sit and think."

It occurred to her that her love of books and passion for sharing information about books was "always at the forefront of what I'm doing," and that opening a bookstore of her own would give her a space to "host authors I've met and tell people about wonderful books they may not know about." She continued to vacillate on the idea, until the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 provided a "devastating" reminder that "life is so fleeting," and "you need to use your time doing what you love and what calls to you."

Jackson-Buckley also drew inspiration from a quote posted on director Ava DuVernay's Instagram feed, which read: "Stop waiting for a door to open to follow your passion. Build your own door, then walk through with your own creative aspirations and accomplishments and hold it open for those behind you."

She decided to not waste any more time waiting for a door to open and started working toward making her bookstore a reality. Initially she planned to have a bricks-and-mortar store, but at that point in the pandemic, that was "not happening." In-person events were still on hold, which precluded doing pop-ups, so she launched Little Visioneers as an online store. She explained that the name comes from the fact that "we all have little visions for ourselves, our lives, our communities and the world at large," and little visions are the "small beginnings from which great things can come."

Jackson-Buckley reported that her pop-up appearances have been very well received so far, and she added that she would still like to open a bricks-and-mortar store eventually, which would give her a space to host author readings and other events. --Alex Mutter

Henry Holt & Company: A Banh Mi for Two by Trinity Nguyen

Tattered Cover's Lone Tree Store Moving Upstairs

Tattered Cover Book Store's shop in Lone Tree, Colo., is relocating upstairs at the Park Meadows Mall. On Facebook, Tattered Cover posted: "Our Park Meadows location is MOVING to the second floor by the Nordstrom store! While we transition, the Park Meadows store will be closed from Tuesday, May 10 until we open our new location on Sunday, May 15 on the second floor of the mall. Can't wait to see you there!"

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

International Update: Canadian Leisure & Reading Study; Visit to Soweto Book Café

BookNet Canada has released The Canadian Leisure and Reading Study 2021, which features results from a survey fielded in January 2022 to 1,282 Canadians over the age of 18. Where noted, results are compared to the January 2021 survey of 1,253 Canadian adults. Among the highlights: 

Less than half (45%) of respondents said they had enough leisure time, compared to 35% with more than enough and 20% not enough. For readers, 94% said that they read at least one print book in 2021, 64% read at least one e-book, and 45% listened to an audiobook. In terms of frequency, 42% said they read at least once a day, 22% once a week, 14% once a month and 22% less than once a month.

Popular reading-related activities for readers included searching for other books by that author (38%); sharing the experience, book or photo of the book with others (22%); going online to read about the author or follow them on social media (17%).

Regarding the ways Canadians acquired print books, 56% of respondents chose to buy and 44% borrow. For e-books, 49% chose to buy and 51% borrow; and for audiobooks, 48% chose to buy and 52% borrow. The most popular ways respondents discovered the books they read were word of mouth (36%), bookstore (27%), public library (25%), online book retailers (20%), podcasts (8%) and through literary awards or "Best of" lists (6%). 

Other findings: 

  • The most popular reason why respondents chose to read a specific book was the subject or topic (43%).
  • Book-to-screen adaptations were not as popular reasons to read a book in 2021 (5%) as they were in 2020 (11%).
  • When asked about password sharing for e-book subscription sites, 28% said they either did (12%) or sometimes did (16%). 
  • In terms of spending money on books, 37% of readers said they chose books within their budget and 34% only borrowed or got their books for free. 
  • E-books were the preferred format for 16% of all readers and audiobooks were preferred by just 10% of readers.
  • Print book readers are choosing to read more adult non-fiction in 2021 than they did in 2020--69% in 2021 up from 61% in 2020.
  • True crime readership was up among print book readers, at 29% in 2021 compared with 24% in 2020.

A copy of The Canadian Leisure and Reading Study 2021 can be downloaded here.  


Africanews featured Thami Mazibuko, who relocated back to Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa several years ago and founded the Soweto Book Café in his childhood home in 2018 as a space where he could advance literacy and "provide the community with access to books and information which is their basic human right."

"I am a reader myself," he said. "When I came back here around 2016/15, there were no bookstores at all, I did not have books. So I started collecting books, I had some of the books I travelled around with so. When I used to live in the city, I had my books, I brought 30 books. So I had an idea to start a business and also for a bookshop and a library for the community."

The Book Café also provides a quiet space for the youth living in the neighborhood. They come to do their assignments, relax and read, including 50 regular members of a book club. "Small bookshops like this one proliferate across Johannesburg, usually offering second-hand books, but also a sense of community," Africanews wrote.


Bookseller Moment: Posted on Instagram by Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Paris, France:  "It's a beautiful spring day in #Paris. Why not come to @shakespeareandcocafe for a drink on the terrace, or just for a game of chess en plein air...." --Robert Gray

B&N College to Manage Elizabeth City State U. Bookstore

Barnes & Noble College will manage Elizabeth City State University's bookstore in North Carolina, effective June 22, offering course materials, retail merchandise and online bookstore services for the university and school community. 

"This partnership will deliver the industry's largest inventory of affordable course materials in both physical and digital formats to our students and faculty, as well as on-campus convenience," said ECSU vice chancellor for business and finance Lisa McClinton. "B&N College offers a price-match program and options for ordering and receiving materials such as in-store pickup, curbside pickup, or delivery."

Jeff Miller, v-p of strategic partnerships for B&N College, commented: "We are very excited to partner with Elizabeth City State University as its new bookstore operator. We support ECSU's mission of providing the highest quality education, and look forward to offering a wide range of academic solutions and a seamless retail experience that will help to drive success for students in the classroom and beyond."

B&N College currently operates more than 770 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than six million college students and faculty nationwide.

Obituary Note: Neal Adams

Neal Adams

Neal Adams, a leading comic book artist "who brought a visceral realism to his depictions of superheroes, notably helping to revitalize Batman by giving him a darker image and new adversaries, while also championing the rights of comic book creators," died April 28, the New York Times reported. He was 80. 

"He was a master at every facet of art--his range of expressions, the dramatic use of lighting and shadowing, the seemingly facile command of anatomy and, of course, the trademark finger-pointed-in-your-face foreshortening was all just unbelievably next level," Jim Lee, CCO and publisher of DC Comics, observed in an Instagram post. 

Some of Adams's most well-regarded work resulted from his partnership with the writer Denny O'Neil. The Times wrote that in 1969, they "began to restore Batman to a brooding vigilante, as he was originally conceived.... The two also collaborated from 1970 to 1972 on the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series, in which the title heroes, who were friends out of costume, traveled across the country in stories about drug abuse, racism, corporate greed and poverty." During this period, Adams and O'Neil also introduced John Stewart, the first Black Green Lantern. Adams made his way back to Batman in 2011 when he wrote and drew Batman: Odyssey, a seven-part series.

Adams was also on the front lines in challenging comic book publishers to safeguard the rights of creators, the Times noted. "Neal was an agitator," said Paul Levitz, a former president of DC Comics, noting that Adams "was the only star talent to stand up" when "the major talents were desperately afraid of the great power of the publishing houses.... Neal was the loud voice of justice."

Neil Gaiman tweeted: "Neal Adams is gone. He was the reason I drew Batman in every school exercise book. He reinvented the look of comics pages and characters, made me care about comics at the point where I didn't care any more, and I wish I'd been lucky enough to write a story he drew."

"He came in applying hyper-realism, and bringing that to comics, his work felt like you were watching stills from a movie that he illustrated really well. He made it look like you could believe that this could almost happen," comic book historian Alex Grand told NPR. "He really put himself out there to try and create unions for comic book artists and writers to allow better health care, pay, return of their original art. He was a superhero himself in that sense, that he could actually go to bat for the weaker people, and that's something different."


Image of the Day: Northshire Bookstore's Booktopia Is Back!

Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., recently hosted its annual literary festival, Booktopia, for the first time since 2019. On Facebook, Northshire posted: "That's a wrap on Booktopia 2022! We were so delighted to welcome a wonderful group of authors to our bookstore this weekend!... You made this weekend magical. Most importantly, thank you for all our Booktopian guests, new and old. It was such an honor to bring this festival back to all those who love it as much as we do and continue to bond over our mutual love of books. Thank you for your continued support and we can't wait to see you in 2023!!"

Pictured above, l. to r.: Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore; Craig Popelars, publisher, Tin House; Linda Ramsdell, former owner Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt.; and guest authors Bill Roorbach (Lucky Turtle); David Wright Falade (Black Cloud Rising); Jane Pek (The Verifiers); Ben Shattuck (Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau); Courtney Maum (The Year of the Horses); Hernan Diaz (Trust); and Dalia Azim (Country of Origin).

Display: Landmark Booksellers

"CAUTION: Banned Books Alert!" Landmark Booksellers, Franklin, Tenn., posted on Facebook along with a photo of its topical book display: "If you come into Landmark, you'll notice our new section behind the counter containing banned books. These are books that have been or currently are banned in portions of the USA or elsewhere. But they aren't banned at Landmark! Come on by, take a look, and get some of these books." 

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Eric Holder on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Eric Holder, co-author of Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote: A History, a Crisis, a Plan (One World, $28, 9780593445747).

Good Morning America: Kim and Penn Holderness, authors of Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better at It? (Thomas Nelson, $26.99, 9780785235729).

Drew Barrymore Show: Jennifer Grey, author of Out of the Corner: A Memoir (Ballantine, $30, 9780593356708).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Tiffany Haddish, co-author of Layla, the Last Black Unicorn (HarperCollins, $18.99, 9780063113879).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jake Tapper, author of The Devil May Dance: A Novel (Back Bay Books, $17.99, 9780316530248).

TV: Never Let Me Go

An FX series is in development based on Never Let Me Go, the Kazuo Ishiguro novel that was previously adapted as a 2010 film starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, Deadline reported. The project comes from The Nevers writer Melissa Iqbal along with DNA Films, which produced the film version, and Searchlight TV, whose film arm distributed the movie. Iqbal, Allon Reich and Andrew MacDonald will exec produce.

Books & Authors

Awards: Sheikh Zayed, OCM Bocas Caribbean Lit Winners

Winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, have been announced. Each winner receives AED 750,000 ($204,190), and the winning and shortlisted titles in the children;s literature and literature categories are also be eligible for translation funding. The award ceremony will take place at the Louvre Abu Dhabi on May 24 during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

The winners:
Literature: Emirati Maisoon Saqer for Maq'ha Reesh, Ain Ala Massr (Eye on Egypt: Café Riche) (Nahdet Misr Publishing)
Arabic Culture in Other Languages: Iraqi-American Dr. Muhsin J. Al-Musawi for The Arabian Nights in Contemporary World Cultures: Global Commodification, Translation, and the Culture Industry (Cambridge University Press)
Children's Literature: Syrian Maria Daadoush for Loghz al Kora al Zujajiya (The Mystery of the Glass Ball) (Dar Al Saqi)
Young Author: Tunisian Dr. Mohamed Al-Maztouri for Al Badawa fi al She'er al Arabi al Qadeem (Bedouinism in Ancient Arabic Poetry) (Manouba University and the GLD Foundation)
Translation: Egyptian Dr. Ahmed Aladawi, for his translation from English into Arabic of Nash'at al Insaniyat Einda al Muslimeen wa fi al Gharb al Maseehi (The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West) by the late George Makdisi (Madarat for Research and Publishing)
Literary & Art Criticism: Moroccan Mohamed Aldahi for Al Sarid wa Taw'am al Rooh: Min al Tamtheel ila al Istinaa' (The Narrator and the Soulmate: From Acting to Faking) (Le Centre Culturel du Livre)
Publishing & Technology: The Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt


Celeste Mohammed won the $10,000 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, honoring the "best book by a Caribbean writer published last year," for her debut novel in stories Pleasantview, which also won the fiction category. The other two category winners, Thinking with Trees by Jason Allen-Paisant (poetry) and Things I Have Withheld by Kei Mill (nonfiction), each receive $3,000. 

In his judge's remarks, Roger Robinson commented: "Mohammed troubles our sense of an island as a place of good-time celebration. The characters seem so bound to place and class, so clearly portrayed, that it could feel like these events were real or that the book could be documentary in its scope, making the reader remind themselves that the book is a work of fiction. Pleasantview is also innovative in its form; the interlocking landscape of the stories giving us an overview of love, struggle, and dilemma; but never seeming forced or contrived.... Pleasantview is a great feat for any novel, far less a first novel, and the judges were unanimous in their decision."

Reading with... Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood

photo: Marie C/

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood is a Vietnamese and American author. Her debut novel was If I Had Two Lives (Europa Editions). Her second novel, Constellations of Eve, was just published by DVAN/TTUP (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network/Texas Tech University Press), a publishing partnership founded by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen to promote Vietnamese-American literature. Rosewood's works can be found at such sites as Salon, Cosmopolitan, Literary Hub, Electric Literature and Catapult. She is the founder of Neon Door, an immersive literary exhibit.

Handsell readers your book:

Constellations of Eve is inspired by my belief in reincarnation--the return beyond death of love, hate and desires. The novel depicts three deviations of one love story and meditates on questions of art, obsession and how we are destined to meet the same people in different lifetimes.

On your nightstand now:

I'm reading The Young Hitler I Knew, a fascinating memoir and historical document by August Kubizek, Hitler's only childhood friend. It is an intimate account as well as an incredible psychological profile of one of the most evil men in history.

I'm also reading The Cost of Living and Things I Don't Want to Know, both by Deborah Levy. Reading her prose feels like being told a story simultaneously by a beloved grandmother and your childhood best friend. It alternates seamlessly between profound wisdom and playfulness, humor and grief.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I love the manga series Doraemon. It is about a blue mechanical cat from the future, who has a pocket full of magical items. Doraemon is best friends with Nobita, a middle-grade student who struggles in every area of life, including getting along with friends, passing his classes and performing in sports. Doraemon always has a solution in his pocket to help Nobita. They are stories about unconditional friendship.

Your top five authors:

Anaïs Nin for her diaries, which are entertaining, brutally sensual and deftly analytical of the psychologies of the fascinating cast of people that surrounded her.

Clarice Lispector is too smart for me, and reading her requires rereading. I love her confident and unapologetic imagination.

Fernando Pessoa defies any categorization. His fiction reads like poetry; his plays come off as manifestos. The way he used words is akin to an alchemist with his ingredients: everything he touched turned into gold.

Wolfgang Hilbig writes brief, intense books that feel like they're on the precipice of insanity and enlightenment.

Alasdair Gray is a recent discovery of mine. He writes hellish prose, which is often accompanied by his nightmarish drawings. I'm afraid of his works, because a mind like his feels impossible.

Book you've faked reading:

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I love the musicals, movies and TV series, and I'm committed to watching any forthcoming rendition. Unfortunately, I've not managed to get through the text, despite multiple attempts!

Book you're an evangelist for:

I love the entire My Struggle series by Karl Ove Knausgård. To me, they exemplify what is possible for the novel as a form.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Space Struck by Paige Lewis.

Book you hid from your parents:

I wasn't allowed to read Wuthering Heights when I little, but my mother often talked about this classic. I was about eight or nine years old when I found a Vietnamese translation. I think I read about a chapter or so. I wanted to find only the section my mother talked about, where Catherine appeared as a ghost by the window.

Book that changed your life:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. As I became a more experienced reader, I realized that his works tend to have a religious undertone that I no longer respond to. But when I was teenager, the idea of going on a long pilgrimage to find your treasure was immensely appealing to me. This book shaped my early spirituality.

Favorite line from a book:

"I have pulled so many/ petals the soil asked me/ not to touch/ loss always gives back/ loss always keeps our hands full." --William Bortz, an excerpt from The Grief We're Given.

Five books you'll never part with:

Unfortunately, I've moved a lot, so I've had to part with every book. But my soul would never part with: The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa; Case Closed, a manga series by Gosho Aoyama; Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë; the Notebook series by Agota Kristof; and my mother's diary.

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

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball.

Book you didn't finish but still admire:

It's taking me a while to finish The Ghost Variations by Kevin Brockmeier, not because it's not a wonderful book, but because each short story/variation fills me with such awe and wonder that I tend to need a break before moving on to the next one.

Book Review

Children's Review: My Love Will Never Leave You

My Love Will Never Leave You by Stephen Hogtun (Bloomsbury Children's Books, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 3-6, 9781547608997, June 14, 2022)

A wise old tree teaches his young sapling all that she needs to know about life, love and carrying on after a loss in the touching, warm and reassuring My Love Will Never Leave You.

The old tree has been devoted to the sapling ever since she was a seedling. He's "watched over and cared for her," "pointed her to the sky" and "helped her branches grow true and strong." He's sheltered, shaded and supported her with his love. One morning, the curious little tree wants to know about the heart-shaped leaves covering his branches. He answers, "These are memories of the life I've led." When the sapling asks if she will grow similar leaves of her own, the old tree realizes that it's time for the little tree to "see and learn" for herself. The pair walk upon hills, sit by streams, study the birds who "find refuge in their branches" and enjoy the fragrance of flowers. The old tree teaches the young sapling many things as they travel and, lo and behold, one day soon the little tree has her own leaves, "all heart-shaped, fresh, and green."

All is well until autumn, when the sapling discovers that some of the old tree's leaves have fallen, and as the weather grows colder, his leaves become fewer. At last, the old tree must go, but not before assuring the young one, "Each time the wind blows, in your leaves is where you'll find me." In time, the little tree understands that her "bright memories" will keep her safe and warm and can guide her home.

Hogtun's text is relatively spare and poetic. His choice to use trees as walking, talking stand-ins for humans is an inspired one, infusing a sense of fantasy into the weighty discussion of mortality. While the trees are familiar figures who inspire reflection on loving and nurturing (as well as on the loss of someone special), the approach leaves much up to readers to fill in for themselves. The luminous illustrations convey plenty of emotion and conjure a pervasive sense of dreaminess and wonder. This allegorical offering gently inspires readers to understand that while "we cannot stop the seasons," sorrow will almost certainly be followed by joyful moments of surprise and renewal. --Lynn Becker, reviewer, blogger, and children's book author

Shelf Talker: In this gentle, allegorical picture book, a wise old tree teaches his beloved young sapling about love, loss and renewal.

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