Shelf Awareness for Thursday, May 12, 2022

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger


AAP: February Sales Up 4.1%, Trade Up 9.5%

Total net book sales in February in the U.S. rose 4.1%, to $968 million, compared to February 2021, representing sales of 1,367 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. (Figures do not include pre-K-12, because of delays in data collection. February 2021 pre-K-12 sales were $30 million, about 3% of revenue.)

Total trade book sales rose 9.5%, to $705.2 million. Trade hardcovers rose 8.5%, to $247.3 million, paperbacks rose 28.5%, to $241.5 million, mass market dropped 26.4%, to $16 million. Total e-book sales dropped 6.9%, to $91.5 million.

The strongest categories in the month were children's/YA hardcovers, paperbacks and special bindings (formerly board books) as well as adult paperback and hardcovers, religious paperbacks and university press hardcovers and paperbacks. E-books and audiobooks in all categories had declines in sales.

Sales by category in February 2022 compared to February 2021:

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White

Dave Eggers, McSweeney's Partnering with S.Dak. Indie to Distribute Free Banned Books

Dave Eggers

After the Rapid City, S. Dak., school board chose to ban five books and destroy hundreds of copies of those titles, Dave Eggers and McSweeney's have partnered with Rapid City independent bookstore Mitzi's Books to distribute free copies of the banned books to local high school seniors, CBR reported.

The banned titles include How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue; The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo; Fun Home by Alison Bechdel; and Eggers's own novel The Circle. The books were assigned to English 12 reading lists prior to the school board's decision.

High school seniors in the Rapid City area can visit Mitzi's Books and receive a copy of each book for free. They can also write to to have copies shipped directly to them.

"The mass destruction of books by school boards is an unconscionable horror," Eggers said, "and the freethinking young people of South Dakota shouldn't be subjected to it. For every copy the school board destroys, let's add a new one to the local circulation."

The school board is expected to address their plans to destroy the books at a meeting on May 17. Eggers will head to Rapid City on May 16 for an event at Mitzi's Books. He hopes some of the other banned authors will join him, as well as local students and teachers, for a discussion of the books and their proposed destruction. More details about the event will be announced closer to the date.

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Baker & Taylor Launches Paw Prints Publishing, Children's Imprint

Baker & Taylor is launching Paw Prints Publishing, a children's fiction and nonfiction imprint for ages 3 to 8. The first titles will appear on June 28; a total of 15 titles will be released this year.

Paw Prints books will feature and focus on underserved or underrepresented kids, centering social emotional learning and diversity, encouraging "young people to free their minds, bodies, and souls in order to become their most authentic and successful selves" and "inspire them to leave their own beautiful and diverse paw prints on this ever-evolving, glorious world."

B&T president and CEO Amandeep Kochar said, "With Paw Prints Publishing, Baker & Taylor returns to its roots as a book publisher. Our aim is to provide children, librarians, educators, and parents with original stories that inspire conversation and foster representation and empathy among young readers. Our intention is to operate at the intersection of DEI and SEL to give a purpose and a sense of belonging to the children who will find themselves in these books and the parents who will reflect on these books while reading to their children. We are thrilled to bring stories to market that are needed and vital to the experience of children today." Kochar himself will write some of the books.

The series and first titles are:

The Jeet and Fudge series (ages 5-7), featuring a young Sikh boy named Jeet and his sidekick chocolate labradoodle Fudge on their adventures in both volunteerism and play, launches with Forever Friends.

The Baker and Taylor series (ages 5-8) features library cats Baker and Taylor as they travel to different cities in search of knowledge, play and a good read. It launches with Mystery of the Library Cats.

The Celebrating Mr. Garcia's Class series (ages 3-7), picture books that teach children how to support and champion their differently abled classmates and friends, launches with Jeremy's Big Role. (This series is vetted by speech language pathologists and children's therapists and titles include backmatter.)

The Caring for Ourselves and the World Around Us series (ages 3-7) launches with A Smile in Your Pocket and A Not So Lonely Day, storybook primers to use as conversation starters for social emotional learning, including managing anxiety and loneliness, coping with topics like food insecurity and absentee caregivers. (These titles are vetted by children's therapists and include backmatter.)

Mark Ouimet Retiring from Ingram Next Month

Mark Ouimet

Mark Ouimet, vice-president and general manager of Ingram Publisher Services, will retire on June 10 after 15 years with the company. 

"How lucky am I to have had the opportunity to spend 40+ years in the book industry? Not many people get to spend a career surrounded by books and the incredibly smart and talented people who inhabit it," said Ouimet. "And working at Ingram for the last 15 years has been the best part. I've always worked with Ingram in my other roles in the industry, but to actually be able to directly participate in such a dynamic company which fosters, encourages and promotes an entrepreneurial spirit is about as good as it gets."

Ouimet started at the company in 2007, as v-p of business development for IPS. Prior to that he was an executive at North Atlantic Books, head of marketing at Publishers Group West, and buyer and manager at Stanford Bookstore. At Ingram, he rose to the position of v-p and general manager in 2010, and was an early leader with IngramSpark, the company's self-publishing operation, and worked with Lightning Source, Ingram's print-on-demand service. Currently he oversees IPS, PGW, Consortium and West Margin Press.

Phil Ollila, Ingram's chief commercial and content officer, said: "From the beginning of his career as a bookseller through to his retirement from Ingram, Mark's success has always been about people; the people he has hired, brought along as a mentor, and who have become life-long friends. We are fortunate that the legacy of people and their talents will make sure that Ingram Publisher Services continues to grow and thrive through the next generation. Mark's advice and counsel to our distribution publishers will be sorely missed."

Sabrina McCarthy, currently in charge of Distribution Solutions, Ingram Academic, Two Rivers and IPS UK, will take charge of the entire IPS team and all of its brands following Ouimet's retirement. She has a total of 25 years of experience in publishing and 16 in book distribution, first at Perseus and then at Ingram.

Obituary Note: Patricia A. McKillip

Patricia A. McKillip

Patricia A. McKillip, the fantasy author best known for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and the Riddle-Master trilogy, died on May 6, Locus magazine reported. She was 74.

McKillip's writing career began in 1973 with the publication of The Throme of the Erril of Sherill and The House on Parchment Street, both for younger readers. In 1974, she published her first adult novel, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, which won a World Fantasy Award, and followed that soon after with the Riddle-Master trilogy, consisting of The Riddle-Master of Hed (1976), Heir of Sea and Fire (1977) and Harpist in the Wind (1979). The trilogy's final book won a Locus Award and was a finalist for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

Along with fantasy novels, she would go on to write science fiction novels such as Foo's Run (1987), contemporary fiction like Stepping from the Shadows (1982) and books for both children and adults. In addition to winning the Locus and World Fantasy Awards, she won the Mythopoeic Award four times, for Something Rich and Strange (1994), Ombria in Shadow (2002), Solstice Wood (2006) and Kingfisher (2016). In 2008, she received a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award.


Happy 40th Birthday, Books & Books!

Congratulations to Books & Books, which operates several bookstores in South Florida and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The Miami Herald featured extensive coverage of owner Mitchell Kaplan's career and vision as a bookseller, noting that Books & Books "is more than a beloved institution that has served the Miami community for decades. It's a wellspring from which good things blossom: Seven stores. A publishing imprint and a podcast. A production company that adapts books for film and TV." Kaplan also co-founded the Miami Book Fair in 1984 with former Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padron. And as president of the American Booksellers Association, he had the idea that led to the creation of the Winter Institute.

"I had no idea what road I was taking," Kaplan said. "I have to say I feel often like the luckiest guy in the world because I chose a path that has suited me so wonderfully."

In 1982, he had returned to Miami after getting his English degree at the University of Colorado and leaving Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. He thought it was a good time to open a bookstore. Kaplan was teaching at Southridge High and working part-time at local chain bookstore B. Dalton--"so I could learn what bookselling was like"--when he opened Books & Books at its first location on the corner of Aragon Avenue and Salcedo Street in Coral Gables in a 500-square-foot space. 

"Miami was thought of as a place where not much serious stuff happened," he recalled. "I knew different because I sold books, and I saw people were buying books as sophisticated as you'd find in New York or L.A. I've always had a very hopeful sense of Miami and always flew against that sense of Miami as being superficial and not serious. So the readings we did at the store and at the Miami Book Fair, we made sure we never underestimated Miami as a cultural place." As a Miami native, Kaplan wanted to find ways to amplify the voices that weren't always heard in the literary world.

Books & Books moved into its current Coral Gables location in 2000, with additional space, an open courtyard and a café, with more room for hosting touring authors. After launching a store on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach in 1989, Kaplan went on to open stores in Bal Harbour, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and downtown Miami. There's also a franchise at Miami International Airport and a branded store with the the Studios at Key West.

The Covid pandemic presented another challenge. The Herald noted that the stores had to close, and in June 2020 Kaplan "made the tough decision to close the Miami Beach store because of rising rents. All the other stores reopened except for the Adrienne Arsht Center location in downtown Miami, which Kaplan plans to reopen this summer."

Mazur Kaplan, the TV and film production company he co-founded in 2012 with film industry veteran Paula Mazur, has released four feature films so far, with many upcoming adaptations in the works, the Herald reported. The company's first project was an adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. 

Asked what books mean to him, Kaplan observed: "For me, books represent life. Books represent everything that I've been about since I was about 18.... I don't know what my life would be like without books."

Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks

At Sourcebooks:

Shawn Abraham has been named v-p, international sales. He joined Sourcebooks in 2019 and also oversees the company's rights business.

Brian Grogan has been promoted to v-p, mass market sales. He joined Sourcebooks in 2021 as senior director of mass market sales. Earlier he was senior v-p, sales at HarperCollins.

Margaret Coffee has been promoted to senior director of sales for indies and libraries. She joined the company in 2015.

Tim Golden has been promoted to director, special markets and new business development. He joined the company in 2019.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rebecca Soffer on CBS Mornings

CBS Mornings: Rebecca Soffer, author of The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience (Running Press, $22, 9780762474813).

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

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Minnie Driver, author of Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780063115309).

This Weekend on Book TV: Oliver Stone

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.

Sunday, May 15
8 a.m. Gregory Zuckerman, author of A Shot to Save the World: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine (Portfolio, $30, 9780593420393). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9:10 a.m. Evan Hughes, author of The Hard Sell: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385544900). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:10 p.m.)

10 a.m. Steve Forbes, co-author of Inflation: What It Is, Why It's Bad, and How to Fix It (Encounter Books, $27.99, 9781641772433). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Larry Schweikart, author of Dragonslayers: Six Presidents and Their War with the Swamp (‎Bombardier Books, $28, 9781637581889).

3:30 p.m. Imani Perry, author of South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation (Ecco, $28.99, 9780062977403).

4:05 p.m. Garrett M. Graff, author of Watergate: A New History (Avid Reader Press, $35, 9781982139162).

5 p.m. Oliver Stone, author of Chasing The Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game (Mariner, $28, 9780358346234).

Books & Authors

Awards: Triangle Winners

The Publishing Triangle has announced the winners of the 2022 Triangle Awards, honoring the best LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, poetry and trans literature published in 2021. This year's winners are:

The Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction, presented with the Ferro-Grumley Literary Awards: Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Ecco)
The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction: The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. (Putnam).
The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry: Punks: New and Selected Poems by John Keene (The Song Cave).
The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry: Mama Phife Represents by Cheryl Boyce Taylor (Haymarket Books).
The Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature: A Symmetry by Ari Banias (Norton).
The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction: Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought, edited by Briona Simone Jones (The New Press).
The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction: Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome (Mariner).

The Publishing Triangle's four honorary awards:

Sarah Schulman's Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is the recipient of a special award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction.

Cherríe Moraga was given the Publishing Triangle's Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement.

John Paul Brammer is the winner of the Publishing Triangle's Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award, which honors an LGBTQ writer who has published at least one book but not more than two.

Trent Duffy is the winner of the Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award (formerly the Publishing Triangle Leadership Award).

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:

Woman, Eating: A Novel by Claire Kohda (HarperVia, $26.99, 9780063140882). "A subtle, understated vampire book. Lydia is mixed-race, mixed-species, and trying to make it on her own. Her hunger and desire to be human lead to complicated relationships with food and her friends. This one's oh-so-satisfying." --Maggie Henriksen, Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, Ky.

Marrying the Ketchups: A Novel by Jennifer Close (Knopf, $28, 9780525658870). "This will top the list of family stories! I adored every minute with the Sullivans. The Chicago setting, baseball, the aftermath of the 2016 election, and the family restaurant at the heart of it all created an unforgettable experience." --Amy Traughber, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Gold Diggers: A Novel by Sanjena Sathian (Penguin Books, $17, 9781984882059). "An extraordinary yarn of two generations of American-Indian immigrants with love, drugs, alchemy, and stories of the gold rush--both the 49ers and the tech bubble. A fun, fast-paced, seriously good book by a seriously talented writer." --Françoise Brodsky, Shakespeare & Co., New York, N.Y.

For Ages 4 to 8
Donut: The Unicorn Who Wants to Fly by Laura Gehl, illus. by Andrea Zuill (Random House Studio, $17.99, 9780593376256). "This is such a cute picture book about dreams and perseverance! The illustrations are adorable and add so much to the written story. I cannot wait to read this one to my preschoolers at story time." --Anna Brown, Katy Budget Books, Houston, Tex.

For Ages 10+
Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace (Quirk Books, $16.99, 9781683692898). "Hunters of the Lost City is a story that will keep you enthralled until the very last page. Full of friendship, mystery, magic, and monsters, this story of a strong young girl trying to save all she loves is a ride you won't ever want to end!" --Marielle Orff, Towne Book Center & Café, Collegeville, Pa.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
What We Harvest by Ann Fraistat (Delacorte Press, $18.99, 9780593382165). "Filled with iridescent wheat, bioluminescent melons, and a mercury-esque blight, Hollow's End is perfect for impending doom. Fraistat's debut shows the comforts and horrors of small towns, old families, and the secrets they bury." --Laura Graveline, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Horse

Horse by Geraldine Brooks (Viking, $28 hardcover, 416p., 9780399562969, June 14, 2022)

For her sixth novel, Geraldine Brooks (Caleb's Crossing), who won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel March, here crafts the biography of a seminal horse in the guise of a marvelous novel. Brooks structures the book like a mystery, moving among key characters in the shaping of the horse's life in the pre-Civil War South, and those who bring the significance of a long-forgotten horse skeleton to light nearly two centuries later.

The book opens with the discovery of a discarded painting of a horse. Theo is a Black doctoral student at Georgetown studying art history in 2019; a polo star in his boarding school days, he developed a love of horses and seeks to learn more about this painting he found in a neighbor's trash. Jess, an Australian managing the Smithsonian's vertebrate Osteology Prep Lab, meets Theo at the bike rack outside the Museum of Natural History when she implies that Theo might have mistaken her bike for his. Their chance encounter blossoms into a relationship, fraught with misunderstanding on Jess's part of what Theo's experience as a Black man living in Washington, D.C., and moving through a world dominated by whites might be like. But they form a connection based on their mutual interest in this horse, his for its history, represented through art, and hers for the scientific puzzle the horse presents.

The most moving and compelling relationship of the novel, however, is that between the horse, named Darley and later knighted Lexington, and Jarret, the enslaved boy--and later man--who trained and cared for the horse from its foaling to stud sire to his retirement to pasture. Other characters with various connections to the horse each bring layers of complexity to the stallion's storied place in equestrian history, but Brooks's strongest chapters follow the movements of Lexington and Jarret, as they pass together from owner to owner. Jarret's integrity shines through, despite chapter headings that telegraph the household to which he belongs (e.g., "Ten Broeck's Jarret"), until he shows up a free man in 1875 New York (in the chapter "Jarret Lewis"). Through Jarret's story, the author reveals the unique and indispensable role Black trainers and jockeys played in the pre-Civil War South. Brooks's copious notes at the back inform readers of the facts, and where she used her imagination to fill in the gaps.

Equestrian or no, readers will appreciate Brooks's invitation to linger awhile among beautiful and graceful horses, to see the devotion they engendered in her characters and in the author (a horsewoman) herself. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks crafts the biography of a seminal horse in the guise of a marvelous novel.

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