Also published on this date: Tuesday, June 14 Dedicated Issue: 50th anniversary of Margaret K. McElderry Books

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Other Press (NY): Playing Under the Piano: From Downton to Darkest Peru by Hugh Bonneville

Shadow Mountain: Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together by Tara Teaspoon

Berkley Books: The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch

Charlesbridge Publishing: Too-Small Tyson (Storytelling Math) by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Anastasia Williams

MIT Press: Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration by Louie Läuger

Spiegel & Grau: Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West by Katie Hickman

Austin Macauley: Lasseter's Truth by John Somerset

St. Martin's Press: Weyward by Emilia Hart


The Taleless Dog Booksellers Arrives in Berea, Ky.

The Taleless Dog Booksellers, an all-ages bookstore selling new titles, has opened in Berea, Ky., the Richmond Register reported.

Owners Clark and Susan Buckmaster carry roughly 1,300 titles for children, teens and adults, with a strong emphasis on books by local authors and authors from throughout Appalachia. "They usually don't have the big publishing houses behind them," Clark Buckmaster said. "We really want to be an outlet for local and regional authors, give them a forum and dedicated space."

Located in the historic Sunshine Ballard Cottage in Berea, the store also carries branded coffee mugs and t-shirts, and the Buckmasters plan to commission local artists for new T-shirt designs over the next few months.

While they have no prior experience in bookselling, the Buckmasters were the owners of a small coffee shop in Louisville, Ky., for many years and both are lifelong readers; Clark prefers fiction and Susan prefers nonfiction. "We have talked about opening a bookstore for 25 years," Clark noted.

"We love books, it's how we spend our free time," Susan said.

The store's name, they explained, came from their habit of adopting tail-less dogs. "We wanted a play on words and started trying to find different words that had to do with reading books. Tale came up and we looked down and all of our dogs we noticed didn't have tails," Susan added.

The Taleless Dog Booksellers has received a ton of support since opening earlier this month, the owners reported. The grand opening celebration, which featured local authors Hasan Davis and Melissa Newman, was very well attended, and customers said they were excited to have another bookstore in town again.

"It means a lot to us," Susan Buckmaster told the Register. "We are so grateful for the community embracing us. People are really excited to have a local bookstore again. We have heard about a hundred times today, 'Thank you for being here.' "

CamCat Publishing: The Darker the Skies (Earth United) by Bryan Prosek

Blue Umbrella Books, Westfield, Mass., Searching for New Location

Following a surge of support over the weekend, Blue Umbrella Books in Westfield, Mass., will move instead of close, owner Russell Atwood announced on Facebook Sunday. While Atwood looks for a new location to move into as soon as possible, the store will stay open in its current space for a $1 clearance sale.

"The outpouring of support has been so great this weekend, it has convinced me to keep Blue Umbrella Books open and in Westfield, Mass, but at a different location," Atwood wrote.

Just last week Atwood had decided to close the seven-year-old new and used bookshop, telling Western Mass News that the store had been struggling to recover from the difficulties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. He had tried to introduce new product lines in recent months, such as vinyl records, and he started a GoFundMe campaign for the store. He also put a button for Paypal donations on the store's website.

"It was a very tough decision to decide to close," Atwood said at the time. "I think there's still hope to continue. That's why we have the GoFundMe and the donate button on my Paypal. I feel terrible even pretending like my bookshop is more important than all these other causes out there, but I hope there's somebody out there who believes that a bookshop is really important."

He also thanked community members and shoppers who supported the bookstore over the years. "When families come in, it's great. I love seeing little kids excited about books and even though sometimes it's been rough, that little thing makes me feel like I've been a success, even though I am going out of business currently or trying not to."

Barefoot Books: Save 10%

WNDB Names 2022 Internship Grant Recipients


We Need Diverse Books has announced the recipients of the 2022 WNDB Internship Grant, which provides $3,000 to diverse recipients to support them during their summer internship with a publishing house or literary agency. There are 25 recipients in total, and 2022 marks the second year that WNDB has run a dual program with internships for both children's publishing and adult publishing. 

Grant recipients will also attend a two-day virtual Internship Grant Book Camp, which will "provide the grantees with tools to confront and disrupt conditions in the publishing industry that have led to a lack of representation for LGBTQIA+ people, Native peoples, people of color, people with disabilities, and underrepresented ethnic, cultural and religious groups." There will also be virtual events devoted to topics such as professional development and industry retention.

The recipients for children's publishing internship are: Graciela Batista, Hachette Book Group; Sasha Campbell, HarperCollins; Sophia Chunn, Macmillan; Danielle Emerson, Simon & Schuster; Tatiana Guel, Barefoot Books; April Li, Macmillan; Kathryn Li, Barefoot Books; Bex Livermore, Andrea Brown Literary Agency; José Oscar López, Levine Querido; Briana Magnum, Hachette Book Group; Ma Karenina Cristina Francesca Montoya, Hachette Book Group; Gabrielle Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency; Yoon Sung, Simon & Schuster; Keng Xiong, North Star Editions.

The recipients for the adult publishing internship are: Yasmine Abdeldayem, Hachette Book Group; Wynne Au-Yeung, Chronicle Books; Michelle Capone, Simon & Schuster; Iliyah Coles, HarperCollins; Memphis Cutchlow, Hachette Book Group; Nasira Watts, HarperCollins; Vivianna Do, HarperCollins; Lindsay Ito, Macmillan; Margaux Kanamori, Hachette Book Group; Sofia Kwon, Macmillan; Lindsay Wang, Beacon Press.

In the program's first seven years, more than 80 grants have been awarded and 63 program alumni are now employed in the publishing industry.

Candlewick Press (MA): The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman

NACS Installs New Officers & Trustees

The National Association of College Stores has installed two new officers and several new trustees to its board of trustees.

Andy Dunn, director, campus retail and licensing, Lope Shops, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Ariz., has been named 2022-23 president/treasurer. Ella Van Nort, director of the FIDM Scholarship Foundation and director of retail operations, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, Calif., is now 2022-23 president-elect/secretary. Steven Westenbroek, director, College of Saint Mary Campus Store, Omaha, Neb., will continue on the board as immediate past president. The terms for these officers end June 30, 2023.

New trustees-at-large, who were elected by NACS members to three-year terms, are Robert Butterfield, director of Instructional Resources Service, University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie; and Clay Ludlow, manager, Cedarville University Bookstore, Cedarville, Ohio. In addition, Cassie A. Wherry, manager, Pioneer Bookshop, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, who just completed an elected term as trustee-at-large, will continue on the board to fill a one-year vacancy.

Trustees remaining on the board are: Allison Hartel, assistant director, marketing and outreach, CU Book Store, University of Colorado Boulder; Gavin Jensen, CCR, manager, Wildcat Tech at the Wildcat Store, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah; Debbie S. Cottrell, CCR, manager, UMHB Campus Store, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Tex.; Gilbert R. Garcia, manager, Southwestern College Campus Store, Chula Vista, Calif.; and Carrie J. Rose, CCR, manager, Grove City College Bookstore, Grove City, Pa.

Parallax Press: Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems by Thich Nhat Hanh

Obituary Note: Baxter Black

Baxter Black, the renowned cowboy poet, storyteller, philosopher and former large-animal veterinarian, died June 10, NPR reported in a tribute to the man who was a popular Morning Edition commentator for more than 20 years. He was 77.

Black wrote more than 30 books of poetry, fiction--novels and children's literature--and commentary, including Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy; Lessons from a Desperado Poet; Horseshoes, Cowsocks & Duckfeet; Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?; Loose Cow Party; and Croutons on a Cow Pie.

Former Morning Edition host Bob Edwards recalled that "he knew our audience and he knew how he fit in.... He would gear some of his commentary in that way, like the people who were against.... fur coats, use of fur, and Bax thought you should recycle roadkill and use the fur as clothing for dolls. So Barbie would have a fur coat from a dead possum or something. That was one of his tweaks at public radio right there."

Noting that he was "a beloved figure in the agricultural industry, and outpourings on his behalf have been going on for months while Black was in hospice care," AGDaily wrote that Black's poetry "was often based on real-life situations, and he seemed to find humor in even the less humorous and western situations. The performer even referred to being 'down to no keys' at a point in his life, a time when he had nowhere to call his own and nothing to drive. However, he didn't stay down long."

In 1984, Black wrote a poem about wildfires in Yellowstone and sent it to NPR, which picked it up and asked for more. When asked why it worked, Black said, "I was the oddity. That's why it worked."

In addition to his books and sharing his works in public venues, he wrote a weekly column, appeared on RFD-TV, and published and recorded audiobooks. AGDaily noted that he "sold more than a million books and audios, entertaining countless people over his career. One of Black's shining attributes was his ability to connect to and inspire people."

"I like what I do," he once said. "I have a great home to come home to, a couple good horses, a few cows, a good dog, and friends everywhere I go. I'm square with God and I make a living entertaining people I care about."

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Survivalists
by Kashana Cauley
GLOW: Soft Skull: The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley

Aretha is a young Black lawyer whose single-minded dream of corporate success is challenged when she finds herself falling for Aaron, a doomsday prepper and illegal gun-stockpiler. While one dream unravels for her, an entirely new world unfurls--with darkly humorous explorations of race, privilege and friendship. With The Survivalists, Kashana Cauley, a former The Daily Show writer, makes her sparkling literary debut. Mensah Demary, editor-in-chief at Soft Skull, says there was "absolute, full-throated support and excitement from the minute the acquisition was announced internally," because of Cauley's observant, edgy writing and the important questions she raises about how to survive in 21st-century America as a Black woman. With a sharp sense of humor and insightful storytelling, Kashana Cauley has written a bold novel that will entertain and captivate. --Grace Rajendran

(Soft Skull, $27 hardcover, 9781593767273, January 10, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Doris Kearns Goodwin at Theodore's Books

On Saturday, Doris Kearns Goodwin did a signing at Theodore's Books, Oyster Bay, N.Y., which partnered with the Friends of Sagamore Hill, for a range of her books, including two with strong local ties: her memoir, Wait Till Next Year, about baseball and growing up on Long Island, not far from the bookstore, and The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism, about the President who made Oyster Bay his home (whose name inspired the store's name). Here (from l.) Theodore's owner, former Rep. Steve Israel; Goodwin; and Oren Teicher, former CEO of the American Booksellers Association.

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster

At Simon & Schuster:

Dustin Ross has joined the company as national account manager for the distribution client sales team.

Anna Elling has joined S&S Children's Publishing as publicist. She was most recently an associate publicist at Penguin Young Readers.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Linda Villarosa on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Linda Villarosa, author of Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation (Doubleday, $30, 9780385544887).

TV: Gathering Dark; The Temps

Courtney Lauren Penn and Thomas Jane's Renegade Entertainment has acquired Candice Fox's novel Gathering Dark for development as a series, Deadline reported, adding that the project "brings the trio back together on the heels of their success" with Troppo, based on Fox's novel Crimson Lake

"Teaming up with Courtney, Thomas and Renegade is the stuff of dreams," said Fox. "They're the kind of creative team to bring the richness, darkness and grit this story deserves."

Penn added: "Candice is a frank, inventive and daring voice in the crime genre. She creates incredibly human, taut and unpredictable characters--first with Ted and Amanda in Troppo--and now, with her interweaving of four distinct, fascinating, gritty and relatable women in Gathering Dark. For a woman-led production company, it's a rare opportunity to dig deep into material capturing a quatrain of women, who couldn't be more different from each other, and are forced together and unite for their one shared instinct--the need to reunite a mother with her missing child."


Los Angeles Media Fund acquired the rights to Andrew DeYoung's novel The Temps "in a competitive situation with plans to develop it for television," Deadline reported. Gabriel Bisset-Smith (The Last Hours of Laura K) is the show's creator, with Carey Burch serving as executive producer.

Books & Authors

Awards: Lambda Literary Winners

The winners of the 34th annual Lambda Literary Awards, which "are judged principally on literary merit and content relevant to LGBTQ lives," have been announced. See the Lammy winners in 24 categories on Lambda Literary's website.

In addition to the winners, five special honors were presented: Kalynn Bayron received the Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction; the Jim Duggins, PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize went to Vi Khi Nao and Silas House; Aisha Sabatini Sloan received the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction; Jobert Abueva received the J. Michael Samuel Prize for Emerging Writers over 50; and the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Exceptional New LGBTQ Writers went to Ching-In Chen and Morgan Thomas.

Book Review

Review: Golden Age

Golden Age by Wang Xiaobo, trans. by Yan Yan (Astra House, $26 hardcover, 288p., 9781662601217, July 26, 2022)

After first becoming widely available to Chinese readers in the mid-1990s, Golden Age survived early controversy to become a subversive classic. This new translation captures Wang Xiaobo's absurdist and surprisingly lewd sense of humor, as well as the grimly amusing satire of China's Cultural Revolution that lurks within it. As Michael Berry states in his introduction, by the time Golden Age arrived on the scene, "all narrative possibilities about the Cultural Revolution had seemingly been exhausted." Golden Age takes a new, defiantly irreverent approach, reimagining the turbulent era from the perspective of a sex-obsessed, educated youth sent down to the Yunnan countryside.

The novel takes place in three distinct periods of protagonist Wang Er's life. His time spent in Yunnan is his golden age, before he understood that "life is but a slow drawn-out process of getting your balls crushed." This first period is preoccupied by Wang Er's wild adventures and sexual escapades with Chen Qingyang, which earn them both endless rounds of criticism sessions and written confessions. Golden Age doesn't ignore the bitter reality of these persecutions--in a vivid scene later in the book, an academic is driven to suicide--but the novel does present them through a bizarre, mocking lens. In Wang Xiaobo's telling, the criticism sessions are a voyeuristic form of entertainment not terribly different from the peeping toms constantly attempting to watch Wang Er and Chen Qingyang make love: "The window in the back of the room was always open. On the other side of it was a steep drop. Yet somehow, there were always heads popping in and out of view like jackdaws on a tree branch." At the same time, Wang Er is asked repeatedly to rewrite his sexually explicit confessions with ever more detail.

The absurd version of the Cultural Revolution presented in Golden Age provides obvious commentary on the arbitrary allocation of suffering and death during this era. The seriousness of the subject matter, however, never gets in the way of the novel's penchant for black comedy and lewd jokes. As Wang Er's life progresses and he settles down to become a university professor, the novel finds new satirical targets in the ridiculous squabbles of academia as well as Wang Er's still-chaotic love life. Golden Age is never less than entertaining, its sharp insights existing alongside endless sexual innuendo and jokes that mine humor from the darkest recesses of Chinese history. --Hank Stephenson, the Sun magazine, manuscript reader 

Shelf Talker: Golden Age is an absurdist Chinese classic that takes a blackly comic look back at China's Cultural Revolution.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Phoenix by Kris Michaels
2. Mine to Have by Natasha Madison
3. Not a Role Model (Battle Crows MC Book 4) by Lani Lynn Vale
4. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
6. Don't Let Me Fall by Kelsie Rae
7. BullyProof by Rob Fazio
8. Offside with #55 by Piper Rayne
9. How I See It by H. Penny Mishkin
10. Give Up the Ghost (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Book 11) by Angie Fox

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