Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley


Children's Institute Kicks Off in Phoenix, Ariz.

The American Booksellers Association's 10th annual Children's Institute opened yesterday in Phoenix, Ariz., its first in-person iteration since 2019. The day's events included a tour of local bookstores, workshops on TikTok and crisis communication, the opening reception & costume party (attendees were encouraged to dress as a favorite book character) and a Juneteenth celebration that featured music and discussions.

Bookfolk happy to see each other in person at the opening reception.

Winners of the opening reception costume contest: (l.-r.) Elisa McIntosh (The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, N.Y.); Amanda Lepper (Dog Eared Books, Ames, Iowa); Cynthia Compton & Steve Schultz (4 Kids Books & Toys, Zionsville, Ind.); Ellen Hall and Emily Hall Schroen (Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.); Jacqueline Izzo (Books Are Magic, Brooklyn. N.Y.).

Ci celebrated Juneteenth with music and a conversation between Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (Goodnight Racism, Penguin Young Readers) and Frederick Joseph (Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World, Candlewick), moderated by Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, Solid State Books, Washington, D.C.

Members of the Black Theatre Troupe performing at Children's Institute yesterday.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Tattered Cover's Colorado Springs Store Opening Today

Tattered Cover's first location outside the Denver area opens today, in downtown Colorado Springs. The 8,000-square-foot store, at 112 N. Tejon St., is in a historic building that dates to the 1880s, and will sell books and gifts for all ages. It also includes Best Cellars, a full-service bar and café that will serve Denver's Attimo Wine and craft brews from Denver's Fiction Beer Company, as well as a menu of coffee, drinks and food. This is the second-largest of Tattered Cover's 10 locations, second in size to the Colfax store.

"This opening feels very similar to the opening of Tattered Cover's beloved LoDo location as both are in historic buildings in the heart of burgeoning downtown areas," said Tattered Cover CEO Kwame Spearman. "Our goal is to be a community institution for Coloradans and this new location will offer the perfect setting to connect with the Colorado Springs community."

"Downtown Colorado Springs is in the midst of a renaissance and we are thrilled that Tattered Cover will become part of our downtown landscape and an important part of our growing community," said Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs president and CEO Susan Edmondson. "Such an iconic brand in Colorado is destined to become a destination within downtown Colorado Springs and we look forward to seeing the store thrive here."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Rae Titcomb New Manager at Titcomb's Bookshop

Rae Titcomb

Rae Titcomb, granddaughter of founders Ralph and Nancy Titcomb and niece of owner Vicky Titcomb, has been named manager of Titcomb's Bookshop, E. Sandwich, Mass. In the store's newsletter, Vicky Titcomb wrote in part, "Rae has worked at the bookshop since childhood--helping with special events, dressing up as costumed characters and lending a hand whenever needed. During her high school and college years, she worked in the bookshop as a bookseller, and following her graduation with a BA in Philosophy from Fordham University, she began working at the bookshop full-time.

"Rae brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new position. She has served as our toy buyer and, as marketing director, has edited our newsletter and greatly expanded our social media presence with her lively, fun and creative vision.

"She has a deep love of books, boundless energy and a joyous spirit. She is very committed to the bookshop and its success. I look forward to continued growth of the bookshop's programs and services through her thoughtful leadership. Please say hello to her when you see her in the bookshop!"

At the same time, the store wished a happy retirement to Ellen Speers, who began working at the store in 2015 and had been the manager for the past two years, "starting in the spring of 2020--soon after Covid forced us to close our doors," Vicky Titcomb wrote. "Under her thoughtful guidance, she enabled us to reopen the shop and continue to serve customers online and in person. She also enabled us to continue our active events schedule online and greatly expanded our gift selection.

"Ellen has retired to spend more time with family, but leaves a lasting legacy at the bookshop and I will forever be grateful to her for getting us through this very difficult time of change."

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

International Update: Indie Bookshop Week in U.K.; Shanghai Children's Book Fair Postponed Again

Independent Bookshop Week is underway in the U.K. and runs through June 25. The annual celebration of indies, which highlights their vital role in the communities, was launched in 2006 by the Booksellers Association and celebrated its 15th birthday in June 2021. Hachette UK is the main sponsor.

This year's IBW "promises the biggest line-up the campaign has ever seen, with newly confirmed authors Kate Mosse, Shon Faye, Jason Reynolds and Sarah Winman taking part in activities across the country, ranging from poetry showcases and cooking demonstrations to Jane Austen-themed parties and eco-bag making sessions," the Bookseller reported.

"Independent bookshops are magical places, staffed by passionate and enthusiastic booksellers who have the uncanny knack of always being able to find you exactly the right book, at exactly the right time," author Joanna Cannon said. "Independent Bookshop Week is a time to celebrate and support bookshops across the U.K., and I'm so looking forward to being a bookseller for a day with the wonderful Alex at the gorgeous Bert's Books [Swindown]." 

Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the BA, added: "The breadth of events organized by booksellers across the U.K. and the number of bookshops taking part is larger than ever. After two years of the campaign taking place under Covid restrictions, we're thrilled to see so much in-store activity lined up. Whether they are joining an author event, attending a children's story time or family activity, enjoying special offers and promotions, or just buying their next great read, we know all book-lovers are in for a treat this June."


The ninth China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair has been postponed for the third time due to Covid-19. The event, originally scheduled for November 2021, was initially rescheduled for March 20–22 this year, then postponed again until July 22–24. It has now been rescheduled to run November 18–20 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. Shanghai has been under strict Covid lockdown measures recently, and even though restrictions across the country are easing, there are no assurances that the new date will hold.

CCBF organizers said: "The health and safety of all our exhibitors and visitors being our priority, we are sorry for the inconvenience this new development may bring you. The organizing team is now handling all the proceedings derived from this new situation in the best interest of our exhibitors and visitors.

"We are continuing to work with determination on making the upcoming CCBF a great occasion for the global children's publishing community to connect with the Chinese market. Until we can all be reunited in person in Shanghai, the fair has adapted to the current context and is ready to offer exhibiting opportunities to publishers from China and beyond. We are also looking forward to resuming your favorite accompanying programs and events."


An "oral history of Harry Potter at 25" was featured in the Guardian, which spoke with several book trade veterans who played a role in Bloomsbury's release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on June 26, 1997, and the decades-long Pottermania aftereffects, including:

Barry Cunningham, head of children's publishing, Bloomsbury (now publisher, Chicken House): "One day the literary agent Christopher Little rang me and said: 'I've got this great book, would you read it?' Although he didn't tell me that everybody else had turned it down, I could tell from the manuscript that I wasn't the first to see it. I took it home that night and read it. The most common question everybody wants to know is 'Did I see it immediately?' I can't pretend that I did, but I knew children would love it."

Rosamund de la Hey, children's marketing director, Bloomsbury (now founder of the Mainstreet Trading Company, St. Boswells): "I was 25 and new to the job, and the very first manuscript I was given was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Barry handed it over with the words: 'Read this. I think it's a bit special.' I read it overnight and was completely blown away. I came back into the office slightly possessed. Before the editorial meeting, I rolled the first three chapters into a scroll, shoved in a load of Smarties and tied it with a purple ribbon. The scroll was inspired by the Hogwarts school setting and the Smarties were to say, I think it will win the Smarties prize [for children's books]. The children's list had only been going two years, and it hadn't been an outstanding success. We knew we were up against it."

Thomas Taylor, illustrator of the first book jacket, who was also working in a children's bookshop in Norwich at the time after finishing art school: "We had 10 of the first hardback editions stacked up on a table at the front of the shop. I kept thinking I should buy one, but thought I'd wait for the signed copy they were going to send me. About six months after publication, I began to realize this book was becoming really quite popular. My colleagues kept saying to customers: 'Do you know who this is? He illustrated the cover art.' People didn't believe it because why would I be standing behind the till? It was very awkward and embarrassing. Of course, those 10 books all went and I didn't buy one, so I never had a first edition." --Robert Gray

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Obituary Note: Mike Pruette

Mike Pruette

Mike Pruette, one of the owners of the Liberty Book Company, Rock Hill, S.C., died June 14. He was 51. "We are devastated, and will be spending Saturday with his friends and family at a service in his honor. Thank you for your kindness and patience at this time," the bookshop posted on Instagram last week.

Pruette was born in Charleston, S.C., but spent his youth in Cheraw, S.C., growing up on the Cheraw State Park and what he called his "73 acre playground." He graduated from Cheraw High School in 1988, and moved to Charlotte, N.C., where he met his wife, Adonna, and raised his family. 

An avid history buff, he enjoyed reenacting Civil War military battles all over the East Coast. Pruette later became an owner of the Liberty Book Company in Rock Hill while he grew his talents and passion for leatherwork. He went on to become a leather artisan and launched Celtic Leatherworks. 

The Liberty Book Company shared a link to the GoFundMe page set up to assist his "wife and children at this terrible time.... We are so humbled by the outpouring of love and support that everyone has shown. Truly, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.... Mike was so much more than this bookstore, but it was a massive part of his life. We appreciate your patience as we figure out life without our favorite Book Laird."


Happy 50th Birthday, Full Circle Bookstore!

Congratulations to Full Circle Bookstore, Oklahoma City, Okla., which celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 5 with "food, drink, live music, and fabulous deals" as well as remarks from owner Jim Tolbert and some longtime friends of the store.

The store carries 60,000 titles and has "a grand, British-style storefront with an extensive book collection," according to the Oklahoman. After buying the store, which was originally called Bread and Roses, in 1977, Tolbert changed the name and "shifted the design to fit his vision, which included 'broadening the focus of the stock' and building a classic English-style bookstore. The tall, sliding ladders and traditional leather seats make standing in Full Circle feel like exploring a royal's library."

Full Circle Bookstore hosts author signings, live music, poetry readings, story times, writers' groups and has a café called Java Joe's that provides a "home away from home," manager Dana Meister said. The café serves breakfast and lunch, including coffee, champagne and wine.

Blk + Brwn Bookstore Hosts Juneteenth Block Party 

More than 200 people attended a block party Sunday on the corner of 39th St. and Baltimore Ave. in Kansas City, Mo. Hosted by Blk + Brwn bookstore, which opened on Juneteenth last year, the event featured more than 20 vendors from Black-owned businesses, live music and local authors, KMBC reported. 

Owner Cori Smith said she is happy to provide a space for the community to celebrate the holiday: "I just wanted people to be able to see the really dope people that are a part of this ecosystem--the people that are putting on for this city, that need the love, will return the love and are very much a part of this community.... I wanted this to feel like everyone is welcome. I wanted it to feel like it is a celebration for us to exist."

"Today was a DREAM," Blk + Brwn posted on Instagram. "We could not have celebrated our 1 year Birthday + Juneteenth without the help of our selfless, gracious, supportive vendors! YOU all made today better than anything we could've expected: and brought our community OUT to fill the bookstore with so much love. From the bottom of our hearts, we cannot say THANK YOU enough to all of you! It takes a village.... 

"The community showed out for us today--Happy Birthday Blk & Brwn and Happy Juneteenth! VIBE CHECK. One year of @theblckdaria being your favorite local (KC) book pusher--and because of your love we know we'll have MANY, many more. Thank you so much for loving our corner of KC! Xx Blk & Brwn Team."

Cool idea of the Day: 'Free Stress Management Tool'

"Don't need it. Can't store it. Shouldn't toss it. Aha! Repurpose it," Book No Further, Roanoke, Va., noted in sharing a photo of its in-store repurposed bubble wrap stress reliever and accompanying sign: "Free stress management tool. Take one. If it's that bad, take 'em all."

Personnel Changes at Barefoot Books

Jonathan Ackerman has joined Barefoot Books as director of trade sales. Ackerman was formerly sales director at Highlights for Children and has worked in sales at various publishers for more than 30 years.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Angela Garbes on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Angela Garbes, author of Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change (Harper Wave, $25.99, 9780062937360).

CBS Mornings: Simu Liu, author of We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063046498).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: David Sedaris, author of Happy-Go-Lucky (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316392457).

TV: The Whites

Showtime is developing The Whites, a crime drama limited series starring and executive produced by Ethan Hawke, Deadline reported. Written by Jez Butterworth (Ford v. Ferrari, Spectre), the series was adapted from Richard Price's 2015 novel, written under the pen name Harry Brandt. 

The Whites is a Civic Center Media project in association with MRC Television, with Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman's T-Street and Ethan Hawke and Ryan Hawke's Under the Influence producing. The series reunites the Hawkes with Showtime following their collaboration on The Good Lord Bird.

Books & Authors

Awards: NYPL Young Lions Fiction Winner

Kalani Pickhart won the $10,000 New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, given to "an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories," for her book, I Will Die in a Foreign Land (Two Dollar Radio). 

"Political leaders often behave as if they have no idea what a human life even is, as if none of them had mothers or know the sound of a piano or remember the weight of one hand in another. Kalani Pickhart's I Will Die in a Foreign Land is a wild and prismatic refutation of that tragedy--the ongoing disaster of greed and domination and war," said Catherine Lacey, a judge in this year's contest and winner of the 2021 Young Lions Fiction Award for her book Pew.

Book Review

Review: The Bruising of Qilwa

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia (Tachyon, $15.95 paperback, 176p., 9781616963781, August 9, 2022)

Naseem Jamnia's brilliant and insightful novella, The Bruising of Qilwa, explores questions of identity and belonging in a nuanced medical mystery.

Firuz has relocated to Qilwa with their family to avoid persecution in their homeland as a practitioner of the much-feared Sassanian blood magic. In Qilwa, they find a city unwelcoming to outsiders, with a deep-seated fear and suspicion of Sassanians--particularly any that may be adept at blood magic. Despite the climate, Firuz is fortunate enough to find work as an apprentice healer at a local clinic, where they work alongside healer Kofi as a plague sweeps through the city. As the plague begins to wane, however, Firuz and Kofi start to see startling signs of a new "blood-bruising" disease that leaves healthy people ailing, and cadavers behaving in ways that should be impossible. Unless, as Firuz suspects, the new illness may not be an illness at all, but a side effect of poorly used blood magic--but by whom? And to what end?

Jamnia has built an intricate, multi-layered world full of magic and queerness in The Bruising of Qilwa. While the political worldbuilding can be hard to follow at times, the exact nature of the politics in Qilwa and surrounding areas proves less important than the region's history of subjugation--in both directions. That fact, upon which the current climate of prejudice in Qilwa is built, bleeds into Jamnia's exploration of place and belonging. Dedicated to "the migrants around the world who leave their histories in search of a better future," The Bruising of Qilwa explores the murky and nuanced complexities of migration: "What did it mean to belong to a people who had once subjugated another before becoming subjugated themselves?" (In the author's note, Jamnia attributes this line of questioning to their own evolving understanding of their Persian heritage, first as subjugators, then as the subjugated.)

These questions, like those of the plague and what it might take to cure the city's people of it once and for all, feel familiar in a 21st-century global context steeped in questions of migration and pandemics. And while we may not have the environmental magic of Kofi or the blood magic of Firuz to try to solve these real-world problems, the questions Jamnia raises (and the answers they seem to hint at) about blood family and chosen family, identity and self-expression, gender and immigration and bigotry--are ones as applicable to this world as to the incredibly imagined one that unfolds across the pages of The Bruising of Qilwa. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomologyof a Bookworm

Shelf Talker: A fantastical novella raises questions of place, identity and belonging as a nonbinary healer attempts to track down the origins of a mysterious blood-bruising disease in the city of Qilwa.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
2. The Fractional CMO Method by Casey Stanton
3. Mr. Notting Hill (The Mister Series Book 6) by Louise Bay
4. Wolves and Warriors by Various
5. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
6. Rhythm by Patrick Thean
7. Harvard Can't Teach What You Learn from the Streets by Sam Liebman
8. The Vineyard Bride (The Vineyard Sunset Series Book 13) by Katie Winters
9. Jenner (The K9 Files Book 16) by Dale Mayer
10. Alpha's Rescue (Shifter Ops Book 5) by Renee Rose and Lee Savino

[Many thanks to!]

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