Also published on this date: Tuesday, June 28, 2022: Maximum Shelf: Life on the MIssissippi

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 28, 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!

Quotation of the Day

'More Committed than Ever to Our Mission'

"WORD is a woman-owned business and women are among several groups who are currently under attack by our government. At WORD, we are always making political statements in the books we stock, the voices we choose to uplift, and the staff we hire. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decisions, I feel angry and powerless, yet more committed than ever to our mission.

"Bookstores are gathering places for conversation, for exploring new ways of seeing our world and finding our places in it. Led by our amazing staff, WORD will continue to provide solace to those who gather with us during this difficult time. Whether in-person or virtually, we welcome a sharing of our communal fears and anger and will continue to encourage each other in our commitments to advocacy and change. In that spirit, we are collecting donations for the National Network of Abortion Funds, providing resources, and making our own ongoing donations as a business."

--Christine Onorati, owner of WORD bookstores, Brooklyn and Jersey City, and president of the American Booksellers Association, in an Instagram post

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


Macmillan Stays Closed Today Because of Saturday 'Security Incident'

Macmillan, which closed yesterday because of "a security incident" on Saturday that involved its servers and internal system, is remaining closed "virtually and physically" today, Tuesday, June 28. The company said it is "making progress," but it is still unable to process, receive, place or ship orders.

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

Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast: 'Reflecting the Reality of Black Life'

This past weekend at ALA Annual, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards breakfast celebrated the authors, illustrators and photographers whose 2021 titles were chosen as book award winners and honorees. The CSK Awards are given annually to "outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values." The 53rd Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast was dedicated to Floyd Cooper, who died of cancer in July 2021 and was posthumously awarded the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his art in Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (written by Carole Boston Weatherford; Carolrhoda Books).

Dr. Brenda Pruitt Annisette, the chair of the CSK Awards Committee, presided over the event. "The CSK book award titles enjoy recognition as well-written, superbly illustrated books that reflect universal human values," she said. "Honorees are the artists whose hard work, dedication and creativity make this wonderful event possible." The celebration began with the traditional singing of the African American National Anthem, "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," and a passionate, entertaining and sincere invocation that included lines like, "We pray that those who uphold the constitution will also read it."

Jason Miles Driver, Sr., the awards jury chair, presented the awards. Amber McBride, winner of the John Steptoe Author Award for New Talent for Me (Moth) (Macmillan) spoke first. "There isn't an exact science for why we all get goosebumps at the exact same time in the song," she said. But this honor is like that--it "feels like community, oneness, family."

Regis and Kahran Bethencourt

Next up were photographers Regis and Kahran Bethencourt, who won the Steptoe Illustrator Award for their photographs in The Me I Choose to Be (written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley; Little, Brown). The two took turns speaking, ultimately ending with their dreams for the book: "When we think of all the Black and brown children out there who are trying to navigate chronic stress and generations of trauma... we hope our book reminds them to never give up."

The CSK author and illustrator honoree speeches followed. Raissa Figueroa was unable to attend to receive her honor for her illustrations in We Wait for the Sun (written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe, Roaring Brook) and the award was accepted on her behalf. Safia Elhillo, who received an author honor for Home Is Not a Country (Make Me a World), accepted the honor through a recorded video. "I wanted to make this book as a thank you and as a record," she said, specifically thanking the "global Sudanese diaspora."

Christian Robinson, honored for his work in Nina: A Story of Nina Simone (written by Traci N. Todd, Putnam), stepped up to the mic and began singing a truly lovely version of "Feeling Good." As he reached the end of the chorus, he gestured to the audience to finish with him: "And I'm feeling... good." "I was illustrating this book during the summer of 2020," Robinson said. "There was a lot going on that summer, I don't know if y'all remember." Robinson said that, through all the trials of that year, he kept thinking of Simone and her dedication to raising up Black people. At the time, he and his family were trying to find their mother, who was struggling with addiction and was unhoused. "We did find our mother. It was a mixed feeling of excitement--she was still with us--and hurt. We realized she didn't even have the capacity to reach out to us during a pandemic. And I reached out to the spirit of Nina." "I can't imagine," Robinson mused, "what my mother's life would have been like if she had received enough stories that made her feel good" when she was a child--if she had been given the chance to see herself in books.

Kekla Magoon

Kekla Magoon emotionally rocked the crowd by beginning her speech for her CSK Author Honor for Revolution in Our Time (Candlewick) with an homage to the late Ashley Bryan, who died this year at the age of 98. Bryan was a regular fixture of the CSK awards and would begin every speech with a call-and-response recitation of "My People" by Langston Hughes. (You can listen to Bryan recite the poem here.) Magoon stood at the podium and told the crowd they knew what to do: "The night is beautiful,/ So the faces of my people." Her intonation, movements and energy mimicked Bryan's, and it was a beautiful, vibrant, emotional tribute to the talented, much-missed creator. "There will never be another voice quite like Ashley's," Magoon said, "but that's okay because we still have his stories. And the ability to tell our own." Revolution in Our Time is, Magoon said, the first mainstream book written for teens about the Black Panther Party. The struggle in which the Panthers engaged "continues, and as such it means so much to me to be recognized by this committee for this book.... In this landscape of book challenges and overt white supremacy," Magoon said, "it is our charge... our responsibility to make sure this history is known." If there is revolution in our time, she declared, "it will start in the pages of a book."

C.G. Esperanza received his honor for his illustrations in Soul Food Sunday (Abrams) and thanked author Winsome Bingham: her "words made me use colors I had never used before. They also made me reflect on the amazing things my grandmothers passed on to me." Ibi Zoboi, who received an Author Honor for The People Remember (illus. by Loveis Wise, Balzer + Bray) spoke of the importance of telling and "embodying the stories that already live in our ancestral DNA."

Dayton Cooper

Before the speeches by the Coretta Scott King Award winners, Driver checked in with those assembled: "How y'all doing? Holding up?" This gentle check-in led directly into the bittersweet speech given by Dayton Cooper, Floyd's son, who accepted the Illustrator Award on his father's behalf. Cooper opened by noting that, as an adult, he had grown to be quite a bit larger than his father. However, "I will forever find it challenging to come even remotely close to filling his shoes." His family knew, he said, that "if there was any book that had a shot of taking home the W, it would be Unspeakable." Floyd Cooper was born in Tulsa, Okla., and everything he "knew about the tragedy came from his grandpa and grandpa alone," showing how this horrendous historical event had been completely erased from cultural memory. "They say a picture is worth a thousand words," Cooper said, "but on this day, the word 'unspeakable' should be worth a thousand pictures. He entreated the audience: "May we continue to bring history's dark truths to light" and finished by saying, "It fills my heart with joy that, because of these awards, my dad's final work will truly be cherished.... I love you dad, to the moon and back."

Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford, the author of Unspeakable and winner of the CSK Author Award, opened by saying, "You made me last, and I have to follow Dayton. Not only was I a bundle of nerves, now I'm all choked up as well." Weatherford told the audience that she had originally wanted to write something a bit more personal: "There is a lynching in my own family lore." When editors didn't respond, she expanded the story, broadened it, made it a "lamentation... and a testament to those killed and left homeless." Today, she pointed out, "books like Unspeakable are at the center of the culture wars over whose stories are told and who gets to tell them. Children are not "too tender for tough topics," she argued, saying they "deserve to be told the tough truths.... If children of the past can be victimized, then children today can at least empathize." It is our job--authors, illustrators, librarians, publishers, booksellers, and on and on--to "pour every good thing and every true thing that we can into our children." In times like this, Weatherford said, "we must be the books and pass on the knowledge whenever and wherever we can." She, like Robinson, finished with a song, hers in tribute to her illustrator and friend Floyd Cooper: Billie Holiday's "I'll Be Seeing You."

The final award of the morning was the Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, to Nikki Grimes, who was unable to attend and asked jury member Chrystal Carr Jeter to read her remarks. "I'm not hot on pre-dawn gatherings," Jeter read, "and yet I surely wish I could be with you this morning." Grimes's remarks were primarily focused on the role Virginia Hamilton (her "literary kinswoman") played in her life as a creative and as a person: "When I got the news, one of the people I most wanted to tell was Virginia." It is Virginia's books, Grimes wrote, that "showed me the way." Like many of the morning's speakers, Grimes expressed that it is "imperative that authors and illustrators be honest in our work for young readers." And she said that "to receive this award at such a time is especially significant because it is fuel to me. I will continue to hold the line, to create new works... that reflect the reality of Black life in America, past and present." --Siân Gaetano, children's/YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Ci10: Book Fair Models & Profitability

Last week at Children's Institute 10 in Phoenix, Ariz., four booksellers from around the country shared their experiences and best practices hosting book fairs both in-person and online. 

Left to right: Mark Adam, Hannah Walcher, Stephanie Heinz and Jessica Hahl

Panelists were Mark Adam, book buyer and manager at San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe in San Marino, Calif.; Hannah Walcher, children's events & book fair manager at Books Inc. in Northern California; and Stephanie Heinz, children's buyer and community coordinator at Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine. Jessica Hahl, events and marketing coordinator at Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Mont., was moderator.

The panelists had experience hosting book fairs both on-site, typically at schools, and in-store, as well as working with virtual and hybrid models. Adam, who had prior experience with a private book fair company, noted that his bookstore began by doing in-store fairs, which generally didn't involve as much work as on-site events "except for the preordering." In terms of success, in-store book fairs involving schools closest to the bookstore did best, and hosting an event in conjunction with the book fair was "very successful." On-site school book fairs, he added, are typically more labor intensive but sales tend to be higher.

Walcher said she inherited Books Inc.'s large book fair program in fall 2019, which was suddenly "wiped clean" with the pandemic. The program went virtual and Walcher ran online book fairs through the store's website, making use of the coupon code feature on IndieCommerce. Now the program is back to being 98% in-person, large-scale, on-site events. She noted that historically Books Inc. had used Wordstock as its POS for those events; this summer it will transition to Ibid/ie.

Heinz remarked that she's done in-store, in-school, virtual and hybrid events since she became Print's children's manager around 2016. She's essentially been "making things up as I went along" on a school-by-school basis, talking to individual schools and seeing what would work best for them. That flexibility, she pointed out, is perhaps the "biggest benefit" indies can provide compared to the larger book fair companies and, in her experience, school librarians are very glad to have alternatives.

Hahl reported that Country Bookshelf does "all of the types" of book fairs. There are three schools within walking distance of the bookstore, and the shop serves the broader county as well. Though it can be daunting sometimes to try to put together enough books to "fill a school" for an on-site fair, Country Bookshelf has an "embarrassment of riches" in terms of square footage and tries to shop its own shelves whenever possible.

Turning to time savers and valuable resources, the panelists noted that in-store, on-site and virtual fairs all have different needs. Adams said Square readers are "so helpful" for on-site fairs, as they allow him to see what's selling in real time; in the "olden days," he would have to write down everything and then go through the fair counting what sold. This way "saves so much time."

Speakers agreed on the value of Edelweiss tags, with Hahl saying it "cuts down on labor for on-site fairs." Heinz said she uses "so many tags" to sort titles for book fairs, building very specific lists pertaining to individual schools, as well as lists of diverse books, books at particular price points and books for different age levels. She has ready-made lists of all those books, and can easily "pull that tag" when necessary.

The panelists stressed the importance of keeping records and tracking book fair data. Hahl acknowledged that while it can feel "feel labor intensive at the beginning," it saves a great deal of time later on, as you simply "work your system." Heinz agreed that documenting everything you're doing does take a lot of time initially, but you end up building a "handbook for yourself" that you can use for subsequent fairs. (They also shared book fair spreadsheets that will be available for ABA members on

Walcher said Books Inc. has book fair files "going back to 2014," and there is a recap form that staff fill out after every fair. It includes that year's sales, previous years' sales if the store worked with that school before, whether there was an author visit, and any other comments, positive or negative. She'll note if working with a given school was a breeze, for example, or that one school "made my volunteer coordinator cry."

She was also a major proponent of contracts, explaining that Books Inc. uses a contract for every book fair, no matter the location or whether it is online, in-person or a hybrid event. While contracts can seem intimidating and corporate, they "make sure the event happens," and clearly spell out from the beginning what the store is responsible for and what the school is expected to provide. The contract also clearly breaks down the book fair's financial terms.

Elaborating on contracts, Heinz said they can include stipulations that a store won't do a book fair if it's not inclusive or if the book fair partner wants to feature harmful books. As such, they can be a part of "your mission as a bookstore." --Alex Mutter

Obituary Note: Peter Scupham 

Peter Scupham, poet, bookseller and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, died June 11, the Bookseller reported. He was 89. Scupham published more than 10 collections of poetry in his lifetime as well as founding the Mandeville Press with John Mole. He also ran Mermaid Books, a second-hand book business in Norfolk. He received a Cholmondeley Award in 1996. 

Carcanet published Scupham's Collected Poems this year as well as Borrowed Landscapes in 2011. His final collection, Invitation to View, is forthcoming next month. Carcanet noted: "It was with relief that we delivered finished copies of the new book to him shortly before his death." 

Michael Schmidt, founder and managing director of Carcanet Press, said Scupham "is a poet I loved almost from my arrival in the U.K. He was a superlative second-hand bookseller whose Mermaid Books catalogues are harmonies of erudition and hilarity and whose prices were always within my range. His envelopes he often decorated with drawings that added to the merriment of his correspondence. The garden of the Old Hall that he and Margaret Stewart restored was a gathering-place for poets, with summer Shakespeare performances and a permanent welcome."

Scupham was first published by Peterloo Poets and then by Oxford University Press. Schmidt said that when Carcanet took over the OUP poetry list, Scupham "became formally ours. He was already a central figure in our magazine PN Review, to which he contributed from our very first issue in 1973 and to which he continued contributing until yesterday, as it were. We celebrated his work as a poet, bookseller and eccentric Englishman on his 85th birthday in 2018 with a special supplement. He and his friend John Mole were proper, inky-fingered publishers, with letterpress and hand-stitching, and their Mandeville Press produced handsome and significant pamphlets and the legendary Dragon Cards.

"Few poets in my experience are as generous, as cheerful and as formally inventive and accomplished as Peter. As he lay preparing for death, I asked him to record some of his new poems, from his last book Invitation to View. He roused himself and with his usual smiling precision of voice read them. Margaret recorded them for all time on her telephone and they will soon be shared with the world, along with a fine tribute by John Mole."

Schmidt added: "Peter's death is a great loss for all at Carcanet, and the poetry community at large. He will be remembered for his poetic energy and trademark wit, which were bright until the end."


More Bookstore Displays: 'Stop By to Think, to Grieve & to Learn So That We May Act Once More'

Indie booksellers continue to raise their collective voices in protest against the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Bookshops are featuring statements and photos of store displays on their social media pages, including:

At Copperfish Books

Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, Fla.: "Ours is a business run by women who believe that choosing your own destiny and having power over your own body is a human right. The Supreme Court's decision on June 24th hit us hard. As a bookstore, we do what book people do: we turn to books and conversation to help us understand and respond. Maybe you do, too. Please know that we are here for you whether you're seeking educational non-fiction, relevant fiction, or a much needed escape; we'd be honored to help you find the books you need."

Inquiring Minds Coffee House and Bookstore, Saugerties, N.Y.: " 'Reproductive freedom is critical to a whole range of issues. If we can't take charge of this most personal aspect of our lives, we can't take care of anything. It should not be seen as a privilege or as a benefit, but as a fundamental human right.' --Faye Wattleton. It's easy to feel angry and helpless. We, along with millions, are lamenting what feels like the loss of years of labor, work and activism by our foremothers. But the work starts again. Stop by to think, to grieve, and to learn so that we may act once more. We also have 'Truth' pins for sale made by beloved artist Mary Frank--all proceeds go to Planned Parenthood."

At Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books, Belfast, Maine: "You know."

Lion's Mouth Bookstore, Green Bay, Wis.: "It's a tough day, yet we keep pushing on--doing what we can to effect change and help to usher in progress, while offering a bit of light in the wake of so much darkness. Sorry for the feelings post, but I know many, if not all of you get it. The 2 items shown in the photo arrived today from their small business makers. The timeliness of their deliveries is not lost on us. 100% of the proceeds from the Ukraine candle goes directly to the Razom for Ukraine. The magnet is a meant to serve as a reminder or a mantra to focus on when the darkness becomes too much. And thank you for supporting small."

Image of the Day: Talking Food at Brooklyn's Archestratus Books + Foods

Carla Perez-Gallardo (left), co-author of Please Wait to Be Tasted: The Lil' Deb's Oasis Cookbook (Princeton Architectural Press), in conversation with food writer Amiel Stanek at Archestratus Books + Foods in Brooklyn, N.Y., last week.

Personnel Change at Dutton, Plume and Tiny Reparations Books

Lauren Morrow has joined Dutton, Plume and Tiny Reparations Books as senior publicist. Previously she worked in publicity for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Vercher on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: John Vercher, author of After the Lights Go Out (Soho Press, $26, 9781641293310).

CBS Mornings: Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny, authors of State of Terror: A Novel (Simon & Schuster/St. Martin's Press, $18.99, 9781982173685).

Today Show: Jenna Kutcher, author of How Are You, Really?: Living Your Truth One Answer at a Time (Dey Street, $27.99, 9780063221949).

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

Watch What Happens Live: Garcelle Beauvais, author of Love Me as I Am (Amistad, $27.99, 9780063099586).

TV: This Is Not a Pity Memoir

Abi Morgan will adapt and direct a TV adaptation of her book This Is Not a Pity Memoir. Deadline reported that producer Sister acquired rights to the screenwriter's book, which Morgan is executive producing along with Sister co-founder and CCO Jane Featherstone. Sister and Morgan have already collaborated on three seasons of The Split. No broadcaster is attached at this stage of development. Sister will co-produce with Morgan's production company Little Chick.

"Working with Jane and Sister over the last few tumultuous years, they have been my running partners, given a unique birds eye view on the unfolding drama," said Morgan. "As producers of some of the best film and television out there, there is no one else I would trust to help bring the deeply personal This Is Not a Pity Memoir to the screen."

Featherstone added: "Abi has such an extraordinary gift for words, so while it should be absolutely no surprise that her memoir is such a beautiful and powerful book, it still stunned me. We've worked together for many years but her incredible strength in these last few, very challenging ones, has been deeply inspirational."

Books & Authors

Awards: German Peace Prize, COVR Visionary Winners

Ukranian writer and musician Serhij Zhadan has won the €25,000 (about $26,440) 2022 German Peace Prize, which will be presented at a ceremony in Frankfurt's St. Paul's Church on October 23 during the Frankfurt Book Fair.

As reported by Börsenblatt, the organizers said they're honoring Zhadan "for his distinguished artistic work as well as for his humanitarian efforts to help people affected by war and for doing so at the risk of his own life. In his novels, essays, poems and song lyrics, Serhij Zhadan leads us into a world that has experienced great upheaval and at the same time lives by tradition. His writings tell how war and destruction invade this world and shock people. In this way, the writer finds his own language, which leads us insistently and seeing in a different light what many have long wanted not to see. Thoughtful and receptive, in a poetic and radical tone, Serhij Zhadan reports on how people in Ukraine, despite all violence, try to lead an independent life marked by peace and freedom."

In addition to his works, some of which have been translated into English and published here by Yale University Press, Deep Vellum and Lost Horse Press, Zhadan has organized book and music festivals, participated in social and cultural projects in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia and pro-Russian separatists since 2014 and increased his humanitarian activities after the Russian invasion in February. Since 2007, he's also been a singer in the Ukranian band Sobaki v Kosmosi (Dogs in Space) and translates as well as writes song lyrics.


Winners have been announced for the 2022 COVR Visionary Awards, honoring the best books and products of the mind/body/spirit industry. To see the many gold, silver and bronze winners, click here.

Book Review

Review: The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society

The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society by William Deresiewicz (Holt, $29.99 hardcover, 320p., 9781250858641, August 23, 2022)

In "On Political Correctness," a 2017 piece reprinted in the thematically wide-ranging and bottomlessly rewarding The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society, William Deresiewicz calls himself "an atheist, a social democrat, a native Northeasterner, a person who believes that colleges should not have sports teams in the first place, and, in case it isn't obvious by now, a card-carrying member of the liberal elite." But woe betide readers who think they have Deresiewicz pegged.

He may be a liberal, but Deresiewicz (Excellent Sheep; The Death of the Artist) thinks highly enough of conservative commentator David Brooks to reproduce his ideas in The End of Solitude. Deresiewicz may be of the left, but he doesn't dismiss right-leaning thinking out of hand: "If you want to find the counterculture on today's elite college campuses," he writes in "On Political Correctness," "you need to look for the conservative students." Deresiewicz may live in artisanal-this, organic-that Portland, Ore., but he has a quibble with foodie vogue: "What has happened, in retrospect, is not that food has led to art, but that it has replaced it," he writes in "Food, Food Culture, Culture." "Nobody cares if you know about Mozart or Leonardo anymore, but you had better be prepared to discuss the difference between ganache and couverture." And Deresiewicz may be a multiple-degreed product of the Ivy League, but academia gets quite a shellacking in "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education." (Sample barbs: "The final and most damning disadvantage of an elite education: that it is profoundly anti-intellectual.... We are slouching, even at elite schools, toward a glorified form of vocational training.") It's enough to make a person consider leaving academia--which Deresiewicz did, although the decision wasn't entirely his; see "Why I Left Academia (Since You're Wondering)."

Deresiewicz's amiable skepticism and not-quite contrarianism aren't so all-consuming that he can't stomach writing the odd homage. In The End of Solitude, which comprises 42 essays, dating back to 1993 and most of them previously published, he offers encomiums to two Cunninghams--Bill and Merce--and tributes to two critics named Harold: Rosenberg and Bloom. Deresiewicz also turns the lens on himself, most revealingly in the book's newest essay, 2022's "Birthrights." It's a piquant reflection on his decision to abandon Judaism for atheism that nimbly slips into a case for assimilation--and yes, Deresiewicz knows that assimilation has fallen out of favor. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: These 42 thematically wide-ranging and bottomlessly rewarding essays demonstrate the author's amiable skepticism and not-quite contrarianism.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Help Me Remember by Corinne Michaels
2. My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
4. A Grim Baby (Tornians Book 8) by M.K. Eidem
5. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
6. NFTs and the Future of Finance by Mike Hager
7. Miss Desirable by Grace Burrowes
8. Who's Your Mike? by Kurt Wilkin
9. So Not Meant to Be by Meghan Quinn
10. Last on the List by Amy Daws

[Many thanks to!]

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