Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 11, 2022

University of Texas Press: Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating Loss by Lisa Keefauver

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

Berkley Books: The Hitchcock Hotel by Stephanie Wrobel

Queen Mab Media: Get Our Brand Toolkit

Ballantine Books: Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me by Glory Edim

Ace Books: Rewitched by Lucy Jane Wood

Graywolf Press: We're Alone: Essays by Edwidge Danticat

St. Martin's Press: Runaway Train: Or, the Story of My Life So Far by Erin Roberts with Sam Kashner


Sacramento's Beers Books Moving

Beers Books, Sacramento, Calif., is moving to a new location several blocks from its current building, which its owner wants to demolish in order to build an apartment building, the Sacramento Bee reported. Anthem Properties has filed an application with the city to construct the new building at 915 S St., and demolition could start as early as next year.

Beers Books's new site is at 712 R St., where renovations will begin as soon as the current tenant moves out. According to store manager Andy Naify, the store should open in the new spot "in the first quarter of 2023." Naify added that Beers Books, founded in 1936, has been in its current location since 2004 and has moved "at least three times." Jim Naify has owned the store since 1985.

For many years, Beers Books sold mostly new books and some used books until the expansion of Borders and Barnes & Noble superstores in the 1990s, when it began to focus on used books. It currently sells about 10% new books and 90% used books and movies. It also sells via

BINC: Click to Apply to the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships

National Media: Indie Bookstores 'Booming, More Diverse'

Libélula Books, San Diego, Calif,

Independent bookselling has gotten some good national press in the last month. First there was an Associated Press story in June entitled "Indie bookstore boom turns page to a more diverse America" (via the Christian Science Monitor). Then yesterday's New York Times ran a feature entitled "Some Surprising Good News: Bookstores Are Booming and Becoming More Diverse."

Both stories highlight that at the beginning of the pandemic, with strict lockdowns, indie bookstores were hard hit and sales fell--and concern about their future grew. And yet, as many of us know, indies, their customers and suppliers rallied, and most have reported a surge in sales in the last year and a half. At the same time, many new stores have opened, a significant number of which emphasize diverse titles and serving diverse communities.

Hudson Valley Books for Humanity, Ossining, N.Y.

In both stories, American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill spoke of the recent growth in association membership. The most recent figures (via the Times) are 2,023 member stores in 2,561 locations, up substantially in the past two years and higher than in the decade of 2010-2020, when membership grew every year. Despite fears of mass closings, 80 indies closed in 2020 and 41 in 2021. At the same time, some 300 stores opened in the last few years and more than 200 stores are preparing to open in the next year or two. Hill told the Times: "It's kind of shocking when you think about what dire straits the stores were in in 2020. We saw a rally like we've never seen before." And, she emphasized, many of the new stores have a more diverse focus. She told the AP: "The rise in BIPOC stores is a big change for us."

Among stores mentioned in the articles are Yu and Me Books, New York, N.Y.; the Salt Eaters Bookshop, Inglewood, Calif.; the Libros Bookmobile, Taylor, Tex.; Los Amigos Books, Berwyn, Ill.; Reader's Block, Stratford, Conn.; Kindred Stories, Houston, Tex.; Socialight Society, Lansing, Mich.; Libélula Books & Co., San Diego, Calif.; Modern Tribe Bookshop, Killeen, Tex.; Birdsong Books, Locust Grove, Ga.; Hudson Valley Books for Humanity, Ossining, N.Y.; and the Urban Reader, Charlotte, N.C. All of them variously have an Asian-American, Latino/a, Black, GLBTQ or other diverse focus.

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

Disability in Publishing Hosting Virtual Town Hall

Disability in Publishing, an organization run by and for publishing professionals with disabilities, is launching with a virtual town hall on Friday, July 22. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern and will introduce the group's founding members. From there, they'll discuss the organization's purpose and its goals, and they'll answer questions from attendees.

Founding members of the group will be present for the town hall, including Ismita Hussain, agent at Great Dog Literary and DiP's external relations lead; Sarah Fisk, assistant agent at Tobias Literary Agency and DiP's programming lead; and Erin Madison, marketing manager at Penguin and member of DiP's communications team.

The town hall will be livestreamed on Twitter and YouTube. After the event, an archive will be available on YouTube. The event is free, and more details can be found here.

Carmen Giménez to Head Graywolf Press

Carmen Giménez
(photo: Jason Gardner)

Carmen Giménez is joining Graywolf Press as executive director and publisher, effective August 8. She succeeds Fiona McCrae, who retired in June after serving as director and publisher for 28 years. Associate publisher Katie Dublinski continues as interim director until August 8.

Graywolf said Giménez is "a queer Latinx poet and editor, and founder and current publisher of Noemi Press," a nonprofit literary arts organization and publisher in Blacksburg, Va. Giménez started Noemi Press in 2002 to publish and promote the work of emerging and established writers and artists, who have included Douglas Kearney, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Khadijah Queen. Noemi authors have been winners or finalists for the National Book Award, the Lambda Literary Awards, the Whiting Award, and the PEN America Awards.

Giménez has also been a Professor of English in Virginia Tech's MFA program in creative writing since 2017. In 2019, Graywolf published Giménez's most recent collection, Be Recorder, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, the PEN Open Book Award, the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is the author of five other collections of poetry, including Cruel Futures and Milk and Filth, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of the lyric memoir Bring Down the Little Birds, which won an American Book Award. She was awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship in 2020, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the Hermitage Foundation.

Kathleen Boe, Graywolf board member and chair of the search committee, said, "We are honored that Carmen Giménez will be Graywolf's next executive director and publisher. Carmen came forward through our broad, international search for a leader whose experience and passion for publishing would expand Graywolf's strong reputation in new and exciting directions. As we got to know her, it seemed to us that Carmen has been preparing for this role her whole life. We found her vision for the future of Graywolf compelling and are excited to begin working with her."

Giménez said Graywolf "has been a vital force in literature and as a mission-driven organization led by the transformative Fiona McCrae. I hope that we will build on that legacy while continuing to evolve, taking risks, engaging directly with the current moment, and serving our local, national, and international community of readers and writers."


Happy Fifth Birthday, Bookmarks!

Congratulations to Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, N.C., which celebrated its fifth anniversary this past weekend. On Friday, the store offered giveaways of signed books and posters as well as snacks all day and exclusive Bookmarks merchandise. On Saturday, it featured a special birthday storytime, which included arts & crafts, face painting, food trucks and a reading by Ellen Heck, author of A Is for Bee: An Alphabet Book in Translation (Levine Querido).

On Thursday evening, Bookmarks hosted a small private event for volunteers, local authors, top customers and donors.

Personnel Changes at Random House

At Random House:

Carisa Hays has been named v-p, director of publicity, special projects.

Barbara Fillon has been named v-p, director of media coaching & creative messaging.

Windy Dorresteyn has been named v-p, director of marketing for Random House and Hogarth.

Allison Renzulli has been named marketing director for Ten Speed and Clarkson Potter.

Melissa Esner is promoted to deputy director, Crown, Currency, and Hogarth.

Julie Cepler adds director of marketing for special projects to her role as v-p, director of marketing for Crown and Currency.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Caroline Elkins on Fresh Air

Good Morning America: Erika L. Sánchez, author of Crying in the Bathroom: A Memoir (Viking, $27, 9780593296936).

Today Show: Dr. Kenneth R. Ginsburg, co-author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings (American Academy of Pediatrics, $16.95, 9781610023856).

Also on Today: Christina Geist, author of Buddy's New Buddy (Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780593307090).

Fresh Air: Caroline Elkins, author of Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire (Knopf, $37.50, 9780307272423).

Tamron Hall repeat: Tim Tebow, co-author of Mission Possible: Go Create a Life That Counts (WaterBrook, $26, 9780593194003).

CBS Mornings: Rafael Agustin, author of Illegally Yours: A Memoir (Grand Central, $29, 9781538705940).

Good Morning America: David Baldacci, author of The 6:20 Man: A Thriller (Grand Central, $29, 9781538719848).

Tamron Hall repeat: Larry Miller, co-author of Jump: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062999818).

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Werner Herzog, author of The Twilight World (Penguin Press, $25, 9780593490266).

TV: Queen of Fire

Stephen McDonogh's Lone Wolf Pictures has acquired rights to Anthony Ryan's Raven's Shadow fantasy book franchise to develop as a TV series, and is partnering on the project with Paul Telegdy and Stefan Telegdy's the Whole Spiel, Deadline reported. 

Tentatively titled Queen of Fire, the project will feature the legends, worlds and characters of the Raven's Shadow book trilogy (Blood Song, Tower Lord and Queen of Fire), its sequel, the Raven's Blade duology, and collections of Raven's Shadow short stories. McDonogh, Paul Telegdy and Ryan will executive produce. A search is underway for a showrunner.

"Once drawn into Ryan's masterful storytelling, audiences will delight in the twist to the immensely satisfying non-stop action, with heretics challenging the monastic orders of faith, legendary characters and monstrous creatures in an extraordinary struggle for power spanning a world of empires," said McDonogh. "Queen of Fire is an unflinchingly brave story of people and empires bitterly divided, and the vital necessity of overcoming their differences to have any hope of making a better world."

Telegdy added: "Ryan's beautifully crafted body of work has captured the attention of millions and we are honored to bring it to life on television. The robust and timeless storylines of this epic franchise provide endless possibilities to uniquely engage and captivate a global audience."

Ryan commented: "I am thrilled with the production's fresh, original and expansive vision for adapting my books and stories for global screen audiences and core fans alike. It is an exciting opportunity to collaborate closely with the creative team in bringing my universe and characters to life on screen."

Books & Authors

Awards: Arthur C. Clarke Shortlist

The shortlist for the £2,022 (about $2,430) 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award, honoring "the best science fiction novel that has its first U.K. publication in the previous year," consists of:

Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine
A River Called Time by Courtitia Newland
Wergen: The Alien Love War by Mercurio D. Rivera
Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley

The winner will be announced October 26.

Book Review

Review: The Last Karankawas

The Last Karankawas by Kimberly Garza (Holt, $26.99 hardcover, 288p., 9781250819857, August 9, 2022)

In her stunning debut novel, The Last Karankawas, Kimberly Garza takes readers into the intertwined lives of the Filipino and Mexican American residents of Galveston, Tex., and surrounding communities. At the center of her narrative are Carly Castillo, who is torn between her love for her home and her secret desire to go somewhere new, and Carly's grandmother, Magdalena, who insists that their family is descended from the Karankawas, a "vanished" Indigenous tribe. Carly's Filipina mother, Maharlika, is mostly conspicuous by her absence: she left when Carly was six years old and they haven't seen her since. As Carly grows, she and Magdalena learn to navigate new layers to their relationship, especially as Magdalena's memory begins to fail.

Garza introduces her characters through a series of linked stories, each focusing on a different character: Carly's boyfriend, Jess, a star shortstop who falls in love with fishing; Jess's undocumented cousin, Mercedes; Magdalena's day nurse, Kristin; Kristin's brother, Pete; and various people who are connected (intimately or peripherally) to all of them. The narrative shifts back and forth in time, telling stories of immigration, wandering, childhoods and first marriages, but the timelines eventually draw together as Hurricane Ike heads for the Texas Gulf Coast. The residents of Galveston, including Carly, Jess and others, must decide whether to evacuate or to stay and hunker down. After the storm, they must also decide whether and how to rebuild.

Drawing on her firsthand experience of south Texas and its communities, Garza immerses her readers in sensory details: the green rivers and prickly underbrush of the Texas Hill Country, the thick salty air and brown Gulf water of Galveston. She draws a sharp portrait of an often-overlooked community, focusing her lens on Fish Village, the working-class neighborhood where most of her characters live. Her narrative, and characters, are full of contradictions: Catholic masses and Indigenous rituals; a Vietnamese man who proudly wears a "BOI" (Born on the Island) baseball cap; undocumented immigrants who feel a swell of pride at the national anthem for the country they can never quite claim. Garza highlights the diverse origins and worldviews behind the brown faces of Texas's south coast, and celebrates their quiet resilience, ingenuity and strength. She follows their stories, but leaves some ends hanging loose; these characters, like their communities, are too complex for tidy endings.

Evocative, sometimes heartbreaking and full of rich descriptions, The Last Karankawas is a love letter to the Galveston most tourists never see and a tribute to the people who sustain, and are sustained by, their adopted homeland. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: Kimberly Garza's evocative debut novel immerses readers in the Filipino and Mexican American communities of Galveston and south Texas.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in June

The following were the most popular book club books during June based on votes from book club readers in more than 75,000 book clubs registered at

1. The Midnight Library: A Novel by Matt Haig (Viking)
2. The Lincoln Highway: A Novel by Amor Towles (Viking)
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
4. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster)
5. The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose (Ballantine)
6. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley)
7. The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press)
8. Verity by Colleen Hoover (Grand Central)
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
10. The Rose Code: A Novel by Kate Quinn (Morrow)

Rising Stars:
The Last Green Valley: A Novel by Mark Sullivan (Lake Union)
The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II by Mari K. Eder (Sourcebooks)

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