Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 13, 2022: Maximum Shelf: We Are the Light

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 13, 2022


Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Blue Box Press: A Light in the Flame: A Flesh and Fire Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Irh Press: The Unknown Stigma Trilogy by Ryuho Okawa

Other Press (NY): The Rebel and the Thief by Jan-Philipp Sendker, translated by Imogen Taylor

Holiday House: Welcome to Feral (Frights from Feral) by Mark Fearing

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

Berkley Books: Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft

News

Firestorm Books & Coffee Finds New Home in Asheville, N.C.

Firestorm's current location.

Firestorm Books & Coffee, a collectively-owned radical bookstore in Asheville, N.C., will move to a new home in early 2023. Using funds from a $450,000 loan from Seed Commons, the co-op has purchased a building at 1022 Haywood Road in Asheville (the store is currently located at 610 Haywood Road).

The collective members have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for renovations that will add a 350-square-foot wooden patio, a new HVAC system, rooftop solar panels and more. They envision a space with an open layout, roll-up glass doors and plenty of green space for holding Covid-safe events. The new store will also allow them to expand the shop's existing book inventory. So far the campaign has brought in just over $14,000 out of the $50,000 goal.

While the collective will own the building at 1022 Haywood Road, they will be donating the land itself to the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust. The trust is a local 501c3 that aims to create "affordable residential, commercial and community spaces with a commitment to racial justice."

Donating the land ensures that it will "remain under the control of a democratic community institution even if Firestorm ceases to exist. We've also taken steps to ensure that the building--having been legally separated from the land--will provide benefits to the community that outlast our co-op."

Exact details of the transfer are still being worked out, and the collective expects it to take place officially after the new store is open for business next year.


Minotaur Books: A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #18) by Louise Penny


Ada Limón Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Ada Limón

Ada Limón has been named the 24th U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2022-2023. Limón will begin her year-long term with a public reading of her work at the library on September 29. She succeeds Joy Harjo, who served three terms in the position (2019-2022).

"Ada Limón is a poet who connects," Hayden said. "Her accessible, engaging poems ground us in where we are and who we share our world with. They speak of intimate truths, of the beauty and heartbreak that is living, in ways that help us move forward."

Limón commented: "What an incredible honor to be named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States. Again and again, I have been witness to poetry's immense power to reconnect us to the world, to allow us to heal, to love, to grieve, to remind us of the full spectrum of human emotion. This recognition belongs to the teachers, poets, librarians and ancestors from all over the world that have been lifting up poetry for years. I am humbled by this opportunity to work in the service of poetry and to amplify poetry's ability to restore our humanity and our relationship to the world around us."

Limón has published six poetry collections, including The Carrying (Milkweed Editions), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry; Bright Dead Things, a finalist for the National Book Award and the NBCC Award; Sharks in the Rivers; Lucky Wreck (Autumn House); and This Big Fake World (Pearl Editions). Her newest poetry collection, The Hurting Kind, was recently published as part of a three-book deal with Milkweed Editions that includes the publication of Beast: An Anthology of Animal Poems, featuring work by major poets over the last century, followed by a volume of new and selected poems. Limón is currently the host of the podcast series The Slowdown from American Public Media, which was launched as part of Tracy K. Smith's poet laureateship in 2019.

Daniel Slager, publisher & CEO of Milkweed Editions, observed: "When I first came across Sharks in the Rivers, Ada's third collection of poems, in 2008, I was struck by the integrity of her vision and the lyricism of her voice. It was a great pleasure to work with Ada to publish that book, and it has been deeply gratifying to see her artistry and her readership grow with subsequent acclaimed collections....

"Ada is among the most generous authors I've worked with over the years, and along this journey, she has moved and connected with many thousands of readers, exemplifying the power of poetry to illuminate the human experience, as well as the more-than-human world. At a time in our nation's history when poetry is more vital and more necessary than ever before, Ada is an inspired selection for this role. This is, then, a great day for Ada Limón, and for the United States."

In a message headlined "Local girl makes good," Andy Weinberger, owner of Readers' Books, Sonoma, Calif, wrote, in part: "First, a little history. Ada Limón came to work for us at the tender age of fifteen. She lived right across the street from Readers’ Books in an apartment over an art gallery, so her commute was mercifully short.  

"We hired her because she knocked on our door, even before we opened for business. We were still unpacking books, still assembling shelves. My memory is that we were pretty unmoored back then, bewildered like first-time parents: we were so new to the book biz we didn’t own a job application to hand her. In fact, it hadn’t occurred to us that we might soon need employees. That she had taken the initiative and asked, well, that was enough.

"Ada stayed with us through high school. I like to think that we matured together, that her enthusiasm and humor and charm and love of language provided the perfect mix for our customers to see who we were, who we aspired to be as booksellers. I also knew, even then, that Ada was destined for more than Readers' Books. Not to get too metaphorical about it, but everything she touched invariably turned to gold, every time she stepped up to the plate, she hit it out of the park. Which is why it came as no surprise to me to see that she has just been named our country’s 24th National Poet Laureate, succeeding Joy Harjo."


GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati


International Update: Tsutaya Opens Bookstore in Malaysia; Meet Australian Bookseller Jaye Chin-Dusting

Japanese bookstore chain Tsutaya Books recently opened its first Southeast Asian store at the new Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prestige reported that the new store "aims to inspire and transform lifestyle with the store's concept of 'Cultivate Culture & Lifestyle'--offering a conducive environment for developing characters, fostering relationships and strengthening community bonds."

The 31,000 square feet of space includes an expansive bookstore, a café, specialized merchandise, dedicated space for family-friendly activities, a playground and low bookshelves for children. There is also a collection of curated gifts and souvenirs including fine stationery, arts and crafts, decorative items, fragrances and more. Prestige also noted that at Tsutaya Books, "a team of expert concierges will offer visitors personalized recommendations and assistance in genre-specific areas of interest."

Hideyuki Uemoto, head of Tsutaya Books Malaysia, said: "We look forward to launching our first Southeast Asia bookstore with Pavilion Bukit Jalil and we cannot wait for Malaysians to experience the Tsutaya brand for the first time. In line with our vision to cultivate culture and lifestyle, we hope to create a space for families and children who love books, design, and art to grow, explore and thrive together at Tsutaya Books."

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The Australian Booksellers Association's newsletter featured an interview with Jaye Chin-Dusting, new ABA management committee member and owner of Mary Martin Bookshop, with three stores in Melbourne. Among the highlights of the q&a:

When did you start your journey as a bookseller?
I bought the Mary Martin Bookshop in Southbank in 2016. Up until that time I was a Professor of Medical Research, but I must say the one passion switched to the other pretty instantaneously. I was very fortunate to inherit a team of brilliant booksellers, most of whom have stayed with me. We have since opened a shop in Port Melbourne and another small one in the Queen Victoria market.

Can you tell us a little about Mary Martin Bookshop?
Mary Martin was an Australian born in Adelaide. She opened her first shop in a back shed in her parents' home. The Mary Martin Bookshops morphed into several different structures but by the time I came along, the shop in Southbank was the last one standing in the country. We have tried to honor her legacy though, as by all accounts she seemed a remarkable woman. For example, our logo, a mandala, was inspired by her strong ties to India.

What do you see as the role of the ABA?
I look forward to learning more about the ABA. At this point in time, it appears to me the ABA is entering, and consolidating, not only as a strong voice and advocate for the booksellers of Australia, but also in very practical ways which could really impact the financial bottom line of bookshops around the country. I believe we are on the cusp of a very exciting, transformative time for the association and I am delighted to be involved.

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Globe Bookstore, Prague

Noting that Prague, Czech Republic, is "a bibliophile's paradise," TheTravel shared "10 reasons to visit this lovely city in 2022.... Prague is the stuff of bookworms' fantasies. In addition to its many world-famous libraries and independently owned bookstores, the Czech capital has given birth to many distinguished authors, including Franz Kafka and Václav Havel. It was awarded a UNESCO City of Literature at the end of 2014."

Bookseller highlights included the Globe Bookstore, "which houses a wide selection of hand-picked quality titles" and is located "in a 130-year-old building with nine-meter vaulted ceilings"; Book Therapy, which "offers customers a therapeutic experience," including "a novel concept, 'Book Therapy VIP Experience,' where you can enjoy browsing books with a glass of wine all by yourself"; PageFive Bookstore, "an excellent site for art book lovers"; and Artmap Bookstore, which "aspires to blur the barriers between books and art, literature and the visual arts, and introduce new or previously unexplored issues to the public's attention."

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Bookseller moment from the archives: Canadian bookshop Munro's Books, Victoria, B.C., tweeted: "Happy 91st birthday to Alice Munro! How many people buying books from that pleasant clerk knew they were in the presence of literary greatness?" --Robert Gray


Barefoot Books: Save 10%


Obituary Note: Frank Moorhouse 

 

Frank Moorhouse

Frank Moorhouse, one of Australia’s "most celebrated but also most controversial writers," died June 26, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. He was 83. Moorhouse "lived and wrote about the good life--in both senses of the phrase, sometimes paradoxically. With a passion for fine food, cocktails and justice, he fearlessly wrote about the things essential to him."

Meredith Curnow, his publisher at Penguin Random House Australia, said: "Renowned for his use of the discontinuous narrative in works such as The Americans, Baby and Forty-Seventeen, Frank Moorhouse has been an active participant in Australian literature for nearly 50 years. The office of PEN and the Australian Society of Authors were profoundly influenced by his activism on behalf of all writers.

"The Edith Trilogy, made up of the astounding novels Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light have not only brought immense pleasure to so many readers, but have also affected the career paths of many women. I feel so privileged to have worked with Frank on Cold Light. One of the reasons I will forever adore Frank Moorhouse is his generosity toward new writers and people working in publishing. He loved to sit and learn from younger people and to share his immense wisdom and incredible stories. We will all miss him very much."

Catharine Lumby, who has just finished working on a biography of Moorhouse, described the author as "a literary legend. It was an incredible privilege to have a friendship with him and be his biographer. As always, Frank had to have the last word. I started writing the conclusion to his biography this morning and learnt that he had died."

Moorhouse, who wrote 18 books as well as many screenplays and essays, "was a life-long activist who supported feminism, advocated for gay liberation and supported Indigenous land rights," the Morning Herald noted. In 1988, his novel Forty-Seventeen won the Age Book of the Year and the Australian Literature Society’s gold medal. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to Australian literature in 1985.

In the Edith Trilogy, he "explored the Australian identity through the career of Edith Campbell Berry, a young woman who works as a diplomat in Europe, then Canberra, in three novels published between 1993 and 2011," the Guardian wrote, adding that Grand Days, "set in 1920s Europe, was judged to be ineligible for the Miles Franklin literary award in 1994 because it was deemed insufficiently Australian by the judges, a decision that led to Moorhouse taking legal action." Dark Palace, the second book in the trilogy, won the prize in 2001, while Cold Light was shortlisted for it in 2012.

ABC journalist Annabel Crabb, a great fan of Edith Campbell Berry, said: "I know she resonates with a lot of ambitious, energetic, imaginative and slightly shambolic women--I have always identified very closely with her. What was remarkable about Moorhouse was how he could write her in a such a perceptive way. His gender fluidity really marked him. He was a genuine artist."


Ginger Fox: Free Freight and a Free Book Lovers Mug


Notes

Happy 15th Birthday, Blue Ridge Books!

Congratulations to Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, N.C., which is celebrating its 15th anniversary today, July 13, with refreshments all day.

The store opened in 2007 and was bought by Allison Lee and Jo Gilley in 2010. They moved the store to its current location in historic Hazelwood Village in Waynesville.


Cool Idea of the Day: Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest

Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., is hosting a Dog Days of Summer photo contest, in which customers can "attach a photo of your dog enjoying a book you got from Fountain or posing in the shop to win." Two winners will receive either a $100 gift card for Fountain or a $100 doggie-themed gift basket.

Fountain posted on Facebook: "Ruthie's favorite f-word may be fetch, but Fountain is a close second! Proving once and for all our shirts are for truly everyone! Two days left to enter your pup here!"


Personnel Changes at Putnam; Charlesbridge

Molly Pieper has joined Putnam as associate director of marketing. She was previously at Simon Element.

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Jordan Standridge, previously the marketing associate at Charlesbridge Publishing, has been promoted to retail sales & marketing manager.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jenny Mollen on Live with Kelly and Ryan

Tomorrow:
Live with Kelly and Ryan: Jenny Mollen, author of City of Likes (NacelleBooks, $27.45, 9781737380115).


TV: America's Next Great Author

Author, poet and educator Kwame Alexander will be the host of America's Next Great Author, a reality television series "geared toward anyone who loves drama on or off the page," the organizers said. The first step will be nationwide tryouts in several cities to "show off amateur writers as they get one minute to pitch their book ideas to a panel of publishing experts."

After the tryouts, "six charismatic finalists from vastly different places and backgrounds enter the Writer's Retreat together for a month of live-wire challenges and spectacular storytelling. These talented amateurs have to start their books from scratch on day one of the Retreat and finish by the end of the thirty days. The climactic finale will reveal who made it to the finish line to become America's Next Great Author," ANGA noted.

The judges include author Jason Reynolds, FOX5 TV presenter Angie Goff and writer/performer Marga Gomez. Mentors are Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, co-founders of the Book Doctors. The pilot episode will be filmed in San Francisco. ANGA wrote that "hopefuls can pitch their books to a panel of judges and you could win $2,500! The judges critique everything from idea to style to potential in the literary marketplace and everyone comes away with concrete advice from publishing industry professionals."

ANGA noted that it "is dedicated to including writers who aren't normally given a seat at the table in mainstream publishing.... The series will feature writers from communities and cultures all across America who bring their unique voices to readers and the world of literature."



Books & Authors

Awards: Kraszna-Krausz Winners

The winners and shortlisted titles of the £5,000 (about $5,910) 2022 Kraszna-Krausz Photography and Moving Image Book Awards are:

Photography Book Award: What They Saw: Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843-1999, edited by Russet Lederman and Olga Yatske (10x10 Photobooks), which "sheds light on photobooks created by women from diverse backgrounds, and addresses the glaring gaps and omissions in current photobook history--in particular, the lack of access, support and funding for non-Western women and women of colour. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of classic bound books, portfolios, personal albums, unpublished books, zines and scrapbooks, ranging from well-known
publications to the more obscure."

Photography Book Award shortlist:
Agata by Bieke Depoorter and Agata Kay (Des Palais)
Deana Lawson edited by Peter Eleey and Eva Respini (MACK)

Moving Image Book Award: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: 1963-1965 by John G. Hanhardt (Whitney Museum of American Art) "focuses on Warhol's film works from the years 1963-65 during a time when the renowned artist produced hundreds of film and video works--short and long, silent and sound, scripted and improvised. The book features over 100 individual works which are catalogued in detail and combined with enlightening essays that cover Warhol's influences, his experimentation with film, source material, working methods and technical innovations, as well as his engagement with the people he filmed and how they came to life on the screen."

Moving Image Book Award shortlist:
Ten Skies by Erika Balsom (Fireflies Press)
Everyday Movies: Portable Film Projectors and the Transformation of American Culture by Haidee Wasson (University of California Press)


Reading with... Harry Woodgate

Harry Woodgate is an author/illustrator living in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. Their first solo authored and illustrated picture book, Grandad's Camper, won a Stonewall Honor. Timid, a picture book about a child dealing with their inner cowardly lion, is available now from little bee books.

On your nightstand now:

Ellie Pillai Is Brown by Christine Pillainayagam. This YA rom-com is entertaining, delightfully awkward and heartwarming in equal measure. The author has even written and recorded an album you can listen to as you read, which is brilliant.

Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, which is an utterly fascinating introduction to the world of mycology, blending the scientific with the philosophical in a very engaging and readable way.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Some favorites from when I was very young include the Kipper books by Mick Inkpen, the Percy the Park Keeper series by Nick Butterworth and No Roses for Harry by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham.

When I was a bit older, I devoured fantasy series such as the Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell and the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix.

Your top five authors:

Emily St. John Mandel for the way she uses words like brushstrokes, the sense of disparate elements converging, a kind of literary mark-making.

L.D. Lapinski, whose Strangeworlds Travel Agency series is one of the most inventive, joyful and inclusive middle-grade trilogies I have read in a long time.

Akwaeke Emezi, whose ability to write across genres and pack every sentence with so much power and emotion is endlessly inspiring.

Illustrators Dapo Adeola, whose character design skills are truly mind-blowing, and Melissa Castrillon, whose books are objects of absolute beauty.

Book you've faked reading:

The History Boys by Alan Bennett, which I had to read for a school assignment once but found so pretentious I couldn't finish it. There are lots of other books I haven't finished for various reasons, too, but few that I've actually lied about reading.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. Breathtaking, beautiful, urgent, necessary--a gut punch of a book which manages to remain sensitive and delicate at the same time.

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, a magically playful, poetic, dizzying exploration of time and language and love.

Book you've bought for the cover:

At least 80% of my picture book collection--and probably a fair proportion of everything else, too. Recently, the hardback edition of The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, jacket design by Tyler Comrie; and Oddity by Eli Brown, illustrated by Karin Rytter.

Book you hid from your parents:

My own diaries.

Book that changed your life:

The books of Oliver Jeffers, Beatrice Alemagna, Carson Ellis and Jon Klassen were great inspirations whilst studying illustration at university, teaching me the power of illustration as a narrative form. But, as much of a cliché as it is, I think every book changes us in one way or another, offering something different and valuable.

In an entirely different way, Grandad's Camper has changed my life, too--I have met so many wonderful people during the process of publishing it, and it helped me find a sense of purpose in my career for which I am incredibly grateful.

Five books you'll never part with:

I got rid of lots of my childhood books during my teens and have regretted it ever since, so I have no plans to do the same again! There are way more than five books that I intend to hang onto for a long, long time.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. This was the last book I read before the pandemic, and I remember sitting in the deep Chesterfield armchair at the back of my local coffee shop in early 2020, rain hammering the windows, lost in this story about stories, about hidden doors and time collapsing, and the peculiar premonitory experience of emerging into a world vastly changed from the one you left years before.


Book Review

YA Review: I'm the Girl

I'm the Girl by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books, $18.99 hardcover, 352p., ages 13-up, 9781250808363, September 13, 2022)

Courtney Summers (The Project) is known for pushing boundaries and exposing the cruel realities young women face. I'm the Girl, her eighth YA novel, is no exception. This part murder mystery, part thriller, part queer romance is a brutal, raw account of truths behind power and privilege.

Sixteen-year-old Georgia "George" Avis finds the body of 13-year-old Ashley James, the deputy sheriff's youngest daughter, who was raped and murdered. When Ashley's 17-year-old sister, Nora, shows up at George's house wanting to be told everything, George is pulled into an amateur investigation. Meanwhile, George begins a summer job at Aspera, a grand private resort whose members use it as a retreat to "escape themselves and the world's prying eyes." She aspires to be an "Aspera girl"--a select group of beautiful young women who attend to the "nation's most elite"--but reluctantly settles for being "a glorified fetch" working at the digital concierge. As George sinks deeper into this privileged, wealthy world and develops feelings for Nora, they get closer to finding Ashley's killer, and she will discover that the life of beauty and power she's always longed for is far more dangerous than she thought.

Through George's story, Summers illuminates the tension between the haves and the have-nots, whether that's determined by beauty, money or power. Summers hammers home the point that in Western society beauty can make someone the most powerful person in the room, but those who set the standard for beauty are the true holders of power--challenging readers to stop accepting "the patriarchy's dream" and help dismantle it instead. George's naiveté, which draws her into damaging situations, makes her sympathetic, and the events of the novel all the more harrowing.

At the center of this thriller is a murder mystery that Summers unravels piece by piece, parallel to the events taking place around George. She makes the case that the paths of these two very similar young women could've easily been swapped, adding to the novel's visceral dread and unease. A bright spot: the slow-burn romance between George and Nora. Their imperfect relationship evolves naturally and brings some levity to an otherwise dark and heart-wrenching novel. Devastating yet honest. --Lana Barnes, freelance reviewer and proofreader

Shelf Talker: Courtney Summers's eighth YA novel--part murder mystery, part thriller, part queer romance--is a brutal, raw account of truths behind power and privilege.


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