Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 14, 2022

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger


Astra Publishing House Acquires DAW Books

Astra Publishing House has acquired DAW Books, the science fiction and fantasy publisher founded in 1971. 

DAW is now Astra's sole SF and fantasy imprint, and DAW's existing staff will be retained. Its backlist includes Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, C.J. Cherryh and Kristen Britain. Prior to the acquisition, DAW was owned by co-publishers Elizabeth R. Wolheim and Sheila E. Gilbert.

"We think this is the perfect fit for us, and it's exciting and refreshing to be an integral part of a new and growing company," said Gilbert and Wolheim. "It speaks volumes about Astra's respect for our company that they have included our entire staff. We're very happy."

Leying Jiang, Astra's president and CFO, said: "We're so thrilled to have DAW Books and its talented team joining Astra Publishing House. It feels like we are adding another bright star to our growing program. And so this acquisition marks a new milestone to Astra's journey to a successful future."

Established in 2016, Astra Publishing House has an adult imprint called Astra House that publishes fiction, nonfiction and poetry. In 2021, it created Astra Books for Young Readers, now comprising seven imprints.

"We're so excited to have DAW join our group here at APH," said COO Ben Schrank. "We have long been impressed with their amazing authors and unparalleled place in the pantheon of science fiction and fantasy publishing. We can’t wait to help them build on their legacy so they can continue to publish the very best books in their genre."

David Lamb and Susan Reich of Book Advisors initiated the transaction and served as lead investment banking representative for DAW, alongside Kuo-Yu Liang of Ku Worldwide. Alan J. Kaufman served as counsel to DAW.

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White

Black Worldschoolers Mobile Bookstore Arrives in Indiana

Black Worldschoolers Mobile Bookstore, a bookmobile focused on Black authors and stories, made its debut last month at a Juneteenth celebration at White River State Park in Indiana.

Owner Natalie Pipkin told WFYI Indianapolis that she carries books for all ages, from baby books to adult fiction and nonfiction, along with a selection of games and puzzles. There are books about Black history and heritage as well as "superheroes and everyday life." Around "95 percent" of the mobile bookstore's inventory is written by Black authors, and Pipkin noted that she or one of her children read and approved almost every book she sells.

"Our books, first and foremost, are mirrors to Black people, to Black children, so they can see themselves in a positive light and wash away the negativity that's been poured on them," she said. "But also, our books are windows because it gives other people who are not Black an opportunity to step into a world to see us in the correct light, in the correct way, and learn something that they are not going to learn in the schools, they're not going to experience from the news every day--that the statistics are not sharing.”

Pipkin's career as a bookstore owner grew out of her experience curating books for her children after they started homeschooling. Her children's desire to read "skyrocketed" once they had a home library that reflected their experiences and interests, and it even "reignited [Pipkin's] own love of reading." She also began blogging about the journey of homeschooling her kids.

After the Covid-19 pandemic began, Pipkin started a storytime hotline in April 2020 that "allowed kids to call in and hear a story read by Black authors." In December 2020 she created an online bookstore. The mobile bookstore, meanwhile, is built out of a renovated shuttle bus.

Pipkin's next scheduled appearance will be at the Black Wall Street Outlet at the Silver Centre Event Hall in Indianapolis on July 16.

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Womencrafts in Provincetown, Mass., Launches Fundraising Campaign

Womencrafts, Provincetown, Mass., has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help purchase the building where the shop is located, Cape Cod Times reported. Owner Michele Axelson has until August 1 to come up with a $200,000 down payment or the property will be placed on the market. Kathryn Livelli, a former owner of Womencrafts and current owner of the property, is retiring and is asking $700,000 for the unit. As of today, the campaign has raised more than $137,000.

"For 46 years, the store has been a mainstay in Provincetown," the Cape Cod Times wrote. "Owners have come and gone over the years, but they have all been women who identify as lesbians, feminists and supporters of the LGBTQI+ community.... Axelson, the fifth owner, said the store serves an important function providing a safe space for women and the LGBTQ+ community, as well as empowering that community."

Jeff Peters, owner of Provincetown's East End Bookstore, which organized GoFundMe campaigns when the pandemic shut down his business in 2020 and more recently when he bought the building in January 2022, has helped Axelson. "GoFundMe was good to raise awareness and money," Peters said. "We had people who knew about us and a range of people who didn't." 

Axelson, who was reluctant to crowdsource until she had spoken with Peters, is hoping for similar results. "As hard as it is to ask for help, it gave me an outreach to a global community," she said of the GoFundMe platform, where she wrote: "Given Provincetown's skyrocketing rents and low inventory, it's not certain that Womencrafts will be able to remain in business. From dyke bars to bookshops, we've watched LGBTQIA+ spaces close in alarming numbers around the country. We do not want to join them. To ensure Womencrafts' legacy of making the world a safer, more welcoming place for the most marginalized among us, we need YOU." Named Best for the World B Corp

Andy Hunter has been named a 2022 Best for the World B Corp, recognizing the company's "exceptional positive impact on independent bookstores" and "specifically in respect of the impact of its governance practices, including its overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency."

The Best for the World distinction is made by B Lab to Certified B Corporations (or B Corps) whose verified B Impact Scores in the five impact areas evaluated in the B Impact Assessment--community, customers, environment, governance and workers--rank in the top 5% of all B Corps of a similar size. There are more than 5,000 B Corps in 80 countries and 155 industries, all of which aim to build "an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system." B Lab, the global nonprofit network, certifies B Corps. founder and CEO Andy Hunter said, "Receiving the distinction of Best for the World B Corp is beyond what we could have expected when launched two and half years ago. The site was launched to offer an ethical alternative to Amazon for customers who were unable to visit their favorite local independent bookstore in person. However, our commitment to a socially conscious shopping experience that benefits booksellers and customers extends into a long-term solution to support small businesses in a world where two out of three books are bought online in the U.K., most often through Amazon.

"My hope is that this recognition helps publicize the benefits of the ethical ecommerce platform for booksellers that we have created and inspires others across the industry to reflect on what actions they could take to help our independent bookstores stay open and thrive."

Obituary Note: Bobby Byrd

Bobby Byrd

Bobby Byrd, "a child of the South who became a leading literary voice of the U.S.-Mexican border," died July 11, El Paso Matters reported. He was 80. In 1985, Byrd, a poet, and his wife, Lee Merrill Byrd, co-founded Cinco Puntos Press, which helped develop numerous Hispanic and border authors over the years, out of their home in Central El Paso. They built it into one of the nation’s premier independent publishers before selling it last year to Lee & Low. 

"This poetics of mine is like a three-legged donkey," Byrd wrote in Otherwise My Life Is Ordinary, a 2015 collection of his poems. "A goofy-looking pack animal that stumbles along beside me. Damn thing just materialized haphazardly when I was growing up." His other published work includes White Panties, Dead Friends & Other Bits & Pieces of Love (2006).

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, whose story collection Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club (Cinco Puntos Press) won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, said: "Bobby was a sentimental man and understood the gift of tears--something we had in common. We had a profound respect for one another and the unapologetic affection we had for each other was present in our every encounter--even in our disagreements. I treasured our friendship just as I treasure the friendship I have with Lee who is as strong and as lovely a person as I have ever known. I will miss my friend."

Other authors published by Cinco Puntos Press include Sergio Troncoso, Dagoberto Gilb, Sonia Patel, Luis Alberto Urrea, Philip Connors and David Dorado Romo.

"I felt I learned from every exchange I had with him, about literature, El Paso, or social and political commitment through art," said Troncoso. "I can't imagine he won't be there at Ardovino's for another charla about the Southwest. I will miss him very much."

Romo said Byrd’s interest in his research ultimately led to his first book, Ringside Seat to a Revolution (Cinco Punto Press): "He was older than me, but we were more like brothers. I never saw him necessarily as a mentor--we were just brothers (and) fellow explorers of El Paso, especially in the underground cultural scene."

Urrea tweeted: "Good-bye, Bobby Byrd. Cinco Puntos Press was a refuge for so many of us. There will never be another like Poppa Byrd."


Image of the Day: Introducing Reef Road

(photo: Matt Baldacci)

Post Hill Press hosted a luncheon for booksellers and media for Deborah Goodrich Royce--whose novel Reef Road will be released in January 2023--at Michael's in Manhattan. Pictured: Royce (center), with Annabel Monaghan (Nora Goes Off Script) and Emma Straub (This Time Tomorrow).


Personnel Changes at Kokila/Penguin Young Readers

Namrata Tripathi has been promoted to senior v-p, publisher of Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers that she founded in 2018. She was formerly v-p, publisher of Kokila.

Book Trailer of the Day: Circle Round

Circle Round by Rebecca Sheir (Storey Publishing), a new picture book series based on the podcast, which is produced by WBUR.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Chrysta Bilton on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Chrysta Bilton, author of Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316536547).

Kelly Clarkson Show repeat: Julia Haart, author of Brazen: My Unorthodox Journey from Long Sleeves to Lingerie (Crown, $28.99, 9780593239162).

Tonight Show repeat: Kristen Bell, co-author of The World Needs More Purple Schools (Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780593434901).

This Weekend on Book TV: Christopher Finan on How Free Speech Saved Democracy

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, July 16
8:50 a.m. Lorien Foote, author of Rites of Retaliation: Civilization, Soldiers, and Campaigns in the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, $22.95, 9781469665276). (Re-airs Saturday at 8:50 p.m.)

2 p.m. Michael Burlingame, author of The Black Man's President: Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and the Pursuit of Racial Equality (Pegasus, $29.95, 9781643138138). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 a.m.)

Sunday, July 17
8 a.m. Devon Carbado, author of Unreasonable: Black Lives, Police Power, and the Fourth Amendment (The New Press, $27.99, 9781620974247). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

8:55 a.m. Eliza Reid, author of Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland's Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World (Sourcebooks, $26.99, 9781728242163). (Re-airs Sunday at 8:55 p.m.)

10 a.m. Kristi Noem, author of Not My First Rodeo: Lessons from the Heartland (Twelve, $30, 9781538707050). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Chloe Maxmin, author of Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends on It (‎Beacon Press, $24.95, 9780807007518).

3:35 p.m. Christopher Finan, author of How Free Speech Saved Democracy: The Untold History of How the First Amendment Became an Essential Tool for Securing Liberty and Social Justice (Steerforth Press, $16.99, 9781586422981).

4:35 p.m. David Gergen, author of Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders Are Made (Simon & Schuster, $29, 9781982170578).

5:35 p.m. Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, author of The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System (St. Martin's Press, $28.99, 9781250276872).

6:25 p.m. Rachel Ferguson and Marcus Witcher, authors of Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America (Emancipation Books, $18, 9781637583449).

Books & Authors

Booker Prize Book Club Challenge Launches in U.K.

The Booker Prize has teamed up with the Reading Agency to launch the Booker Prize Book Club Challenge, offering reading groups from all backgrounds and from all over the U.K. to apply to be one of six groups that will be invited to attend this year's Booker Prize winner ceremony in London. 

Once the applications are received, the 2022 Booker Prize judges, chaired by Neil MacGregor, will help select the six groups by looking for "the most interesting, passionate and wide-ranging set of readers possible, as well as those who will shout the loudest about this year's Booker Prize shortlist on social media to help encourage even more people to pick up those books."

After the six book clubs are selected, two representatives of each club will be invited to attend the 2022 Booker Prize official shortlist announcement party in London on September 6, where they will receive a set of copies of one of the shortlisted titles. They will then be asked to read, discuss and review their assigned book in detail over the following month, sharing their views with the Booker Prize's and the Reading Agency's community of readers via social media and on the Booker Prize and the Reading Groups for Everyone websites. 

The Booker Prize judges will then read and discuss all of the book clubs' reviews of--and social media activity relating to--their assigned books. Two members of the club who, in the judges' opinion, provided the most original and engaging reviews will be invited to attend the 2022 Booker Prize ceremony and dinner in London on October 17. 

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 19:

Portrait of an Unknown Woman: A Novel by Daniel Silva (Harper, $29.99, 9780062834850) is the 22nd thriller with spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon.

The Sweet Remnants of Summer by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $27, 9780593316948) is the 14th Isabel Dalhousie mystery.

The Kingdoms of Savannah: A Novel by George Dawes Green (Celadon, $27.99, 9781250767448) is a murder mystery set in Savannah, Ga.

The Pink Hotel: A Novel by Liska Jacobs (MCD, $27, 9780374603151) takes place at a luxury hotel outside of a Los Angeles beset by riots and wildfires.

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier (Minotaur, $27.99, 9781250822369) is the fourth Mercy Carr mystery.

Shmutz: A Novel by Felicia Berliner (Atria, $27, 9781982177621) follows a a young Hasidic woman addicted to porn.

A History of Delusions: The Glass King, a Substitute Husband and a Walking Corpse by Victoria Shepherd (Oneworld, $27, 9780861540914) explores psychiatric delusions from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Split Decision: Life Stories by Ice-T, Spike and Douglas Century (Gallery Books, $28.99, 9781982148775) chronicles the diverging life paths of rapper/actor Ice-T and his former partner in crime.

The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything by Matthew Ball (Liveright, $30, 9781324092032) looks at Facebook's latest venture.

Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics by Paul Hollywood (Bloomsbury, $40, 9781635579291) contains recipes from a judge of the Great British Baking Show.

Don't Call Me a Hurricane by Ellen Hagan (Bloomsbury, $17.99, 9781547609161) is a YA novel about fighting climate change and falling in love.

The Royal Trials by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen (Scholastic Press, $17.99, 9781338665956) is the second title in the Afrofuturist middle-grade series that began with Last Gate of the Emperor.

This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (Penguin Books, $18, 9780593296929).

Dead Mom Walking: A Memoir of Miracle Cures and Other Disasters by Rachel Matlow (Penguin, $16, 9780735244894).

Carnality: A Novel by Lina Wolff, trans. by Frank Perry (Other Press, $17.99, 9781635420746).

More Anon: Selected Poems by Maureen N. McLane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18, 9780374606459).

The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation's Neglect of a Deadly Disease by Daisy Hernández (Tin House Books, $17.95, 9781953534194).

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner (Dutton, $17, 9780593185438).

How to Focus: Mindfulness Essentials Book 9 by Thich Nhat Hanh, illus. by Jason DeAntonis (Parallax Press, $9.95, 9781952692178).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Jackie & Me: A Novel by Louis Bayard (Algonquin, $28, 9781643750354). "Lem Billings befriends Jackie Bouvier as she is sized up by the Kennedy family to become the wife of the up-and-coming politician. Told by an older Lem, it's an insightful story of friendship, love, and sacrifice. Book clubs will love it!" --Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C.

Also a Poet: Frank O'Hara, My Father, and Me by Ada Calhoun (Grove Press, $27, 9780802159786). "Ada Calhoun has given us a poised, magnificent memoir on family, her father, and of huge emotional and personal exploration. She delivers an unveiled perspective on capital 'L' literary New York. This one shines brilliantly for all to see." --Scott Abel, Solid State Books, Washington, D.C.

Paperback: An Indies Introduce Title
Grown Ups: A Novel by By Marie Aubert, trans. by Rosie Hedger (Pushkin Press, $14.95, 9781782277088). "I was hooked from the first line of Grown Ups, a wickedly fun novel about people behaving badly: 'Other people's children, always, everywhere.' Sibling rivalry, midlife crises, and unease play out in this delicious train wreck of a book." --Jhoanna Belfer, Bel Canto Books, Long Beach, Calif.

For Ages 2 to 5
I Am a Baby by Bob Shea (Candlewick, $17.99, 9781536218329). "This is the ultimate gift for new parents--if they can stay awake long enough to read it. Hilarious and oh so true, the mid-century modern vibe is colorful and cool. I adore this book!" --Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, Wis.

For Ages 8 to 12
The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780063119864). "When Amos and his friends discover that stories of BIPOC and queer people just weren't being told, they set out to change the narrative of their local living history. Amos' courage will inspire readers like him to be completely themselves." --Kelly Barth, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan.

For Teen Readers
Slip by Marika McCoola, illus. by Aatmaja Pandya (Algonquin Young Readers, $24.95, 9781643752495). "Teens will connect with this story about a teenage artist's attempts to navigate her work and friendships after her best friend attempts suicide. Great for a teen book club--there's much to analyze and discuss in this short graphic novel." --Amanda Grell, Pearl's Books, Fayetteville, Ark.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: A Visible Man

A Visible Man: A Memoir by Edward Enninful (Penguin Press, $30 hardcover, 288p., 9780593299487, September 6, 2022)

For some people, fashion offers a reprieve from everyday life; for British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, fashion reflects life--or at least it should. In A Visible Man, his openhearted, awe-arousing memoir, Enninful writes, "Fashion is a mirror--sometimes a funhouse mirror, granted--of the world at large. The people who have found themselves on its outskirts here have usually found themselves on the outskirts elsewhere. It has been a personal mission of mine to change that." He has.

Enninful was born in Ghana in 1972 to a dressmaker mother and a father who was a major in the Ghanaian military. A shy and bookish kid, Enninful would assist his mom at her workshop, where he learned how to draw dresses. In 1985, the family fled the "Ghanaian goon squads" and settled in London, where Enninful's interest in fashion remained constant. A chance meeting when he was 16 led to his first modeling gig, after which he began writing for the feisty fashion indie i-D. At age 18, he became i-D's fashion director--the youngest ever for an international fashion magazine. Enninful proceeded up the fashion-magazine ladder, but at every step, his personal life threatened his climb: he navigated both health problems and alcoholism. Equally bruisingly, he faced his father's homophobia.

Through it all, Enninful's resolve to use his platform to challenge the tall/thin/white fashion ideal was unflagging. From the start of his career, he ensured that models of color were given a prominent place at the fashion shoots he worked on, and at British Vogue he racked up several "first" covers: he featured little person and disability activist Sinéad Burke; he featured three essential workers at the height of the Covid pandemic; and he featured then-86-year-old actress Dame Judi Dench--the magazine's oldest-ever cover star.

A Visible Man offers a keyhole glimpse at the anarchic international fashion scene of the 1980s and '90s. Enninful's stylish mononymous friends (Rihanna, Naomi, Idris) make cameos in his book, which is written with the panache one would expect of a fashion authority. A typical pronouncement: "On-screen, with her pussy-bow blouses and that tired, fussy little handbag never far from reach, she made her poisonous fascism-lite easier to bear by leaning into her 'middle-class grandmother' identity." With a single sentence, Enninful eviscerates Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for both her politics and, almost as damning, her dress sense. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: This openhearted, awe-arousing memoir by the Ghana-born editor-in-chief of British Vogue chronicles his professional rise and personal mission to diversify the look of fashion.

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