Also published on this date: Monday, July 18, 2022: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Moonflower

Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 18, 2022

Algonquin Young Readers: the Beautiful Game by Yamile Saied Méndez

Berkley Books: Books that will sweep you off your feet! Enter Giveaway!

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber


Bookstore Sales Up 12.3% in May; Up 18% for Year to Date

In May, bookstore sales jumped 12.3%, to $665 million, compared to May 2021, according to preliminary Census Bureau estimates. By comparison to pre-pandemic times, bookstore sales in May dropped 2.7% in relation to May 2019. For the year so far, sales have risen 18%, to $3.3 billion, compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Total retail sales in May rose 8.3%, to $698.2 billion, compared to May 2021. For the year to date, total retail sales have climbed 10.6%, to $3,228 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing new books." The Bureau also added this unusual caution concerning the effect of Covid-19: "The Census Bureau continues to monitor response and data quality and has determined that estimates in this release meet publication standards."

Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton

Pennie Inspired: New Venture from Pennie Clark Ianniciello

Pennie's Pick is back. Pennie Clark Ianniciello, longtime book buyer at Costco who retired last year after 32 years at the company, is launching a new venture, Pennie Inspired.

She noted that during her time at Costco, "I was able to help shape the narrative for reading by launching many new writers, highlighting favorites that needed some attention and creating compilations of my favorite works all while increasing sales and working hands on with both sides of the industry, publishers and writers."

And so Pennie Inspired will "bring my insights" and help "re-engineer the way books are created, sold and read. I have been fortunate to have wonderful relationships with writers who have become family and will continue to work with them in all areas along with offering consulting service and new ways to share great content. From the start to the end of creative process, the hands on approach is the best formula for success."

She is offering monthly picks to "build upon the great audience we've built over the years to launch talent, create new conversations and reinvent the discussion.

"I'm passionate about books and will be looking for great literature in a variety of genres, including diversity of both subjects and authors. I hope you will add me to your publicity, marketing and mailing lists, as I want to know what you're promoting. Please join Pennie's Pick on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

"Finally, I will be sending out a fun but informative newsletter in the near future to elaborate on Pennie's Picks with opportunities to announce new releases. So please keep me updated."

For more information, contact Pennie at 206-947-7134 or via or

International Update: Audiobook Use in Canada; German Book Sales

BookNet Canada has released Listening In: Audiobook Use in Canada, a new study featuring insights into audiobook acquisition, buying vs. borrowing decision making, frequency of listening, and more. Highlights of the report include: 

Almost half of all Canadians (45%) listened to audiobooks in 2021, with 48% reading 1-5 audiobooks, followed by 6–11 audiobooks (30%), 12–49 (17%), and 50 or more (6%). In terms of frequency, the report found that 27% of Canadians listened to audiobooks a few times a year, 24% once a week and 18% less than once a month. 

According to data collected for the Canadian Book Consumer Study 2021, 19% of all Canadian book buyers bought an individual audiobook or accessed an audiobook through a subscription service in 2021. Of these audiobook buyers and subscribers, 68% had purchased at least one audiobook on its own, while 46% had accessed their audiobook(s) through a subscription service.

BookNet Canada noted that 88% of audiobooks were bought via an online channel and 12% in person, with 35% saying they purchased audiobooks at full price, compared to subscription (26%) or on sale (20%). Audiobook buyers chose to shop at a particular place because of its prices (27%), selection of audiobooks (19%), subscription account or loyalty card (18%), or easy checkout process (18%).

The average number of audiobooks purchased by Canadian book buyers in a single month was two--the maximum number of audiobooks purchased by a book buyer was 13, while most purchased only one.


Last year, total book sales in Germany "increased by 3.5%," the European & International Booksellers Federation's Newsflash reported. "With €3.76 billion [about $3.76 billion] and a market share of 39.1%, physical bookshops remained the largest and most important distribution channel for books."

Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, head of the Börsenverein, the German book industry association, which presented detailed figures on the development of the German book market in 2021 recently, said: "Thanks to high resilience, creative solutions and pronounced digital competence, bookshops and publishers have succeeded in inspiring people to read and supplying them with books despite long lockdowns." 


Manga sales are on the rise in France, according to figures released by GfK. EIBF's Newsflash said that in the first half of 2022, manga sales in the country "increased by 14 million copies compared to the same time period in 2019, amounting to a growth of 168%. Compared to the first half of 2021, which was a record-breaking year for the French book market, manga sales increased by 15% (plus 3 million copies), even though all other categories recorded a decline."


Summer heat got you down? New Zealand bookseller Petronella's Bookstore in Lake Tekapo offered a winter alternative: "Roads closed, trucks stuck, shop open: a good book or jigsaw anyone? We are open till 5 p.m. today!!" --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Joan Lingard

Joan Lingard, author of 60 novels for both adults and children, including the popular Kevin and Sadie series, died July 12, the Bookseller reported. She was 90. Lingard's career spanned five decades, with her most recent children's book, Trouble on Cable Street, released in 2014. Other titles include the novels The Kiss, Encarnita's Journey and After You've Gone. Her debut novel, The Twelfth Day of July, the first of the Kevin and Sadie series, is set in Belfast during the Troubles and was originally published in 1970.

Lindsey Fraser, her literary agent, said: "I read Joan's novels as a teenager, sold her books as a bookseller, worked with her at Scottish Book Trust and had the privilege of being her literary agent. She was always inspiring and forthright, and she trusted her readers--children and adults--with big ideas and authentic emotions delivered through watertight plots. She was clever and focused--thank goodness she used her considerable talents to write novels."

Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children's, noted that Lingard "was an incredible writer who gave us some of the most important stories of her time. For her YA titles on our list, the Kevin and Sadie books are essential reading. A love story set during the troubles in Northern Ireland, the emotions she shared, the situation she portrayed so vividly still resonate with young people today."

A member of Scottish PEN, Lingard established Scottish Writers Against the Bomb and in the 1970s was a member of the committee that spearheaded the idea of a book festival in Edinburgh. Among her many honors, she won the 2009 Royal Mail Award for Scottish Children's Books, and in 1998 was awarded an MBE for services to literature.

Lingard "was known to generations of teenagers in Northern Ireland as the creator of Belfast's own pair of star-crossed lovers, Catholic Kevin and Protestant Sadie, and followed their adventures in a series of five books," the Irish Times reported. 

Northern Irish writer Jan Carson said the "Kevin and Sadie books, an absolute staple of our school book boxes, were my very first experience of encountering characters who sounded like me and came from the same part of the world as me. Lingard played an enormously instrumental role in reminding so many of us Northern Irish creatives that our stories were valid, interesting and worth exploring. As such, we should all be incredibly grateful for the legacy she leaves behind."

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
A Forty Year Kiss
by Nickolas Butler
GLOW: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler is a passionate, emotionally complex love story that probes tender places within the heart and soul. When 60-somethings Charlie and Vivian--married then divorced in their 20s--reunite after four decades, they are swept up by the very best of what their romantic relationship once offered. "Anyone who has ever thought about what might have been will find this book fascinating," says Shana Drehs, senior editorial director at Sourcebooks Landmark. "The story is a brilliant exploration of a second chance at love, always realistic but never saccharine." As Charlie and Vivian build a bridge from past to present, their enduring love paving over potholes, Butler (Shotgun Lovesongs) raises questions about how life changes people--or does it?--and delivers another heartening, unforgettable novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781464221248, 
February 4, 2025)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: Theodore's Hosts Raskin

Theodore's Books in Oyster Bay, N.Y., hosted Congressman Jamie Raskin (l.) in conversation with Theodore's owner and former Congressman Steve Israel to discuss Raskin's book Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy (Harper). The sold-out event, with close to 300 guests, took place at Congregation L'Dor V'Dor of Oyster Bay. (photo: Amore Photography)

Cool Idea of the Day: Stone Walls and Author Appearances

On a stunning summer morning this past weekend outside the Samuel H. Wentworth Library in Center Sandwich, N.H., Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss: Traditions and Techniques of Building New England Stone Walls and Stone Building: How to Make New England Style Walls and Other Structures the Old Way (both published by Norton's Countryman Press), discussed the history, significance and changing attitudes about stone walls in New England. (Among the many striking facts he recounted is that one estimate of 250,000 miles of stone walls in New England, enough to reach the moon, is likely a low figure.)

While he talked, Gardner used at least a hundred small rocks of all sorts of shapes and sizes (like typical rocks in New England) to create a miniature stone wall on the table where he stood. Besides giving him "something to do with my hands," he's found that building a stone wall during his talks keeps "the focus of the audience"--and nicely illustrates some of his points, including that traditional stone walls don't use mortar.

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

At Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing:

Erin Toller has joined the company as senior director, marketing, for Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, and Paula Wiseman Books. She has been a freelance brand manager for Cassandra Clare, Jason Reynolds, and Stuart Gibbs for the last four years. Before that, she was at Penguin Random House.

Brendon MacDonald has been promoted to associate director, marketing for Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Beach Lane Books. He was previously a senior marketing manager.

Cassandra Fernandez has been promoted to marketing manager for Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Paula Wiseman Books. She was previously an assistant marketing manager.

Jill Hacking returns to Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing as associate director, marketing operations and events.

Amelia Johnson has been promoted to marketing coordinator, marketing operations and events. She was most recently a marketing operations & events assistant.

Saleena Nival has been promoted to marketing coordinator, digital marketing. She was most recently a digital marketing assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Paul Hollywood on Colbert's Late Show, the View, GMA

Today Show: Isaac Fitzgerald, author of Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional (Bloomsbury, $27, 9781635573978).

The View: Sen. Raphael Warnock, author of A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story (Penguin Press, $28, 9780593491546).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Paul Hollywood, author of Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics (Bloomsbury, $40, 9781635579291). He will also appear tomorrow on Good Morning America and the View.

TV: The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 

A trailer has been released for the fifth season of The Handmaid's Tale, based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel. IndieWire reported that the Hulu drama series "returns September 14, picking up after ex-handmaid June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) killed Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). Waterford's wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), seeks revenge." 

The teaser "shows a flashback to Commander Waterford being chased by handmaids through the woods, with Emily Malek (Alexis Bledel) among those attacking him. June (Moss) is then seen washing blood off her hands. 'I want her to know it was me,' June says, referencing Serena who begins plotting a mission against June," IndieWire wrote. The cast also includes Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Ann Dowd, and more. Bledel previously announced she will not be appearing in Season 5.

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Ackerley Winner

The Suitcase: Six Attempts to Cross a Border by Frances Stonor Saunders has won the £3,000 (about $3,555) 2022 PEN Ackerley Prize, which is dedicated to memoir and autobiography. The book traces the author's father's "long journey as a boy escaping Bucharest during the Second World War to become a refugee in Turkey, Egypt, South Africa."

Chair of judges Peter Parker said in part: "Skillfully interweaving history and memoir, Stonor Saunders sets out in her outstandingly well-written book to discover more about the life of a father who had always seemed remote even before he slipped unreachably into the remote hinterland of Alzheimer's. The Suitcase is not only a riveting and elegantly constructed detective story, but is a subtle and profoundly moving meditation on borders and belonging, nationality and displacement, and the far-reaching effects of major historical events upon the lives of individuals caught up in them."

Book Review

Review: The House of Fortune

The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton (Bloomsbury, $28 hardcover, 304p., 9781635579741, August 30, 2022)

Set during the winter season of 1705 in the bustling port city of Amsterdam, The House of Fortune by British author and actress Jessie Burton is the captivating coming-of-age drama of Thea Brandt, a spirited Dutch-African girl longing for romance and impatient to launch her adult life while remaining shackled to her family's scandalous past. Burton's dark and opulent third novel explores the conflicting loyalties that influence Thea and threaten to undermine her ravenous desire for independence.

Thea was born out of wedlock to Dutch native Marin Brandt and her brother Johannes's African manservant, Otto. Thea never met her mother; Marin died in childbirth. Johannes, a wealthy merchant, was sentenced to death for the crime of sodomy before Thea was born, leaving his widow, Nella, to suffer the cruel rejection of Amsterdam's judgmental society and a tragic reversal in the family's fortunes.

Readers of Burton's debut, The Miniaturist, will have met Thea's family before. Familiarity with The Miniaturist, however, is not a prerequisite to enjoying The House of Fortune, a novel set 18 years later amid the faded splendor of Johannes's magnificent canal house, where Thea resides with Otto, Nella, Cornelia the maid and an enormous cat named Lucas, the family's "yellow-eyed god of scraps." The household teeters toward poverty, selling family heirlooms to make ends meet. While the adults quarrel about money and Thea's future, packages begin to arrive for the young woman from an unknown source, containing exquisitely carved miniature objects that hint at the secrets she is keeping from Otto and Nella.

Despite the multitude of nationalities represented in the cosmopolitan Dutch capital, Otto and Thea are viewed with suspicion, hindering Otto's ability to find work and Thea's marriage prospects. Into the family's small circle enters a botanist who cultivates exotic fruits and introduces Otto to an exciting business opportunity. Meanwhile, Thea's secrets begin to pile up and she turns to the mysterious carved objects for comfort, bewitched by their beauty and mesmerized by their hidden power. A rich suitor appears for Thea, adding to the drama of her young life. Ultimately, she takes charge of her own and her family's fate, opening the door for a glorious revival of her family's tattered prosperity.

Burton's narrative talents shine at full brilliance in The House of Fortune, offering a heady, hypnotic immersion into Thea's world that readers will be reluctant to leave. --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer

Shelf Talker: A Dutch-African girl in 18th-century Amsterdam struggles to free herself of her family's scandalous past in this thrilling standalone companion to the bestselling novel The Miniaturist.

Powered by: Xtenit