Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 21, 2022

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine


Vt.'s Galaxy Bookshop Closed Temporarily Due to Water Damage

The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., has been forced to close its physical space for now after a small fire in an upstairs apartment Wednesday set off the building's sprinkler system. Water from upstairs continued to rain down on the bookshop long after the sprinklers were shut off, and damage to the store and its inventory is extensive.

"We are down, but not out," co-owners Sandy Scott and Andrea Jones wrote in an e-mail update. "Today has been overwhelming, but also marked with some notable high points. Let's start with the positives: 

  • Our community--right here in Hardwick and among our bookselling and publishing colleagues--has already shown us incredible support and love.
  • We are insured, and are working with our insurance company to sort out the finances of a waterlogged bookstore.
  • We were prepared for emergencies with a binder that held a ton of important information that allowed us to quickly contact vendors and others to make sure that everyone we work with is aware of our situation and that we are following the necessary steps to move forward.
  • We have been through a pandemic and a lock down! Who knew how helpful that experience could be. Because we know how to run a bookstore with the doors closed, we can figure out how to navigate this new situation.
  • We will come back from this. 

"Here's the tough news:

  • We are closed, for now. We do not know when we will be able to reopen or in what capacity. We do know that it could be months before our South Main Street space is restored.
  • Online ordering will be unavailable until we can sort out a variety of issues we are currently facing. 

"We will continue to update you, as we move forward and make plans for the store. When we reach a point where we can ask for help--as so many have already offered--we will do so. Again: We. Will. Come. Back. From. This. Stay tuned!!"

Scott and Jones can be reached via e-mail.

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black

ThirdSpace Reading Room Opens in Cleveland, Ohio

ThirdSpace Reading Room, a new and used bookstore operated by the racial equity consulting firm ThirdSpace Action Lab, opened last month in Cleveland, Ohio, the Land reported.

Located at 1464 E. 105th St., ThirdSpace Reading Room is the only bookstore in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood and the only Black-owned bookstore in Cleveland. It's located in the same building as TSAL's office, along with the ThirdSpace Cafe, and its genre-spanning, all-ages inventory focuses on books by Black authors and features subjects like fiction, business, technology, history, spirituality, religion and more.

Harry Atwell, TSAL's community manager, is overseeing the bookstore's day-to-day operations and plans to grow the inventory based on community feedback. The bookstore held a soft opening during the weekend of Juneteenth, and next month will collaborate with the Cleveland Public Library for an off-site event featuring author Ashley C. Ford (Somebody's Daughter). The Reading Room also has several spaces community members can book for their own events.

Mordecai Cargill, co-founder and creative director of TSAL and ThirdSpace Cafe, said the Reading Room's "immediate audience is the people in the neighborhood and Black people, and we want to connect them with books." As the bookstore finds its footing, Cargill and TSAL co-founder Evelyn Burnett hope it becomes seamlessly interconnected with the rest of the organization's activities.

ThirdSpace Reading Room designer Celia Williamson added: "We want people to gather, relax, unwind and buy a book."

Named for the Black architect Robert P. Madison, the building in which TSAL, the bookstore and the cafe reside was built in the 1960s to provide office space for Black physicians. Cargill and Burnett founded the Third Place Action Lab to "disrupt the vicious cycle of disinvestment and displacement that exploit low-income communities of color."

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

HarperCollins Union Strikes and Demonstrates at HC HQ

(via @hcpunion)

In a one-day strike approved by more than 99% of members, some 100 HarperCollins union employees and supporters demonstrated outside the publisher's lower Manhattan headquarters yesterday, calling for the company to improve pay and family leave policies, take stronger action regarding diversity and equity and improve union protection. It's also calling for the company to include more employees who joined HarperCollins when it bought Houghton Mifflin Harcourt last year and to recognize the seniority of those already in the bargaining unit. The union has been working without a contract since the end of last year.

Founded in 1942, the HarperCollins union is affiliated with the technical, office and professional local 2110 of the UAW, has about 250 members in editorial, sales, publicity, design, legal and marketing, and is the only union at a major U.S. publisher. Its members are primarily women and have average salaries, the union said, of $55,000 annually, with starting salaries of $45,000.

The union argues that many members are pressured to work extra hours without compensation, that the salaries are inadequate in expensive cities like New York and Boston, and that HarperCollins owner News Corp. has had "record-setting profits in the past two years" and isn't recognizing the vital contributions of its unionized workers.

HarperCollins has consistently declined to comment on the contract negotiations.

Lesa Cline-Ransome Wins NAIBA Legacy Award

Lesa Cline-Ransome
(photo: John Halpern)

Author Lesa Cline-Ransome has won the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association's 2022 Legacy Award, which recognizes the impact Cline-Ransome has made in children's literature. The award will be presented Monday, October 17, in Rhinebeck, N.Y., during a NAIBA day of education and networking.

Cline-Ransome said, "Independent bookstores are the heart of any community, giving life to each person who enters and sustaining authors at every stage of their journey. I am honored to accept this award from NAIBA on behalf of every bookseller that continues to nourish me and all writers and readers, celebrating our continued love of learning, growing, imagination, and the need for connection through the power of story."

NAIBA board member Kirsten Hess, owner, Let's Play Books Bookstore, Emmaus, Pa., said that Cline-Ransome "has an incredible gift for storytelling. Not only in her ability to tell a great story with vivid, historically accurate details, but in connecting the reader to the emotional truth of the character and the time."

Cline-Ransome, who often collaborates with her husband, illustrator James Ransome, is the author of many award-winning picture book biographies, whose subjects include Satchel Paige, Major Taylor, Pele, Frederick Douglass, Louis Armstrong, Venus and Serena Williams, Ethel Payne, Harriet Tubman, and others. She is also the author of the middle grade Finding Langston Trilogy. Overground Railroad; Light in the Darkness: How Slaves Learned in Secret; Freedom's School; and Whale Trails: Before and Now are among her titles that uncover the hidden stories in U.S. history.

Obituary Note: Gail See

Gail See
(via Minnesota Center for Book Arts)

Gail See, "a strong influencer in the Twin Cities and national literary communities in the 1980s and '90s," died July 15, the Pioneer Press reported. She was 94. A former owner of the Bookcase in Wayzata, See was also past president of the American Booksellers Association. After selling the bookstore, she had been one of the founding publishers, with David Unowsky, of Ruminator Books, an independent press that launched in 1994 and continued for 10 years. A founding member of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, See also became involved with Graywolf Press after it moved to the Twin Cities from Washington State in 1984.

"Gail's bookstore was amazing," said Unowsky, former owner of St. Paul's Hungry Mind (later Ruminator Books) bookstore and a longtime friend. "She could have taken the easy route and carried nice picture books. But she had serious books. She wanted her store to represent every political aspect, to get all ideas out to the public."

Former ABA CEO Oren Teicher observed: "Gail was a force to be reckoned with and was responsible for laying the groundwork for much of what we did at ABA. She ran a great community bookstore and was instrumental in making books an integral part of the culture of the Twin Cities. She was a mentor to hundreds and hundreds of booksellers. I often turned to her for advice and guidance which was always insightful and spot-on. One of the highlights of my ABA career was to stand on the 'Gail See Staircase' at Minneapolis's Open Book as we welcomed attendees to the 2017 Winter Institute and to be able to express our thanks and appreciation for all Gail had done for the bookselling community."

Created by artist Karen Wirth to look like pages of an open book, the Gail See Staircase honors her involvement "in implementing the unique partnership between the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Milkweed Editions and the Loft, which together own and share space in the Open Book building. They are the only literature-based organizations in the country that share such an arrangement," the Pioneer Press wrote.

In a tribute, Fiona McCrae, former director and publisher of Graywolf Press, observed: "All of us who worked with Gail See over the years loved her natural radiance coupled with a fierce loyalty and commitment to books, ideas, and the extended literary community. She was a forceful, effective board member and supporter to many local organizations, from the Loft to MCBA. She joined Graywolf's board in the 1980s and returned for a second stint in the 2000s. During her tenure at Graywolf she headed many committees, as well as served as chair of the board and national council. She remained enthusiastically involved as a national council member until her last days.... Gail counted her blessings vociferously, often expressing her gratitude for her friendships. But the generous spirit that she showered on us all was a gift that she could never measure." 

See was also passionate about libraries and helped create the annual Pen Pals Lecture Series as a board member of the Library Foundation of Hennepin County, and was a board member of the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries, the Pioneer Press noted. In 1999, she received the Minnesota Book Awards' highest honor, the Kay Sexton award for outstanding service to the literary community.


Image of the Day: The Foundling at Byrd's Books

Byrd's Books, Bethel, Conn., hosted author Ann Leary (l.) in conversation with author Elissa Altman for Leary's novel The Foundling (Scribner). The event took place at the Edison Kitchen restaurant, two doors away from the bookstore. Owner Alice Hutchinson reported, "Wonderful talk, good food and beverage! Ann and Elissa were just superb!"

'Our Preorder Wall Is Up' at A Room of One's Own

"Need something to live for--I mean, look forward to?!" A Room of One's Own bookstore, Madison, Wis., posted on Instagram. "Our Preorder Wall is up! You can check it out near the front entrance. The Preorder Wall is a reflection of a TON of the cool books coming out in the next few months. On the back of each card is a synopsis and a bookseller's blurb about why they loved that book."

Cool Idea of the Day: Sunset Cruise and Book Swap

Greedy Reads, Baltimore, Md., recently hosted a Sunset Cruise and Book Swap on the Baltimore Water Taxi, posting on Instagram: "We had so much fun on the @baltimorewatertaxi last night for our Sunset Cruise and Book Swap! Thank you so much to everyone who joined us!!" The next bookish voyage, scheduled for August 21, is already sold out.

The cruise begins and ends at the Fells Point water taxi stop at 901 S. Broadway. Participants "spend an hour enjoying the ride and a gorgeous view of the Baltimore sunset. Your ticket gets you a seat on the boat, and a glass of bubbly. We're asking everyone to bring a book (used, but clean and in decent condition) for the onboard book swap. (If you want to bring your own food or drinks, you are welcome to!)."

Fantagraphics Distributing Sunday Press

Fantagraphics has begun distributing Sunday Press's backlist and next year will start publishing new books under the Sunday Press imprint. Fantagraphics's trade distributor, W.W. Norton, will distribute all of Sunday Press's backlist to bookstores, while Diamond Distributors will sell them to comics stores.

Founded by Peter Maresca in 2005, Sunday Press publishes collections of classic American newspaper strips. Among its titles are Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays, an oversized volume of Winsor McCay's strip, Sundays with Walt & Skeezix by Frank King, Little Sammy Sneeze by Winsor McCay, and collections of strips by Gustave Verbeek, George Herriman, and others.

Maresca called the new agreement "a perfect fit for a small publisher like myself. I've always been a great admirer of the editorial decisions and quality production from Fantagraphics and I'm very happy for this chance to become a part of their family."

Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth said, "I've admired Peter's publishing efforts from afar for years, and now I'll be able to admire them up close. He's that rare publisher of integrity where taste and conscientious execution combine to create a singularly beautiful work. Our aesthetic sensibilities complement each other and I look forward to working with him to publish his scrupulously edited and designed books."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Blitz Bazawule on Good Morning America

Good Morning America: Blitz Bazawule, author of The Scent of Burnt Flowers: A Novel (Ballantine, $27, 9780593496237).

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks (Doubleday, $30, 9780385548519).

This Weekend on Book TV: Lori Garver on Escaping Gravity

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 23
2 p.m. Bob Riel, author of Quest for the Presidency: The Storied and Surprising History of Presidential Campaigns in America (Potomac Books, $36.95, 9781640122307). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 a.m.)

4 p.m. Laura Edwards, author of Only the Clothes on Her Back: Clothing and the Hidden History of Power in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Oxford University Press, $34.95, 9780197568576). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m.)

Sunday, July 24
8 a.m. Angela Garbes, author of Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change (Harper Wave, $25.99, 9780062937360). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Joseph Henrich, author of The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous (Picador, $24, 9781250800077). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Lori Garver, author of Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age (Diversion Books, $28.99, 9781635767704). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

3 p.m. Charlie Laderman and Brendan Simms, authors of Hitler's American Gamble: Pearl Harbor and Germany's March to Global War (Basic Books, $35, 9781541619098).

4 p.m. David de Jong, author of Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany's Wealthiest Dynasties (Mariner, $28.99, 9781328497888).

5 p.m. Peter L.W. Osnos, editor of George Soros: A Life in Full (Harvard Business Review Press, $30, 9781647822798).

7:30 p.m. University of North Carolina Press director John Sherer discusses the work of university presses.

Books & Authors

Awards: Miles Franklin Winner

Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing) has won the A$60,000 (about US$41,440) 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award, which recognizes a novel of "the highest literary merit" that presents "Australian life in any of its phases."

The judges said, "Bodies of Light invites readers to witness the all-too-often concealed, destructive forces of institutionalised care. With extraordinary skill and compassion, Down has written an important book which speaks to an urgent issue in contemporary Australian life."

Down said in part, "Bodies of Light took me a long time to write, and, many times over, I doubted I would finish it at all. It is not an easy book. It demands quite a lot from the reader, I think; not in the sense of being academic or intellectually challenging, but in what it asks the reader to sit with and witness. I'm grateful to the judges for their willingness to do so, and for considering this a story worthy of recognition."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 26:

Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World's First Modern Computer by Kathy Kleiman (Grand Central, $30, 9781538718285) explores the creation of the ENIAC computer at the end of World War II.

Denial: A Novel by Jon Raymond (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781982181833) takes place in 2052, two decades after mass protests overthrew the fossil fuel industry, and follows a journalist tracking down a fugitive oil executive.

Three Miles Down: A Novel of First Contact in the Tumultuous 1970s by Harry Turtledove (Tor, $26.99, 9781250829726) tracks the recovery of an underwater alien ship during the Watergate scandal.

Aura of Night: A Novel by Heather Graham (MIRA, $28.99, 9780778386810) is the 37th Krewe of Hunters supernatural thriller.

Sugar and Salt: A Novel by Susan Wiggs (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062914224) is a romance about a San Francisco baker and a Texas barbecue master.

The Unkept Woman by Allison Montclair (Minotaur, $26.99, 9781250750341) is the fourth Sparks & Bainbridge mystery.

The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito (VIZ Media, $19.99, 9781974726448) is the latest from Japan's horror manga master.

The Art of Teaching Children: All I Learned from a Lifetime in the Classroom by Phillip Done (Avid Reader Press, $30, 9781982165666) is a guide for educators based on 30 years of classroom experience.

Good & Sweet: A New Way to Bake with Naturally Sweet Ingredients by Brian Levy (Avery, $40, 9780593330463) gives recipes for deserts that don't use added sugar, honey or maple syrup.

Beasts of Ruin by Ayana Gray (Putnam, $18.99, 9780593405710) features a young woman acting as a servant to the god of death in this YA sequel to Beasts of Prey.

Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99, 9780374388751) is a middle-grade "virtual fantasy" novel about two siblings who must save a friend from a laser tag game.

Twice a Quinceañera by Yamile Saied Méndez (Kensington, $16.95, 9781496737052).

Point Last Seen: A Novel by Christina Dodd (HQN, $17.99, 9781335623973).

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW, $18, 9780756418304).

The Butler: A Novel by Danielle Steel (Dell, $8.99, 9781984821546).

Abandoned in Death by J.D. Robb (St. Martin's Paperbacks, $9.99, 9781250846952).

The Kaiser's Web: A Novel by Steve Berry (Minotaur, $18.99, 9781250140364).

If It Bleeds by Stephen King (Pocket Books, $9.99, 9781982138004).

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:

The Lies I Tell: A Novel by Julie Clark (Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99, 9781728247595). "Kat Roberts has waited a decade to expose con artist Meg Williams. Now she finally has the chance...  The Lies I Tell is a masterful tale. The characters are so well written, the plot smart and fast moving. This is definitely not one to miss!" --Rebecca Minnock, Murder By the Book, Houston, Tex.

Juniper & Thorn: A Novel by Ava Reid (Harper Voyager, $27.99, 9780062973160). "A gorgeous story influenced by one of the Brothers Grimm's darkest tales. At the center, two souls find a haven in each other while escaping evil worse than any monster under the bed. Juniper & Thorn is bewitching and utterly captivating." --Tarah Jennings, Mitzi's Books, Rapid City, S.D.

One's Company: A Novel by Ashley Hutson (Norton, $16.95, 9780393866643). "Where do I even begin? An original and poignant story of obsession, trauma and the desire to escape into another reality as a means of survival. This is one of the most bonkers books I've ever read, and one of my favorite books of 2022." --Gaël LeLamer, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.

For Ages 3 to 6
The Pet Potato by Josh Lacey, illus. by Momoko Abe (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99, 9781250834157). "Utterly charming and hilarious! When Albert gets a potato for a pet, he's less than thrilled. He learns to get creative and discovers a most unlikely companionship. With droll humor and perfect illustrations, this is a read aloud winner!" --Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.

For Ages 8 to 12
Search for Treasure (The Islanders) by Mary Alice Monroe and Angela May, illus. by Jennifer Bricking (Aladdin, $17.99, 9781534427303). "I've been waiting for The Islanders sequel! This is one of my favorite middle grade series. The writing is beautiful and you fall in love with the characters. This is a great series for parents to read with their kids or a fun family book club!" --Zandria Senft, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, Del.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian (Balzer + Bray, $18.99, 9780063086029). "This is one of the most phenomenal debuts I've ever read. After a hate crime is committed in their home, two very different Chinese American sisters have to deal with this incident without tearing their family apart. I was blown away by this story!" --Joseline Diaz, Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: It's So Magic

It's So Magic by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 hardcover, 128p., 9781770466210, September 6, 2022)

Lynda Barry is a teacher, an Eisner Award-winning comics artist, and a MacArthur "genius grant" recipient. Considered one of the form's most influential creators, Barry helped move the comic arts into the mainstream. Her career began with Ernie Pook's Comeek, published in college newspapers (by friend and future creator of The Simpsons Matt Groening) beginning in 1979 before being serialized in alt-weeklies around the country. It's So Magic collects Ernie Pook's Comeek episodes from the early 1990s featuring teenager Maybonne Mullen and her younger siblings, Marlys and Freddie.

When the book opens, Maybonne and Marlys are living with their grandmother, and Freddie is living elsewhere. In introducing their mom, Maybonne explains, "We don't live with her for she is too high strung." Few mentions are made of their mother, with only occasional references to a possible breakdown. Later, Freddie rejoins his siblings, and at the end, they all go home, a reunion that perfectly captures Maybonne's mixed emotions: simultaneously angry at their mother and overjoyed to see her.

Maybonne and Marlys take up most of the room in this collection, and they are perfect foils to one another, equal parts angst and antics. Teenaged Maybonne believes the world is magic even when she is low, experiencing what the ever-exuberant Marlys calls "riding on a bummer." As Maybonne wrestles with issues of faith and war and injustice and discrimination, Marlys manages to pepper her often hilarious segments with unexpected insights. It's So Magic offers true laugh-out-loud moments as well as thoughtful commentary that will feel as fresh today as it did in the 1990s.

Barry captures the voice and perspective of childhood perfectly, and each sibling is reflected through individual contributions such as Freddie's school reports on insects or Marlys's instructions on "Good Manners" ("Don't go chewing with your mouth all open! It looks like a whole washing machine of food!") or her list of New Year's Resolutions ("Don't tell people you can control bees with your mind"). If it feels like Marlys steals every scene, that's because she does, but it is through Maybonne that readers will find themselves thinking deeply about the human experience, and that is Barry's great gift: to make readers laugh and to make readers think, all at the same time. --Sara Beth West, freelance reviewer and librarian

Shelf Talker: It's So Magic shows off comics artist Lynda Barry's great gift: to make readers laugh and to make them think, all at the same time.

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