Also published on this date: Dedicated Shelf for Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Flatiron Books: White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Shadow Mountain: To Capture His Heart (Proper Romance Victorian) by Nancy Campbell Allen

Zest Books (Tm): Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

Henry Holt & Company: Mihi Ever After (Mihi Ever After #1) by Tae Keller, illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez

Berkley Books: River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

Oxford University Press, USA: The World According to Proust by Joshua Landy


Posman Books Opens Pittsburgh Store

The new Posman Books location in Pittsburgh, Pa., is open for business. Located in the Strip District Terminal, the bookstore shares a 3,300-square-foot space with OddFellows Ice Cream. 

The store will have an official grand opening on July 31, and Posman Books will run two giveaways to celebrate. There will be free ice cream from OddFellows while supplies last, and any customer who buys a Maileg product will receive a free gift.

The store sells new books, toys, stationery and a variety of other gift items. It is the fifth Posman Books location; the others are in New York City, Boston, Mass., and Atlanta, Ga. The Pittsburgh store has been in the works since 2017.

Grand Central Publishing: Sink: A Memoir by Joseph Earl Thomas

The Heart's Desire Bookstore and Art Studio Opening Next Week in Hastings, Neb.

Bookstore and art studio The Heart's Desire will open in Hastings, Neb., on August 2, Local4 News reported.

Located at 721 W 1st St. in Hastings, the shop will sell new and used books for all ages and will host painting, drawing and pottery classes. Owner Dacia Wright will also make the space available for private classes and other special events.

"We haven't had a bookstore for three years now, so I know a lot of people definitely miss having a bookstore, and I know people have already said this would be the place for them to go because they love books," Wright told Local4. "They love getting books, like, new or used, they're excited about that, and I'm excited to be able to provide that. So I just hope it's like a safe space for people to be creative and read."

Wright, who grew up in Hastings, went to school to be an art teacher before deciding to open her own business. She found the curriculum requirements and standards to be stifling, and chose to open the bookstore and studio instead. The store's motto is "adventure into knowledge and creativity."

Doors will open at 10 a.m. on August 2, and there will be a ribbon cutting at 11:45 a.m.

Blair: A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays

Magic of Books Bookstore Combines with Coffee Shop

New location for the Magic of Books.

The Magic of Books Bookstore in Seymour, Ind., has moved into a new, larger space that it shares with a coffee shop called the 1852 Cafe. 

Jenna Martinez, who founded the new and used bookstore in 2020, told the Tribune that the move has effectively doubled the size of the bookstore. The Magic of Books resides in the front half of the space while the cafe operates in the back half. There are couches and coffee tables so customers can sit, drink coffee and read, and though the businesses share a space, they remain separate entities.

Martinez added that she's collaborated with Jason and Stacy Harmon, the owners of 1852 Cafe, on events before, and they have worked very well together. While Martinez initially suggested moving into the same space as a joke, they soon realized that 115 W. Second St. was actually a perfect fit.

"I'm excited not only because we're expanding but also because that extra space will allow us to have more activities," she continued. "We can get our creative writers group going again, and this will allow us to hold events from the metaphysical side."

Other event plans include crystal classes, tarot card classes, Harry Potter trivia nights, a monthly women's poetry open mic and more.

PNBA Holiday Catalog 2022

S&S's Karp Reiterates Support for Sale to PRH

In a letter to employees yesterday, Simon & Schuster president and CEO Jonathan Karp outlined the expected sequence of events for next week's trial of the Justice Department's lawsuit seeking to block the purchase of S&S by Penguin Random House.

"The bench trial, which will take place before Judge Florence Pan at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., will be largely open to the public, and we anticipate media coverage. The DOJ, Penguin Random House, Paramount Global [S&S's parent company], and Simon & Schuster will all call witnesses. A few Simon & Schuster executives, including me, will testify, as will executives from Penguin Random House and other publishing companies, an executive from Paramount Global, literary agents, and some authors. The trial is expected to last three weeks, from August 1 to August 19, after which the attorneys from both sides will have the opportunity to submit further briefings to the court, with the final filings due no later than September 7. We expect Judge Pan to issue her ruling in November."

Karp reiterated his support of the purchase, writing, "I spent 16 years at Random House, and I know their culture is a lot like ours--wholeheartedly devoted to books and deeply committed to its employees and authors. Penguin Random House's parent company, Bertelsmann, has been in the book business since 1835 and shares Penguin Random House's profound commitment to improve public readership. I strongly believe that Penguin Random House will be an excellent steward of Simon & Schuster's legacy, and that we, and our authors, will benefit greatly from becoming a part of this superb publishing company."

Obituary Note: Merloyd Lawrence

Merloyd Lawrence

Merloyd Ludington Lawrence, who co-founded the Seymour Lawrence imprint and her own imprint, Merloyd Lawrence Books, died on June 27 at age 89.

An Orion magazine memorial noted that Lawrence, who was also an "ardent environmental activist, health care advocate and animal rights crusader," founded the Seymour Lawrence imprint in 1965 with her first husband, Seymour Lawrence, and published fiction and nonfiction.

In 1984, she created her own imprint, "producing hundreds of works of nonfiction over the next four decades with Addison-Wesley, Perseus Publishing, Da Capo Press, Basic Books and Hachette. To those fortunate enough to work with her as a colleague, she was always supportive and frequently a mentor. As one publishing colleague of recent years put it, 'She was the kind of editor--and the kind of human being--that many of us aimed to be when we set our sights on a career in publishing.'

"As an editor, Ms. Lawrence was famously nurturing and devoted, gently yet precisely steering her authors to their best work. Esmeralda Santiago, whose classic When I Was Puerto Rican was published by Merloyd Lawrence Books in 1993, speaks for many authors when she says: 'Merloyd has influenced contemporary literature with her courage and wide-ranging vision. Her intelligence and sense of humor, her generosity and quiet strength brought out the best from the authors she edited. I will always be grateful for her keen eye, for her encouragement, and for her unstinting support of my efforts.' "

Lawrence published many important child health and development titles, including A Child Is Born by Lennart  Nilsson and books by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Stanley Greenspan, D.W. Winnicott and John Holt. In the field of women's studies, she founded the Radcliffe Biography Series, which included Joseph Lash on Helen Keller; Paula Blanchard on Margaret Fuller and Sarah Orne Jewett; Vicki Goldberg on Margaret Bourke-White; John Malcolm Brinnin on Gertrude Stein; Robert Coles on Dorothy Day, Simone Weil and Anna Freud; and Sissela Bok on Alva Myrdal, as well as Georgie Anne Geyer's autobiography, Buying the Night Flight.

Other books she published were the Pulitzer Prize-winning Children of Crisis series by Robert and Jane Hallowell Coles; Ellen J. Langer's Mindfulness; Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book; titles by Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, Kenneth R. Pelletier, Sandra Steingraber, Arthur Young and Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn; and books on animals rights and wilderness conservation by Steven Wise and John Hanson Mitchell.


Image of the Day: Reading in the Park

The Reading Line's inaugural Book Ride in Brooklyn, N.Y., featured Sasha Fletcher, author of Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World (Melville House). The setting of the novel and for his reading was the Vale of Cashmere in Prospect Park. Participants met at Unnameable Books in Prospect Heights, where they could purchase copies of the book, and biked to the park, where they enjoyed a rousing reading in the shade of the trees--which helped to reduce the 97° temperature!


Bookseller Dog: Happy Birthday, George at Abalabix Books

Posted on Instagram Sunday by Abalabix Books, Crystal Lake, Ill.: "At the store celebrating George's b-day today! He's wearing his special birthday bow tie and in the background you can see a glimpse of the poster that will be outside around 2 pm today for coloring and then display at the store. Stop by and see us!" 

Personnel Changes at Algonquin/Workman

At Algonquin Books/Workman Publishing:

Stephanie Mendoza has been promoted to associate director of publicity.

Katrina Tiktinsky has joined the house as publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Philip Short on Here & Now

NPR's Here & Now: Philip Short, author of Putin (Holt, $40, 9781627793667).

CBS Mornings: Paul de Gelder, author of Shark: Why We Need to Save the World's Most Misunderstood Predator (Mudlark, $26.99, 9780008529666).

The Talk: Zachary Levi, author of Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others (Harper Horizon, $28.99, 9780785236757).

Tamron Hall repeat: Jay Glazer, author of Unbreakable: How I Turned My Depression and Anxiety into Motivation and You Can Too (‎Dey Street, $27.99, 9780063062856).

Movies: White Noise

The Venice Film Festival (August 31-September 10) will open with the world premiere of Noah Baumbach's Netflix drama White Noise, adapted from the novel by Don DeLillo. Deadline reported that the project, written for the screen and directed by Baumbach, is produced by Baumbach, David Heyman and Uri Singer. It marks the first time a Netflix movie has opened the festival.

Starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, the film's cast also includes Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy, Sam Nivola, May Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, André L. Benjamin and Lars Edinger. 

Festival chief Alberto Barbera said: "It is a great honor to open the 79th Venice Film Festival with White Noise. It was worth waiting for the certainty that the film was finished to have the pleasure to make this announcement. Adapted from the great Don DeLillo novel, Baumbach has made an original, ambitious and compelling piece of art which plays with measure on multiple registers: dramatic, ironic, satirical. The result is a film that examines our obsessions, doubts, and fears as captured in the 1980s, yet with very clear references to contemporary reality."

Books & Authors

Awards: Will Eisner Comic Industry Winners

The 2022 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were presented last weekend at Comic-Con in San Diego. Winners included The Good Asian by Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi (Image) for limited series; Run: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury & Nate Powell (Abrams ComicArts) for graphic memoir; Monsters by Barry Windsor-Smith (Fantagraphics) for graphic album--new; and George Orwell's 1984: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Fido Nesti (Mariner Books) for adaptation from another medium.

James Tynion IV took home three Eisners: Best Writer; Best Continuing Series for Something Is Killing the Children (BOOM!); and Best New Series for The Nice House on the Lake (DC). To see the full list of Eisner winners, click here.

The winner of the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award was Annie Koyama and her Koyama Press Provides program. The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award went to Books with Pictures, Portland, Ore., owned by Katie Pryde.

Book Review

Review: The Old Place

The Old Place by Bobby Finger (Putnam, $27 hardcover, 336p., 9780593422342, September 20, 2022)

Bobby Finger's unforgettable debut novel, The Old Place, hits the rare and satisfying double note of harrowing and delightful. Roughly 90 minutes outside of San Antonio, Tex., a recently retired schoolteacher navigates various relationships and juggles old secrets in the kind of small community where everyone thinks they know everything about everybody else. Mary Alice Roth is a compelling, although decidedly prickly, protagonist; secondary characters only sweeten this heart-wrenching, warm-and-fuzzy small-town drama.

In the opening pages, Mary Alice is furious at being forced out of her job, and at the young woman--new to town and newly wed into an old family--hired to replace her. She tentatively renews her friendship with neighbor Ellie, hinting at one of the novel's first slow reveals: the two women (one widowed, one divorced) had sons the same age who were also best friends, until a double tragedy. As readers puzzle over the deaths of Mary Alice's husband and son, her (also long-estranged) sister, Katherine, shows up unannounced and unwelcome, all the way from Atlanta. Mary Alice continues her practice of bullying and haranguing the local ladies in preparation for the annual church picnic ("All the money spent there, whether on raffles or games or rides or food, went to Him whether you believed or not"). Katherine prods her to take responsibility for an old wrong, and together they reopen old wounds. Ellie privately nurses a new romance, only adding to the ever-twisting mysteries and secrets. Mary Alice's replacement, the newcomer, offers a refreshing outside perspective as a native New Yorker who is as surprised as anyone at how much she loves her new home.

The Old Place muses over the stereotypes of a town like Billington, Tex., where privacy is scarce and prejudices persist, but where forgiveness and even redemption may just be possible. Mary Alice is a difficult woman to like, but the people who surround her--and the life she's lived--keep her from being pure villain. By the novel's second half, everyone is more nuanced than they originally seemed, and the fictional Billington feels as multifaceted and significant as any real hometown. Finger is expert at the careful disclosure of one secret after another, and his characters capture hearts and imaginations. His novel beautifully profiles the iconic small town, both holding it accountable and celebrating its quiet humanity. "Even a town in decline never really stops growing. People may leave, but their stories remain, reverberating in the bones of all those left behind." At its heart, The Old Place is about the way people relate to one another: family, neighbors, new and old friends. The messiness, pain and grace of these relationships are candidly portrayed in a story that will inspire laughter and tears, making this debut a memorable achievement indeed. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: An irritable retiree in a small Texas town stars in this sweet, poignant story about community, secrets and all the ways to love.

Deeper Understanding

Lobster and Sand and Bonfires... Oh My!: Highlighting Backlist Reading

Beach reads. It's even a category. I was in a bookstore the other day that had a whole display announcing, "Beach Books!" These books had pastel covers that included sand and beach chairs. That was actually a little too beachy for me. But they made me wonder what everyone else conjures when they think about beach reading. I go right to brain candy. Nothing strenuous that needs any amount of concentration. Fun books that vaguely remind me of sleeping porches and clambakes.

It can be a pleasure to eavesdrop on other people's summers. The Hills at Home by Nancy Clark ticks all the boxes. You've got a clever family congregating at their New England ancestral home. Think Trollope, gentle satire and plenty of piney woods. Clark gives us both broken shutters and broken love affairs and a much-loved old house as a main character. You'll want to eat a tomato sandwich while you read this one.

Spartina by John Casey is about a fisherman working along the shores of Narragansett Bay. A man, his boat, his wife, his girlfriend and one monster storm make a terrific summer read. Casey won the National Book Award for it, so this isn't fluff. There's a brilliant illustration of wealth disparity in the U.S. for anyone who's looking. But is also enormous fun. You can smell the salt in the air and when the hurricane comes, as it inevitably must, my heart pounded, and I had to stand up while I read it.

The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen Carter divides its geography between Oak Bluffs, where wealthy and influential Black Americans summer on Martha's Vineyard, and the world of Ivy League law. Carter effortlessly spins a thriller around chess, the Supreme Court and murder. The plot is complicated, and one must suspend disbelief, but that is easily done since there are so many twists and turns the reader races to catch up. A fabulous side street about the appointment process for the Supreme Court seems especially prescient. There is nothing better than a great beach book and every reader is thrilled when they bump into one at just the right time. The Emperor of Ocean Park is perfect. Its clever, fast, and with bits and bobs of beach and screen doors thrown into the mix. Come to think of it, maybe I'll take this one with me when I go next week. --Ellen Stimson

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
3. The Scandal by Kristen Proby
4. The Boss Project by Vi Keeland
5. Get Tragic (Battle Crows MC Book 5) by Lani Lynn Vale
6. Winning the Week by Demir and Carey Bentley
7. My Scorned Best Friend (The Greene Family Book 7) by Piper Rayne
8. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
9. Be It Until You Become It by Natasha Graziano
10. Love Lessons by Sarina Bowen

[Many thanks to!]

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