Also published on this date: Tuesday, August 9, 2022: Maximum Shelf: American Sirens

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Chronicle Books: Poetry Comics by Grant Snider

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy


New Voices, New Rooms Kickoff: 'We Are Here'

"We Are Here" was the resounding theme of Monday's kickoff author breakfast at SIBA/NAIBA's virtual New Voices New Rooms event. The panel was moderated by Bunnie Hilliard, founder and owner of Brave + Kind Bookshop in Decatur, Ga.

The session took its name from Tami Charles's picture book We Are Here (Orchard/Scholastic, January 3), illustrated by Bryan Collier, their follow-up to All Because You Matter, which, Charles explained, she wrote for her son following George Floyd's murder and subsequent protests. Charles said that she and Collier are at work on a third picture book and, when all three spines line up, they will read: All Because You Matter/ We Are Here/ United Together.

Ambassador Andrew Young spoke of growing up in a neighborhood with an Italian grocer on one corner, an Irish pub on another and a Nazi headquarters on another corner. When Young, just four years old in 1936, asked his father who the Nazis were, his father explained they held racist ideas. "Racism is a sickness," he told the boy. "You don't get mad at people for being sick." That same year, Young's father took him to a segregated movie theater to see Jesse Owens win a gold medal in the Olympics in Berlin. That was the inspiration for his picture book written with his daughter Paula Young Shelton, Just Like Jesse Owens (Scholastic), illustrated by Gordon C. James.

"Don't get mad, get smart," Young's father told him. "My father's advice worked not just when I was four years old, but also as a 40-year-old [as President Carter's ambassador to the United Nations] in South Africa during apartheid, and while negotiating the Panama Canal treaty. The State Department wanted me to be afraid of them, but I befriended them." Paula Young Shelton added, "Young children need to know you can't let other people's opinion determine who you are."

"I'm not an author, I'm an organizer," said Linda Sarsour, who adapted her adult memoir (We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders, 37 Ink) for young readers as We're in This Together (Salaam Reads, Nov. 29). She identifies as a Muslim Palestinian woman and, as co-chair of the Women's March on Washington in 2017, led the largest single-day protest in history. Sarsour has received death threats as a result of her work, and an editor coaxed Sarsour into writing her memoir because, Sarsour realized, "If something were to happen to me, my story would still be here."

When Hilliard asked what age reader she's targeting, Sarsour answered, "Nine- 10- and 11-year-olds: they too can understand trauma, grief, pain. There are also moments of celebration and solidarity." Sarsour said children need to see things as they are yet also understand that together we can change things. She watched her eight-year-old daughter stand up and ask the New York City mayor, "Will you include Muslim holidays in the school calendar?" and Mayor Bill de Blasio did just that. Sarsour wants young people to know, "You are powerful because of who you are. I was you. I was told I should hide who I am. I'm still powerful, still organizing."

Like Sarsour, Maria Hinojosa was the child of immigrants and wanted to reach "the next generation" by adapting her adult memoir for young people. Hinojosa was moved to do so by an immigrant Latina girl she saw in McCallum, Tex., who was separated from her family. She begins her young people's edition, Once I Was You (Simon & Schuster, Aug. 30; a Spanish edition will follow in January), with that story. The author aims her book at a 10-year-old reader and modeled it on the young readers edition of Stamped by Jason Reynolds, adapted from Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning.

Hinojosa told Ambassador Young that she had grown up watching him and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and that she had as a youth met Jesse Owens in Chicago, beautifully bringing the conversation full circle: "We see ourselves in each other but we also own our own power because that is what democracy is all about."--Jennifer M. Brown

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Circle Time Books & More Opens in Rome, N.Y.

Circle Time Books & More, a children's bookstore with a focus on learning and play, is open for business in Rome, N.Y., WKTV reported. In addition to books, the store carries a variety of games, toys and stuffed animals.

"I'm just trying to get books into their hands," said Teri Smith, who owns the bookstore with her husband, Rich Smith. "We have other items that they can use, different toys or different stuffed animals that go with the book so that they can relate something tangible in their hands while they're reading the book. Kids just learn through rhyming, through reading, so I hope that's what we can offer the community."

The Smiths have been married for more than 40 years and are also the owners of a family daycare center in Rome, where "reading is a priority." Teri Smith has worked in childcare for more than 30 years, and after Rich Smith retired from the military, he joined her in her childcare career. Both were born and raised in Rome.

They plan to host storytime sessions, which they like to "bring to life" with the help of puppets and props. The Smiths held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store at 401 N. James St. last week.

University of Texas Press: Loose of Earth: A Memoir by Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Common Ground Books, Tallahassee, Fla., Hosts Grand Opening

Common Ground Books, a LGBT+ and feminist bookstore in Tallahassee, Fla., held a grand opening celebration on Saturday and is now fully up and running, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Owner Alex Spencer opened the store in a very limited capacity in early June so as not to miss Pride Month, but the store is now open for business six days per week. Located in a historic house in downtown Tallahassee, the store stocks more than 2,000 titles for children, teens and adults; about 90% of them are LGBT+-related. There is an emphasis on local writers as well, and Spencer's non-book inventory includes art and gifts made by local craftspeople.

Spencer told the Democrat that "you don't have to be gay to visit Common Ground Books; we're open to everyone, but I'm hoping it will evolve into a hub and community gathering space for the LGBT+ community."

Starting in September Common Ground Books will be home to a monthly drag queen story hour, and she'll host a launch party for the anthology Rumors, Secrets & Lies (Anhinga Press) in November. Beyond those already scheduled events, Spencer plans to start hosting "open mic nights, book clubs, occasional movie nights, game nights and craft nights." Spencer is already partnering with the local PFLAG chapter and is looking to work with other groups in the community.

"I've always loved books," said Spencer. "They not only create an escape from reality when you need it, but books can also help give you a different perspective you might not understand otherwise. They can help you find common ground if you will. Ever since I was a teenager, my big dream was to own a bookstore."

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Tom Doherty Associates Renamed Tor Publishing Group

Tom Doherty Associates has been renamed Tor Publishing Group. President and publisher Devi Pillai explained: "Although the Tor name has always been associated with science fiction and fantasy, our list has included titles beyond that genre since our inception. With this name change and continued growth, the Tor name will now stand for quality in various types of genre publishing, with each imprint representing a distinct voice."

Besides its eponymous imprint, Tor Publishing Group includes Forge Books, which publishes thrillers and mysteries, speculative fiction, contemporary fiction and media-related nonfiction; Nightfire, which publishes horror; Tor Teen and Starscape, which focus on science fiction, fantasy and contemporary fiction for young readers and teens; and Tordotcom Publishing, which specializes in original science fiction and fantasy, both in novella and novel length.

Tor Publishing Group authors include Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Olivie Blake, W. Bruce Cameron, Jacqueline Carey, P. Djèlí Clark, Cory Doctorow, Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, Alix E. Harrow, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, TJ Klune, Victor LaValle, Cixin Liu, Seanan McGuire, Tamsyn Muir, Annalee Newitz, Tochi Onyebuchi, Christopher Paolini, Joe Pera, Douglas Preston, Spencer Quinn, James Rollins, Veronica Roth, Brandon Sanderson, V. E. Schwab, John Scalzi, Dr. Chuck Tingle, Nghi Vo, Catriona Ward, Martha Wells and Rita Woods, among others.

Tom Doherty established Tom Doherty Associates in 1979 and began the Tor Books imprint in 1980.

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Obituary Note: David McCullough

David McCullough

David McCullough, "master of the art of narrative history," died on Sunday at age 89. He wrote a dozen books whose subjects included John Adams, Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, the Wright Brothers, the Panama Canal, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Johnstown Flood.

McCullough won the Pulitzer Prize twice, for Truman and John Adams; won the National Book Award twice, for The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal and Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt; and won the Francis Parkman Prize twice, for Truman and The Path Between the Seas. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian award; the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award; the National Humanities Medal; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Biography. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was president of the Society of American Historians. He was named an Officer of the Legion of Honor by the President of the Republic of France. He received 56 honorary degrees.

He was also honored for his work as a narrator and host for documentaries and TV shows. He won an Emmy for hosting the PBS series Smithsonian World. He hosted PBS's American Experience and narrated historical documentaries, including Ken Burns's The Civil War, as well as narrated the audiobook versions of many of his own books. He also had a role in the movie Seabiscuit. His own John Adams became a hit HBO mini-series starring Paul Giamatti.

He was also a teacher, lecturer and editor whose talks on most any subject were mesmerizing and authoritative.

He was best known, of course, for his books, which have been published in 19 languages and sold more than 14 million copies in all formats. He is one of the few authors who never had one of his books go out of print.

His first book was The Johnstown Flood, which was published in 1968. As the New York Times wrote, it "established him as one who could take a familiar story--the great dam failure in Pennsylvania in 1889 that killed more than 2,000 people--and give it a larger life."

The success of that book allowed him to write full-time. His other works, besides his major prize winners, included The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge; Brave Companions: Portraits in History, an essay collection; 1776, about the military under George Washington; In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story, about the meeting of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Washington, D.C., just weeks after Pearl Harbor; The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris; The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For; and his most recent book, published in 2019, The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West. All his books were published by Simon & Schuster.

Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of S&S, called McCullough "a national treasure. His books brought history to life for millions of readers. Through his biographies, he dramatically illustrated the most ennobling parts of the American character. Simon & Schuster has been honored to be David's publisher for 54 years. He was greatly admired and beloved throughout our company. We will cherish his work for as long as we are publishing books."

Ken Burns praised McCullough on Twitter, saying, "It is impossible to conceive that David McCullough is no longer with us. He is among our greatest historians, writing with an almost magical command of language and story. He was also a gifted teacher who taught me about history and writing, and allowed me to escape my many limitations in those areas. I'll forever cherish the time we spent together, and I'll miss my friend dearly."

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden wrote on Twitter, "I'm saddened to hear about the passing of the great  historian David McCullough. His dedication in telling this nation's story taught us more about the American spirit and its value to our collective history. For that we are forever grateful. He truly was an American treasure."

The Boston Globe wrote that McCullough "saw himself belonging to the tradition exemplified by such popular nonacademic historians as Barbara Tuchman and Bruce Catton. He wrote for the interested layperson, not graduate students." In a 2005 interview with the Globe, McCullough explained: "So many people have been led to believe--often, unfortunately, by the experience of dreary teaching--that 'history' and 'boring' are synonymous. To me, it's the reverse. The wonderful thing about almost any subject in history is, if you scratch the surface, you find life. It's all around us."

He added: "I want my books to be read by people of all kinds. I want to write for the fellow who lives next door over here, and I want to write for the president of MIT. But most of all, I want to write the kind of book I'd want to read."


Image of the Day: Brewster Bookstore's Fundraiser for Ukraine

The Brewster Bookstore in Brewster, Mass., posted:

"Our bookseller (and artist) Michelle created our front window display for August. The sunflowers represent our Journeys from Ukraine fundraiser happening this month.

"We are especially excited about our Thursday, August 11 event, Journeys from Ukraine. We have partnered with one of our long-time customers, Sofiya Klein, to raise awareness about the ongoing war in Ukraine and raise funds for Ukraine Forward, a Boston-based nonprofit.... You can also support our fundraising efforts by shopping in-store and online from a curated selection of books related to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the experience of refugees throughout the world.... 20% of proceeds from the sales will be donated to Ukraine Forward."

Personnel Changes at Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel+Ink

Sara DiSalvo has been promoted to publicity manager at Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel+Ink. She was formerly senior publicist.

Bookstore Display: International Cat Day

From Bards Alley Bookshop in Vienna, Va.:

"Happy International Cat Day to all our cat-owning and cat-loving friends! We've got tons of options for cat lovers of all ages: picture books, graphic novels and manga, adult novels, and themed trinkets and stationery. Grow your cat collection today!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dana Milbank on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Dana Milbank, author of The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party (Doubleday, $30, 9780385548137).

Today Show: Colson Whitehead, author of Harlem Shuffle: A Novel (Anchor, $17, 9780525567271).

Drew Barrymore Show repeat: Jenny Mollen, author of City of Likes (NacelleBooks, $27.45, 9781737380115).

Book Review

Review: Bold Ventures: Thirteen Tales of Architectural Tragedy

Bold Ventures: Thirteen Tales of Architectural Tragedy by Charlotte Van den Broeck, trans. by David McKay (Other Press, $27.99 hardcover, 304p., 9781635423174, September 20, 2022)

Belgian poet Charlotte Van den Broeck (Chameleon) has written a lively, deeply engrossing exploration into the nature of architectural creation. She "developed a personal interest in architectural failures--especially in failures that cost the architects their lives," when, in the early 2000s, her Flemish hometown swimming pool was beleaguered by a multitude of problems. Mechanical flaws and technical glitches peaked when the pool started to sink into marshy ground, raising the possibility of swimmer electrocution. The growing list of dangers eventually led to rumors that the disgraced pool architect, left publicly unnamed, had taken his own life.

This led Van den Broeck to consider: "What makes a mistake larger than life, so all-encompassing that your life itself becomes a failure? Where is the line between creator and creation?" Van den Broeck examines this and 12 other doomed architectural structures--churches, theaters, libraries, post offices, galleries, gardens and golf courses in Europe and the U.S.--researching their creators, some plagued by hubris and haste. This includes the Church of Saint Omer in Verchin, France, designed in the 1600s by architect Jean Porc. It took nearly 70 years to build the gothic structure, whose tower became aesthetically crooked and twisted due to a lack of proper support and the use of unseasoned elm wood that warped. Legend has it that, in defeat, Porc jumped to his death from the "exceptional" spire.

Functionality faux pas beset the Rossauer Barracks of Vienna. Military engineer Karl Pilhal designed and built the enormous structure in the 1860s in a symmetrically classical English Tudor style. However, he forgot to include lavatory facilities in his plan. The "unsanitary hell" and costs to rectify the gross oversight destroyed Pilhal and his career; he, too, died by suicide. In January 1922, the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre in Washington, D.C., collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow, killing 95 people and injuring many more. Later, architect Reginald Wycliffe Geare, who failed to make adjustments for the load-bearing capacity of the steel, and contractor Harry Crandall, who cut corners on materials, both killed themselves.

The sad tragedy of suicide resides at the heart of each historically framed, vividly written chapter. The narrative, translated from the Dutch by David McKay, is buoyed by Van den Broeck's poetically drawn personal ruminations, in which meditative asides--steeped in science, philosophy, art and literature--provide thought-provoking insights into all aspects of the creative life. -- Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A Belgian poet offers a provocative examination of 13 ill-conceived architectural structures and their doomed masterminds.

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. Garnet Flats by Devney Perry
3. Claimed Among the Stars by Various
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
5. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
6. Colorado Cold Case (Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 8) by Elle James
7. Sudden Impact (Crimson Point Protectors Book 3) by Kaylea Cross
8. Misfit by Elle Kennedy
9. My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
10. Hidden Creed by Alex Kava

[Many thanks to!]

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