Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 15, 2022


Yearling Books: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Pantheon Books: Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Scholastic Press: The Guardian Test (Legends of Lotus Island #1) by Christina Soontornvat, illustrated by Kevin Hong

Tor Books: The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson

News

Support for Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Shelf Awareness joins the many people, companies and organizations in the book world that have expressed shock and outrage about Friday's violent attack on Salman Rushdie, and we wish him the best and a speedy recovery.

A family statement from Zafar Rushdie, Rushdie's son, said yesterday, "Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment. We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen and he was able to say a few words.

"Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humour remains intact. We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leapt to his defence and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who have cared for him and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world. We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family come together at his bedside to support and help him through this time."

Henry Reese, who was moderating the event on Friday and was injured in the attack when he went to Rushdie's aid, is co-founder of City of Asylum in Pittsburgh, Pa., which promotes free expression, provides sanctuary for writers and artists under threat of persecution and has a bookstore. He suggested to CNN that people react to the attack by buying a book by Rushdie and reading it; writers should "write to the full extent of truthfulness and their ability"; and all should recognize that creative expression "brings people to discuss important issues and to think about people other than themselves."

Among words of support expressed after the attack:

President Joe Biden, in part: "Salman Rushdie--with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced--stands for essential, universal ideals. Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear. These are the building blocks of any free and open society. And today, we reaffirm our commitment to those deeply American values in solidarity with Rushdie and all those who stand for freedom of expression."

Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House: "We are deeply shocked and appalled to hear of the attack on Salman Rushdie while he was speaking at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. We condemn this violent public assault, and our thoughts are with Salman and his family at this distressing time."

The National Coalition Against Censorship, in part: "Mr. Rushdie has bravely defended freedom of expression throughout his career, determined not to be silenced by fear and encouraging others to speak out. An established advocate for writers' protections, Mr. Rushdie is the founding president of the International Parliament of Writers (which has since evolved into the International Cities of Refuge Network), which offers resources and shelter to artists and writers at risk of persecution. At the time of the attack, Mr. Rushdie was participating in a public discussion on the role of the United States as a refuge for artists and writers in exile.

"Mr. Rushdie's famous refrain, 'What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.' underscores the key democratic tenets--the right to disseminate and access ideas, the right to public debate, and, crucially, the right to disagree--whether it be with fellow civilians, institutions, or governments."

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel, in part: "PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former president and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie.... We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil.

"Just hours before the attack, on Friday morning, Salman had e-mailed me to help with placements for Ukrainian writers in need of safe refuge from the grave perils they face. Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered. He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced....

"Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced."

Ayad Akhtar, PEN America president, in part: "As a former president of our organization, Salman means so much to us. His leadership in the wake of 9/11 set the course for the two decades which have followed. He has been and remains a tireless advocate for imperiled writers, for unfettered intellectual and creative exchange, and one of the last half-century's great champions of freedom of expression. But it is in his own truly seminal, challenging body of work that Salman has stood most powerfully for the values of PEN America--work that has questioned founding myths and expanded the world’s imaginative possibilities, at great cost to himself.

"On a more personal note, as a writer whose own work is fundamentally shaped by an early encounter with The Satanic Verses, it is particularly horrifying to me that the nightmare set in motion by the fatwa in 1989 is still with us. We are all thinking of Salman today across the PEN America community, and praying for his recovery."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon


Broadway Books Opens in Ashland, Ky.

 

Opening celebration at Broadway Books.

Broadway Books, a 5,000-square-foot store selling new titles, has opened in Ashland, Ky., the Daily Independent reported.

The store is located in Ashland's historic G.C. Murphy building. Owners Jill Geyer Donta and Nancy Miller noted that while the store sells items for all ages, there is an emphasis on children's books and educational puzzles and games.

Magazines and newspapers are also available, as are a variety of non-book items, including candles, jewelry, quilts and soaps. They hope eventually to add vinyl records, and their event plans include children's story hours.

Miller told the Independent that the bookstore has a "nice seating area in the front where you can relax," and there's also a Lego wall and a train table for children. Broadway Books shares the Murphy building with a restaurant called the Mill, which is operated by Miller's daughters, Mikal Miller and Lakin Crace.

Donta said she and Miller have been friends since they were 12, and they had talked about opening a business together before. At that time, they "couldn't find the right business," but "when Nancy called and asked me if I'd like to open a bookstore, I said, 'Yes.' I was all over it."

She added: "I knew she would have done her research before thinking about opening a bookstore. I asked her, 'Are you sure this can go?' and she said, 'Yes. People want to get back to books and shopping local.' "


GLOW: Putnam: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams


International Update: Australian Bookseller Search Service; Globe & Mail's Increased Book Coverage

Stacey Moore, Book Grove

The Australian Booksellers Association's newsletter showcased a new service from Stacey Moore, owner of indie bookstore Bookgrove in Ocean Grove, Victoria. Moore has launched "BreakAway Books" Locum Booksellers to assist bookstore owners and managers with "finding trained, reliable and honest people to manage and/or work in their bookstore. If you need someone to come in and manage for a period of time or to even work some shifts, then I can assist with this. At this stage, it is just me who is available and I am keen to travel and work anywhere within Australia."

Since opening Bookgrove in 2009, Moore noted, one of the biggest challenges she faced was "the ability to go on extended breaks for recreational and/or medical or careers reasons, and leave the business in capable hands. I have often wondered about what we can do as a community of booksellers on this issue that affects many 1-3 person-operated bookstores, or even larger bookstores when trained staff are in demand."

As a result of personal experiences and conversations with other booksellers over the years, Moore conceived the idea of providing such a service to fellow bookstore owners: "I am now in a position at Bookgrove with ongoing trusted staff and in my own life, with my children now living elsewhere, that I am freer to explore new horizons and to create Breakaway Books Locum Booksellers to service this challenge and my desire to combine travel and work."

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Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail has announced the return of its weekend standalone arts and books section, beginning next month. Quill & Quire reported that in a recent letter to advertisers, the Globe said the section, which comes back September 10 after "its pandemic hiatus," will feature increased numbers of book reviews and monthly roundups in addition to seasonal literary guides and listings.

"This will be welcome news for publishers, writers and booksellers as review coverage in newspapers has shrunk over the years, even though book reviews and profiles are seen as important drivers of sales," Quill & Quire wrote.

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In Turkey, a "mere love for books would not make one a bookseller in Heybeliada, an island of around 5,000 people off the coast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, where foot traffic increases only during the summer months," Anadolu Agency reported. 

"It demands an act of courage," said Nazim Hikmat Erkan, the owner of Heybeli Sahaf (Heybeli Antiquarian's Shop) who moved to Istanbul's second largest island five years ago and then decided to open a shop there as fellow islanders insisted they needed a bookshop. Erkan said that he also aims to "bridge people with their history." 

Before moving to the island, Erkan had been running an old bookshop in Istanbul's historic Taksim district. A year after opening Heybeli Sahaf in mid-2016, he closed his shop in Taksim to focus on the island store. --Robert Gray


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Love & Other Scams by Philip Ellis


Obituary Note: Helen Ibach

Helen Ibach, longtime regional buyer and sales manager at Lone Pine Publishing, died on August 11 after a heroic battle with cancer.

Ibach grew up on a ranch in Sarpy Creek, Mont., and her love of books landed her a job first with Mike Sample of Falcon Publishing, and then she became regional and small press buyer for Pacific Pipeline, working for Shelf Awareness's own Marilyn Dahl. She was well known for the care of her presses, most of which used Pacific Pipeline as their only source of distribution. Because of her success at Pipeline, Waldenbooks came calling, and Helen moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., to buy regional titles for western half of the country and sports. She eventually missed the Pacific Northwest and her family and joined Lone Pine Publishing as U.S. sales manager for the last 18 years of her career.

Mike Campbell, associate publisher of Lone Pine, said: "Helen was our dear friend and a truly inspiring colleague. She was loved and admired by so many. A passionate champion of books, she mentored and nurtured the Pacific Northwest publishing community with her zest and knowledge."

Marilyn Dahl, editor at Shelf Awareness, added: "Helen was a joy to work with and a real firecracker. She had a smile and a laugh that was infectious, and her enthusiasm and love for books and booksellers was nonstop. As a buyer, she had an unerring instinct for regional books--her Montana heritage served her well. I learned so much from her in how she approached work and lived life."


New Voices, New Rooms: YA Suspense, Magic and Horror

"I wanted to see a young Black girl in horror make it to the end," Tiffany D. Jackson said of her book The Weight of Blood (Katherine Tegen, Sept. 6). At the author dinner for Day 2 of NAIBA/SIBA's virtual programming last week, moderator Andrea Richardson, general manager of Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., had asked Jackson why she wrote for young adults. Jackson's novel features a biracial teenage girl at a Georgia high school during the first year of an integrated prom, and she gave a nod to Stephen King's Carrie. "This is the first time I'm writing about racism," Jackson said. She wanted to ask readers, "What can revenge truly look like, and do we want that?"

Lamar Giles taps into similar themes for The Getaway (Scholastic, Sept. 20), in which hero Jay is working at Karloff Country, a world-famous resort. Life isn’t so great for the rest of the world, but people come to Karloff to escape--until it begins to feel like a trap. "How do kids handle the monstrous forces around us?" Giles wanted to explore in his book. "And what are you willing to trade for comfort?" His first taste of horror was The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. Like Jackson, he moved on to Stephen King and then to F. Paul Wilson. "I wanted to be a horror writer from the beginning," Giles said.

The alternate America in 1937 featured in Justina Ireland's Rust in the Root (Balzer + Bray/Harperteen, Sept. 20) is similarly divided; rather than geographically, as in Giles's novel, hers is divided into those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Laura, the main character, is in a transitional period and must determine "how important a community is, how to build one, how to keep one." When Richardson asked Ireland about the presence of adult mentors in many of her books, Ireland said, "Sometimes progress is slow, and we need older people to tell us we have made progress, but there's more to be done."

Tracy Deonn's Bloodmarked (Simon & Schuster, Nov. 8), the second in her Legendborn Cycle, continues her reimagining of the Arthurian legend as a contemporary fantasy with teenage Bree's Southern Black girl magic at its core. "Contemporary fiction and fantasy are my faves, and I press hard on both," Deonn said. "Agents of white supremacy are as big as hellhounds in the woods." Like Ireland, Deonn sees the generations who came before as key to what Deonn calls her "intergenerational trauma squad." She said, "Teens are realizing they're inheriting this trauma. The meat of the story is from Bree's point of view, but there's a heavy presence of the generations before, the stories before; their legacy is still a heavy weight." --Jennifer M. Brown


Notes

Image of the Day: Miriam Parker at Books Are Magic

Last week, Miriam Parker, associate publisher of Ecco and author of the novel Room and Board: A Novel (Dutton, Aug. 19), signed stock at Brooklyn's Books Are Magic.


Bookstore Moment: Mysterious Bookshop

The Mysterious Bookshop, New York, N.Y., shared this experience from owner Otto Penzler: 

"This past Thursday is a day that will live in my memory forever. The bookshop was visited by a young woman who was wheeled in by a volunteer of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Katelyn's wish, for which she had been waiting for several months, was to visit the Mysterious Bookshop. The utter joy on her face as she browsed the shelves was unmistakable.

"As it happened, the first two books she seized were anthologies I had edited. I have autographed many books over the years but there was never a person who was more pleased to have a book inscribed to her than Katelyn, and never one I was happier and prouder to accommodate."

Personnel Changes at HarperCollins

At HarperCollins Children's Books:

Michael D'Angelo has been promoted to marketing manager from assistant marketing manager.

Delaney Heisterkamp has been promoted to marketing coordinator from marketing assistant.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rep. Adam Schiff on Good Morning America

Today:
The Doctors: Johann Hari, author of Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention--and How to Think Deeply Again (Crown, $28, 9780593138519).

Tonight Show: Gabrielle Zevin, author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A Novel (Knopf, $28, 9780593321201).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: Molly Shannon, author of Hello, Molly!: A Memoir (Ecco, $27.99, 9780063056237).

Tomorrow:
CBS Mornings: Keith Corbin, co-author of California Soul: An American Epic of Cooking and Survival (Random House, $28.99, 9780593243824).

Good Morning America: Rep. Adam Schiff, author of Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could (Random House, $30, 9780593231524).


TV: Lessons In Chemistry

Apple TV+ has rounded out the ensemble cast for Lessons in Chemistry as production begins on the series, which is based on the debut novel by Bonnie Garmus, Deadline reported. Joining the project's star and executive producer Brie Larson (Room) are Lewis Pullman (Top Gun: Maverick); Aja Naomi King (How to Get Away with Murder); Stephanie Koenig (The Flight Attendant); Patrick Walker (Gaslit); Thomas Mann (Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty); Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory) and Beau Bridges (Acting: The First Six Lessons). The series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ in 2023. 

From Apple Studios, Lessons in Chemistry is produced by Aggregate Films. Lee Eisenberg (WeCrashed, Little America) serves as showrunner. The series is exec produced by Larson and Elijah Allan-Blitz of their Great Unknown Productions; Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan for Aggregate Films; and Unbelievable co-creator Susannah Grant. Natalie Sandy executive produces through Piece of Work Entertainment alongside Eisenberg. Louise Shore also serves as executive producer and author Garmus serves as co-EP.



Books & Authors

Book Review

Review: People Person

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams (Scout Press/Gallery, $27.99 hardcover, 336p., 9781501196041, September 13, 2022)

People Person is a darkly comedic novel of family--that which we're born into, and that which we choose--from Candice Carty-Williams, author of the much-praised Queenie.

Nikisha, Danny, Dimple, Elizabeth and Prynce share very little in common--besides, that is, Cyril Pennington as their (mostly absent) father, who "was not a discriminatory man," having fathered five kids with four women in a five-mile radius in the span of 10 years. Nikisha and Prynce, the oldest and youngest of Cyril's offspring, share a mother; Dimple and Elizabeth boast birthdays just weeks apart in between the two. Danny, the second eldest, once served time in prison and now centers his life on his young toddler; Dimple is a somewhat desperate aspiring influencer with a problematic on-again, off-again boyfriend; Prynce juggles phone calls from any number of women each day; Elizabeth is on track to become a doctor and lives with her long-time girlfriend.

The five meet just once as young adults, when Cyril collects them all in his gleaming gold Jeep for an afternoon at a local park. "This is so none of you ever buck up with each other on road and fall in love or have sex or any of dem tings," Cyril explains to his crew, in what readers will come to recognize as his patently out-of-touch approach to parenting. Each assumes that will be the last they see of one another--until one day Dimple calls Nikisha in a panic after maybe having accidentally killed her boyfriend when he tried to strangle her for breaking up with him. Nikisha subsequently calls the whole bunch, forever binding them together over the pooled blood they must then bleach off of Dimple's mother's kitchen floor before hiding the dead body--which then goes mysteriously missing, creating new problems.

There's good-hearted fun in trying to keep track of each of the Pennington siblings' backstories as their lives smash together in the most unexpected ways. As their stories emerge, so too do their inner selves: who is insecure and who is too cocky, whose laid-back attitude is both a blessing and a curse, who carries their father's abandonment as an open wound and who spurns any measly attempts Cyril makes as a parent. These personalities weave together amid a plot as heartfelt as it is hilarious. Carty-Williams probes hard questions about race, microaggressions and abandonment within a larger, somehow softer story about what makes a family, what makes a friend and what happens when the two are one and the same. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer

Shelf Talker: A heartfelt and hilarious novel of family, by blood and by choice, from the acclaimed author of Queenie.


Deeper Understanding

My Favorite Books About Bookstores

Solle's Bookshop
(courtesy Omena Historical Society)

My first childhood memory of a bookstore is Solle's Bookshop, steps from Grand Traverse Bay in Omena, Mich., about a 15-minute drive from our family's summer cottage in Leland. I was with my sisters and my grandmother Bami, who bought us books every season. That July visit began my love for bookstores.

Decades later, I'd learn that Will Solle (whom I never met, as he died in 1949 and his store closed in 1959, a year after our visit) had founded his bookshop in the 1930s, shipped books via the local train stop to customers around the world, and used the words "Where all roads end" in his ads.

As an adult, I've found my way to many bookstores across the U.S. as well as in Europe. For six wonderful years, I was a part-owner (with three partners) of the Bookshelf in Cincinnati, Ohio, a store founded in 1975 that still continues today. I left this indie to pursue an equal passion--writing for young readers, which has led to travels, published books and speaking in hundreds of schools. But always, I carry the bookseller's life in my heart. And now, like Bami, I take my grandchildren to bookstores.

I recently spoke at a conference and told the audience, "As artists, writers, teachers and librarians, we are ALL booksellers." I should have used the magical word bouquinistes, those booksellers of Paris who open their green bookstalls by the Seine to the readers of the world.

My go-to genre for inspiration is books about bookstores--novels and nonfiction. Their bright covers lining our shelves at home, with the words bookstore or bookshop in each title, bring me such happiness.

I'll start with a favorite, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (Graywolf), which I purchased in 2008 at Powell's Books in Portland, Ore. (I tracked down Lewis by phone so I could exclaim what a wonderful book it is!) I have copies in hardcover and paperback in Cincinnati, and a copy on our cottage bookshelf in Michigan. Buzbee's book is an echo of how I feel each time I walk into a bookshop.

This May, while browsing in McNally Jackson Books in New York City, I found the new In Praise of Good Bookstores by Jeff Deutsch (Princeton University Press). And bought it, with its snappy paper-over-board cover, because the passion for books about bookstores never wanes.

I own three editions of Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road (Penguin).

And My Bookstore, edited by Ronald Rice (Black Dog & Levinthal) in hardcover and paper.

A Bookshop in Berlin by Francoise Frenkel (Atria) is a riveting read and, like The Seven Stairs by Stuart Brent (Touchstone), is an exceptional memoir of booksellers from an earlier era.

As is Sylvia Beach's famous Shakespeare and Company (Bison) with the follow-up history, Shakespeare and Company, Paris, edited by Krista Halverson (D.A.P. Artbook), so gorgeous you can feel the decades in its heft.

Each Christmas I treat myself to a book from Heywood Hill in London. Read The Bookshop at 10 Curzon Street: Letters Between Nancy Mitford and Heywood Hill, 1952-73 for its long history.

I like to think that Will Solle, if his store existed today, would stock a book by Louise Borden, who as a child loved his bookshop first.

In my own book The Greatest Skating Race (Margaret K. McElderry), illustrated by Niki Daly, the art shows a Belgian bookshop and later, the bookseller, who pulls a sledge over a frozen canal to deliver books as he helps a Dutch boy skate home safely.

Indeed, let's celebrate our first bookshop and all those that came after. #bookstoresforever

Louise Borden is a former bookseller and the author of 30 books for children. In addition to The Greatest Skating Race, she has also written The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II (Margaret K. McElderry), illustrated by Michael Foreman, and The Journey that Saved Curious George (Clarion), illustrated by Allan Drummond.


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