Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 22, 2022

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley


Celebrating Bookstore Romance Day

At Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, Ill.

On Saturday, more than 350 independent bookstores participated in the third Bookstore Romance Day, celebrating romance fiction and strengthening the connection between bookstores and the romance community. The program included a range of virtual panels addressing such topics as the overlap of romance and religion; making the genre more diverse; queer romance fiction; and more. There were also T-shirt and tote bag offerings and book giveaways. also was a part of the day, with reading lists shared by booksellers and plenty of information about the event. Of course, indies across the country had their own range of programming, including author events and panels, special deals and more. 

Many bookstores shared their celebrations on social media, including:

Bri, Zoe and Tay have some suggestions at White Whale Books, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, Wash.: "It's Bookstore Romance Day! Perfect day to come in and shop for that sweet, romantic, hot, sultry, or spicy novel to read on a hot summer day. And we have swag!"

Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.: "Bookstore Romance Day is in full swing here! @jeannielinauthor and @shawntellemadison are chatting with readers and signing copies of their newest books, and our booksellers are busy recommending our favorite romance novels to anyone who will listen. It truly is the best of days...."

Porter Square Books, Cambridge & Boston, Mass.: "Head over to @PorterSqBoston for your HEA on #BookstoreRomanceDay and hang out with us to... I don't know... explore the fundamental separation between all solipsistic consciousnesses... or something."

Scavenger hunt at Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash.

Monkey and Dog Books, Fort Worth, Tex.: "Don't forget to stop by the shop today for Bookstore Romance Day. Chocolate and romance reading recommendations are waiting for you!"

Pearl's Books, Fayetteville, Ark.: "Happy Bookstore Romance Day and Romance Awareness Month. Romance comes in many forms, and we can help you find your next literary obsession."

Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan.: "Grab a coffee at our cafe and join us for Bookstore Romance Day! We have our event with Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone, the authors of A Merry Little Meet Cute at 1 p.m. for games and then at 2 p.m .for the full author event. *Adult content*"

Book club meeting at Love's Sweet Arrow, Tinley Park, Ill.

McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, N.C.: "Love in North Carolina! It's #BookstoreRomanceDay so we're taking the chance to show some love for a few local favorites. We have a big display full of our favorite romances with a spotlight on NC romance authors and love stories set here. Happy reading!"

Bookends and Beginnings, Evanston, Ill.: "It's #bookstoreromanceday. Come celebrate with us by going on a blind date with a book--or two! You can get 1 book for $3 OR 2 for $5! We have some incredible reads lined up for you just waiting to be unpackaged--plus we have some free lil goodies available too!"

Guest bookseller Farrah Rochon at Tubby & Coo's in New Orleans, La.

Legends Bookstore, Cody, Wyo.: "The romance writer book signing underway! Stop by, say hello to the ladies and pick up a signed copy!"

Schuler Books, with stores in Grand Rapids, Okemos, Ann Arbor, & West Bloomfield, Mich.: "Amy, Cat, Lauren, and Emily had a little fun pairing a cocktail with a romance read for #bookstoreromanceday. This is a friendly competition, so vote it up with a like of your favorite! Be sure to watch all four. Cheers to romance."

Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.: "In the mood for love? Our booksellers have ya covered!"

Schuler Books, Okemos, Mich.: "In honor of bookstore romance day, Lauren and Amy are back with recreating some more romance book covers! They had so much fun last year, they just had to do it again!?"

At Thunder Road Books in Spring Lake, N.J., Fabio was ready for photo ops.

Whitelam Books, Reading, Mass.: "Lucy and Pax are here with your next favorite romance until 5pm! Buy a romance, get a rose."

Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.: Happy #BookstoreRomanceDay!! Here's to reading the things that bring us joy--here's to #RomanceBooks! We'd love to see you today in the shop for Romance recommendations and all of the hand flailing."

Love's Sweet Arrow, Tinley Park, Ill.: "What a great day at Love's Sweet Arrow! #BookstoreRomanceDay We had a book club from around the country meet here :-)!  Sarah and Nat came and did a live broadcast!#heavingbosoms. Thanks to Carla, Liz, Chandra and Camille!"

Blind Date with a Book at Novel Bay Booksellers in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Beach Books, Seaside, Ore.: "It's bookstore romance day! Whether you like your love stories sweet, spicy, or somewhere in between we've got a book for you!"

The Bookshop, East Nashville, Tenn.: "I snapped this pic hours ago, but there's still time to make it by and grab some rom-coms for #bookstoreromanceday! Buy two, get a bookmark designed by @zellaandco. And be sure to enter our raffle to win ARCs from @authorsarahadams and @laurenkjessen!"

Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.: "Come fall in love with a book! There's still time to enjoy the #BookstoreRomanceDay sale in our Miami stores. Already stopped by? Tag us in your book haul."

Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, Iowa: "Big thank you to our wonderful Romance readers and to our featured Bookstore Romance Day authors.... We have their books in stock, so stop by."

Fountain Bookstore brought in a photo booth for the celebration.

Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.: "And that's a wrap on #BookstoreRomanceDay y'all! We had SUCH a fun time today, but we couldn't have done it without you guys!! Thanks for all who came in, played our games  and picked up some great reads! And special thanks to @hottshotzphotobooth for providing a great photo booth as always! Til next year!"

Prologue Bookshop, Columbus, Ohio: "What a day! We are feeling the love here at the end of this Bookstore Romance Day❤️ Romance books are such compelling reads, and we love celebrating them with you. Whether you're reading about true love, a fake dating plot, enemies becoming lovers, or two friends' blossoming romance, we are here to provide! Thank you all for coming out and showing us love today; we hope the rest of your weekend is filled with good reads and good times💕"

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

NYC's McNally Jackson to Open in Rockefeller Center

McNally Jackson at the Seaport

McNally Jackson, which has five stores in New York City, plans to open another, large store in Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan this winter, according to multiple reports in local media, citing real estate company Tishman Speyer.

The store will have 7,000 square feet of space. McNally Jackson's original store, founded in 2004, is in SoHo. McNally Jackson also has locations in the South Street Seaport, downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and LaGuardia Airport.

Rockefeller Center has recently been the focus on a push to revitalize the area and draw more consumers again.

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Schiffer Publishing Launches Schiffer Craft Imprint

Schiffer Publishing has launched Schiffer Craft, an imprint that will be a resource for crafters and makers. With a backlist of  about 1,000 titles and some 25 new titles per season, the imprint will encompass ceramics, fiber and textiles, floral design, glass art, woodworking, metalcraft, jewelry, leather, painting and more. Schiffer Craft will officially launch for the fall 2023 season with a new catalogue.

Schiffer Publishing publisher and CEO Pete Schiffer commented: "For decades, Schiffer has been publishing titles for creative makers to teach and inspire. Now, we're taking things a step further with a dedicated imprint. I look forward to watching Schiffer Craft grow and develop with its own unique vision."

Schiffer Craft is headed by Marcia Young, the founder of the Fiber Art Network and Fiber Now magazine, who said, "It feels like I'm coming home returning to my crafting roots. It's an honor to be part of an imprint dedicated to uplifting the craft community."

Other Schiffer Craft staff include acquisitions and developmental editor Sandra Korinchak, production and developmental editor Karla Rosenbusch, designer Ashley Millhouse, sales head Joe Langman, and marketing manager Danielle Drenth.

The Schiffer Craft logo is based on the Stork Scissors, a classic tool used by makers, and will appear on titles beginning with the spring 2023 season.

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Obituary Note: Michael Malone

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, the novelist, TV writer and Edgar and Emmy winner, died on Friday, August 19, of pancreatic cancer. He was 79 or 80--his date of birth was unclear.

Many of his novels and short stories were set in South, particularly in North Carolina, where he was born and grew up. "Red Clay" won the 1997 Edgar for best short story. Malone was working on the fourth book in his Justin & Cuddy series when he died.

Besides being involved in theater and teaching at several universities, Malone wrote for several soap operas, most notably as head writer for One Life to Live from 1991 to 1996. (He won a Writers Guild award and an Emmy in 1994, and was nominated for Emmys in other years.) One of his novels, The Killing Club, was "written" by a character on the show, then published under her and Malone's name.

Most of his books were published by Sourcebooks Landmark. Sourcebooks publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah said in part, "He is the New York Times bestselling novelist of First Lady and Four Corners of the Sky, among many other beautiful books. He was an extraordinary Southern novelist, award winning mystery writer and celebrated television writer. Personally, of course, he was the first established novelist to believe in Sourcebooks and to allow us to publish him, changing our future forever. He was a warm, kind and generous (and very funny) human being, and well loved in our community. There's so much that one could write about his very big life. We will all miss him."

As his obituary noted, "At the end of First Lady, Malone wrote about the difference between rock stars and saints: stars 'draw all the light to them, but throw it off too, like real stars.... It's different with saints. If stars are the light, then saints are the people the light shines through, and illuminates what they love so that we all can see its beauty.' Although many people thought he was a saint when he helped them to see their own dreams, Malone didn't think so. Instead he hoped to become an angel, as in the plot of some of his favorite movies. He is doubtless an angel now, and like his namesake, one with a truly magnificent wingspan."

There will be a public viewing tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23, 12-4 p.m., at Swan Funeral Home, 80 E. Main St., Clinton, Conn. There will be another public viewing on Sunday, August 28, 4-6 p.m., at Walker's Funeral Home on Churton St., Hillsborough, N.C. A funeral service will be held on Monday, August 29, at 11 a.m., at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St. Mary's Rd., Hillsborough, N.C.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku


Image of the Day: Stand with Salman

(photo: Karen Gray Ruelle)

A week after the stabbing attack on author Salman Rushdie, hundreds of friends and supporters gathered at the New York Public Library main branch on Fifth Avenue. Authors, free speech advocates and others read selections from Rushdie's work, including The Satanic Verses, while, around the world, people posted their readings online with the hashtag @StandwithSalman.

At the event, a line of young people facing the crowd displayed placards with Rushdie quotes. "Stand with Salman" was organized by the NYPL, PEN America, Penguin Random House and the literary nonprofit group House of SpeakEasy. PEN America livestreamed the event, which can be seen here.

Bookstore Style: Exile in Bookville

Javier Ramirez of Exile in Bookville, Chicago, Ill. (pictured with co-owner Kristin Enola Gilbert) showed off the store's new gear, designed by Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association executive director Larry Law:

"When @wormwood came to us with this striking design we just could not resist. I mean, c'mon! It's TOO GOOD! Of course, the original Exile design by Michael Fusco-Straub of @booksaremagicbk will forever be the OG tee and always available (we just restocked!). Thanks to two extremely talented artists for making our wonderful customers look badass."

Reading Group Choices' Most Popular July Books

The two most popular books in July at Reading Group Choices were Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose, Rediscover Your Joy by Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) and Sorrow and Bliss: A Novel by Meg Mason (Harper).

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tim Miller on Fresh Air

CBS This Morning: Daniela Pierre-Bravo, author of The Other: How to Own Your Power at Work as a Woman of Color (Legacy Lit, $29, 9780306925443).

Tamron Hall repeat: Sara Kruzan, co-author of I Cried to Dream Again: Trafficking, Murder, and Deliverance--A Memoir (Pantheon, $27, 9780593315880).

Fresh Air: Tim Miller, author of Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell (Harper, $26.99, 9780063161474).

Good Morning America: Alex Aster, author of Lightlark (Amulet, $19.99, 9781419760860).

Also on GMA: Helena Andrews-Dyer, author of The Mamas: What I Learned About Kids, Class, and Race from Moms Not Like Me (Crown, $27, 9780593240311).

Drew Barrymore Show repeat: Erin French, author of Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch (Celadon, $28, 9781250312341).

The View repeat: Rep. Adam Schiff, author of Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could (Random House, $20, 9780593231531).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Jonathan Karl, author of Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show (Dutton, $28, 9780593186329).

TV: Black Cake

Chipo Chung (His Dark Materials) and Anthony Mark Barrow (V) have joined the cast of Black Cake, a family drama in the works for Hulu that is based on the book by Charmaine Wilkerson. Deadline reported that "Chung will play Eleanor Bennett, who leaves behind a series of recordings after losing her battle with cancer. Her stories chronicle her journey from the Caribbean to America that shock her surviving children, and challenge everything they thought they knew about the woman who raised them.... Barrow will recur as Clarence 'Little Man' Henry, the head of a powerful family in Jamaica in the 1960s who is feared and respected by the Island community."

Marissa Jo Cerar wrote the adaptation and serves as showrunner for Black Cake, which is from Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films and Aaron Kaplans' Kapital Entertainment.

Books & Authors

Awards: Laurel Poetry Longlist

A longlist has been released for the Laurel Prize, honoring the "best collection of nature or environmental poetry to highlight the climate crisis and raise awareness of the challenges and potential solutions at this critical point in our planet's life."

Funded by U.K. poet laureate Simon Armitage from the honorarium he receives annually from the Queen, the prize is run by the Poetry School. The winner, who will be named September 9, receives £5,000 (about $5,965), with £2,000 (about $2,385) going to the second place finisher and £1,000 (about $1,195) for third. There is also £500 (about $595) for best first collection. Check out the complete Laurel Prize longlist here.

Top Library Recommended Titles for September

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 September titles public library staff across the country love:

Top Pick
The Marriage Portrait: A Novel by Maggie O'Farrell (‎Knopf, $28, 9780593320624). "In 16th-century Italy, teen Lucrezia de Medici passes from her father's control to her husband's, with neither considering her a person with a right to her own life. O'Farrell's poetic writing pulls you into this tale based on the likely subject of Robert Browning's poem 'My Last Duchess.' For fans of Geraldine Brooks, Isabel Allende, and Hilary Mantel." --Diana Armstrong, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.

The American Roommate Experiment: A Novel by Elena Armas (‎Atria, $18, 9781668002773). "The follow-up to The Spanish Love Deception has all the makings of a great rom-com: a good slow burn, forced proximity, a mix of steamy and funny scenes, and two leads that are easy to root for. Recommend to anyone in need of a delightful contemporary romance in the vein of The Bride Test and Get a Life, Chloe Brown." --Danielle Willett, Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, Midland, Mich.

Bindle Punk Bruja: A Novel by Desideria Mesa (Harper Voyager, $17.99, 9780063056084). "Luna is both a daughter of Mexican immigrants trying to establish herself in the 1920s Kansas City underworld and a bruja, an earth witch who can read emotions and bend others to her will. Complex character relationships enhance this entertaining historical fantasy. For fans of The Chosen and the Beautiful and The Gods of Jade and Shadow." --Gwen Inman, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Annapolis, Md.

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman, $27, 9780593299395). "The Thursday Murder Club crack open the decade-old death of a journalist who was hot on the trail of a fraud scheme when she was murdered. Another hilarious mystery featuring the quirky (but highly effective) quartet and all their friends. For fans of Julia Chapman and SJ Bennett." --Sarah Walker, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, Ind.

Ghost Eaters: A Novel by Clay Chapman (Quirk Books, $21.99, 9781683692171). "Chapman puts a new spin on ghost stories with a tale of a drug that allows people to be 'haunted' by dead loved ones. Featuring a strong subplot about the roots of colonization, this excellent horror novel examines being addicted to grief and the lengths some go to hang onto those they love. For fans of Paul Tremblay and Grady Hendrix." --Rosemary Kiladitis, Queens Public Library, Corona, N.Y.

The Kiss Curse: A Novel by Erin Sterling (Avon, $16.99, 9780063027510). "Gwyn owns the Graves Glen's witchcraft shop, and life is good until Wells Penhallow comes back to create havoc at the school and in town. Sterling is very good at the love/hate relationship with a great pinch of wit, and the spell is cast for a fun romcom." --Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Library, Austin, Tex.

A Merry Little Meet Cute: A Novel by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone (Avon, $21.99, 9780063222571). "Christmas movie star Bee is forbidden to disclose she is also an adult film star. Co-star Nolan is trying to prove he can be a responsible actor. Sparks fly, they cannot keep their hands off each other. Murphy's diverse characterizations paired with Simone's off-the-charts sexy scenes makes for a romantic and steamy happily-ever-after, brimming with sex and body positivity." --Alicia Ahlvers, Henrico County Public Library, Henrico, Va.

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams (Gallery/Scout Press, $27.99, 9781501196041). "Dimple Pennington might have accidentally killed her ex and reaches out to her four half-siblings--all raised by their mothers and sharing a neglectful father--in a panic. They learn the kind of family they can be as they deal with the fallout and their abandonment issues in this dark comedy." --Julie Graham, Yakima Valley Libraries, Yakima, Wash.

Spells for Forgetting: A Novel by Adrienne Young (‎Delacorte, $28, 9780593358511). "Another stunner by Young! When August Salt, the love of Emery Blackwood's life, returns to clear his name after being accused of killing Lily Morgan fourteen years ago, dark secrets arise in Saiorse Island. The prose flows like the magical elements throughout." --Suzy Card, Grapevine Library, Grapevine, Tex.

The Ways We Hide: A Novel by Kristina McMorris (‎Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99, 9781728249766). "When World War II starts, Fenna Vos is recruited by MI9 to use her skills to make escape aids. Based on true events about one woman's journey, this is a thrilling look at a little known part of the war effort, with well-developed characters and terrifying adventures." --Melanie Liechty, Morgan Library, Morgan, Utah

Book Review

Review: The White Hare

The White Hare by Jane Johnson (Simon & Schuster, $17.99 paperback, 400p., 9781982140939, October 4, 2022)

Jane Johnson (The Sea Gate; The Tenth Gift) transports readers to rural Cornwall in the years just after World War II in The White Hare, a fanciful novel of family, village life, history, mythology and more.

In the opening pages, first-person narrator Mila, her daughter, Janey, and her mother, Magda, arrive at their new home, a grand but dilapidated Cornish seaside estate, in the summer of 1954. Timid Mila is fleeing an unnamed scandal in London; the irascible Magda has taken charge of their little troop. Janey, age five, is eager to explore her new surroundings, accompanied by Rabbit, her stuffed toy and best friend. The estate, purchased with unexplained but apparently significant funds, has a mysterious history; locals make foreboding remarks and then clam up. "Best not talk about unlucky things too much, or you may attract unwanted attention," Mila is warned. Magda plans to refurbish and open a grand guest house, with Mila to cook and clean. Immediately and surprisingly latching on to their odd household is Jack Lord, a local who is (like all these characters) unforthcoming about his past, but handy with repairs and good with high-spirited, imaginative, clever Janey. Things go bump in the night, there are hints of ghosts and old crimes, and the vicar in town is inexplicably, aggressively sinister.

Mila and her parents immigrated from Poland just before the war, so she must deal with several layers of outsider status in this insular and remote setting. Janey and Rabbit are oddly at home in the natural world and its legends, while Mila struggles with local culture; her mother's hostility is considerable, but Jack's influence is calming, if enigmatic. The White Hare is jam-packed with slowly released secrets: those between mothers and daughters, those kept by the villagers, and those locked away within traumatized minds. It addresses class and war, mysticism and folklore, the persistent influence of history and bloodshed; it dabbles in romance, but remains centrally concerned with the relationships of family, community and place. With lush descriptions of fashion, food and especially nature, Johnson's prose appeals to sentiment and expertly evokes an often-menacing mood. The intrepid, uncanny Janey and her Rabbit, however, joined by several wise women of the village, offer hope that Mila and her family can move into a happier future in the end. The White Hare is enthralling, as filled with secret passages as the stately home in which it's set. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: Love and mourning, betrayal and hope, ancient legends and modern conflicts come together in the atmospheric Cornish countryside in this engrossing novel.

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