Yesterday, the New England Independent Booksellers Association announced winners of three awards:
Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass., has won the Independent Spirit Award, sponsored by the Book Publishers Representatives of New England and recognizing the New England independent bookstore of the year.
The organization wrote: "During its 50-plus years, Titcomb's has enjoyed a warm relationship with customers and authors alike. Visiting authors are asked to pose for a picture with the trademark statue. Many customers stop to see the authors' wall where the photos are displayed (now also on their website). Philip Craig, the late author of Martha's Vineyard mysteries, remarked, 'Titcomb's Bookshop... is a charming little shop with equally charming managers and customers. It's been my pleasure to sign books there several times... Not only have I inscribed quite a few books, I've enjoyed excellent conversations with wonderful people who love to read. They are the most interesting people in the world, and Titcomb's draws them like bees to honey.' "
Susie Albert of Penguin Random House has won the Saul Gilman Award, which is sponsored by NEIBA and honors "outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores."
In his nomination of Albert for the award, Chris Abouzeid of Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass., wrote, "Susie is unfailingly supportive of independent bookstores... She is always cheerful, organized, and does everything in her power to make getting through the catalogs easy and productive... In short, Susie is one of the best and most versatile reps in the business, and we hope she'll finally get the recognition she deserves for her hard work."
Author Kate Messner has won NEIBA's President's Award, given by the NEIBA board president for lifetime achievement in arts and letters.
President Beth Wagner of Phoenix Books, Essex, Vt., said, "New York Times bestselling author Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books like Over and Under the Pond, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Over and Under the Pond, The Brilliant Deep, and How to Read a Story; novels that tackle real-world issues like Breakout, All the Answers, and The Seventh Wish; mysteries and thrillers like Capture the Flag, Eye of the Storm, and Wake Up Missing; the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series; and the popular Ranger in Time chapter book series about a time-traveling search and rescue dog. Kate's most recent appearance at the NEIBA Fall Conference was in 2019 to present her middle grade novel, Chirp, at the children's author & illustrator breakfast."
These three winners will be honored at NEIBA's awards banquet on September 22 in Providence, R.I., where the winners of the 2022 New England Book Awards will be announced.