Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 30, 2022

William Morrow & Company: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

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

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne


Horror-Focused Butcher Cabin Books Coming to Louisville, Ky.

A horror-focused bookstore called Butcher Cabin Books will open in Louisville, Ky., in October, Leo Weekly reported. Owner J.L. Kiefer, a horror writer herself, is opening the bookstore with her mother in a building located at 990 Barrett Avenue in Louisville.

Kiefer told Leo Weekly that when she visits bookstores, "there's typically not a horror section or it's extremely tiny. And, there's never space for independent publishers. My business partner owned this building, so we thought--why not try it? The horror genre is growing and Louisville seems to have a big alternative scene."

Butcher Cabin Books will highlight Kentucky authors such as Laurel Hightower and Todd Keisling, and indie presses such as Ghoulish Books/Perpetual Motion Machine, Clash Books and Tenebrous Press. There will be special events, author readings and more.

Kiefer's debut novel, That Wretched Valley, will be published by  Quirk Books in 2024.

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Buffalo Indies Team Up for Buffalo Bookstore Week

Nine independent bookstores in Buffalo, N.Y., have teamed up to create Buffalo Bookstore Week, Buffalo Rising reported.

The event, which began yesterday, will run through September 4, and customers are encouraged to post photos of their bookstore visits and purchases on social media with the hashtag #BuffaloBookstoreWeek2022. Customers will also have a chance to win a season subscription to the 2022-23 BABEL author series at the Just Buffalo Literary Center.

The participating stores are: Alice, Ever After Books, Burning Books, Dog Ears Bookstore & Cafe, Fitz Books, Gutter Pop Comics, Rust Belt Books, Talking Leaves Books, Westside Stories and Zawadi Books.

Kristianne Meal, owner of Rust Belt Books, said: "A city's truer inner culture can be revealed through the choices of its stacks in independent bookstores. It is a total statement when a city can support a wide mix of independently run bookstores.”

"We're here to start conversations," said Meg Howe, owner of Alice, Ever After Books. "We're here to share stories, both real and imagined. There's also the data to show that when you spend your money in a local bookstore, more of that money goes back into your community than when you decide to buy online or from a big box bookstore."

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

B&N Reopening Noblesville, Ind., Store

Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, Barnes & Noble is reopening its bookstore in Noblesville, Ind., in a space in the Stony Creek Market Place next door to its old location. B&N closed that site in January after 20 years in business because the building was being redeveloped, which gave the company, it said, "the opportunity to architect a completely new bookstore." Noblesville is a suburb of Indianapolis.

To celebrate, Ashley C. Ford, author of Somebody's Daughter (Flatiron Books) will conduct the ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow and will sign copies of her memoir.

B&N bookselling head Amy Fitzgerald said, "We thank our customers for the outpouring of support they expressed when we had to close our Noblesville bookstore. We are very pleased to have kept the period of closure so short and also thank our wonderful booksellers of the Noblesville team who have worked so hard to create this brilliant new bookstore. It is an exciting space, with such a wide stock and with an impressive roster of local authors for store events already on the calendar."

Store manager Alicia Gebert added, "Opening this store has been an extra special experience for me as I began my career with Barnes & Noble in Noblesville and cannot wait to continue connecting with readers in Indianapolis. My team and I are incredibly excited for the brand-new look and feel of this store. It will be a whole new experience for the Noblesville community."

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

Plough Publishing House Unveils Rebrand

Plough Publishing House, publisher of Plough Quarterly and Plough books, has unveiled a new logo, tagline and website/magazine design this week that will allow the 102-year-old publisher to "reflect a renewed focus on its dedicated community of readers." 

"This rebrand envisions Plough primarily as a living network that has coalesced around the magazine and books, a community of readers with a shared vision who engage with each other across our channels," said editor Peter Mommsen. "We've seen an increasing hunger for Plough's message, and watched this community grow, helping people envision and build a better world and feel less isolated."

Plough books editor Sam Hine added: "In addition to the channels available to other trade publishers, Plough has an eager audience in our subscribers." 

The company noted that it plans to "build on this synergy, with increased benefits for both print and digital subscribers as well as a new membership option that includes books, the magazine and opportunities to engage directly with Plough editors."

"Visually, the new logo connects to our roots while presenting more strongly on digital platforms and magazine covers," said creative director Clare Stober. "We've abandoned the agricultural symbol, but not our solid grounding in our heritage. With this new look, we're looking forward to continuing to gather a community of people who believe, in the words of our new tagline, that 'another life is possible.' "

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman


Image of the Day: A Visit to Mrs. Dalloway's

Authors Anna Gracia (Boys I Know, Peachtree Teen) and Grace K. Shim (The Noh Family, Kokila/Penguin Random House) spent a recent Saturday morning at Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley, Calif., signing copies of their newly released YA novels.

Bookseller Moment: Brain Lair Books

Posted on Facebook by Brain Lair Books, South Bend, Ind.: "It's been a long time since I've sat in the store and just *read*. Thankful for this laid back day. Thankful for the book conversations with families- by far my favorite thing to do. Thankful for enthusiastic staff recommending books to each other. Thankful for you. I hope you have some time to just sit and read, for no other purpose than the chance to relax... and enjoy."

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster

At Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing:

Bezawit Yohannes has joined the company as marketing coordinator for the Aladdin, Little Simon, Simon Pulse, Simon Spotlight, and Margaret K. McElderry Books imprints. She was most recently a Digital Marketing Assistant at Penguin Young Readers.

Shirley Merino has joined the company as children's marketing assistant for the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, and Paula Wiseman Books imprints. She was most recently the program facilitator at Behind the Book.

Karina Itzel has joined the company as children's marketing assistant for the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, and Beach Lane Books imprints. She was most recently a volunteer coordinator at L.A. Works.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Vanessa Van Edwards on CBS Mornings

CBS Mornings: Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication (Portfolio, $28, 9780593332191).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: James Patterson, co-author of Diana, William, and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother (Little, Brown, $30, 9780759554221).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Sen. Chris Murphy, author of The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy (Random House, $18, 9781984854599).

Movies: The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) will direct and Kiefer Sutherland (24) will star (as Lt. Commander Queeg) in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, using a 50-year-old play script written by Herman Wouk from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Deadline reported that the project "is being plotted for a January start, and casting is just getting underway. Annabelle Dunne and Matt Parker are producing. Sutherland's deal is being finalized."

"I've looked at a lot of scripts in the last 10 years, and I haven't seen anything I really wanted to do," said Friedkin. "But I think about it a lot, and it occurred to me that could be a very timely and important piece, as well as being great drama. The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is one of the best court-martial dramas ever written."

The original novel, the 1954 film with Humphrey Bogart and a Robert Altman-directed 1988 TV adaptation of the play were set during World War II, but Friedkin said: "The original piece was written for WWII, and Wouk included all the pent-up anger in this country over Pearl Harbor. I've updated it so that is no longer Pearl Harbor. I've made it contemporary, involving the Gulf of Hormuz and the Straits of Hormuz, leading to Iran."

He added: "There never was a mutiny in the United States Navy. Herman Wouk virtually created the first and only mutiny in the United States military. His dialogue is terrific, right to the point. It's set at a trial, but it's all really by the book, in terms of accuracy. But there never was a mutiny in the United States military. He invented it and all that would take place around it, based on the laws that cover it."

Books & Authors

Awards: Saroyan Winners

Winners have been announced for the biennial $5,000 2022 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, administered by Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation and encouraging and recognizing new and emerging writers.

The winner in the fiction category is Chouette, a novel by Claire Oshetsky (Ecco). Judges called it "a surreal and rollicking feminist tour de force about motherhood, marriage, and family."

Finalists in the fiction category were A Sense of the Whole, stories by Siamak Vossoughi (Orison Books), and The Office of Historical Corrections, a novella and stories by Danielle Evans (Riverhead Books).

The winner in the nonfiction category is The Dragons, the Giant, the Women, a memoir by Wayétu Moore (Graywolf Press). Judges said that the book "intricately weaves Moore's stories of her family's escape from the first Liberian war, their reunion in Sierra Leone, their eventual immigration to the United States, Moore's complicated life as a black woman and an immigrant in (of all places) Texas, and finally her return to Liberia--all while trying to find her own place in the world. This is a crazy-quilt, heart-wrenching, fist-clenching, heart-expanding story of one woman's quest to find something real in a reckless, violent, cruel but still beautiful world."

The finalist in nonfiction was Kin by Shawna Kay Rodenberg (Bloomsbury Publishing).

Book Review

Review: The Lemon

The Lemon by S.E. Boyd (Viking, $27 hardcover, 288p., 9780593490440, November 8, 2022)

As The Lemon begins, John Doe, world-traveling chef and food showman, dies by his own hand in his Belfast hotel room. His hanging death isn't suspicious, nor is it a murder dressed up to look like a suicide. And yet this frequently brilliant and, despite its bleak central plot point, hilarious novel--the maiden voyage of S.E. Boyd, a pseudonym of journalists Kevin Alexander and Joe Keohane and editor Alessandra Lusardi--has the feel of a mystery. After all, it's populated with a clutch of scheming individuals whose lives are potentially altered for the better by John's death.

Hotel employee Charlie McCree finds John's body, but not just John's body: he also happens upon chef Paolo Cabrini, owner of a prestige-dripping New York restaurant. Paolo is standing before the corpse of his best friend and doing something innocent that nevertheless, he recognizes, looks compromising. Out comes Charlie's camera phone. Paolo gives Charlie some cash for his silence and an enthusiasm-free invitation to look him up should Charlie ever find himself in New York. Not lost on Charlie is that there are worse places than New York to try to realize one's rock star dreams.

Then there's the fallen food star who gave John his start and figures he's in a prime position to take over the dead man's television show. There's John's shrewd but weary agent, who's doing damage control but also looking out for her own hide. There's a struggling young writer at a digital media company who's desperate for the $150 her boss is offering the employee who can create the most shared piece about John by 11 a.m. And there's the immigrant owner of a Georgian restaurant who's perplexed to find that his modest establishment is suddenly a destination for grieving fans of John Doe--whoever that is.

Every story line offers suspense and surprises, and the book's deadpan humor is unremitting. One character's mother "seemed sad even for an Irishwoman." Someone "sat watchful and motionless like a cat who had been presented with a Roomba." As the novel's point of view wanders among its six key players, readers may sense a vulture circling John's corpse. The Lemon is a full-bore spoof of monetization mania and foodie culture, and through it all, the specter of the late Anthony Bourdain, whose profile shares similarities with John Doe's, doesn't hover over the story so much as saunter alongside it. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: Despite its bleak central plot point--a world-traveling chef dies by suicide--this frequently brilliant debut novel is a hilarious spoof of monetization mania and foodie culture.

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. Just One Kiss by Layla Hagen
3. Swamp Spirits (Miss Fortune Mysteries Book 23) by Jana DeLeon
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
5. Smartasses: A Sexy Nerd Rom Com Anthology by Various
6. The Art of Feminine Negotiation by Cindy Watson
7. The Time for Love (Cynsters Next Generation Series Book 11) by Stephanie Laurens
8. Get Your Duke On: A Regency Historical Romance Anthology by Various
9. Bulbs, Blossoms and Bouquets by Laura Ann
10. Code Name: Pisces by Janie Crouch

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