Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Del Rey Books: Black Shield Maiden by Willow Smith and Jess Hendel

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

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Tor Books: The Daughters' War (Blacktongue) by Christopher Buehlman

Tommy Nelson: Just in Case You Ever Feel Alone (Just in Case) by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Eve Tharlet

Bramble: The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst


Books Inc. Opening Store in San Leandro, Calif.; Drag Queen Story Time Disrupted

Books Inc., which has 10 stores in the Bay Area, including two at San Francisco International Airport, is opening a store in San Leandro, Calif., next Tuesday, September 13. The new store is located at 2483 Washington Ave. The grand opening will feature giveaways, raffles, tasty treats and "lots of great books to enlighten, inspire, and entertain."

Books Inc. CEO Andy Perham said, "Since moving our headquarters from San Francisco in October of last year, our team has enjoyed getting to know San Leandro. The community has been so welcoming and we can't wait to provide an exceptional book buying experience in our robust new store!"

Books Inc. has some 150 employees and traces its roots back to 1851.


In other Books Inc. news, last Wednesday, a drag queen story time at the company's Campbell location was disrupted by protesters and continued after protesters were moved outside.

The event starred Tori Tia, who told NBC Bay Area that during the reading, a protester got up and interrupted: "He was saying like some really transphobic stuff. Like he was calling me a 'transvestite' and I shouldn't be let around the children, and the parents should be ashamed of themselves."

After the protesters were removed, the windows were blocked by supporters who held up pride flags. Tia added, "I'm really proud of not only our Gay and Queer community, but our allies and the parents that brought their children and made sure their children knew nothing but the love and the light that we were there, to be there for them."

In the days leading up to the reading, Books Inc. had received threats, which led the store to notify Tori Tia and Silicon Valley Pride, who made sure to have supporters on hand. In June, a drag queen story time at the San Lorenzo Public Library was also disputed by protesters.

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Philadelphia B&N on the Move

B&N's current location in Philadelphia's Center City.

The flagship Barnes & Noble store in Center City in Philadelphia, Pa., is moving from 1805 Walnut St. to 1708 Chestnut St., the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The bookstore will relocate from a two-story, 24,000-square-foot space facing Rittenhouse Square to a two-story, 19,000-square-foot space on Chestnut Street that previously housed a Forever 21. B&N will pay lower rent at the new location, though exact terms have not been disclosed.

The Inquirer noted that B&N is not the only retailer to change locations within Center City in pursuit of better leasing terms. And while some Center City businesses, including the 70-year-old Joseph Fox Bookshop, closed permanently during the Covid-19 pandemic, the shopping district is starting to see a "better than expected" recovery. As of June 2022, retail sales had recovered to 94% of pre-pandemic sales, with restaurant sales at 74%.

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Obituary Note: Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich

Author, journalist and activist Barbara Ehrenreich, whose Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2001) is considered a classic in social justice literature, died September 1. She was 81. The New York Times reported that the book's genesis was a casual lunch meeting at which Ehrenreich "was discussing future articles with her editor at Harper's magazine. Then, as she recalled, the conversation drifted. How, she asked, could anyone survive on minimum wage? A tenacious journalist should find out. Her editor, Lewis Lapham, offered a half smile and a single word reply: 'You.' "

The resulting book, Nickel and Dimed, was "an undercover account of the indignities, miseries and toil of being a low-wage worker in the United States." Working as a waitress near Key West, Fla., Ehrenreich "quickly found that it took two jobs to make ends meet. After repeating her journalistic experiment in other places as a hotel housekeeper, cleaning lady, nursing home aide and Wal-Mart associate, she still found it nearly impossible to subsist on an average of $7 an hour. Every job takes skill and intelligence, she concluded, and should be paid accordingly," the Times wrote. 

"Many people praised me for my bravery for having done this--to which I could only say: Millions of people do this kind of work every day for their entire lives--haven't you noticed them?" she said in 2018 in an acceptance speech after receiving the Erasmus Prize.

In more than 20 books, Ehrenreich tackled a variety of themes: the myth of the American dream, the labor market, health care, poverty and women's rights. Her motivation came from a desire to shed light on ordinary people as well as the "overlooked and the forgotten," said her editor Sara Bershtel.

Her first book, Long March, Short Spring: The Student Uprising at Home and Abroad (1969, co-authored with husband John Ehrenreich), grew out of her anti-Vietnam War activism. Their second book, The American Health Empire: Power, Profits and Politics, was published the next year.

Ehrenreich quit her teaching job in 1974 to become a full-time writer, selling a number of articles to Ms. magazine in the 1970s. In addition to her essays and articles for many publications, Ehrenreich's critically acclaimed books included The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment (1983), Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class (1989), The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from a Decade of Greed (1990) and Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (1997).

Nickel and Dimed, however, "resonated with working Americans and became a turning point in her career," the Times wrote. After the book's success, Ehrenreich "applied her immersive journalism technique to works about the dysfunctional side of the American social order," including Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (2005), Smile or Die (2009), and a 2014 memoir, Living with a Wild God. Her most recent book, Had I Known: Collected Essays, was published in 2020.

Ehrenreich ultimately came to believe that individuals could tell their own stories if they had greater support. She created the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which focused on helping the work of underrepresented people get published and providing economic assistance to factory workers, house cleaners, professional journalists and others who had fallen on hard times.

Sharing the news of his mother's death on Twitter, Ben Ehrenreich wrote: "She was, she made clear, ready to go. She was never much for thoughts and prayers, but you can honor her memory by loving one another, and by fighting like hell."

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

Shelf Awareness Delivers Indie Pre-Order E-Blast

This past Wednesday, Shelf Awareness sent our monthly pre-order e-blast to more than 900,000 of the country's best book readers. The e-blast went to 910,574 customers of 205 participating independent bookstores.

The mailing features eight upcoming titles selected by Shelf Awareness editors and a sponsored title. Customers can buy these books via "pre-order" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on each sending store's website. A key feature is that bookstore partners can easily change title selections to best reflect the tastes of their customers and can customize the mailing with links, images and promotional copy of their own.

The pre-order e-blasts are sent the last Wednesday of each month; the next will go out on Wednesday, September 28. Stores interested in learning more can visit our program registration page or contact our partner program team via e-mail.

For a sample of the August pre-order e-blast, see this one from McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

The titles highlighted in the pre-order e-blast were:

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press)
Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay (Algonquin)
The Last Chairlift by John Irving (S&S)
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover (Atria)
Go-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)
Liberation Day by George Saunders (Random House)
The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera (Quill Tree)
Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova (JY)
Suspect by Scott Turrow (Grand Central)
How We Heal: Uncover Your Power and Set Yourself Free by Alexandra Elle (Chronicle Books)
Cloud Cuckooland by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

William Morrow & Company: Lula Dean's Little Library of Banned Books by Kirsten Miller


Happy 35th Birthday, Raven Book Store!

Congratulations to Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan., which is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a series of free literary events though the month. They include "a little bit of everything, from a meet-and-greet and signing with William Kent Kreuger, to a virtual conversation with the author of Astrology for Black Girls, to a launch event for Raven owner Danny Caine's revised edition of the store's bestseller, How to Resist Amazon & Why."

Other events include a fun run and beverage sampling with adventure-sport writer Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run 2; a discussion with researcher Sara Dykmna, author of Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration, with the University of Kansas's Monarch Watch; and the launch party for The Unbalancing by R.B. Lemberg.

Harper Celebrate: Why Do We Stay?: How My Toxic Relationship Can Help You Find Freedom by Stephanie Quayle, with Keith W. Campbell

Bookseller Moment: Water Street Bookstore

Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, N.H., shared a photo of owner Dan Chartrand showing his excitement about the store's shipping policy and one author in particular: "WE SHIP FOR FREE!!! That's right. Any size order. Anywhere within the United States. Year round. (Dan is VERY excited to be shipping these personalized and signed Joe Hill books for fans around the world! Link in bio to place an order)."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Peniel E. Joseph on Here & Now

Good Morning America: Melissa Clark, author of Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $29.99, 9780593233252). She will also appear tomorrow on the Rachael Ray Show.

Also on GMA: Danielle Walker, author of Danielle Walker's Healthy in a Hurry: Real Life. Real Food. Real Fast. (Ten Speed Press, $35, 9781984857668).

CBS Mornings: Cassie Holmes, author of Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most (Gallery, $28.99, 9781982148805).

Today Show: Ruby Bridges, author of I Am Ruby Bridges (Orchard Books, $18.99, 9781338753882).

NPR's Here & Now: Peniel E. Joseph, author of The Third Reconstruction: America's Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century (Basic Books, $27, 9781541600744).

Tonight Show: Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, authors of The Book of Gutsy Women: Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501178412). They will also appear tomorrow on the View.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Alex Wagner, author of Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging (One World, $18, 9780812987508).

Good Morning America: Jenifer Lewis, author of Walking in My Joy: In These Streets (Amistad, $28.99, 9780063079656).

Also on GMA: Edward Enninful, author of A Visible Man: A Memoir (Penguin Press, $30, 9780593299487).

Movies: What Is Missing

Morning Moon Productions has optioned the rights to Michael Frank's novel What Is Missing, with the author on board to also adapt, Deadline reported. The film will be produced by Ethan Lazar, Kyle Owens, Austen Rydell and Billie Lourd. Frank's 2018 memoir The Mighty Franks, which chronicles his life growing up in an eccentric Hollywood family, won the JQ-Wingate prize.

Additionally, Morning Moon optioned the memoir Limitless, written by five-time Paralympic swimming medalist Mallory Weggeman.

Books & Authors

Awards: Hugo Winners

The winners of the 2022 Hugo, Lodestar and Astounding awards, announced on Sunday at Chicon 8, are:

Best Novel: A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine (Tor)
Best Novella: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers (Tordotcom)
Best Novelette: "Bots of the Lost Ark" by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, June 2021)
Best Short Story: "Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather" by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny magazine, March/April 2021)
Best Series: Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire (Tordotcom)
Best Graphic Story or Comic: Far Sector, written by N.K. Jemisin, art by Jamal Campbell (DC)
Best Related Work: Never Say You Can't Survive by Charlie Jane Anders (Tordotcom)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Dune, screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth; directed by Denis Villeneuve; based on the novel Dune by Frank Herbert (Warner Bros./Legendary Entertainment)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: The Expanse: Nemesis Games, written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar; directed by Breck Eisner (Amazon Studios)
Best Editor, Short Form: Neil Clarke
Best Editor, Long Form: Ruoxi Chen
Best Professional Artist: Rovina Cai
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny magazine, publishers and editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas; managing/poetry editor Chimedum Ohaegbu; nonfiction editor Elsa Sjunneson; podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky
Best Fanzine: Small Gods, Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story)
Best Fancast: Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders, produced by Veronica Simonetti
Best Fan Writer: Cora Buhlert
Best Fan Artist: Lee Moyer
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book: The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik (Del Rey Books)
Astounding Award for Best New Writer: Shelley Parker-Chan

Book Review

Review: The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water

The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water: Making a Life on Moving Water by Chris Dombrowski (Milkweed Editions, $25 hardcover, 336p., 9781639550630, October 11, 2022)

When poet and longtime fly-fishing guide Chris Dombrowski encountered the Montana wilderness as a 19-year-old, it was love at first sight. The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water is both his passionate ode to the beauty of the western land that for him "became my True North," and an intimate memoir of the joys and challenges of pursuing his artistic vocation amid the demands of a growing family.

Casting off in what he calls "this boat made of words," Dombrowski, currently assistant director of the Creative Writing program at the University of Montana, looks back through 16 years on the birth of his son, Luca, and his daughters, Molly and Lily Mae. With each new addition to the family, the stress on Dombrowski and his wife, Mary, ratchets up, as the income from his guiding, writing instruction, and part-time job as development director at a homeless shelter, combined with her kindergarten teaching, barely stretches to cover each month's bills, sending him out into the woods to hunt for game to help feed the family and complicating his efforts to work at his writing craft.

But for all his admirable candor about his family's persistent economic insecurity, Dombrowski doesn't drown in self-pity. Frequently, and gratefully, he raises his eyes to his breathtaking surroundings. In lush and keenly observant descriptions of his outings on the Big Blackfoot River, he describes how "yellow mayflies clung briefly to the moving water, then poured into the sky like snow falling in reverse," or how a rainbow trout "feeding on mayfly duns at last light in November glows like the underside of a polished spoon." His prose evokes the spirit of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, a book he says fired his imagination when a friendly high school teacher in his native Michigan handed it to him. For all the allure of this ravishing environment, however, he recognizes the perils that lurk beneath, revealed in the loss of one of his close friends in an avalanche.

Dombrowski (Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish) is a natural storyteller and he also shares some entertaining tales of his encounters with his friend, the late novelist, poet and outdoorsman, Jim Harrison. Harrison's writing and his robust embrace of a life in nature serve as both a touchstone for Dombrowski's pursuits and a cautionary tale for the young father when it comes to striking the proper balance between career and family. These are just some of the doors Dombrowski opens into his life and work. Pass through any of them and it's not likely you'll emerge unchanged. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Fly-fishing guide and poet Chris Dombrowski reflects with lyrical observations on more than 25 years of life on Montana's wild rivers.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in August

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during August:

1. Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan (HarperAudio)
2. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister (HarperAudio)
5. The It Girl by Ruth Ware (Simon & Schuster Audio)
6. Husband Material by Alexis Hall (Dreamscape Media)
7. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (HarperAudio)
8. Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab (Blackstone Publishing)
10. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Simon & Schuster Audio)

1. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (Simon & Schuster Audio)
2. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
3. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
5. Atomic Habits by James Clear (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk (Penguin Random House Audio)
7. Finding Me by Viola Davis (HarperAudio)
8. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis (Simon & Schuster Audio)
10. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (Macmillan Audio)

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