Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 8, 2022

Harper: Evil Eye by Etaf Rum

Tor Books: Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

St. Martin's Press: The Last Outlaws: The Desperate Final Days of the Dalton Gang by Tom Clavin

Page Street Kids: Payden's Pronoun Party by Blue Jaryn, illustrated by Xochitl Cornejo

Annick Press: Dragging Mason County by Curtis Campbell

Flatiron Books: Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias


Uncle Hugo's, Minneapolis, Minn., Reopens in New Home

Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis, Minn., which was burned down in May 2020 during the unrest following the murder of George Floyd, has fully reopened in its new location, CBS News reported.

Owner Don Blyly has moved the science fiction bookstore, along with its mystery-focused counterpart Uncle Edgar's, to a building at 2716 E. 31st St. It is across the street from Minneapolis indie Moon Palace Books and roughly two miles from the building that burned in May 2020.

The new store opened to the public on a limited basis on August 14, and on Tuesday opened with regular hours. Blyly told CBS that he lost some 200,000 books in the fire and is still rebuilding the inventory. Most of the store's new inventory has arrived, and about 95% of the store's used book inventory has come from his own personal collection.

The new space is about 20% smaller than the previous location, and as a result Uncle Hugo's will cut down some categories of used books, including paranormal romance, submarine adventure novels and a lot of true crime books. The store has resumed buying used books, and it will host its first author event in more than two years on Saturday, with Mike Kupari (Trouble Walked In).

Rebuilding Uncle Hugo's has been a long process. Blyly received some insurance money after the fire and raised just under $200,000 through a GoFundMe campaign. He also sold books online while searching for a new space, which took roughly 18 months.

Uncle Hugo's has been in business since 1974, and Uncle Edgar's opened in 1980.

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 by T.J. Newman

Second Chapter Books in Middleburg, Va., to Close

Second Chapter Books, Middleburg, Va., which sells new and used books "in the heart of Virginia's hunt and wine country," will close its physical location on Washington St. September 15 after 11 years in business, but co-owners Kathy Jo Shea and Jilann Brunett "plan to keep serving their faithful bibliophiles online," Loudoun Now reported.

Last week, members of the town council thanked Shea and Brunett for their long service to the community as business and civic leaders. Before opening their bookstore, they operated Solstice Healing. Both had served on town committees and Shea previously was on the town council.

"Just as Brunett and Shea filled a community gap when they first opened on East Federal Street in a space that had been Book and Crannies, they said there is a chance their soon-to-be-empty space on Washington Street also could be filled by a new bookstore," Loudoun Now wrote.

GLOW: Pajama Press: The Imaginary Alphabet by Sylvie Daigneault

International Update: Rapley Is New LBF Director; Allan Named Fremantle Press CEO

Gareth Rapley

Gareth Rapley has been appointed the new director of the London Book Fair, succeeding Andy Ventris. With 13 years experience heading large-scale international events, Rapley has worked in a number of industries, including agriculture, finance, technology and, most recently, the energy sector. Most recently he lived in the UAE, organizing events in the Middle East and Africa. The next London Book Fair will take place April 18-20, 2023.

"I know how vital the London Book Fair is for the global publishing community and look forward to building relationships with exhibitors, attendees and stakeholders to ensure that the fair's important role in the industry continues stronger than ever," Rapley said.

Kerry Prince, chief growth officer at Reed Exhibitions U.K., commented: "Following the fantastic response to the London Book Fair's return to a physical event earlier this year, I am pleased that Gareth Rapley will lead our experienced and committed team in preparation for next year's edition. With Gareth's years of experience of delivering major events, combined with the insight and passion for publishing of the Advisory Board and our partners around the globe, the London Book Fair will be in safe hands.... Gareth will bring a new perspective and a wealth of experience from a range of sectors to the role of director, laying the foundations for another successful edition of the fair in 2023."

LBF advisory board chair David Roche said: "I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Gareth Rapley, and look forward to working closely together as we prepare for the 2023 fair.... Together with the advisory board, I look forward ensuring all areas of the industry are represented, maintaining the momentum and energy from this year, and creating another fantastic experience for attendees in 2023."


Alex Allan

In Australia, former DK global publisher Alex Allan has been named Fremantle Press CEO, effective October 17. She succeeds Jane Fraser, who is stepping down after 15 years in the role. Books+Publishing reported that Allan, who has 20 years' experience in the publishing industry, was the founding publisher of Welbeck Children's and consultant children's publisher for Welbeck ANZ, where she commissioned a launch list of local children's titles. She currently works in higher education. 

"She has global publishing experience in children's books, adult reference, lifestyle and travel, and most recently Alex has been developing a home-grown children's list for Welbeck Australia/New Zealand," said Fremantle Press chair Clair Medhurst. "Alex greatly impressed the selection panel with her depth of knowledge of the publishing industry and her warmth as a person. We know that she will build on the outstanding legacy that Jane Fraser has left, and be a great leader for Fremantle Press into the future.'

Describing her new role as a "dream job," Allan said, "I've watched Fremantle Press fondly from afar for many years, as it has developed and flourished under Jane's leadership. So I feel privileged and excited to be able to lead it into the next chapter, knowing the depth of talent here in WA and the potential to find readers for our stories at home and across the world."


Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian has been appointed the new executive director of the Canadian Children's Book Centre, Quill & Quire reported. Most recently, she spent five years as the inaugural executive director of the Speech and Debate Canada Foundation. A published YA author, Sahagian also brings her experience as a writer and podcaster to the role. 

"Sarah will bring fresh energy, enthusiasm and considerable experience to the ED role at the CCBC. I look forward to working with her," said Zain Velji, president of the CCBC's board of directors.

Sahagian added: "As a book lover, it is my privilege to work with a team of people who believe Canadian readers should have access to high-quality Canadian young adult and children's literature. The CCBC has a long and impactful history of encouraging Canadian children to develop a love of reading. I am excited to continue that important work." --Robert Gray

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Hike by Lucy Clarke

Angry Robot Books Launches Datura Books

Angry Robot Books has launched Datura Books, a crime fiction imprint focused on titles "with a strong sense of voice and place that push the boundaries of the genre, while playing with readers' favorite tropes," the company said. Editors have "a range of tastes, from literary crossover to fast-paced, urgent and commercial."

Angry Robot has a long history of publishing SFF and "we know that SFF readers also tend to read crime," the company continued. "We're looking for a strong voice from crime writers who have been published before as well as debut writers."

The imprint's first title, to be released February 14, 2023, is Death of a Dancing Queen, the adult debut by YA mystery author Kimberly G. Giarratano. Datura Books will publish six titles over the next year, including Mother Howl by Craig Clevenger, Spider by Azma Dar and The Death of Sir Martin Malprelate by Adam Roberts. Datura Books is being distributed internationally by Penguin Random House.

Publisher Eleanor Teasdale said, "As avid readers in this genre, our team all believe that we can offer something special by using our experience with Angry Robot to choose the titles we would be so excited to pick up in a bookshop."

Obituary Note: Peter Straub

Peter Straub

Peter Straub, "whose literary novels of terror, mystery and the supernatural placed him in the top ranks of the horror-fiction boom of the 1970s and '80s, alongside writers like Ira Levin, Anne Rice and his close friend and collaborator Stephen King," died September 4, the New York Times reported. He was 79. 

"He was a unique writer in a lot of ways," said King. "He was not only a literary writer with a poetic sensibility, but he was readable. And that was a fantastic thing. He was a modern writer, who was the equal of say, Philip Roth, though he wrote about fantastic things."

A fan of Henry James and John Ashbery, Straub published several poetry chapbooks before turning to novels, and began writing about the supernatural after two more conventional novels were unsuccessful. Julia (1975) "was a novel that involved what turned out to be a ghost, so it was a horror novel," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 1996. "I didn't know much about the field at that time. I just wanted very much to write a novel that would make money so I wouldn't have to get a job. With the first sentence, I felt this enormous relief. I felt at home right away."

His next two novels, If You Could See Me Now (1977) and Ghost Story (1979), were also bestsellers. Both books were adapted into films, the former as Full Circle in 1977 and the latter in 1981. Julia was also filmed, as The Haunting of Julia

King, who wrote a blurb for Ghost Story, recalled: "We got it at the post office. It was all kind of split open. And so I was driving and my wife opened it and she started to read it to me. And by the time we got back to our house, we were both really excited, because we knew that this was really sort of a masterwork." 

King and Straub would team up in the early 1980s to write The Talisman (1984). They reunited in 2001 to write a sequel, Black House, and were discussing a third book, but it was still in its earliest stages at Straub's death.

Straub continued to write bestselling books, including the Blue Rose trilogy (Koko, Mystery, The Throat), which revolves around the hunt for a serial killer. Though there is nothing supernatural about them, each of the three books won a Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association. 

Overall, Straub's books and stories were nominated for a dozen World Fantasy Awards, winning four, and 14 Bram Stoker Awards, with 10 wins, among many other award nominations. He was named a World Horror Grandmaster in 1997, won a Stoker award for life achievement in 2006, was named an International Horror Guild living legend in 2008, and received a life achievement World Fantasy Award in 2010. 

In a tribute to her father on Twitter, Emma Fusco-Straub, author and co-owner of Brooklyn's Books Are Magic, wrote, in part: "Ok this is going to be long and rambling but here goes. My father, Peter Straub, died on Sunday night. He was the f-cking best, and here's why, with photos.... This Time Tomorrow was all about him dying, which is a weird thing to give your parent when they are, in fact, still alive, but I am so glad I did. Every bit of my love for him is in that book, and it is one of the great joys of my life that he read it (so many times) with so much pleasure and pride. That book, and our mutual understanding, meant that when he died, I didn't doubt for a second that he knew how grateful I was to be his, and vice versa. I leave you with the sportiest Big Pete ever looked. Now go read one of his books."


Happy 50th Birthday, Breakwater Books!

Congratulations to Breakwater Books in Guilford, Conn., which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 

Owners Richard Parent and Paul Listro, who bought the store in late 2019, have guided the much-loved bookstore through the pandemic. Listro told Zip06 that during their tenure they've increased the store's profitability and they feel the "future is looking good for us and for bookstores in general."

He and Parent have scaled back on nonbook items and, guided by community feedback, brought in a wider range of genres. Parent noted that before they took over, there was very little in the way of science fiction, romance, sports and classics. In the early days of the pandemic they emphasized special orders, which helped them stay open during that difficult time.

"We recognized when we came here, we really wanted to keep it simple and sell books," Parent added.

Image of the Day: Astra House Authors at the Center for Fiction

The Indie Press Summer Friday event on August 26 at the Center for Fiction, Brooklyn, N.Y., was hosted by Astra House and Astra magazine and featured four Astra authors: (l. to r.) Alice Driver (The Life and Death of the American Worker, forthcoming in 2024); Iddo Gefen (Jerusalem Beach: Stories and Mrs. Lilienblum's Cloud Factory: A Novel, forthcoming in fall 2023); Vanessa A. Bee (Home Bound: An Uprooted Daughter's Reflections on Belonging, October 2022); and Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon and The People Who Report More Stress: Stories, spring 2023). (photo: Tiffany Gonzalez)

Personnel Changes at Quarto Group

Giuliana Caranante has been appointed director, publicity & marketing for Quarto Group's U.S. business, effective in late September. Since 2017, she has held a variety of marketing and publicity roles at Hachette Book Group, where she was most recently director of marketing, publicity and sales for the Laurence King and Mobius publishing divisions. Earlier, she worked for an academic publisher as a managing editor.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mark Bergen on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Mark Bergen, author of Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube's Chaotic Rise to World Domination (Viking, $30, 9780593296349).

Good Morning America: Jenny Mollen, author of Dictator Lunches: Inspired Meals That Will Compel Even the Toughest of (Tyrants) Children (Harvest, $27.99, 9780063242647).

Also on GMA: Calvin Roberson, author of Marriage Ain't for Punks: A No-Nonsense Guide to Building a Lasting Relationship (FaithWords, $17.99, 9781546015680).

Tamron Hall: Ryan Holiday, author of Discipline Is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control (Portfolio, $26, 9780593191699).

This Weekend on Book TV: Chris Stirewalt on Broken News

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, September 10
5 p.m. Akhil Reed Amar, author of The Words That Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840 (Basic Books, $40, 9780465096350). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 a.m.)

Sunday, September 11
10 a.m. Chris Stirewalt, author of Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back (Center Street, $29, 9781546002635). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Todd Brewster and Marc Lamont Hill, authors of Seen and Unseen: Technology, Social Media, and the Fight for Racial Justice (‎Atria, $28, 9781982180393). (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

3:05 p.m. Jamie Susskind, author of The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century (Pegasus Books, $28.95, 9781643139012), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Monday at 3:05 a.m.)

4:10 p.m. Jim Gray, author of All Rise!: The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray (Gaudium Publishing, $29.99, 9781592110803). (Re-airs Monday at 4:10 a.m.)

6:45 p.m. Mark Skousen, author of The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers (Routledge, $54.95, 9781032023212). (Re-airs Monday at 6:45 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: NAIBA Books of the Year Winners

The winners of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Books of the Year, voted on by member booksellers, are:

Fiction: The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (Putnam)
Nonfiction: 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones (One World)
Children's Literature: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Middle Grade Readers: This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby Welch (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Picture Books: Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes (Anne Schwartz Books)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, September 13:

Lessons: A Novel by Ian McEwan (Knopf, $30, 9780593535202) follows one man from the end of World War II through the present day.

Woman Without Shame: Poems by Sandra Cisneros (Knopf, $27, 9780593534823) is the author's first poetry collection in 28 years.

Natural History: Stories by Andrea Barrett (Norton, $26.95, 9781324035190) collects six interconnected short stories.

Oath of Loyalty by Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills (Atria/Emily Bestler, $28.99, 9781982164911) is the 21st Mitch Rapp thriller.

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316499637) is a thriller about a psychopathic American president trying to start a world war. (September 12.)

You Owe You: Ignite Your Power, Your Purpose, and Your Why by Eric Thomas (Rodale Books, $27, 9780593234983) gives self-help advice from a motivational speaker.

Rejected Books: The Most Unpublishable Books of All Time by Graham Johnson and Rob Hibbert (Clarkson Potter, $15.99, 9780593235928) imagines 40 made-up books that could never be published.

Teaching White Supremacy: America's Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity by Donald Yacovone (Pantheon, $32.50, 9780593316634) surveys the presence of racist ideology in American education.

You've Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected by Cynt Marshall (Ballantine, $28, 9780593359419) is the memoir of a Black businesswoman.

What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (Riverhead, $30, 9780525537113) provides real answers to ridiculous questions.

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber (Flatiron, $19.99, 9781250268426) is the sequel to YA novel Once Upon a Broken Heart.

The Last Kids on Earth and the Forbidden Fortress by Max Brallier, illus. by Douglas Holgate (Viking, $14.99, 9780593405239) is the eighth book in the popular middle-grade series.

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander Book 9) by Diana Gabaldon (Bantam, $22, 9781101885703).

Aftermath by LeVar Burton (Grand Central, $16.99, 9781538723739).

American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008-2020 by George F. Will (Hachette Books, $18.99, 9780306924392).

Where They Wait: A Novel by Scott Carson (Atria/Emily Bestler, $17.99, 9781982104634).

The Colour of God: A Story of Family and Faith by Ayesha S. Chaudhry (Oneworld, $18.95, 9780861542208).

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski (Metropolitan Books, $16.99, 9781250848932).

Landslide: A Novel by Susan Conley (Vintage, $17, 9781984898005).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana (Scribner, $26, 9781982145811). "From the first sentence, we are immersed in the cadence of Harlem. We are one of the tenants struggling with autonomy and groping for success. These engaging stories offer insight into the lives and aspirations of inner-city people." --Sarajane Giddings, Blue Door Books, Cedarhurst, N.Y.

Shutter: A Novel by Ramona Emerson (Soho Crime, $25.95, 9781641293334). "Rita Todacheene has seen ghosts since she was a child growing up in the Navajo Nation. Now a forensic photographer, Rita's life is upended by spirits seeking justice for their murders. This thrilling mystery left me hoping for more of Rita." --Lia Lent, WordsWorth Books, Little Rock, Ark.

Bookish People: A Novel by Susan Coll (Harper Muse, $17.99, 9781400234097). "Coll captures the loveable mix of quirky customers, booksellers, and writers who bring a bookstore to life. Fast-paced, hilarious, and insightful--it's sure to appeal to anyone who works, owns, or shops in an indie bookstore." --Jan Danielson Kaiser, Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, Iowa

For Ages 4 to 8
If You Find a Leaf by Aimée Sicuro (Random House Studio, 9780593306598, $17.99). "I adore this picture book that captures the possibilities of a child's imagination. The potential for a leaf as a play thing is an all-day affair in this book. I can't wait to read it to children and see what other possibilities they see!" --Jen Wills Geraedts, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, Minn.

For Ages 8 to 12
Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu (Margaret K. McElderry Books, $17.99, 9781665912617). "This is the book I wish I had when I was in grade school--a British Nigerian girl discovers her Afro hair contains psychokinetic powers and travels to a magical school in Nigeria! Could we ask for anything more brilliant? No!" --Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, N.Y.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Boys I Know by Anna Gracia (Peachtree Teen, $17.99, 9781682633717). "June's always felt she wasn't good enough, and validates her worth via really poor choices in boys. These choices lead to painful realizations about herself and her seemingly perfect sister. You can't help but root for June to figure it out." --Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series

The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series by Tyler Kepner (Doubleday Books, $30 hardcover, 336p., 9780385546256, October 11, 2022)

A national sports columnist, Tyler Kepner has been covering baseball for the New York Times since 2010. And he's enjoyed World Series play for the past two decades in print--plus 21 years before that.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kepner attended his first World Series game when he was eight years old. In 1983, the Philadelphia Phillies might've caved to the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth game of the series, but young Kepner bore witness to the final out--a line drive--caught by 23-year-old Cal Ripken Jr. of the Orioles. It would become the legendary shortstop's only appearance in a World Series over the course of his career.

That experience loads the bases for The Grandest Stage, Kepner's meticulously researched "ode to the most wonderful time of the year" in baseball. Over seven chapters, Kepner breaks down key moments from World Series history, offering insights from "those lucky enough to play or manage in the World Series or to build the teams." There's Reggie Jackson handling the pressures of the 1978 series. The clutch hitter was immortalized as "Mr. October" after he hit three home runs off three consecutive pitches from three different pitchers, sealing the first championship in 15 years for the New York Yankees. Carlton Fisk of the Boston Red Sox homered to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. However, the unsung hero was actually pitcher Rick Wise, who took the mound for the Bosox in the 12th inning and became the winning pitcher after the two teams went through 12 pitchers between them--the most ever--over the course of a Series game.

For every victory, there's an opposing loss--and heart-wrenching blunders such as what happened to Boss Schmidt, catcher for the Detroit Tigers in the first series game against the Chicago Cubs in 1907. Schmidt missed a curveball that should've been a game-ending strikeout. Instead, the passed ball allowed the tying run to score in a game ruled a tie after 12 innings due to darkness.

Kepner (K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches) hits it out of the park in delivering spellbinding historical stories in a fascinating exploration of key World Series moments for players, franchises, coaches and commentators. Readers and fans will bask in an exciting front-row seat, retracing annual best-of-seven October-November matchups and those who got to live their dream or "at least earn the chance." --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A sports journalist retraces the great historical moments from the World Series that have come to epitomize the annual best-of-seven matchup.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in August

The following were the most popular book club books during August based on votes from book club readers in more than 75,000 book clubs registered at

1. The Lincoln Highway: A Novel by Amor Towles (Viking)
2. Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel by Bonnie Garmus (Doubleday)
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
4. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley)
5. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster)
6. The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (Random House)
7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Penguin)
8. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (Morrow)
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
10. Verity by Colleen Hoover (Grand Central)

Rising Stars:
The Book Woman's Daughter: A Novel by Kim Michele Richardson (Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Second Life of Mirielle West: A Haunting Historical Novel Perfect for Book Clubs by Amanda Skenadore (Kensington)

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