Also published on this date: Monday, October 3, 2022: Maximum Shelf: The Curator

Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 3, 2022

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves


Hurricane Ian Florida Update: 'This Storm Was Life-altering for So Many of Us'

In the days since Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida with devastating force, the state's residents, including booksellers, have been dealing with power outages, wind damage and flooding as they sift through the wreckage left in the storm's wake.

Kaaren Johnson of the Family Book Shop in Deland said her bookshop "is up and running. Heavy flooding and lots of trees down in our area but the store never lost power and was open Friday and Saturday. Now the owners' house has no power so we may be staying at the bookstore full time!"

Many, but certainly not all, of the booksellers in Ian's path have been checking in on social media with updates about their current status, including:

Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda: "Hello friends! We finally have better connectivity and can communicate with you! How is everyone? We're shocked and saddened by the extreme destruction Ian brought and our hearts go out to everyone struggling. Thank you to everyone for reaching out with your concern. We've been able to see your messages intermittently. The bookstore is fine and thankfully all of our team is, too. We will check today to see if we have power and open as soon as we can. We'll keep you posted. This storm was life-altering for so many of us. Even if you 'just' had some property damage, even if you evacuated and didn't feel Ian's brutality, you have been and will continue to be affected. We're all now connected by this unprecedented experience. The stress is real and our mental health can suffer. Take time to rest and do something enjoyable for a few minutes each day. And please continue to help each other. We'll get through this."

At Blinking Owl Books

Blinking Owl Books, Arcadia: "We are very sad to report we had significant damage from the hurricane and will not be open for a while. We will have some books and board games at a discount with slight water damage--we'll be posting pictures if anyone is interested. We'll keep you posted on our future location."

Gene's Books, Sanibel: "Wow, thank you everyone so much for your kind words and outpouring of love. Our entire staff are safe and off the island, but we are all reeling from the devastation. I don't have any concrete updates for you all as of yet, but as soon as I do I will make a post to this page. Hope all of you are safe and unharmed."

Macintosh Books, Sanibel: "What I know because of the grace and kindness of a friend. 2-3 of water and lots of instability. The photos appear misty because of the moisture inside the building. Sadly, the books look unharmed, but will be unsalvageable. I'll be surprised if it's considered structurally sound enough to tour."

The Island Bookshop, Venice: "This is the photo we took right before we left town to evacuate for the hurricane. What a helpless feeling. A feeling I know we all shared in one way or another about our own lives. I want to report that the bookshop still looks the same. We are beyond grateful. We do not yet know when we will be able to open as we are working on our home which was not as lucky. But we are here. We are hoping and praying for swift recovery and rebuild of areas to our south that were not as lucky. Our communities will rebuild and come back stronger than ever. The kindness and generosity of friends, neighbors, and loved ones is beyond compare. We love our community and can't wait to see everyone again soon."

Portkey Books, Safety Harbor: "Not finished yet, but we're getting there! Still no power, but the weather is nice, the door is open, and my laptop promises me at least 5 hours of battery life. Feel free to drop by!"

Walls of Books, Oviedo: "We finally made it to the store and are drying out carpets. The tough part is drying out under the bookshelves. Once everything is dry, we will start putting books back on the shelves. If you have special orders to pick up, email us or message us to make sure we are there for you to pick up your orders. Right now we have no Internet or phone service in the store. We hope that maybe in a few days we can be open for limited browsing."

Tombolo Books, St. Petersburg: "We are so fortunate to have our store still standing and our community still intact. We will be donating 10% of all sales this weekend (in-store and online) to World Central Kitchen] the amazing charity created by @chefjoseandres. If you are able, please consider donating to World Central Kitchen] @americanredcross or @feeding_florida. If you have canned goods, bottled water, or cleaning supplies please drop them with our friends at @stpeterunningco or @thebodyelectricyoga."

Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, Fernandina Beach: "Your local booksellers have survived unscathed! Come by today for books, bistro items, and more!"

Bookstore1, Sarasota: "If you need something to read to pass the time, we are opening today for our regular hours. Our internet is down, so cash only please... and we don't think our newspapers will be delivered. And we just realized our phones are down too. Stop on by!"

Femme Fire Books, Jacksonville: "Regular store hours will resume tomorrow! Thank you so much to everyone who has sent kind messages and checked in with FFB during the hurricane. The store faired just fine fortunately. My heart goes out to South Florida, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and all communities affected by this calamity. I hope everyone stays safe. Looking forward to sharing our books with the community this weekend."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Page After Page Bookstore, Elizabeth City, N.C., Moves

Earlier this summer, Page After Page Bookstore in Elizabeth City, N.C., moved from its home of nearly 20 years into a co-op called the Kenyon and Bailey Shopping Center. 

The shopping center, explained Page After Page owner Susan Hinkle, includes a brewery, clothing store, garden center and other businesses, with no walls separating the different shops; her bookstore is located at the entrance.

The new space in the shopping center is much smaller than the previous location, and while Hinkle cut back the inventory significantly, she still carries a similar product mix of books and sidelines such as gifts and toys. She has her first big event, with six authors, lined up for October 15.

Hinkle said the move came about suddenly. She was interested in selling the bookstore and retiring when the previous building was purchased last December. The new owners said they didn't plan on making any big changes and said, "we're in no hurry." Then they sold the building, and in March the buyers said they wanted Hinkle and her bookstore out by June. Prior to the building's sudden sale, Hinkle had a buyer lined up for the bookstore. They backed out when the bookstore had to relocate. 

She was able to postpone the store's closing until July 15, at which time she moved much of her inventory into a storage unit. Around then one of the owners of the Kenyon and Bailey Shopping Center approached her and said there was space available in the co-op. Hinkle noted that the shopping center has convenient parking and, because it has its own staff members who handle the registers, she can be there as often as she likes.

"It's the best of both worlds," remarked Hinkle. "I can stay in the bookselling business and still spend more time with my grandchildren. I can be semi-retired. It's kind of a blessing."

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

New Location for Brooklyn Heights B&N

B&N's current location on Court Street.

The Barnes & Noble location at 106 Court Street in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., is on the move after 20 years, TimeOut reported. The bookstore is moving just a block away, to 194 Atlantic Ave., in a space that used to house a Barneys and is adjacent to a Trader Joe's.

B&N CEO James Daunt said: "It has been a happy 20 years of bookselling at Court Street. We are very pleased to be moving such a short distance and to inherit the beautiful space created by Barneys. Everyone who remembers their store will appreciate how exciting a building it is within which to be creating a new bookstore. It will be a wonderful place from which to continue our bookselling in Brooklyn."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

MPIBA FallCon22 Wraps Up

The Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association's FallCon22 wrapped up on Saturday, with a total of 437 registrants, among them 192 booksellers (up 15% over last year) from 10 states; 145 exhibitors; and 90 authors and illustrators. Every booth space was taken in the exhibit hall.

Day two opened with the "Bestsellers for Breakfast" keynote on Friday, where a theme emerged concerning humans' relationship to nature, to the planet as stewards and to one another. Lydia Millet (Dinosaurs, Norton) described the pandemic as a chance to "examine the different scales we live in--our neighborhoods, our blocks, the world." Brian Selznick (Big Tree, Scholastic, April 2023), who started out as a bookseller, connected Millet's idea to the book community: "Having a moment like this where we can watch all of our themes and ideas coming together is very moving."

MPIBA operations manager Kelsey Meyers, marketing & communications manager Jeremy Ellis, executive director Heather Duncan

At Friday's "World of Words" luncheon, booksellers heard from Rudy Ruiz (Valley of Shadows, Blackstone) and Victor LaValle (Lone Women, One World, March 2023), who both anchored their novels in real places and times, with an element of magical realism. Ruiz centered his story on the Mexican-American border of the 1880s; LaValle built his on 1915 Montana, where women could homestead without a man ("but there's this weird, scary thing going on with the trunk" that LaValle's main character takes with her when she leaves Southern California for Montana). Alexandra Bracken spun her novel Silver in the Bone (Knopf, Apr. 2023) from the women of Arthurian legend, while Kalynn Bayron explored the possibilities of vampire mythology in The Vanquishers (Bloomsbury). J.R. Dawson fused elements of Jewish mysticism and the draw of the circus for The First Bright Thing (Tor Books, June 2023); and Brianna Joy Crump, who faithfully attended her cousins' North Carolina beauty pageants, got the inspired thought, "This would be more interesting if they were fighting to the death," the seed for her first novel, Of Cages and Crowns (Wattpad, Nov. 22).

Saturday's events began with "True Stories: Nonfiction" author breakfast, with wide-ranging topics that included memoir in verse (Rex Ogle), the history of fasting (Steve Hendricks), caring for a parent with Alzheimer's (Mary Moreland) and bridging the "disconnect of how we talk about children and childhood" (Joseph Earl Thomas).

During the education session on "Words Sell Books--Mastering the Art of Book Blurbs," Julia Atwood (Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.) described social media as a way to handsell without being there. Calvin Crosby (The King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah) uses bookmarks as "passive promotion"; a favorite is the categorization of romance books: "blue pepper" to indicate "light kissing" up to "red pepper" to flag "bone on bone." Atwood emphasized that blurbs don't need plot summary: "Highlight the key things you want someone to know." Booksellers in attendance offered more tips: Elizabeth Barnhill (Fabled Bookshop, Waco, Tex.) said her staff uses photos of handwritten blurbs alongside the book cover as Instagram posts; Crosby uses shelf-talkers as background for gifts made by local artisans. Rebecca Gottberg (Rediscovered Books, Boise, Idaho) trains new booksellers to think of blurbs in six words (à la the six-word memoirs model). Several booksellers said teen interns and advisory groups writing blurbs were big draws in their YA sections. The eagerness to share ideas got to the heart of the show's energy.

MPIBA's SpringCon23 will take place in San Antonio, Tex., April 5-7, 2023. --Jennifer M. Brown

"Bestsellers for Breakfast" keynote: (l.-r.) Kate Manning (Gilded Mountain, Scribner, Nov. 1); Matthew Quick (We Are the Light, Avid Readers, Nov. 1); Justin Cronin (The Ferryman, May 2023); Craig Childs (Stone Desert, Torrey House, Nov. 22); Lydia Millet (Dinosaurs, Norton); Brian Selznick (Big Tree, Scholastic, Apr. 2023). (Photo: Erik Fideor)

"True Stories: Nonfiction" author breakfast: (front, l.-r.) Rex Ogle (Abuela, Don't Forget Me, Norton BFYR), Dan Flores (Wild New World, Norton, Oct. 25), Steve Hendricks (The Oldest Cure in the World, Abrams), Mary Moreland (The Gap Between, Brown Books), Rick McIntyre (The Alpha Female Wolf, Greystone, Oct. 25); (back row, l.-r.) Greg Marshall (Leg, Abrams, June 2023), Gloria Mark (Attention Span, Hanover Square, Jan. 2023), Joseph Earl Thomas (Sink, Grand Central, Feb. 2023), Sarah Horowitz (The Red Widow, Sourcebooks), Devoney Looser (Sister Novelists, Bloomsbury, Oct. 25), Alan Prendergast (Gangbuster, Citadel, Mar. 2023). (Photo: Erik Fideor)

"Education: Words Sell Books--Mastering the Art of Book Blurbs": (l.-r.) Julia Atwood, Boulder Book Store (Boulder, Colo.); Megan Manning, Simon & Schuster; Calvin Crosby, The King's English (Salt Lake City, Utah).

At MPIBA, Binc raised a total of $1,649 with its popular Heads or Tails game; the winner was Blake Dawes from Best of Books, Edmond, Okla. Pictured: Dawes with Binc's Kathy Bartson (l.) and Jennifer Rojas.

IPG Reorganizes U.K.'s United Independent Distributors

Independent Publishers Group has reorganized United Independent Distributors, the U.K. distribution company it purchased a year ago and which has received criticism from U.K. publishers because of ongoing problems with UID's Orca Book Services. Orca was owned by Marston Book Services before Marston was acquired by UID in 2019.

Under the reorganization, the Eurospan unit is being consolidated with Marston Book Services's systems in UID's Biggleswade Distribution Centre. The U.K. management team is being reorganized into a single "shared services model." The Turpin Distribution unit is being closed, and there will be a one-time reduction in staff across the companies.

IPG said its U.K. distribution operations had been hurt in part by "major structural changes" in scholarly publishing, including "a move to Open Access publishing, a decline in journal subscriptions, and a move toward lower-priced digital journals. The Turpin board has worked hard with its professional advisors to find a solvent solution to preserve the company or a going concern sale of the company's business, but regrettably this has proven impossible."

The company added that "the reorganization to shared services departments offers a tremendous opportunity to eliminate duplication of effort, close redundant positions, and bring best-practice workflows and systems used by the various entities into one streamlined operation. The reduction in overheads through consolidation to shared services will achieve profitability while preserving a high-quality service for publisher satisfaction. There are no further layoffs planned. We hope employees see a bright future in the company with greater ability for upward mobility, deeper departments that offer increased business continuity, and better systems and services to support our publishers."

As of October 1, all orders for publishers distributed by Eurospan are being processed by the customer service team at Marston. Trade customers have been informed. This will, IPG said, "increase efficiency for Eurospan and their customers through consolidation of deliveries and simplified accounting through Marston's credit control team."

Under the management reorganization, Joe Matthews, global CEO, will spend equal time with the U.K. and U.S. domestic territories. Frank Autunnale will become global CFO, overseeing finance and accounting teams in the U.S. and the U.K. He will also continue to oversee the HR departments, with Julie Barnes named U.K. director of HR.

Imogen Adams, managing director of Eurospan, remains responsible for the health of Eurospan publishers but will join the global business development team, which will allow her to offer services in both the U.K. and U.S. domestic markets along with the global network of sub-distributors and agents. Eurospan's Andrew Boughton becomes director of operations.

Joe Matthews commented: "This restructuring of the U.K. has long been anticipated and the leadership team is excited to execute our plans to build a strong and enduring future for the business."


Happy Fifth Birthday, Kew & Willow Books!

Congratulations to Kew & Willow Books, in Queens, N.Y., which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this coming Saturday, October 8, from 11 a.m to 7:30 p.m. Festivities include story time with Aram Kim at 1 p.m.; the store's first open mic since 2020, with five poets and five novelists, at 7:30 p.m.; exclusive merchandise available only from October 6-20; and a discount of $5 off any five items purchased in-store or on the store's website.

B&T Publisher Services to Distribute Marble Press

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services has signed a worldwide full- service sales and distribution agreement with Marble Press, effective January 1, 2023.

Marble Press is a new children's book publisher composed of three subsidiaries: Marble Books (picture books), Bulooga Books (books for the youngest readers), and Taltos Books (middle grade and young adult books). Marble Press's mission is to create honest, diverse children's books that make a difference through style and substance, and which provide a wide range of learning and experiences. Marble Press’s first list will launch in Fall 2023.

Marble Press is headed by Michael Green, former president and publisher of Philomel Books/Penguin Young Readers, and executive managing director Susan Szecsi. Green is most closely associated with The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, the Ranger's Apprentice novels by John Flanagan, the Otis the Tractor picture books by Loren Long, the Alex Rider spy novels by Anthony Horowitz, the sports-themed novels of Mike Lupica, and the historical fiction novels of Ruta Sepetys.

Personnel Changes at Insight Editions

Aliya Burke has joined Insight Editions as associate manager of marketing. She was previously a marketing manager at FSB Associates.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Walt Bogdanich, Michael Forsythe on Fresh Air

Good Morning America: William Shatner, author of Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder (Atria, $28, 9781668007327). He will also appear on CBS Mornings.

Today Show: Nikki Haley, author of If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250284976).

Morning Joe: Cody Keenan, author of Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America (Mariner Books; $29.95; 9780358651895).

Fresh Air: Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe, authors of When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm (Doubleday, $32.50, 9780385546232).

Rachael Ray: Molly Yeh, author of Home Is Where the Eggs Are (Morrow, $32.50, 9780063052413).

The View: Maggie Haberman, author of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America (Penguin Press, $32, 9780593297346). She will also appear tomorrow on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Constance Wu, author of Making a Scene (Scribner, $29, 9781982188542). She will also appear tomorrow on Good Morning America and the View.

Good Morning America: Rep. Cori Bush, author of The Forerunner: A Story of Pain and Perseverance in America (‎Knopf, $28, 9780593320587). She will also appear on the View.

Also on GMA: Reese Witherspoon, author of Busy Betty (Flamingo Books, $19.99, 9780593465882).

CBS Mornings: Celeste Ng, author of Our Missing Hearts: A Novel (Penguin Press, $29, 9780593492543). She will also appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Today Show: Katie Nicholl, author of The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306827976).

Also on Today: Dr. Kenneth R. Ginsburg, author of Congrats--You're Having a Teen!: Strengthen Your Family and Raise a Good Person (American Academy of Pediatrics, $16.95, 9781610025980).

Watch What Happens Live: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (Harper Paperbacks, $18.99, 9780062964625).

Tonight Show: Ralph Macchio, author of Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me (Dutton, $28, 9780593185834).

TV: A Man in Full

Evan Roe (Madam Secretary) and Josh Pais (The Dropout) are set for key roles opposite Jeff Daniels and Diane Lane in A Man in Full, Netflix's six-episode limited series based on Tom Wolfe's 1998 novel, Deadline reported.

David E. Kelley serves as writer, executive producer and showrunner, with Regina King 
directing three episodes and exec producing as part of her first-look deal with Netflix via her Royal Ties production company. Matthew Tinker also executive produces.

Books & Authors

Awards: Alice Winner; Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Shortlist

Alphawood Foundation, Chicago, Ill., has won the $25,000 2022 Alice Award for its publication Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan's Lost Masterpiece, edited by John Vinci with Tim Samuelson, Eric Nordstrom and Chris Ware. The Alice Award is sponsored by Furthermore, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund that supports nonfiction publishing. The award will be presented to Alphawood on October 24 in the Rare Book Room at the Strand Book Store in New York City.

Joan K. Davidson, founder and president of Furthermore and the Alice, commented: "The Alice recognizes and encourages the well-made illustrated book in which word and image carry equal weight. The illustrations clarify, illuminate, enhance, and are essential to the book's aspiration and achievement. In Reconstructing the Garrick, the Alice Jury recognized a publication that had achieved all the aspirations that define the Alice and result in a book that is truly exemplary."

Chirag G. Badlani, executive director of Alphawood Foundation, said, "The Alice is a testament to the incredible efforts of John Vinci, Tim Samuelson, Eric Nordstrom, and Chris Ware to bring to the public a greater appreciation of Adler & Sullivan's 'Lost Masterpiece,' both through the visually stunning book and related exhibition on the Garrick Theater at Wrightwood 659 in Chicago."


A shortlist has been released for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, recognizing "the funniest novels publishers over the past year, which best evokes the spirit of P.G. Wodehouse's writing," the Bookseller reported. This year's winner, to be named November 22, receives a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année and the complete set of the Everyman's Library P.G. Wodehouse collection. In addition, a pig will be named after their winning book. The shortlisted titles are:

Are We Having Fun Yet? by Lucy Mangan 
Harrow by Joy Williams 
Impossible by Sarah Lotz 
Last Resort by Andrew Lipstein 
One Day I Shall Astonish the World by Nina Stibbe 
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart
The Echo Chamber by John Boyne
The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst 
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
The Trees by Percival Everett 
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes 

Book Review

Review: Case Study

Case Study by Graeme MacRae Burnet (Biblioasis, $17.95 paperback, 288p., 9781771965200, November 1, 2022)

A psychological drama blurring the lines between fiction and reality, Case Study by Scottish author Graeme Macrae Burnet (His Bloody Project) centers on a disturbed young woman in 1960s London and her interactions with her late sister's psychotherapist, a charismatic Northerner named Collins Braithwaite. Burnet's fourth novel is a cleverly crafted investigation of sanity and identity, set against the backdrop of social upheaval in London at the dawning of the "Angry Young Men" era.

Longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize, Case Study contains multiple metafictional twists, creating an illusion of historical reality where fictional characters interact with real people, including Paul McCartney, the actor Dirk Bogarde and the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing.

Burnet begins by informing readers of his literary fascination with Braithwaite, "an enfant terrible of the so-called anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s," and shares chapters from his biography of the man as he rises to the peak of his profession despite a chaotic personal life. These chapters alternate with excerpts from a set of old notebooks narrated by an unnamed woman whose sister, Veronica, took her own life while she was Braithwaite's patient and who claims that Braithwaite is guilty of criminal malpractice in letting it happen.

While Braithwaite's biography is a fascinating character study of a brilliant mind flirting with disaster and debauchery, it is the young woman's notebooks that will mesmerize readers. Here is a sexually repressed, prudish and antisocial person raised in a sheltered North London environment, yet her notebooks reveal a curious and rich imagination, wry humor and a desperate desire for human touch and validation. Lacking the confidence to confront Braithwaite with her allegations, she creates an alter ego, an alluring femme fatale named Rebecca Smyth, who channels the boldness and outspoken charm the diarist herself is unable to summon.

Channeling Rebecca, the diarist meets Braithwaite and is enamored by his brutish magnetism. Enjoying her new, sexier persona and the attention it draws, the young woman finds Rebecca increasingly asserting herself into her life. As the two personas begin to argue, fractures appear in the diarist's psyche and depression sets in. Despite their emotional intensity, the notebooks feature comic passages as entertaining as they are revealing of British middle-class domestic life in the '60s.

Burnet's deployment of multiple narrative structures, his finely tuned depiction of Braithwaite, and the fascinating revelations of the diarist result in an unforgettable story, one that will rattle readers long after its startling, disorientating ending. --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer

Shelf Talker: A disturbed young woman in 1960s London visits a charismatic psychotherapist, hoping to uncover the mystery of her sister's suicide in this psychological drama with an intriguing twist.

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