Shelf Awareness for Friday, October 14, 2022

Atria Books: The Silence in Her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa

Labyrinth Road: Plan A by Deb Caletti

Harper Muse: Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh

Mariner Books: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

S&s/ Marysue Rucci Books: The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

W by Wattpad Books: Night Shift by Annie Crown

Shadow Mountain: Under the Java Moon: A Novel of World War II by Heather B. Moore


Pantego Books Opens in Dalworthington Gardens, Tex.

Pantego Books hosted a grand opening celebration last weekend in Dalworthington Gardens, Tex., the Dallas Morning News reported. Located in a suburb of Arlington, the store sells general-interest titles for all ages, along with a selection of store-branded merchandise.

Owners Morgan and Lee Moore reported that the grand opening on October 8 saw "incredible" turnout. "We're so humbled by all the support that was shown to our little indie bookstore."

Prior to opening the bricks-and-mortar store, Pantego Books made its debut as a pop-up shop earlier this year. The Moores sold a mix of new releases and used titles at the Pantego Farmers Market and also sold books at an author's school visit and book signing. In its new home, the bookstore is carrying exclusively new books for now.

The Moores have been married for almost 11 years and moved around the country from 2005 to 2013, when Lee Moore was serving in the army. Eventually they landed back in Morgan Moore's hometown, where they decided to put down roots and open an independent bookstore.

"We are very excited to open our doors and invite all the bookish people of this wonderful community the chance to peruse our shelves," Morgan Moore told the Morning News. "My family and I are confident that Pantego Books will become a place people will want to visit. We cannot wait to see familiar faces and meet new ones."

"There was no better time than now to pursue that dream," Lee Moore added.

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Fla.'s Third House Books Holds Grand Reopening

Third House Books, Gainesville, Fla., held a grand reopening last week, after being closed to browsers since March 2020, when pandemic lockdowns started.

Owner Heather Halak, who is the sole bookseller in the store, is immunocompromised, which led her to stay closed to browsers longer than most other stores, and now she is requiring customers to wear masks. If customers don't wear masks, she turns them away. "Good riddance," she told "Those aren't the people I want shopping in my store--people trying to kill me."

The bookstore opened in 2016 and moved into its current, larger location only three months before having to close in 2020.

Third House Books specializes in titles from small independent presses and marginalized voices and has an unusual approach to inventory. It carries no more than 300 titles at a time, so that customers can "browse nearly every title in a relatively short amount of time without becoming overwhelmed." The store also carries T-shirts and puzzles.

Britannica Books: Britannica's Encyclopedia Infographica: 1,000s of Facts & Figures--About Earth, Space, Animals, the Body, Technology & More--Revealed in Pictures by Valentina D'Efilippo, Andrew Pettie, and Conrad Quilty-Harper

Next Year's Children's Institute to Be Held in Milwaukee

The American Booksellers Association's next Children's Institute will be held June 5-7, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wis., at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. Applications for scholarships to Ci2023, the 11th annual Children's Institute, are open. For more information about the scholarships, which include hotels rooms and up to $500 for travel, click here.

GLOW: Carolrhoda Books: Pangu's Shadow by Karen Bao

International Update: BA's 'Cost Crisis' Consumer Survey; Russian Couple's Istanbul Bookshop

Three-quarters of bookshop customers in the U.K. and Ireland "intend to sustain their spending on books over the next 12 months, despite the cost of living," according to a new report from the Booksellers Association and Nielsen. The survey, Counting the Costs: How the Cost Crisis Is Affecting Bookshops, polled 1,000 bookshop customers in September, "collecting data on how the cost of living crisis is expected to impact spending habits in bookshops over the next 12 months," the Bookseller reported. 

In other survey results, two-thirds of customers said they believe books are either good (45%) or excellent (20%) value for money, while 80% said they are likely to support their local bookshop if the cost of living stays high, though some will seek discounts and 30% might buy fewer books overall.

Nearly half of those polled said they would consider switching spending from other leisure activities, including holidays and entertainment, to allow them to buy more books, the Bookseller wrote. Looking ahead to Christmas, 88% of gift buyers for adults and 90% of gift buyers for children expect to buy the same or more books in the run up to the holidays and over the next 12 months.

The report also indicated, however, that young customers, those with children and people most affected by the cost-of-living crisis plan to reduce their spending on books, with up to 30% expecting to buy fewer next year.

BA managing director Meryl Halls said: "Bookshops in the U.K. are currently under a huge amount of pressure due to the cost of living/cost of doing business crisis, and while this report shines a light on the ways in which many customers will sadly need to reduce their spend on books over the coming months, it is encouraging to see that a significant majority intend to continue supporting their local bookshop.

"Books offer excellent value for money. During the 2008 financial crisis, and during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, book sales increased across numerous genres. We very much hope that this will be the case in the challenging coming months, and that customers will choose bookshops for making their purchases."


Seven months after Oleg and Aleksandra Chernousova fled from Russia to Turkey "to get themselves and their 11-year-old daughter far away from Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine," they opened Black Mustache, a bookstore in the fashionable Moda district of Istanbul, Turkey, Reuters reported. The shop, which "sells books on photography, fashion and design, including some in Russian," marks "the start of a new life in a new city they once thought would just be a temporary home." 

"The store is pocket-sized, not big, but we hope it will have a long and happy life," said Oleg Chernousova, who has been able to build on the experience he gained managing a similar store in St. Petersburg, where books were always a big part of the couple's life.

"When Oleg and I started dating, in Russia we called it the candy-and-flower period, he offered me some books," Aleksandra Chernousova said, adding that when they fled, they had to leave most of them behind. "That's why I feel so good that we're doing a bookstore, because the books and the bookshelves we had in Russia mean a lot to me. They were a source of inspiration and without them, I felt alone, I felt lonesome. Now I feel better."


One fourth of Swedes have listened to at least one audiobook in past year. The European & International Booksellers Federation's Newsflash reported that the Svenskarna och internet (Swedes and the Internet) survey showed that 24% of Swedes have listened to at least one audiobook in the past year, with 11% doing so monthly, and 6% listening to audiobooks on a daily basis. Only 12% of Swedes reported having read at least one e-book during the past year, with only 5% reading e-books every month. The survey also shows that Swedish women are more avid readers than Swedish men, both when it comes to audiobooks and e-books. --Robert Gray  

Soho Crime: My Favorite Scar by Nicolás Ferraro, translated by Mallory Craig-Kuhn

Memorial Service for Mark Laframboise

Mark Laframboise

Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., will honor the late Mark Laframboise, its longtime book buyer, with a memorial service in the main Connecticut Avenue store on Saturday, November 5, at 7 p.m. More information to follow.


Image of the Day: CozyClub Mini-Con

The Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop, Mechanicsburg, Pa., hosted 11 Kensington authors for a CozyClub Mini-Con--a day celebrating the cozy mystery genre. Pictured: (l.-r., back row) Christin Brecher, Sherry Harris, Julia Henry, Misty Simon, Peggy Ehrhart, Darci Hannah; (front) Darcie Wilde, Maya Corrigan, Tina Kashian, Libby Klein, Lynn Cahoon.

Costco Picks: Mad Honey

Alex Kanenwisher, book buyer at Costco, has selected the novel Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan (Ballantine, $29.99, 9781984818386) as the pick for November. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, Kanenwisher writes:

"Olivia McAfee's life is upended when her husband reveals a dark side. She and their son, Asher, end up in Olivia's hometown, where she takes over her father's business.

"They settle into their new lives, but everything is turned upside down when Asher becomes a suspect in the murder of Lily, his girlfriend.

"Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan capture all of the complexities of familial relationships--including love, loss and the power of secrets."

Personnel Changes at Insight Editions; HarperCollins Children's Books

Stephanie Lewis has joined Insight Editions as director, business analytics. She was previously a data analytics manager at Sourcebooks.


Megan Pagano has been promoted to director of sales forecasting and analysis at HarperCollins Children's Books. She was previously senior manager of sales forecasting and analysis.

Media and Movies

Movies: The Joy Luck Club Sequel

Nearly 30 years after The Joy Luck Club "changed Asian and Asian American representation in cinema, a sequel is in development with author Amy Tan and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ron Bass continuing from the former's bestselling novel," Deadline reported. Also producing are Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment Group and The Judge producer Jeff Kleeman.

The original leading cast of the Wayne Wang-directed movie are in talks to return to their roles, including Ming-Na Wen, Tamlyn Tomita, Rosalind Chao and Lisa Lu.

"We are excited to be teaming with Hyde Park and Jeff Kleeman in bringing to life the next generation of these four families so close to our hearts," said Tan and Bass.

Amritraj added: "I am thrilled to work with Amy, Ron and Jeff to bring this special film to the screen. Now more than ever it is important to share authentic stories about the Asian-American experience, and we believe this film will speak to wide audiences with its narrative rooted in humanity and connection."

On Stage: A Wrinkle in Time Musical

A musical adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Medal-winning novel A Wrinkle in Time, is in the works. Playbill reported that the production will feature music and lyrics by Obie-winning composer Heather Christian (Oratorio for Living Things) and a book by Horton Foote Prize winner Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band). Two-time Obie Award winner Lee Sunday Evans (Dance Nation) will direct. Diana DiMenna and Plate Spinner Productions, Aaron Glick, and Charlotte Jones Voiklis are attached as producers. Dates for productions, as well as additional creative team members, will be announced in 2023.

Charlotte Jones Voiklis, L'Engle's granddaughter and director of her literary estate, said: "Knowing my grandmother's love of and devotion to theatre, I had long envisioned a musical adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time that could transport audiences to a different dimension in a way only music can. I am inspired by this creative team who truly love and understand the original novel and yet are ready to explore the possibilities of what it could be on the stage. Heather masterfully layers meaning with her unique voice and story-telling compositions. Lauren's inventive and lyrical plays, many of which explore the relationships between generations, make her the perfect match to write the story for the stage. Lee, who is known for helming emotionally potent new plays and musicals that boldly re-invent familiar story-telling conventions and forms, is ready to bring all the elements together for a deep and magical stage experience."

Books & Authors

Awards: T.S. Eliot Shortlist

The T.S. Eliot Foundation released the shortlist for the 2022 T.S. Eliot Prize, honoring the best new collection of poetry published in the U.K. or Ireland. The winning poet receives £25,000 (about $28,550) and the shortlisted poets each get £1,500 (about $1,715). This year's shortlisted titles are:

Quiet by Victoria Adukwei Bulley 
Ephemeron by Fiona Benson 
Wilder by Jemma Borg 
The Thirteenth Angel by Philip Gross 
Sonnets for Albert by Anthony Joseph 
England’s Green by Zaffar Kunial 
Slide by Mark Pajak 
bandit country by James Conor Patterson 
The Room Between Us by Denise Saul 
Manorism by Yomi Ṣode 

Reading with... Robin Wall Kimmerer

(photo: Dale Kakkak)

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned wide acclaim, and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, which received the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, adapted by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt, will be published by Zest Books/Lerner on November 1. Earlier this week Kimmerer received a 2022 MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship.

On your nightstand now:

I'm currently reading The Nutmeg's Curse by Amitav Ghosh. It's a compelling narrative of the ravages of colonialism, all tied together by commoditization of charismatic plants. The storytelling is so gripping that I put it down to let it soak in and then picked it up again.

Favorite book when you were a child:

That's hard to choose since I was a voracious reader, but I think Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter was the one I read over and over. The images of the rich forests, the female naturalist and the sense of wonder and discovery in the natural world drew me in. It gave a name to what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I must call out My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, which was my dream life. Still is.

Your top five authors:

Louise Erdrich: I bow in gratitude for her storytelling, which transports and transforms. I think I've read everything, and I hate to be greedy, but I always want more. Her imagination sweeps me away.

Linda Hogan: she calls down the stars with her lyrical language and invocation of the mystery of the animate, enspirited world.

Louise Penny: because I'm secretly in love with Armand Gamache.

Barbara Kingsolver: Her stories are deeply satisfying, like literary food. I marvel at how she can infuse a great story with good science and insightful ethics.

Brian Doyle: I can read him again and again for the rich humanity of his people, human and more-than-human.

Book you've faked reading:

Why would I do that?

Book you're an evangelist for:

Wisdom Sits in Places by Keith Basso invites you into the stories that live in an Indigenous cultural landscape. It's a gateway into understanding the land as teacher and I'm always advocating for it as an example of listening to the land.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley has a spectacular cover, and the story inside matches its color and intensity.

Book you hid from your parents:

Not a one. I was blessed to have parents who encouraged us kids to read and explore whatever was on our minds. I remember my folks marching into my elementary school library after a teacher wouldn't let me sign out a book that was deemed "too old for me." Needless to say I had free rein after that.

Book that changed your life:

Lewis Hyde's brilliant book The Gift gave me a vocabulary for how I experienced the world. I still find it provocative and mysterious in the way of the gift.

I also have to list David Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous here, which is an intellectual companion. David's illumination of the reciprocal relationship between observed and observer helped me know I was not alone.

Favorite line from a book:

Mary Oliver, of course: "My work is loving the world."

Five books you'll never part with:

My very tattered copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman is a constant companion and opens my eyes every time I open it.

The Overstory by Richard Powers for its deep storytelling of how our lives are inseparable from the lives of trees. I admire the pathway he creates into the forest, the immersion in plant sciences... and that one chestnut.

Piano Tide by Kathleen Dean Moore. I cherish each of Kathy's many books of essays and her novel is a special delight. It is so evocative of the smells and sounds of place. The quirky characters are intensely memorable and live out their bonds to land and each other.

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese is a necessary heartbreak.

Jerry Jenkins's Mosses of the Northern Forest is a joy to me. Whether you think you're interested in the microcosm of mosses or not, it's an invitation to another world of stunning beauty right at your fingertips. I think of it as a visual companion to Gathering Moss.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Gardens in the Dunes by Leslie Marmon Silko. That book transports me to another place and time that is very different from my own but deeply familiar at the same time. I'm lost and found at the same time.

Book Review

Review: Animal Truth and Other Stories

Animal Truth and Other Stories by Sharona Muir (University of New Orleans Press, $18.95 paperback, 275p., 9781608012381, November 22, 2022)

In Animal Truth and Other Stories, poet, novelist and short story writer Sharona Muir (Invisible Beasts) offers six spellbinding eco-fablist stories. In "Bedcrumbs," a nameless narrator meditates on the nearly invisible biological minutia that connect us all. "The Bath of Venus" finds a wealthy time-traveler in the deep past, making an unexpected connection with a creature of an unknown species. And the titular "Animal Truth," more novella than short story, follows a scientist on the brink of a discovery about a rare fish taking a closer look at her past and what is expected of mothers. The collection's standout story proves to be "Menu: Extinction" in which an experimental artist becomes obsessed with the strange smell his pregnant wife is emitting while he works on a disturbing new exhibit.

Like Muir's experimental debut novel, Invisible Beasts, Animal Truth is dedicated to re-evaluating the intimate ways humans exist in the world through the lens of the near-mystical organisms that live alongside them. While many of these stories tread the ground of magical realism, all of them remain devoted to the scientific in the way they undergird their subjects with the often-unbelievable wonders that the real world actually does offer. "Bedcrumbs," for example, zooms in on the "microlife" that defines everyday reality: "when my eyelashes brush my lover's cheek, it's the spires on the homes of follicle mites bringing that sleep smile to his face." In Muir's hands even that which seems otherworldly is made resolutely lived-in, all the more extraordinary for its ordinariness.

While Muir's handling of this material can be whimsical and playfully eccentric, Animal Truth more frequently embraces the moments when the mythical or mystical qualities of her creations illuminate the bittersweet or even chilling elements of the world or a character's psyche. The horror of "Menu: Extinction," for example, is a gradual, creeping kind of dis-ease that, like the "pungent aromatics" of the artist's wife, lingers throughout the story before washing over the reader in force at its end. Meanwhile, the "burbling tanks" of Jo's specimens in "Animal Truth" echo the "sadness [sighing] louder than usual in the eaves of her mind," allowing her experience of pregnancy and birth to become aligned with the aquatic sensation of deep submersion. By the end of Muir's collection, readers, too, will feel submerged in an unfamiliar world that uncannily resonates with their own. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: Animal Truths and Other Stories is a collection of six intimate, magical realist stories with an ecological bent, as patient and poignant as they are unsettling and fascinating.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: #LoveYourBookshopDay in U.K., Australia, N.Z.

If you sensed a global bookish buzz in the air last Saturday, it may have come from the excitement surrounding Bookshop Day in the U.K., Love Your Bookshop Day in Australia and NZ Bookshop Day in New Zealand. 

Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the Booksellers Association of the U.K. & Ireland, told the Bookseller that the organization had been "thrilled with the buzz and excitement" around Bookshop Day this year, adding: "With events taking place in bookshops across the country, there really has been something for everyone. Our members never cease to impress us with their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to their communities. We want to offer our heartfelt thanks to publishers for their support and creativity, to all the authors, poets and illustrators who took part, and to all customers who choose to visit and shop at their local bookshop, on the day and beyond."

An American bookseller even got in on the fun. Michelle Tuplin, owner of Serendipity Books, Chelsea, Mich., posted on Facebook: "Since I'm in England, I just had to visit an indie bookshop on 'Bookshop Day,' the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. Independent Bookstore Day in April. I'm in Otley, so where better than The Bookshop on the Square, a sweet little indie in a classic Yorkshire market town? They even gave me chocolate!"

Here's a little sampling of #BookshopDay delights: 

Maldon Books, Maldon: "Wow! What a brilliant weekend we had celebrating #BookshopDay with you all! The biggest thank you to everyone who attended our event with Jacqueline Wilson. It was our first big event as a bookshop, and we were so pleased to see you all there! Our booksellers (and family members!) worked incredibly hard between the church and the bookshop all day, and we loved every minute of it!... We hope you enjoyed the weekend! It was just fantastic to see so many people both at the shop and the event, we couldn't stop smiling all day! Your support truly means the world to us, and to bookshops everywhere."

Booka Bookshop, Oswestry: "Big thanks to everyone who shopped with us today and across this week as we celebrated Bookshop Day and our 13th Birthday. We really appreciate all your support for our bookshop here in Os!"

Storyville Books, Pontypridd, Wales: "A huge DIOLCH YN FAWR to everyone who joined us today to celebrate the grand opening of our new children's room & event space. Thank you to our wonderful authors and illustrators for their brilliant sessions and to our very own Lucy for some fab storytelling! Happy #BookshopDay #diwrnodyllyfr Hapus!"

The Ivybridge Bookshop, Ivybridge: "Thank you to everyone who donated children's books for Ukrainian school Gravitas Schola, relocated from Kharkiv to Lithuania. Hundreds of books are now on their way via Trauma Informed Schools UK to the school children! A great way to celebrate #bookshopday."

Love Your Bookshop Day: "Wow, what an amazing #loveyourbookshopday Saturday was! We're still basking in the afterglow of #LYBD2022." And: "#LYBD2022 saw some incredible book (and bookshop) inspired costumes! What was your favourite?"

Matilda Bookshop, Stirling: "We had an absolutely fabulous Love Your Bookshop Day this past Saturday! Thank you so much to those who joined in the festivities and for the reciprocal bookshop love. Thanks to your generous support we raised enough money to put nearly 300 books in the hands of children in remote communities."

Robinsons Bookshop, Frankston: "Thank you all for coming to celebrate #LYBD22! Here are some photos from Saturday!"

Farrells Bookshop, Mornington: "A massive thank you to everyone who came to support us on Love Your Bookshop Day and to those who participated in the activities and prizes! 13 very happy winners have been notified and we can't wait for you all to enjoy your prizes!"

New Zealand
Wardini Books, Havelock North: "It's National Bookshop Day--hurray! Helen was the first customer in Havelock North and got waaaaaaay more than she bargained for. A free book (Isaac and the Egg--one of Lou and Phoebe's books of the year--thank you, Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand), a Tarquin the Honest Coloring Competition entry form and a bookmark hunt entry to win $500 of Booksellers Aotearoa NZ vouchers. It's not even 9 a.m.! There's a sale table too so come on down and say happy Bookshop Day--you never know what might happen."

The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, Auckland: "Some highlights from #NZBookshopDay--Book Feast. Thanks to amazing authors @gracikimwrites @glenn.colquhoun @heatherhaylock_author and singer @claudiarobingunn. And thanks to all the lovely people who came to listen to stories and songs and celebrate all things bookish!

The Martinborough Bookshop, Mast: "What a huge weekend we had! Bookshop Day, Bookshop Hopping, Bookmark Hunting, Book Launching, customers from near and far all happy and smiling in the beautiful sunshine. Thank goodness I had help from No.1 Granddaughter. Ilah worked her feet off over three days, served customers, ran errands, put the signs out, brought the signs in, priced books, went for coffee and never stopped smiling. Aged 11. I hope everyone who shopped with us had as much fun as we did!"

--Robert Gray, contributing editor

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