Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Union Square Kids: The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod

Shadow Mountain: The Queen and the Knave (Proper Romance Victorian) by Sarah M. Eden

Andrews McMeel Publishing: The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms by Fiona Cook, illustrated by Jessica Roux

Tor Nightfire: What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier #2) by T. Kingfisher

Amulet Books: Nightbane (the Lightlark Saga Book 2) by Alex Aster


Fundraising Campaign Aims to Keep Michigan's Book Cottage Open

Recently Mark and Nancy Oakley, owners of the Book Cottage, Jackson, Mich., which sells new, used, rare and collectible books as well as antiques and local art, announced they would have to close because of the effects of the pandemic, having to move twice in the last two years and slow sales this year. But customers have rallied, creating a GoFundMe campaign last week to keep the store open.

Already the campaign has raised more than $2,200, prompting the store to post on Facebook, "These last eight days have been the most amazing of our lives, the outpouring of love and support has been awesome. We have passed the 10% mark of the Gofundme that some of our customers have set up, we cannot express how much we appreciate the generosity of our community. We have had so many customers come in and let us know that they are rooting for us, we are really hoping to be able to continue serving Jackson after the end of the year. If you can't make it in, we invite you to share our posts with others, we know there are booklovers out there that don't know about us! Thank you, Jackson, we are truly blessed to be part of this town!"

The GoFundMe campaign noted that the Oakleys "serve everyone from introverts and misfits to the outgoing, over-the-top personality. For many, the Book Cottage is a weekly social outing and a safe place to get lost among the bookshelves or for quiet conversation. For others, it's the go-to stop for gifts and unique treasures."

Organizers praised the Oakleys' dedication to the community and "how they immerse themselves in giving back, paying it forward, and creating space for creativity, learning, and fun. Examples include an annual fundraiser for the Jackson County Animal Shelter, a yearly fundraiser for the Priceless Gift Toy Store, and the donation of thousands of books throughout the summer and during reading month to Jackson's youth. Additionally, the Oakleys have programs that support new teachers and school libraries and donate hundreds of books to local nonprofits. And, of course, we can't forget about their infamous annual Harry Potter Party, craft fairs, flea markets, holiday open houses, and kids' craft days."

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

The Next Chapter, Huntington, N.Y., Nears Opening

The Next Chapter, the bookstore founded by former Book Revue manager Mallory Braun, is preparing to open in Huntington, N.Y., in time for the holiday shopping season, TBR Newsmedia reported.

Earlier this year Braun found a storefront at 204 New York Ave, just a five-minute walk from Book Revue's former home, and has been busy getting the space ready. The shop will carry new and used books along with vinyl records and other items, and Braun noted that Richard Klein, Book Revue's former co-owner, is helping her and her team get ready for the opening.

In the meantime, the Book Revue team has been holding pop-up appearances at places in the area like the Huntington Fall Festival, a home decor store called Nest and a coffeehouse called Southdown Coffee. Braun said the pop-ups have been great for helping build relationships with local businesses and she intends to do more even after the bricks-and-mortar store opens.

Late last year, Braun launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Next Chapter that raised more than $250,000 with the help of 2,216 backers. Book Revue closed in September 2021, and the following month Braun announced her plans to open a new store that would carry on Book Revue's legacy.

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Cider Monday: 'Hoist a Glass... & Be Reminded to Keep It Local'

Cider Monday celebrations, held yesterday nationwide, seemed more like a complement to indie booksellers' evolving online sales prowess than counter-programming to Cyber Monday's craziness, which had been the initiative's original intent.

Willard Williams, owner of the Toadstool Bookshops, with stores in Keene, Peterborough and Nashua, N.H., launched Cider Monday in 2013

"For several years we have celebrated Cider Monday as the alternative to the much-hyped Cyber Monday--that day when so many have historically gone online to fill the coffers of the huge online behemoths," Toadstool noted on its website. "Our tradition has been to offer a free cup of cider to those who stopped in to share and express support for shopping in their local 'bricks and mortar' stores. We truly believe stores such as ours bring far more vitality to our communities than do huge distant warehouses. However, as happened last year, due to Covid we cannot offer the cider and we realize that many people may prefer to avoid the crowds found in stores and are turning to the web to order gifts. Our hope is that those doing so this year will find the websites of local stores many of whom, like us, have active sites where you can place your orders online. So, if it is to be a Cyber Monday hoist a glass of cider before you sit down and be reminded to keep it local."

And indie bookstores across the U.S. raised a glass of cider in agreement yesterday, including:

Cider Monday treats at Wheatberry Books.

Wheatberry Books, Chillicothe, Ohio: "We love our special traditions here at the bookshop. Today is our fourth year of bringing you CIDER MONDAY! Stop in today and enjoy a free cup of Hirsch Fruit Farm Cider and a cookie. No purchase necessary."

Whitelam Books, Reading, Mass.: "If your inbox is filled with many loud subject lines and you're looking for a quieter way to start your week, come in today to celebrate CIDER Monday! This is a great alternative to anything cyber; we'll have hot cider in store as you shop today from 10am-5pm." 

Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.: "It's Cider Monday! To thank you for choosing to shop local with us today, we invite you to stop by Gibson's Café for a free hot cider!"

Roundabout Books, Bend, Ore.: "Cyber Monday? We prefer Cider Monday! Watch the snow fall, stay cozy, and shop online at save 10% using the coupon code 'Cider22' on orders $50 or more. We'll have complimentary hot apple cider in the store all day today if you're out and about! Thanks for shopping at local businesses this holiday season!"

At Subterranean Books

Subterranean Books, St. Louis, Mo.: "It's Cider Monday and we here at Ye Ol' Subby Bookshoppe have warm cider for you today. So on this sleepy Monday, we implore you to pop in, browse and meander, and cheer yourself with a cup of cider. The spiced apple and bookish smells you'd be *hard pressed* to find on your computer screen or phone. And yes, that is an vintage crockpot!"

City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, N.C.: "It was great to see so many folks over the weekend! Now that the shop's looking so festive, we're celebrating Cider Monday by serving apple squeezins to visitors between 10 & 6 today. Won't you pop by for a cup and a visit? If Cyber's more your thing, use coupon code 22Cider to take 10% off your web order." 

Bookish, Fort Smith, Ark.: "Join Schuyler and Sara for Cider Monday. Come see what Bookish is all about and enjoy hot cider and delicious snacks from 11-2. Put down your phone for a bit and let's chat about books."

B&N Opening New Store in Visalia, Calif.

A new Barnes & Noble store is coming to the Sequoia Mall in Visalia, Calif., the Sun Gazette reported.

While B&N has said only that the company is "close to securing a site" in Visalia, the Gazette expects the new bookstore to reside in a 16,000-square-foot space in the Sequoia Mall that is currently under construction.

Janine Flanigan, B&N's director of store planning and design, said the upcoming Visalia store will follow the same model that the company has used for its 16 most recent stores. It will be the first bookstore in the Sequoia Mall since Borders closed in 2011.

Obituary Note: Bernadette Mayer

Bernadette Mayer
(photo: Kelly Writers House/Wikipedia )

Poet, artist, publisher and scholar Bernadette Mayer, who "blurred the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary in expansive streams of consciousness" and was most frequently associated with the New York School and with the Language poets, died November 22, Artforum reported. She was 77. Mayer was "widely recognized for her pathbreaking poetry featuring blunt and open musings on the experience of motherhood," and became a central figure of the community surrounding the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in New York in the 1970s, eventually serving as director.

As a poet and an artist, Mayer first gained prominence with her diaristic 1971 work Memory. Artforum noted that to make the work, "she shot a roll of film every day for a month. In 1972, at New York's 98 Greene Street, she presented the resulting 1,200 photographs in chronological order accompanied by a thirty-one-part voice-over narration lasting seven hours, in which she offered her thoughts or memories about the various images. The work has since been presented in various forms, including a text edition released in 1975 by New Atlantic Books and an edition including the photographs published by Siglio Press in 2020."

Mayer wrote some 30 books of poetry and prose, including Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer (2015); Poetry State Forest (2008); The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994); The Bernadette Mayer Reader (1992); Sonnets (1989); Midwinter Day (1982); and The Golden Book of Words (1978). She was the recipient of a 1995 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award, a 2009 Creative Capital award, and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her 2016 book Works and Day earned her a National Book Critics Circle nomination.

Milkweed Smithereens, her last book, was released this month by New Directions. In a poem from the collection, "Unconditional Death Is a Good Title," published online by the Paris Review in October, she wrote:

maybe it's just fear of the winter, this is a day supposed to be sunny but what is this white sky? seen some yellow & orange trees, the sky is white: western wildfires, we're having a drought.

so many leaves are falling,
it's exhausting


Window Display: Lake Forest Book Store

Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, Ill., shared photos of the shop's holiday-themed front window display, on Facebook, noting: " 'Here's something that happens to you when you come back to your hometown.' --Joseph Dougherty.
For everyone who came by the store this week, whether this is your home now, before, never, or always has been, we love nothing more than seeing your happy faces looking at our Christmas village. Thank you for brightening our holidays!"

Personnel Changes at Candlewick Press

Janaea Eads has joined Candlewick Press as sales assistant. She was most recently a library assistant at the Turner Free Library, Randolph, Mass.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Luke Harding on Fresh Air

The View: Gabrielle Union, author of You Got Anything Stronger?: Stories (Dey Street, $17.99, 9780062979940).

Fresh Air: Luke Harding, author of Invasion: The Inside Story of Russia's Bloody War and Ukraine's Fight for Survival (Vintage, $18, 9780593685174).

TV: Corto Maltese

A live-action series adaptation of writer and illustrator Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese graphic novel series is in development, with Frank Miller (Sin City) to be its creator, writer and executive producer, Deadline reported. In conjunction with Canal+, Studiocanal will develop six hour-long episodes.

Jemma Rodgers (The Railway Children Return) is the project's executive producer, along with Silenn Thomas, CEO of Frank Miller Ink. Overseeing VFX is Phil Tippett, whose work includes the Star Wars and Jurassic Park franchises and Willow

"I first discovered Corto Maltese reading the books at Forbidden Planet in New York as a young man," Miller said. "Then on my travels, I studied and discovered an edition at a newsstand in Rome. The artwork was so expressive and so bold that it leapt off the newsprint. It swept me away. It was full of magic and romantic adventure. Maltese is a rascal who could talk to the gods. To me it showed off the power of the comic where language is not much of a barrier. I have been a Corto Maltese fan ever since. This is the hero's journey in its most classic form, and I couldn't be more honored to help bring into this series the romanticism, heroism, and underlying mysticism of Pratt's creation." 

Patrizia Zanotti, a collaborator of Pratt, who died in 1996, commented: "Hugo Pratt appreciated Frank Miller's work from the very beginning so much so that he published him in the Corto Maltese magazine in 1988. Pratt like Miller are students of American classic cartooning like Milton Caniff with their use of shadows, dramatic inks and bold brush work. Who better to reinterpret Hugo Pratt's world than Frank Miller after all the characters and worlds the legendary creator has brought to us? Pratt would be thrilled to see his character Corto Maltese revived through an author who has the extraordinary ability to carry on timeless myths introducing iconic characters to new generations. Pratt has said through one of his characters that 'nothing is written that cannot be rewritten.' I believe that no one else other than Frank Miller could interpret the creative impulse inherent in this phrase." 

Books & Authors

Awards: Bodley Medal

Irish author Colm Tóibín will receive the Bodley Medal, which honors "individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds of books and literature, libraries, media and communications, science, and philanthropy," for his contribution to the world of literature. He will be presented with the award March 30 at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival when he delivers the annual Bodley Lecture.

"I feel honored and thrilled to receive this medal," Tóibín said. "This is mainly because many of its recipients are writers I admire deeply, but also because of the Bodleian Libraries and their distinguished history. I write novels tentatively and, no matter how much I revise, am never sure if I get things right. Being recognized in this way helps to validate work done and encourage further efforts. And for that I am very grateful."

Tóibín will give the 2023 Bodley Lecture in conversation with Richard Ovenden, Bodley's Librarian and Head of Gardens, Libraries and Museums at Oxford University. Ovenden called Tóibín "one of the most thought-provoking writers of our times. His novels range from the treatment of contemporary themes in a nuanced and considered way, to dealing with timeless cultural issues with great sensitivity. His essay writing is as powerful as his fiction, and marked by profound and revealing honesty. The Bodleian is honored to present him with the Bodley Medal."

Women's National Book Association's Great Group Reads

The Women's National Book Association has chosen the 2022 Great Group Reads list. The annual list features 20 books (out of several hundred submissions) that were chosen by a reading committee of 46 WNBA members. The books were chosen for literary merit and for their ability to promote meaningful discussions.

Kristen Knox, chair of Great Group Reads, commented: "This year's list should offer readers, especially book clubs of all sorts, wonderful reading experiences that will take them out of their own meeting spaces and into the lives and experiences of other people, down the street, across the country, across oceans and across time. The list is an outstanding selection of well-written works that will broaden understanding, foster empathy, and engender thoughtful consideration."

This year's list included 13 books by independent or small presses and two books by university presses; 10 books by presses or imprints that have never before had a book selected; four short story collections; and three books with co-authors, two of which are memoir.

The 2022 Great Group Reads titles:
The Barrens by Kurt Johnson and Ellie Johnson (Arcade Publishing)
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim (Ecco)
Blue-Skinned Gods by S.J. Sindu (Soho Press)
Drowned Town by Jayne Moore Waldrup (University of Kentucky Press)
Fighting Time by Amy Banks and Isaac Knapper (Pact Press/Regal House Publishing)
The Foundling by Ann Leary (Marysue Rucci Books/Scribner)
A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays (Blair)
Here Lies by Olivia Clare Friedman (Grove/Atlantic)
I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart (Two Dollar Radio)
Let the Wild Grasses Grow by Kase Johnstun (Torrey House Press)
Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books)
Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour by Yelena Lembersky and Galina Lembersky (Cherry Orchard Books/Academic Studies Press)
The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell (Sarabande Books)
A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang (Penguin Press)
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (Holt)
Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty (Tin House)
Oklahoma Odyssey by John Mort (Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press)
Provenance by Sue Mell (Madville Publishing)
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith (Ten16Press/Orange Hat Publishing)
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West (Park Row Books)

Book Review

Review: The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone

The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone by Audrey Burges (Berkley, $17 paperback, 352p., 9780593546475, January 24, 2023)

Audrey Burges's The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone charmingly combines threads of magic, whimsy, romance, grief and loss in a debut novel of great feeling.

Readers first meets 30-something Myra in 2015 in the Arizona mountains, where she lives in the attic of her late grandfather's cabin. She is regularly visited by her best friend Gwen, who forms Myra's main link with the outside world--along with the website by which hundreds of thousands of followers know the Mansion, Myra's life's work and greatest love. She inherited the large, highly detailed, finely wrought miniature (don't call it a dollhouse!) from her beloved step-grandmother, Trixie, who, along with Grampa Lou, taught her sewing, woodworking, painting and sculpting. "I know what gemstones look like water and what pen can draw the most convincing chain stitch on a washcloth that's too small to sew. I can be eclectic or traditional, modern or romantic, and the Mansion absorbs those dreams into its walls." In flashbacks, the novel also reveals a very young Myra in her loving relationship with Trixie, until the older woman's tragic death on Myra's fifth birthday. Other chapters introduce a woman returning to her stately home in Virginia in the 1930s. And in 2015 Virginia, a young man named Alex discovers Myra's website, "The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone," and the miniature Mansion itself, which is, shockingly, a perfect match to the riverside family estate where he lives alone.

Interspersed with chapters alternating between Arizona and Virginia are short essays that Myra posts on her blog: "I'll set out with the simplest plans, a minor tweak, and wind up with a choice between full-scale renovations and a shift of perspective. An attitude adjustment or a gut job." These many threads form a rich portrait of several easy-to-like characters.

Myra still grieves the loss of her Grandpa Lou and especially Trixie, whose skills in making miniatures she honors in continuing to curate the Mansion, painstakingly redecorating room by room. She is a recluse, but the Mansion's website offers a rare and rich connection to the outside world; her followers view the Mansion as both escape and refuge. Then Myra is threatened with eviction, and her carefully guarded small world tilts. Things begin moving around in Alex's home and in Myra's miniature version--piano music emanating from a room without a piano; things that go bump in the night. The keepers of both houses must reassess their relationships to their homes and to the larger world, and it may take more than Gwen's prodigious business savvy to save the Mansion.

Burges carefully constructs her plot with as much quirkiness and love as any of Myra's miniatures. With sympathetic characters, high stakes and winning miniature chifforobes, The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone is dreamy, sweet and satisfying. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This captivating novel of miniature furniture and big themes braids strong friendships, romance, family ties and the importance of stepping outside of one's comfort zone.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. A Light in the Flame by Jennifer L. Armentrout
2. Searching for Bristol by Susan Stoker
3. Someone to Hold by Marie Force
4. Valkyrie by Kris Michaels
5. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
6. This Woman by Jodi Ellen Malpas
7. Rigging the Game by Dan Nicholson
8. Last One to Know by Barbara Freethy
9. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
10. Code Name: Outlaw by Janie Crouch

[Many thanks to!]

Powered by: Xtenit