Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 1, 2022

Storey Publishing: The Universe in Verse: 15 Portals to Wonder Through Science & Poetry by Maria Popova

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta

Jimmy Patterson: Amir and the Jinn Princess by M T Khan

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

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


Boxcar Books & Vinyl Opens in Hoopeston, Ill.

Boxcar Books & Vinyl, a bookstore and record shop in Hoopeston, Ill., is fully open for business after hosting a grand opening celebration last Saturday. 

Owners Emily and Bob Brown sell new titles for all ages, with Emily Brown reporting that the inventory is about 70% books, 20% vinyl and 10% gifts. She is an elementary school teacher by trade, she noted, and her daughter has taught middle school and high school. As a result, the store has "very good recommendations" in its children's, middle grade and YA sections.

For adult books there is an emphasis on fiction--literary fiction as well as mysteries and thrillers, plenty of historical fiction and action/western novels. Brown and her team also carry a variety of bookish gifts and sidelines like journals and coloring books.

When it comes to vinyl, Brown said, the store's staff is "personally super into '70s music," but the team has tried to make sure the inventory is very broad and covers "all of the bases." New and used vinyl is available, and Brown added that she's excited about being able to offer indie-exclusive vinyl records. The shop also sells a "whole selection" of record players and accessories like cleaning kits, bags and carrying cases.

Brown explained that the roughly 1,800-square-foot store features a seating area that will be used for book club meetings and other events. There is an author visit with Rob Witzel, author of Super Penguin, slated for February, and a local art teacher will be doing storytime sessions and art projects. The store also has several book clubs, including an adult book club, a middle readers book club and a young adult book club. For the adult book club, the members choose which books they want to read, while Brown's daughter runs the book clubs for younger readers.

Prior to opening a bookstore, Brown researched the possibility for years, "trying to figure out the details and how we could make it happen." Her family owns a coffee shop in town, she continued, and she started to sell books at the coffee shop as a way to "test the market." The store's adult book club, in fact, began at the coffee shop, and the experiment worked out well enough that eventually she took the plunge of expanding into another building in downtown Hoopeston.

Brown recalled that she was "so nervous" the night before she made that announcement and "didn't know what to expect." The announcement met with a lot of excitement, and that enthusiasm continued with other pre-opening social media posts. The bookstore's building needed a "complete remodeling," and Brown and her husband decided to keep the storefront as open as possible while work was underway, so community members could see the progress "as it was happening."

During the grand opening on Indies First/Small Business Saturday, festivities included a ribbon cutting along with plenty of promotions. There were gift cards for the first 25 people in store and giveaways that included a grand prize of one free book per month for a year. And before the doors opened, Brown said, there was a "line around the block." --Alex Mutter

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs Opens in Calif.

The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs opened last week at 180 East Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs, Calif. The Desert Sun reported that the business was launched by Paul Carr, a former technology journalist.

Although the decision to open a traditional print bookstore might appear to be unusual for someone who has spent a career covering cutting-edge startups and tech giants in Silicon Valley, Carr believes his time writing about technology actually helped boost his faith in traditional books.

"I've had investors in Silicon Valley who have told me that if someone walked into their office today and pitched them on the idea of the book, they would think it was the most technologically advanced thing they'd ever seen," he said. "It never requires charging; anybody can access it. You could bury it in a field and dig it up in 100 years and it still works.... And the impact it has on your brain is so magical. We just got used to books so I think we just forgot how magical and technologically advanced they really are."

The author of several books, Carr said he first came to the Coachella Valley more than a decade ago looking for a place to write away from the bustle of Silicon Valley. Over time, he returned with his partner, Sarah Lacy, and her two daughters for vacations before finally purchasing a home in Palm Springs in 2019.

"There just reached a point where, during the pandemic, we went from Palm Springs being a place where we had a second home to a place we decided that we wanted to live," he said. "One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Palm Springs was that there's no bookshop. I thought, 'That doesn't make sense. There must be one; I must just not be finding it.' "

The idea of opening a local bookstore appealed to him as a counter to years immersed in the world of venture capital funding and high technology. "In Silicon Valley, there's a lot of data, there's a lot of analytics," he said. "There's lots of this stuff, but you're dealing with hundreds of millions of users for it to be successful. Everything just becomes a number on a spreadsheet. I think that it's really refreshing to be doing something that's just a bookstore in Palm Springs."

Lacy, who currently runs an education platform for women and other underrepresented groups, will help organize events like author talks for the store. "I've interviewed everyone from Christy Turlington to Al Gore to Margaret Atwood on stage, and I just love bringing (in) authors," she said. "Authors having conversations with authors and connecting them with their fans is the kind of thing that I'm extra passionate about.... We know so many authors and there's so many who come to L.A. anyway, so we're hoping we can siphon people over and bring some to Palm Springs."

She has also been in discussions with the Palm Springs Library and the Plaza Theatre (when it eventually reopens) to co-host larger events at their spaces, while smaller events will be in the bookstore itself.

The store has not yet hired additional staff, but Carr said when he does so in the near future there will be two main requirements: applicants must have retail experience and love books. "I want people to come in and talk about books," he said. "If you don't love books, you're not going to have much to talk about."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Binc Foundation's Board Members Launch Matching Donation Challenge

Noting that the Penguin Random House matching gift challenge for the year-end Read Love Support (#readlovesupport) campaign has been met, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation's board members are now offering a second matching donation challenge to help Binc reach $100,000 or more in donations before December 31. The foundation's board will be matching all gifts dollar for dollar, up to a total of $5,000, starting today, December 1.

"I'd like to thank Penguin Random House for their generous matching gift of $15,000," said Binc board president Annie Philbrick, owner of Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn., Savoy Bookshop & Café, Westerly, R.I., and Title IX, New London, Conn. "Their publisher support helped raise over $28,500 towards the $100,000 goal and has inspired Binc Foundation board members to offer an additional matching challenge to help move us closer to our year-end goal. Binc stands with all book and comic stores across the country and this matching challenge from our dedicated board shows our commitment to book and comic stores and their employees."

Pamela French, executive director of Binc, said "The Binc board members have come together to not only reinforce their dedication to our mission but to also help ensure every book or comic seller who reaches out this year will be helped. I'm grateful and honored to work with this group of industry leaders!"

To donate and have your donation matched for greater impact, click here.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

We Need Diverse Books Launching Books Save Lives Initiative

In response to the wave of book bans and challenges that continues across the country and disproportionately targets diverse books by diverse authors, We Need Diverse Books is launching an initiative called Books Save Lives.

Officially beginning today, December 1, the new program will provide grants of up to $10,000 for underserved schools and libraries to purchase banned and challenged books; organize school visits and book giveaways for authors of banned and challenged books; and provide educational materials and resources to those trying to combat book bans at a grassroots level.

WNDB is simultaneously launching a social media campaign with the hashtag #BooksSaveLives that encourages readers to post photos of themselves with the book that saved or impacted their life. The organization also "encourages everyone to speak up at school board meetings, to request diverse books at the library and to purchase and review books by diverse authors."

Sibylline Press: New House Celebrates 'the Brilliant Works of Women Authors over 50'

Four women with extensive book world experience have launched Sibylline Press, which will focus on publishing "the brilliant works of women authors over the age of 50," including memoirs, narrative nonfiction and fiction. Sibylline Press will release six books in fall 2023 and six in spring 2024 and will be distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West. The company also has an unusual publishing model, which involves Sibylline authors being deeply involved in the promotion of their books and other Sibylline titles.

Sibylline Press takes its name from the ancient Sibyls, older women whose oracular utterances contained wisdom captured in scrolls that Roman leaders often consulted. The press is, it said, "founded on the concept of collaboration illustrated by our Sibylline math, in which 1 x 1 = 100. Not one Sibyl, but many, are formidable. We have carried that metaphor into every aspect of the business, engaging our authors in daily, weekly, and monthly communications, in setting up our promotional strategy, and in developing a collaborative approach to promotion."

Vicki DeArmon

The Sibylline founders are:

Publisher Vicki DeArmon, who has a publishing, bookselling and entrepreneurial background that includes founding Foghorn Press at age 25. (Foghorn was distributed by PGW.) After 13 years, she sold Foghorn to Avalon Books, now part of Hachette Book Group. She was also marketing and events director of Copperfield's Books in Northern California for eight years, and has consulted to California independent bookstores, creating the "Everyone Gets a Book" holiday program that is still used by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance (CALIBA).

Julia Park Tracey

Executive editor Julia Park Tracey, a journalist who has headed city magazines and music, literary, and regional alt-news tabloids as well as the book publishing imprint of Stellar Media Group. She's also a social media maven, conducting training and audits for groups such as the former Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and the Women's National Book Association.

Rights and special sales director Anna Termine, who has worked in both trade and academic publishing for more than 30 years, specializing in rights and licensing. Termine and DeArmon established the Independent Travel Publishers Association together 35 years ago.

Design director Alicia Feltman, who is a web designer for the American Booksellers Association's IndieCommerce platform and CALIBA as well as for Copperfield's, where she worked with DeArmon on various projects.

Under the Sibylline publishing model, authors of all of a season's titles will participate in shared tours, advertising and a promotional strategy that "celebrates the brilliance of women over 50." Authors will contribute to the marketing budget and receive a generous royalty until their contribution is paid back at which time the royalty returns to a traditional one.

DeArmon commented: "We are a traditional publisher. But even as a traditional publisher, we're pushing against some long-held lines, giving our authors unheard of support and access. We believe that the better an author understands the industry, the better she can work within it and with us to achieve success for her book."

Sibylline Press's Fall list includes three memoirs and two works of historical fiction and one mystery series:

These Broken Roads: Scammed and Vindicated: One Woman's Story by Donna Hayes, the memoir of a Jamaican immigrant who gets scammed and robbed of her life's savings by the "love of her life" met on an online dating site, but overcomes hardships to find success.

Becoming Maeve: Coming Out in Corporate America by Maeve DuVally, the memoir of coming out transgender in one of the most high-profile financial institutions in the U.S.

Reading Jane by Susannah Kennedy. After the suicide of her domineering mother, the author discovers diaries spanning 45 years that challenge and upend long-held truths in this memoir.

The Bereaved: The Untold Story of a Mother's Orphan Train Heartbreak by Julia Park Tracey. In 1859, after her husband's death, a grieving mother tries to support her children in New York City, losing them to the Home of the Friendless and the Orphan Train, then sets out to reclaim them. Based on the author's family experience.

The Pocket Book by Patricia Reis. In this work of historical fiction, upon the death of her cold father, a suppressed 50-year-old woman begins an ancestral quest in Ohio in the 1800s, awakening secrets and herself.

The Rotting Whale: A Hugo Sandoval Eco Mystery, the first in a new mystery series by Jann Eyrich. Steeped in the noir of The City, the old-school inspector with his trademark Borsalino fedora, is a media darling, reluctant bachelor, and people's hero fighting the good fight in a modern era that attempts to eclipse the old San Francisco Sandoval loves. In his first case in the series, he must find his sea legs before he can solve the mystery of how a 90-ton blue whale became stranded twice in a remote inlet off the North Coast.


Happy 20th Birthday, Read It Again Bookstore!

Congratulations to Read It Again Bookstore, Suwanee, Ga., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a party on December 3, featuring food, drinks, authors and a two-hour sale. 

On Facebook, owner Kim McNamara posted: "When my mom and I opened Read It Again, I was still in college. I spent half the week at ASC, and the other half at the store. 

"Back then it was unusual for bookstores to be on inventory. When Della and I decided we wanted an inventory program, I volunteered my ex-boyfriend Mike and his brother Eric to write it. My exact words were, 'no worries mom! I bet they could do it in like a weekend!' Ha. That program is now known as Basil Bookstore Software and they support over 400 bookstores across the country. Mike and I have been married for 17 years and we have 3 kids. The bookstore brought us back together. But that's the thing about bookstores, they bring people together. Mike and I aren't the only ones to fall in love in the bookstore. We're not the only ones who raised their kids among its shelves, or make great friends at book club. Do you have a favorite bookstore memory? We would love to hear it!"

Masking Up: Firestorm Books & Coffee 

Bookstore face mask policies, for a long time a regular theme in social media posts as booksellers dealt with ever-changing Covid-19 policies and mandates, have been a bit less conspicuous of late. Yesterday, Firestorm Books & Coffee, Asheville, N.C., offered a detailed update on the bookshop's mask policy, noting in part: 

"I wanted to take a moment to address why Firestorm is one of the last businesses in Asheville requiring masks, and be open about the ways that this impacts our co-op.... We've seen all kinds of responses to our mask requirement over the past few months--people have turned away not knowing (or caring) that we provide masks at the front door, strangers have cursed at us, a few have made xenophobic remarks, and we've even been harassed with angry voicemails and e-mails! 

"But we're sticking to our guns despite the loss of some sales and the emotional toll of arguing with grumpy strangers, because doing what aligns with our values is what we're about. Thankfully, the vast majority of our customers have supported our decisions and respected our boundaries. It turns out that putting on a mask for a few minutes is a pretty easy thing to do, and not everyone assigns ableist, conspiracy-driven meanings to one of the simplest public health considerations of our time. Thank you to our customers who agree to this painless precaution. Of course, if wearing a mask is a genuine barrier, please let us know and we can provide curbside assistance!... Simply put: the pandemic is not over."

Personnel Changes at Penguin Random House

At Penguin Random House:

Amanda Close is promoted to senior v-p, children's sales and strategic development, PRH--in addition to her current oversight of the PRH Special Markets group. With her new responsibilities, effective January 1, she will lead the sales efforts for Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children's Books, and the Penguin Random House Publisher Services children's imprints.

Sarah Williams is promoted to v-p, special markets and strategic market development, effective immediately. She is expanding her current responsibilities to now lead the entire PRH Special Markets team, reporting to Close.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dr. Charles Sophy on Drew Barrymore

Good Morning America: Nona Jones, author of Killing Comparison: Reject the Lie You Aren't Good Enough and Live Confident in Who God Made You to Be (Zondervan, $26.99, 9780310365235).

Drew Barrymore Show: Dr. Charles Sophy, author of Family Values: Reset Trust, Boundaries, and Connection with Your Child (S&S/Simon Element, $28, 9781668000113).

TV: Sinful Wallflowers

Sinful Wallflowers, a series of three historical romances (My Darling Duke, Her Wicked Marquess, A Scoundrel of Her Own) by Stacy Reid, is being adapted for television by Sologne Angelique Productions. Sologne Schumacher, the company's CEO and executive producer on the project, will work with Reid to create the TV series and is currently seeking a streaming partner.

"Our company's mission is amplifying the voices of historically excluded creators, and given Stacy Reid's gifts as a storyteller, we knew she was someone we wanted to work with," Schumacher said. "When I read the Sinful Wallflowers series, I knew these were characters the world needed to see." Schumacher's production team includes co-producer Leon Jones and producer/composer Marla Harvey, whose most recent work has been purchased by ESPN/Disney. 

Stacy Cantor Abrams, editorial director of Entangled Publishing and Reid's editor, added: "The Sinful Wallflowers books are bestsellers and fan favorites out of Reid's entire backlist, meaning they represent the very pinnacle of historical romance. Now, we'll get a chance to see these exceptional plots and characters transformed for the medium of television. It's always an exciting process, and I'm confident these books will adapt particularly well."

This Weekend on Book TV: Live In-Depth with Peter Baker and Susan Glasser

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, December 3
9:30 a.m. Jon Meacham, author of And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle (Random House, $40, 9780553393965). (Re-airs Saturday at 9:30 p.m.)

Sunday, December 4
8 a.m. Temple Grandin, author of Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions (Riverhead, $28, 9780593418369). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9:30 a.m. Stuart Scheller, author of Crisis of Command: How We Lost Trust and Confidence in America's Generals and Politicians (‎Knox Press, $28, 9781637585443). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:30 p.m.)

10 a.m. Chloe Sorvino, author of Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed, and the Fight for the Future of Meat (Atria, $28.99, 9781982172046). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, authors of The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 (Doubleday, $32, 9780385546539). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

4 p.m. Vincent Munoz, author of Religious Liberty and the American Founding: Natural Rights and the Original Meanings of the First Amendment Religion Clauses (‎University of Chicago Press, $30, 9780226821443).

5:20 p.m. Mary Childs, author of The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire, and Lost It All (‎Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250120847).

6:05 p.m. Lee Drutman, author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America (Oxford University Press, $27.95, 9780190913854).

7 p.m. Andrew Kirtzman, author of Giuliani: The Rise and Tragic Fall of America's Mayor (‎Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781982153298).

Books & Authors

Awards: Forward Poetry Winners; Wingate Longlist

The Forward Arts Foundation announced that Kim Moore's All the Men I Never Married won the £10,000 (about $11,970) Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection, while Stephanie Sy-Quia's Amnion took the £5,000 (about $5,985) Felix Dennis Prize for debut collection and Nick Laird's "Up Late" topped the £1,000 (about $1,195) best single poem category.

Judge Shivanee Ramlochan said Moore's collection is "full of dangerous wit and knowing humour that speaks directly to the reader in a hugely pleasurable way." Stephen Sexton praised the book as a 'tonally profound collection which is precise, careful, unfolding, whose methodical, numbered poems show us the work and process of overcoming people and encounters." Nadine Aisha Jassat described All the Men I Never Married as a "phenomenal and powerful collection, and one I urgently want to share with everyone I know. It feels so true, precise, brilliant and layered."


The longlist for the £4,000 (about $4,855) 2023 Wingate Prize, honoring "the best book, fiction or nonfiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader," can be seen here. The shortlist will be announced in late January and the winner in March.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 6:

Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, $26, 9780307269003) is the second volume in McCarthy's The Passenger series.

A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré by John le Carré, edited by Tim Cornwell (Viking, $40, 9780593490679) collects correspondence from the late master of espionage thrillers.

The Earl and the Pharaoh: From the Real Downton Abbey to the Discovery of Tutankhamun by the Countess of Carnarvon (Harper, $28.99, 9780063264229) marks the centennial of the discovery of King Tut's tomb.

Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon by Kate Andersen Brower (Harper, $32.50, 9780063067653) is the biography of an iconic movie star.

The Ingenue: A Novel by Rachel Kapelke-Dale (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250834560) is a suspense story about a woman unexpectedly denied her late mother's inheritance.

Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of 55 Hits That Changed Rock, R&B, and Soul by Marc Myers (Grove Press, $27, 9780802160201) collects more of a music critic's Wall Street Journal column.

Of Ice and Men: How We've Used Cold to Transform Humanity by Fred Hogge (Pegasus, $27.95, 9781639361830) gives a history of human interaction with ice.

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford (Inkyard, $19.99, 9781335915801) is a YA fantasy featuring a young woman who saves a person despite her community's wishes.

Eva in the Band by Rebecca Elliott (Scholastic, $5.99, 9781338745436) is the 17th book in the early chapter book series.

Sharpe's Assassin by Bernard Cornwell (Harper, $18, 9780062563279).

Midnight by Dean Koontz (Berkley, $11.99, 9780593441367).

Gods and Dragons: Wake the Dragon Book 3 by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books, $21.99, 9781250302229).

You Got Anything Stronger?: Stories by Gabrielle Union (Dey Street, $17.99, 9780062979940).

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:

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk (Tordotcom, $19.99, 9781250849458). "Short, sweet, romantic, and full of secrets. This magical noir stars wonderful characters and so many twists and turns that I never knew quite what was going to happen next. A delightful ride, handbasket optional." --Lindsey Pattavina, RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six: A Novel by Lisa Unger (Park Row, $27.99, 9780778333234). "This has family drama, secrets and great characters--so clear your weekend. Every book establishes Lisa Unger as a fantastic thriller writer and storyteller. This will bring even more fans in her camp (or cabin?). She is in her prime!"--Laura Taylor, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, Fla.

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson (Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99, 9781728246444). "I love a book about a bookstore! This was cute and funny, but also showed that we're never too old to figure out what we want to do with our lives--or to not know what the heck we're doing at any age. Loved it!" --Kristin Prout, Gathering Volumes, Perrysburg, Ohio

For Ages 4 to 8
The Great Caper Caper: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast #5 by Josh Funk, illus. by Brendan Kearney (Union Square Kids, $17.99, 9781454943631). "The fifth installment in the Lady Pancake series features a madcap caper that kids will love. Parents can look forward to some humor that is, undoubtedly, aimed at them. Definitely a book the whole family will want to read over and over!" --Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, Conn.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Children of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo (Norton Young Readers, $18.95, 9781324030775). "A middle grade space opera infused with African culture and mythologies. Zero is on a quest to be a legendary Saba--to find lost treasures and hunt down criminals. There were twists and turns on every page; I cannot recommend this enough!" --Joseline Diaz, Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, Calif.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Henry Hamlet's Heart by Rhiannon Wilde (Charlesbridge Teen, $18.99, 9781623543693). "This is the best friends-to-lovers romance my cold cynical heart needed. Henry and his first love feelings are a cuteness overload. Full of humor, sincerity, and excellent music, this is one of my new favorite coming-of-age stories." --Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, Ga.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time

Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time by Sheila Liming (Melville House, $27.99 hardcover, 256p., 9781685890056, January 24, 2023)

In the introduction to Hanging Out, Sheila Liming defines her book as "partly a manifesto and partly an invitation to come meander," and based on the title, readers might assume it is mostly meandering: a loose celebration of the kind of unstructured gatherings that might have been common once but are now rare in most adult lives. While Liming (What a Library Means to a Woman) does celebrate these open-ended social interactions, her writing does not meander; instead, it straddles the line between academic and accessible, ultimately creating a tightly argued, brilliantly written book that will be discussed at the best dinner parties and back porch hangouts.

Organized around situations where hanging out might occur ("at parties," "on the job"), the book draws upon Liming's knowledge in a wide range of fields, including literature, philosophy, theory and culture. This depth of field is what sets Hanging Out apart from similar offerings, those explaining how to be happier or more productive or organized. Liming assembles a variegated and complex set of ideas to build an argument rich with intellectual history. For instance, the chapter "Hanging Out with Strangers" centers on a few isolated days the author spent in Aberdeen but also circles the 2015 German-language film Victoria, about a single night in the life of a young woman "desperate to discover social inclusion." From there, Liming moves easily through such topics as risk and reward, isolation and identity, Walter Benjamin's theories of modernity and naming, and Lauren Berlant's commentary on the work of French philosopher Jacques Lacan. So smart yet so accessible, Hanging Out will impress readers with the way each idea builds on the next, never forced and always human.

Liming also weaves in stories and experiences from her own life, which has seen the transition from fully analog interactions to the digital world in which everyone is now immersed. Not at all a polemic against technology, however, Hanging Out helps readers see nuance: "Digital devices and technologies make that other kind of hanging out easier, but they also strip it of the experiences and particularities of place. What gets lost, along with those particularities, are deeper shades of connection, intimacy, and meaning." Throughout, Liming encourages those deeper shades, found most often in the company of people we care about and in the time we set apart for each other. --Sara Beth West, freelance reviewer and librarian

Shelf Talker: Smart and accessible, Hanging Out encourages deeper shades of connection, found most often in the company of people we care about and in the time we set apart for each other.

The Bestsellers Bestsellers in November

The bestselling audiobooks at independent bookstores during November:

1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperAudio)
3. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Babel by R.F. Kuang (HarperAudio)
5. The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin (Hachette Audio)
6. The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson (Macmillan Audio)
7. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)
8. Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn (Simon & Schuster Audio)
9. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson (HarperAudio)

1. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (Simon & Schuster Audio)
3. Surrender by Bono (Penguin Random House Audio)
4. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Tantor Media)
5. Rest Is Resistance by Tricia Hersey (Hachette Audio)
6. How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton (Hachette Audio)
8. Have I Told You This Already? by Lauren Graham (Penguin Random House Audio)
9. Atomic Habits by James Clear (Penguin Random House Audio)
10. Cultish by Amanda Montell (HarperAudio)

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