Also published on this date: Thursday, December 15, 2022: Maximum Shelf: Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 15, 2022

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer


Patterson Holiday Bookstore Bonus Recipients Named

James Patterson has selected the independent booksellers who are beneficiaries of his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, which in October he said would go to 500 booksellers in $500 increments. As he has done in previous years, Patterson pledged a substantial amount--$250,000 this fall--to fund the program. The complete list of recipients can be seen on the American Booksellers Association's website.

Congratulations to the bookseller winners and many thanks to the ever-generous James Patterson! Among the indie bookstores checking in on social media last night to congratulate their staff recipients:

Aaron's Books, Lititz, Pa.: "A huge congratulations to Kristin [Cook]! A well deserved bonus from James Patterson. Each year he and his staff select indie booksellers from across the country to honor with a holiday bonus, as recognition for all indie bookstores do for their community. Kristin was nominated for her wonderful dedicated customer service and for creating and producing our new podcast. Come on by the shop on Wednesdays and Fridays to congratulate her in person, and then grab one of her great staff picks to treat yourself!"

Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, Mo.: "Congratulations to Erin [Regneri], for being one of 500 recipients of the James Patterson Holiday Bookstore Bonus. Erin, beyond being one of our favorite humans, is a bookselling wonder AND is in charge of our subscription service. She will make you snort with laughter, knows more about wilderness writings and the classics than anyone has the right to, and is a pro at cursing. Seriously, Erin Rocks and she knows that being in a small business is more about the community than the income--but let's be honest a bonus is nice and we are thrilled she got this one. Thanks to James Patterson and everyone who nominated her! YAY ERIN!!!!!!!!!"

The Center for Fiction, New York, N.Y.: "Congratulations to our wonderful bookseller, Harry Cash, for receiving one of James Patterson's Holiday Bookstore Bonuses this year! Keep an eye out for their recommendations throughout the store--you're sure to find some gems."

Flint Hills Books, Council Grove, Kan.: "I am still processing the *incredible generosity* of the person who nominated me for a James Patterson Holiday Bonus. Nominations are anonymous so I am using this public forum to express my thanks to that special person. You have left me speechless and grateful. Thank you! Thank you to Author James Patterson for his generosity and support of indie booksellers. Thank you to the many customers who make each day at the bookstore special." 

Afterwords Books, Edwardsville, Ill.: "CONGRATULATIONS to Ms. Kaleigh Lane, a much deserving recipient of a James Patterson Holiday Bonus! Thanks so much to all who nominated Kaleigh and special thanks to Mr. Patterson for his generosity and recognition of hardworking indie booksellers across the country."

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Ferguson Books & More in N.Dak. Opens Fourth Location

Ferguson Books & More held a soft opening and ribbon cutting last weekend for its fourth store, in Dickinson, N.Dak., the Dickinson Press reported. The company also has stores in West Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck, and offers pop-up book sales throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and occasionally in Montana. 

The new location was previously home to the Odd Fellows Lodge Bar, but development of the Dickinson Town Square enabled the group to move its bar events and lease the space to owner Dane Ferguson.

Ferguson Books is a regional chain started by the owner and his brother Taylor in 2010, during an economic recession, the Press noted. Dane Ferguson said there had been a public outcry in Grand Forks, which lost multiple chain bookstores: "I was like, 'Well I guess I'm foolish enough to start my own business at 24. So we'll give it a shot,' " He now runs the operation with help from his wife, Elizabeth, and business partner Roger Sutton.

Ferguson observed that he remains focused on connecting customers with the books they love: "We've made a lot of mistakes along the way.... We just try to persevere through it, keep a growth mindset and figuring out, you know, this is what communities want. We took a bet back in 2010, when everyone kind of wrote us off like Blockbuster because media was being streamed and consumed differently. But reading a book on a printed page is a totally different experience than reading something digitally on your phone or tablet. And we knew that."

Ferguson added that books are a family passion: "My wife and I, one of our pastimes is browsing for books. Like I've collected books my whole life. I'm definitely not as well read as my staff, which makes us a strong company because they're, you know, flying through books left and right, while I'm flying down the highway, trying to get things going and taking care of my four boys."

Recovery Continues at Annette's Book Nook, Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

Repairs underway at Annette's Book Nook.

Some two and a half months after Hurricane Ian devastated southwest Florida, recovery continues at Annette's Book Nook in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., with the help of author and community donations, Naples Daily News reported.

The hurricane ruined not only all of the books in the store but also everything owner Annette Stillson had in storage at a nearby location, and all of the store's shelves and fixtures, save for a single small bookshelf, were also wrecked.

Florida authors, community members and readers throughout the country have sent boxes of new and used books to Stillson, and a GoFundMe campaign has so far raised $3,360. She plans to use the money from the crowdfunding campaign to pay for the first few months of rent when the store reopens and to replenish her stock of nonbook items like puzzles, toys and beach-themed gifts.

"It's just overwhelming," Stillson said of the community response. She recalled that when she first saw the damage after the hurricane passed, she assumed it would be the end of the bookstore. "Thank you is not enough of a word to express the appreciation and gratitude."

The bookstore is located in the Santini Marina Plaza, which was heavily damaged by the hurricane and is undergoing reconstruction. Stillson told the Daily News that it should be open again by next fall.

Obituary Note: Helen Trayler

Helen Trayler

Helen Trayler, co-founder of Wordsworth Editions, has died, the Bookseller reported. She was 69. "Her reputation has and will always precede her; she was a savvy businesswoman, generous beyond compare, dignified and steadfast until the end," said her daughter, Nichola Trayler. "Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her will have an anecdote or story to tell; she was a character of epic proportion, and her absence will be felt far and wide both professionally and personally." 

The company will remain a family-run business. Nichola Trayler is taking the helm and the rest of the Wordsworth team will "endeavor to ensure that Helen's legacy continues," she said, adding that her mother had "started at the bottom and rose to the top within the industry, beginning her journey when she was only 18 years of age. Helen co-founded Wordsworth Editions in 1987 alongside her late husband Michael Trayler; together they were the minds behind the original £1 [about $1.25) classic, which launched in 1992.... 

"She, true to character, continued working throughout her diagnosis and treatment and never once waivered with regards to her love and commitment to Wordsworth. It gave her hope and focus, and through the pages of her beloved editions, her story and memory will live on." 

Wordsworth Editions posted on Facebook: "Her story and memory will go on with the turn of every page." 


Image of the Day: The Embodied Path Launch

Open Book in Minneapolis hosted the launch of The Embodied Path (Broadleaf Books) by Ellie Roscher (left). The event featured conversation partner Sally Franzen and interviews with two people who shared their body stories--one via ASL interpreter and the other through dance. More than 100 people showed up on a cold Minnesota night, and Moon Palace Books reported more than 60 copies sold.


Indies Looking Out for Other Indies in Colorado 

Earlier this month, rock-wielding vandals broke the large plate glass window at Inkberry Books, Niwot, Colo., prompting the bookseller to launch a GoFundMe campaign to replace it. "We just learned that it will take 8-12 weeks to replace," Inkberry wrote. "Our window will be covered with plywood throughout the holiday season. Unfortunately, our business insurance will not cover the replacement cost. Please know that we ARE open and we hope you will consider supporting us by shopping local this holiday season. Any funds you can contribute to help with the replacement cost of the window are sincerely appreciated."

Another Niwot indie bookstore, the Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop, helped spread the word on social media, posting on its Facebook page: "Dear Wanders, Please consider donating to help our friends at our brother bookstore here in Niwot Colorado, Inkberry Books. Recently their window was smashed and they lost business due to the fact that they looked closed. They need to replace their window and their lost revenue. This was a truly terrible and senseless act, and it’s especially harmful to  a small retail business during the holiday season when most retail businesses are counting on revenue from holiday shopping. Inkberry is a staple in this town, a wonderful literary sanctuary for book lovers of all ilk. Please help if you can."

The good news for the holiday season is that Inkberry has exceeded its $1,500 fundraising goal. 

Personnel Changes at Abrams

Kim Lauber has been promoted to v-p, children's marketing, at Abrams from executive director, children's marketing.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Danya Ruttenberg on Good Morning America

Good Morning America: Danya Ruttenberg, author of On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World (Beacon Press, $25.95, 9780807010518).

CBS Mornings: Kate Andersen Brower, author of Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon (Harper, $32.50, 9780063067653).

This Weekend on Book TV: The National Book Awards

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 17
9:30 a.m. Benjamin Arrington, author of The Last Lincoln Republican: The Presidential Election of 1880 (University Press of Kansas, $45, ‎ 9780700629824). (Re-airs Saturday at 9:30 p.m.)

5:35 p.m. Andrew Maraniss, author of Inaugural Ballers: The True Story of the First U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team (Viking, $18.99, 9780593351246). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:35 a.m.)

Sunday, December 18
9 a.m. Kerri Greenidge, author of The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family (‎Liveright, $32.50, 9781324090847). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Nouriel Roubini, author of MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316284059). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Coverage of the 73rd annual National Book Awards in New York City last month.

5 p.m. Sarah Edmondson, author of Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult That Bound My Life (Chronicle Prism, $27.95, 9781452184265), and Amanda Montell, author of Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism (‎Harper Wave, $28.99, 9780062993151), at the Fall for the Book Festival in Fairfax, Va.

6:10 p.m. Sebastian Mallaby, author of The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future (Penguin Press, $30, 9780525559993), at the Miami Book Fair.

7 p.m. Rachel Aviv, author of Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374600846).

Books & Authors

Awards: Porchlight Business Book of the Year Shortlist

Porchlight Book Company, formerly 800-CEO-READ, has announced the shortlist for the company's 16th annual Business Book Awards. The Porchlight editorial team chose eight titles as the best in their categories and now finalists for the 2022 Porchlight Business Book of the Year. The overall winner, along with the Jack Covert Award for Contribution to the Business Book Industry recipient, will be named January 12.

Porchlight owner & CEO Rebecca Schwartz commented: "We have all experienced those moments in books that burrow in, that affect us deeply or hang around in the corners of our minds and periodically resurface like an old friend. As a teacher of literature for many years, I saw it happen over and over again: a student's Aha! across the table in September and then a reference to that insight appearing somewhere in an essay in May. Similarly, as a third-generation Schwartz bookseller, I celebrate that the books we ship not only make their way into your homes and offices, but into your heads and hearts as well. And I have confidence that when you pick up one--or more--of the eight titles on our shortlist, you will find not only information, but an experience that burrows in and changes the way you feel and think about business and life for years to come." 

This year's Torchlight Business Book of the Year finalists are:

Leadership & Strategy Book of the Year: Dare to Un-Lead: The Art of Relational Leadership in a Fragmented World by Celine Schillinger (Figure 1)
Management & Workplace Culture Book of the Year: Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work by Jess Rimington & Joanna Levitt Cea (Page Two)
Marketing & Communications/Sales & Influence Book of the Year: How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion and Persuasion by David McRaney (Portfolio)
Innovation & Creativity Book of the Year: Inspired: Understanding Creativity: A Journey through Art, Science and Soul by Matt Richtel (Mariner Books)
Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year: Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention--and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari (Crown)
Current Events & Public Affairs Book of the Year: Pandemic Inc.: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick by J. David McSwane (One Signal Publishers)
Narrative & Biography Book of the Year: Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith (Roc Lit 101)
Big Ideas & New Perspectives Book of the Year: The College Devaluation Crisis: Market Disruption, Diminishing ROI, and an Alternative Future of Learning by Jason Wingard (Stanford Business Books)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 20:

The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem by Matthew Hollis (Norton, $40, 9780393240252) chronicles the creation of T.S. Eliot's famous poem.

The Risen City: A Novel by Isabelle Steiger (St. Martin's Press, $35, 9781250088529) concludes the Paths of Lantistyne fantasy trilogy.

Heart String by Brooke Boynton-Hughes (Chronicle Books, $17.99, 9781452181653) is a picture book about the connection shared by all humankind.

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Fourteen, edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade, $19.99, 9781949102673).

Rigged Justice: How the College Admissions Scandal Ruined an Innocent Man's Life by John Vandemoer (HarperOne, $16.99, 9780063020115).

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:

They're Going to Love You: A Novel by Meg Howrey (Doubleday, $28, 9780385548779). "They're Going to Love You is simply wonderful. Perfect. The most trenchant and emotionally rich novel I've read this year." --Matt Nixon, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, Ga.

Shotgun Seamstress: An Anthology by Osa Atoe (Soft Skull, $40, 9781593767396). "Shotgun Seamstress scratches a deep itch for more diverse representation in music writing and publishing. In eight collected zines written by and about marginalized punk trailblazers, Osa Atoe proves that form follows function." --Audrey Parks, New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, Va.

Paperback: An Indies Introduce Title
Love in the Big City: A Novel by Sang Young Park, trans. by Anton Hur (Grove Press, $17, 9780802160379). "I've never read a book with a voice like Sang Young Park brings to this novel--young, queer, Korean, unafraid to tackle important issues while remaining funny, edgy, and approachable. I can't wait to read whatever he writes next." --Adam Possehl, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

For Ages 3 to 8
How to Eat a Book by Mrs. & Mr. MacLeod (Union Square Kids, $17.99, 9781454945444). "How to Eat a Book brings out the whimsy in all curious children. Filled with beautiful and creative illustrations made from art dioramas, the story explains to children just how my adult soul feels when lost in a book." --Dusty Baker, Austy's, Salem, Ind.

For Ages 8 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne (Clarion Books, $16.99, 9780358664703). "Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One deftly balances real social issues--sexuality, bullying, kids not being taken seriously by adults--with an enjoyable middle grade adventure about friendship and standing up for what's right." --Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, Mich.

For Teen Readers
Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales (Wednesday Books, $18.99, 9781250819161). "This brings all the drama of The Bachelor with a perfect dose of feminist rage. A story about the perfect revenge against a cheating narcissistic ex, finding love, and moving on--in Maya's case, with the very girl her ex cheated on her with." --Caitlin Bagdasarian, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Up with the Sun

Up with the Sun by Thomas Mallon (Knopf, $28 hardcover, 352p., 9781524748197, February 7, 2023)

Novelist Thomas Mallon has mastered the art of fictionalizing the lives of historical figures: Richard Nixon in Watergate, Ronald Reagan in Finale and so on. Dick Kallman--an American actor turned antiques dealer who was murdered in 1980--may not have been a prominent historical figure, but in Up with the Sun, Mallon leans on the not-quite star's biography to tell a story every bit as revealing about American ambition as the author's previous efforts centered on political giants.

The novel's even-numbered chapters unspool like a mystery. They're narrated by Matt Liannetto, a native New Yorker who makes his living as a pianist for musicals; he met Dick in 1951, when they were working on the same show. As it happens, Matt was at a dinner party at Dick's Manhattan duplex the night before Dick and his live-in boyfriend were fatally shot in what seems to have been a robbery gone wrong. Suspects are nabbed--sketchy men that Dick welcomed into his home as the evening was wrapping up--and Matt testifies at the trial, where he can't help but notice that his cheap-looking tiepin, which Dick foisted on him at the tail end of the party, catches the interest of the defendants.

In Old Hollywood parlance, Up with the Sun has a cast of thousands. There are delectable walk-ons as well as fully dramatized scenes featuring both famous faces (Natalie Wood, Robert Osborne) and stars of lower wattage. In a recurring role is actress Carole Cook, a real-life contemporary of Dick, who may be speaking for the reader when she wants to know why Matt seems to be obsessed with a man who is, as she put it, "not terribly likable as murder victims go."

Dick's unlikability is on hilariously preening display in Up with the Sun's odd-numbered chapters; an omniscient narrator remarks that with Dick, "ambition stuck out like a cowlick or a horn, fatal to an audience's complete belief in almost any character he was playing." These chapters trace Dick's life as a well-born striver whose many attempts to set Hollywood afire, most promisingly with the doomed sitcom Hank (1965-66), ended in crushing disappointment refashioned into rage. In one scene, Dick accidentally-on-purpose smashes costar Dyan Cannon's finger for upstaging him during a performance. The wonder of Mallon's characterization is that, for all of Dick's weaselly ways, he remains sympathetic--except when he crosses Lucille Ball. Then he's pushing it. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: Part mystery and part homage to showbiz also-rans, this sensational (in both senses) novel imagines the aftermath of real-life actor Dick Kallman's 1980 murder and the three decades that precede it.

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