Shelf Awareness for Thursday, January 5, 2023

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

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

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger


New Owner for William Stout Architectural Books in San Francisco

William Stout Architectural Books in San Francisco, Calif., has been acquired by the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity, "which has pledged to keep what longtime customers love about the store intact," Datebook reported. The Eames Institute in Petaluma purchased the business in October in a deal that included specialty imprint William Stout Publishers and the store's inventory of more than 70,000 titles.

The new nonprofit, named for Mid-Century Modern industrial designers Charles and Ray Eames, has retained the store's four employees. Plans call for the bookstore to remain in the 1850s-era building that "hasn't changed much since William Stout created the initial design of the space in the 1980s. Stout has owned his eponymous bookstore, specializing in architecture, art, urban planning and several fields of design, for 48 years and imbued the space with his own aesthetic," Datebook noted. 

Eames was founded in spring 2022 by Llisa Demetrios, the Eameses' granddaughter, with a mission to promote interest in architecture, design and the Eames legacy. The institute, headquartered at a ranch owned by Demetrios, is funded by Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, a longtime customer of William Stout who has called the store "a true testament to the importance of design." 

"For us, it was a natural fit in terms of this idea of preserving something that was worth preserving so that future generations could take away from it," said Sam Grawe, chief brand and marketing officer at the Eames Institute. "Preserving something like a retail store, you're not preserving it in the sense of a museum. You're preserving it more as a service."

Stout, who has transitioned into a consulting role for the store that will continue to bear his name, said, "They've done a nice job keeping the look of the bookstore the same and trying to keep the integrity of the bookstore. And when you think of one of the great industrial designers of the world that was in California, you think of Eames."

A key in the transition has been Erik Heywood, the Eames Institute's director of retail and brand development, who added: "I've shopped and known the store since I moved here 14 years ago. It's nice to have a sense of what it is, and how to carry that forward in the future."

Eventually, the Eames Institute hopes to expand the store's programming to include discussions and author presentations, but Heywood said more immediate plans include overhauling the store's website to make its extensive collection of rare and out-of-print books more easily searchable, Datebook wrote.

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White

And Books Too, Lafayette, La., to Close

And Books Too, a bookstore, comic shop and game store that has operated in Lafayette, La., for nearly 40 years, will close once it clears out the rest of its merchandise, the Acadiana Advocate reported.

Store owner Marty Medlin has decided to retire and announced a store-wide retirement sale shortly before Christmas.

"I want to get out while I can still go do," Medlin told the Advocate. "It's been a fun ride. A lot of kids have come here who have grown up and become good citizens of the city. We've provided a safe place for kids, but it's time for the younger people to step in and run it."

Medlin and his wife opened the bookstore in May 1986, after Medlin lost his job as an accountant in the oil and gas industry. Originally located in the Winnwood Shopping Center, the store eventually moved to a space in the Centerpiece Shopping Center, which Medlin and his wife have owned since 2006. They added comic books and games to the store's inventory over the years.

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Tim Huggins Launches 'CFO on the Go' Service for Booksellers

Tim Huggins

Tim Huggins, founder and former owner of Newtonville Books, Newton, Mass., and former CFO of Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., has launched a service for booksellers called "CFO on the Go," which aims to boost booksellers' financial and strategic awareness and offer the services that a CFO provides companies.

"As the dust settles on the holiday seasons and booksellers begin looking back at the past year's performance and ahead to the new year's challenges and goals, thoughtful financial analysis becomes crucial," Huggins said. "We all know that to survive today, small businesses require that key mix of passion, focus, impact, and sustainability. Most indie bookstore owners are expert at fostering some of these fundamentals. But, like entrepreneurs across any industry, few can seamlessly integrate them all.

"Whether as a part-time CFO or just an advisor for an important short-term project, I'm hoping my time and services can be tailored to clients' individual goals and budgets, freeing them up to focus their passions on the aspects of bookselling they love best," he continued. "It's my life goal to work with writers and independent bookstores, to help them better reach their missions, their visions."

Huggins emphasized that he understands many booksellers find finance and strategic planning "less compelling" than other parts of bookselling. "What I love doing, and where my skills align best, is making creative organizations--particularly indie bookstores--better through improved financial awareness and thoughtful strategic planning."

Huggins has an MBA and 25 years of experience in bookselling and small business management. He's also been a creator of event programs like Books & Brews, which featured an author reading and signing at the bookstore, followed by an after party for all at a local restaurant and bar with the first round on the bookstore, and Earfull, a performance series featuring writers and musicians who read from their works and play music at bars, restaurants and clubs.

Huggins has worked with several booksellers who offer rave reviews.

Roxanne Coady, founder and owner of RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., praised Huggins's help with the relaunch of Just the Right Book, RJ Julia's personalized book subscription service. "Having been founded almost 15 years ago, [JTRB] needed focused attention to address technical upgrades and overall project management. Tim more than stepped to the plate and has, for the last two years, set JTRB on a sturdier path to success. His guidance and hands-on attention have greatly benefited JTRB--our operations are clearly defined, our financial structures and systems are sound, and our future is less murky with Tim's levelheaded guidance."

Nicola Orichuia, founder and owner of I AM Books, Boston, Mass., said that Huggins was "instrumental in bringing our vision for a new store to life. Thanks to Tim, we were able to adjust our plans, which in turn allowed us to obtain capital for the enterprise, put I AM Books on a clear path for hitting sales goals, and adhere to expense budgets."

And Andy Hunter, founder and CEO of, commented: "When took off, we had the daunting task of having to register and file sales tax in 40 different states. We brought in Tim Huggins to help us and thanks to his savvy and hard work, we got it done on time and in an organized fashion. Tim is detail oriented, financially astute and a pleasure to work with."

For more information, click here. To contact Huggins via e-mail, click here.

B&N Stores in Tampa, Fla., Framingham, Mass., Springfield, N.J., on the Move

The Barnes & Noble on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, Fla., is moving to a smaller location, in the Town Square Shopping Center in Westshore, the Tampa Bay Business Journal (via That's So Tampa) reported. The new location, formerly occupied by a Pier1, has about 10,000 square feet of space and should open soon.

The B&N in Shoppers World in Framingham, Mass., is closing on January 22 and will reopen in the spring at Sherwood Plaza, according to Framingham Source.

And the B&N in Springfield, N.J., is moving to the Union Plaza Center at 2401 Route 22 West from its current location at 240 Route 22 West, Patch reported. The store's lease ends at the end of February. It has been at the site for 30 years.

Amy Fitzgerald, v-p of stores at B&N, commented: "We have enjoyed an incredible 30 years of bookselling here in Springfield and are thrilled that we can continue this long-standing tradition uninterrupted. Bookselling is enjoying an amazing renaissance and our local teams of booksellers are ever more empowered to curate their own bookstores in a way that best reflects and resonates with the community they reside in. Our Springfield booksellers are eager to show just how beautiful they can make their brand-new bookstore."

Obituary Note: Edith Pearlman

Edith Pearlman, whose acclaimed 2011 collection of short stories, Binocular Vision, "lifted her out of relative publishing obscurity to make her an instant if belated literary star at the age of 74," died January 1, the New York Times reported. She was 86. Pearlman had "refined her craft over four decades, publishing more than 200 short stories--and winning prizes and positive reviews--but mostly in the hothouse world of small literary magazines and presses that proudly eschew market-driven mainstream publishing."

"Why in the world had I never heard of Edith Pearlman?" novelist Roxana Robinson asked in her rave review of Binocular Vision on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, adding: "Pearlman's prose is smooth and poetic, and her world seems safe and engaging. So it's arresting when, suddenly, almost imperceptibly, she slips emotion into the narrative, coloring it unexpectedly with deep or delicate hues."

Ben George, an editor with Tin House magazine, was starting a new press, Lookout Books, in 2011 with Emily Louise Smith, an independent publisher at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Impressed with Pearlman's earlier books of short stories--Vaquita (1996), Love Among the Greats (2002) and How to Fall (2005)--he asked her if he could publish a collection of her selected and new stories to inaugurate Lookout Books. Pearlman said that he was her ideal reader and worked closely with him to produce the book, the Times noted.

In her introduction to Binocular Vision, Ann Patchett, who had selected one of Pearlman's pieces for the 2006 Best American Short Stories anthology, compared the writer with short story masters John Updike, Anton Chekhov and Alice Munro. 

George told the Times he considered the way the collection became a literary event to be almost magical. Pearlman was nominated in 2011 for a National Book Award, with other prizes following, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. Publishing Pearlman brought George considerable attention as well, the Times noted. He went on to become a senior editor at Little, Brown. Without her, he said, "I would never have come to New York."

Pearlman wrote another collection, Honeydew, also edited by George. It was published in 2014, when she was 78, by Little, Brown, her first book with a major publisher, and it earned her a second National Book Award nomination. It would also be her final book.

"Edith has always known that death is the essential human story," Patchett told the New York Times in a profile of Pearlman in 2015. "It's not about falling in love. It's not about travel and expectation. The difference between her and the rest of us is that she has always had this electricity, this capacity to draw beauty from loss."


Happy 25th Birthday, Continental Sales!

Congratulations to Continental Sales, the independent, national sales rep group that just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Founded by Terry Scott Wybel in 1997, Continental has headquarters in Chicago and is led by Ron Prazuch, president and managing director, and includes regional sales managers Richard McNeace, Meg Moster, Bill Palizzolo and Geoff Rizzo along with sales reps and account managers.

Bookstore Engagement Photo Shoot: RJ Julia Booksellers

(photo: TMT Weddings)

"We ended 2022 with a proposal, and started 2023 with an engagement photo shoot!" RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., posted on Facebook. "Caroline and Michael had one of their first dates here, so they wanted to come back and document the magic. Ah! We love love. Photos by tmt.weddings on instagram."

Personnel Changes at Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel+Ink

Kayla Phillips has joined Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel+Ink as marketing/publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

On Stage: Dog Man: The Musical

TheaterWorksUSA will bring Dog Man: The Musical, based on Dav Pilkey's bestselling book series, back to New York City beginning March 4 at New World Stages, where the kid-friendly production will continue through April 30, Playbill reported. Opening night Off-Broadway is set for March 13.

Jen Wineman will direct and choreograph the limited engagement, with casting to be announced. The musical has an original book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila (currently playing Osgood in Broadway's Some Like It Hot) and music by Brad Alexander (See Rock City & Other Destinations) with orchestrations by Lloyd Kikoler. Dog Man: The Musical debuted as part of TWUSA's Family Summer Theater program in 2019.

This Weekend on Book TV: Adam Hochschild

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, January 7
3:15 p.m. Alexandra Lange, author of Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall (Bloomsbury, $28, 9781635576023). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:15 a.m.)

Sunday, January 8
8 a.m. An author discussion on World War II hosted by the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9:15 a.m. Michael Fanone, author of Hold the Line: The Insurrection and One Cop's Battle for America's Soul (‎Atria, $28, 9781668007198). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:15 p.m.)

10 a.m. Steven Sund, author of Courage under Fire: Under Siege and Outnumbered 58 to 1 on January 6 (Blackstone, $27.99, 9798200983636). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Russ Feingold and Peter Prindiville, authors of The Constitution in Jeopardy: An Unprecedented Effort to Rewrite Our Fundamental Law and What We Can Do About It (‎PublicAffairs, $29, 9781541701526). (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m.)

2:45 p.m. Alex Pollock and Howard Adler, authors of Surprised Again!--The COVID Crisis and the New Market Bubble (Paul Dry Books, $21.95, 9781589881655).

4:25 p.m. Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake, authors of A Question of Respect: Bringing Us Together in a Deeply Divided Nation (Morgan James Publishing, $18.95, 9781636980409).

5:05 p.m. Adam Hochschild, author of American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy's Forgotten Crisis (Mariner, $29.99, 9780358455462).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, January 10:

The Diaries of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka, trans. by Ross Benjamin (Schocken, $44.99, 9780805243550) is a new translation of diaries the author kept between 1909 and 1923.

The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch (Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250777263) explores a plan to kill Allied leaders in 1943 in Tehran.

Hell Bent: A Novel by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250313102) is the second paranormal fantasy with Alex Stern after Ninth House.

Just the Nicest Couple: A Novel by Mary Kubica (Park Row, $28.99, 9780778333111) is a thriller about a missing man and a complicit couple.

The Immunity Solution: Seven Weeks to Living Healthier and Longer by Leo Nissola (Countryman Press, $28.95, 9781682687635) gives steps to improving the immune system.

For Blood and Money: Billionaires, Biotech, and the Quest for a Blockbuster Drug by Nathan Vardi (Norton, $30, 9780393540956) chronicles the creation of a cancer drug.

The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781982166694) finds relationships to be the greatest source of human happiness.

For Lamb by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House, $18.99, 9780823450152), about an interracial friendship set in the Jim Crow South, is the author's first book for young adults.

Basketball Dreams by Chris Paul, illus. by Courtney Lovett (Roaring Brook, $18.99, 9781250810038) is a picture book about the lessons the NBA All-Star author learned from his grandfather.

Small World: A Novel by Jonathan Evison (Dutton, $18, 9780593184134).

Theseus, His New Life: A Novel by Camille de Toledo and Willard Wood (Other Press, $17.99, 9781635422108).

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:

Heart of the Sun Warrior: A Novel by Sue Lynn Tan (Harper Voyager, $27.99, 9780063031364). "This was such a satisfying sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess. The pacing is fantastic and the story is unpredictably magical and exciting. I really loved the world building and appreciated the romance." --Hillary Smith, Black Walnut Books, Hudson Falls, N.Y.

Grocery Shopping with My Mother: Poems by Kevin Powell (Soft Skull, $24, 9781593767433). "Powell's return to poetry shines a light on the small details of everyday life--fear, tenderness, and what really matters in this vulnerable world. He does not forget the figures that shaped his world and influenced this album of hope." --Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Things We Found When the Water Went Down: A Novel by Tegan Nia Swanson (Catapult, $22.95, 9781646221691). "Remarkable. This novel draws a parallel between missing/murdered Indigenous women and violence against the environment--all within a body-on-page-one murder mystery. It's heavy lifting, but makes a lasting impression." --Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, Mendocino, Calif.

For Ages 5 to 8
Agatha May and the Anglerfish by Nora Morrison and Jessie Ann Foley, illus. by Mika Song (Dial, $18.99, 9780593324752). "My heart was stolen by Agatha May and her love for the anglerfish. This picture book is a love letter to kids who struggle with fitting in, with hearts full of unique and quirky passions." --Tori-Lynn Bell, House of Books, Kent, Conn.

For Ages 8 to 12
Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston by Esme Symes-Smith (Labyrinth Road, $17.99, 9780593485774). "Sir Callie slashes gender norms with the cold bite of a steel blade. Nonbinary Callie dreams of being a knight, but the rigid rules of the kingdom are hard to escape. A captivating page-turner that will have you on the edge of your seat!" --Jess Cooper, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio

For Teen Readers
Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green (Clarion Books, $18.99, 9780358617259). "Nate and Jack discover at prom that their boyfriends are cheating on them... with each other. So, they team up and make the most fabulous, jealousy-inducing social media account of the summer. It turns out to be tougher than they thought." --Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Marietta, Ga.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe

The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe by Helene Stapinski, Bonnie Siegler (Simon & Schuster, $28.99 hardcover, 384p., 9781982171667, February 14, 2023)

Throughout Act One of The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe, which follows a European Jewish family trying to outrun the Nazis, readers may find themselves wondering: "Yes, but what does this have to do with Marilyn Monroe?" Coauthors Helene Stapinski and Bonnie Siegler bring it all home in Act Two of this inventively structured, ceaselessly surprising and ultimately spirits-boosting look at the long-game rewards of feats of daring and kindness.

By 1938, Jules Schulback, a Berlin furrier with a wife and a young daughter, knew it was time to leave Nazi Germany. To immigrate to the U.S., whose movies he loved, Jules would need a well-to-do American sponsor. As it happened, Jules had a cousin, Faye Sternberg, who lived in the Bronx. While Faye lacked the financial clout to sponsor Jules, she thought she knew someone who could.

Harry Donenfeld was Faye's friend and former Bronx neighbor, a printer who had made it big as the mob-connected distributor of comic books and now lived in glitzy Manhattan. At around this time, Harry was taking a chance on a character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, a couple of young Jewish artists from Cleveland. Superman would be America's first superhero: a mighty alien from planet Krypton who, as a baby abandoned on planet Earth, was adopted by human parents and named Clark Kent. Jerry got the "Clark" from Hollywood great Clark Gable, who was in a movie with....

The American Way presents a daisy chain of stories: the lives of Superman's creators would be changed by an unwitting Clark Gable, who also, as Stapinski and Siegler reveal, unwittingly changed Jules's life, and so on. The book is both an inside glimpse at mid-century America's entertainment scene and a family history, at its center a man who believed that stories--from the community, from Hollywood, from comic books--linked the entire world. "It wasn't just a matter of coincidence," the coauthors imagine that Jules might have said. "We were all part of a vast network of interconnected narratives, so shouldn't we try and help each other to make the narrative a happy one?" Stapinski (Murder in Matera) and Siegler (Signs of Resistance), who is Jules Schulback's granddaughter and supplied the family photos and other mementos reproduced in this book, write with a zippiness and awe befitting tales of superheroism by the caped and capeless alike. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: This daisy chain of mid-century-set stories, which revolve around a family of Jewish immigrants to the U.S., is inventively structured, ceaselessly surprising and ultimately uplifting.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks of 2022

The top book club picks for 2022 based on 82,000 book clubs reporting to

1. The Lincoln Highway: A Novel by Amor Towles (Viking)
2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
3. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley)
4. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster)
5. Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel by Bonnie Garmus (Doubleday)
6. The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press)
7. Verity by Colleen Hoover (Grand Central)
8. The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose (Ballantine Books)
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
10. Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Bachman (Washington Square Press)

[Many thanks to!]

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