Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 9, 2023

Workman Publishing: Cat Jokes vs. Dog Jokes/Dog Jokes vs. Cat Jokes: A Read-From-Both-Sides Comic Book by David Lewman and John McNamee

Poisoned Pen Press: Death Comes to Marlow (The Marlow Murder Club #2) by Robert Thorogood

Amulet Books: Aaron Slater and the Sneaky Snake (the Questioneers Book #6) by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Candlewick Press (MA): Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald

Orchard Books: When Things Aren't Going Right, Go Left by Marc Colagiovanni, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Chronicle Books: Is It Hot in Here (or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth)? by Zach Zimmerman

Berkley Books: How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix


Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River, Ore., Moves to Temporary Space During Remodel


Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, Ore., has relocated to a temporary space while its permanent home undergoes a remodel.

Owners Jenny and Muir Cohen moved into the temporary space at Columbia Center for the Arts in early January and plan to be back in the store's original location by the end of the month. The remodel has been extensive, with the Cohens reporting that they're replacing the bookstore's old shelves and fixtures and changing the store's layout, along with painting the walls and ceiling, putting in a new floor and making changes to the store's office and storage areas.

Prior to the remodel, the cash wrap was in the center of the store, which limited the team's ability to do events, as they had to be held in the front or back half of the store. The bookcase configuration made it "very awkward," and "it took a lot of time to set up for an event since none of the fixtures were on wheels."

When the original space reopens, the cash wrap will be located along the perimeter wall, and there will be full height bookshelves around the rest of the perimeter. All of the fixtures in the middle of the store will be on wheels, and staff and customers will be able to see throughout the entire store.

The new bookcases, the Cohens continued, will each have a slat wall in the back, so the team can "easily move sections around and display both books and nonbook items together." The old shelves were all nailed together, "so there was no way to make adjustments for different products or oversized books." Over time, the nails in those shelves also began to stick out a little, which caused lots of damage to book covers--"the new shelves should really help with that."

They are adding a kitchenette to the bookstore's office/storage area, along with a place for staff to eat lunch, and there will be a dedicated space for shipping online orders and returns. New lights are being added to the basement and beneath the store's awning as well.

The temporary space, they said, is normally an art gallery and features "wonderful lighting" and "great big windows." The size is fairly comparable to the bookstore, and they've been able to use the gallery's moveable walls to create a storage area separate from the shop floor. They're using tables and folding bookshelves for most of the displays, and it's been "really nice."

The Cohens have "wanted to do a remodel for a while now," noting that the interior of the bookstore has gone largely unchanged since the store moved into the building in 1982, aside from some necessary adjustments made early on in the pandemic. It has been part of their strategic plan since 2014 and the original goal was to do it in January 2022.

"Then 2020 happened, so we were focused on so many different things," they explained, and some of the necessary changes made during the pandemic, such as allowing for social distancing and implementing curbside pick-up, emphasized the issues with the old layout.

Then in 2021 the store's basement flooded, which proved to be a "great opportunity to purge our display graveyard." In 2022, they were finally able to start planning the process and "really get things moving."

Jenny Cohen is on the board of the American Booksellers Association and has been nominated to be vice president for the next two-year term, starting in May.--Alex Mutter

Forge: Raw Dog: The Naked Truth about Hot Dogs by Jamie Loftus

N.Y.'s Sleepy Hollow Bookshop to Host Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting, Café Launch

Sleepy Hollow Bookshop will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow, February 10, at 95 Beekman Ave. in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. The River Journal reported that the bookshop is also marking the official launch of its café service, featuring cocoa, tea, and coffee from local brewer Coffee Labs, along with baked goods from local vendors. 

"It's so much fun to see kids and adults reading together with a steaming cup of hot cocoa," owner Leah Bloom said. "Later in the day, we have teens doing homework over rainbow sprinkle cookies. It's exactly the scene we pictured when deciding to combine children's books with coffee and food."

Since its soft opening in November, Sleepy Hollow Bookshop "has integrated with the community in creative ways, including coordination with local Girl Scout troops and the Horsemen PTA," the River Journal noted. In partnership with Kids Club of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow in December, the shop hosted a drive that delivered new books to local children. It also has hosted free events, including story readings where older kids share books with younger ones. 

"Just today a parent asked if her child could read at our next event because a friend said how much fun it was to read to younger kids in the shop," Bloom said. "I love that 7-year-olds are talking to each other about a bookshop."

Zibby Books: Super Bloom by Megan Tady

Dotters Books Moving in Eau Claire, Wis.

The future home of Dotters Books

Dotters Books in Eau Claire, Wis., will move to a new space this spring, WQOW reported.

Store owner Margaret Leonard plans to relocate from 1602 Hogeboom Ave., which has been the store's home since it opened in 2018, to a space at 307 S. Barstow St. in downtown Eau Claire.

The bookstore will remain open on Hogeboom Ave. until next week, and Leonard is holding a storewide 10%-off sale until that time. The new space is still being renovated but Leonard expects to be able to reopen on Barstow St. in April. During the move customers will still be able to place orders online, but everything will be shipped and the store will not be taking special orders.

"This is a bittersweet move for me as I have loved my first home on the East Hill," Leonard wrote on the store's website. She encouraged customers to come "say goodbye to this lovely little space," and added that she's "very excited for new opportunities to connect with you downtown! It's going to be wonderful!"

International Update: Australian Bookseller Shares Covid-19 Precautions; BA's New Conference & Events Manager

Robbie Egan, CEO of BookPeople, the Australian indie booksellers association, asked David Merrylees of the Leaf Bookshop, Ashburton, Vic., "about Covid-19 and our political abandonment of fresh air as a way to control the virus. It turns out that David has done the research and put into action his findings."

"At the Leaf Bookshop we have always maintained as safe a Covid environment as we can," Merrylees wrote. "Covid is airborne and it isn't going away but we can improve the situation with simple measures that improve indoor air quality and reduce transmission. Every time you break a chain of transmission you have saved everyone downstream from a possible medical issue. Our customers are mostly very grateful for the efforts we are making to protect them, we reduce sick days, and as word has spread we have even started getting customers coming to us from further afield."

To protect staff and customers from airborne Covid, the Leaf Bookshop uses CO2 monitoring, ventilation, HEPA filters and masks. "All staff wear masks all the time in the shop, we also hand out free masks to customers (both surgical blues and n95s)," Merrylees noted. "Customers can choose to wear a mask or not, we will only enforce mask wearing if there is another mask mandate. Katy and I have worn n95s since Omicron and have not caught covid yet (hopefully I haven't just jinxed us...).

"I expect that the Australian government will eventually pivot to a 'Vaccines Plus' strategy for reducing transmission in 2023, but only after more death and disability. Until then we are on our own.... With a few simple measures to improve indoor air quality we can continue to be the inclusive community spaces we want to be. We are now in a situation where those who are elderly or immunocompromised have been left behind, quite often in permanent lockdown."


The Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland has appointed Temi Ayorinde as conference and events manager. In her new role, Ayorinde is responsible for organizing and coordinating face-to-face and digital events, including the annual BA Conference, as well as national conferences in Ireland and Scotland with the planned addition of a Welsh conference in 2023. In addition, she will be responsible for the BA's networking events and award ceremonies.
Alan Staton, director of strategy and communications at the BA, said that Ayorinde "brings a wealth of experience in events management to the BA's ever-expanding events programme."
Ayorinde commented: "I'm delighted to have joined the BA team and look forward to meeting as many members as possible at events throughout the year. I enjoy both the versatility and spontaneity of this line of work, whether I'm planning an event or coordinating it on the day."


Marie-Celie Agnant

Canadian writer Marie-Célie Agnant has been appointed for a two-year term as the 10th Parliamentary Poet Laureate

"From poetry and short stories to novels and children's literature, Marie-Célie Agnant has created a substantial body of work in which memory and recollection play a striking role," Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey and Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota noted in announcing the appointment. "As a result, Agnant's works are influenced by the poetry and violence of post-colonial societies and highlight the fundamental principle that she espouses: refusal to pose as a bystander or be complacent, a unique quality evidenced by the enthusiasm that her writings arouse."


New episodes have been released of Let's Talk Bookselling, RISE Bookselling's podcast series showcasing themed conversations with experts in the field. In episode 3, host Julie Belgrado discusses the book market in Finland with Laura Karlsson, director of the Finnish Booksellers Association (Kirjakauppaliitto), which represents about 90% of Finnish booksellers in bricks-and-mortar, webshops and streaming services.

The fourth episode, "Curating a catalogue of children's books from local authors," features Belgrado speaking with Trish Hennessy, owner of Irish bookseller Halfway up the Stairs in Greystones, which is "one of the few bookshops in the country dedicated exclusively to children's literature, and it plays an important role in promoting Irish literature, boasting a large selection of titles from Irish publishers and authors." --Robert Gray


Image of the Day: Lorna Landvik at Lit Lovers

On Wednesday, February 8, Cream and Amber in Hopkins, Minn., partnered with the Literature Lovers' Night Out program. The inaugural event featured bestselling Minnesota author Lorna Landvik and 150 of her fans for the launch of her 13th novel, Last Circle of Love. Cream and Amber will continue to host the program in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities, and Valley Bookseller will host the program in the Stillwater area.

Pictured: (standing, l.-r.) booksellers Nick and Rachel, Cream and Amber store co-owner Kacey Wyttenhove, Pamela Klinger-Horn, host of Literature Lovers' Night Out. Front row: Cream and Amber store co-owner Katie Terhune, author Lorna Landvik, bookseller Peyton.

Reading Group Choices' Most Popular January Books

The two most popular books in January at Reading Group Choices were Prize Women: A Novel by Caroline Lea (Harper Perennial) and The Mitford Affair: A Novel by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark).

Personnel Changes at Macmillan

At Macmillan:

Dylan Hamilton has been promoted to field sales representative.

Madison Dye has been promoted to inside sales representative.

Gwyneth Bechunas has joined the company as sales assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Pamela Anderson on Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore Show: Pamela Anderson, author of Love, Pamela (Dey Street, $30, 9780063226562).

Jennifer Hudson Show: Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, author of Good Night, Sister (Penguin Workshop, $18.99, 9780593385814).

Tamron Hall: Khadeen Ellis and Devale Ellis, authors of We Over Me: The Counterintuitive Approach to Getting Everything You Want from Your Relationship (Rodale, $27, 9780593577608).

This Weekend on Book TV: Cory Doctorow

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, February 11
4:45 p.m. John Leshy, author of Our Common Ground: A History of America's Public Lands (Yale University Press, $45, 9780300235784). (Re-airs Sunday at 4:45 a.m.)

6 p.m. Mary Elise Antoine, author of Enslaved, Indentured, Free: Five Black Women on the Upper Mississippi, 1800-1850 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, $24.95, 9780870209895). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 a.m.)

Sunday, February 12
8 a.m. Chris Whipple, author of The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House (Scribner, $30, 9781982106430). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Barry Latzer, author of The Myth of Overpunishment (‎Republic Book Publishers, $24.95, 9781645720324). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Maya Kornberg, author of Inside Congressional Committees: Function and Dysfunction in the Legislative Process (Columbia University Press, $30, ‎ 9780231201834). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. Cory Doctorow, co-author of Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We'll Win Them Back (Beacon Press, $26.95, 9780807007068). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 a.m.)

3:15 p.m. Rep. Ken Buck, author of Crushed: Big Tech's War on Free Speech (Humanix Books, $29.99, 9781630062477).

4:05 p.m. Torie Bosch, editor of "You Are Not Expected to Understand This": How 26 Lines of Code Changed the World (Princeton University Press, $19.95, 9780691208480).

5 p.m. Samantha Cole, author of How Sex Changed the Internet and the Internet Changed Sex: An Unexpected History (Workman Publishing, $30, 9781523513840).

6:05 p.m. Brenda Myers-Powell, author of Leaving Breezy Street: A Memoir (Holt, $26.99, 9780374151690).

7 p.m. Geoffrey Cohen, author of Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides (Norton, $30, 9781324006183).

Books & Authors

Awards: PROSE Finalists; CWA Diamond Dagger Winner

The Association of American Publishers has unveiled finalists for the 2023 Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Awards honoring scholarly works published in 2022. To see the 105 finalists in 40 subject categories, click here.

The subject category winners will compete for four awards--excellence in biological and life sciences, humanities, physical sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. The winners of those awards will compete for the top prize of the PROSE awards, the R.R. Hawkins Award.

Emily Bokelman, manager, member programs at the AAP, said that the entries this year "illustrate the wide breadth of excellence, diversity, and merit in scholarly works published today, in all areas of academic study."

Dr. Nigel Fletcher-Jones, chief judge of the PROSE Awards, added, "This year's entries continued the trend of raising the bar for finalists and category winners, leading to hard decisions for judges in choosing this year's Awards for Excellence nominees and R.R. Hawkins Award winner."


Walter Mosley is the recipient of the 2023 CWA Diamond Dagger, which is sponsored by the Crime Writers' Association and recognizes "authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre."

Noting that Mosley, author of more than 60 books that have been translated into 25 languages, is "one of the most versatile and admired writers in America," the CWA wrote that he "brought a cast of crime fiction characters into the American canon with his first novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, featuring private detective, Easy Rawlins."

Maxim Jakubowski, chair of the CWA, said: "I am truly delighted my friend Walter has been deemed worthy of the Diamond Dagger by my colleagues and members of the CWA. His voice has dominated the fiction scene for decades and I can think of no more deserving and ground-breaking an author to be given this ultimate accolade, for the so many things he has contributed to our genre but also to modern society."

Mosley commented: "At the beginning of my writing career I was fortunate enough to be awarded the CWA's New Blood Dagger, otherwise called the John Creasey Award. That was the highest point of my experience as a first book author. Since then, I have picked up other honors along the way but the only award that comes near the Diamond Dagger is the MWA's Grand Master nod. These two together make the apex of a career that I never expected."

Celia Killen, Mosley's editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, called Mosley "a master storyteller and a true icon of crime writing. His career has been characterized not only by creative excellence, but by significant contribution to the publishing landscape, notably establishing the Publishing Certificate Program to encourage diversity in all levels of the industry.... We are incredibly proud to publish Walter and thrilled that his brilliant work is being recognised with this year's CWA Diamond Dagger."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, February 14:

The Cliff's Edge: A Novel by Charles Todd (Morrow, $30, 9780063039940) is the 13th mystery with former World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford.

The Sun Walks Down: A Novel by Fiona McFarlane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374606237) takes place in the Australian outback in 1883, where a young boy goes missing.

Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham (Scribner, $27.99, 9781982166489) is the third thriller with psychologist Cyrus Haven.

The Shamshine Blind: A Novel by Paz Pardo (Atria, $28, 9781982185329) is a sci-fi detective story in which emotions have been weaponized.

Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable by Joanna Schwartz (Viking, $30, 9780593299364) explores how police in the U.S. avoid accountability for misconduct.

Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World by Malcolm Harris (Little, Brown, $36, 9780316592031) gives a global history of Silicon Valley.

Kitchen Passport: Feed Your Wanderlust with 85 Recipes from a Traveling Foodie by Arseny Knaifel (Alpha, $32, 9780744066098) is by a YouTube culinary creator.

On Air with Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (Katherine Tegen, $17.99, 9780063212312) is a standalone sequel to From the Desk of Zoe Washington.

Always the Almost by Edward Underhill (Wednesday Books, $18.99, 9781250835208) is a debut YA "rom-dram" featuring a trans pianist determined to win regionals.

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich (Atria, $17.99, 9781982154929).

The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander, illus. by Thai Neave (Clarion, $8.99, 9780063288775).

100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do by Joe Yogerst (National Geographic, $29.99, 9781426222566).

Isha, Unscripted by Sajni Patel (Berkley, $17, 9780593547830).

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:

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself: A Novel by Marisa Crane (Catapult, $27, 9781646221295). "This debut is wholly imaginative and magnificent, both a meditation on queer love and the government's relationship with our bodies and children. Crane expertly creates a dystopian world grounded in real, fully-formed characters." --Adam Vitcavage, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.

City Under One Roof: A Novel by Iris Yamashita (Berkley, $27, 9780593336670). "I couldn't help feeling claustrophobic with the closed in atmosphere of the setting and being cut off from the outside world. It's sinister as almost everyone is hiding from something, but you don't know what, or who, to trust. Loved it!" --Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books, Arlington, Va.

How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel by Sequoia Nagamatsu (Morrow, $18.99, 9780063072657). "This collection of connected stories describes the world after a devastating plague. The book is beautiful--striking, unsettling, and darkly gorgeous. It defies categorization and creates its own genre. A shimmering gem of a book." --Debra Ginsberg, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, Calif.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Animal Song by Jonty Howley (Random House Studio, $18.99, 9780593381465). "Simple, exaggerated illustrations and onomatopoeia make The Animal Song an engaging, adorable read, and the subject is perfect for a bedtime book with a little one." --Mallory Sutton, Bards Alley, Vienna, Va.

For Ages 10 to 14
World Made of Glass by Ami Polonsky (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780316462044). "It's 1987, and Iris' dad is dying from AIDS. Her grief is devastating enough, but it's even harder when the world is ignorant about AIDS. This poignant historical novel moved me to tears! This is a book that kids and adults will appreciate." --Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, Wash.

For Teen Readers
6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) by Tess Sharpe (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780316302791). "This book is a gift not only to girls in love, but to all teens forced to carry adult burdens too soon. An incandescently beautiful novel of young love, loss, and the family we forge when blood ties alone aren't enough to see us through." --Jaye Lawrence, Content Bookstore, Northfield, Minn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Bitter Medicine

Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai (Tachyon Publications, $18.95 paperback, 272p., 9781616963842, March 14, 2023)

Mia Tsai's debut contemporary fantasy, Bitter Medicine, has it all: cinematic xianxia-inspired action scenes, thoroughly developed characters, romance and a diverse, fascinating magical world. When Chinese magical calligrapher Elle's younger brother attempted to murder his older siblings, Elle and her older brother faked their deaths and went into hiding. Twenty-six years later, she's selling simple glyphs for a fairy temp agency and never using the jade laes that connects her to her ancestors (a laes holds a fae's magical essence). French half-elf security agent Luc has been coming to Elle for years, both of them wishing for more than their brief exchanges but holding back because they don't want to endanger one another. Just as their personal relationship starts to deepen, Luc's latest assignment puts them both directly in the path of Elle's murderous brother.

Bitter Medicine is steeped in yearning. Luc has spent decades suppressing his personal feelings and desires, building a wall between himself and the world in order to tolerate the awful things he is magically compelled to do as his boss's Fixer. Elle has disconnected from her ancestors, including the Chinese god of medicine, in order to protect her brother and they've moved frequently, so she has no social life.

Elle and Luc have both done things they believe unforgivable, but they're good people and easy to root for. In creating two mature, deeply empathetic characters, Tsai also avoids one of the most common plot devices: the big misunderstanding. It's a testament to Tsai's skill that even with characters who communicate with each other, she's able to keep the tension going until the very end.

Tsai sets the tone for Bitter Medicine by beginning in medias res and building the setting and characters as she goes. The narrative is immersive and fast-paced, told in third-person present and two points of view. Tsai takes a high-stakes adventure plot and layers it with humor, tension and the everyday moments that build the foundation of a compelling romantic relationship. Her well-developed network of coworkers and family members creates ample opportunity for sequels, and readers will be clamoring for more of Mia Tsai's fresh, captivating voice.

Bitter Medicine is contemporary fantasy at its best: sharp, complex but contained and driven by two lovable characters working hard for their Happily Ever After. --Suzanne Krohn, librarian and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: This contemporary fantasy has it all: cinematic xianxia-inspired action scenes, thoroughly developed characters, romance and a diverse, fascinating magical world.

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