Also published on this date: Monday, February 13, 2023: Maximum Shelf: All the Sinners Bleed

Shelf Awareness for Monday, February 13, 2023

Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Becoming Baba Yaga: Trickster, Feminist, and Witch of the Woods by Kris Spisak, Foreword by Gennarose Nethercott

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Severn House: A Messy Murder (Main) (The Decluttering Mysteries #4) by Simon Brett

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron

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

Chronicle Books: Taste in Music: Eating on Tour with Indie Musicians by Luke Pyenson and Alex Beeker


AAP Sales: Down 6.4% in 2022; Down 10% in December

Total net book sales in 2022 in the U.S. dropped 6.4%, to $12.65 billion, compared to 2021, representing sales of 1,372 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. (Figures do not include pre-K-12, because of delays in data collection.)

In December, total net book sales were down 10%, to $995.9 million while sales of adult books fell 6.5%, to $492.3 million, and sales of children's/YA fell 6.3%, to $206.4 million.

Sales by category in 2022 compared to 2021:

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Indigo 3rd Quarter: Sales Slip 1.8%; Net Earnings Fall 24.1%; Cyberattack

In the third quarter ended December 31, 2022, net revenue at Indigo Books & Music fell 1.8%, to C$422.7 million (about US$315.7 million), and net earnings fell 24.1%, to C$34.2 million (US$25.5 million). Indigo online sales fell compared to the same quarter in 2021, when online sales generally were high because of the pandemic, but in comparison to the same quarter before the pandemic, online sales grew 63%.

The company said that third quarter sales "reflected the pressures of the current macro-economic environment" and noted that sales on Black Friday and afterwards were up and the company had "record-breaking" sales in stores in the week after Christmas. Indigo added that sales grew in the general merchandise business, "demonstrating the ongoing success of an evolving product assortment. Double-digit growth was achieved in the baby, toys and wellness categories. Despite revenue declining year-over-year, the print business grew in sales and market share relative to the comparable pre-pandemic period."

CEO Peter Ruis commented: "Despite a recessionary external environment, we generated a creditable result as consumers cut back in response to the inflationary pressures. We continue to take strategic steps to increase productivity and generate sustainable and profitable growth. Our strength in the month of December demonstrates the power of our brand and Indigo's position as a key gifting destination for Canadians."

In a conference call on Friday (via the Canadian Press), Ruis added, "Customers were increasingly focused on price and the tightening of discretionary spending was yielding a more value-oriented shopper." Pressures on the company include "supply chain disruptions, significant increases in fuel prices and higher costs of inventory.”

Indigo suffered a major cyberattack last Wednesday, February 8, and is only slowly recovering. Its website is still down, and for several days stores couldn't process electronic payments or returns or accept gift cards. The stores are now able to handle all transactions except for returns. The company is using third-party help in resolving the situation and says its main concerns are to protect customer data, limit the operational and financial impacts of the hacking, and resume regular operations. Observers speculate that the incident is a ransomware attack.

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

Ill.'s Bookends & Beginnings Opening in New Space This Week

Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, Ill., is having a soft opening in its new location this Wednesday, February 15, 5-8 p.m., for the 1,300 GoFundMe donors whose contributions have helped the bookstore to move into new space after having to leave its original location at the end of January because of a major rent hike. The grand opening celebration will be held this coming Saturday, February 18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The store promises "all kinds of surprises and delights in our new space and we can't wait to show them off to you!"

In a note to customers, owner Nina Barrett said that the work inside the new space is nearing completion, "and this transition has turned out to be not just a relocation, but a transformation for the store. I think you'll be surprised not only by how unlike the alley store it is, but also by how completely magical it is in its own way."

Mural at the new Bookends & Beginnings

She also praised the new mural that is "one of the focal points of the new store. This is a remarkable piece of original art by two Evanston natives, Sam Booker and George Booker, both proud graduates of King Arts and Evanston Township High School, now both professional artists. I love its bold color and extraordinary exuberance, as if books are exploding out of our new lower level. You have to go up close to see all the little tricks, puzzles, codes, and constellations embedded in its nooks and crannies. It so beautifully exemplifies the grand yet playful spirit of our new space!"

Barrett noted, too, that while the GoFundMe campaign has raised almost $110,000, its goal remains $250,000 so "small and large donations are all welcome!"

East Louisville B&N Relocating

The Barnes & Noble store in the Paddock Shops in Louisville, Ky., will move this week to a different space in the same shopping center, Louisville Business First reported.

The shop will close at 4100 Summit Plaza Drive tomorrow, February 14, and reopen at 4330 Summit Plaza Drive the next day. At roughly 9,500 square feet, the new space is much smaller than the store's previous home, which spanned about 25,000 square feet. B&N has been operating in the Paddock Shops for 22 years. 

Store manager Martin Gaddis said, "We are so glad to be remaining in the area and particularly right here at home in Paddock Shops. The whole team is excited to show off the fresh new store design, and how dramatic a new bookstore we are to create within it. We cannot wait to build new memories with this wonderful community."

The grand reopening ceremony takes place Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. and features a ribbon cutting and signing by Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Half-Blown Rose (Grand Central).

Obituary Note: Jean Anderson

Jean Anderson, the "indefatigable and exacting Southern-born food writer and author of nearly 20 cookbooks, including The Doubleday Cookbook--a kitchen bible that rivaled The Joy of Cooking--and The Food of Portugal, which introduced American cooks to the lore, culture and food ways of her favorite country," died last month, the New York Times reported. She was 93. Anderson had studied food science at Cornell, and "made it her mission to lead baffled home cooks firmly by the hand through the basics of baking, as well the esoterica of the world's cuisines. Her recipes were considered foolproof."

"She loved being that voice in your ear and guiding you through," said Kim Sunée, a food editor and memoirist. "She was relentless in her testing, and lamented the chefs and celebrity food writers who weren't. She found it both baffling and disheartening."

Barbara Fairchild, the former editor in chief of Bon Appétit, to which Anderson contributed for decades, called her "a meticulous chronicler of the history of American cooking in the latter half of the 20th century."

Jacques Pépin said he learned the origins of American staples like brownies, lobster rolls and tuna casserole from Anderson's The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century (1997).

Chef, cookbook author and TV cooking show personality Sara Moulton turned to Anderson whenever she was stumped by a viewer's question. When Moulton was the host of Cooking Live, a call-in show that ran for six years on the Food Network, she said Anderson was her "red phone," the expert she had on speed dial.

Anderson also took her own lush photographs for the hundreds of travel and food articles she contributed to magazines like Bon Appétit, Gourmet and Food & Wine.

The Doubleday Cookbook (1975) was 10 years in the making. In 1965, Anderson "quit her job at Ladies' Home Journal to tackle the project (James Beard and Craig Claiborne had already turned it down), roping in a colleague, Elaine Hanna," the Times wrote. The 1,300-page work, with more than 4,000 recipes, won many awards and sold more than a million copies.

"It was a breath of fresh air in the general cookbook category," said Matt Sartwell, managing partner at Kitchen Arts & Letters cookbook store in Manhattan. "Jean was a serious, passionate and very deliberate cook, and those qualities made the book reliable and they also made it serious."

Anderson left New York in 2007, returned to Chapel Hill, N.C., and published A Love Affair with Southern Cooking. Her last book, From Kiln to Kitchen: Favorite Recipes From Beloved North Carolina Potters, was published in 2019, when she was 90.


Image of the Day: Hugs at Books on the Square

Author Hayley Rocco and illustrator John Rocco led storytime, signed copies of their picture book, How to Send a Hug (Little, Brown), and helped kids make their own "hugs" at Books on the Square in Providence, R.I., yesterday.

Colleen Lindsay Leaves Insight Editions

Colleen Lindsay has left her position as senior marketing and publicity strategist at Insight Editions and can be reached via e-mail.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: James B. Stewart, Rachel Abrams on NPR's Marketplace

Today Show: Chrissy Metz and Bradley Collins, authors of When I Talk to God, I Talk About You (Flamingo Books, $18.99, 9780593525241). They will also appear tomorrow on the Kelly Clarkson Show.

Rachael Ray: Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, author of Good Night, Sister (Penguin Workshop, $18.99, 9780593385814).

Drew Barrymore Show: Jamie Oliver, author of One: Simple One-Pan Wonders (Flatiron, $35, 9781250871008).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Nicholas Sparks, author of Dreamland: A Novel (Random House, $28.99, 9780593449554).

NPR's Marketplace: James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams, authors of Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy (Penguin Press, $32, 9781984879424).

Good Morning America: Robert Irvine, author of Overcoming Impossible: Learn to Lead, Build a Team, and Catapult Your Business to Success (HarperCollins, $28.99, 9781400238330).

Movies: Caste

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and best actor in a Musical Tony winner Myles Frost (MJ the Musical) have joined the cast of Ava DuVernay's film Caste, inspired by Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, Deadline reported. They join Aunjanue Ellis--who is in the lead role--along with Niecy Nash, Vera Farmiga, Nick Offerman, Connie Nielsen, Jon Bernthal and Jasmine Cephas-Jones.

The project is written and directed by DuVernay, who is also producing alongside Paul Garnes (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) of Array Filmworks. Caste has been filming for several weeks in Savannah, Ga., and will move on to shoot in Germany and India later this year.

Books & Authors

Awards: CALIBA Golden Poppy Winners

The California Independent Booksellers Alliance announced the winners of the 2022 Golden Poppy Book Awards at a virtual awards ceremony last week. The winners are:

Fiction: Marianne Wiggins for Properties of Thirst (Simon & Schuster)
Non-Fiction: Katherine Blunt for California Burning: The Fall of Pacific Gas and Electric--And What It Means for America's Power Grid (Portfolio)
Mystery: Kirstin Chen for Counterfeit (Morrow)
Poetry: Paul Tran for All the Flowers Kneeling (Penguin Books)
Octavia E. Butler Award for Sci Fi/Fantasy: (tie)
Ava Reid for Juniper & Thorn (Harper Voyager)
Ethan Chatagnier for Singer Distance (Tin House)
Romance: Julia Whelan for Thank You for Listening (Avon Books)
Glenn Goldman Award for California Lifestyle: Kim Stanley Robinson for The High Sierra (Little, Brown)
Glenn Goldman Award for Cooking: Sally Schmitt for Six California Kitchens (Chronicle Books)
Children's Picture Book: Minh Lê and illustrator Dan Santat for The Blur (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Young Adult: Sabaa Tahir for All My Rage (Razorbill)
Middle Grade: Kelly Yang for New from Here (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Martin Cruz Smith Award for Emerging Diverse Voices: Sana Balagamwala for House Number 12 Block Number 3 (Hidden Shelf Publishing House)
The Mirrors and Windows Award for Excellence in Children's Literature: Laura Gao for Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American (Balzer + Bray)

Book Review

Review: Mimosa

Mimosa by Archie Bongiovanni (Abrams Comic Arts, $24.99 hardcover, 272p., 9781419752438, March 7, 2023)

Archie Bongiovanni (Grease Bats; A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns) takes on friendship and queer community in Mimosa, a thought-provoking, emotional graphic novel about four queer 30-somethings in Minneapolis. Bongiovanni introduces the longtime friends as they exchange ribald stories over brunch: nonprofit staffer Elise, parent blogger Chris, artist Alex, performer and instructor Jo. Chris describes their difficulty finding a partner, citing their divorced single parent status and looming 40th birthday as non-starters for the young queer scene. The group rallies around them and decides to host "Grind," a dance night specifically for "mature queers," with proceeds going to Elise's queer community nonprofit Relief and Rescue.

Grind is wildly successful, but the party exposes problems the group has been ignoring. Some of Jo's Queerrr Rock Camp students show up, to her chagrin, so she leaves without performing her topless act. Jo is upset, but Alex doesn't notice or doesn't care. Chris is alienated again, and Elise ignores their warnings and spends the night on a not-date with her boss. As the story continues, the four withdraw from and collide with each other, allowing them to reflect on years together and what they want for themselves.

Readers will want to linger on Bongiovanni's vibrant montage scenes and hurry past some of the vividly rendered arguments, but each page is worth sitting with. They use the sequential art format to great effect, providing background for each character in mundane scenery. For example, a frame hanging on frequently misgendered Chris's wall shows that their blog, "Parenting Beyond the Binary," was named the "#1 Mommy Blog of the Year 2017."

Mimosa is messy, a bit raunchy and sometimes infuriating. Bongiovanni steps outside the narrative of the "acceptable gay" and presents a flawed cast, with their mistakes and arguments at the fore. They seamlessly incorporate sex work, generational wealth, transphobia, ageism and more into the narrative and illustrate how the characters experience the same hardships unevenly. Whether read as a cautionary tale about the maintenance of adult friendship or as an observation of the ways in which friendships change over time, this is an insightful meditation on the idea of growing up as a grown-up. Chosen families are often formed due to proximity, convenience or aligned priorities, so what does it mean when some of those factors shift?

Funny, sad, frustrating, hopeful, contemplative and crass, Mimosa is unreservedly queer and broadly accessible. An excellent pick for anyone who has or has been a friend. --Suzanne Krohn, librarian and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Rowdy, melancholy and insightful, Mimosa follows four queer 30-somethings as they take stock of their relationships and the community they've built together.

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