Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 13, 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

Quotation of the Day

Local Indie 'Reminds Me of the Wonderful Ecosystem of Creators that I Am Very Lucky to Inhabit' 

"Creating books can sometimes feel like isolating work--I think that's one of the main feelings I drew on when depicting Anya's experience of a lonely occupation. Whenever I step into my local independent bookstore and browse the children's and graphic novel sections in particular, it reminds me of the wonderful ecosystem of creators that I am very lucky to inhabit. It helps me feel more connected to what I make, inspired to do the best work I can, excited to see what has recently arrived on the shelf.

"I have also done some wonderful events at independent bookstores, and I'm so grateful that the kind staff offered their time and energy to an event that allowed me to connect with their local community. At each event, I treasure both the interactions with readers that I may never have otherwise been able to meet, and the generosity of the staff."

--K. O'Neill, whose graphic novel The Moth Keeper (Random House Graphics) is the #1 March/April Kids' Indie Next List pick, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White


Roebling Point Books & Coffee Opening Third Location

Roebling Point's future location in Dayton, Ky.

Roebling Point Books & Coffee, with stores in Covington and Newport, Ky., is opening a new store in Dayton. Located at 301 Sixth Ave., the third Roebling Point will span some 2,200 square feet.

Owner Richard Hunt is eyeing an April 28 opening for the new store. It will have an inventory consisting of around 80% rare and out-of-print books, and he noted that aside from local authors like Wendell Berry, who is "Kentucky through and through," the Roebling Point team makes an effort to keep each store's selection distinct. They're close enough to each other that staff can "shuttle books" between locations and to customers, often by bicycle. He added that the new store will have a mostly used inventory to make sure the "discovery process is heightened."

Hunt described Dayton as "rebuilding," and said the city is actively courting residents it believes will be interested in things like bookstores, coffee shops and healthy eating. There will also be a commercial kitchen in the building right behind the bookstore and coffee shop, to be used by Lil's Kitchen.

Asked how the expansion came about, Hunt said it began with Lil's Bagels, a bakery that used to be neighbors with the Roebling Point location in Covington. During the six or so years when the businesses were side by side, Hunt and his staff bonded with Lil's Bagels owner Julia Keister and her staff. The two businesses shared similar philosophies about helping the community, collaborated on plenty of events, took turns doing things like shoveling the sidewalk, and after a Roebling Point Books & Coffee manager was killed by a hit-and-run driver, the staff of both stores "came together in order to not fall apart."

That, Hunt said, was the "crucible," and when Lil's Bagels could not renew their lease and closed late last year, the two businesses essentially merged. "Suddenly we had doubled our staff size, moved a lot of kitchen equipment and furnishings," but "most of all we had galvanized our mission to be a force for good in Northern Kentucky, even dreaming larger to promote books, community and literacy in Cincinnati and outlying areas."

Remarking that he's lived through his "Beatles birthday" and is now "staring down Medicare," Hunt mused that he wanted to "find a way that the store lives on to benefit the community," and he would like to find a way "to make Roebling a career for those who'd opt to choose being in the book business." At the same time, he and Keister "want to help nourish others, be it with books or coffee or food." --Alex Mutter

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

Flagship Books, Kansas City, Kan., Moving

Flagship's current location.

Flagship Books in Kansas City, Kan., is moving to a new, larger location next month. The store's new space at 510 N. 6th St. is only four blocks away from its current home, and the Flagship Books team is "thrilled" to be able to stay in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood.

Co-owners and brothers Joel and Ty Melgren plan to make use of the extra space to expand the inventory and host more events, including book clubs, readings and some new types of offerings. Flagship's new neighbors will include cafes, bars, restaurants and more, and when the city's Third Friday Artwalk starts again in the spring, they'll be "right at the heart of all the activity."

They plan to stay open at 6th & Ohio through the first week of April before closing for a few days during the move. The plan is to reopen in the middle of the month, and the team will share progress updates in the weeks ahead as they convert a former real estate office into a bookstore.

The Melgrens opened Flagship Books in early 2021 in Kansas City's Iron District, in a space built out of a shipping container. They moved to 600 Ohio Ave. in Strawberry Hill in early 2022.

B&N to Open Second Store in Maine

In July, Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in Brunswick, Maine, NewsCenterMaine reported. The store will be only the second B&N in Maine. B&N has a store in the state capital of Augusta.

The Brunswick store will be in Merrymeeting Plaza and have about 7,000 square feet of space, according to Mainebiz. The shopping center has a mix of local, regional and national retailers, including Petsmart, CVS and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Strategic Development Head Nina von Moltke Leaving PRH

Nina von Moltke

In another high-level departure at Penguin Random House, Nina von Moltke, president, director of strategic development, has decided to leave the company. Her announcement follows the resignation in December of global CEO Markus Dohle, the retirement in January of Random House Publishing Group president and publisher Gina Centrello and the impending departure of U.S. CEO Madeline McIntosh.

In a note to colleagues, von Moltke said, "I've been lucky to have worked across an incredibly wide array of areas and functions. I've seen my role and responsibilities change, sometimes in unexpected ways, every few years. I loved the twists and turns. It kept the story interesting. It was that dynamic--the allure of new challenges and a desire to stretch beyond the familiar--that led me to this decision. I'm looking forward to what comes next."

In a separate note to staff, McIntosh and interim global CEO Nihar Malaviya said in part, "In her 20 years at Penguin Random House, Nina has played a seminal role in building the company we are today. Her unique combination of sharp business acumen, affinity for creativity, warmth, and empathy have made her a valued and respected strategic partner for leaders across our full suite of publishing functions. It's a combination that also has translated to her having direct oversight for one of the broadest portfolios in the company: author development and services (author portal and university, speakers bureau, out of print merchandising, and podcast and e-course development), author contracts and permissions, royalties and rights management, children's subrights, and the corporate design group.

"Particularly during critical periods of change in our market, Nina's contributions have been invaluable. When e-books surged, she was a key member of the team that adapted our publishing processes and business practices to the new needs and requirements of the market. When the first signs emerged of the audio boom, Nina, who oversaw the audio and diversified publishing groups from 2010 to 2018, led the investments in capabilities, infrastructure, and talent that were critical in ensuring our continued market leadership. And when the travel guide business was headed for rough waters in 2015, Nina worked to initiate and lead our divestment from it.

"In the last few years, Nina has been on the forefront of helping the U.S. leadership team seize growth opportunities. These efforts have included championing the Penguin Young Readers acquisition of Eric Carle's IP; supporting PRH's investment in Sourcebooks, whose board she has been a member of since we became partners in 2019; and spearheading our strategy for growth in the wellness categories."

Obituary Note: Suzy McKee Charnas

Suzy McKee Charnas

Suzy McKee Charnas, "an award-winning feminist science fiction writer who in a four-novel series created a post-holocaust, male-dominated society called the Holdfast that is liberated by an army of women," died January 2, the New York Times reported. She was 83. Charnas also wrote vampire fiction, YA fantasy novels with women as central characters, and a memoir about taking care of her father in his later years after a long period of estrangement.

The Holdfast Chronicles began with Walk to the End of the World (1974) and concluded 25 years later with The Conqueror's Child. The Times noted that the author "conceived a dystopic world in which an escaped female slave, Alldera, leads the rebellious Free Fems to brutally conquer and enslave their former male masters. The men had faulted women for the near-destruction of humanity, called the Wasting."

In 1999, Dunja M. Mohr wrote in the journal Science Fiction Studies that the series is unique in feminist science fiction "in that it reflects 25 years of the development of feminism... Investigating the raging war of the sexes. Charnas does not shy away from describing the slow--and sometimes grim--process of change leading from dystopia to utopia, the painful purging of psychological and physical violence involved."

The other books in the Holdfast series are Motherlines (1978) and The Furies (1994). The Conqueror's Child won the 1999 James Tiptree Jr. Award (now called the Otherwise), a literary prize for works of science fiction or fantasy that explore gender. Charnas also won a Nebula for the novella Unicorn Tapestry, which is a chapter in her 1980 novel, The Vampire Tapestry, and won a Hugo for "Boobs," a short story.

"Suzy, to me, was a lot like David Bowie," said Jane Lindskold, a science fiction and fantasy writer who knew Charnas from a writers' group in Albuquerque, N.Mex. "She followed her own muse. She could have just written only vampire books, but she did what she wanted to do."

In 2015, film director Guillermo del Toro recommended her novel The Vampire Tapestry on Twitter, calling it "flawless."

Her last book, My Father's Ghost: The Return of My Old Man and Other Second Chances (2002), was "about how she and her husband brought her long-absent father--he had left her family when she was a child--to live on their property in Albuquerque and her struggle to get to know him over nearly 20 years," the Times noted. 

"The person who came to live next door to me was less my father than my father's ghost: the ghost of my father as I had known him and imagined him all my life," she wrote. "He was also, I suspect, the ghost of the man he himself had set out to be but never became.... Well, I'm a lucky devil: He was a good ghost, an instructive ghost."


Image of the Day: G.R. Macallister at Wellesley Books

Wellesley Books in Wellesley, Mass., hosted the launch event for G.R. Macallister's Arca (Saga Press), the second book in her Five Queendoms series. Macallister (center) was in conversation with Amanda Foody (l.) and C.L. Herman (r.), authors of All of Us Villains.


Cool Idea: N.C. Bookstore Converts Japanese Fire Truck into Book Truck

South Main Book Company, Salisbury, N.C., is outfitting a Suzuki fire truck, which looks something like a small utility vehicle, to be a book mobile, the Salisbury Post reported. The truck's water pump and hose have been removed, but the sirens still operate. Bookshelves are being added.

Owner Alissa Redmond said the store will use the book truck as a display case, delivery vehicle and float for parades and events. She already has plans to drive the truck during the upcoming Greater Charlotte Book Crawl, followed by the Earth Day Jam, the Farmers Day Festival, the Salisbury Pride Festival and the Pedal Factory's Spring Roll event.

The truck has only 1,000 miles on it and a top speed of 55 mph. It was love at first sight. Redmond said, "The second I saw it, I knew it was perfect for what I want to do for kids in Rowan County, particularly my own kids, who are already obsessed with it."

Personnel Changes at Workman; Tor Publishing Group

At Workman:

Theresa Collier has been promoted to director of publicity & marketing at Artisan. Previously, she was assistant director, publicity & marketing.

Ilana Gold has been promoted to associate director, publicity for the Workman, Workman Kids, and Algonquin Young Readers imprints. Previously, she was assistant director, publicity.

Nicole Higman has been promoted to director, digital marketing for the Workman, Workman Kids, Workman Calendars, and Algonquin Young Readers imprints. Previously, she was associate director, digital marketing.

Moira Kerrigan has been promoted to senior director, marketing for the Workman, Workman Kids, Workman Calendars, and Algonquin Young Readers imprints. Previously, she was marketing director.

Meghan O’Shaughnessy has been promoted to publicist for the Workman, Workman Kids, and Algonquin Young Readers imprints. O'Shaughnessy was formerly associate publicist for Workman.

Karolyn Mena has joined the company as publicity assistant for the Workman, Workman Kids, Workman Calendars, and Algonquin Young Readers imprints.


At Tor Publishing Group:

Isa Caban has been promoted to assistant director of marketing.

Andrew King has been promoted to assistant marketing manager.

Jocelyn Bright has been promoted to associate publicist.

Media and Movies

Bookish Oscar Winners: All Quiet on the Western Front, Women Talking

At last night's Academy Awards ceremony, a few movies based on books or with book connections took home Oscars, with All Quiet on the Western Front picking up four of the golden statuettes. This year's bookish Oscar winners are:

All Quiet on the Western Front, adapted from the novel by Erich Maria Remarque: Best international feature film (Germany); cinematography (James Friend); production design; music, original score (Volker Bertelmann)

Women Talking, based on the novel by Miriam Toews: Adapted screenplay (Sarah Polley)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, based on the Marvel Comics character Black Panther: Costume design

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, based on Charlie Mackesy's novel: Short film (animated)

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, loosely inspired by the 1883 Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, and influenced by Gris Grimly's illustrations for a 2002 edition of the book: Feature film (animated)

A number of book-related movies earned Oscar nominations but didn't win. These included The Quiet Girl, based on the novella Foster by Claire Keegan; Blonde, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates; Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, inspired from the fairy tale by Giovanni Francesco Straparola; Ivalu, based on the graphic novel by Morten Dürr; Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, adapted from the 1958 novel Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico; and The Batman, based on the DC Comics character.

Media Heat: Karen Fine on Fresh Air

CBS Mornings: Michelle Miller, author of Belonging: A Daughter's Search for Identity Through Loss and Love (Harper, $32, 9780063220430).

Jennifer Hudson Show: Jay Shetty, author of 8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It, and Let It Go (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781982183066).

Drew Barrymore Show: Lewis Howes, author of The Greatness Mindset: Unlock the Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today (Hay House, $26.99, 9781401971908).

Fresh Air: Karen Fine, author of The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality (Anchor, $28, 9780593466896).

Watch What Happens Live: Rachel Lindsay, author of Real Love: A Novel (Dell, $17, 9780593357125).

Tonight Show: Paris Hilton, author of Paris: The Memoir (Dey Street, $30, 9780063224629). She will also appear tomorrow on Good Morning America and the View.

Today Show: Dr. Pedram Navab, author of Sleep Reimagined: The Fast Track to a Revitalized Life (Countryman Press, $26.95, 9781682687116).

Good Morning America: Harlan Coben, author of I Will Find You (Grand Central, $30, 9781538748367). He will also appear on Rachael Ray.

Also on GMA: Kara Goucher, co-author of The Longest Race: Inside the Secret World of Abuse, Doping, and Deception on Nike's Elite Running Team (Gallery, $28, 9781982179144).

Drew Barrymore Show: Tamar Adler, author of The Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Leftovers A-Z (Scribner, $35, 9781476799667).

Tamron Hall: Ali Landry, author of Reshape Your Life: Don't Settle Because You Are Worth It (Thomas Nelson, $28.99, 9781400235100).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Sarah Ferguson, author of A Most Intriguing Lady: A Novel (Avon, $30, 9780063216822).

Books & Authors

Awards: Baillie Gifford Winner of Winners Shortlist

The shortlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize's 25th Anniversary Winner of Winners award has been announced. The winner, who will receive £25,000 (about $30,000), will be announced April 27.

The shortlisted titles and the year they won the Baillie Gifford Prize, which honors the best nonfiction, are:

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown (2020)
Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis (2012)
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (2010)
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (2021)
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret Macmillan (2002)
1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro (2006)

Book Review

Review: The Society of Shame

The Society of Shame by Jane Roper (Anchor, $28 hardcover, 368p., 9780593468760, April 4, 2023)

What should be done about someone who makes a mistake and wants another chance? Jane Roper's The Society of Shame is a wicked and wickedly funny send-up of cancel culture and a serious examination of the distinctly modern thrill of taking offense.

As the novel opens, Kathleen Held, a wife, mother and production editor, pulls up to her house in Greenchester, N.Y., in a taxi to find a fire in her garage; her U.S. Senate candidate husband, Bill, in his underpants; and a woman in a cocktail dress passed out on the property. Kathleen fears that news of Bill's infidelity will get out, making her "the subject of other people's pity and prurient fascination for the rest of her life." If only that was the extent of it.

Kathleen's taxi driver snaps a picture that he posts online: it's a shot of Bill, Bill's incapacitated paramour and, from behind, Kathleen, who is unmissably having her period. Overnight, Kathleen becomes the figurehead of the Yes We Bleed movement, which is dedicated to the cause of menstrual rights and the end of period shaming--which she's all for, but shouldn't she have been asked first?

While she's packing to leave the adulterous Bill, Kathleen intercepts and opens an envelope intended for him. It's an invitation to a luncheon hosted by an organization called the Society of Shame. Figuring that, as a wronged woman whose feminine hygiene mishap went viral, she should be the one getting the sympathy, not Bill, Kathleen goes in his place. She finds herself at an image-rehabilitation-cum-support group comprising a clutch of others who have been, as Kathleen sees it, "exposed, thanks to the unchecked power of the internet and people's appetite for scandal." The group members encourage her to embrace her newfound celebrity status; as the society's leader puts it, Kathleen is "[t]he patron saint of wronged middle-aged wives and menstruation."

The Society of Shame is brilliantly executed, improbably well sustained and truly hilarious. The Yes We Bleed movement spawns legions of activists in knitted hats resembling menstrual cups; Kathleen is called everything from, affirmingly, the Tampon Tigress to, derisively, Menstruation Luther King. Roper (Eden Lake) nails the shameless theatricality of politics and the anarchy of social media, but within her uproarious indictment is a quieter, rather moving consideration of a woman who's a feminist living in a man's shadow but determined to do right by her daughter. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: Following a feminine hygiene mishap, a woman unwittingly becomes the figurehead of a menstrual rights movement in this brilliantly executed, improbably well sustained and truly hilarious novel.

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