Also published on this date: Thursday, April 13, 2023: Maximum Shelf: The Talk

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 13, 2023

Flatiron Books: The Last One at the Wedding by Jason Rekulak

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Ace Books: Toto by AJ Hackwith and The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society by CM Waggoner

Webtoon Unscrolled: Age Matters Volume Two by Enjelicious

St. Martin's Press:  How to Think Like Socrates: Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life in the Modern World  by Donald J Robertson

Hanover Square Press: The Dallergut Dream Department Store (Original) by Miye Lee, Translated by Sandy Joosun Lee

Nosy Crow: Dungeon Runners: Hero Trial by Joe Todd-Stanton and Kieran Larwood

Andrews McMeel Publishing: A Haunted Road Atlas: Next Stop: More Chilling and Gruesome Tales from and That's Why We Drink by Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz


Wildflower Bookshop Opens in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Wildflower Bookshop opened recently in the historic Pokegama Hotel Building at 4 NE 3rd St. in Grand Rapids, Minn. The Herald Review reported that owner Abby Daigle "has always been an avid reader ever since she was a kid, and dreamed of owning her very own book shop one day."

"I've always loved books. I bring books everywhere," she said. "I have safety books, I just tuck in my purse in case I have time to read. I'll read in the car or wherever, but on the beach is my favorite.... Last year I wanted to open up a bookstore, because we didn't have a bookstore in town, and whenever we go to other places I'm always like 'let's stop at the bookstore!' "

Although the Covid pandemic delayed her plans somewhat, Daigle decided to take a leap and open February 14. "I rushed through the weekend," she recalled. "I was like, I'm just gonna do it to do it because the longer I take the longer it'll take me to open. I just thought let's just do it, get it open, and I decided to plan my grand opening and there was a huge snowstorm." The grand opening was set for March 11, "and I thought I was going to have to cancel because the wind was just whipping and the snow was crazy. I was nervous, but this place was packed. You couldn't even walk around because there were so many people!"

Daigle added: "It was really nice to see everyone, and everyone was so excited! It was just really fun. It was really busy. We made paper cranes. My mom is an artist, so we're going to hang up the paper cranes in the windows and do a little art piece in there. A lot of the community has been making paper cranes and dropping them off so we can hang them, so part of the community is going to be in the bookstore."

One of the primary reasons Daigle wanted to open the bookshop was to expand the variety of books in general in the area, especially children's books. "I'm trying to get board books and baby books and I took some of the books my kids really enjoyed and that we loved to read over and over again, and I cannot keep the kids' books in stock," she said. "It's really exciting because people are reading to their children, and that's really awesome and we really need that." Wildflower Bookshop also features a selection of gluten-free foods, and Daigle is planning to expand the store's online presence with an improved website. 

She also appreciates the bond that is developing with the community, noting: "I love it because the community is like 'Hey, do you have this book?' or 'You should really stock this book because we love these books,' so then I will stock them.... My favorite part is when people come in and they are so excited that there's a bookstore. The smiles on their faces makes me feel like I did the right thing, knowing that I opened something up that will make people feel good."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Rofhiwa Books, East Durham, N.C., Opening Congress Bar & Café 

Rofhiwa Book Cafe

Rofhiwa Book Café, East Durham, N.C., which launched in 2021, will be opening Congress Bar & Café, described as "our second concept (and Rofhiwa's sibling) right here on Driver Avenue" (491 S. Driver) later this summer. In a Facebook post, Rofhiwa Books' founder Beverley Boitumelo Makhubele and curator Naledi Yaziyo noted: "While we have always known that growth was in our future, we were never certain what shape or form it would take. A second location for Rofhiwa, perhaps? A used bookstore addition? The nature of growth is such that, sometimes, the next logical step is an obvious one. And sometimes, not so much.... 

"There is never a good time to think about expanding a family. The timing is never right, the resources never coming together. Indeed, if we were to wait to have all the things we might need, we may never make the decision to welcome new life. And if Rofhiwa has taught us anything, it is that we have (already) been given, abundantly. Sometimes, the only question that remains is whether or not to go forward. That question became pertinent for us a few months ago. And with the help and support of our friends, we made a decision to step boldly forward. 

Congress Bar and Cafe in progress

"While not obvious, Congress is certainly coterminous and continuous with our commitment to East Durham--to insisting on East Durham. It is synchronous with our desire to continue to make the case for East Durham as a place in which Black life and Black conviviality thrive. To insist on the Driver/Angier corridor as a locus, already and historically, that has enabled and sustained Black entrepreneurship; as an ecosystem for and toward the future of Black Innovation. To embark on this journey is to insist on our friends, our neighbors and community for whom East Durham is home. 

"Congress insists on the long tradition of Black conviviality: from Sophiatown to Harlem, revelry is part of our story and history too. To know us is to know us beyond the fact of our death and pain, to know us is to see us in unguarded moments--when we laugh and dance full and loud. Congress is a celebration of all the ways we are. We look forward to welcoming you all at Congress."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

Farley's Bookshop, New Hope, Pa., Reopening Soon

Farley's Bookshop in New Hope, Pa., which has been closed since January while the store's new owners make renovations, is reopening soon, Bucks Co. Today reported.

While a specific reopening date has not yet been announced, a sign has appeared in the window of the store at 44 South Main St. saying: "It's time for a new beginning. It won't be long now friends. We'll see you right here, really soon!"

Last fall, longtime booksellers Julian Karhumaa, William and Kate Hastings and Charlie Balfour purchased the bookstore, which has been in operation since 1967. Earlier this year the bookstore shut down in order to have new walls, floors and a ceiling installed. With the shop closed, the bookstore has been selling books online and setting up a mobile pop-up on Saturdays.

Obituary Note: Anne Perry

Anne Perry

Anne Perry, author of more than 100 novels that have sold more than 26 million copies worldwide, a "crime writer with her own dark tale," as the New York Times put it, died on April 10. She was 84.

Her work included two suspense series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels. She also wrote a series of books featuring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt's son, Daniel, as well as the Elena Standish series, set during World War I, 19 Christmas holiday novellas, a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Byzantine Empire, and short stories. Her most recent novel is The Traitor Among Us, the fifth installment in the Elena Standish series, to be published in September.

Ballantine Books, her publisher for more than two decades, said her work is noted for "memorable characters, historical accuracy, and exploration of social and ethical issues." In 2000, she won an Edgar Award for her short story "Heroes." She also won the Premio de Honor Aragón Negro in 2015, was selected by the Times of London as one of the 20th century's 100 Masters of Crime, and twice was guest of honor at Bouchercon.

Perry's agents Donald Maass and Meg Davis said, "Anne was a loyal and loving friend, and her writing was driven by her fierce commitment to raising awareness around social injustice. Many readers have been moved by her empathy for people backed into impossible situations or overwhelmed by the difficulties of life. Her characters inspired much love among her fans and comforted many readers who were going through tough times themselves."

Susanna Porter, Perry's editor, said, "Ballantine Books has had the honor of being Anne Perry's U.S. publisher for over 20 years.  Her novels have collectively spent many months on the New York Times and other national bestseller lists, American readers having embraced her clever and thought-provoking crime writing by the thousands. Anne in turn embraced America, relocating from Scotland to Los Angeles in her later years. Receiving her green card, she said, was one of the happiest days of her life. We will miss not only Anne's writing, but her good company, her sharp mind, and brilliant imagination."

Born in London, England, Perry spent part of her childhood in New Zealand, where at age 15, then named Juliet Hulme, she was at the center of a grisly homicide. She and her best friend murdered the best friend's mother in an attempt somehow to keep the girls together as Perry's parents were separating and about to send Perry abroad. The two went to prison for five years and were, the New York Times wrote, "given new identities and instructed never to meet again. If they violated that order, they were warned, they would return to prison and serve life sentences....

"Perry's criminal past was revealed publicly in the summer of 1994 when word leaked out that Peter Jackson would recount her story in his forthcoming film Heavenly Creatures, starring Kate Winslet as the smugly confident teenage girl who later changed her name to Anne Perry and Melanie Lynskey as her sullen and insecure classmate Pauline."

When her past became public, Perry acknowledged the crime, saying, as the Times wrote, that "she had been afraid that if she did not go along with the murder plan, her distraught friend might kill herself."

In Interiors, a 2009 documentary about Perry, she said, "In a sense it's not a matter--at the end--of judging. I did this much good and that much bad. Which is the greater?... It's who you are when time's up that matters."


Image of the Day: Zevin at Warwick's

Warwick's in La Jolla, Calif., hosted a sold-out in-store event with Gabrielle Zevin, who signed and discussed her novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (Knopf) in conversation with multimedia artist, filmmaker and composer Michael Trigilio.

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown; Grove Atlantic; Vintage Anchor; Knopf

Sadie Trombetta is joining Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as publicity manager, effective April 18. She was most recently publicity manager at Interlink Books.

Rachel Gilman has been promoted to sales and marketing associate at Grove Atlantic.

Julie Ertl has been promoted to assistant publicity director at Vintage Anchor.

Emily Reardon has been named assistant director of publicity at Knopf.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephen A. Smith on Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson Show: Stephen A. Smith, author of Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes (Gallery/13A, $28.99, 9781982189495).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Tucson Festival of Books

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, April 15
2 p.m. Clayton J. Butler, author of True Blue: White Unionists in the Deep South during the Civil War and Reconstruction (‎LSU Press, $45, 9780807176627) and Brian C. Neumann, author of Bloody Flag of Anarchy: Unionism in South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis (LSU Press, $45, 9780807176900). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 a.m.)

Sunday, April 16
8 a.m. Daniel L. Hatcher, author of Injustice, Inc.: How America's Justice System Commodifies Children and the Poor (University of California Press, $29.95, 9780520396050). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

10 a.m. Kelly Pope, author of Fool Me Once: Scams, Stories, and Secrets from the Trillion-Dollar Fraud Industry (Harvard Business Review Press, $30, 9781647823917). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Coverage of the 2023 Tucson Festival of Books, which took place March 4-5 in Tucson, Ariz. Highlights include:

  • 2 p.m. A discussion on race and racism in the U.S. with Toluse Olorunnipa, author of His Name is George Floyd, Efran Olivares, author of My Boy Will Die of Sorrow and Steve Phillips, author of How We Win the Civil War.
  • 3:33 p.m. A discussion on Trump and the 2024 election with Major Garrett and David Becker, authors of The Big Truth, Mark Leibovich, author of Thank You for Your Servitude and Jonathan Lemire, author of The Big Lie.
  • 4:30 p.m. A discussion on the future of democracy with Philip Bump, author of The Aftermath, Malcolm Nance, author of They Want to Kill Americans and Will Somner, author of Trust the Plan.
  • 5:52 p.m. David Corn, author of American Psychosis, Robert Draper, author of Weapons of Mass Delusion, Tim Miller, author of Why We Did It and Chris Whipple, author of The Fight of His Life.

Books & Authors

Awards: RSL Ondaatje Longlist

A longlist has been released for the £10,000 (about $12,475) Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, which is awarded annually to "an outstanding work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry that best evokes the spirit of a place." The shortlist will be announced April 26 and a winner named May 10. Check out the complete RSL Ondaatje Prize longlist here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 18:

Where Are the Children Now? by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 9781982189419) is a posthumous sequel to Clark's Where Are the Children?.

The Golden Doves: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly (Ballantine, $28.99, 9780593354889) is historical fiction about French resistance members hunting a Nazi doctor after World War II.

Symphony of Secrets: A Novel by Brendan Slocumb (Anchor, $28, 9780593315446) is a musical mystery about a composer who may have stolen his work.

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann (Doubleday, $30, 9780385534260) chronicles a 1740 shipwreck whose survivors accused each other of terrible crimes.

Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World by Gretchen Rubin (Crown, $28, 9780593442746) explores mindfulness through the physical senses.

Adrenal Transformation Protocol: A 4-Week Plan to Release Stress Symptoms and Go from Surviving to Thriving by Izabella Wentz (Avery, $30, 9780593420775) addresses hormonal dysfunctions.

The Rhythm of Time by Questlove with S.A. Cosby (Putnam, $18.99, 9780593354063) features a seventh grader who accidentally travels through time.

The Night Tent by Landis Blair (Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson, $18.99, 9780823450985) is a picture book featuring an imaginative nighttime wander.

Sizzle Reel: A Novel by Carlyn Greenwald (Vintage, $17, 9780593468197).

The Secret Service of Tea and Treason by India Holton (Berkley, $17, 9780593547267).

A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin (Penguin Books, $17, 9780593491973).

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:

Dust Child: A Novel by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (Algonquin, $28, 9781643752754). "This is one of the most important books I have read this year. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written, Dust Child brings to life and humanizes important dimensions of the Vietnam War otherwise untold." --Harvey Dong, Eastwind Books of Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.

Flux: A Novel by Jinwoo Chong (Melville House, $28.99, 9781685890346). "If I had to choose one word to describe Flux, it would be sharp. The way that Chong wrote this brilliant book still amazes me. With plot twists so subtle you're not even fully aware you just encountered one. This kept me on the edge of my seat." --Libby Monaghan, Twice Told Tales, McPherson, Kan.

The Secret World of Weather: How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal, and Dewdrop by Tristan Gooley (The Experiment, $17.95, 9781615191482). "I first learned of microclimates when I had to drive to work and the weather changed multiple times in 60 minutes. Gooley writes about weather in an engaging and eloquent style. Readers will be entertained in a way that makes learning painless!" --Camille Kovach, Completely Booked, Murrysville, Pa.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Umbrella by Beth Ferry, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld (Clarion, $19.99, 9780358447726). "The illustrations do a phenomenal job of taking the simple, rhythmic text and lifting it to a whole new level. This fanciful story with a bit of kindness sprinkled in will delight old and young alike!" --Lorie Barber, Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville, Ill.

For Ages 10 to 14
Dear Mothman by Robin Gow (Amulet, $18.99, 9781419764400). "A tender story of a trans child navigating grief, friendship, love, and identity. Turning to a cryptid to express his feelings, Noah writes to figure out who he is, how much he misses his friend who passed away, and how to make new friends." --Sydne Conant, A Room of One's Own Bookstore, Madison, Wis.

For Teen Readers
This Time It's Real by Ann Liang (Scholastic, $18.99, 9781338827118). "A believable, awkward teen romance starts out as fake love that transforms into the real thing. The reader explores Beijing thru Eliza's eyes as she gets to know Caz and starts to trust in herself and her feelings. A delightful rom-com!" --Connie L. Eaton, Three Sisters Books & Gifts, Shelbyville, Ind.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind of]

We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind Of] by Hannah Pittard (Holt, $26.99 hardcover, 224p., 9781250869043, May 2, 2023)

In We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind of], novelist Hannah Pittard (Reunion; Listen to Me; Visible Empire) examines her failed marriage, which cratered with the revelation that her husband, Patrick, was having an affair with her best friend, Trish. In her semi-experimental three-part account, Pittard performs a kind of exploratory character surgery using unorthodox tools and no anesthesia. Reading the book can feel like listening in on an incredibly uncomfortable conversation between two people in the throes of a breakup: the experience is squirm-making, seems a little sordid, and is often thrilling.

Part One is written like a play: each segment begins with its time and place, followed by an admittedly "imperfectly recollected" dialogue, or else a hypothesized one, as when Patrick and Trish speak on the phone. Typically, the conversations involve Pittard and Patrick as they navigate 10 years together, largely in Lexington, Ky., and Charlottesville, Va. It can be tempting to read this part of the book as score settling gussied up as a literary concern, as the dialogues routinely show Patrick in an appalling light: talking Pittard out of taking a tenure-track job, splurging on lamb chops when the couple is cash-strapped, and so on.

But Part Two, a fantasy two-hander in which Pittard and Patrick have it out, redresses the imbalance by frequently showing her in an unfavorable light; as Pittard puts it, "I was and am hyper neurotic, and I did and do have grotesquely rigid expectations. My own way of being virtually precludes a successful relationship." Here the anger of the book's first part sloughs off and exposes a wound: "I guess what I'm trying to figure out is, whose fault is it?" Pittard says to Patrick at one point. "Mine for changing or yours for not changing?"

Part Three offers autobiography in short chapters that rehash the aftermath of Patrick's affair: he's now married to Trish, and Pittard has a new boyfriend. This part dives into Pittard's complicated childhood, during which she served as a pawn in her parents' 10-year custody battle while she dealt with body image issues that launched a persistent eating disorder. This is the most straight-up of the book's three parts, which could be summarized as, respectively, rage, hurt, and healing. Cumulatively, the parts of We Are Too Many tell the story of heartbreak in perhaps the most scorching, gutting, and tantalizing way imaginable. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Shelf Talker: Novelist Hannah Pittard offers a scorching, gutting, and tantalizing account of her failed marriage, which ended after she learned of her husband's affair with her best friend.

Powered by: Xtenit