Also published on this date: Tuesday, April 18, 2023: Maximum Shelf: The Rediscovery of America

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Little Brown and Company: Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue

Flatiron Books: Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias

Carolrhoda Books (R): A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby

Minotaur Books: When I'm Dead: A Black Harbor Novel by Hannah Morrissey

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Phoebe's Diary by Phoebe Wahl

RP Mystic: Celebrate the Summer Solstice with RP Mystic

Shadow Mountain: Along a Breton Shore by Arlem Hawks

Quotation of the Day

Indie Bookstores: 'Every Single One Is Its Own Little Universe with Its Own Personality'

"I grew up going to libraries and independent bookstores. Independent bookstores have always been a part of my book journey along with libraries--I love libraries because I think they make books accessible when not everybody has access to books. And I love indie bookstores because they're so unique. Every single one is its own little universe with its own personality, and I have so much fun visiting indies. Whenever I go out of town, even if I'm not on tour, I will always make it a point to search whatever indie is local and pop in and see if they have my books and sign and promote them. I own a cupcake shop with three locations, and I love supporting small businesses. I write a lot of small businesses into my books for the purpose of giving them exposure that they might not have." 

--Abby Jimenez, whose novel Yours Truly (Forever) is the #1 April Indie Next List pick, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

Sourcebooks Landmark: Fair Rosaline by Natasha Solomons


Werner Books, Erie, Pa., Moving, Adding Coffee Shop

Werner Books' current location.

Lauren Shoemaker and Kyle Churman, who bought Werner Books, Erie, Pa., last year, plan to move to a new larger location in the Liberty Plaza and add a coffee shop by June. The Times-News reported that the business will move from 3514 Liberty St. to a nearby 5,800-square-foot location that is twice as large and will provide space for more books, storage, a larger children's section, and room for author and book club events. They have engaged an architect and a contractor for the renovation.

Noting that the move should provide much-needed breathing room, Shoemaker said, "The back room is overflowing. We are beyond capacity."

"We're super-excited," Churman said, adding that they have purchased all the coffee-making equipment, furniture, and other items from the recently closed Brick House Coffee. They recently hired a manager for the coffee shop and reached agreements with Cafe 7-10 and Sundae to provide baked goods. Coffee is being provided by Erie's North End Coffee. 

"We're excited because there's no coffee shop in this part of town," Churman noted, adding that he has been pleased by the success of the Werner Books thus far. "Business has been unbelievably better than we expected. I can't fathom how well things have gone for us. If someone asks me for business advice. I just tell them to buy a successful existing business and kind of expand it. Gayle [previous owner Gayle Werner] had set us up to succeed."

Churman observed: "I think that the kids' section of the store is going to expand a little bit more. We might carry some more new titles but I don't want to overdo it. We are not going to move away from the used book model that has worked so well for our store and Erie in general."

He still speaks frequently with Werner: "She has been totally supportive of our plans. I told her I hope we are making you proud."

Rough Guides: The Rough Guide to Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Places in Europe (Inspirational Rough Guides) by Rough Guides

'Grand Reopening Day' at Pete & Freddy's Pages Aplenty in Mentone, Ind.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand reopening day was held Saturday at the new location for Pete and Freddy's Pages Aplenty, which recently moved a short distance from its former space to 107 E. Main St., Mentone, Ind. Owner Madelyne Anweiler, also known as "Pete," relocated following her sister Elyza's retirement. Times-Union reported that the new space "now has 900 square feet of space to display gently used and new books," adding that "three rooms are filled with selections for all ages and genres."

"I keep a good memory of what I have," Anweiler said, adding that she also partners with "It's a way to help small businesses."

In addition to books, Pete & Freddy's Pages Aplenty features jewelry and notebooks created by local artists; a gallery featuring artwork by local artists for sale; along with sidelines like specialty tote bags, cards, puzzles, toys, stickers, pens, candles, and more.

Noting that Anweiler has made the store unusual, the Times-Union wrote: "Decorated in bright colors with a chandelier, the exterior was painted to look like a bookstore you may find in London. Painted a bright blue with some gold accents, the store stands out on Main Street.... You might also want to take a peek at the restroom. Not only is it uniquely decorated, but you'll find pennies sealed onto the floor. And guess what, if you can guess the number of pennies, you could win store credit."

Anweiler said the store's name is actually the nicknames for her and her sister: "We love nicknames. It keeps people guessing." While she operates the store on her own, she gets a lot of help from "amazing strong women," who are friends and book club members.

Reimagining Bookstores Hosting Virtual Leadership Sessions

Kathy Minardi

Reimagining Bookstores is hosting two free interactive sessions next month with Kathy Minardi, the leader of the Whole School Leadership Institute. Originally founded to train leaders of Montessori Schools, the WSLI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works with a variety of nonprofits and small businesses on leadership training programs.

The virtual sessions, which are scheduled for Friday, May 19, and Thursday, May 25, will put booksellers in touch with Minardi to learn about the WSLI's offerings, share their own leadership goals, and explore those topics with other bookstore leaders and allies. If there is enough interest, there will be discussions on how to work with Minardi and the WSLI team going forward.

Praveen Madan, CEO of Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, Calif., and organizer of Reimagining Bookstores, noted that he first met Minardi a few months ago while "searching for a leadership training program for some of our staff at Kepler's Books and Kepler's Literary Foundation." Because it is a cohort-based training program, Madan and the Kepler's team thought "it would be a lot of fun and more impactful for our industry to explore if there are other bookstores and allies who want to join us in putting together a cohort and go through the training together."

Booksellers can attend either session or both. Registration details and more information can be found here.

Binc Launches 'Do Good All Year' Fundraising Campaign

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation has launched its annual spring fundraising drive. The goal of the Do Good All Year campaign is to encourage at least 180 book and comic lovers from across the country to join Binc's current monthly sustaining donors.

"Every donation adds up when we give together as a community to help those booksellers and comic retailers facing emergency situations like moving from living in their car to sleeping in their own stable housing or to receiving immediate life-saving mental health treatment," said Binc executive director Pam French. "From Binc's beginning, we have depended on our monthly donors to keep this financial safety net strong, so it's there when someone has a life-changing emergency. As a community, Binc's current monthly donors help three booksellers every month through events like critical, but unaffordable cancer treatment or caring for a loved one who is ill, and they do this every month. The aim of our Do Good All Year campaign is to expand the number of people their generosity supports from three to four every month, all year."

Regional independent bookseller associations are getting involved in the Spring campaign as well. Binc is offering a celebratory ice cream social to the region which has the highest number of new monthly donors who sign up, and anyone can participate and donate. 

Obituary Note: Edward Koren

Edward Koren

Edward Koren, the New Yorker cartoonist "who created a fantasy world of toothy, long-nosed, hairy creatures of indeterminate species that articulated the neuroses and banalities of middle-class America for six decades," died April 14, the New York Times reported. He was 87. With Charles Addams, James Thurber, and Saul Steinberg, Koren "was one of the most popular cartoonists in the New Yorker's long love affair with humor. To connoisseurs, his bristling pen-and-ink characters, with or without captions, were instantly recognizable--nonconfrontational humans and a blend of fanged crocodile and antlered reindeer who poked fun at a society preoccupied with fitness fads (bike-riding), electronic gadgets (cellphones) and pop psychology."

Koren studied art in New York and Paris, but struggled for years to create a distinct style before he "found it hiding in plain sight: the subtle humor of life's contradictions," the Times noted. He published his first New Yorker cartoon in 1962, depicting a struggling writer in a "Shakespeare" sweatshirt, puzzling over his typewriter. During his career, he published more than a thousand cartoons for the New Yorker, including dozens of covers, and many more for the Nation, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and other publications.

In addition to his magazine work, Koren published collections of cartoons, wrote and illustrated children's books, and illustrated books by Delia Ephron, George Plimpton, and Alan Katz. In all, he illustrated some 25 books and wrote nine, including Behind the Wheel (1972); Well, THERE's Your Problem (1980); and What About Me? (1989). His cartoons, drawings, and prints appeared in shows and galleries across the United States and in England, France, and Czechoslovakia. Many became part of museums' permanent collections.

"My trajectory was a comedy of manners," Koren told the Times. "I was drawn to sociology and cultural anthropology. My work was a bit tame, I suppose. I avoided sex. It was political in a different sense. I examined the middle class, and everywhere I looked people were outraged. I did not want to manifest that in my work. I just gravitated toward animals.... Animals are gentle and funny. There is a long tradition in English and French literature, going back to the 19th century, of using animals in humor. For me, it was a framework, a way of getting above the political fray and the passing controversies of the day."

Koren never retired. For the New Yorker's April 17 issue, he drew Moses on a mount overlooking his people and holding up a stone tablet of the Ten Commandments in Roman numerals while proclaiming, "Time for an update!"

In a tribute, the New Yorker's cartoon and humor editor Emma Allen wrote: "In his final months, he didn't have the energy to draw as large, or with such obsessive, scratchy detail, as before, but he still couldn't resist reworking one final cartoon--featuring the Grim Reaper, as a poet--before sending it off to me last week.... On a recent call with Ed, when I expressed awe at the fact that he was still sending in cartoons for me to review, he quoted Mark Twain: 'The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow.' Neither of us mentioned the second half of that line--'there is no humor in heaven.' For believers, there’s certainly now no need to mention it ever again, what with Ed's arrival."

Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt., posted on Facebook: "We are so sad to hear about the passing of this absolute gem of a human, Ed Koren. He was funny, warm and talented and we are proud to call him a Vermonter and a friend of Bear Pond. Our hearts are with his family--may his memory be a blessing."


Image of the Day: Midland Authors Talk Kidlit

Authors (from left, standing) James Klise (I'll Take Everything You Have), Keir Graff (Minerva Keen's Detective Club, with James Patterson), (seated) Zetta Elliott (The Enchanted Bridge), and Natasha Tarpley (Keyana Loves Her Family) appeared at Chicago's Cliff Dwellers Club for a Society of Midland Authors panel on children's literature. Moderated by Graff, the wide-ranging discussion covered breaking into the business, sustaining a series, book bans and challenges, and more. Bookish Chicago sold books at the event.

Bookseller Moment: Loyalty Bookstores

Posted on Instagram by Loyalty Bookstores, with shops in Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Md.: "That pre-open schuzzing of all the many books and gifts so it all looks just right for a brief moment! Come in and mess it up this Sunday for us 12-6PM in Downtown Silver Spring or on Upshur St in Petworth! I need an excuse to rearrange everything again. ;) --Hannah." 

Personnel Changes at Macmillan

Kelly Collins has joined Macmillan Publishers as v-p, communications and community, and is part of the people & culture team. She previously led communications teams at tech start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, where she established communications functions, led crisis communications and advised executive leadership teams. She was mostly recently the global head of internal communications at Synk, a cybersecurity company. Early in her career, she worked in the music industry, specializing in business & legal affairs at companies such as Warner Music Group and Capitol Records.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Grann on Fresh Air

NPR's Morning Edition: Jon Ward, author of Testimony: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Failed a Generation (Brazos Press, $24.99, 9781587435775).

Fresh Air: David Grann, author of The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder (Doubleday, $30, 9780385534260).

Today Show: Ronnie Woo, author of Did You Eat Yet?: Craveable Recipes from an All-American Asian Chef (Harvest, $32.50, 9780358581697).

Jennifer Hudson Show: Kristin Cavallari, author of Truly Simple: 140 Healthy Recipes for Weekday Cooking (Rodale, $29.99, 9780593578780).

Tonight Show: Michelle Obama, author of The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times (Crown, $32.50, 9780593237465).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jena Friedman, author of Not Funny: Essays on Life, Comedy, Culture, Et Cetera (Atria/One Signal, $27.77, 9781982178284).

TV: A Visit from the Goon Squad

Olivia Wilde will direct a TV adaptation of Jennifer Egan's 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad and its 2022 sequel, The Candy House, for A24, Deadline reported. She will also executive produce along with Jennifer Fox.

Wilde, whose acting credits include People Like Us and Love the Coopers, "has become one of the more in-demand directors in town, and this will mark her first major venture into television as a director," Deadline wrote. She most recently directed, starred in, and produced Don’t Worry Darling, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival. Her 2019 directorial debut film, Booksmart, won an Independent Spirit Award for best first feature, a GLAAD Media Award for best film, a Writers Guild Award nomination for best original screenplay and a Golden Globe nomination for lead actress Beanie Feldstein.

Books & Authors

Awards: Sarton, Gilda Winners; Plutarch Finalists

The Story Circle Network has announced the winners of its 2022 Sarton and Gilda Women's Book Awards, which are open to women authors whose work is published in English in the U.S. and Canada. Winners receive a cash prize of $100, a commemorative award, gold seals, and a virtual seal for their websites, as well as advertising in SCN’s e-letters and website and a year's membership in SCN. This year's winners are:

Sarton Award 
Memoir: Chasing Zebras by Margaret Nowaczyk 
Contemporary fiction: Blurred Fates by Anastasia Zadeik 
Historical fiction: Cora’s Kitchen by Kimberley Brown 
Nonfiction: Manifesting Justice by Valena Beety 

Gilda Prize 
Yes Again by Sallie H. Weissinger 


Finalists have been named for the 2023 Plutarch Award, given by the Biographers International Organization for the best biography of 2022. The winner will be announced during the 13th annual BIO Conference on May 20 in New York City. The finalists:

G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Gage (Viking)
Mr. B: George Balanchine's 20th Century by Jennifer Homans (Random House)
And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham (Random House)
George V: Never a Dull Moment by Jane Ridley (HarperCollins)
Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne by Katherine Rundell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Book Review

Review: The Collected Regrets of Clover

The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer (St. Martin's Press, $28 hardcover, 320p., 9781250284396, May 9, 2023)

The Collected Regrets of Clover is journalist Mikki Brammer's first novel, a heartfelt and poignant story focusing on a death doula and all she learns in her work with death and dying--and, in the process, about life and living.

Clover Brooks was just five years old when she first saw a person die (her kindergarten teacher), and has witnessed 96 more deaths since then in her work as a death doula. "A birth doula helps usher someone into life, and a death doula helps usher them peacefully out of it," Clover explains patiently to a new neighbor. It's work she's proud of and honored to do, though she realizes that her proximity to--and comfort with--death marks her as "out of step with the rest of the world." And perhaps she is a bit odd, but she's mostly okay with that--even if she's also a bit lonely, and unsure of how to go about becoming less so: "It wasn't that I was opposed to the idea of friendship, it's just that if you don't get close to anyone, you can't lose them."

That's all thrown into chaos when Clover's latest client--a wealthy old woman with a charming smile and a sense of adventure--inadvertently sets Clover on a scavenger hunt through old photos and letters in search of a long-lost lover. It's a search that forces Clover out of her comfort zone, and ushers in relationships with other people (both romantic and not), forcing her to grapple once and for all with her own regrets, rather than those of her dying clients.

Brammer writes with grace and heart about the complicated and complex world of grief. Through Clover's life, as well as the stories of her clients, The Collected Regrets of Clover explores anticipatory grief, denial, anger, loss, and--as the title suggests--regret. Despite the heavy subject, though, Brammer's debut is never dark or hopeless. Rather, it reads as an invitation to accept death as merely a part of life, a part that can, in the right circumstances, even be beautiful. "Giving someone the chance to be seen at their most vulnerable is much more healing than any words." Though tinged with the sadness of those lost, The Collected Regrets of Clover is ultimately a beautiful story of belonging and connection and, cliché though it may sound, what it really means to live life to its fullest. --Kerry McHugh, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: A death doula learns to be as comfortable with life as with death in a heartfelt novel about grief, love, and belonging.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Searching for Caryn by Susan Stoker
2. Never Ever, Ever Give Up by Jay Sidhu
3. Wonderhell by Laura Gassner Otting
4. Global Warming: The Great Deception by Guy K. Mitchell Jr.
5. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
6. Coach by Devney Perry
7. The Inmate by Freida McFadden
8. Right Man, Right Time by Meghan Quinn
9. Pucking Around by Emily Rath
10. Things We Hide from the Light by Lucy Score

[Many thanks to!]

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