Also published on this date: Tuesday November 28, 2023: Maximum Shelf: Fruit of the Dead

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves


#CiderMonday: 'Put Down the Computer. Jeff Bezos Doesn't Need Any More of Your Money'

At Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

Cider Monday celebrations, held yesterday nationwide, have become more of a complement to indie booksellers' evolving online sales prowess than counter-programming to Cyber Monday's craziness, which had been the initiative's original intent. Willard Williams, who launched Cider Monday in 2013, was co-founder of the Toadstool Bookshops, with stores in Keene and Peterborough (now under new ownership) and the renamed Balin Books ("Cider Monday began with a splash and a few spills 11 years ago among independent stores in New England") in Nashua.  

Many indie bookstores across the U.S. were raising a glass of cider to toast the day, including:

Nowhere Bookshop, San Antonio, Tex.: "Put down the computer. Jeff Bezos doesn't need any more of your money. Come celebrate Cider Monday with us instead! We're sipping cider (both regular and hard) and taking books. Come join us!"

Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, Ariz.: "It's Cider Monday! Come in today during business hours and enjoy some free hot cider. Also today: free media mail shipping for online orders in celebration of Cyber Monday!"

Wordsworth Books, Little Rock, Ark.

The Brewster Book Store, Brewster, Mass.: "We've got cider!! Sure, we've got cyber (and appreciate everyone who shops via our website) but community is at the heart and soul of our business. We are so grateful for your support throughout the year. Whether you are someone who comes in to buy a card, pick up a new paperback release, or do the bulk of your holiday shopping, you are an important part of our community. Please swing by today and enjoy some delicious Carlson's Apple Cider (made in Harvard, MA) on us."

Katy Budget Books, Katy, Tex.: "If you like Cyber Monday, visit to order new books and gifts. But if you prefer shopping in person, we are having Cider Monday! Hope you'll join us!!"

The Next Page Bookstore & More, Decatur, Ind.: "It's so cozy in here for Cider Monday! Come sip and shop and enjoy our Christmas wonderland. Storewide sale."

At The Next Page, Decatur, Ind.

Wheatberry Books, Chillicothe, Ohio: "It's Cider Monday! Who needs to shop online when you have cool local shops that give out free cups of Hirsch's Apple Cider? We have sparkling cider this year too in case you're feeling fancy!"

WordsWorth Books, Little Rock, Ark.: "Cider Monday > Cyber Monday. Tomorrow, enjoy 10% off online sales with code CIDER2023 and in-store, have a cup of hot cider with us!"

Roundabout Books, Bend, Ore.: "CIDER Monday! Friends! Instead of Cyber Monday, we invite you to shop online at Spend $50 and save 10% with coupon code CIDER23. If you're out and about, stop by, and let's chat about your favorite book of the year so far. Sip on hot spiced apple cider while you shop! Thank you for shopping local businesses!"

Shades of Pemberley Bookstore, Albertville, Ala.: "It's cider Monday! We are open! If you must shop online check out our Bookshop link."

Books Are Awesome, Parker, Colo.: "Join us Monday 11/27 for #cidermonday and sip hot spiced apple cider while you shop!"

Byrd's Books, Bethel, Conn.: "Did you know that we have Cider (not Ciber) Monday tomorrow? Shop in a store with a real person and get a cider doughnut at the same time!"

At Horizon Books, Cadillac, Mich.

Horizon Books, Cadillac, Mich.: "It's not a typo! Cider Monday is an initiative to take a bite out of cyber deals and shop indie and local, in person and online!"

Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.: "Happy Cider Monday! As a thank you for choosing to shop local today, stop in to our Café for a free cup of hot cider!"

Winchester Book Gallery, Winchester, Va.: "In the continued fight against bloated corporations, we bring you Cider Monday! Instead of hunkering down and scrolling for hours on C*ber M*nday, stop by the Book Gallery for free hot cider and a bit of shopping--trust us, it's way more fun."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Owned by a High School Student, Seven Stories Moves to Larger Space in Shawnee, Kans.

Seven Stories in Shawnee, Kans., has moved from its original home to a larger location at 11109 Johnson Drive, KCUR reported.

Founder Halley Vincent, who is a high-school freshman as well as the youngest member of the American Booksellers Association, she says, runs the bookstore with the help of her mother, Alisha Vincent. Their wide-ranging inventory features an emphasis on diverse titles as well as a selection of bilingual books in Spanish, Chinese, and English. The store's nonbook offerings include posters and greeting cards, and Vincent hopes to start hosting book clubs and other events.

"I want everybody to feel kind of represented when they walk into a bookstore. For me, it's a very big community place," Halley Vincent told KCUR. "It's a community hub where I get to talk to people, people can come talk to me, and basically just, like, tell me their stories, and tell me about them. And it's just a really friendly environment.”

Seven Stories has gradually grown out of Vincent's efforts to distribute books to the community and raise money for charity. It began with her giving away books at Shawnee City Hall and donating the profits to local animal shelters. From there she created a bookmobile--a lawnmower with a wagon attached--and used it to distribute books. 

In 2022, she opened a tiny, 97-square-foot physical location inside of Alisha Vincent's art space. Given the size, Halley told KCUR, there was only enough room for a few bookshelves and two people at most, and the location was "hidden" and hard to find.

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Lara Phan Promoted at PRH

Lara Phan

Lara Phan has been promoted to v-p, account marketing & event strategy, at Penguin Random House. Phan began her book publishing career in library marketing at Penguin Young Readers in 2000, and joined Random House in 2008 as the events manager for Random House and Crown, working closely with sales, publicity, and accounts to help create and execute author tours. In 2015, she was named director, with broader responsibilities that included managing the sales-based events team and collaborating across divisions to help build new strategies for consumer outreach, consumer-facing events, and cons.

Ruth Liebmann, v-p, account marketing, to whom she reports, said that Phan's "gift for innovation, her signal talent for solving seemingly impossible problems, and her constant drive to keep the needs and wants of readers front-and-center, have contributed to innumerable author tours and marketing campaigns.

"Lara is also a mentor to countless booksellers, in particular those just launching their events programs. For over fifteen years, she has made it a priority to build strong relationships with BIPOC booksellers, helping Penguin Random House develop productive marketing initiatives and event partnerships with community-based entrepreneurs across the country. She has worked tirelessly to expand our reach in underserved markets, and to support the launch of new voices across all categories, formats, and publishing divisions.

"Lara has worked on too many high-profile tours to name here: celebrities, bestsellers, prizewinners, and three Presidents. Lara is a book-tour favorite of rock stars, bestselling authors, literary icons, and yes, even the Secret Service. She is beloved and respected by some of the most demanding accounts in the country."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

More on Booker Winner Prophet Song

After the announcement late Sunday that Prophet Song by Paul Lynch won the 2023 Booker Prize, Grove Atlantic moved up the U.S. pub date for the Atlantic Monthly Press book to December 5 from December 12.

Oneworld, the book's original publisher, noted that in accepting the award, Lynch said, "It is with immense pleasure that I bring the Booker home to Ireland.... This was not an easy book to write. The rational part of me believed that I was dooming my career by writing this novel, though I had to write the book anyway. We do not have a choice in such matters."

And Waterstones head of books Bea Carvalho said, "Prophet Song is a powerful, chilling masterpiece which deserves to be read extremely widely: we're delighted that the Booker judges have awarded Paul Lynch this year's prize, which will introduce his works to so many new readers. This is an amazing triumph for Oneworld, which yet again demonstrates Juliet Mabey's exceptional taste: we'll be keeping a keen eye on her list next year!"

Shelf Awareness's Best Adult Books of 2023

This year's selection of the 10 Best Fiction and 10 Best Nonfiction adult titles caused us to notice that it's hard to think about life in the present without first reflecting upon the past: Even novels such as Chain-Gang All-Stars and Prophet, while set in a near/alternate future, reckon with the past; and nonfiction like How to Say Babylon, Lesbian Love Story, and The Quickening acknowledge that one must find one's place in the world in part by understanding the historical events that led to this moment. The team at Shelf Awareness once again appreciated such literary companions to escort us through the strange and unpredictable year that was 2023. Click here to see our reviews. (And here are our Best Children's and YA Books of 2023.)

America Fantastica by Tim O'Brien (Mariner)
Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Ajdei-Brenyah (Pantheon)
Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea (Little, Brown)
In Memoriam by Alice Winn (Knopf)
The Laughter by Sonora Jha (HarperVia)
Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)
Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide by Rupert Holmes (Avid Reader Press)
Prophet by Helen Macdonald & Sin Blaché (Grove Press)
Shark Heart by Emily Habeck (Marysue Rucci Books)
Whalefall by Daniel Kraus (MTV Books)

Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World  by Christian Cooper (Random House)
The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year by Margaret Renkl (Spiegel & Grau)
Enlightened Transsexual Comix by Sam Szabo (Silver Sprocket)
The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science by Kate Zernike (Scribner)
How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair (Simon & Schuster)
Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives by Amelia Possanza (Catapult)
The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth by Elisabeth Rush (Milkweed)
The Talk by Darrin Bell (Holt)
You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir by Maggie Smith (One Signal/Atria)
Zero at the Bone by Christian Wiman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


Image of the Day: 'A True Account' at Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., hosted the launch event for Katherine Howe's novel A True Account: Hannah Masury's Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself (Holt). She was joined in conversation by author Kevin Birmingham. (photo: Louis Hyman)

Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks

Siena Koncsol has joined Sourcebooks as senior publicity and marketing manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joy Buolamwini on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Joy Buolamwini, author of Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines (Random House, $28.99, 9780593241837).

Good Morning America: Scout Bassett, author of Lucky Girl: Lessons on Overcoming Odds and Building a Limitless Future (Worthy Books, $27, 9781546003861).

Drew Barrymore Show: Kerry Washington, author of Thicker than Water: A Memoir (Little, Brown Spark, $30, 9780316497398).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Patrick Stewart, author of Making It So: A Memoir (Gallery Books, $35, 9781982167738).

TV: Arzu

Charithra Chandran (Bridgerton) will star in Arzu, a drama series based on the novel by Riva Razdan. Noting that Geetika Lizardi (Bridgerton; Mira, Royal Detective; Outsourced) is attached to write and will also serve as showrunner, Variety reported that the project "comes out of the first-look deal between Fifth Season-backed Blink49 Studios and Canadian entertainer, advocate, and bestselling author Lilly Singh's Unicorn Island Productions."

Chandran said: "I'm delighted to be part of a show that is full of glamor, romance and drama that also fearlessly touches on societal issues. It has been a dream working with Blink49 and Unicorn Island Productions as well as being reunited with Geetika on this. Excited for the world to see it."

The series will be executive produced by Singh and Polly Auritt for Unicorn Island Productions, Carolyn Newman and Virginia Rankin for Blink49 Studios, Chandran, and Lizardi.

"Arzu exemplifies the very essence of our initial collaboration with Lilly and Unicorn Island Productions," said Newman. "We're thrilled to welcome Charithra as our lead actress who brings depth and charisma to the project as well as to be working alongside Geetika to adapt this captivating narrative for television."

Lizardi added: "I'm thrilled to work with Charithra and Lilly to bring Riva's smart, sexy and aspirational novel to life. I especially love that Arzu's journey is so personal to our experiences as South Asian women, and at the same time, a coming-of-age story with universal resonance."

Books & Authors

Awards: CALIBA's Golden Poppy Finalists

Finalists have been announced for the 2023 Golden Poppy Book Awards, sponsored by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance and highlighting "the best of the best from California authors and illustrators." Voting takes place January 1-15, and a virtual awards ceremony will be held later that month.

CALIBA co-executive director Kristin Rasmussen said, "2023 has proven to be a stellar year for the Golden Poppies so far. We increased the number of award categories, bookseller committee members, and submissions. We are all incredibly proud of the depth, diversity, and California talent represented in our list of finalists. We can't wait to see which titles our booksellers select come January."

To see the finalists in all 14 categories, selected by bookseller committees, click here.

Book Review

Review: How We Named the Stars

How We Named the Stars by Andrés N. Ordorica (Tin House Books, $17.95 paperback, 304p., 9781959030331, January 30, 2024)

Latinx poet, educator, writer Andrés N. Ordorica makes his fiction debut with How We Named the Stars, a searing coming-of-age, first-love story between two young men--one living, the other six weeks dead. Daniel de la Luna and Sam Morris began as strangers at their elite upstate New York college, where they were randomly assigned as roommates. While they share California roots, their backgrounds are markedly different: awkward "overthinker" Daniel, the son of Mexican immigrants, is the first of his family to pursue higher education, made possible by a full-ride academic scholarship; golden-boy Sam is privileged, white, a talented legacy on the soccer team, with easygoing, kind parents who ensure the boys' every comfort when they deliver Sam to campus. Over the school year, their relationship evolves from roommates to best friends to something more; their summer apart will separate them forever.

Ordorica bestows upon Daniel authorial agency, writing in first person with aching vulnerability. Daniel addresses Sam directly and inclusively--you, your, our--confessing everything he could have, should have, said to Sam when they were still together, when he was still alive. While the book's first half centers on the growing intimacy between the two young men, the second half turns to Daniel on his own, as he adapts, learns, expands into his maturing selfhood. Being discarded by Sam ironically provides Daniel the opportunity to spend the summer in Chihuahua, Mexico, with his beloved grandfather and extended family. This time, he grows familiar--through others finally willing to talk--with his late uncle and namesake, Daniel, who died two years before his birth. Readers, too, will come to understand the provenance of the cleverly placed epigraphs that open each chapter. The persistent similarities between uncle and nephew will provide the latter with the determination to "To live. To be happy. To be free."

Fifteen years in the creating, the novel owes a debt to Waiting for Godot, according to Ordorica in his concluding author's note. He emphasizes that "this is not a memoir, and I am not Daniel," yet adds, "But the experiences that Daniel goes through, of being named after a family member he never met, and then losing a dear friend at the tender age of nineteen, are both truths that have shaped my own story." That empathy resonates on every page, although Ordorica can veer occasionally toward overwrought repetition and pedantic awkwardness. Minor stumbles aside, Ordorica affectingly ciphers stripped-bare emotions into a haunting tribute to love and survival. --Terry Hong, BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Andrés N. Ordorica's fiercely impassioned debut novel parses the intensely evolving relationship between two young men in their first year as roommates at an elite upstate New York college.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Twisted Love by Ana Huang
2. Hunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton
3. Love Redesigned by Lauren Asher
4. King of Greed by Ana Huang
5. The Graham Effect by Elle Kennedy
6. A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn
7. King of Wrath by Ana Huang
8. Make-Believe Match by Melanie Harlow
9. After the Storm by Laura Pavlov
10. Good Elf Gone Wrong by Alina Jacobs

[Many thanks to!]

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