Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

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

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer


Fox & Fable Bookstore Opens in Prairie Grove, Ark.

Fox & Fable Bookstore, a new and used bookstore with titles for all ages, opened earlier this spring in Prairie Grove, Ark., the Washington County Enterprise-Leader reported.

The bookstore carries general-interest titles and is located at 114 E. Buchanan St., in the same space as flower shop Flowers-n-Friend. Owner Sky Tabor, a lifelong reader who grew up in Prairie Grove, opened her own bookstore after seeing the clear need for one in the community, particularly downtown. She told the Enterprise-Leader: "I wanted there to be a good bookstore, one that is safe for everyone to come in and shop and to find a book to read and enjoy."

Tabor is the daughter-in-law and niece-in-law of Michelle Tabor and Leslie Tabor, owners of Flowers-n-Friend. The flower shop is still active and can be entered through the bookstore or the building's back exit.

Fox & Fable buys used books and accepts donations of gently used titles. The shop has held one event with a local writer, and Tabor plans to host more events in the months to come. The store opened March 23 and so far, she added, "it has been wonderful, beyond our expectations and quite wonderful."

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Reagan Arthur, Lisa Lucas Leaving Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Reagan Arthur
Lisa Lucas

Reagan Arthur, executive v-p and publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, and Lisa Lucas, senior v-p and publisher, Pantheon Schocken, are both leaving the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Penguin Random House.

With their departures, Jordan Pavlin has been promoted to executive v-p, publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, in addition to her role as editor-in-chief, and will now manage the entire Knopf editorial department as well as Schocken editorial. Pantheon editorial now reports to Denise Oswald, v-p, editorial director, who will newly report to Bill Thomas, executive v-p, publisher & editor-in-chief, Doubleday.

In an announcement to staff, Group president and publisher Maya Mavjee said the realignment is "necessary for our future growth. Our new structure--consisting of a nimble, concentrated leadership team--will enable us to meet the trials of an ever-shifting marketplace, hone the shape and focus of our imprints, and continue to allow us to do what we do best: publish great books."

Mavjee called Pavlin "the ideal person" to lead Knopf. "The list of bestselling Knopf authors she has edited is a who's who of American letters: Kaveh Akbar, Nathan Englander, Yaa Gyasi, Ayana Mathis, Maggie O'Farrell, Tommy Orange, Karen Russell, Maggie Shipstead, Michelle Zauner, and many more over the course of her 30-year career."

In February 2020, Arthur became senior v-p and publisher of Knopf, Pantheon, and Schocken, succeeding Sonny Mehta, who died in December 2019 and had identified her as his first choice for the role. Earlier, Arthur had worked at Little, Brown for 19 years, founding the Reagan Arthur Books imprint in 2010 and becoming senior v-p and publisher in 2013.

Pantheon editor Jordan Pavlin at NVNR conference in 2023
Jordan Pavlin

Mavjee noted that in the last four years, Arthur had spearheaded publication of such books as Cormac McCarthy's last two novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris; Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow; and Jayne Anne Phillips's Night Watch. She also personally edited Bono's memoir, Surrender; Ian McEwan's Lessons, and Nathan Hill's Wellness.

Lisa Lucas joined the company at the end of 2020 after serving as executive director of the National Book Foundation for five years.

Mavjee said that "among Lisa's many accomplishments at Pantheon" include publishing "a wide array of bestselling and critically acclaimed books that have shaped the cultural conversation," including Chain-Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah; Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell; Charlie Hustle by Keith O'Brien; Helen Garner's The Children's Bach, Monkey Grip, and This House of Grief; and the titles in the Pantheon graphic novels program.

Atria Books to Relaunch Washington Square Press as Frontlist HC Imprint

Atria Books will relaunch Washington Square Press for spring 2025 as a frontlist hardcover imprint focused on publishing literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Led by Atria's editorial director Lindsay Sagnette, the current editorial staff of Atria Books will have the opportunity to acquire new titles for the imprint. WSP's goal is to publish four to six books a season, building "a thoughtfully curated list of books devoted to exceptional writing; bold, innovative ideas; and under-published voices."
"We are excited to breathe new life into the storied Washington Square Press imprint, which will now shift its focus from backlist to become an active frontlist publisher," said Sagnette. "The reinvigorated Washington Square Press will champion exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that are essential to the conversations of today. Having a dedicated home for these talented authors is vital as we grow in our mission as a publisher: to publish the best books for every reader."
Titles on the spring 2025 WSP list include the debut novel The Grand Scheme of Things by Warona Jay (February); a reissue of bell hooks's The Will to Change, with a new introduction by Ross Gay; There's No Turning Back by Alba de Céspedes, banned by Italy's Fascist regime when it was first published in 1938 and now translated by Ann Goldstein (February); poet Tiana Clark's sophomore collection, Scorched Earth (March); and Heather McGowan's new novel, Friends of the Museum, her first since 2007 (April). Forthcoming titles will include works by Saeed Jones, Tareq Baconi, Amber Husain, Katie Prout, Elissa Washuta, and Pria Anand.

BookCAMP 2024 Show Set for June 23-25

BookCAMP 2024, a new three-day trade show where "independent authors, publishers, industry experts will gather to learn, trade success stories and network," takes place June 23-25 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel near Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The show includes the Independent Press Awards ceremony dinner on June 24, celebrating the winners of the IPA and NYC Big Book Awards. Awards authors and publishers will attend from across the U.S., as well as Singapore, China, and Australia, among other countries. audiobook service ACX is sponsoring the "Get the Most Out of the Show" welcoming ceremony for all newcomers. There will be a "40 Under 40 in Publishing" ceremony, keynote presentations, deep-dive breakout sessions, literary agent speed dating, and "Meet the Expert" one-on-one consultations.

Speakers and experts include Michele Cobb, executive director of the Audio Publishers Association, publisher of AudioFile magazine as well as the executive director of PubWest; Wolfgang Schmid of Surplus Logistics LLC., a 50-year veteran of global logistics; Brian Jud, executive director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales; David Nudo, former publisher of Publishers Weekly and managing director of books at the New York Times.

The event grew out of the quarterly magazine BookCAMP, which addresses authors and publishers' business challenges of book publishing. BookCAMP magazine publisher Ted Olczak commented: "These three days of BookCAMP 2024 will help indie authors & publishers improve their bookselling strategies, and expose them to additional streams of revenue including professionally made audiobooks. With authors and publishers in focus, BookCAMP 2024 will provide practical, actionable information and connect them with other publishing professionals that can make a bottom line difference in their book publishing programs and book sales."

For more information and to register, click here.


Image of the Day: 'Why Books Still Matter'

Tattered Cover Book Store on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colo., hosted a panel discussion among (from left) publisher Karl Weber, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, retired Tattered Cover COO Matt Miller, and First Amendment attorney Steve Zansberg. The event, which was covered by C-SPAN Book TV, celebrated the publication of Why Books Still Matter (Rivertowns Books), a collection of essays about books, bookselling, and freedom of expression, assembled to honor the legacy of the late Joyce Meskis, the longtime Tattered Cover owner and defender of the rights to read, write, and publish.

Personnel Changes at Scholastic

Duaa Ali, formerly account coordinator at Litzky Public Relations, has joined Scholastic as publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jason De León on Here & Now

Here & Now: Jason De León, author of Soldiers and Kings: Survival and Hope in the World of Human Smuggling (Viking, $32, 9780593298589).

Good Morning America: Dan Churchill, author of Eat Like a Legend: Delicious, Super Easy Recipes to Perform at Your Peak (HarperOne, $34.99, 9780063284227).

Today Show: Stephen Perrine, author of The Full-Body Fat Fix: The Science-Based 7-Day Plan to Cool Inflammation, Heal Your Gut, and Build a Healthier, Leaner You! (St. Martin's Press, $30, 9781250289520).

The View: Charlamagne Tha God, author of Get Honest or Die Lying: Why Small Talk Sucks (Atria/Black Privilege Publishing, $28.99, 9781982173791).

TV: The Sandman Season 2

Netflix "has rounded out the Endless Family" for season two of The Sandman, based on Neil Gaiman's DC Comics series, Deadline reported. Esmé Creed-Miles will play Delirium, Adrian Lester is Destiny, and Barry Sloane is the Prodigal. They join season one cast members Tom Sturridge as Dream, Kirby as Death, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, and Donna Preston as Despair, who are returning.

Additional returning cast members include Patton Oswalt, Vivienne Acheampong, Gwendoline Christie, Jenna Coleman, Ferdinand Kingsley, Stephen Fry, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Vanesu Samunyai, and Razane Jammal.

Developed and executive produced by Gaiman, showrunner Allan Heinberg, and David S. Goyer, The Sandman is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Jamie Childs directs all episodes.

Books & Authors

Awards: B&N Children's & YA Books

Barnes & Noble named this year's winners of its annual Children's & YA Book Awards. The overall winner was The Misfits, written by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat, which also took the Young Reader category. The other category winners were I Lived Inside a Whale by Xin Li (Picture Books) and Powerless by Laura Roberts (YA).

"This year has brought us a wealth of superlative children's publishing, with record breaking sales pointing to a growing love for books even among our youngest readers," B&N CEO James Daunt said. "Our booksellers have chosen a delightful selection of books for the book awards and the winners of each category are truly extraordinary. We look forward to expanding nationwide the young audiences enchanted and encouraged by these books. In The Misfits, Newbery Honoree Lisa Yee's peerless storytelling, complemented by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's immersive illustrations, charmed our booksellers, as surely it will readers for generations to come."

Book Review

Review: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow

Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku (HarperVia, $27.99 hardcover, 272p., 9780063354494, July 30, 2024)

Undoubtedly, 2024 is Damilare Kuku's year. Her debut collection, Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad, proved she's a formidable storyteller. She further displays that prowess in her first novel, Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow, a polyphonic masterpiece that opens with a 20-year-old woman's proclamation: "I plan to renovate my bumbum in Lagos, live there for some time, and hopefully meet the love of my life!" Her timing is awkward: the assembled family has just heard the reading of her beloved father's will. Shock aside, the one thing Témì can say is "Nigerian families can be an obstacle in a girl's journey to a figure eight."

For her entire young life, people have relentlessly judged Témì's body. The invasive barrage about her backside--"blackboard," "mopstick," "inverted"--has been never-ending from family, friends, even strangers on social media. She confesses to her father just before his death, "I just want to be seen... it seems like the world will only see me if I have a backside." The living aren't supportive: fatal reports abound and no one wants to bury another family member. But Témì's declaration exhumes all manner of buried secrets as to how self-mutilation seems to be a young woman's sole path to finding true love and therefore happiness. Despite their sizable bumbums, though, what was labeled "love" hasn't been kind to the women in Témì's life: her mother Hassana survived assault; her older sister Ládùn battled desertion then lies, both her paternal and maternal aunts endured abuse and abandonment. So-called true love (with others) even steals away her best friends. And yet Témì's insistence on surgery persists: "I am doing it for me."

Kuku's novel is not unlike her impressive collection--sharply insightful, bitingly funny, wondrously poignant--except her stories here are also intricately, exquisitely interconnected. Her pointed shifts in pronouns between chapters are small-but-mighty literary enhancements: Hassana, Ládùn, and the aunts are all granted first-person narrative control when revealing themselves; third-person is reserved for outsiders--the lawyer, doctor, prophet. Témì's chapters are notably presented in the second person "you," as if an empathic caution to "the young people of today whose Tomorrow... is filled with too many expectations: for young women to be perfect, sexy," Kuku writes in her author's note. "When did perfection become the goal?" Kuku nevertheless also recognizes "the girls who went under the knife for themselves, you are bad bitches." Témì becomes that everywoman searching for acceptance and affirmation--by any means necessary. --Terry Hong

Shelf Talker: A young Nigerian woman is determined that surgical backside enhancement is the only path to finding true love and happiness in Damilare Kuku's wise, funny, irresistible debut novel.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. King of Sloth by Ana Huang
2. Go to Hell Ole Miss by Jeff Barry
3. The Deer and the Dragon by Piper CJ
4. Twisted Love by Ana Huang
5. Fire in the Hole! by Bob Parsons
6. Throttled by Lauren Asher
7. The Teacher by Freida McFadden
8. The Inmate by Freida McFadden
9. Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton
10. Wild Love by Elsie Silver

[Many thanks to!]

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