I’m excited to be writing about our publishers, their books, and I’ll also be sharing good news about our industry. I hope you’ll find the blog useful and entertaining.
So who the heck am I, anyway? Well, I’ve got 45 years of experience in all phases of bookselling – working my way through bookstores, then 25 years as a buyer/VP for a large wholesaler, then landing here at C&H for the last 10 years on the sales side of things, so I understand both sides of the ball. I love booksellers and bookselling and I respect how hard you all work to make your spaces unique, welcoming and community embracing. And I love our publishers and respect how hard they work to get their books into your stores. If I can do a little bit to help with that, I’ll have gotten it right! So let’s go!
Front Table Picks
DIY titles aren’t always sexy spaces on “front table” or “Staff Picks” areas, but I urge you to consider this title from Quarto – LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES & TINY SHEDS (ISBN 97807603581220). The popular small structures that have distributed millions of books, non-perishables and other items can be found in more than 100 countries. I love this book with patterns for 12 miniature structures; detailed and colorful photos and illustrations show the builder how. Not only is it endorsed by the Little Free Library people, it’s written by them! Find out more from the Quarto website.
Before we leave Quarto, I’m really in love with their beautiful little book, LITERARY PLACES (ISBN 9781781318102). The book focuses on 25 great literary places that have been featured in some of the best novels ever written. Beautifully illustrated, it’s an armchair guide taking you to spots all over the world. There are some obvious places like James Joyce’s Dublin and Ulysses and Emily Bronte’s Moors and Wuthering Heights – but some not-so-obvious places like Kabul, Afghanistan (The Kite Runner); Kerala, India (The God of Small Things); and Cairo, Egypt (Palace Walk). The jacketless cover has a beautiful eye-catching illustration. Don’t overlook this little gem! Find out more from the Quarto website.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s THE FIVE: UNTOLD LIVES OF THE WOMEN KILLED BY JACK THE RIPPER (on sale April 9) is a fantastic tale of five women who were unconnected in every way – except one: they were all victims of the notorious Jack the Ripper. Never identified by law enforcement, his reign of terror in 1888 was erroneously reported as a killing of prostitutes. In fact, these five women’s stories are finally brought to light. They sang ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, and escaped people traffickers among other things. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. A compelling read that I highly recommend. Find out more from the HMH website.
Lastly, I love Chronicle Books’ THE FUTURE IS FEMINIST: RADICAL, FUNNY AND INSPIRING WRITING BY WOMEN. This textured package makes a beautiful gift (especially for Mother’s Day).
It’s been called “provocative, moving and hilarious.” I love the fact that this great anthology includes women/feminists from all walks of life including such diverse voices as Mindy Kalling, Roxane Gay, Audre Lorde, Salma Hayek, Chimamanda Adiche and many others. Find out more from the Chronicle website.
Take a Look: Recent Reviews of Children’s Books I Like
From CHICAGO REVIEW/IPG there is BECOMING EMILY: THE LIFE OF EMILY DICKINSON (ISBN 9780897330039) for ages 10-14. It’s a portrait that normalizes one of Western literature’s most enigmatic poets. The author, Krystyna Poray Goddu, previously looked at the life of Jazz Age poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. “Much of Goddu’s account seeks to…focus on the exceptional forces throughout Dickinson’s like that contributed to her artistry.” It’s a good study that will hopefully encourage middle graders to explore this fascinating life.
A title from Abrams Books, GITTEL’S JOURNEY, (ISBN 9781419727474) by Lesléa Newman was featured in the influential children’s books blog 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast. This is a favorite author of mine and here she writes about a 9-year-old making a journey to America alone at the end of the 19th century.
In 1998, Sleeping Bear Press–proudly represented by Chesapeake & Hudson, Inc.–broke through with The Legend of Sleeping Bear. Ever since, they’ve been impressing booksellers, educators, students, and families with high quality, beautifully illustrated books. They’ve garnered countless positive reviews, won many awards, and even found their way to the White House where they found themselves under the Christmas tree! Their list includes everything from board books to novels for teens, and I want to make sure you don’t miss them!
I’m especially enthusiastic about two new titles featured in a brand new format on the list:
LITTLE YELLOW TRUCK (ISBN 9781585364077) is written by Eve Bunting, author of 250+ books. It’s the story of Riley, who has a little pickup truck, cement mixer, and flatbed truck. It seems the world can’t have too many truck books right now and this is a darn good one! Find out more from the Sleeping Bear website.
CHIP AND CURLY: THE GREAT POTATO RACE (ISBN 978185364084) Goes on sale on May 16. Chip the potato chip and Curly the curly fry participate in the annual Spud City Potato Race. Filled with good potato puns and subtle themes of sportsmanship and perseverance, the book is a lot of fun.Find out more from the Sleeping Bear website.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO KNOW–Don’t forget Sleeping Bear’s generous stock offer! Through April 30, buy 5+ copies, front and backlist, and get 50% and free freight for returnable customers or 55% and free freight for non-returnable customers.
There are so many amazing titles coming this Spring and early Summer from all the publishers in our bag. It’s exciting! I’ve scratched the surface just a little bit, but I will continue to write about titles I love (frontlist, midlist and backlist) and put the spotlight on our publishers. I’ll be back real soon!