Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 19, 2007
Welcome, Jenny Brown!We are very happy to announce that Jennifer M. Brown will begin contributing weekly children's book reviews and occasional children's news stories to Shelf Awareness, beginning in two weeks. Jenny, who has been children's reviews editor at Publishers Weekly for the past 10 years, earlier was marketing manager at Scholastic Press, editorial director at the Pleasant Company and worked in children's books at HarperCollins as editorial director of Trophy Paperbacks and educational marketing director.
She graduated from Princeton, where she got her fill of Joyces: she studied with Joyce Carol Oates and wrote her senior thesis on James Joyce's Ulysses. She's literally a trouper and nearly once a year puts on a cabaret show.
We've known Jenny since she started at PW, and she's very smart, very warm and always cheerful (even under the most stressful circumstances!).
Notes: 300 Still No. 1; Caravan Rolls; Joseph-Beth
300, the movie about the Battle of Thermopylae based on the Frank Miller graphic novel, valiantly fought off attacks from Wild Hogs and Premonition to remain No. 1 at the box office over the weekend. The movie grossed $31.8 million over the weekend and has taken in $127.4 million in the 10 days since its release.
The Washington Post has a preview of the next stage of the Caravan Project, which aims to make books available to consumers in a variety of physical and digital formats--traditional book, POD book, e-book, online download, audio CD, audio download--involving all elements of the industry, including publishers, wholesalers and booksellers. Caravan head Peter Osnos first outlined the project here a year and a half ago (Shelf Awareness, August 19, 2005).
In the next week or so, some 23 titles from seven publishers will be available through eight independents and 10 Borders stores. Ingram is providing major support, including technical help. More anon.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers's flagship store in Lexington, Ky., is undergoing a $500,000 renovation as it celebrates its 20th anniversary, and Joseph-Beth owner Neil Van Uum is reemphasizing basics at the store, which had a sales drop of 5% last year, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The seven Joseph-Beth stores grossed $50 million last year.
Cremeans, general manager of the Lexington store, told the paper that
the changes at the main store will "send out a signal to the community
that 'We're here, stronger than ever.' "
The renovations will make more room for books (and a Kentucky section restored to high visibility) and add wi-fi access. Van Uum said that the store had been somewhat neglected as Joseph-Beth expanded. He continues to consider opening more stores--most likely another in Cincinnati and one in Louisville.
In the International Herald Tribune, AP correspondent Hamza Hendawi
follows up with two Baghdad booksellers he has visited regularly for
four years. The pair's bookstore survived the book market bombing on
March 5, but the two have differing opinions on their future.
Atallah Zeidan said, "The market is dead. They can replace the books and rebuild the shops but where are they going to find people who know about books?"
On the other hand, Mohammed Hanash Abbas said the market "will bounce back, God willing."
Borders Group will pay a quarterly dividend of 11 cents per share on April 25 to shareholders of record on April 4. The amount continues a new higher dividend, up from 10 cents a share, that began in January.
Mann's Book Buy Book used bookstore in Redlands, Calif., "the last bookstore downtown," is closing this month, the Press-Enterprise reported. Owner Gregg Mann attributed the closing to high rents, too little parking and shopping center competition. Downtown Redlands has been in transition; a range of stores have closed and others have opened.
Still the wild west--but with a high-tech twist! On Saturday evening a masked gunman demanded and took a laptop from a customer at the main Tattered Cover store in Denver, Colo., according to KWGN. Store manager Neil Strandberg told the station that the store is providing security--including a uniformed guard.
Vintage Books is offering booksellers attending BEA discounted tickets to the world premiere of Joan Didion's first play, The Year of Magical Thinking, based on her bestselling memoir, which is now playing at the Booth Theatre. The play is directed by David Hare and stars Vanessa Redgrave.
The offer is valid for performances between April 27 and June 30, with some blackout dates. Performances run Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. Discounted prices are $55 for the Wednesday matinee; $60 for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings; and $65 for Friday and Saturday shows. The offer is available by phone 212-947-8844 or online. (Mention code YMBKP92.) Or bring a printout from Shelf Awareness to the Booth Theatre box office.
Media and Movies
Media Heat: Ageless Actresses
Today the Martha Stewart Show welcomes Olympia Dukakis, who provides
the voice for a character in an audio version of Nick Katsoris's
Growing Up with Loukoumi (NK Publications, $19.95,
9780970510037/0970510039). The children's book comes packaged with a
Also on the Martha Stewart Show is Joan Nathan, who shares recipes from The New American Cooking (Knopf, $35, 9781400040346/1400040345).
Today the Ellen DeGeneres Show speaks with Suzanne Somers, whose most recent book is Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones (Crown, $25, 9780307237248/0307237249).
Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 9780060846701/0060846704).
Tonight the Colbert Report has an appointment with Jerome Groopman, M.D., the New Yorker staff writer and author of How Doctors Think (Houghton Mifflin, $26, 9780618610037/0618610030).
Books & Authors
Awards: Astrid Lindgren; Jackson Poetry; ThrillersBanco del Libro, a nonprofit organization that has distributed books to children in Venezuela for nearly half a century, has won the 2007 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature, according to the AP via the Washington Post. Established to honor the late writer whose main character was Pippi Longstocking, the award is sponsored by the Swedish government and carries a prize of $710,000, making it the richest children's book prize in the world.
Banco del Libro was cited for being a pioneer in "disseminating books and promoting reading among children in Venezuela." The organization's director said that the prize money will go to continue its efforts and "reach other corners of the country where we haven't reached."
Elizabeth Alexander has won the inaugural Jackson Poetry Prize. Sponsored by Poets & Writers, the $50,000 prize honors "an American poet of exceptional talent who has published at least one book of recognized literary merit but has not yet received major national acclaim. The award is designed to provide what all poets need--time and the encouragement to write."
A poet, essayist, playwright and professor at Yale, Alexander is the author of four books of poems, American Sublime (Graywolf Press, 2005), The Venus Hottentot (Graywolf Press, 2004), Antebellum Dream Book (Graywolf Press, 2001) and Body of Life (Northwestern University Press, 1997). She has also published a collection of essays, The Black Interior (Graywolf Press, 2003).
International Thriller Writers has announced the finalists for its Thriller awards. Winners will be announced at the organization's ThrillerFest in New York City in July. The nominees:
- False Impression by Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin's)
- Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder (St. Martin's)
- Cold Kill by Stephen Leather (Hodder & Stoughton)
- The Messenger by Daniel Silva (Putnam)
- Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger (Shaye Areheart Books/Bantam)
- Shadow of Death by Patricia Gussin (Oceanview Publishing)
- Switchback by Matthew Klein (Orion)
- A Thousand Suns by Alex Scarrow (Orion)
- 18 Seconds by George D. Shuman (S&S)
- Mr. Clarinet by Nick Stone (Michael Joseph/Penguin)
- Skeleton Coast by Clive Cussler with Jack DuBrul (Berkley)
- The Deep Blue Alibi by Paul Levine (Bantam)
- An Unquiet Grave by P.J. Parrish (Pinnacle)
- Headstone City by Tom Piccirilli (Spectra Books/Crown)
- Mortal Faults by Michael Prescott (Onyx)
- Inside Man by Russell Gewirtz
- The Departed by William Monahan
- The Good Shepherd by Eric Roth
- Children of Men by Alfonse Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby
- Casino Royale by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis
Book Sense: May We RecommendBook Sense: May We Recommend
From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at BookSense.com, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:
Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312341015/0312341016). "Sessums' autobiography offers the portrait of a gay man growing up in Mississippi, from the young child who will always be different, to his painful coming-of-age story, which will resonate with all too many, and, finally, as a young man, finding a haven in a circle of Southern writers. Sad, witty, and compelling, this boy will engage your heart."--Jeanne Costello, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo.
The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay (Doubleday, $23.95, 9780385518482/038551848X). "Grumpy, odd booksellers, an immigrant who finds her place in the rarified/abysmal world of a New York bookstore, the whiff of an elusive Melville manuscript, and, best of all, an author who can write about the world of books in words you will savor. The Secret of Lost Things lovingly tells of things and emotions lost and found, of lives and worlds that surround and abound with depths we never notice."--Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.
The Royal Nonesuch: What Will I Do When I Grow Up by Glasgow Phillips (Grove/Black Cat, $14, 9780802170286/0802170285). "A memoir whose subtitle says it all. Glasgow Phillips has early success with a book, and opportunities abound. Then, a second book never gets started. The Internet buzz buzzes by. An absolutely terrible idea for a movie actually gets made. It's not 'when' he grows up, it's 'will' he. Funny, knuckleheaded, outrageous, and, finally sensitive. A crazy read."--Dick Garvey, Watermark Book Co., Anacortes, Wash.
For Kids of All Ages
Who's Hiding? by Saturo Onishi (Kane/Miller, $14.95, 9781933605241/1933605243,). "Everyone--not just children--picks up this book in our store! Readers pick from 18 different, wonderfully drawn animals to answer such questions as 'Who has horns?' and, of course, 'Who's hiding?' What fun to watch kids and their parents read this book."--Mary McHale, Fox Tale Books, New Durham, N.H.
[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]
Book Brahmins: Tim MaleenyTim Maleeny is the author of Stealing the Dragon, a novel set in Hong Kong and San Francisco that Lee Child called "a perfect thriller debut." His short fiction appears in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and Death Do Us Part, a recent anthology from Mystery Writers of America that was edited by Harlan Coben. He lives in San Francisco, where he dreams of murder and mayhem.
On nightstand now:
The Song Is You by Megan Abbot
Favorite book when you were a child:
Anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs or Isaac Asimov
Top five authors:
Only five?! Loren Estleman, Robert Crais, Elmore Leonard, Ken Bruen and Lee Child
Book you've "faked" reading:
Cold Mountain, until I realized that everyone who'd asked me if I'd read it was faking, too.
Book you are an "evangelist" for:
The Killing of the Tinkers by Ken Bruen
Book you've bought for the cover:
Moist by Mark Haskell Smith
Book that changed your life:
Amazing Spider-Man #121, June 1973
Favorite line from a book:
"There are people who can be happy anywhere. I am not one of them." (Opening line from A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read)
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Mystery Bestsellers: The IMBA ListThe following are the February bestsellers at Independent Mystery Booksellers Association member stores:
1. Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie
2. High Profile by Robert B. Parker
3. The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid
4. Dust by Martha Grimes
5. Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein
6. The Conjurer by Cordelia Frances Biddle
7. Storm Runners by T. Jefferson Parker
8. Damage Control by Robert Dugoni
9. Aunt Dimity Goes West by Nancy Atherton
10. The Alexandria Link by Steve Berry
1. The Orkney Scroll by Lyn Hamilton
2. Guess Who's Coming to Die? by Patricia Sprinkle
3. Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea by Nancy Atherton
4. To Love and to Perish by Laura Durham
5. Murder Can Depress Your Dachshund by Selma Eichler
6. Night of the Living Deb by Susan McBride
7. Meow Is for Murder by Linda O. Johnston
7. Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke
7. Faux Finished by Peg Marberg
10. Ground to a Halt by Claudia Bishop
[Thanks to IMBA!]