Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chronicle Books: Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton and Robert K Oermann

IDW Publishing: Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni, illustrtaed by Thibault Balahy

Graydon House: The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little

St. Martin's Press: The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1 (Dragon Heart Legacy, 1)

Houghton Mifflin: Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology) by Robin Lafevers

Quotation of the Day

The Course of Book Love 'Never Did Run Smooth'

"Like love, the course of writing, publishing and making a living never did run smooth. But also like love, we keep being drawn to it by our appetite, our imagination and our insatiable desire for connection to others."--Gina Barreca in a Hartford Courant "Irreconcilable Differences" debate with Laurence Cohen.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss


Bookstore Sales: Sunny September Days

September bookstore sales rose 7%, to $1.58 billion, compared to September 2008, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have fallen 0.8%, to $12.52 billion. Earlier in the year, bookstores were running ahead of last year, then fell and are now catching up again.

By contrast, total retail sales in September fell 6.3%, to $330.297 billion, compared to the same period a year ago. For the year to date, total retail sales were down 8.9%, to $3,038.135 billion. Bookstores continue to do better than most retailers.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 07.06.20

Notes: Wine, Beer & Books, New Prairie Lights Combo

We'll drink to this story.

"Iowa City's literati are pouring bottles of reds and whites while settling in to listen to a reading or cracking open a new novel" at the new wine bar at Prairie Lights, the Iowa City Press Citizen wrote.

Earlier this year, the store remodeled its cafe and acquired a liquor license. Prairie Lights is also offering a few craft beers.

"Certainly some of the best books were written over a bottle of wine or a beer," employee Andy Osterhaus said. "We just want to provide a relaxed atmosphere where people can enjoy a good glass of wine, coffee, a conversation with friends or a good book."


On Penguin's website, more than 40 Penguin Group authors are sharing the books they want to give and receive as gifts this season. In this second annual "What to Give & What to Get" promotion, for example, Elizabeth Gilbert said she is planning a "19th-century literature bender" next year and titles by George Eliot and Anthony Trollope top her wish list, while Sue Monk Kidd would like to receive The Help by Kathryn Stockett and plans to give David Benioff's City of Thieves.


Barnes & Noble update: According to a note on the company's Unbound blog, B&N expects to begin accepting gift cards for e-book purchases by mid-December. "We were able to accelerate this change due in part to the customer feedback," the company said.


"I think people are looking to stay a little closer to home. They value local businesses," Arlene Lynes, owner of Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, Ill., told the Northwest Herald. "But you have to be able to offer your community a service. We work with the schools, and we offer story time. We work with the other local businesses. If you are able to partner with another business, it makes both of them stronger."


How are changes in the publishing industry affecting the book market in Lincoln, Neb.? The Journal Star examined the topic from a number of angles, including indie survival in the age of book price wars.

Kate Janulewicz of Indigo Bridge Books said the pricing issue "could have the potential to be devastating for the industry. It could affect the independents in that we may not be able to stay afloat. But it may not affect us directly because we offer titles that aren't bestsellers.... You can try to fight against something that's not worth fighting against because you stand no chance, or you can continue to do what you do and do it well."

The devaluing of book values has had an impact on used bookshops like Bluestem Books, which has "become more selective in what books they buy," the Journal Star wrote.

"There are a lot of books we don't carry now because they're available for pennies on the Internet," said owner Scott Wendt, who observed that the new book price wars won't have an impact on his business because "they're losing $8 to $10 per book, and that's wonderful. They can fight the battle out on the best-seller stuff. That has nothing to do with us, and we hope they all lose millions of dollars.... The titans are fighting in the clouds, and we're down with our lemonade stands just taking nickels."

Red Lightning Books: The Legend of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark on the World by T.S Mart, Mel Cabre

And the Graveyard Book Halloween Contest Winners Are...

At the ABA Celebration of Bookselling Luncheon at BEA, Neil Gaiman, while making his acceptance speech for the Indies Choice Award for Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (for The Graveyard Book), spontaneously announced a competition for an in-store event with him sometime in December.

Congratulations to the two independent bookstores that have been selected as Grand Prize winners in The Graveyard Book Halloween party contest:

  • Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Ga.
  • McNally Robinson in Winnipeg, Canada

More than 40 stores from Canada and the continental U.S. submitted entries to win an event with Gaiman. Five first-prize winners and four second-prize winners were also selected. The Little Shop of Stories will host its event on Monday, December 14, at 6 p.m. McNally Robinson will follow with its event in Winnipeg on Tuesday, December 15, at 6 p.m.

Gaiman launched the contest on his blog on June 12. "Entrants were judged on overall creativity, customer attendance and response, and ability to capture and represent the spirit of The Graveyard Book," according to HarperCollins.


University of Pittsburgh Press: The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim

Eight Good Reasons to Shop Early, Shop Often

Saturday on Twitter, Katherine Fergason (@KatherineBoG), manager and children's buyer at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, Mass., offered hourly reasons "why you might want to consider doing your holiday shopping now instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving." The collected recommendations later appeared on the bookstore's blog:

  1. We have not yet started playing Christmas music.
  2. That feeling of self-righteousness over starting so early translates into treating yourself to something as well.
  3. You can make a list of all the things you want, so that you can hint liberally at Thanksgiving.
  4. If there's a hardcover you've been eyeing, you have time to read the whole thing before giving it away.
  5. We have free gift wrapping. By Christmas, you’ll forget what it was you bought. Aren't surprises great?
  6. It’s much easier to stick to your budget when we aren't serving you eggnog like we do the week before Christmas.
  7. All versions of The Night Before Christmas are still in stock. You won't have to settle for that one weird one left over on Christmas Eve.
  8. You'll bring smiles and joy and a twinkle to the eye of your favorite local, indie bookseller.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jon Bon Jovi on the Today Show

This morning on the Today Show: Tony Hendra, contributor to George Carlin's Last Words: A Memoir (Free Press, $26.99, 9781439172957/1439172951). He also appears on Imus in the Morning tomorrow.


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Jon Bon Jovi, author of Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful (Collins, $30, 9780061864155/0061864153).


Tomorrow morning on Imus in the Morning: Vince Flynn, author of Pursuit of Honor (Atria, $27.99, 9781416595168/1416595163).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Steve Harvey, author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment (Amistad, $23.99, 9780061728976/0061728977).


Tomorrow on the View: Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel, authors of The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship (Harper, $24.99, 9780061992193/0061992194).


Tomorrow on NPR's Here and Now: Wally Lamb, author of Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story (Harper, $19.99, 9780061941009/006194100X).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Gail Collins, author of When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316059541/0316059544).


Tomorrow night on Larry King Live: Lisa Niemi, co-author with Patrick Swayze of The Time of My Life (Atria, $26, 9781439158586/1439158584).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves (Viking, $32.95, 9780670021253/0670021253).


Tomorrow night on Last Call with Carson Daily: David Plouffe, author of The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory (Viking, $27.95, 9780670021338/0670021334).


Books & Authors

GBO November Pick: New Translation of The Tin Drum

The German Book Office's November book pick is the new translation of Günther Grass's The Tin Drum by Breon Mitchell, which was published last month (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780151014163/0151014167).

Originally published here in 1959 in a translation by Ralph Manheim, the novel by the Nobel laureate is of course a classic of modern literature. For the 50th-anniversary translation, Mitchell worked with translators around the world in an effort to reproduce the book's style and rhythm and added some "shocking, overtly sexual material" that was omitted in the earlier translation.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 24:

Pirate Latitudes: A Novel by Michael Crichton (Harper, $27.99, 9780061929373/0061929379) takes place in the Caribbean during 1665 and follows an English captain attempting to capture a Spanish galleon laden with gold.

American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781439180648/1439180644) is a collection of essays examining influential people such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Bill Clinton.

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley (Little, Brown, $29.99, 9780316008952/0316008958) chronicles a 1905 diplomatic expedition made by Secretary of War William Howard Taft to Asia.

Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice by Erin Hunter (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780061555091/0061555096) continues a fantasy series based on cats and the natural world.

First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher (Ace, $25.95, 9780441017690/044101769X) is book six of the fantasy series Codex Alera.


AuthorBuzz: Constable: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (A Crown Colony Novel) by Ovidia Yu
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