Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 4, 2006


Minotaur Books: The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny

Minotaur Books: The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny

Minotaur Books: The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny

Minotaur Books: The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny

News

After 30 Years, Tatnuck Main Store Closes

Tatnuck Bookseller, whose main Worcester, Mass., store was celebrating its 30th anniversary, closed that store yesterday and is consolidating all operations in its Westborough, Mass., store, which it opened a year ago last November. Some 70 people were let go.

The Worcester store boasted a huge restaurant with liquor license, offices, many sidelines, a publishing operation (under the name Chandler House Press)--and a huge book selection.

Owner Larry Abramoff told the MetroWest Daily News that the store will reopen Friday for a weekend "moving sale." Leftover inventory will be taken to the 31,000-sq.-ft. Westborough store, which is larger than the Worcester store.


Minotaur Books: The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny


Notes: Store Changes; Hot Sudoku; New Audiobook

Cool idea of the day: EclecFest, a monthly "flea market and festival" begun in December, makes its next appearance this coming Saturday, January 7. Organized by Jaz Vincent, who opened the RealEyes bookstore in the North Davidson art district of Charlotte, N.C., a year ago (Shelf Awareness, July 5), EclecFest features some 30 vendors who will show and sell art, food and more. The artists include musicians, jewelry makers, sculptors, painters and others. The Kid's Corner offers face-painting, storytelling, arts and crafts and a moon bounce.

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Serving James Madison University, University Outpost in Harrisonburg, Va., has moved into larger, more visible quarters, a site that has been the home of a series of failed restaurants. Jeff Wolter, who owns the store with his sister, told the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record that he thought the store can beat the jinx because "we've been open more than five years, and we're not a restaurant."

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Afro-In-Books & Things, Miami, Fla., "a Liberty City landmark," as the Miami Herald put it, has closed. Owned by William "D.C." and Stephana Clark, the store has been a center of community activism and cultural activity. The Clarks bought the store in 1993 from Earl and Eursla Wells, who opened it in 1978.

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In an op-ed piece in today's New York Times, Nick Chiles, editor-in-chief of Odyssey Couleur magazine and co-author of A Love Story, excoriates street lit and ghetto lit and laments that many chain stores' African-American literature sections consist "almost exclusively [of] pornography for black women."

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Bob and Sue Rozankovich, owners of Yesterday's Books in Parchment, Mich., have closed the bookstore after 25 years in business, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette. The couple will continue to buy, sell and search for books and other materials such as photos via yesbooks@chartermi.net and will do appraisals.

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The Tribune offers a Q&A with Jason Daub, new owner of Firehouse Books, Ames, Iowa, a used bookstore. Considering the highly competitive bookselling climate, he has the right spirit: asked what character in a book he would like most to be, he replied Aragorn from Lord of the Rings because "he just kicks everyone's ass."

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After being closed for six months, the House of Books, damaged in a fire, is reopening in Crawfordville, Fla., this Friday, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The used bookstore is owned by Adene Beal.

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Books-A-Million plans to open a store soon in Acworth, Ga., in the northwestern suburbs of Atlanta. The store will be an anchor in the Lakeside MarketPlace. BAM has 13 other stores in Georgia.

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Today's Wall Street Journal reviews the new Playaway audiobook, which, in effect, is "a book, which happens to come with a cheap player." The audiobooks don't connect to computers, no downloading is involved, selections cannot be recorded over, and it costs $35-$55 per book. The verdict: "Playaway is easy to use, and certainly very convenient. But unless you have some reason to dislike downloading books, and have lots of cash, it's not the best way to go."

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Scott Hatfill has joined Diamond Book Distributors in the new position of director of international sales and will be responsible, among other things, for expanding Diamond's business in the U.K., Canada, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, South Africa and the Middle East.

Formerly international v-p at A1books, he also worked 16 years at Ingram, most recently as director of sales and international market development. In those days, we bumped into Hatfill regularly, but only, it seemed, on other continents.

Diamond Book Distributors is also hiring Allan Greenberg as a sales manager focusing on library and school sales, some of the fastest-growing areas for the company. He has worked nearly 16 years in sales at Diamond Comic Distributors.

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Biblio, the small new and used bookstore in Tucson, Ariz., that opened in 2002, is closing, according to the Tucson Citizen. Owner Maggie Golston, who said part of the store's mission was "to make books cool," explained that the first year was "very promising," but that "while it became fairly obvious that people really dug our store and thought it was cool, we just didn't make enough money to live." The store specialized in literature and culture, poetry and art books and aimed to be urban and cool but warm and inviting, as the paper put it.

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Sudoku is hot both with crossword-puzzle fans and college students at Cata's Books in West Frankfort, Ill., owner Candice Lahr told the Southern Illinoisan. One reason the numbers for sudoku are so good because of the puzzles' low entrance bar: unlike crosswords, no specialized knowledge is required.


Minotaur Books: The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny


More on the Holidays: Odes of Joy

The most cheerful holiday news comes from BookPeople, Austin, Tex., which had "the best December in store history," particularly in the week before Christmas, according to owner Steve Bercu. Sales were up 10.5% and would have been up 11% if BookPeople could have obtained more copies of The Silver Spoon.

Among the reasons for excellent BookSales: pleasant weather and the March move of Whole Foods from BookPeople's building to its huge new spot across the street, which freed up parking. "BookPeople has become known as a place to buy all the gifts anyone needs for the holidays so a trip to the mall is avoided," Bercu said.

The store was open 12-6 on Christmas Day (and has been open every December 25 since 2000). "We do a great business with people of all faiths," Bercu noted.

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The three-day transit strike in New York City dented sales by about 30% at Three Lives & Co., but on the Friday the trains and busses began running again--the day before Christmas Eve--the store had its "busiest day of the season, better than the previous Saturday, which is traditionally our busiest of the season," according to owner Tobias Cox. The next day was quieter than usual so "we strolled into the Christmas break rather than the mad sprint I had predicted."

After reopening on December 27, the store drew more traffic than usual. "It seemed that people were back and the tourists were out," Cox noted, saying that he saw "lots of unfamiliar faces. It made it tough to get my restock orders in as I was jumping out of the chair to ring sales and help customers--but no complaints!"

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Christmas at Cannon Beach Book Co., Cannon Beach, Ore., comes between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as owner Valerie Ryan put it. The store is in synch with other retailers around Thanksgiving, when people come to the beach "to hang out and let somebody else roast a turkey for them." Most of December is very slow until the three days before Christmas and lasting through New Year's Day. As Ryan cheerfully stated, "That's our holiday season, and we are reveling in it."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Wonkette Cox; Bruce Feiler Walks

This morning on Imus and tonight on Charlie Rose: wonkette.com founder Ana Marie Cox, author of Dog Days (Riverhead, $23.95, 1594489017).

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Oh yes. This morning on the Today Show: Sandra Reishus, author of Oh NO! I've Become My Mother: How to Outwit the 'Mom Gene' and Have the Life You Want (McGraw-Hill, $14.95, 0071447229).

Also on the Today Show: Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author of Bad Childhood--Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood (HarperCollins, $24.95, 006057786X).

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Today on the Early Show, just in time for many new year's resolutions: Connie Guttersen, author of The Sonoma Diet (Meredith, $24.95, 0696228319).

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This morning on Good Morning America: Neil Chethik, author of Voicemale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment (S&S, $23, 074325872X).

Also on Good Morning America: Jana Klauer, M.D., author of How the Rich Get Thin: Park Avenue's Top Diet Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Losing Weight and Feeling Great (St. Martin's, $22.95, 0312340389).

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Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:
  • Bruce Feiler on traveling 10,000 miles in search of places in the Bible. His latest book is Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey (Morrow, $32.50, 0060799048). The PBS series based on Walking the Bible begins tonight.
  • Sportscaster Len Berman and author of Spanning the World: The Crazy Universe of Big-Time Sports, All-Star Egos, and Hall of Fame Bloopers (Morrow, $25.95, 0060757523).

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Today on the View: former MTV Real World star Chris Beckman, author of Clean: A New Generation in Recovery Speaks Out (Hazelden, $12.95, 1592851827).


Books & Authors

Awards: The Whitbread Five

The winners of the five categories of the Whitbread Awards (the last to be sponsored by Whitbread) were announced yesterday:

Best novel: The Accidental by Ali Smith (Pantheon, $22.95, 037542225, January 10)
First Novel: The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw (Riverhead, $15 paperback, 1594481741, February)
Poetry Collection: Cold Calls by Christopher Logue
Biography: Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling (Knopf, $40, 0679434291) (Coincidentally Spurling was a centerpiece on the Charlie Rose Show last night.)
Children's Book: The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

The five authors each receive £5,000 and compete for the Whitbread Book of the Year, which will be announced at a ceremony in London on January 24.


Attainment: New Books Out This Week

Dog Days by Ana Marie Cox (Riverhead, $23.95, 1594489017) appears tomorrow. The founder of wonkette.com will be on Charlie Rose tonight.

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Sunstroke: A Novel by Jesse Kellerman (Putnma, $24.95, 0399153306, appears tomorrow.

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Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love by lawyer, former prosecutor and View star Star Jones (HarperResource, $24.95, 0060824182) aims to shine in stores, beginning Friday, January 6.



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