Shelf Awareness for Friday, October 1, 2010

Union Square Kids: The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod

Shadow Mountain: The Queen and the Knave (Proper Romance Victorian) by Sarah M. Eden

Andrews McMeel Publishing: The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms by Fiona Cook, illustrated by Jessica Roux

Tor Nightfire: What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier #2) by T. Kingfisher

Amulet Books: Nightbane (the Lightlark Saga Book 2) by Alex Aster


Images of the Day: Penguin's 75th

Last Thursday evening at the elegant main branch of the New York Public Library, hundreds of people in the industry celebrated the 75th anniversary of Penguin Books. In top photo: Susan Peterson Kennedy, president of the Penguin Group (r.), with author Jan Karon. In lower photo: Penguin Books president and publisher Kathryn Court (c.) with author Dava Sobel and agent Al Zuckerman.


Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Notes: Freedom Needs Corrections

Big oops. Jonathan Franzen told an audience in London that British printers mistakenly used the wrong version of his new novel, Freedom, which was released in the U.K. last week, and the extant copies, estimated by some at 200,000, will be pulped, the Guardian reported.

Franzen said that copies of the wrong edition will be exchanged or refunded. The correct version will be released on Monday.


Proposals to benefit Borders Group's largest shareholder were approved at a special shareholders meeting held yesterday. The company can now issue LeBow Gamma Limited Partnership, which is controlled by CEO Bennett S. LeBow, a stock purchase warrant that allows it to buy 35.1 million shares of stock at $2.25 each. When exercised by LeBow, the warrant will increase his stake in the company to 35% from 16%.

The meeting also approved a proposal requiring Borders to obtain the consent of LeBow Gamma before it appoints, terminates or transfers the CEO or CFO or any executive officer or makes significant changes in their employment.


Comic-Con International, which had considered proposals to move to Los Angeles or Anaheim from its longtime home in San Diego, Calif., after its contract with the convention center expires in 2012, has decided to stay in San Diego at least through 2015, the Wrap reported.

The grandfather of all comics shows, which began in 1970, capped its attendance at 125,000 three years ago. The next Comic-Con show will be held July 21-24.


Dog Ear Books is moving to downtown Athens, Ga., from Madison, about 30 miles away, the Morgan County Citizen reported. The store's last official day in Madison was yesterday. Dog Ear should open in Athens later this month.

Although the store had a solid customer base, it wasn't enough to continue in business in Madison. Owner Jon Tonge told the paper that the location "doesn't quite work. If you're going to have to make a living selling books, you have to sell a certain volume." Many regular customers have been heartbroken, Tonge said.

The new store has 2,100 square feet of space in a high-traffic spot in Athens, home of the University of Georgia.


Effective October 16, Christine and Paul Lindauer are buying Cheshire Books, Fort Bragg, Calif., from Linda Rosengarten, who has owned the store for seven years, according to Bookselling This Week.

The Lindauers wanted to run a business together in their retirement. He is a manufacturing engineer, and she is a CPA with degrees in accounting and literature. Christine Lindauer, who has been a customer of the store since it opened in 1973, told BTW: "We believe very strongly that the independent bookstore is on the verge of a rebirth. People will always love books and most will thrive on the feel of a book held in their hands."

The new owners will make a few changes, including creating "a strong web presence and e-newsletters to keep community members up to date with the store's events."


BTW celebrates the 10th anniversary of Octavia Books, New Orleans, La., which is having an afternoon party with champagne and cake on October 16. The store was the first bookstore in New Orleans to re-open after Hurricane Katrina and has been a community center during its decade in business.

Owners Judith Lafitte and Tom Lowenburg wrote on their party invitation to customers: "We hope we have and will continue to enrich your life and the life of our precious community. Thanks for being part of the story with us. And, as with many of the books we read, we know the best is yet."


In memory of the longtime bookseller and president of NAIBA, the American Booksellers Association has set up the Joe Drabyak Frontline Fellowship to the Winter Institute that will be awarded annually to a full-time or part-time bookseller to pay for airfare, lodging, meals and conference registration, Bookselling This Week reported. Workman Publishing is sponsoring the fellowship for the first three years.

Steven Pace, Workman's director of sales, said that the fellowship would go to "a bookseller who embodies Joe's unabashed enthusiasm for recommending good books to readers and his contagious ability to help generate overall excitement for the books that he championed."

Drabyak learned of the fellowship when Pace and Craig Popelars, director of marketing for Algonquin Books, visited him not long before he died on August 27. "Between cheesesteaks, cigars, bourbon, beer, and pecan pie, while watching the Phillies beat the Mets on television and sharing lots of laughs, we told Joe and his wife about the fellowship in his honor," said Popelars. "Joe was incredibly touched that he would, in spirit, continue to be a part of the bookselling community."

ABA CEO Oren Teicher said, "Every time we handsell a book, we're channeling Joe. He not only taught us a great deal about books and bookselling, he also provided a role model for many of us."

Booksellers, publishers, and sales representatives are encouraged to nominate booksellers for the fellowship. Nominations should include the bookseller's name and complete contact information; the store where the bookseller is employed; and a brief letter of recommendation. Nominations must be submitted by next Friday, October 8, via e-mail to


Just in time for National Reading Group Month, Reading Group Choices, Chester, Md., has released Reading Group Choices 2011: Selections for Lively Book Discussions, which includes more than 65 new titles recommended for reading and book group discussion.

Selections include books by reading group favorite authors like Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Hood, Anchee Min, Jane Green, Susan Richards and Alexander McCall Smith as well as books by debut authors.

Barbara Drummond Mead, president of Reading Group Choices, said, "We're excited by the high caliber of books included in this year's guide and believe that the reading groups, book stores and librarians will be pleased with the vast range of subject matter and discussible topics found in these titles."

For more information, go to or call 866-643-6883.


Book trailer of the day: Legacy by Danielle Steel (Delacorte).


Ruth Reichl has scored multi-book deal with Random House--and more. The author, former New York Times restaurant critic and editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, until Conde Nast closed it last year, Reichl is writing three books as well as becoming editor-at-large, a new position. Her new books are a cookbook called The Tao of Ruth; a memoir of her years at Conde Nast; and her first novel, Delicious!


Jim Harris, longtime rep in the Pacific Northwest, is retiring, a process that will take place over the next nine months. The PNBA trade show next week and Seattle Gift Show in February will be his last two trade shows. He will likely represent some of his publisher and sidelines clients until June.

Harris began his career as a sales rep for Crown in 1974. He spent 15 years on the PNBA board and served as president for two years. He and his wife, Madie, started the PNBA newsletter "using a typewriter and envelopes, which we addressed and stamped by hand and mailed."

In an e-mail to customers, he wrote: "There are not enough words or space or time to thank you all for your support, personally and professionally. There are no better accounts than those I have met, either in person or virtually."

He may be reached at


Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Michigan Makes Way for Off the Beaten Path

Browsing the shelves is no ordinary undertaking at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore & Café, opening October 23 in Farmington, Mich. In the horror and mystery/thriller section, a skeleton is reading and there is a crypt to sit in. The fantasy section has a vine-covered pergola with fairies tucked into it, while Lucite shelves backlit with a neon glow brighten up the science fiction section. There are even sound effects and a secret passageway, a movable segment of shelving that leads to a room for classes and events.

Browsing the store is "a literal and literary experience," owner Salathiel Palland said. "Every section has its own feel."

The shop has a Victorian steampunk theme (19th-century technology and fashion melded with a science fiction edge) and specializes in fantasy, sci-fi, horror, thriller and mystery titles. "I love speculative fiction. That's what really started me reading when I was a kid--writers like Piers Anthony and Tim Powers," Palland said. "That's where my passion is and where my knowledge base is. Not only will people get an amazing selection of books in these genres, they'll get someone who will be able to talk about them."

Palland is a self-described "jack of all trades," after being employed by companies as varied as a petting zoo, General Motors and Starbucks. She has also worked for Borders and at New York City's Shakespeare & Co. and holds a degree in music. A constant over the last decade was the desire to own a bookstore, and Palland made good on a New Year's resolution to see it happen in 2010.

The 2,000-sq.-ft. store carries both new and used books. Sidelines include steampunk music and fashion accessories like goggles, top hats and corsets, along with more traditional items such as handcrafted journals.

There are sections for children's and teen titles and various amusements to keep young visitors entertained. They can participate in a scavenger hunt, gathering clues before heading to a wall with gears and levers--pull the right one and a panel pops open with treats inside. On Sunday evenings, kids are invited to come by the store in their pajamas for story time and a mug of hot chocolate.

Off the Beaten Path is located in a complex with offices and a variety of other businesses, including a mind/body/spirit center, a salon and a daycare. The interior of the store has been completely renovated, transforming a number of separate rooms into an open area. Palland's first choice of storefront didn't pan out, but an unexpected bonus came with the change of plans: the new location was already equipped for a café.

The eatery has a fountain on one wall and features gears and other steampunk-inspired imagery adorning the walls. On the menu is coffee roasted at a Carmelite monastery in Wyoming and tea from the Metropolitan Tea Company, whose brews are enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth II. Helming the café is Palland's mother, a licensed caterer. Other staffers include a full-time assistant manager and several part-timers, among them family members who are volunteering their time. Palland is the authority on fantasy and science fiction, and at least one employee is a connoisseur in each of the other specialty genres--mystery, horror and thriller--and for children's books.

Off the Beaten Path will have later evening hours than other downtown businesses, giving night owls a place to convene. In addition, Palland plans to make the store a gathering spot for Michigan's steampunk and speculative fiction communities. This past May the first World Steam Expo was held in Dearborn, some 20 miles from Farmington, and attracted more than 1,200 steampunk enthusiasts. Over the past couple of years, Macmillan sales rep Melissa Weisberg has noted that the specialty stores she works with seem to be faring quite well. "They've got a loyal following because they know their stuff, and that's a great way to compete," said Weisberg, whose territory includes Michigan.

Palland is combining the playful and the practical at Off the Beaten Path, offering classes and workshops ranging from belly dancing and contact juggling to car maintenance for women and how to create a steampunk outfit for $50 or less. Also planned are movie nights, poetry readings, art exhibits and live music performances. One act customers are likely to see is Katara, a world fusion music band consisting of Palland, who sings and plays the accordion and mandolin, her husband and a friend.

A contact juggler and a belly dance troupe that performs steampunk burlesque are slated to entertain during Off the Beaten Path's opening celebration, and a steampunk radio station will broadcast live from the store. The following week, Halloween will be celebrated in style with a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a local historic theater, a re-enactment of the dance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video and a zombie walk.--Shannon McKenna Schmidt

Off the Beaten Path Bookstore & Café is located at 23023 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington, Mich., 48336; 248-259-1697;


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Pangu's Shadow
by Karen Bao
GLOW: Carolrhoda Books: Pangu's Shadow by Karen Bao

Teenage academic rivals become murder suspects and reluctant co-investigators in this gripping far-future space mystery reminiscent of Alecia Dow's The Sound of Stars. Aryl and Ver together uncover rampant inequality in their scientific field, and moons-wide corruption. "Once they start looking past their assumptions about each other, they can't stop--and they can't help loving what they see," says Amy Fitzgerald, editorial director of Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab. "But even after the girls team up, they're wary; either could sell out the other to walk free." This high-stakes, enemies-to-lovers science fiction grapples with real-world issues in an ambitiously imagined universe. --Samantha Zaboski

(Carolrhoda Lab, $19.99 hardcover, ages 12-up, 9781728477510, 
February 6, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jenny McCarthy, Bob Woodward

Tonight on Larry King Live: Jenny McCarthy, author of Love, Lust & Faking It: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance (Harper, $24.99, 9780062012982/0062012983).


Sunday on ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Bob Woodward, author of Obama's Wars (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781439172490/1439172498).


Movies: The Adderall Diaries

James Franco has acquired The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott and plans to adapt, direct and star in a film version of the book. "Franco takes on this challenge at a time when he is cutting a wide swath as an actor and director," wrote, noting several recent projects including his portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in Howl as well as his directing of the documentary Saturday Night, which was recently acquired by Howl distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories.


Television: My Life As an Experiment

NBC has picked up My Life As an Experiment, based on the book Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life As An Experiment by A.J. Jacobs. reported that the show is "a half-hour comedy project produced by Jack Black and written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith."


Books & Authors

Shelf Starter: Peace Meals

Peace Meals: Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs and Other War Stories by Anna Badkhen (Free Press, $25, 9781439166482/143916648X, October 12, 2010)


Opening lines from a book we want to read:

A boy spots a piece of shrapnel shaped like a dinosaur tooth on top of a tank berm. He kicks it off the stone wall of the battlement with the tip of his toe, and listens intently and with satisfaction to the sound of metal scraping against rock as the lead nugget falls into the frontline valley of emerald green wheat.

A guerilla fighter hoists his rifle onto his shoulder, shuts his eyes, and sways to a popular tune that crackles through the static on a friend's transistor radio.

A girl in a hand-me-down dress several sizes too large picks a flower from the spray of scarlet wild poppies stretching skyward on unsteady stems from a crater hollowed out by an air-to-surface missile. She adds the blossom to her braid.

A woman carefully selects the ripest vegetables and the freshest meat for an elaborate meal. A firefight rages outside, and the woman's family will generously share their dinner with me, a stranger, in the relative safety of their house.

These straightforward acts of humanity in lands of terror, conflict, and seemingly intractable grief reveal the most important lesson I have found as a war correspondent: there is more to war than the macabre.... There are also the myriad brazen, congenial, persistent ways in which life in the most forlorn and violent places on earth shamelessly reasserts itself.

Of those, sharing a meal is one of the most elemental.--selected by Marilyn Dahl



Book Brahmin: Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of two books of stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk, and a novel, The Wilding (Graywolf Press, September 28, 2010). His fiction and nonfiction have been read on National Public Radio, performed at Symphony Space and published in Esquire, Outside, Men's Journal, the Paris Review, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, Glimmer Train, Orion, Ploughshares and many other places. His honors include the Whiting Writers' Award, the Plimpton Prize, the Pushcart Prize and inclusion in Best American Short Stories. He lives in Ames, Iowa, with his wife and two children and teaches in the MFA program in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University.

On your nightstand now:

Far North by Marcel Theroux--and it's got me wondering whether I should keep a store of matches, dry goods, water and ammunition in the house. I've always been a fan of apoc and post-apoc narratives--since I was boy watching the cartoon Thundarr the Barbarian--and there has been a flood of them since 9/11, in film and lit. Great horror stories often take a knife to cultural unease, and I think destroying the world has never been more popular because destroying the world has never seemed more possible.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Hatchet by Gary Paulson. I loved it for the same reason I loved My Side of the Mountain: the idea of setting out on my own, testing my mettle, appealed to me greatly. I lived on 37 acres of land and I would go on long walks and try to lose myself in the deep woods, sharpening a spear, creating a makeshift camp, pretending myself into the wilderness.

Your top five authors:

I wish I could double or triple this list, but if I had to narrow it down to five: Cormac McCarthy, Peter Straub, Rick Bass, Flannery O'Connor, Daniel Woodrell. They're the writers I keep above my desk, next to my dictionary. They're the writers I pull down to read and reread their sentences, hoping to soak up the magic and filter it through my fingertips.

Book you've faked reading:

Ulysses. I've tried three times and every time I end up collapsing in confusion/exhaustion. I wish I had taken a college course that taught it--I feel like I need someone, as I go page to page, laying a hand on my shoulder, whispering in my ear.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Daniel Woodrell's Tomato Red and Michael Levy's Wisconsin Death Trip.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I love the simple, haunting elegance of it: the black jacket with a white crow in flight, the lettering like something from an ancient book of magic. And though I picked it up for the cover, I fell in love with the story and consider it one of the best novels written in the past 10 years.

Book that changed your life:

Stephen King's The Gunslinger. The plot grabbed me by my throat, but Roland was the real reason the book impacted me so profoundly. Roland of Gilead, the lead character, the titular gunslinger. This might seem ridiculous to some people--but I was 13 at the time, changing schools, going through a rough patch. Roland seemed the ultimate man. He lived by a knight's code of honor. He withstood pain with gritted teeth. He was disciplined, knowledgeable, strong. He was in the pursuit of something important--his presence in the world mattered. He was never the one to start a fight, but always the one left standing. He rarely spoke, but when he did, his words were wise. Silence, I came to understand, was knowing when to shut up. I became deeply reticent that summer--and the silence lasted until I graduated from high school.

Some might have mistaken it for being shy, but it was something else: I was a strategist, holding back, judging every word, every action, trying to decide its merit. You see those kids with the WWJD wristbands? I should have had a special one made--What would Roland do? I understand that this sounds horribly corny, but it's true, and back then it mattered to me more than anything in the world. My grades sharpened. I became painfully serious, my face absent of expression. Sometimes I would lie in bed and chide myself for something I had said or done that seemed to me ill-becoming, and it was as though, in the shadows shifting on my ceiling, the shape of the Gunslinger was taking form.

Favorite line from a book:

Oh, man. Just one? I'm thinking of the longing and the gymnastic lyricism of "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins"; the epic sweep of, "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed"; the sad, brutal delivery of "I am an invisible man"; the sprawling arc of "I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice--not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany."

But really, you can't get any better than the moment in Blood Meridian when the Comanches come pounding over the hillside dressed in the dresses of the brides they've killed, and in response Glanton can only say, "Oh my god." After I read the passage that follows I set down the book and knew that I would never be the same as a reader or a writer.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

My grandfather was a Sherlock Holmes fanatic. He had on his desk an oversized wood-handled magnifying glass, an elaborately carved pipe. He had on his bookshelves dozens of collected works by Arthur Conan Doyle--illustrated, annotated. He would read me the stories and we would watch the BBC specials together. I revisited Holmes recently and found the mysteries spoiled by the fact that I know how they all turn out. Reading them felt like putting together an overly familiar jigsaw puzzle. I wish I could hit a button and erase that part of my brain.



Book Review

Book Review: Take Me Home

Take Me Home by Brian Leung (Harper, $24.99 Hardcover, 9780061769078, October 2010)

All stories of forbidden love are fetching. We empathize with the star-crossedness of it all, marvel at the ways that passion finds to prevail and cheer the lovers or lament with them, depending upon the outcome.

Central to Take Me Home is the friendship between Miss Addie and Wing Lee. Although they care for each other, in Leung's rendition, it is utterly passionless. Since a child is conceived, the reader must fill in the blanks. Telling that fact isn't really a spoiler because it is telegraphed almost from Addie and Wing's first meeting. They are destined to understand one another in a way neither has experienced before.

The story is set in 1880s Wyoming, and Leung has re-created the warp and woof of the territory with faithful clarity. It is a hard, unforgiving life and landscape in the aptly named coal-mining town of Dire. Miss Addie goes there to join her brother, Tommy, a homesteader who has chosen a piece of property where nothing will grow. She stayed behind in Kentucky to take care of their drunken father, now deceased, after her mother abandoned the family. Once her obligation ended, she set out for the West and her beloved brother.

Much of what she has been told about the territory involves the "Celestials," a term used to describe Chinese emigrants to the United States in the 19th century. The Union Pacific Railroad brought them to Wyoming to work the coal mines, and the prejudice against them, based on total ignorance of their culture, reduces them to a status lower than animals. They are believed to eat children, among other accusations.

Tommy is forced to work the mines because of his failed homestead. Addie meets Wing Lee while at the mine to see Tommy. Against all odds, they strike up a business partnership--he is a mine cook, she is a good shot and game is plentiful. Done deal, despite the misgivings of everyone other than Addie and Wing.

Tommy has "arranged" for Addie to marry a Finn, Muuk by name, who is barely conversant in any language. Addie has determined never to marry, but in the fullness of time--who knows why?--she marries Muuk and finds him unwilling to consummate the marriage. Thereby hangs a tale.

The story begins 40 years after the Chinese were run out of town during the Wyoming Massacre, an actual event that took place in 1885. Miss Addie is brought back to Dire to say farewell to Ah Cheong, an old Chinese man who survived the massacre. Who knows why she is summoned back and he was not killed? Addie ran out on her husband, fled to California and has raised oranges ever since. Now, she will face Muuk and come to a reckoning about that time long ago. What about Wing and the child? That would be telling.--Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: Despite various lacunae in the telling, Brian Leung has crafted an indelible picture of the Wyoming Territory and two unlikely lovers.



Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: MPIBA Show Takes the Cake

Last Friday, for the second year in a row, the exhibit hall at the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade show in Denver opened from 5-7 p.m. for a preview/cocktail hour combo platter. There were snacks and a cash bar; there were casual conversations among friends and networking opportunities for exhibitors and booksellers.

It's a great idea. "Adding in some alcoholic beverages and food really helps," said MPIBA's executive director Lisa Knudsen, who was supervising her final show before retirement. "I'm just a great believer in people eating and drinking together."

And then, quite suddenly, there was a cake.
Before--and after--the cake, however, the conversations at this show were all about the business of books. I talked to many booksellers in Denver, and left impressed by their generally positive outlook about the current state of the book trade. Business is, well, not bad, which is a quantum leap from where we were just a couple of years ago.

One of the buzz themes at the MPIBA show turned out to be independent publishing. An early panel--"Independent Publishers & Independent Booksellers, Can We Talk?"--created some serious heat that carried over into conversations I subsequently had with booksellers, authors and publishers--independent as well as traditional. There were some questions raised here that are being asked worldwide and probably won't yield clear answers any time soon--What is a publisher? What is a book? Can we talk about all that?


On the final day of the show, I moderated a panel during MPIBA's first-ever Writers & the Independent Marketplace conference, which was held in tandem with the bookseller show. That discussion convinced me we can talk... and will... soon. I'll be revisiting those Denver conversations later this month.

As often happens at these shows, visiting authors took the time to thank indies for their support. At the regional awards breakfast, adult fiction winner C.J. Box (for Below Zero) said that when his first book came out, he was sent on a one-city tour to L.A., where his escort offered some advice that he's followed through 11 subsequent titles: Books are sold one at a time from a bookseller recommending them to a reader. "I know how that works," Box told the assembled booksellers. "It comes from you saying to a potential reader, 'You might like this.' "

During the author luncheon on Saturday, Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn, also expressed his gratitude, saying, "You're in the right business," and offering special thanks to Colorado booksellers Maria's Bookshop, Durango, and Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, as well as Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., for their early handselling passion for his novel.

There were many other highlights at this year's show that will be noted in coming weeks, but the primary emotional undercurrent here was a bittersweet awareness that this would be the final MPIBA event for Lisa, whose well-earned retirement comes after more than 22 years as executive director and 30 years total in the book business.

In her letter to members last month announcing her intentions, Lisa wrote she was "looking forward to spending lots more time in my sadly neglected garden, to re-acquainting myself with the contents of my bookshelves, and especially to volunteering in the schools helping children learn to read."

On Friday night at the exhibit hall cocktail hour, we were called together near a podium and MPIBA president Meghan Goel of BookPeople, Austin, Tex., started things off by acknowledging sadness regarding Lisa's departure, but also noting this night was "really a celebration" for someone who has been "the real backbone of what we've done."

Three subsequent speakers offered personal, heartfelt, sometimes tearful recollections. "I was a board member when Lisa was hired in 1987. She was the perfect choice," said Nancy Rutland, as of today the former owner of Bookworks, Albuquerque, N.M. (Shelf Awareness, September 27, 2010).

"What Lisa does, has done and will always do is she connects us," Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands, Tempe, Ariz., observed. "I have made some of my very best friends through Nancy and this association. What Lisa has enabled us to do is become friends as well as colleagues."

"A few minutes ago I was saying, 'Where's Lisa?' " said Tattered Cover's Cathy Langer, "and I realized that's been the mantra for 22 years."

FInally, Lisa came to the podium and the crowd erupted with applause. "For 22½ years, MPIBA has been my home, and in addition to my daughter, it has been my family. I have a real clear conscience because all of us have been doing the good work," she said before concluding: "When you're a bookseller, you're a bookseller for life."

There were more tears and then, at last, there was that cake.

Earlier this week, Lisa reflected that she'd been, as you might expect, particularly moved by the celebration on Friday: "It was just huge for me. It was one of the loveliest times of my life. To have women who are goddesses speak that way; to have the opportunity to know these women and that they have thought enough of me to say such great things about me was wonderful. They are friends for life.... And now I can just toddle off into my sunlit gardens."--Robert Gray (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

Note: Photos courtesy of Drew Goodman, University Campus Store at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.


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