Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 4, 2010

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Albatros Media: Words about Where: Let's Learn Prepositions by Magda Gargulakova, illustrated by Marie Urbankova

Blackstone Publishing: Ordinary Bear by C.B. Bernard

St. Martin's Griffin: One Last Shot by Betty Cayouette

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella


Image of the Day: Banned Books Blazing

McLean and Eakin, Petoskey, Mich., celebrated Banned Book Week with this window display, which, as the Jessilyn Norcross put it, "blazed bright all night long in support of the many books that have been banned in many nations, including the U.S."




HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Notes: PE in UK, Oz, NZ; Professors Support Indie

More on the misprinting of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen in the U.K.: the book was published with "around 50 punctuation and spelling mistakes after a typesetter sent the incorrect edition from their computer," the Telegraph reported.

Some 8,000 copies have already been sold from a first printing of 80,000. HarperCollins UK is offering to replace all extant copies, and CEO Victoria Barnsley said that the publisher is "doing everything in our power to reprint the book over the weekend and rush it out into the shops early next week."

Copies of the title in Australia and New Zealand are being recalled, too, according to Bookseller and Publisher Online.


When you see the cover art for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, you notice the hands cupping a red apple. When Kimbra Hickey encounters that same cover, she sees red. The New York Post reported that Hickey, a professional "parts model," would like "some recognition for her pinky-size role in the Twilight phenomenon."

"It was major exposure for my hands. But nobody knew who I was," she said. "I see people reading it on the subway, and I say, 'Those are my hands! I'm a hand model!' I'm sure they think I'm crazy--a crazy lady on the subway."

Hickey often stores a Gala apple in her purse so she can recreate the pose for fans. "It was too big of a deal just to let it be," she said. She was paid $300 for the 2004 photo shoot.


This is one of the coolest book-related coffee shop motifs we've ever seen: the new branch of D'Espresso in New York City, a block from the New York Public Library at Bryant Park, has glazed tiles featuring images of books. As pictured in the New York Times, the tiles and the rest of the decor make the space look as though the shop has been flipped on its side. The tiles run along the ceiling, down one wall and along the floor.

Owner Eugene Kagansky said the next D'Espresso will look as though it is upside down.


In recent years, a number of Cornell University professors have chosen to support Buffalo Street Books by sending their course book lists exclusively to the store. The Cornell Daily Sun reported that professors felt a need to support the indie "in order to conserve what they feel is an important part of the Ithaca literary scene."

"It is a part of our community," said Mary McCullough, an English professor. "[So] it is our ethical responsibility to give something back."

Among the initiatives fostered by the bookshop is the First Class Program, "which allows students to order from book lists that were handed to Buffalo Street Books, get books delivered to their first class," the Daily Sun wrote.

Gary Weissbrot, owner of Buffalo Street Books, noted that it is also important to introduce students to the variety that independent booksellers offer: "They don't really know the uniqueness of independent book stores. They don't know what they're missing if they've never seen it or experienced it. People think: 'A book is a book is a book. I can get it on Amazon, online. All books are the same. It doesn't matter where I get it.' "


Old Tampa Book Co., Tampa, Fla., "has survived downtown's economic difficulties, endured noisy, dusty roadwork projects and adapted to the computer era--somewhat," the Tribune reported, noting that co-owners Ellen and David Brown operate a "cozy, well-stocked store which, 16 years after its humble beginning, is a downtown fixture."

"We may have a wooden cash drawer, but people find us on the Internet," said Ellen Brown.


The Bookbinders' Guild of New York is holding a panel on New & Social Media in Publishing, Tuesday, October 12, at the Random House offices at 1745 Broadway in New York City. Panelists are Kate Rados, marketing director of F&W Media; Dan Blank, founder of We Grow Media; Morgan Baden, senior manager, internal communications and social media at Scholastic; and Michael Szczerban, assistant editor at Simon & Schuster. Beer, wine and cocktails begin at 5:30; program begins at 6:15. $40 for Guild members; $60 for nonmembers. For more information, go to



A memorial service for longtime editor Larry Ashmead, who died September 3, will be held Tuesday, November 9, from 4-5:30 p.m. at St. Bartholomew's Church at 325 Park Avenue (at 51st) in New York City. Reception follows at Inside Park, the restaurant contained within the church.


Book trailer of the day: The Defense of Thaddeus Ledbetter by John Gosselink (Amulet Books), with lyrics from the book set to music by Stephen Barr, an agent at Writers House, and his brother; Barr and a film school friend shot the video downstairs in the Writers House courtyard.



Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Obituary: Pat Cody

Pat Cody, who founded and ran the iconic Cody's Books, with her husband, Fred, for two decades, died last Thursday. She was 87.

The Codys opened the store in Berkeley, Calif., in 1956, and Pat was business manager. The Codys sold the bookstore in 1977 to Andy Ross. The store eventually opened several branches and had new owners. Its last branch closed two years ago (Shelf Awareness, June 22, 2008).

Both during the time the Codys owned the store and afterward, Pat Cody was involved in a range of causes and groups, as recounted in an obituary by her son, Anthony, in the Berkeley Daily Planet. (The store existed in part because in the McCarthy era, Fred Cody's politics made it difficult to find a teaching job.)

Pat was a founder of Women for Peace, which worked against the Vietnam War. She was a treasurer of the Berkeley Free Clinic. She founded the Grief Support Project after Fred died in 1983. She recently helped found Grandmothers Against the War.

The group she was most devoted to was DES Action, which she founded after learning about the serious long-term effects on children of the drug that she had taken, like many mothers in from the '40s to the '60s, as a precaution against miscarriage. She was program director and then newsletter editor at DES Action and was active in the organization until her death.

Pat wrote two books: the memoir Cody's Books: The Life and Times of a Berkeley Bookstore and DES Voices: From Anger to Action.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way in Berkeley. Donations may be made in her name to DES Action.


NEIBA and Providence

Intrepid rep Sean Concannon of Parson Weems reports on the NEIBA show held this past weekend:

The New England Independent Booksellers association rolled into Providence, R.I., last Thursday for three days of celebrating authors, learning more about the business and in a few cases, sneaking away to Federal Hill for some excellent Italian food. The event kicked off with the awards luncheon: Father of the Rain by Lily King took the New England Book Award for Fiction, Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell won for nonfiction and Mo Willems' City Dog, Country Frog took best children's book. Other awards presented during NEIBA weekend: Book Publishers Reps of New England gave its Independent Spirit award to the Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge, Mass., and NEIBA gave its rep of the year award to Ellen Pyle of Macmillan. (Pyle incidentally added some evocative bird and elephant sounds to her children's book presentations at the Publisher Pick-Nic lunch on Friday.)

On Thursday afternoon, Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, N.Y., moderated one of two New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council sessions, this one on large-scale children's book events. The panel included Michele Filgate, who runs an excellent series at RiveRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H.; Ruth Liebmann of Random House; Jason Wells, publicity director of Abrams' children's division, and Nikki Mutch, New England sales rep for Scholastic. Hermans offered several tips for booksellers wanting to land marquee authors. The key is keeping the store on the minds of publicity departments at the major houses by cultivating strong ties with sales representatives, providing written feedback on galleys (this suggestion popped up more than once during the show) and generally communicating enthusiasm for books. Filgate offered advice on managing large events and tips for online promotion.

At the other NECBA session, "Multicultural Kids Books: Selling Color in a White World," Elizabeth Bluemle of the Flying Pig, Shelburne, Vt., moderated, and author Mitali Perkins, whose Bamboo People is an Indie Bound pick, shared tips on meeting the children's book needs of multicultural families, how to communicate effectively with hesitant customers and where to go for more information. They also handed out a helpful bibliography of great multicultural children's books, sorted by reading level.

PGW sales rep Mike Katz moderated a panel called "We Love Our Reps!" on how buyers and reps can work effectively together. Edelweiss, the online catalogue system, was praised for its ease of use. Some booksellers wondered if the feedback they provided reps at sales calls was communicated to sales management at the publishing house. Sales reps urged buyers to demonstrate to publishers that galleys get used by providing feedback on them. Some buyers complained that telephone reps couldn't know their stores as well as reps who visit in person.

Other Friday events included a presentation of Verso Digital's recent survey of book buying behavior by new bookseller Jack McKeown of Books & Books Westhampton Beach, Westhampton Beach, N.Y., and sessions on adding sidelines, producing effective e-mail communication, tax equality and tips on accepting payment by credit and debit cards.

Friday morning's author breakfast featured presentations by Simon Wichester (whose new book is Atlantic), Liz Murray (Breaking Night) and Richard Peck (Three Quarters Dead). Because Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall) cancelled due to illness, Charles Cumming presented his new spy thriller, Trinity Six. Among authors who signed books at the opening reception Friday evening were Susan Cheever (for her new book, Louisa May Alcott), Mira Bartok (The Memory Palace) and Meg Wolitzer (The Uncoupling). Later, a party at Books on the Square on Wayland Square drew many attendees.

The Children's Author-Illustrator Dinner Thursday night featured three award-winning authors. Jennifer Donnelly talked about Revolution, consisting of parallel stories set during the French Revolution and the present day. Donnelly was inspired by the story of the Dauphin's heart--the preserved heart of the son of the executed Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Jon J Muth used Japanese brushes to illustrate his process for conceptualizing a ghost panda for Zen Ghosts. Jerry Pinckney discussed the roles of animals in his work and demonstrated his process for drawing kittens for Three Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens.

The exhibits, open Saturday and Sunday morning, were busy through early Saturday afternoon, with buyers writing orders and looking to share information learned at the show. After consulting with many booksellers at the show about website providers, Susan Porter of Maine Coast Bookshop, Damariscotta, Maine, decided to use IndieBound. Marc and Sarah Galvin, of Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, N.Y., said that they were inspired by the session on e-mail marketing and were considering using Constant Contact. Robert Utter, of Other Tiger, Westerly, R.I., announced that he was selling the store and returning to school. He received an offer on the store last week. NEIBA executive director Steve Fischer said that NEIBA gained eight new exhibitors this year. NEIBA president Dick Hermans said he thought attendance was "up a little bit" from last year. By 2:30 p.m., the first scrchh-scsrchh-scrchh of tape guns could be heard, and by 3 another NEIBA meeting was in the can.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Walter Mondale and The Good Fight

This morning on Good Morning America Health: Gina Maisano, author of Intimacy After Breast Cancer: Dealing With Your Body, Relationships, and Sex (Square One, $16.95, 9780757003240/0757003249).


This morning on the Today Show: Thanassis Cambanis, author of A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah's Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel (Free Press, $27, 9781439143605/1439143609).

Also on the Today Show: Walter Mondale, author of The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics (Scribner, $28, 9781439158661/1439158665). He will appear today on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer as well.


Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Jon Stewart, author of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race (Grand Central, $27.99, 9780446579223/044657922X).


Today on the Joy Behar Show: Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women (Free Press, $26, 9781439150283/1439150281).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Sam Harris, author of The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (Free Press, $26.99, 9781439171219/1439171211).


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Eugene Robinson, author of Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385526548/0385526547).


Tonight on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Rosanne Cash, author of Composed: A Memoir (Viking, $26.95, 9780670021963/0670021962).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Harry Hamlin, author of Full Frontal Nudity: The Making of an Accidental Actor (Scribner, $24, 9781439169995/1439169993), and Lisa Rinna, author of Starlit (Gallery, $24.99, 9781439177617/1439177619). They will discuss their upcoming reality series Harry Loves Lisa, which premieres on Wednesday on TVLand. They will also appear today on the the Joy Behar Show.


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


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Tony Blair, author of A Journey: My Political Life (Knopf, $35, 9780307269836/0307269833).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Anthony Bourdain, author of Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (Ecco, $26.99, 9780061718946/0061718947).



Movies: Secretariat and Tamara Drewe

Secretariat, the story of the racehorse that won the Triple Crown in 1973 and his owner, Penny Chenery, opens this coming Friday, October 8. Randall Wallace is the director. Diane Lane plays Chenery; John Malkovich is Lucien Laurin, Secretariat's trainer; and Amanda Michalka plays Chenery's daughter, Kate Chenery Tweedy.

The movie is based in part on Secretariat's Meadow: The Land, the Family, the Legend by Tweedy and Leeanne Ladin with a foreword by Chenery (Dementi Milestone Publishing, $29.95, 9780982701904/098270190X), published last month. The book includes photos from Chenery's collection and traces the family's history and its horse farm, the Meadow. The book will be featured by Disney at the movie's openings.

The movie is also based on Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by Bill Nack (Hyperion, $16.99, 9781401324018/1401324010).


Tamara Drewe, based on Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and Posy Simmonds' graphic novel Tamara Drewe (Mariner Books, $16.95, 9780547154121/0547154127), opens this coming Friday, October 8. Gemma Arterton stars as a London columnist who returns to her home in the English countryside.


Books & Authors

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:


The Gendarme: A Novel by Mark T. Mustian (Amy Einhorn/Putnam, $25.95, 9780399156342/0399156348). "Injured in WWI, Emmet Conn suffered amnesia as a result of a head wound. Now, at 92, a brain tumor causes long-lost memories to return, as Emmet recalls an earlier life as a Turkish gendarme leading a group of Armenian refugees to the border. The brutality and despair, filth and degradation these people must endure on the forced march mean little to him until he falls in love with Araxie, one of the Armenian refugees, and he begins to perceive his actions and his attitude through her eyes. Mesmerizing, beautiful, and heart-breaking."--Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Half a Life by Darin Strauss (McSweeney's, $22, 9781934781708/1934781703). "When Darin Strauss was 18 years old, he was in a car accident that resulted in the death of a bicyclist. Darin was the driver, and the victim was one of his high school classmates. This is a book about survivor's guilt that has haunted him for, literally, half of his life. This is a brutally honest and unflinching book that Strauss originally wrote for himself and then a friend talked him into submitting a version to NPR's This American Life. The response to that piece was overwhelming. I like a line from Kelly Corrigan's review of the book the best: 'This might be the bravest book you will ever read.' "--Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, Colo.


The Life You've Imagined: A Novel by Kristina Riggle (Avon, $13.99, 9780061706295/0061706299). "Are you living the life you've imagined? This is a universal and timeless question that can be difficult to answer, but Riggle's second novel examines this particular inquiry with humor, insight, and empathy. The reader follows the paths of Cami, Anna, and Amy as they evaluate their relationships with family, friends, and significant others, their career choices, and their hopes and dreams for the future. This will make a great book club selection."--Roni K. Devlin, Literary Life Bookstore & More, Grand Rapids, Mich.

For Ages 9 to 12

Storyteller by Patricia Reilly Giff (Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99, 9780375838880/0375838880). "Weaving present and past, Giff connects one girl's life to her distant relative's Revolutionary War story. Elizabeth starts this exploration when she is sent to stay with her spinster aunt and she discovers an old drawing that looks just like her. Elizabeth has to learn more than just her genealogy to make it through this difficult stretch, but love works in many ways. Giff brings the past to life, making it as real as the present."--Margaret Brennan Neville, the King's English, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Pennie Picks Wolf Hall

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Picador, $16, 9780312429980/0312429983) as her pick of the month for October. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"When it comes to historical fiction, the key to a novel's success is detail. And Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall has it in spades.

"While reading this book, I felt as if Mantel had taken me by the hand and led me on an in-depth tour of England in the 1520s. The book begins with Henry VIII so desperate for a male heir that he's ready to divorce his wife and marry Ann Boleyn. On the sidelines lurks Thomas Cromwell. Part bully, part charmer, Cromwell helps dispel the king's opposition, but at what cost?

"If I ever have the honor of meeting Mantel, I would like to ask where she got the time machine. From the physical descriptions to conversations, every detail feels as if she'd been there taking notes. Whether you're a fan of historical fiction or you just love solid stories, this book is not one to be missed."


Shelf Starter: Pilgrims of the Vertical

Pilgrims of the Vertical: Yosemite Rock Climbers and Nature at Risk by Joseph E. Taylor III (Harvard University Press, $29.95, 9780674052871/0674052870, October 15, 2010)


Opening lines from a book we want to read:

The March air is warm. Soft breezes carry a luxuriant aroma of new growth up Yosemite's cliffs. The waterfalls thunder. A blue sky dazzles. I am surrounded by the sensations of spring. By any metric this is a glorious day, but I don't give a damn. All I can think right now is, I'm in trouble. I am spread-eagled across an intersection of two vertical faces of rock, and enough adrenalin surges through me to resuscitate the dead because I am about to fall. My right foot tiptoes on a nubbin, my right hand grasps at nothing, my left hand is slipping from a crack, and my left foot is sliding off an alleged bulge. The bucket hold that will save me remains twenty inches beyond reach. Worse still, I am losing focus. This is partly because I am berating myself for growing old and out of shape, partly because my partner is saying distracting words of encouragement. It is the wrong tactic. He should be barking like a football coach, telling me I'm not worthy or something, anything to make me angry enough to focus. Instead, I supply the insult: Move it, fat man. --Selected by Marilyn Dahl



Book Review

Book Review: Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor by John Le Carre (Viking Books, $27.95 Hardcover, 9780670022243, October 2010)

Is David Cornwell, who writes under the nom de plume John le Carré, really still working as a spy for the British Foreign Service? How else can he know what will be international front page news before it happens? He has taken his readers through Iron Curtain espionage, Cold War treachery, tracking Soviet missiles, drug smuggling, the Russian Mafia, big pharma intrigue, terrorism and counterterrorism and now: international money laundering.

In contemporary Britain in the throes of recession, a young Oxford don, Peregrine Makepiece, known as Perry, and his longtime barrister girlfriend, Gail, decide to go on an off-season getaway to Antigua. Perry has decided to pack it in at Oxford and find another life. He is a runner, tennis player and all-around sportsman who lives to compete and loves to win.

By what seems like chance, they run into a bluff and hearty Russian multimillionaire, known as Dima, who wants a game of tennis, and that's not all. Dima, with grandiose gestures, fractured English, a diamond-encrusted gold watch and a won't-take-no-for-an-answer attitude, persists, and the match is scheduled. Perry wins; Dima is good-natured about it because what he really wants is help defecting to England.

Dima's household, a motley crew, consists of his half-crazed zealot wife, Tamara; his beautiful daughter from a previous marriage, Natasha, richly detested by Tamara; twin sons by Tamara; and two little nieces whose parents have just been murdered. Dima is ready to rat out his vory, the Russian equivalent of the Mafia, to get safe passage to England, good schools for his children and protection from his former cronies. Little does anyone know--but Dima does--who is really involved, at the highest levels, in the money laundering that has gone on for years and reached its apex in the recession--as the banks are being "saved."

The narrative runs back and forth between real time and the debriefing that Perry and Gail undergo upon their return to England, which is often confusing. The good news is that we all get to the same place eventually. The MI6 operatives, carrying out their internecine battles, are alternately hilarious and professional, sometimes both at the same time.

John le Carré is, of course, a master at plotting the perfect suspense story: there is danger, a double-cross here and there and a gentlemanly veneer of sophistication. Our Kind of Traitor is no exception. The inevitability of the conclusion teaches us, once again, le Carré's axiom that they are all bad guys no matter what side they're on.--Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: John le Carré's latest is a perfect suspense story of danger and double-crosses, with a gentlemanly veneer of sophistication.



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