Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Harper Perennial: The Paris Model by Alexandra Joel

Algonquin Young Readers: Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Andrews McMeel Publishing: How to Draw a Reindeer and Other Christmas Creatures with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps by Lulu Mayo

Houghton Mifflin: No Place for Monsters by Kory Merritt


Image of the Day: Publisher Gets Published

Earlier this month Rick Rinehart, author of Men of Kent: Ten Boys, A Fast Boat, and the Coach Who Made Them Champions (Lyons Press), signed books at the Mystic Seaport Museum Store in Mystic, Conn., and later appeared (far l.) at a reception in the crew's honor at the National Rowing Museum. The book is about the 1972 crew team at the Kent School in Connecticut, which had a 46-0 winning streak, were national champions and won the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. For Rinehart, the subject was intensely personal: he was a member of that 1972 team. He's also publisher of Taylor Trade Books.

University of California Press: Smoke But No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes That Never Happened by Jessica S. Henry

Notes: B&N's Nook Color Splash

As predicted, Barnes & Noble yesterday introduced a color version of its Nook e-reader, called Nook Color, which the company colorfully called "the first full-color touch reader's tablet that delivers digital books, magazines, newspapers and children's books in immersive, gorgeous color, and all in one beautiful, thin and highly portable device."

The Nook Color is retailing for $249 (about double the Nook and basic Kindle), will begin shipping on or around November 19 and may be purchased online and at Best Buy, Walmart and Books-A-Million. The Nook Color is built on Android, has 8GB of space and has a 7" screen. The e-reader can store about 6,000 books, or "a combination that might include 1,000 books, 25 full-color magazines, 10 newspapers, 50 kids' books, 500 songs and 150 photos." It also has expandable memory.

B&N CEO William Lynch praised the product's many features and added, "Most importantly, Nook Color is designed for and differentiated by what Barnes & Noble knows best: reading."

The company also said that the Nook 3G and Nook Wi-Fi are being updated in November and that there is an "installed base of more than a million Nook customers."

James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, told the Wall Street Journal that the Nook Color, which weighs 15.8 ounces, could "fill a hole that the big, heavy, expensive iPad had left wide open. You can't underestimate the value of that, especially for the fifth of the population who are really wild about books." Forrester has estimated that by the end of this year, in total in the U.S., 6.1 million Kindles will have been sold as well as 2.2 million Sony Readers and 2.1 million Nooks.

A barely noticed aspect of the launch is the new partnership with Books-A-Million, which has 229 bookstores, primarily in the South. In the first agreement of its kind between the two companies, the Nook will be the only e-book reader BAM offers. The company will promote the Nook with in-store displays and demo units.

For entertainment and perspective, check out CNN Money, which has a slide show of e-reader devices, going back to the Sony Data Discman, introduced in 1991, and the NuvoMedia Rocket eBook, launched in 1998.


Book trailer of the day: An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller (Ballantine).


The Dolphin Bookshop, Port Washington, N.Y., won a Golden Storefront Award, "bestowed by community groups Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington and the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District," the Patch reported.

"Dolphin's unique and eclectic bookshop is a destination in Port's waterfront 'Arts and Antique District,' " said Mindy Germain, executive director of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington. "We are happy that Port residents have recognized the Dolphin for adding beauty and charm to this vibrant retail intersection."

Last June, the store moved to its current location in the historic Alfred C. Bayles building, a renovated structure with "a sandstone and celadon green façade framing over-size, wrap-around windows that feature store displays full of whimsy and verve," the Patch wrote. Owner Patti Vunk said, "We have an incredible expanse of windows. And they need to capture people's eye when they drive by in cars but also have enough detail to be interesting for people walking around."


A "bookclub that supplies its members with galleys of upcoming titles four to six months before they’d arrive in bookstores" has been launched by wowOwow, a women's website "started two years ago by a slew of famous female entertainers and media personalities," Forbes reported.

"The concept really is sort of the literary equivalent to going to a screening," said Joni Evans of wowOwow and a former publisher at Random House and Simon & Schuster.

Evans told Forbes that she believes avid readers will "pay a substantial fee for that privilege and for the various other perks associated with membership, such as author chats. The concept is now being tested on a limited scale, with would-be members being asked to pay $15 to $30 to get one of 1,000 copies of bestselling author Jodi Picoult's Sing You Home, which doesn't come out until next March."

Publishers have been "warm and responsive to the idea," Evans added. "In my old days in publishing, we'd spend millions of dollars for books and do very little market research. So here's an opportunity that allows them to do that."


This afternoon from 1-2 p.m. Eastern, the Book Industry Study Group is holding a webinar on Marketing "Books" in a Digital World, which will be presented by Peter Milburn, digital products marketing manager of Wiley Global Finance, and Rob Goodman, director of online marketing at Simon & Schuster. The pair will discuss how their companies are confronting the challenges to traditional book marketing and what steps they're taking to embrace new opportunities.

The webinar is free for BISG members. For more information, click here.


"This time, one book isn't enough, but one author still is." The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that "One Book, One Philadelphia" has opted for two books by Sherman Alexie--War Dances and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian--for 2011.

The Free Library of Philadelphia, which sponsors the program in conjunction with the mayor's office, will distribute copies of Diary to the city's public high schools for class use, "We are... also recommending it for the readership in general," said Marie Field, chair of the program. "War Dances is for the general public, but we're also giving the high school teachers the option of including it."


PGW is adding the following publishers to its client roster:

  • Effective in January, the American Diabetes Association's publishing division, which publishes books on diabetes, with both consumer and professional publications on nutrition, self-care, weight management and clinical care. The ADA has a backlist of some 100 titles and will publish five new titles in the spring.
  • Effective in January, Fang Duff Kahn Publishers, publisher of the City Secrets guidebooks, which is launching new edition of City Secrets: Rome. Each City Secrets title is a compilation of short essays about overlooked or underappreciated places, movies or books.
  • Effective in January, the third edition of Peter Glickman, Inc.'s Lose Weight, Have More Energy, and Be Happier in 10 Days, the original master cleanse bible popularized by Beyonce and Robin Quivers, among others.
  • Effective in March, Mandy & Pandy, the bilingual children's book publisher whose titles teach English-speaking children general Chinese phrases and vocabulary. Currently includes six board books with CD; four new titles will be published each year.
  • Effective in November, Visual Editions, a U.K. startup whose sales PGW will handle in the U.S. and Canada. The first titles are Tree of Codes, a new novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, and a new edition of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, with an introduction by Will Self. Visual Editions will publish approximately four fiction and nonfiction titles per year, with a focus on great design.


Julie Blattberg has been promoted to director, content strategy and author services, at HarperCollins. Since the authors services group was created last year, she has been involved in such projects as the creation of the Author Marketing Intelligence Report, the company's global digital data repository and AuthorAssistant.

Earlier she was a managing editor in the children's division and in the general books group, and has had similar roles earlier at Disney Publishing Worldwide and Simon & Schuster.


GLOW: Houghton Mifflin: How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz

Pennie Picks Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (Penguin, $15, 9780143118572/0143118579) as her pick of the month for November. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, but I admit that a title may have some sway over me. From the moment I first heard the words Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, I knew I had to read Beth Hoffman's debut novel. And believe me, am I ever glad that I did.

"From beginning to end, I loved this book. I dare anyone not to be charmed by 12-year-old CeeCee. When her mother is killed in an accident, CeeCee is sent to Savannah, Georgia, to live with her great-aunt Tallulah Caldwell.

"CeeCee finds herself living a life of privilege surrounded by a bevy of colorful and larger-than-life, eccentric Southern women.

"Not only are the characters the kind that stick with a reader, but Savannah seems to take on the status of a character with scenery that's a far cry from CeeCee's native Ohio."



Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Tune It Out by Jamie Summer

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joseph Ellis on First Family

Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Garry Wills, author of Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer (Viking, $25.95, 9780670022144/0670022144).


Today on Talk of the Nation: Joseph Ellis, author of First Family: Abigail and John Adams (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307269621/0307269620).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food (O'Reilly Media, $34.99, 9780596805883/0596805888).


Tomorrow on ESPN's SportsCenter: Marion Jones, author of Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed (Howard Books, $25, 9781451610826/1451610823).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Monique Truong, author of Bitter in the Mouth (Random House, $25, 9781400069088/1400069084). As the show put it: "Monique Truong is an intransigent--she will not settle for anyone's desire to interpret or in any way falsity the world she knows. This time Truong, who was born in Vietnam, sets to revealing the lies implicit in the question, 'What is it like to grow up Asian in America?' Her first refutation is that the question should read, 'What is it like to look Asian while being raised American in America?' Our conversation digs into the under-structure of many identity-based assumptions."


Tomorrow night on Lopez Tonight: 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 Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Reed Timmer, author of Into the Storm: Violent Tornadoes, Killer Hurricanes, and Death-defying Adventures in Extreme Weather (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525951933/0525951938).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Maira Kalman, author of And the Pursuit of Happiness (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594202674/1594202672).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Jason Hawes, author of Ghost Hunt: Chilling Tales of the Unknown (Little, Brown, $16.99, 9780316099592/0316099597).


University Press of Kentucky: The Redshirt (University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose) by Corey Sobel

Movies: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Scott Rudin Productions acquired the screen rights to Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, which was released by Knopf this week. reported that Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) will write the script and direct. Levithan and Cohn also wrote Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, which was also adapted for film.


Television: Nine Lives

Skyler Samuels (The Gates) will star in ABC Family's pilot Nine Lives, adapted from Celia Thomson's Nine Lives of Chloe King series of YA novels. reported that the pilot, "produced by Alloy Entertainment, centers on Chloe King (Samuels), a teenager with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing... claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure." Also in the cast are Grey Damon as Brian and Alyssa Diaz as Jasmine. Dan Berendsen wrote the script.


Books & Authors

Baseball!: A Rundown of Great Titles, Game 2

Baseball fans weighed in on Marilyn Dahl's list of some favorite baseball books, and she was amazed to realize she had forgotten Ball Four and Last Days of Summer, among other classics. So in honor of the World Series, which starts tonight, here's another list from current and former book people (and maybe a civilian):

Vladimir Verano casts a vote for Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop. "Currently OP, but it taught this 'foreigner' why people love the game and what it can do culturally (it's set during World War II), and the author beautifully folds the Frankenstein legend into it."

Eugenia Pakalik has an entire bookcase of baseball titles, and even though it's fiction, she would add the Iowa Baseball Confederacy by W.P. Kinsella. "It has the most wonderful description of the motion and the beauty of the game. Booksellers who have worked for me have had to live through me pulling a copy off the shelf and reading aloud if they questioned why I loved baseball."

Chris Kerr likes Ball Four by Jim Bouton, "a classic & such fun to have found at the time"; Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran by Dirk Hayhurst; the newly published Hadacol Days: A Southern Boyhood by Clyde Bolton--"a great coming-of-age memoir; and little read but a delight: Chasing Moonlight by Brett Friedlander and Robert Reising."

Dan Domike seconds Bullpen Gospels. "Best baseball book of the year... at least until I read Jane Leavey's bio of the Mick, The Last Boy, and her book on Koufax (Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy) is wonderful." He also likes The Glory of Their Times--Lawrence Ritter's interviews with players from the early 20th century. And another vote for Ball Four.

Gabe Barillas cites Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris and the John Tunis books: The Kid from Tomkinsville, The Kid Comes Back and Rookie of the Year. "I have to mention a forgotten modern gem of a novel by Steve Kluger, Last Days of Summer. A charming epistolary novel, great for all ages."

Michael Fox declares all of Roger Angell as worthy (and it is), plus David Halberstam's The Teammates, "a lovely little book."

Jon Phillips loves all the ones already mentioned and adds The Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball by Leonard Koppett; Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager by Buzz Bissinger; Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season by Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King; Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend by James S. Hirsch and Ted Williams by Leigh Montville, with honorable mention to Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball by Howard Bryant.

Cheryl McKeon says, "Last Days of Summer--YES! and Doris Kearns Goodwin's Wait Till Next Year... now that I have been a New Yorker and a Californian I love this poignant memoir even more."

And from Cheryl Maze, "A little gem, A Day of Light and Shadows by Jonathan Schwartz."

Once the Series is over, let the wintertime reading start, while we wait for the crack of the bat and the unique sound of the crowd to begin again.


Awards: DSC Prize For South Asian Literature Shortlist

Finalists for the inaugural DSC Prize For South Asian Literature include The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri, The Story of a Widow by Musharraf Ali Farooqui, Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James, The Immigrant by Manju Kapur, A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee and Home Boy by H.M. Naqvi. The winner will be named at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January.

"As we finalized our shortlist, the criteria that was uppermost in our minds was DSC's mandate to look for the best and the most interesting examples of the contemporary novel set in, or about, South Asia," said chairperson of the jury Nilanjana S. Roy. "In different ways, as we argued the merits of the final six contenders, all of us rediscovered the pleasures of reading--a pleasure that we hope will be shared by all readers, wherever they come from."


Book Brahmin: Spencer Quinn

Spencer Quinn writes the funny and cool Chet and Bernie series: Dog On It, Thereby Hangs a Tail and To Fetch a Thief (Atria, September 28, 2010), so far. Peter Abrahams, the one on the birth certificate, is the Edgar Award-winning writer of more than 20 crime fiction novels for adults and children.


On your nightstand now:

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine. She has a sharp and lovely style and makes the difficult look easy--which is the way I like it, even if that's not something that seems to be valued in literature these days--and she's very funny, too. Also on the nightstand: glass of water, lamp, can of tennis balls.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Treasure Island. Adventure stories and the sea--I loved them then and love them now.

Your top five authors:

Graham Greene, Ross Macdonald, Vladimir Nabokov, Patrick O'Brian, Nathanael West.

Book you've faked reading:

Pride and Prejudice. I tried and tried.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy. World War II and how to serve. Waugh is politically incorrect and often nasty, but the satire is as good as it gets, and the scenes of the evacuation of Crete are amazing.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick. The grainy photo of a young Elvis Presley all alone at the piano, wrapped up in his music before fame, is great, and the book turned out to be pretty good, too.

Book that changed your life:

The first Ross Macdonald book I ever read--can't remember which one, because of how fast I gobbled them all up. I hadn't really been interested in mysteries before I read him.

Favorite line from a book:

" 'It was I...,' Raskolnikov tried to begin." Doesn't look like much, but where it comes in Crime and Punishment and the simultaneous inevitability and diffidence of it hit very hard.

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

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Does anyone remember him? A wonderful science fiction writer, and this novel was perfect for the 12-year-old me that read it. So if I was reading it again for the first time, I'd be back to 12, right? And knowing what I know now or not? Just want to get the rules straight.



Book Review

Children's Review: Sugar Changed the World

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson (Clarion Books, $20.00 Hardcover, 9780618574926, November 2010)

Husband and wife Marc Aronson (Sir Walter Raleigh and the Quest for Eldorado) and Marina Budhos (Ask Me No Questions) here team up to tell an eye-opening, often disturbing history of sugar and its impact on people and cultures around the globe.

The authors begin with personal entry points, which can be tricky when writing nonfiction. However, they successfully set a tone for a sweeping history brought home for young readers through the moving stories of individuals. Both authors' family histories are tied to wealthy landowners who subjected laborers to extreme conditions and physical danger. The particulars of their two stories--one set in a Russia that still embraced serfdom, the other in a late 19th-century British Guiana that relied on indentured servitude--relate to the overarching themes of the sugar narrative writ large, and the movement from the Age of Honey to the Age of Sugar to the Age of Science.

No matter how farflung the plantations discussed were, the sugar refinement process remained the same for hundreds of years. Workers pushed the cane into mill wheels until the cane was completely crushed. The overseers kept an ax nearby so that if a worker's arm got sucked into the mill's grinders, someone could hack it off before the rest of his or her body followed. Another group of workers manned the boiling house where a worker could inadvertently wind up in a bubbling vat. Whether readers examine the striking series of mid–19th century paintings on sugarmaking by William Clark or photographs from 20th-century sugar plantations in the Caribbean, Louisiana or Brazil, they will be struck by how little the sugar refinement process varies, and how perilous it is no matter where the workers live.

Still, despite the horrible conditions, the laborers found solace in their music, such as the bomba in Puerto Rico, Maculelê in Brazil and jazz in Louisiana.

Aronson and Budhos recount tales of heroic individuals like Zumbi, who led Africans, Native Americans and white slaves to an area called Palmares in the mountains of Brazil (1600-1695); and, a century later, Toussaint, who led an uprising against the French in Saint Domingue (now Haiti). One of the most inspiring stories is that of Norbert Rillieux, fathered by a white planter and engineer, born into slavery in New Orleans in 1806 and sent to France to be educated; he invented a way to simplify the refinement of sugar, both in the number of steps and the number of people required--yet was denied credit for his idea.

Abolitionist heroes familiar (Abraham Lincoln) and unfamiliar (Pierre Lemerre the Younger, a Frenchman who said in 1716, decades before the American Declaration of Independence, "All men are equal") all play a part in this centuries-long struggle. And Mohandas Gandhi, often more associated with salt than sugar, formulated his ideas about satyagraha (which means "truth with force," or "love-force") when he met an abused indentured servant working the sugar mills of Natal, South Africa. From his defense of the rights of sugar workers, Gandhi solidified the ideas that would lead his native India to independence from Great Britain. Aronson and Budhos clearly convey the way in which individuals and singular events influenced the course of history--whether it be average citizens with a growing taste for sweets who contribute to the demand for sugar, a leader in a slave revolt, or an abolitionist's cry to boycott tea, "the blood-sweetened beverage." The authors demonstrate that we all have a personal connection to sugar, and that history is made by the choices individuals make. An impassioned, thought-provoking account that forces us to look anew at the things we take for granted.--Jennifer M. Brown



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