Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, February 1, 2006


Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Editors' Note

Wild Events at Wild Rumpus

Last but not least in today's issue is a story from the ABA's Winter Institute about making bookstores a "third place." One of the stores is a "nontraditional" children's bookstore with an amusing array of events--from garage band competitions to horse shoeings. Don't miss it.

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black


News

Notes: Consumer Confidence Up; Berry Retires

Although inflation has eroded income, gasoline prices rose again and net savings are in negative territory, consumer confidence levels rose to 106.3 in January, its highest level in more than three years, according to the Conference Board.

The main reason for the boost: "More people are seeing jobs as plentiful and few are seeing jobs as hard to get, and that is probably what has caused the [confidence] number to be a little stronger than expected," David Sloan, senior economist at 4CAST Ltd., told Reuters.

But the somewhat surprising positive mood is apparently a short-range view. Consumers are somewhat pessimistic about economic conditions in six months; the Conference Board's measure dropped to 91.5 from 92.6 in December.

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One of our favorite former colleagues, John N. Berry III, has officially retired as editor-in-chief of Library Journal, where he worked for 40 years, helped create Library Hotline and School Library Journal and was perhaps best known for his lively, passionate editorials. John being John, he isn't fully retiring: he will continue to work as editor at large and write his column.

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Literary agent Kassie Evashevski of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment was also duped by James Frey and has dropped him as a client, PW Daily reported. Evashevski said that any question of selling A Million Little Pieces as fiction had to do with Frey's initial inclination "to spare his family undue embarrassment, not because it wasn't true." She also stated that until recently the author had consistently "maintained the veracity of his account."

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Consortium Book Sales & Distribution has hired John Nielsen as v-p, finance and administration, reporting to CEO Donald Linn. Nielsen began his career in 1988 as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche and since then has worked in finance and risk analysis, most recently as practice group controller for Hudson/JMT Financial Partners in Minneapolis.

"John brings a variety of experiences, both in larger and smaller companies, to bear along with terrific interpersonal skills and great enthusiasm for being a part of our management team," Linn said in a statement.

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The Lookout News followed up on the opening of the new main branch of the Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica, Calif., last month. Some 40,000 people have visited in the library in the first two weeks; 6,000 items were checked out the first day; most new books and DVDs have been taken out; and people continue to line up to obtain library cards.


Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!


Media and Movies

Nominations: Books Do Well by Oscar

Brokeback Mountain, based on the Annie Proulx short story, corraled eight Oscar nominations yesterday for, among other categories, best picture, best director, best actor, best supporting actor and best supporting actress. Memoirs of a Geisha, based on the Arthur Golden novel, seduced six nominations, although none were in what are considered major categories.

Among other movies that were nominated and are based on books: The Constant Gardener, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pride & Prejudice, Syriana (sort of) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The nominees in the category of best adapted screenplays are Brokeback Mountain, Capote, The Constant Gardener, A History of Violence and Munich.

Our own special category: March of the Penguins, which was nominated for best documentary feature, for its beautiful tie in edition from National Geographic.


Media Heat: Dr. Butler, Dr. Cassel and Amber

Warming up for the next Survivor series, the Early Show seeks advice from Survivor winner Amber Mariano, author of Amber's Guide For Girls: Advice on Fame, Family, Fashion and More! (Synergy Books, $9.95, 1933538031).

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Today on the Today Show, Con Coughlin speaks about his new book, American Ally: Tony Blair and the War on Terror (Ecco, $26.95, 0060731265).

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Today on the Diane Rehm Show, Michael Mandelbaum makes a case for his new book, The Case For Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the Twenty-first Century (PublicAffairs, $26, 1586483609).

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Today on the Leonard Lopate Show:

  • Michael Rosenthal reports on his new book, Nicholas Miraculous: The Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler (FSG, $35, 0374299943), about the longtime president of Columbia University and president of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.
  • Max Barry presents another clever satire of the corporate world in his novel Company (Doubleday, $22.95, 0385514395).
  • Erik Reece talks about the disastrous affects of radical strip mining in Appalachia, as detailed in his new book, Lost Mountain (Riverhead, $24.95, 1594489084).
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Tonight on Larry King Live, Jimmy Carter, whose latest book is Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (S&S, $25, 0743284577), offers his own assessment of the state of the union.

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Tonight on the Daily Show: Michael Beschloss, the historian whose most recent book is The Presidents: Every Leader from Washington to Bush (ibooks, $16, 1596870818).

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Yesterday Fresh Air heard about prescriptions for a highly topical problem from Dr. Christine Cassel, author of Medicare Matters: What Geriatric Medicine Can Teach American Health Care (University of California Press, $27.50, 0520246241).



Books & Authors

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at www.booksense.com, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:

Hardcover

The World to Come by Dara Horn (Norton, $24.95, 0393051072). "This imaginative, multilayered novel deals with themes of betrayal, trust, and memory with luminous prose and sensitivity. Sympathetic characters fill stories within stories surrounding the theft of a Chagall painting. I loved it and think readers and book clubs will too."--Hester Jeswald, Sarasota News & Books, Sarasota, Fla.

The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor--and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car! by Tim Harford (Oxford University, $26, 0195189779). "This entertaining and enlightening book takes you from your immediate surroundings--bookstore cafe, drinking (overpriced?) coffee and looking at this hardcover (why not paperback?) book--and explains how quirks and failures of the market can cause both your latte to cost four dollars and global poverty."--Audrey Brockhaus, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, Mich.

Paperback

White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway (Grove, $13, 0802170188). "White Ghost Girls is the story of two American sisters, the daughters of a photojournalist who is covering the Vietnam War. Living with their mother in Hong Kong, they watch not only the war unfold in Vietnam, but, also, the Maoist Cultural Revolution. Greenway's descriptions of places, of feelings and emotions, of all family members were captivating."--Susan Weaver, Broad Street Books, Portsmouth, Va.

For Ages 9 to 12

Riddle in the Mountain by Daryl Burkhard (Nomad Press, $16.95, 096682895X). "This is a fun time-travel story about three children who are transported back to an old western mining town, where they must work together, using their different skills and knowledge, in a race against time to solve a riddle and return home."--Carolyn Schrader, Southwest Book Roundup, Capitan, N.M.

The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble (Margaret K. McElderry/S&S, $15.95, 0689876505). "The year is 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, where women were accused of casting evil spells and practicing witchcraft. This story tells of the sacrifice one brave mother made to save her young daughters and to help dispel the fear that was running rampant."--Chris DeWan, Butterfly Books, De Pere, Wis.

[Many thanks to Book Sense!]


Deeper Understanding

Winter Institute Continued: Store as Third Place

One of the most entertaining and talked-about presentations at the ABA's Winter Institute last week was the panel on the Bookstore as Third Place, which featured Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books, whose main store is in Coral Gables, Fla., Philip Rafshoon of Outwrite Bookstore and Coffee House, Atlanta, Ga., and showstopper Collette Morgan, owner of Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minn.

In a bit of an understatement, Morgan said that Wild Rumpus, which she founded in 1993, is a "nontraditional" children's store that she wants to be "comfortable space" for herself and her community. In the 2,000-sq.-ft. store, which is a stand-alone building, several chickens roam free, and she keeps ferrets, hedgehogs and even a tarantula. (To avoid problems with the city, Wild Rumpus is licensed as a pet store, which allows Morgan to keep animals even though she doesn't sell them.)

Events are very important for the store because "it's important to bring kids to books, not the other way around," Morgan said. "We compete with a lot of stuff. Storytime is not enough. Kids would rather stay home and load up their iPods."

The range of events held at Wild Rumpus is astounding. "We try to mix science, art, dance and animals," Morgan said. "Our events are non gender-specific, often not age-specific, and they're free and open to anyone. My criterion is if it bores me, I won't do it."

Among events Wild Rumpus has held, none of which sounds boring:

  • A battle of local kids' garage bands, for which Graeme Base was the judge. First prize was time in a professional studio to cut a demo.
  • School jazz band concerts. "They're big and they bring family and friends," Morgan commented. "And schools love their bands performing in public."
  • A visit from staff at the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices Collection at the Science Museum in St. Paul.
  • Baby's First Tattoo, in which experts "explained the procedure and showed antique equipment."
  • A visit by a forensic entomologist. "You would be surprised at how much kids love to hear about which bugs feed on the dead parts of things and how long the things are dead."
  • Annual Vet Day. "It's amazing how many people come to this."
  • A drum circle led by street musicians "we pulled off the street."
  • A book printing demonstration and creation of pop-up books done with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
  • Horse shoeings. "I like to make the horse go all around the store and I make sure he goes by the counter so I can say, 'Why the long face?' "
  • A Persian calligraphy demonstration done by a local Iranian.
  • A beekeeper demonstration. "He came with the smoke thing and set off the detector."
  • A sheep shearing.
  • And "at the drop of the hat, we'll do a parade. Everyone loves a parade."

Morgan said she doesn't "necessarily sell a lot of books during events, but you'd be surprised at how many people come back a week later and ask for books related to the event."

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Rafshoon has made Outwrite, "the largest independent in Atlanta's city limits," into a meeting place. As more straight people move into the gay and lesbian neighborhood, "we're trying to serve them as well as serve our primary group," he said. "We welcome all!"

The store has a popular lounge area. Free wi-fi, added a year and a half ago, has been a "boon to the coffee house," he continued.

The store tries to be "very particular" about events, trying to get 25-75 people and aiming to have them last an hour. Speakers sign the authors' wall.

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Books & Books hosts a range of reading groups, from a Spanish-language group to a Tibetan reading group. It also has a group organized by the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce that meets monthly and specializes in Brazilian and Portuguese themes.

The store also co-sponsors TigerTail: A South Florida Poetry Annual, which it sells in its stores, and has been "a big underwriter" of the local public radio station since the store opened. "We all know how simpatico NPR listeners are with booksellers," Kaplan explained.

Books & Books made a "breakthrough" when it developed partnerships with local groups, including a church, temple, even basketball areas, to host author events. "They do it for free because it reflects well on them," he said.

Kaplan added that "these days the bar is raised so high" for booksellers. "You have to become a community institution, not just a bookstore. It takes a lot in costs and commitment."


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