Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 13, 2011

Workman Publishing: Meltdown: Discover Earth's Irreplaceable Glaciers and Learn What You Can Do to Save Them by Anita Sanchez, illustrated by Lily Padula

Tor Teen: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Graphix: The Tryout: A Graphic Novel by Christina Soontornvat, illustrated by Joanna Cacao

Yen on: Dark Souls: Masque of Vindication by Michael Stackpole

Grove Press: A Ballet of Lepers: A Novel and Stories by Leonard Cohen

Apollo Publishers: Why Not?: Lessons on Comedy, Courage, and Chutzpah by Mark Schiff

John Scognamiglio Book: In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari


Image of the Day: Literary Doubleheader


Last week at Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., Lee Smith and Roy Blount appeared at a joint event for their respective new books, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger and Alphabetter Juice. Some 166 people attended. Here are (from l.) Smith; Quail Ridge owner Nancy Olson; and Blount.


Flyaway Books: The Coat by Séverine Vidal, illustrated by Louis Thomas

Notes: Borders Possible Closings Now 45

Borders Group has come to an agreement on extending the time the company has to assume or reject leases with landlords of six of the 51 stores that it said last week it might have to close soon (Shelf Awareness, June 10, 2011), reducing the possible pool of closing stores to 45. The stores with stays of execution are two stores at the Detroit Metro Airport, one at Logan Airport in Boston, a store at the Raleigh/Durham Airport as well as superstores in Westland, Mich., and Willimantic, Conn. The change was noted in documents filed in bankruptcy court on Friday.

--- continues to play hardball in its battle not to collect sales taxes: last week it said it will drop its online affiliates in Arkansas and Connecticut because of new laws that would require it to collect sales tax from customers in those states, the AP (via the Wall Street Journal) reported.

In Arkansas, a new state law requires out-of-state online retailers to collect sales tax from customers if their annual sales in Arkansas exceed $10,000. In Connecticut, the law requires online retailers with affiliate nexus to collect sales tax.

The battle over sales tax collection continues to make for some strange bedfellows and rhetoric. Wal-Mart, whose headquarters are in Bentonville, Ark., was a major supporter of the Arkansas law, and Amazon bitterly told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that the bill "was supported by big-box retailers that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors."

For its part, Wal-Mart, along with Target, Best Buy, Home Depot and Sears, is a member of the Alliance for Main Street, which has the support of some independent businesses, including booksellers.


Union Ave. Books, Knoxville, Tenn., a new bookstore selling new and used books, decorative arts and gifts, is holding its grand opening this Saturday, June 18.

The store, located at 517 Union Avenue in downtown Knoxville, aims to be "a gathering place for downtown shoppers and dwellers and the business community, as well as the faithful of the former Carpe Librum Bookstore," which closed late last year. The store intends to carry "a diverse inventory of local and regional titles, as well as fiction and nonfiction bestsellers, and feature a special Kids' Corner. In addition, Union Ave. Books will host book signings, special holiday events, and Saturday activities for children. The store will also be available to Knoxville's numerous book clubs for meetings and after-hours events."

The owners of Union Ave. Books are Flossie McNabb, a former owner of Carpe Librum, and Melinda Meador, an attorney at the Knoxville firm of Winchester, Sellers, Foster & Steele. McNabb's daughter, Bunnie Presswood, will be the store's business manager. Meador's son, Jake Knanishu, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., will serve as content and marketing consultant and be a bookseller during holiday seasons.

Meador commented: "Downtown Knoxville has exploded in the best possible way over the last few years. We want to be a part of this exciting time for our city, and selling books--especially given Knoxville's rich literary tradition--is a great way to do it."

Kaveh and Mary Dabir, owners of Mr. K's Books, which sells used books and music in Oak Ridge and Johnson City, Tenn., Asheville, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., were originally going to be McNabb's partners but are no longer associated with the project (Shelf Awareness, February 7, 2011). has a photo tour of the new store.


Early reports from two stores that supported the Unbridled Books 25 e-books for 25 cents each promotion, which ran from last Thursday through Saturday at IndieCommerce stores that sell Google eBooks, were positive. As of Friday afternoon, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., had "sold hundreds of e-books and gained dozens of new e-book customers," according to Paul Hanson, the new community outreach director and e-book guru.

The Village Books promotion included a Friday information session on e-books and e-readers led by Hanson and store co-owner Chuck Robinson that lasted an hour and a half and was nicknamed "the e-reader support group" by attendees. "We even gained some Kindle converts from the talk!" Hanson said.

The UConn Co-Op, Storrs, Conn., sold 43 e-books, all but one purchase by customers buying several titles, according to Suzy Staubach, manager of the general books division. "It will be interesting to see if this translates into future e-book sales," she added.


Crain's Detroit Business had a feature on Schuler Books, which has three stores in Grand Rapids and two near Lansing and was founded by Cecile and Bill Fehsenfeld in 1982.

To remain competitive and be on the cutting edge, over the past five years or so, the company has added used books, a range of sidelines, an Espresso Book Machine, e-books via IndieCommerce and beer and wine in one of its cafes--an addition to the menu that might be transferred to the other Schuler Books cafes.

Sales have dropped in the past few years but the company has remained profitable. Traditional books still account for 60% of sales but that number is slowly falling.

One reason for the company's success, Bill Fehsenfeld said, is focusing on the basics. He said, "When you think of the people who have gotten in trouble in our industry, they've either expanded too fast or lost sight of some of the basics people want in a bookstore--the experienced staff and a clean, well-maintained store. I think we've done a pretty good job of focusing on the basics. We have not overextended ourselves."


Congratulations to the Drama Book Shop, New York City, which won honors for excellence in the theater at last night's Tony Awards!

Back Stage has a wonderful tribute to the store and owner-stars Rozanne Seelen and Allen Hubby.


Beck bump.

Last Thursday Glenn Beck's interview with Chris Stewart, co-author with his brother, Ted Stewart, of The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World (Shadow Mountain), and his rave review pushed the book to #9 on Amazon's bestseller list. The Miracle of Freedom has stayed near that spot since then, and was #11 yesterday.

Chris Stewart is a pilot and Air Force veteran and Ted Stewart is a federal judge. In their book, they examine "just how unusual the blessing of freedom is in the human experience" and posit that seven historical events were key for the United States becoming "the torch bearer for liberty and freedom." These include, they say, the victory of the Greeks over the Persians at Thermopylae and Salamis; Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity; the discovery of the Americas; and the Battle of Britain in World War II.


Cool bookstore video: Harvard Book Store's plug--featuring Alex M. at Fenway Park--for The Baseball Field Guide: An In-Depth Illustrated Guide to the Complete Rules of Baseball by Dan Formosa (Da Capo).


Book trailer of the day (which might be called a day at the races): Something for Nothing by David Anthony (Algonquin Books).


(L.-r.) Sheila Lineberry, Janet Geddis, John Lewis, Peggy Moloney and Isaiah Lineberry

Janet Geddis, owner of the Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga., was profiled by the Banner-Herald in recognition of her work as a patient advocate on behalf of migraine sufferers. Geddis recently visited Washington, D.C., for Headache on the Hill, a trip organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy.

When she launched her blog the Migraine Girl several years ago, Geddis "just wanted a place to vent some of the frustrations of the affliction." Readership grew quickly, however, and the blog is now housed on as "part of a national effort to show how common migraine is and sway lawmakers to make life easier for the millions of Americans who suffer," the Banner-Herald wrote.

She has also created a Goodreads list of nonfiction titles that deal with the issue, but would welcome suggestions of novels and stories that feature characters with migraine or other types of headache disorders at

As a bookseller, Geddis said she is about to sign a lease for an in-town Athens storefront by the end of the month so that Avid Bookshop can expand from an online and events-based business to a full-fledged bricks and mortar bookstore.


So, you say you have 10,000 books in your collection and are looking for just the right forest retreat to display them in? May we suggest the Scholar's Library in Olive Bridge, N.Y., which was showcased by Modern Residential Design.  


Booze and books. Flavorwire couldn't "think of anything better than to sip a cool drink while typing away at our--er, laptops--out on the porch in the sweet summer night air." Thus, the inevitable feature: "How to Drink Like Your Favorite Authors."


Party time!

Dr. Ervin Laszlo and Deepak Chopra are issuing an open invitation to a wine reception next Monday in New York City for Simply Genius!: And Other Tales from My Life (Hay House). The book is by Laszlo and has a foreword from Chopra. The reception will be held Monday, June 20, 4:30-5:30 p.m., at ABC Carpet & Home at 888 Broadway (19th St.) in Manhattan. Please RSVP to!


Gee, thanks, Nate Robinson, for deciding early Friday morning to urinate in front of a Barnes & Noble in White Plains, N.Y. The Oklahoma City Thunder player was arrested by an alert police officer, and the news spread across the Internet and news wires. As a result, most any search Shelf Awareness editors did over the weekend involving the phrases "bookstore" or "Barnes & Noble" resulted in many pungent reminders that the law has a dim view of basketball players dribbling off court.


Soho Crime: Blown by the Same Wind (Cold Storage Novel) by John Straley

Obituaries: Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor; Jim Matthews

Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, "an intrepid traveler, a heroic soldier and a writer with a unique prose style," died last Friday. He was 96.

The Guardian noted that "among his casual attainments, he climbed a peak in the Andes with the mountaineer Robin Fedden and the Duke of Devonshire (who beat the others to the top), and he swam the Hellespont, where he encountered a Russian submarine. In the 1980s he underwent treatment for cancer, which proved successful. Yet his life was distinctly bookish and scholarly: he was a discoverer of obscure and new writers, he translated poetry, and was at some deep level essentially a poet."


Jim Matthews, who worked for many years at wholesaler Booksource in St. Louis, Mo., died June 5 of lung disease and pneumonia. He was 83.

St. Louis Today said Matthews was "legendary among bookstore operators for his knowledge of books and authors and was known as the dean of St. Louis booksellers.... He was a master at introducing them to books they knew nothing about and authors of whom they had never heard. He knew which books would sell and at which stores."

His former colleague Richard Buthod said, "He would read a book and know exactly who to sell it to."


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.08.22

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kissinger on Colbert!

This morning on the Today Show: Adam Mansbach, author of Go the F**k to Sleep (Akashic Books, $14.95, 9781617750250).


This morning on Imus in the Morning: Irshad Manji, author of Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom (Free Press, $26, 9781451645200).


Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Richard White, author of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (Norton, $35, 9780393061260).


Today on the Daily Buzz: Carolyn Evans, author of Forty Beads: The Simple, Sexy Secret for Transforming Your Marriage (Running Press, $14, 9780762439287).


Today on Ellen: Jimmy Fallon, author of Thank You Notes (Grand Central, $12, 9780892967414).


Today on OWN's Gayle King Show: Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast, contributors to Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex (Ecco, $21.99, 9780061875762).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Alex Prud'homme, author of The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century (Scribner, $27, 9781416535454).


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Henry Kissinger, author of On China (Penguin Press, $36, 9781594202711).


Tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Sarah Ferguson, author of Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself (Atria, $25.99, 9781439189542).


Tomorrow on Live with Regis and Kelly: Betty White, author of If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't) (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399157530).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: David S. Reynolds, author of Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America (Norton, $27.95, 9780393081329).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Maziar Bahari, author of Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival (Random House, $27, 9781400069460).


Tomorrow on the Colbert Report: Janny Scott, author of A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother (Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594487972).


Tomorrow night on the Charlie Rose Show: Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War (Harper, $29.99, 9780061228599).


Tomorrow on a repeat of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Tina Fey, author of Bossypants (Reagan Arthur, $26.99, 9780316056861).

Weiser Books: Hearth and Home Witchcraft: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish Home and Spirit by Jennie Blonde

Movie: The Green Lantern

The Green Lantern, based on the long-running DC Comics series, opens this Friday, June 17. Ryan Reynolds stars as human given superpowers and membership to a society of intergalactic peacekeepers via a magic ring.


Harper Muse: When We Had Wings: A Story of the Angels of Bataan by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, and Susan Meissner

New Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Promo Posters

Wired featured several new promotional posters for Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and noted that it "looks like there will be plenty of wand-waving" in the final movie of the series, which is set for a July 15 release.


Broadleaf Books: Between the Listening and the Telling: How Stories Can Save Us by Mark Yaconelli

Rushdie the Screenwriter on the Joy of Writing Control

A note on Salman Rushdie's new screenwriting project, Next People, a "sort of paranoid science fiction series" for Showtime (Shelf Awareness, March 14, 2011).

Citing series like Mad Men, the Sopranos and the Wire, the author told the Guardian that one of the major attractions of doing the series was that some TV series gives writers as much control over quality as they have writing a novel. By contrast, he said, "In America … the quality--or the writing quality--of movies has gone down the plughole."


Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Malamud, Arab American Book Winners

Edith Pearlman has won the 2011 PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the "art of short fiction," according to the AP. Pearlman is the author of several short story collections, including Binocular Vision (Lookout Books) and How to Fall (Sarabande Books). She wins $5,000.


The winners of the 2011 Arab American Book Awards, sponsored by the Arab American National Museum, are:


Fiction: Loom: A Novel by Thérèse Soukar Chehade (Syracuse University Press)
The Evelyn Shakir Nonfiction Award: Arab Americans in Toledo: Cultural Assimilation and Community Involvement edited by Samir Abu-Absi (University of Toledo Press)
Poetry: Tocqueville by Khaled Mattawa (New Issues Poetry & Prose)
Children/Young Adult: Saving Sky by Diane Stanley (HarperCollins Children's)

Honorable Mentions

Nonfiction: Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity--My Own and What it Means to Be a Woman in Chaos by Manal M. Omar (Sourcebooks)
Poetry: This Isa Nice Neighborhood by Farid Matuk (Letter Machine Editions)
Children/Young Adult: Time to Pray by Maha Addasi, illustrated by Ned Gannon (Boyd Mills Press)

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:


A Conflict of Interest: A Novel by Adam Mitzner (Gallery, $25, 9781439157510). "Alex Miller is a young criminal defense attorney and recent partner in a powerful New York City law firm. At his father's funeral, Michael Ohlig introduces himself as a longtime family friend and asks Alex to represent him in a criminal investigation involving a brokerage scam that left his investors penniless. While investigating evidence being presented by the prosecution, Alex discovers facts that lead to old family secrets and lies. Desperation may lead to the truth, but deception can come at a high price. Twists in the final pages of this thriller will keep readers on the edge."--Carol Hicks, Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, Calif.

To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel by Tom McNeal (Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316127394). "As a young girl, Judith believed in the kind of love that 'picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio.' When she gives up her first love, Willy, she assumes that love like that is not to be had. Instead, she marries the kind of man whose love 'picks her up on Main Street and sets her down at the edge of town.' Now 20 years later, Judith is restless. Her marriage is stagnant, her husband is wandering, and she finds herself staring at a piece of paper with a phone number scribbled on it, a number that might very well take her back to that early dream. You will not want to put this book down!"--Nancy Simpson, the Book Vault, Oskaloosa, Iowa


Emotional Currency by Kate Levinson (Celestial Arts, $14.99, 9781587610684). "It is interesting--and very telling--to note one's constantly fluctuating emotions surrounding money. Levinson's book is an excellent aid to not only clear the confusion, but also wisely and gently walk one through all of the options to discover the best possible personal choices. This is a terrific and useful book!"--Cheryl Cotleur, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

For Ages 4 to 8

If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet by Leslie McGuirk (Tricycle Press, $17.99, 9781582463704). "McGuirk has been collecting rocks from the shore for a very long time. Her collection is the basis for this most unusual alphabet book. Rocks that look like letters of the alphabet matched with corresponding objects will inspire readers young and old to go for a walk and start their own collection. Very clever and fun!"--Margaret Brennan Neville, the King's English, Salt Lake City, Utah

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Book Review: The Bolero of Andi Rowe

The Bolero of Andi Rowe: Stories by Toni Margarita Plummer (Curbstone Press, $17.95 trade paper, 9780810127678, June 30, 2011)


This slim volume of 10 interconnected stories contains many lifetimes of love, longing and loss. Mostly set in Los Angeles's San Gabriel Valley with forays back to Mexico, the stories--evocative, poignant, sexy, funny and dense with ritual and celebration--center on the Rowe family. Some of the stories bridge the border between an old world and a new; others are set wholly in the New World, with all its attendant difficulties and none of the comforts of tradition.

The titular bolero is a song such as the old troubadors wrote and sang, reflecting in its lyrics the loves and lives of their people: Charles Rowe marries Olivia Real, originally from Mexico, and they have two daughters: Andi, who is dark like her mother, and blonde, blue-eyed Maura, who takes after her Irish father. Even though Charles and Olivia divorce, Olivia maintains a rich friendship with her Irish-born mother-in-law. The great divide created by divorce is writ large in "Happy Hour," when Maura accompanies her father to his mother's funeral and Andi is with Olivia. They should all be comforting each other by grieving together, but convention makes that impossible.

Andi is an architecture student in New York, trying to stay connected to friends in L.A. Her sweetheart, Pete, is torn between career desires: becoming a doctor or being a musician. Their separation is the occasion of Pete's bolero for Andi. In another story, "Forces," the tension between them is palpable. They both arrive at a bar with other dates and Andi remembers the summer before--vividly.

Andi's best friend, Inez Suarez, is looking for love in all the wrong places. In "All the Sex Is West," she asks, "A man? Do they come in faithful?" Inez has no experience of anyone sticking around for long, but she keeps hoping that one more night in a bar, picking up a likely guy, will end her search.

All the Latina women in the stories believe that love is their deliverance; the right man is the answer to all their yearning, what is needed to give shape to their lives. In "What Would Mary Do," Dulce considers a religious vocation because, at 35, she seems to be out of options. But maybe if she just opened her eyes and took in what is right around her....

If you listen closely, you can hear in these stories the haunting strains of the best Latin music; those long, mournful chords that tell the whole story of what happens to people as they try to make connections and succeed or fail--and try again.--Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: A debut collection of 10 interconnected stories about Latinas in Los Angeles, their lives, loves and losses.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles in St. Louis

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in and around St. Louis, Mo. During the week ended Sunday, June 5:


1. The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens
2. The Passage by Justin Cronin
3. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
4. A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles
5. The Dave Store Massacre by Ron Ebest  
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
8. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
9. American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Design by Robert Sharoff
10. Stan Musial by George Vecsey

1. Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng
2. Napping House by Audrey Wood
3. Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
4. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
6. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
7. My Circus by Xavier Deneux
8. A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black
9. Divergent by Veronica Roth
10. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Reporting bookstores, all of which are members of the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance: Left Bank Books, Main Street Books, Pudd'nhead Books, Subterranean Books, Sue's News.

[Many thanks to the booksellers!]


AuthorBuzz: St. Martin's Press: Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
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