Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 27, 2011

Random House: Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks

Berkley Books: Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin

Feiwel & Friends: A Venom Dark and Sweet (Book of Tea #2) by Judy I. Lin

Wednesday Books: Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrota

Jimmy Patterson: Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan

Berkley Books: The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

Quotation of the Day

E-Books Redefine 'Now'

"E-book sellers have changed what people's perception of service is and what is legitimate to expect in a short period of time. If you say to them that you'll have to order it, a lot of people have a strange idea of what 'right away' means."

--David Russo, a manager at St. Mark's Bookshop, New York City, speaking with the Villager about the many customers who now buy books only if they're in stock and won't wait even 24 hours for a special order, a major contributor, along with high rent and the economy, to the store's "precarious position."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Old Place by Bobby Finger


Notes: Nebraska Book Declares Bankruptcy; Indigo's New Mood

Nebraska Book Company, which operates 290 college stores, has 2,500 bookstore customers for its textbook division and has 1,600 technology platforms and e-commerce sites used by various bookstores, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The company portrayed the filing as a way to "substantially reduce debt at the parent company level and position itself for future growth." Nebraska Book Co. is a subsidiary of NBC Acquisition Corp. The message was summed up in the company's weirdly worded press release title: "Nebraska Book Company Announces Agreement for Recapitalization."

Nebraska is restructuring some $450 million of outstanding loans and eliminating $77 million in debt. "This agreement solves balance sheet issues we have been addressing for months," president Barry Major said.

The Nebraska Book Company has total assets of $657,215,757 and total debts of $563,973,688, according to bankruptcy court filings. Besides financial institutions and non-book suppliers, major creditors include a range of textbook publishers. Those with the highest amounts owed are Pearson Education ($4.9 million); Cengage Learning ($2 million); Elsevier ($510,457); McGraw-Hill ($490,840); and Missouri Book Services ($386,858). As of yesterday, the company had $20 million in cash on hand and had obtained commitments for $200 million in bankruptcy financing.


The front page of today's New York Times features a stunning photo of the flooding in Minot, N.Dak., as the Souris River reached a level not seen in 100 years. Good news, however, from that city's Main Street Books, which reports that "record breaking water flows through Minot have all but forced the closure of our city... in the midst of all the sand bagging and strolling through my business neighborhood a young National Guardsman ran up to me as I was walking away. He had a big smile on his face when I turned: 'It looks like the bookstore is going to be okay!' "

The store added: "As thousands have been evacuated and now find themselves homeless, we want to remind them they are welcome always for free coffee and conversation and hugs. Because we firmly believe that not only is the bookstore going to be okay, but so is Minot."


Indigo Books & Music, Canada's largest book retailer, is reinventing itself by expanding digital options through Kobo, adding non-book merchandise to the store mix as well as retaining its traditional role as bookseller, according to the Toronto Star.

Concerning the company's digital strategy--it founded Kobo, which has an e-reader and apps, although some of its international partners, including Borders in the U.S., aren't faring well in general--CEO Heather Reisman said, "Indigo is in the business of encouraging people to read. We don't care if people want to read digitally or physically." Reisman stated that Kobo's market share in the U.S. is third, "in the double digits," behind the Kindle at 41% and Barnes & Noble at 27%--a share larger than other estimates.

Non-book products include more toys and gifts, book-related items and--starting this fall--home décor. Reisman commented: "Our interest is in beautifully designed, affordable products that continue the journey people are already taking with us. So, you're reading and we're into reading lamps, writing materials and desk accessories. People come to us for cookbooks and table design. So we're extending things for the table."

To help this effort, in April Indigo appointed as president Tedford Marlow, who had been president of Urban Outfitters for nearly a decade.


The Boston Globe surveys how some independent bookstores in the region are competing:

Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, is "trying a little bit of everything," including possibly buying a POD machine. Co-owner and manager Dana Brigham said, "We can't sleep through the changes going on all around us. For most of its history, [Booksmith] has been in a constant state of responding to changes and challenges in our market."

Trident Booksellers & Cafe, Boston, finds synergy in its two specialties. Store manager Max Clark said, "I don't think one could really work without the other: people really enjoy the fact that they can come and have cup of coffee and read a book." The store is considering taking "its concept on the road, stocking a truck with literature and lunch to bring the store to customers," the Globe wrote.

Two-year-old Seek Books, Boston, which specializes in used sci-fi and has 650 square feet of space, is, not surprisingly, seeking survival in being small and finding a niche.


Algonquin Books and Barnes & Noble have teamed up to try an unusual type of bundling: customers at some 300 B&N stores who buy one of 12 designated trade paperback books can then buy one of 12 designated e-books for $3. In October, in a second more direct type of bundling, customers at B&N and at independent bookstores who buy the hardcover of When She Woke by Hillary Jordan receive a free e-book version of the title.

"We spend a lot of time lately trying to figure out how to sell books in this new world order," Algonquin publisher Elisabeth Scharlatt told the New York Times. "And particularly to help booksellers to sell hardcover books, which seems increasingly difficult. So this seemed like one way of calling attention to a book by giving an incentive to the customer."

Bob Miller, group publisher of Workman, which owns Algonquin--Miller is a longtime proponent of bundling--commented: "Consumers are starting to feel like, 'If I'm buying the book, why do I have to buy it several times to have multiple formats?'"


In another e-book experiment, is teaming up with Random House to publish four e-books about the 2012 presidential campaign that will be written by Mike Allen, Politico's chief White House correspondent, and Evan Thomas, the political reporter who has written for Newsweek and Time, the New York Times reported. Each book will be 20,000-30,000 words; the first appears "sometime before Christmas."

Random House executive editor Jon Meacham called the unusual series--in the past detailed books about the campaign appeared after the election--a way to change readers' perception of publishers. "An impetus here is to encourage people to think of book publishers in a more periodical way," he told the Times, adding, "I think the marriage of Politico's reporting and Random House's narrative strengths is a great one."


We all know Borders is bombing, but the last thing it needs is to be bombed.

While the FBI is not calling them bombs, two "small, crude devices... partly functioned" in the Borders store in the Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood, Colo., Saturday morning and caused "minimal damage" to a small part of the store, according to the Denver Post. The store had been broken into during the night, and an alarm alerted police, who called the county bomb squad.

Yesterday police said that an "item" that was not a "device"--in English, probably something related to the bombs but not a bomb--was found outside the mall near the bookstore, 9news reported.

On Saturday, the store was closed although the rest of the mall was open. Local police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

In April, an unexploded device consisting of two small propane canisters and a makeshift pipe bomb were discovered at another area shopping mall. In that case, a 65-year-old man was arrested and charged.


During the first quarter of 2011, Amazon spent $630,000 lobbying the federal government regarding online sales tax rules, data protection, privacy concerns and other issues, according to a quarterly disclosure report filed April 22 with the House and Senate clerk's offices. The Associated Press (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) noted that this figure represents an increase over the fourth quarter of 2010 ($530,000) as well as the first quarter last year ($540,000). The disclosure report also showed that Amazon's lobbying has targeted Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve this year.  


On NPR's Weekend Edition on Saturday, Laura Miller, reviewer for, Ron Charles, fiction critic for the Washington Post, and freelance reviewer Rigoberto Gonzalez recommended the following titles for summer reading:

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal (Viking)
State of Wonder by Ann Pachett (Harper)
Doc by Mary Doria Russell (Random House)
West of Here by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin Books)
Orientation: And Other Stories by Daniel Orozco (Faber & Faber)
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (Algonquin)

In addition, Charles unofficially recommended A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (Bantam Spectra), the first part of the Song of Ice and Fire series and the basis for the recent--and excellent--HBO series.


Book trailer of the day: Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost, edited by Barbara Abercrombie (New World Library). Get out your Kleenex.


The Hollywood Reporter featured "5 beach blanket must reads."


These titles not cleared for takeoff: The 15 worst books to read on a plane were showcased by the Huffington Post.


How to make a bedside lamp in a hollow book. Boing Boing noted that the "book's cover is the switch, and the book's designer says he wanted to prove that literature is illuminating."

Blackstone Publishing: Imposter by Bradeigh Godfrey

Images of ALA

At the Holiday House ALA party Friday evening, author and artist Tomie dePaola (center), winner of the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (for "a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children"), celebrated with two longtime friends, Jewell Stoddard of Washington D.C.'s Politics & Prose and the Ferguson Public Library's Caroline Ward (right).


On Saturday morning, three creative teams discussed the process behind their picture books at a panel called "Strange Bedfellows: Unusual Pairings of Artists and Writers." Front row: Jan Greenberg, Neal Porter, Sandra Jordan (A Ballet for Martha, Neal Porter/Roaring Brook) and Nancy Carpenter (artist, 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, Schwartz & Wade/Random House). Back row: Susan Kuklin (photographer, Beautiful Ballerina, Scholastic), Brian Floca (artist, Ballet for Martha), moderator Caroline Ward (Ferguson Public Library), Jenny Offill and Anne Schwartz (17 Things). Also on the panel: Andrea Pinkney (editor, Beautiful Ballerina).


A Sunday Brunch with Scholastic's Stars: (l.-r.) Brian Selznick (Wonderstruck), Lucy Christopher (Flyaway), Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), Sarah Weeks (Pie), Jeff Hirsch (The Eleventh Plague), Chris Raschka (Seriously, Norman!) and Allen Say (Drawing from Memory).


The Oscars of the Children's Books world: Guests went through the receiving line last night at the New Orleans Marriott. 2011 Caldecott Medalist Erin Stead (second from right), the artist behind A Sick Day for Amos McGee with (l. to r.) her editor, Neal Porter, husband and Amos McGee author Philip C. Stead, and 2011 Caldecott Committee Chair Judy Zuckerman.

photos by Jennifer M. Brown


Rough Edges Press: Elm City Blues: A Private Eye Novel (Tommy Shore Mystery #1) by Lawrence Dorfman

Media and Movies

Media Heat: The Longest War; The Deal from Hell

This morning on Good Morning America: Bristol Palin, author of Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062089373).


Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: James O'Shea, author of The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers (PublicAffairs, $28.99, 9781586487911).


Today on the G. Gordon Liddy Show: Chris Stewart, author of The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points that Saved the World (Shadow Mountain, $28.99, 9781606419519).


Today on OWN's Gayle King Show: Sarah Ferguson, author of Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself (Atria, $25.99, 9781439189542).


Tonight on a repeat of the Tonight Show: Bethenny Frankel, author of A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life (Touchstone, $24.99, 9781439186909).


Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Free Press, $16, 9780743278942). He will also appear on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports.


Tomorrow on MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell: Sarah Ferguson, author of Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself (Atria, $25.99, 9781439189542). She will also appear on Fox & Friends.


KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.23.22

Movie Trailer: Killer Elite

Open Road has released the first trailer for Killer Elite, adapted from the novel The Feather Men by Ranulph Fiennes, reported. The movie, which opens September 23, stars Clive Owen, Jason Statham and Robert De Niro.


GLOW: Union Square & Co.: The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond by Amanda Glaze

Television: House of Lies Casting

Griffin Dunne has been added to the cast of Showtime's House of Lies, based on Martin Kihn's book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time. Dunne will play "a world-famous consultant who teams with Don Cheadle at his firm," the Hollywood Reporter wrote. Showtime has ordered 12 episodes of the series, which also stars Kristen Bell.


Erewhon: Day Boy by Trent Jamieson

Books & Authors

Awards: Locus Winners

The winners of the 2011 Locus Awards, voted by Locus magazine readers and announced on Saturday at the annual Science Fiction Awards Weekend in Seattle, Wash., are:

Science fiction novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Spectra)
Fantasy novel: Kraken by China Miéville (Del Rey)
First novel: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Young adult novel: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
Novella: The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
Novelette: "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains" by Neil Gaiman (Stories)
Short story: "The Thing About Cassandra" by Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)
Magazine: Asimov’s
Book publisher: Tor
Anthology: Warriors, edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois (Tor)
Collection: Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories by Fritz Leiber (Night Shade)
Editor: Ellen Datlow
Artist: Shaun Tan
Nonfiction: Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1: 1907-1948: Learning Curve by William H. Patterson, Jr., (Tor)
Art book: Spectrum 17, edited by Cathy & Arnie Fenner (Underwood)


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 Borrower: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai (Viking, $25.95, 9780670022816). "A 26-year-old children's librarian, Lucy Hull, allows herself to be 'kidnapped' by one of her precocious 10-year-old patrons, a boy intent on running away from home. The pair end up on a hilarious road trip that Ping-Pongs them across the Midwest and out to the East Coast. Makkai's writing is sharp and funny, and book lovers will enjoy the many references to well-known titles, from echoes of the road trip in Lolita to a chapter that is structured like a Choose Your Own Adventure story. What a wonderful, assured, and original debut!" --Shuchi Saraswat, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly (Touchstone, $25, 9781451617184). "Donnelly has written a vibrant, humorous, and heart-warming novel about three sisters who are the imagined descendants of those famous March sisters known to the rest of us as Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. There's Emma, who's about to be married; Lulu, who's undecided about a career; and Sophie, who is utterly theatrical, both on and off stage. You will fall in love with them--along with their friends and relatives--and wish that they lived next door!" --Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Va.


Father of the Rain: A Novel by Lily King (Grove Press, $14.95, 9780802145345). "Told loosely over four decades, Father of the Rain tells the story of Daley and her complicated and sometimes painful relationship with her alcoholic father. We are taken up with each step of her path as she moves from recognition of the problem, to anger and defiance, to wanting to be the savior and finally acceptance. All masterfully woven in the beautiful prose of author Lily King." --Kathleen Costello, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo.

For Ages 9 to 12

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald (Roaring Brook, $14.99, 9781596436916). "Middle school student Charlie Joe Jackson hates reading, so he devises a clever scheme involving an ice cream-loving friend who helps him with his reading assignments. After the terms of their agreement suddenly change, Charlie Joe hatches an elaborate but risky plan to avoid the reading portion of a major project. Readers will find Charlie Joe's guide to be an irresistible blend of wit and creativity that will hold their interest to the very last page." --Tish Gayle, the Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, Ky.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

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 19:


1. Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
2. Stan Musial: An American Life by George Vecsey
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
4. American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Design by Robert Sharoff
5. The Room by Emma Donohue
6. The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens
7. Just Kids by Patti Smith
8. Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them by Wayne Pacelle
9. Netsuke by Rikki Ducornet
10. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larsen


1. Hunger Game by Suzanne Collins
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
4. Judy Moody & the NOT Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald
5. Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star: Dork Diaries 3 by Rachel Renee Russell
6. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
7. Faith Hope and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
8. Island by Gary Paulsen
9. Curious George at the Baseball Game by Margret and H.A. Rey
10. Heist Society by Ally Carter

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!]

KidsBuzz: Schiffer Kids: Big P Takes a Fall (and That's Not All) by Pamela Jane, illus. by Hina Imtiaz
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