Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 16, 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

Quotation of the Day

Reading & Riots: Publish 'Something Relevant or Aspirational'

"We need to produce more books that relate to these kids and their lives, offering something relevant or aspirational. We need to market these books directly to these audiences, make young people feel included and empowered to read. We need to deliver these books in relevant and contemporary ways. Maybe the rioters would have BBM'd less if they had other stuff to read on their phones.

"And most of all, we need to remember what it is that's kept us reading all these years, what got us excited about universes and characters, and use that to foster a love of books in others."

--Nikesh Shukla in a Guardian Books Blog post headlined "Reading the riot acts: why wasn't Waterstone's looted?"


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


Image of the Day: Anderson's Celebrates

Last Wednesday, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill., was host of a party sponsored by Sourcebooks to celebrate the store's win as PW's Bookstore of the Year and to show its appreciation to "the community that continues to support this fifth-generation family business." More than 100 people came to the party, which fetured games, raffles and refreshments. Here from l.: Tres Anderson, one of Anderson's owners; Todd Stocke, Sourcebooks v-p and editor-in-chief; Becky Anderson, another Anderson's owner and president of the ABA; Dominique Raccah, Sourcebooks founder, president and publisher; and George Pradel, mayor of Naperville.

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

Notes: Calif. Consumers Boycott Amazon; 'Copycat' Lawsuits

Community leaders gathered in Sacramento, Calif., yesterday to launch a consumer boycott of Amazon because of the company's efforts to overturn a new California law requiring Internet retailers to collect sales tax. The Bay Citizen reported that the boycott is "backed by many Democratic members of the state Legislature," including East Bay Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and State Senator Loni Hancock.

"You have to pay tax for what you pay for," said Nan Brasmer, president of the 950,000-member California Alliance for Retired Americans. "If I'm buying from Amazon to avoid paying sales tax and I can't go to the free kitchen for seniors anymore, what have I done but cut off my nose to spite my face?"

"We're asking people to think before they shop on Amazon and tell Amazon what they think," Nancy Berlin, director of the California Partnership--which advocates for health and social service funding--told the Sacramento Bee. "We don't have the kind of money and power Amazon does, but collectively we're asking our people and others in our community who share our values to put their money where their values are."

KABC reported that "advocates for the poor believe their state services wouldn't have been cut as deeply had online retailers like Amazon collected sales tax from their California customers. The group launched its own site to get Californians to sign up and boycott Amazon."

"Our services have already been cut to the bone. People with disabilities, seniors, kids, parents, poor people. All of us have almost nothing left to survive on," said Jessica Lehman, Community Resources for Independent Living.


A flurry of e-book antitrust class action lawsuits have followed in the wake of one filed last week by consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman (Shelf Awareness, August 10, 2011) that claimed Apple, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster "colluded" to fix e-book prices.

Thomson Reuters reported that "four follow-on class actions suddenly appeared in New York and California federal courts on Thursday and Friday?"

"We spent half a year investigating this. We hired experts to put together that information," said Steve Berman, adding, "They're all copying us, hoping to get a piece of the action. It's really outrageous. They're just trying to take our case away.... I'm going to say that these guys are all copycats and don't deserve to be the lead."


Early this fall, Books-A-Million plans to open a new store in a closed Borders location at the Westfield Southlake mall in Merrillville, Ind., the Street reported.

"Westfield Southlake is happy to welcome Books-A-Million to our shopping center and know that our shoppers will enjoy their selection of books, electronics, accessories and more," said Lisa DeVries, the mall's marketing director.


Success magazine's American Comebacks feature showcased Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, Wash., and chronicled how owner Peter Aaron and his staff handled their "move-or-die decision" after 36 years in the city's historic Pioneer Square district: "The last customer left and the lock gave a final click. Employees--also numbering 36--broke out the champagne. And then, they got to work. Rather than close the doors for good, owner Aaron was betting the failing store would thrive at a new location."

"It was very risky," Aaron said of the move to the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

"But it took much more to make a successful move than simply relocating," Success noted, adding: "From the first day, customers said Aaron had transplanted the store's soul along with its contents, and they shopped accordingly. He had figured he needed a 10% rise in sales to keep the business viable. Sales have held at a better level, up 15% to 20% compared to the previous year."

Aaron said, "When it came right down to it, I just thought that the store was too valuable to the community, too important to the literary life here, for it to go away."


Crain's explored the concept of "locavesting"--local investors backing small businesses based in their communities--through the lens of the "daunting challenge" Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton Bagnulo faced in 2008: "raising $300,000 to start a bookstore in Brooklyn."

"People were willing to invest in something that would have a concrete benefit for their community," said Stockton Bagnulo, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore, which now has more than $1 million in revenues and nine employees.


Red Fox Books, Glens Falls, N.Y., will be closing in mid-September. The indie bookstore cited a sluggish economy and the rapid rise of e-books, which resulted in the loss of many regular customers and a steady decline in sales for the past year, as primary factors in the decision.
In a letter to customers posted on the store's website, owners Susan Fox and Naftali Rottenstreich said they are "heartbroken to see this chapter in our lives, and in the life of Glens Falls, come to an end... If anyone is interested in buying all or part of our store, or in starting a different bookstore in this area, we would love to hear from you. As residents of Glens Falls, we do not want to live in a town without a bookstore, and we would be more than willing to assist a new store in any way possible. We believe there might be new models of bookselling that can be viable given the right owner with the right resources. If you are interested, please contact us at 518-793-5352 or"


"It's the living room one aspires for but never has," said a customer of Bikya Book Café in Cairo, Egypt. The bookstore, which is owned by five women, opened last January and "has now become a cultural hub in the middle of Nasr City, a neighborhood deficient in cultural venues. In Bikya, people come to read, meet with friends or work quietly in a corner. Few places in Cairo offer a truly quiet environment such as Bikya," the Daily News Egypt reported.


It's digital back-to-school season. Amazon launched a free Amazon Student app for iPhone and iPod Touch that allows customers to compare prices, buy textbooks or trade in textbooks from their mobile devices.

Barnes & Noble is also in full campus mode, announcing it will expand its offering of Nook devices through all of its B&N College campus bookstores. Most locations will feature a Nook display, including demonstration units for "local students, faculty and others to try and buy," while some stores will have Nook signage and booksellers can help customers order devices to be shipped to them.

--- than souls were bared last weekend during a poetic photo shoot in England's Lake District for a charity calendar. The Guardian reported that after her two-year-old son was diagnosed with type one diabetes, Wild Women Press co-founder and poet Victoria Bennett came up with the idea of a calendar that "saw a male poet paired with a female photographer for each month of the year (plus one extra month 'for all the things you never have time to do'). The duo were then asked to interpret a poem donated for the calendar by a female poet, from Wendy Cope to Penelope Shuttle, Moniza Alvi and Pascale Petite."

Bennett added that they "shot on the ledge where Coleridge used to write, on the opium bed in his study, by Southey's desk. We figured Coleridge would have approved. Once upon a time Wordsworth, Byron and others used to gather there. Now we have a different group." Proceeds from calendar sales will go to diabetes research.


Lev Grossman, author most recently of The Magician King, selected his 10 must-read fantasy novels for Flavorwire.


Book trailer of the day: The Little Yellow Bottle by Angèle Delaunois, illustrated by Christine Delezenne (Second Story Press), a September title.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.08.22

Harry Potter: Pottermore Sneak Peek; Studio Tour

"From flying letters to a 4,500-word discourse on wand woods, early access to J.K. Rowling's move into the digital arena, Pottermore, reveals a richly-imagined, elaborately realized behind-the-scenes peek into the world of Harry Potter," wrote Alison Flood in the Guardian. A photo gallery preview of Pottermore, which will officially open to the public in October, was featured by Entertainment Weekly.

The website is already a phenomenal success. Flood noted that there have been more than 22 million webpage views, "peaking at some 50,000 requests per second on August 3, as readers rushed to become one of the million users chosen to receive early access and a chance to shape the website's development."

What is in store for those who venture within? "On entering the site, users begin to travel through the world of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, following in the footsteps of Harry and learning new facts about his world as they open an account at the goblin bank Gringotts, travel up and down Diagon Alley shopping for equipment for school and choosing a wand. Unlocking new content as they progress through the storyline, they can click on and collect items for their 'trunk,' build and evolve their profiles, adding their own drawings, collecting books and chocolate frog cards, learning spells and brewing potions. A Pottermore account can also be connected to a Facebook account, with users able to make friends--and even take part in wizarding duels once they reach a certain point on the website," Flood observed.
Entertainment Weekly's Keith Staskiewicz noted that even in the site's early stages of development, "there’s still more than enough to make your entire afternoon disappear like a temporus suckus spell.... The real fun comes with the community elements. Once you’re sorted into a house--we got Ravenclaw because we’re smart and boring--you’ll be able to interact with your fellow housemates via a number of activities. Individuals can earn house points in the site-wide House Cup, and you can even engage in a wizard’s duel using your customized wand and the spells you have learned. If potions are more your thing, you can buy all the bezoars and flobberworm mucus you need at Diagon Alley and whip up a batch or two in your cauldron, but don’t overspend or else you’ll find your Gringotts vault empty. All these elements represent the kind of useless but still desperately desired reward system that can turn horribly, wonderfully addictive. It’s hard to tell at this point exactly how addictive when it’s nobody else but us chickens in here, but Pottermore seems especially designed to destroy work productivity the world over."


The Guardian also reported that the 150,000-square-foot Leavesden Studios, where the Harry Potter films were shot, is being converted to showcase "The Making of Harry Potter" studio tour, which "will offer a trip around the sets where the films were shot, and provide an insider look at the film-making process." Pre-booking for the tour will begin on October 13, with the attraction itself opening next spring. Fans will be able to walk through the Great Hall at Hogwarts and visit Dumbledore's office, as well as other iconic locations.

"I once took a trip to the studios in 2008, while filming for the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was well underway," wrote Joe Utichi. "In the ice-cold hangars that housed the sets, even the corridors were stuffed with the detritus of several years of large-scale moviemaking. Familiar props from all five of the previous films were stacked wherever there was space.

"But what struck me was the incredible level of detail that had gone into every facet of the films' creation. Production designer Stuart Craig and his team achieved a level of artistry I'd never seen before--all enhanced by curiously organic touches that were a product of years in production. In the Great Hall, torch-bearing gargoyles are scorched by years of naked flames, while dining tables are marked by the graffiti of the student extras."

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: How to Be a Grown Up

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Stacy Kaiser, author of How to Be a Grown Up: The Ten Secret Skills Everyone Needs to Know (HarperOne, $14.99, 9780061941191).


Tomorrow on Fox & Friends: Mark Tabb, author of The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story (Zondervan, $22.99, 9780310332190).


Tomorrow on Imus in the Morning: Senator Joe Lieberman, author of The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath (Howard, $22, 9781451606171). He will also appear tomorrow on CNN's Lou Dobbs Radio Show, the Laura Ingraham Show, Fox & Friends, CNN's American Morning and Fox's You're the World with Neil Cavuto.


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Patricia McConnell, author of Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home (McConnell Publishing, $9.95, 9781891767142).


Tomorrow on ABC's Nightline: James Van Praagh, author of Growing Up in Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062024633).

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

Television: Dope

HBO is developing a period drama set in 1950 in New York and based on Sara Gran's novel Dope, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It reunites the team that made the award-winning Mildred Pierce miniseries for the network. That project's executive producer/director Todd Haynes is directing the new series, and Gran wrote the script. John Wells and Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce) are also executive producers

THR also noted that Julianne Moore is "circling the project" to play the lead.

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

Movie Trailer: We Need to Talk About Kevin

A new international trailer has been released for We Need to Talk About Kevin, the film version of Lionel Shriver's novel starring Tilda Swinton, John C Reilly and Ezra Miller. Lynne Ramsay wrote the screenplay and directs.

Books & Authors

Awards: FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book Longlist

A common theme among many of the books on this year's Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year longlist is "their authors’ quest to work out how and why companies, governments and their leaders fail--and how not to go wrong in future," the Financial Times reported. Judges will choose up to six finalists in the middle of September. The longlisted titles are:

Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar
No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone by Tom Bower
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide by Roddy Boyd
Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar by Barry Eichengreen
Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe & The Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin
The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World by Michael Spence
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt
That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier by Edward Glaeser
The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana B. Henriques
Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan
Car Guys vs Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business by Bob Lutz

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 23:

The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman (Morrow, $25.99, 9780061706516) follows a circle of Baltimore friends who harbor a deadly secret.

The Novice: A Story of True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh (HarperOne, $23.99, 9780062005830) tells the tale of a Vietnamese woman who dresses like a man in order to become a Buddhist monk.

Flash and Bones: A Novel by Kathy Reichs (Scribner, $26.99, 9781439102411) is the 14th thriller with forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

We Others: New and Selected Stories by Steven Millhauser (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307595904) is a collection of short fiction.

Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a Catch-22 by Erica Heller (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781439197684) recalls the tumultuous and eccentric childhood of Joseph Heller's daughter.

Starting from Happy: A Novel by Patricia Marx (Scribner, $24, 9781439101285) is a comical exploration of romance through the unlikely match up of a lingerie designer and a scientist.

Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781416989806) is book four of the children's time traveling Missing series.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts (Ballantine, $26, 9780345521088) chronicles the surprise success of Harry de Leyer and his horse Snowman.

Book Review

Book Review: True Confessions

True Confessions: Feminist Professors Tell Stories Out of School by Susan Gubar, editor (W. W. Norton, $29.95 hardcover, 9780393076431, August 29, 2011)

Volumes have been written--and careers built--on investigating the origins of feminism, but what of the origins of feminists?

What experiences inspire and define feminist thinkers, and what are the professional consequences of introducing feminism into academic inquiry? In True Confessions, groundbreaking academic feminist Susan Gubar presents essays in which more than two dozen pioneers in the field of women's studies, all of whom represent important "firsts," discuss the personal experiences that ground their theories and the professional repercussions of their feminist identities.

Nancy K. Miller and Jane Marcus identify ties between their oppressive fathers and their struggles against patriarchy, but Tania Modleski and Shirley Geok-lin Lim cite their mothers' behavior as the impetus for their pursuit of feminist sisterhood. In a piece that opens, "When my mother found God, all hell broke loose," Dyan Elliott lays the groundwork for an exploration of the complex relationship between feminism and religion, a recurring theme that results in unexpected and fascinating lines of study across many disciplines of the humanities.

The intersection of race, class and gender looms as large in these pieces as it does in any Women's Studies curriculum. Among the many contributors who address sexual harassment in academia are Martha C. Nussbaum, who recalls crashing the gates of an all-male philosophy department, and Ann Douglas, whose male colleagues frequently interpreted her enthusiasm for their shared studies as sexual interest in them. Jane Gallop presents the other side of the issue, asking what it means--and if it is even possible--to be a feminist accused of sexual harassment.

Frances Smith Foster and Tey Diana Rebolledo reflect on the tension that exists between one's feminist identity and one's racial identity, and the pressure felt from all sides to prioritize one over the other. Lillian Faderman explores the links between feminism and lesbianism, and Nancy Chodorow synthesizes her remarkable career in feminist-oriented psychoanalysis into a single, stunning essay.

Women we recognize as intellectual giants who changed history appear in these pages simply as women, with remarkable stories of the personal liberations, sexual awakenings and professional challenges that changed them. True Confessions is a revelation. A must-read for feminists budding and seasoned alike, it is a master class in the origins and evolution of women's studies and feminist activism. Gubar and company establish that the personal is still political and firmly suggest that if we think feminism's work is done, we must think again. --Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Shelf Talker: A fascinating anthology about the personal experiences that changed the women who created women's studies and changed feminist history.

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