Shelf Awareness for Monday, February 27, 2006

Sourcebooks Landmark: Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Tor Books: The Daughters' War (Blacktongue) by Christopher Buehlman


Notes: Nebula Nominees; Musicland Deal; Iowa Bookstores

The short list for the Nebula Awards has been posted on the Web site of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Winners in the six categories will be announced at the awards banquet to be held in Tempe, Ariz., on May 6, during Nebula Awards weekend.


Trans World, which aims to acquire 400 Musicland stores from the bankrupt company, is "in discussions" with Ingram to supply books to the six Media Play stores it has already bought, according to the Book Standard. Trans World chairman and CEO Bob Higgins said that "there are a few stores where books are very strong." (The other 55 Media Play stores have been closed; Musicland is also closing approximately 350-400 stores, which are not part of the pending, rather complicated Trans World deal.)

Ingram reportedly had been the sole book supplier for the 61-unit Media Play chain and stocked the book departments in about 150 Sam Goody stores. The Book Standard said that those stores generated some $100 million in book sales annually.


Holtzbrinck is creating a merchandise sales division to be headed by Steve Kleckner, who will be v-p, director of merchandise sales, Publishers Lunch reported. Kleckner was formerly v-p, sales and distribution, at TokyoPop. The new division will focus on mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, grocery stores, drug stores, airport stores, newsstands and wholesalers that supply those retailers. The division will incorporate mass market paperback sales for St. Martin's and Tor/Forge. Kleckner reports to Alison Lazarus, president of sales.


Today News Corp., parent of HarperCollins, is launching Mobizzo, "a mobile entertainment store" that will sell a range of video, graphics and music related to company products direct to cell phone users, according to the New York Times. While the paper makes no mention of book material or material about books, we're expecting something to ring a bell in the publishing division--if it hasn't already.


Inspired by Larry Portzline's bookstore tourism movement, the Iowa Tourism Office is listing nearly 30 independent bookstores in the state on its Web site, "We have lots of unique and interesting independent bookstores here in Iowa," Nancy Landess, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office, told the Des Moines Register. "And if you want to really feel the local flavor in a community, independent bookstores do it well."


The Hagerstown Herald-Mail profiles several bookstores in the Hagerstown, Md., area, including Wonder Book & Video, Hagerstown, which is moving this spring; Four Seasons Books in nearby Shepherdstown, W.Va.; and three used bookstores--Barnwood Books, Hagerstown, Southwood Books, Martinsburg, W.Va., and Northwood Books, Chambersburg, Pa.--whose owners are related.

Jack Staley, who has owned Barnwood for 22 years, told the paper that he has succeeded because of practical policies such as organizing books neatly on shelves, not piling them on floors and not using double rows.

Chuck Roberts, who owns Wonder Book & Video, has a branch in Frederick, Md., and a warehouse with a million volumes that he sells online.


Despite the presentation by citizens of a pro-Book Passage petition signed by 220 people, the mayor and attorney of Corte Madera, Calif., said last Tuesday that they had no legal reason to try to block the opening of a Barnes & Noble in the Town Center shopping center a block from Book Passage, the Marin Independent Journal reported. The officials also said they would not create a task force to devise ways of limiting big-box stores.


Maintaining its current annual dividend of 60 cents, Barnes & Noble will pay a quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share on March 31 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 10.


Odds are this is a good move for the book industry.

Courtney Muller, who as manager of BookExpo America in the late 1990s, did an excellent job of building up what had been a deeply troubled show, has been promoted to group v-p at Reed Exhibitions and has added BEA to her area of responsibility. She continues to be in charge of Reed Exhibition's gaming shows. Muller had left Reed in 2000 to work for Penton Media and was executive director of New York Is Book Country before rejoining Reed in 2003.

Chris McCabe, manager of BEA, has left the company and will be replaced in the near future.


A Beat the Bookstore is opening March 13 near the University of California at Santa Barbara, according to the Daily Nexus. Some 15 other Beat the Bookstore franchises operate near the University of Colorado, Texas A&M, the University of Georgia and the University of Iowa, among other schools.


The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (formerly SEBA) has changed its online and real-world addresses. Its Web site is E-mail should go to and snail mail can go to: 3806 Yale Ave., Columbia, S.C. 29205.

Phone numbers remain the same: 803-779-0118 and (fax) 803-779-0113.


On the occasion of the opening of Goodwill of Pittsburgh's first combination donation center-bookstore, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that one of the organization's constant bestsellers is Iacocca: The Autobiography by the former Chrysler chairman. The charity sells about a million books a year, most of which are donated by individuals and libraries culling collections. They sell for $1.99-$4.99.

Goodwill of Pittsburgh is devoting more space in its 24 stores to books and will stop holding special book sales.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Roswell Johnson Saves the World! (Roswell Johnson #1) by Chris Colfer

J. Carter, 'Publishing Juggernaut'

Saturday's Wall Street Journal profiled Jimmy Carter's post-White House career as "a publishing juggernaut"--since 1981 he has published 18 books, the last three of which have 1.4 million copies in print in hardcover.

The paper called Carter, 81, "a versatile writer and relentless marketer" who works hard at his appearances, sticks to his schedule and has won over booksellers because of his efficiency and crowd-pleasing ways. For example, he signs his name "J. Carter" to save time and autographs as many as 800 books an hour. He speaks to everyone on line and makes eye contact. Moreover, "I tell the little girls they're pretty and ask the little boys how old they are," he told the Journal.

Carter also wins points for how he treats booksellers. Nancy Olson, owner of Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., told the paper that he asked to meet the staff before his signing for An Hour Before Daylight. Approvingly, she continued, "We lined up and he welcomed everyone and looked everyone in the face."

Based on his speech last year at the CAMEX show and National Association of College Stores convention, we can testify that the former president is also a very entertaining speaker, exhibiting a surprisingly good sense of humor and some tart political commentary. More than a few in the audience wondered if his presidency would have been remembered more positively had he showed more of this side of himself when in office.

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

More E-ink on E-ink and Digital Books

Andrew Kantor in USA Today is the latest to say that "we're potentially on the cusp of a change" concerning digital books, in this case because of the development of e-ink, which makes e-books much easier to read than the usual backlit text on computers.

In Kantor's scenario, "everyone wins." Publishers' costs decrease. Authors can self-publish or find a better reception at publishers who are now saving money. Students would lose their heavy backpacks and schools could more readily update texts.

As for booksellers, well, maybe not everyone wins. Bricks-and-mortar booksellers "will have to focus on the browsing experience, because that's something they can do better than any Web site," and online booksellers might be preempted by publishers who could sell direct easily. In fact, anyone could become a bookseller--but texts would have to be transferable the way music unofficially became shareware. Uh oh.

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Today Show Returns From Turin

After two-and-a-half weeks of Olympics coverage, NBC's Today Show is quick out of the box in getting back to authors:

  • Kimora Lee Simmons shows off her new book, Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It (Regan Books, $25.95, 006084339X).
  • P. Allen Smith outlines his new book, P. Allen Smith's Colors for the Garden: Creating Compelling Color Themes (Clarkson Potter, $32.50, 1400053420).
  • Shelly Branch offers answers from What Would Jackie Do?: An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living (Gotham, $22.50, 1592401902).
  • Pepper Schwartz, author of Finding Your Perfect Match (Perigee, $14.95, 0399532447), and Donna Hanover, author of My Boyfriend's Back: Fifty True Stories of Reconnecting With a Long-Lost Love (Plume, $15, 0452286026), talk about the "ex factor."


Today on the Early Show's Kids and Money parenting segment, Janet Bodnar, deputy editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, gives an accounting of her new book, Raising Money Smart Kids: What They Need to Know about Money--and How to Tell Them (Dearborn Trade, $17.95, 1419505165).

Also on the Early Show: Jessica Weiner models her book Do I Look Fat in This?: Life Doesn't Begin Five Pounds from Now (Simon Spotlight, $19.95, 1416913572).


Today the View enjoys taste treats from Lindsey Williams, grandson of Harlem soul food maven Sylvia Woods and author of Neo Soul: Taking Soul Food to a While 'Nutha Level (Avery, $21.95, 1583331948).


Tonight the News Hour with Jim Lehrer debriefs and deconstructs soldier-poet Brian Turner, whose Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, $14.95, 1882295552) appeared in September.


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Sarah Vowell, whose Assassination Vacation (S&S, $14, 0743260031) is now available in paperback. (The show is a repeat as Stewart prepares to host the Oscars this coming Sunday.)

Books & Authors

Author Obituaries: Busch, Bedford, Butler

Novelist, short story writer and "writer's writer" Frederick Busch died on Thursday in New York City of a heart attack. He was 64. According to the New York Times, the three of his many books he most liked were The Night Inspector, A Memory of War and Girls: A Novel. Acting director of the Iowa creative writing program for a year in the late 1970s and a longtime professor at Colgate University, Busch also wrote A Dangerous Profession: A Book About the Writing Life.

Colgate noted his contributions to the school and said he was "instrumental in the evolution of the Colgate Bookstore into the literary resource for the Hamilton community that it is today."


Sybille Bedford died a week ago last Friday, February 17, in London. She was 94.

Bedford is best known for A Sudden View (aka A Visit to Don Otavio), an account of travels in Mexico; A Legacy, a fictional account of aristocratic life in pre-World War I Germany (based in large part on her own childhood); her criminal reporting; and her biography of her friend Aldous Huxley. She was vice president of English PEN and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


Octavia E. Butler died on Saturday in Seattle. She was 58. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America called her "the most successful African American woman writing in the science fiction genre."

Butler publisher nearly 20 novels and books, including most recently, Fledgling. She was the winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant, a Nebula and two Hugo awards.

Book Sense: May We Recommend

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


Pursuit: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza (Holt, $24, 0805074392). "Inspector Espinosa knows Rio de Janeiro from the top down. In this mystery, he searches for the missing daughter of a troubled psychiatrist. The middle-class Rio of apartments, corrupt police, and kidnapping fears is a vibrant backdrop to a gripping story."--Mary Muller, Market Block Books, Troy, N.Y.

Essential Manners for Couples: From Snoring and Sex to Finances and Fighting Fair--What Works, What Doesn't, and Why by Peter Post (Collins, $21.95, 006077665X). "So it's not exactly a romantic gift, but, darn it, why not give the gift that keeps on giving! Truly helpful advice, good humor, and hope for the future--what could be a better gift?"--Karen Allman, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.


All About Us by Philipp Keel (Broadway, $12.95, 0767905016). "This journal for couples is a fun way to find out things you never knew about each other, both serious and trivial."--Blake Hardy, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Atlanta, Ga.

For Ages 9 to 12

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, $16.99, 006001136X). "In the skilled hands of Walter Dean Myers, these heroes of WWI are given the visibility that they deserve. In his depiction of the key battles, you feel the courage of the Harlem Hellfighters, you sense their pride, and you realize that their moment in time was pivotal in the history of black Americans. Enriched with the photographs from Bill Miles' collection, this book should be in every classroom."--Jan Owens, Millrace Books, Farmington, Conn.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

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