Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Marvel Press: Okoye to the People: A Black Panther Novel by Ibi Zoboi, illustrated by Noa Denmon

Knopf Publishing Group: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel

Algonquin Books: The Wonders by Elena Medel, translated by Lizzie Davis and Thomas Bunstead

Minotaur Books: The Shadow House by Anna Downes

Soho Crime: One-Shot Harry by Gary Phillips

Quotation of the Day

Books 'Are Memories'

"Books can be passed around. They can be shared. A lot of people like seeing them in their houses. They are memories. People who don't understand books don't understand this. They learn from TV shows about organizing that you should get rid of the books that you aren't reading, but everyone who loves books believes the opposite. People who love books keep them around, like photos, to remind them of a great experience and so they can revisit and say, 'Wow, this is a really great book.' "

--Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis., in an interview with OnMilwaukee.com.




Broadleaf Books: A Complicated Choice: Making Space for Grief and Healing in the Pro-Choice Movement by Katey Zeh


News

Image of the Day: Harlan Coben & Friends

Last week Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., hosted an event celebrating the publication of Harlan Coben's first YA novel, Shelter. Coben drew a large crowd, told stories of his childhood and took jabs at his friends and fellow authors Brad Meltzer and Dave Barry. Here from l.: Meltzer, Coben and Barry.

 


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler


Notes: Faber Executive Murdered; Digitized Books Lawsuit

David Tebbutt, a finance director at Faber & Faber, was killed Sunday when gunmen stormed the Kiwayu Safari Village resort in Kenya where he and his wife, Judith, were on holiday. The Telegraph reported that Tebbutt was shot while resisting a kidnap attempt. His wife was taken hostage by the attackers, "who are believed to have forced her on to a speedboat. It is not known where she is." The resort is "less than 30 miles from the border between Kenya and Somalia and it has been suggested that the attackers were Somali and possibly pirates," the Telegraph wrote.

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A lawsuit has been filed against HathiTrust, a partnership of research libraries and five universities, contending that an initiative to digitize millions of books constituted copyright infringement, the New York Times reported. Plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in New York, are the Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors and the Québec Union of Writers, as well eight authors, including Pat Cummings, Roxana Robinson and T.J. Stiles. They are asking that the books be taken off the HathiTrust servers and held by a trustee.

"We’ve been greatly concerned about the seven million copyright-protected books that HathiTrust has on its servers for a while," said Paul Aiken, executive director of Authors Guild. "Those scans are unauthorized by the authors."

John P. Wilkin, executive director of HathiTrust, told the Times that nearly all the digitized works were provided by Google and the project was "a lawful activity and important work for scholarship.... This is a preservation operation, first and foremost. Books are decaying on the shelves. It's our intention to make them available to people at institutions for scholarly purposes. We are ensuring that the cultural record is preserved."

The Times noted that the suit "leaves the Authors Guild fighting a two-front war against what it contends is copyright infringement. It filed a lawsuit in 2005 against Google, contending that the company's project of scanning and archiving digital books violated copyrights." A Google settlement was rejected last March (Shelf Awareness, March 23, 2011), and a new hearing on that case will be held Thursday.

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We've been sharing reports from booksellers in the eastern half of the U.S. who dealt--and, in some cases, continue to deal--with the devastating effects of an earthquake, two hurricanes and widespread flooding during the past month. In Texas, massive wildfires have been the overwhelming challenge and Kathy Patrick, owner of Beauty and the Book, Jefferson, checked in with us over the weekend to report on the threat to her town and the community's response.

The region was engulfed by wildfires all week, and Patrick observed that "there are those of us in small towns, in my neck of the woods, dealing with our own crises, the loss of our timber lands, our homes and our livelihoods. It's hard to make a living when everyone here is battling the fires that are truly plaguing our state." Her community "joined the firefighters hand in hand to put out this fire, or prepare meals or donate water and their time." Patrick's Facebook page offered regular updates on the threats from and subsequent progress against the flames.

She called the response from outside the region heartening. Members of her nationwide Pulpwood Queens Book Club "keep calling in just to donate to my small little world's tragedy in the making." And Nicole Seitz, a South Carolina "author, artist and angel," was inspired by Patrick's e-mail and Facebook updates "to do something to help here." She created a painting of Beauty and the Book and auctioned it off on Facebook, raising $675 for the charity of Patrick's choice--"the heroes of my world, the firefighters of the Jefferson, Texas, Fire Department." 

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Today Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, San Diego, Calif., officially opens its new store in Redondo Beach at 2810 Artesia Boulevard. Plans call for "an entourage of gourmet food trucks [to] invade the parking lot for the store's 'Read and Feed' daylong event," as well as a reading by local author Denise Hamilton (Damage Control) this evening in the dedicated events space.

The soft opening will be followed later this fall by grand opening festivities. You can check out building-in-progress photos for Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach on the store's Facebook page.

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Here's yet another interesting new venture for an independent general bookstore: Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., will manage the Cabrillo College Bookstore in Aptos for the next three months, the San Jose Mercury News reported. At the end of the semester, Bookshop Santa Cruz owner Casey Coonerty Protti will offer suggestions about the bookstore's future, and next year a college task force will issue recommendations.

In the past six years, Cabrillo College Bookstore expenditures have increased 27.1% from $729,000 to an estimated $1 million, but sales have declined, and revenue from new and used textbooks has fallen 28%. In reaction, the bookstore this year reduced hours, let go one full-time employee and cut staff hours by 20%. Bookstore manager Robin Ellis has resigned.

Victoria Lewis, Cabrillo College's v-p of administrative services, told the paper: "The goal was really to find a bookstore with retail experience to help assess our bookstore and provide interim management and stabilize operations so we can come up with longer term solutions." Among ideas already being considered for increasing revenue are adding a café and adding a POD service.

Protti said, "The book selling industry is very challenging right now, and anytime you can form a collaboration between two independent stores facing similar challenges it can lead to more innovation."

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"Should We Fight to Save Indie Bookstores?" asked Macy Halford on the New Yorker's Book Bench blog, where she admitted that until the recent threat of closure for her indie, St. Mark's Bookshop (Shelf Awareness, September 9, 2011), she had responded to "news of random indie-bookstore shutterings as I do to news of catastrophes in faraway lands: with a pang of concern that soon settles into a vague sense of unease about the world and the problem of human existence."

Now she answers the question with a qualified yes, noting that "since we haven't entirely killed the bookstore yet, I would like us not to. Going into bookstores to browse, to attend readings, to interact with the staff, to see the selection they’ve curated--all these things excite me and entice me to read."

And yet, she wrote, "chaos and destruction are a part of life, and their consequences, impossible to foretell, are not always negative.... My fondest hope is that, should the bookstores still standing now fall, a new type of store, somehow able to survive in the digital era while retaining what's special about print, would emerge."

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Delhi's neighborhood bookshops are "challenging the virtual bookstore by going an extra mile," including lunch and cookies on the house at the Timeless Art Book Studio in Kotla Mubarakpur. Owner Raavi Sabharwal's shop was "designed to give you the feel of a typical Victorian living room," the Indian Express reported.

"I am very particular about the aesthetics of the place," said Sabharwal. "My books are expensive. I might not attract the masses because if I had wanted to, I'd be sitting in a mall."

Roli Books has two locations--the Half Price bookstore at Select Citywalk mall, Saket, and CMYK, an art bookshop at Lodhi Road. "The space and the location determine the kind of things we can do," said Kapil Kapoor, the company's director. Half Price offers aggressive discounting at the mall, while CMYK sells quality art books. "It is a destination bookstore and we organize a number of events--book binding and photography workshops, design forums, art exhibitions and special movie nights, complete with comfortable chairs, popcorn and the works... and we have received a phenomenal feedback," Kapoor observed. 

photo by Mayank Austen Soofi

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The top 100 nominations for World Book Night in the U.K. next year have been unveiled. During the past two months, more than 6,000 people submitted their 10 favorite reads. The collated results will inform the choices of the editorial selection committee, chaired by novelist Tracy Chevalier. A final list of 25 titles for World Book Night 2012 will be announced October 12 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The World Book Night Top 100 is led by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, followed by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife.

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Bestselling author, legendary chef and TV star Anthony Bourdain will have his own imprint at Ecco, acquiring three to five titles a year. Daniel Halpern, Ecco's president and publisher, noted that the paperback edition of Kitchen Confidential "was one of the first books we published at Ecco as an imprint of HarperCollins a decade ago. As an informal (over the table) advisor to me during this time, his intuition has been unerring--suggesting such authors as Ferran Adria and Fergus Henderson. Now he's becoming one of us, sort of."

Bourdain said he is looking forward to working with Halpern: "Like me, he's passionate about words, about food, about the broad range of experiences out there--and I know from my own experience, that he's crazy enough to take a chance on authors whom others have either overlooked or avoided."

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John Hays and Kevin Dougherty have been named vice-presidents at Inner Traditions, Bear & Co. Hays joined the company as director of sales and marketing in 2009. Kevin Dougherty has been part of the company's IT department since 2007.

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Book trailer of the day: Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese (Quirk Books).
 


University of California Press: Savage Journey: Hunter S. Thompson and the Weird Road to Gonzo (1st ed.) by Peter Richardson


Sunset Launch for Tonga

As the sun set on Manhattan last Friday night, Alexander Maksik (center) celebrated the release of his debut novel with a rooftop party at the offices of Martha Stewart Creative Living (hosted by his longtime friend, editor Pilar Guzman). You Deserve Nothing is also the inaugural title for Tonga Books, a new imprint from the independent publishing house Europa Editions. "We thought that You Deserve Nothing had the right balance of literariness, cosmopolitanism, sophistication and commercial appeal to make it a perfect double debut," said Europa editor-in-chief Michael Reynolds (left). "[It's] a book that's going to get people talking, and our hope is that the imprint's publications can all provoke similar debate and reflection."

Europa, which earlier this summer celebrated the publication of its 100th title since its launch in 2005, plans to nurture Tonga's growth carefully, with just two more titles--Ian Holding's Of Beasts and Being and Sara Levine's Treasure Island!!!!--scheduled for 2011. "We're hoping to do three to five titles a year, at least for the first few years," Reynolds explained; having only just recently expanded production from 18 to 24 titles a year, Europa has no desire to undermine its high production values. The imprint's first literary curator, Alice Sebold, has also acquired a novel by poet Thad Ziolkowski that will be published in early 2012; after that, Reynolds said, "we are talking with Alice about the direction Tonga will take.... Some really interesting possibilities have come up."

In the meantime, Reynolds looks forward to working with Maksik to promote the novel and the imprint. And Maksik was happy to temporarily divert the spotlight from himself Friday night to share some good news from his friend Ayana Mathis (right), whose writing he describes as "beyond beyond brilliant." We'll have a chance to find out for ourselves soon enough--she's just sold her multigenerational historical novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, to Knopf. --Ron Hogan

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Caroline Kennedy on Good Morning America

Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Caroline Kennedy, co-author of Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy (Hyperion, $60, 9781401324254). She will also appear on Nightline tomorrow night.

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Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Dana Priest, author of Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316182218).

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Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Penn Jillette, author of God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales (Simon & Schuster, $24.99, 9781451610369). He will also appear on Fox's Freedom Watch.

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Tomorrow on the View: Jane Fonda, author of Prime Time (Random House, $27, 9781400066971).

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Tomorrow on Access Hollywood: Jermaine Jackson, author of You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother's Eyes (Touchstone, $26, 9781451651560).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Common, co-author of One Day It'll All Make Sense (Atria, $25, 9781451625875).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Michael Moore, author of Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life (Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446532242). He will also appear on the View and NPR's Talk of the Nation.

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Tomorrow on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Jane Lynch, author of Happy Accidents (Voice, $25.99, 9781401341763).


Movies: I Don't Know How She Does It; Drive; Straw Dogs

Three movies open this Friday, September 16:

Straw Dogs, starring James Woods and Alexander Skarsgård, is a graphic tale of outsiders under attack by violent locals, based on the book The Siege of Trencher's Farm by Gordon Williams and the 1971 movie starring Dustin Hoffman. This version has been moved from the English countryside to the American Deep South. The movie tie-in edition is from Titan ($12.95, 9780857681195).

I Don't Know How She Does It, based on the book by Allison Pearson, stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a working mom juggling a slew of professional and personal obligations. Also stars Pierce Brosnan, Kelsey Grammer and Greg Kinnear. The movie tie-in edition is from Anchor ($14.95, 9780307948564).

Drive, based on the book by James Sallis, stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stunt man moonlighting as a getaway driver. The movie tie-in edition is from Mariner ($12.95, 9780547791098). 





Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Blog: Whodunit?

Word & Film reported "speculation is now heating up" that director David Fincher may be the perpetrator of Mouth Taped Shut, "a Tumblr blog offering firsthand information from the front lines" of the film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

"Whether or not Mouth Taped Shut is an inside job, we've got to hand it to whomever is behind the site for coming up with a genius title, consistently intriguing images, and judiciously curated news. The 'backward' and 'forward' prompts in Swedish are also a nice touch," Word & Film wrote.



Books & Authors

Awards: Roald Dahl Funny Prize Shortlist; Rona Jaffe

What better way to celebrate Roald Dahl Day than with the announcement of this year's finalists for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize? For the first time, schools will be involved in the judging process. More than 400 pupils from England have been selected to read the shortlisted titles, discuss with their classmates and pick their favorite funny book in the relevant category for their age. Their votes will then be combined with the votes of the adult judging panel to find the two winners. Category winners receive £2,500 (US$3,970), and will be honored November 8 in London. The 2011 shortlisted books are:

Funniest book for children aged six and under

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere
Cats Ahoy! by Peter Bently, illustrated by Jim Field
First Week at Cow School by Andy Cutbill, illustrated by Russell Ayto
Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson
Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School by David  Mackintosh
A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz


Funniest book for children aged seven to fourteen

Animal Tales by Terry Jones, illustrated by Michael Foreman
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
The Get Rich Quick Club by Rose Impey
Letters from an Alien Schoolboy by Ros Asquith
Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster by Joanna Nadin, illustrated by Jess Mikhail
The Wrong Pong by Steven Butler, illustrated by Chris Fisher



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The Rona Jaffe Foundation announced the winners of this year's Writers’ Awards, which recognize six emerging women writers and awards each of them $25,000. The 2011 winners are Melanie Drane (poetry), Apricot Irving (nonfiction), Fowzia Karimi (fiction), Namwali Serpell (fiction), Merritt Tierce (fiction) and JoAnn Wypijewski (nonfiction). They will be honored at a private ceremony on September 22 in New York City.
 


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, September 20:

Red Flags by Juris Jurjevics (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780547564517) is an espionage thriller about the eradication of opium poppy fields during the Vietnam War.

Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein (HarperCollins, $19.99, 9780061998164) is a collection of new poems for young readers.

Lethal by Sandra Brown (Grand Central, $26.99, 9781455501472) follows an alleged serial killer and his hostages-turned-accomplices.

The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives by Diana Reiss (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780547445724) investigates the intelligence of dolphins, including their ability to recognize themselves in mirrors.

The Great Crash Ahead: Strategies for a World Turned Upside Down by Harry S. Dent and Rodney Johnson (Free Press, $27, 9781451641547) argues that another immense economic crash awaits in the near future.

The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin by Joe McGinniss (Crown, $25, 9780307718921) explores the origins and aspirations of the former Alaska governor.

Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs by Levi Johnston (Touchstone, $25, 9781451651652) is the memoir of the guy who is best known for getting Bristol Palin pregnant.


Now in paperback:

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (Pocket, $9.99, 9781439192603).

Your Brain on Childhood: The Unexpected Side Effects of Classrooms, Ballparks, Family Rooms, and the Minivan by Gabrielle F. Principe (Prometheus, $17, 9781616144258).



IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover

The Lantern: A Novel by Deborah Lawrenson (Harper, $25.99, 9780062049698). "This mysterious tale will remind you of the Daphne du Maurier classic Rebecca. The Lantern is a tale of suspense and intrigue that takes place both in the present and in the 1940s in the south of France. The beautifully described scenery and chilling situations will keep your eyes glued to the page. I was in suspense until the very end. A fantastic read!" --Summer Moser, Summer's Stories, Kendallville, Ind.

Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels With Mom in the Land of Dementia by Kate Whouley (Beacon Press, $24.95, 9780807003190). "Kate Whouley recounts her mother's journey into Alzheimer's with heart-wrenching honesty and heart-warming compassion. The book explores the complex relationship of mother and child, the nature of friendship, and the world of aging and dementia. Ultimately, it is about what it means to be a caring human being. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It touched me deeply. I loved this book." --Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.

Paperback

This Is Us: The New All-American Family by David Marin (Exterminating Angel Press, $16.95, 9781935259343). "When David Marin gave up his white-collar bachelorhood to adopt three abandoned children, he received crash courses in parenting, the maddening labyrinth of social services, and the simple yet elusive truism that if you want love, you must give love. Marin's heartfelt recollections will open readers' eyes, hearts, and minds to new ways of seeing adoption, the immigration debate, and just what constitutes the American family in the 21st century." --Gerry Donaghy, Powell's City of Books, Portland, Ore.

For Ages 9 to 12

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson (Delacorte, $15.99, 9780385737456). "In 1927, Japan sent 58 Japanese dolls as ambassadors of goodwill to America. This story is told from the point of view of one of those dolls, Miss Kawanaga. Miss Kawanaga finds that having a heart is a very important thing, and Larson challenges readers to see the impact of this historic gift through the eyes of the various girls who come into contact with this exquisite doll. Today, 45 dolls are accounted for and through Miss Kawanaga, Larson also issues the challenge to locate the 13 dolls that are missing." --Margaret Brennan Neville, the King's English, Salt Lake City, Utah

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Maphead

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings (Scribner, $25 hardcover, 9781439167175 , September 20, 2011)

On the way to winning more than $2.5 million in 75 appearances on Jeopardy, Ken Jennings had to answer his fair share of geography questions. What wasn't necessarily apparent in that competition is that he's had a lifelong fascination with maps, an obsession that provides the springboard for a lively journey through the world of his fellow geography wonks.

To reveal that world, Jennings offers a dozen loosely connected chapters exploring different aspects of his topic. Some, like American students' abysmal ignorance of geography, aren't all that surprising. "Geographical ignorance is such an ingrained part of our culture," Jennings writes, "that it's become an easy bit of comedy shorthand for ditziness." He found one antidote for that affliction in the National Geographic Bee, created in 1988 and now involving five million participants vying annually for a $25,000 college scholarship. The breadth and depth of their knowledge as Jennings describes it on a 2008 visit to the competition is nothing short of staggering.

Other chapters consider more obscure topics, like the people Jennings calls "place collectors," bent on piling up visits to different locations. Among them are the Travelers' Century Club, whose members must have visited at least 100 different countries, or the Highpointers Club, 3,000 strong, comprised of people who have scaled the highest elevation in each state (Florida's is a mere 345 feet).

As one would expect from his background as a computer scientist, Jennings can't avoid examining how technology has reshaped the way we encounter and understand geography. When the first GPS satellite was launched in 1978, its creators probably never envisioned the explosive growth of geocaching-- high-tech scavenger hunting. Jennings also recounts a revealing conversation with Brian McClendon, vice-president of engineering for Google Geo, who's determined to create a map so precise it will mark "the end of resolution."

For better or worse, those who recall Jennings's Jeopardy run won't have any trouble summoning him up here in all his nerdiness (Alex Trebek even makes a cameo appearance as moderator of the National Geographic Bee). And he can't always resist the urge to remind us he's the smartest guy in the room by dropping a few too many footnotes overstuffed with arcane knowledge.

But those flaws don't detract from the fundamental appeal of Jennings's book. For all the useful, fun, often surprising information he imparts, there's a subtle message that undergirds these stories: in rootless times, maybe we all need something to offer us a sense of our place in the world. An enhanced appreciation for geography, Ken Jennings's survey suggests, may be one road to that destination. --Harvey Freedenberg

Shelf Talker: Jeopardy superstar Ken Jennings takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the world of the geography-obsessed.

 


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