Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Harper Perennial: The Paris Model by Alexandra Joel

Algonquin Young Readers: Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Andrews McMeel Publishing: How to Draw a Reindeer and Other Christmas Creatures with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps by Lulu Mayo

Houghton Mifflin: No Place for Monsters by Kory Merritt


Collins Booksellers Reborn as . . . Collins Booksellers

A group of franchisees of the bankrupt Collins Booksellers chain in Australia has bought the Collins name and "all its intellectual property" and will operate a 35-store franchise network called Collins Booksellers, according to Thorpe/Bowker's Weekly Book Newsletter. The group is setting up its headquarters in the space above the historic Hill of Content bookshop in Melbourne where the old Collins headquarters was. When Collins went under, it was a mix of 31 franchised and 23 company-owned stores.

Of the 23 company stores, 10 have been closed and 12 of the other 13 stores have been sold, some to Collins franchisees. Newslink bought four airport Collins stores, and the Dymocks chain bought Collins's huge Broadway store in Sydney.

University of California Press: Smoke But No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes That Never Happened by Jessica S. Henry

Berkeley Half Price to Make Full Move

Half Price Books, which operates more than 80 stores that buy and sell used books, music, movies, magazines games and software, is moving its Berkeley, Calif., outlet to a landmark downtown building, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet. The store should open in the new location by September 15; it will occupy 8,000 square feet of retail space.

GLOW: Houghton Mifflin: How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz

Media and Movies

Book TV This Weekend: Iron Tears

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on nonfiction books and the publishing industry. For more information, see Book TV's Web site. Highlights for this weekend (and don't miss the following story about Book TV's live coverage of some Harlem Book Fair panels):

Saturday, July 23

7 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment originally aired in 1993, Joseph Ellis, author of Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (Norton, $15.95, 0393311333), called Adams the most underappreciated man in American history.

Sunday, July 24

7 p.m. History on Book TV. In an event hosted by the National Archives, Stanley Weintraub, whose new book is Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783 (Free Press, $28, 0743226879), questions whether the Revolutionary War wasn't so much won by the 13 colonies as lost by Britain because of internal divisions over the war.

9 p.m. After Words. Akbar Ahmed, Islamic Scholar and Professor at American University whose most recent book, which he co-edited, is After Terror: Promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations (Polity Press, $19.95, 0745635024), interviews Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal correspondent whose most recent book is Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060571446). They discuss her campaign against sexism in her local mosque in Morgantown, W.V., which has threatened her with banishment. (Re-airs at 6 p.m.)

11:30 p.m. Public Lives.  In an event hosted by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in Mount Vernon, Va., Patricia Brady, author of Martha Washington: An American Life (Viking, $24.95, 0670034304), called Martha Washington a decisive woman who contributed greatly to the character of the U.S.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Tune It Out by Jamie Summer

Media Heat: Hispanic Identity in Writing

The theme on Bookworm tomorrow is Hispanic Identity in Writing. Featured guests are Sandra Cisneros, author of, among other titles, Caramelo (Vintage, $13.95, 0679742581), and Nina Marie Martinez, author of Caramba!: A Tale Told in Turns of the Card (Knopf, $24.95, 0375413758).
 As the show put it: "The two Hispanic women explain how they've been put into the cage of multiculturalism, sometimes by the way they view themselves, but primarily by publishers and readers--to the extent of being expected to read only certain kinds of literature. When the names Thomas Pynchon and Marguerite Duras come up, the conversation takes a turn, and the satisfactions of broad, deep reading are embraced."

Tomorrow Leonard Lopate quizzes Wesley Adams, executive editor of young adult fiction at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, on writing for young teenagers. Then he speaks with Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser, authors of The Rise and Fall of a 10th Grade Social Climber (Graphia, $7.99, 0618555196).

Tomorrow Lopate also chews the fat with James McWilliams, author of A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Columbia University Press, $29.95, 0231129920).

Tomorrow Diane Rehm talks with Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post reporters and authors of The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail (Penguin Press, $24.95, 1594200564) about the California woman who at age 50, went to Mexico to start a charity mission.

This morning the Early Show puts Philip Van Munching, author of Boys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt): A Dad's Advice for Daughters (S&S, $12.95, 0743267788), in the spotlight, if not on a pedestal (although surely the camera angle would be modest). The book includes an introduction by, of all competing morning show hosts, Katie Couric.

Yesterday Fresh Air spoke with Karl Fleming, whose new book is Son of the Rough South: An Uncivil Memoir (PublicAffairs, $26.95, 1586482963). As a civil rights reporter for Newsweek in the 1960s, Fleming wrote about the Birmingham church bombing, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the murders of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Miss.

University Press of Kentucky: The Redshirt (University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose) by Corey Sobel

Books & Authors

Harlem Book Fair on Our Mind: Live and on Book TV

The seventh annual Harlem Book Fair, which takes place this Saturday, July 23, noon to 7 p.m., on W. 135th St. between Fifth Ave. and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd. in New York City, is expected to draw 40,000 people and will have 250 booths. Besides a range of signings, readings and four stages that will feature poets, celebrities and music, this year's fair offers its first-ever Children's Pavilion.

Coordinated by Just Us Books, the publisher of black-interest books for young people, and Say It Loud!, a youth communication and literary arts program, the Children's Pavilion program includes appearances on its main stage by:

  • Irene Smalls, author of Because You're Lucky (Little, Brown, $16.95, 0316798673) and Kevin and His Dad (Little, Brown, $16.99, 0316798991);
  • Camille Yarbrough, author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winner Cornrow (Putnam, $6.99, 0698114361) and Tamika and the Wisdom Rings (Just Us Books, $5.95, 094097567X);
  • Natasha Tarpley, author of I Love My Hair (Megan Tingley, $6.99, 0316523755);
  • Quincy Troupe, author of Little Stevie Wonder (Houghton Mifflin, $18, 0618340602).

Also 16 children's book authors and illustrators will do signings.


See it on C-Span2!

Book TV on C-Span2 will air three Harlem Book Fair panels live:

At 12:15 p.m. on Saturday: Relinquishing Blackness: The Class Divide in Black America. The panel consists of:
  • Michael Eric Dyson, author of Is Bill Cosby Right?;
  • Juan Williams, author of My Soul Looks Back in Wonder;
  • Cora Daniels, author of Black Power Inc: The New Voice of Success;
  • Janice Kearney, author of Cotton Field of Dreams;
  • Charisse Jones, author of Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America.

At 1:30 p.m., Black Political Writing in the 21st Century. Panel:
  • Wayne Dawkins, author of Rugged Waters: Black Journalists Swim the Mainstream;
  • Bob Herbert, author of Promises Betrayed: Waking up from the American Dream;
  • Jimmie Briggs, author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War;
  • Kevin Powell, author of Who's Gonna Take the Weight?: Manhood, Race, and Power in America;
  • Yvonne Bynoe, author of Stand and Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership, and Hip-Hop Culture.

3 p.m. The Black Classics: Books That Speak to Our Soul. Panelists:
  • Herb Boyd, author of We Shall Overcome;
  • David Levering Lewis, author of The Portable Harlem Reader;
  • Sondra Kathryn Wilson, author of Meet Me at the Theresa: The Story of Harlem's Most Famous Hotel;
  • Ellease Southerland, author of Let the Lion Eat Straw.


Robert Ingersoll: Passionate Voice Regained

Although Oprah is on vacation, O The Oprah Magazine is not. The August issue, which has just come out, includes an excerpt in the Reading Room section from Robert Ingersoll, a forgotten major figure of 19th century America, who by today's political alignments, seems a man of contradictions: the son of a minister, a proud Republican, a colonel and Civil War veteran and a lawyer, he lectured across the country in a preacher-like style against the mixture of church and state, for free speech, for rational science and for the equality of all people. He was an agnostic who in his personal life lived in a way any Christian would approve.

Although he died in 1899, his messages continue to resonate, and oddly his language and oratorical style would likely be effective in today's political world. One can easily imagine him on Crossfire.

Why has he been forgotten? For one, he "never created a polished masterpiece," according to the Washington Post's Tim Page, who has edited Ingersoll's speeches for a new, slim $10 paperback volume from Steerforth Press (distributed by Random House) that appears August 16. Called What's God Got to Do With It? Robert Ingersoll on Free Thought, Honest Talk & the Separation of Church & State, the book collects some of Ingersoll's best-known speeches that have a flowing, near musical, sometimes poetic quality punctuated by Twain-like humor. In fact, Twain himself was a fan and called one of Ingersoll's speeches "the supreme combination of words that was ever put together since the world began."

He was also praised by Oscar Wilde ("the most intelligent man in America"); H.L. Mencken, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Robert M. LaFollette ("He was witty. He was droll. He was eloquent. He was as full of sentiment as an old violin") and Thomas Edison (he has "all the attributes of a perfect man"). Imagine the blurb possibilities.

An Ingersoll sampling:

  • On July 4, 1876: "One hundred years ago, our fathers retired the gods from politics. The Declaration of Independence is the grandest, the bravest, and the profoundest political document that was ever signed by the representatives of a people. . . . Our fathers founded the first secular government that was ever founded in this world. . . . The first government that said every church has exactly the same rights and no more; every religion has the same rights, and no more."
  • "For the man Christ I have infinite respect. . . . He was a reformer in his day. He was an infidel in his time."
  • "If there is any man I detest, it is the man who thinks he is the head of a family."
  • "We have solemnly declared that the people must determine what is politically right and what is wrong, and that their legally expressed will is the supreme law. This leaves no room for national superstition--no room for patriotic gods or supernatural beings--and this does away with the necessity for political prayers. . . . If God is allowed in the Constitution, man must abdicate."
  • "The more a man knows, the more he is willing to learn. The less a man knows, the more positive he is that he knows everything."

Page writes in his introduction that the book is intended "to whet curiosity about the life and work of a most unusual American for a generation and a country that still has desperate need of him." Because of the book's timeliness, its small size and modest price--and a plug from print Oprah--Colonel Ingersoll just may find a new audience. (In fact, according to Steerforth publisher Chip Fleischer, roughly half of advance orders are from independent bookstores--a much higher proportion than usual and an intriguing trend.) As the biographer of Dawn Powell, editor of The Diaries of Dawn Powell and advisor to her estate, Page knows something about forgotten treasures--and how to make them shine again.

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