Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 13, 2006

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

HarperOne: I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays by Michael Arceneaux

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Severn River Publishing: Covert Action (Command and Control #5) by J.R. Olson and David Bruns

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz


Notes: NYC Christian Store; Sun on Ray; Text Bills

The New York Daily News profiles one of the few businesses in Times Square that has survived the cleansing of 42nd Street: "the city's largest and oldest Christian bookstore," which until recently was called Christian Publications Bookstore but has been rechristened the Timeless Treasures Christian Gift & Bookstore.

Mark and Georgina Hill bought the 11,000-sq.-ft. store from the Christian and Missionary Alliance, which operated it for 122 years. The Hills are renovating and expanding the store; a grand re-opening is scheduled for April.

The Daily News said that the store "carries a wide range of goods, from Christian key chains to greeting cards thanking ministers for sermons. But the big sellers are Bibles and evangelical books by Max Lucado, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Gary Chapman, Joyce Meyer, Tony Evans and Billy Graham, whose works fill one entire shelf."


The Baltimore Sun offers a Q&A with Benn Ray, co-owner of Atomic Books, who went from a career playing video games all the time to bookseller. Click here adeptly for more information.


C-Span 2's Book TV bus rolled into Charleston, S.C., last week to film during Taylor Books's "local authors day" celebration yesterday, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. The 10-year-old store is credited with helping redevelopment on Capitol Street, the paper added.


A Hastings Entertainment store will open in an Albuquerque, N.M., space originally built for an Eckerd store that never opened, according to the Tribune Reporter. The new Hastings will have 19,000 square feet of space.


CM Bulletin describes bills in California, New York and Connecticut that are among the 30 being considered by 16 states to lower textbook prices. Bills in Virginia and Washington state have been passed by the legislatures and may be signed into law by the governors.


Ted McDermott of Dalkey Archive Press reminds us that CONTEXT, whose latest issue is just out both in print and online, is a free magazine; booksellers who want copies to give to customers can e-mail him for more information.

CONTEXT aims to create "an international and historical context in which to read modern and contemporary literature" and keep readers interested and involved with titles both from the U.S. and U.K. and in translation. Contributors include William H. Gass, Dubravka Ugresic and John Taylor.


To see the finalists for the 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, click here. Winners will be announced and honored on April 28, at the beginning of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.


Ecstatic publisher Matthew Miller notes a review in Saturday's Wall Street Journal of one of his favorite authors, Donald Harington. By Ed Gray, editor of the Books and Perspective sections at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, the review of The Pitcher Shower (Toby Press, $22.95, 1592641237) concluded: "If there is a common thread to be found in such powerfully imaginative work, it would be the transformative quality of love, a quality so strong that it can make a man who hates himself feel worthwhile. It is not much of a stretch to say that a love for what he does is what keeps Mr. Harington going. He has been operating on the margins of a big success for more than 30 years, showered with ecstatic reviews but not too many greenbacks, and yet his will to produce more work never seems to flag."


Paula Quint is resigning as president and executive director of the Children's Book Council. She joined the Council in 1963 and has served in her present positions since 1992. She will remain at CBC until a new executive director is found.

In a statement, Quint said that as "plans for a refocused and streamlined CBC have emerged" after several months of management and board review of the Council's mission, she decided "it would be an appropriate moment for me to step aside to enable CBC to move forward under new leadership."

Board chair Simon Broughton praised Quint, saying, "We owe her a substantial debt of thanks--for her commitment, hard work and dedication over many years, and for her unparalleled service as an ambassador for our industry."

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Playboy and Steerforth Hook Up

Playboy Enterprises and Steerforth Press have formed Playboy Press, a joint venture for which Playboy will provide editorial and art direction, drawing largely on material from Playboy magazine, while Steerforth will handle marketing as well as sales and distribution in conjunction with Random House, which distributes Steerforth.

Chip Fleischer, publisher of Steerforth, Hanover, N.H., explained the coupling this way: "Working with the editors at Playboy on a couple of previous projects, we discovered there was a strong affinity between Steerforth's list and Playboy's editorial content--true crime, military, politics, sports, literary fiction--and that we enjoyed working together." He added that "the beauty of this deal is it allows Playboy Press to bring titles to market when, from time to time, Playboy has the makings of a good book. But there is no new overhead for either party pressuring us to get out a certain number of titles each year."

He also emphasized the "impressive" content of the magazine, noting that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner once told a reunion of Playboy Playmates, "Without you, I'd have a literary magazine."

From 1954 until 1982, Playboy had a Playboy Press subsidiary, but sold it. Since then, titles with the Playboy logo have been published by various houses.

The first three titles of the reconstituted Playboy Press will be unveiled in September: The New Bedside Playboy edited by Hefner; Dear Playboy Advisor, featuring 800 items from the popular magazine column (the last time this kind of material was collected, in the 1990s, the paperback sold more than 100,000 copies); and Sexual Pensées, a new illustrated title by Bruce Jay Friedman, "a blend of poetic aphorism and erotic memoir," that will be excerpted in the magazine in October.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

January Sales (Publishers' Version): Up 2.2%

In January, net book sales rose 2.2% to $578.8 million, according to AAP figures.

The strongest gains came in paperbacks: adult paperbacks rose 26.3% to $97 million and children's/YA paperback sales were up 31.7% to $29.8 million. University press paperbacks jumped 9.7% to $20.9 million. Adult mass market, however, declined 10.5% to $45.6 million.

Hardcover sales were down. Adult hardcover sales dropped 23.7% to $52 million, and children's/YA hardcover was down 3% to $30.1 million. University press hardcover titles were down 22.1% to $7.5 million. Religious books were down 29.3% to $18 million.

Audiobook sales were essentially flat, dropping 0.1% to $9.1 million. E-books jumped 50.3% to $1.5 million.

Education sales were mixed. Higher ed sales rose 8.6% to $224.3 million while el-hi dropped 9.9% to $83.8 million.

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Culkin Home Alone Writing

This morning on the Early Show, Phyllis Greenberger, co-author of The Savvy Woman Patient: How and Why Sex Differences Impact Your Health (Capital Books, 193310208X, $20), helps kick off a series on women's health issues for Women's History Month.

Also on the Early Show: Kevin Weeks, author of Brutal: Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob (Regan, $25.95, 0061122696).


This morning on Good Morning America: Macaulay Culkin, who makes his debut as a novelist with Junior (Miramax, $22.95, 1401352340).

Also this morning on Good Morning America: Susan Shapiro Barash, author of Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry (St. Martin's, $22.95, 0312342314).


Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show draws out William J. Broad, author of The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi (Penguin, $25.95, 1594200815).


Tonight the Charlie Rose Show debriefs Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor, the New York Times's chief military correspondent and a military columnist for the Times and NBC, respectively, and authors of Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq (Pantheon, $27.95, 0375422625).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Eric Burns, author of Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism (PublicAffairs, $27.50, 158648334X).

Books & Authors

Slugfest: Bonds Book vs. Bonds Book

Today's Wall Street Journal scouts the Barry-Bonds-book competition between Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance William (Gotham Books, $26, 1592401996), the upcoming title whose excerpt in Sports Illustrated last week has caused the publisher to bump up publication to March 23 and 24, and Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero by Jeff Pearlman (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060797525), whose excerpt in ESPN The Magazine has been moved up to this Wednesday.

David Hirshey of HarperCollins told the paper, "I'd like to think of the Balco book as the leadoff hitter, and we're batting cleanup." Lisa Echenthal, sports book buyer at Barnes & Noble, indicated that Game of Shadows "is going to be perhaps the major sports title for spring" but held out hope for Love Me, Hate Me, saying, "It's rare for two books on one topic to perform at the same level, but there will be a lot of interest in [Bonds]."

Attainment: New Books Out This Week

The following titles all appear this Thursday, March 16:

The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly (Penguin Press, $27.95, 1594200378). A former World Bank analyst argues that much foreign aid has not done what was intended.


Dark Light by Randy Wayne White (Putnam, $24.95, 0399153365). The latest Doc Ford novel.


Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick (Gotham, $26, 1592401791). A memoir about the long and winding road working as a sound engineer at the Abbey Road Studios.

Book Brahmins: Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster is the author of Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office (NAL, $13.95, 0451217608), which was published last week. She is also "Governor" of her blog, Jennsylvania.

Jen is the first person to respond to a series of queries we will occasionally ask people in the business. Herewith questions and her answers:

On nightstand now:

I'm 500 pages into I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. In the queue are The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig, Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Before I was old enough to read, I loved the story of Johnny Tremain.  At the time, my family lived in a historic town outside of Boston, and every night we'd walk down the street to the town commons.  I used to dangle my feet in the little lake in the dusky twilight eating ice cream while my mom read this book to my brother and me. I recall thinking, "I am all about this reading business."

Top five authors: 

I always forget what a genius Tom Wolfe is until I pick up one of his novels.  I'm halfway through Charlotte Simmons right now and he's blown me away yet again.  His level of detail is nothing short of masterful.

I think P.J. O'Rourke and Christopher Buckley are brilliant social satirists, and I can't resist their turns of phrase.  A month ago I read an O'Rourke line where he described the British and French dividing up the Middle East after World War I as being "like a monkey at a salad bar." I'm still snickering over it.

Finally I'm a huge fan of Chris Moore and Tom Robbins.  They're both demented in the most entertaining way.

Book you've "faked" reading:

The Will to Power by Friedrich Nietzsche.  (Please don't tell my Philosophy 120 professor.)

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

Go Ask Ogre: Letters from a Deathrock Cutter by Jolene Siana.  For anyone who ever read and connected with Go Ask Alice, Go Ask Ogre is a completely true version with a happier ending. 

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Washingtonienne by Jessica Cutler.  Fortunately I was not disappointed!  The story sucked me in immediately because of the protagonist's self-deprecation and self-awareness.  Plus I was so engrossed I went an extra three miles on the treadmill--what's not to love?

Book that changed your life:

I'd like to say Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged because it did have a profound impact on my world view.  But if I'm being honest, I'd say Bridget Jones's Diary. Helen Fielding made me want to be a writer.

Favorite line from a book:

There's a line in Captain Saturday by Robert Inman that goes something like, "When everything is lost, anything is possible."  At the time I read this, my husband and I had gone from being rich in the dot com era to getting laid off and almost evicted in the following recession.  Reading this line gave me comfort about starting over.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Just about everything by Carl Hiaasen. (Hey, do you know Carl If so, can you please tell him to hurry up with the next novel already?)

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