Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 14, 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: Brown Rally; Northshire, Gates Win; SIBA Launch

The Save the Bookstore Coalition, which is fighting a university committee's recommendation that the Brown Bookstore at Brown University, Providence, R.I., be leased out, plans to hold a public rally at the store tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. in support of keeping the store independent.


Congratulations to Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., winner of this year's PW Bookseller of the Year Award. Owned by Ed and Barbara Morrow and managed by their son Chris, the store celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Located in a charming former inn, the 10,000-sq.-ft. store has expanded steadily over the years and now includes, in addition to a sterling selection of at least 40,000 titles, a café/restaurant; used, rare and out-of-print books; movie DVDs; music CDs; and a range of stationery, book marks, book lights, journals, jewelry, wind chimes and other gift products. It also has an excellent Web site.

Thoughtful, well-read and good businesspeople, the Morrow family has also long been active in the bookselling world. Ed is a former president of the ABA (during the wild period when the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie) and Barbara a former president of NEBA. They belong to the Independent Booksellers Consortium. They have supported the fight for free expression. Their store emphasizes staff training and customer service and constantly changes. Northshire has been recognized for its achievements in many ways, including perhaps the most telling: the Morrows have been approached regularly by developers and governments to open branches.

Again congratulations!

Also congratulations to Mark Gates of Holtzbrinck, whose home base is Verona, Wis., winner of PW's Rep of the Year of Award.


Education by Stone: Selected Poems by João Cabral de Melo Neto, translated by Richard Zenith (Archipelago Books) has won the 2006 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. Zenith will receive $1,000. For more information, go to the Academy's Web site.


Today the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (formerly SEBA) is launching a Web site called Authors 'Round the South (ARTS) that contains the event schedules of SIBA-member stores. Readers and booklovers can search by date, bookstore, author and book title and can request signed copies of books from the store hosting the event.


HMV, which owns Waterstone's, has rejected private equity firm Permira Advisers' second takeover off of 210p per share, according to the AP via Forbes.

The struggling company said it is optimistic about its future and that the latest offer undervalues HMV. Some London analysts expect Permira to walk away.

Numis analyst Steve Davies said in a note to clients, "We believe HMV is a structurally challenged business and we expect its profits to decline in perpetuity as it will continue to lose market share to online retailers, downloading, and the supermarkets, leading to further erosion of gross margins."


Dan Brown made his first appearance on the stand in London yesterday in the suit brought by two of the three authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail against Random House. According to the New York Times, Brown acquitted himself well, even when encountering some strange attitudes. Then again, maybe the plaintiffs' lawyer is from New York.

The paper reported: "At one point, the lawyer for Mr. Leigh and Mr. Baigent, Jonathan Rayner James, asked Mr. Brown if his local bookshop, the Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, was 'the only bookstore in New Hampshire.'

" 'New Hampshire is a small state,' Mr. Brown responded, 'but not that small.' "


Lisa Novak, buyer for Borders 29 outlet stores, is joining Atlantic Books as bargain buyer, according to Bargain Book News. Novak has worked at Borders since 1993, for a time in the company's Ann Arbor flagship store.

Atlantic Books has 18 stores, all in the mid-Atlantic area, except for one in the Mall of America in Minnesota. Selling trade and bargain books, the stores range from 1,000 square feet in resort areas to 10,000 square feet.


Effective April 3, James C. Clark has been promoted to senior v-p, distribution, Penguin Group (USA), and will be responsible for Penguin's warehouses in Pittston, Pa., and Kirkwood, N.Y., as well as the order fulfillment office in East Rutherford, N.J. He joined the company as v-p, order fulfillment, in 1996.

Linda Bay has been promoted to v-p, order fulfillment, at Penguin. She was formerly v-p, corporate accounting and administration. She earlier worked in finance and operations at Kraft Foods, Pamela Temples Interiors and Lear-Siegler.


The Association of Booksellers for Children has new contact information: its home now is 62 Wenham St., Jamaica Plain, Mass. 02130; 617-390-7759; fax 617-344-0540. New executive director Kristen McLean may be reached via e-mail at


Our apologies! Yesterday's item about C-Span 2's Book TV bus visiting Charleston to film Taylor Books's "local authors day" misplaced the city. The action took place in Charleston, W.V., not in the South Carolina port city.

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

Media and Movies

Movie Tie-ins: Thank You for Smoking, V for Vendetta

Two features, neither of which are very green, open on St. Patrick's Day, this coming Friday:

Thank You For Smoking
is based on the 1994 Christopher Buckley novel (Random House, $13.95, 0812976525), which has just been reissued. Directed by Jason Reitman, the film about Big Tobacco's chief spokesman stars Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Cameron Bright, Sam Elliott, Katie Holmes, William H. Macy, Robert Duvall and Rob Lowe. Dennis Miller and Joan Lunden have cameo roles.


V for Vendetta is directed by James McTeigue; screenplay is by the Wachowski Brothers, Andy and Larry. The cast includes Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Tim Pigott-Smith.

This movie was inspired by the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (Vertigo, $19.99, 0930289528), authors of the classic Watchmen. Written in the 1980s, the book was set in what was then the future, in 1997, in a fascist Britain.

For a review of the V for Vendetta phenomenon, check out Jesse Kornbluth's comments at Head Butler. Among them:

" 'V' is not exactly a traditional liberator. He's an anarchist, and a very refined anarchist at that--he believes that every citizen must take responsibility for himself. . . . Is 'V' a hero--or, as some are sure to say, a 'terrorist?' Hard to say. In his way, he's as flawed as Leader. And he designs a test for Evey that's as cruel as any devised by Leader and his minions. Is it worth it? Well, she learns a crucial lesson about personal integrity: 'Every inch of me shall perish . . . except one. An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world that's worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.'
"I fear that most readers--and film audiences--will miss the subtleties and hear only the remarkable (for a corporation like Warner Brothers, anyway) advertising slogan for the movie: 'The people should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of the people.' The big takeaway of the book is more intellectual: 'Ideas are bulletproof.' "

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Media Heat: John J. Nance's New Orbit

This morning on Good Morning America: John J. Nance, author of Orbit (S&S, $25, 0743250524).


Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show hosts Winifred Gallagher, author of House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060538694).


Today on the View and tonight on Conan O'Brien: Macaulay Culkin, author of Junior (Miramax, $22.95, 1401352340).


Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Michael F. Roizen gives tips culled from his new book, co-written with Mehmet C. Oz, YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment (Free Press, $14.95, 0743293010).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060738170).

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

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 1

The following titles are appearing next Tuesday, March 21:

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (Morrow, $24.95, 0060590270). Moore from the author of The Stupidest Angel.


The Minotaur by Barbara Vine (Crown, $25, 0307237605). Ruth Rendell by another name.


The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra, translated by Alberto Manguel (Atria, $25.95, 0743287649). A Spanish bestseller, this title is set in the 15th century and serves up another interpretation of Leonardo's Last Supper.

The Number's Numbers

Today the Wall Street Journal takes a second look at The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life, Lee Eisenberg's baby boomer retirement guide that was published in January and has sold an estimated 40% of its 125,000 first printing. (In December, the Journal focused on the title as an example of a book receiving pre-pub buzz, whether through traditional means or through services like BzzAgent, which on December 7 set 1,000 of its volunteers out to bzzz about The Number.)

Among the possible reasons The Number's performance: high, unrealized expectations based on the book's subtitle; a confusing mix of "autobiographical musings with financial advice"; and perhaps a reluctance of the target audience to want to face retirement--at least in the way the author presents it.

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:


Falling Through the Earth: A Memoir by Danielle Trussoni (Holt, $23, 0805077324). "Trussoni's memoir is a riveting series of family snapshots, including both those showing the effects on the family of her Vietnam War veteran father and her own visit to Vietnam in hopes of finding understanding. A mesmerizing memoir of life with a combatant father and a daughter seeking his love."--Chris Vietmeier, St. Helens Book Shop, St. Helens, Ore.

The Fugitive Wife by Peter C. Brown (Norton, $24.95, 0393061108). "A muscular tale of Alaska and the Midwest, with a compelling heroine, a love story, a 'villain' you can't quite hate, and great historical detail about the 'other' Gold Rush. A book that works for readers of both genders."--Lilla Weinberger, Readers' Books, Sonoma, Calif.


The Rock Orchard by Paula Wall (Washington Square, $14, 074349623X). "The women who inhabit Leaper's Fork, Tennessee, are like no others-larger than life, sassy, magical, insightful, lustful, and hilarious, and the men who love them are just as unique. Truly a novel of epic proportions packed into a fast-paced saucy read. I loved it!"--Katrina Denza, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C.

For Children Ages 9 to 12

The Unusual Suspects (The Sisters Grimm, Book #2) by Michael Buckley (Amulet/Abrams Books for Young Readers, $14.95, 0810959267). "What a great concept! Sisters Daphne and Sabrina Grimm are descendants of those other Grimms, the Brothers Grimm. And it falls to the family to look after all those fairy-tale creatures, some of whom don't want to be looked after. Good stuff, with great girl characters!"--Megan O'Bryan, Scott's Bookstore, Mount Vernon, Wash.

You Come to Yokum by Carol Otis Hurst, illustrated by Kay Life (Walter Lorraine /Houghton Mifflin, $15, 0618551220). "In the winter of 1920 changes began in the life of Frank Carlyle, age 11, and his family. First came the Model T Ford. Then Mrs. Carlyle was arrested in Washington for her suffragist activities. But the biggest change of all was the move to run a hunting lodge on Yokum Pond in the Massachusetts Berkshires. Humor, misadventures, and history are nicely woven together in a highly satisfying story that will appeal to both boys and girls."--Carol Chittenden, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, Mass.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

The 10 Most-Challenged Books of 2005

At least 405 challenges were made against books because of content or appropriateness last year, according to the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, and likely represent only 20% of challenges. The Office defines challenge as "a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school." Most of the challenges were reported by public libraries, schools and school libraries. For more information, please visit

The following are the 10 titles most often challenged in 2005. If the list is depressing, consider that several books of recent years didn't make it this year, including the Alice series of books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

  • It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health--for homosexuality, nudity, sex education, religious viewpoint, abortion and being unsuited to age group.
  • Forever by Judy Blume--for sexual content and offensive language.
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger--for sexual content, offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier--for sexual content and offensive language.
  • Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher--for racism and offensive language.
  • Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds--for sexual content.
  • What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones--for sexual content and being unsuited to age group.
  • Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey--for anti-family content, being unsuited to age group and violence.
  • Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly--for offensive language.
  • It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie H. Harris--for sex education and sexual content.

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