Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 9, 2012


Bloomsbury YA: Dreamland (YA Edition): The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Balzer & Bray: The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia

Magination Press: Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Kathryn Gonzales and Karen Rayne

Sourcebooks Explore: Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Wittingham

Central Avenue Publishing: Into Captivity They Will Go by Noah Milligan

Carolrhoda Books: A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine

News

Happy Day for Glad Day Bookshop

Congratulations to Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto, which is being bought by a group of more than 20 people who are "faithful to the history of the iconic store," as the Torontoist put it. Last last year, owner John Scythes said that the store was for sale. Scythes bought the store in 1991; it was founded in 1970 and is one of the oldest gay and lesbian bookstores in the world.

"As individuals, none of us are rich," said Michael Erickson, one of the purchasers. "But collectively, there will be over 20 of us in the end, and we can pull it off. What unites us is that everyone cares about the preservation and growth of the LGBTQ community, and books and stories are important to us in doing that."

The group includes teachers, government workers, playwrights, musicians, community activists and several former Glad Day employees.

Erickson said that the new owners have plans to expand the store and "hope to bring back the golden days of the bookstore as a hub of culture and creativity for the LGBTQ community." One example: a Books on Wheels program by which Glad Day volunteers will transport books to anyone physically unable to make it into the store's second floor location.




Mango: The Restaurant Diet: How to Eat Out Every Night and Still Lose Weight by Fred Bollaci


Cool Idea of the (Rainy) Day: A WI8 Scholarship

Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., will give a full scholarship, including transportation, hotel and registration fee, to the ABA's next Winter Institute, to be held in Kansas City, Mo., next year, to the bookseller who sells the most copies of A Good American by Alex George, just published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam.

"We are really looking forward to seeing everyone next year in Kansas City at WI8, and this is our way of saying that in addition to great BBQ and jazz, there is also a real passion for bookselling here," Vivien Jennings, president of Rainy Day Books, explained. She added: "A lot of the key developments in A Good American are tied to New Orleans and the experiences of the characters there, and then they end up in a small town in Missouri."

The idea for the scholarship came at a Hachette dinner at last month's Winter Institute in New Orleans, when Jennings was talking with other booksellers about upcoming titles they were excited about. "In the past, from time to time, just for fun, we have challenged a few of our bookselling friends to see who could sell the most copies of a particular title we thought deserved enthusiastic handselling," she said. It didn't take long for that fun idea to grow into this brilliant idea.

The winner must be an ABA member store, and the bookstore selects who receives the scholarship. (Jennings suggested "the staff member who sells the most copies as an individual.") Sales must be verified by Penguin. The competition will run until the fall.


Charlesbridge Publishing: Baby Loves the Five Senses by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan


IndieCommerce E-Jects Some Amazon Titles

In a decision similar to those made recently by Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Indigo, the American Booksellers Association's IndieCommerce site will no longer list print books published by Amazon that are unavailable as e-books other than on Amazon.

The statement reads in part: "This decision was made to support publishers committed to fostering a diverse and robust publishing industry--and to making books as widely available to consumers as possible--and in support of the bricks-and-mortar retail sales channel, which offers an essential--and unique--venue for discovering and marketing new titles of both established and debut authors."

IndieCommerce noted that bookstores using IndieCommerce can add any title to their own online database by creating the title as a custom product.


imon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble (Max and Ruby Adventure) BY Rosemary Wells


Amazon Deal Fire: Pearl Perplexed

In a blog post called "Amazon, Up in Flames," the New York Times examined some of the vehement opposition to Amazon.com's approach to bookselling and book publishing. Nancy Pearl, "who has done as much to promote reading as anyone this side of Oprah, has been caught in the crossfire" after the company announced the deal to publish out-of-print favorites under the Book Lust Rediscoveries name.

The Times wrote: "The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, which just gave Ms. Pearl its lifetime achievement award, described the reaction among its members as 'consternation.' In Seattle, it was front-page news. 'Betrayal' was a word that got used a lot.

"Was Amazon sincerely trying to rescue lost classics or was it cynically buying a local hero's endorsement to cover up its aggressive tactics? A month later, the debate is unresolved.

"Ms. Pearl still seems a little shaken by the intensity of the response. 'I knew the minute I signed the contract that there would be people who would not be happy, but the vehemence surprised me,' she said. To protect herself, she did not read Facebook or Twitter or any of the social media sites."


Charlesbridge Publishing: Sumokitty by David Biedrzycki


Mysterious Galaxy: Cafe on Way

Last September, the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore opened its second location, in Redondo Beach, Calif., aiming to have a café in the large space leading into the main part of the store. The request has been filled: in April, Catalina Coffee Co., which operates in Redondo Beach, will open in the Mysterious Galaxy, according to the Redondo Beach Patch.

"We're thrilled because we're like-minded, both independently, locally owned businesses," Mysterious Galaxy co-owner Terry Gilman said. "They share a love of books and they share our vision of what we're bringing to the community in terms of events and authors and programming." She said that the businesses first learned about each other through a mutual customer.

Catalina Coffee Co. co-owner Jeff Salle said, "With these book signings, we'll basically be like a built-in caterer for the bookstore." This branch of the coffee shop will have an expanded menu, including beer and wine, and both branches are adding panini sandwiches and seasonal plates.

The main Mysterious Galaxy store in San Diego opened in 1993. Mysterious Galaxy specializes in mystery, science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and horror but has a wide selection of books outside those genres.

photos by Davida Gypsy Breier

 


Atheneum Books: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alexander Nabaum


New Snicket Series Leaked

Yesterday, Lemony Snicket inadvertently leaked the details of his new series: All the Wrong Questions, a four-book autobiographical account of his childhood to be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers this fall.

In his message to Sara Zick, associate publicity director, which he (inadvertently) mass-emailed to a blind-copied list of addressees in a "reply all" message, Snicket explained why he wanted to keep the topic mum. "These books are questionable and contain questions. I, for one, question why anyone would be interested in reading them," wrote Snicket. "I would appreciate it if you didn't contact me again. I'll be in my office until 4."

The first in the quartet, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, will launch simultaneously in e-book, audio and print formats on October 23, 2012, with a first printing of one million copies. The book purportedly draws upon "events that took place during a period of [Snicket's] youth spent in a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted,… as an apprentice in an organization nobody knows about." This marks Snicket's return to publishing after his A Series of Unfortunate Events, which has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 39 languages. Snicket has apparently repaired his estrangement from his longtime representative Daniel Handler after drumming up his own following with his Printz Honor book, Why We Broke Up, illustrated by Maira Kalman. --Jennifer M. Brown

 


Obituary Note: Samuel Youd (aka John Christopher)

British author Samuel Youd, who wrote more than 50 novels in various genres, including "the prescient story of environmental disaster The Death of Grass under one of his pseudonyms, John Christopher," died February 3, the Guardian reported. He was 89.

Adam Freudenheim, publisher for Penguin Classics, which reissued The Death of Grass in 2009, called the novel a "seminal piece of science fiction. It was ahead of its time, in terms of concerns about the environment, particularly, which makes it seem prescient and very relevant. It speaks to our time."
 


Notes

Image of the Day: Penguin Press Presents

On Tuesday night Penguin Press launched its new salon series, Penguin Press Presents, at 192 Books in New York City. The premiere's theme was Together Alone and featured (l.) Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo, and Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, both of whom were introduced by publisher Scott Moyers. Penguin Press Presents pairs frontlist and backlist authors, and programs will be held regularly.

 


Valentine's Day Yin and Yang

Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., asks customers, "Did your last boyfriend or girlfriend leave you high and dry with a broken heart?"

The store aims to help the lovelorn get over it all by inviting them to bring in pictures of their exes, tear them up, write their own names on the backs and deposit both halves in the Vroman's Valentine's Day drawing box. A winner will be drawn on Monday, February 13, and will receive a basket of books and gifts worth $200.

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And from down the road in Los Angeles, Skylight Books has a cheerier take on Valentine's Day in this very sweet video featuring books that... find each other.

 


'Excellent Bookstore Cats'

A group of "excellent bookstore cats" was featured by Mental Floss, which observed: "Not all bookstores have cats: the big chains don't have cats, and some mom and pop stores keep their cats at home, so if you are allergic to cats, you can still find a place to browse for reading material. But you'll find resident cats in many independent bookstores because they are nice to curl up with (just like a good book), they don't eat the merchandise, and they protect the premises from rodents who will eat the merchandise."
 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Wael Ghonim on Egypt on Fresh Air

This morning on Imus in the Morning: Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062082350).

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Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Wael Ghonim, author of Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780547773988).

 


Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, a radio play by Arthur Yorkins based on the novel will be performed February 29 and March 1 at the Greene Space of WNYC and WQXR in New York City with national broadcast in September, Playbill reported. The play will be directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and star Phylicia Rashad, Leslie Uggams, Chuck Cooper and Brandon Dirdon.

On March 28, the Greene Space will host a conversation about Hurston that includes Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, Ruby Dee and Hurston's niece, Lucy Anne Hurston.


Movie Projects: Fancy Nancy; Object of Beauty

An "appropriately fancy line-up of talent" is being assembled to bring the "the sparkly little girl" at the center of the Fancy Nancy children's book series--written by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser--to the big screen, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum; Real Steel) has signed on as producer and Tina Fey (30 Rock) "is in talks" to help him bring Fancy Nancy to film life. According to EW, the books "were optioned this week by 20th Century Fox for 21 Laps Entertainment, Levy's production company, and Fey is currently negotiating to join him as co-producer on the live-action feature." They previously worked together when Levy directed her and Steve Carell in Date Night, though Fey is not expected to have an acting role in the new project.
 
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Amy Adams (Julie & Julia; The Fighter) is teaming with Maven Pictures' Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray to produce Object of Beauty, based on Steve Martin's novel. Adams will star as "clever art entrepreneur" Lacey Yeager, Deadline.com reported.
 


This Weekend on Book TV: Power Concedes Nothing

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, February 11

8 a.m. At an event hosted by Chester County Book Company, West Chester, Pa., historian Stanley Weintraub discusses his book Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941 (Da Capo, $24, 9780306820618). (Re-airs Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m.)

12 p.m. Glenn Greenwald, author of With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful (Metropolitan Books, $26, 9780805092059), is in conversation with Noam Chomsky. (Re-airs Sunday at 1 a.m. and 7 p.m.)

1:15 p.m. Jeffrey Clements presents his book Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It (Berrett-Koehler, $17.95, 9781609941055). (Re-airs Sunday at 2:15 a.m. and Monday at 7:15 a.m.)

2 p.m. John Barry talks about his book Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty (Viking, $35, 9780670023059). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 a.m. and 11 p.m.)

4:15 p.m. At an event hosted by Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., Peter Laufer discusses his most recent books No Animals Were Harmed: The Controversial Line Between Entertainment and Abuse (Lyons Press, 9780762763856) and Calexico: True Lives of the Borderlands (University of Arizona Press, $19.95, 9780816529513). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m.)

7 p.m. At an event hosted by Books & Books, Miami, Fla., Carl Bogus presents his book Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism (Bloomsbury Press, $30, 9781596915800). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.)

8 p.m. Senator Jim DeMint, author of Now or Never: Saving America from Economic Collapse (Center Street, $24.99, 9781455511846), calls for an expansion of demands the Tea Party initiated. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 a.m. and Monday at 5 a.m.)

9 p.m. At an event hosted by Vroman's Bookstore Pasadena, Calif., civil rights attorney Connie Rice discusses her book Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman's Quest for Social Justice in America, From the Courtroom to the Kill Zones (Scribner, $26, 9781416575009). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Kim Blankenship interviews Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (Penguin, $27.95, 9781594203220). Klinenberg explores a growing trend among American adults. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. At an event hosted by Vroman's Bookstore, Barry Sanders, author of American Avatar: The United States in the Global Imagination (Potomac Books, $29.95, 9781597976817), examines how people around the world view the U.S. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 a.m.)

Sunday, February 12

12 a.m. Charles Clotfelter discusses his book Big-Time Sports in American Universities (Cambridge University Press, $29, 9781107004344). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and Monday at 4 a.m.)



Books & Authors

Awards: Waterstones Children’s Book Shortlist

The 18-title shortlist for this year's Waterstones Children's Book Prize, which is chosen by the chain's booksellers, "includes new talent across all age ranges," the Bookseller reported. Six books compete within each of three categories--picture books, fiction for 5- to 12-year-olds and YA. The category winners receive £2,000 (US$6,025), and then vie for the title of £3000 ($9,037) Waterstones Children's Book of the Year 2012. Winners will be announced March 28.

The Guardian noted that the "fall from fashion of vampire romance and fantasy in favor of more gritty reads is nowhere more evident than in the teen shortlist for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize."
 

Book Review

Review: Watergate: A Novel

Watergate by Thomas Mallon (Pantheon, $26.95 hardcover, 9780307378729, February 21, 2012)

Their memoirs gather dust on bookshelves, but the scoundrels and victims at the heart of America's worst political scandal come vividly to life in Thomas Mallon's (Dewey Defeats Truman) imaginative re-creation of Watergate, from the bungled break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the building that gave the scandal its name, through the battle over the Oval Office tapes to Richard Nixon's resignation two years later. Mallon unravels the tangled threads of this well-known chronology, employing multiple points of view--from Howard Hunt and Rose Mary Woods all the way up to Richard Nixon, his characteristic mix of combative self-pity on display--to show how swiftly an administration at the height of its power morphed into a criminal enterprise.

At the center of this account of the legal and ethical meltdown is Fred LaRue, a Mississippi businessman and aide to Attorney General John Mitchell who became ensnared in the effort to silence Hunt and the other burglars through generous hush money payments. LaRue's effort to suppress the truth of his mentor's complicity in the coverup mirrors his own fear that a long-buried personal secret may be exposed.

The novel offers intriguing theories to explain some prominent aspects of the story: the motivation for the break-in; the 18 1/2-minute gap in the tape of the meeting where Nixon discussed the burglary for the first time; and his insertion of a jarringly inapt quotation from Theodore Roosevelt in the maudlin farewell speech to his staff on the morning after his resignation. But where a lesser writer might indulge in pure sensationalism, Mallon hews closely to the historical record, all the while attentively conjuring the interior lives of these real-life characters.

Mallon himself concedes Watergate "contains deviations from fact that some readers will regard as unpardonable and others will deem unworthy of notice." Regardless of one's position on that issue, there should be unanimous appreciation for his skill in employing fiction to tell larger truths about a momentous era in American political history. There are moments in Watergate, some of them wickedly funny, that sound more like an episode of The Sopranos than conversations at the highest level of American democracy. Whatever may have motivated the conspiracy, Mallon's well-informed and wise account reminds us of the risk to democracy when a group of powerful people decide that retaining power is their paramount goal. --Harvey Freedenberg

Shelf Talker: An accomplished historical novelist offers a retelling of the scandal that broke Nixon's presidency.

 


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles on AbeBooks.com in January

The bestselling books on AbeBooks.com in January:

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
3. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
4. Give Me Liberty!: An American History Vol. 1 by Eric Foner
5. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
6. Recontress Essentielles by Therese Kuoh-Moukoury
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. They Say/I Say by Gerald Graff
9. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
10. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
 
 
The bestselling signed books on AbeBooks.com in January:

1. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
2. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
3. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
5. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
6. Distrust that Particular Flavor by William Gibson
7. The Innocent by Taylor Stevens
8. End Papers, Literary Reactions by Edward Newton
9. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
10. Bent Road by Lori Roy

[Many thanks to AbeBooks.com!]
 


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