Shelf Awareness for Friday, March 17, 2006

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley


To the Editor: Celebrating World Book Day

Concerning our story yesterday about World Book Day, Rona Brinlee of the Bookmark, Atlantic Beach, Fla., writes:

Years ago (I'd have to do some checking to remember how many years exactly) the Catalonian government (through ABA) offered free roses and a free double-page spread ad in USA Today for bookstores to participate on April 23. I saw no downside to free roses and giving one to each customer who bought a book. The Catalonian government also sent a beautiful poster (which is framed and hanging in my office--I put it out each year now) and brochures explaining St. George's Day, etc. I so loved the idea of giving a rose to symbolize nature and ephemerality to someone who bought a book to symbolize culture and permanence, that we now celebrate every year.  I work with a local florist who gives me a good deal on roses for the occasion, and I promote her business as well.

It's a lovely day and one that customers now look forward to.  I'm glad to see it being revived.

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi


Notes: Textbook Rentals; Nantucket's Anti-Chain Proposal

The Bellevue Community College bookstore, Bellevue, Wash., will begin a modest textbook rental program this summer, a measure some college booksellers are trying in an effort to help students upset by textbook prices. For details on the program and a new Washington state textbook price law that applies to public four-year schools, see today's Seattle Times.


At the April 3 Town Meeting of Nantucket, Mass., residents will vote on a proposal to keep large chain stores out of the historic downtown, Bookselling This Week reported. The town's planning board has endorsed an amendment to zoning laws to that effect. The proposal needs a two-thirds vote to pass. New England town meetings are unusually direct democratic occasions, usually held annually, at which town residents can vote on a variety of measures.


Karl Kilian, owner of Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex., has become director of programs at the Menil Collection art museum and has put the store up for sale, Edward Nawotka reported in PW Daily. If he can't sell the 32-year-old store--which has an asking price of $275,000-$300,000--Kilian will close it. The store specializes in literary fiction and art books.


In October 2007, Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in West Hartford, Conn., in Blue Back Square on Isham Road, facing South Main Street and Memorial Road. The store will stock the usual nearly 200,000 book, music, movie and magazine titles and have a café.


In an interview with, Julian Barnes, author most recently of Arthur and George, says that his favorite bookstore in the world is Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., and that while he used to scour used bookstores for titles in person, now "I tend to sit at home and order from Abebooks. I love the feel of the globe-wide sweep and the airmail parcel a few days later. . . . . But I would be very sad if secondhand bookstores died out--the unexpected finds, the musty smell, the eccentrics who guard their stock."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

B&N, Borders Results Please Wall Street

Released yesterday, Barnes & Noble and Borders Group's fourth-quarter and full fiscal year results--reflecting the important holiday season--were above analysts' estimates. As a result, B&N stock rose 9.7% to close at $47.40, a 52-week high. During the day the share price rose to $48.41, its highest level since the company went public in 1993. In another sign of Wall Street enthusiasm, 2.5 million shares of B&N changed hands, five times the usual trading volume.

Shares of Borders, which released results after the market closed, rose in after-hours trading. During the day, it had climbed 2.5% to close at $24.62.

Barnes & Noble

At B&N, sales for the year ended January 28 rose 5% to $5.1 billion, and net earnings rose 19% to $146.7 million. In the fourth quarter, sales rose 5% to $1.8 billion, and net earnings rose 10% to $123 million.

Sales at B&N stores rose 6% to $4.4 billion during the year and rose 6% to $1.4 billion in the quarter. Sales at B&N stores open at least a year rose 2.9% during the year. For the quarter, comp-store sales rose 3.3%. B&N opened two stores in the quarter and closed four; it now has 681 B&N stores.

B. Dalton mall store sales dropped 20% to $141.6 million for the year, reflecting in part the closing in the fourth quarter of 23 Dalton stores. Comp-store sales at Dalton rose 0.9% for the year. During the quarter, Dalton sales dropped 18% to $50.1 million, and comp-store sales rose 3.8%. The company now has just 118 Dalton stores.

Sales at B& rose 5% to $439.7 million.

During 2005, B&N bought 7.7 million shares of its stock for $282.7 million, and bought another 1.6 million shares for $68.2 million in the first quarter of 2006.

For the first quarter and full year, B&N said it expects comp-store sales at B&N stores to increase in the low single digits.

"By every single important financial metric, 2005 was a great year for the company," CEO Steve Riggio said in a statement. "Strong expense controls and expanding gross margins drove record earnings. Our comparable store sales grew 2.9% for the year without any advertising expenditures or additional coupon promotions. Tight management of inventories helped produce record operating cash flows."

B&N CFO Joseph Lombardi told Reuters that "there was really no breakout adult fiction title this holiday season, so our backlist books did particularly well. And those are profitable." He added that in another difficult year for traditional music retailers, B&N's music sales were better than most because it targets adult customers who are still more likely to buy CDs than download music.

Borders Group

In the year ended January 28, consolidated sales at Borders rose 3.9% to $4.03 billion, and net income dropped 23.4% to $101 million. During the fourth quarter, consolidated sales rose 6.3% to $1.45 billion and net income dropped 3% to $119.1 million. On an a per share basis, earnings in the fourth quarter rose 9.9%, in part because of stock buybacks.

"In the fourth quarter, we began to see the benefits of investments made in Borders stores and we learned where capital is best deployed to drive future returns," CEO Greg Josefowicz said in a statement. "This year, we'll continue to invest, much as we did in 2005, with a focus on our key book, cafe and gifts and stationery categories, and once again, all of our growth will emerge in the fourth quarter."

At Borders superstores, sales in the fourth quarter rose 9.8% to $938.7 million, and sales at superstores open at least a year rose 2.5%. During the period, sales of books at superstores open at least a year rose 6% while music sales continued to decline, falling 11% on a comp-store basis.

For the full year, superstore sales rose 4.7% to $2.71 billion, and sales at superstores open at least a year rose 1.1%. The company added nine superstores in the quarter and now has 473 superstores in the U.S.

In the fourth quarter, international sales rose 10% to $203.7 million and for the full year rose 12.9% to $576.4 million. If the impact of exchange rates is excluded, total international sales would have risen 17.6% in the quarter and 14.4% for the year.

International comp-store sales were up 0.9% in the quarter and 0.4% for the year. Borders said that results abroad were "impacted by a challenging retail environment in the U.K., which improved somewhat in the fourth quarter." After adding five superstores in the quarter, Borders has 55 locations outside the U.S.

In the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment, which includes Borders Express outlets, comp-store sales dropped 2.7% in the quarter and 2.4% for the year. Total sales dropped 4.9% to $312.3 million in the quarter and 4.5% to $744.8 million for the year. Borders closed 27 of the segment's stores in the quarter and 50 during the year, leaving 678 outlets.

During the year, Borders repurchased 11.6 million of its shares worth $265.9 million.
Borders predicted a larger loss in the first quarter of this fiscal year partly because of the costs of the launch of its Borders Rewards program and a new distribution center that opens in the second quarter. In the first quarter, it expects comp-superstore sales to rise in the low single digits, Walden's to drop and international to be flat or down slightly.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Knight Ridder Chronicler

This morning on Good Morning America: Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief (Knopf, $16.95, 0375831002).


This evening on Larry King Live: Michael Flatley, author of Lord of the Dance (Touchstone, $24.95, 0743291794).


Tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Macaulay Culkin, whose debut novel is Junior (Miramax, $22.95, 1401352340).


On the occasion of the sale of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, this weekend NPR's On the Media talks with Davis Merritt, a 40-year veteran of the chain and author of Knightfall: Knight Ridder and How the Erosion of Newspaper Journalism Is Putting Democracy at Risk (AMACOM, $24.95, 0814408540).

Books & Authors

Awards: Book Sense Books of the Year; The 'Astrid'

The 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards, recognizing titles independent booksellers most enjoyed handselling during the past year and voted by ABA members, go to:

  • Adult Fiction: The Historian: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown)
  • Adult Nonfiction: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow)
  • Children's Literature: Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House/Scholastic)
  • Children's Illustrated: Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press)

The winners will be honored at the ABA's annual Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America, held this year on Friday, May 19. For more information and a list of honor winners in each category, go to Book Sense's Web site.


Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved and The Great Gilly Hopkins, has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature, an award established by the Swedish government in memory of the creator of Pippi Longstocking and other characters that carries a $640,000 prize (five million kronor) and honors a children's book author. Paterson was cited for her stories about "vulnerable young people." The Barre Montpelier Times Argus has a charming account of the reaction of the winner, who lives in Barre, Vt., and didn't know she was nominated. Crown Princess Victoria will present the award at a ceremony in Stockholm on May 31.

The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/NCIBA List

The following are the bestselling books at Northern California Independent Booksellers Association stores during the week ended Sunday, March 12, as reported to Book Sense:

Hardcover Fiction

1. In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant (Random House, $23.95, 1400063817)
2. Intuition by Allegra Goodman (Dial, $25, 0385336128)
3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385504209)
4. Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (Knopf, $24.95, 030726310X)
5. Nightlife by Thomas Perry (Random House, $24.95, 1400060044)
6. The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais (S&S, $24.95, 0743281616)
7. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Gilbert Waldman (Doubleday, $23.95, 0385515308)
8. The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes (Viking, $25.95, 0670034797)
9. The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult (Atria, $26, 0743496701)
10. The March by E.L. Doctorow (Random House, $25.95, 0375506713)
11. The 5th Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316159778)
12. The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry (Ballantine, $24.95, 0345476158)
13. Murder in Montmartre by Cara Black (Soho Crime, $23, 1569474109)
14. The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury (Dutton, $24.95, 0525949410)
15. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153446)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
2. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X)
3. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
4. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884)
5. You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen (Random House, $24.95, 1400062586)
6. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324)
7. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking, $24.95, 0670034711)
8. Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil (Knopf, $27.95, 0375407553)
9. The Left Hand of God by Michael Lerner (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060842474)
10. Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060738170)
11. The Elements of Style by William Strunk et al. (Penguin Press, $24.95, 1594200696)
12. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S, $35, 0684824906)
13. Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario (Random House, $26.95, 1400062055)
14. Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter (S&S, $25, 0743284577)
15. At Canaan's Edge by Taylor Branch (S&S, $35, 068485712X)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Picador, $14, 031242440X)
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
4. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0143036696)
5. Close Range by Annie Proulx (Scribner, $14, 0684852225)
6. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay, $13.95, 0316010707)
7. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx (Scribner, $9.95, 0743271327)
8. Runaway by Alice Munro (Vintage, $14.95, 1400077915)
9. The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman (Penguin, $14, 0143036629)
10. Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95, 0375706860)
11. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, $13.95, 081297235X)
12. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (St. Martin's, $13.95, 0312304358)
13. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, $14.95, 1400079276)
14. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Vintage, $14.95, 0307275167)
15. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12.95, 1400032717)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Vintage, $14, 0679745580)
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Plume, $15, 0452287081)
3. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17, 0143036556)
4. Night by Elie Weisel (FSG, $9, 0374500010)
5. *A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (Anchor, $14.95, 0307276902)
6. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
7. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552)
8. The End of Poverty by Jeffrey D. Sachs (Penguin, $16, 0143036580)
9. Zagat Survey: San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants (Zagat, $13.95, 1570067384)
10. The End of Faith by Sam Harris (Norton, $13.95, 0393327655)
11. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson (Harvest, $15, 0156031442)
12. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
13. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (Warner, $16.95, 0446677450)
14. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
15. Smashed by Koren Zailckas (Penguin, $14, 0143036475)

Mass Market

1. With No One as Witness by Elizabeth A. George (HarperTorch, $7.99, 0060545615)
2. Cold Service by Robert B. Parker (Berkley, $7.99, 0425204286)
3. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $7.99, 0671027360)
4. The Closers by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616443)
5. Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman (HarperTorch, $7.99, 006056346X)
6. Ireland by Frank DeLaney (Avon, $7.99, 0060563494)
7. Hard Truth by Nevada Barr (Berkley, $7.99, 0425208419)
8. Rage by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine, $7.99, 0345467078)
9. State of Fear by Michael Crichton (Avon, $7.99, 0061015733)
10. Cat's Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown (Bantam, $7.50, 0553582879)

Children's (Fiction and Illustrated)

1. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $18.99, 0763625892)
2. The Pretty Committee Strikes Back by Lisi Harrison (Little, Brown, $9.99, 0316115002)
3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (children's movie tie-in edition) by C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0060765461)
5. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, $15.99, 0060542098)
6. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, $16.95, 0439339111)
7. Small Steps by Louis Sachar (Delacorte, $16.95, 0385733143)
8. Curious George by H.A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin, $6.95, 039515023X)
9. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
10. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, 0439784549)
11. The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud (Hyperion, $7.99, 0786852550)
12. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems (Hyperion, $12.99, 0786837462)
13. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0061074292)
14. The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist (Scholastic, $16.99, 0439693675)
15. Fairyopolis by Cicely Mary Barker (Frederick Warne, $19.99, 0723257248)

*ABA and Book Sense acknowledge the controversy surrounding the veracity of the contents of this book.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the NCIBA!]

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