Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 26, 2012

Sharjah International Book Fair: Your Chance to Get Your Book in Front of 1 Million Readers - Oct. 30th - Nov. 9th, 2019 - Learn More!

Other Press: Nvk by Temple Drake

Quirk Books: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Magination Press: Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference by Wendy L Moss

St. Martin's Press: A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram #1) by Darynda Jones

Grand Central Publishing: PostScript by Cecelia Ahern

Quotation of the Day

'More Confessions Than Priests and Doctors'

"The life of a bookseller is a crazy one. We hear more confessions than priests and doctors. People share. A LOT. Folks come to a reading about how to turn a front lawn into a food producing garden and end up talking about their grandmas who, as it turns out, were from the same small town. By the end of the night, you have complete strangers hugging and smiling and trading recipes and crying over long dead people. That is the wonder of a reading at Charis."

--Elizabeth Anderson, program director of Charis Books and More, Atlanta, Ga., in a q&a with Poets & Writers

Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors


The Hunger Games: A Winning Weekend

After a $68 million Friday opening, The Hunger Games sustained its record-shattering pace through the weekend. reported that by Sunday morning, Lionsgate had "revised upwards its worldwide total to a massive $214.25 million" for the movie that "was projected to be the #1 title in virtually every single market globally." Audiences were 61% female and 39% male, with 56% ages 25 and older and 44% under age 25, according to theater exit polls.

The studio said the weekend's North American grosses "total a humongous $155 million.... That's a record-setter: the third all-time biggest opening three-day weekend, behind 2008's The Dark Knight ($158.4M); and the highest non-sequel opening weekend ever; and the highest March opening ever," wrote.

The Hunger Games also topped the debuts of The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8M in November 2009) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 ($138.1M in November 2011). Internationally, the film took in $59.25 million in 67 markets.

"Why is it doing so well?" asked "Because this brutal actioner about love and courage was based on Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy of post-apocalyptic young adult novels and made better than it had to be given all the omnipresent marketing and media hype."

BINC - Double Your Impact

Tattered Cover Looking to Land at DIA

Tattered Cover Book Store is in negotiations to open multiple outlets at Denver International Airport, CBS4 reported. "Yes, we're hoping to," owner Joyce Meskis confirmed. "It's in the hands of the city at this point." She told CBS4 that tentative plans call for the bookseller to partner with Hudson News, taking over and rebranding airport sites as Tattered Cover outlets. Hudson News would continue to be involved in the operation of the bookstores.

"We would be working together with them, but the names would be Tattered Cover," Meskis added. She also called the DIA plan a "win-win" move: "They (DIA) want to show travelers the connection to Denver and we would hope to have more exposure."

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks

Justice: 'Stern Stance' on Agency Model 'Collusion'?

The Wall Street Journal is interpreting comments by Sharis Pozen, acting assistant attorney general for antitrust at the Justice Department, as "signaling a stern stance" on the probe of agency pricing of e-books by five of the six largest publishers. The Justice Department reportedly has been meeting with publishers over the matter.

In an interview, Pozen said the department will act against "collusive behavior at the highest levels of companies. Competitors can't join together and make agreements on price. We're going to stop that."

Without mentioning the case, Pozen indicated that the department likely has no objection to agency pricing itself. As the Journal commented: "The department objects to, people familiar with the case say, coordination among companies that simultaneously decided to change their pricing policies." Pozen said, "We don't pick business models--that's not our job."

The White House has nominated William Baer for the post Pozen is temporarily filling, but it's unlikely he'll be confirmed anytime soon.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey


Image of the Day: WBN Gift Boxes Ready to Go

At Ingram, skids of World Book Night givers boxes are ready to be sent out the week of April 9. As World Book Night U.S. executive director Carl Lennertz put it: "It's happening!" World Book Night is April 23, less than a month away.

Cool Idea of the Day: Moving Trip/Bookstore Tour

Mary Robinette Kowal, author of Glamour in Glass, which Tor is publishing April 10, is moving from Portland, Ore., to Chicago, Ill., a four-day drive. Kowal and her husband plan to stop in a major city every night, from April 24 to April 28, and are encouraging her fans who live along the route to contact their local bookseller if they want Kowal to stop by, personalize her books and maybe meet. There's a map on Kowal's website, as well as more information.


Evan Schnittman to Join Hachette Group

Effective May 7, Evan Schnittman joins Hachette Book Group as executive v-p, chief marketing and sales officer, a new position. He has been managing director, group sales and marketing, print and digital, at Bloomsbury Publishing and earlier worked at Oxford University Press for eight years, most recently as v-p, global corporate and business development.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rachel Maddow on Drift

This morning on the Today Show: Jonnie Penn, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Ben Nemtin (aka the Buried Life), authors of What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? (Artisan, $19.95, 9781579654764).


This morning on Good Morning America: Kate Winslet, author of The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism (Simon & Schuster, $29.95, 9781451645439). She will also appear on Live with Kelly.


Today on CBS's the Talk: Chloe Coscarelli, author of Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way (Free Press, $18.99, 9781451636741).


Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Dr. Ira Byock, author of The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life (Avery, $26, 9781583334591).


Tonigh on Charlie Rose: Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Viking, $40, 9780670022953).


Tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman: Rachel Maddow, author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (Crown, $25, 9780307460981). Maddow is also on NPR's Fresh Air tomorrow.


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: T.D. Jakes, author of Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven (Atria, $25, 9781416547297). He will also appear on Dr. Phil.


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Michael Rosen, author of Dignity: Its History and Meaning (Harvard University Press, $21.95, 9780674064430).


Tomorrow on the Jim Bohannon Show: former Senator Byron Dorgan, co-author of Blowout (Forge Books, $25.99, 9780765327376).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum, $27, 9780307453426).

Movie Project: 1984

Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are teaming with LBI Entertainment's Julie Yorn to develop "a new take" on George Orwell's 1984, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which noted that Shepard Fairey, "the street artist perhaps best known for creating the Barack Obama 'Hope' poster, was instrumental in bringing the project to Imagine and LBI and might take some sort of producer role once the deals shake out.... The producers are out to writers to find a take on the material before setting it up at a studio."

TV: The Carrie Diaries Photo

The first image has been released of AnnaSophia Robb as young Carrie Bradshaw in the CW pilot of The Carrie Diaries, based on Candace Bushnell's a prequel to Sex and the City. noted that "it's clear she already has her eclectic fashion style and sports her trademark curls too."

Books & Authors

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:


Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman (Scribner, $24, 9781451643350). "Birds of a Lesser Paradise is a poignant collection of stories, each filled with vivid imagery, surprising wit, and elegant prose. My copy is filled with dog-eared pages of Bergman's brilliantly written observations on who we are and who we hope to be. She masterfully captures the fragility of human life by placing it within and against the natural world. Read these stories. You will be so thankful you did, and then you will read them again!" --Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.

By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir by Joe Blair (Scribner, $24, 9781451636055). "This is a perfectly written book about a very complicated family under extraordinary circumstances. A troubled couple, Joe and his wife, along with their four kids, live in Coralville, Iowa, at nightmarish flood tide. Blair knows how families work and knows the sorrow of families working poorly. He also learns the way tragedy can pull things together. His struggles with his wife and learning-disabled son are particularly moving. No one can teach someone to write with Blair's level of honesty and love." --Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, Iowa


Flatscreen: A Novel by Adam Wilson (Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780062090331). "Reading Flatscreen in public without cracking up was a challenge, one that I did not meet, and I frequently looked like a crazy person reading the book. Wilson balances heartbreak with humor in a way that is affecting and real. In the books, we meet Eli Schwartz, college dropout, failed Hebrew, and culinary master. Eli's struggle to assert himself in a digitized world as a fleshed-out man is as frighteningly real as it is funny. Eli longs for what all twenty-somethings long for--a sense of belonging, to be loved, and perhaps, to be worshiped. Flatscreen is a treasure. Bravo, Mr. Wilson!" --Zach Sampinos, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, Utah

For Ages 9 to 12

The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One by Caroline Lawrence (Putnam, $16.99, 9780399256332). "P.K. Pinkerton is on the run from murdering thieves who want his deed to a silver mine. Scrambling through disguises, taverns, and dark alleys in a Wild West town, Pinky's biggest disadvantage is not being able to distinguish people's emotions, which makes it very hard to know who is lying and cheating and who, if anyone, is telling the truth. This is high-speed fun, with a sympathetic hero." --Ellen Davis, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, Wis.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Beginner's Goodbye

Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $24.95 hardcover, 9780307957276, April 3, 2012)

Anne Tyler's 19th novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, is a slender but touching story about an editor-publisher of thin-spined "Beginner's" guides whose grieving for his late wife is stalled--until she comes back from the dead. Tyler's introduction of a conversing and strolling ghost in the first chapter is not as jarring as you might expect. The Pulitzer-winning novelist (Breathing Lessons) does nothing to distort her clear style, nor does she whip up any mumbo-jumbo dialogue to account for the lone paranormal character. In fact, the ghost of Dr. Dorothy Rosales seems just as stolid and practical as her pre-demise self, whom the reader sees in retrospect in the ensuing chapters, as widower Aaron Woolcott looks back on the year before Dorothy's visitations began, beginning with the event that abruptly deprived him of her under-appreciated companionship.

Once the reader meets the appealing ghost-Dorothy in the first chapter and apprehends how desperately and tenderly Aaron covets her intermittent presence, it's somewhat frustrating to wait so long for her reappearance. The compensation is Tyler's supreme narrative control. Her ability to inculcate meaning and emotion into her hidebound narrator, the accuracy with which she nails the entrenchment of tiny misalignments between spouses, the swiftness with which she delimits Aaron's bossy sister and well-meaning colleagues and the sneakiness with which she insinuates romance into the blandest of Baltimore living rooms--all these combine to beguile the reader while Aaron catches the novel's timeline up to the first time he encounters Dorothy's ghostly manifestation. When Tyler finally delivers, she's simultaneously regained the element of surprise and loaded the reader's sympathy for the death-divided lovers because Aaron has been perseverating over the sore spots in their unfinished marriage. It's a bravura scene, heady with scent-memory and character-appropriate lyricism.

At first, Aaron doesn't believe ghost-Dorothy has a message for him, yet his tentative, delicate encounters with her teach him and the reader a life-seizing lesson: look now, listen now, love now. Fans of Ann Tyler won't be surprised that the ending of The Beginner's Goodbye gives Aaron a second chance to say both goodbye and hello.--Holloway McCandless, blogger at Litagogo: A Guide to Free Literary Podcasts

Shelf Talker: A slender and subtle novel about how grief can teach us to live and how to love by the patron novelist of second chances.


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