Shelf Awareness for Friday, June 8, 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

Gaiman on Bradbury: 'An Author Who Made Me Dream'

"[Wednesday] afternoon I was in a studio recording an audiobook version of a short story I had written for Ray Bradbury's 90th birthday. It's a monologue called 'The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury,' and was a way of talking about the impact that Ray Bradbury had on me as a boy, and as an adult, and, as far as I could, about what he had done to the world. And I wrote it last year as a love letter and as a thank you and as a birthday present for an author who made me dream, taught me about words and what they could accomplish and who never let me down as a reader or as a person as I grew up."

--Neil Gaiman in a Guardian essay remembering his friend, who died earlier this week.


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors


B&N Blasts Justice Department Settlement

The Justice Department's proposed settlement with three publishers over agency model pricing for e-books "substitutes one alleged cartel for a new cartel on the industry, albeit one run" by the Department, Barnes & Noble said in a court brief. The Department, B&N continued, "has responded to purported price-fixing by implementing government controls of the market, rather than punishing the alleged colluders." has extensive coverage, including several charts.

The Department will become "a regulator of a nascent technology that it little understands" and "the national economy, our nation's culture, and the future of copyrighted expression" are at risk, B&N said. "Many millions of Americans, as well as all levels of the distribution chain for books (from authors to publishers to distributors, and especially brick-and-mortar stores), stand to be affected by this case's resolution."

B&N argued that under agency pricing, "innovation has flourished" and "publishers have engaged in vigorous competition on price, which, contrary to the superficial pricing analysis in the complaints before the Court, has resulted in lower e-book prices." B&N said hardcover prices had fallen, too.

B&N stated that before agency pricing, it couldn't compete with Amazon, which was selling bestsellers at "below direct cost." After agency pricing, B&N was able to introduce multiple versions of the Nook and launched PutIt!, a self-publishing program. At the same time, competition "led to Amazon responding with improved e-readers of its own."

BINC - Double Your Impact

BEA: Pictures from an Exhibition, Part 4

Booksellers and Coffee House Press staff gathered to promote a book in which they all played a part: Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America's Indie Bookstores, edited with a preface by Hans Weyandt and introduced by Ann Patchett. An ode to the art of traditional bookselling and independent bookstores, the book is a collection of top 50 lists from 25 booksellers around the country--from Fireside Books in Alaska to Inkwood Books in Florida--along with anecdotes and interviews about the life of being a bookseller, reader and engaged citizen. The project began as a blog by Micawber's Books, St. Paul, Minn., owner Hans Weyandt and will be coming out from Coffee House in September.


At Thursday morning's Book and Author Breakfast, Roberta Rubin, owner of the Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, Ill., accepted the Bookstore of the Year Award from Publishers Weekly. She thanked her "entire staff of 22 people," and noted that "what we do in our individual stores is part of a team effort in this amazing industry."

Random House sales reps Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, who also run the Books on the Nightstand podcast, accepted their Rep of the Year awards. "The role of sales reps happens behind the scenes," she said. "It's a vital piece of connecting books with readers in our communities."



If you walked past the Biblioasis booth more than once over the course of BookExpo, you might have noticed the display for Anakana Schofeld's Malarky got more elaborate as the show went on. Publicist Tara Murphy could often be spotted knitting the latest in a series of "willy warmers" in the colors of the Irish flag, a prop with thematic significance to the Irish-Canadian author's debut novel. While the warmers were for display purposes only, Biblioasis did offer more traditional swag  in the form of Malarky-themed tea bags.

In the Perseus booth, Andrew Shaffer (aka @EvilWyliesigned copies of Fanny Merkin's Fifty Shames of Earl Grey: A Parody (Da Capo Press, July 31)--complete with tea bag bookmark.

Joshua Henkin stopped by the Random House booth. His latest novel, The World Without You (Pantheon, June 19), was reviewed in Tuesday's Shelf Awareness.


Authors Maryjane Fahey and Caryn Rosenthal heard some interesting stories from the people who stood in line to get copies of Dumped! (Sept., Sellers Publishing)--like the woman who said she was giving it to her boss's wife "because she's fabulous and he isn't, so she should dump him" and the gentleman who wanted a copy for his recent college grad daughter who had just dumped her boyfriend "because he deserved it"). Here they are, with a surprisingly interested future buyer of the book.


Simon & Schuster hosted a luncheon in celebration of Bill Joyce, pictured here holding his Oscar for the film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Joyce said that it began as a book inspired by his friend and mentor, William Morris, who worked as director of library promotion for 50 years. The project just took a few unexpected turns, so it wound up as a movie and an app before it was bound between hard covers (Atheneum/S&S, July). "There's always a book that changed your life," Joyce said. For him, it was at age five, when he read Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. From that point on, Joyce knew that book-making was what he wanted to do. Joyce also showed his artwork for The Sandman (Atheneum/S&S, Oct.), his newest picture book addition to the Guardians of Childhood series, which launched with The Man in the Moon. Guests at the luncheon also got a sneak preview of the November movie Rise of the Guardians.


"I think the concept of the bookstore is no longer vital," Marva Allen, the CEO of Harlem's Hue-Man Bookstore and Café, confessed during a Thursday morning session about the state of the African American literary marketplace. When it comes to bringing consumers to books, she elaborated, it's time for the industry to find "a different way that is not bookstore-centric," such as the live "Page to Stage" show Hue-Man produces in collaboration with the Symphony Space theater on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Author and radio host Michael Baisden (right) agreed. "We're not going to come out for just a book signing," he said. "You've got to sell them more than one thing"--and when it comes to audience size, "I'm a thousands guy."

Troy Johnson, the founder of the African American Literature Book Club (, pointed out in addition to the significant number of independently owned and operated bookstores that have closed in recent years, the number of websites dedicated to African American literature has declined, with those sites that remain often losing traffic. Given how much easier it is to create and launch a website today than it was even five years ago, he argued, "there should be much more competition in this space."


From l., Lauren Oliver (The Spindlers, HarperCollins), Sharon Creech (The Great Unexpected, HarperCollins), Judith Viorst (Lulu Walks the Dogs, Atheneum/S&S) and Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities, Aladdin/S&S) gathered on the Uptown Stage for a discussion about "Writing Strong Female Characters in Middle Grade Books." Viorst admitted that the voices of her characters "lurk somewhere in the region of my belly button." Oliver agreed with Creech that every project begins as a mystery: "What's this book about?" All four authors rallied around the idea of a "bad girl" or, as Viorst termed it, a "hard like," as a way of revealing a character's complexity (though Messenger said she started with a "bad boy" character in Keeper, and a secondary girl character who's slow to win us over will get a larger role in her next book).  


And as we bid farewell to the 22,365 industry professionals attendees (provisional count) and to the beloved Javits Center, mark your calendars: BEA 2013 is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4-Thursday, June 6, 2013. It's been fun!

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

BEA: Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Live from the Floor

Roger Sutton, editor-in-chief of the Horn Book, and Rebecca Stead, the 2010 winner in the fiction category for her book When You Reach Me, presented the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards in front of a live audience for the first time on the BEA exhibits floor.

The awards will be presented on September 28 at Simmons College, followed the next day by the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium. The honored and winning books are:

Abrams's Jason Wells celebrates Chuck Close, the nonfiction winner, with librarian Amy Sears (l.) and SLJ's Trev Jones.

Picture Books
Winner: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)
Honor Books: And Then It's Spring by Julia Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook); And the Soldiers Sang by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Gary Kelley (Creative Editions)

Winner: No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner)
Honor Books: Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet (Candlewick); Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion/Disney)

Winner: Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
Honor Books: Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O'Keeffe Painted What She Pleased by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Harcourt); The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson, photos by O'Connell and Timothy Rodwell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


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

Beauty and the Book and the BEA

Bookseller Kathy Patrick, owner of Beauty and the Book, Jefferson Tex., and founder of the Pulpwood Queens book club, is happily bookended in this photo by her daughters Madeleine (l.) and Helaina (r.). Kathy is playing host to a number of her Pulpwood Queens members, along with several writers, in New York City this week.

Also pictured are two of her favorite people: author Michael Morris (far l.), whose next book is Man in the Blue Moon (Tyndale House, September 1); and William Torgerson (far r.), author most recently of Horseshoe (Cherokee McGhee Publishing).

Torgerson is working on a documentary film about his trip to Texas last January for Patrick's legendary Girlfriend Weekend. On his website, he wrote: "I'm calling it For the Love of Books, something that just popped into my head near the end of my weekend after watching everyone stuff their extra suitcases with books and as I saw book group after book group using literacy to help others. Yes, you ladies--and a few good men--have fun, but your devotion to literacy and to caring about people is what really inspired me."

Obituary Note: Barry Unsworth

Booker Prize-winning British author Barry Unsworth, "considered one of the foremost historical novelists in English, who was known for rich, densely textured fiction that conjured lost worlds," died Tuesday, the New York Times reported. He was 81.


Image of the Day: Alas, Poor Buddy

Buddy might be gone, but his memory lives on at Random House. Buddy, the pet rooster who stars in Brian McGrory's forthcoming Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man (November) passed away recently from "flip-over disease" (a common affliction in the chicken world).

Here, with a shrine erected in the late fowl's honor (featuring an Angry Bird stuffed animal, a rooster tchotchke and a mourning veil), are Crown national sales team members David Romine, Kristen Fleming, Andy Augusto, Christine Edwards and Sasha Sadikot with Crown senior v-p and publisher Molly Stern and senior editor Lindsay Sagnette.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jill Biden on Weekend Today

Today on Extra: Dr. Eva Cwynar, author of The Fatigue Solution:  Increase Your Energy In Eight Easy Steps (Hay House, $24.95, 9781401931636).


Today on Current TV's Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer: Lisa Bloom, author of Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Incarceration, and Thug Culture (A Think Publication/Vantage Point, $26.95, 9781936467693).


Tomorrow morning on Weekend Today: Jill Biden, author of Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781442457355).


Sunday on Good Morning America Weekend: Luanne Rice, author of Little Night (Pamela Dorman Books, $26.95, 9780670023561).

Movie Trailers: Les Misérables; Lay the Favorite

The first official teaser trailer for Les Misérables--a film adaptation of the Broadway musical adapted from Victor Hugo's classic novel--"certainly looks good; has 19th century misery ever been quite so visually appealing?" Entertainment Weekly wrote.

Although it may not be surprising the first clip features star Anne Hathaway's version of "I Dreamed a Dream," EW observed this "seems to indicate that Hathaway's Fantine is the film's female lead--but those who have read the book, seen the Broadway show or spied any of the umpteen screen versions of Les Mis know that (150-year-old spoiler alert!) Fantine kicks the bucket fairly soon, paving the way for her daughter Cosette and the scrappy Eponine to share the spotlight."


The U.K. trailer has been released for Lay the Favorite, adapted from Beth Raymer's book Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling. The movie, directed by Stephen Frears, stars Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vince Vaughn, Frank Grillo and Joshua Jackson. Indiewire reported that although the film hits U.K. theaters in a few weeks, the Weinstein Company has not yet announced a release date for the U.S.  

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Bellwether Winner

Susan Nussbaum has won the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction and receives $25,000 and a publishing contract with Algonquin Books for her manuscript Good Kings Bad Kings. (This is the first year that PEN is partnering with Kingsolver and Algonquin.)

The novel is set in an institution for juveniles with disabilities, "where friendships are forged, trust is built, and love affairs begin, all despite an atmosphere of neglect and abuse. In this alliance the residents of ILLC ultimately find the strength to resist their mistreatment and fight back."

Barbara Kingsolver, founder of the Bellwether Prize, commented, "The characters in Good Kings Bad Kings made me laugh, over and over again, and cry and cheer. This is fiction at its best. The story's sharp eye allows no one to take shelter, and it doesn't flinch; it is simply and breathtakingly honest. A stunning accomplishment."


Book Brahmin: Alice Currah

Alice Currah is a food blogger and photographer at Savory Sweet Life. She's also a columnist and web series host for PBS Parents and was named by as one of "Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers." She loves to share food, photos and stories from her family kitchen, and is the author/photographer of Savory Sweet Life: 100 Simply Delicious Recipes for Every Family Occasion, just published by Morrow. Currah loves a perfectly poured latte and lives in Seattle with her husband and three children.

On your nightstand now:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I love reading what my daughters are reading; it helps me feel connected to them through their interests. After we saw the movie, I borrowed my daughter's copy. It's been fun to hear their thoughts on the book.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. These were the first two books I remember reading all by myself in the third grade, and I loved them both. My daughters have read both books, and it was fun to review each chapter with them. I experienced the wonder of both books again, this time vicariously through my children.

Your top five authors:

C.S. Lewis, Anne Lamott, Beth Moore, Maya Angelou and Roald Dahl.

Book you've faked reading:

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Shortly after this book was released in the summer of 2003, I joined a carpool with three other women I'd never met before to a weekend retreat. One of the passengers in the car was Penny Carothers, the "Penny" from Miller's book. As this information was being shared in casual conversation, I pretended that I'd read the book and knew what she was talking about since the book was very popular at the time among my friends.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. As a parent of three young kids, this book helped me to understand that my children are unique and require different ways for me to express love in order for them to feel loved. All parents should own a copy.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw. What can I say? I love beautiful food photography and baking, especially cakes.

Book that changed your life:

The Bible.

Favorite line from a book:

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." --Francis Chan, Crazy Love

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

The Shack by William P. Young. The beginning of this book was so terribly heartbreaking and gut-wrenching that I didn't know if I could continue reading it. As I followed Mac's supernatural journey to let go of his pain, I realized the power of redemption was a gift of grace in even the worse of circumstances. It's a powerful reminder that beauty can rise from ashes. I'm waiting until this summer to read it again.

Most influential cookbook:

The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This was the first and only cookbook my husband every purchased for me. He wanted to encourage me in my passion for baking delicious, beautiful, and creative cakes. With the help and guidance of this book, I opened a wedding cake business. I own two copies.


Book Review

Review: The Red House

The Red House by Mark Haddon (Doubleday, $25.95 hardcover, 9780385535779, June 19, 2012)

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Spot of Bother, Mark Haddon treated readers to absolutely original stories of people trying to make their way through the murk of life, illuminated by insight and humor. The Red House introduces us to Angela and Richard, a brother and sister who have not spent any time together for 15 years, until they reunite at the funeral of their mother; perfunctory greetings are exchanged, and that seems to be that. The following week, however, Richard calls Angela to invite her and her husband Dominic and their three children--Alex (17), Daisy (16) and Benjy (8)--to a big house in Wales for a week-long vacation. Despite misgivings, they agree, since they can't afford a vacation on their own. Dominic, the most feckless of men, is out of work--again--so why not take a trip?

Richard is a wealthy physician who has recently acquired a new wife, Louisa, and her wretched, quintessentially teenage daughter, Melissa. The stage is set for all the long-held resentments between and among the parties to come to the fore; there is no one else around to distract them from themselves, each other and their grievances. As it happens, in Haddon's hands, we learn all about these eight people in a way that renders most of them sympathetic.

We grieve with Angela, who is revisiting the death of her firstborn, a tragically deformed little girl, 18 years ago. Recently, she has been hallucinating about the child as a young woman and this has caused her to be even more distanced from her real life. By story's end, she is finally adjudged to be "needing help." With Dominic in charge, it is unlikely that she will get it; he is too busy wondering whether or not to break up with his girlfriend.

The four children all have a random sample of ordinary angst but two of them, Melissa and Daisy, are up to some extraordinary things that come to a head in Wales. Young Benjy is full of monsters and super-heroes and afraid of, or worried about, everything while Alex is rather predictably taken up with a young man's lust for Melissa. In the best manner of first-rate storytelling, as the slowly revelatory tale unfolds, Haddon lets readers in on the fact that no one is quite what he or she seems to be. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: The neutral turf of a big house near the Welsh border brings together eight disparate members of an extended and blended family, with all their secrets and longings.


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