Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 30, 2012


Forge: Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

imon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Becoming Rbg: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner

St. Martin's Press: Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris

Park Row: The Ventriloquists (Original) by E.R. Ramzipoor

Henry Holt & Company: Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "the Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman

Other Press: Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

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

News

Family Christian Stores Launches 'Edifi' E-Reader

Family Christian Stores, which has nearly 300 locations in the U.S., has introduced edifi, a full-color touch display e-reader that retails for $149.99 and offers a "suite of family-friendly features," including Safe Search wifi web browsing, the YouVersion Bible app and Christian Internet radio apps by K-LOVE and Air1.

PaidContent noted that "with religious e-book sales surging, the chain hopes that special religious features will entice shoppers to choose its device over others."
 


Amulet Books: Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas


Philip Jones New Editor of the Bookseller

Philip Jones has been promoted to editor of the Bookseller, the U.K. book trade magazine. Jones has been deputy editor of the magazine and editor of Futurebook, the Bookseller Group's digital blog.

Jones succeeds Neill Denny, who has been editor-in-chief since 2004 and will begin a column for the Bookseller on retail trends and continue to interview authors in his areas of interest, particularly history and economics.

Nigel Roby, managing director and owner of the Bookseller Group, commented: "What the Bookseller covers has changed dramatically. A few years ago it was a straightforward mix of news and features on companies and business models that had barely changed for 30 years. Now we report on companies that didn't even exist then and we do so through print, web and new media. Philip has been at the heart of how we have changed our own business, while also being a recognised authority on the revolution in the book trade."


One ELM Books: Trevor Lee and the Big Uh Oh! by Wiley Blevins, illustrated by Marta Kissi


Bizarro Bookstore News

A sign that it's a slow summer news day...

WTSP/10 News profiled, so to speak, Paul Winer, the owner of Reader's Oasis Bookstore, a used bookstore in Quartzsite, Ariz. Winer is a nudist and while working, wears, at most, a hat and tiny thong.

Winer, 68, said he has been a nudist his entire life because "my skin was hypersensitive and everything I put on I can feel all day. It's like being in a costume, you're so aware of it."

As "Sweet Pie," Winer played piano nude for decades around the country. In Quartzsite, Winer has a tamer gig: during the winter, he puts on "Boogie Woogie and Blues" shows--while dressed.

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Ironic theft: University of Louisville Police arrested Terry J. Davis last week after Terry allegedly stole a copy of Resolving Ethical Issues from the University's Health Sciences Center and then tried to sell the textbook to Gray's College Bookstore, the Courier-Journal reported.

Surveillance cameras reportedly recorded both the theft and the attempt to sell the book.


Ecco Press: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha


East View Map Link Offers Roadmap to Map Sales

Map Link is a name that seemed to have dropped off the map. The longtime map supplier to bookstores and other accounts went bankrupt and shut down in 2011. But now it's back. Called East View Map Link, it has a new owner that is rebuilding the company and aims to reinvigorate the sale of maps through bookstores. And it's doing so with important resources behind it: East View Map Link is part of East View Information Services, an international company that has specialized in making a range of "hard-to-get" material, including maps, available around the world. East View Map Link's headquarters is in Minneapolis, Minn., its main warehouse is in nearby Plymouth and publisher-suppliers include DeLorme, Michelin Maps, National Geographic Maps and Rand McNally.

Printed maps in bookstores may sound counterintuitive in an age with GPS and digital map displays on smartphones. But not to Pat Carrier, a consultant to East View Map Link and longtime owner of the Globe Corner Bookstore, which closed its bricks-and-mortar store in Cambridge, Mass., last year and has become part of Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass. (Shelf Awareness, April 26, 2012).

"In general, while it's true that the unit sales of the traditional paper U.S. road map and to some extent road atlases have diminished, the sales of other types of printed maps have been steady or scaling upwards," he said. In part, the "ubiquity of maps has increased awareness among the general public about the value of reliable mapping data and made a large swath of the public very comfortable using maps."

Among the printed map categories that are growing, Carrier said, are "international travel maps, including city plans, regional maps and country, maps" since many Americans don't use smartphone navigation abroad (partly because it can be expensive) and feel more comfortable with a printed map in foreign territory, as well as outdoor recreation maps, "a sector where only the foolish rely solely on a digital device for navigation." At the same time, advances in technology have made specialty map production financially more attractive.

East View Map Link aims to bring map buying opportunities to booksellers, who, Carrier said, want "a one-stop map supplier" with predictable terms and free freight because they usually don't have the resources to deal with many map makers and often don't have staff with necessary knowledge of the best maps available. Most stores see maps as "information and research, part of the store's mission." Many also recognize that there are new opportunities in part because the late Borders was a major map seller.

East View Map Link is now offering independent bookstores free freight with low minimums and special stock offers with varying map sizes and destinations. Because many booksellers want to sell the best in specific categories, Map Link is supplying assortments. For example, booksellers might want to know "which is the right London map," as Carrier put it. And many children's booksellers are interested in assortments geared to elementary school-aged children.

Since the old rack jobber industry collapsed, East View Map Link has also developed a local map stocking program. "We think it will be an engine for booksellers to be comfortable taking special orders," Carrier said.

Education continues to be a key part of the East View Map Link program. As managing director Christopher Group put it: "Selling maps doesn't need to be as difficult as some booksellers make it out to be." Among the efforts: in October, the New England Independent Booksellers Association is holding a panel at its fall conference in Providence, R.I., called Selling Wall Maps and Folded Travel Maps. Plan to see more such panels on the map in the next year.


NCIBA & SCIBA: Holiday Catalog


Notes

Image of the Day: Congressman Finds Find Waldo

One of the many partners in the Find Waldo Local program sponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, Conn., found an unusual participant: its local congressman. After learning about the program from a customer of the store whose children participated, Rep. Jim Himes visited Books on the Common and several other stores and talked about the programs and issues facing small businesses. Books on the Common co-owner Ellen Burns made a point of urging Himes to push the Internet Tax Fairness Act "to help level the playing field for us bricks-and-mortar businesses." From l.: Congressman Jim Himes; Burns; and Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

 


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby


Bartending, Booktending: The Many Roles of a Bookseller

From a delightful, thoughtful post on the Rumpus called "Bartending, Booktending: Three Years at Red Hill Books," in which Michael Berger looks back on his three years working at the San Francisco bookstore.

"Under most circumstances it would be considered rude to eavesdrop, a rent in the fabric of urban etiquette in which strangers remain strangers. But in a bookstore, the books themselves become interlocutors. So does the bookseller, who becomes a hub of all possible inter-stranger conversations because he or she is the one person who people talk to first. The bookseller is a stranger you're encouraged to talk to; then other people can overhear what you're talking about and are invited to join in. In some sense, the bookseller can orchestrate an unlimited amount of enriching encounters between strangers and between strangers and herself. The purpose is to create camaraderie, which is conducive to good business and good citizenship. And it makes the hours more pleasant which is good for everyone….

"[One] time, quite miraculously, it turned out that three people in the store who did not know each other at all had all lived at one time in Newton, Massachusetts. This brought them together round my counter in a swirl of laughter, awe and reminiscences. Street names and markets and museums I had no clue about were savored. They all ended up buying something too."


'Shirts & Totes': Skylight's Well-Dressed Video

Check out the "Shirts & Totes" video from Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Calif.: "Our lovely staff members have designed and printed shirts and totes and (while supplies last) some totes and shirts as well!"
 


'Books by the Kilo' at Madrid Bookstore

La Casqueria, a used bookseller in Madrid, Spain, sells all of its stock for €10 (US$12.28) per kilogram. The Digital Reader called the strategy  "a new exploration into how a book is valued. La Casqueria is choosing to sell books by weight because they see it as a good approximation of the cost to produce the physical book itself.... As for the content contained in the books, they're choosing not to assign a value to the art involved. Instead they're treating the work as priceless."

Wondering if the approach has been influenced by e-books, the Digital Reader expressed doubt that it "would work for a regular bookseller or a publisher, but when you consider the vast amount of new books  that are pulped and remaindered rather than sold, I'm not sure this approach is worse."

photo: Sandra Ramírez/dpa/elpais.com


Book Trailer of the Day: Cascade

Cascade: A Novel by Maryanne O'Hara (Viking), a video that the author created with the help of her brother, Michael Bavaro, a filmmaker who has been nominated for several Emmys.

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Danielle Steele and Joan Rivers on the View

Today on CBS's the Talk: Kendra Wilkinson, author of Being Kendra: Cribs, Cocktails, and Getting My Sexy Back (It Books, $14.99, 9780062091192).

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Today on the View: Danielle Steele, author of Betrayal (Delacorte, $28, 9780385343190).

Also on the View: Joan Rivers, author of I Hate Everyone...Starting with Me (Berkley, $25.95, 9780425248300). She will appear tonight on the Colbert Report, too.

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Tomorrow on ABC Family's 700 Club: Squire Rushnell, author of Divine Alignment (Howard, $19.99, 9781451648560).

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Tomorrow on the View: D. L. Hughley, co-author of I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America (Crown Archetype, $25, 9780307986238).

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Tomorrow on Current's War Room with Jennifer Granholm: Neil Barofsky, author of Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street (Free Press, $26, 9781451684933). He will also appear on Talk Radio Network's Laura Ingraham Show and WABC's John Batchelor Show.

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Tomorrow on a repeat of Tavis Smiley: Joseph Stiglitz, author of The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Norton, $27.95, 9780393088694).

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Tomorrow on Fox's Lou Dobbs Tonight: Tom Fitton, author of The Corruption Chronicles: Obama's Big Secrecy, Big Corruption, and Big Government (Threshold, $26.99, 9781451677874).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Dambisa Moyo, author of Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (Basic, $26.99, 9780465028283).

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Tomorrow night on a repeat of the Late Show with David Letterman: Jimmie Walker, author of Dynomite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times (Da Capo, $25, 9780306820830).


Cloud Atlas: Extended Trailer a Big Draw for Book Sales

"And, boy, what a trailer," exclaimed Indiewire as it showcased a six-minute trailer for Cloud Atlas, the adaptation of David Mitchell's novel by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski. The film, which will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Bae Doona, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, James D'Arcy and Hugo Weaving. The movie will be released here October 26.

"As big fans of the book, we've wondered for some time if the filmmakers would be able to come anywhere close to its material, but we have to confess that this is pretty stunning, for the most part," Indiewire noted. "The production values look incredibly high, the scope and ambition and variety is like nothing else we've seen in a long time, and the cast, aided by some excellent make-up, look to be rising to the occasion."

In addition to the trailer, 20 new images from the movie, as well as a "motion poster," have been released, "giving us a closer look at many of the cast members in their various multiple roles," Indiewire wrote.  

The trailer has proved a powerful draw already. Its posting on Apple's iTunes trailer page dramatically boosted sales of the novel, the Wall Street Journal wrote. Within a day, the title jumped to the top 10 on Amazon.com, where it remains. As a result, Random House has ordered a new printing of 25,000 copies for the tie-in edition of Cloud Atlas that will be released in September.
 



Books & Authors

Awards: RITA Winners

The winners of 2012 RITA Awards, sponsored by the Romance Writers of America, are:

Best First Book: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Contemporary Series Romance: Doukakis's Apprentice by Sarah Morgan
Contemporary Series Romance, Suspense/Adventure: Soldier's Last Stand by Cindy Dees
Contemporary Single Title Romance: Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe
Historical Romance: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
Inspirational Romance: The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal
Paranormal Romance: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Regency Historical Romance: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Romance Novella: I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden
Romantic Suspense: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
Young Adult Romance: Enclave by Ann Aguirre


Book Review

Review: Münster's Case

Münster's Case: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery by Hakan Nesser, trans. by Laurie Thompson (Pantheon, $25.95 hardcover, 9780307906861, August 2012)

Münster's Case is billed as an Inspector Van Veteren mystery, but we see very little of Maardam's veteran Chief Inspector until near the end of the story (although his presence is felt). Instead, Hakan Nesser turns the investigation over to Van Veteren's colleague, Intendent Münster, along with a large crew of lesser inspectors, some of whom serve only to muddy the waters.

Four retirees are informed they've won a 20,000-guilder lottery--not a fortune, but worth celebrating. They get gloriously drunk at their favorite bar, two of them argue and everyone goes home. At around 2 a.m., Waldemar Leverkuhn is brutally murdered, stabbed 28 times. It subsequently develops that another member of the quartet, Bogner, disappeared that night. Are the two events connected?

Much of the first part of the novel is concerned with the investigators trying to figure out not only who killed Leverkuhn but whether they should also be looking for Bogner's body. The detectives visit his houseboat several times but never find him, leading them to believe he met with foul play on the way back. Bogner and Leverkuhn are the two who had argued, giving credence to the possibility the dispute continued outside the bar and culminated in Leverkuhn's death.

Marie-Louise, Leverkuhn's wife, came home late to find her husband in a veritable bloodbath; she says she ran out to go to the police station nearby, discovered it closed, then came back home to call the police. Those are the barest bones of a story that turns out to be much more detailed, convoluted and unexpected than it first appears. The Leverkuhns' apartment caretaker, Else Van Eck, also disappears suddenly: Is it connected to the murder? Interviews with the three grown Leverkuhn children also deepen the mystery.

Just when the reader thinks that the story is all sorted out, an unexpected snapper at the end makes one realize there were early clues to the outcome all along.

A few caveats: Sometimes, Laurie Thompson's translation of Nesser's Swedish feels clumsy: statements which seem meant to be idiomatic read as clichés; the same speculations are made by too many people; internal monologues are too truncated to make sense .--Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: Hakan Nesser returns to the Scandinavian dark and gloom, with a new lead investigator in a murder case where the unexpected trumps the ordinary.


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