Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simon & Schuster: Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era by Jerry Mitchell

Sfi Readerlink Dist: Sesame Street: The Monster at the End of This Book: An Interactive Adventure by Jon Stone, adapted by Autumn B Heath

Minotaur Books: The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

Tor Books: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

DK: Free Pack of The Wonders of Nature Wrapping Paper - Click to Sign Up!


B&N Pin Pad Problem: List of Stores Affected

Barnes & Noble, which acknowledged yesterday that hackers had stolen data from pin pad devices in 63 of its stores in September, released a list of the stores along with advice for customers about what to do. See it all here (no pin required).


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

Kindles Arrive at Waterstones--Along with Many Questions

In an advertising campaign that may sound like an editorial comment, British book chain Waterstones is promoting Amazon Kindle devices, which will be sold in stores beginning today, the Bookseller reported. The POS promo is: "There are two sides to every story. With books and now Kindle you can enjoy both at Waterstones. Expect a new Kindle experience at Waterstones from late October. Ask a bookseller for details."

Waterstones has also launched a TV ad campaign for the Kindle Fire in which it echoes Amazon ad copy in the U.S.: "We're the re-inventors of normal. So, when we bring you the new Kindle Fire HD, you should know that normal is going to change... again."

In an interview with the BBC, Waterstones' managing director James Daunt sought to explain the Waterstones-Amazon deal but perhaps raised more questions than he answered. Concerning the criticism that Kindle owners will learn about books at Waterstones but then buy them at home with no cut for Waterstones, he said: "All that we have to do is encourage people to come into our shops and to choose the books. I don't frankly care how they then consume then, or read them, or indeed buy them. But if you spend time in my shops, and you really enjoy it, and you come back more often and spend longer--you're going to spend money in my shops."

As to how Waterstones makes money from the Kindle deal, Daunt said, "I certainly won't tell you what I'm going to make with Amazon, but what I will freely admit is that we have a commercial business here, and we make sensible commercial decisions. I have, rather flippantly, also said: 'Do I look like a total moron? Because what you're describing is the behaviour of a total moron.' I may be many things, but I don't think I'm that."


KidsBuzz for the Week of 10.14.19

ABFFE Children's Art Auction Set for Late November

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will hold a week-long online auction of original children's art on November 27. The auction, an online version of the children's art auction held at BookExpo America that had originally been scheduled for Banned Books Week, will benefit the ABFFE's defense of the free speech rights of kids.

"The auction will give people around the country a chance to support free speech by purchasing wonderful holiday gifts," ABFFE president Chris Finan commented.

ABFFE is continuing to accept donations of artwork for the auction.


GLOW: St. Martin's Press: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Bookstore Tribute: Browse, Shop and Get Married

Poet Albert Goldbarth tied the knot at Watermark Books in Wichita, Kan., with proprietor Sarah Bagby officiating at the ceremony. Novelist Angela Davis-Gardner credits Nancy Olson, the owner of Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, N.C., with saving her career. Fannie Flagg was accidentally locked in a broom closet at Page & Palette in Fairhope, Ala., minutes before her signing was set to start. Short story writer and columnist Jack Pendarvis is addicted to visiting Square Books in Oxford, Miss. "If I miss a day I start feeling shaky," he admits.

These scribes and more than 75 others contributed to My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop (Black Dog & Leventhal, $23.95, 9781579129101), which is being published November 13. Publishing industry veteran Ronald Rice, who edited the book, worked with booksellers across the country to recruit authors to share their stories about where they shop and why. Ranging from hilarious to heartwarming, the essays are "a real celebration of bookstores," Rice said.

Staffers at Black Dog & Leventhal came up with the idea for My Bookstore after reading Richard Russo's December 2011 New York Times op-ed, "Amazon's Jungle Logic," in which he took the retail giant to task for encouraging customers to use its price-check app in stores and then buy online. Russo penned the introduction to the collection and Emily St. John Mandel an afterword. Contributing authors were given free rein to write whatever they wanted "as long as it was an ode to the brick and mortar store," said Rice. Although most opted for prose, Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket's alter ego, and his wife, illustrator Lisa Brown, created a visual homage to San Francisco's Booksmith in comic strip form. Picture book author Nancy Shaw composed a rhyme in which the sheep that appear in her tales discover personalized service at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Mich.

My Bookstore is receiving the royal treatment at the Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, where owner Jake Reiss is constructing a permanent standing display for the tome in the center of the store. A seven-foot lighted sign in the parking lot is currently promoting a November 14 appearance by Rick Bragg, who wrote about the retailer in My Bookstore. After the event, the sign will be swapped out for a permanent one touting the essay collection.

Reiss plans to make My Bookstore a top hand-selling priority at the Alabama Booksmith. "It's not only chock full of brilliant prose, humor, and real life that all readers will identify with, it's a constant ad for indie booksellers," he remarked. When asked to participate in the project, he immediately thought of Bragg, who has a longstanding history with the store, to immortalize it in print. He was reluctant to approach the author, who was on deadline wrapping up a manuscript, but when Bragg found out about the idea he enthusiastically took on the task.

Along with noting that the Alabama Booksmith does not have a resident feline, a plus in his view, Bragg acknowledges he is honored to have his titles on the shelves there. He credits Reiss, who traded a highly successful tailoring business for bookselling, with "making good books and authors available to people who love to read" and for finding "a way to make the old-fashioned notion of it all, of books on paper, pay the light bill and a damn sight more."

In honor of My Bookstore's publication, Black Dog & Leventhal has established three $2,500 scholarships for booksellers to attend the ABA's Winter Institute 8, funded in part by the book's contributors. Contest entrants were asked to share "Why My Bookstore Matters" in written form, video or audio. Winners will be announced the week of November 12, as My Bookstore is fêted from coast to coast. Along with Bragg's event at the Alabama Booksmith, more than 40 other soirées are taking place from Seattle and St. Louis to Mystic and Miami.

In a tribute to Village Books in Bellingham, Wash., Tom Robbins likens bookshops to temples, shrines and cathedrals, while children's author Jeanne Birdsall sums up her feelings for her "personal bookstore" in Northampton, Mass., this way: "Thank you, Broadside Bookshop, for being my very own. Here's to books, forever and always. Amen." --Shannon McKenna Schmidt


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Firewatching by Russ Thomas


Image of the Day: Bookstore Hits $250K in Benefit Donations

On Sunday, Point Reyes Books, Point Reyes Station, Calif., hosted an event for Robert Reich, author of Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix Them (Vintage) as a benefit for West Marin Community Services. Including $5,000 from the Reich event, during the past 10 years, Port Reyes Books has now raised $250,000 at such author events for local nonprofit organizations and projects. Here is Reich, flanked by bookstore owners Kate Levinson and Steve Costa.


Arcadia Publishing: Stock Your Shelves!

Cool Idea of the Day: Library's 'Idea Box'

The glass-enclosed Idea Box at Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, Ill., invites visitors to "explore, learn, and play." The space, which had previously been a cafe and coffee shop, became the Idea Box after library staff and leadership "thought hard about what they could put in that space that would engage the community and create something new," Boing Boing reported.

"It has been really exciting to be in a place where the creative experience inside is always changing," said customer service manager Monica Harris.

Grove Press, Black Cat: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Midpoint Distributing Bunker Hill Publishing

Midpoint Trade Books has begun distributing Bunker Hill Publishing, Piermont, N.H., which was founded in 2002 by Carole and Ib Bellew and specializes in educational adult and children's books published in collaboration with museums and international research organizations, including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History, the Library of Congress and the National Air & Space Museum.

Fall titles from Bunker Hill include The White-Footed Mouse, a children's picture book from NPR commentator Willem Lange, and The Swordfish Hunters, professor and museum curator Bruce Bourque's exploration of Maine's prehistoric swordfish-hunting tribe.

Notable backlist titles include Bones, Brains, and DNA and Brain: A 21st-Century Look at a 400-Million-Year-Old Organ, educational titles that evolved from a 2007 partnership with the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins in the American Museum of Natural History, and The Cherry Blossom Festival--published with the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.--which was reissued last year in a 100th-anniversary special edition.

Bunker Hill Publishing has been distributed by National Book Network.

Berkley Books: Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Nate Silver on Real Time with Bill Maher

Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Eben Alexander, author of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife (Simon & Schuster, $15.99, 9781451695199). He will also appear on CNN's Newsroom.


Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Carlos Andres Gomez, author of Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood (Gotham, $26, 9781592407781).


Tomorrow on ABC's the Chew: Stacy London, author of The Truth About Style (Viking, $32.95, 9780670026234).


Tomorrow night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204098)

Also on Real Time with Bill Maher: Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--But Some Don't (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204111).

Movie Trailer: Safe Haven

Noting that "it seems every year or so we get another Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation," Indiewire featured a trailer for Safe Haven, which opens February 8.

This Weekend on Book TV: Texas Book Festival

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, October 27
10 a.m. Eric Greitens discusses his book The Warrior's Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $16.99, 9780547868523). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:45 p.m.)

11 a.m. Book TV offers live coverage of the Texas Book Festival from the Capitol grounds in Austin, Tex. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

7 p.m. Book TV features coverage of the Fall for the Book Mason Award Presentation and Lecture, with Neil Gaiman delivering the Mason Award lecture and answering questions from the festival audience.

8:30 p.m. Ann Coulter presents her book Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama (Sentinel, $26.95, 9781595230997). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. James Hershberg interviews David Coleman, author of The Fourteenth Day: JFK and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Norton, $25.95, 9780393084412). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

11 p.m. William Cooper talks about his book We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 (Knopf, $30, 9781400042005). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m.)

Sunday, October 28
7 a.m. Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor discuss their book Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It (Basic Books, $28.99, 9780465029969). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

12 p.m. Book TV's live coverage of the Texas Book Festival continues. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

7:45 p.m. Joan Walsh presents her book What's the Matter with White People?: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was (Wiley, $25.95, 9781118141069).

11:30 p.m. Bassam Haddad talks about his book Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, $24.95, 9780804785068).

Books & Authors

Awards: Asia Society Schwartz Winner

Water: Asia's New Battleground by Brahma Chellaney (Georgetown University Press) has won the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award, which recognizes "nonfiction books for their outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations, as well as potential policy impacts relating to the region."

The award carries a $20,000 prize; Dr. Chellaney will be honored at the Asia Society's headquarters in New York City on January 23.

Two honorable mentions (with $2,000 prizes each) were:

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley (PublicAffairs)

Jury co-chair Tommy T. B. Koh, Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large, commented on the winner: "This timely, comprehensive, and forward-looking book makes the compelling case that water will likely emerge as one of Asia's biggest security challenges in the 21st century. The equitable and sustainable management of Asia's great river systems should be a priority on the global agenda."

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:

The Lighthouse Road: A Novel by Peter Geye (Unbridled Books, $24.95, 9781609530846). "The hurts and burdens of the past as well as the cold and unforgiving North Country conspire against the happiness of the beautifully drawn characters in Geye's latest novel. Even on a journey to a new town in a specially crafted boat, Rebekah and Odd cannot escape the past. People are not always what they seem to be in this story, and outcomes cannot be predicted. A compelling read from an author of great skill and versatility." --Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.

How I Came to Sparkle Again: A Novel by Kaya McLaren (St. Martin's Press, $24.99, 9781250013873). "As she did in On the Divinity of Second Chances, McLaren uses the seemingly rarified setting of a mountain town to explore universal questions about family, love, and true happiness. McLaren's trio of lovable protagonists are all at important crossroads in their lives, and she weaves the stories of Jill, Lisa, and Cassie together as each finds meaningful ways to love authentically, create family, and discover what growing up truly means. This is a feel-good, fun read populated with colorful characters and filled with the sense of possibility." --Libby Cowles, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo.

Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia by Kate Whouley (Beacon Press, $16, 9780807003312). "Kate Whouley recounts her mother's journey into Alzheimer's with heart-wrenching honesty and heart-warming compassion. The book explores the complex relationship of mother and child, the nature of friendship, and the world of aging and dementia. Ultimately, it is about what it means to be a caring human being. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It touched me deeply. I loved this book." --Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.

For Teen Readers
Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh (Hyperion, $16.99, 9781423135005). "Combine a teenage dwarf, intricate 16th century historical detail that feels almost magical, court intrigue, astrology, and the debate surrounding fate versus free will, and you've got a stellar book. The story follows Jepp from his humble boyhood home to a palace where he's the plaything of royalty, and then to an isolated island dominated by a brilliant and eccentric astronomer. The characters are all vividly drawn, and the wonderful writing pulls you in." --Deborah Johnson, Barstons Child's Play, Washington, D.C.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Astray

Astray by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown, $25.99 hardcover, 9780316206297, October 30, 2012)

Emma Donoghue's Astray is a collection of 14 short stories inspired by events and personages of the past, the majority of which are drawn from the 1800s. Fans of her previous novel Room will recognize the same imaginative flexibility and ventriloquism in Astray, only multiplied and lightly patinated. As befits their period, the fictionalized accounts have a stereoscopic, peering perspective, yet they do not read as stiff or fixed. Donoghue's close focus on her characters' yearnings and her respect for pivotal consequences transcend old-timey reenactment. She also avoids research-larding in spite of what appears to be a deep fluency with matters as arcane as Yukon gold miner libations (hootchinoo, anyone?) and the laws concerning body-snatching in 19th-century Illinois. At the end of each story, Donoghue appends a précis that makes clear what she borrowed and what she invented.

Conjuring period slang and attitudes to animate characters as diverse as a 1630s Puritan snitch and a 1960s retired Ontario sculptress is a tough exercise, but apart from one story set in 1870s Arizona about a husband-wrangler that sounds a bit too much like a 1940s western, Donoghue's interior monologues and verbal exchanges enhance the immersive effect. The first story is an imagined transcription of Jumbo's London trainer coaxing the famous elephant through some hard transitions; it's as tender a bro-pachymance as you'll find in words. Many of the stories reveal the moral ambiguities of survival and reinvention; others remind the reader of how precarious travel and communication were in pre-digital times.

Though the stories are arranged under thematic headings ("Departures," "In Transit," "Arrivals and Aftermaths"), Astray is a refreshing break from the trend of linked collections; each story is entirely discrete, and strong enough to be read in isolation--which is recommended because their peculiarity and particularity supersede their groupings. Also, the collection's chronological hopscotching can be disorienting if read as ordered (the "Arrivals and Aftermaths" sequence yanks the reader from 1630s Cape Cod to 1830s Louisiana, then back to Revolutionary-era New Jersey). More helpful than the thematic headings is Donoghue's substantial and elegant afterword, in which she explains her approach to the material, including a clue as to why the stories are all so satisfying and self-sufficient: they were composed over a span of 15 years, or the writerly equivalent of a stagecoach pace. --Holloway McCandless

Shelf Talker: A pithy collection of short stories from the author of Room, inspired by unusual real-world events from the past.


KidsBuzz: Bloomsbury Children's Books:  Spies, Lies, and Disguise: The Daring Tricks and Deeds That Won World War II by Jennifer Swanson, illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
KidsBuzz: Bloomsbury Children's Books: More Than a Princess by E.D. Baker
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