Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Zest Books:Hack Your Cupboard: Make Great Food with What You've Got by Alyssa Wiegand and Carla Carreon

Workman Publishing: Real Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation (Second Edition, Revised) by Sharon Salzberg

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Jim Rugg

Clarion Books: The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story by Kate Milford

Harper: Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

Currency: Girl Decoded: A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology by Rana El Kaliouby and Carol Colman

News

Porter Square Books for Sale

With most of its owners of retirement age and the business "healthy and vibrant," Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., has put itself up for sale.

"We've really been able to establish Porter Square Books as a vital community institution," store president Carol Stoltz said. "We have embraced e-books, author events, sidelines and even a cafe--all things a successful book store needs to have in the 21st century."

The 4,500-square-foot store is, Stoltz said, "in excellent condition, with ample shelf space and wide, easily navigated aisles." In addition, Porter Square has become a popular area, with many new stores and plenty of parking.

Besides Stoltz, who heads the children's department, Porter Square Books owners include manager Dale Szczeblowski, personnel manager Jane Dawson and buyer Jane Jacobs. The store was founded in 2004, when some of the staff at the Concord Bookshop, Concord, Mass., left and set up shop in Cambridge.

Paul Siegenthaler of Ridge Hill Partners, a boutique merger and acquisition intermediary firm, is representing Porter Square Books. Siegenthaler was the broker for the sales of Harvard Book Store, Wellesley Booksmith and New England Mobile Book Fair. He may be reached at paul@ridgehillpartners.com or 781-453-9984.


Soho Press: The Seep by Chana Porter


American West Books, Familius Merge

American West Books, Sanger, Calif., is merging with Familius, Salt Lake City, Utah. Under the partnership, Christopher Robbins, who was longtime head of Gibbs Smith and founded publishing house Familius a year ago, will move to Sanger and become CEO of American West Books, joining company founder and president Josh Mettee. Robbins will be responsible for company operations and help with book distribution strategy.

American West Books sells titles to Costco, Sam's Club, Whole Foods and other retailers. The company will work with Familius to create proprietary products for its retail partners. Mettee commented: "It's an obvious opportunity to expand our business beyond distribution into unique book and gift products for our partners. After 19 years we have a good idea of what sells and we'd like to leverage that knowledge."

Familius, which has a family focus, will publish approximately 40 new print titles annually and will continue to expand its digital-only products, including e-books, videos and apps. Robbins praised American West Books' "unique competitive advantages, particularly matching key titles with key demographics. Josh has established a strong company with strong industry relationships, and I'm eager to play a role in helping AWB achieve greater success."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Providence by Max Barry


U.K. Stores Experiment with Exclusive, Enhanced P-Books

Several U.K. booksellers are experimenting with titles that include exclusive extra material that in one case is intended to be enough to persuade the author's fans "to shun Amazon and other web retailers in favour of a trip to the High Street," the Independent wrote.

That book is Peaches for Monsieur le Curé by Joanne Harris, a followup to Chocolat, which Waterstones is selling with an extra chapter that can be considered either the epilogue or as "the prologue to an as-yet-unwritten story," Harris said. Waterstones is the only retailer selling the extended version of the book.

Among other examples, Foyles recently sold copies of Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith with "a small booklet containing an extra short story by the author."

Bookseller features editor Tom Tivnan told the Independent that because readers discover more books in bookstores and libraries than online, "authors and publishers really want to keep bookshops and libraries open," and thus are amenable to such promotions.


BINC - Double Your Impact


Amazon Smartphone Release Pushed Back

Amazon has delayed the release of its long-awaited and oft-rumored smartphone, originally scheduled for the second quarter of 2013, Digitimes reports.

The delay stems from manufacturing challenges at Foxconn, where the phone is still undergoing its EVT, or engineering verification test, according to Digitimes' sources. Amazon had planned for the phone to go into mass production by Q2.


Novel to Screen Film Festival Opens in Limited Release in April

The National Book Foundation and the Pratt Institute have created the Novel to Screen Film Festival, in which three National Book Award-nominated books will be examined beside their respective film adaptations.

To be held April 4-5, the inaugural festival will feature Nabokov's Lolita alongside Stanley Kubrick's adaptation; Warren Miller's The Cool World and its adaptation by Shirley Clarke; and Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret paired with Martin Scorsese's adaptation, Hugo.

Lolita was nominated for the National Book Award in 1959 and made into a film by Kubrick in 1962. Nabokov wrote the adaptation’s screenplay, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Miller's The Cool World was nominated for an NBA in 1960, while the adaptation was released in 1964. Miller did not help write the screenplay, although he was involved in the book's adaptation for the stage. The Invention of Hugo Cabret was a National Book Award for Young People's Literature finalist in 2007. Scorsese's adaptation came out in 2011 and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won five.

The festival will run from April 4-5 at Pratt's Manhattan Campus. Lolita will be screened on the 4th, and Cool World and Hugo will be shown on the 5th. After each screening, a panel of scholars, writers, filmmakers, critics and actors will discuss the faithfulness of each respective adaptation.

Screenings and panel discussions are free and open to anyone, but space is limited. RSVP to tosyoung@nationalbook.org with the subject line "RSVP for Novel to Screen."


Obituary Note: Greg Willett

Greg Willett, senior trade book buyer at the University of British Columbia Bookstore, who had been with the store since 1977, died of colon cancer in Vancouver on February 5, Quill & Quire reports. He was 57.


Notes

Image of the Day: Bank Street Book Awards

R.J. Palacio (left) won the 2013 Josette Frank Award for her novel Wonder (Knopf) at the Bank Street Children's Book Committee Awards last Thursday, and Marilyn Singer (right) accepted the 2013 Claudia Lewis Award on behalf of J. Patrick Lewis, editor of the anthology National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry (National Geographic), in which Singer's poems appear. Doreen Rappaport, whose Beyond Courage (Candlewick) won the 2013 Flora Sieglitz Straus Award, was not present but recorded her remarks. All three speeches may be viewed here.


Happy 20th Birthday, Island Books!

Congratulations to Island Books, Middleton, R.I., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an open house this Thursday, March 14, 5-7 p.m. The store wrote, "We'll toast with champagne, we'll share cake and you'll get 20% off your purchases for the evening!"

Last year Island Books celebrated early by opening a second store, in nearby Newport.


Cool Idea of the Day: Morrow's In-House Book Club

Last week, Christina Baker Kline visited the William Morrow offices for a discussion of her new novel, Orphan Train, which appears April 2, and a slideshow about the orphan trains that inspired her story. (Starting in 1854, for 75 years the trains took orphans from the East Coast to the Midwest to be adopted by farm families.) The book was the second selection for Morrow's new in-house book club, which is doing one title a season--books by Morrow authors in the New York City area. Attendees included all of Morrow's publicity team as well as some sales, marketing and editorial staff. From l.: senior v-p and associate publisher Jen Hart; senior editor Kate Nintzel; Kline; associate director of marketing Molly Birckhead; and publicist Kaitlyn Kennedy.


Photo Tour: Bookstores in Barns

"What is it about barns that makes people want to fill them with books?" asked Mental Floss, which showcased "8 bookstores in barns" and noted that "you'd be surprised how many places call themselves book barns that aren't housed in barns at all. We found book barns in strip mall storefronts. We found book barns in sprawling one-story warehouses. We even found a book barn in a 19th-century funeral parlor in Kansas."


Media and Movies

Media Heat:

Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: John Sexton, co-author of Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game (Gotham, $27.50, 9781592407545).

Also on Morning Joe: Lanny J. Davis, author of Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping with Crises in Business, Politics, and Life (Threshold, $27, 9781451679281). He will also appear on Fox & Friends and CNBC's Kudlow Report.

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Michael Mosley, co-author of The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting (Atria, $24, 9781476734941).

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Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Mohsin Hamid, author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594487293).

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Tomorrow on the View: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, authors of A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries the Bible (FaithWords, $24.99, 9781455525584).

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Tomorrow night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Clive Davis, author of The Soundtrack of My Life (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476714783).


TV: Claire DeWitt

TNT is developing a drama based on Sara Gran's book series about Claire DeWitt, the tough female private investigator in post-Katrina New Orleans. The Hollywood Reporter noted that Gran will write and co-executive produce the hour-long script, with John Wells, Andrew Stearn and Christopher Chulack on board as executive producers. If a pilot is approved, Chulack will direct.



Books & Authors

Awards: Books for a Better Life Winners

The winners of the Books for a Better Life Awards, sponsored by the Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and honoring "self-improvement authors whose messages are aligned with the chapter's mission of inspiring people to live their best lives," are:

Childcare: The Circumcision Decision by Susan Terkel and Lorna Greenberg (Carrot Seed)
Cookbook: Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr (Hay House)
First Book: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (Free Press)
Green: The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan (Scribner)
Inspirational Memoir: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (Knopf)
Motivational: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (Gotham Books)
Psychology: Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon (Scribner)
Relationships: Happily Even After by Carole Brody Fleet (Viva)
Spiritual: Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo (Free Press)
Wellness: The Best Care Possible by Ira Byock (Avery)


GBO Picks Zoo Station

For its March Book of the Month, the German Book Office in New York has chosen Zoo Station (A Memoir): The Story of Christiane F. by Christiane F., translated by Christina Cartwright (Zest Books, $14.99, 9781936976225). The book was first published in Germany in 1979 and here in 1982 as Christiane F., which was the same title given in English-speaking countries for the popular film based on the book.
 
The GBO wrote: "This incredible autobiography of Christiane F. provides a vivid portrait of teen friendship, drug abuse, and alienation in and around Berlin's notorious Zoo Station. Christiane's rapid descent into heroin abuse and prostitution is shocking, but the boredom, longing for acceptance, thrilling risks, and musical obsessions that fill the rest of Christiane’s existence are familiar to everyone. Previously published in Germany and the U.S. to critical acclaim, Zest's new translation will also include original photographs of Christiane and her friends."

At the age of 12, Christiane F. first began taking drugs and experimented with stronger and stronger drugs until, by the time she was 14, she was a heroin junkie working as a prostitute to fund her habit.

Christina Cartwright is the coordinator of the German School at Middlebury College. Zoo Station is her first translation.


Book Review

Review: A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Viking, $28.95 hardcover, 9780670026630, March 12, 2013)

Ruth Ozeki takes readers on a journey of laughter, sorrow and enlightenment in A Tale for the Time Being. In this novel, those last two words mean something slightly different than they usually do, referring to "someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."

On a remote island in the North Pacific, a novelist named Ruth has left her beloved New York behind for the secluded life her husband, Oliver, prefers. The transition has left Ruth feeling adrift and even resentful toward Oliver. When Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed ashore, the items inside provide welcome distraction. Oliver contends they've stumbled onto debris from the catastrophic tsunami of 2011. Ruth isn't so sure, especially when she finds the diary of 16-year-old Naoko Yasutani. Within moments, Ruth is caught up by Nao's irreverent, charismatic voice and deep despair. Nao's plan for the diary is simple: after chronicling the amazing life of her centenarian great-grandmother--an anarchist, feminist, novelist and Buddhist nun--Nao will end her own life.

Although she frequently references her great-grandmother, Nao finds the diary so cathartic she writes her own story instead. Ruth reads about Nao's father, who lost his job in America (forcing the family to return penniless to Tokyo) and subsequently embarks on a series of failed suicide attempts. She learns about the merciless bullying Nao suffers from her classmates and even a faculty member at her school. As Nao's life grows ever more out of kilter, Ruth feels desperate somehow to save her, but since the diary is 10 years old, she is too late to help--unless she can harness her power as a time being.

Ambitious and engrossing, Nao's narrative will grab readers' hearts as easily as Ruth's. The similarities between Ruth and Ozeki (My Year of Meats) certainly give us reason to wonder how deeply the parallels run between creator and creation, setting the stage for her contemplation of the malleability of reality. Zen philosophy and quantum theory mingle with Japanese pop culture as all of Ozeki's characters converge to turn each other's worlds upside down, revealing surprising truths about their inner goodness as they bring each other exactly the healing touch each of them needs. Do not miss this beautiful, intricate world or the characters who inhabit it. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager at Latah County Library District and blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: A Zen Buddhist priest as well as a novelist, Ozeki weaves together the stories of a writer lost in life and a suicidal Japanese teenager who must reach across years to save each other.


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