Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 22, 2013

Little Brown and Company: Nick by Michael Farris Smith

Simon Pulse: Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

Berkley Books: Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Pubeasy vs. Pubnet: Which is Right for You?

Flatiron Books: The Survivors by Jane Harper

Candlewick Press: The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World by Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts

Disney-Hyperion: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Quotation of the Day

Advice for Bookstore Customers: 'Open Your Eyes!'

If you could give people one piece of advice to prep them for entering a bookstore, what would it be?

"Any bookstore, or mine? OK. Two answers:

"1. Any bookstore: The person behind that counter/shelving that book/cleaning that cat box is a human being with feelings. So is everyone in service. It takes less effort to keep your mouth shut than to say something mean and unnecessary. 'No thanks, I'll just get it on Amazon.' is on the top of this list of crappy, unnecessary things to say. I don't come into your house and explain how I'm going to take food out of your child's mouth, do I?

"2. My bookstore: Open your eyes! Don't just look at the size of the shop and say, 'They don't have anything.' (See 1.) People who give us a shot realize that it's a browser's paradise of colorfully showcased books that are carefully selected to satisfy and delight! The store says 'I love you! I picked these out just for you!' "

--Kelly Justice, owner of the Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., in an interview with the blog a girl named Sue.

Ace Books: The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec


Nielsen Acquires Pair of Bowker's Book Data Services

Nielsen is acquiring R.R. Bowker's Business Intelligence and Commerce Solutions products, which will be integrated into Nielsen's book companies upon completion of the deal. With the acquisition, Nielsen said it will be able to measure the impact of e-book sales in the U.S. and U.K. and provide insights and trends around the volume and value of book sales by various demographic criteria. In addition, a B2B service will enable retailers to source and order books throughout the English-language book market.

Nielsen Book currently includes BookData, BookNet, Registration Agencies and BookScan. Bowker products that will soon be added include:

  • Business Intelligence: PubTrack Digital, PubTrack Christian, PubTrack Higher-Ed and Bowker Market Research Books & Consumers, Global Ebook Monitor and custom research
  • Commerce Solutions: PubEasy and Pubnet

"We are committed to elevating the global book industry's understanding of print and digital book measurement and discovery within an evolving media landscape," said Jonathan Nowell, president, books, Nielsen. "Bowker has developed first-rate book analytic solutions, which offer a great complement to Nielsen's existing solutions for the book industry."

Kurt Sanford, CEO of Bowker's parent company, ProQuest, said the goal is to "develop solutions that streamline the workflow of our customers. By bringing together Nielsen and Bowker analytic services, book publishers will receive the critical data they require to navigate the transition to digital-first publishing, through one tool set from one source, significantly simplifying the collection of business intelligence."

While Bowker will continue to provide ISBNs in the U.S. and "focus on facilitating and enhancing book discovery through technology solutions," the company also plans to invest in its self-publishing services business. A spokesperson told Digital Book Wire: "That's a growing business. We'll have a new self-publishing report in the fall."

Beach Lane Books: The Farmer and the Monkey by Marla Frazee

Astoria Bookshop Opens

"It's opening day at the Bookshop!" Lexi Beach and Connie Rourke, co-owners of Astoria Bookshop, Queens, N.Y., announced yesterday morning on their Facebook page, adding: "We need a few hours in the morning to do a little last-minute housekeeping, but by noon, the doors will be open for business at 31-29 31st Street, between Broadway & 31st Avenue. Come pay us a visit!"

To celebrate the opening, We Heart Astoria offered "12 awesome facts you might not know about this Astoria arrival."

Astoria Bookshop's end-of-the-first-day Facebook post: "To do tomorrow: buy all of the thank you cards in the store to send to all the awesome Astorians who made our first day such a huge success, and for welcoming us with such enthusiasm! Many of you told us how excited you are that we are open, but trust us, we're more excited than anyone."

University of California Press: The Fastest Game in the World, Volume 6 by Bruce Berglund

Tesco Launching Its Own Tablet?

The U.K. supermarket chain Tesco plans to launch its own tablet computer in time for the Christmas season, according to the Sunday Times, which reported that while the company "has not decided how much to charge for the gadget," sources estimate "it would be a 'high-quality' device similar to Amazon's Kindle Fire, which costs £130."

Noting that the device is expected to include its Blinkbox app for digital books, music and films preloaded, the Bookseller cited its own report last week that that Blinkbox "was signing up digital content from publishers in time for a fourth quarter, pre-Christmas launch of Blinkbox books. Former Tesco head of books, Garry Blackman, is to join the Blinkbox books team leading its supplier relations as well as having a broader ambassadorial role for the company."

CNet UK speculated that the primary incentive for offering a tablet is that Tesco's "profitable books and DVDs market has been decimated by digital competition from Amazon and Apple. If it can offer a tempting tablet at a good price, it's hoped it'll win back that business."

Obituary Note: John L. Rikhoff

John L. Rikhoff, formerly a principal of Walck-Rikhoff Bookpeddlers, an independent sales representative group that sold to bookstores in the mid-Atlantic states, died August 13. He was 78.

Rikhoff started his publishing career as a college textbook salesman for Houghton Mifflin. He was promoted to director of marketing for the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, and he later became v-p and director of Houghton Mifflin's Dictionary Division.

In 1975, Rikhoff joined Collins-World Publishing as president and CEO. When the company was sold in 1980, he joined Intermed Communications, publisher of Nursing magazine and medical books. In 1981, he joined Hank Walck, a lifelong book publishing friend, to establish Walck-Rikhoff Bookpeddlers. His wife, Karen, later joined the group.

He retired in 1997. A friend wrote: "John was a bookman of the highest caliber who never lacked opinion nor the propensity to deliver it with the advantage of respect earned from the lessons of the figurative and literal road. Intellectually astute as well as a student of curiosity, he elevated conversations and stimulated minds of all variety. His love of family beamed bright and set an example to those who benefited from it. His humor, wry and penetrative, made us simultaneously laugh and think."

Memorial contributions may be made to Parkinson's research foundations in honor of his wife, Karen.


Image of the Day: The 'Pre-Pub Book Club'

In response to this week's "Cool Idea of the Day" feature about the Advance Access Book Club at Harleysville Books, Marika Zemke, adult services manager of the Commerce Township Community Library in Michigan told us about its Pre-Pub Book Club, which has been running for four years. "I start off the club with all the books displayed (according to genre) and then give a synopsis about each book," she noted. "After I'm finished with the overview, I go over the rules with them again." The Pre-Pub Book Club rules:

  1. If you take a book, you may NOT sell it or donate it to a library for their collection.
  2. They must play nice and share.

"Sometimes more than one person wants a particular book and I'm amazed at how accommodating my patrons are in bringing back books for others to read," Zemke added. "My patrons have had great fun over the years learning about the publishing industry as we discuss how many copies of a particular title are being published and what that means in terms of profit. Best of all? The patrons get to keep the book!"

Picture This: 'Bookshelfies' & NYPL Photo Booths

The "bookshelfie" trend--pictures of people in front of their bookcases--"has gotten so big, there's already a Tumblr dedicated to them," Business Insider reported.

And the New York Public Library "is getting into the selfie game" as well, adding "photobooths to their halls, available for free for anyone to use," Gothamist wrote. "Visitors are invited to take their own photo, which will then get emailed to them and get shot over to the front page of the library's website."

Jessica Greer Promoted at Other Press

Jessica Greer has been promoted to publicity director at Other Press. She joined the company in 2012, and was formerly senior publicist.

Legato Publishers Group Adds Two More Publishers

Legato Publishers Group, an affiliate of Publishers Group West founded this year by former IPG president Mark Suchomel, has signed two more publishers, bringing its list of publishers to 22. On January 1, it will begin selling and distributing in the U.S.:

  • Chouette Publishing, Montreal, home to the Caillou books based on the popular PBS series of the same name.
  • Cuento de Luz, Madrid, a publisher of high-quality children's picture books in English and Spanish.

Both publishers are currently distributed in the U.S. by IPG.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Brad Gilbert on the Today Show

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Erica Domesek, author of P.S. You're Invited...: 40+ DIY Projects for All of Your Fashion, Home Décor & Entertaining Needs (Atria, $26, 9781451698596).

Also on Today: Brad Gilbert and Steve Jamison, authors of Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master (Touchstone, $15.99, 9780671884000).


Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Adam Leith Gollner, author of The Book of Immortality: The Science, Belief, and Magic Behind Living Forever (Scribner, $28, 9781439109427).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's Politics with Al Sharpton: Taylor Branch, author of The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (Simon & Schuster, $16, 9781451662467).


Tomorrow on a repeat of Tavis Smiley: Jimmy Connors, author of The Outsider (Harper, $28.99, 9780061242991).


Tomorrow on the Mike Huckabee Radio Show: Ricky Skaggs, author of Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music (It, $25.99, 9780061917332).


Tomorrow on PBS's Moyers & Co.: Mark Leibovich, author of This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!--in America's Gilded Capital (Blue Rider, $27.95, 9780399161308).

Movies: The Book Thief; The Hobbit Sequel; The Counselor

A trailer for The Book Thief has been released. Directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) and adapted by Michael Petroni from Markus Zusak's bestselling book, the film stars Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nélisse and Ben Schnetzer. Fox 2000 will release the movie November 15. 


In a new poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, "Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is reflected in the eye of Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch)," Buzzfeed reported, adding that a new image from the film was also released, "showing Bilbo and the Dwarves boating through the rapids in barrels." The movie opens December 13.


The U.K. trailer for 20th Century Fox's The Counselor, written by Cormac McCarthy and directed by Ridley Scott, offers "our first peek inside Michael Fassbender's interaction with the drug trade and more of his relationship with the strange characters of Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem," the Film Stage reported. The film stars Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Natalie Dormer and Goran Višnjić.

This Weekend on Book TV: Collision or Collusion in 2012 Election

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, August 24
8 p.m. Dan Balz, author of Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America (Viking, $32.95, 9780670025947), at Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.

9 p.m. Brent Bozell, author of Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How to Stop Them from Doing It in 2016 (Broadside Books, $26.99, 9780062274724).

10 p.m. After Words. Ken Feinberg, former Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victims Compensation Fund, interviews Elizabeth Greenspan, author of Battle for Ground Zero: Inside the Political Struggle to Rebuild the World Trade Center (Palgrave Macmillan, $28, 9780230341388). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Jesse Walker, author of The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory (Harper, $25.99, 9780062135551), at Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.    

Sunday, August 25
1 p.m. George Gilder, author of Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing Our World (Regnery, $27.95, 9781621570271). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and  Monday at 1 a.m.)

2 p.m. Mac Griswold, author of The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island (Harper, $25.99, 9780062135551). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

7:45 p.m. Jeff Guinn, author of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson (S&S, $27.50, 9781451645163), at Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

10 p.m. Brenda Wineapple, author of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 (Harper, $35, 9780061234576), at the Corner Bookshop in New York City.

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing Tuesday, August 27:

How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $25.99, 9780312655471) is the ninth Gamache mystery.

Blind Justice: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry (Ballantine, $26, 9780345536709) continues the Victorian London Monk mystery series.

The Whole Enchilada: A Novel of Suspense by Diane Mott Davidson (Morrow, $26.99, 9780061348174) is the latest Goldy Schulz culinary mystery.

Book Review

Review: Nine Days

Nine Days by Toni Jordan (Text Publishing Company, dist. by Consortium, $15.95 paperback, 9781921922831, September 10, 2013)

Toni Jordan's Nine Days is an Australian family saga focused on a handful of moments in the lives of the Westaway family between 1939 and 2001. Jordan (The Addition) was inspired by a newspaper photograph of a soldier leaning out of the window of a train, reaching out to a girl on the platform. She is being lifted toward him; they are almost kissing, but not quite.

The book begins with Kip Westaway, 15, who lives in a working-class Melbourne suburb. He's recently quit school to work at the furniture shop next door after his father's death (his twin brother, Francis, is still in school and mighty haughty about it). His mother, a sourpuss and a bad parent, has taken in a boarder. Every scintilla of information the reader receives about this first day--Kip's day--is important and relevant through the years, even the shilling given to Kip by the good-hearted Mr. Hustings, his employer.

In the story's eight other days, we learn of life-changing decisions: some necessary, some revelatory, some very difficult. One is about Kip's daughter, Stanzi, who is a counsellor--not quite a psychiatrist, but one who listens and tries to help. Today's client is a kleptomaniac, among other things, and when Stanzi leaves her office, she realizes that her father's shilling, which she was going to have framed for him, has disappeared. A logical conclusion is drawn, but it is the wrong one--with immediate consequences for Stanzi.

The days skip back and forth in time, touching on the lives of Mr. Husting's son Jack, who returns to Melbourne from a rural sheep station and becomes smitten with Kip's sister Connie; Francis, who never lived up to the expectations of others; Kip's grandson Alec, who performs a kindness to his grandfather--and saves his own life in the process... all of the stuff of life. Jordan renders this extended family's interwoven story in gorgeous layers of warmth, understanding and casual cruelties, interspersed throughout with good humor and perfectly rendered dialogue. The final story, Connie's, provides the last thread of the tapestry, hearkening back to that picture at the train station.

Jordan's fully realized story and excellent characterizations put the reader in the picture completely. She makes it hard to leave. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: In spare but rich prose, Jordan shows all the love, fear, tenderness, disappointment, joy and sadness any life could hold.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw
2. Jane's Melody by Ryan Winfield
3. Fear of Falling by S.L Jennings
4. The Worth Series Box Set by Mara Jacobs
5. Pulse (Collide Volume 2) by Gail McHugh
6. Loving the CEO by Various
7. Dust (Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey
8. Stripped by Jasinda Wilder
9. The Billionaire's Obsession by J.S. Scott
10. Marriage of Convenience Boxed Set by Various

[Many thanks to!]

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