Shelf Awareness for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Editors' Note

See You Tuesday!

Because of Memorial Day and to get a little extra rest after BEA, this is the last issue of Shelf Awareness this week. We'll have a little more coverage of BEA next week--and then we'll start getting ready for BEA 2007. See you Tuesday!

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black


D.C. Poetry: 'Welcome/ Cops/ Book Expo'

Our favorite picture from BEA--the only one we're reproducing--was of a sign in the window of a gated, somewhat tired-looking liquor store and possible deli across the street from the Washington Convention Center. A twist-off toast of thanks to Brian Heller, who was quicker with a camera than we were.

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

Book Passage Books Passage to Navato

Book Passage, which has stores in Corte Madera and San Francisco, has agreed preliminarily to open a 2,000-sq.-ft. store in Novato, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

Lalanne Group, a San Francisco developer, has signed a letter of intent to lease a tract in the city's historic downtown with the intention of having Book Passage opening in it. Lalanne is also developing a Whole Foods Market and condo complex next door. Book Passage's opening is dependent on Whole Foods opening and having the property rezoned to accommodate a café.

Elaine Petrocelli, who owns Book Passage with her husband, Bill, told the paper: "We love Novato and are interested in coming to Novato--it sounds like a perfect spot for a Book Passage store--but we're waiting to be contacted."

Novato has not had a new-book bookstore for several years. City manager Dan Keen told the paper that residents frequently ask him about when the city will get a bookstore. "There is huge support for this," Keen said. "It fits."

The possible opening comes after a shopping center one block from Book Passage's flagship store in Corte Madera confirmed earlier this year that a 27,000-sq.-ft. Barnes & Noble will open there this fall. In reaction, citizens tried unsuccessfully to get the town council to limit big box stores.

Notes: Group Rallies for Cody's; Gulfport B&N Reopens

At least some Berkeley, Calif., residents want to save Cody's Telegraph Avenue store the way Kepler's was brought back to life last year. A group is organizing an effort to keep the store open and will meet June 8 with the motto "a wake up call, not a wake," according to the Oakland Tribune.

Owner Andy Ross told the paper, "The community has been calling me up like crazy, saying, 'What can you do?' My question is, 'What can they do?' " He emphasized that any solution will "have to come from outside" but "I will talk to anybody."


Many new or renovated libraries adopt bookstore elements. The redesigned Bedford Public Library in Bedford, Tex., has gone farther: its new arrivals and magazines sections look much like a bookstore because the fixtures came from a nearby Barnes & Noble that was moving. The library also has added chairs and serves coffee.

Closed for a month last year because of budget cuts, the library has a new logo, signage with a uniform look and a Web site that will be redesigned--"all in an effort to create brand identity," the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram said. "Libraries can capitalize on what they see occurring in bookstores," community services supervisor Jeanne Green told the paper. "The stuff is moving off the shelves."


Closed since Hurricane Katrina, the Barnes & Noble in Gulfport, Miss., reopened yesterday, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald. The remodeled store has a larger café and music and movie section than before Katrina.

"The storm ruined all the volumes," community relations manager Andrea Yeager told the paper. "Everything had to come down, and it took us that long to get contractors and supplies, like everyone else."


Carl Lennertz coins a great phrase: judging a book by its lover. In other words, the habit of a significant amount of readers to rely solely on recommendations from trusted sources. Thanks to Tom Campbell of the Regulator, Durham, N.C., whose e-mail prompted Carl's latest act of wordsmithing.


Stacy Schiff has won the second annual George Washington Book Prize for her latest book, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America (Owl Books, $16, 0805080090). Sponsored by Washington College in Chestertown, Md., the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the prize is worth $50,000 and was presented on Monday at Mount Vernon, Va. The Washington Post tells no lies about this prize.


Check out the Written Nerd for Jessica Stockton's informative account of the blogging panel at BEA and a thoughtful consideration of what she calls the "anti-indie backlash."


The Logos bookstore in Oak Park, Ill., will close by the end of May, Oak Park Oak Leaves reported. Owners Tammy Daugherty-Holzer and Chris Holzer looked for a buyer and considered selling online only, but there was "no miracle," Daugherty-Holzer said. Echoing Christian stores that have closed in the past several years, she said sales had slumped because of competition from the Internet and stores such as Wal-Mart. In addition, stores and churches "can go directly to our supplier on the Internet and get the same price, or maybe a little less, and delivery."

The owners had bought the franchised religion store in 2001 from Bob and Marietta Walsh, who opened it in 1976.


Judith Moore, author of Fat Girl, the memoir that was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award last year, has died, the New York Times reported. She was 66. Moore was also the author of The Left Coast of Paradise: California and the American Heart and Never Eat Your Heart Out and was a senior editor at the San Diego Reader.


Custom-made books and DVDs have improved's selection without raising inventory costs and are becoming more important to the company's business, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders at the company's annual meeting on Tuesday, the AP reported.

"As a customer, if you get a product from Amazon, you might never know it was printed yesterday," Bezos said. "I think we'll see more and more products created instantaneously."

Both BookSurge, the book POD company Amazon acquired last year, and Amazon's on-demand DVD subsidiary, CustomFlix Labs, have helped the company increase offerings 42% in the past year. Selection is one of the cornerstones of the company's business model, Bezos said.


Chronicle Books has made more changes in sales and marketing:

  • Liz Rockhold has joined the company as senior sales manager in special markets and will handle such key accounts as Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Crate & Barrel as well as premium sales. She was formerly a consultant to educational companies and earlier had sales, management and marketing positions at Prentice Hall/Pearson, Addison Wesley/Pearson and Thomson Learning.
  • David Cunningham has joined the company as national accounts manager, handling wholesale clubs and other mass market accounts. He was formerly a product manager at AMS, specializing in buying and selling cook and gift books to the wholesale clubs.
  • Joseph Ternes has joined the company in the newly created position of director of Internet sales and marketing. He has worked for 10 years building and managing Web marketing and e-commerce operations for, among others, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Club Monaco, Dwell Magazine, IDEO and American Apparel.
  • Patricia Quill has joined the company as publicity and marketing manager for art, architecture and design, photography and creative arts titles as well as U.S. publicity and marketing contact for Laurence King Publishing. Quill has 18 years of marketing and publicity experience in fine arts and higher education.
  • Mark Boorstein has joined the company as sales analyst. He has 16 years of sales analysis and forecasting experience at, among other companies, Gap, Williams-Sonoma and Levi Strauss & Co.

Media and Movies

Book TV This Weekend: Noam Chomsky at West Point (!)

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 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 Web site.

Saturday, May 27

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1994, John Keegan talked about A History of Warfare (Vintage, $16, 0679730826). A Sandhurst lecturer, Princeton fellow and Vassar professor, Keegan is also the author of The First World War.

7 p.m. General Assignment. Speaking to cadets at West Point, Noam Chomsky, whose most recent book is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (Metropolitan, $24, 0805079122), criticizes the invasion of Iraq and Michael Walzer's just war theory. He also takes questions from the audience. (Re-airs Monday at 10:30 p.m.)

8 p.m. Public Lives. In an event at the James Buchanan Foundation in Lancaster, Pa., John B. Roberts, II, journalist, consulting producer for the McLaughlin Group and author of Rating the First Ladies: The Women Who Influenced the Presidency (Citadel, $15.95, 0806526084), details the personal lives and administrative influence of several First Ladies, including Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson. (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

9 p.m. After Words. Historian Richard Brookhiser, whose new book is What Would the Founders Do?: Our Questions, Their Answers (Perseus, $26, 0465008194) is interviewed by John Splaine, a professor at the University of Maryland in the College of Education and author of Road to the White House Since Television, Politics: Communicating a Message and A Companion to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

10 p.m. History on Book TV: Robert Dallek and Terry Golway, authors of Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words (Sourcebooks, $29.95, 140220647X, including CD), talk about the oratorical ability of JFK. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:45 a.m.)

Media Heat: Chip Kidd Talks About His Vision

Today on the Early Show: Anderson Cooper, the CNN star whose new memoir is Dispatches From the Edge (Harper, $24.95, 0061132381). Cooper also appears on Larry King Live tonight.

Also on the Early Show, Michael Ferber, M.D., talks about his new book, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (Fireside, $15.95, 0743201639).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm, Chip Kidd, author-designer of Book One, Work 1986-2006 (Rizzoli, $39.95, 0847827852). As the show puts it: "Chip Kidd is one of the pre-eminent designers of book jacket art in publishing today. His designs have inspired a whole new look for books. He discloses his procedures for discovering the image that will illustrate the heart of a novel and how that image will be embodied on the jacket."


Subpoenaed today to Court TV: Hill Harper, author of Letters to a Young Brother (Gotham, $20, 1592402003).


Tonight on the Situation with Tucker Carlson on MSNBC, Chris Epting talks about The Ruby Slippers, Madonna's Bra, and Einstein's Brain (Santa Monica Press, $16.95, 1595800085).


Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Robin Smith on her new book, Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302564).


Tomorrow on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Tim Russert whose new book is Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters From Daughters and Sons (Random House, $22.95, 1400064805).


Saturday on Weekend Edition: Jason Fagone, author of Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American (Crown, $24, 0307237389).


On CBS Sunday Morning: Leonard Cohen plays up his Book of Longing (Ecco, $24.95, 006112558X).


On the Today Show on Monday--Memorial Day--Kathy Roth-Douquet appears and talks about her new book, AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes From Military Service--And How It Hurts Our Country (HarperReference, $24.95, 0060888598).

Books & Authors

The Audies: Best of 2005 Audiobooks

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Tertiary Phase won the Audiobook of the Year Award, which was presented at the Audie Awards banquet on Friday. Other finalists for the award included Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince read by Jim Dale and The Truth (with Jokes) by Al Franken. The surprise win may have been tempered by Entertainment Weekly's spot-on handicapping of the event, but BBC Audiobooks America/Audio Partners Publishing Co. recipients were visibly shocked: executive producer Bruce Hyman quipped that he had thought the EW prediction that his title would win was the kiss of death. Producer/director Dirk Maggs noted that the production had been 27 years in the making and there was a considerable time gap between the primary and secondary phase and the current production. All but one of the original cast participated in the Tertiary Phase, including the late Douglas Adams. Appropriately the original Hitchhiker's Guide began life as radio drama--sparking printed books, films and a TV series.

Perhaps the greatest surprise was judging chair Traci Cothran's announcement of a new award: an Audiobook Hall of Fame "to recognize a book, author, publisher, or other contributor to the audiobook industry of truly exceptional merit," which could include "an audiobook with long-lasting impact on the industry; it could be given to an author to recognize his or her commitment to audiobooks; it could be awarded to a publisher for efforts to preserve history in words." The award might not be given every year, and it might go to a title that has already won an Audie.

Cothran then bestowed the first Audiobook Hall of Fame award to the Harry Potter series published by Listening Library and narrated by Jim Dale. A stunned Timothy Ditlow recognized several contributors to the audiobook's success, including Random House's Jenny Frost, who encouraged Ditlow to press more than the usual 2,000 for the first title in the series. "And now we're here, five million copies later," he said. Ditlow also gave kudos to producer Orli Moskovitz who "slept in the studio" during the arduous productions and, of course, to the inimitable Jim Dale.

With three each, the winners of the most awards were Brilliance Audio, Recorded Books and Audio Renaissance .

Notable Awards

The Judges Award is given on a different subject each year; this year it focused on productions in Spanish. Arquimedes Rivera accepted the prize for FonoLibro's production of El Codigo Da Vinci.

Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's production of At the Back of the North Wind received the Achievement in Production award. In response, producer and first-time Audie attendee Dave Arnold exclaimed: "Maybe I'll come back next year!" before carrying off his second honor of the evening.

Nicolas Soames of Naxos AudioBooks accepted the award for Solo Narration-Male for Moby-Dick read by William Hootkins. Soames noted that two weeks after the close of production, Hootkins learned he had inoperable cancer. Within months he passed away, but not before hearing a rough cut of the work that is his swan song.

Listening Library was also honored for its production of Around the World in 80 Days read by Jim Dale. Ditlow noted that this award was especially meaningful since it was the 50th anniversary of Listening Library's first production: a recording of the Jules Verne classic produced by his father.

Perhaps many of the publishers could relate to the words of producer Yuri Rasovsky who received the Audio Drama award for The Sherlock Holmes Theatre: "Audio drama is the happiest way possible to penury."  

Other Awards

  • Inspirational/Faith Based Fiction: Grace Will Lead Me Home by Katherine Valentine, narrated by John McDonough (Recorded Books)
  • Personal Development/Motivational: The Five Love Languages by R. Gary Chapman, narrated by Dr. Gary Chapman (Oasis Audio)
  • Inspirational/Spiritual: Finding God in Unexpected Places by Philip Yancey, narrated by Mel Foster (Brilliance)

--Ellen Myrick

Book Review

Mandahla: Water for Elephants Reviewed

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $23.95 Hardcover, 9781565124998, May 2006)

"I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other." Jacob Jankowski sits in a nursing home, thinking that preferring growing old to the alternative may not be the best thing, but there's nothing to be done about it. As he waits for the inevitable, the ghosts of his past "crash and bang and make themselves at home, mostly because there's no competition . . . damn ghosts." His memories take him back to age twenty-three, sitting in a lecture hall at Cornell, ten days from graduating as a veterinarian, his life about to be shattered when he learns of his parents' deaths. The time is the Great Depression, and despairing in grief and his discovery that the bank has taken everything his father had left, he starts walking out of town along the train tracks. Impulsively hopping aboard a train, he learns he's landed in circus car, and thus begins a most amazing journey.
The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth is a second-rate circus, owned by the crazy and vicious Uncle Al, Ringmaster Extraordinaire, a man who craves freaks and despises Ringling Brothers in equal measure. Jacob is taken in tow by Camel, a moonshine-swilling old hand, and first finds work mixing with rubes to herd them into the big tent, then becomes a bouncer for the cooch tent. When August, the schizophrenic and sadistic animal trainer, and Uncle Al find out Jacob is almost a vet, he's put in charge of caring for the animals. After a rough start, he is befriended by Kinko the Dwarf and his dog Queenie. He falls in love with August's wife Marlena, the star equestrienne, and comes to love amber-eyed Rosie the elephant, who has a fondness for booze. His devotion to the menagerie is constantly tested as the circus rolls up tents one step ahead of cheated customers. Pacing back and forth, watching the armed townsmen hovering at the edge of the lot, Jacob thinks, "The black men have long since hidden themselves aboard the Flying Squadron, and I'm not at all convinced that the mob won't content themselves with a redheaded dwarf instead." But he stays with the show to protect the animals, and his friends, from the brutality of August and the business practices of Uncle Al.
Water for Elephants is a dazzling evocation of desperate times and desperate people. Rubes, dwarves, freaks, tigers, camels, prancing horses--all abound in this story, as do cruelties and kindnesses. The Benzini Brothers becomes Jacob's salvation in his youth, and when the circus comes to town in his old age, a new deliverance awaits. This is a marvelous novel.--Marilyn Dahl

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