Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gallery Books: The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

Other Press (NY): Deliver Me by Malin Persson Giolito, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles

Two Trees: Among Friends: An Illustrated Oral History of American Book Publishing and Bookselling in the 20th Century edited by Buz Teacher and Janet Bukovinsky Teacher

Atlantic Monthly Press: I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Enger

Quotation of the Day

From Green Paint to PGW's Backlist

"When I was 10 years old, I won a can of green paint at the Coo-Coo Carnival in Flint. Forty-eight years later, my ship comes in once again! I always try to bring as many members of my staff as I can to BookExpo. This year it was six people (not counting me). I figure that winning this giveaway validated this decision. The Goddess has spoken!!"--Karl Pohrt, owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, Mich., which won PGW's backlist booth giveaway, worth about $25,000 at retail this year, given via drawing to a bookseller who drops off a stock offer order for 50 or more copies in person at the show.

Neal Porter Books: Angela's Glacier by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Diana Sudyka


Help for B& an Issue in California Primary

Fundraising from people and companies that do business with the state of California has become a major issue in the bitter, close campaign between state controller Steve Westly and state treasurer Phil Angelides for the Democratic nomination to run against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this fall. One of the points of contention and the subject of a long Los Angeles Times article on Saturday: Barnes& The primary is next Tuesday, June 6.

Apparently in 2004 controller Westly, who made a fortune as an executive early on with eBay and who has campaigned as an opponent of corporate tax loopholes, tried to get the California Board of Equalization to forgive B& "as much as $22.8 million in sales taxes, interest and penalties" on books and other products sold online in California for which B& charged no sales tax. At the same time, Westly raised campaign contributions from some B&N executives and others close to the company, the paper said.

State auditors had found that B&N's bricks-and-mortar stores in California created nexus and made it necessary for B& to charge sales tax. B& appealed the decision, and the case remains in court. B& has since begun collecting sales tax on online sales to California residents, but the back taxes remain an issue.

As a member of the Board of Equalization, Westly reportedly tried to get the Board to overrule the auditors, but the other four members wouldn't agree, the Times said. Westly's campaign said that Westly's deal would have involved paying part of the back taxes, but other Board members dispute this.

Around the same time in 2004, Westly went to Washington, D.C., and New York City to raise campaign money, a trip that included a luncheon at Barnes & Noble's New York City offices. B&N executives gave him $8,700 (including $5,000 from CEO Stephen Riggio's wife, Laura) and members of a law firm and accounting firm that do work for B&N gave several thousand dollars more.

California law prohibits Board members from receiving campaign contributions of more than $250 from individuals or corporations with matters before the Board, but Westly's donations came from individuals, not B&N itself.

Westly's campaign told the Times that the fundraising effort was legal and ethical. B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating said the Westly had not done the company any special favors, adding, "What he simply did was facilitate getting us on the calendar."

In the same story, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association executive director Hut Landon, who has fought for the major online booksellers to collect sales tax, called the situation "unconscionable" and asked, "Isn't the controller's job to look after the finanical well-being of the state?"

GLOW: Avid Reader Press: The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

Notes: Sonoma State Protest; New Store in Florida

Shades of the campaign to keep the Brown Bookstore at Brown University, Providence, R.I., from being outsourced?

The academic senate of Sonoma State University in California passed a resolution Thursday opposing the administration's decision to lease the university's bookstore to Barnes & Noble College.

The resolution calls on Sonoma State Enterprises, which runs the store, to delay the contract with B&N, scheduled to be signed any moment, to "allow time to fully assess, in cooperation with the Academic Senate and a broad representation of faculty and students, the capabilities of our own state employees and/or local and regional vendors to manage the SSU bookstore."

The resolution noted that the proposal for store management was issued March 10 with a deadline of April 6 and went only to three national bookstore chains. "Local and regional independent bookstores such as Copperfield's and North Light were deemed unqualified, and thus excluded from applying for this contract. It is unclear why the option of continuing the bookstore as is, with a new manager, has seemingly been rejected."

The store's longtime manager retired earlier this year.


The Village Bookshop, which will sell new, used, rare and collectible books, is opening in late June or early July in the Village of the Arts in Bradenton, Fla., according to the Bradenton Herald. The grand opening will be in early September.

"The overall theme will be the literary arts and, more specifically, the art of storytelling," owner Doug Knowlton told the paper. "We will have ample sections for the novel, creative nonfiction, poetry, the art of personal and historical narrative, including the biography and memoir."

In addition to the store, Knowlton's wife, Valorie, an R.N., will offer "healing touch" sessions in the Healing Cottage, a converted shed in the garden behind Village Bookshop.

The Village Bookshop and the Healing Cottage are at 1006 11th Ave. W., Bradenton, Fla. 34205; 941-720-2775.


Robert Aikens, owner of Verbatim Booksellers, Vail, Colo., has raised almost $75,000 from the community to keep the bookstore open, the Vail Daily reported. Verbatim plans to move July 1 to a smaller but more visible location. Donations ranged from "as little as $20 to as much as $10,000," the paper said. One of Vail's longtime residents, Dick Hauserman, helped raise money, in a way that mirrored the fundraising for the original community of Vail. Over time, Verbatim has changed, Aikens said, from a community bookstore to a resort bookstore, and many customers are tourists and second-home owners. He said Verbatim needs another $25,000 to stabilize.


Borders Group is opening its second store in the Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport in early June. The 1,050-sq.-ft. store in the main terminal will offer more than 5,000 book titles, including audiobooks, as well as some magazines and newspapers, DVDs and CDs.

Borders's first store at BWI opened in May 2005 in the Southwest Airlines terminal. Borders has stores in airports in Phoenix, Orlando, Seattle, Newark, Boston, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch chats with Laura Bradford whose new book is Forecast of Evil (Hilliard & Harris, $28.95 hardcover, 1591331498, $16.95 paperback, 1591331501). One unusual thing about Bradford: she spends "up to four mornings a week" writing at the Borders store in St. Peters, Mo., a St. Louis suburb. "It gives me background noise for writing and keeps me away from the house and chores," she told the paper. "I used to think I needed total quiet. Now I find I do better work if I have some background noise. Plus, it's good to get out and see people and watch their mannerisms."


And last but not least in Borders news, the company will pay a dividend of ten cents a share in July.


Today's New York Times draws attention to a new Hurricane Katrina book, The Storm: What Went Wrong During Hurricane Katrina--The Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist by Ivor van Heerden and Mike Bryan (Viking, $25.95, 0670037818), published last week. Deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center and former head of the state office of coastal restoration, van Heerden had been "one of the state's best-known Cassandras on the coming crisis for New Orleans," as the Times put it. The book is a mix of scientific history and anger, and because much of van Heerden's anger is directed at the federal government--"this city was flooded by the failure of its levees"--he was criticized by LSU administrators and at least one colleague whom he charged were worried about federal funding for future LSU projects.

Soho Crime: Ash Dark as Night (A Harry Ingram Mystery) by Gary Phillips

BEA Notes: Sudoku Champ; Franklin Winners; ABFFE Auction

Thomas Snyder, a top-rated player, set two new sudoku world records at the Guinness World Records booth at BEA: the fastest time to complete an easy sudoku puzzle (2 minutes, 8.53 seconds) and fastest time to complete a very easy sudoku puzzle (1 minute, 23.93 seconds). Besides the popularity of sudoku, the contest highlighted the 2007 edition of The Guinness World Records, whose pub date is August 8.

Our hats are off to Snyder: It took us longer to write that paragraph than he spent on the two puzzles.


Some 31,971 industry professionals registered for BookExpo America, and of them, 22,366 were verified attendees, the show announced. By comparison, last year in New York City, 34,966 people registered and 27,421 were verified attendees. In 2004 in Chicago, 25,261 registered and 18,213 were verified attendees.

Some 7,324 attendees this year were classified as book buyers, compared to 7,701 in New York last year and 7,492 in Chicago in 2004.


On his blog, several entries from the top, Larry Portzline, creator of Bookstore Tourism, offers excerpts from a panel on the subject that he moderated at BEA. Among the comments:

  • "The wonderful thing is these are people who are not from my local community who realized that it's a great destination and would make a nice day trip. So I developed new customers from that."--Joe Drabyak of Chester County Book Co., West Chester, Pa., and v-p of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association.
  • "Sales at any given bookstore that we visited were up 15% to 25% that day, so it's not an insignificant contribution."--Terry Gilman, co-owner of Mysterious Galaxy Books, San Diego, and president of the Southern California Booksellers Association.
  • "Bookstore Tourism is another way to do [recapture some of the 12 out of 20 books consumers don't buy at independent bookstores, a Book Sense priority]--to get groups of customers to come to your stores to buy books instead of buying them elsewhere. So it's another piece of that puzzle."--Len Vlahos, director of and director of the ABA's programming at BEA.


During BEA--and the 300th birthday year of the author, printer, publisher, diplomat, politician, inventor and more--PMA presented the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards, which honored a range of titles by independent publishers.

Among winners:

  • Popular Fiction: Hawk (Stone and Scott, Publishers)
  • Poetry/Literary Criticism: Voices & Poetry of Ireland (Sourcebooks)
  • History/Political: Earthquake Days: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake & Fire in 3-D (Faultline Books)
  • New Age (Metaphysics/Spirituality): Sacred Earth, Planet of Light--A Visionary Photo-Essay Exploring the Unity of Nature, Life and Spirit (Silver Bear Press)
  • Religion: Heavenly City (Liturgy Training Publications)
  • Best New Voice Fiction: Rashi's Daughters: Book One--Joheved by Maggie Anton (Banot Press)

For the complete list of winners, go to PMA's Web site.


Tomorrow at 5 p.m., the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression online auction ends. Among the items are hundreds of books signed at BEA as well as signed first editions of Philip Roth's Everyman, four signed limited editions of Dean Koontz novels, 25 autographed copies of Let Me Finish by Roger Angell, a dozen signed copies of Danielle Steel's Coming Out and book packages such as a $500 gift certificate for Simon and Schuster's cooking and lifestyle books, a case of the Jonathan Kozol's The Shame of the Nation and a sidewalk book display package.

Nonbook items include two dozen customized T-shirts from Champion, Ingram's companion title-reference tool, tickets to a New York Yankees game on June 16 and package deals for the fall trade shows, including hotel rooms and tickets to show events.

To browse the auction, click here. To register for the online auction, click here.

Media and Movies

Way of the Peaceful Warrior on the Way

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, starring Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowicz and Amy Smart, opens this Friday, June 2. Written and directed by Victor Salva, the adaptation recounts Dan Millman's spiritual journey, which has inspired over two million readers worldwide. Even as a successful college student and athlete, Millman (Mechlowicz) craves to fill a vague emptiness in his life. One night he wanders into a gas station and encounters the highly unusual Socrates (Nolte), whose wisdom helps Dan recover from a motorcycle accident and stretch the limits of his body and spirit. A movie tie-in edition is now available (HJ Kramer, $12.95, 1932073205).

Media Heat: Al Gore Returns

Present this morning on the Today Show: Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Love in the Present Tense (Doubleday, $21.95, 0385518005).


This morning on the Early Show: Jeffery Deaver, author of The Cold Moon: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel (S&S, $26, 0743260937).


Today on the NPR's Fresh Air: Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671).


Today on Fox News Hannity and Colmes: Robert Baer, author of Blow the House Down (Crown, $25.95, 1400098351).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show:

  • Bill Carter, New York Times TV reporter and author of Desperate Networks (Doubleday, $26.95, 0385514409).
  • Molly O'Neill, author of Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food, and Baseball (Scribner, $25, 0743232682).


This evening on the Charlie Rose Show: CNN's Anderson Cooper, whose new memoir is Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0061132381).

Books & Authors

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker (Atria, $24, 0743492773). "I couldn't put Lisa Tucker's latest novel down. In a world that is unfair and violent, how do we reconcile protecting the ones we love with the risk of losing them? This inventive novel of family secrets, gut-wrenching hurt, and unnecessary loss is deftly woven in an intricate plot, adeptly observed."--Sarah Bagby, Watermark Book Co., Wichita, Kan.

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler (Penguin Press, $24.95, 1594200947). "Ann Fessler writes of the secrets of a time when unmarried women were coerced to give up their babies. She reveals not only what happened to those girls but also tells of the life-impact that these decisions made on the young women, their babies, and the rest of their families. This is a story that needs to be told, and Ann Fessler has done an excellent job."--Dorothy Dickerson, Books & More, Albion, Mich.


Someone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott Chessman (Plume, $13, 0452286972). "Tightly woven vignettes, describing the relationships between mother and daughter will make this novel a wonderful read--especially for book groups."--Robin O'Hara, The Last Chapter, Overland Park, Kan.

For Children to Age 8

Hit the Ball, Duck by Jez Alborough (Kane/Miller, $15.95, 1929132964). "Duck again manages to get into trouble, but with the help of his friends working together he solves his problem. A good laugh for picture book lovers and early readers."--Janet Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, Mass.

How the Moon Regained Her Shape by Janet Ruth Heller, illustrated by Ben Hodson (Sylvan Dell, $15.95, 0976494345). "This imaginative telling of a Native American tale on why the moon changes her shape couples with the scientific explanations and illustrations in the back of the book to teach some basic astronomy about the earth's nearest neighbor."--Bob Spear, The Book Barn, Leavenworth, Kan.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

Deeper Understanding

In Memoriam: Elliott Smith

There's a high chance that any regular ABA or BEA attendee from the 1970s through much of the '90s was at least once captured on film--not digitally!--by Elliott Smith, who during most of that period was Publishers Weekly's main photographer at the show. We were very sad to hear last week that Elliott has died of complications from a skiing accident.

Elliott, who was also known professionally as Elliott Varner Smith and Elliott V. Smith, was a delight to work with. Although usually he spent less than a week a year photographing book industry events, he was a quick study, remembering from show to show significant people, including a range of booksellers, publishers and authors. He also had a knack for capturing spontaneous moments and quirky displays or events.

Under pressure, Elliott's sharp sense of humor seemed only to increase, making him even more fun to work with. For years, he kept up his end of long-running sometimes puerile but still amusing jokes.

Dating back at least to his time in the Peace Corps in Colombia, Elliott fully embraced multiculturalism (without ever calling it that) and had passionate political views appropriate for a graduate of UC Berkeley and longtime resident of Berkeley and Oakland. He was also a truly fanatic rooter for the Bears and particularly savored victories over Stanford and USC. He loved to travel--the more exotic and beautiful the spot the better.

We will miss him.

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