Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

HarperOne: I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays by Michael Arceneaux

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Severn River Publishing: Covert Action (Command and Control #5) by J.R. Olson and David Bruns

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz


HMV to Buy Ottakar's--Finally

HMV Group, owner of Waterstone's bookstores, will buy Ottakar's bookstores for 285 pence a share (about US$118 million), 35% less than its original 440-pence-per-share offer last September, Bloomberg reported. HMV said it already has control of 41% of Ottakar's stock, which could lessen the chance of a competing bid from WH Smith or others. HMV's original offer expired during the long period of review by the Competition Commission, which ultimately approved the sale.

If the deal is concluded, the "Wattakar's" combination would have 336 bookstores and represent 24% of the U.K. book market.

Under pressure from grocery store chains and Internet booksellers, sales at traditional bookstores in the U.K. have eroded in the past year. Last week Ottakar's said sales at stores open at least a year fell 8% in the 16 weeks ended May 20. Sales at Waterstone's in the similar period dropped 5.6%.

"The strategic rationale for bringing the two businesses together is stronger than ever," HMV CEO Alan Giles said during a conference call quoted by Bloomberg. Giles said that HMV will benefit from economies of scale and the consolidation of "administrative and head office functions."

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Notes: Gagged Librarians Speak; Dan Lundy Dies

Anonymous until recently because of a federal gag order, four Connecticut librarians who have fought a national security letter appeared in public yesterday at a press conference and "expressed frustration about the sweeping powers given to law enforcement authorities by the USA Patriot Act," the New York Times reported. The four, who are among the leaders of the Library Connection, Windsor, Conn., won part of their court fight over the demand for library records when a panel of the federal court of appeals dismissed the government's appeal of a lower court ruling lifting the gag order.

One of the librarians, George Christian, Library Connection's executive director, said that he and the other leaders of library consortiums in Connecticut had discussed hiring a lawyer to lobby against parts of the Patriot Act but accepted government assurances that here was little chance of federal investigators seeking library records. "We trusted them but apparently we shouldn't have," he said.


After rising to a four-year high in April, the Conference Board's consumer confidence measure dropped almost seven points, its biggest fall since Hurricane Katrina, according to the AP. Although the drop wasn't as large as feared by analysts, it might indicate a tightening of consumer spending. Lynn Franco of the Board's Consumer Research Center attributed the drop to "apprehension about the short-term outlook for the economy, the labor market and consumers' earning potential."


We were sad to hear that Dan Lundy, v-p, academic sales and marketing and library sales, at Penguin, died on Sunday after a battle with cancer. Many college booksellers and librarians considered him one of the nicest people in the business. A service will be held Friday evening.

Letters and cards may be sent to his family (he was the father of young children) via Heather Hart at the Penguin Group, 375 Hudson St., New York, N.Y. 10014. She is available also to answer questions or provide information at


Everybody Reads, the new bookstore in Lansing, Mich., that opened earlier this month, carries general books, but owner Scott Harris focuses on "what he calls underserved groups, such as single parents, minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and children," the Lansing State Journal reported. The store offers a free meeting space and a book exchange. The grand opening will be Saturday, June 17.

Everybody Reads is located at 2019 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, Mich. 48912; 517-346-9900.


The Lima News profiles Book Reviews Et Cetera, the nonprofit used bookstore in Bluffton, Ohio, owned by Ruth Unrau, a former teacher, author and librarian. The store is affiliated with the Et Cetera Shop, which is run by several Mennonite churches in the area.

Because of "tension between being a librarian and being a bookseller," Unrau lets an unsold book linger on the shelves for a year before pulling it. She also recommends bookselling for retirees who are comfortable financially, saying, "It is a good retirement project. I can meet people outside my usual circles."


Earlier this month, Lisa Knudsen, executive director of the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association, took a five-day campaign-style swing through Texas with the aim of promoting association membership to as many bookstores as possible. (The area used to be represented by the Mid-South Independent Booksellers Association, which folded a little over a year ago.) The trip was "certainly a success," Knudsen said. MPIBA now has 21 bookstore members in Texas, and more stores are expected to join.


Kepler's, Menlo Park, Calif., is launching a series of author events called Grassroots Tuesdays that will run through the summer, feature local and new authors and be organized around themes.

The first Grassroots Tuesday will be held next Tuesday, June 6, with Robert Greenfield, author of Timothy Leary: A Biography.

"Overturning Conventional Wisdom" is the theme of the second Grassroots Tuesday, which will be held on June 13 and include Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, and Jeffrey Pfeffer, whose new book is Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management.

"Our Understanding of the World" is the theme for the June 20 Grassroots Tuesday, presenting Pacifica Radio reporter Aaron Glantz, author of How America Lost Iraq; Rucha Humnabadkar, whose novel Dance of the Fireflies draws on her work as a journalist and her experiences with India's street children; and Hemila Pedram, whose Bazaar Stories chronicles the people she met while visiting Iran for the first time in 28 years.


More on the "wake up, not a wake" event for Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, Calif. The community rally will be held on Thursday, June 8, at 7 p.m., at the Trinity United Methodist Church at Bancroft Way and Dana Street, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet.


SDSUniverse profiles Donna Tusak, the new CEO of the Aztec Shops of San Diego State University in San Diego, Calif. The campus auxiliary service runs, among other things, the bookstore, food service and at least one dormitory.

"The market we serve changes every year with the arrival of new students," Tusak told the paper. "Our goal is to make sure that we are constantly changing and evolving to match their needs, whether it is in the services of the bookstore, the food in the restaurants or in new areas."


A reminder: podcasts of some events at BEA are available at Among the first offerings: John Updike's breakfast talk about booksellers, books and culture; an interview with AAP head Pat Schroeder; and appropriately, pointers on the "best way to leverage podcasting" from Tee Morris, co-author of Podcasting for Dummies, and Rob Simon, president of BurstMarketing, the company that is producing the BEA podcasts.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Penguin Puts Spotlight on Shadow of the Wind

In one of the more unusual rep efforts for a favorite book, the Penguin Sales Group is pulling out the stops for a book first published in the U.S. more than two years ago--aiming to get it on the New York Times bestseller list and help it "gain an ever-wide readership."

The book is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, translated by Lucia Graves (Penguin, $15, 0143034901), a bestseller in 45 countries that won the 2004 Borders Original Voices Award for Fiction, gained a 2005 Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Award and was chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. Since its release in January 2005, Penguin has shipped some 497,000 copies of the trade paperback edition.

For what it's calling Shadow of the Wind lollapalooza month, Penguin reps have drummed up support at Hastings Entertainment, which has adopted The Shadow of the Wind for its summer book club. Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has picked the title for her Pennie's Pick in the June issue of the Costco Connection, which goes to many of the wholesale club's members. The publication also has an interview with the author.

Last but not least, Penguin is resoliciting the many bookseller accounts that have already enjoyed handselling the book. The "task" may not be too difficult, considering some of the praise the book has won, as related by booksellers to Penguin.

First, here's a description of the book--which begins in 1945 in Barcelona--by Barbara Peters of Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, Ariz., who made it a First Mystery Club Pick in 2004: "The young boy Daniel weeps for he cannot remember his mother's face. To console him, his father, an antiquarian bookseller, initiates Daniel into the secrets of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a vast (and uncatalogued) library of winding stacks and hidden treasures tended by Barcelona's guild of rare book dealers. Daniel, his father says, should choose whatever book that comes to hand; it will have special meaning for him. And indeed Daniel so loves the book he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work, only to learn that someone has been systematically destroying every single copy of every book Carax wrote. Daniel's may be the very last one. Fascinated by the blind Clara, daughter of the owner of a palatial city bookstore, he constructs a mirage world that with time, and his innocent quest after Carax, opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets."

Rick Zander of Carytown Books, Richmond, Va., called the book "an easy handseller no matter the customer's taste" and said he uses it as a "training tool. I have a new employee watch a senior staff member handsell The Shadow of the Wind. Then I have the new staff member read the book. The book is so outstanding that it gives the new employee the confidence to start handselling."

At the Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., the book "continues to be one of our top sellers by being on the staff picks table," according to Sandy Johnson. "Plus everyone else in the store knows how much I liked it, so if a customer's looking for a good novel, they'll say, 'Well, Sandy loved Shadow of the Wind and everyone she's recommended it to has loved it, too.' "

The Shadow of the Wind was the "book of the year" in 2004 at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to Nicola Rooney, who said that "it retains its place among our favorite novels of all time. . . . A book about the lure of books--what a treat."

The title was also the book of the year in 2004 at Queen Anne Avenue Books in Seattle, Wash. Tegan Tigani commented: "What I love about The Shadow of the Wind is that it's a novel that has it all--history, mystery, romance and gorgeous language--but is unlike any other book out there."

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Greg Manning of Love, Greg & Lauren

Today on the Early Show: movie-maker 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 the Today Show: Greg Manning, author of Love, Greg & Lauren (Bantam, $11.95, 055338189X), the account of the slow healing of Lauren Manning, who was badly burned on September 11.

Also on the Today Show: Paul Babiak, psychologist and co-author of Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Regan Books, $26.95, 0060837721). The suitor will also be on Dateline tonight.


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Jean Said Makdisi, author of Teta, Mother, and Me: Three Generations of Arab Women (Norton, $25.95, 0393061566).


Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show, guest host Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations talks with Eduardo Galeano, author of Voices of Time: A Life in Stories translated by Mark Fried (Metropolitan, $25, 0805077677).

Books & Authors

SIBA Book Award Finalists

Finalists for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Book Award, which recognizes Southern literature and is given by Southern booksellers "to books they most enjoyed handselling the previous year," have been chosen. SIBA stores will now vote for the winners, which will be announced June 19. Winners receive a $500 prize at SIBA's trade show in Orlando, Fla., on September 8. The finalists are:

  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson (Warner)
  • The Mayor of Lexington Avenue by James Sheehan (Yorkville Press)
  • The Pleasure Was Mine by Tommy Hays (St. Martin's)

  • Madness Like Morning Glories by doris davenport (LSU Press)
  • What Travels with Us by Darnell Arnoult (LSU Press)


  • Being Dead Is No Excuse by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays (Miramax)
  • Seasoned in the South by Bill Smith (Algonquin)


  • Eudora Welty by Suzanne Mars (Harcourt)
  • Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow)
  • Solo by Clyde Edgerton (Algonquin)
  • Sweet Potato Queens Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide by Jill Conner Browne (Crown)


  • A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline Ogburn (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Carolina's Story by Donna Rathmell (Sylvan Dell Publishing)
  • Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (Gulliver Books)
  • Rosa by Nikki Giovanni (Holt)
  • Water Beds by Gail Langer Kawoski (Sylvan Dell Publishing)

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Appearing next week, with a Tuesday, June 6, laydown date:

Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and Other Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Class War by BBC television reporter Greg Palast (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949682) tears into the Bush administration. Palast cites dozens of documents labeled "secret" and "confidential."

I Had the Right to Remain Silent . . . But I Didn't Have the Ability by Ron White (Dutton, $24.95, 0525949615) is the latest--following Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy--of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour's text adaptations. White's deadpan comic genius is accompanied by artistic interpretations from illustrator Matthew Shultz.

On the Couch by actress Lorraine Bracco (Putnam, $25.95, 039915356X) chronicles her life from an ugly-duckling childhood to her Academy Award-nominated performance in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. Today she is best known as Dr. Jennifer Melfi on The Sopranos.

Charlemagne by Derek Wilson (Doubleday, $26, 0385516703) sheds light on the emperor, warrior, scholar and saint who created the basis for modern Europe, influenced rulers from Napoleon to Charles de Gaulle and brought a revival of humane learning during the early Middle Ages.

In Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown, $27.95, 1400054206) Ann Coulter attempts to prove that liberalism "has its own cosmology, its own miracles, its own beliefs in the supernatural, its own churches, its own high priests, its own saints, its own total worldview . . . all the attributes of what is generally known as 'religion.' "


Appearing in paperback June 6:

Black Wind by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (Berkley, $9.99, 0425204235) pits Dirk Pitt Sr. and Jr., along with sister Summer, against a South Korean industrialist who is plotting to rid his country of American troops so that the North can invade. The Pitts also must stop a deadly chemical attack on Los Angeles.

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