Shelf Awareness for Friday, June 2, 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


To the Editor: What the USA PATRIOT Act Stands For

In response to our item Wednesday about the Connecticut librarians who are fighting the federal government demand for patrons' records and who could only recently talk publicly about it, Elizabeth Burton, executive editor of Zumaya Publications, wrote that she "was struck by how the correct rendering of the name of this bit of semi-totalitarian legislation has fallen by the wayside. I think it's important that those of us who oppose those 'sweeping powers' take care to remind everyone that this law is not about patriotism, that its name is an acronym carefully chosen precisely to play on the people's patriotism to support and defend it.

"The correct rendering of the law is USA PATRIOT Act--all uppercase. It stands for 'Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.' "

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


BookStream Officially on Stream

BookStream, the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., wholesaler that has been quietly selling to some booksellers in the Northeast, is "at a point now where the title base is adequate and growing all the time and the fulfillment rate is good enough for us to announce we're open for business," president Jack Herr said. BookStream began limited operations late last year (Shelf Awareness, September 8, 2005).

BookStream offers two-day shipping from Maine to Ohio to North Carolina with free freight and no minimums. The company is emphasizing its 42% discount on all orders, aimed at "leveling the playing field for all booksellers and eliminating any kind of subsidy for larger booksellers," as Herr put it. "Our business principle of fairness has resonated incredibly positively among booksellers, even the larger stores who support the idea of having their smallest colleagues have a reasonable and level playing field on which to compete."

The company is "up and running" with WordStock, IBID, Anthology, Square One and Book Log and is talking with Books in Store, Herr said.

The "crucial" aspect about the opening announcement, Herr continued, is that "we're here in business. We've overcome some hurdles and demonstrated we have the financial stamina to make this go and will continue to do so."

BookStream is located at Poughkeepsie Business Park, 900 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12603; 866-416-1112 or 845-452-4042; fax 845-452-7968. The company's Web site is

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Notes: Uneven General Retail Gains; Miracle on Elm Street

In May, sales at general retail stores open at least a year rose 3.9%, according to a Goldman Sachs index quoted by the New York Times, while an International Council of Shopping Centers index put the gain at 4.1%. But a gap widened in sales between luxury stores and discount stores, as lower-income workers, whose earnings haven't risen as fast as better-paid consumers, paid more proportionally for gasoline and tightened up on purchases.

Department stores, which have done well for several years, had particularly strong results. Comp-store sales at Penney rose 11.1%, Federated climbed 9.2% and Nordstrom was up 7.8%.

Among mass merchandisers and discounters, comp-store sales at Costco were up 10%, Target rose 5.7%, Kohl's climbed 3.1% and Wal-Mart rose 2.3%. A Wal-Mart executive commented: "Fuel prices continue to be a top concern for our customers."

Observers cautioned that the recent drop in consumer confidence, continuing high energy prices and uncertainty about the economy could dampen sales.


Elm Street Books, the New Canaan, Conn., bookstore that closed earlier this year, will reopen this summer, according to the New York Times. The store will move to a smaller location (1,800 square feet compared to 3,500) but on a busier stretch of Elm Street and with a lower rent. Eight people, including NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, have invested in the store.

[Thanks to Bookselling This Week for the tip!]


Doing it for the book.

Many of the 48 contributors to Doing It for Money: The Agony and Ecstasy of Writing and Surviving in Hollywood edited by Daryl G. Nickens (Tallfellow Press, $24.95, 193129058X)--a wide range of movie and TV writers--are blocking out time next week at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, June 8, for a party at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in Los Angeles to celebrate the book's publication.

At the party, Tallfellow, founded by Leonard Stern and Larry Sloan of Price Stern Sloan Publishers after they sold their company to Penguin, is holding a "tell us your worst writing horror story in two minutes" contest. The panel will decide which is the best worst story and give the winner a copy of the book--and perhaps inclusion in a second edition?

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

Patterson Sweetens PageTurner Pot

James Patterson, who last year gave out $100,000 in inaugural PageTurner Awards to honor schools, bookstores, libraries, other organizations and individuals who used "original and effective ways to promote the excitement of books and reading" (Shelf Awareness, November 28, 2005), is upping the prize pot to $500,000 for this year's winners.

In a statement, Patterson explained: "I read last year's nominations and was knocked out by so many of them. This year I wanted to reach as many individuals and groups as possible, anybody who does a great job spreading the fun of books and reading."

This year's awards will consist of:

  • The PageTurner of the Year, a $100,000 award to "a library, bookstore, charity, or individual that spreads the joy and excitement of reading in a unique and effective way."
  • The PageTurner School of the Year Award, a $100,000 prize for "an elementary school, middle school, high school, or college that best instills the importance and joy of reading in its students."
  • Two PageTurner Par Excellence Awards of $50,000 each to "individuals, school, organization or any other group or company that successfully encourages the excitement of books and reading."
  • Forty PageTurner Champion Awards of $5,000 each to "those who have made notable contributions to the cause of making reading fun and enjoyable."

In addition, First Book, which provides children from low-income families their first new books, will donate 1,000 books to programs serving disadvantaged children in cities of the two $100,000 winners' choosing.

The winners of this year's awards will be announced in November. Details about the awards and nomination process are at Nominations must be received by October 16.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sopranos Sitdowns

This morning the CBS Early Show gets off to a delicious start with Steve Schirripa, author of The Goomba Diet (Clarkson Potter, $23, 140005463X).


Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show travels with Fawaz Gerges, author of Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy (Harcourt, $25, 015101213X).


Today on 20/20: John Mordechai Gottman, co-author of 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America's Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies For Strengthening Your Relationship (Crown, $25, 1400050189).

Also on 20/20: Lorraine Bracco, actress, Tony Soprano's therapist and author of the memoir, On the Couch (Putnam, $25.95, 039915356X).


On Sunday, the Spoken Word, which airs on public radio stations around the country, features Lisa Tucker, author of Once Upon a Day (Atria, $24, 0743492773), and Benjamin Kunkel, whose new book is Indecision (Random House, $12.95, 0812973755).


Sunday NBC Weekend Today loosens up with Arthur J. Barsky, author of Stop Being Your Symptoms and Start Being Yourself: The 6-Week Mind-Body Program to Ease Your Chronic Symptoms (Collins Lifestyle, $24.95, 0060766131).


Sunday on ABC News: Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671).

Books & Authors

Book Brahmin: Garth Stein

Garth Stein is the author of two novels, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, winner of a 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, and Raven Stole the Moon. His play, Brother Jones, made its debut in Los Angeles at Company of Angels in 2005. Once a documentary filmmaker in New York City, Garth now lives in Seattle, Wash., and teaches fiction to kids, coaches soccer and writes. Here he answers a series of questions we occasionally ask people in the industry.

On nightstand now:

On my night stand right now is Tom Spanbauer's new book, Now Is the Hour, and 1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies. But when I read these questions to my mom, she told me I had to read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which I've never read, so now it's on my night stand, too. And then my wife said I had to read Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood. And my dad chimed in that I had to read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. So my night stand stack--which I thought was getting kind of short--has grown quite tall because of this question!

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was a child, my sister smuggled a copy of Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann into the house. She and I spent hours learning about how kids who play with matches go up in flames, kids who suck their thumbs get their thumbs cut off by the tailor and bleed to death, and so on. Endless fun!

Top five authors:

Joseph Heller, Charles Dickens, Ken Kesey, John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams.

Book you've "faked" reading:

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. High school lit class. I wanted to read it, I really did--but I ran out of time.  So I rented the movie and watched it on VHS (yes, they had VHS in 1983!). I took the final exam and got an A, so I guess the film was a pretty faithful adaptation.

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Hidden in Kim is every answer to every question ever asked.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Mythology by Edith Hamilton. I still have my paperback copy from high school, but when I saw a hardcover recently, I grabbed it.

Book that changed your life:

Ulysses by James Joyce. Not because the text changed my life, but because I had the good fortune of being guided through my reading by Wallace Gray, my college professor, who became a very good and true friend, and the only college professor I ever spoke with after graduating.

Favorite line from a book:

"Sometimes--there's God--so quickly!"--Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Papillon by Henri Charriere. To be a mec on my first cavale with Papi again? Ahh . . .

(Editors' Note: And for extra credit, a new question.)

Books you are excited to experience again through your kids?  

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Mandahla: More Father's Day Possibilities

The following is the second of three selections of recent titles that could make good picks for Father's Day gifts. Most are newly reviewed titles; several have been reviewed in Shelf Awareness already.

The Grail: A Year Ambling & Shambling Through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wild World by Brian Doyle (Oregon State University Press, $18.95 paperback, 0870710931, April)

Brian Doyle's search for the perfect pinot noir in Oregon's Willamette Valley is a joyous journey through a year at Lange Winery. Doyle calls himself a storyman; his purpose is to "collect and share stories as prayer and salve and gift, to accomplish nothing so much as mercy and tenderness." He has a gift for asking and for listening, and appreciating the subtle craft of winemaking and delighting in the result. This is a book to savor and share.

Indefensible: One Lawyer's Journey into the Inferno of American Justice by David Feige (Little, Brown, $24.95, 031615623X, June 3)

David Feige was a public defender in the South Bronx for 15 years, and has crafted a fine book out of his experience. It will enrage you, break your heart and sometimes make you laugh. Written as a typical day in a Bronx courtroom (he had nearly 100 cases at a time), he describes his work as law without the cufflinks, law the way it really is practiced in America, injustice dispensed "in flickering, fluorescent light." His compassion for people and his love for the Constitution permeate the pages of Indefensible, as does his frustration and rage at a system gone haywire and its people who perpetrate injustice by whim, prejudice and sometimes outright craziness.

Mostly Bob by Tom Corwin (New World Library, $12.95, 1577315251, January)

This appealing little flip book chronicles the life and death of Tom Corwin's beloved golden retriever, whose story is one of courage and the possibility of change. After years of abuse, Bob pushed his way into Corwin's life, blossomed under his care and discovered the world: "He evolved into a puddle of love and shared his immense heart and spirit every step of the way." Mostly Bob is completely wise and sweet.--Marilyn Dahl

The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/NCIBA List

The following were the bestselling titles at Northern California Independent Booksellers Association stores during the week ended Sunday, May 28, as reported to Book Sense:

Hardcover Fiction

1. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375422722)
2. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731)
3. Everyman by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 061873516X)
4. Digging to America by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $24.95, 0307263940)
5. Adverbs by Daniel Handler (Ecco, $23.95, 0060724412)
6. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, $22.95, 1400064767)
7. The Hard Way by Lee Child (Delacorte, $25, 0385336691)
8. At Risk by Patricia D. Cornwell (Putnam, $21.95, 0399153624)
9. Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (Random House, $24.95, 1400061962)
10. Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen (Ecco, $24.95, 006112558X)
11. Theft by Peter Carey (Knopf, $24, 0307263711)
12. Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316159786)
13. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $23.95, 1565124995)
14. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (Pantheon, $25.95, 0375422749)
15. Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein (Knopf, $23.95, 1400042313)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, $26.95, 1594200823)
2. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
3. Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0061132381)
4. Cesar's Way by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier (Harmony, $24.95, 0307337332)
5. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $30, 0374292795)
6. The Mighty and the Almighty by Madeleine Albright (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060892579)
7. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
8. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury, $24.95, 1582344515)
9. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Knopf, $24.95, 1400042666)
10. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, $29.95, 0670037605)
11. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324)
12. My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme (Knopf, $25.95, 1400043468)
13. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X)
14. Wisdom of Our Fathers by Tim Russert (Random House, $22.95, 1400064805)
15. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $14, 1400078776)
2. History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $13.95, 0393328627)
3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Anchor, $14.95, 0307277674)
4. Saturday by Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14.95, 1400076196)
5. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $14, 1594481938)
6. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
7. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Picador, $14, 031242440X)
8. Zorro by Isabelle Allende (Harper Perennial, $14.95, 0060779004)
9. March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14, 0143036661)
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
11. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0143036696)
12. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 0061122416)
13. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
14. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Mariner, $13.95, 0618711651)
15. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay, $13.95, 0316010707)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Night by Elie Weisel (FSG, $9, 0374500010)
2. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (Penguin, $15, 0143036610)
3. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Plume, $15, 0452287081)
4. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
6. Plan B by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $14, 1594481571)
7. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17, 0143036556)
8. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Vintage, $14, 0679745580)
9. Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey (Penguin, $15, 0143036912)
10. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss (Gotham, $11, 1592402038)
11. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (Amber-Allen, $12.95, 1878424319)
12. The End of Faith by Sam Harris (Norton, $13.95, 0393327655)
13. The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (HarperCollins, $14.95, 0061132268)
14. American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Vintage, $17.95, 0375726268)
15. Zagat Survey: San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants (Zagat, $13.95, 1570067384)

Mass Market

1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Anchor, $7.99, 1400079179)
2. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524797)
3. Blood From a Stone by Donna Leon (Penguin, $7.99, 014303698X)
4. The Innocent by Harlan Coben (Signet, $9.99, 045121577X)
5. Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King (Bantam, $6.99, 0553583417)
6. Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs (Pocket Star, $9.99, 0743453026)
7. The Closers by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616443)
8. Broken Prey by John Sandford (Berkley, $9.99, 0425204308)
9. Deception Point by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524800)
10. One Shot by Lee Child (Dell, $7.99, 0440241022)

Children's (Fiction and Illustrated)

1. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (Random House, $17, 0679805273)
2. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
3. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Yearling, $6.50, 0440421705)
4. Chew on This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson (Houghton Mifflin, $16, 0618710310)
5. Lilly's Big Day by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, $16.99, 0060742364)
6. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $7.99, 0763625299)
7. The Quillan Games (Pendragon) by D.J. MacHale (S&S, $15.95, 1416914234)
8. Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus (Random House, $11.95, 0375834036)
9. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, $15.99, 0060542098)
10. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
11. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (Putnam, $7.99, 0399230033)
12. Only in Your Dreams (Gossip Girl #9) by Cecily Von Ziegesar (Little, Brown, $9.99, 0316011827)
13. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, illustrated by Eric Carle (Holt, $7.95, 0805047905)
14. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $18.99, 0763625892)
15. Charlie Bone and the Hidden King (Children of the Red King #5) by Jenny Nimmo (Orchard, $9.95, 0439545307)

[Thanks to Book Sense and NCIBA!]

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