Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley


Notes: Digital Divides; New Used Store Highlighted

E-read all about it! Reuters reports that long-promised flexible digital screens which can be rolled up and put into a pocket "may finally arrive" in newspaper form as early as this year. Several major newspaper chains, including Hearst and McClatchy, have invested in such products, and "Hearst's San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle will likely be among the first of its 12 daily papers to offer such devices to several hundred subscribers later this year." A newspaper group in Europe is considering similar trials.

Production costs for some of the devices, including the Sony Reader, may be low enough for publishers to give away readers for free with an annual subscription.


Speaking of digital reading, Peter Osnos's latest column for the Century Foundation reacted to a strain of what may be called technological triumphalism evident in Kevin Kelley's New York Times Magazine cover story Scan This!, in which the author extolled a universal digital library. (It is the same story that at BEA, John Updike said conjured up a "pretty grisly scenario.") Osnos, who is leading the Caravan Project, said:

"The future is a not a just a contest among technologies . . . Search engines, hand-held devices, and whatever else is in the offing, provide tools, pipelines, and plumbing for information, but they are only as useful as the material that they carry. And the people creating that information, along with the editors and publishers who support them, have a role to play as essential to learning and entertainment as do the wizards of technology. What we need is a balance between the interests of content and the means of distribution. We also need to find a language we all understand about how to use the technology that is available. To take a now out-of-date example, what good did it do us that our old video recorders could tape programs when so few people bothered to get past the blinking 12:00? How about all the CD-ROM investments? Random House spent millions a decade ago to make sure its childrens' books could be read on CD-ROM players that were almost immediately made obsolete by the Internet. Where are all the abandoned e-readers of the first generation? Sony is going to launch a new form of e-reader for $300-$400 soon. Do book readers really want more gadgetry? Technology is only really as useful as our readiness to use it. And books, to take the subject of Kevin Kelly's opus, are only as valuable as the words and ideas in them.

"I hope that all worthy books (and news, games, and whatever else we can devise to share) are made as widely available as technology will permit. And I also hope that happens with due regard for the time-honored interests of the writers, editors, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and readers who benefit so much from them and are their creators."


Kema Clark, who worked for Ford Credit for 26 years and started Kema's Hobby, a used bookstore, in Gray, Ga., in February, is one of four entrepreneurs who will be featured in a supplement to some Time publications in August, the Macon Telegraph reported.

In addition to books, Clark sells coffee and work by local artists. The store has a small conference room where groups can meet.

So far business has been all over the lot. "February was great, March was pitiful, April was a little better and May improved on that," she told the paper. "I knew it would be up and down the first year."

Still, she's happy. "I've dreamed about coming back home and having this bookstore for years and years," Clark added. "Coming in here every day is a joy."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

No Trouble at River City Books Adding Blog and Podcast

Cool idea of the day: River City Books in Northfield, Minn., has launched its own blog, RCblog, that includes a podcast, showing that even small stores can join the blogosphere and can podcast. Tom Swift, a bookseller who does publicity for the store, said that River City had been putting out a weekly text-only e-mail for more than a year "and people really seemed to enjoy it because it had a personality." The store considered upgrading to an HTML version but jumped instead to setting up a blog, which, he continued, "allows us to publicize as much or more information with a better presentation and hopefully more customer interaction." The store also hopes to convey its essence through the blog: that "we're professional and passionate about books. We're here to serve the community. We also don't take ourselves too seriously."

Although Swift said there was "a learning curve," particularly concerning technical aspects of audio, "from the word 'go' to our first post took only about a week or two."

A week after the RCblog made its debut in April, the store co-sponsored a community book club event at which Lorna Landvik, author most recently of Oh My Stars, read and signed. "Customers were surprised that within a day or so of that reading they could listen to the full audio online. That's pretty unique for a bookstore of our size."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mothers, Daughters, Father's Day

This morning on Good Morning America: Claire Fontaine, author of Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back (Regan Books, $24.95, 0060792167).


This morning on the Early Show: Danny Seo, author of Simply Green: Parties (HarperCollins, $19.95, 0061122718).

Also on the Early Show: Olympic medalist Rulon Gardner, co-author with Bob Schaller of Never Stop Pushing: My Life from a Wyoming Farm to the Olympic Medals Stand (Carroll & Graf, $15.95, 0786715936).


This morning on Imus in the Morning: Tim Russert, author of Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters From Daughters and Sons (Random House, $22.95, 1400064805). The Meet the Press host is also on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Jon Meacham, author of American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation (Random House, $23.95, 1400065550).


Tonight on Larry King Live: Al Gore, whose new book is An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do about It (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 1

The following are significant titles with laydown dates of next Tuesday, June 20:

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $26.95, 0312349483) continues the saga of New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

Captive of My Desires by Johanna Lindsey (Pocket, $25, 1416505474) follows young English aristocrat Gabrielle Brooks as she travels to the Caribbean to find her father. Now a pirate captain, he urges Gabrielle to return to England to find a husband, with the help of some pirate cronies.

Falling in Love with Natassia: A Novel by Anna Monardo (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385514662) is the story of New York teenager Natassia's breakdown and a complicated extended family.

The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 by Ron Suskind (S&S, $27, 0743271092) explores the global, invisible battlefield of the war against terrorism.

The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde (Knopf, $23.95, 0307263665) begins with the murder of Dr. Diana Duprey, abortion clinic director and wife of Colorado DA Frank Thompson. Frank finds himself at the top of a long list of suspects.

In paperback:

Drama Is Her Middle Name: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Vol. 1 by Wendy Williams and Karen Hunter (Broadway/Harlem Moon, $10.95, 076792486X) is the first in a series of novels based on DJ Ritz Harper, Wendy Williams' alter ego. Ritz uses shock, gossip and drama to force her way to the top.

Book Brahmin: Stan Hynds

Stan Hynds is the adult book buyer at Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., where he has worked for six years. Before that, he was the adult book buyer at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif. He has a wife and two children.

On your nightstand now:

Smonk by Tom Franklin, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo, Copyeditor's Handbook by Amy Einsohn, The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens, People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn (see "faked" reading below)

Favorite book when you were a child:

Enid Blyton adventure series

Top five authors:

T. R. Pearson, Philip Roth, Michael Connell, Nick Hornby. Favorite ghostwriter: Graham Roumieu

Book you've "faked" reading:

People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.  It's on the nightstand so my wife is the only one who knows I'm faking it.  (Wait a minute...)

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Book you've bought for the cover:

PL8SPK: California Vanity Plates Retell the Classics by Daniel Nussbaum because it was made of metal.

Book that changed your life:

There were three. After a childhood spent reading a lot, I basically stopped when I became a teenager. In college I didn't exactly pick up the habit again. In my mid-20s a friend mailed three paperbacks to me for no apparent reason. They were Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith and A Short History of a Small Place by T. R. Pearson. I figured my friend went to the trouble of sending them so I should go to the trouble of reading them. I started reading books again because of that friend.

Favorite line from a book:

There are two.

"In a matter of minutes everything was back to order except for the camel who continued to bark and make threatening noises, but he cowed immediately when the voice of God shouted down from the rafters, 'Mayhew, shut up!' "--A Short History of a Small Place by T. R. Pearson

"You just can't beat yellow for a color, can you?"--Where Trouble Sleeps by Clyde Edgerton

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

A Short History of a Small Place by T. R. Pearson and Homestead by Rosina Lippi

The Bestsellers

The IMBA Bestsellers for May

The following are the May bestsellers at Independent Mystery Booksellers Association member stores:


1. The Bookwoman's Last Fling by John Dunning
2. In Plain Sight by C.J. Box
3. Murder Unleashed by Elaine Viets
3. Promise Me by Harlan Coben
5. Heart of the World by Linda Barnes
6. The Hard Way by Lee Child
7. The Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
8. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
9. Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson
9. Bleeding Hearts by Susan Wittig Albert

1. Eight of Swords by David Skibbins
2. Mrs. Jeffries Appeals the Verdict by Emily Brightwell
3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
4. The Cane Mutiny by Tamar Myers
4. Out of Range by C.J. Box
6. Deep Blue Sea by Lori Avecato
6. A Blush With Death by India Ink
6. Bust by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr
6. Bookmarked to Die by John Dunning
10. Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon
10. Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt

[Thanks to IMBA!]

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