Shelf Awareness for Friday, June 23, 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

Editors' Note

Congratulations and Best Wishes to the Tattered Cover!

We congratulate and wish the best of luck to the Tattered Cover, which this weekend moves its flagship store to the Lowenstein Theater from Cherry Creek in Denver and opens bright and early Monday morning. An editorial in the Denver Post paints a nice portrait of the new space's décor: "The thick green carpeting, earthtone colors on the walls, old globe chandeliers all provide appealing warmth. The extra-high ceilings and huge windows give the store a sense of openness."

In an article about the move, the Post quotes ABA COO Oren Teicher about the store: "When they moved to open that store in Highlands Ranch [in 2004], they recognized that their customers had moved to the suburbs. Moving the Cherry Creek store to the new location is a demonstration of a business that has figured out that you have to adapt."

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


Notes: Author-Gamers; Writers Marathon; Store Stories

Today's New York Times has a long article on publishers and authors who have gambled--apparently with a high rate of success--that author appearances in casinos can draw in a slew of longtime and new readers. For example, Janet Evanovich recently "addressed more than 1,200 ardent, hooting fans" at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. Foxwoods, which started offering books signings last fall, also will deal in Augusten Burroughs soon. The nearby Mohegan Sun has or will raise the ante with Erica Jong, Robin Cook, Nora Roberts and Sue Grafton.

And, of course, the Reading Room in Mandalay Place in Las Vegas, Nev., regularly hosts authors.


On the eve of the ALA convention in New Orleans, La., the New Orleans Times-Picayune notes that with 18,000 attendees, this is "the first major test of the city's convention industry since Hurricane Katrina [and] the city's handling of this event, one of the nation's largest conventions, will go a long way toward preserving--or diminishing--its reputation as a premier convention destination."

The paper added that "the library convention's significance is not lost on the local tourism industry, which spent Monday cleaning heavily trafficked areas of the French Quarter, Central Business District and Garden District, nor on Convention Center officials, who plan to greet the crowds with a refurbished building."


Cool idea of the day: the Sanddollar Book Store in Venice, Fla., and the Florida Writers Association are holding an "FWA Day" tomorrow, "a writers and readers marathon" that will run from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported. At least 10 Florida writers will read from their works, and the FWA will have an informational booth in the store.


The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C., "recently helped to dissuade Duke University from opening a huge bookstore right down the street" and in May, it launched an online promotion that has increased Internet sales, Bookselling This Week reported.

The Internet campaign, called "Dry Up the Amazon," outlined "the benefits of shopping at versus" and offered 30% off Book Sense Picks and New York Times bestsellers, 10% off all other trade titles and, during May, a $5 Book Sense gift card on all Web orders of $25 or more.


Bookselling This Week also profiles 30-year-old Prairie Books & Gifts in Hastings, Neb., which over the years moved from downtown to a mall and then back downtown.


The current issue of New Age Retailer magazine, which is free to retailers, has a Q&A--one of the longest we've ever seen--with Susan Weis, proprietress of breathe books, Baltimore, Md., which opened in October 2004 (Shelf Awareness, September 27). Among the "answers" that stood out:

  • "You cannot just open a bookstore and expect that to be it. I knew I couldn't make a living just selling books. Events were an integral part of my original business plan, and I had an events calendar from Day 1. I had three months of events planned when I opened my store. People are hungry to learn."
  • "The store looks like a living room with a lot of bookcases and three or four tables set up with other gift items. It is cozy and warm, and it smells great, like all New Age stores do. You just don't want to leave."
  • Concerning her book selection, which now consists of almost 5,300 titles: "I wanted books you couldn't necessarily find at Barnes & Noble. I wanted books from smaller publishers. I wanted books that went deeper into something, rather than just skimming the surface."

For anyone who needs to convert a 10-digit ISBN to a 13-digit one or vice versa, there is an online converter at

[Thanks to Ken White of the San Francisco State University Bookstore!]

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Media and Movies

Writers Reflect on Faith & Reason with Bill Moyers

Tonight PBS airs the first of a seven-part series from Bill Moyers called Faith & Reason, which features conversations with writers, many of whom he interviewed while they were in New York City recently for the PEN World Voices Festival. The authors are Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Mary Gordon, David Grossman, Colin McGinn, Anne Provoost, Richard Rodriguez, Salman Rushdie and Jeanette Winterson.

As Moyers explained: "In a world where religion is poison to some and salvation to others, how do we live together? It's an old debate, this discussion of belief and disbelief. On one end of the spectrum people say, 'Only religion counts.' On the other end, 'Only reason counts.'

"Well, I've always been a fellow who falls in the middle of this one. Neither wholly a believer nor wholly a skeptic, I see democracy as a co-operative that depends on our thinking out loud and reasoning through until we resolve the issue."

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

Media Heat: Bill Buford's Own Heat

Today on 20/20, Dr. Michael F. Roizen shares tips from You the Owner's Manual: An Insiders Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger (Collins, $24.95, 0060765313).


Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Bill Buford, author of Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany (Knopf, $25.95, 1400041201)


Tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman: Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671).


Tomorrow on the Weekend Today Show: Jennifer Rubell, author of Real Life Entertaining: Easy Recipes and Unconventional Wisdom (Morrow Cookbooks, $27.50, 0060778474).

Also on the Weekend Today Show: Arthur J. Barsky, M.D., author of Stop Being Your Symptoms and Start Being Yourself: The 6-Week Mind-Body Program to Ease Your Chronic Symptoms (Collins, $24.95, 0060766131).

Books & Authors

Book Brahmin: Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts is the author of A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler (HarperCollins, $26.95, 0007161069), a narrative nonfiction rediscovery of James Holman, a forgotten sightless adventurer of the early 1800s. A member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, Roberts is also the inaugural winner of the Van Zorn Prize for fiction by emerging writers, awarded by Michael Chabon. Here he answers a series of questions we occasionally ask people in the industry.

On nightstand now:

The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner. It's set in Namibia, which gained independence from South Africa in 1990, and it draws upon Orner's own experiences as an English teacher there. Not a long book, but one I'm wanting to take my time with nevertheless. Orner has an intense, amazingly compressed style, one comparable to (but not reminiscent of) Nabokov. Some chapters are only a few paragraphs long, but that's all Orner takes to set you reeling. I'm savoring this one.

Favorite book when you were a child:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Everyone remembers Mrs Whatsit and little Charles Wallace, but do you remember the book's central evil (a crime perpetrated by a disembodied brain named IT)? It was persuading people to give up their individual rights and freedom in the name of security.

Top five authors:

Vladimir Nabokov, Charles Dickens, J.D. Salinger, Anthony Burgess, Theodore Sturgeon (Theodore who? Discover him for yourself).

Book you've "faked" reading:

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann. In college. I didn't NOT read it, in the sense that I dutifully raked my eyes across every page. But I certainly didn't engage with it as anything other than a pile of words. That disconnect should have shut me up in classroom discussions, yet, regrettably, it didn't.

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

East Wind, Rain by Caroline Paul. It's a fictional retelling of an incredible accident of history. Turns out that in 1941, one of the Japanese Zeros attacking Pearl Harbor crash-landed on Ni'ihau, Hawaii's most isolated island. The natives didn't even have a radio to tell them there was a war going on, and they ended up sheltering the injured pilot for several days. On those bare facts, Paul builds a beautifully wrought love story and a vivid portrait of this unique, private island, deliberately kept out of sync with the times by its owners. I particularly tout it to book clubs and reading groups.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and the Journey by Isabel Fonseca. It was the combination of the evocative title and the stark black-and-white image--a young Romany girl, staring unguardedly into the camera--that hooked me. Fortunately, it's a book that's even better than its packaging.

Book that changed your life:

A torn paperback edition of The Martian Chronicles that Ray Bradbury inscribed, "To Jason--Good luck with your writing!" Just a polite scribble, but to a 14-year-old boy it read like a precious validation of a true calling.

Favorite line from a book:

Right now, it's from The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo: "Not yet morning and Obadiah sits in the paling darkness in his blue chair and caresses his new Grundig radio." Dang.

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

The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen: "the common miracles--the murmur of my friends at evening, the clayfires of smudgy juniper, the coarse, dull food, the hardship and simplicity, the contentment of doing one thing at a time: when I take my blue tin cup into my hand, that is all I do."

(And a bonus question.) What song do you wish was a book?

Pocahontas by Neil Young. I mean, c'mon: "Aurora borealis/The icy sky at night/Paddles cut the water/In a long and hurried flight." That song IS a book--or at least it offers a more substantial, unforgettable procession of imagery than most books. It also has an unreliable narrator, tragedy commingled with deadpan humor, and a special guest appearance by Marlon Brando.

The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/PNBA List

The following were the bestselling books at Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association stores during the week ended Sunday, June 18, as reported to Book Sense.

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (Harcourt, $25, 0151012377)
2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $23.95, 1565124995)
3. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375422722)
4. Terrorist by John Updike (Knopf, $24.95, 0307264653)
5. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731)
6. Digging to America by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $24.95, 0307263940)
7. Telegraph Days by Larry McMurtry (S&S, $25, 0743250788)
8. The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst (Random House, $24.95, 1400060192)
9. The Blight Way by Patrick F. McManus (S&S, $24, 0743280474)
10. The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King (Bantam, $24, 0553804537)
11. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (Pantheon, $25.95, 0375422749)
12. At Risk by Patricia D. Cornwell (Putnam, $21.95, 0399153624)
13. The Book of the Dead by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child (Warner, $25.95, 0446576980)
14. Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316159786)
15. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (Nan Talese, $23.95, 0385516169)
Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Wisdom of Our Fathers by Tim Russert (Random House, $22.95, 1400064805)
2. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
3. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, $26.95, 1594200823)
4. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $30, 0374292795)
5. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, $29.95, 0670037605)
6. Godless by Ann H. Coulter (Crown Forum, $27.95, 1400054206)
7. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
8. Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee (FSG, $24, 0374280398)
9. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury, $24.95, 1582344515)
10. Cesar's Way by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier (Harmony, $24.95, 0307337332)
11. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Knopf, $24.95, 1400042666)
12. Heat by Bill Buford (Knopf, $25.95, 1400041201)
13. A Heckuva Job by Calvin Trillin (Random House, $12.95, 1400065569)
14. Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity by John Stossel (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302548)
15. Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949682)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
2. Saturday by Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14.95, 1400076196)
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
4. History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $13.95, 0393328627)
5. The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch (Bloomsbury, $13.95, 1582346291)
6. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
7. Until I Find You by John Irving (Ballantine, $15.95, 0345479726)
8. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Picador, $14, 031242440X)
9. March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14, 0143036661)
10. Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos (Grove, $13, 0802142109)
11. Zorro by Isabelle Allende (Harper Perennial, $14.95, 0060779004)
12. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $14, 1400078776)
13. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0143036696)
14. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 0061122416)
15. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (Regan Books, $16, 0060987103)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671)
2. If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende (Algonquin, $12.95, 156512524X)
3. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17, 0143036556)
4. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (Random House, $14.95, 0812973011)
5. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (Penguin, $15, 0143036610)
6. Night by Elie Wiesel (FSG, $9, 0374500010)
7. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
8. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss (Gotham, $11, 1592402038)
9. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Plume, $15, 0452287081)
10. The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant (Norton, $14.95, 0393328643)
11. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
12. The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (Harvest, $14, 0156031566)
13. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Vintage, $14, 0679745580)
14. Plan B by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $14, 1594481571)
15. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson (Harvest, $15, 0156031442)

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. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Anchor, $7.99, 0307275558)
4. Blood From a Stone by Donna Leon (Penguin, $7.99, 014303698X)
5. Deception Point by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524800)
6. Black Wind by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (Berkley, $9.99, 0425204235)
7. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, Fourth Edition (Merriam-Webster, $7.50, 0877799296)
8. 1984 by George Orwell (Signet, $7.95, 0451524934)
9. Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman (HarperTorch, $7.99, 006056346X)
10. 4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Warner, $9.99, 0446613363)


1. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (Random House, $17, 0679805273)
2. Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer (Atheneum, $17.95, 141692454X)
3. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Yearling, $6.50, 0440421705)
4. Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus (Random House, $11.95, 0375834036)
5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
6. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $7.99, 0763625299)
7. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
8. The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau (Random House, $15.95, 0375875263)
9. Pirates by John Matthews (Atheneum, $19.95, 1416927344)
10. The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares (Delacorte, $8.95, 0553375938)
11. Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $21, 037582670X)
12. Ranger's Apprentice (The Ruins of Gorlan, Book One) by John Flanagan (Penguin, $6.99, 0142406635)
13. The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer (Simon Pulse, $8.99, 0689867468)
14. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist (Scholastic, $6.99, 0439372976)
15. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (Random House, $5.99, 0375822747)

[Thanks to PNBA and Book Sense!]

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