Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 5, 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


SCBA Children's Tour Bus to Roll July 22

The Southern California Booksellers Association's fourth independent bookstore tour, set for Saturday, July 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., will be its first that focuses on children. "Readers of all ages" are welcome, and children must be accompanied by adults.

Sponsored with Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena, the latest "I Feel the Need to Read" tour will visit the museum and four children's bookstores and meet a range of children's authors. The tour "is both an educational tool for the industry and a fun way to spend the day," SCBA executive director Jennifer Bigelow said. "I hope that readers will join us to discover these very special, locally owned book havens that reflect each owner's unique personality and love of children's books and literacy."

Besides Kidspace Children's Museum, the tour will visit:

  • Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Bookshop in La Verne, which has more than 35,000 titles and "a wide selection of playthings, craft sets and a complete science section." Dawn Barnes, author of Night on the Mountain of Fear (Black Belt Club, Scholastic), will join the group for a chat and demonstration.
  • Once Upon A Time in Montrose, the 40-year-old store that displays books on antique furniture and is one of Sunset Magazine's choices for the five great children's bookstores. Michele Dominguez Greene, musician and author of Chasing the Jaguar (HarperCollins), will talk about her latest book.
  • Storyopolis in Studio City, an unusual art gallery and bookstore that showcases the best in storybook illustration and editorial art.
  • The Frugal Frigate, a Children's Bookstore in Redlands, an innovative bookstore, where "tourists" will be able to meet Diane Adams, author of Zoom! (Peachtree).

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

Notes: Michaels Stores Sold; Editorial el Mundo Moves

Michaels Stores, the arts-and-crafts retailer with more than 1,000 stores that sell a significant amount of related books, is being bought by a private equity group consisting of Bain Capital and Blackstone Group, for $6 billion. The company had announced in March that it was exploring "strategic alternatives"; the purchase price was 30% higher than the market value of the company when it made the announcement. Recently private equity groups have focused on buying retail companies, and Michaels reportedly stood out because of its lack of debt and heavy cash flow, which could help pay for the acquisition.

Michaels's chairman Charles J. Wyly Jr., said in a statement quoted by the New York Times, "This transaction delivers outstanding value for all Michaels Stores' shareholders and represents a powerful endorsement of our company's strategy, performance, and business prospects."

Michaels Stores also operates Aaron Brothers stores; Star Decorators Wholesale Warehouse; Recollections, a scrapbook supply store; and Artistree, which manufactures some products for Michaels and Aaron Brothers.


Sadly Jim Baen, the publisher of Baen Books who suffered a severe stroke several weeks ago, died on June 28. He was 62.

As noted on the company's Web site, Baen built the house into "one of the leading publishers of science fiction and fantasy, and in recent years a leader in electronic publishing and the fight against encrypted books."

According to the house, "The surviving partners of Baen and his heirs intend to continue Jim's legacy of innovative, independent publishing. Longtime Baen Books executive editor Toni Weisskopf will be acting publisher and direct day-to-day operation of the company."

Remembrances of Baen's life will be held at Tri-noc-Con in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, July 22, and at Lacon IV, the Worldcon, in Los Angeles in August.

For a long, heartfelt obituary go to author David Drake's Web site, where the following appeared:

"The two books Jim most remembered as being formative influences were Fire-Hunter by Jim Kjelgaard and Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke. The theme of both short novels is that a youth from a decaying culture escapes the trap of accepted wisdom and saves his people despite themselves. This is a fair description of Jim's life in SF: he was always his own man, always a maverick, and very often brilliantly successful because he didn't listen to what other people thought."


Nearly 30 years old, Editorial el Mundo--a Spanish-language bookstore but also long a gateway for immigrants--in the Adams Morgan section of Washington, D.C., has closed and will reopen this week in Manassas, Va., with a new owner, the Washington Post reported.

Walk-in traffic dropped as Borders and began selling Spanish-language literature and many Latinos moved to the suburbs. Owner Leonor Rodriguez and her family are not sad. As one son put it: "We used the store as a springboard for the entire family to succeed."

The new owner has a travel agency that is affiliated with a travel agency owned by the Rodriguezes.


The New York Times spreads the word about "authors taking a pro-active role in developing audio versions of their books. Thinking this medium could attract new readers, they are trying to create more than a straightforward spoken version of their work."

Among examples: Greg Palast, who got Janeane Garofalo, Ed Asner and Jello Biafra to lend their voices to an audiobook of his Armed Madhouse; and Sarah Vowell, who persuaded Stephen King, Jon Stewart and Catherine Keener to help with the audio of Assassination Vacation.


Cool idea of the day. Ward Trefft of Chop Suey Books in Richmond, Va., has declared July International Local Bookseller Month and will give discounts to any customer who purchases books at any of at least 17 other Richmond area independent bookstores, according to

Customers will receive a 10% discount on new books and 20% on used. Three or more receipts qualify for 20% and 30% discounts, respectively.

"It's an effort to subvert the tendency to go to larger bookstores," said Tefft. "We want to get people used to checking out the smaller and locally owned stores.

"It's really the small businesses that put the face on the town," he continued. "Target's a great place; I went there yesterday. But certainly everyone has a Target. People fall in love with the little restaurants and cafés and stores that give individuality to each city."


Just when you might have thought it was safe to sit near a bookstore front window. . .

On Sunday an SUV crashed into the front of a Barnes & Noble in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., according to the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader. No one was injured, but for the time being, the main entrance will be through the store's café.


The Connecticut Post profiles Dianne DeFonce, one of the first employees of a Borders store that opened in 2001 in Fairfield and now the event and book group moderator. She calls the store "the love of her life."

Among her duties: organizing the monthly Round Table, which features three to six authors who talk about their books and how they broke into the business. Many participants are aspiring writers.


Jeff Rogart has been promoted to v-p, director of mass retail sales, at HarperCollins, where he will oversee sales into all warehouse clubs and Wal-Mart--as well as the companies that service them, including AMS, Ingram and Anderson Merchandisers. He joined the company in 1994. Brian Grogan, to whom he reports, said Rogart "has done a remarkable job in growing our business at the warehouse clubs."

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lane Smith; Jeff Goodell

As usual for the first show of the month, the theme of the Book Report, the new weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., is children's books. Today's show features an interview with Lane Smith, author and illustrator of the new John, Paul, George & Ben (Hyperion, $16.99, 0786848936). As the show put it, Smith "has published zillions of well-loved children's books, many of them with his writing partner Jon Scieszka."

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at; the archived edition will be posted this afternoon.


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future (Houghton Mifflin, $25.95, 0618319409).

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

Books & Authors

Pennie's Pick: This House of Sky

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, book buyer at Costco, has chosen Ivan Doig's 1978 memoir, This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind (Harvest, $14, 0156899825), as her pick of the month. The pick is highlighted in Costco Connection, the magazine that goes to some members of the warehouse club.

Ianniciello writes that the memoir "was immediately hailed as an example of masterful writing. I don't hesitate to call it an American classic.

"Doig begins his story on his sixth birthday and leads readers through his youth in rugged Montana as he's raised by his father and grandmother--among sheepherders, ranchers and denizens of small-town saloons.

"He explores how the landscape and early familial bonds can't help but shape people as they grow and begin their search for love, family and independence."

Doig's latest novel, The Whistling Season (Harcourt, $25, 0151012377), was published last month.

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From the current Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


Let Me Finish by Roger Angell (Harcourt, $25, 0151013500). "In this moving series of autobiographical essays, Angell reflects on a rich, full life and looks back on his long career at the New Yorker, as well as the careers of his mother and stepfather, Katherine and E.B. White, at that same magazine. He also provides enchanting accounts of growing up in New York during the 1930s, his military career in World War II, and his love of baseball, movies, reptiles(!), and martinis. An undeniably witty and charming work."--Joe Murphy, Olsson's Books & Records, Washington, D.C.

Crows Over the Wheatfield by Adam Braver (Morrow, $24.95, 0060782323). "From the tragic opening scene of an accident on a New England road to the uncovering of Van Gogh's secrets in Auvers, France, this is a haunting novel about truth, morality, and art, full of suspense and artful design. It's a story you will find impossible to put down--and impossible to forget."--Sue Woodman, A Novel Idea, Bristol, R.I.


Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics by Miriam Engelberg (Harper Paperbacks, $14.95, 0060789735). "Engelberg has written a graphic novel of her battle with cancer that pulls no punches. This is gutsy and funny and in your face. It is a memoir of her disease, but it is bigger than the disease--it is a story that should not be shuffled to the back of the women's health section, but read for the sheer joy and humor."--Jude Sales, A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, San Francisco, Calif.

For Children to Age 8

Hush Little Digger by Ellen Olson-Brown, illustrated by Lee White (Tricycle Press, $12.95, 1582461600). "A fun remake of the classic song 'Hush Little Baby.' Papa sings a song to his son using all kinds of machines, such as a dump truck, asphalt spreader, and concrete grinder. This book will spark a lot of discussion, and, then, you can go on your own search for machines."--Julie Gaston, Butterfly Books, De Pere, Wis.

John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith (Hyperion, $16.99, 0786848936). "Such wild little boys--who became the Fathers of their Country! John, Paul, George & Ben will bring a smile to adults, too, as they follow this outrageous 'history.' Young readers won't forget the personal take on four Revolutionary leaders."--Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

The following titles have laydown dates of next Tuesday, July 11:

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153721) follows a shaken Bostonian chef recovering from violent trauma in a small Wyoming town.

Brethren: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar by Robyn Young (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949755) weaves the stories of a young, ambitious Knight Templar charged with recovering a heretical Templar book and an Egyptian sultan determined to repel the Christians from his lands.

Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs (Scribner, $25.95, 0743233492) continues the exploits forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

The Hot Flash Club Chills Out by Nancy Thayer (Ballantine, $21.95, 034548553X) is the fourth of Thayer's Hot Flash Club novels, this time set in a summer home on Nantucket.

Dragon's Fire by Anne McCaffrey and Todd J. McCaffrey (Del Rey, $24.95, 0345480287) continues the epic Dragonriders of Pern series.

Errors and Omissions by Paul Goldstein (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385517173) puts intellectual property lawyer Michael Seeley in the middle of a violent struggle between studio heads over a cash cow movie franchise.

Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean (Viking, $25.95, 0670037745) explores the social and political influence of neoconservatism.

Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top by Seth Mnookin (S&S, $26, 0743286812) chronicles the Red Sox from early baseball history to some major victory in 2004.

Appearing in paperback on July 11:

Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $13.95, 0307275973)

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Vintage, $14, 0375706674)

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