Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 3, 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

Quotation of the Day

Country's Best: Tattered Cover

"[It's] the greatest bookstore I've ever been to."--Faith Hill referring to the Tattered Cover in a Rocky Mountain News story about a concert that she and her husband, Tim McGraw, gave yesterday in Denver.

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


Notes: Amazon Woos Libraries; Berean Stores Sold

The same week that it took measures to bag the grocery market and announced that jewelry and watch sales are sparkling--up 100% in the made a move in its core area, reminding the world of its original business, books. The company has launched what it calls Library Processing, which allows library customers to receive MARC records and have books and other media ordered from Amazon fitted with Mylar jackets, bar codes, labels, etc., much like traditional library wholesalers. The services can be customized for each library; libraries can create and edit their own "processing profile" online.

"Libraries already use when they need fast and reliable delivery of products at competitive prices, but our library customers have told us they would like Library Processing in order to better serve their patrons," Greg Greeley, v-p of books, magazines and corporate accounts, said in a statement.


Standex International Corp., Salem, N.H., has sold Berean Christian Stores to an affiliate of JMH Capital, a private equity firm with headquarters in Waltham, Mass. JMH Capital describes itself as "targeting investments in middle market companies that deliver exceptional value to their customers."

Berean Christian stores operates 16 stores in five states, including Ohio, Indiana and Georgia, with most stores in California and Arizona. Berean's stores and catalogues feature Christian books, Bibles, music, gifts, church supplies, videos, computer software and apparel.

Scott Steele, managing director of JMH, was quoted by the Cincinnati Business Courier as saying, "We believe in the growth potential of Christian retail, and we look to forward to working with management to realize this potential."

The sale of Berean was the last of three divestitures of all the companies in Standex International's consumer group. Standex International calls itself a "multi-industry manufacturer" but its roots go back to the Christian book publisher Standard Publishing, which it sold last month to a private equity firm in New York.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

HarperCollins Offers Book Peeks to Web Browsers

In a program like and Google's book previews, HarperCollins is beginning a feature called "Browse Inside" on its Web site that allows "readers access to the first three pages of most chapters in 135 titles by 10 authors, including well-known writers like Michael Crichton, Lisa Scottoline, Bernard Cornwell and Paulo Coelho," today's New York Times reported.

"The younger generations are consuming information in a different way," Brian Murray, group president of HarperCollins, told the Times. "They may not necessarily be going into bookshops. They are spending time on Google, MySpace, Facebook, author Web sites, Yahoo and MSN." He added that the company lagged behind music and film in offering previews. "Customers can sample music on the radio, and movie viewers can watch trailers in a way that reduces risk for the customer," he said.

The company will also make the "Browse Inside" function available to authors for their own Web sites and is negotiating with MySpace, Friendster and other sites about using the service.

Harper refers browsers who are interested in buying to, B& and various independents. "Right now HarperCollins is not interested in becoming a retailer," CEO Jane Friedman told the paper. "But boy, are we interested in continuing, maintaining and growing as a No. 1 marketer on the Web."

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joyce Carol Oates on her Stories

Today on the Early Show: Nora Ephron, whose new book is I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman (Knopf, $19.95, 0307264556). She will also appear on the View today.


Today KCRW's Bookworm talks with Joyce Carol Oates about her High Lonesome: Stories 1966-2006 (Ecco, $34.95, 0060501197). As the show describes the conversation: "When you've written as many stories as Joyce Carol Oates, the process of choosing just sixty of them for an omnibus is daunting. Here, Oates explores those choices and--from forty years of experience--draws some conclusions about short-story writing."


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music (Dutton, $24.95, 0525949690).

This Weekend on Book TV: Gary Gallagher in Depth

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's Web site.

Saturday, August 5

8 a.m. History on Book TV. In an event hosted by the Library of Congress, Margaret Wagner, a senior writer/editor in the Library's Publishing Office, and Gary Gallagher, a professor at the University of Virginia, talked about The American Civil War: 365 Days (HNA Books, $29.95, 0810958473). (Wagner wrote and edited it; Gallagher contributed the introduction. Gallagher is also the focus of Sunday's In Depth program. See below.) The book includes photographs, lithographs, battlefield drawings, music covers and political cartoons.

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1998, John Morris talked about his book Get the Picture: A Personal History of Photojournalism (University of Chicago Press, $17, 0226539148), in which he recounts his career and tells the story of several images, including pictures of the London air raids, D-Day and the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

7 p.m. General Assignment. In Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East (Basic Books, $26, 0465003508), Ali Ansari examines U.S.-Iranian relations going back to the early 20th century.

9 p.m. After Words. Anne Mulkern, national writer for the Denver Post, interviews Representative Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.), author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security (Cumberland House, $24.95, 1581825277). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, August 6

9 a.m. Fresh Air commentator Geoffrey Nunberg talks about his new book, Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism in a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show (Perseus, $26, 1586483862). (Re-airs at 10 p.m.)

Noon-3 p.m. In Depth: a live three-hour show featuring Gary Gallagher, University of Virginia Professor in the History of the American Civil War and editor of The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 (University of North Carolina Press, $45, 0807830054). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

4 p.m. Public Lives. In an event hosted by Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., Matt Ridley, a science writer for the Economist and Daily Telegraph, talked about his new book, Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code (HarperCollins, $19.95, 006082333X). (Re-airs Monday at 3 a.m.)

7 p.m. General Assignment. Ann Coulter talks about her latest book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, $27.95, 1400054206).

The Bestsellers

Three Lives & Company Bestsellers--And Why

Wanderlust seems to be on the minds of the customers of Three Lives & Company in New York City. From a mystery set in Italy to a memoir about life in Bombay, this Greenwich Village bookstore's first-ever bestseller list (for the week ending July 30) has a distinctly international flavor. "I knew that without really realizing it," said Three Lives owner Toby Cox, who was inspired to find out his store's top sellers during a conversation with a colleague. They were perusing the NEBA and NAIBA regional lists and noted, as Cox said, that "many of those titles we never sell."

One book that surprised Cox was the No. 1 title on the hardcover fiction list: District & Circle, a collection of poems by Irish Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney. "That has been slow and steady for us, but I didn't expect it to be No. 1," said Cox. For the most part, though, he wasn't surprised at the titles that ranked as the store's bestsellers. "It's a small shop. I know what's moving."

Staff recommendations, both handsells and those featured in a display area in the store, heavily influence the bestselling titles. "As with many bookshops, it's the ones that we're recommending, the ones that we like a lot, that are selling the best," Cox commented. "The staff favorites are mostly older books. We try to pull backlist for that section," he added, which explains why the bestseller lists include both recently and not-so-recently published titles such as Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott.

Unusually some publishers are as popular as individual books with Three Lives' clientele. "We have customers coming in and asking, 'What did New York Review publish recently?' " said Cox. Europa Editions, a relative newcomer to the U.S. market whose list of European fiction ranges from crime novels to British comedy, is equally sought after. "I have customers who have read everything they've published and want to know what they're doing next," Cox said. "There's always talk about how you can't brand publishers, it's the writers, and suddenly there is this niche publisher having--at least in my shop--people coming in and saying, 'I'll read anything they publish.' " Europa's Old Filth by Jane Gardam is No. 1 on the trade paperback fiction list.

Writers with a New York City connection also get their due at Three Lives. The paperback edition of The Accidental Masterpiece by New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman arrived recently and "has been selling so well for us," said Cox. The late New York playwright Wendy Wasserstein's debut novel, Elements of Style, is No. 5 on the hardcover fiction list. Bill Buford's Heat is a hit, something that Cox attributes not only to Buford's frequent byline in the New Yorker but also to the proximity of Babbo. Not far from Three Lives, this three-star restaurant is where Buford worked with celebrity chef Mario Batali--an experience he chronicles in the book.

Maximum City by Suketu Mehta and Naples '44 by Norman Lewis benefited from placement on a travel literature display, "which we thought would be nice for summer," said Cox, but two other travel titles needed no such helping hand. Julian Green's Paris and Leonard Pitt's Walks through Lost Paris were destined to sell well at Three Lives simply because of their titles. "If it has Paris in the title, it will sell in my store," noted Cox.

Alas, there will be no more bestseller lists for Three Lives, at least for a while. With no computer system to do the tallying, "it's very time-consuming," said Cox, who is considering another bestseller list in October when the pace is "a little more brisk. I would be interested to see what it looks like then."

And what is Cox reading while vacationing on Washington State's San Juan Islands this week? In a reflection of Three Lives' bestseller lists, Cox's selections include both a backlist book and a current title: Some Hope by Edward St. Aubyn and Alice McDermott's After This, coming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux next month.--Shannon McKenna
Three Lives & Company's bestsellers during the week ended Sunday, July 30:

Hardcover Fiction

1. District & Circle: Poems by Seamus Heaney (FSG, $20, 0374140928)
2. Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731)
3. Everyman by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 061873516X)
4. The Brambles by Eliza Minot (Knopf, $23.95, 1400042690)
5. Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein (Knopf, $23.95, 1400042313)
6. Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee (Random House, $23.95, 1400061695)
7. Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey (Knopf, $24, 0307263711)
8. Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle (Viking, $25.95, 0670037702)
9. By a Slow River by Philippe Claudel (Knopf, $23, 1400042801)
10. The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright (Thomas Dunne Books, $23.95, 0312348800)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks (Penguin Press, $27.95, 159420103X)
2. Untold Stories by Alan Bennett (FSG, $32.50, 0374281033)
3. The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 by Ron Suskind (S&S, $27, 0743271092)
4. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin, $19.95, 0618477942)
5. Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford (Knopf, $25.95, 1400041201)
6. The London Scene: Six Essays on London Life by Virginia Woolf (Ecco, $26.95, 0060881283)
7. My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme (Knopf, $25.95, 1400043468)
8. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X)
9. Friendship: An Exposé by Joseph Epstein (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 0618341498)
10. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood (Penguin Press, $25.95, 1594200939)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. Old Filth by Jane Gardam (Europa Editions, $14.95, 1933372133)
2. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 0143037145)
3. Red Lights by Georges Simenon (New York Review Books Classics, $14, 1590171934)
4. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (Penguin, $14, 0143036742)
5. Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott (Picador, $13, 0312422911)
6. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Vintage, $14, 0375706674)
7. Veronica by Mary Gaitskill (Vintage, $13.95, 037572785X)
8. Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri (Penguin, $13, 014303748X)
9. Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Patterson (Europa Editions, $14.95, 193337201X)
10. What's for Dinner by James Schuyler (New York Review Books Classics, $14, 1590171675)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Anonymous (Picador, $14, 0312426119)
2. The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelman (Penguin, $15, 0143037331)
3. Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler (Harper Perennial, $17.95, 0060935723)
4. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit (Penguin, $15, 0143037242)
5. Magical Thinking: True Stories by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14, 0312315953)
6. Paris by Julian Green (Marion Boyars Modern Classics, $14.95, 0714534048)
7. Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta (Vintage, $16, 0375703403)
8. Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis (Carroll & Graf, $13.95, 0786714387)
9. Walks through Lost Paris: A Journey into the Heart of Historic Paris by Leonard Pitt (Shoemaker & Hoard, $22, 1593761031)
10. The Art of Living: The Classic Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus (HarperSanFrancisco, $11.95, 006251346X)

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