Shelf Awareness for Friday, August 4, 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

Paris, City of Lite

"This is cliché Paris. People who read these books aren't interested in what really happens at different levels of society. They're into the fantasy Paris, the Paris of sophistication and magic and Champagne drinking. [But] even clichés can be more than nice."--Marie Babin-Burke, buyer of new fiction for the W H Smith on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, quoted in a New York Times article about the popularity of many breezy novels set in Paris, which the paper calls "chick-lit à la Parisienne."

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


Notes: ABA Plans at BEA; ABFFE Box; Christian Stores

The Hotel ABA at next year's BEA in New York will be the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, which bills itself as "the only full-service hotel in Brooklyn," has just undergone a $2 million renovation of its events rooms and is completing a second tower. The hotel is in Renaissance Plaza next to Metro Tech in downtown Brooklyn and has great subway connections: it's close to the A, C, F, M, R, 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines. Last month the ABA had announced the Hotel ABA would be in Brooklyn.

ABA will hold its Thursday "Day of Education" at the hotel rather than at the Javits Center, as it has in the past at New York BEAs. In addition, it will move the Celebration of Bookselling from Friday evening to Thursday evening--and hold it at the hotel. ABA and BEA will also stage some "Welcome to Brooklyn" events highlighting the borough's authors and books.

Reservations for the Hotel ABA will open in mid-October and be handled by the ABA on a first-come, first-served basis. More information about making reservations will be announced "in the coming weeks."


The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is encouraging booksellers to set out donation boxes--headlined "FREADOM Isn't Free!"--on counters during Banned Books Week, Sept. 23-30, or starting now. This would be the first time bookstore customers have been solicited by ABFFE for money to help defend the freedom to read. "More than 200,000 bookstore customers signed the reader privacy petition seeking changes in the PATRIOT Act," ABFFE president Chris Finan said. "We're asking them to put their money where their mouth is."

The box is 6" wide x 4" high x 4 1/2" deep, and a 4" header fits into slots on top of it. A quick list of ABFFE's most important activities appears on the front. To see the box, click here. To order one, write


The Deerfield Review examines how the bookstore at Trinity International University, Deerfield, Ill., has dealt with competition from big-box stores and Internet retailers.

"We have a dual identity as the campus bookstore, as well as a local Christian bookstore," John Dichtl, books and operations manager, told the paper. "We carry the academic books that pastors, lay leaders and students need, as well as books for the general population."

Dichtl called the store "the best kept secret in Chicago" and said "what we offer that the others don't is product knowledge. When you go into a Borders or Barnes & Noble, they have an expansive religion section that represents a wide range of views. But as a consumer, you don't really know what you are getting."


In a related story, Wilmette Life surveys Christian bookstores in the Chicago area and found a mix of good and bad news. Although some stores have closed and others struggle, there is reason to have faith: a CBA report noted that "an estimated 437 Christian retail stores opened in 2005, while just 337 stores closed."


Continuing the theme, from a Charlotte Observer story about the rise in population of Latinos in the Charlotte, N.C., area:

"The Spanish-language Christian bookstore Kay Ramos runs with her mother and siblings wouldn't have had enough customers to succeed two decades ago. El Oasis Libreria Cristiana sits in a shopping center near The Landmark restaurant. It caters almost entirely to a cluster of Spanish-speaking residents on that stretch of Central Avenue near Eastland Mall and the nearby churches that serve them.'We thought there was a need,' Ramos said. 'Now there are two more stores like this' in the city."


In yet another related story, Random House showed that it believes in the Christian market: yesterday it announced it is buying Multnomah Publishers, which publishes some 100 titles a year and has a backlist of 600. Multnomah is Random's second evangelical Christian imprint--the company started WaterBrook Press in 1996.

Multnomah will relocate to WaterBrook's offices in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two will form the WaterBrook Multnomah division of the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group. Multnomah and WaterBrook will retain their editorial distinctions.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

General Retail Sales: Consumers Adjust

Sales at general retail chains during July were relatively strong and seemed to show that most consumers are continuing to spend--if more and more on basics, especially by lower-income people--despite high gas prices, rising interest rates and a slowing economy. As Richard Jaffe, a retail analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus, said to the New York Times, "I feel like the consumer is looking backward and still seeing good times."

Nonetheless, Michael Niemira, chief economist of the International Council of Shopping Centers, told the Wall Street Journal: "Though consumers continue to show their willingness to spend, the industry has performed a bit below trend . . . over the last two months, which may indicate a slight slowdown in spending over the next few months."

A Goldman Sachs index of stores open at least a year indicated sales were up 3.1%, above a forecast of 2.8%.

Many discounters were up--Costco same-store sales rose 7%, Kohl's was up 5.9% and Penney rose 4.9%. The CFO of Wal-Mart, whose sales rose 2.4%, commented: "Our customers continued to prioritize spending on food and consumables." Target said that its sales gain of 3.1% came from shoppers spending more per visit, "implying that customers may be consolidating driving trips to save on gasoline," the Journal reported.

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Spoken Word's Tide of Authors

This morning on the Today Show, Meg Cabot, author of How to Be Popular (HarperTeen, $16.99, 0060880120).


Wide awake this morning on Good Morning America: Mark Leyner, author of Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?: More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour (Three Rivers Press, $13.95, 0307345971). He will also appear today on 20/20.


Today on 20/20: Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Female Brain (Broadway Books, $24.95, 0767920090).


Today on Science Friday, Francis S. Collins discusses his new book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, $26, 0743286391).


Saturday on the Today Show, Geoffrey Zakarian talks about his new book, Geoffrey Zakarian's Town/Country: Life Around the Table (Clarkson Potter, $37.50, 1400054680).


Sunday on NPR's Weekend Edition: Shari Caudron, author of Who Are You People: A Personal Journey into the Heart of Fanatical Passion in America (Barricade Books, $14.95, 1569803048).


The Spoken Word, which will be aired on many public radio stations on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. (as well as some other times), features:

Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide (Bloomsbury, $23.95, 1582346054), which shows the consequences of global climate change on Puget Sound through the eyes of 13-year-old Miles O. Malley; (continuing the tide theme) Rebecca Lee whose new novel is The City Is a Rising Tide (S&S, $21, 0743276655); Tom Bell, who discusses this week's Book Sense picks; and Robin Fisher, who talks about Handselling on the Radio.

For more information about the Spoken Word, click here.

Books & Authors

Books for Understanding: Syria and Lebanon

Sadly because of the violence in Lebanon, the Association of American University Presses has revised and updated its "Syria" Books for Understanding bibliography, which focused on that country's long involvement with Lebanon. The new "Syria and Lebanon" list contains twice as many books, representing research on Lebanon's history, culture and society. A section on Hezbollah highlights the available scholarship on this group's origins, ideology and tactics.

Among titles in the Syria and Lebanon list:

  • In the Path of Hizbullah by A. Nizar Hamzeh (Syracuse University Press, 2004)
  • A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered by Kamal Salibi (University of California Press, 1989)
  • The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology by Fred Halliday (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
  • Ancient Lebanon: Monuments Past and Present by M. J. Strazzulla (Getty Publications, 2006)

The AAUP's Books for Understanding bibliographies are intended to help readers explore the background of topical issues and crises around the world.

Middle East Titles Warm Up at B&

The wars in the Middle East have boosted sales of nonfiction titles dealing with Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and related subjects at Barnes & and given a special boost to a 17-year-old book by Thomas L. Friedman, the National Book Award-winning From Beirut to Jerusalem. That title hit the top 10 at B& over the weekend and remains in the top 40.

The following 10 titles were the current bestselling works of nonfiction on the Middle East, based on sales at Barnes & from July 2-29:
1. Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks (Penguin Press, $27.95, 159420103X)
2. Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy by Ilario Pantano (Threshold Editions, $26, 1416524266)
3. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman (Anchor, $16.95, 0385413726)
4. Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam by Mark Bowden (Atlantic Monthly, $26, 0871139251)
5. The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End by Peter W. Galbraith (S&S, $26, 0743294238)
6. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad (Back Bay Books, $12.95, 0316159417)
7. Cobra II by Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor (Pantheon, $27.95, 0375422625)
8. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk (Knopf, $40, 1400041511)
9. The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan (Bloomsbury USA, $24.95, 1582343438)
10. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin (Owl Books, $20, 0805068848)

. . . And a Striking Egyptian Novel

And in another note about Middle Eastern titles, we want to mention a book we've started reading. Just this week, Harper Perennial released in paperback The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany translated by Humphrey Davies ($13.95, 0060878134), a wildly popular title after its publication in Egypt in 2002 that focuses on the residents and office workers of a decaying, once-stately building in Cairo. The characters come from a range of society, and the author portrays them openly, sympathetically and with sexual candor. So far, it's an appealing, sprawling human story.

The author is a dentist, has written several other books and argues in a monthly column in an Egyptian newspaper that democracy must come to the country. The Yacoubian Building was made into a movie, which was recently released in Egypt and was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival this spring. The book has become a bestseller in Italy and France, and two years ago was published in hardcover in the U.S. by the American University in Cairo Press, which was also its original Arabic publisher.

The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/NCIBA List

The following are the bestselling titles at Northern California Independent Booksellers Association member stores during the week ended Sunday, July 30, as reported to Book Sense:

Hardcover Fiction

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $23.95, 1565124995)
2. Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke (S&S, $26, 0743277724)
3. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731)
4. The Ruins by Scott Smith (Knopf, $24.95, 1400043875)
5. Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle (Viking, $25.95, 0670037702)
6. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $26.95, 0312349483)
7. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (Pantheon, $25.95, 0375422749)
8. The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060527994)
9. The Messenger by Daniel Silva (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153357)
10. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375422722)
11. The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst (Random House, $24.95, 1400060192)
12. End in Tears by Ruth Rendell (Crown, $25, 0307339769)
13. Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg (Random House, $25.95, 1400061261)
14. Errors and Omissions by Paul Goldstein (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385517173)
15. The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Little, Brown, $24.99, 0316735949)
Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Fiasco by Thomas E. Ricks (Penguin Press, $27.95, 159420103X)
2. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
3. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, $26.95, 1594200823)
4. Heat by Bill Buford (Knopf, $25.95, 1400041201)
5. Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean (Viking, $25.95, 0670037745)
6. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $30, 0374292795)
7. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
8. The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind (S&S, $27, 0743271092)
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. Whose Freedom? by George Lakoff (FSG, $23, 0374158282)
12. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302378)
13. The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine, Ph.D. (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060595841)
14. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, $29.95, 0670037605)
15. My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme (Knopf, $25.95, 1400043468)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 0143037145)
2. History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $13.95, 0393328627)
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
4. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $14, 1400078776)
5. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
6. March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14, 0143036661)
7. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Broadway, $13.95, 0767925955)
8. Zorro by Isabelle Allende (Harper Perennial, $14.95, 0060779004)
9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
10. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0143036696)
11. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 0061122416)
12. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Vintage, $14, 0375706674)
13. Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett (Vintage, $12.95, 1400032911)
14. The Zahir by Paulo Coelho (Harper Perennial, $13.95, 0060832819)
15. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $14, 1594481938)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671)
2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
3. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $18, 0743226720)
4. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14, 031242227X)
5. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Plume, $15, 0452287081)
6. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
7. The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (Harvest, $14, 0156031566)
8. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion, $14.95, 0786888768)
9. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
10. Zagat Survey: San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants (Zagat, $13.95, 1570067384)
11. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17, 0143036556)
12. Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95, 1400033888)
13. Everybody Into the Pool by Beth Lisick (Regan Books, $14.95, 0060834269)
14. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (Penguin, $15, 0143036610)
15. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (Amber-Allen, $12.95, 1878424319)

Mass Market

1. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616451)
2. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Anchor, $7.99, 0307275558)
3. Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke (Pocket, $7.99, 0743277201)
4. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524797)
5. Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross (Warner, $9.99, 044661761X)
6. Fire Sale by Sara Paretsky (Signet, $9.99, 045121899X)
7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Anchor, $7.99, 1400079179)
8. The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks (Vintage, $6.99, 030727859X)
9. Olympos by Dan Simmons (Eos, $7.99, 0380817934)
10. Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312985347)

Children's Titles

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic Paperbacks, $9.99, 0439785960)
2. Pirateology by William Captain Lubber (Candlewick, $19.99, 0763631434)
3. Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Disney, $18.99, 078683787X)
4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
5. Pirates by John Matthews (Atheneum, $19.95, 1416927344)
6. Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer (Atheneum, $17.95, 141692454X)
7. Dead Man's Chest (Pirates of the Caribbean--Junior Novelization) by Irene Trimble (Disney Press, $4.99, 1423100247)
8. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Disney, $7.99, 078684907X)
9. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
10. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $7.99, 0763625299)
11. The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares (Delacorte, $8.95, 0553375938)
12. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Yearling, $6.50, 0440421705)
13. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (Putnam, $7.99, 0399230033)
14. Cars: Thunder and Lightning (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Random House/Disney, $3.99, 0736423214)
15. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (Random House, $17, 0679805273)

[Many thanks to Book Sense and NCIBA!]

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