Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 15, 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


Rusty Drugan to Step Down as NEBA Executive Director

Sadly we note the following message that was sent out by the New England Booksellers Association late last week:

"The Board deeply regrets to announce the resignation of NEBA executive director Rusty Drugan due to health considerations. His resignation will not be effective until such time as a successor has been named and trained, sometime after the Trade Show in September. The Board is currently in the process of establishing a search committee.

"Because there is so much to be done before the trade show, we and Rusty ask that you not call or e-mail the office, between now and the show, to express concern or best wishes. Your forbearance will enable Nan and Rusty to devote all their energies to preparation for the show."

We wish Rusty, a talented executive director, former bookseller, raconteur and good friend, the very best.

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

Notes: Schwartz and Small Stones Team Up

Small Stones Health Resource Center in Milwaukee, Wis., will move this fall to a 3,800-sq.-ft. space next to the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops store in Brookfield. Schwartz will manage the retail part of Small Stones, which is operated by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Founded in 2002, Small Stones offers "the expertise of nurse educators," a health resource library, healthy screenings and classes and a store.

Carol Grossmeyer, president of Schwartz, commented: "Teaming up with Small Stones will bring a richness to all of our shops. Customers are thrilled that nurses will be on site to answer questions, and our employees are looking forward to tapping into their knowledge of health books and other resources."

The two stores will maintain the same hours, and customers will be able to walk from one store to the other inside. This is the first such collaboration by Schwartz.


The judging panel for the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction has chosen the longlist of 19 books. The shortlist will be announced September 14, and the winner will be honored on October 10.


Borders will open a 22,000-sq.-ft. store on August 24 in Century City, Calif., on the upper level of the Westfield Shoppingtown Century City. On July 16, Borders closed the 9,250-sq.-ft. Brentano's store it operated in the mall. The new store will carry close to 200,000 book, music and movie titles.


Total revenues at Varsity Group in the second quarter ended June 30 were $2 million, up 17.6% from $1.7 million in the same period a year. The net loss jumped to $2.5 million from $800,000 in the second quarter of 2005.

Varsity has embarked on a five-year, $500 million plan that Mark Thimmig, CEO and president, said would build a "four-quarter, four-divisions solutions company." The company has expanded offerings in its Varsity Books, Varsity Outfitters and Varsity Solutions divisions and created the Varsity Finance division.

Among the company's recent initiatives involving Varsity Books: partnerships with Office Depot, Campus Tech and Baker & Taylor, the last of which will allow Varsity "to begin offering a full line of consumer and entertainment products beginning in the fourth quarter 2006."


Franklin Electronic Publishers, which boasts of having sold 37 million e-books since 1986, had a difficult quarter: revenue in the quarter ended June 30 declined 33% to $11.8 million from $17.6 million in the same period a year ago and the company had a net loss of just over $1 million compared to a net gain of $898,000.

President and CEO Barry Lipsky blamed the revenue loss on "two of our largest retail customers exiting categories and back to school product lines" and "changes in the terms of sale" to a third large customer that will "defer revenue to future periods."

He continued: "We have taken and are continuing to take steps to attempt to offset this decline with new products and new channels of distribution such as our continued expansion into the bookstore channel and the Asian markets."


The Eugene Register-Guard discusses the efforts taken in the past year by more than 30 customers of Tsunami Books, Eugene, Ore., to help keep the store in business. The group invested in Tsunami and became shareholders. "In all," the paper reported, "23 shareholders--or 33, including spouses--were admitted into the club. Their investments, totaling about $70,000, bought 32% of the company, while [founders David] Rhodes kept 28% and [Scott] Landfield 40%."

Among key elements of the group's effort: hiring a professional facilitator for at least the initial meetings and hiring a lawyer.

The Register-Guard wrote that Tsunami Books "has served since 1995 as a hub for book signings, folk music performances, writing workshops, and meetings of community and political activists. It has become especially well known as a local Mecca for poets, its shelves a welcoming outlet for writers and its book-framed stage a favorite spot for readings."


The New York Times focused on Holt's efforts on behalf of The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld, "a law professor and first-time novelist," which will appear September 5.

Among elements of the $500,000 marketing campaign for the book: the sending of 3,000 galleys to booksellers and media in April; the distribution of 5,000 more galleys at BEA; and lunches with booksellers in New York, Boston and San Francisco. The lunches went down well apparently: Elaine Petrocelli, owner of Book Passage in Corte Madera, Calif., was so enthusiastic that she ordered 275 copies of the book.

Sessalee Hensley, Barnes & Noble's fiction buyer, told the paper that the campaign has gotten her interest. "If a publisher is fully committed to a title, that's what we need to see," she said. "When it comes to looking at if the book did better or worse, a lot of times it comes down to marketing."

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

D.C. 'Privacy' Event to Honor Librarians, Others

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and Campaign for Reader Privacy event to honor the Connecticut librarians who fought an FBI subpoena of customer records, to be held Thursday, September 28, in Washington, D.C., (and mentioned briefly here July 17) will feature the librarians, ABC reporters Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, former New York Times reporter James Risen and professor Mark Feldstein of George Washington University.

ABFFE noted that the FBI secretly obtained the telephone records of Ross and Esposito in an effort to identify their sources for stories on U.S. interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. Feldstein, who is working on a biography of investigative reporter Jack Anderson, refused an FBI demand that he turn over classified documents that are part of Anderson's personal papers. And Risen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who revealed the existence of illegal domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

Seating for the event is limited. For reservations, contact Judy Platt at the Association of American Publishers at For more information about the event, to be held at the National Press Club 12-2 p.m., check ABFFE's Web site. A recording of the event will be released later.

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Arrivederci, Beppe!

Today on NPR's All Things Considered: Beppe Severgnini, author of La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind (Broadway Books, $23.95, 0767914392).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Robin Hazelwood, author of Model Student: A Tale of Co-Eds and Cover Girls (Crown, $23.95, 0307337189).


Scheduled for tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission and authors of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (Knopf, $25.95, 0307263770).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

The following are some of the significant titles that go on sale next Tuesday, August 22:

The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth (Putnam, $26.95, 0399153942). A retired British operative with a convincing background and looks is given the task of impersonating an arrested Taliban member so that he can be released and infiltrate al-Qaeda.

Hunters of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Tor, $27.95, 0765312921). Based on an outline by Frank Herbert, this story picks up where Chapterhouse: Dune left off.

Saint Patrick's Battalion by James Alexander Thom (Ballantine, $24.95, 0345445562). Set during the Mexican-American War, this book is based on a true story about a group of Irish immigrants who began fighting for the U.S. but switched sides.

The Devil's Feather by Minette Walters (Knopf, $24, 0307264629). A Reuters correspondent investigating brutal murders in Africa is abducted in Iraq, then tries to find peace in rural England.


Out in mass market paperback on  Tuesday, August 22:

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower by Stephen King (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524525).

Consent to Kill: A Thriller by Vince Flynn (Pocket Star, $9.99, 1416505016).

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories by Ben Fountain (Ecco, $24.95, 0060885580). "Ben Fountain's stories are absolutely jaw-dropping. The cynical assessment of human nature is so beautifully balanced by the elegance of the writing. The conclusions of his well-orchestrated stories resonate like deep satisfying chords."--Audrey Bullar, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips (St. Martin's, $27.95, 0312203853). "Alice Sheldon trekked across Africa with her parents in the 1920s, became an accomplished painter, joined the Women's Army Auxiliary, worked for the CIA, received a Ph.D. in psychology, and married twice. She also had a career as an influential writer of science fiction as James Tiptree. Her complex gender identity and sexual orientation is utterly fascinating, as is her remarkable life, which is made all the more vivid in this rich biography."--Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, Mo.


Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (Pocket, $13, 1416520384). "Milagro de los Santos hadn't planned on a stretch in the country with her new, um, friends, but there she is. Hiding out from an ex-boyfriend with an axe to grind she spends her time learning how to be a civilized vampire. Breezy and funny, Milagro and her problems are just the ticket for a slow day and a glass or two of . . . wine."--Russ Harvey, Cody's Books, Berkeley, Calif.

For ages 9 to 12

The Door to Time by Ulysses Moore (Scholastic, $12.99, 0439774381). "This story about a set of twins and their friend trying to unravel the secrets of Ulysses Moore, the previous occupant of ancient Argo Manor, is sure to ignite the imagination of some young readers--and perhaps a few older readers as well."--Carrie Fitts, Horton's Books & Gifts, Carrollton, Ga.

El Lector by William Durbin (Wendy Lamb, $15.95, 0385746512). "A 'people's history' for young readers in the vein of Howard Zinn! This is a stirring coming-of-age story set among the cigar workers in the 1930s Cuban-American community in Tampa, Florida."--Carol Christensen, Hamish & Henry Booksellers, Livingston Manor, N.Y.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

Deeper Understanding

Book TV Talks with Talking Leaves

Talking Leaves Books in Buffalo, N.Y., had its close-up last Friday, August 11, when C-SPAN2's Book TV crew dropped in for a visit. Parked in front of the store, the 45-ft. long, brightly hued Book TV Bus drew curious onlookers to tour its mobile television production studio.

Book TV singled out Talking Leaves as one stop on a two-day tour of Buffalo. Talking Leaves owner Jonathon Welch readily granted permission after receiving a call asking if the crew could use the Elmwood Avenue location as a base. Talking Leaves has a second store on Main Street in Buffalo.

The event, which was promoted in both Talking Leaves locations and in the store's standing ad in the weekly publication ArtVoice, proved to be a boon for three area scribes. Book TV requested interviews with local nonfiction authors, and Welch supplied a list of candidates. "Buffalo actually is home to more fiction writers and poets than it is to nonfiction writers," said Welch, "but I think we came up with a good selection." The authors are local historian Mark Goldman (High Hopes, City on the Lake and the forthcoming City on the Edge) and University of Buffalo professors Jack Quinan (Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Building and Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House) and David Schmid (Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture).

After each author was interviewed, the Book TV Bus opened its doors to the public. Along with Welch and the Talking Leaves staff, about 50 people toured the rolling, two-room production studio. The younger set especially enjoyed the experience. "You're filmed as you sit in the studio," said Welch, "and the kids had a good time looking at themselves on the screen."

The Book TV Bus has been touring the country since September 2005, visiting bookstores, libraries and literary festivals to promote C-SPAN2's programming of nonfiction books and authors. Upcoming stops on the Book TV Bus tour include the Bookshop in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany today, Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady tomorrow and Schenectady's Union College on Thursday. After leaving New York State, the Book TV Bus is scheduled to head for Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

As for Talking Leaves' customers, "they were excited," said Welch. "They thought it was pretty neat that Book TV had chosen to come to Buffalo and stop at out store." The segment is expected to air in October.

Talking Leaves Books is located at 951 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, N.Y., 14222; 716-884-9524, and at 3158 Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y., 14214; 716-837-8554;

For more information about C-SPAN2's Book TV Bus, visit McKenna

The Bestsellers

The IMBA Bestsellers for June

The following were the bestselling titles at member bookstores of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association during July:


1. Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke
2. Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs
3. No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman
4. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
5. Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson
6. Vanishing Point by Marcia Muller
7. The Messenger by Daniel Silva
8. Black Order by James Rollins
9. Bones to Pick by Carolyn Haines
10. Rusty Nail by J.A. Konrath


1. Bookmarked to Die by Jo Dereske
2. Evan Blessed by Rhys Bowen
3. Fire Sale by Sara Paretsky
4. Murder Over Easy by Jimmie Ruth Evans
5. Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger
6. To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman
7. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
8. A Fifth of Bruen by Ken Bruen
9. Scratch the Surface by Susan Conant
10. Raiders of the Lost Corset by Ellen Byerum
10. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill

[Many thanks to IMBA!]

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