Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 24, 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

Goin' Fishin'

Beginning today, Shelf Awareness is taking what has become an annual end-of-the-summer break. So unless a major event occurs, after tomorrow's issue you won't see us again until the day after Labor Day. Because we're taking the break, today's Media Heat section is much longer than usual. See you in September!

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


Borders Reorganizes at the Top

Borders Group has reorganized top management, the first move of its kind by new CEO George Jones, who joined the company last month. More top executives will report directly to Jones, and one person will be president of both Borders's domestic and international operations.

  • Under the changes, Cedric J. Vanzura, currently president of Borders Group International, Paperchase Worldwide and information technology, has been named president of emerging business, strategy and technology. He will continue to report to Jones and to head the global Paperchase gifts and stationery business as well as the information technology group.
  • Vincent E. Altruda, currently president of Borders Group U.S., has become president of Borders Worldwide. He continues to report to Jones.
  • Michael A. Tam, senior v-p and chief marketing officer, who formerly reported to Altruda, now reports to Jones.
  • Senior v-p and CFO Edward W. Wilhelm takes on the additional responsibility of supply chain oversight.
  • The position of chief product officer, empty since Mike Spinozzi left the company earlier this year, will also report to Jones when it is filled. That position had reported to Altruda.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Media and Movies

Book TV: Live from New Orleans on Katrina's Anniversary

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 26

10 a.m. Public Lives. Bill Minutaglio talks about his new book, The President's Counselor: The Rise to Power of Alberto Gonzales (Rayo, $24.95, 0061119202), about President Bush's Attorney General.

4 p.m. History on Book TV. Gordon Wood, professor of history at Brown University, discusses Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different (Penguin Press, $25.95, 1594200939), his book about the achievements of the Founding Fathers. (Re-airs at 10 p.m.)

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment that first aired in 1997, the late Peter Maas had a sitdown about his book Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia (Harper, $13, 0060930969).

9 p.m. After Words. James Lee Witt, FEMA director during the Clinton Administration, interviews Robert Block, a Wall Street Journal reporter and co-author of Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security (Times Books, $26, 0805081305).

Sunday, August 27

5 p.m. As part of a day of special programming from noon until midnight, Book TV marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. For two hours starting at 5 p.m., the show broadcasts live The Katrina Collection:  An Afternoon with Authors, a panel discussion with authors such as Douglas Brinkley, Ken Foster and Jed Horne, followed by a Q & A with the audience. Hosted by the Press Club of New Orleans, the panel re-airs at 10 p.m.

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

Media Heat: Rueben Martinez on the Early Show

This morning the Early Show profiles Rueben Martinez, founder and owner of the Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery stores in Santa Ana and Lynwood, Calif., and recipient of a MacArthur "genius" award.


The Early Show also talks with Dennis Lehane about Coronado: Stories (Morrow, $24.95, 006113967X).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation (HarperCollins, $16.95, 006079867X). As the show put it: "Forcing himself to inhabit the terrifying heart of amorality and violence, Iweala has created the first-person voice of a child-soldier. Here, he speaks of how, with inspiration from Rimbaud and Fela Kuti, and guidance from Jamaica Kincaid, he arrived at the disturbing poetry of this powerful first novel."


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Kathy Reichs, whose new book is Break No Bones (Scribner, $25.95, 0743233492).


Today on CNBC's Tim Russert: Thomas Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (Penguin, $27.95, 159420103X).


Tomorrow on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Irwin Redlener, author of Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do (Knopf, $24, 0307265269).


On Sunday's Weekend Today Show: Christopher Cooper, author of Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security (Times Books, $26, 0805081305). Cooper is also on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday.


Next Monday morning on the Today Show: Alissa Quart, author of Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child (Penguin Press, $24.95, 1594200955).


Also on Monday morning, the Early Show talks with Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060595841).


And Monday Oprah runs a repeat that features Dr. Robin L. Smith, author of Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302564).


On Tuesday, August 29, on NPR's All Things Considered: Ray Suarez, author of The Holy Vote: Politics of Faith in America (Rayo, $24.95, 0060829974).


Also on the 29th, Oprah runs a repeat of a show featuring Drs. Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz, authors of You, The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger (HarperResource, $24.95, 0060765313).


Additionally on the 29th: WAMU's Diane Rehm Show hosts Alissa Quart, author of Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child (Penguin Press, $24.95, 1594200955).


On Wednesday, August 30, the Book Report, the new weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., will feature two author interviews on today's show, which has the theme Vive la France:

  • Sandra Gulland, author of the Josephine B trilogy (The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B; Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe; and The Last Great Dance on Earth), which begin with Josephine's life as a girl in Martinique and continue through her first marriage, imprisonment and eventual role as Empress of France.
  • Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck, whose book The Dressmaker has everyone talking about fashion and love in Paris, the City of Lights.

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


On Thursday, August 31, KCRW's Bookworm talks with W.S. Merwin, author of Present Company (Copper Canyon, $22, 1556592272) and Summer Doorways (Shoemaker and Hoard, $22, 1593760728). As the show put it: "For his first visit to Bookworm, the eminent American poet, W.S. Merwin, explores the sequence of odes in which he addresses everything from inanimate objects to his own soul. He befriends both the external and the internal worlds with a serenity that represents the culmination of a lifetime in poetry."


Also on Thursday, on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Edward P. Jones, author of All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories (Amistad Press, $25.95, 0060557567).


On Saturday, September 2, NPR's The Play's the Thing summons Annabelle Gurwitch, author of Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed (Touchstone, $19.95, 0743289854).


On Labor Day, September 4, Good Morning America parries with David Shenk, author of The Immortal Game: A History of Chess and Its Consequences (Doubleday, $26, 0385510101).


Also on Labor Day, the Early Show travels with Nathan Gebhard, author of Roadtrip Nation: Find Your Path in Life (Ballantine, $13.95, 0345496388).

Deeper Understanding

Roxanne Coady's Book Project to Change Lives

"I opened a bookstore because I believe that books can change lives," Roxanne Coady, the owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn., recently told Shelf Awareness. At least 71 others share her enthusiasm for the transforming power of books: they are the authors whose work appears in a collection of essays compiled by Coady and editor Joy Johannessen, which will appear this October.

The roster of contributors to The Book that Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books that Matter Most to Them (Gotham, $17.50, 1592402100) includes Elizabeth Berg writing about The Catcher in the Rye, Nelson DeMille on Atlas Shrugged, Anita Diamant on A Room of One's Own, Linda Fairstein on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Wally Lamb on To Kill a Mockingbird and John McCain on For Whom the Bell Tolls. Aside from Frank McCourt's piece, which was excerpted from his memoir Angela's Ashes, each of the essays was written specifically for this volume.

Coady came up with the idea for The Book that Changed My Life as a way to commemorate R.J. Julia's 15th anniversary. Although the store's milestone came and went last year, Coady's enthusiasm for the project didn't diminish. "It's like everything else in life, you drag your feet," she said, but as it turns out one phone call was enough to set the process in motion. Coady approached Gotham president and publisher William Shinker for advice on how best to proceed and ended up with a book deal.

Next up was the task of getting contributors on board. The writers, all of whom have appeared at R.J. Julia, responded enthusiastically to Coady's call for contributions and even agreed to donate their work when told that proceeds from the book are going to the Read to Grow Foundation. "I am so grateful," Coady said. "It's very touching to me that all of these people donated their pieces."

Founded by Coady in 1997, Read to Grow works with urban hospitals in Connecticut to provide books to newborn babies and information for parents on why and how to read to their infants. Read to Grow also distributes about 70,000 books a year to day care centers, schools, clinics, and homes. The royalty on each copy of The Book that Changed My Life roughly equals the cost of the book included in the literacy packets distributed to the families of newborns, a fact that is not lost on Coady. "We have cities in Connecticut with 70% functional illiteracy," she said, underscoring the importance of each sale of The Book that Changed My Life. As she wrote in the anthology's introduction, "Books can change lives, yes, and so can the lack of them."

Coady has already received phone calls from fellow booksellers asking if she'd be willing to do readings. "I'm going to go wherever anybody wants me because I want Read to Grow to have the money," commented Coady. "But then I'm thinking, this is the reality of getting on the road. What if there are only a few people, and what if a lot don't buy the book?" Being on the other side of the publishing process is a novel experience for Coady. "It has been great," she said. "It's like a doctor being sick. It's good to learn what it really feels like."

Along with organizing events with contributors and devising other promotion efforts, Coady is looking forward to handselling The Book that Changed My Life when it arrives in October. "It really epitomizes why I'm a bookseller," she said. "It's introducing 71 writers that I'm crazy about, who in turn are introducing books to readers. Really, it just doesn't get better than this. It's all about the excitement of reading."--Shannon McKenna

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