Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 12, 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


Notes: Group Tries to Buy Explore; Flying Pig's New Digs

Bill Stirling, whose late wife, Katharine Thalberg, founded and ran Explore Booksellers & Bistro in Aspen, Colo., for many years, is heading up a group of investors who hope to buy the business and property from . . . himself and his three daughters, according to the Aspen Times.

Stirling told the paper that with pledges from three investors, he is "a third of the way" to raising the $5.2 million asking price. He wants to find up to 10 more investors by this coming Friday.

Some residents had asked the city council to contribute to a nonprofit organization's attempt to buy the property, but it declined, according to the Aspen Daily News.


The Flying Pig Bookstore has flown the coop, moving to Shelburne, Vt., from Charlotte, its home for nearly 10 years. The Flying Pig has gone from being "a specialty kids store with a surprising number of books for adults" to "a selective general bookstore" with a strong children's section, as co-owner Elizabeth Bluemle put it earlier this year (Shelf Awareness, June 17). It's also changed its name from the Flying Pig Children's Bookstore .

The Flying Pig Bookstore's new address is: 5247 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne, Vt. 05482 and its new phone number is 802-985-3999.


For the first time, the jury of the Giller, the prestigious Canadian literary prize, has released a short list, available on CBC's Web site. The short list will be announced October 3, and the winner will be honored November 7.

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Here's Ed!

This morning on the Today Show: Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs (Villard, $24.95, 1400064457). He's also scheduled for NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Also this morning on the Today Show: Ed McMahon, whose Here's Johnny! My Memories of Johnny Carson, the Tonight Show, and 46 Years of Friendship (Berkley Boulevard, $14, 0425212297) is now out in paperback.


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Mark Kurlansky, author of Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea (Modern Library, $21.95, 0679643354).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: former Senator Gary Hart, whose new book is The Courage of Our Convictions: A Manifesto for Democrats (Times Books, $22, 0805081011).


Scheduled for tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur and author most recently of Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style (Sporting News, $19.95, 0892048468).


Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected titles appearing next Tuesday, September 19:

Fear of the Dark by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown, $25.99, 0316734586). The third in the Fearless Jones series, aided by Los Angeles bookseller Paris Minton.

Right Attitude to Rain: An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375423001). The third in this series, too.

On Agate Hill by Lee Smith (Algonquin, $24.95, 1565124529). The story of a girl who survives Civil War devastation.

Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism by Cindy Sheehan (Atria, $22.95, 0743297911). The story of the mother whose son died in Iraq who has led protests outside President Bush's ranch in Texas.

The Mission Song by John le Carre (Little, Brown, $26.99, 0316016748). The latest by the spy thriller master features a Congolese interpreter, the son of a white father and a black mother, who rises through ranks of the government.

Moral Disorder: And Other Stories by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese, $23.95, 0385503849). The Canadian author's first collection of short stories in 15 years.

Brothers: A Novel by Da Chen (Shambhala, $25, 1400097282). The author of Colors of the Mountain follows the lives of two sons of a general under Chairman Mao.

Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets--And How We Let It Happen
by Bill Gertz (Crown Forum, $26.95, 0307338053). Unsettling.

The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich (Penguin, $25.95, 159420098X). The New York Times columnist rips apart the Bush Administration's PR approach to matters of state and policy.

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

Books for Understanding: September 11, 2001

The Association of American University Presses has updated its Books for Understanding bibliography of titles pertaining to September 11, which was first released on September 19, 2001. The list now has more than 800 titles on topics relevant to the attack and its aftermath.

Subjects in the original bibliography included terrorism, the World Trade Center, emergency management, international law, the Islamic religion, the Middle East and Central Asia and religious and political fundamentalisms.

A new bibliographic section, "After September 11," presents many works of research, analysis and reflection that university presses have since published.

Among the scholarly and general interest titles in the bibliography are:

  • The Politics of Terror: The U.S. Response to 9/11 edited by William Crotty (Northeastern University Press, 2005)
  • Bagpipe Brothers: The FDNY Band's True Story of Tragedy, Mourning, and Recovery by Kerry Sheridan (Rutgers University Press, 2003)
  • Twin Towers by Angus Kress Gillespie (Rutgers University Press, 2001)
  • Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism by Bruce Ackerman (Yale University Press, 2006)
  • Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan by Cheryl Benard and Nina Hachigian (RAND, 2003)
  • Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad by Natana J. Delong-Bas (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Deeper Understanding

David Payne's Unusual 'Muffin Tour'

"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid." David Payne kept these words from Goethe at the forefront of his mind as he logged thousands of miles across the country this past summer visiting bookstores to increase awareness for his most recent novel, Back to Wando Passo (Morrow), which was published in May.

Payne, who lives in Hillsboro, N.C., embarked on two whirlwind expeditions, first to New England and then to the West Coast and the Midwest. "It was sort of a post-tour tour," said Payne, the author of four previous novels, who undertook the visits at his own expense. "It was a chance to meet great independent booksellers." Ultimately, Payne was looking to enhance the success Back to Wando Passo has enjoyed in the Southeast by bringing it to the attention of booksellers in other parts of the country.

Payne's unconventional and ambitious trips came about in part because of Carl Lennertz, HarperCollins' v-p of independent retailing. Wanting to go beyond the traditional practice of having an author visit stores simply to sign stock, sometimes a disappointing experience if only several copies of a book are on hand, "it occurred to me to try a more positive, long-term experiment, with David's willing participation," said Lennertz. "I suggested a 'just go in, make nice and bring some cookies or coffee to the booksellers' tour, with reading copies in hand."

Coined the "Muffin Tour" by Payne, there were several essential factors that made the initial New England tour a viable promotional effort. "David's passion and willingness to put in some serious miles, and his buying lots of food out of his own pocket," according to Lennertz, were central to its effectiveness. Payne also took reading copies to each store he visited. Perhaps most crucial, though, said Lennertz, was "the platform the book already had--a SIBA bestseller ranking, a Book Sense pick and a few key bookseller supporters outside the Southeast."

Payne recently returned from the second part of his tours, an excursion to the West Coast and the Midwest. With Lennertz's aid, Payne plotted a path from San Francisco to Portland to Seattle and then to Chicago, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. "My best hope of support and advocacy lies with booksellers," said Payne. "My ambition was to meet as many people as I could," he added, "and hope that some of them would take the book home and read it."

For the West Coast and Midwest stores, Payne and Lennertz opted for a more structured approach, calling and e-mailing ahead of time rather than making impromptu visits. One bookseller who received a call was Harry W. Schwartz senior buyer Daniel Goldin, who spent the day introducing Payne to staff at all five Schwartz locations in and around Milwaukee, Wis. "Back to Wando Passo can appeal to different sorts of readers," noted Goldin. He worked to match the book with colleagues at each location who might enjoy the read, including those who like Southern fiction, novels with historical components and even the works of John Irving, with whom reviewers have compared Payne.

In Cincinnati, Payne was welcomed by Jen Reynolds, director of publisher relations and events at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Along with HarperCollins sales representative Kate McCune, Reynolds set up a luncheon for Payne with several Joseph-Beth staffers. "We always feel it is successful when our booksellers are able to sit down one-on-one with an author," commented Reynolds. "Without fail, almost every time this has happened, people feel more invested and take it on as a cause they want to champion. It's like you have a personal connection at that point with the author."

Although it's too soon to tell what impact Payne's visits will have on hardcover sales of Back to Wando Passo, the consensus is that his efforts have seeded the marketplace for the paperback publication next year. "It has had the effect of increasing the handselling of his book in hardcover," said Lennertz, "and, maybe more important, setting things up for the paperback." This opinion is seconded by Goldin and Reynolds, and also by Barbara Morrow, co-owner of the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt.

It was Morrow's invitation to Payne (who resided in Vermont and New York City prior to returning to his home state of North Carolina) to do a reading at Northshire that led to the author's New England sojourn. Morrow has supported all of Payne's books and is confident that her store will sell Back to Wando Passo "tremendously well in paperback." Morrow believes the book will appeal to a broad range of readers no matter where they reside. "It's a wonderful story," she said. Echoing the publisher's and especially the author's wishes, she added, "I hope it does well everywhere."--Shannon McKenna

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