Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 20, 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: New Times Store; Borders Arrives at Penn Station

The New York Times and Paradies Shops, which operates more than 400 stores in airports under its own name and a variety of licensed names, yesterday opened the second New York Times Bookstore, which is in the Delta Air Lines Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Among other things, the store offers access to the Times Web site, news, children's books and Times merchandise.

The first New York Times bookstore opened almost a year ago in the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., near Cincinnati (Shelf Awareness, October 13, 2005).


Bay Books has closed its two-year-old, 4,600-sq.-ft. store in Pleasanton, Calif., because "the location didn't draw enough customers to make it a viable business," the store said. The company's other stores, in San Ramon and Concord, remain open.

Via e-mail, Diane Van Tassell said that "70% of the gross sales went for rent and common area maintenance" and that she and her husband, Richard, tried unsuccessfully to negotiate for a temporary rent reduction. 


Martha Merrell's Bookstore in Racine, Wis., is moving into larger space, according to the Racine Journal Times. Owners Vaughan Weeks and Pamala Handrow plan to add about 10,000 titles and shift from selling used book to selling new books. They also plan to open a coffee shop.


Borders confirmed several bookstore openings reported on here earlier this year:

  • In mid-October, the company will open a 23,315-sq.-ft. store in the Shops at Atlas Park in the Glendale section of Queens, N.Y., a lifestyle retail center that broke ground only in April. The store is at 80-16 Cooper Ave. and 80th St.
  • In November, Borders is opening a two-level, 24,046-sq.-ft. store in Boston's Back Bay in the historic Newbry building, located at 501 Boylston St., at the corner of Clarendon St.
  • Also in November, Borders will open a 22,202-sq.-ft. store in Brunswick, Me., in the Merrymeeting Plaza, located at the intersection of U.S. Routes 1 and 24. The new store will be the third Borders in Maine.

In addition, yesterday on the way to a lovely party celebrating the 10th anniversary of Carol Fitzgerald's Book Report Network, we spied a new Borders next to the main Seventh Avenue entrance at Penn Station in New York City. The two-story store opened quietly on Saturday--and celebrates its grand opening October 18.


Effective January 1, Perseus Book Group's CDS will handle trade book fulfillment for powerHouse Books, which has distributed its own and other publishers' titles. The two companies are also creating a "development partnership" for future projects. Continental Sales will continue to sell powerHouse. 


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

A Second Act for a California Bookseller

Intentionally misspelled, Farenheit 451 in Carlsbad, Calif., has yet to open its doors officially to the public, but a few lucky bibliophiles have already made purchases at the used books purveyor. "We've been selling books to people we know," said Phil Phillips, who owns the store with his wife, Carol. "If people look sad enough when they come to the door, we let them in."

Many of these eager consumers are also patrons of the Old Julian Bookhouse, a used bookstore owned by the Phillips in Julian, a town 60 miles north of Carlsbad. "We have a lot of customers down here already, and we didn't even know," noted Phil, who expects to open Farenheit 451 in the next couple of months after completing work on the store's interior.

Farenheit 451 owes its name to a fire that claimed the Phillips' home three years ago. One of the worst wildfires in California history, it destroyed more than their residence. "We lost about 60,000 books," said Phil, most of it stock for the Old Julian Bookhouse. Ironically, he said, "we had been worried for years about the store burning up, and so we stockpiled our inventory at the house--all the expensive books, the botanicals, old leather-bounds, signed editions, ancient books. We had books going back to the late 1600s."

After the fire, the Phillips left the mountainous regions surrounding Julian and moved south along the California coast. They had been looking for space for a new store and signed the lease on the Carlsbad location earlier this year. Although there is "a diversity between the two stocks that's developing now," said Phil, they are considering selling the Julian store. "If the right person comes along and can afford it, I would not hesitate."

For now the Phillips are looking forward to opening Farenheit 451. The store's name draws comments from area residents "who have read the book and seen the movie," said Phil. (A few also remember the two Laguna Beach stores called Fahrenheit 451.) An appearance by Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury at the Carlsbad City Library in April further heightened awareness of the connection between the story's plotline and the store's moniker. "People make the link between books burning and the name," commented Phil. In fact, he added, Bradbury's visit prompted some "to think that's why we named the store what we did." Only in this case it's not fiction that mirrored reality but the other way around.--Shannon McKenna

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Reading Group Choices: New and Established Authors

Reading Group Choices has published the 13th annual edition of Reading Group Choices: Selections for Lively Book Discussions, which collects more than 50 titles recommended for reading groups. This edition's choices include books by such well-known authors as Geraldine Brooks, Kim Edwards, Mary Gaitskill, Sue Monk Kidd, Elizabeth Noble, Mary McGarry Morris, Mitch Albom, Barbara Delinsky, Joan Didion and Jane Hamilton.

First novels featured in the 2007 edition are Love Walks In by Marisa de los Santos, Broken Trail by Alan Geoffrion, The Fisherman's Quilt by Margaret Doyle and The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice.

Books from abroad include All the Fishes Come Home to Roost by Rachel Manija Brown, The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (which made the Booker Prize longlist). Among books set abroad are Japanland by Karin Muller and The Thrall's Tale by Judith Lindbergh.

Memoirs include Cottage For Sale: A Woman Moves a House to Make a Home by Kate Whouley (well-known to many booksellers!), Fat Girl by Judith Moore and The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family, and Fate by Marjorie Williams.

Reading Group Choices 2007 is priced at $6.95 each for 1-4 copies, $3.95 each for 5-24 copies, and $2.35 each for 25 copies or more. Ordering information and reading group tips are available at For more information, visit the site, e-mail, call 866-643-6883 or write Reading Group Choices, 532 Cross Creek Court, Chester, Md. 21619.

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Da Chen and his Brothers

This morning on the Early Show, former Senator Gary Hart, whose new book is The Courage of Our Convictions: A Manifesto for Democrats (Times Books, $22, 0805081011).


Today on Good Morning America, Jeremy Iversen talks about his High School Confidential (Atria, $25, 0743283635).


The Book Report, the 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 For the Love of Books:

  • Larry Portzline, founder of Bookstore Tourism and author of the book by the same name.
  • Folk singer John McCutcheon talks about his new picture book, Christmas in the Trenches (Peachtree, $18.95, 1561453749), based on his song of the same name, which re-tells the story of the Christmas Eve during World War I when soldiers on oppostie sides in the front lines called their own impromptu truce and celebrated the holiday together. McCutcheon sings that song as well as "Closing the Bookstore Down," a song inspired by a beloved bookstore in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va.

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


Today on NPR's Fresh Air and the Charlie Rose Show: Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist whose new book is The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina (Penguin, $25.95, 159420098X).


Today former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey continues to talk about his new book, The Confession (Regan Books, $26.95, 0060898623), on the Today Show, the View, Fox's Hannity and Colmes and NBC's Dateline.


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Da Chen, author of Brothers: A Novel (Shambhala, $25, 1400097282).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

The following are selected significant titles with laydown dates next week:

Monday, September 25:

Iwoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It by Steve Wozniak (Norton, $25.95, 0393061434). The other Steve at Apple tells his story.

Piece of Work by Laura Zigman (Warner, $23.99, 044657838X). Stay-at-home mom Julia Einstein has to go back to intense PR work when her husband loses his job.

Tuesday, September 26:

Under Orders by Dick Francis (Putnam, $25.95, 0399154000). Jockey turned detective Sid Halley returns in this new novel by the equestrian mystery master.

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (Morrow, $26.95, 0060515228). The third collection of short stories, poems and more from the author of Anansi Boys.

The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine by Isaiah Wilner (HarperCollins, $26.95, 0060505494). A biography of Briton Hadden, the co-founder of Time who was eclipsed after his early death by co-founder Henry Luce.

U2 by U2 (HarperEntertainment, $39.95, 0060776757). The band writes a song of itself.

Court TV Presents: Murder in Room 103 (Avon, $7.99, 0061154431). The first in a series of true crime tales from Court TV and HarperCollins, this book investigates the murder of an American college student in South Korea that has yet to be solved. Court TV will air a show about the case on October 23.

The Desperate Housewives Cookbook: Juicy Dishes and Saucy Bits
(Hyperion, $29.95, 1401302777). No need to add spice.

In the Line of Fire: A Memoir by Pervez Musharraf (Free Press, $28, 0743283449). The president of Pakistan tells his story.

Culture Warrior by Bill O'Reilly (Broadway, $26, 0767920929). The host of Fox's O'Reilly Factor says that warriors in "the culture wars" are either secular progressives or traditionalists.

Diana by Sarah Bradford (Viking, $25.95, 0670038075). More, if possible, on Princess Di.

For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Hyperion, $21.95, 1401303277). A first novel from the author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Wednesday, September 27:

Bryan Fogel & Sam Wolfson's Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People (Warner, $24.99, 0446579548). A companion volume to the off-Broadway show.

Thursday, September 28:

Dream Angus: Celtic God of Dreams by Alexander McCall Smith (Canongate, $18, 1841958239). A reworking of a Celtic myth by the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and 44 Scotland Street series.

The Gourmet Cookbook: More Than 1000 Recipes edited by Ruth Reichl (Houghton Mifflin, $40, 061880692X). Gourmet selections by the editor-in-chief.

Book Review

Mandahla: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Reviewed

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (David Fickling Books, $15.95 Hardcover, 9780385751063, September 2006)

An image came to John Boyne of two boys sitting on either side of a fence; from this image he has crafted a haunting story of the Holocaust, centered on the experiences of nine-year-old Bruno. He says, in the author's note, "Only the victims and survivors can truly comprehend the awfulness of that time and place; the rest of us live on the other side of the fence, staring through from our own comfortable place, trying in our own clumsy ways to make sense of it all." Comfort will disappear early in the book, after the Fury, who has big things in mind for Bruno's father, comes to dinner and orders him to take on new responsibilities. Bruno's family, including his older sister, Gretel, soon leaves their spacious house in Berlin for a less-than-grand house on the edge of a forest. From his bedroom window, he looks over a garden, and beyond the garden, a large complex surrounded by barbed wire with armed guards. Who would build such a nasty-looking place, asks Gretel, as they stare at the low huts, with one or two smoke stacks in the distance. Who are the people who dress alike? The city children guess farmers.
So begins Bruno's new life. Lonely, he rails against the loss of his former life, but finally realizes he must make the best of it. Bored with his new home and tutor and sister, he remembers that he use to enjoy exploration, although he also knows that scouting the territory was risky. "He had been told on countless occasions . . . that he was not allowed anywhere near the fence or the camp." But one day he sets out to walk along the mysterious fence, and after an hour, comes upon a small boy sitting on the other side. They talk, and discover that they are the same age, with the same birthday. Thus begins the friendship between Bruno and Shmuel. Daily Bruno takes the boy in the striped pajamas bread and cheese, although he sometimes eats the chocolate cake before he gets to their meeting place. He wonders why Shmuel doesn't wear a sweater, and why he's so slight and ashen-faced. They have long conversations about their lives, and Bruno realizes that he now has a best friend, even though Shmuel's life is incomprehensible at times (why does he have no shoes?). His naiveté is combined with a new desire to stay out of trouble, which arises after a dinner at which Pavel, the family's servant, drops a bottle of wine: "What happened then was both unexpected and extremely unpleasant. Lieutenant Kotler grew very angry with Pavel and no one--not Bruno, not Gretel, not Mother, and not even Father--stepped in to stop him doing what he did next, even though none of them could watch. Even though it made Bruno cry and Gretel grow pale." Bruno decides later that night that he'd better not disagree with anyone about anything.
The passage above illustrates Boyne's skill at suggesting rather than describing in detail; one's imagination supplies a horror greater than specifics allow. The book starts simply, almost obliquely, but soon a heaviness forms in your heart. The boys' friendship comes to involve betrayal and forgiveness, and inevitable tragedy. I read it one evening, and woke in the thin hours of the morning, haunted by the story. Would a young reader who knows little or nothing of the Holocaust understand it? Some of the details, no; however, do the details matter? The fence matters, the friendship matters, the evil matters. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is disturbing and moving, with much to discuss and remember; indeed, it has been impossible to forget.--Marilyn Dahl

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