Notes: More on Keillor's Store; Lewis Buzbee
Bookselling This Week
offers more details on Garrison Keillor's bookstore in St.
Paul, Minn. Corner Books will open November 1, offer some 13,000 titles in a 2,200-sq.-ft. space and use Book Sense.
The store will have strong poetry and regional sections and carry used
books. Its tagline is "Live local. Read large." Signage will include
"G. Keillor, Prop."
The manager is Sue Zumberge, who owned the Bookshoppe in Whitefish,
Mont., and Electric Avenue Books in Bigfork, Mont., and was most
recently a bookkeeper in the Twin Cities. She found the Corner Books job by
answering an ad on craigslist.com.
Chris Livingston, owner of the Book Shelf in Winona, Minn., has been acting as a consultant to Keillor, prop.
BTW also has a profile of Lewis Buzbee, former bookseller, former sales rep and author of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History
(Graywolf Press), "one man's account of his journey from frequent
reader to true bibliophile. It is also a sweeping history of
bookselling, from sixth-century China to 21st-century America, papyrus
scrolls to e-books. And it is, from beginning to end, a love letter to
In November, Barnes & Noble will
open a store in Chula Vista, Calif., near San Diego. The store will be
located in the Otay Ranch Town Center at 2015 Birch Road and will stock
close to 200,000 book, music, DVD and magazine titles.
Finding the Right Priest
A point of clarification: the science fiction movie The Prestige
, which opens on October 20, is based on the novel, The Prestige
Christopher Priest, about two magicians who feud and battle for years.
The movie tie-in edition appears on Tuesday (Tor, $14.95, 0765317346).
Michael Walsh, owner of Old Earth Books, points out that there is
another Christopher Priest, a graphic novelist, with many books to his credit. Thus booksellers
who want to buy other Christopher Priest books to tag along with The Prestige
should be careful to find the Priest they want.
For a full list of titles by the "ordained" Priest, go to the author's Web site
. Among those titles: his most recent, The Separation
, published by Old Earth ($25, 1882968336).
Media Heat: Margaret Atwood on the Spoken Word
This morning on the Today Show: Maurice Sendak, whose first pop-up
book, written with Arthur Yorinks and Matthew Reinhart, is Mommy?
(Michael di Capua Books/Scholastic, $24.95, 0439880505).
Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Mary Beth Busby and Megan Massey,
authors of Dear Megan: Letters on Life, Love and Fragile X (Capital
Cares) (Capital Books, $16.95, 1933102233), about Fragile X syndrome,
the inherited cause of autism and mental retardation. Rehm wrote the
introduction to the book.
Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show: Frank Joseph, author of To Love
Mercy (Mid-Atlantic Highlands Publishing, $14.95, 0974478539).
In a nice pairing, ABC's 20/20 features these two authors:
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, $13.95, 0307345971).
Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Female Brain (Broadway, $24.95, 0767920090).
Today on Oprah & Friends Satellite Radio, XM156: Dr. Paul
Rosenblatt, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed
Sharing (SUNY Press, $23.95, 0791468305), will be interviewed by Dr.
Tonight on Larry King Live: Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger, author of The
Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (HarperCollins, $13.95, 0060520620).
Tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Bill O'Reilly, author of Culture Warrior (Broadway, $26, 0767920929).
Tomorrow on NBC's Weekend Today: Pamela Serure, author of Take It to
Heart: The Real Deal on Women and Heart Disease (Broadway, $19.95,
Tomorrow and on Sunday on Good Morning America Weekend: Dr. Paul
Rosenblatt, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed
Sharing (SUNY Press, $23.95, 0791468305).
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 next week),
Margaret Atwood, who will talk about The Penelopiad: The Myth of
Penelope and Odysseus (Canongate, $18, 1841957178). Her first
collection of short stories in 15 years, Moral Disorder: And Other
Stories (Nan A. Talese, $23.95, 0385503849), has just appeared.
Also on the show: Tom Bell, who discusses this week's Book Sense picks;
and Robin Fischer, who talks about Handselling on the Radio.
For a listing of the radio stations playing the Spoken Word, click here.
On Sunday on Chicagoing on ABC's WLS-TV: Frank Joseph, author of To
Love Mercy (Mid- Atlantic Highlands Publishing, $14.95, 0974478539).
On Sunday's Meet the Press: Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan and
author of In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (Fireside, $28, 0743283449).
On 60 Minutes on Sunday: Bob Woodward, whose new book is State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III (S&S, $30, 0743272234). (For more on this title, see the story below.)
Mandahla: The Floor of the Sky Reviewed
The Floor of the Sky by Pamela Carter Joern
(Bison Books, $16.95 Paperback, 9780803276314, September 2006)
The Floor of the Sky
is part of the University of Nebraska's Flyover Fiction series, which supports the work of writers from the center of the country ("flyover country" to many, the Heartland to others). The in-house editor is Ladette Randolph, and she explains, "It's exactly the stereotype of the wholesome pioneer past that we're trying to address in the series. The region has suffered for a fossilized perception of time stopping at the point of westward migration." The series editor is Ron Hansen, an excellent sign if one is looking for exceptional writing, and that's just what Pamela Carter Joern has provided. In an elegant, spare style, she tells the story of a family living deep in the Sandhills of Nebraska, a story filled with regret, resentment, secrets and love.
Toby is an aging widow, barely hanging on to the ranch her parents built in 1920. Her sister Gertie lives with her, a stay laced with tension and past hurts, and Toby often behaves like their mother around her, passively resentful. Gertie wears two-piece polyester outfits from Wal-Mart, while "Toby refuses such clothes, making her mind up, as she has throughout life, not to be like Gertie. Ten years older than Toby, Gertie's her advance warning, her red light flashing. Instead, Toby wears a plaid cotton shirt, tails out over the bunchy elastic waistline of her jeans. She does allow herself elastic. She's not a fool." In turn, Gertie resents Toby. Her husband is in a home with Alzheimer's, her son's dead, his wife has remarried and doesn't speak to Gertie, and she blames her grandson Clay for mismanaging her ranch. "And Toby. Toby's the last car on Gertie's train." At the start of summer, Toby's granddaughter Lila arrives to stay, sixteen, pregnant and prickly. Adding to the strain, the local banker wants to foreclose on the ranch. After her husband died with no life insurance, Toby had been forced to sell her herd and lease most of her land, which had worked until taxes soared. As determined as she is to hold fast, "She knows she's going to lose this land . . . she only hoped to die first. She's in a race now. She needs to get this girl through the summer. Then . . . she's got to find a way to die."
She has allies in her fight to save her legacy: her brother John, broken by World War II and by his father, and George Bates, who has been watching out for things on the ranch most of his life, ever since he showed up with his family during the Depression and was hired by Toby's mother. There is nothing George wouldn't do for Toby, and he takes her granddaughter under his wing. He wants to impart his life knowledge to Lila by telling her stories about calving season, about ranching injuries, about breaking horses. He wants her to see that orphan calves are taken care of and mothers recover from losing their young, that people get hurt and survive, that "you ride the colt to the bones so that it will have more freedom and will not be afraid to move about the earth." As Lila settles in to ranch life, learning to move about the earth, she comes to trust Toby. "She looks at her grandmother's wrinkled face, the dark circles under her eyes, the sag of her eyelids. She could fall into that face, live forever under its roof." Lila also tries to unravel a mystery she finds in the family graveyard, when she notices that her grandmother's day of death is the same as George's son David: June 10, 1948. The subsequent uncovering of long-held secrets is the crux of this family saga, and they are all waiting for something--birth, foreclosure, death, perhaps deliverance--even if it means confronting the truth.
Pamela Carter Joern's prose is graceful, as spacious as the land she describes: "The western sky is a box of crayons, painful in its beauty, while the hills on either side of the draw shadow them like hovering angels." With well-chosen words she describes the dying of a small town, as corporate agribusiness and superstores choke the life out of rural America. She writes about compassion and courage, and the need to forgive and to accept forgiveness; above all, she writes about love for land and family.--Marilyn Dahl
The Book Sense/NEIBA Bestsellers
The following were the bestselling titles during the week ended Sunday,
September 24, at New England Independent Booksellers Association stores
as reported to Book Sense:
1. Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen (Random House, $24.95, 0375502246)
2. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (Knopf, $25, 030726419X)
3. After This by Alice McDermott (FSG, $24, 0374168091)
4. The Mission Song by John Le Carre (Little, Brown, $26.99, 0316016748)
5. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385520514)
6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $23.95, 1565124995)
7. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731)
8. The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375423001)
9. The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine, $25.95, 0345476999)
10. Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood (Nan Talese, $23.95, 0385503849)
11. Imperium by Robert Harris (S&S, $26, 074326603X)
12. Brothers by Da Chen (Shaye Areheart Books, $25, 1400097282)
13. The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer (Warner, $25.99, 0446530999)
14. The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens (Steerforth Press, $24.95, 1586421174)
15. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Atria, $26, 0743298020)
1. The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Frank Rich (Penguin Press, $25.95, 159420098X)
2. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (Knopf, $19.95, 0307264556)
3. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, $29.95, 0670037605)
4. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
5. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, $26.95, 1594200823)
6. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris (Knopf, $16.95, 0307265773)
7. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (HarperCollins, $23.95, 0060777044)
8. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright (Knopf, $27.95, 037541486X)
9. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $30, 0374292795)
10. Grayson by Lynne Cox (Knopf, $16.95, 0307264548)
11. Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn (Crown, $25.95, 0307346811)
12. Fiasco by Thomas E. Ricks (Penguin Press, $27.95, 159420103X)
13. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Houghton Mifflin, $27, 0618680004)
14. The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery (Ballantine, $21.95, 0345481372)
15. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking, $24.95, 0670034711)
Trade Paperback Fiction
1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 0143037145)
2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
3. March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14, 0143036661)
4. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Penguin, $15, 0143037749)
5. The Sea by John Banville (Vintage, $12.95, 1400097029)
6. History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $13.95, 0393328627)
7. The March by E.L. Doctorow (Random House, $14.95, 0812976150)
8. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $12.95, 1400077109)
9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
10. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $14, 0743454537)
11. The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant (Scribner, $15, 0743225740)
12. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, $16, 0743272498)
13. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $14, 1400078776)
14. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0143036696)
15. The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich (Harper Perennial, $13.95, 0060515112)
Trade Paperback Nonfiction
1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
2. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14, 0312425414)
3. The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (Harvest, $14, 0156031566)
4. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion, $14.95, 0786888768)
5. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671)
6. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (Scribner, $15, 0743243781)
7. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
8. The Old Farmer's Almanac (Old Farmer's Almanac, $6.95, 1571983902)
9. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (Back Bay, $13.99, 0316013269)
10. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S, $19.95, 0743270754)
11. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (Random House, $14.95, 0812973011)
12. Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda (Random House, $13.95, 0812974409)
13. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $18, 0743226720)
14. Night by Elie Wiesel (FSG, $9, 0374500010)
15. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
1. The Camel Club by David Baldacci (Warner, $7.99, 0446615625)
2. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616451)
3. Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross (Warner, $9.99, 044661761X)
4. Vanish by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine, $7.99, 0345476980)
5. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Anchor, $7.99, 0307275558)
6. Consent to Kill by Vince Flynn (Pocket Star, $9.99, 1416505016)
7. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (Warner, $7.50, 0446618128)
8. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312938853)
9. Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts (Jove, $7.99, 0515141658)
10. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, 4th Edition (Merriam-Webster, $7.50, 0877799296)
1. The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5) by Eoin Colfer (Miramax Books, $16.95, 0786849568)
2. Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic, $4.99, 0439376149)
3. Pirateology by Captain William Lubber (Candlewick, $19.99, 0763631434)
4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
5. Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell (Joanna Cotler, $16.99, 0060753463)
6. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Megan Tingley, $17.99, 0316160199)
7. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Beatrice Letters by Lemony
Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins, $19.99,
8. Good Night Maine by Adam Gamble, illustrated by Suwin Chan (On Cape Publications, $9.95, 0975850288)
9. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt (Golden, $9.99, 0307120007)
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Megan Tingley, $8.99, 0316015849)
11. A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Harry Bliss (S&S, $12.95, 0689867301)
12. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw (Firefly, $4.95, 0920668372)
13. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (Viking, $17.99, 0670451495)
14. Dial L for Loser (The Clique #6) by Lisi Harrison (Little, Brown, $9.99, 0316115045)
15. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, $16.95, 0060254920)
[Many thanks to Book Sense and NEIBA!]