Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 19, 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


Oh Happy Day: Gallery Bookshop Staffer Buys Store

Congratulations! Christie Olson Day, a long-time staff member at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, Mendocino, Calif., is buying the 44-year-old store from Tony Miksak, who has owned Gallery Bookshop since 1980. (He founded Bookwinkle's in 1988 and later combined it with Gallery when Gallery moved to larger quarters.)

In a statement, Miksak said he is "absolutely delighted to pass on this wonderful store" to Day. "It's time for fresh new leadership. And I need a vacation!"

Day said she is "thrilled to be able to guide the store into the future. I get a chance to spend my days in this gorgeous setting among avid readers--customers and staff--and stacks of books!"

Day said she intends to continue the Gallery Bookshop tradition while "enhancing the things that make the store so special." Besides books and a strong selection of titles by local authors, the store has cards, magazines, calendars, wrapping paper, stationery, maps, posters, stickers and writing supplies.

Gallery Bookshop and Bookwinkle's Children's Books may be reached at P.O. Box 270, Main & Kasten Streets, Mendocino, Calif. 95460; 707-937-2665;

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

Notes: Big Books, Big Winners; Vertigo's 15-Year High

As some other papers have done recently, today's New York Times looks at what it calls an autumn "packed with big-budget, name-brand writers."

Among the winners so far of the "pileup of name authors":

  • State of Denial by Bob Woodward, which some retailers are having difficulty finding. Gerry Donaghy of Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., told the paper: "Right now, it's like printing money."
  • Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior
  • Mitch Albom's For One More Day
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • Mission Song by John le Carre. Margaret Maupin of the Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo., commented: "It's like bread: grocery stores know they're going to sell it. He is such a comfortable sell because people who love him will come in and ask for him."

"This is one of the best fall seasons for fiction that we've seen in a long, long time," Stan Hynds of Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., told the Times. "The category has been hurting for a few years because political books have been so dominant, so it's nice that it's going to bounce back this season."


Announced earlier this year, the first Borders in Ireland opens a week from tomorrow, on Friday, October 27, in the WestEnd retail park in Blanchardstown, a Dublin suburb. The 22,000-sq.-ft. store will stock more than 100,000 book, music, movie and periodical titles and will, the company said, "follow the family-friendly retail park format that has become so popular with customers in Great Britain."

The store will emphasize books by Irish authors--including Irish biography, history, cooking and sports as well as, of course, Irish fiction. It will also carry "a range" of Irish-language titles.

In a statement, Borders Group CEO George Jones said that the store "will serve as a cultural center, meeting the needs of a community that is rich in literary history and as passionate as we are about books and the importance of literacy worldwide."


Happy 15th anniversary to Vertigo Books, College Park Md., which will mark the occasion with a series of events that, as the store puts it, "gathers folks we have known, respected and supported for years." The first event, to be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, is "Mic Check: Hip Hop Evolves," which will "survey and assess the future of hip-hop, perhaps the most important cultural movement of our time. The panel will discuss how hip-hop defined the aesthetics of a generation, the uses and limits of a hip-hop identity (especially regarding black masculinity), and the intersection between arts and activism. We expect a deconstruction done with love and respect."

Panelists are:

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, who "was once obsessed with Frantz Fanon. Now he covers business for Time magazine. Go figure."
  • William Jelani Cobb, an assistant professor of history at Spelman College, a contributing writer to Essence magazine and author of the forthcoming To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic.
  • Natalie Hopkinson, co-author of Deconstructing Tyrone and a Scripps Howard doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she is also a visiting professor of journalism.
  • Natalie Y. Moore, co-author of Deconstructing Tyrone, a freelance journalist and an adjunct instructor of media studies at Columbia College in Chicago.
  • Moderator Esther Iverem, founder and editor of and a poet whose most recent book is Living in Babylon. A collection of her reviews, essays and interviews on Black film, We Gotta Have It, is forthcoming.


The Book Exchange, a 17-year-old used and remainders bookstore in Missoula, Mont., has tripled in size to 11,200 square feet and now has more than 20 employees, the Missoulian reported. The store aims to carry as many as 200,000 titles.

Half of customers read genre novels and other fiction. It has solid Montana and Western sections and aims to add a coffee bar in the new area. The owners are Becky and Nabil Haddad and his parents, Fouad and Fadwa Haddad. Nabil Haddad's day job is chair of the University of Montana Psychology Department; he's also the store's main carpenter.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Media and Movies

Book TV: History, Heist, Heston, Hancock

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, October 20

11 a.m. History on Book TV. At an event hosted by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, former British ambassador to the Soviet Union Rodric Braithwaite talked about his Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War (Knopf, $30, 1400044308), which focuses on the lives of ordinary people during the year in which the Nazis invaded and were stopped--for the first time in World War II--on the outskirts of Moscow, a battle that cost 900,000 Russian lives.

5 p.m. Public Lives. In an event held at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Va., Emilie Raymond, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, talked about her book From My Cold, Dead Hands: Charlton Heston and American Politics (University Press of Kentucky, $27.95, 0813124085) about the actor's movie career and political activism. She asserts that Heston, who worked for both Democratic and Republican candidates, was a civil rights advocate and served as president of the National Rifle Association, is a "visceral neoconservative." (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 2002, Charles Slack discussed his Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the Nineteenth Century (Hyperion, $14.95, 0786888563). The book traces Goodyear's development of vulcanization--the technique used to transform rubber into a useable product--and Goodyear's struggle to win a patent for the process, which culminated in the 1852 trial between Goodyear and his long-time British rival, Thomas Hancock.
9 p.m. After Words. Charles Lewis, founder of the Center For Public Integrity, interviews Peter Stone, staff correspondent for the National Journal (and nephew of the legendary I.F. Stone), about his new book, Heist: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, His Republican Allies, and the Buying of Washington (FSG, $23, 0374299315), about the rise and fall of one of the most powerful fundraisers and lobbyists in history. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

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

Media Heat: Hospitality Amy Sedaris-Style

This morning on the Today Show: Senator Barack Obama continues the campaign for his new book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Crown, $25, 0307237699). Today the Senator is also slated to appear on NPR's All Things Considered, Larry King Live and the Charlie Rose Show.

Also on the Today Show: Amy Sedaris looks for laughs with I Like You: Hospitality under the Influence (Warner, $27.99, 0446578843).


Today on Good Morning America: Kati Marton, author of The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World (S&S, $27, 0743261151).


This morning on the Early Show: Ariel Levy, author of Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Free Press, $14, 0743284283).

Also on the Early Show, Julie K. Silver, M.D., talks about her new book, After Cancer Treatment: Heal Faster, Better, Stronger (Johns Hopkins University Press, $16.95, 0801884381). She also appears on ABC News Now's Top Priority.


This morning on NPR's Morning Edition, Michael Perry glows about his Truck: A Love Story (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060571179).


Today on the View: Elizabeth Edwards, author of Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers (Broadway, $24.95, 0767925378).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Bill Bryson strikes again with The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir (Broadway, $25, 076791936X).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Andrew Holleran, whose new book is Grief (Hyperion, $19.95, 1401302505). As the show describes it: "Andrew Holleran has written a beautiful, somber novella about loss. His narrator has come to Washington, D.C. (the white mausoleum city) to teach a course about AIDS literature. He is grieving the death of his mother and finds solace in the letters of Mary Todd Lincoln. In this conversation, we discuss the book's essential theme: the possibility of living in a state of permanent grief."


Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Robert Kagan, author of Dangerous Nation (Knopf, $30, 0375411054).

Books & Authors

Books for Understanding: North Korea

The Association of American University Presses's Books for Understanding bibliography focusing on North Korea offers many titles with information on and scholarly analysis of Korean history and culture, North Korea's foreign relations and the ongoing nuclear crisis.

Titles in Books for Understanding: North Korea include:
  • North Korea through the Looking Glass by Kongdan Oh and Ralph C. Hassig (Brookings Institution Press, 2000)
  • Divided Korea: Toward a Culture of Reconciliation by Roland Bleiker (University of Minnesota Press, 2005)
  • Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies by Victor D. Cha and David C. Kang (Columbia University Press, 2003)
  • Negotiating on the Edge: North Korean Negotiating Behavior by Scott N. Snyder (United States Institute of Peace Press, 1999).

Several titles related to current events have been featured in "Books of Note" in recent weeks:
  • Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy by Samantha King (University of Minnesota Press, 2006). October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and King has delved into the market-driven philanthropy behind that movement.
  • A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya by Anna Politkovskaya (University of Chicago Press, 2003). Russian journalist Politkovskaya was murdered earlier this month, apparently in retaliation for her reporting of atrocities in Chechnya.
  • The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul Handley (Yale University Press, 2006). The recent coup in Thailand seems to have the tacit support of the popular king.

Book Brahmin: Marie Bostwick, Author of River's Edge

Marie Bostwick has worked in the Oregon bean fields, acted in TV commercials, taught religion to deaf children, run an event-planning business, worked as the scheduler for a U.S. Senator and directed women's ministries for a large church. As in her debut novel, Fields of Gold, her new book, River's Edge (Kensington, $14, 0758209916), is set during World War II, when the mood of the American public bore a haunting resemblance to that of today. Here Bostwick answers some questions we pose occasionally to authors or people in the business.

On nightstand now:

As always, an enormous pile--The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton; Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm by Jane Brox; Ten Acres Enough: The Classic 1864 Guide to Independent Farming by Edmund Morris; Them by Francine Du Plessix Gray; Shaker Cities of Peace, Love, and Union by Deborah E. Burns; Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi; and a Bible.

Favorite book when you were a child:

James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl. When I was a little girl, my camp counselor read it to us by candlelight at bedtime. The second she began reading, my bunkmates and I were transformed from a cabin full of giggling, wiggling girls into the most attentive of audiences. Such a magical story! When I grew up, I read it to my own children, and it had precisely the same effect.

Top five authors:

Very conventional, I'm afraid--Dickens, Austen, Wharton--but classics are classic for a reason. Alice Munro--writing a brilliant short story is the hardest thing in the world, but she makes it look as natural and fluid as taking a stroll. C.S. Lewis--he is the only writer I know who puts complex theological concepts within the grasp of everyday mortals without patronizing or compromising.

Book you've "faked" reading:

The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. I could never decide who was saying what. The Russian names and multiple nicknames were too confusing.

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

Lady's Maid by Margaret Forster. I love books that I've come to call "voyeuristic history," where an ordinary but well placed narrator gives sympathetic, eyewitness insight into the life and motivations of someone famous. I think Forster's novel is the best of its kind.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I almost never do this. The back cover copy usually dictates my purchasing decision, but I suspect that the cover of Girl With a Pearl Earring had me reaching for my wallet.

Book that changed your life:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

Favorite line from a book:

"His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night."

This last, poignant line from The Great Gatsby never ceases to speak to a small, hollow spot in my heart.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Powered by: Xtenit