Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 25, 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


Oprah Opens Up to Osondu, Asks for a Video

Margaret Osondu, the owner of Osondu Booksellers, Waynesville, N.C., who has been campaigning since July (Shelf Awareness, July 24, 2006) to get Oprah Winfrey to visit her town and store, learn about the value of independent booksellers and promote indies when she promotes books, has finally gotten her foot in the door of the Oprah Show. Yesterday someone from Harpo Entertainment, Oprah's production company, e-mailed and asked her to send a video of the store and town.

"We're so excited," Osondu told Shelf Awareness. "We've gotten some form e-mails from Oprah, so I'm used to them and I almost deleted this one. But then I thought, this looks different."

The video should be sent by Thursday, so Osondu had a videographer come by last night to film an event in the store. There will be more filming today. "They said they will let us know in two weeks," she added. 

The catalyst for the campaign, which has included many mailings to Oprah of letters and postcards and other material, was the July issue of O the Oprah Magazine, the "first-ever" summer reading issue with 64 recommended titles. On the cover, the magazine advertised "O's Deal Just For You," which consisted of a 10% discount on 20 of the titles.

At the time, Osondu told Shelf Awareness, "I started talking about it with our events coordinator, and it quickly became a big thing for me. We thought of encouraging Oprah to put in a plug for independents. Then we thought we could go see Oprah. Then I decided, 'Let's have Oprah come to Waynesville.' "

Osondu had sent things to Oprah on a weekly basis. "We just didn't stop," she said. "Everything we can think of we send." Recent mailings included a store tote bag and a copy of The King's English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller by Betsy Burton.

Apparently there was something in the air waves yesterday. As if the request from Harpo for a videotape wasn't enough good news for Osondu, yesterday the TV world shined on her daughter, Amanda Lydon, as well. Lydon, manager of Good Yarns Bookshop in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., got a call from the Today Show, asking to film an event at the store tomorrow night. Abby Seixas, a psychotherapist and author of Finding the Deep River Within: A Woman's Guide to Recovering Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life, will appear at 7 p.m.

There are even more serendipitous connections to this story. Lydon commented that "aside from the obvious synchronicity of both my mother and I being contacted at our respective bookstores by national media on the same day, I had always associated Abby with my parents because she is a Massachusetts-based psychotherapist and so were my mom and step dad when I was growing up."

She added that the Today Show interest apparently "stems from a story they are doing on Abby about her grassroots publicity attempt to get herself book attention. She's been a great author to work with--relentless about trying to get the word out about her book. In fact, she got a fantastic review in O magazine this September! Abby is from Hastings originally, so a book party at bookstore in her home town would be a great addition to the Today show segment on the author."

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

Notes: Berean Buys Provident; Borders in Dubai

Berean Christian Stores, which was sold by Standex International to a private equity firm and senior management this past summer (Shelf Awareness, August 2, 2006), has bought the last four Provident Bookstores from Mennonite Publishing Network, according to the Lancaster New Era. Three of the stores are in Pennsylvania--Lancaster, New Holland and Souderton--and the other is in Wooster, Ohio. Berean has 18 stores.

Just a year ago, Mennonite Publishing operated eight Provident Bookstores. Of them, two in Goshen and Berne, Ind., were sold a year ago. One in Newton, Mass., was sold last month, and another in Ephrata, Pa., was closed.

Mennonite Publishing, which is owned by Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, intends to focus on book publishing.


Borders is opening a 22,367-sq.-ft. store in Parkersburg, W.Va., at the end of November next to the Grand Central Mall. The store will stock the usual nearly 200,000 book, movie and music titles. Last Saturday, in anticipation of the arrival of the new store, Borders closed its 4,100-sq.-ft. Waldenbooks store in the same mall.


Need a short paperback to while away the time on the desert ski lift?

The 16,000-sq.-ft. Borders that is opening next week in Dubai (Shelf Awareness, October 8, 2006) is in what Borders describes as "the largest mall outside of North America." The Mall of the Emirates has more than 400 shops, including Harvey Nichols, Dolce and Gabana and Gucci, as well as the famous Ski Dubai, the indoor ski site. Al Maya Group is opening the store under a franchise agreement with Borders.


More on the Savannah State University bookstore employee who stole money, as mentioned here yesterday.

The AP is reporting (via the Macon Telegraph) that the U.S. attorney's office in Savannah, Ga., announced yesterday that a grand jury has charged Charles Jackson III with four counts of bank fraud for pocketing several checks he was given to deposit in the store's bank account. Apparently the checks amounted to more than $200,000.


Barnes & Noble has changed its Member loyalty program so that Member members will now receive 40% discounts on hardcover fiction and nonfiction bestsellers--a slight increase--and 20% discounts on all other adult hardcovers--up from 10%. They continue to receive 10% discounts on all other products. The offer is good at all B&N stores and online. Member membership costs $25 a year; the program was launched six years ago. 

Noting that Wal-Mart, Costco and and others are discounting hardcover bestsellers deeply, today's Wall Street Journal quoted Joseph J. Lombardi, B&N's CFO, this way: "You have to competitive. We've been talking about softness in the hardcover business, and this lets us support that format with our best customers."


Late yesterday reported third quarter results and pleased Wall Street by saying that "it would slow its rate of investments in new projects, a move that could increase profits," as today's Wall Street Journal put it. The company's share price rose 14% to $38.35 in after-hours trading.

The e-tailer's net sales increased 24% to $2.31 billion, although net income was $19 million compared to net income of $30 million in the same period last year. The company continues to emphasize a digital-downloading future; one of its new businesses is Amazon Unbox, which allows customers to buy or rent movie downloads. Still, Amazon has ventured even farther afield from its initial emphasis on books: it boasts that it stocks more than one million car products for sale.


Today's Wall Street Journal has a feature on Viking Range Corp., the Greenwood, Miss., gas range, refrigerator, wine cooler, grill and dishwasher manufacturing company that has spent a lot of money fixing up Greenwood. That effort has included the creation of a bookstore, Turnrow Book Co., which was profiled here last month (Shelf Awareness, September 28, 2006). 

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Pekar's Likeness: 'Just Draw, People, Draw'

Booksellers, tap into your inner artist. In conjunction with the publication of The Best American Comics 2006, the first book in a new series of annual collections, Houghton Mifflin is inviting booksellers--managers, owners, frontline folks--to try their hand at drawing a likeness of comic legend and author Harvey Pekar.

Entries will be judged by Pekar and series editor Anne Elizabeth Moore. Winners' handiwork will be displayed at the ABA's Winter Institute in Portland, Oregon, in 2007, and online at and If you're uncertain about your drawing ability, keep this in mind. "Artistic skills count, but less than good comedy," noted the publisher. "Just draw, people, draw!"

For information about contest rules, prizes, and how to enter "The Best American Comics Drawing Contest," visit Houghton Mifflin's contest page.

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

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephen King's Story

Today on Good Morning America: Stephen King, author of the new spine-tingler Lisey's Story (Scribner, $28, 0743289412).


Today on Imus in the Morning and the Early Show: sportswriter Mike Lupica, author of the YA novel Miracle on 49th Street (Philomel, $17.99, 0399244883).


This morning on the Today Show: Philip Rosenthal, creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond and author of You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom (Viking, $25.95, 0670037990). Rosenthal will also yuck it up tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Also this morning on the Today Show, as part of a series on obesity: Elisa Zied, a dietitian and co-author with Ruth Winter of So What Can I Eat?!: How to Make Sense of the New Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Make Them Your Own (Wiley, $14.95, 0471772011) and the forthcoming Feed Your Family Right! How to Make Smart Food and Fitness Choices for a Healthy Lifestyle (Wiley, $16.95, March 2007), also written with Ruth Winter.


Today on the View: In the spotlight is Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn, author of Lessons in Becoming Myself (Riverhead, $25.95, 1594489297).

Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Michael Weisskopf, Time magazine correspondent and author of Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57 (Holt, $25, 0805078606).


Today on Entertainment Tonight: Joan Collins, author of The Art of Living Well: Looking Good, Feeling Great (Sourcebooks, $24.95, 1402209428).


Today on the Tavis Smiley Show: Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060188774).


Today on Fox's Hannity and Colmes: Lynne Cheney, author of Our 50 States: A Family Adventure across America (S&S, $17.95, 0689867174).


In a repeat, tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Lou Dobbs, author of War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back (Viking, $24.95, 0670037923).


Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 2

Happy Halloween. The following titles appear next Tuesday, October 31:

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (Warner, $24.99, 0446528056). A disaffected young soldier meets a special woman, but after September 11, he reenlists and they drift apart--and soon he receives the classic goodbye letter.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Delacorte, $20, 0385339151). A paranormal thriller from the romance writer.

Queen of Swords by Sara Donati (Bantam, $27, 055380149X). On the eve of the Battle of New Orleans, the last battle of the War of 1812, the search is on for a baby given away under duress to a powerful Creole family. Part of the Wilderness series.

Keeper of the Keys by Perri O'Shaughnessy (Delacorte, $25, 0385337965). A standalone thriller from the authors of the Nina Reilly series.

The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour: The Adventure Stories
by Louis L'Amour (Bantam, $24, 0553804944). A roundup of work by the Western master.

Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani (Random House, $25.95, 1400060087). The fourth in the author's Big Stone Gap series.

H.R.H. by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $27, 0385338295). The romance queen writes of a European princess who finds both love and the meaning of life.

Book Brahmin: John Shors

John Shors spent years in Asia teaching, trekking across the continent and climbing the Himalayas. He has also worked as an award-winning newspaper reporter in Des Moines, Iowa, and most recently founded a public relations agency in Boulder, Colo. He has made it his mission to speak with 1,000 book clubs this year about Beneath a Marble Sky (NAL, $14, 0451218469). Visit his Web site at Here he answers questions we occasionally pose to someone in the industry:

On nightstand now:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Favorite book when you were a child:

The Lord of the Rings
Top five authors:

Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell
Books you've "faked" reading:

The Celestine Prophecy, Slaughterhouse-Five  
Books you are an "evangelist" for:

First They Killed My Father, The Power of One, Beneath a Marble Sky
Book you've bought for the cover:

I enjoy beautiful covers, but I truly don't by books based on their covers.
Book that changed your life:

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
by Loung Ung
Favorite line from a book:

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."--A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
What is your favorite genre:

Historical fiction

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