Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gallery Books: The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

Other Press (NY): Deliver Me by Malin Persson Giolito, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles

Two Trees: Among Friends: An Illustrated Oral History of American Book Publishing and Bookselling in the 20th Century edited by Buz Teacher and Janet Bukovinsky Teacher

Atlantic Monthly Press: I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Enger

Editors' Note

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're already starting to get ready for Thanksgiving Day so this will be our last issue until Monday, the 27th. We wish everyone a wonderful holiday and booksellers a very Black Friday!

Neal Porter Books: Angela's Glacier by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Diana Sudyka


Notes: Just Say No; Turnrow's Grisham Coup; Books Inc.

Widespread relief and cheer greeted News Corp.'s decision yesterday to cancel O.J. Simpson's If I Did It and the Fox TV special that would have featured Judith Regan interviewing Simpson. E-mails we received yesterday after the announcement included the following comments:

  • "Hip hip hooray."
  • "What a hopeful sign and a testament to the power of, not only freedom of speech, but of the power of the marketplace to respond to the speeches offered."
  • "The cancellation is delicious."

Reportedly some books have been shipped, but are supposed to be returned and pulped. This means, of course, that it's likely a few copies will slip the net. Simpson's tome isn't listed on eBay yet, but Amazon's boilerplate following the announcement of the book's cancellation reads: "If you would like to purchase this title, we recommend that you occasionally check this page to see if it has become available."

See today's New York Times for the basic information about the cancellation and the important role of the Fox affiliates in New Corp.'s decision.


Congratulations to Turnrow Book Co., the new Greenwood, Miss., bookstore (Shelf Awareness, September 28, 2006), which on Wednesday, November 29, will host a signing by John Grisham for his new title, The Innocent Man. The first 200 people who buy the book will receive tickets to the signing with appointment times. After the signing, Grisham will read from the book and answer questions, a free event.


Larry Portzline, founder of bookstore tourism, has a video about the concept, featuring clips of visits by "tourists" to bookstores in New York City and Los Angeles. Check it out on his blog.


Several managers of Watson-Guptill's 80,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility in Lakewood, N.J., which will be vacated by the publisher early next year when Holtzbrinck assumes its distribution, have created a distribution company called Innovative Logistics, Judith Rosen reported in PW.

The company, which is taking over the Watson-Guptill facility, will focus on small- and medium-sized companies and use commission rep groups to sell. Its first client is Prestel Publishing, a former Watson-Guptill client.


Via MSNBC, San Francisco Business Times outlines the happy recovery of Books Inc., the 155-year-old bookstore that in the late '90s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Books Inc. has grown to 11 stores from four in 2000, and opened a store at Opera Plaza in San Francisco in September in a site once occupied by A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books.

Among the reasons for the turnaround, the paper and president Michael Tucker indicated:

  • Books Inc. opens mainly where chains can't, in smaller neighborhoods.
  • The stores have "attractive interiors . . . common to all stores . . . but the inventory varies wildly."
  • Each store has great autonomy, "allowing managers the power to offer products and programs that reflect the diversity of their customers."


Ann Simpson, longtime owner of 2nd Look Books in Spokane, Wash., died September 19. She was 69 and had a long battle with cancer. Still, she continued traveling and river rafting up to just a few weeks before her death.

Simpson's store, founded in 1982 and one of the largest used bookstore in Washington, was an early adopter of new technology and had a Web site for years. Simpson's family continues to operate 2nd Look Books but is looking for a new owner.

GLOW: Avid Reader Press: The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

Cool Idea of the Day: Chester County's Gift Suggestions

Cool idea of the day: Chester County Book & Music Co., West Chester, Pa., is suggesting "quick gifts for a holiday dinner party, cocktail social, house visit or office Pollyanna." These consist of a book and specific food item "together with some ribbon and a festive bow":

A bottle of wine with:
  • Andrea Robinson's 2007 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone (Broadway, $12.95)
  • Anthony Dias Blue's Pocket Guide to Wine 2007 (Fireside, $15)
  • The Murray's Cheese Handbook by Rob Kaufelt (Broadway, $12.95)
Packets of breadsticks or crackers with:
  • The Murray's Cheese Handbook by Rob Kaufelt (Broadway, $12.95)
Jars of olives, cocktail onions, or maraschino cherries with:
  • Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers (Algonquin, $15.95)
Recipe cards with:
  • Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days by James and Kay Salter (Knopf, $27.50)
A bottle of your favorite hot sauce with:
  • Wing It! by Christopher B. O'Hara (Clarkson Potter, $16.95)
A six-pack or packaged snacks with:
  • Beer by Eve Adamson (Harper Torch, $6.99)
  • The Ultimate Tailgater's Handbook by the American Tailgaters Association (Rutledge Hill Press, $14.99)
Packets of raw cashews, almonds and walnuts with:
  • Party Nuts! 50 Recipes by Sally Sampson (Harvard Common Press, $12.95)
Packets of dry beans, dip mixes, or breads with:
  • Kafka's Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 14 Recipes by Mark Crick (Harcourt, $14.95)

Soho Crime: Ash Dark as Night (A Harry Ingram Mystery) by Gary Phillips

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Cats and Dogs Around Turkey Day

This morning on the Today Show: Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam, $25, 0553804340).


This morning on the Early Show: Jimmy Bradley, author of The Red Cat Cookbook: 125 Recipes from New York City's Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant (Clarkson Potter, $35, 1400082811).


Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty (PublicAffairs, $15, 1586481983).


Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: art critic Robert Hughes, whose new book is Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir (Knopf, $27.95, 1400044448).


Tomorrow on the Today Show: William Bastone sounds off about The Dog Dialed 911: A Book of Lists from the Smoking Gun (Little, Brown, $15.99, 0316611115).


Tomorrow on the Early Show: James L. Swanson, author of Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution (Morrow, $39.95, 0061237612).


Tomorrow on Oprah: Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness (Amistad, $14.95, 0060744871), an appearance that was supposed to have aired last week. The film version of Gardner's inspiring rags-to-riches memoir opens in theaters December 15.


Tomorrow on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: columnist Art Buchwald, author of Too Soon to Say Goodbye (Random House, $17.95, 1400066271).


Tomorrow on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Alex Kershaw, author of The Few: The American 'Knights of the Air' Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain (Da Capo, $25, 0306813033).


Thursday on the Diane Rehm Show: A rebroadcast of the show's interview with Charles Frazier, whose new book is Thirteen Moons (Random House, $26.95, 0375509321).


Thursday on NPR's On Point: David Kamp, author of The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation (Broadway, $26, 0767915798).


Friday on CNN's American Morning: Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty (PublicAffairs, $15, 1586481983).


Friday on the Martha Stewart Show: Lauren Bacall, whose updated memoir is By Myself and Then Some (Harper Paperbacks, $15.95, 0061127914).


Friday on the Diane Rehm Show: A rebroadcast of the show featuring Oscar winning actress Ellen Burstyn, author of Lessons in Becoming Myself (Riverhead, $25.95, 1594489297).


Friday on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: rapper Snoop Dogg, author of Love Don't Live Here No More: Book One of Doggy Tales (Atria, $24, 074327363X).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected titles that have laydown dates of Tuesday, November 28:

Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (Putnam, $27.95, 0399153691). All trails in this Dirk Pitt thriller lead to Mongolia.

Brother Odd by Dean R. Koontz (Bantam, $27, 0553804804). The latest in the Odd Thomas series featuring the charismatic young fry cook from Pico Mundo, Calif.

Next by Michael Crichton (HarperCollins, $27.95, 0060872985). The thriller master sets his next title in the world of genetics.

Empire by Orson Scott Card (Tor, $24.95, 0765316110). The latest in the Shadow series.


Now out in paperback, on November 28:

S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton (Berkley, $7.99, 0425212696).

The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury (Signet, $9.99, 0451219953).

Light on Snow by Anita Shreve (Warner, $7.99, 0316014281).

Deeper Understanding

Virtual Viewing and Signing a Reality

Imagine attending an author signing without leaving home. It's possible thanks to Virtual Book Signing, the trademarked brainchild of Daniel Weinberg, owner of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago, Ill.

On Saturday, December 2, virtual viewers across the country can participate in an author event at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. The double header will feature Gabor Boritt, author of The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows, and Douglas Wilson, author of Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words.

A Web broadcast of the live event can be viewed by logging onto At any point during the webcast viewers can e-mail their order to purchase a book, which will be signed by the author and shipped to the recipient. Viewers can also send in questions that the author (time permitting) will answer during a Q&A session for both virtual and in-person attendees.

"It's not a difficult concept," Weinberg said. "It's just that no one has done it before." The idea for the venture came when he noticed a decrease in the number of people attending author events. "I think people are still interested in getting books signed, but they're not coming out to see authors like they used to," he said. "Hopefully this is the wave of the future to help keep book signings alive."

Until now, Weinberg has coordinated virtual events in conjunction with the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago. The library often invites authors to speak, primarily on 20th century military history, and Weinberg approached the organization about hosting "Civil War Days" and adding book signings. To date, eight author events have been broadcast live on the Internet, the most recent of which took place earlier this month and featured Edward Longacre, author of Worthy Opponents: William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnson: Antagonists in War-Friends in Peace, and Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War. Wheeler's book recounts how the invention of the telegraph allowed a president, for the first time, to keep in close touch with commanders on distant battlefields.

The first virtual book signing took place in November 2005 and featured historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Another early participant was James L. Swanson, author of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. Both webcasts can be viewed in's archives.

Weinberg plans to continue working with the Pritzker Military Library, but will now also broadcast events from his store. The second virtual book signing at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop will take place December 7 and highlight Richard Lawrence Miller, author of Lincoln and His World: The Early Years: Birth to Illinois Legislature.

Weinberg's immediate goal is to build a larger audience base for the virtual signings. He's focusing on attracting viewers in the areas in which the store has developed its expertise since opening in 1938--Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War and the U.S. presidency. "It takes having enough people watching, and a good percentage of them purchasing, to make it viable," said Weinberg, who bought the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in 1984 after more than a decade in partnership with the previous owner.

Along with using his own store mailing lists, Weinberg's marketing strategy includes advertising in targeted history publications and reaching out to groups and societies related to Lincoln and the Civil War. This includes Civil War roundtables, whose participants can add an interactive element to get-togethers by tuning in to the virtual author talks and book signings.

Weinberg's next step will be to expand the Virtual Book Signing program for authors in other genres, and he's exploring the possibility of working with a general interest bookseller in Chicago to host these events. "If Danielle Steel wants to do it, sure," he said. Garnering publisher and author support is crucial to the success of the program, noted Weinberg. Along with promoting events through their own reader lists and newsletters, publishers must be willing to send authors to Chicago. In return, they reach a national audience with a single signing.

Starting in January, Weinberg will also begin airing a webcast one Saturday a month called "Live from Abraham Lincoln Book Shop." A sort of variety show for bibliophiles, Weinberg and store staffers will present book reviews, feature occasional guests and share the story behind an "artifact of the month." The broadcast will take place during the store's regular operating hours, which means that viewers may witness unscripted happenings.

Along with antiquarian and in-print books about Lincoln, the Civil War, and the U.S. presidency, the store carries rare manuscripts, autographs, artwork, statuary and other items. "Our store looks a bit like a museum," commented Weinberg. "The only difference between us and a real museum is that you can walk away with our exhibits. For a little bit of cash, of course."

Weinberg acknowledges the irony that a bookstore specializing in history is using modern technology to create a new outlet for author promotion. "I'm really more of a 19th century type of guy, and here we are in the 21st century," he said. "It's a changing world, and we have to change with it. It's kind of fun." Referring to the 16th president's then-revolutionary t-mails, he added, "I mean, if Lincoln can reach out, I guess I have to, too."--Shannon McKenna

The Bestsellers

Mystery Bestsellers: The IMBA List

The following were the bestselling titles at Independent Mystery Booksellers Association member stores during October:


1. Under Orders by Dick Francis
2. Echo Park by Michael Connelly
3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
4. What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George
5. All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming
6. Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
7. Kidnapped by Jan Burke
8. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
9. The Winter of Frankie Machine by Don Winslow
10. Stolen Season by Steve Hamilton
10. Still Life by Louise Penny


1. Greywalker by Kat Richardson
2. Dolled Up for Murder by Deb Baker
3. Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind
4. A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston
5. The Death and Life of Bobby Z by Don Winslow
5. The Mournful Teddy by John Lamb
7. Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton
8. China Bayle's Book of Days by Susan Wittig Albert
9. A Fatal Appraisal by J.B. Stanley
10. A Peach of a Murder by Livia Washburn

[Thanks to IMBA!]

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