Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 30, 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: Regulator Turns 30; New Eats, Shoots and Leaves?

In a long, thoughtful story, the Independent Weekly celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C.

Here's one gem. Co-owner Tom Campbell told the paper, "I think we're in the curiosity business. If people are curious about the world, they're going to read books, because you really can't dig into something any other way. I think a lot of people are afraid to be curious these days. Like they're afraid of what they're going to find out: 'The world's becoming a darker place, I don't want to know about it.' I think we've gone through a time where people felt like that, but now I think that people are starting to get curious again. I think that as long as people are curious, we'll be O.K."

The Regulator is holding an anniversary party this Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight that will feature authors, food, drink, jazz and birthday cake. Go the Regulator's Web site for information on the party and the store's history, including a range of amusing stories about such things as the arrival of the Secret Service for a Jimmy Carter appearance and Peter Mayle's non-snobbish approach to eating and drinking--which was a relief to the staff.


Pubnet, the e-commerce exchange, has introduced a new ordering program called Instant Response that allows booksellers to receive instant purchase order acknowledgements from Hachette, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Penguin Group, Random House and S&S. The program, which begins December 12, offers retailers an alternative to direct electronic order dial-up ordering systems offered by many POS vendors, Pubnet says. Many of these systems will be discontinued with the introduction of ISBN-13 in January and may no longer be supported by publishers.

"Booksellers will know immediately if a publisher can fulfill their order or whether they should order from another source," Pubnet general manager Charles Halpin said in a statement. "Publishers who join Instant Response can offer a dramatically enhanced level of service to their booksellers, who no longer have to wait on hold with customer service to verify an order; or wait for a publisher to pick up their online orders once a day for processing."

For more information, requirements and early-adoption discounts, go to Pubnet's Web site or contact Bruce Miller, U.S. sales executive, at 908-219-0053 or


Carl Lennertz, famous for touting books by other publishers, wonders on his blog whether Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog by Kitty Burns Florey (Melville House) "could be the next Eats, Shoots and Leaves? Subtitle: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences."


Olsson's Books and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression are joining with the National Press Club, the MLRC Institute and the Newseum in presenting a discussion on the impact and implications of using confidential sources in journalism. The panel will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, and is free and open to the public.

Called "The Future of the Free Press: Should Journalists Be Able to Use Confidential Sources and Seek Secret Information?" the panel includes journalists, lawyers and legal scholars. The organizers note that "though efforts to enact a federal shield law have stalled in Congress, 49 states recognize some form of 'reporter's privilege' to protect confidential sources. Without reliance on confidential sources, Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra, and Abu Ghraib would have gone unreported. However, should there be legal ramifications for journalists who use information deemed sensitive to national security?"

To reserve a seat, call the National Press Club at 202-662-7501.


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

Unhappy Shareholder Joins AMS Board

If you can't beat 'em, make 'em join you.

Advanced Marketing Services has appointed Robert E. Robotti, affiliated with or head of several companies and people that own 7% of AMS, to the board of directors, the board's governance and nominating committee and its compensation committee. In connection with the appointment, Robotti and his allies have agreed to end a proxy battle that would have occurred at the AMS annual meeting January 24.

Complaining about a lack of information from the board, Robotti had wanted to nominate three board members to ensure shareholder representation, according to a September San Diego Union-Tribune story.

AMS also named president and CEO Gary M. Rautenstrauch to the board.

AMS has a range of distribution, wholesaling and publishing services operations and owns PGW, among other companies.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

BEA Podcasts, Video: 'Year-Round Convention Without Walls'

Aiming to make BookExpo America "a year-round convention without walls," BEA is expanding its podcasting offerings and launching video streaming coverage of events from the show as well as other material related to books, authors and the industry. Via its podcast site, BEA is offering the material both to the industry and the general public.

Besides coverage of events at May's BEA in Washington, which includes some 36 speeches, talks and other material and has been available for podcasts since the show, BEA is now offering podcast coverage of the National Book Awards and podcast and streaming video coverage of the panel "Protecting Privacy, Challenging Secrecy, and Standing Up for the First Amendment," held September 28 in Washington. For next year's show in New York City, BEA is setting up the BEA Authors' Studio; under the program, authors and publishers will be able to record 5- to 10-minute audio interviews for booksellers, other industry members and the general public.

"BEA is about relationships and the exchange of information and ideas," BEA event director Lance Fensterman said in a statement. "Our new digital ventures extend those principles beyond the three physical days of the show and typify the course I have set for BEA in coming years. The podcast program marks the beginning of a vision for BEA which utilizes the platform we have within the book and publishing industry to better serve the industry 365 days a year."

Rob Simon, president and CEO of BurstMarketing, which is working with BEA on this project, said, "The buzz about books which typically begins at BEA may now be further leveraged, and the audience for the books and authors featured at BEA as well as at other events will now be more inclusive."

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

Holiday Hum: Sales, No Snow at Norwich Bookstore

Located in a shopping center with several other retailers, the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vt., was spared Black Friday mania. "We're not in a mall," co-owner Liza Bernard said. "We actually had a very good weekend, but there were no fisticuffs in aisle two, as they said."

Sales have been on target and the mood of customers upbeat, and Bernard expects shopping to begin in earnest with the first snowfall. "I think people aren't really feeling like it's the holidays yet," in part, she explained, because of unseasonably warm weather. "People are walking around in sweaters instead of coats."

Popular choices for those who have begun their holiday book buying include coffee table books, which "are flying off the shelves," Bernard said, among them gardening-themed tomes as well as Annie Liebovitz's A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005. An event this week for Perfume: Joy, Scandal, Sin--A Cultural History of Fragrance from 1750 to the Present with local author Richard Stamelman should raise customer awareness for what Bernard describes as "a drop dead gorgeous book."

On December 13, the store will host local authors Sally Brady, Luciana Frigerio, Sara Pinto and Sarah Underwood, who have written Sweet Memories: A Gingerbread Family Scrapbook. "It's a good Christmas gift book," said Bernard. "It's very funny."

A surprise seller is Tim Traver's Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh. The momentum began with an author event, "and we just keep selling it," said Bernard. "It's a really wonderful book. It's part memoir, part nature writing."

Of the current national bestsellers, Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid "is a hot seller," noted Bernard, as is Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons. Handsellers are more important for the store, Bernard said. Two novels benefiting from employee enthusiasm and staff pick signs are The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens and Forgetfulness by Ward Just.

One book in short supply from the publisher is Kiran Desai's Man Booker Prize-winning The Inheritance of Loss, a title customers are "buying for their own reading as opposed to gift giving," said Bernard.

This year the Norwich Bookstore has created a window display with books from the New England Independent Booksellers Association holiday catalogue. "We went all out with that this year," Bernard said. "They changed their program, and we decided to give it a try." Catalogues went to the store's mailing list, and customers have been bringing them in with books circled. A standout is the hardcover edition of Charlotte's Web. (The film version of E.B. White's tale opens in theaters December 15).

Perennial holiday favorites for Norwich customers are the books in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Series, which includes such titles as The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006 (edited by Dave Eggers), The Best American Mystery Stories 2006 (edited by Scott Turow) and The Best American Short Stories 2006 (edited by Ann Patchett).

Next Thursday the store will participate in a Holiday Festivities event with neighboring businesses in the Norwich Square shopping center, which include a bakery, a wine store, a gift shop and a shoe boutique. Extended store hours, walkways lined with luminaries, a wandering brass band, and wine served at the bookstore will likely enhance consumers' holiday spirit.

Norwich Bookstore customers are helping extend holiday cheer to those less fortunate via the annual "Book Angel" program. In conjunction with four local non-profit agencies, the store provides books to needy children. A wreath on display in the store is decorated with paper angels, and each notes a child's age and his or her reading interests. Customers select a book and purchase it, "and we wrap it and deliver it in time for the holidays," Bernard said. The store donates at least one book for every 10 purchased and guarantees that no "angel" will be empty handed.

The "Book Angel" program received a write-up in the local newspaper and draws many people. "It's a show of how generous people can be when it comes to wanting to share reading," said Bernard. "It's really incredible."--Shannon McKenna

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ellen Burstyn on Oprah

Ho ho ho. This morning on the Early Show: Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, authors of Santa Cruise (Scribner, $22, 1416535527), their latest annual Christmas title.


Today on the Oprah Winfrey Show: Hollywood legend Ellen Burstyn, author of Lessons in Becoming Myself (Riverhead, $25.95, 1594489297).

Also on Oprah: Dana Buchman, author of A Special Education: One Family's Journal Through the Maze of Learning Disabilities (Da Capo, $21.95, 0738210331).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Edward P. Jones, author of All Aunt Hagar's Children (Amistad, $25.95, 0060557567). The show describes the interview this way: "Edward P. Jones' magnificent new book of stories takes up characters from his earlier collection, Lost in the City. Minor, background characters become central; children unlearn the lessons of their parents; time somersaults; and legends become truth. Jones explains that he never expected to meet these characters again, yet, here he is with a whole new book filled with them, bringing greater depths to his capacious imagination."


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Mike Lupica, author of Miracle on 49th Street (Philomel, $17.99, 0399244883).


Tonight on the Late Show with Conan O'Brien: Tillie (the dog) and her "assistant," F. Bowman Hastie III, author of Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist: Art from Scratch, by the World's Preeminent Canine Painter (Sasquatch Books, $14.95, 1570614644). Tillie will do a painting demonstration.

Book TV This Weekend: Presidents Carter, Bush, Roosevelt

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, December 2

12:30 p.m. History on Book TV. In a talk hosted by the World Affairs Council in Washington, D.C., Niall Ferguson, the historian whose new book is The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (Penguin Press, $35, 1594201005), argues that change in the form of globalization, wealth and technological breakthroughs have led to violence, genocide and fanaticism in our societies.

3:30 p.m. Public Lives. In an event sponsored by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Doro Bush Koch, daughter of President George H.W. Bush and brother of the current President Bush, talked about her book, My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H.W. Bush (Warner, $29.99, 0446579904). In the memoir, Koch recounts childhood memories of her dad and how he dealt with crises and challenges as both a father and a president. She was joined on stage by her parents. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 2001, historian Thomas Fleming discussed his The New Dealers' War: F.D.R. and the War Within World War II (Basic Books, $24.95, 0465024653), in which he contends that President Roosevelt's insistence on the Axis's unconditional surrender prolonged the war for at least a year.

9 p.m. After Words. Brigadier General Charles "Casey" Brower, dean of faculty for the Virginia Military Institute, interviews Washington Post associate editor Karen DeYoung about her new book, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell (Knopf, $28.95, 1400041708), for which the former Secretary of State and General provided unrestricted access to his papers. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, December 3

12 p.m. In Depth: President Jimmy Carter, whose latest book is Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (S&S, $27, 0743285026). The show airs live from Carter's home in Plains, Ga. Viewers may ask questions of him by calling in or sending an e-mail to (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

Books & Authors

The Fabric of Night: GBO's November Book Pick

The German Book Office has picked The Fabric of Night by Christoph Peters, translated by John Cullen, which will be published in January by Nan A. Talese/Random House ($23.95, 0385514476), as its book pick for November. The GBO lauded "the story's haunting and universal themes. Reaching across cultural borders and delving into the human psyche, Christoph Peters captures the attention of his readers and explores the darker parts of imagination."

The Fabric of Night is set in Istanbul in 1994 and features an alcoholic sculptor who swears he saw a murder; his girlfriend, with whom he is on vacation in an attempt to save their relationship; and an art student who befriends the couple. In an interview with Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian Radio), Peters said: "The book is ornamentally constructed with two narrative voices running through it, rather like a carpet, in which there are simultaneously opposing perspectives, the warp and the weft, the perpendicular threads and the parallel threads, just like a carpet. The book is such that it starts at the beginning and begins at the end, in itself ornamental."

Powered by: Xtenit