Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 22, 2005


Little Brown and Company: Nick by Michael Farris Smith

Simon Pulse: Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

Berkley Books: Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Pubeasy vs. Pubnet: Which is Right for You?

Flatiron Books: The Survivors by Jane Harper

Candlewick Press: The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World by Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts

Disney-Hyperion: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Quotation of the Day

Spanish Books: A Link to Heritage

"I can't have a Mexican baby without her speaking Spanish. It's become a lot more important to me, a priority as far as her education."--Nelida Barcenas, explaining to the Chicago Tribune why she was buying books at the 20th annual Feria del Libro, in Cicero, Ill., which she was attending with her six-year-old daughter.

Ace Books: The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec


News

Tout le Monde Sells 'Books' Cheap

In a first foray into publishing, Amazon has launched Amazon Shorts, which offers short works--short stories, essays and other nonfiction--for 49 cents each. The shorts are available only digitally, via e-mail or printout. Among the 60 participating authors: Danielle Steel, Richard Rhodes, Daniel Wallace, Audrey Niffenegger and James Lee Burke.

Meanwhile, à Paris, the French bookseller Maxi-Livres has installed five vending machines offering some 25 classics, cookbooks and even a French-English dictionary for two euros each (about $2.45) at four subway stops and a street corner. In deference to customers' book-revering sensibilities, the books do not drop down a chute like a can or bag of chips, but instead, in a kind of high-tech type of handselling, they are lifted and carried by a mechanical arm. The company called the effort a test but said that the response so far has been good.

Beach Lane Books: The Farmer and the Monkey by Marla Frazee


Bookselling Notes: E-Changes, E-Chapters

MBS Textbook Exchange has already modified some of the least popular aspects of its new Universal Digital Textbooks test, under which about 30 titles by some five textbook publishers will be available in e-book form at 10 college bookstores for a 33% discount (Shelf Awareness, August 10). As CM Bulletin reported, the publishers are extending the expiration times so that some books will "expire" after 12 months; others will have no expiration. In addition, most of the publishers have relaxed their printing restrictions. (They had allowed printing of only a small portion of the book at any time.)

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Continuing the e-book theme, yesterday's New York Times business section dined with Warren Adler, author of The War of the Roses, among 27 novels. His current title is Death of a Washington Madame, which the 77-year-old author is releasing via e-mail a chapter at a time to anyone who requests. "The main thing is give readers a new book for free," he said, "and they might go back and buy some of the [earlier] books."

Because "the print book is morphing into the screen book," Adler continued, he will also make all his books available on flash memory cards, readable on e-book players. "Print publishing has had a great 500-year run."

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The Book Corral in Canon City, Colo., is closing, probably at the end of next month, after 33 years in business. Owner George Clark told the Canon City Daily Record that the reasons for the move are: "too few sales chasing too much debt"; changes after the Sept. 11 attacks; the closing of a nearby school whose students were regular customers; the move of many people from downtown; and "the advent of the chain entertainment store."

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If you click on only one story this year, make it this one. Richard Booth, the used bookseller who helped make the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wise internationally famous for its used bookstores and its literature festival, wants to create a new international currency, the bootho, that can be used to buy and sell books at new book towns around the world. "You need a first-grade lunatic such as myself to get it going," he said to the Telegraph. One observer dryly noted that Booth has a gift for self-promotion.

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Greg Powers, who has sold rare and used books, maps, prints and more for 18 years, has opened Powers Bookshop in downtown Manchester, N.H. John Clayton in the New Hampshire Union Leader noted that after the closing this winter of a B. Dalton, Manchester, a city "with more than 100,000 allegedly literate citizens," would have just one new-book bookstore.

Although Powers's bookstore does not stock new books, Clayton called it "a reason for book lovers to rejoice." The store is located at 344 Orange St., Manchester, N.H. 03104; 603-624-9707; www.powersbks.com.

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An item from the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, in its entirety:

"Blue Kangaroo Books, a children's bookstore at 142 N. Vermilion St. in Danville, has new owners: Curt and Rhonda Ellis of Danville.

"The Ellises have been Danville residents since 1997. They plan to keep the same book programs and book clubs started by original owner Vicki Auditore. Auditore's family is moving out of the area and sold the downtown Danville store.

"Rhonda Ellis will operate the store. Curt Ellis is a State Farm Insurance agent."

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In an amusing essay in yesterday's New York Times Book Review called "Hell Is Other Customers," Charles Taylor argues that the idea that the customer is always right has gone too far, particularly at superstores. His first circle of hell:

"The comfy chairs Barnes & Noble and Borders have placed around their stores, objects that daily inspire the equivalent of the Oklahoma land grab, are limited in number. Therefore, aisles and floors become the designated drop zones. The unlucky chairless sprawl against the shelves or between them. Often it's impossible to stand within three feet of these living obstacles since, arrayed around them, they have their cellphones, their Blackberrys, their coffee, 10 or 12 books they've pulled from the shelves (whether or not there are other copies of a particular title and whether or not they are looking at those titles), and frequently there are accompanying boyfriends or girlfriends with the same accouterments splayed around them."

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Reuters examined the Natural Cures phenomenon and found some worrisome second opinions. The chair of the New York Consumer Protection Board, which has issued a warning about the book, told the service, "This book is exploiting and misleading people who are searching for cures to serious illnesses."

Author Kevin Trudeau responded, "There are multiple ways to cure cancer without drugs or surgery," adding, "I'm doing this virtually as a non-profit. I'm not doing this for the money. It's a passion."

University of California Press: The Fastest Game in the World, Volume 6 by Bruce Berglund


Check Out the Reviewers Checklist

You can check off this stat: Reviewers Checklist now has more than 9,000 titles from more than 60 publishers, according to Susan Raab of Raab Associates, the children's and parenting book publicity and marketing agency that launched Reviewers Checklist June 1.

On the Web at www.reviewerschecklist.com, the online search database is aimed to help reviewers--but also booksellers, librarians, editors, producers, educators and others--find and request new and forthcoming titles for children, teens and families. Reviewers can be notified of new books in particular areas of interest and are able to store information. They can also make reprint permission requests and link to publisher, author and illustrator sites. Use of the site is free.

For Raab Associates, the Checklist is "a natural outgrowth of the marketing and publicity work we've done for more than 25 years to advocate for children's books, authors and illustrators," Susan Raab said. The company was often asked for help from reporters and referred them "to additional books, even when they weren't published by one of our publisher or author clients. Last year it happened quite a bit with election books."

Raab added that "librarians and educators have been using the site as a resource" while it's also been of interest "to people from individual stores, online venues and even B&N."

For more information, check into Raab Associates at 345 Millwood Rd., Chappaqua, N.Y. 10514; 914-241-2117; www.raabassociates.com.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Christopher Paolini

Today for the Summer Reading series on Leonard Lopate, Hazel Rowley discusses the life and work of Christina Stead, author of The Man Who Loved Children (Picador, $16, 0312280440)

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Today Diane Rehm gets the business from Barry Lynn, former editor of Global Business magazine and author of End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation (Doubleday, $26, 0385510241).

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Tonight Larry King Live shines the spotlight on Pamela Anderson whose Star Struck, written with big help from Eric Shaw Quinn (Atria, $24, 0743492838), continues the saga of Star Wood Leigh. Official pub date is tomorrow.

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Tomorrow Good Morning America takes a look at parenting issues with Betsy Hart, author of It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting Is Hurting Our Kids--And What to Do About It (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153039).

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Tomorrow the Today Show's Back to School segment has a session with clinical psychologist Roni Cohen-Sandler, author of Stressed Out Girls: Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure (Viking, $24.95, 067003438X).

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Also tomorrow on the Today Show, editor Robert Franek rates his own Princeton Review Best Colleges titles.

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Tomorrow Diane Rehm talks with Peggy Drexler, author of Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men (Rodale, $23.95, 1579548814). Drexler's finding after a long-term study: female-headed households may be even better for boys than households with men. [Editor's note: Hey!]

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Tomorrow Leonard Lopate talks with one of the youngest bestselling writers, Christopher Paolini, on the day his second fantasy work, Eldest (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $21, 037582670X), is coming out.

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Lopate also crosses swords with Alain Silver, author of The Samurai Film (Overlook Press, $40, 1585675962), whose revised edition coming out in October.

The Brothers Grimm Finally

After several delays, the film The Brothers Grimm will open on Friday. Through some kind of fairy-tale nightmare, we jumped the gun. Herewith our short preview again:

The Brothers Grimm, directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Ehren Kruger, opens this Friday. Gilliam, best known and perhaps most appreciated for his work with the legendary British comedy group Monty Python, presents a new take on the life of the famous Grimm brothers. The story chronicles the exploits of Jake (Heath Ledger) and Will (Matt Damon) Grimm, con artists traveling the country performing fake exorcisms and warding off illusionary monsters. However, the brothers are faced with a real curse and actual creatures when they enter a haunted forest. Many Brothers Grimm creations appear inside the forest, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel. The Brothers Grimm fairy tales are, of course, in the public domain and available in many editions.--Tobias Mutter


Ooops

Correction: Ichihashi Is Kinokuniya VP and GM

In our mention on Friday of Kinokuniya's new store in West Nyack, N.Y., we misidentified the v-p and general manager of the company. His name is Eiichi Ichihashi. Our apologies.

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