Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 15, 2005

Harper Perennial: The Paris Model by Alexandra Joel

Algonquin Young Readers: Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Andrews McMeel Publishing: How to Draw a Reindeer and Other Christmas Creatures with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps by Lulu Mayo

Houghton Mifflin: No Place for Monsters by Kory Merritt


Bookselling Notes: Bookstore Sales; New Orleans

As it celebrated its 20th anniversary last night, Chapters: A Literary Bookstore in Washington, D.C., announced that it will attempt to reorganize as a nonprofit. According to the Washington Post, owners Terri Merz and Steve Moyer plan to sell the store to Wordfest, a foundation they set up four years ago to sponsor the D.C. International Poetry Festival. "In order to pursue the purchase, Wordfest would need to raise about $80,000, which would be applied to Chapters' current debts and future operating expenses," the paper wrote. "Merz said she is hoping for $50 contributions from 1,600 people."

One industry observer indicated to the Post that the store's move two years ago to a location a block from a Barnes & Noble was a "most difficult" thing to do.

The store is noted for its literary selection and a sterling author events program.


Thank you, Harry Potter.

In July, bookstore sales rose 0.9% to $1.138 billion over July 2004, the first monthly gain since February, according to preliminary figures from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales were down 3.2% at $8.251 billion. By comparison, total retail sales for the year to date rose 5% to $2.1 trillion.

The July gain likely will be shortlived. General retail sales figures for August show a tough retail climate--even before Hurricane Katrina hit. A sales decline of 2.1%, largely because of gasoline price rises that seem tame compared to early September's, was twice as high as forecasted.


Without commenting on the merits of individual cases, the Wall Street Journal today noted that some companies, including Books-A-Million, are citing Hurricane Katrina for earnings shortfalls. "The trick in the weeks ahead will be divining those companies with businesses that truly are being hurt by the damage to the New Orleans region, and those companies only somewhat affected but dealing with troubles in their operations elsewhere."


Despite indications that the city's recovery may take years, the American Library Association has not given up the idea of holding its June annual conference in New Orleans as planned, according to a statement by president Michael Gorman.

"The single most important thing that ALA can do for New Orleans is hold our conference there if we can," he wrote. "If we cannot hold the conference in New Orleans--and we should know this within the next two months--we are considering other locations and will make a decision in good time."


Congratulations to our former colleague Edward Nawotka, who has landed a gig writing a weekly column for His first appeared last week and covered books about the Flood while the second, which appeared yesterday, took a tour of New Orleans's rich literary heritage. The column will be syndicated. Edward can be reached at


The Miami Herald described what may be one of the most unusually located book signings: it takes place Thursday, October 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Heritage Books bookstore, owned by the Paradies Shops, in Delta's Terminal 2 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport. The store is on the far side of security; only ticketed passengers are allowed.

The $26.99 book is The Diamond Cage by Brenda Bragdon Dooling and self-published with Xulon Press. Her synopsis: ''Spanning the entire twentieth century, this diverse family legacy is richly woven together by a faith-filled grandmother whose slave-born mother taught generations to come how to live free.''

The author has a lot of pull in her part of Florida. Her son Keyon plays for the Orlando Magic, and her husband and two other sons are skycaps at the airport.


A checkup in today's New York Times found a groundswell of anger from some expectant parents against the perennial bestseller What to Expect When You're Expecting, which has more than 13 million copies in print since publication in 1984. The "publishing conundrum," as the Times put it: "It is the most popular and widely trusted book in its category and yet is coming under such regular criticism that its authors are revising some of its key tenets." In a few cases, the changes concern mistakes, but most of the backlash has to do with the book's emphasis on what can go wrong, in other words, what to expect. . .

Interestingly in the two decades since publication, more and more parents have become "hypereducated" and the Internet has become both a forum for their complaints about the book and a place for sites that allow immediate interaction and even more detailed information about pregnancy.

University of California Press: Smoke But No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes That Never Happened by Jessica S. Henry

Country Bookshop's Scott Dies at 78

The Pilot mourned Joan Scott, owner of the Country Bookshop, in Southern Pines, N.C., who died on Monday at 78 after a long battle with cancer.

Her daughter commented: "My mother loved books, and she was determined to own her own bookstore. When she was unable to acquire a bookstore in the D.C. area, she purchased the Country Bookshop, and my parents moved to Southern Pines in 1984."

A fellow businessperson said Scott "wrote the book on customer service. She knew books, the market and her customers, and she worked tirelessly at pleasing her clientele. When a chain bookstore moved into the area, she worked harder and her business increased. And she was constantly looking for ways to improve the shopping district."

The paper, too, gave Scott much credit for helping to keep downtown Southern Pines healthy.

GLOW: Houghton Mifflin: How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Louise Erdrich; Kong Man

Beauty and the author. Yesterday Fresh Air growled at Mark Vaz, author of Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong (Villard, $26.95, 1400062764). Listen in on NPR's Web site. Not that anyone here's obsessed, but Fay Wray died last month and in December the Peter Jackson remake opens.


Today KCRW's Bookworm talks with Louise Erdrich, whose latest book is The Painted Drum (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060515104). As the show comments: "This beautiful short novel emerged over a period of 10 years, after an older story suddenly suggested deeper meanings. Erdrich wrote the novel in layers, gradually, like a painter working with oils. Choosing texture over simple narration is our subject." 


Today on WNYC, Leonard Lopate speaks with Salman Rushdie about his new novel, Shalimar the Clown (Random House, $25.95, 0679463356).


Today the Diane Rehm Show has just enough of Michael Strober, author of Just a Little Too Thin: How to Pull Your Child Back from the Brink of an Eating Disorder (Da Capo, $25, 0738210188).

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Tune It Out by Jamie Summer

Book TV: Spies and the Flat Tax

Book TV airs on C-Span2 every weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books and book publishing news. For a full schedule go to BookTV's Web site.

Saturday, September 17

7 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1994, civil rights leader Andrew Young discussed his memoir, A Way Out of No Way (Nelson), what led him to the ministry, marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., in Birmingham and Selma and the day King was assassinated.

8 p.m. After Words. Alice Rivlin, a Brookings Institution fellow and former vice chair of the board of governors of the Fed, interviews Steve Forbes, onetime presidential candidate and author of Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS (Regnery, $24.95, 0895260409), in which he argues for a 17% tax for everyone. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, September 18

11 a.m. Public Lives. In his new book, My Father the Spy: An Investigative Memoir (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060510358), Esquire magazine's John Richardson chronicles the life of his father, one of the founding members of the CIA, and how his father's career weighed on the family. (Re-airs at 7 p.m.)

5 p.m. History on Book TV. Stephen Budiansky tells all about his new book, Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage (Penguin, $24.95, 0670034266), which chronicles the life of the man considered the father of spying in the modern era.

University Press of Kentucky: The Redshirt (University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose) by Corey Sobel

The Bestsellers

Book Sense Bestsellers: Hardcover and Trade Paper

The following are bestselling titles for the week ended Sunday, September 11, at Book Sense stores across the country. For bestsellers in other categories and more information about Book Sense, go to the ABA's Web site.

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)
2. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, $24.95, 0670033944)
3. The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (Warner, $24.95, 0446500127)
4. The Painted Drum--debut--by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060515104)
5. Polar Shift by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152717)
6. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, $24.95, 0375406778)
7. Shalimar the Clown--debut--by Salman Rushdie (Random House, $25.95, 0679463356)
8. Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0066213355)
9. Lipstick Jungle--debut--by Candace Bushnell (Hyperion, $24.95, 0786868198)
10. Until I Find You by John Irving (Random House, $27.95, 1400063833)
11. The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant (Scribner, $25, 0743225732)
12. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385504209)
13. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $21.95, 1400060281)
14. Straken--debut--by Terry Brooks (Del Rey, $26.95, 0345451120)
15. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (FSG, $23, 0374153892)

On the Rise:

25. A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher (Random House, $24.95, 1400063221). A family takes to the Oregon Trail, based on notes of the author's ancestor. A Book Sense Pick.

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884)
2. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)
3. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
4. You: The Owner's Manual by Michael F.Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C.Oz, M.D., (Collins, $24.95, 0060765313)
5. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324)
6. Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance, $29.95, 0975599518)
7. On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (Princeton, $9.95, 0691122946)
8. New Rules by Bill Maher (Rodale, $24.95, 1594862958)
9. Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream--debut--by Barbara Ehrenreich (Metropolitan, $24, 0805076069)
10. The Tender Bar: A Memoir--debut--by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion, $23.95, 1401300642)
11. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $30, 140004006X)
12. 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America by Bernard Goldberg (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060761288)
13. Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins (Bantam, $25, 0553804510)
14. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Viking, $29.95, 0670033375)
15. The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren (Zondervan, $19.99, 0310205719)

On the Rise:

18. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (Seven Stories, $23.95, 158322713X). A new top-form collection of articles from the last five years. 

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12.95, 1400032717)
3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
4. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0142001740)
5. The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95, 0060557559)
6. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, illustrated by Portia Rosenberg (Bloomsbury, $15.95, 1582346038)
7. Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95, 0375706860)
8. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $14, 0743454537)
9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest, $14, 015602943X)
10. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (ReganBooks, $15, 0060987103)
11. I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (Picador, $15, 0312424442)
12. The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, $16, 0743269268)
13. Light on Snow--debut--by Anita Shreve (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316010677)
14. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, $16, 0743227441)
15. Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen (Warner, $12.95, 0446695564)

On the Rise:

36. How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward (Ballantine, $13.95, 0345483170). A darkly humorous mystery about family longing and love. 

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D. (Three Rivers, $12.95, 1400082315)
2. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
3. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
4. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316010790)
5. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552)
6. Bad Cat by Jim Edgar (Workman, $9.95, 0761136193)
7. Sudoku Easy, Volume 1: Presented by Will Shortz (St. Martin's, $6.95, 0312355025)
8. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (Anchor, $14.95, 1400032806)
9. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $13.95, 081297106X)
10. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad (Back Bay, $12.95, 0316159417)
11. Sudoku Easy to Hard: 100 Wordless Crossword Puzzles edited by Will Shortz (St. Martin's, $6.95, 0312355033)
12. Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green, $10, 1931498717)
13. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (Random House, $14.95, 0812973011)
14. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz (Workman, $18.95, 0761104844)
15. The Old Farmer's Almanac 2006--debut--by Old Farmer's Almanac (Old Farmer's Almanac, $6.95, 1571983678)

On the Rise:

19. Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan (S&S, $14, 0743244583). The intriguing memoir, from the intriguing Mr. Dylan, now in paper.

May We Recommend


Gardenias: A Novel by Faith Sullivan (Milkweed, $24.95, 1571310452). "When you meet Lark, scorned when she and her Rosie-the-Riveter inspired mom and aunt arrive in California from Minnesota, all previous World War II fictional characters will move aside. Faith Sullivan's novel is a moving, multi-layered coming-of-age story."--Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.

An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas by Diane Wilson (Chelsea Green, $27.50, 1931498881). "Many a novelist will envy Wilson's storytelling flair and the vibrant cast of characters in her real life. Her struggle to stand up to a giant chemical corporation reads like a John Nichols novel."--Jean Matthews, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, Mont.


The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington by Brian Francis (Harper Perennial, $12, 0060792442). "This unique, charming, coming-of-age story is the tale of an overweight teenage boy, one who prefers Home Ec to Shop and who hears his nipples talking to him. When his uncle discovers him dressed in his mother's clothes, he thinks his life is over. But it turns out his uncle has a few secrets of his own."--Carol Schneck, Schuler Books and Music, Okemos, Mich.

For Children

Terrific by Jon Agee (Michael di Capua/Hyperion, $15.95, 0786851848). "Eugene, a curmudgeon who sees life as a series of disasters, washes up on a tiny island and meets a capable parrot named Lenny. Smart dialogue, zany events, and understated illustrations make this picture book one to read and reread to kids and parrots alike."--Beverly Bauer, Redbery Books, Cable, Wis.

[Many thanks to the ABA and Book Sense!]

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