Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Balzer & Bray/Harperteen: The Night Is for Darkness by Jonathon Stutzman, illustrated by Joseph Kuefler and Greenwillow Books: Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel

Forge: Lionhearts (Nottingham, 2) by Nathan Makaryk

Zonderkidz: Pugtato Finds a Thing by Sophie Corrigan

Kensington Publishing Corporation: The Suicide House (A Rory Moore/Lane Phillips Novel #2) by Charlie Donlea

Del Rey Books: Malorie: A Bird Box Novel by Josh Malerman


Notes: Loaded Landlord; Lapine's Menu of Charges

More on the sale of Mitchell's Book Corner on Nantucket Island, Mass., mentioned in yesterday's issue, thanks to the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror.

The new owner of the building in which Mitchell's is located, Wendy Schmidt, is a summer resident and wife of Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The Schmidt Family Foundation recently bought the former Island Spirits property and is an investor in the new nonprofit running the Dreamland Theater. Schmidt bought the Mitchell's building through a limited liability corporation rather than the foundation.


Kramer for the defense?

Missy Chase Lapine has sued Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica Seinfeld for plagiarism and defamation, according to Reuters.

Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (Running Press), published last April, had complained of similarities between that title and Jessica Simpson's book published six months later, Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food (Collins).

The suit claims Jessica Seinfeld "copied" her book's concept, cover art, style and structure and asserts that her husband launched "a slanderous attack" on Lapine on national TV.

On the Late Show with David Letterman and to E! News, Seinfeld had called Lapine a "nut" and a "whacko" and said many "three-name people" have become assassins a la Mark David Chapman.

The Seinfelds' lawyer said there is "no basis for any kind of legal claim."


Bookazine has become an underwriter of the New England Independent Booksellers Association's grant program that was established last year to assist booksellers' efforts to promote the value of local businesses and to help establish local independent business alliances.

In a statement, Kathleen Willoughby, v-p of marketing and online development at Bookazine, said: "The work that member bookstores have already achieved with the grants awarded is astounding--and clearly the groundswell of a movement that we believe will significantly impact the retail environment."

NEIBA executive director Steve Fischer thanked Bookazine, saying, "Our members need help fighting the good fight, educating the consumer on the value of shopping independently owned and operated businesses. In less than one year we have awarded grants totaling over $10,000 and the financial boost given to NEIBA by Bookazine will help many booksellers in New England--many of whom are Bookazine customers. It's a win-win situation."


Joseph P. Reynolds has been named president of Ingram Library Services and group managing director of Coutts Information Services, making him head of Ingram's combined library businesses. He also becomes a senior v-p of Ingram Book Group.

Reynolds joined Ingram Library Services a year ago as v-p and general manager. At Coutts, which Ingram bought a year ago, he succeeds Stephen Wilson, who left the company at the beginning of the year. The two companies will remain separate entities.

"Ingram Book Group is seeing significant growth in both our public and academic library businesses, and we consider both to be great opportunities for growth," Jim Chandler, president and CEO of Ingram Book Group, said in a statement. "During our first year with Coutts, we have identified significant synergy benefits, which we are looking to realize as quickly as possible. Joe Reynolds is deeply knowledgeable and experienced, especially in understanding the transition for libraries to digital content."

For his part, Reynolds said, "Libraries everywhere will be the first important adopters of digital content. As librarians make the print-to-digital transition, we know we can be a valuable member of the team--offering our knowledge and expertise as you go about the important work of building and maintaining your collections."


Cathleen Cummings, better known as Cate, a freelance publicist who specialized in mind/body and metaphysical titles, died on January 3 from cancer. She was 53.

Her career spanned more than 25 years, according to the Kansas City Star, which said that she will be remembered "for her quick wit, her compassionate treatment and advocacy of animals and her love of life."

Lisa Braun Dubbels, president and principal of Catalyst Publicity & Promotion Group, wrote: "Cate was a great friend and mentor to me--despite the fact that we are technically competitors. Personally I will really miss her generous spirit and her dedication to helping authors in this genre."


Tourists are advised by the AP (via the San Jose Mercury News) to seek out "destination bookstores" while traveling because they "can make you feel like you're part of the community, whether you're grooving on the laid-back vibe at Powell's in Portland, or tuning into the Beltway buzz at Washington's Politics and Prose."

Other independent bookstores featured in the piece included Books and Books, Coral Gables, Fla.; City Lights Books, San Francisco, Calif.; Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, Wash.; Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Iowa; Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.; That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, Ark. and the Strand, New York, N.Y.

Powell's marketing coordinator Kim Sutton said local customers love to bring their visiting guests: "They'll say, 'This is my bookstore,' and show them around with a lot of pride and ownership."

Patty Miller of Tattered Cover noted, "We get a whole lot of tourists, along with people waiting for trains and fans hanging out until game time."


Harry in the scrum. The Scotsman reported that a rare collection of signed Harry Potter books will be auctioned January 16 to "help fund the restoration of Portobello Rugby Club's clubhouse, which was burned down by vandals." J.K. Rowling donated the seven-book set, and "experts say the books could fetch as much as £3,000 [US$5,928]."


Viet Nam News profiled 77-year-old Bui Ngoc Quang, who rents books in "a small antiquated book store, a long-standing haunt of Ha Noi’s book lovers." His collection of about 3,000 titles, ranging from classic literature to animated stories, does not generate big financial returns, but he remains undaunted.

"Money makes life easier, but it would never make my life complete," Quang said. "I'm a book lover. All I want to do is share my collection of books with younger readers to inspire them to carry on my passion,"


Although the best book lists have mostly gone with the changing year, Business Week offered an intriguing selection of "10 Best Books on Innovation to Get You Through the Recession."


Downsizing book collections is a recurring New Year's resolution for many of us. The Hindu looked at one person's attempt to follow relatives' warnings that "books may furnish a room but where does it say that they have to furnish every room?"

This culling process is, of course, doomed to failure. "This entire exercise of trimming one's library now seems to me not about downsizing the books but really about getting to know them all over again. To pick one from the shelves, remember where and when you bought it, and recall the pleasure acquiring the book gave you is why a book collector gets all her books off and on the shelves ever year."


"They [the governmental authorities] have not only made the publishers stop working, but also have put writers in a situation in which they have no inclination to write," Mahmoud Dowlatabadi told the Guardian in an article about Iranian censorship. Dowlatabadi, author of the 10-volume bestseller Kelydar, has refused to give his next book to a publisher in protest against the government's crackdown.

According to the article, "after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the government imposed strict rules on book publishing. Since then, the Ministry of Culture has been charged to vet all books before publication, mainly for erotic and religious transgressions. All books, including fiction, are required to conform to Islamic law."

When president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005, "the cultural ministry imposed rules requiring renewed permits for previously published books. As a result, many books have been deemed unsuitable for publication or reprinting." Banned titles include a Farsi translation of Dostoevsky's The Gambler, Tracy Chevalier's Girl With a Pearl Earring, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, as well as books by Virginia Woolf, Marguerite Duras, Dan Brown and Woody Allen.

Reza Ghassemi, an Iranian novelist in France, "recently published his new novel, The Abracadabra Murmured by Lambs, on the Internet in a free e-book PDF format instead of facing government censorship and the formal permission procedure. His e-novel has been reviewed and welcomed by the huge Iranian blog community much more warmly than if it had been published on paper."


Atheneum Books: Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata, illustrated by Marianna Raskin

Pennie Loves Eat, Pray, Love

Pennie Clark Ianniciello has chosen Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, $15, 9780143038412/0143038419) as her pick for January. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she writes:

"I say if you can't go on a life-changing adventure that involves travel to amazing destinations and the opportunity for deep soul searching, the next best thing is to read a book about someone who has. . . . After a failed marriage and a bout of depression, Gilbert traveled to Italy, India and Indonesia. Her adventures in each country are recounted in three distinct parts of the book. All of her stories are told with deep emotion, honesty and humor."


University of Minnesota Press: Listening: Interviews, 1970-1989 by Jonathon Cott

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tim Gunn Promotes Project Runway and Tim Gunn

This morning on Good Morning America: Jodi Lipper, author of How to Eat Like a Hot Chick: Eat What You Love, Love How You Feel (Collins, $13.95, 9780061560866/0061560863).


This morning on the Today Show:

  • Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State and author of Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (HarperCollins, $26.95, 9780061351808/0061351806)
  • Jeanette Jenkins, author of The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan: 21 Days to Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit (Putnam, $29.95, 9780399153747/0399153748)
  • Richard M. Cohen, author of Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope (HarperCollins, $24.95, 9780060763114/0060763116)


Today on NPR's Bryant Park: Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Penguin Press, $21.95, 9781594201455/1594201455).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Susan Wicklund, author of This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor (PublicAffairs, $24.95, 9781586484804/158648480X).


Today on the Ellen DeGeneres Show: Tim Gunn, who will promote Project Runway and his book Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Abrams Image, $17.95, 9780810992849/0810992841).


Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Dr. James Hansen, NASA's leading climate expert, who has said he was censored by the Bush administration and whose story is told in the new book Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming by Mark Bowen (Dutton, $25.95, 9780525950141/0525950141).


Today on Talk of the Nation: Edward Ugel, author of Money for Nothing: One Man's Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions (Collins, $24.95, 9780061284175/0061284173).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (without writers): former White House speechwriter David Frum, whose new book is Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385515337/0385515332).


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 06.01.20

Books & Authors

Awards: Sydney Taylor Book Awards

The top winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are:

  • Younger Readers: Sarah Gershman and Kristina Swarner, author and illustrator of The Bedtime Sh'ma: A Good Night Book (EKS Publishing)
  • Older Readers: Sid Fleischman, author of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk (HarperCollins Children's Books)
  • Teen Readers: Sonia Levitin, author of Strange Relations (Knopf)

Sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, the award recognizes "new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience." The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the All-of-a-Kind Family series. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Cleveland, Ohio, this June at a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the award.

For a full list of honor and notable books, including Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon by our friend Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland Desaix (Holiday House), see the organization's website.


Disney-Hyperion: The Mirror Broken Wish (Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao

Book Review

Book Review: Trail of Crumbs

Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunee (Grand Central Publishing, $24.99 Hardcover, 9780446579766, January 2008)

Food memoirs, once the province of a select few, have lately been growing both in popularity and in the diversity of their authors. Now Kim Sunée, founding food editor of Cottage Living, adds to the subgenre with Trail of Crumbs, a narrative that mixes yearning and recipes with the author's search for her true identity.
Food and its connection to survival and comfort form Sunée's earliest and most terrifying memory. At the age of three, her mother left her in a South Korean marketplace with a handful of food and the promise that she would return. Three days and nights later, the food reduced to crumbs, she was picked up by police and taken to an orphanage. Shortly after that, Sunée was adopted by an American couple and raised, along with her sister (also adopted from Korea), in New Orleans. It was a brutal start to life, and while her adoptive family loved and protected her, they were unable to fill the emptiness and uncertainty at her core.
At 22, while studying in Switzerland, Sunée was introduced to Olivier Baussan, the French founder of L'Occitane, who was almost 20 years her senior. Their passion for each other was instant and mutual and she was soon living with Baussan, cooking sumptuous feasts for his many friends and acting as stepmother for his young daughter, Laure. The still-married Baussan made sure Sunée never wanted for anything but also sought to control her completely. Although he took her to South Korea (a frustrating, futile trip), Baussan had neither the capacity nor inclination to understand her inner fears or search for herself. Eventually she left the relationship, although the two remained in touch with each other for years afterward.
The recipes that Sunée includes in her memoir have little connection to the chapters preceding them and often seem a thematic afterthought. And while her writing is sensual and deeply passionate, it does not quite manage to blend flavors and food together with a sense of place and memory. Sunée does have a poet's eye for detail and a gift for coloring to the ineffable sense of loss and hunger that drove her through another love affair with another married Frenchman, through North Africa and finally back to the U.S., where she began the process of reconnecting with her family and the country where she was raised. Despite its lack of cohesion, this is a haunting and beautifully written memoir.--Debra Ginsberg



The Willis-Willis Stein Relationship

Richard Willis, who has resigned as chairman and CEO of Baker & Taylor, as noted here yesterday, is not related to Willis Stein co-founder John Willis and is not a principal of Willis Stein, the private equity firm that has employed him to head several of the companies it has owned. (When Willis Stein bought B&T in 2003, it named Willis to head the company. Willis Stein sold B&T to Castle Harlan, another private equity firm, last year.)

We apologize for the error, and hope people will understand the roots of the error and will us forgive.


AuthorBuzz: Revell: An Appalachian Summer by Ann H. Gabhart
AuthorBuzz: Radius Book Group: The 24-Hour Soup Kitchen: Soul-Stirring Lessons in Gastrophilanthropy by Stephen Henderson
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