Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sharjah International Book Fair: Your Chance to Get Your Book in Front of 1 Million Readers - Oct. 30th - Nov. 9th, 2019 - Learn More!

Other Press: Nvk by Temple Drake

Quirk Books: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Magination Press: Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference by Wendy L Moss

St. Martin's Press: A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram #1) by Darynda Jones

Grand Central Publishing: PostScript by Cecelia Ahern

Quotation of the Day

Success Has Many Fathers

"Lightning Source, which we founded in the late 1990s, has gone through three phases. First it was 'John's cute idea. Wasn't that sweet?' Then after we expanded it and invested so much money, Lightning Source was 'John's problem.' Now it's 'our success.' "--John Ingram, vice-chairman of Ingram Industries and chairman of the Ingram Book Group, Lightning Source and Ingram Digital Group, speaking yesterday at O'Reilly's Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York City. (More on his speech tomorrow.)


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors


Notes: Mystery and History; Bookstore Nears Century Mark

"Home to a wide range of mystery and history literature, as well as a meeting place for book lovers and local authors alike," Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, Ill., was profiled by the Business Ledger, which noted that one constant since the bookshop's opening in 1990 has been its double-genre focus.

"I like (both genres) and I feel comfortable talking about the subject matter," said owner Augie Aleksy. "I get a lot of people who have read the historical mysteries we have and after that they start reading the actual histories on that period to get more factual background."


How does a bookstore survive for 99 years?

"It's probably service," Anne Gusha, 88-year-old co-owner of Williams' Book Store, San Pedro, Calif., told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "We're willing to really try and find a book for somebody."

One of the shop's more renowned customers was Charles Bukowski. "We knew him quite well," Gusha said. "Every time he came in, he signed his books, and we didn't even know it."


International visions. The February issue of Words Without Borders showcases graphic novelists from five continents.


Award-winning novelist Zadie Smith is no fan of literary awards. The Telegraph reported that Smith, author of White Teeth and Beauty, contends that most literary prizes are "only nominally" about literature.

"They are really about brand consolidation for beer companies, phone companies, coffee companies and even frozen food companies," she wrote recently on the Willesden Herald's blog.

Smith, who is chairman of the Willesden Herald's short story competition, added that she and other judges on the panel had chosen not to award the prize this year: "Just because this prize has the words Willesden and Zadie hovering by it, does not mean that I or the other judges want to read hundreds of jolly stories of multicultural life on the streets of north London."


BINC - Double Your Impact

Spring Forward: NAIBAhood Gatherings

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association has set up a schedule for NAIBAhood Gatherings this spring:

Friday, March 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Nassau Inn, Princeton, N.J. The annual Bookazine Kids Spring Arrivals Event includes a NAIBA-led roundtable at which children's booksellers may share their experiences and ideas. Following lunch, Heather Doss of Bookazine will showcase lead children's and YA titles, and guest authors will speak and do signings. Booksellers will receive gift bags filled with galleys, promotional items, surprises and a "must have" title list. Everyone, regardless of who booksellers place orders with, is welcome. Space is limited. Please e-mail an RSVP or call 201-858-7591 to reserve your seat at this event.

Tuesday, March 18, 6 p.m., Pittsburgh, Pa. Join NAIBA board member Rob Stahl for dinner for a general discussion and to get to know each other better.

Monday, March 31, Washington D.C. Jeff Milchen of the American Independent Business Alliance will discuss how to create, invigorate and educate your community about the importance of buying local.

Tuesday, April 8, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Random House, New York City. Program will include an ABA educational session, one of the many blockbuster sessions offered at the Winter Institute; lunch; and an open forum to discuss how booksellers can continue to thrive.

Wednesday, April 30, 11 a.m., Syracuse University Bookstore, Syracuse, N.Y. Join central New York State booksellers for a roundtable and publisher pick of the lists. Lunch and book discussion will follow.

RSVP at or 516-333-0681.

Incidentally NAIBA has set its Fall Conference for Sunday and Monday, September 21-22, in Cherry Hill, N.J.


G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Warped Passages

This morning on the Today Show: Dr. Robert Huizenga, creator of the weight loss program on the TV show the Biggest Loser and author of Where Did All the Fat Go?: The WOW! Prescription to Reach Your Ideal Weight--and Stay There! (Tallfellow Press, $26.95, 9781931290579/1931290571). He appears with a past show contestant, Jackie Evans.


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: E.J. Dionne, author of Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right (Princeton University Press, $24.95, 9780691134581/0691134588).


Today on Oprah: Suze Orman, author of Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny (Spiegel & Grau, $24.95, 9780385519311/0385519311).


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Lisa Randall, author of Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions (Harper Perennial, $15.95, 9780060531096/0060531096).


Tomorrow morning on ABC's World News This Morning: Robert A. G. Monks, author of Corpocracy: How CEOs and the Business Roundtable Hijacked the World's Greatest Wealth Machine--And How to Get It Back (Wiley, $29.95, 9780470145098/0470145099).


Tomorrow morning on NPR's Morning Edition, Mark Siegel, who helped write the book, will discuss the late Benazir Bhutto's Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West (Harper, $27.95, 9780061567582/0061567582). He will also appear tonight on the Daily Show.


Tomorrow morning's Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., features an interview with Geraldine Brooks, author of People of the Book (Viking, $25.95, 9780670018215/067001821X).

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at; the archived edition will be posted tomorrow afternoon.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey

Abraham Lincoln: Ten Score and Minus One Year Ago . . .

Today, Lincoln's 199th birthday, C-Span and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission are launching a two-year celebration of the life of the 16th president that will include a series of programming specials called "Lincoln: 200 Years." Featured speakers at the launch include First Lady Laura Bush and actor sam Waterston, who will read the Gettysburg Address

Over the next two years, C-Span will also provide live coverage of some events sponsored by the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, including the 145th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on November 9; a joint meeting of Congress in Statuary Hall on February 12, 2009, and the re-dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on April 12, 2009. And starting April 5, C-Span will dedicate the first Saturday of each month to Lincoln-related original programming.

For more information on programming and Lincoln events, go to and


Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, February 19:

The First Patient by Michael Palmer (St. Martin's, $25.95, 9780312343538/0312343531) follows a doctor's attempt to cure the president's sudden mental illness.

Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline (Harper, $25.95, 9780060833206/0060833203) chronicles a young woman's efforts to find the murderer of her high school friend.

Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399154706/0399154701) is the next installment in the futuristic In Death series. Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates the death of an important businessman.

Miraculous Health: How to Heal Your Body by Unleashing the Hidden Power of Your Mind
by Rick Levy and Lou Aronica (Atria, $24, 9781582701790/1582701792) explores the possibility of healing with the mind.


German Book Office: Three Cheers for The King of Corsica

The German Book Office's book pick for February is The King of Corsica by Michael Kleeberg, translated by David Dollenmayer, which will be published by Other Press in May ($24.95, 9781590512562/1590512561).

The GBO wrote: "In this fictive biography of Baron Theodor von Neuhoff, Kleeberg unveils a sweeping and tragicomic tale about the pageantry and peril of political life in baroque Europe. Opportunistic from the start, Neuhoff distinguishes himself in the courts of Europe with illusions of alchemy and rises through the aristocratic ranks with his skills as a lover and brilliant conversationalist. Drawn to the political intrigue of the courtly life, Neuhoff begins a new occupation as a secret agent. His success and egotism convince Neuhoff that politics is merely a luxurious pastime of the upper classes and that he can achieve anything if he plays his cards right. In 1736, he convinces the Corsicans to declare him their king, Theodor I, in defiance of the established Genovese reign. This reckless enterprise lasts only the summer, and Neuhoff is forced to flee Corsica. He ends up alone in London, jailed for debt, and eventually dies a pauper's death.
"Neuhoff comes across as a naïve young aristocrat, caught up in the shallow leisure and big ideas of his class. Kleeberg's narrative voice is wonderfully lyrical, and his story--full of sex, scandal, and violence--keeps the pages turning."

The King of Corsica is Kleeberg's first novel to be published in the U.S.


Book Review

Book Review: Black Glasses Like Clark Kent

Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI's Secret from Postwar Japan by Terese Svoboda (Graywolf Press, $14.00 Paperback, 9781555974909, January 2008)

Since Terese Svoboda is the only published writer in her family, her 80-year-old Uncle Don asked her to help him put together a book about his World War II experiences. She told him she was very busy with her own projects. Her uncle countered that his time with the Military Police at the Eighth Army Stockade in Nakano during the U.S. Occupation of Japan would make a terrific story. Still she passed.

A few years later Svoboda's gregarious, vigorous, happy-go-lucky uncle suddenly sank into a deep depression. Her father suggested that assisting with Uncle Don's book might make him feel better. What else could Svoboda do? She yielded to family pressure and called her uncle; as she says, "I thought I was following a tidy coming-of-age account of a young soldier in postwar Japan." Little did she know!

Her uncle sent her tapes of a portion of his story. When she listened to them, the violent undertones to his memories made her wonder if it was only a coincidence that his breakdown came right after the revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Sensing that something equally horrifying had gone on at the Stockade in 1946, she was both appalled and curious to learn the whole story. When she telephoned her even-more-depressed uncle, he excused himself from divulging more because of his condition. And then he committed suicide.  

In too deep to stop, Svoboda embarked on a Kafkaesque journey through military records and interviews with other veterans. What she found raised questions and more questions but clearly suggested multiple incidents of extreme racial tension, abuse of prisoners, undocumented executions by hanging and more at the Eighth Army Stockade. Out the window went all those reassuring stories of World War II as the Good War whose soldiers were uncomplicated members of the Greatest Generation.

Combining excerpts from her uncle's memories with her own reflections as she struggled to unearth facts supporting her suspicions, Svoboda makes us confront the possibility that during World War II atrocities occurred that have yet to be revealed. What's more, that so-far suppressed history may be a tale, by its untelling, that has damaged many people besides Don Svoboda. Svoboda's insightful, disturbing and moving dual memoir stands as a testimony not only to her bravery and persistence in following an obscured trail but also to all veterans who have harbored secrets until they were eaten up by them.--John McFarland


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