Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 19, 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

Making Choices: 'How You Decide to Shop Defines You'

"These days, how you decide to shop defines you as much as how you choose to dress. We treat supermarket shopping as though it were a nonchoice, but it is as acute an ethical decision as anything else. This is illustrated in microcosm by the big four supermarkets' sale of books. They choose only a handful of titles a year and sell them at such a vast discount that they have effectively closed down scores of independent booksellers--lovely shops run by people who care about books--because booksellers simply can't compete on price. . . . We like the words 'cheapest option' and we think it's what we want. But is it really? 'Cheapest option' means no bookshops, no butchers, no fishmongers, no bakers. It means no fruit and veg shop, no cafe, no chemist and Starbucks in their place. It's not much of an option at all."--India Knight in a Sunday Times article, "Supermarkets are selling us out."


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors


Notes: Robbe-Grillet Dies; Bookstores Expand

Innovative author Alain Robbe-Grillet died Monday; he was 85. The Guardian called him "the most prominent of France's 'new novelists,' a group that emerged in the mid-1950s and whose experimental works tossed aside traditional literary conventions like plot and character development, narrative and chronology, chapters and punctuation."


The Book Table, Oak Park, Ill., a discount new and used bookstore that opened in 2003, is expanding into a 5,600-sq.-ft. space next door, bringing the store's size to nearly 9,000 square feet. Renovations begin in April, and the new, expanded store should open by July.

At the Book Table every book is discounted 20%-75%. The store stocks publishers' returns, remainders, review copies, used books and discounts new books. The store was founded by Jason Smith and Rachel Weaver, who are husband and wife.

"I was always sure that Oak Park could use another bookstore," Smith said in a statement. "When I worked for Bookseller's Row on Lincoln Avenue, it was great to have three or four bookstores within a block. As long as every store is a little different, it works well. It's funny to us because out-of-towners will come in the store and ask us how we are still in business with a Borders down the street. They're always shocked when we tell them that we came in years after the Borders."

The Book Table is located at 1045 Lake St., Oak Park, Ill. 60301; 708-386-9800;


The new Bellevue University Bookstore, Bellevue, Neb., has expanded by 7,000 square feet and "holds about twice as much merchandise as the old store and has an art classroom in the back," Campus Marketplace reported. "The majority of the additional space is a large back room reserved for shipping books to online students all over the country."


Candida's World of Books, the four-year-old, 1,000-sq.-ft. travel and international bookstore in Washington, D.C., is closing at the end of the month, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Owner Candida Mannozzi blamed online books sales and "constant construction" around the store. "The finances weren't working out," Mannozzi told the Journal. "We became strangled with the construction going on next door. The sidewalk was impassable . . . instead of being able to grow the business, I was out there fighting on a daily basis for trucks to be moved or sidewalks to be passable. People are resorting to online; if you don't have the foot traffic, you're going to get hit."


Cindy Russell, owner of CityBooks, Seattle, Wash., was profiled for KPLU's "Meaning of Work" radio series, which noted that as Russell learned the business "she found what worked was to really get to know the people who came in."

"I've learned so much about the human spirit since I've been here." she said.


"We came in quietly, we'll go out quietly," Jay Dantry, owner of Jay's Book Stall, Pittsburgh, Pa., told the Tribune-Review regarding his bookstore's approaching closure after half a century in business. The article noted that among the bookshop's many famous patrons "was a Pitt student named Michael Chabon, who came in begging for a job. At first there were no openings, but Dantry eventually found work for Chabon, who went on to become a best-selling novelist."

According to Chabon, "the thing Jay did for me as a writer was to appear to take my literary aspirations entirely seriously. He used to tease me about a lot of things--my clothes, my hair, my friends, the circles under my eyes, but he never teased me about my crappy short stories and poems. He really seemed to think I was going to be a writer when I grew up."

Chabon added that Dantry "has been a steady, strong, tireless force for good, championing books and authors he cared about, and because of his hospitality, his store has long served as a nexus for people in all the arts to come together and hang out and get to know each other. He has proved all kinds of points about the power and the value and the endurance of books and writing simply by virtue of staying open all these years in the face of brutal changes in the ways books are marketed and sold."


Bookstore as economic indicator. Juanita Ervin, owner of Trade-A-Book, Santa Clara, Calif., "knew two months ago that the economy was about to give other retailers a pummeling," according to the San Jose Mercury News. The secret to Ervin's prognostication skills? Her shop had "suddenly had become a popular place to buy used hardbacks as holiday gifts."

"Normally our Christmas season is so light, that's when employees take vacation," said Ervin. "But this time we had to bring employees in."


Oprah has the e-book magic touch, too. The AP reported that "more than 1 million copies of Suze Orman's Women & Money were downloaded after the announcement last week on Winfrey's television show that the e-book edition would be available for free on her [website] for a period of 33 hours."


Tim Toone's quest to acquire a first edition of every version of J.K. Rowling's works may earn him as much as £40,000 (US$78,061) on February 28, when his collection of 553 books goes up for auction. The Edinburgh Evening News reported that Toone owns copies "in 63 languages, as well as Braille, Latin and ancient Greek versions of the books."

"No one has ever amassed such a collection. It's almost obsessive," said Roddy Newlands of Bloomsbury Auctions.


Only 18% of college students have purchased an electronic textbook, according to early results of the latest Student Watch survey conducted by the National Association of College Stores. Some 14,000 students participated in the survey. More information about students' attitudes toward electronic course material will be discussed during the NACS convention and CAMEX show in San Antonio, Tex., at the end of the month. The full report will be available in April. 


Colleen Lindsay has joined FinePrint Literary Management as an agent. She has worked in the industry for 20 years, starting as a bookseller at defunct Central Park Books, San Mateo, Calif., and then as events coordinator and marketing manager at Stacey's Bookstore, San Francisco, Calif. Since then she has also worked as director of publicity at Del Rey Books. In her new life as a literary agent, she will focus on fantasy and science fiction, horror, paranormal romance, YA fiction and nonfiction, pop culture, graphic novels, LGBT books and quirky commercial fiction. 


BINC - Double Your Impact

Schwartz and S&S Present A Reader's Day

In an unusual joint effort, on Saturday, March 8, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, Milwaukee, Wis., and Simon & Schuster/Scribner are jointly presenting an event called A Reader's Day, where book lovers will be able "to meet and mingle with publishing insiders, booksellers and authors, as well as attend fun and informative workshops."

The event will be held at the Pfister Hotel and begins with a breakfast featuring Aryn Kyle, author of The God of Animals. Morning workshops include:

  • Nan Graham, v-p and editor-in-chief of Scribner, who has edited Stephen King, Steve Martin and Annie Proulx, offering "a peek inside publishing."
  • New Books for Spring presented by Schwartz staff
  • What to Read Next for You or Your Book Club presented by S&S staff
  • Memoirs and Biographies presented by Schwartz staff

Lunch features a conversation with Graham and Eileen Favorite, author of The Heroines.

Attendees receive a signed copy of the featured author's book at each meal. The hotel is offering special room rates and a $25 gift certificate to the Well Spa.


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

Cool Idea of the Day: Great Expectations Reading Marathon

Everyone bemoaned the results of last summer's Associated Press-Ipsos poll reporting that one in four adults read no books the year before. But Michele Filgate and Liberty Hardy, booksellers at RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H., drew inspiration from the news, and the result is Great Expectations: A Reading Marathon, which will be held this coming weekend at SecondRun Bookstore from 6 p.m. Saturday through 6 p.m. Sunday--with an abbreviated session for kids from 10-6 on Sunday.
According to Seacoastonline, participants have been asked "to get a minimum sponsorship of $25; all proceeds will benefit the Portsmouth Middle School homework club, which provides a productive and safe place for students to study and learn after normal school hours." The event will also feature visits by local authors, read-alouds of favorite stories and a variety of snacks and games.

"The idea was to give people who don't normally have a chance to just pick up a book and read an opportunity to do so," Filgate said. "It might be crazy, but we think reading is important."

Although Hardy and Filgate plan to attend the event from start to finish, Filgate said she realizes some readers may have to make a shorter commitment: "We know a lot of people won't make it the full 24 hours. The name 'Great Expectations' comes partly from the fact that it's a lot to expect from people. We won't make anyone stay for the full time if they don't want to."

What is she going to read? "I'm a real sucker for long novels," Filgate said. "I'll probably be reading a doorstop like Tolstoy or Proust."


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

In Memoriam: Trumbull Huntington

Trumbull Huntington, former owner of Huntington's Book Stores in Middletown, Hartford and West Hartford, Conn., a former president of the American Booksellers Association and co-owner and publisher of Parnassus Imprints, died on February 3 of pneumonia, according to the Hartford Courant. He was 89.

In 1961, when the state of Connecticut banned Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, Huntington, a free speech advocate, sold the book and was arrested and convicted for selling obscene material. Three years later the Supreme Court ruled that banning the book was unconstitutional.

The Courant's obituary note commented: "Huntington was universally liked; he was a man of enormous good will and generosity. His enthusiasm for life was vast and included a great love of conversation, good literature, good food and wine, politics, travel, Italy, dogs, and theories on the origins of man. His characteristic salutation 'Happy Days!' conveyed his unrepentant optimism. Huntington was invariably modest regarding his own achievements yet avid in support of the goals of those around him, through the offer of jobs, publishing contacts, sponsorships, housing and much more."

At 3 p.m., on March 29, a memorial service for Huntington will be held at the Faith Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Mass. Donations may be sent in Huntington's s name to ReadBoston, a program that promotes literacy among primary school children in Boston by enhancing family involvement, access to libraries and the building of personal libraries. ReadBoston is located at 43 Hawkins St., Boston, Mass. 02114.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Plumbing Your Inner Fish

This morning on Good Morning America: Ed Begley, author of Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life (Clarkson Potter, $18, 9780307396433/0307396436).


This morning on the Today Show: Robert S. Bennett, author of In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington Lawyer (Crown, $27.50, 9780307394439/0307394433), and Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (HarperCollins, $25.95, 9780061353239/006135323X). Dan Ariely will also appear today on NPR's All Things Considered.


Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Bart D. Ehrman, author of God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer (HarperOne, $25.95, 9780061173974/0061173975).


Today on the Martha Stewart Show: Michel Roux, author of Eggs (Wiley, $24.95, 9780471769132/0471769134).


Today on NPR's Here on Earth: Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (Pantheon, $24, 9780375424472/0375424474).


Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Mark Seigal, who helped the late Benazir Bhutto write Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West (HarperCollins, $27.95, 9780061567582/0061567582).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a repeat: Tom Brokaw, author of Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today (Random House, $28.95, 9781400064571/1400064570).


Books & Authors

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland (Soho, $24, 9781569474839/1569474834). "Hyland has written a well-told and intriguing mystery featuring the aboriginal people of Australia that will keep you hooked until the end."--Donna Plante, Bookin' It, Little Falls, Minn.

A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent (Wiley, $34.95, 9780764572814/0764572814). "Greg Patent searched for beloved culinary traditions from his family and friends then researched the recipes, ingredients, and cultural heritage behind each dish. Recipes include Jewish Matzoh, Eastern European Rugelach, Russian Meat Piroshki, and Italian Pignoli cookies. An hour-long DVD accompanies the book giving hands-on instructions. What a great New Year baking resolution for all of us."--Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, Mont.


Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches (S&S, $14, 9780743292481/0743292480). "An inside look at the personal lives of angels--I had no idea that they had so much fun. Love in all of its forms--friends, parents, lovers and, especially, Justin Timberlake--never really dies. And the answers to all life's deep philosophical questions are found in the lyrics of the Beatles. Who knew?"--Iris Cline, The Rediscovered Bookshop, Boise, Idaho

For Teen Readers

Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery by Alan Gratz (Dial, $16.99, 9780803732162/0803732163). "A high school boy-detective, a father's mysterious death, and a mother with a new boyfriend all combine for a witty story based on the Bard's sweet prince, Hamlet."--Flossie McNabb, Carpe Librum Booksellers, Knoxville, Tenn.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]


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