Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 21, 2008


Random House Graphic: Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger

Tor Books: Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by Kit Rocha

Wednesday Books: The Mall by Megan McCafferty

Houghton Mifflin: The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

Quotation of the Day

Bookstore as 'University and Speaker's Corner of Expression'

"It's a centre of engagement where people come in to explore ideas or talk about concepts, and it becomes a university and a speaker's corner of expression. It's important to convey that this is a store that's open to all people . . . it's all people and we're proud about that."--Itah Sadu, co-owner of A Different Booklist, Toronto, Ontario, describing her bookstore in an Inside Toronto article, which also noted that, "at A Different Booklist, Black History Month is celebrated all year around."

 


GLOW: Other Press: Serenade for Nadia by Zülfü Livaneli, translated by Brendan Freely


News

Notes: Riggios to Build Houses in New Orleans

Next Tuesday, February 26, at 10:30 a.m. in New Orleans, La., Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio and his family foundation will announce the creation of Project Home Again, which aims to provide "high quality single family housing for displaced residents of New Orleans' Gentilly community." The Riggios are supporting the program with a commitment of $20 million.

The program will begin by building 20 houses that will be donated to displaced homeowners, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. In return, those homeowners will give their flooded property to the Riggio Foundation, which will build or rebuild for another resident of the area. The program should create housing for about 100 families. At the time of Hurricane Katrina, many Gentilly residents were elderly and did not have the resources to rebuild on their own.

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"Black-owned bookstores vital" was the headline for a Tallahassee Democrat article showcasing Florida booksellers Dana and Sharon Dennard, owners of Amen-Ra's Bookstore, Tallahassee, and Georgia Blackmon, owner of the Gathering Awareness and Book Center, Pensacola.

The Dennards are clinical psychologists who opened Amen-Ra's in 1990 "to serve as a 'mental intervention' and community center."

"Everything we have done to date has been a mental-health intervention," Dana Dennard said. "As a psychologist of African descent, we're committed to the ails of our community."

Sharon Dennard added, "The bookstore's design was to help you look back in time and wonder 'Where did we come from?' Imagine knowing the truth about your history instead of your history beginning with the enslavement period."

Georgia Blackmon said that surviving today's economic challenges is a crucial task: "At this time I know that some of the bookstores are closing, but I think it's important that we stay here. When I go to Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, I couldn't find the books I wanted to read. It's important we stay around not only for the (adults), but for the children."

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We're very happy to hear from Steve Fischer that Nan Sorensen, assistant executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association, is recovering well from heart bypass surgery and "has her sights set on going home." 

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The Reader's Guide to Recycled Literature bookstore, Salem, Ore., "has grown into a sort of 'community of books' during the course of its 25-year history," the Statesman Journal reported, adding a historical note of interest: "In 1972, Powell's future owner Michael Powell purchased 'thousands' of used books for his father's new City of Books store from Reader's Guide owner Tim Hannon, who then was living in Portland teaching school and buying and selling used books as a side business."

Hannon recalled that the money from Powell's purchase "got us the down payment for our first home."

Now the shop "is a community bookstore in the sense that customers who came in as young people now come in as adults with kids of their own and bring along grandfathers and grandmothers and other family members," he said.

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Cynthia Nye, owner of High Crimes Mystery Bookshop, Boulder, Colo., plans to close her bricks-and-mortar store in March and sell online, the Daily Camera reported.

"I think it's been slowly building over the last six months," Nye said of the combination of economic downturn, diminishing foot traffic and smaller sales. "You get two or three bad months and that's all you can take."

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Readers are where you find them, even at the race track. According to the New York Times, "Office Depot is teaming up with Harlequin Enterprises, the romance-book publisher owned by the Torstar Corporation, for an online contest with an unusual prize. The winner will have his or her proposal--for marriage or a renewal of vows--featured on a Nascar race car, the No. 99 Ford Fusion sponsored by Office Depot and driven by Carl Edwards." Contestants can sign up on a getyourheartracing.com.

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What do Pride and Prejudice, the Lord of the Rings series, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Da Vinci Code and Gone With the Wind have in common? They are the top five "best-loved books" as chosen by Australian readers in a survey conducted by the book chain Dymocks. News.com.au reported that the Dymocks Booklovers 101 list indicated that Aussie readers "prefer timelessness and romance to reality."

 


G.P. Putnam's Sons: A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger


Cody's Books Moving to Downtown Berkeley

In March, the Cody's Books on Fourth Street in Berkeley, Calif., is moving to new quarters in downtown Berkeley, the former Eddie Bauer store at 2201 Shattuck Avenue. The new location is near U.C. Berkeley, the Berkeley BART stop, the future David Brower Center, the Berkeley Public Library and City Hall.

The new store will hold grand opening celebrations on April 1. "We believe downtown Berkeley is the right place for Cody's, and the corner we've chosen is the best place to continue this bookstore's rich history," Cody's owner and president Hiroshi Kagawa said in a statement.

The new store is smaller than the current Cody's; the store plans, it said in a public letter, to "focus on our strengths--and the kinds of books you love the most--while carefully selecting and curating for some other sections." The strong sections include literature, criticism, history, politics, philosophy and science and technology. The store will also feature a new "Green World, Green Living" section. Sidelines will continue to include cards, postcards, maps, gifts, newspapers and magazines.

"We've known for a while that we needed to rethink our mix," manager Melissa Mytinger told the San Jose Mercury News. "The days of the large, general bookstore that offers both depth and breadth is not a functional model anymore."

The last three years have tumultuous for Cody's. The company opened and closed a large, expensive store in San Francisco, closed its flagship store on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley and was bought by Yohan, a Japanese publishing, distribution and bookselling company, which the sold the store to Kagawa when he left Yohan. In addition, longtime owner Andy Ross retired from Cody's late last year.

Throughout the turmoil, however, the 10-year-old Fourth Street store has had solid sales. The impetus for the move comes in large part from escalating rents in West Berkeley.

General manager Mindy Galoob, who is coordinating the move, commented: "The scope of our move is ambitious.  But we're all energized and enthusiastic about this new direction for Cody's."

In Cody's and Berkeley style, Cody's is hosting "an open community meeting" next Wednesday evening at the store, at which customers are encouraged to make suggestions and comments about what changes they would like to see Cody's make.

 


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Deep by Alma Katsu


Obituary Note: Carole Fewx

The Pacific Northwest bookselling community lost one of its favorite booksellers this past Monday, when Carole Fewx, co-owner of the now-closed Jackson's Books in Salem, Ore., died in a fall in her home. She was 55.

For the 24 years that she worked at and then owned Jackson's, Carole was a fixture in our business community. She was a savvy buyer--though some reps would joke that their calls on her took all day, but she knew the importance of considering every title. She fought long and hard when chains moved into her town and did the same for other stores with advice and encouragement. We were all very sad when she and her business partner, Greg Millard, closed the store in 2006 due to declining sales.

She was the first person I called on in my job as a rep for Pacific Pipeline. We didn't have an exact appointment time, but my colleague who was more "experienced in the ways of Carole" knew where to find her: at the Ram, the local watering hole near her store. Yes, she liked to have a drink or two and talk about books. Yes, she was a bit of a gossip, but in a good way, sharing stories about people in this business she loved so much. Most of all, she was one of the best audiences anyone could ever hope for. Her laugh was the one you could hear all through the aisles at PNBA shows.

Gary Lothian, Northwest sales manager at Ingram, sums her up well: "Carole was one of the best buyers and one of the best friends Megan and I had ever met in the book business. She always had a smile and looked upon everything in life as being the best possibility in the world."

Carole, we will miss you terribly.--Jenn Risko

 


S&S Children's Publishing Reorganizes

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing is reorganizing into "three discrete units," leading to the creation of a new position, a number of promotions and three job eliminations, according to Rick Richter, president of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

Ruben Pfeffer, senior v-p and publisher, children's trade, will continue to lead the trade group--S&S Books for Young Readers, Atheneum and Margaret K. McElderry Books. Emma Dryden has been promoted to v-p and publisher, Atheneum and Margaret K. McElderry Books, and Justin Chanda has been promoted to v-p and publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Valerie Garfield, v-p and publisher, media tie-in and novelty, will continue to lead the Little Simon, Simon Spotlight, Little Simon Inspirations and Simon Scribbles imprints. Bethany Buck has been promoted to v-p and publisher to lead a new combined unit, Aladdin/Pulse.

The position of associate publisher or deputy publisher has been added to each of these three publishing units. S&S will recruit an associate publisher for the trade publishing group. Alyson Grubard, director of brand management, will take on the role of associate publisher for the novelty and media tie-in unit. Mara Anastas, currently v-p, sales and subsidiary rights, will assume the role of v-p, deputy publisher of the Aladdin/Pulse group. Effective March 10, Stephanie Voros, currently director of subsidiary rights at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, will join S&S as v-p of subsidiary rights.

As a result of the restructuring, Dee Anne Grande, formerly with Little Simon Inspirations, Susan Burke of Atheneum and Renne Fountain in subsidiary rights have all been laid off.

Richter said that in conjunction with these changes, the children's division "will adopt a new vertical publishing structure in which the individual imprints will now be responsible for both the hardcover and paperback publication of their titles." Aladdin/Pulse will originate publications in both hardcover and paperback "with a special emphasis on middle grade and teen titles."

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Why Women Should Rule the World

This morning on the Mancow Muller Show: Michael L. Levin, author of The Next Great Clash: Russia and China vs. the United States (Praeger Security Institute, $44.95, 9780313345920/0313345929).

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Today on NPR's All Things Considered: Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World (Harper, $24.95, 9780061140402/0061140406).

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Starting today on WETA's Author, Author!: Steve Berry, author of The Venetian Betrayal (Ballantine, $25.95, 9780345485779/0345485777).

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Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Robert Hass, author of Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (Ecco, $22.95, 9780061349607/0061349607). As the show put it: "If it can still be said that a poet can have a humanizing influence on his culture, Robert Hass is such a poet. Here, as we discuss the poems in his National Book Award-winning collection, the beautiful, moving humanity of Hass' voice emerges, making us wish we were better people."

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Today on the Diane Rehm Show: George "Woody" Clarke, author of Justice and Science: Trials and Triumphs of DNA Evidence (Rutgers University Press, $24.95, 9780813541921/0813541921).

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Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in a repeat: Mark Seigal, who helped the late Benazir Bhutto write her new book, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West (HarperCollins, $27.95, 9780061567582/0061567582).

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Today on the Charlie Rose Show: Samantha Power, author of Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (Penguin Press, $32.95, 9781594201288/1594201285).

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Tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman: Steve Martin, author of Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life (Scribner, $25, 9781416553649/1416553649).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan, authors of In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks (Morrow Cookbooks, $19.95, 9780061119866/0061119865).

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Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Joshua Leeds and Susan Wagner, DVM, authors of Through a Dog's Ear: How to Use Sound to Improve the Health & Behavior of Your Canine Companion (Sounds True, $18.95, 9781591798118/1591798116), which goes on sale March 1. They will be joined by pianist Lisa Spector, who performed the music for the book's companion CD.

Filmed at Steinway Hall in New York City during the recent Westminster Dog Show ("May I have the beagle?"), the segment will feature an interview by CBS correspondent and veterinarian Debbye Turner, and includes footage of Spector demonstrating the music's effects on an energetic bassett hound.

 



Books & Authors

Attainment: More New Books

Appearing next Tuesday, February 26: Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 9780618683352/0618683356), a father's story about his meth-addicted son that was chosen as the next Starbucks book selection.

Nic Sheff, the beautiful boy of David Sheff's book, has also written a memoir, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines (Ginee Seo/S&S, $16.99, 9781416913627/1416913629), geared to younger readers, which was just published. Father and son will tour together and are already booked for the Today Show, Fresh Air and other shows.

 


ABFFE's Book of the Month: Dissent

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has picked Dissent: Voices of Conscience by Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright and Susan Dixon (Koa Books, $17.95, 9780977333844/0977333841) as its February Book of the Month.

ABFFE commented: "In Dissent, Wright and Dixon bring together the stories of government insiders and active-duty military personnel who spoke out, resigned, leaked documents, or refused to deploy in protest of government actions they felt were illegal. The book tells the stories of these men and women who risked careers and reputations to speak out.

"Wright was serving on the United States diplomatic mission to Mongolia in 2003 when the U.S. invaded Iraq. She was the third federal employee to resign in protest of the war.  Dixon is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She teaches on the geography of peace and war, and on political activism and nonviolence."

 


Book Review

Children's Review: Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day

Moving Day by Meg Cabot (Scholastic Press, $15.99 Hardcover, 9780545039475, March 2008)



Cabot is no stranger to eight-year-old girls, thanks to the enormous success of her Princess Diaries, which not only made the author a household name but created the vehicle that launched Anne Hathaway's film career. But those books were meant for readers aged 12 and up and trickled down. Here the author launches a series intended for eight-year-olds, and they will in no way feel "talked down" to--on the contrary. They will feel that Cabot knows the troubles they have seen: managing overly sensitive best friends, bursting at the seams to tell a secret they've promised not to, struggling with the idea of moving to a new, possibly haunted house, and, perhaps worst of all, not knowing the rules. These are the challenges facing Allie Finkle, a credible, intelligent, funny nine-year-old heroine whom readers and parents alike can embrace. "I like rules," Allie's first-person narrative begins. "The reason why is, rules help make our lives easier. For instance, the rule about not killing people. Obviously, this is a good rule." Allie's own rule #1: "Don't stick a spatula down your best friend's throat." Cabot's brilliant stroke is that Allie's best friend, Mary Kay, is one of those childhood friends who's your best friend because she lives within walking distance. Mary Kay is a crybaby and most readers will feel she deserves the spatula (though Allie apologizes, responsible gal that she is). This is a well-rounded heroine who has flaws but also comes to the rescue of the captive turtle in the local Chinese restaurant, and, at her peril, saves a show cat from the abuse of the horrid popular girl (Brittany, naturally)--all good practice for her career as a vet. For Allie, the prospect of moving has pros and cons, and she examines them all in a perfectly nine-year-old way, including anger at her five- and seven-year-old brothers for their positive glee at the chance to move (each will get his own room). For readers, there are only positives at the prospect of more adventures from this full-blooded heroine.--Jennifer M. Brown

 


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