Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 13, 2008


Forge: Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

imon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Becoming Rbg: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner

St. Martin's Press: Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris

Park Row: The Ventriloquists (Original) by E.R. Ramzipoor

Henry Holt & Company: Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "the Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman

Other Press: Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia

News

Notes: Changes for McNally Robinson; Bezos at BEA

McNally Robinson bookstore in New York City is undergoing renovations and will be renamed McNally Jackson in July, according to the New York Observer. In major related news, McNally Robinson owner Sarah McNally, who is married to Chris Jackson, an editor at Spiegel & Grau, wants to open a larger store--of around 25,000 square feet--in Manhattan, "probably in Chelsea but maybe somewhere on the Upper West Side."

She told the Observer that the new store will cost about $3 million to build. She's talking with investors and real estate agents, and doesn't plan to find a location or sign a lease until mid-2009 at the earliest.

Besides having a cafe and restaurant that would serve wine, coffee and food, the new store would mix media so that there would be yoga mats for sale near the wellness shelf or wooden spoons near the cookbooks.

"I know the people who work for me like the store, they like working there, but I walk in and I see nothing but flaws!" she told the paper. "Whenever someone says it's a nice store, I say, 'But what about that? Didn’t you notice that?' "

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Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will make a presentation and be interviewed by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and originator of the Long Tail theory, during BookExpo America. The Spotlight interview, part of BEA's Upfront & Unscripted interview series, will begin at 3 p.m., Friday, May 30. This marks Bezos's second major appearance at BEA: in 2000, he was keynote speaker.

"Amazon is a huge part of the book and publishing community, and we pride ourselves on representing the entire industry in one place," Lance Fensterman, v-p and show manager for BEA, said in a statement, adding that the event "is a shining example of the type of broad and timely conversation that we like to encourage at BEA. We look forward to hearing about the progress of Kindle and Amazon's growing digital books business, as well other topics that not only apply to Amazon's current and future business but will touch on all areas of the book industry."

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For an article headlined "Downtown Stillwater [Minn.] emerging from its annual winter doldrums," the Stillwater Courier interviewed several local merchants, including three booksellers.

"I think it suffers from benign neglect from the city and county," said Thomas Loome, whose bookshop, Loome's Antiquarian Bookseller, is leaving the historic downtown area. Though he doesn't accuse anyone of acting with bad intentions, he noted that "the downtown is supposed to take care of itself, and it can't."

Joci Tilsen is more upbeat. She and her husband, Jim Bour, are selling Valley Bookseller, which they have owned for the past nine years, to Molly Rice and Dan Priebe.

"I think we did a really good job with the bookstore," Tilsen said, adding that her customers are "fun people I want to spend time with. We like each other. I think that's one of the gifts that Stillwater has to offer." She believes there is promise in recent changes and cites opportunities for new joint promotions as an example: "The more we embrace promoting together, we can use the fact that there are new things to promote."

One of those changes has a familiar ring. Loome's daughter, Cecilia, has opened Books on Chestnut. "My brother is the one who got me hooked on the book thing," she said. "There’s a lot of potential for a good bookstore. I'm hoping to still be here next year. I think we will be able to make it."

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Got Kindle? USA Today reported that prospective buyers "who click on the Kindle links at the top of Amazon's home page are informed that due to heavy demand the product is 'temporarily sold out.'" Although orders are taken on a first-come, first-served basis "the online retailer won't reveal how many have been sold or when supply will catch up with demand."

"We can't go into details about exact wait times," said Amazon's Ian Freed, v-p for digital products, conceding that the company underestimated demand. "We've had to ramp up manufacturing pretty significantly, and ramping up a manufacturing takes a little time."

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When things are going bad, U.K. booksellers can seek refuge at the Booksellers Provident Retreat. At his Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog, Michael Lieberman pointed out the existence of BTBS, the book trade charity. 

According to the institution's website, "Anyone who has worked for more than one year in publishing, distribution or bookselling, in a wide range of qualifying functions, and is in difficult personal circumstances is eligible for assistance. . . . The Retreat is unique in that it is the only estate dedicated to providing homes for people who have worked in book publishing, distribution or sales, where they can live safe in the knowledge that they have a home for as long as they need it, within a community of like-minded people who share a common interest."

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Effective immediately, National Book Network is distributing Dharma Publishing, Cazadero, Calif., which publishes books on Buddhist philosophy and art, meditation and new sciences and is dedicated to making the ancient wisdom of Tibet available widely in the West. The house's books have been translated into 17 languages and adopted for class use in hundreds of university courses.

 


Amulet Books: Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas


Media and Movies

Movies: Harry Potter Double Feature; Horton Hears Huntsville

The seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's bestselling series is evidently just too big to be contained by a single film. The Los Angeles Times reported that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be split into two films, "one to be released in November 2010 and the second in May 2011." David Yates will direct both movies, which will be filmed concurrently. Screenwriter Steve Kloves also returns.

"I think it's the only way you can do it without cutting out a huge portion of the book," said Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who is now filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due to be released November 21. "There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut--although those cuts were still to the horror of some fans--but the seventh book doesn't really have any subplots. It's one driving, pounding story from the word go."

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Huntsville, Ala., has won the Horton Hears a You--Hometown Challenge (Shelf Awareness, Feb.22, 2008) and will host a special VIP screening of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! today.

The Huntsville Times reported that the city emerged victorious "thanks to a very loud crowd that gathered Saturday night outside a Huntsville Havoc-Columbus Cottonmouths hockey game . . . Mayor Loretta Spencer, 300 Marines and soldiers, and a crowd of children and adults wearing 'Horton ears' banded together outside the Von Braun Center to yell 'We are here!'" Everyone who participated received a free pass to attend today's screening.

Huntsville's decibel level topped entries from a number of U.S. cities, including Blue Springs, Mo.; Fresno, Calif.; West Orange, N.J.; and New York City.

 


One ELM Books: Trevor Lee and the Big Uh Oh! by Wiley Blevins, illustrated by Marta Kissi


Media Heat: Basketball Beyond the Courts

This morning on the Today Show: Steve McKee, author of My Father's Heart (Da Capo Lifelong Books, $25, 9780738210971/0738210978).

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Today on The View: Jeff Foxworthy, author of Dirt on My Shirt (Random House, $16.99, 9781400065578/1400065577).

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Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Geraldine Brooks, author of People of the Book (Viking, $25.95, 9780670018215/067001821X).

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Today on the Dianne Rehm Show: NPR's Scott Simon, author of Windy City (Random House, $25, 9781400065578/1400065577).

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Today on Talk of the Nation: C. Vivian Stringer, coach of the Rutgers women's basketball team and author of Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph (Crown, $24.95, 9780307406095/0307406091).

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Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Jim Hightower, author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow (Wiley, $25.95, 9780470121511/0470121513).

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This Sunday at 9 p.m. on ESPN: the first two hours of the four-hour documentary Black Magic, about basketball at black colleges and universities before integration (right after the NCAA selection show). The last two hours will air on ESPN at 9 p.m. on Monday.

Featured prominently in Black Magic: legendary basketball coach John McLendon and Milton Katz, author of Breaking Through: John B. McLendon, Basketball Legend and Civil Rights Pioneer (University of Arkansas Press, $29.95, 9781557288479/155728847X).

For some background on the book and Black Magic, run downcourt to this Hartford Courant story.

 


Ecco Press: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha


This Weekend on Book TV: Eliot Spitzer was Spoiling for a Fight

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, March 15

10:30 a.m. At an event hosted by Olsson's Books and Records, Washington, D.C., Liz Clarke, author of One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation (Villard, $25, 9780345499882/0345499883), recounts the history of the stock car racing league and its social and political effect on the nation. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)
     
11:15 a.m. Laura Bush delivers the keynote address at the 2008 AAP general annual meeting in New York City, held last week. (Re-airs Sunday at 2:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.)

6 p.m. Encore Book Notes. For a segment first aired in 1989, Ralph David Abernathy, author of And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography, offered an insider account of the Civil Rights movement, including the organization of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and the 1965 March in Selma.

7 p.m. At an event hosted by Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., William Link, author of Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (St. Martin's, $39.95, 9780312356002/0312356005), recounts the political life of this legendary opponent of the civil rights movement and critic of the left. (Re-airs Sunday at 4:30 p.m., Monday at 6:45 a.m. and Sunday, March 30, at 3 p.m.)

8:30 p.m. Erwin Hargrove, author of The Effective Presidency: Lessons on Leadership From John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush (Paradigm, $24.95, 9781594514111/1594514119), recommends that the American public focus on electing an effective president rather than a hero. (Re-airs Sunday at 4:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, interviews Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (National Geographic, $26, 9781426202131/142620213X). Lynas says that scientific studies show global warming in the last century has pushed Earth's temperatures to unprecedented levels. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. and Sunday, March 23, at 12 p.m.)

Sunday, March 16

10:30 a.m. Public Lives. Brooke Masters, author of Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer (Holt, $16, 9780805083026/0805083022), discusses Spitzer's redefinition of the role of attorney general and his run to be the next--and now former--governor of New York. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:30 p.m.)

 


NCIBA & SCIBA: Holiday Catalog


Books & Authors

Gov. Spitzer's Travails: Commentary of a Sort

In the unfortunate case of the soon-to-be ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer, we offer two items:

From Carol Fitzgerald's blog on the Book Reporter, a memo to the New York Governor:

If you spent the $4,300 you were alleged to have spent on the night of February 13th on books, you could have bought 172 hardcover books at an average price of $25.

If, as rumored, you spent $80,000 on escort services over the past decade, you could have bought 3,200 hardcover books at an average price of $25.

If you bought the books in state, none would have had to cross state lines to get to you.

If you bought them online, they may have crossed state lines and yes, you may not have paid tax, but it still would be legal.

These books could have been about sex. There are at least 172 books about sex. I am sure there also are 3,200. If these books were trade paperbacks, double this number.

If you did this, you still would be governor.

Just something to ponder.

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And from AbeBooks.com, a list of "recommended nonfiction reads about prostitutes," which could have formed the basis of an excellent, relatively inexpensive collection:

1. The Happy Hooker: My Own Story by Xaviera Hollander
2. Callgirl by Jeannette Angell
3. Mayflower Madam: The Secret Life of Sydney Biddle Barrows by Sydney Biddle Barrows
4. Love for Sale: A World History of Prostitution by Nils Johan Ringdal
5. Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women by Alexa Albert
6. Sex Work by Frederique Delacoste
7. Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
8. Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves
9. Courtesans: Money, Sex, and Fame in the Nineteenth Century by Katie Hickman
10. The Madams of San Francisco by Curt Gentry

 


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby


Awards: PEN/Faulkner; Astrid Lindgren; Arabic Booker

This year's PEN/Faulkner award for fiction has been given to Kate Christensen for The Great Man. The AP (via USA Today) reported that "Christensen, author of three previous novels, will receive $15,000."

The four other finalists, each of whom gets $5,000, were Annie Dillard's The Maytrees, David Leavitt's The Indian Clerk, T.M. McNally's The Gateway and Ron Rash's Chemistry and Other Stories.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation established the award in 1980; prior winners include Philip Roth, E.L. Doctorow and Don DeLillo.

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Australian author Sonya Hartnett was awarded the sixth annual Astrid Lindgren Memorial award for literature, according to the Guardian, which noted that "the world's richest children's book award" was given to Hartnett "in recognition of a body of work known for its unflinching focus on the toughest aspects of life."

The prize, worth £407,000 (US$826,765), was established by the Swedish government in 2002 to commemorate the creator of the Pippi Longstocking series. Hartnett will receive the award from Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria at a ceremony on May 28.  

The Guardian reported that Hartnett, 39, published her first novel, Trouble All the Way, "at the age of 15 and has since written 18 novels for children, young people and adults." Her book Thursday's Child won the Guardian children's fiction prize in 2002.

"I have spent a great deal of my time defending my work against those who see it as too complicated, too old in approach, too bleak to qualify as children's literature," she said. "This has been the bane of my life. I do not really write for children: I write only for me, and for the few people I hope to please, and I write for the story."

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Egyptian author Baha Taher won the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel, Sunset Oasis. The Guardian reported that the award, "styling itself as the Arabic Booker . . . aims to boost the international profile of literary fiction in Arabic." Taher was awarded $50,000 and "assured of being translated into English."

Jonathan Taylor, who served as chair of the award's board of trustees and also chairs the Booker Prize Foundation, said, "We are certain that this new prize will soon achieve the reputation and success of the Booker Prize itself--we shall hope to carry the influence of new Arabic literature all over the world, in Arabic as well as in translation."

 


Children's Book Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (Holt, $16.95, 9780805076684/0805076689, 272 pp., ages 14-up, April)

Pearson (A Room on Lorelei Street) begins laying out her mystery from the first line: "I used to be someone. Someone named Jenna Fox." Readers quickly learn that the 17-year-old narrator was in an accident, which led to her being in a coma for a year. With the help of home movies, Jenna begins to remember things. Then she recalls other experiences that are not in the movies. A dark place where there are no words. The author's pacing is impeccable as she builds the tensions among characters with details that do not always add up for Jenna: Why is her grandmother so cold when Jenna has memories of warmth between them? Why do her parents try to keep her away from school and from meeting people outside their home? And what really caused the accident that put her in a coma? Jenna's contact with the outside world begins to provide clues to the answers, and readers put them together right along with her. She begins to build new friendships--and falls in love. Although the events take place in a future not so far from our own, where medical miracles are possible, the questions Jenna raises are essential to adolescents of any era: Who am I really and who do I want to be? How can I be who I want to be and not hurt my parents? (In one prescient comment, referring to her mother, Jenna says, "It is like we are both fighting for control of Jenna Fox.") But it is how the heroine handles the discovery of her truth that will make readers adore her, perhaps nearly as much as her parents do. Pearson takes us on a remarkable, often chilling journey in which Jenna questions what makes life worth living and comes out the other side victorious.--Jennifer M. Brown

 



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