Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Bloomsbury YA: Dreamland (YA Edition): The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Balzer & Bray: The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy

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

Magination Press: Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Kathryn Gonzales and Karen Rayne

Sourcebooks Explore: Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Wittingham

Central Avenue Publishing: Into Captivity They Will Go by Noah Milligan

Carolrhoda Books: A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine

News

Notes: Spring Book Show Will Go On; Bookstore Changes

Because of tornado damage last weekend to the Omni and Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., the Spring Book Show will now be held at the Hilton Atlanta at 255 Courtland St. N.E. The Show takes place March 28-30 and includes Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance educational panels.

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On February 1, Murrie Zlotziver bought Page after page in Lewisburg, Pa., which NAIBAhood News described as "a quaint historical town located in the Susquehanna Valley and the home of Bucknell University."

Page after page was founded three years ago. Murrie, who has a background in education and nonprofits and for 30 years wanted to own a bookstore, plans on working with schools and sponsoring writing contests, book clubs, summer reading programs and more.

Zlotziver is in the process of creating a logo, tagline and website for the store and will hold a grand opening May 12-17. Page after page is located at 336 Market St., Lewisburg, Pa. 17837; 570-524-7243; zmurrie@hotmail.com.

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Because of a decline in sales and "a complicated divorce," Just Books, Too, and Arcadia Coffee Co., Greenwich, Conn., are up for sale, according to the Stamford Advocate. Jenny Lawton, who bought the old Just Books in 2002 from Warren Cassell, said, "I'm in an impossible financial situation. I'm just not able to continue to subsidize the businesses any longer."

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Mentioned here yesterday, Al Roker's latest pick for the Today Show Book Club for Kids, Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist, is also available in a mass market paperback edition (Scholastic, $6.99, 9780439799270/0439372976).

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BookExpo America has designated Saturday, May 31, Graphic Novel Day, which will start with a breakfast sponsored by Diamond Book Distributors at which the legendary Art Spiegelman, Jeph Loeb and Mike Mignola will speak and Jeff Smith moderates.

The Day will be sponsored by New York Comic Con, another Reed Exhibitions show, and feature more than 10 conference sessions, including Graphic Novel Distribution, Bookstores, and the Direct Market; What Retailers & Librarians Should Know About Video Games and Gamers; Building a Graphic Novel Section for Kids and Teens; and Graphic Novel Buzz: Editors Share List Highlights.

"Since I run both BEA and New York Comic Con, this is sort of like a dream come true," Lance Fensterman, v-p and show manager, said in a statement. "I get to take one big show, in this case New York Comic Con, and give it a little home inside our other big show! Without a doubt, the strength of the content and personalities involved in our graphic novel programming this year give credence to the explosive impact graphic novels are having on the publishing and book retail industry."

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One of our favorite booksellers, Betsy Burton, owner of the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah, has joined the board of directors of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. She fills the term of Jack Buckley of Ninth Street Book Shop, Wilmington, Del., who resigned because of an increase in his workload as a member of the Wilmington school board.

Burton, author of The King's English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller, has long been a free speech advocate and is a plaintiff in ABFFE's challenge to a Utah law that censors the Internet.

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Books-A-Million chairman Clyde B. Anderson is stepping down as a director of Hibbett Sports Inc., where he has been a board member for more than 20 years, the Birmingham Business Journal reported. Joining the board are two people with ties to BAM: Terrance G. Finley, president of the merchandising group at BAM, and Albert C. Johnson, a financial consultant and former executive at Dunn Investment, who is on BAM's audit committee. Both BAM and Hibbett have headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.

 


Mango: The Restaurant Diet: How to Eat Out Every Night and Still Lose Weight by Fred Bollaci


Obituary Note: Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke, author of more than 100 books, inventor, futurist and science fiction icon, died yesterday in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He was 90 and best known for his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey and his collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on the film of the same name.

The New York Times has a long obituary. Our favorite parts:

Clarke's Three Laws, published in Profiles of the Future (1962):

  • "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  • "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  • "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

And:

"Mr. Clarke reveled in his fame," the Times wrote. "One whole room in his house--which he referred to as the Ego Chamber--was filled with photos and other memorabilia of his career, including pictures of him with Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon."

 


Charlesbridge Publishing: Baby Loves the Five Senses by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan


New Chapter for Little Shop of Stories

Less than three years after opening in Decatur, Ga., Little Shop of Stories will soon be on the move. Books won't have to be toted far, though. The store's new home is across the town square. "We've been feeling a need to grow over the course of the last year and a half," said co-owner Diane Capriola. "It was just a matter of figuring out when it would happen and finding the right place."

Little Shop of Stories' new location is on a busier side of Decatur Square, one with more shops and restaurants, and is next door to Starbucks. "Right now people have to know we're here," said Capriola. "Not many people just happen upon us, and the move will really change that." The shop front was previously a real estate office and in the early 1990s housed Final Touch Bookstore. "In a sense," Capriola remarked, "the space is returning to its literary roots."

At 3,300 square feet, the new space is double the size of the current location. Along with more games, toys and other sideline items, the new Little Shop of Stories will house an expanded picture books section. "Right now they're tucked away in a corner, and it's hard to browse that area," Capriola said. Instead they'll be prominently featured on a wall close to the entrance with many titles displayed face-out. Also in the works is a children's nonfiction section. "We get a lot of kids coming in who want to read nonfiction," Capriola said, "and so we're going to grow that area of the store."

Little Shop of Stories is the second Decatur bookstore to announce a move this month: Wordsmiths Books is relocating to a building on Decatur Square (Shelf Awareness, March 3, 2008) next week. The Atlanta suburb "has become a literary hub for the city," noted Capriola, and a highlight is the annual Decatur Book Festival. Now in its third year, the extravaganza is held Labor Day weekend and attracts some 60,000 attendees.

Decatur is "a phenomenal community of people who support local business," said Capriola. And they will be included in Little Shop of Stories' relocation. After the bulk of merchandise has been moved, grown-ups and kids (with their wagons in tow) will then be invited to assist in "a very ceremonial way," including a parade across Decatur Square, Capriola said.

Capriola anticipates closing for two or three days at the end of the month and is aiming to have shelves at the new shop re-stocked by April 1--just in time to make use of a spacious mezzanine that will serve as an events area. "We haven't had the room to pull in big crowds when we have an author," she said. "Now we'll have this ready-made event space." It's a good thing. On April 3, Little Shop of Stories is hosting Caldecott Honor-winner Mo Willems.--Shannon McKenna Schmidt

The store's new address is 133 East Court Square, Decatur, Ga. 30030; 404-373-6300; littleshopofstories.com.

 


imon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble (Max and Ruby Adventure) BY Rosemary Wells


Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Rieff on His Mother, Susan Sontag

This morning's Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., features the following interviews:
  • Kate Torgovnick, author of Cheer! Three Teams on a Quest for College Cheerleading's Ultimate Prize (Touchstone Books, $24.95, 9781416535966/1416535969)
  • Amy Sutherland, author of What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers (Random House, $18, 9781400066582/1400066581)

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

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Today on Fresh Air: Scott Spencer, author of Willing (Ecco, $24.95, 9780060760151/006076015X).

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Today on NPR's the Forum: California poet laureate Al Young talks about his latest collection of poetry, Something About the Blues (Sourcebooks MediaFusion, $22.95, 9781402210648/760789217487).

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Tonight on the Colbert Report: Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World (Harper, $24.95, 9780061140402/0061140406).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: David Rieff, author of Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir (S&S, $21, 9780743299466/0743299469). As the show put it: "David Rieff accompanied his mother, Susan Sontag, through the medical ordeals that led to her death. We explore the death of this great writer, a woman who resisted consolation and maintained--to her last days--an enormous appetite for life."

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Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Jeffrey Sachs, author of Common Wealth: Economics of a Crowded Planet (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594201271/1594201277).

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Tomorrow on the Colbert Report: Robin Wright, Washington Post staff writer and author of Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East (Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594201110/1594201110).

 


Charlesbridge Publishing: Sumokitty by David Biedrzycki


Movies: 21

21, based on the book Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich, opens on Friday, March 28. Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne star in the story about M.I.T. students who use math to beat Vegas casinos. The movie tie-in edition, called 21: Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, is now available in a mass market tie-in edition (Pocket Star, $7.99, 9781416561705/1416561706) and trade paper tie-in edition (Free Press, $15, 9781416564195/1416564195).

 


Atheneum Books: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alexander Nabaum


Books & Authors

Awards: Publishing Triangle Finalists

Finalists for the Publishing Triangle's 20th annual Triangle Awards and the Ferro-Grumley Awards are available online. The awards will be presented on April 28 in New York City. In addition, the organization has given its Bill Whitehead Award for lifetime achievement to Katherine V. Forrest, author of 15 novels, including the Kate Delafield mystery series, an editor at Naiad Press and now at Spinsters Ink and editor of several anthologies.

 



Book Review

Book Review: No-Man's Lands

No-Man's Lands: One Man's Odyssey Through the Odyssey by Scott Huler (Crown Publishing Group (NY), $24.95 Hardcover, 9781400082827, March 2008)


 
When Scott Huler, an NPR contributor, swore on the air that he would never read James Joyce's Ulysses, he expected to receive some flak from Bloomsday devotees but not much else. However, he quickly realized the gods had other plans for him. He did read Joyce, which led him to revisit the original Homeric version, studying it with a vigor that rapidly developed into obsession. Soon Huler found himself planning his own journey--one that would retrace (more or less) the path of The Odyssey's eponymous hero. It's the sort of high concept book idea that could easily become too cute or tiresome on the page, but Huler has crafted a highly entertaining memoir/travelogue that doubles as a fresh and surprisingly informative guide to the history and themes of The Odyssey.

Hurrying to complete his trip before the impending birth of his first child and seeking to capture the unpredictable nature of Odysseus's wanderings, Huler stuffed a backpack full of Lonely Planet guides and headed to the Mediterranean with only a general idea of where he would land. This turned out to be a good plan as most of the sites in The Odyssey are geographically vague at best. Nevertheless, Huler found and ate lunch in the Sicilian cave of the Cyclops, pondering that episode's lesson (know when to shut up) and lounged in a Tunisian resort where he surmised that the "lotus eaters" weren't necessarily high, but very relaxed. On Malta, supposed home of Calypso, the sex-crazed nymph who held Odysseus captive for seven years, he pondered the nature of temptation and the longing for home. After a hilarious interlude trying to rent boats in Italy, Huler managed to take a kayak through Scylla and Charybdis without being eaten or drowned. He also gives readers a mini-history of Troy, "the backstory capital of the world," and its famous horse. And in one spooky but enchanting chapter, he recounts his visit to the Roman catacombs--an approximation of Odysseus's voyage to Hades.
 
It took Odysseus 10 years to return home to Ithaca after his victory at Troy. Huler had but six months to complete the same journey but what he learned about family, ambition and self is deeply thought-provoking--an epic writ small. Perhaps a bigger gift to his readers, though, is the infectiousness of his enthusiasm for one of the greatest stories ever told. No doubt many will be inspired to dust off their copies of The Odyssey and plunge in once again.--Debra Ginsberg
 

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