Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yen Press: Diary (Berrybrook Middle School #4) by Svetlana Chmakova

Shadow Mountain: Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb

Amulet Books: Village of Scoundrels by Margi Preus

Flatiron Books: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Canongate Books: The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry and The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry


Notes: Germany's Largest Bookseller Gets Larger

Germany's Federal Cartel Office has approved the purchase by DBH Buch Handels--the Weltbild-Hugendubel joint venture--of most of Karstadt department store's 52 bookstores, according to The Office did not approve the purchase of eight stores and said that the takeover was "problematic from an anti-trust perspective in the cities [of] Kiel, Leipzig, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt and Munich."

DBH, which has more than 400 outlets, is already Germany's largest bookstore chain.


Focusing on comic books alone and resisting the temptation to diversify has been the secret to 20 years of success for John and Susan Bonner, owners of Halley's Comics, Old Town Fort Collins, Colo.

In a Fort Collins Now article portraying the city as a "comics conclave," John said the old fashioned comic book is still a great niche market: "Wal-Mart is not going to start selling 50-year-old comic books."


On the Arkansas Times's "To-do List" for this coming Saturday is "Lorenzen's Last Day." Lorenzen & Co. Booksellers, Little Rock, Ark., is closing, and "after Saturday, when all of the store's remaining books will be half off, there will be no local major retailer of used books. Who cares if you can buy a used copy of Go Down, Moses on Amazon for a dollar? I want the unexpected. Go tell Rod [Lorenzen] you'll miss him and pick up something strange for the road."


The East Side Book Cafe, Big Bear City, Calif., is a place "where everyone knows everyone's name. A place where people exchange ideas and stories," according to the Big Bear Grizzly, which reported that the business will close April 14 "because of a rent hike."

Owner Gail Sefl opened the used bookshop in 2004, then expanded with a café in 2005, a decision that "was less about a profit margin and more about a place for people to gather," she said. "We didn't have a community center in the East Valley. There was no place for people, especially young people, to meet."


Happy fifth birthday to, the online book marketplace that is celebrating by relaunching its site with the aim, among other things, of improving search capabilities and result matching. The company has also redesigned the site.


"Bookstores overflow with food stories that have nothing to do with recipes," according to the Eugene, Ore., Register-Guard, which explored the evolution of the "Food Lit" section in recent years: "Let us remember Julia Child and M.F.K. Fisher, John McPhee and James Beard, who have been thinking and writing about food for longer than there were bookshelf merchandisers." A reading list is also featured.


Mo Willems, artist, script writer, author and Caldecott Honor winner, will be a guest of honor on Kids Day, Sunday, April 20, the last of the three days of New York Comic Con. Kids Day aims, the show says, "to rekindle kids' fascination with comic books and to showcase all the benefits of having a young enthusiast in the family. It will be devoted to providing a full day of activities designed to entertain young fans."

Berkley Books: Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

Books-A-Million Squeaks Through 'Difficult' Quarter

In the fourth quarter ended February 2, Books-A-Million net sales rose 3% to $168.3 million, and net income was $11.9 million, down from $13.1 million in the same period a year earlier. For the full year, net sales rose 5.1% to $535.1 million, and net income was $16.5 million, down slightly from $16.8 million. (The company adjusted the figures for the previous year downward because that period had an extra week that included $9 million in sales. Without the adjustment, net sales in the quarter would have fallen 3.6%, and net sales for the year would have risen 2.8%.)

Sales at BAM stores open at least a year fell 1.6% in the fourth quarter, but were up 1.4% for the full year.

In a statement, president and CEO Sandra B. Cochran said, "Our focus on the fundamentals of our business, including gross margin, inventory management, and discipline in cost control delivered solid earnings in spite of the difficult economic conditions in the fourth quarter."

The board voted another quarterly cash dividend of nine cents a share and approved another plan to purchase up to $5 million worth of company stock. This plan, which runs until the end of April next year, replaces a program that allowed purchases of up to $35 million in stock that began in June 2006; under that plan, BAM bought back $24.5 million of its shares.


Yen Press: Berrybrook Middle School Box Set by Svetlana Chmakova

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jose Canseco Takes His Whacks

Today on Talk of the Nation: Deborah Tannen, best known for You Just Don't Understand and You're Wearing That?, talks about her passion for politics, which she got from her father.


Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Senator Arlen Specter, author of Never Give In: Battling Cancer in the Senate (Thomas Dunne Books, $24.95, 9780312383060/0312383061).


Tomorrow morning on NPR's Morning Edition: Pamela Paul, author of Parenting, Inc. (Times Books, $25, 9780805082494/0805082492).


Tomorrow night on NBC's Nightly News and Dateline: Don Van Ryn, author of Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope (Howard Books, $21.99, 9781416567356/1416567356).


Tomorrow night on Real Time with Bill Maher: Robin Wright, author of Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East (Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594201110/1594201110).


Tomorrow night on Nightline: Jose Canseco, author of Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to Save Baseball (Simon Spotlight, $25.95, 9781416591870/1416591877).


Ramsey Press: Debt-Free Degree: The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Kid Through College Without Student Loans by Anthony ONeal

This Weekend on Book TV: The Man Who Made Lists

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 29

9:15 a.m. Trevor Paglen, author of I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World (Melville House, $22.95, 9781933633329/1933633328), takes a look at the secret world of American military patches. (Re-airs Saturday at 7 p.m.)
6 p.m. Encore Book Notes. In a segment first aired in 2004, Mark Edmundson, author of Why Read? (Bloomsbury, $12.95, 9781582346083/1582346089), argued that literature needs to be the fundamental element of a liberal arts education because of the benefits books offer readers. This was the last program in the 15-year Booknotes series.

8:30 p.m. Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, author of Basic Brown: My Life and Our Times (S&S, $26, 9780743290814/074329081X), chronicles his experience growing up in Texas and California, his rise in politics and offers advice for today's young leaders. (Re-airs Monday at 3 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies interviews Robin Wright, author of Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East (Penguin, $26.95, 9781594201110/1594201110). Wright takes an in-depth look at countries in the Middle East currently undergoing major transformations. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. and Sunday, April 6, at 11 a.m.)
Sunday, March 30

10 p.m. Joshua Kendall, author of The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness and the Creation of Roget's Thesaurus (Putnam, $25.95, 978-0399154621/0399154620), recounts the life of Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869), who created the thesaurus that was first published in 1852. (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m. and Saturday, April 12, at 2 p.m.)


KidsBuzz for the Week of 10.21.19

Books & Authors

Awards Finalists: Romance; Children's Choice Book Awards

The finalists for the RITA and Golden Heart Awards, which honor romance fiction and the best in unpublished romance manuscripts, respectively, are available at the Romance Writers of America's website. The winners will be announced on August 2 during RWA's 28th annual national conference in San Francisco, Calif.


The Children's Book Council and CBC Foundation have announced 25 finalists in five categories of the first Children's Choice Book Awards. Until Sunday, May 4, children may cast votes for their favorite authors, illustrators and books at bookstores, school libraries and The winners will be announced at the Children's Choice Book Award gala on May 13 in New York City during Children's Book Week, which runs May 12-18.

The finalists were determined from the IRA-CBC Children's Choices program, a joint project of the International Reading Association and the CBC that annually allows some 10,000 children to vote on their favorite recently published books. The author and illustrator of the year finalists were selected from a review of bestseller lists by the CBC and CBC Foundation.

The finalists:

Favorite Book for Grades K-2

  • Dino Dinners by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom (Holiday House)
  • Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping by Eileen Christelow (Clarion)
  • Frankie Stein written by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Kevan Atteberry (Marshall Cavendish Corporation)
  • Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark written by Ken Geist, illustrated by Julia Gorton (Cartwheel Books/Scholastic)
  • Tucker's Spooky Halloween by Leslie McGuirk (Candlewick Press)
Favorite Book for Grades 3-4
  • Babymouse: Camp Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House for Young Readers)
  • Big Cats by Elaine Landau (Enslow Publishers)
  • Monday With a Mad Genius written by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca (Random House for Young Readers)
  • The Richest Poor Kid written by Carl Sommer, illustrated by Jorge Martinez (Advance Publishing)
  • Wolves by Duncan Searl (Bearport Publishing)
Favorite Book for Grades 5-6
  • Beowulf: Monster Slayer written by Paul D. Storrie, illustrated by Ron Randall (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • Encyclopedia Horrifica by Joshua Gee (Scholastic Paperbacks)
  • Ghosts by Stephen Krensky (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley by Amy Lissiat and Colin Thompson (Kane/Miller Book Publishers)
  • When the Shadbush Blooms written by Carla Messinger with Susan Katz, illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden (Tricycle Press)
2007 Author of the Year
  • Anthony Horowitz for Snakehead (Alex Rider Adventure) (Philomel/Penguin)
  • Erin Hunter for Warriors, Powers of Three: The Sight (HarperCollins)
  • Jeff Kinney for Diary of Wimpy Kid (Abrams)
  • Rick Riordan for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse (Disney Book Group)
  • J.K. Rowling for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic)
2007 Illustrator of the Year
  • Jan Brett for Three Snow Bears (Putnam/Penguin)
  • Ian Falconer for Olivia Helps with Christmas (Simon & Schuster)
  • Robin Preiss Glasser for Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy (HarperCollins)
  • Brian Selznick for The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic)
  • Mo Willems for Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity (Disney Book Group)

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: The Last Flight by Julie Clark

Book Review

Children's Review: Six Innings

Six Innings: A Game in the Life by James Preller (Feiwel & Friends, $16.95 Hardcover, 9780312367633, March 2008)

This is a book whose emotional pull creeps up on you, pitch by pitch. Organized around the six innings of a Little League championship game, the story will appeal to longtime fans of baseball as well as those who know nothing about the sport. Preller assumes his audience's intelligence and seats readers diamond-side. He zeroes in on each player during the course of the game and begins and ends with Sam Reiser. "Three weeks short of thirteen," Sam is a better player than his best friend, Mike Tyree, but as the game begins, Mike is on the field, and Sam is in the announcer's box ("A true friend, a best friend, would be happy for Mike. . . . Sam wasn't glad. Not for Mike, not for anybody"). As the innings progress, we learn that Sam is sentenced to the press box by a diagnosis of osteosarcoma. Yet Sam lifts the spirits of many of the players; as one teammate puts it during the top of the sixth in a nail-bitingly close game, "No matter how sick [Sam] felt, he kept showing up at the games. It was his way of saying, It's gonna be all right." But this is a book as much about on-the-field action as it is life lessons. Pitchers ignore catchers' calls, catchers pull pitchers out of their funks, kids who've never made a clean throw come through, and when a relay throw is bungled, one kid "coasts into third with a stand-up triple. The coolest play in baseball." Even sports veterans will savor many of Preller's observations--especially about pitchers (e.g., "All pitchers have a little bit of rock star in them"; "It is a job for an egotist. And an optimist. No others need apply"). After all, it's the losing pitcher with whom Sam most identifies, "The star player still yearning for one final chance to win the game." Like the boys on the field and in the press box, readers will feel this is a game to remember.--Jennifer M. Brown


Amulet Books: Blood Countess (a Lady Slayers Novel) by Lana Popovic

KidsBuzz: Bloomsbury Children's Books:  Power of a Princess (More Than a Princess) by E.D. Baker
KidsBuzz: Windsong Press: The Shockhoe Slip Gang: A Mystery by Patricia Cecil Hass, illustrated by Laura Corson
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