Shelf Awareness for Monday, April 7, 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: Store Changes; Clinton Royalty; Eager Customer

It may not be news that "bookstores face an uncertain future," but it did become the focus of an editorial in the Boston Globe, which showcased Brookline Booksmith and the New England Mobile Book Fair.

The piece concluded that "books are an old medium, and shopping patterns are bound to change over time. But it would be a shame to lose the culture of browsing and discussing that has grown up around bookstores. So it's reassuring that these stores are finding ways to reinvent themselves. Maybe some will rewrite their own endings."

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Anton Shelton, owner of Reader's Square Bookstore, Crown Point, Ind., was profiled in the Munster Times. "The people of Crown Point are very loyal to local businesses," he said. "There is a closeness in this community and people are saying that they really needed a bookstore in the area. . . . There are not lots of people here, but there is steady traffic. It seems like a really good place to start my first business."

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When Shawna and Aviel Alkon relocated from Boca Raton, Fla., to Durham, N.C., they opened BookDabbler bookstore in September 2006. Aviel told the Durham News, "We didn't want a cluttered, old book store. We wanted a place where people could come and hang out, find the book they're looking for . . . drink coffee."

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The Lake County News-Sun introduced its readers to Café Book, Antioch, Ill., which opened last month. Owned by Nicole and Jim Hayes, Café Book is a shop where "you can sit with a book at one of the four leather overstuffed sofas or half dozen tables nestled between the book shelves and order a coffee, pastry or panini."

The business was inspired by Nora Roberts's Three Sisters Trilogy, according to Nicole, who said, "There's a coffeehouse bookstore in one of her books. The feeling evoked from that place is what we wanted to create. . . . I think the community is really supportive of the downtown. We have moms that come in with babies and kids, all the way up to seniors who come in and have lunch. We also have high school kids that come in to get chai lattes."

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"We certainly don't feel proud of the fact that Americans aren't reading as much as they used to. That's the take we have. I don't feel a sense of pride by outlasting Borders," Scott Abel, general manager of Kramerbooks, Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post in an article called, "The Changing Bookstore Battle."

Also quoted was Barbara Meade, co-owner of Politics & Prose Bookstore, who wrote in the store's online newsletter, "We have never been tempted by the allure of corporate imperialism--invading new book markets, slashing prices, demolishing the competition, and then back to business as usual, poor inventory and poor customer service."

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Update on the sale of Just Books, Too, and neighboring Arcadia Coffee Company, Greenwich, Conn. The New York Times reported that owner Jenny Lawton "is talking to potential buyers about the bookstore and working with an investor group to keep Arcadia going. An April 23 benefit show to help the owners retire debt, featuring Jane Condon, a local comedian, is planned." 

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The owners of Acres of Books, the Long Beach, Calif., bookstore that has been a family business since 1934, have agreed to sell their building to the city's redevelopment agency and are indicating they will close the 12,000-sq.-ft. store, which until recently stocked a million new and used books, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Co-owner Jacqueline Smith told the paper, "I think it's very sad. But it's part of the ongoing culture and the changes with what people do in their free time . . . but also the rents, the redevelopment, the profit margins, it all just contributes."

Manager Raun Yankovich called Acres of Books "more than a bookstore. It's a place where the written word has a magical quality to it."

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During the past eight years, Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned just over $40 million from four books, according to the New York Times, which combed the tax returns going back to 2000 released by Senator Clinton's campaign at the end of last week.

Bill Clinton received a $15 million advance for his autobiography, My Life, and altogether brought in $29.6 million from that book and Giving, a book on philanthropy. Last year his take on Giving was $6.3 million; he gave $1 million of that amount to charity.

For her part, Hillary Clinton earned $10.5 million from Living History and It Takes a Village. She gave $1.1 million of her book proceeds to charity.

By comparison, Senator Barack Obama, author of Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, received more than $1.2 million in 2005 and $507,000 in 2006 from his books (Shelf Awareness, March 25, 2008).

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For the first time in a while, we have a report of a car crashing into a bookstore.

A driver who said she was trying to pull into a handicapped parking spot pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake and crashed through the window of a Barnes & Noble in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, going 40 feet through the cafe section, according to WOWT. Three people were treated for minor cuts and bruises.

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David Wolfson has been promoted to senior v-p, international sales, at HarperCollins. He joined the company in 1988 as an assistant in the sales department and held several positions before becoming responsible for all U.S. international sales in the early 1990s. Josh Marwell, president of sales, said that Wolfson "has built terrific relationships with accounts on six continents and become a leading advocate for U.S. export sales here at home." 

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Diana Calice has joined Independent Publishers Group as Spanish book specialist, responsible for marketing and sales of all Spanish-language publishers and titles. IPG distributes a range of Spanish-language publishers, including Blume, Combel Editorial, Villegas Editores and Thule Ediciones. The list features children's books, original works in Spanish and bestsellers in translation.

Most recently Calice worked at Barrons Educational Series and earlier was North American Spanish buyer for Borders and director of the Spanish-language market for Baker & Taylor.

Calice replaces Carolyn Ramirez, who had been with IPG since 2002 and helped launch the Spanish-language program. She is spending more time with her growing family.

 


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


Stovepipe Hat Ready?: PEN Invites Horsley to New York

It read like an early April Fool's item: on Tuesday, March 18, Sebastian Horsley, the British author, landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on his way to a party to celebrate the publication in the U.S. of his new memoir, Dandy in the Underworld (Harper Perennial, $13.95, 9780061461255/0061461253), but was denied entry. During eight hours of detention at the airport by U.S. customs officials, he was "questioned about his former drug addiction, use of prostitutes and activity as a male escort," the New York Times wrote.

A customs spokesperson explained to the Times that under a waiver program that allows British citizens to enter the U.S. without a visa, "travelers who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (which includes controlled-substance violations) or admit to previously having a drug addiction are not admissible."

Within days of the move, PEN American Center publicly protested the action. Now PEN has gone a step farther and invited Horsley to participate in two events at the World Voices Festival in New York City April 29-May 4. If admitted to the U.S., which he has visited six times without problems, Horsley would take part in The Mother: Award Winning Storytelling, on Thursday, May 1, and appear at the PEN Cabaret at Webster Hall on Saturday, May 3.

The Festival will feature more than 100 of "the world's most gifted writers" who will participate in 82 events in New York City as well as some in Albany, N.Y., Rochester, N.Y., and Boston, Mass. To see the entire festival schedule, click here:

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In Dandy in the Underworld, Horsley "writes of being raised by alcoholic, sexually promiscuous parents and bouncing through several schools," according to the Times. "He details a debauched life of cocaine, heroin, opium and amphetamine use, writing that he spent more than £100,000 (nearly $200,000) on crack cocaine and £100,000 to consort with more than 1,000 prostitutes. He also chronicles his trip to the Philippines to be hung from a cross, an event that was recorded by a photographer and videographer and formed part of an art exhibition that was extensively covered by the news media in his home country."

In some interviews in the U.K., he sounded coy about whether he had been quite so depraved. But to the Times, he said, "My story is completely true," adding, "God bless America, land of the free, but sadly not the land of the depraved." Referring to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, Horsley continued, "I'm not a politician, I'm an artist. Depravity is part of the job description."

It's not clear how much of the book Customs had read. Horsley may have stood because of his appearance: according to the Times, for his transatlantic flight, he wore a stovepipe hat a la Abraham Lincoln, "a three-piece suit by the Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson, a pink-and-gold-braid tie, a black velvet topcoat and fur-trimmed black leather gloves."

The outfit may have been provocative for edgy, suspicious Homeland Security types, but it did make for some humorous dialogue. Apparently when Horsley first arrived at the immigration kiosk, an official asked his girlfriend why he was wearing the stovepipe hat. Because he couldn't fit it in a suitcase, she said. The official also asked Horsley what was in his hat. "My head," he responded.

 


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


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Hans Blix, Douglas J. Feith

This morning on the Early Show: neocon Douglas J. Feith, author of War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism (Harper, $27.95, 9780060899738/0060899735). He will also appear on NPR's Morning Edition.

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This morning on the Today Show: David Bach, author of Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying (Broadway, $14.95, 9780767929738/076792973X).

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Today on the Diane Rehm Show: former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, author of Why Nuclear Disarmament Matters (MIT Press, $14.95, 9780262026444/0262026449).

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Part Two of a PBS series based on Cash-Rich Retirement: Use the Investing Techniques of the Mega-Wealthy to Secure Your Retirement Future by Jim Schlagheck (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312377403/0312377401) airs today.

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Today on Fresh Air: Julie Andrews, author of Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (Hyperion, $26.95, 9780786865659/0786865652).

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Tonight on the Colbert Report: Trevor Paglen, author of I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Killed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World (Melville House, $22.95, 9781933633329/1933633328).

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Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America:

  • Rosie O'Donnell, author of Rosie O'Donnell's Crafty U: 100 Easy Projects the Whole Family Can Enjoy All Year Long (S&S, $21.95, 9781416553410/141655341X).
  • Trisha Yearwood, author of Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes from My Family to Yours (Clarkson Potter, $29.95, 9780307381378/0307381374).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Marilu Henner, author of Wear Your Life Well: Use What You Have to Get What You Want (Collins, $24.95, 9780060393656/0060393653).

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Tomorrow morning on Imus in the Morning: Mary Higgins Clark, author of Where Are You Now? (S&S, $25.95, 9781416566380/1416566384).

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Tomorrow on NPR's Marketplace: Misha Glenny, author of McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (Knopf, $27.95, 9781400044115/1400044111).

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

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Cokie Roberts, author of Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation (Morrow, $26.95, 9780060782344/006078234X).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: former secretary of state Madeleine Albright discusses Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (HarperCollins, $26.95, 9780061351808/0061351806).

 


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


Books & Authors

Awards: E.B. White Read Aloud Winners

The Association of Booksellers for Children has announced the winners of the two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards:

For picture books: When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach and illustrated by David Small (S&S, $16.99), which ABC described as an "indie favorite about what happens on an otherwise normal day when stores begin giving away dinos with every purchase . . . The title received the most bookseller nominations of any picture book, and the committee loved the 'perfect combination of wonderful writing, whimsical illustration, and imaginative premise.' "

For older readers: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (Little, Brown & Co. Books for Young Readers, $16). ABC said, "This was a very strong year for middle grade and YA novels, with 28 titles nominated, but in the end the committee felt this quirky and adventurous story about four children who must undertake a perilous mission truly embodied the universal read-aloud qualities of E.B. White. With great characters, mystery, gadgets, smart heroes, and a deliciously evil antagonist, the committee loved the appeal of the story for a wide ranges of ages, and felt it was destined 'to become a classic.' "

The fifth annual awards will be presented during BookExpo America at ABC's Not a Dinner and (Mostly) Silent Auction on Friday, May 30, at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood.

 


Charlesbridge Publishing: Sumokitty by David Biedrzycki


Book Sense: May We Recommend

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

Hardcover

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Flying Dolphin, $22.95, 9780385521277/0385521278). "Can two young strangers who fall in love from a glance on a late-night subway overcome their less-than-ideal home situations to be together? Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward, has Maria and Sebastian tell their own stories in alternating chapters, as they take a chance on the possibility of love. Both adult and young adult readers will enjoy this fresh take on West Side Story."--Casey Carmolli, Briggs Carriage Bookstore, Brandon, Vt.

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas (National Geographic, $26, 9781426202131/142620213X). "Mark Lynas delineates, step by step, the consequences of global warming, until we hit possible ultimate destruction--the sixth degree. But this is only depressing if you don't feel empowered enough to help avert the crisis, and Six Degrees also offers numerous proactive steps for our salvation."--Myra Poe, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, Milwaukee, Wis.

Paperback

Calumet City by Charlie Newton (Touchstone, $14, 9781416533221/1416533222). "Charlie Newton's debut novel is a raw and gritty police noir. In the ghetto streets of Chicago, policewoman Patti Black is forced to confront her past (life in an abusive foster home) to solve three seemingly unrelated crimes. Hard to put down, Calumet City will draw you in to the very end."--Sue Richardson, Maine Coast Book Shop, Damariscotta, Me.

Children's Poetry

Oops! by Alan Katz, illustrated by Edward Koren (Margaret K. McElderry, $17.99, 9781416902041/141690204X). "This book of poems is amazing! They are well put together for young kids, with great pictures for each poem. If you have read Shel Silverstein and loved his poems, you'll enjoy this."--Heather Bentz, The Next Page Bookstore, Decatur, Ind.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]


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



Book Review

Mandahla: The Future of Love



The Saturday before September 11, Mark Adler takes his young daughter to the park. Having lost his job at an investment firm a year earlier, he's now the chief babysitter, bored, discontented and under pressure from his wife, Maggie, to set his sights farther than his current wine store job. He does have an interview scheduled Tuesday with Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center. Scheduled for the current day is an assignation with Sophie, his daughter's nursery school teacher.

Maggie, a book editor, is on her way to have tea with her mother, Antonia. After that, she resolves to get her house in order, literally and figuratively. Antonia, a widow, decides to tell Maggie about Sam, a retired publisher and her lover. He loves Antonia in return but is tied to his wife of 45 years or, more precisely, to his estate and his beloved garden. Arty and Gregory, partners for decades, live in Antonia's co-op, and are her dear and best friends. Gregory's niece, Candace, is in love with Sam's granddaughter Alison. Sam's wife, Edith, is completely opposed to the commitment ceremony Candace and Alison have planned. There are a few other characters, notably Edith's cousins, the twins Viv and Adri, dotty old-maid hypochondriacs. Amazingly they all fit together with precision and depth as Abbott explores their inner lives and the ways they seek connection.

When the September 11 attacks occur, Mark has stopped at Trinity Church to get a spiritual boost before his interview. He runs from the carnage to Sophie's apartment in Astoria. He decides he'll pretend to be dead. "[He] had an opportunity to be elsewhere, to be other, to be antimatter, the positive image of his old negative self. Did he have the courage?" He speculates about the people for whom this event has created a new life and rationalizes that his life insurance payout will offset his demise. Meanwhile, Maggie is searching for him, anguished, taping up posters, but at some point she comes to the realization that he's on the lam, not dead. His appointment wasn't until 10 a.m.

In the year that follows, these intertwined people try to set things right, try to create a new life or hold on to an old one. Shirley Abbott explores the rationalizations, the heartbreaks, the ways we craft love in the face of obstacles and lies. The Future of Love is about commitment and the small mercies we can give to each other.--Marilyn Dahl

 


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