Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Simon & Schuster: Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era by Jerry Mitchell

Sfi Readerlink Dist: Sesame Street: The Monster at the End of This Book: An Interactive Adventure by Jon Stone, adapted by Autumn B Heath

Minotaur Books: The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

Tor Books: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

DK: Free Pack of The Wonders of Nature Wrapping Paper - Click to Sign Up!

Quotation of the Day

Buffalo's Cool Idea: 'Give a Book. Change a Life'

"Two of the best possible gifts for children, I'm convinced, are the love of reading and the presence of books in the home. This is true now, in the Internet Age, every bit as much as it was in the 1970s when I got to know Hamlet and Macbeth. In fact, it may be more valuable now than ever, since reading develops a child's attention span, balancing the effects of the fast-flickering digital world that 21st century children increasingly live in."--Margaret Sullivan in her Buffalo News piece about the 14th annual Books for Kids drive. Inspired by the slogan, "Give a Book. Change a Life," participants have provided 1.4 million books to western New York's needy children. 


G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks


Notes: Publisher Checks Accuracy; Rowling Testifies

Lonely Planet "stands by the accuracy of its travel guides" in the wake of claims by one of its authors that "he plagiarized and invented sections of the books," according to the International Herald Tribune.

The tempest brewed over the weekend when Australia's Herald Sun and Sunday Telegraph quoted the writer, Thomas Kohnstamm, saying "he made up parts of the books he wrote, lifted information from other publications and accepted gifts in contravention of Lonely Planet's policies." Kohnstamm has since backed away from his claims, telling the Associated Press that his remarks were "taken out of context."

Lonely Planet publisher Piers Pickard said the company is reviewing books Kohnstamm contributed to, but has thus far found no inaccuracies.


At Cheesecake and Crime Mystery Bookshop and Cheesecake Joint, Henderson, Nev., owners Lendall and Pamela Mains combined their avocations to create "one unique niche in the retail market," according to the Rebel Yell.

"I never thought I would [open a bookstore]," Pamela said. "I was pretty young and the boys were all grown up, and I was just deciding what I wanted to do." When she began thinking about the bookshop, "it occurred to her to include her husband's unique cheesecake," the Rebel Yell noted, adding that Lendall is "an architect by day and a baker by night."

"We want to be unique, but we also want to grow," he said. "There is nothing like a good cheesecake, and we have the number one genre of books, which is mystery crime thrillers, and the number one dessert and they go well together." The shop also sponsors Three Square, "an organization that looks to end hunger in our community."


"Have you ever testified in a court proceeding of any kind?" her lawyer asked.
"No," she replied.
"Are you nervous?" the lawyer followed.
"Yes," Ms. Rowling answered.

It may sound like dialogue from an episode of Law and Order, but this snippet comes from the New York Times report on J.K. Rowling's testimony in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday.

The Associated Press (via WCBS-TV) opted for a more emotional sampling: "Rowling said she has stopped work on a new novel because the lawsuit in federal court has 'decimated my creative work over the last month. . . . When Dale Cendali, Rowling's lawyer, asked how she felt about Harry, [she] choked up and replied: 'I really don't want to cry.'" 


Calling the piece "Your Papal Homework Assignment," Slate offered a reading list of books, articles and websites about Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church to help readers prepare for the pontiff's visit to the U.S.


The Guardian featured an Arabic literature reading list, noting that, "Despite the many obstacles it faces--censorship, a lack of translations, exile--Arabic literature has never been more vital. As the London Book Fair this week celebrates publishing from Arab countries, we asked authors and critics about the challenges of writing today and which works they think the world should have the chance to read."


"As I was walking down New York's Fifth Avenue last week, I noticed (couldn't help but) the Mitchell Report walking toward me," Martin Levin wrote in the Toronto Globe & Mail, then explained his intriguing lead: "Okay, it wasn't the actual report, but its human personification and impetus--one Jose Canseco, the oversized former slugger who has admitted to taking steroids, to seeing teammates take them, even to hooking them up with willing trainers. It was Topic One in all hot-stove leagues this winter." Now that Opening Day is behind us, Levin showcases a selection of new baseball books.


Once upon a rap . . . Snoop Dog is planning to release an urban-themed, illustrated children's book series, Where's the Cheese, according to


Did Leonardo da Vinci provide the illustrations for De Ludo Scachorum (The Game of Chess) by Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan friar and Renaissance mathematician who was also Leonardo's friend and collaborator? The New York Times reported that the Coronini Cronberg Foundation "enlisted Franco Rocco, an Italian architect and sculptor whose work has puzzlelike qualities, to examine the book and its illustrations. After a year of study he determined that Leonardo created the design on which the illustrations are based, possibly by building a chess set."

Oxford University art history professor Martin Kemp, "a prominent Leonardo expert, has dismissed the claim. "There is not an earthly chance of them being by Leonardo," he said. "It is not improbable of him being interested in [chess], but whether he had the patience to sit for hours and play, there is some doubt."

His final word on the subject? "The silly season on Leo never closes."


Effective April 30, Karen Patterson is joining Sterling as v-p, trade and institutional sales, where her responsibilities will include sales to independent bookstores, national accounts, wholesale clubs and libraries. She has been v-p, director of sales, for Random House, responsible for sales to Barnes & Noble, including B& and B&N College Stores. Earlier she was a buyer for B&N and Encore Books and director of merchandising for B&N.


Effective immediately, Phaidon Press has named Patty Goldstein Northeast sales representative and Risa Kahn West Coast sales representative.

Goldstein will work from Phaidon's New York office and be responsible for sales in New York City and Long Island, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and southern New Jersey. She has more than 15 years of experience in domestic and international sales, and was most recently sales coordinator at Informa Healthcare Publishing. Before that, she was sales manager for the U.S. and Canada for Putumayo World Music.

Kahn will be based in Los Angeles and will be responsible for major markets on the West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Denver. She was most recently manager of the Taschen Hollywood store. Before that, she worked in the sales department of Taschen America.

Faherty & Associates will continue to represent Phaidon Press to selected accounts on the West Coast.


KidsBuzz for the Week of 10.14.19

Image of the Day: A Guy Named Faulks Day

Yesterday at the London Book Fair: Dee Robinson, co-owner of Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., with Sebastian Faulks, who at a later fair event, interviewed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. (Admirably Brown had read several of Faulks's books.) Robinson is one of a group of U.S. booksellers visiting the fair, a group that includes Neil Van Umm, owner of Joseph-Beth Group (center, in the background).


GLOW: St. Martin's Press: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Harlan Coben

This morning on the Early Show: Harlan Coben, author of Hold Tight (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525950608/0525950605).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Jack Goldsmith, author of The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration (Norton, $25.95, 9780393065503/0393065502).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Luca Turin, author of Perfumes: The Guide (Viking, $27.95, 9780670018659/0670018651).


Tomorrow morning's Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., features two interviews:

  • Michael K. Steinberg, author of Stalking the Ghost Bird: The Elusive Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Louisiana (Louisiana State University Press, $24.95, 9780807133057/0807133051)
  • Danny Heitman, author of A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House (Louisiana State University Press, $26.95, 9780807133309/0807133302)

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


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Noah Feldman, author of The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State (Princeton University Press, $22.95, 9780691120454/0691120455).


Tomorrow on Oprah: Maria Shriver, author of Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within. (Hyperion, $14.95, 9781401323189/1401323189).


Tomorrow on NPR's Talk of the Nation: John W. Dean, author of Pure Goldwater (Palgrave Macmillan, $27.95, 9781403977410/1403977410).


Tomorrow on the Tavis Smiley Show: Steve Coll, author of The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (Penguin Press, $35, 9781594201646/1594201641).


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Firewatching by Russ Thomas

Television: Walt Whitman in Prime Time

A genuine American Idol appeared on prime time TV last night in Walt Whitman, an American Experience series film on PBS. Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper told USA Today that reading the poet's works seemed a bit daunting at first: "I was a little intimidated. Poetry is not something I've done before. Getting groups of words or even singular words the full import was a challenge. And to make it very intimate. (Whitman) wanted it to be more intimate."

The film is narrated by J.K. Simmons, with readings and commentary by poets and scholars accompanying contemporary photographs.

According to Cooper, the beauty of Whitman's work is that "One hundred years later, he's talking to the person of the future."


Arcadia Publishing: Stock Your Shelves!

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 22:

So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel
by Leif Enger (Atlantic Monthly, $24, 9780871139856/0871139855) recounts the journey of a failed novelist and an outlaw from Minnesota to Mexico during the early 20th century.

The Whole Truth by David Baldacci (Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446195973/0446195979) follows government and media leaders during a geopolitical crisis.

The House at Riverton: A Novel by Kate Morton (Atria, $24.95, 9781416550518/1416550518) follows the servant of a struggling English family during World War I.

by Iris Johansen (St. Martin's, $26.95, 9780312368067/0312368062) is the 12th novel featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan.

Santa Fe Dead by Stuart Woods (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399154904/0399154906) is the third thriller with attorney Ed Eagle.

The Third Circle by Amanda Quick (Putnam, $24.95, 9780399154843/0399154841) is the fourth entry in the Arcane Society series.

Willie Nelson: An Epic Life by Joe Nick Patoski (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316017787/0316017787) chronicles the life and career of a cultural icon.


Grove Press, Black Cat: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Shelf Sample: The Warrior

The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War (Viking, $21.95, 9780670019618/0670019615, April 10, 2008), is a slim collection of poems that has a decided impact on the heart. The author, Frances Richey, is a poet and a yoga instructor. The fact that her son Ben, whom she raised by herself, graduated from West Point, became a Green Beret and served two tours in Iraq, could be made much of--she is opposed to the war, for instance--but she has something more to write about than their differences in outlook. She is a mother who misses her son, who worries about him, who wants to understand him.  In the 28 poems that constitute The Warrior, she charts her terror--"The vertigo started in March/when he told me/he would be deployed"--and her hope with a fierce love.
Last Mother's Day, when
he was incommunicado,
nothing came.
Three days later, a message
in my box; a package,
the mail room closed.
I went into the lobby,
banged my fist against
the desk. When they
gave it to me, I clutched it
to my chest, sobbing
like an animal.
I spoke to no one,
did not apologize.
I didn't care about the gift.
It was the note I wanted,
the salt from his hand,
the words.

--Marilyn Dahl


Berkley Books: Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin

Deeper Understanding

Bookselling in the Recession: Spotty Dog Having Its Day

Along with the two products touted in its name, the Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, N.Y., sells art supplies and toys as well as coffee and food in its café. "Being diversified is key to cultivating different audiences for the store," said proprietor Kelley Drahushuk, who described sales as steady.

Located in a scenic area two hours north of New York City, Hudson is known for its plethora of antiques stores. "I'm sure they would feel a pinch way before I would because they sell high-end merchandise," Drahushuk said. "We carry a range of things. If you come in here, regardless of your financial situation, you can probably afford to buy something whether it's a coffee or a beer or a $75 book."

While Spotty Dog Books & Ale customers might not feel a need to curb their book buying, they do seem to have an eye on cost-saving measures in other areas. The store is located some 30 miles from the nearest large town or shopping mall, and rising gas prices appear to be leading consumers to make more purchases closer to home. "People are thinking twice about getting in their cars, and they're more willing to do things in town," Drahushuk said.

Environmentally-focused titles are among the store's top sellers, including Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time by David Johnston and Kim Master (New Society). "There are a lot of people remodeling houses, and I think they're looking to save on things like heating," Drahushuk said. Another book doing well is Storey Publishing's Country Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land--customers often buy multiple copies.

Drahushuk credits community involvement with helping the Spotty Dog Books & Ale stay in the black. In addition to hosting three in-store book clubs and offering the café as a gathering place for other area reading groups to meet, the store supplies titles for two community-sponsored book clubs. Upcoming events include Girls' Night Out the evening before Mother's Day, along with appearances by local scribe James Howard Kunstler, author of the novel World Made By Hand, and Michael Ballon, author of Castle Street Café Cookbook and a chef whose Berkshires restaurant focuses on fare made from locally grown produce.

For its young clientele, the store had craft time every Sunday in March for the second year in a row. And when the only toy store in town closed, Drahushuk stocked up on gift items like Melissa & Doug merchandise and arts and crafts kits for children. "We're constantly offering more to the public and trying new things," she said. "So far, knock on wood, we haven't had a slowdown."--Shannon McKenna Schmidt


KidsBuzz: Bloomsbury Children's Books:  Spies, Lies, and Disguise: The Daring Tricks and Deeds That Won World War II by Jennifer Swanson, illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
KidsBuzz: Bloomsbury Children's Books: More Than a Princess by E.D. Baker
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