Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 29, 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

Letters

Literary Word Play: Type Or Drawl Airly

Jean Lambert Ross, branch administrator of the Potomac Library of the Prince William Public Library System in Virginia, writes:

I enjoyed the advice in yesterday's Shelf Awareness about what to do when trapped for 16 hours in a plane with nothing to read but also have one idea to add that has never failed me for self-entertainment. Think of the title of book, preferably one with only two or three words (for example, The Great Gatsby) and write the title on a scrap of paper. Then challenge yourself to see how many words you can make out of the letters in that title. (Rat; sat, bat; bye; gag; stab; stay; and on and on.) This killed three hours for me once when trapped with nothing to read while waiting for a ride. Enjoy!

 


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


News

Notes: Bookstore Scam Redux; Friedman, Perl in New Roles

The scam works this way: a man impersonating an author who has an event scheduled soon at a bookstore calls the store and tells of having his car impounded and needing to have money wired to him immediately to get it back. Last year (Shelf Awareness, December 8, 2007), John Evans of Diesel: A Bookstore, with shops in Oakland and Malibu, Calif., outlined his brush with being conned. Today the Los Angeles Times calls in an update, finding that the hoax has been attempted--ultimately unsuccessfully--at Vroman's Books, Pasadena, and Skylight Books, Los Angeles, too.

Skylight's Kerry Slattery commented: "They're like con men. They draw you in, and later you just feel so foolish."

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In other news from the area, we're happy to note that Lise Friedman, longtime promotional director of Dutton's Brentwood, which is near closing, and president of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association for eight years, will become a sales rep for Macmillan, replacing Marshall Presnick. She starts officially on May 12.

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Yesterday's New York Times offered a lot of facts about a little-known part of Barnes & Noble, Quamut.com, "the go to how to" website that offers free information as well as downloadable documents for a fee.

"For instance," the Times wrote, "users who want to know how to make sushi can browse through 15 pages of information, like 'how to make sushi rice,' or can copy and print the information themselves. But Quamut sells a more polished version in a six-page color document for about $3. The document, in PDF, is without ads 'and all the junk on the sides,' said Daniel Weiss, Quamut's publisher and managing director."

Quamut has about 1,000 such documents, some of which are sold in stores, in laminated form, for about $6.

Here's an interesting fact: one of Quamut's major competitor's is the Times's own About.com. (That information comes to you free.)

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Effective June 1, Hampton Roads Publishing Company will be the exclusive worldwide distributor of the Witches' Almanac, Ltd., whose main title, The Witches' Almanac, has sold two million copies since its founding in 1971 by Elizabeth Pepper.

The annual is, Hampton Roads said, "a compendium of ancient lore and legend the indispensable guide and delightful companion for adept occultists, witch and mortal alike. The almanac contains herbal secrets, advice about animals, mystic incantations, sacred rituals and many curious tales of good and evil!"

The Witches' Almanac backlist brew includes Magic Charms from A to Z, Moon Lore, Celtic Tree Magic, Magical Creatures, Magic Spells and Incantations, Witches All and Greek Gods in Love.

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Effective May 19, Liz Perl is joining Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing as senior v-p, marketing. Since 2005, she has been v-p and publisher of Rodale Books and Rodale International and director of Rodale DVD. Before that, she worked at Penguin Group 11 years, originally as executive director of publicity for several imprints, then as v-p, director of marketing and associate publisher Riverhead, Perigee and HP Books. Earlier she was director of publicity for Avon Books and publicity manager at HarperCollins.

Her new boss, Michael Selleck, executive v-p of sales and marketing, said that Perl's "ability to think big-picture and create marketing campaigns that build brands through nontraditional means will be invaluable as we seek new ways to generate consumer awareness and sales for our books."

 


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


Cool Idea of the Day: Pop-Up Bookstore

If readers won't come into bookstores, then perhaps bookstores will just have to go to them. The Age reported that Australian bookshop owner Andrew Ball "was struck by figures that showed only 18% of Australians would ever venture into a shop such as his, so he devised a way to take such shops to the remaining 82%."

His solution? A portable bookshop that, "like a market stall . . . unfolds in the morning and refolds at night." The first store in Melbourne "has been licensed to self-confessed classics fanatic Ross Matthews and Ball hopes once the project is refined, it will go further--a series of mobile bookshops taken to fairs, markets and even country towns too small to support a bookshop in their own right."

According to Ball, "The city used to have a lot of bookshops, but rising rents have forced them out. Also there are a lot of people out there who would like to run a bookshop but are put off by the upfront costs, which can start at $100,000."

 


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


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Music Critic Lloyd Schwartz on Elizabeth Bishop

Today on Fresh Air: Lloyd Schwartz, the show's classical music critic and editor with Robert Giroux of Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters (Library of America, $40, 9781598530179/1598530178).

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Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Joan Anderson, author of The Second Journey: The Road Back to Yourself (Hyperion, $23.95, 9781401303396/1401303390).

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Tomorrow morning's Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., features an interview with Leif Enger, author of So Brave, Young, and Handsome (Atlantic Monthly, $24, 9780871139856/0871139855).

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

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Tomorrow on NPR's Tell Me More: Jimmy Carter, author of A Remarkable Mother (S&S, $22.95, 9781416562450/1416562451), talks about his late mother, Lillian Carter, whose Away From Home: Letters to My Family (S&S, $12, 9781416576600/1416576606) has been reprinted.

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Tomorrow on On Point: Peter Moskos, author of Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District (Princeton University Press, $24.95, 9780691126555/0691126550).

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Tomorrow on the Martha Stewart Show: Mario Batali, author of Italian Grill (Ecco, $29.95, 9780061450976/0061450979). He will also appear tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman.

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Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: a Readers Review of All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren.

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Tomorrow night on Larry King Live: Rachael Ray, author of Yum-o! The Family Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $22.50, 9780307407269/0307407268).

 


Charlesbridge Publishing: Sumokitty by David Biedrzycki



Books & Authors

Awards: Winners of Nebula; Triangle; Eric Hoffer

This year's Nebula Awards, sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, were announced this past weekend at the Nebula Awards banquet in Austin, Tex.:

  • Novel: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins)
  • Novella: "Fountain of Age" by Nancy Kress (Asimov's, July 2007)
  • Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 2007)
  • Short Story: "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler (Asimov's, May 2007)
  • Scripts: Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro
  • Andre Norton Award: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic)

Among other honors:

  • British author and Austin-area resident Michael Moorcock was named the Damon Knight Grand Master.
  • Fantasy and science fiction writer Ardath Mayhar was honored as Author Emeritus.
  • Melisa Michaels and Graham P. Collins were given 2008 SFWA Service Awards for the work they have done over the years on the SFWA website.

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The winners of the Triangle Awards were celebrated last night:

  • Thom Gunn Poetry Award for Gay Poetry (a tie):  Steve Fellner, author of Blind Date with Cavafy (Marsh Hawk Press), and Daniel Hall, author of Under Sleep (University of Chicago Press)
  • The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry: Joan Larkin, author of My Body (Hanging Loose Press)
  • The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction: Janet Malcolm, author of Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice (Yale University Press)
  • The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction: Michael Rowe, author of Other Men's Sons (Cormorant Books)
  • The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction: Myriam Gurba, author of Dahlia Season (Manic D Press)
  • The Ferro-Grumley Awards for LGBT Fiction (two winners): Peter Cameron, author of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (Frances Foster Books/FSG), and Ali Leibegott, author of The IHOP Papers (Carroll & Graf)
  • The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement: Katherine V. Forrest, as noted here last month (Shelf Awareness, March 19, 2008).

The organization also gave special Leadership Awards to Richard Labonte and Carol Seajay, "both for their individual contributions over the years and for their work publishing the e-newsletter Books to Watch Out For. Begun in 2003, Books to Watch Out For features short reviews and announcements of the best new lesbian and gay books, as well as relevant news and 'good gossip' from the bookselling, publishing, and writing communities."

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Winners of the 2008 Eric Hoffer Award for independent books were announced, including three recipients of the newly-established Montaigne Medal:

  • Long Shadows, edited by David Giffey (Atwood Publishing)
  • The Aesthetics of Equity by Craig L. Wilkins (University of Minnesota Press)
  • You Will Die by Robert R. Arthur (Suburra Publishing)
This year's Hoffer award winners by category:
  • Grand Prize: Thought to Exist in the Wild by Derrick Jensen, photographs by Karen Tweedy-Holms (No Voice Unheard)
  • Academic Press: Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible by Karel van der Toorn (Harvard University Press)
  • Small Press: Lasting Contribution by Tad Waddington (Agate B2 Books)
  • Micro Press: Clown Girl by Monica Drake (Hawthorne Books)
  • Self-Published: Thinking Organized for Parents and Children by Rhona M. Gordon (Thinking Organized Press)
  • Art: In New Mexico Light by Douglas Kent Hall (Museum of New Mexico)
  • Poetry: Dismal Rock by Davis McCombs (Tupelo Press)
  • General Fiction: Migration Patterns by Gary Schanbacher (Fulcrum Publishing)
  • Commercial Fiction: Discipline by Paco Ahlgren (Greenleaf Book Group)
  • Children's: Priscilla McDoodleNut DoodleMcMae Asks Why? by Janet Mary Sinke (My Grandma and Me Publishers)
  • Young Adult: Runt the Hunted by Daniel Schwabauer (Clear Water Press)
  • Culture: Reflections in a Critical Eye by Jan Whitt (University Press of America)
  • Memoir: Crossing the Sands by Ariane Audouin-Dubreuil (Dalton Watson Fine Books)
  • Business: Spiritual Capitalism by Peter Ressler and Monika Mitchell Ressler (Chilmark Books)
  • Reference: The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard (Belknap Press)
  • Home: Celebrate . . . Italian Style by Jacqueline Miconi (AuthorHouse)
  • Health: A Life Unburdened by Richard Morris (New Trends Publishing)
  • Self-Help/Spiritual: How Big Is Your God by Paul Coutinho, S.J. (Loyola Press)
  • Legacy: One Man's War by Dan A. Baker and Tommy LaMore (Taylor Trade Publishing)

 


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


Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected titles appearing next Tuesday, May 6:

Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters (Knopf, $29.95, 9780307266460/030726646X) explores the life and career of a legendary television journalist.

Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History by Ted Sorenson (Harper, $27.95, 9780060798710/0060798718) is a memoir by the confidant of and speechwriter for President Kennedy.

Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers
by Lt. Lynn "Buck" Compton and Marcus Brotherton (Berkley, $24.95, 9780425219706/0425219704) provides a personal account of Easy Company, part of the famous 101st Airborne Division. Includes a foreword by Senator John McCain.

Secrets: A Novel by Jude Deveraux (Atria, $25.95, 9780743437189/0743437187) follows a young woman who tracks down her childhood love interest.

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs (Putnam, $24.95, 9780399154652/0399154655) tells the story of a frustrated chef and mother who teaches her family to cook on a live TV show.

Phantom Prey by John Sandford (Putnam, $26.95, 9780399155000/0399155007) is the newest thriller with investigator Lucas Davenport.

The Host: A Novel
by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316068048/0316068047) takes place in a future where Earth has been invaded by parasitic aliens who control most of humanity.

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris (Ace, $24.95, 9780441015894/0441015891) is the eighth Southern Vampire mystery.

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown, $25, 9780307394958/0307394956) follows German refugees as they flee the advancing Red Army in 1945.

Careless in Red: A Novel by Elizabeth George (Harper, $27.95, 9780061160875/0061160873) is the newest mystery with Thomas Lynley, an investigator for Scotland Yard.

Always By My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other by Jim Nantz (Gotham, $26, 9781592403615/1592403611) explores the influence of Nantz's father on his career as a sports commentator.

The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport
by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf, $22, 9780307266538/0307266532) chronicles a man's return to golfing after a 32-year absence.

The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science--A Memoir by Jill Price and Bart Davis (Free Press, $26, 9781416561767/1416561765) examines the first ever case of hyperthymestic syndrome.

The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg (Knopf, $24, 9781400040407/140004040X) concludes a trilogy of family stories.

The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource by Jeffrey Gitomer (Collins, $29.95, 9780061379406/0061379409) is a new edition that updates the popular business book with 13 years worth of new information.

Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story by Ricardo S. Sanchez and Donald T. Phillips (Harper, $26.95, 9780061562426/0061562424) is a memoir by the retired Army general who was commander of armed forces in Iraq 2003-2004.

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester (Harper, $27.95, 9780060884598/0060884592) chronicles the work of Joseph Needham, the Cambridge University professor who traveled and documented areas of China largely unknown to outsiders in the 1940s.

Wake Up to Your Weight Loss: Using the Art of Personal Narrative to Achieve Your Best Body by Alyson Mead (A Storied Life, $15.95, 9781427611000/1427611009) offers a step-by-step method to help identify emotional problems beneath overeating, provide motivation for exercise and "rewrite the story of your life."


New in paperback:

The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares (Riverhead, $14, 9781594483080/1594483086).

The Hollow (Sign of Seven Trilogy, Book 2)
by Nora Roberts (Jove, $7.99, 9780515144598/0515144592).

 


Book Review

Book Review: The White Tiger

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Free Press, $26.00 Hardcover, 9781416562597, April 2008)



The narrator of Aravind Adiga's hilarious, morally-complicated tale is a self-confessed murderer, and he wants you to like him.

Balram Halwai is a wily kid from a backward village in North India who's lived a life of brutal poverty and is determined to succeed as a rich man's driver in the ruthless, crowded chaos of New Delhi. Balram likes to call himself an entrepreneur, which means he's a hustler. He hustles for a living, and he's hustling you, the reader, as he tells his story. You can't help but laugh as you see through him, but Balram wants you to be on his side, and before long you are. By page 36 of The White Tiger you know that the narrator will slit his master's throat. The confounding thing is that, the farther you read, the more you discover that the master is the one character who is kind to Balram!

The writing is so natural and laugh-out-loud funny that the book zips along, exhilaratingly satirical with a stinging bite, just pissed-off enough. Though you know the one chilling fact about the ending, you don't know the when, why or how. For the last hundred pages I made everyone around me miserable, pacing and gasping, because I couldn't put it down.

Adiga lets you inside Balram's mind so that you grow to love him, and when he misbehaves you suffer and worry and sweat. You will never forget the murder scene--and neither will the poor people trapped on the bus with me. It's one of the best first novels in years, comparable with Mohsin Hamid's little masterpiece, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, an angry political novel presented as a word-perfect satirical delight, a banquet of moral complexity that will keep you laughing and thinking long after it's finished.--Nick DiMartino

 


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