Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 5, 2008


Grove Atlantic: The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom

Feiwel & Friends: A Delayed Life: The True Story of the Librarian of Auschwitz by Dita Kraus

New Directions: Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet

Workman Publishing: Real Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation (Second Edition, Revised) by Sharon Salzberg

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Jim Rugg

Clarion Books: The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story by Kate Milford

Quotation of the Day

Shakespeare & Co. Paris: Living 'Inside a Book'

"Sometimes you just want to live inside a book. In Paris this can happen quite literally, thanks to what might be the world's most exciting bookshop: Shakespeare and Company. . . . The ethos is as it ever was--two floors of books of every kind, new and second-hand, and a library for browsers, along with a piano if you feel like playing it. . . . staffed by fresh-faced and optimistic twentysomethings from around the world, who work in the shop for a few hours a day, and undertake to read a book every day too, in return for a bed every night. No need to sleep with a book under your pillow when your book is a pillow; there are 11 beds hidden in the bookshop itself, like secret finds in a child's puzzle. By day they are neat and discreet, by night, not just ZZZZs but all the letters of the alphabet swarm above the heads of the hard-working dreamers."--Jeanette Winterson in the Times of London.

 


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News

Notes: Potter Sputter; Caravan Rolling; New 007 Mission

Poof. For the first time since 1998, there are no Harry Potter titles on the New York Times bestseller list, the Times noted. The Harry pileup on the hardcover fiction list led to several changes of the paper's bestsellers, including the creation of a separate children's list.

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The Guardian surveys the effect of POD on publishing, focusing on Faber and Faber's new Faber Finds imprint, which relies on POD "to make available a large number of titles which until now have been out of print."

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Jackson Street Books, Seattle, Wash., is closing at the end of May, owner Tammy and Dan Domike, said in their newsletter. They have sold their home and are moving to the Washington coast, where they will continue to sell books online through abebooks.com and biblio.com and possibly "an alternative website."

The pair founded the store, which has offered new and used books, "emphasizing good literature, progressive politics, and, of course, books about baseball," in 2004. In the newsletter, they said that the "most obvious" reason for closing is that "we just haven't had the sales we need to sustain ourselves and make a living. In fact, we probably should have closed earlier than this, but we kept thinking we would turn the corner and start making a little bit of money. Alas, it never happened."

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Books-A-Million has signed leases to open two more stores.

In Murfreesboro, Tenn., near Nashville, BAM will open in the Stones River Mall, which is located on Old Fort Parkway off Interstate 24. This will be the company's 16th store in Tennessee.

The company is also opening a store in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Westgate Shopping Center, on Center Ridge Road and West 210th Street. This will be BAM's sixth store in Ohio.

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NACS's Campus Marketplace outlines a new pilot program that involves the Caravan Project and 14 college stores. In the first part of the program, the stores will have marketing and education materials by June so they can "experiment with delivering Caravan books for the fall" and suggest and make modifications, as needed. In the second part of the pilot, in the fall some 20 stores will sell Caravan titles, which are nonfiction and available in a range of formats, including traditional book, e-book, digital download, audio and more.

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The Nuyorican Poets Café celebrated its 35th anniversary over the weekend, and NY1 News interviewed a number of participating poets as well as fans of the venue that "has provided a voice, a stage and a source of inspiration."

"Finding the Nuyorican is like finding my grandmother," said Diana Gitesha Hernandez, who has been performing there for decades. "You know, like really getting in touch with my roots."

Added founder Miguel Algarin: "Poetry is not something you study on the page. It is something that lives and breathes with you."

"This is home," said Carlos Andres Gomez. "This is the Yankee Stadium of poetry and theater and art."

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Prepare to be shaken and stirred by a year-long celebration of the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth. According to U.S. News & World Report, novels featuring James Bond have sold more than 100 million copies and films based on those books have grossed almost $4.5 billion.

To celebrate this cultural phenomenon, "Britain is pulling out all the stops--like so many Taittinger champagne corks--with a series of special events and memorials, including a Goldfinger golf tournament, a gala charity concert, and the issuing of six Royal Mail stamps featuring covers of some of the most popular Bond books."

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Juiced, Vindicated, then disregarded? Sports Illustrated was on the scene for a booksigning by one of baseball's most legendary and notorious steroid users, Jose Canseco, who showed up for a less than dynamic event at a Costco in Van Nuys, Calif.:

"Canseco, wearing a black biker jacket and jeans and hiding behind a tilted gray cap and sunglasses, is holding a pen, ready to sign a table full of his books. Most of the customers, however, seem more interested in the items around him--the discounted computer screens in front of him, the family portrait set to his left and the tub of Red Vines behind him."

Canseco's next project? He's apparently planning a novel about cloning. "It's going to be a dark sci-fi story," he said. "It's certainly where we're heading in baseball."

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Effective May 19, Sue Dasse is joining Hastings Entertainment as v-p of stores. She was formerly v-p of store operations, Catherines Plus Sizes, and earlier was v-p of store operations at Waldenbooks and senior v-p of stores for Borders Specialty Retail.

In a statement, Hastings chairman and CEO John H. Marmaduke said that Dasse "brings a wealth of experience, love of books, and a passion for retailing that will add value to our associates and stores."

 


Soho Press: The Seep by Chana Porter


Image of the Day: Mystery Writers' Blue Religion

At the Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book a weekend ago, four contributors to the Mystery Writers of America anthology The Blue Religion, flanked Lita Weissman, district marketing manager at Borders in Southern California. From l. to r.: Michael Connelly, Paula Woods, Weissman, Peter Robinson and T. Jefferson Parker.

We offer a special congratulations to Weissman, who on Friday had her last day of chemotherapy for breast cancer and has been back at work parttime for several months now.

 


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Providence by Max Barry


Bookselling in the Recession: Copperfield's Highs and Lows

After experiencing the best year in its history in 2007, Copperfield's Books is having mixed results at its eight stores in California's Napa and Sonoma counties. "The last few months have been challenging," said CEO Tom Montan. "There was a huge housing boom here for many years, and the bottom has pretty much fallen out. We're feeling the impact of that for sure."

Sales at the company's online operation and its two stores that sell only used books have grown. In contrast, sales at some of the six retail locations that sell new books and merchandise have slipped even as traffic has increased. "People have been in shopping, but they aren't necessarily buying," said Montan. "We saw it first in our more metro area stores, while in the smaller stores we were feeling it less and later."

The company's response? "We're expanding," Montan said. The 1,800-sq.-ft. Healdsburg outpost "in the heart of wine country"--Copperfield's smallest store--will jump to 4,700 square feet by mid-June. Right after that, Copperfield's will expand the storefront in Santa Rosa by 2,000 square feet.

In part to improve margins, Copperfield's has shifted also merchandise selection. "We are certainly a tried and true bookseller, but we're also trying to bring in other things that will hedge those margins for us," Montan said. Some 15% of the merchandise in the six general interest stores is now sidelines--such as soaps and bath salts, tote bags, note cards and wine-themed gift items--while another 10% is remainders. Customers seem pleased with the change. "For us it's not just about margins, it's about marketing as well," Montan said. "The feedback I've been getting is that people love to shop in our stores because there are a variety of things they can look for, and it becomes a full shopping experience for them."

One thing book buyers are not cutting back on is hardcover fiction; sales are even with the first few months of last year, noted Copperfield's buyer Ty Wilson. There has been a decrease in sales of real estate titles, while more customers are asking for books on finance and budgeting like Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ: Get Smarter with Your Money by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Along with the juggernauts The Last Lecture and A New Earth, other notable titles for Copperfield's are David Cay Johnston's Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) and Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father.

Despite the current economic climate, Montan sees a bright future for the business. "We can't ignore the news, which has been nothing but doom and gloom. That does tend to pale people's perspectives," he said. "But we're in a resilient community, and books are here to stay. I don't have any fear of that at all."--Shannon McKenna Schmidt

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Barbara Walters on Oprah

This morning on the Today Show: 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).

Also on Today: Yehuda Berg, author of The Spiritual Rules of Engagement: How Kabbalah Can Help Your Soul Mate Find You (Kabbalah Publishing, $12.95, 9781571895929/1571895922).

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Today on the Rachael Ray Show (demonstrating unusual recipes?): Bear Grylls, author of Man vs. Wild: Survival Techniques from the Most Dangerous Places on Earth (Hyperion, $25.95, 9781401322939/140132293X). He will also appear tonight on Larry King Live.

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Today on Fresh Air: Charles Ardai, the founder of Hard Case Crime, which reprints classic crime fiction and publishes new fiction with pulpy cover art from the heyday of the genre. Ardai also writes for the imprint under the name Richard Aleas.

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Today on NPR's On Point: Carl Hiaasen, author of The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport (Knopf, $22, 9780307266538/0307266532). He will also appear tonight on the Colbert Report.

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Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Yasmina Reza, author of Dawn Dusk or Night: A Year with Nicolas Sarkozy (Knopf, $23, 9780307269218/0307269213). The playwright spent a year observing Sarkozy's campaign to become president of France.

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Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Gene Robinson, author of In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (Seabury Books, $25, 9781596270886/1596270888).

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Today on Tavis Smiley: John W. Dean, co-author of Pure Goldwater (Palgrave Macmillan, $27.95, 9781403977410/1403977410).

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Tomorrow morning Good Morning America features footage from and information about the documentary Being Caribou by Leanne Allison and the book Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot with an Arctic Herd by Karsten Heuer (Milkweed Editions, $15, 9781571313089/1571313087). During their honeymoon, Allison and Heuer made the thousand-mile journey on foot and skis from the Porcupine caribou's Yukon winter range to their calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Mary Tillman, author of Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman (Modern Times/Rodale, $25.95, 9781594868801/1594868808). She also appears on NPR's Morning Edition.

Also on the Today Show: Ariane De Bonvoisin, author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More) (HarperOne, $24.95, 9780061472831/0061472832).

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Tomorrow morning on Morning Edition: Eleanor Coppola, author of Notes on a Life (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $25, 9780385524995/0385524994).

Also on Morning Edition: George Soros, author of The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crash of 2008 and What It Means (PublicAffairs, $22.95, 9781586486839/1586486837), which appeared last month as an e-book and is now out in a traditional print version.

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Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Jeanne Safer, author of Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life--For the Better (Basic Books, $25, 9780465072118/0465072119).

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Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Bill Moyers, author of Moyers on Democracy (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385523806/0385523807).

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Tomorrow on Oprah: Barbara Walters, whose new book is Audition: A Memoir (Knopf, $29.95, 9780307266460/030726646X).

 



Books & Authors

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

Belong to Me
by Marisa de los Santos (Morrow, $24.95, 9780061240270/0061240273). "Belong to Me is a portrait of suburban assimilation filled with heart, laughter, and recognition. Marisa de los Santos manages to write about the funny, awkward situations that so many of us have endured, while creating characters as real as your own next-door neighbors."--Danielle Marshall, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

Swallow the Ocean by Laura Flynn (Counterpoint, $23, 9781582433851/1582433852). "In Laura Flynn's account of growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother, the details add up to a vivid portrait of living within a troubled family and of a San Francisco apartment that becomes a battleground of loyalty, anger, and fear."--Rem Ryals, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.

Paperback

Dandy in the Underworld by Sebastian Horsley (Harper Perennial, $13.95, 9780061461255/0061461253). "This painfully honest memoir of a self-proclaimed dandy is a compulsive read. Horsley charts his unconventional upbringing by alcoholic parents, and then his own blossoming sexual and drug life, with the battles against, and the surrenders to, addiction. At times laugh-out-loud funny, I had a hard time putting the book down."--Joe Eichman, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, Colo.

For Middle Readers

Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
by Michael Reisman (Dutton Juvenile, $15.99, 9780525479222/0525479228). "Simon, a sixth-grader, is thrilled when he discovers a book that allows him to control the laws of physics. An amazing mix of humor, science, mystery, and intrigue."--Julia Green, Front Street Books, Alpine, Tex.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]


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