Notes: Literary Life's Award; R.I.P. Nuala O'Faolain
Literary Life Bookstore & More, Grand Rapids, Mich., which opened last fall in a once-abandoned bank (Shelf Awareness, October 10, 2007), has been awarded one of the city's annual historic preservation awards.
"It was such a neat building, I thought someone should fix it up," said owner Dr. Roni Devlin, whose "day job" is as an infectious disease specialist. She spent about $400,000 on the renovations. "I really wanted to take the building to what was striking about it, which was its original architecture."
Nuala O'Faolain died last Friday in Dublin at the age of 68. Author of the bestselling memoir, Are You Somebody, O'Faolain learned just eight weeks ago that she had terminal cancer. Declining treatment, she chose instead to embark "on a last visit to her favourite cultural landmarks" with a small group of friends, according to the Observer, which published compelling tributes by Vanessa Thorpe and Marian Finucane.
Thorpe wrote, "Refusing chemotherapy, the Dublin-born writer instead set off for Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Sicily in search of solace. As she told [Marian] Finucane in her radio interview in April: 'Even if I gained time through the chemotherapy, it isn't time I want. Because as soon as I knew I was going to die soon, the goodness went out of life.'"
"Somehow or other, she just had a wonderful way of articulating her ideas," added Finucane. "As well as having a fierce intellect, she had 'the common touch' in her ability to communicate . . . It's a rare quality, but she could communicate complex ideas in the most readily accessible of ways, in the most entertaining of ways, and in the most truthful of ways, even when that meant she got into trouble." Finucane's April 12 interview with O'Faolain is available on the RTÉ Radio 1 website, Program 29.
Sunday's New York Times Magazine offers a lament for the printed version of the Oxford English Dictionary. "As of now, Oxford University Press has no official plans to publish a new print edition of the Oxford English Dictionary."
Today Tor is releasing The Wolfman ($23.95, 9780765320261/0765320266), a book about a crime-fighting werewolf by Nicholas Pekearo, the New York City bookseller and aspiring writer who was killed last year while serving as an auxiliary police officer (Shelf Awareness, March 16, 2007).
Only four days before Pekearo's death, Tor editor Eric Raab had agreed to publish the book, the New York Times reported. Pekearo's mother, Iola Latman, told the paper that seeing The Wolfman on display at a Barnes & Noble in Greenwich Village "was the most indescribable feeling I ever had. I ran home and called everybody."
Jaime Carey has been promoted to chief merchandising officer at Barnes & Noble, a new position, and is responsible for the merchandise buying of all departments, including the book, music, DVD, magazine and gift departments. He was formerly v-p of newsstand business.
Carey joined B&N in 2003 as director of newsstand. As the company put it, "Carey completely overhauled the system for ordering and replenishing magazines and newspapers, developing what is widely regarded as the most efficient supply chain in the industry," leading to "dramatically increased magazine sales" at B&N.
Carey earlier was v-p, client services, at Curtis Circulation Company.
Blake Carver and Robin K. Blum have created the Librarian's News Wire, "a 24/7 network to distribute full-text news releases and multimedia content of interest to librarians, journalists, library students, professionals and the general public" in the U.S. and abroad.
In 1999, Carver created LISNews, an online community, and Blum is the founder of In My Book.
Gibbs Smith has launched the Gibbs Smith Books Blog. The Salt Lake City, Utah, publisher suggested that on the site "chefs, for instance, will post excerpted recipes from their upcoming books. Interior design authors will offer up tips for creating your own Country French-style kitchen. Environmentally conscious authors can share their philosophy on how to live in an Earth-friendly manner. Children's authors will be able to interact with the blog-reading audience, challenging them to a virtual game of checkers or tetherball with the help of entertaining videos."