Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 23, 2008


Forge: Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

imon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Becoming Rbg: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner

St. Martin's Press: Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris

Park Row: The Ventriloquists (Original) by E.R. Ramzipoor

Henry Holt & Company: Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "the Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman

Other Press: Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia

Quotation of the Day

In Tough Economy, 'Local Stores are Going to Stay'

"The fact that the economy's getting worse is bringing home to people that they need to support local institutions. That's their local economy. If the car mechanic who works on your car doesn't shop at a local food store, then the person who works at the local food store won't be able to bring their car to the local mechanic. That's the deal. You need to support your local economy. When the going gets tough, when the economy gets tough, the local stores are going to stay. The chains will pick up and go."--Susan Taylor, bookseller at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y., and chair of Capital District Local First, in an interview with the Times Union.

 


Amulet Books: Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas


News

Cody's Closes: Shattuck Store Shuttered on Friday

Cody's Books, which only three months ago moved its last store from Fourth Street to downtown Berkeley, Calif., downsizing to 7,000 from 10,000 square feet, has closed, bringing to a sad end a 52-year-old landmark.

The single-largest factor in the company's demise apparently was something that has brought down a few other long-established book retailers, including most recently Dutton's Brentwood: insurmountable financial difficulties resulting from the opening of a branch store. In Cody's case, the company expanded from Berkeley into San Francisco in 2005 with a 20,000-sq.-ft., $3.5 million store that lasted less than two years. In that time, Cody's closed its Telegraph Avenue store. Until last Friday, only the 10-year-old Fourth Street branch survived.

Cody's original store, which for many years was on Telegraph Avenue, was founded in 1956 by Fred and Pat Cody. Andy Ross bought Cody's in 1977, and in 2006, he sold it to Yohan, a Japanese publishing, distribution and bookselling company headed by Hiroshi Kagawa. Yohan sold Cody's to Kagawa when he left Yohan.

In a statement, Kagawa called the closing "a heartbreaking moment . . . in the spring of 2005 when I learned about the financial crisis facing Cody's, I was excited to save the store from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, my current business is not strong enough or rich enough to support Cody's. Of course, the store has been suffering from low sales and the deficit exceeds our ability to service it.

"When I met Cody's 25 years ago, I was a freelance journalist, enraptured by its books and atmosphere. It means so much to me and I apologize to the people who have supported Cody's for not being able to keep this landmark independent bookstore open. Cody's is my treasure and more than that, Cody's is a real friend of Berkeley community and will be missed."

General manager Mindy Galoob told the San Francisco Chronicle that when Cody's moved downtown earlier this year, "we had downsized our staff and had a smaller inventory." But sales "were not anywhere near what was needed."

Pat Cody called the closing "a big loss," adding, "We worked so hard and we put so much into it, and it meant a lot to the community."

And Andy Ross told the Chronicle, "It's no mystery--what's happened to Cody's is what has happened to independent stores for many years. People are going somewhere else (for books). A lot of people like the allure of the Internet or chain stores. And a lot of people don't read."

He added that "in the late 1980s and into 1990, on a good Saturday Cody's on Telegraph Avenue would do $30,000 in business. More recently, a typical Saturday would bring $10,000 worth. The business declined by two-thirds. Costs were up, and sales were down." (His figures on market share are much lower for independents than anything we've ever seen.)

 


One ELM Books: Trevor Lee and the Big Uh Oh! by Wiley Blevins, illustrated by Marta Kissi


Notes: Hooray for New Store; Iowa Water Damage

Trish Brown and Ellen Klein, two former staff members of A Likely Story, the Alexandria, Va., children's bookstore that closed last November, have opened Hooray for Books in the same space and have hired three part-time employees who also worked at A Likely Story, the Washington Post reported.

The paper said the Hooray for Books "plans Friday and Saturday morning story hours; child safety-seat inspections from a licensed inspector; a summer camp; and a career camp showcasing people with different professions, such as a canine police officer, firefighter, photographer and restaurateur."

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The National Association of College Stores's Campus Marketplace has a detailed report on and pictures of the flooding last week at the University of Iowa. At the flood's height, there were five feet of water in the college store. The store was able to remove 95% of its inventory before staff had to leave. The store has relocated temporarily to a mall, where for now it will sell mostly textbooks. Several inches of water seeped into the library's basement, but all its books had been removed.

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The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound's outreach liaison Paige Poe are holding four meetings next month with booksellers. SCIBA wrote, "We will talk about how to incorporate IndieBound in your store and your community, using the holiday catalog to increase sales and visibility, our SoCalBookScene.com website, and using our mentor program to improve your business."

On Wednesday, July 9, the group is meeting for lunch at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Diego and for dinner at the home of Lisa Kaplan, manager of Laguna Beach Books, in Laguna Beach. The following day there will be meetings for lunch at the Athenaeum at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and dinner at the new, as-yet-unopened DIESEL: A Bookstore in Brentwood.

RSVP to SCIBA by July 1.

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On Tuesday, July 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association is holding its fourth annual summer Trunk Show in central New York, where publishers will present frontlist titles to booksellers. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Carrier Circle in East Syracuse, N.Y. This year's program includes appearances by several Penguin authors. For more information and to register, e-mail NAIBA.

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Michael Tucker, president, CEO and co-owner of Books, Inc., which has 11 stores in California, has become vice president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. As the new vice president of the American Booksellers Association, he automatically takes the ABFFE position, replacing Gayle Shanks, who is now president of the ABA.

When ABFFE was created, the ABA enacted the policy of having its vice president also be ABFFE's vice president so that ABA vice presidents would learn about First Amendment issues in depth before becoming ABA president.

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Wide World Books & Maps, Seattle, Wash., has won the NWSource People's Choice award for best independent bookstore in Seattle.

The citation reads: "This Wallingford map mecca has been serving Seattleites suffering from acute wanderlust since 1976. Plan your next vacation with the bookstore's unparalleled selection of guidebooks and maps, or travel without leaving your armchair with works from famous travel writers like Bruce Chatwin and Paul Theroux. And if you're inspired to take action, browse through a great selection of travel accessories, backpacks and more."

Owner Simone Andrus credited "our wonderful customers, of course, who make customer service easy, as well as the efforts of our buyers to provide great selections in all areas of the store. Of special mention is Holly Smith--she always makes sure that we have a fine selection of new hardbacks and paperback books that will interest our customers."

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When the Cape Cod Times polled five local booksellers for their favorite summer books this year, they "focused on excellent reads that will get people talking. There's a good reason for that."

"Word of mouth sells more books than anything," said Michelle Lemay of Inkwell Bookstore, Falmouth.

And Bob Reed, owner of Reed Books, Harwich Port, even contributed a bookseller's ideal summer weather forecast: "What we pray for is overcast and light mist. The perfect weather is a forecast of a weekend that's going to be lovely that turns into a reality that's overcast, a little bit windy and maybe some light sprinkles."

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For an article on local indie booksellers, headlined "In a Bind," Long Island Business News asked 30-year bookselling veteran Bob Klein, co-owner of Book Revue, Huntington, "if he would go into the book-selling business today."

"No," Klein replied before qualifying his response slightly. "If I had a lot of money and wasn't interested in making a profit, maybe I'd become an independent bookseller."

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Rex Weltz, co-owner of Pandemonium Booksellers & Cafe, Anchorage, Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News that he was asked by a businesswoman recently if his new shop was part of a chain.

"My response was, 'Yes. It's the first one,'" said Weltz.

Added Leonard Cullip, one of the partners in Pandemonium, "It's a fun name, it's a name you don't forget. To me it says chaos but it also says energy and excitement. For a bookstore that's kind of the opposite of what you'd expect."

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Florida's Flagler County is home to three independent bookstores, and the News-Journal reported that while the region "will soon be graced with its own behemoth bookstore with the opening of Books-A-Million . . . bookworms don't have to wait until its opening next month to get their literary fix."

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The Book & Tackle Shop, Westerly, R.I., reopened last week, "more than a year after it closed during demolition and reconstruction of the original building," according to TheDay.com. The used bookshop had been "open in the summer at the old location since the 1950s."

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The last of the current Emerging Voices series sponsored by the New York Center for Independent Publishing takes place tomorrow evening and focuses on McPherson & Co., which was founded 34 years ago. McPherson publishes in a range of genres and promotes new authors as well as classics and little-known works that are out of print.

The panel will include publisher Bruce McPherson; professor and art critic Thomas McEvilley, who will read from his Triumph of Anti-Art; Jaimy Gordon, who will read from She Drove Without Stopping; and historical novelist George Robert Minkoff, who will discuss his trilogy, In the Land of Whispers, which focuses on Jamestown's role in the revolutionary period.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 W. 44th St., in New York City. For more information and to reserve a place, go to nycip.org or call 212-764-7021.

 


Ecco Press: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha


BEA in L.A.: Emerging Leaders

The Scene: A bar in Hollywood called the Woods, two days before BookExpo America

Just a few blocks down from the red carpet premier of Adam Sandler's You Don't Mess With the Zohan, a gathering took place that was less frenzied but infinitely more interesting than the media mob up the street.

The Woods had the cozy feel of a log cabin, and the dim light came from chandeliers made of antlers. What better place than this for the next generation of booksellers and writers to converge? Thanks to Reed Exhibitions and BEA, there was an open bar for the first hour of the party. And thanks to a handful of publishers and their authors, we had glorious stacks of galleys to take home. Needless to say, the one-two punch of books and booze brought out the bards and banterers.

I got to talk with booksellers and writers, publicists and editors, and the inimitable Lance Fensterman. Filtering through the crowd were authors Scott McCloud, Cylin Busby, Curtis Sittenfeld, Diana Spechler, Tony O'Neill and Jonathan Evison. And as at any good book gathering, some people ducked into corner booths, noses tucked lovingly into fresh galleys, eyes squinting just to make out the words. In all, a great event.

Many of you have probably heard about recent Emerging Leaders gatherings--at BEA, at the Winter Institute, at regional trade shows, in some cities. In the past, we got together with other young book nerds, told our stories, shared triumphs and frustrations, learned a little about networking and passed out our new flashy business cards. BEA 2008 was no exception in that regard: gatherings, book nerds, networking and business cards were in abundant supply. But now, as never before, the Emerging Leaders Project has itself emerged and is becoming a more tangible entity.

At national gatherings for the last few years, the Emerging Leaders Council has collected surveys, fostered solidarity and tried to gauge what their peers are looking for. This year, in part because of administrative assistance from the ABA, we were able to compile all the information and get together as a council, tools in hand, to start chiseling our ideas and inspirations into a viable organization.  

Our new mission statement reads as follows: "Emerging Leaders aims to develop, retain, and support the independent book industry's future innovators and leaders, through peer support, networking, mentoring, and education. Emerging Leaders is tailored, but not restricted, to booksellers age forty and under, who are determined to work in the industry and who demonstrate a passion for bookselling."

What exactly are the kids talking about these days, you may be wondering. Here are a few of the projects we've got cooking:

  • Our top priority is to create a revamped website that has a signup for our mailing list, forums for booksellers, a blog, resources and links, and photos from our awesome parties.
  • We would like to see educational programming that caters specifically to the needs of emerging leaders, both at the regional level and the national level.
  • We would like, eventually, to help expand scholarship programs so more young booksellers can attend industry events. These events can really give frontline booksellers a sense of the utterly crucial role that they play in the book business.
  • We will formulate written resources for other booksellers, namely guidelines for successful Emerging Leaders events at regional trade shows and suggestions for a bookseller exchange program.

One of our main goals is to find a way to reach young booksellers on the frontlines--those who may not have a store e-mail address, those who may not know about amazing newsletters like Shelf Awareness, those who may not even have been to a regional trade show, yet who may, deep down, have an insane, unrealized passion for books and bookselling. If you know anyone like that, PLEASE show them this article and put them in contact with us.

To join our mailing list, or to contact your regional representative, please visit abaemergingleaders.org.--Emily Pullen

Pullen is ordering manager and book groups liaison at Skylight Books, Los Angeles, and the Emerging Leaders representative for Southern California.

 


NCIBA & SCIBA: Holiday Catalog


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

Today on Live with Regis & Kelly: Kevin Nealon, author of Yes, You're Pregnant, But What About Me? (HarperEntertainment, $24.95, 9780061215209/0061215201).

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Today on Fresh Air: Jill Bolte Taylor, author of My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Viking, $24.95, 9780670020744/0670020745).

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Tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Jesse Ventura, former wrestler and Governor of Minnesota whose new book with Dick Russell is Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95, 9781602392731/1602392730).

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Tonight on the Colbert Report: Barbara Ehrenreich, author of This Land Is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation (Metropolitan Books, $24, 9780805088403/0805088407).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Sam Zien, author of Sam the Cooking Guy: Just a Bunch of Recipes (Wiley, $18.95, 9780470043738/0470043733).

Also on Today: Dick Morris, author of Fleeced (Harper, $26.95, 9780061547751/0061547751).

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Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family (Harper, $25.95, 9780060559793/0060559799).

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Tomorrow on Oprah: Brian L. Weiss, author of Mirrors of Time: Using Regression for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Healing (Hay House, $17.95, 9781561709298/1561709298).

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Tomorrow on PBS's P.O.V.: Thomas Norman DeWolf, author of Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History (Beacon, $24.95, 9780807072813/0807072818).

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Tomorrow night on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Lawrence Block, whose new book is Hit and Run (Morrow, $24.95, 9780060840907/0060840900).

 


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby



Books & Authors

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next picks:

Hardcover

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525950486/0525950486). "Author Falcones' passion for his homeland and Santa Maria del la Mar, the 'Cathedral of the Sea,' shine through this wonderful novel of 14th-century Barcelona and Catalonia. Historical accuracy, well developed characters, and a plot that will keep you riveted set the reader right into a land in conflict. I came away richer for the tale."--Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.

The Chris Farley Show by Tom Farley, Jr., and Tanner Colby (Viking, $26.95, 9780670019236/0670019232). "In the intimate and touching portrait culled from more than 160 interviews with friends, family, and SNL associates, we come to see Chris Farley as a complex soul who was gifted, gracious, giving, and deeply religious. A surprisingly revelatory offering."--Joe Drabyak, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, Pa.

Paperback

The Foreigner by Francie Lin (Picador, $14, 9780312364045/0312364040). "This is a daring and original novel, a story of how a Taiwanese-American upholds tradition and ancestral respect against his own cultural and personal dualities, and especially against his own criminal brother. A sinister yet uplifting novel."--Marie du Vaure, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.

For ages 9-12

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small (Atheneum, $16.99, 9781416950585/1416950583). "In her first novel for young readers, well-known picture book author Kathi Appelt has created a timeless story in the tradition of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Carson McCullers. This is the story of an old hound dog chained up near the banks of a bayou and an abandoned calico cat whose kittens arrive full of the kind of curiosity that can get everyone into trouble. These life-tossed animals become a family, and their dramatic story is a mesmerizing book to read aloud."--Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

 


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