Notes: George Carlin; Store Changes; Word on The Shack
Comedian George Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, died late Sunday. He was 71.
Best known for his "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," Carlin had an amazing way of playing with language and pointing out linguistic absurdities. He also wrote several hilarious books. Hyperion says it is in good shape on stock for them:
- When Will Jesus Bring the Pork ($13.95, 9781401308216/140130821X)
- Brain Droppings ($6.99 mass market, 9780786891122/0786891122; $13.95 trade paper, 9780786883219/0786883219)
- Napalm & Silly Putty ($13.95, 9780786887583/0786887583)
- Three Times Carlin: An Orgy of George ($13.95, 9781401302436/1401302432)
Sad news from Southern California: Adventures for Kids, Ventura, Calif., is closing, mainly because of the economy.
On BiblioBuffet, SIBA's Nicki Leone tries to answer the question of what would be the perfect online bookstore. For starters, she writes, "I want my perfect bookstore to treat books like books first, and product second." Read more at bibliobuffet.com/content/view/801/193/.
La Bloga profiles Aurora Anaya-Cerda, founder of La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem in New York City, which has an online presence and eventually will open a bricks-and-mortar store (Shelf Awareness, April 22, 2008).
La Blaga notes: "Some of Anaya-Cerda's favorite books are: The Alchemist, Rain of Gold, The House on Mango Street and Bless Me, Ultima. She's a collector of bilingual children's books and 'is an avid reader of all things Frida!' "
The New York Times traces the rise of The Shack by William P. Young, calling it "the most compelling recent example of how a word-of-mouth phenomenon can explode into a blockbuster when the momentum hits chain bookstores, and the marketing and distribution power of a major commercial publisher is thrown behind it."
Initially considered by Christian publishers as too secular and trade publishers as too Christian, The Shack, "a story of redemption and God's love," was published by Young and two friends, and now, after it established a following, Hachette is co-publishing.
The Times notes The Shack's bestseller status on its own list as well as at Borders and Barnes & Noble. Like the Wall Street Journal's story on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle last week, the Times doesn't note the book's status as an independent bestseller: The Shack is No. 6 on the Indie Bestseller trade paperback list.
Cal State San Bernardino hosted the Inland Empire Summer Reading and Book Faire last weekend. This year's theme was "the troubling disappearance of independent bookstores."
Fair director Eric Kessler, a reference librarian at the San Bernardino Public library, told the Press-Enterprise that "placards shaped like tombstones and bearing the names of defunct bookstores were placed throughout the university's campus."
Time on your hands this summer? The Telegraph picked its "50 best ever summer holiday books," hoping to prevent your vacation from being "blighted by Summer Reads Syndrome. You spend nearly an hour of sweaty indecision among the front tables, before buying some thick new hardback hyped as the read of the summer. Then--once you've lugged it to a beach miles from a decent bookshop--it turns out to be a disappointment."
Are those "brainstorms" or "thought showers" in your business meeting forecast? Apparently, the King's English is now the preferred form of communication for British bureaucrats and buzz words are out. CNN reported that the Local Government Association "sent out a list of 100 'non-words' that it said officials should avoid if they want to be understood." Among the offending terms are synergies, stakeholders, sustainable communities, empowerment, coterminosity and revenue stream.
"Why do we have to have 'coterminous, stakeholder engagement' when we could just 'talk to people' instead?" asked Simon Milton, the association's chairman.
The Motley Fool suggested that a "dose of disruption may be what the traditional publishing industry needs to snap it out of some of the poor decision-making that seems to go on, and that disruption seems to be on its way."
Effective immediately, Jennifer Northcutt has been named fiction buyer for Borders and Waldenbooks, reporting to Micha Hershman, merchandising director, fiction and diversity. Since 2006, Northcutt has been the young adult buyer in the children's group and earlier was assistant buyer and held several roles at Borders stores and the corporate office.
In a statement, Kathryn Popoff, v-p of merchandising and trade books, called Northcutt "an extremely energetic and creative individual with a proven ability to handpick titles that our customers will love. As the young adult buyer, she managed some of the biggest titles, implemented new marketing techniques and fostered dynamic growth of the young adult fiction category. She has the right combination of skills and experience to foster growth in the general fiction category and I'm delighted she's taken on this new role."