Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thank You Booksellers For Making Our Award-Winning Books a Success!

St. Martin's Press: Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina by Chris Franz

Walker Books: The Good Hawk (Shadow Skye, Book One) by Joseph Elliott

Tor Books: Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by Kit Rocha

Quotation of the Day

Buy Books from Indies to Avoid That 'Two-timey' Feeling

"My favourite pre-holiday activity is browsing in my local bookshop for poolside reads. So what if there aren't four floors of books to choose from? Sometimes being confronted with too much choice is like struggling through a menu that runs to a dozen pages. . . . Other times, tiny is good. Curiously, even in a bookshop that's smaller than your average living room, you always find something to buy. . . . These days I buy my undies online but try to shop locally for books. Anything else feels--well, a little two-timey. . . . I think we should all try to balance it out. Otherwise, one day we'll fancy a browse and a chat and head to an independent bookshop, feeling (as I do every time, even after nine years here) so lucky to have it virtually on the doorstep. We'll wonder where all the books have gone and why the shop is crammed full of doughnuts and sausage rolls."--Fiona Gibson in the Sunday Herald.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle


Notes: Kaufman's Attitude; Comic-Con's Program Schedule

"Whatever happened to . . . Barbara Babbit Kaufman?" asked the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, referring to the founder and former co-owner of Chapter 11 Bookstores. The answer is that, in the six years since she "left her high-profile perch as one of the area's most-visible female entrepreneurs," Kaufman has written a book and become a motivational speaker as well as an accomplished athlete.

"I am very goal-oriented, and I like challenges," said Kaufman, whose lifestyle exemplifies the title of her book, Attitude. "With what is going on in the world, there is nothing we need more than good attitude. People are afraid. I think what I do is motivate you to know the things that are important, the things that you need to be successful. You can learn to have a great attitude."


If your bookstore sells magazines, you might be interested to know that competition on the subscription side of the business may be in for a techno-shock in September, when Time Inc. launches Maghound, "a service that promises to blend the convenience of subscriptions with the flexibility of newsstand sales," according to USA Today.

Maghound customers "will pay a monthly fee for home delivery of the publications they want. But unlike with subscriptions, which typically run for fixed terms, users can go online and swap one title for another whenever they want."


The complete program for Comic-Con International, which will be held July 24-27 in San Diego, Calif., is now available. The New York Times reported that highlights of this year's popular convention include "a first look at the film Watchmen, about flawed superheroes, based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel mini-series" and "a day devoted to the Star Wars franchise. News about books based on the movies and about a planned TV series will be announced, and there will be panels on cloning and costuming for a galaxy far, far away."


What's the difference between "vegging out" and "geeking out"? Are there genres anymore, and, if so, is science fiction still a genre? Boing Boing linked to a 40-minute talk by author Neal Stephenson at Gresham College, London.


What do critics want? The Observer asked a select group of veteran reviewers about the challenge to their field posed by online competition.

"If I were young now I'd not only be reading blogs but writing them," said the Observer's literary critic Hilary Spurling. "However, I think that voracious appetite for keeping up, for being in the swim, is a function of youth. . . . Is criticism being challenged? It will simply take another form, and I don't see anything wrong in that. It's essential that things don't become atrophied."


While the publishing industry scrambles to find and/or retain younger readers, David Sedaris is trying an alternative tactic--gift giving. The Ottawa Citizen interviewed him during a recent appearance at Collected Works Bookstore. Sedaris "likes to have something the kids can take home. . . . Sometimes, he hands out bottles of shampoo and conditioner from whatever hotel he's in."

"I'm so honoured when teenagers show up," he said.


"The ants are my friends/They're blowin' in the wind." New Yorker magazine's blog The Book Bench celebrated the fact that "Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary has finally found space for the word 'mondegreen,' which it defines as 'a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung.'"


Jeanette Winterson, writing on "the joy of books in translation" for the Times, noted that, "with my usual sense that my whole life has been an escape of a kind, I am not taking or making a holiday this year, but I am selecting my holiday reading for days off in the garden. This year, it's books in translation I would like to re-read, remembering them from that time in my life when I was finding foreign authors, and realising that the genies in the Arabian Nights were right; there are worlds piled on worlds. Even science says so now, but science always takes a while to catch up."


Running Press: Thank You! Now on Instagram!

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms

Tomorrow on the Today Show: Leslie Jordan, author of My Trip Down the Pink Carpet (Simon Spotlight, $21.95, 9781416955559/1416955550). Joe Navarro, author of What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People (Collins Living, $18.95, 9780061438295/0061438294).

Tomorrow on the Rachael Ray Show: Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile, co-authors of Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms (Chronicle, $12.95, 9780811863902/0811863905).

Tomorrow night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Kenneth Pollack, author of A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (Random House, $30, 9781400065486/1400065488).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, author of In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration (Wiley, $25.95, 9780470261972/0470261978).


BINC: Double Your Donation with PRH

Movies: Senator vs. Joker in The Dark Knight

Can you imagine Batman's nemesis, The Joker, holding a knife to the throat of one of the most respected members of Congress? Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has been a Batman fan "since he was 4, when, one Sunday after Mass, his parents stopped at a little drugstore in Montpelier, Vt., his hometown, and bought him a comic book for 10 cents," according to the New York Times, which interviewed the senator about his cameo role in The Dark Knight, a can't-miss summer movie blockbuster that will be released July 18.

Leahy donated his thespian earnings to the children’s wing of Montpelier's Kellogg-Hubbard Library, where a special screening of the film was held Saturday, July 12, in honor of the senator's participation. The Times noted that Leahy, "who is legally blind in one eye, said that his daily trips to the library, then in a basement, made him a precocious reader as a child."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Monday and Tuesday, July 21 and 22:

Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva (Putnam, $26.95, 9780399155017/0399155015) is the newest thriller starring Gabriel Allon, who travels to Moscow after the death of a journalist.

Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann (Ballantine, $25, 9780345501530/0345501535) is the 13th novel about the Troubleshooters, an elite security firm.

The Man with the Iron Heart by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey, $27, 9780345504340/0345504348) is an alternate history in which Nazi resistance plagues the Allies for years after V-E Day.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume 2
by Laurell K. Hamilton, Jess Ruffner-Booth, Brett Booth, Ron Lim (Marvel Comics, $19.99, 9780785125808/0785125809) continues the comic book adaptation of Hamilton's vampire series.

Damage Control by J. A. Jance (Morrow, $25.95, 9780060746766/0060746769) is the 13th Joanna Brady mystery.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown, $19.99, 9780316002929/0316002925) follows a superhero with telekinetic and shape shifting powers.


Mandahla: Guides to Classic Novels and Health on the Road

Summer's half over, but it's not too late to plan a trip, especially if you like to travel in the fall--the best time as far as I'm concerned. And it's never too late to obsess about the travel triumvirate of anxieties--packing, reading material and getting sick. Packing clothes is simple: two pairs of black pants, quick-dry undies, a couple of T-shirts, a lightweight wool shawl, two pairs of shoes. Done. But packing books, especially now that we all want to take only carry-on? Anxiety time. What is needed is smallish-print, many-paged, paperbacks--dense, but good. No quick page-turners; in other words, classics, and DK Publishing has just the thing for making those decisions--The Rough Guide to Classic Novels by Simon Mason (Rough Guides, $12.99 trade paper, 9781843535164/1843535165, June 2008). Not only will you be able to find the perfect books for any trip, you'll also discover classics you probably have never heard of, like The Maias by Eça de Queirós:

"The idle, opulent world of Lisbon high society in the late nineteenth century provides [his] greatest novel with its setting. Its true subject, however, is love in a variety of melancholy forms: frivolous affairs, awkward liaisons, demeaning compromises, unattainable ideals and black despair."

Perfect--a book with atmosphere and intrigue, by an author whose prose is "magnificently evocative." Mason also tells you which translation he recommends, excerpts a provocative sentence or two and suggests what to read next. The titles and subjects are diverse, and there is room at the end to list books you think Mason should have included (My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk); in fact, this Rough Guide itself is a good diversion on a long flight, especially for title anagrams and the alphabet game, as noted here earlier this year.

As for getting sick (or staying well--let's be positive), The Adventurous Traveler's Guide to Health by Christopher Sandford, M.D. (University of Washington Press, $14.95 trade paper, 9780295988085/0295988088, May 31, 2008) is just the ticket. It covers everything the average hypochondriac would ask. (Japanese encephalitis? Check. Candiru fish invasion? Check.) But more important, he presents clear, concise information for all types of travelers, from what kind of shots to get to broad advice like, "Generally speaking, your experiences will be interesting in inverse proportion to the amount of money you spend." (Note that he said "interesting," not necessarily comfortable.) Common sense laced with humor pervades the book. While observing that road traffic accidents are much more widespread in developing areas and some parts of Europe, he makes the point that only 1 in 100,000 international travelers dies abroad, and that risk can be cut by wearing seat belts, staying off roads at night, not riding mopeds or motorbikes, not being macho and looking both ways. More exotically, the danger of being eaten by a lion can be avoided by staying in the van, just like the guide does. "You are food, you are prey, and you will not have time to explain your affinity for threatened species before . . . you become a snack."

Each chapter begins with a section called "The Bottom Line" and ends with Q and A's. In addition to the wealth of medical information Sanford provides, he also has good tips for a good trip: "Do not wait until you are at the mountaintop, or the temple, or the waterfall, before you are open to have your touristic epiphany. Tourism is not geographically determined; it is determined by your attitude." Don't complain. Keep a journal. And remember, most people are sane; most people are honest; most people are nice. Words for life, not just a vacation.--Marilyn Dahl


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