Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chronicle Books: Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton and Robert K Oermann

IDW Publishing: Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni, illustrtaed by Thibault Balahy

Graydon House: The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little

St. Martin's Press: The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1 (Dragon Heart Legacy, 1)

Houghton Mifflin: Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology) by Robin Lafevers

Quotation of the Day

B&N: Shopping Development Opportunities 'Shrinking'

"The development pipeline is drying up. We see [fewer] available locations and [more] projects getting cancelled. So, the development of new retail space is shrinking. We are seeing locations that we thought would happen falling off."--Joe Lombardi, CFO of Barnes & Noble, at a Goldman Sachs conference, reported by CoStar Group, discussing why the company has lowered its estimate of new store openings next year to a range of 20-25 from 30-35.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss


Notes: Indignation Day; Denverites Track Thin Man

To celebrate the publication of Indignation, Philip Roth's new novel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is planning a live video broadcast to 50 bookstores next Tuesday, the book's pub date. The stores signed up at BEA or on the publisher's website and have been able to buy books signed by Roth to sell in connection with the event, which the publisher is calling Indignation Day.

In the broadcast, HMH publisher Rebecca Saletan will provide an introduction and then Roth will be interviewed by author Ben Taylor. Attendees may submit questions in advance.

Changing Hands, Tempe, Ariz., will the hold the event in-store and has 48 signed copies of the book available. Purchasers of those books are automatically included in a raffle for a signed first edition copy of Roth's The Plot Against America.

Other stores are holding the event off-site. For example, the Odyssey Bookshop, S. Hadley, Mass., will have its Indignation Day viewing across the street at Mount Holyoke College's Hooker Auditorium.

For more and a list of participating stores, click here.


In connection with Lyons Press, Amazon is offering two potential-First Lady biographies exclusively on its Kindles for $9.99. The titles are Michelle Obama: Grace and Intelligence in a Time of Change by Elizabeth Lightfoot and Cindy McCain: Elegance, Good Will and Hope for a New America by Alicia Colon. The Obama bio is already available on Kindle; McCain's will be available next Monday.

Scott Watrous, president and publisher of Globe Pequot, owner of Lyons Press, told the Wall Street Journal that the press will offer a print edition only of the bio of the winning spouse and will start printing when the November 4 election results are in. Oddly the Amazon announcement says that Obama's book is "scheduled to be available later this year" while McCain's will go to print only if her husband wins.


"Get lost in a good book," advised the Denver Daily News in its report on the 2008 selection for One Book, One Denver-- Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man--as well as the city's many options "for Denverites looking for a literary vacation. Bookstores around town are always offering activities and new books to keep people entertained."

The Daily News spoke with Tattered Cover's manager Joe Eichman, who said, "People are welcome to sit and read or browse through a magazine. I think it's what makes the atmosphere." He added that the shop's ambitious events schedule offers "a chance for the reading public to meet their favorite authors."


Brant's Used Books, Sarasota, Fla., which has occupied its present location for more than 50 years, must find a new home. The Herald Tribune reported that the land on which the bookstore stands has been sold and owner Barbara Sciarretta "has less than two months to move."

"I have around 250,000 books, but I can't store all of them," she said, adding that she hopes an ongoing book sale will help fund the down payment on a new location. "I'm not going out of business, I'm moving. I just don't know where I'm moving to yet. The perfect situation for me is a bigger space so that I could sponsor book signings and poetry readings, maybe have a coffee shop. I'm open to whatever possibilities come; all my options are open."


The South African government "has agreed to exempt books from the Second Hand Goods Bill," according to the Cape Times, which reported that "bookshop owners feared it would force them out of business because they would have been required to keep a register of each book bought and sold, including the details of the seller and the buyer. Copies of IDs of buyers and sellers would have had to be kept."

Although the act "was intended to make it more difficult to sell stolen goods," the Southern African Book Dealers' Association had expressed concern about ramifications. "The paperwork would've crippled the average bookshop," said Paul Mills, owner of Clarke's Africana & Rare Books.


Allison Hollett has been promoted to director of trade sales and marketing, a new position, at the Taunton Press, where she will be responsible for U.S. and Canadian trade sales (through Ingram Publisher Services and Random House of Canada, respectively), export and foreign rights sales, consumer direct marketing, trade marketing, promotion and publicity. She was formerly senior national accounts manager and earlier held sales positions at Soundprints, Random House Special Markets, Arcade Publishing and Little, Brown.


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 07.06.20

Zoo Tour Encore: Birthing the Elephant

Zoos are the hottest new places for book promotion. As noted here earlier this week, Weinstein Books is tying in zoos during its tour this month for Benjamin Mee, author of We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals that Change Their Lives Forever (Shelf Awareness, September 8, 2008). Now, Ten Speed Press scribes Bruce Freeman and Karin Abarbanel are teaming up with zoos across the country and local chapters of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) to aid women entrepreneurs and spread the word about their book, Birthing the Elephant: The Woman's Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business ($15.95, 9781580088879/1580088872).

Published in March, Birthing the Elephant guides women through the emotional experience of launching a business, with an emphasis on the critical first 22 months (which also happens to be the gestation period of a baby elephant). This motivational handbook and start-up action guide presents checklists, resources and advice from experts and entrepreneurs--including Roxanne Coady, founder and owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn. (Shelf Awareness, June 22, 2008).

On October 2, Freeman will begin the day by speaking at a NAWBO-sponsored breakfast, “Birthing the Elephant: Celebration of Entrepreneurship,” followed by two events at the Louisville Zoo, Louisville, Ky. During an afternoon session, he'll offer one-on-one consultations with women entrepreneurs, while Family Scholar House, a nonprofit organization that provides services to single parents earning college degrees, entertains kids in tow with a "Toddler Book Club." In the evening, the zoo will host a VIP Reception for Freeman.

This turn of events came out of the blue for Freeman and Abarbanel. A nationally syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, Freeman (aka the Small Business Professor) often uses the online resource ProfNet to find experts for his columns and lists Birthing the Elephant among his credentials. A publicist for the Louisville Zoo--which celebrated the birth of a baby elephant in 2007--was intrigued by the title and concept of the book and contacted Freeman about working together. Freeman in turn reached out to NAWBO and asked the organization to join the efforts.

Programs like the one at the Louisville Zoo are currently being planned in Portland, Ore., and Pittsburgh, Pa., where it was an auspicious summer. Two baby elephants were born at the Pittsburgh Zoo in July. Now who's bringing the peanuts?--Shannon McKenna Schmidt


Red Lightning Books: The Legend of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark on the World by T.S Mart, Mel Cabre

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Thomas F. Flynn's Epic Poem

This morning on the Early Show: Thomas F. Flynn, author of Bikeman: An Epic Poem (Andrews McMeel, $12.99, 9780740775598/0740775596).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, authors of Rapunzel's Revenge (Bloomsbury USA, $14.99, 9781599902883/1599902885), the most recent selection in Al Roker's Book Club for Kids.


Tomorrow on Dr. Phil: Hill Harper, author of Letters to a Young Sister (Gotham, $22.50, 9781592403516/1592403514).


Tomorrow night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-author of America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy (Basic Books, $27.50, 9780465015016/0465015018).


University of Pittsburgh Press: The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim

This Weekend on Book TV: Christopher Buckley at BEA

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, September 13

12 p.m. Ronald Walters, author of The Price of Racial Reconciliation (University of Michigan Press, $29.95, 9780472115303/0472115308), argues that until there is a substantial discussion about restitution for African Americans there will remain a racial divide in the U.S. (Re-airs Sunday at 3 a.m. and7 p.m.).

4 p.m. Encore Booknotes. For a segment that first aired in 2002, Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943 (Holt, $17, 9780805087246/0805087249), talked about Allied forces and their battles during the North African campaign. (Re-airs Sunday at 5 a.m.)

7 p.m. Patrick Buchanan, author of Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World (Crown $29.95, 9780307405159/030740515X), argues that the two world wars were the result of diplomatic mistakes. (Re-airs Monday at 3 a.m.)
10 p.m. After Words. In a program recorded at BookExpo America in Los Angeles, Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, interviews Christopher Buckley, author of Supreme Courtship: A Novel (Twelve, $24.99, 9780446579827/0446579823). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. and Sunday, September 21, at 12 p.m.)
Sunday, September 14

8 a.m. For an event hosted by Politics and Prose bookstore, Washington, D.C., Sheryll Cashin, author of The Agitator's Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family (PublicAffairs, $26, 9781586484224/1586484222), recounts the legacy of political activism in her family that she traces back to Reconstruction. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

4:45 p.m. U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, author of A Sense of Belonging: From Castro's Cuba to the U.S. Senate, One Man's Pursuit of the American Dream (Crown Forum, $26.95, 9780307405401/0307405400), recalls his childhood in Cuba, arrival in Florida at 15 and career in law and politics. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m., Monday at 7 a.m. and Sunday, September 21, at 5 a.m.)


Books & Authors

Awards: National Book Foundation; Roald Dahl Funny Prize

As part of National Book Awards program, the National Book Foundation is awarding its 2008 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Maxine Hong Kingston for her "outstanding achievements as a writer of fiction, memoir, and nonfiction."

The Foundation is also honoring Barney Rosset, longtime head of Grove Press and the Evergreen Review, with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

In a statement, Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the Foundation, said, "This year's distinguished honorees broke new ground in American literary publishing. Kingston exposed the great story of American immigration to a new, rich blend of fiction, memory, folk-tale and political idea. Rosset opened a door to brash concepts about reading in America, letting controversial literary work speak for itself."

Scott Turow will announce the 2008 National Book Award finalists on October 15 at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. The National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City will take place Wednesday, November 19, in Cipriani at 55 Wall Street.


The shortlist for the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny prize, which "honours the most hilarious children's authors," has been announced, according to the Guardian.

"I have sat on judging panels before and what happens is that the funny books get squeezed out, because somehow or other they don't tackle big issues in the proper way," said children's laureate Michael Rosen, the award's founder. "They'll get through to the last four or five books, and then historical fiction, or something about death or slavery or new technology will win out. I think it's a great shame, because actually when I think about the books I remember from childhood they are the funny books."

Winners in each category, who will receive £2,500 (US$4,394), will be announced November 13. The shortlist includes:

Children 6 & under:
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Elephant Wellyphant by Nick Sharratt
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers
The Witch's Children Go to School by Ursula Jones, illustrated by Russell Ayto
There's an Ouch in My Pouch! by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Garry Parsons
Manfred the Baddie by John Fardell
Children 7-14
Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear by Andy Stanton, illustrated by David Tazzyman
Paddington Here and Now by Michael Bond, illustrated by RW Alley
Stop in the Name of Pants! by Louise Rennison
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Aliens Don't Eat Dog Food by Dinah Capparucci
Urgum and the Goo Goo Bah! by Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Philip Reeve



Book Review

Children's Review: The Way We Work

The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body by David Macaulay (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $35.00 Hardcover, 9780618233786, October 2008)

An architect by training, Macaulay (The Way Things Work; Building Big) begins, appropriately, with the smallest units of the human body: its cells. In fact, he points out, "Everyone's journey begins as a single cell." Eventually that cell will divide into as many as 100 trillion cells. With a wink to his devoted readers, Macaulay breaks the cell down to the atomic level, and compares an atom (both textually and visually) to a tennis ball being pursued by a pooch in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan--the only skyscraper he identifies is the Empire State Building (the subject of his book Unbuilding). A brief chemistry lesson follows, in which readers learn literally what they themselves are made of. Macaulay points out in his introduction that, while he introduces each of the body's systems separately, the cells and systems are all interdependent. The respiratory system, for instance, draws in oxygen and sends out carbon dioxide, while the circulatory system delivers that fresh oxygen "from the lungs to each and every cell and carries the waste back." But one uses the lungs and diaphragm as the central organs to transport the oxygen, while the other relies on the heart and a system of arteries (that carry the oxygen-rich blood) and veins (that remove the oxygen-poor blood)--and the ever-important valves that keep the rich and poor from mingling.
Working in colored pencils, Macaulay lightens up the proceedings with many humorous touches, such as a kickline of humans, each highlighting the body's various systems and the cells and body parts associated with it, or a couple of boys shooting paper airplanes into a highly magnified close-up of the nasal cavity on the in-breath (the woolly mammoth from The Way Things Work also gets a cameo, spleen-side). He also has a lot of fun with subtitles (e.g., "A Brief History of Chyme," the name for the partially digested food that enters the duodenum; and "Bridge of Thighs," for which the artist pictures a giant pelvis propped up by a pair of femurs against a backdrop of Venice). Most often, Macaulay's text strikes a tone of wonder ("It may be no match for a bloodhound's, but our sense of smell can distinguish between some 10,000 different odors"), reinforced by illustrations of tiny human spectators at the base of a giant skull or on a terrace overlooking the interconnected "zones" of the kidneys. For his exploration of the reproductive system, Macaulay brings that first single cell full circle. He depicts--through an illustration of solely the relevant anatomical parts--how sperm and egg join to form the first cell that, within it, contains all of the information necessary to generate 100 trillion other cells, and create an entirely unique human being. He treats his subject and his readers with equal respect.--Jennifer M. Brown


The Bestsellers

Independent Mystery Bookstores: Top Sellers in August

The following were the bestselling titles at member stores of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association during August:


1. Damage Control by J.A. Jance (Morrow)
2. Lie Down with the Devil by Linda Barnes (St. Martin's)
3. Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva (Putnam)
4. Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews (St. Martin's)
5. A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
6. Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn G. Wall (Poisoned Pen Press)
7. Not in the Flesh by Ruth Rendell (Crown)
7. Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais (S&S)
7. The Turnaround by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown)
7. Envy the Night by Michael Koryta (St. Martin's)

Trade Paperback

1. In the Woods by Tana French (Viking)
2. Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann (Flying Dolphin Press)
3. Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet (Midnight Ink)
4. The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan (Touchstone)
5. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (Picador)
6. Heaven Preserve Us by Cricket McRae (Midnight Ink)
6. Volk's Game by Brent Ghelfi (Picador)
6. The Conjurer by Cordelia Frances Biddle (St. Martin's)
6. The Stately Home Murders by Catherine Aird (Rue Morgue)
6. Open Season by Archer Mayor (AM Press)

Mass Market

1. Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
2. Knitting Bones by Monica Ferris (Berkley)
3. South of Hell by P.J. Parrish (Pocket)
4. The Boneyard by Michelle Gagnon (Mira)
4. Sorrow on Sunday by Ann Purser (Berkley)
6. Little Tiny Teeth by Aaron Elkins (Berkley)
6. One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly (Berkley)
8. Doggone by Gabriella Herkert (Obsidian)
9. Hard Row by Margaret Maron (Grand Central)
10. By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt (St. Martin's)

[Many thanks to the IMBA!]


AuthorBuzz: Constable: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (A Crown Colony Novel) by Ovidia Yu
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