Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dutton Books: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls #2) by Hank Green

HP Piazza: Regain Control of Your Publishing Content - Register Now

Post Hill Press: Personality Wins: Who Will Take the White House and How We Know by Merrick Rosenberg and Richard Ellis

Walrus Publishing: I Will Be Okay by Bill Elenbark

Parson Weems Publisher Services - Click Here!

Quotation of the Day

The Book: 'Sensuous, Possibly Even Erotic'

"There is something sensuous, possibly even erotic, about the book. It appeals to both the senses and the intellect as well as to your hidden interior designer. And what curious pleasures are to be found in antiquarian bookshops."--Peter Crawshaw, from his BBC News article, "Beautiful, perfect, supreme chunk of paper."


Disney-Hyperion: The Mirror Broken Wish (Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao


Notes: Fort Greene Bookstore Fete; Challenging Season

In her plan to open a bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jessica Stockton Bagnulo has gained a partner--Rebecca Fitting, a bookseller who has worked for Random House--and the pair now have two-thirds of the capital they need to start their store, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

Some 300 people gathered at a party in Brooklyn Tuesday night that was a kickoff for the Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative and the bookstore Bagnulo and Fitting are working on.

Concerning the Fort Greene neighborhood, Bagnulo commented: "The more time I spend here, the more I see it's a perfect fit. It's distinct, diverse, full of energy, with a kind of peace, too."


Given the meltdown on Wall Street, it's no surprise that "economists say the 2008 holiday season will have the weakest sales gains in 17 years," as the Wall Street Journal put it. Luxury retailers may be affected more than others. Predictions include sales growth in the fourth quarter of 1.5% and 2.5%-3%.

"I can't tell you for sure that it's going to be the worst season in the last decade and a half, but we expect this season to be as challenging as any in recent memory," Scott Krugman, a v-p at the National Retail Federation, told the paper. The NRF doesn't expect the retail economy to begin improving until the middle of 2009.


"The thing is, you can't assume anyone gives a damn about an author talking," Dave Weich, director of marketing for Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., told Willamette Week, which examined the Out of the Book film series. "A movie about a book has to be interesting in and of itself. If it's not, you're doing something wrong." The most recent Out of the Book offering is State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America.

"The OOTB films are extremely innovative," said ABA's chief marketing officer Meg Smith. "They can be run continuously on a monitor, shown at a one-time event, or even linked on YouTube, so they give booksellers an original way to add to the indie bookstore experience."


Jane Belson, the widow of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams, has given permission for a sixth book to be added to the series. The Guardian reported that And Another Thing . . . will be written by children's author Eoin Colfer, who said being chosen by Belson for this task was "like suddenly being offered the superpower of your choice'."

The book, which is scheduled to be published next fall by Penguin, will "make no claims for Eoin being Douglas," said Joanna Prior, the publisher's marketing and publicity director. "It's not Eoin Colfer writing as Douglas Adams, as was the case with Sebastian Faulks [who wrote as Ian Fleming]. It's absolutely about him being himself--Eoin the author, but with the cast of Hitchhiker."


Media Bistro's GalleyCat pointed out that among Vanity Fair's New Establishment--also known the 0.00000002% of Americans not currently obsessed with rising prices and falling wages--the world of literature is, to put it kindly, underrepresented "unless you count Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert's status as bestselling authors. . . . Seriously, Vanity Fair couldn't find a single author with the cultural clout to outrank Matt Drudge and Jimmy Buffett? Heck, even if the ability to create a cottage industry around oneself were the only benchmark, James Patterson could've made the cut, or J.K. Rowling--remember, she's now powerful enough to keep other people's books from being published!"


In the London Times, Richard Wilson suggested 10 Books Not to Read Before You Die, "his definitive list of books that just aren't worth the bother."


GLOW: Inkyard Press: Come On In: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home edited by Adi Alsaid

AAP Sales: July Sags Because of Harry Potter

Paralleling the 7.3% sales drop at bookstores during the month as measured by the Census Bureau, net sales during July by 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers fell 6.7% to $1.535 billion compared to July 2007, when the last Harry Potter book appeared. For the year to date, net sales fell 2% to $5.143 billion.

Among categories:

  • E-books gained 71.1% to $4.5 million
  • Children's/YA paperbacks gained 36.4% to $45.6 million
  • Mass market jumped 29.6% to $78.8 million
  • Religious books gained 24.3% to $41.7 million
  • Adult paperbacks rose 9.6 to $113.5 million
  • Adult hardcovers rose 9.4% to $84.9 million
  • Professional and scholarly books slipped 1.5% to $105.7 million
  • University press paperbacks dropped 14% to $9 million
  • University press hardcovers fell 18.4% to $6.2 million
  • Audiobook sales fell 65.8% to $11 million
  • Children's/YA hardcovers plummeted 77.2% to $58.6 million



Atheneum Books: Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata, illustrated by Marianna Raskin

Elliott Bay Bookseller's Two Interests Meet on Stage Tonight

When David Hsieh is not performing his role as a bookseller at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Wash., he's pursuing his other vocation: managing artistic director for the Repertory Actors Theatre (ReAct). Hsieh founded the nonprofit theater company in 1993, and the organization regularly supports local charities like the food bank Northwest Harvest.

ReAct is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year by staging a mix of new works and hits from the past, one of which is The Last Five Years, first performed by the company in 2005. The original cast has signed on for an encore performance about a young couple, fledgling author Jamie and struggling actress Cathy and the ups and downs in their relationship.

The musical, which opens tonight, is written and composed by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown and is part send-up of the publishing industry. In the five years during which the play is set, Jamie goes from obscurity to a bestselling author. Attendance at his signings grows larger and larger, as does the size of the author photo on his book jackets. (Random House earns a nod in the song lyrics.) "It's one of my favorite musicals," Hsieh said. "It hits both parts of my life in an interesting way."

Hsieh's interests of bookselling and the theater intersect offstage as well. ReAct and Elliott Bay co-sponsor the annual Staged Play Reading Series. And proceeds from select titles purchased at the store in October will benefit ReAct. So how does Hsieh spend his time when he's not putting on plays or tending to the store's theater section? He reads and talks about plays with the members of STAGES, a drama book club he started that meets monthly at Elliott Bay.

The Last Five Years is running at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre on weekends through October 5.--Shannon McKenna Schmidt


Library of Congress: Poisoned Pen Pair on Publishing

Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald, owners of Poisoned Pen Books bookstore and Poisoned Pen Press, Scottsdale, Ariz., will be the featured speakers at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7, at an event that is part of the Books & Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The evening's program, entitled "Books--Before and Beyond: Publishing in the 21st Century," is co-sponsored by the Center and the Mystery Writers of America.

Peters and Rosenwald will address how book and print technology has developed; how electronic manuscript submissions, e-books, digital ink and wireless reading devices have affected the industry; digital rights management; the interplay of Web and print media; video trailers for books; the popularity of graphic novels and gaming based on books.

Peters and Rosenwald founded the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in 1989. In 1997, they started Poisoned Pen Press, which has more than 600 titles in print and has published more than 100 authors. Peters is editor of the press; Rosenwald is publisher.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Christopher Paolini and Brisingr

Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Graydon Carter, author of Vanity Fair: The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images (Abrams, $65, 9780810972988/0810972980).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Christopher Paolini, author of Brisingr (Knopf, $27.50, 9780375826726/0375826726). Early on Saturday, the title goes on sale--and many stores will be open late in its honor.


Tomorrow on Morning Edition: Douglas W. Kmiec, author of Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question About Barak Obama (Overlook, $12, 9781590202043/159020204X).


Tomorrow on Oprah: Ty Pennington, author of Good Design Can Change Your Life (S&S, $25, 978074329474/0743294742).

Also today: Oprah's Book Club pick.


Tomorrow on 20/20: Alec Baldwin, author of A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312363369/0312363362).


This Weekend on Book TV: The Faith of Barack Obama

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 20

11 a.m. New York Representative Carolyn Maloney discusses her book, Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: Why Women's Lives Aren't Getting Any Easier and How We Can Make Real Progress for Ourselves (Modern Times, $24.95 9781594863271/159486327X). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m. and Monday at 7 a.m.)

12:45 p.m. Historian Jennet Conant, author of The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington (S&S, $27.95, 9780743294584/0743294580), recounts Dahl's recruitment by the British government to plant propaganda that would encourage the U.S. to enter World War II. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and Monday at 2 a.m.)
7 p.m. Thomas Bloch talks about his book, Stand for the Best: What I Learned After Leaving My Job as CEO of H&R Block to Become a Teacher and Founder of an Inner-City Charter School (Jossey-Bass, $24.95, 9780470188965/0470188960). (Re-airs Monday at 6 a.m.)

9:30 p.m. Bertie Bowman, author of Step by Step: A Memoir of Hope, Friendship, Perseverance, and Living the American Dream (One World/Ballantine, $25, 9780345504111/0345504119), recalls his climb from janitor at the U.S. Capitol to hearing coordinator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (Re-Airs Sunday at 10:15 a.m.)
10 p.m. After Words. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius interviews Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, authors of America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy (Basic Books, $27.50, 9780465015016/0465015018). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m., and Sunday, September 28, at 12 p.m.)

Sunday, September 21

2 a.m. For an event hosted by Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, Colo., Representative Diana Degette, author of Sex, Science and Stem Cells: Inside the Right Wing Assault on Reason (Lyons Press, $24.95, 9781599214313/1599214318), argues that the Bush administration has placed ideology over potential scientific advancement. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.)

1:15 p.m. At an event hosted by Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, Tenn., Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of Barack Obama (Thomas Nelson, $19.99, 9781595552501/1595552502), talks about Obama's religious views and the rising influence of the religious left in the U.S. (Re-airs Sunday at 8:15 p.m.)


Books & Authors

Awards: Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Biz Book Finalists

The shortlist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award is:

  • A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein (Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • Cold Steel: The Multi-billion-dollar Battle for a Global Industry by Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey (Little, Brown Book Group U.K.)
  • When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change by Mohamed El-Erian (McGraw-Hill)
  • McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny (Knopf)
  • Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig (Penguin Press)
  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder (Bantam)

The winner will be announced October 14 in New York City at a dinner. The winning author will receive £30,000 (about US$53,700), and the other shortlisted authors each receive £5,000 (about $8,950).


Children's Book Review: Gully's Travels

Gully's Travels by Tor Seidler, illustrated by Brock Cole (Scholastic/di Capua, $16.95, 9780545025065/0545025060, 192 pp., ages 8-up, September)

Seidler is back with a winner in the tradition of his Mean Margaret. From the get-go, readers realize that Gulliver, a purebred Lhasa apso, thinks quite highly of himself and "his professor," who teaches English literature at New York University, and their exquisite five-room apartment at One Fifth Avenue, a stone's throw from Washington Square Park in New York City. The canine's hubris comes to light in his conversation with Rodney, a purebred Schnauzer ("Miniature?" Gulliver asks, provoking a frown from Rodney), whose owner teaches modern art at Hunter College on Manhattan's Upper East Side. In a half-hearted attempt to redeem himself, Gulliver comments on Rodney's "Nice collar," hoping for a compliment in kind that never comes. But it gives Seidler a chance to plant an all-important clue about Gulliver's unusual salmon-colored collar, studded with turquoise set in silver, that later becomes essential to the story. The author carefully builds the foundation for other plot threads, including a transatlantic flight to Paris for Gully and his professor, who dines at Le Petit Café with a beautiful professor of English literature at the Sorbonne (who's allergic to long-haired dogs--you see where this is going). When the romance blooms, Gulliver finds himself in--of all places--Queens(!) with Carlos, their doorman, who calls the pooch "Gully." And here the true adventure begins. The beleaguered cat in Ian Falconer's Olivia has nothing on poor Gully, clutched by Carlos's daughter ("nearly squeezing the life out of him") in Cole's (Good Enough to Eat) delicious pen-and-inks. Both author and artist capitalize on the breed's notorious stubborn streak, showing the Lhasa apso stopping dead in his tracks outside of Rodney's building, or--his loyalty taken to extremes--as he escapes from Queens and masters the subway system in order to return to his professor. After some humbling experiences and after making a key ally of Carlos's charming yet hopelessly untalented aspiring actor son Roberto, Gully learns what true loyalty and friendship mean. This book will have a wide audience among dog devotees, fans of New York and Paris, and those who like a grand adventure. Encore!--Jennifer M. Brown


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