Shelf Awareness for Friday, September 19, 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

Quotable MPIBA: Recipes for Changing Times

Sometimes it almost seems like a recipe: mix a group of dedicated booksellers in a hotel conference room, add a topic, then stir until eloquence and insight blend seamlessly. We sampled the perceptive fare at a couple of education day seminars Thursday during the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade show in Colorado Springs, Colo.

On "Bookselling in Challenging Times":

"Do not cut marketing. People need to know us and feel us and see what we're doing in the community."--Tom Montan, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.

"I wish I had wisdom. I don't have wisdom. All I have are processes."--Catherine Weller, Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore, Salt Lake City, Utah.

On "Authorless Events":

"It seems like all our authorless events are driven by who we're partnering with. A lot of businesses are looking for free publicity just like we are. We haven't had any trouble getting businesses to work with us, especially with Local First."--Anne Holman, the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah.

A more detailed MPIBA entree--in the form of a column--will follow next week.--Robert Gray

 


Amulet Books: Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas


News

Notes: College Store e-Hub; B&N Settles with California

NACS Media Solutions, the new digital content delivery venture founded by the National Association of College Stores, has a partner and seven test stores that will begin using the service "over the next few months," Campus Marketplace reported. Some 20 or 30 more are expected to be added in the spring.

NACS Media Solutions aims to be an "electronic hub" between college stores and content suppliers, allowing stores to provide any type of content in any format that students or faculty require on a range of platforms. Content will include textbooks, trade books, coursepacks, audiobooks, music, movies and more. Platforms will encompass the Internet, mobile devices, POD, e-readers, course management systems, point-of-sale systems and kiosks.

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It may not solve the Golden State's budget woes, but Barnes & Noble and the state of California formally ended their dispute over online sales tax collection, the Sacramento Bee reported. B&N has paid California $9 million and dropped a suit while the state Board of Equalization has canceled two tax determinations against B&N.com that totaled $17 million, including interest and penalties. The board also waived all claims dating up to November 1, 2005, when B&N.com began collecting sales tax on sales to people in California.

The impetus for making B&N.com collect sales tax came from the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and several booksellers, who in 1999 began speaking with the Board of Equalization about the issue. They argued that by virtue of the many B&N stores in California, B&N.com has the required nexus to collect sales tax on sales made to the state. Commenting on the resolution of the matter, NCIBA executive director Hut Landon told Bookselling This Week: "That's one more competitive disadvantage for indies that's been taken off the board."

B&N.com now collects sales tax in all states that have sales tax.

By contrast, the argument used in the effort in New York State to have Amazon.com collect sales tax is that the onlne retailer's affiliates based or with offices in New York create the necessary nexus.

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In its Big City column, the New York Times has a big story about Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, her dream of opening a bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the party held on Tuesday by the Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative. Check out the large accompanying photograph, which includes Christine Onorati, owner of WORD bookstore, Sean Concannon of Parson Weems and Toby Cox, owner of Three Lives & Co. bookstore.

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The first debate between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain takes place next Friday, September 26, in Oxford, Miss., a town best known in the industry as the home of fabled Square Books (and of a late Nobel Prize-winning author).

For the many locals who won't be able to attend the debate in person, the proceeds will be screened on the side of the courthouse, Richard Howorth, owner of Square Books and mayor of Oxford, told BTW. "People can bring lawn chairs and watch it together. The courthouse sits right here in the town square that was prominent in so many of the fictional works of William Faulkner."

Square Books manager Lyn Roberts said that the store has been offering a full range of political books and "we'll change the windows to reflect the debates." The store is also hanging red, white and blue bunting. Next week the Square Books is also screening Out of the Book's newest film, State by State.

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As noted here yesterday, children's book author Eoin Colfer will write a sixth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by the late Douglas Adams. Colfer's book, called And Another Thing . . . , will be published in the U.S. by Hyperion in October 2009.

In a statement, Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, said he considers the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "like nothing I had read before, or since for that matter. It is a slice of satirical genius. A marvel of quantum tomfoolery. A dissection of the absurdities of our human condition. A space odyssey that forces us to face ourselves and collapse in hysterics . . . My first reaction was semi-outrage that anyone should be allowed to tamper with this incredible series. But on reflection, I realized that this is a wonderful opportunity to work with characters I have loved since childhood and give them something of my own voice while holding on to the spirit of Douglas Adams. I am bloody determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written."

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Emerson College's Berkeley Beacon highlighted "Boston's bangin' bookstores," noting, "There are at least five Barnes & Noble Bookstores within a 10-mile radius of Emerson College, one of which boasts its banner at 114 Boylston St. as Emerson's textbook hot spot. But, while Emerson's Web site provides an online bookstore for required reading, the price of convenience may not be the most fiscally friendly. Students who venture beyond Boylston Street will find more than their professors' picks on the shelves of these three local businesses for less."

The indie bookstore alternatives included Trident Booksellers & Café, "one of the last independent mom-and-pop bookshops in Boston. Perfect for dodging the long lines of most big-time bookstores;" Commonwealth Books, "exudes the feel of nostalgia and history from its musty walls, tickling nostrils with a scent reminiscent of grandma's attic;" and Brookline Booksmith, "a cache for the modern reader."

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I'll take books for $800, Alex. Seacoastonline reported that Cindy Schilling, an assistant librarian in Wells, Me., finished in second place on the September 12 episode of TV's Jeopardy (The show had been taped in July).

"I have watched Jeopardy since I was a young child in the 1960s," Schilling said. "It was a fantastic experience, a childhood dream come true."

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"This man is an author. He writes stories. He's just finished writing a story. He thinks many people will like to read it. So, he must have the story made into a book." Thus begins Making Books, a 1947 film classic showcased by Boing Boing.

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Effective immediately, National Book Network is distributing Blood Moon Productions, Staten Island, N.Y., which publishes "provocative biographies of the celebrities and stars from Hollywood's Golden Age." It recently released Hollywood Babylon: It's Back!

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Effective January 2, Insight Editions, San Rafael, Calif., will be distributed by PGW. Insight is a part of the Palace Publishing Group, which also owns Earth Aware Editions and Mandala Publishing. PGW already distributes those imprints. Insight publishes fine illustrated books on film, photography, arts and entertainment.

 

 


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


Hurricane Ike Update: Power Problems in Houston

A post-hurricane "spot check" of city bookstores by the Houston Chronicle "turned up relatively minor damage, with more stores open than not, the availability of electricity usually being the deciding factor. Most stores report reduced hours."

The Shrine of the Black Madonna Bookstore "suffered extensive roof damage and lost 100 to 150 books to the rain and wind," said manager Anika Sala, who called the problems "not devastating but serious."

The Chronicle reported that Brazos Bookstore had "a pile of ruined carpeting sitting outside the front door . . . Fortunately Brazos' stock appears not to have suffered any significant damage, said manager Jane Moser. She expects to reopen as soon as she gets electricity."

Operating with the help of a generator, Murder by the Book posted a sign reading, "We're open. Come on in!" despite the fact that rain had "blown through the walls and floor soaked carpeting there."

River Oaks Bookstore "lost an awning but emerged otherwise unscathed and has been open since Monday, as has Blue Willow Bookshop on Memorial on the far west side."

Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow's owner, told the Chronicle that in addition to selling books, she's been hosting people in search of electric outlets: "We've been charging everything from cell phones to razors."

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NACS's Campus Marketplace had trouble reaching college stores that were in the path of the hurricane. One store that it did reach, the Houston Baptist University Bookstore, has been condemned because of damage.
 

 


Ecco Press: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Fox & Brad O'Leary

Saturday on Fox & Friends: Brad O'Leary, author of The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama's Assault on American Values (WND Books, $25.95, 9781935071020/1935071025).

 


NCIBA & SCIBA: Holiday Catalog



Books & Authors

Mandahla: As They Say in Zanzibar

As They Say in Zanzibar: Proverbial Wisdom from Around the World (Oxford University Press, $35, 9780195374506, September 2008) is a compilation of more than 2,000 proverbs gathered by David Crystal. He says in the foreword, "Proverbs do more than express a general truth or a universal belief. Each in its own way adds a tiny bit more to our understanding of the world's linguistic and cultural diversity, and thus helps us grasp more fully what it means to be human." From the humorous--It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins (China)--to the puzzling--Brotherly love for brotherly love, but cheese for money (Albania)--the proverbs will delight and sometimes mystify, and of course, they can provide good advice: Rather once cry your heart out than always sigh (China). Open it to any page and you will find gems, like What butter or whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for (Ireland), or A kind word warms for three winters (China). As They Say in Zanzibar could be used as a discussion lead-off at the dinner table or even on a first date. What someone makes of When you are chased by a wolf you call the boar your uncle (Slovenia) could be telling; at the very least, it could be fun.

Here are some proverbs dealing with books and reading:

Books

  • A book holds a house of gold (China)
  • It is better to be entirely without a book than to believe it entirely (China)
  • Many books do not use up words; many words do not use up thoughts (China)
  • Scholars talk books; butchers talk pigs (China)
  • If you want to be acquainted with the past and the present, you must read five cartloads of books (China)
  • One is happy when one has books, but happier still when one has no need of them (China)
  • To read a book for the first time is to make the acquaintance of a new friend; to read it a second time is to meet an old one (China)
  • The head is older than the book (Belgium)
  • Other people's books are difficult to read (Netherlands)
  • There is no worse robber than a bad book (Italy)
  • Teachers die, but books live on (Netherlands)
  • You can't judge a book by its cover (U.S.)
  • It is not healthy to swallow books without chewing (Germany)

Reading and Writing

  • After three days without reading, talk becomes flavourless (China)
  • Other people's books are difficult to read (Netherlands)
  • Those who read many epitaphs, lose their memory (Latin)
  • The wise read a letter backwards (Germany)
  • To read a book for the first time is to make the acquaintance of a new friend; to read it a second time is to meet an old one (China)
  • By writing we learn to write (France)
  • What one writes remains (Netherlands)
  • Wise silence has never been written down (Italy)
  • Good scribes are not those who write well, but who erase well (Russia)
  • Think much, say little, write less (France)
  • Learn to handle a writing-brush, and you'll never handle a begging-bowl (China)
  • Those who can read and write have four eyes (Albania)
  • A love-letter sometimes costs more than a three-cent stamp (U.S.)
  • The heart's letter is read in the eyes (England)
  • Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel (China)
  • The best memory is not so firm as faded ink (China)
  • In our alphabet, B comes after A (U.S.)
  • One can study calligraphy at eighty (Japan)
  • Where hands are needed words and letters are useless (Germany)
  • Ideas start with 'I' (U.S.)
  • When in anger, say the alphabet (U.S.)

Literature

  • Life without literature is death (Latin)
  • It is not good to be the poet of a village (Germany)
  • There dies a poet in everyone (England)
  • Poets are fathers of lies (Latin)
  • Poets and pigs are appreciated only after their death (Italy)
  • Slowly but surely the excrement of foreign poets will come to your village (Mali)
  • The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry (France)
  • One actor cannot make a play (U.S.)
  • Those that begin the play must continue it (Turkey)
  • Those who have free seats at a play hiss first (China)

--Marilyn Dahl

 


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby


Book Brahmins: Vicki Myron

Vicki Myron is the author with Bret Witter of Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, which is being published by Grand Central Publishing on September 24. She was born on a farm 15 miles from Spencer, Iowa. At the age of 34, after a failed marriage, single motherhood and a stint on welfare, she graduated summa cum laude from Mankato State University. She later received a master's degree from Emporia State University. She worked at the Spencer Public Library for 25 years, the last 20 as director. She lives in Spencer.

On your nightstand now:

A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul. I am on a quest for feel-good books that are true stories.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Any book that rhymed and a book my grandmother read about Freddy Fox Squirrel--I can't remember the author but I've always loved animal stories, especially true-to-life animal stories.

Your top five authors:

Torey Hayden, George Orwell, Frederick Manfred, Thomas Costain, Dr. Christine Bell. I read nonfiction almost exclusively now but will read good fiction. Loved the Harry Potter series.

Book you've faked reading:

All of Shakespeare's stuff in high school--just not a fan.

Book you're an evangelist for:

1984 by George Orwell. I loved Orwell's take on the future of the nation, and I feel he was way before his time. I always tied in the phrase "Most men live lives of quiet desperation" with his books. I believe in that phrase but am very grateful that it is not true for me.
 
Book you've bought for the cover:

Strangers by Rosie Thomas--a great fiction read and a good romance. The cover drew me because of the two clasped hands in the rubble of a shopping mall disaster. These two people couldn't see each other but held hands and formed a bond that lasted a lifetime due to their circumstances.

Book that changed your life:

Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (the first YA book I ever discovered--when the school library closed, I kept it).

Favorite line from a book:

Many lines from 1984 but my favorite lines now are from the Dewey book and were written by my co-author, Bret Witter. I love that "Dewey captured hearts, one lap at a time" and "The real truth is that for all those years, on the hard days, the good days, and all the unremembered days that make up the pages of the real book of our lives, Dewey was holding me."

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Wizard of Oz, with my daughter again. It was a nightly joy to read a chapter as she was growing up. That book and movie are still magical for us together.

 


Deeper Understanding

Darlin' of the Children's World: A Tribute to Coleen Salley

"Hey Daaaaahlin'!"
That was what you'd hear first,
If you were lucky enough to know Coleen Salley.
You'd definitely hear her before you saw her.
Her deep voice reverberated like a musical instrument.
And then she'd envelop you in the safest hug you'll ever know.
For 30 years she taught at the University of New Orleans,
And in her retirement she held the title
Distinguished Professor of Children's Literature.
I can just hear her laughing at that word "distinguished."
On Mardi Gras, you'd find her crammed into a shopping cart,
Queen of the parade, pushed by her krewe
Through the French Quarter
As she doled out refreshments
From a cooler stowed on the bottom rack.
At conferences, she made the Harper booth her home base.
Her friend Bill Morris would let her stash her bags and bags and bags of books
Beneath the tables.
This was no easy task--to find room for these bags and bags of books
(And some of them were not Harper books)
But Bill did it because he loved her.
At one IRA, several of us gathered (with refreshments)
In a hotel room.
Coleen Salley met Pam Conrad there for the first time.
Coleen loved The Tub People so much
That she just had to read it aloud to Pam,
To show her just how much she loved it.
Coleen can tell a story.
She proloooongs the suspense and she fills the characters voices
And when that Tub Boy goes down the drain
You think the world might end.
Pam couldn't imagine anyone reading it better.
At Pam's insistence, Coleen's is the voice on the audio recording of The Tub People.
It is definitely worth a listen.
I like to think that Pam and Bill and Coleen are together right now
Pouring a few drinks
And sharing some good stories.--Jennifer M. Brown

 


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