Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 5, 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

Idlewild Books Owner Sees 'Vacuum as an Opportunity'

"More than 95 per cent of what's published here is American so that's what people buy, and even the foreign lit that does get translated and published doesn't get a lot of attention. As a new bookstore owner trying to make his way in the world of chains and Amazon, I see that vacuum as an opportunity. The great indie stores, in my opinion, are not homier versions of chain stores but rather places with great stuff on the tables that you don't see anywhere else. Even though there should be more of it, there is so much great literature in translation available here that you almost never hear about--and more all the time thanks to small presses like Archipelago, NYRB, New Directions, Dalkey and Europa. It needs to be brought to people's attention and promoted but that's what independent stores do best."--David Del Vecchio, Idlewild Books, New York, N.Y., in an interview with Bookslut. See our own profie (Shelf Awareness, June 15, 2008).

 


Amulet Books: Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas


News

Notes: Online Retailers Adjust; Bookstore to Move, Not Close

Online retailers expect sales growth to slow during the holiday season, although half of them expect to see their online sales rise at least 15%, according to a Shop.org survey of 60 e-tailers, quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

The survey by the National Retail Federation unit also found that a majority of respondents will offer free shipping, but 21% of them said they would raise the minimum purchase requirement. And nearly half of the e-tailers are upgrading their websites by adding product videos, customer reviews and clearance-sale pages as well as creating Facebook pages.

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Aria Booksellers, Howell, Mich., will not be closing after all. The Livingston Daily reported that the bookstore, owned by Mary Ellen Aria, will stay open in the downtown area, but move to a new location. Earlier this year (Shelf Awareness, May 27, 2008), Aria had said that she was hoping to sell because "I just can't fight the fight by myself anymore."  

"I decided I was selling a lot of my books online and I still am and I thought that's cool," said Aria, "but I also had a lot of phone sales and my good customers are calling me, so where are they going to pick up their books?"

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In June 2010, Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in the Elk Grove Promenade in Elk Grove, Calif., near Sacramento.

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Butterfly Books, De Pere, Wis., will close at the end of January unless a buyer is found for the children's bookstore. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported "owners Mark and Barbara Wilson are moving to Utah in the spring."

"We are saying it is business as usual," Barbara said. "We have so many books on the shelves and we are going to continue to get our favorite books and have our story times (and all our classes). We are going to keep going to the very end. . . . Amazingly, we are even with last year. Sales have been great."

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"We love sharing books with others. It's a fun thing," Sue Boucher, owner of Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, Ill., told the Lake County News Sun, which reported that Boucher "assumed ownership 13 years ago when the previous owner was going to liquidate the store. At that point, Lake Forest Books had not yet been in business for 50 years. Boucher said she felt that it needed to hit that mark, since it opened in 1949."

 


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


Cool Idea of the Day: Making Bookstore Visits an 'Adventure'

The Learned Owl, Hudson, Ohio, has created a program intended to make it "an adventure" every time customers come into the store: as the store newsletter put it, "a cute little character named Christopher PopInKins will be hiding in a Main Street window--a different window each week. Find him every week, and be entered to win a prize!"

Also with every purchase, customers may pick a puzzle piece out of a jar. If the piece matches a blank spot on the store's completed puzzle, the customer wins a $10 Learned Owl gift card.

 


Ecco Press: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha


Media and Movies

Media Heat: 007 on a New Mission

Today on the View: Vernon Jordan, author of Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out (PublicAffairs, $24.95, 9781586482985/158648298X).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Roger Moore, author of My Word Is My Bond: A Memoir (Collins, $27.95, 9780061673887/0061673889). The former Mr. Bond also parachutes onto the View later tomorrow.

Also on the Today Show: Warrick Dunn, author of Running for My Life: My Journey in the Game of Football and Beyond (HarperEntertainment, $25.95, 9780061432644/0061432644).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Diane Johnson, author of Lulu in Marrakech (Dutton, $25.95, 9780525950370/0525950370). As the show put it: "Here's a conversation about ambivalence, ambiguity and judgment in a comic or satiric novel. Usually, we would know exactly where the author stands, but not with Diane Johnson. She heightens cultural dissonance and gives us a portrait of Middle Eastern society that is--like the world itself--beyond easy resolution."

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Tomorrow night on Late Night with Conan O'Brien: Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state and author of Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (Harper, $26.95, 9780061351808/0061351806).

 


NCIBA & SCIBA: Holiday Catalog


Movie: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa opens November 7. Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer star as voices of a group of zoo animals escaping confinement in New York. A children's book tie-in, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: Air Penguin, has been published by HarperTrophy ($3.99, 9780061577642/0061577642).

 

 


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby



Books & Authors

Awards: World Fantasy Winners

Winners of the 2008 World Fantasy Awards, announced at the World Fantasy Convention in Calgary, Alberta, over the weekend:

  • Novel: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada/Penguin Roc)
  • Novella: Illyria by Elizabeth Hand (PS Publishing)
  • Short Story: "Singing of Mount Abora" by Theodora Goss (Logorrhea, Bantam Spectra)
  • Anthology: Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor)
  • Collection: Tiny Deaths by Robert Shearman (Comma Press)
  • Artist: Edward Miller
  • Special Award, Professional: Peter Crowther for PS Publishing
  • Special Award, Non-professional: Midori Snyder and Terri Windling for Endicott Studios Website
  • Life Achievement: Leo and Diane Dillon and Patricia McKillip

 


Mandahla: Cookbooks

We hear that cookbooks will sell better than ever this year, since the economy is sending people back to their kitchens. That's as may be (as my grandma would say); who needs an additional reason to buy cookbooks? They are irresistible, like the ones we have chosen this fall.

Starting with a cookbook that could double as an art book, Haute Chinese Cuisine from the Kitchen of Wakiya by Yuji Wakiya (Kodansha, $42, 9784770030726/477003072X, November 2008) is a stunner. Sugar-glazed duck liver, echoing the curves of a black ceramic plate on the opposite page, resembles a sculpture of dark brown polished metal. An orange and gold wok-smoked fish mimics the blue fish painted on a white bowl. Crab meat and crab roe dumplings are a smooth ivory still life. Forest green plates seem to hover against a ruby red brocade wall. Tofu cubes covered with glossy black sesame sauce are edible lacquer boxes. Peonies, embroidered silk and moss-covered stones highlight recipes from Smoked Lamb Chops to Tan Tan Soup Noodles to Three Tea Sundae. Most of the recipes look doable; a few look more difficult, like Lily Bulb Soup and Shaoxing-cured Egg Yolk, but who would want to even open this book in a kitchen? You might need two: one for the kitchen, one for the coffee table.

Sumptuous is the word for Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey by Greg and Lucy Malouf (Chronicle, $50, 9780811866033/0811866033, October 2008), from the embossed cloth cover to the lavish photographs. The recipes are equally superb. Crunchy Red Lentil Köfte with fresh mint and cumin; Spicy Kısır Salad, which is like tabbouleh but with pomegranate molasses and green chile; Yogurt and Honey Sorbet; Pistachio and Lamb Kebabs; Pumpkin Soup with cardamom, cinnamon, leeks and pekmez (grape molasses). It all sounds perfect for the coming chilly months. The authors provide plenty of information about Turkey's culture and cuisine and have a refreshing, practical attitude. When describing the recipe for Sultan's Delight, a lamb ragout with cheesy eggplant puree, Greg Malouf says that traditionally a béchamel sauce accompanies the dish, but he subs Gruyère or cheddar, since he's "not keen on gloppy flour-based sauces." Conversations with cooks and food vendors are abundant, and the hospitality, warmth and food in Turquoise capture the essence of an extraordinary country.

The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey by Janna Gur (Schocken, $35, 9780805212242/0805212248, August 2008) is another cookbook that resembles a coffee table book. Filled with luscious photographs of both recipes and Israeli scenes (the double-page spread of a pomegranate orchard is splendid), it's a treasure of diverse cultures and cuisines. Israeli cuisine is a mixture of Arab, Jewish, Eastern European, North African and other Mediterranean traditions, like the intriguing Water Salad--tomatoes and cucumbers are combined with garlic, parsley, mint and lemon, then covered with ice water and refrigerated, making a cold soup. Or roasted eggplant dips and salads; Tabuleh strewn with pomegranate seeds; Shakshuka ("It has three mandatory ingredients: tomatoes, hot sauce, and eggs. Anything else is open for debate, Israeli style."), served in the same frying pan it is cooked in; Laffa (Iraqi pita); Chreime, a North African hot fish stew; Balkan-style Stuffed Peppers; Magical Honey Cake that matures for seven days before serving. There are recipes for Passover and Hanukkah and for Ramadan and Eid El-Fitur. Truly an eclectic feast of a cookbook.--Marilyn Dahl

 


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