Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 3, 2005

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Albatros Media: Words about Where: Let's Learn Prepositions by Magda Gargulakova, illustrated by Marie Urbankova

Blackstone Publishing: Ordinary Bear by C.B. Bernard

St. Martin's Griffin: One Last Shot by Betty Cayouette

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella


Notes: Bookstore Wanted; Indigo's Black Ink

Shades of the effort on the south side of San Antonio, Tex., to lure a Waldenbooks:

Officials in Lawrence, Mass., birthplace of yours truly, lament that the city of 72,000 "on the verge of an economic turnaround" has no "large retail bookstore." The mayor told the Boston Globe that finding a store for the predominately Latino city is "the next phase in the city's rebirth," following the opening of many new businesses and two colleges. Barnes & Noble told the paper that Lawrence is "on its radar." Literacy advocates also want a bookstore.


Effective today, Google is offering thousands of books it has scanned to be searched, read and cut and pasted. It is also allowing limited printing. The books are not protected by copyright and come from the four libraries that have been participating in the controversial Print Library Project.

No need to google Google. For more information, go to


Barnes & Noble has signed a lease for a new store in Williamsburg, Va., that should open in August 2006. It will be located in the New Town Shopping Center at Ironbound Road and Monticello Avenue and stock close to 200,000 book, music, DVD and magazine titles.


Chip Kidd, cover designer extraordinaire at Knopf, is the subject of a glowing article in the House & Home section of today's New York Times. (His partner calls his apartment "the Bat Cave.") Chip Kidd, Book One: Work: 1986-2006 (Rizzoli, $65, 0847827488) is now out, and a retrospective of his work, related to what is in the book, opens November 17 at the Cooper Union in New York City.


In the quarter ended October 1, sales at Indigo Books & Music, Canada's largest bookseller, rose 10.8% to C$186.7 million (about US$158.5 million) and the company had a profit of C$1.1 million ($930,000) compared to a loss of C$7.8 million ($6.6 million) in the same period a year ago.

Sales at the company's superstores rose 12.9% to C$129 million ($109.5 million) while sales at mall stores increased 4.8% to C$34 million ($28.9 million). Sales at Indigo's online operations rose 40.3% to C$19.5 million ($16.5 million).

CEO Heather Reisman commented: "Clearly supply chain improvements, a continued focus on customer service and in-store merchandising combined to improve performance overall."

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Hot Off the Presses: Reading Group Choices 2006

Reading Group Choices's new owners Barbara Drummond Mead and Charlie Mead have issued the 12th edition of the annual guidebook Reading Group Choices: Selections for Lively Book Discussions, which highlights more than 40 titles that would be ideal choices for reading groups.

Among this year's titles are several that deal with books, including The History of Love by Nicole Krauss ("a tale of irony, imagination and the grand passions of books and love"), The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler ("a sly, witty novel that will thrill Austenites and non-Austenites alike") and Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky (his "fun and true account of [his] adventures gathering abandoned Yiddish books").

There are also several novels based on the Vietnam War: White Ghost Girl by Alice Greenway (which "deals with the sacrifice and solidarity of two sisters growing up in Hong Kong during the Vietnam War") and Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam by Paul Clayton ("the simple story of a naïve innocent boy sent to fight in 1968").

Reading Group Choices 2006 costs $6.95 for a single copy and $25 for a 10-pack. For more information and to order go to Reading Group Choices's Web site or e-mail

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Media and Movies

Book TV: Doris Kearns Goodwin in Depth

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 Web site.

Saturday, November 5

5 p.m. History on Book TV. David Abshire recounts his involvement in helping the White House after the Iran-Contra affair came to light, as discussed in his book Saving the Reagan Presidency: Trust Is the Coin of the Realm (Texas A&M Press, $29.95, 1585444669). (Re-airs on Sunday at 10:45 a.m.)

7 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired last year, Richard Perle talked about the book he co-wrote with David Frum, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror (Ballantine, $7.99, 0345477170).

8 p.m. After Words. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams (and an intern in the Carter White House) interviews Jimmy Carter about his new book, Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (S&S, $25, 0743284577), about the separation of church and state. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

11 p.m. Public Lives. Ron Powers, author of Mark Twain: A Life (Free Press, $35, 0743248996).

Sunday, November 6

12 p.m. In Depth: Doris Kearns Goodwin, the presidential historian whose most recent book is Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (S&S, $35, 0684824906). Viewers can join this three-hour conversation by calling in during the program or e-mailing questions to (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

Media Heat: Yoko on John

On the Today Show today:

  • On the Today's Kitchen segment, Giuliano Hazan tries to cook up some interest in his How to Cook Italian (Scribner, $35, 0743244362).
  • Anthony Swofford, whose Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles (Scribner, $14, 0743287215) is the basis for the movie of the same name opening tomorrow.
  • The one and only Yoko Ono, whose Memories of John (HarperEntertainment, $24.95, 0060594551) appears in December.

Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Scott Turow, whose new novel is Ordinary Heroes (FSG, $25, 0374184216).


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:

  • Penn Jillette, half of the team of Penn & Teller and author of How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker: The Wisdom of Dickie Richard (St. Martin's, $19.95, 031234905X).
  • Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (Norton, $35, 0393058204).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Jane Smiley, author of Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel (Knopf, $26.95, 1400040590). As the show describes it: "Join us for an informal conversation in which two novel-lovers share their deep passions for reading. Jane loves the realists (Austen, Trollope); Michael the Bookworm loves the inventors (Kafka, Cervantes). But more than anything, they love 'a lengthy written narrative with a protagonist.'"


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: David McCullough, whose most recent book is 1776 (S&S, $32, 0743226712).


Tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (with Jokes): Al Franken, author of The Truth (with Jokes) (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949062).

Books & Authors

Original Voices Choices at Borders

Borders's Original Voices selections for November, spotlighting "innovative new authors," include the following book titles (music is also part of the program):


The Town That Forgot How to Breathe by Kenneth J. Harvey (St. Martin's, $24.95, 0312342225). "Mythical sea creatures emerge from sailors' memories and into the real world. The perfectly preserved corpses of long-dead wash ashore. These are just some of the eerie phenomena plaguing the town of Bareneed in this haunting gothic tale."

Music through the Floor by Eric Puchner (Scribner, $24, 0743270460). "Eric Puchner gives voice to a collection of chronically misunderstood characters in his debut work. Tourists, foreign-language teachers, illegal immigrants, and ten-year-old boys all struggle to fit in to the mainstream in this funny, generous, offbeat collection of short stories."


Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic, $16.99, 0439755190). "Steven is 13. He loves to play drums. He has an enormous crush on Renee, the school hottie. He's living a normal adolescence. Then his 5-year-old brother is diagnosed with leukemia, and everything changes. This is a realistic and moving portrait of family tragedy."

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Richard Yancey (Bloomsbury, $16.95, 1582346933). "The literal survival of the planet is at stake in this fast-paced, funny, and gripping adventure story involving the theft of Excalibur, King Arthur's legendary sword. Alfred Kropp is an average high-school kid who unwittingly becomes involved in an evil plot."

Deeper Understanding

Café Scientifique to Open Doors and Minds Next Week

The Experiment

To be held next Thursday, November 10, from 7-9 p.m., at the Bar Pilar in Washington, D.C., Café Scientifique features four Joseph Henry Press authors who will sit separately and meet groups of interested readers in "round robin fashion" for 10 minutes at a time. Two are authors of frontlist titles; two have backlist titles. About 125 people are expected. The event is free, but there is a cash bar and dinner. Olsson's, the Washington area bookseller, will sell copies of the titles. Special cocktails are being created, one to go with each book.

The authors and titles are:

  • Robert Hazen whose Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin is the inspiration for a drink that Bar Pilar's main bartender plans to create, "a primordial sludge kind of cocktail," as Litts put it.
  • Julie Wakefield, author of Halley's Quest: A Selfless Genius and His Troubled 'Paramore.'
  • Robert Zimmerman, author of Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel.
  • David Lindley, author of Degrees Kelvin: A Tale of Genius, Invention, and Tragedy.

The Premise

Organizer Matt Litts, publicity director and assistant marketing manager at Joseph Henry Press, the trade imprint of the National Academies Press, happily called Café Scientifique "an atypical book event in an atypical book environment," a mixture of "the tradition of an 18th-century smoky tavern," where scientists and others would meet to carry on "scientific dialogue," and a "takeoff on speed dating." Marketing director Ann Merchant suggested "something along these lines," he said.

Litts said he hoped that participants will be comfortable enough to say, "I don't agree with that" or "I don't understand that." He would like, he continued, "some serious dialogue. It will be like a book club but the authors will sit there with them."

Reactive Agents

As of earlier this week, the press had about 75 positive RSVPs. It will be sending out more invitations and expects extra interest from an upcoming Washington Post article on the event. The press has sent e-mailings to its own lists, several science lists, an Olsson's event list and others.

Besides helping two independent businesses--Olsson's and the Bar Pilar--"we're supporting the community," Litts said. He also wants to create word of mouth, "the best form of marketing."

Findings and Outlook

The press hopes to do more such events. "We have the template now and should be able to do it with some regularity," he said, noting that already he has been contacted by "a half dozen authors in the area" asking to be included in the next Café Scientifique. The press would happily work with other publishers. "It would be really neat to have some big-time trade science authors doing this," Litts added.

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