Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Atria Books: Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford

Berkley Books: The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Walker Books Us: Welcome to Your Period! by Yumi Stynes and Melissa Kang, illustrated by Jenny Latham

Scholastic Press: Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

News

Notes: Book Club Bonanza; Bookstore Basketball

Cool idea of the day: on March 25 at 7 p.m., R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., will hold a Book Club Bonanza for members of book clubs. At the party, the store will discuss the results of a survey it is taking of book club members of their clubs' top books. As Roxanne Coady wrote in a store e-mail asking members to write in with picks, "No need to have your book club reach a consensus--just think about the books that kept your group talking late into the night (hopefully with wine and just a little bit of gossip)."

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Best basketball book ever? Foul: The Connie Hawkins Story by David Wolf. In other basketball book news, GalleyCat reported that Stephanie Anderson, manager of Word bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., "has created a literary basketball league, running pale, computer-bound, and shy writers up and down the chain-link courts of Brooklyn." A great jump shot is not enough, however, because "if you want to join the league, you have to pass a literary test first."

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Love the aroma of old books? New Yorker's Book Bench blog showcased CB I Hate Perfume in Brooklyn, N.Y., which sells In the Library, "a perfume inspired by the proprietor Christopher Brosius's love of books and his inability to pass a secondhand bookshop without stopping in."

According to the company, the perfume is "supposed to evoke a first-edition English novel via 'Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth, and a hint of wood polish.' "

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Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (HarperOne, $25.99 9780061650758/0061650757), has been named Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Jones, who is founder and president of Green For All, possesses "a unique ability to inspire people of all colors, classes and generations to uplift vulnerable people, while protecting our vulnerable planet."

Publisher Mark Tauber called The Green Collar Economy "a book we all believed in from the start, and it has been both exciting and rewarding to see Van and his message embraced by so many. All of us here at HarperOne are proud that the work and ideas that were presented in The Green Collar Economy will continue in Washington, D.C."

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Two "previously unseen manuscripts" have been discovered among the papers left behind by Roberto Bolaño after his death, according to the Guardian, which reported that the novels are titled Diorama and The Troubles of the Real Police Officer. The documents may also include a sixth section of Bolaño's 2666.

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One part of the book world is apparently recession-proof. The Time Traveler’s Wife author Audrey Niffenegger sold the rights to her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, to Scribner for "close to $5 million, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations," the New York Times reported.

Scribner outbid "several large New York publishing houses, as well as the original hardcover publisher of The Time Traveler’s Wife, MacAdam/Cage." The novel is scheduled for release at the end of September.

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A Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled that Clive Cussler must pay $13.9 million in legal fees to the production company that made the film version of his novel, Sahara. According to the Associated Press (via the New York Times), Cussler had sued Crusader Entertainment in 2004, claiming that he "was not permitted final approval on the script as his contract mandated, which resulted in the box office failure of the film." Crusader countersued, arguing that it had "overpaid for the rights to Mr. Cussler’s work because he had overstated the sales of his novels. In 2007 a jury delivered a split decision."

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The immense success of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series has given the publishing industry a vampire-inspired sales bump, according to USA Today, which observed that "new and established writers are jumping on the bandwagon with novels featuring everything from vampire finishing schools to the young, beautiful vampire glitterati of New York."

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Wonder what antique e-book stores will look like in the future? The New York Times technology blog featured a peek at a store that "would only sell e-books that are more than two weeks old--adamantly not selling new e-books. . . . The store would be located in a converted old house with a creaky front door. As you walked in, you would know right away that you're in an antique e-book store. . . . In the front window of the store would be two antique e-book-loving cats."

You get the idea.

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Daniel Smetanka has joined Phoenix Books & Audio as managing editor. He was formerly executive editor at Ballantine/Random House and earlier was an international literary scout and a publishing consultant to Amblin/Dreamworks and the Kennedy/Marshall Company.

Judith Abarbanelis has joined Phoenix Books & Audio as marketing manager. She is a formerly marketing director for the National Lampoon and is an author and ghostwriter.

 


Berkley Books: Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto


'Buy Local' Rules in Santa Cruz

Calling Santa Cruz, Calif., "a small-town goldmine of a literary scene," SantaCruz.com featured an extensive look at the "buy local" movement from the perspective of Capitola Book Café, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Bookworks Aptos, Literary Guillotine and Logos Books and Records.

Melinda Powers, co-owner of Capitola Book Café, expressed confidence that the community's focus on buying local will succeed. "People are more aware now that their money has power," she said.
 
At Bookshop Santa Cruz, owner Casey Coonerty Protti observed that an economic recession is only one of several challenges tha bookstore has faced in its 44 years. "When people talk about the economy, all we can say is we've been through worse," she said. "If we can come out through the earthquake, we can make it through this." Adaptation is one key to survival: "Ever since Borders came in (in 2000), we've had to make changes," said Protti, noting that this strategy has included making the staff more cross-functional and offering online shopping options.

SantaCruz.com also reported that Bookshop Santa Cruz founder Neal Coonerty "describes the support-your-fellow-locals relationship between Bookshop and Santa Cruz denizens as 'a two-way street. We feel like you should be aware of where you shop and how it affects the community, and also the shop should be close to the community and know what it really needs.'"

Traci Fishburn, co-owner of Bookworks Aptos, cited the advantage of owning a smaller bookshop while the chain stores are struggling to survive the economic meltdown: "It's an interesting thing as these big giants are falling. It's become quite, quite a trend to shop local. We're small; it doesn't take as much to keep us open as it does for a 20,000-square-foot store."

Indies received a strong vote of support from author and part-time Santa Cruz resident Jonathan Franzen, who said, "The thought of not being able to browse at Bookshop, or browse and have a cup of coffee at Capitola Book Cafe, is a sad one. The community becomes poorer when places like that shut down, and no one is being done any favors by an Amazon order. . . . You can't wag your fingers at people and say, ‘You must read more, because it's good for you.' But if you do read, buy locally."

 


GLOW: Beacon Press: Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother by G'Ra Asim


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Enough Already!

Today on Talk of the Nation: Myron Uhlberg, author of Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love (Bantam, $23, 9780553806885/0553806882).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Spain: A Culinary Road Trip by Mario Batali (Ecco, $34.95, 9780061560934/0061560936).

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Tomorrow on Oprah: Peter Walsh, author of Enough Already!: Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You (Free Press, $26, 9781416560180/1416560181). He will also appear this morning on Good Morning America.

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: part one of a two-part interview with Frank Bidart, author of Watching the Spring Festival: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $13, 9780374531720/0374531722). As the show put it: "The word most frequently used to describe Frank Bidart's poetry is 'intense.' He has spoken in the voice of an anorexic, of Nijinsky going mad, of various criminals and philosophers. Here, he describes his own desperation, and speaks of his own intensities as being generated by the failures of love."

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Emmanuel Jal, author of War Child: A Child Soldier's Story (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312383220/0312383223).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Tom Zoellner, author of Uranium: War, Energy and the Rock That Shaped the World (Viking, $26.95, 9780670020645/0670020648).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty (Random House, $22, 9781400067107/1400067103). He is also on the Diane Rehm Show today.

 


Book Industry Charitable Foundation: Double your donation!


Movies: When Dinotrux Roamed the Planet

DreamWorks Animation has optioned the rights to Dinotrux, an illustrated children's book set in an era when "when the world was ruled by Dinotrux, creatures that were part trucks, part dinosaurs, with species like the Craneosauraus, Garbageadon and Tyrannosaurus Trux plowing and bulldozing their way across the terrain," Variety reported. The book, written by Chris Gall, is scheduled for release this spring from Little, Brown Young Readers.

 


Beaming Books: Inspiring New Nonfiction from Broadleaf Books


Books & Authors

Awards: Galaxy British Book Awards

Under the headline, "Obama battles vampires for Galaxy prize," the Guardian reported that finalists have been named for this year's Galaxy British Book Awards (the Nibbies), and that a "spokesperson for the prize said that the American president would be welcome to attend the awards ceremony on 3 April. 'He's in London for the G20 summit, but I think he will be otherwise engaged,' she added."

The Nibbies shortlists:

Author of the Year
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  • Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
  • The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain
Biography of the Year
  • At My Mother's Knee . . . and Other Low Joints by Paul O'Grady
  • Coming Back to Me by Marcus Trescothick
  • Dear Fatty by Dawn French
  • Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
  • Miracles of Life by J.G. Ballard
  • That's Another Story by Julie Walters
Crime Thriller of the Year
  • The Business by Martina Cole
  • Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
  • Revelation by C.J. Sansom
  • When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
Newcomer of the Year
  • Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
  • Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  • The Marriage Bureau For Rich People by Farahad Zama
  • Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
  • One of Us by Melissa Benn
Popular Fiction Award
  • Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
  • Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks
  • The Outcast by Sadie Jones
  • Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
  • Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble
  • This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Popular Non-Fiction Award
  • The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
  • Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr
  • The Mighty Book of Boosh by Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt
  • Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry
  • The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
Richard & Judy's Best Read of the Year
  • The Bolter by Frances Osborne
  • The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman
  • The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
  • December by Elizabeth H Winthrop
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
  • The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin
  • Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
  • The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
  • The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
  • When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
Children's Book of the Year
  • Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Ben Cort
  • Horrid Henry Robs the Bank by Francesca Simon
  • Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People by Dav Pilkey
  • Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Shelf Starter: Tone Deaf in Bangkok

Tone Deaf in Bangkok (and Other Places) by Janet Brown, photographs by Nana Chen (ThingsAsian Press/IPS, $12.95 trade paper, 9781934159125/1934159123, April 2009)

Opening lines of books we want to read:

I live, at this point in my life, in the ideal American city. Seattle is small enough to be friendly, large enough to be urban, and is surrounded by enough natural beauty to launch a million calendars. Its inhabitants can walk to work, drink the tap water, and pass by a dog without worrying that it might be rabid. It's a city without dengue fever, avian flu, malaria or leprosy. The temperature rarely goes above ninety degrees or much below freezing. Tourists come to the bookstore where I work, raving about this place, and it takes everything I have to keep from saying, "Thanks. Glad you like it. It bores me silly."

I can't help it. I've been warped for life. I've given my heart and whatever might pass for my soul to a city that is infamous around the world for its sin, pollution, and political chicanery. It's such a filthy place that I've scraped dirt from my skin while sitting in an apartment fifteen minutes after having taken a shower, and I've had to pick my way down neighborhood thoroughfares to avoid stepping in dog shit. The air tastes like a cigarette and frequently smells far worse. Most people can't wait to leave it, and I can't wait to return. Yes, it's true. I'm thoroughly besotted with Bangkok.

Like all lifelong relationships, this one has its flaws. It certainly wasn't love at first sight or a whirlwind romance, and I've tried to file divorce papers more than once, but I've always come crawling back.

--Selected by Marilyn Dahl

 


Book Brahmin: Zoe Heller

London-born and Oxford-educated, Zoe Heller acquired her M.A. from Columbia University in 1988. After graduate school, she returned to England, where she worked briefly in publishing, then as a journalist, book reviewer and feature writer for various British newspapers. In the 1990s, she moved to New York and began chronicling her experiences as a single woman in the Big Apple. In 2000, she published a darkly comic novel entitled Everything You Know. Although it was savaged by the British press (a sour grapes-induced snubbing and drubbing Heller admits still stings), the book received enthusiastic reviews in the U.S. She followed that with What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal. The Believers, her third novel, was published on March 3 by HarperCollins.

On your nightstand now:

Bouvard and Pecuchet
by Flaubert; A Clock Without Hands by Carson McCullers; The Lost Leader by Mick Imlah.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Mistress Masham's Repose by T.H. White and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

Your top five authors:

Sybille Bedford, Jane Austen, Joseph Roth, Leo Tolstoy, Nancy Mitford.
 
Book you've faked reading:

I faked reading quite a lot of Anglo-Saxon poetry when I was at university. Other than that--I'm not prepared to out myself.

Book you're an evangelist for:

A Legacy by Sybille Bedford.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles by Rupert Kingfisher. I bought it for my eight-year-old daughter solely on the basis of its charming dust jacket. I haven't read it, but my daughter tells me it's pretty good.
 
Book that changed your life:

I guess everything you read, good and bad, changes you in tiny, incremental ways; the only book I can think of that effected a major and immediate, 'Whoah, Betty!' kind of change was My Secret Life, The Sex Diary of a Victorian Gentleman (author unknown). I found it in my grandparents' bookshelves when I was 10.

Favorite line from a book:

"You have delighted us long enough."--Mr. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, encouraging his daughter, Mary, to stop singing.

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

Can I be the age I was when I first read them? If so, I'll take Asterix in Britain by Goscinny and Uderzo or The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff.

 



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