Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 11, 2005


Little Simon: Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird

Houghton Mifflin: No Place for Monsters by Kory Merritt

Algonquin Young Readers: Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Timber Press: As the World Burns: The New Generation of Activists and the Landmark Legal Fight Against Climate Change by Lee Van Der Voo

IDW Publishing: Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni, illustrtaed by Thibault Balahy

News

Untimely Deaths: James Haskins, Byron Preiss

James Haskins, who wrote more than 100 books, mostly histories and biographies for children, died last Wednesday. He was 63. Haskins focused on African American history and figures. His writing career started in 1969, when Barney Rosset at Grove published his Diary of a Harlem Schoolteacher, based on his experience teaching a special ed class. He also wrote The Cotton Club, which inspired the movie of the same name.

In particularly tragic and shocking news, Byron Preiss, a packager, publisher and author who was a pioneer in electronic and interactive media and digital publishing and whose titles covered many fields--from graphic novels to history to children's literature--died in traffic accident on Saturday. He was 52.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Tune It Out by Jamie Summer


Store Closings: North Carolina, Massachusetts

In less dire but still unfortunate news, several bookstores are closing.

Bristol Books, which at one point had several stores in and near Wilmington, N.C., is closing its last outlet, on Eastwood Road, at the end of the month. Between increased competition, a somewhat difficult location, the desire to spend more time with their children and the growth of Joann's interest in fine art photography, David and Joann Bristol are leaving the business after 15 years. Read their announcement and a note from bookseller Nicki Leone on the store's Web site.

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The Globe Corner Bookstore closed its Harvard Square location in Cambridge, Mass., yesterday after 17 years in business, according to the Boston Globe. But the travel bookstore will continue its substantial online business and intends to open a store in Boston's Back Bay this fall (where it used to have a store) and may even reopen in Harvard Square. President Pat Carrier (the Globe morphed him into a Currier but not an Ives) told the paper that impending street work, last year's exterior renovation of the building and a rent increase all contributed to the decision to close. The company is descended from the Old Corner Bookstore in Boston that was founded in 1829.


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 07.06.20


Nobel Laureate Claude Simon Dies

Claude Simon, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1985 and a major nouveau roman writer, died at 91 last Wednesday. Not exactly a household name in the U.S., Simon rejected traditional literary forms; in one book, par exemple, a sentence meanders along for 30 pages. His best-known work is The Flanders Road, one of several of his oeuvre dealing with the defeat of France in 1940, which he experienced firsthand as a cavalryman.

University Press of Kentucky: The Redshirt (University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose) by Corey Sobel


Media and Movies

Eldest Attains Largest Ad Budget

Knopf Books for Young Readers is spending $500,000 to advertise Eldest, the second in Christopher Paolini's fantasy trilogy that started with Eragon, according to today's Wall Street Journal. Eldest appears August 23 and has a print run of one million copies. Eragon, which has more than two million copies in print in North America, was aided by online word of mouth, so some of the money will go to advertising on several SF and fantasy Web sites and to an online Alagaesia adventure game. More traditional ad sites include USA Today, the New Yorker, Teen People and People. This is Knopf's largest children's book ad budget.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss


Media Heat: Jim Dale Reads Potter

On Friday, Fresh Air offered a tribute to the late Evan Hunter, aka Ed McBain.

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Bob Woodward continues being very public about The Secret Man (S&S, $23, 0743287150), appearing on Imus in the Morning and Larry King Live today.

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This afternoon the View talks with Simone Simmons, author of Diana: The Last Word (St. Martin's, $23.95, 0312354991)--even though it is unlikely to be the last word on this subject.

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show, Jim Dale, the voice of the U.S. Harry Potter audiobooks reads a passage from Harry Potter live.

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Tomorrow on the View, Disney helmer Michael Eisner continues to talk Camp (Warner, $22.95, 0446533696), his memoir about summer camp and lessons learned there.

Amazon at 10: Times Is Still Uncertain

Yesterday's New York Times business section looks at Amazon at age 10, mainly from the point of view of investors. The main criticism goes back a decade: the elusive hunt for sustained profits. The story also wonders whether management could have been stronger, whether the company has expanded into too many product categories--31 currently--and whether the rate of growth is slipping behind competitors. One observer said that founder Jeff Bezos's focus on the customer at the expense of shareholders is "both Jeff's brilliance and his curse."


Four of a Kind: Poker Picks

Appropriately for a day whose abbreviation is 7/11 and during the 36th World Series of Poker, which has drawn 6,000 players to Las Vegas to compete for a prize fund of at least $50 million, we peek at a Friday Wall Street Journal roundup of new poker books. The titles are all the more timely as poker achieves a new popularity with adults and even high school kids.

  • Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker by the improbably named Chris Moneymaker with Daniel Paisner (HarperEntertainment, $23.95, 006076001X) is a "surprisingly fresh" account of Moneymaker's "Cinderella story" of two years ago, when he won the World Series of Poker.
  • One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player (Atria, $25, 0743476581), a book about the late ace of card games who won nearly $30 million but squandered everything, including his gaming ability, on drugs, women and sports and race betting. The book was written by Nolan Dalla and Peter Alson using many contributions from Ungar, who died before the book was completed.
  • The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time by Michael Craig (Warner, $24.95, 0446577693), about Andy Beal, a Texas banker who played spectacularly high-stakes games in Las Vegas with top pros, including Howard Lederer, who won $9.3 million from Beal.
  • The Making of a Poker Player by Matt Matros (Citadel, $14.95, 0818406429), a combination memoir/how-to guide by the man who last year won $700,000 at the World Poker Championship and used some of his earnings to get an MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Another book on poker and a novel are on the way.

Reviewer Christopher F. Chabris, a chess National Master and lecturer in Harvard's department of psychology, emphasized that poker has surpassed chess in "mind sport" popularity in part "by adopting a chess-like tournament structure, with an upfront financial commitment that minimizes the gambling aspect and maximizes the returns on strategic and tactical skill."


More...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Screen

This coming weekend many young muggles will be absorbed by the latest in a certain fantastic series. Then again, maybe they'll feel harried at times and want a break from reading, in which case, it's fine that the remake of the movie of the equally fantastic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opens this Friday.

The movie is based on one of the most wonderful children's books ever, which Shelf Awareness's John Mutter remembers adoring when a school librarian, bless her, read it aloud soon after publication. Whimsical, cutting, hilarious, gratifying, it has a sensibility that resonates for adults. Originally published in 1964, it has sold more than 13.7 million copies worldwide.

Directed by Tim Burton of Big Fish and Edward Scissorhands fame with a screenplay by John August and starring Johnny Depp as Willie Wonka, the movie seems promising--and more appealing than the 1971 movie that author Roald Dahl reportedly disliked intensely. Besides not changing the name (the earlier movie was called Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), most of the songs by Danny Elfman use Dahl's wonderful words.

Johnny Depp is doing his best to promote the movie, appearing on the Today Show today and on the Tonight Show on Wednesday. On Thursday, he'll appear with Freddie Highmore, who plays Charlie Bucket, on the Today Show. Highmore appears on Today all by himself on Wednesday, and Anna Sophia Robb, who plays Violet Beauregarde, appears on the same show on Tuesday.

There are many official tie-in titles. Puffin is publishing the official paperback tie-in with illustrations by Quentin Blake ($6.99, 0142403881) as well as a picture book tie-in ($6.99, 0142404209).

Knopf Books for Young Readers has the hardcover tie-in edition also with illustrations by Quentin Blake ($14.95, 0375834605). Besides the usual movie art on the jacket, this book has an eight-page full-color photo insert. Knopf additionally has a library binding tie-in edition ($16.99, 037593460X).

HarperAudio has the tie-in unabridged CD ($25.95, 0060852801), which is read by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame, an inspired choice.

Of course, there's more. In fact, it's practically a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory factory. Penguin is offering the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Scrumdiddlyumptious Joke Book ($5.99, 014240389X), and its Price Stern Sloan imprint has several tie-in titles:
  • Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Color and Draw ($3.99, 0843116366).
  • Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Activity Book ($4.99, 0843116277).
  • Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Sticker Book ($4.99, 0843116269).

There are even tie-in editions of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator ($6.99, 0142404128) and D Is for Dahl by Wendy Cooling with illustrations by Quentin Blake (Penguin, $15.99, 0670060232), which has facts and trivia about Dahl and his creations. (Among his other wonderful children's books: James and the Giant Peach.)


AuthorBuzz: Constable: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (A Crown Colony Novel) by Ovidia Yu
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