Shelf Awareness for Thursday, May 21, 2009


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

B&N First Quarter: Bad News, Good News

In the first quarter ended May 2, total sales at Barnes & Noble fell 4.4% to $1.1 billion and net loss was $2.1 million compared to a net loss of $566,000 in the same period a year ago.

Sales at B&N stores open at least a year fell 5.7%, better than the predicted drop in a range of 6%-9%. B&N.com sales were $93 million, a 7% drop from the same period last year.

B&N noted that the net loss of $2.1 million was much less than the predicted range of $5.25 million-$10.5 million. B&N cited "better than expected revenues, gross margins and a continuous focus on expense management" for the results.

Among bestselling titles during the quarter were two Barnes & Noble Recommends selections--Sandra Dallas's Prayers for Sale and Spencer Quinn's Dog on It. Other bestsellers included Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny.

During the quarter, six Barnes & Noble stores were opened and six were closed, and one B. Dalton store was closed.

B&N's board has approved a quarterly dividend of 25 cents a share.

 


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


Notes: Google-UM Agreement; BAM Ends Daytona Beach Break

Google has offered another change in its book-scanning project, apparently hoping to satisfy at least some critics of the settlement between it and authors and publishers that is pending.

The company has signed a new agreement with the University of Michigan, whose library is one of the university libraries whose collection has been scanned by Google. Under the agreement, the University has "a degree of oversight over the prices Google" can charge for its digital library, the New York Times said. The University can object to prices Google charges other libraries, and any such disputes would be resolved through arbitration. But only the 21 libraries in the U.S. whose collections have been scanned may make such pricing objections.

In addition, the new agreement "gives the university, and any library that signs a similar agreement, a discount on its subscription proportional to the number of books" it allows to be scanned. As a result, the University of Michigan "will receive Google's service free for 25 years."

Corey Williams, associate director of the American Library Association, told the Times that "any library must have the ability to request that the judge review the pricing should a dispute arise."

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Books-A-Million, which had closed a store in Daytona Beach, Fla., in January 2008, when the mall began renovations, has reopened in another mall, the Volusia Mall, where a Waldenbooks had closed at the beginning of this year, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

At 15,000 square feet, the new BAM store is 7,000 square feet smaller than the old store and offers "a change in the format and focus," district manager Robert Harper told the paper. A grand opening celebration is planned for the weekend after Memorial Day.

The BAM outlet will be spared some competition that had loomed: Barnes & Noble had planned to be a tenant at a nearby lifestyle center that is under construction but has backed out of the deal.

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Town and gown--bookstore edition. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Daily Tar Heel noted that the "current economic recession has noticeably affected business at local independent bookstores on Franklin Street and in Carrboro."

"Our store has been here for 27 years, and although things have always been tough, we always manage to survive," said Nick Shepard, co-manager of Internationalist Books. "I have a lot of faith that the people in Chapel Hill will come together for moral support and we will find a way to keep (this business) going."

"Business has become really erratic," said Betty Schumacher, manager of the Bookshop. "We have really good days followed by really bad ones. I think if anything a used bookstore is a good business to have in a recession. The books are inexpensive and offer personal growth and entertainment."

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No Dearth of Books, Gig Harbor, Wash., is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The Peninsula Gateway reported that owners Harry and Shirley Dearth's used bookshop "has outlasted seven other bookstores in the harbor. And he hopes his unique book selection will carry him through the tough economic times."

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Adam Leith Gollner, author of The Fruit Hunters, picked his "top 10 fruit scenes" in literature for the Guardian.

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Marty McGrath is joining Abrams as executive director of sales, a newly created position. He was most recently v-p, deputy director of adult sales, at Random House and has 25 years of sales management experience at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group and Random House.

Mary Wowk, v-p of sales and marketing, to whom McGrath reports, praised his "skills--both goal-oriented and interpersonal--as well as his highly honed understanding of the changing sales channels and landscape. . . . Marty's passion for books--and our lists in particular--and his varied experience managing and launching integration efforts with new publishing programs will stand us in good stead."

McGrath joins Abrams on May 26, in time for BookExpo America.

 


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 07.06.20


Ida: The Link No Longer Missing

Move over, Lucy. Ida's the new old girl in town.

On Tuesday, the fossil of Ida, a primate who lived 44 million years before the famous Lucy, was unveiled and has garnered the kind of publicity that some supposedly higher forms of life only dream of: her story was on the front pages of most major newspapers, there were segments on TV talk and news shows and a History Channel documentary airs on Monday at 9 p.m. Ida was even the Google logo yesterday.

For those of us able to read, Ida is also the subject of The Link by Colin Tudge (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316070089/0316070084), published yesterday.

While most knowledge of evolution has come from partial fossils or single bones, Ida is complete and "bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs," as paleontologist Jorn Hurum, leader of the team that analyzed Ida, told National Geographic. (Hurum wrote a foreword to The Link.)

Discovered in Germany, Ida currently resides at the University of Oslo Natural History Museum. For more information about the book, documentary and scientific research, click here.

 


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


FiledByAuthor Builds a Base

Filed By, Inc., launched in March by Peter Clifton and Mike Shatzkin, features FiledByAuthor, a directory of authors, writers, illustrators, photographers, editors, translators and others who contribute to books. The authors and others can join for free and manage their own pages on the site, allowing them to create an online community where they can communicate with readers and each other. The creators' pages can be either the authors' main site or complement their own sites, publisher sites and other sites as well as link to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The authors' and contributors' sites can be enhanced with photographs, biographies, links and multimedia. All books are available for sale through Amazon, B&N.com, Powells.com, Borders.com, Indigo and IndieBound.com. Some data on the site is licensed from Bowker; data is organized by authors and their work.

The aim of FiledByAuthor is to attract readers who will buy books. The site can also be used as a reference.

FiledByAuthor has more than 1.8 million author sites, another 1 million sites of photographers, illustrators and others who contribute to books and more than 7.5 million book pages. Already Perseus Books Group has added FiledByAuthor as an online marketing platform. More than 2,000 authors have joined since March.

Clifton is a former executive at Ingram, headed Pubeasy.com, was director of publicity and director of new media development at Wiley as well as was v-p of new media at HarperCollins. Shatzkin is a longtime publishing industry consultant and head of Idea Logical Company.

 


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


Image of the Day: Red Fox Wins Walter Wick

Red Fox Books, Glens Falls, N.Y., was one of many bookstores that entered the ABA/Scholastic Can You See What I See? window display contest, which asked 3rd-6th graders to design a window display for their local bookstore based on Walter Wick's Can You See What I See? A Scary, Scary Night. Red Fox's display, called "Creepified Glens Falls," went up in November--and won the contest.

The prize: a visit by Wick himself, who last Thursday made a presentation to some 200 students at the town's middle school and then signed books at Red Fox. From l. to r.: Sean Oddy, Mayr Sawyer, Emma Green, Emily Fisher, Walter Wick, Isabella Winston and Emily Erhard.

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Yes, You're Pregnant, But What About Me?

This morning on the Today Show: Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan, authors of iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind (Collins Living, $24.95, 9780061340338/0061340332).

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Today on Ellen Degeneres: Kevin Nealon, author of Yes, You're Pregnant, But What About Me? (Harper, $13.99, 9780061215216/006121521X).

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Today on Fresh Air: Brent Jeffs, author of Lost Boy (Broadway, $24.95, 9780767931779/0767931777), the nephew of Warren Jeffs, who escaped his uncle's Mormon fundamentalist cult and filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit.

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Today Writer's Roundtable: Lee Child discusses writing a series and his newest Jack Reacher novel, Gone Tomorrow (Delacorte, $27, 9780385340571/0385340575). Tune in via writersroundtable.com or signonradio.com.

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Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: John DeLucie, author of The Hunger: A Story of Food, Desire, and Ambition (Ecco, $23.99, 9780061579240/0061579246).

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Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Elizabeth Karmel, author of Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill (Wiley, $19.95, 9780470186480/0470186488).

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Tomorrow night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Muhammad Yunus, Noble Prize-winner and author of Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (PublicAffairs, $26, 9781586484934/1586484931).

 


This Weekend on Book TV: A Jury of Her Peers

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this Memorial Day weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Tuesday 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 website.

Saturday, May 23

1 p.m. Thomas Buergenthal, the American judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague (Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316043403/0316043400), talks about his book, A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy. (Re-airs Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12 a.m.)
 
6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. For a program that first aired in 2002, Linda Greenlaw, author of The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island (Hyperion, $13.95, 9780786885916/0786885912), recounted her experience as the captain of her own lobster boat, the Mattie Belle.

7 p.m. Randy Charles Epping, author of The 21st Century Economy: A Beginner's Guide (Vintage, $14.95, 9780307387905/0307387909), discusses surviving the global marketplace and downturn. (Re-airs Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Sara Nelson interviews Elaine Showalter, author of A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (Knopf, $30, 9781400041237/1400041236). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m., and Sunday, May 31, at 12 p.m.)
 
Sunday, May 24

10 a.m. Quinn Bradlee, author of A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures (PublicAffairs, $24.95, 9781586481896/1586481894), discusses the challenge of being disabled while growing up among the Washington elite. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)
     
2:30 p.m. David Bollier, author of Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own (New Press, $26.95, 9781595583963/1595583963), profiles the key players who envision a digital republic. (Re-airs Monday at 3 a.m.)

Monday, May 25

2:30 p.m. Matthew Algeo, author of Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip (Chicago Review Press, $24.95, 9781556527777/1556527772), retraces Truman's 1953 road trip without Secret Service protection. (Re-airs Tuesday at 2:30 a.m., Sunday, June 14, at 10 p.m. and Monday, June 15, at 7 a.m.)
     
4:45 p.m. For an event hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., Richard Nisbett, author of Intelligence and How to Get It (Norton, $26.95, 9780393065053/0393065057), contends that cultural background is the greatest influence on potential intelligence. (Re-airs Tuesday at 4:45 a.m.)

5:45 p.m. T.J. Stiles discusses his book, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt (Knopf, $37.50, 9780375415425/0375415424). (Re-airs Tuesday at 5:45 a.m., Saturday, May 30, at 2 p.m. and Monday, June 1, at 1 a.m.)

7 p.m. P.W. Singer, author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Penguin, $29.95, 9781594201981/1594201986), talks about the rise of robotic warfare. (Re-airs Tuesday at 7 a.m.)

 


Books & Authors

Awards: Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize Shortlist

"Forget the prestige, the sales boost and the thousands of pounds that come with winning the Booker or the Costa prize: what any author really wants is a pig named after their novel. Fortunately for the writers in the running for its 10th annual award, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction does just that," the Guardian observed in announcing this year's shortlist. The winner will be named May 29.

Finalists include A Snowball in Hell by Christopher Brookmyre, A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varasani by Geoff Dyer, Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans, Rancid Pansies by James Hamilton-Paterson and How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Sasa Stanisic.
 
"I have a very simple rule," said judge David Campbell, publisher at Everyman. "If I'm not smiling by page one or laughing by page six, the book is in some trouble. But this year's shortlisted books are all bloody good."

 


Pride and Prometheus and a Proud Publisher

Small Beer Press, Easthampton, Mass., is happily toasting the recent Nebulas--the best novelette award went to John Kessel for Pride and Prometheus, which is part of Kessel's collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence ($16, 9781931520508/193152050X). Eerily preminiscent of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, the tale is about Mary Bennet--"the only plain one in the family"--and her encounter with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, who is in the midst of pursuing his creature across England. As Small Beer Press put it: "What results is a thoughtful and provocative literary mashup."

Kessel is co-director of the creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He is an NEA Literature Fellowship recipient and winner of Nebula, Sturgeon, Locus and Tiptree Awards.

 


Fitten's Last Stand?: The 100-Bookstore Book Tour

While on tour for his new novel, Valeria's Last Stand (Bloomsbury USA, $24, 9781596916203/1596916206), Marc Fitten is visiting 100 independent bookstores and blogging about them. During the course of the tour, Shelf Awareness is running selected posts, beginning with these two:

Fireside Books and Gifts, Forest City, N.C.

Here's a store, an owner and a business model to watch! Half-way between Charlotte, N.C., and Asheville, N.C., in a small town named Forest City, rural by big-city standards, this 20-year-old bookstore was bought last year by Linda Parks and her sister, Kay Hooper.

Linda is the dynamo in charge of running the business. Working closely with political leaders in the community, she has taken on not only the book business but the economic development of her town. This is way past bookselling and would be a monumental challenge for anyone. But Linda makes it look easy; she even makes it look fun!

Her investment in the community begins with moving Fireside, with city council's blessing and support, to a renovated theater in Forest City's rehabilitated downtown. The move will more than triple her store from its current 1,700-sq.-ft. location to 7,000 square feet of space.

And it goes on and on . . . Fireside Books and Gifts is more than the bookstore and the extensive sidelines. It's really a community think tank that gets things done. A brand that deals in purveying literature and culture. Whether it's sponsoring T-ball or creating book trailers through its Fireside Films division, Fireside is a beacon for its community's future.

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The Vermont Bookshop, Middlebury, Vt.

This store should win a prize for being the longest drive! I drove up and over a mountain, drove past the Bread Loaf campus even. I ended up on the west side of Vermont in the Champlain Valley, south of Burlington.
 
There are only 600,000 people in Vermont and only 4,000 people in the college town of Middlebury. The Vermont Book Shop is an institution of its own. It opened its doors in 1949. A few years ago, new owner Becky Dayton renovated it and dragged it into the 21st century.
 
And she's done a bang-up job. This is a lovely store. The books are thoughtfully presented in well-lit, handsome cases. Becky knows she's bought into something special and admits, "I'm just a steward."
 
A local who visited the store as a teenager, when the opportunity to buy in became a possibility, she did and hasn't looked back. She's part of the Buy Local movement and offers discounts to members of the local co-op.
 
This is also one of those bookstores where the selection of books is carefully tailored for the community. In fact, the book buyer has been here for 30 years.
 
She has a good core of regular customers and the town swells each summer and fall when tourists, parents, and students come to town.
 
Dogs are welcome!

 



Book Review

Children's Review: See No Evil

See No Evil by Jamila Gavin (Farrar Straus Giroux, $16.95 Hardcover, 9780374363338, May 2009)



As she proved with her stunning Whitbread winner, Coram Boy, Gavin champions the underdog, whether she is writing about an unwanted child sold into slavery or a poverty-stricken young woman fleeing oppression only to face a similar fate in the land where she sought refuge. Here the third-person narrative unfolds largely through the perspective of 12-year-old Antonietta ("Nettie") Roberts, the apple of her parents' eye. When Nettie with her parents, Vlad (short for Vladimir) and "Peachy," as her father calls her mother (because her "skin is as fine as a peach"), first sees their London home, Nettie thinks it resembles a "dark castle." But her parents spare no expense on decoration and furnishings, and by the time they move in, it gleams "like a palace." Nettie loves the round room in the tower best. This Round Tower becomes Miss Kovachev's room, the bedroom of the girl's tutor. Nettie adores Miss Kovachev, who, with her soft voice yet sharp-edged non-British accent, "always addressed [Nettie] as an equal." But after Miss Kovachev leaves without warning, Nettie cannot get over it. The woman's sudden departure didn't seem like her, as far as Nettie was concerned. And then when Nettie thinks she's caught a glimpse of Miss Kovachev near an Underground station, she begins to ask questions that lead her to horrifying revelations about her own family and their role in her disappearance.
 
Gavin creates a dark mystery that leads to Nettie's enlightenment. Several subplots intertwine to create a thrilling climax: Nettie's Great-Aunt Laetitia Gavrilova, a prima ballerina, comes to live with them; a mysterious unseen boy begins to play pranks, moving objects from here to there and lurking in the shadows; and Nettie discovers a notebook hidden in the Round Tower written in another language by Miss Kovachev. The author plants clues along the way that readers pick up before Nettie does. After Great-Aunt Laetitia recognizes Nettie's talent for dance, she instructs Nettie, engendering in the girl an appreciation for discipline and also the joy that comes with mastery of one's gift. And when Nettie begs to go to school, then worries that the girls don't like her, her great-aunt says, "Whatever else you do, Nettie, . . . you must carry on dancing. Every child, no matter how rich, should be able to earn their own living and stand on their own two feet." Swan Lake becomes a metaphor for Nettie's epiphany, as she comes to see that Odette, the white swan who Prince Siegfried loved, shares the same outer trappings as Odile, the evil magician's daughter. At times the novel's structure calls attention to itself (as when the contents of Miss Kovachev's notebook are revealed before Nettie has met a classmate who can translate it for her), and narrative shifts to other characters' perspectives do not flow as smoothly here as in Coram Boy. But Gavin balances the novel's darker themes with a sense of adventure--secret passageways from the Round Tower, and Nettie and the mysterious boy stealing away in the night to do detective work. The author's greatest success lies in her ability to transform Nettie from a sheltered, rather unsympathetic child to a young woman coming to grips with terrifying realizations about just how dark her castle really is. Nettie emerges as an unlikely hero who takes a stand that makes it impossible for those around her to mask the truth.--Jennifer M. Brown

 


Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Trying to Keep the Future Ahead of Us

Whenever I ponder the unpredictable nature of our business, the title of a Charles Womack novel that has nothing to do with this subject instinctively pops into my brain--Let’s Put the Future Behind Us. This week, however, we'll blend present and future.

Susan Novotny owns the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y., and Market Block Books, Troy, N.Y. She also co-owns POD publisher Troy Book Makers with Eric Wilska of the Bookloft, Great Barrington, Mass.

"This is the time of the year when university students send me questions for their for year-end papers," Susan observed. After fielding queries from a student recently, she noted that it was "good to see the younger generation take an interest in our angst."

I'll share some of Susan's responses in an upcoming column, but in the spirit of spring and graduation season, I'll introduce the person who contacted her. Katrina Swartz is a graduate student in the Master's of Publishing and Writing program at Emerson College. She interviewed Susan for a paper she wrote in a class called "Bookselling: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow."

Her assignment was to select "one aspect of bookselling and try to forecast what might be coming in the future," Katrina said. "I wanted to look at how a bookstore might turn to other sources of revenue to support itself, and from there decided to focus on print-on-demand, with Troy Book Makers as the primary example. It was the last project in a class that, as the course title suggests, started with a look at the history of bookselling in America, moved to a study of bookselling at present (which included each student shadowing and interviewing a local bookseller for a few hours), and ended with a consideration of what bookstores might be like going forward (which included, in addition to the paper mentioned above, a partner project developing an idea for a bookstore of the future--mission, business model, demographics of the customer base, actual location in the Boston area)."

During the semester, the class examined "several business models booksellers are turning to in order to survive in this environment, such as non-profit or community-supported shops. I found the Troy Book Makers model of bringing in revenue through publishing services particularly interesting because it's self-sustaining. At the same time that we're thinking about the effect electronic content will have on the printed book, this print-on-demand model is emerging, which is an application of technology that still results in ink on paper."

Asked if she'd had any preconceptions before beginning the project, Katrina replied, "I came to my interview with Novotny expecting that their print-on-demand services were really keeping the bookstores in business, and what she actually told me is that the bookstores do not depend on Troy Book Makers for funding, at least not yet. But, what I focused on is that she and Eric Wilska decided their response to a difficult bookselling environment would be to sell another service that would provide some additional revenue. They're thinking creatively about how to sustain their businesses in a time of change.

"I was also struck by her assertion that all this talk of digital books is distracting the big conglomerate publishers from their real asset, their backlists. That's really interesting because when I think of electronic content, I think of the music industry and how difficult it is to control digital files, and the fact that people tend to want to pay less or nothing for digital content. So if more and more books do become digital, what will happen to that core of the publishing and bookselling business, the backlist? The print-on-demand model at Troy Book Makers is attractive because it places value on the physical book and the editorial, design, and production skill that goes into producing a good-quality work, and it suggests the possibility that publishing and bookselling can continue on in a recognizable form."

Katrina is an editorial assistant at the American Journal of Archaeology, so "the question of how technology will continue to affect publishing and bookselling is of interest to me, particularly as a company like Troy Book Makers emerges, serving, in conjunction with the owners' bookshops, as publisher, printer, and bookseller."

And what about the bookstore of the future? "Well, independent bookstores are so varied, it's difficult to make a general statement about them," said Katrina. "Many focus on creating a sense of community that draws customers to the store, particularly by holding events. That is absolutely important, even essential, but the survival of physical bookstores may really take a push to consider possibilities beyond that approach, a combination of community and some other attractive quality or service."--Robert Gray (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

 


The Bestsellers

Chicagoland's Top Titles Last Week

The following were the bestselling titles at independent bookstores in and around Chicago during the week ended Sunday, May 17:

Hardcover Fiction
 
1. Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
2. Into the Beautiful North by Luis Urrea
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
5. The Women by T.C. Boyle
 
Hardcover Nonfiction
 
1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
2. The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow
3. Gale Gand's Brunch by Gale Gand
4. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
5. Losing Mum & Pup by Christopher Buckley
 
Paperback Fiction
 
1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
2. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and Alison Anderson
5. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
 
Paperback Nonfiction
 
1. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
2. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
3. American Lion by Jon Meacham
4. The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace
5. How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein
 
Children's

1. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
4. Now Hiring: White House Dog by Gina Bazer, Renanah Lehner and Andrew Day

Reporting bookstores: Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove; Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock; Book Table, Oak Park; the Book Cellar, Lincoln Square; Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest; the Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka; and 57th St. Books; Seminary Co-op; Women and Children First, Chicago.

[Many thanks to the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

 


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