Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Little Brown and Company: The Balcony by Jane Delury

Houghton Mifflin: Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein: Based on a True Story by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil

Tarcherperigee: F You Very Much: Understanding the Culture of Rudeness--And What We Can Do about It by Danny Wallace

Katherine Tegen Books: Another Quest for Celeste (Nest for Celeste #2) by Henry Cole

News

Holt Halts Last Train from Hiroshima

Holt will no longer "print, correct or ship" copies of The Last Train from Hiroshima, Charles Pellegrino's book about the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945, the AP reported. The publisher is also offering full credit to wholesalers and retailers who return the book.

Published January 19, The Last Train from Hiroshima was dogged by charges that some of the material came from a former serviceman who did not fly on the Enola Gay, as he had claimed (Shelf Awareness, February 21, 2010). More recently, questions have arisen about whether two men mentioned in the book existed.

"The author of any work of nonfiction must stand behind its content," Holt said in a statement. "We must rely on our authors to answer questions that may arise as to the accuracy of their work and reliability of their sources. Unfortunately, Mr. Pellegrino was not able to answer the additional questions that have arisen about his book to our satisfaction."

Pellegrino told the New York Times that he had changed the name of one of the characters at issue, which led to confusion.

In addition, Pellegrino's own background has been questioned. He claims to have a Ph.D. from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, but the school said he does not have a Ph.D. from it. Pellegrino told the Times that the university had rescinded his Ph.D. "because of a disagreement over evolutionary theory."

The Last Train from Hiroshima has 18,000 copies in print, and Holt said it will "issue full credit to wholesalers and retailers who wish to return the book. Consumers who seek a refund should return to the retailer from whom they purchased the book."

Barnes & Noble is pulling all copies of the book and returning them to Holt, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Holt's actions have made it unlikely that James Cameron, director of Avatar, Titanic and the Terminator movies, will make a movie based on the book, which he has optioned, the Los Angeles Times wrote.


Page Street Kids: Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Meyer


Notes: Walmart.com's Children's Promo; U.S., U.K. Sales Slip

As part of a month-long promotion that coincides with the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, Walmart.com is offering discounts of up to 40% off its top 500 children's books, in some cases as low as $3 per title with free shipping, the company announced.

Read Across America Day is observed today, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Discounted titles include Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling and the boxed set of Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

---

The U.S. and the U.K. sold fewer books last year than in 2008, but retailers in other English-language markets, including Australia, Ireland and South Africa, sold more titles than in the previous year, according to the Bookseller, quoting Nielsen BookScan figures.

Where sales dropped, the steepest declines were in trade nonfiction. U.S. retailers measured by Nielsen BookScan had the biggest decline, with sales down 3.3%, while the U.K. dropped 0.5%. Australia had the biggest gain, with book sales up 5.8%.

---

Reed Business Information has sold Library Journal and School Library Journal to Media Source, Dublin, Ohio, which owns the Horn Book and Junior Library Guild. Ron Shank, group publisher of Publishers Weekly, LJ and SLJ, and Brian Kenney, editorial director of the three publications, are staying with LJ and SLJ.

As a result, at PW, associate publisher Cevin Bryerman has become publisher, and Jim Milliot and Michael Coffey have become co-editorial directors. Milliot has been business and news director and Coffey has been executive managing editor.

In a PW story, Bryerman said, "Everything at PW will proceed business as usual and I am committed to PW going forward." Coffey said, "This is a more exciting time than some might think. We are looking at this as an opportunity and remain committed as ever." Milliot added, "We are determined to keep PW a vital source of information, news and reviews for the book industry."

---

Cool idea of the day: Carla Jiminez, co-owner of Inkwood Books, Tampa, Fla., has added several new lines when she introduces an event at the store: "We want to make sure you are aware that Inkwood does not charge sales tax. (Long pause.) As a service on your behalf, and on behalf of all the residents of our state, we do collect and submit sales tax to the state, so you can have schools and libraries and roads."

The statement has been well received. A regular response is "I never thought of it that way."

---

Calling the Drama Book Shop "one of Broadway's unsung heroes," the Columbia Spectator profiled the store that "has unquestionably been the city's resident specialist in theatrical texts since its opening in 1917."

Co-owner Allen Lee Hubby said the shop's goal is "to serve as a resource for all materials pertaining to theater, film, video, and to some degree, the rest of the performing arts."

Senior clerk Stuart Brynien added: "I take pride in the fact that we're up on the new stuff, the new work, because that just further improves our customer service."

---

DIESEL, a Bookstore, which has locations in Oakland, Malibu and Brentwood, Calif., has a relaunched blog, called Chatter, a Blog. Check it out at dieselbookstore.wordpress.com.

 


Soho Crime: My Name Is Nathan Lucius by Mark Winkler


Obituary Note: Barry Hannah

Author Barry Hannah died Monday at his home in Oxford, Miss. He was 67.

The Oxford Eagle reported that Hannah "died just days before this year's Oxford Conference for the Book, set to be dedicated to him and his work." His friend Malcolm White, the director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, called Hannah "Mississippi's irreverent poet of the dark side," the Associated Press wrote.



Ecco Press: Tangerine by Christine Mangan


Image of the Day: "Skiis on Her Feet"

During the same weekend that the American Birkebeiner Ski Race took place in Cable, Wis., Redbery Books, which is at the Rivers Eatery in Cable, hosted Lise Lunge-Larson, author of The Race of the Birkebeiners (Sandpiper/Houghton Mifflin), during StoryHour. Lunge-Larson, who was born in Norway "with skis on her feet, like all Norwegian babies," as she said, skiied her best race ever this year.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Roger Ebert on Oprah

Today on the Oprah Winfrey Show: Roger Ebert, author of Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2010 (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $29.99, 9780740785368/0740785362) and, appearing September 21, The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $14.99, 9780740791420/0740791427).

---

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Daisy Martinez, author of Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes (Atria, $30, 9781439157534/1439157537).

---

Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak, authors of Saved by Her Enemy (Howard Books, $24.99, 9781439159101/1439159106).

---

Tomorrow on the Martha Stewart Show: David Colbert and Terry Reed, authors of The High School Reunion Diet: Lose 20 Years in 30 Days (Simon & Schuster, $23, 9781439182550/1439182558).

 


Television: Oprah's New Network Lands Precious

The nascent Oprah Winfrey Network chalked up an early win with the acquisition of broadcast TV rights for the Oscar nominee Precious from Lionsgate "for air after the pay television window expires in summer 2012," Variety reported. The film is an adaptation of Sapphire's novel, Push.

"Precious is the perfect film for OWN," said Christina Norman CEO of the network that is scheduled to launch in 2011. "It's a powerful film of self-discovery and empowerment, and I know it will resonate deeply with our audience."

 


Movies: Incarceron

Fox 2000 has acquired the film rights to Catherine Fisher's YA novel Incarceron, "with an eye to spinning the dystopian fantasy into a franchise," Variety reported, adding that "John Palermo will produce via Seed Prods., Palermo and Hugh Jackman's Fox-based shingle. Incarceron is a priority for Fox 2000 and Seed, with the project going out to directors and writers to adapt. At least two other studios were vying for the film rights."

 


Books & Authors

Awards: Indies Choice Finalists; NAACP Image Winners

Finalists in eight categories of the 2010 Indies Choice Book Awards will be voted upon by ABA members this month. Winners will be announced in April and be celebrated at BEA in New York in May.

---

The winners of the 41st annual NAACP Image Awards, announced last Friday, include (via the New York Times):

Literary work, fiction: The Long Fall by Walter Mosley
Literary work, non-fiction: In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Literary work, debut author: A Question of Freedom by R. Dwayne Betts
Literary work, biography/autobiography: Michelle Obama by Deborah Willis
Literary work, instructional: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey
Literary work, poetry: Bicycles by Nikki Giovanni
Literary work, children: Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook
Literary work, youth/teens: Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady by David Bergen Brophy
Motion picture: Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Actress in a motion picture: Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Supporting actress in a motion picture: MoNique for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Independent motion picture: Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Writing in a motion picture: Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Directing in a motion picture: Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire



Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 9:

Courage and Consequence by Karl Rove (Threshold, $30, 9781439191057/1439191050) is a memoir by the Republican Party strategist and key adviser to George W. Bush, who nicknamed him "the architect."

---

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler (Grand Central, $25.99, 9780446552448/0446552445) is a collection of humorous essays.

---

How to Never Look Fat Again: Over 1,000 Ways to Dress Thinner--Without Dieting!
by Charla Krupp (Springboard Press, $26.99, 9780446547475/0446547476) shows how to hide fat with fashion.

---

The Wrecker by Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul (Putnam, $27.95, 9780399156250/0399156259) continues the Oregon Files series.


Shelf Starters: One Good Dog

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson (St. Martin's, $22.99, 9780312571252/0312571259, March 2, 2010)

Opening lines of books we want to read:

He was a rough-looking thing. Big ears, wiry hair. His muzzle just beginning to grizzle. He looked like the sort who'd been living outside of society for a while, maybe never really been a companion. After a long parade of supplicants appearing before me, each wanting me to choose him or her, their noses pressed up to the chain-link fence that separated us, there was something in this one's deep brown eyes, not a pleading--pleading I can overlook--but something else. A quiet dignity, maybe even an aloofness, as if he really didn't need me or my kind being nice to him. Yes. That was it, a haughtiness that declared he needed no one's pity; he shouldn't even be here. Don't look at me; I'm only here by coercion.

Our eyes met and held, but then he turned away. Beta to my alpha. But in that brief gaze, I saw something I recognized. Maybe it was just that I saw my own independent streak, the one that has kept me on top. Or the eyes of a fighter down on his luck, but with memories of recent glory. Maybe I saw that underneath the rough exterior lay a heart, like mine, not entirely hard. You've go to be tough to live in this world, whether your lip is curled in real anger or fear aggression, you have to be ready to carry out the threat. This battle-scarred fella understood that, and n that basis I made my decision. He was the one for me.

So I wagged my tail.

--Selected by Marilyn Dahl




Book Review

Book Review: George, Nicholas and Wilhelm

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I by Miranda Carter (Knopf Publishing Group, $30.00 Hardcover, 9781400043637, March 2010)



Queen Victoria of Great Britain assumed the role of "matriarch of royal Europe" during her long reign (1837–1901) by force of personality (bossy, with her nose in everyone's business) and by tirelessly arranging her children's marriages to cement alliances among ruling families. As Miranda Carter (Anthony Blunt: His Lives) points out in this masterful history of Europe before World War I, sooner or later Victoria became every dynasty's grandmother.

The generation of Victoria's grandchildren would, however, prove a disappointment in continuing her grand plan to have her descendants control Europe. She would not have been pleased. George of Great Britain, Nicholas of Russia and Wilhelm of Germany were raised oddly and haphazardly, inadequately educated and isolated from the real world. Carter recounts example after example of how unqualified these three were for their dynastic functions, even if the age had been less challenging; in one of the most telling ones, Tsar Alexander III dismisses a suggestion that he give his heir Nicholas more substantive responsibilities (at age 23) by saying, "He's nothing more than a child. His judgment is infantile." When your father the tsar is unwilling to develop your abilities, what can the future hold?

Victoria's first and favorite grandchild was Wilhelm (later Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany). As kaiser, he cultivated Victoria's central conceit that "diplomacy should be conducted through personal relationships between monarchs"--except, of course, nobody ever considered his bullying methods to be in the least diplomatic. Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt was Victoria's favorite granddaughter. She would marry Nicholas of Russia and go down in history as his doomed, jewel-encrusted tsarina. Beloved by Queen Victoria as children, Wilhelm and Alexandra endeared very few as adults. Alexandra would manage, largely by her own doing, to become the most hated woman in Russia; the more ambitious Wilhelm succeeded in being the world's most hated man in his time.

The family trees for the Hohenzollerns, the British Royal Family (the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas, renamed the Windsors), the Danish Royal Family (the Glucksburgs) and the Romanovs are dauntingly labyrinthine, yet Carter makes the connections, competition and tensions among dynasties remarkably clear as she charts the breakdown of Europe and its march toward a devastating war. Victoria's grandchildren had played their royal parts in the years of rampant rumor, suspicion, denial, incompetence, posturing and intrigue that climaxed in this war; those who survived the war spent the rest of their lives blaming others and characteristically avoiding all responsibility.--John McFarland

Shelf Talker: A clear, commanding and highly readable history of the last gasps of dynastic Europe before World War I--with its casualties of 8.5 million soldiers killed and 21 million wounded.


Powered by: Xtenit