Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Chooseco: Chimera (Weregirl #2) by C.D. Bell

Riverhead Books: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Barron's Educational Series: Dear Dinosaur: With Real Letters to Read! by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne

Timber Press: Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family's Quest to Heal the Land by Scott Freeman

HarperCollins: Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson

Quotation of the Day

'I Am Not a Luddite' for Resisting E-Books

"I am not a Luddite (she said, somewhat defensively), and I do not oppose all change simply because it is change.... Here's my bottom line: There's no way to avoid using energy either to print books or manufacture e-readers, to transport books or to transport e-readers, and disposal issues crop up in both cases, as well, so why would I elect to read in a format that requires additional inputs of energy? Why not just take my book out under a tree or to the beach or read it on the front porch or under the lamp that's turned on in the winter evening, anyway, so I won't be tripping over my dog when I get up from my chair to go to bed?

"It will be a while before all the dust from the new e-reader revolution settles, and the final settling may not come in my lifetime. Meanwhile, I'm watching the dust storm with interest and sticking with my old-fashioned books. As the Water Rat said of his old riverbank: 'It's my world, and I don’t want any other.' "

--Pamela Grath, owner of Dog Ears Books, Northport, Mich., on her Books in Northport blog.

 


Avery Publishing Group: The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen


News

Image of the Day: 'Tis the Season to Give Back



On Monday Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Stephenie Meyer presented this check for $1.5 million to the American Red Cross for its International Response Fund. The author of the Twilight Saga and her publisher had pledged to donate $1 for every copy of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella sold in the U.S. from its first printing. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Little, Brown Books for Young Readers publisher Megan Tingley, Hachette Book Group CEO David Young and American Red Cross senior v-p of international services David Meltzer.

 


Soho Teen: No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear


October Bookstore Sales Slide 2.5%

 

October bookstore sales fell 2.5%, to $1 billion, compared to October 2009, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, total bookstore sales have slipped 2.5%, to $13.7 billion.

The October drop continues a later-year slide in sales: September and August bookstore sales fell 7.1% and 6.5%, respectively.

Total retail sales in October rose 6% to $365.5 billion compared to the same period a year ago. For the year, total retail sales were up 6.2% to $3,586.3 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales.

 


She Writes Press: Things Unsaid by Diana Y. Paul


Notes: Picture E-Books Launch on iBookstore


The last e-frontier: today Apple is beginning to sell more than 100 illustrated e-books on its iBookstore, according to the New York Times. The e-titles, some of which are iBookstore exclusives, are children's books, photography books and cookbooks from Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan and Workman. Prices are expected to be "generally in line" with print prices.

"It finally gives us the opportunity to have our picture books join the e-book revolution," Jon Anderson, publisher of S&S Children's Publishing, told the Times. "It gives us a great opportunity to monetize our content in a way that we previously haven't been able to." Sometime next year, S&S aims to release picture e-books at the same time as the print editions.

Among the books now e-vailable: the Olivia series, In the National Parks by Ansel Adams and some Amelia Bedelia and Fancy Nancy titles.

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You can run, but you can't hide from e-books. The owners of Atlantis Books, "a postcard dream of a bookstore tucked away on the Greek island of Santorini... used to thrive on the legions of book-hungry cruise ship passengers who disembarked at Santorini each year, but recently staff members began to notice many of these tourists had e-books tucked under their arms with a year's worth of reading already downloaded," the Ode magazine reported. In  addition, customers who did buy print books were purchasing fewer due to new baggage weight restrictions imposed by the airlines.

The solution? Atlantis Books launched Paravion Press, which publishes short fiction and essays in the public domain like The Beauties by Anton Chekhov and The Decay of the Art of Lying by Mark Twain. "For this sort of thing to work, it's important people in the store are committed to the project," said Craig Walzer, one of the bookshop's founders of Atlantis Books. "Our first run sold because we were excited about the books and talked them up to customers."

Walzer added, "Sometimes I think that going into publishing to help a bookstore is more ridiculous than opening a bookstore in the first place. I'm not sure it's the most practical solution, but bookselling doesn't really attract practical people, so maybe it's the best possible impractical solution."

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In an introduction to a slide show of "some of the best faux-book covers for e-book readers and tablets," Wired wrote, "We don't just want to protect tablets and e-readers, but honor and personalize them, and maybe bring back some of the quaint pleasures of reading an old leather-bound volume at the same time."

We can hear many of you thinking, You can bring back some of the quaint pleasures of reading an old leather-bound volume by reading an old leather-bound volume.

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Congratulations to One More Page Books, which has opened in Arlington, Va., and will hold an open house this Saturday, according to the Falls Church News-Press. The 1,500-sq.-ft. stores carries more than 6,000 titles, wine, chocolates, greeting cards and products by local artists. The paper said that owner Eileen McGervey "created the store to share a love of books and provide a space to support local writers, artists and independent businesses. Planned events include author signings, children story hours, wine tastings, writing workshops, book clubs, knitting clubs, and arts and crafts projects for children."

One More Page is located at 2200 N. Westmoreland Street, Suite 101, Arlington, Va. 22213.

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Inspired in part by Macy's recent firing of a 20-year Santa for several jokes he has told adult visitors for many years, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., (aided by several other local indie stores) is hosting a comedian dressed as Santa this coming Saturday, 2-4 p.m. Visitors for Santa are requested to donate $5 or bring an unwrapped new toy for a kid for the San Francisco Firefighter's Toy Drive. "You can sit on 'Santa's' lap and hear a joke," the store's blog said. "Not for the easily offended."

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The WebEcoist highlighted 10 bookstores around the world that operate in "the most unexpected of reclaimed structures." They include a onetime cathedral, an old funeral home (a Borders in New Orleans), several former theaters, an Airstream (now a mobile book center), a train caboose, old cigarette vending machines in Germany that offer a small selection of books for €4 each--and our "favorite," a former farm manure tank in rural Wisconsin, where sales, we hope, never go down the drain.

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The top 20 book club bestsellers for 2010 from Bookmovement.com based on readers' choices are:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

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Flavorwire showcased 10 Visual Artists Who Use Books as Their Medium, noting: "Even as our lives become ever more digitalized, the beauty of the printed page continues to hold sway."

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"Otherworldly: The Year's Most Transporting Books": NPR recommended six books that "contain some of 2010's most vividly realized alternate worlds. Their authors confidently assert their respective realities, without making the mistake of insisting upon them so unconvincingly that the spell breaks."

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The BookMasters Group has expanded its U.K. and European presence by adding Jonathan King, director of Chieftain Book Services, as international publisher services consultant. King, who lives in Epsom, Surrey, has nearly 30 years of publishing experience and has worked at Cassell, Penguin, Transworld and Orion. He was most recently sales and marketing director of Ian Allan Publishing.

 

 


DK Publishing: Star Wars Coding Projects by Jon Woodcock



Media and Movies

Media Heat: NBA-Winner Jaimy Gordon on Bookworm

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Steve Dublanica, author of Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity (Ecco, $24.99, 9780061787287/0061787280).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Jaimy Gordon, author of Lord of Misrule (McPherson, $25, 9780929701837/0929701836). As the show described it: "Jaimy Gordon is a recently discovered American novelist with an original voice and vision. Her National Book Award-winning novel, Lord of Misrule, is set at Indian Mound Downs, a rinky-dink racetrack in Wheeling, West Virginia, a place where 'scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain' dream of better luck someday. The novel invents a language that is poetic and purely American. Gordon's sense of the charm of the down-and-out life makes us fall in love with a country we've all but given up on."

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Tomorrow on Ellen: Bethenny Frankel, author of Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting (Fireside, $16, 9781416597988/1416597980). 

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Oscar Andrew Hammerstein, author of The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family (Black Dog & Leventhal, $35, 9781579128463/1579128467).
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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Mike Huckabee, author of Can't Wait Till Christmas (Putnam Juvenile, $17.99, 9780399255397/0399255397).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Amy Sedaris, author of Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People (Grand Central, $27.99, 9780446557030/044655703X).

 


Berkley Books: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott


Movies: The Color of Lightning & Empire of the Summer Moon

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, "are in the midst of two major period Western feature films projects," Deadline.com reported. The duo are adapting The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles for Ridley Scott to direct, and they "are at the center of a new deal at Warner Bros. to adapt the S. C. Gwynne book Empire of the Summer Moon into a film that will be directed by Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper."

Although Westerns have been a rare commodity in Hollywood recently, "that could change with the  upcoming Joel and Ethan Coen-directed True Grit, which brings back he charm of the genre," Deadline.com noted.

 


Books & Authors

Awards: INSPY Winners

The inaugural INSPY Awards--created by bloggers "to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith"--have just been launched and include the first category devoted to Amish fiction that we've ever seen. Winners are:

General & Literary Fiction: Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes (Tyndale House)

Creative Nonfiction: Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans (Zondervan)

Historical Fiction: She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell (Bethany House)

Thriller/Suspense/Crime Fiction: The Knight by Steven James (Revell)

Speculative Fiction: Green by Ted Dekker (Thomas Nelson)

Amish Fiction: Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson)

Romance/Romantic Suspense: Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren (Summerside)

Young Adult Fiction: Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown) 

 


Book Brahmin: Andrew O'Hagan

 

Andrew O'Hagan was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His previous novels have been awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the E.M. Forster Award. His new book, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on December 6, 2010. He lives in London.

 

On your nightstand now:

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot and Saul Bellow's Letters.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I loved E. Nesbit's The Railway Children. It just moved me a great deal: the absent father, the country idyll, the tender mother, the sense of danger and of possible injustice. For some of the same reasons I also loved To Kill a Mockingbird.

Your top five authors:

It changes every day, but today--Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, Don DeLillo, James Joyce, Joan Didion.

Book you've faked reading:

The Bible.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Great Gatsby.

Book you've bought for the cover:

A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

Book that changed your life:

The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer.

Favorite line from a book:

"Snow was general all over Ireland."--from James Joyce's story "The Dead."

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

Madame Bovary.

Book you wished you had written:

Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Book you would take to a desert island:

James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson.

 


Book Review

Children's Review: Fall for Anything

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers (St. Martin's Griffin, $9.99 Paperback, 9780312656737, December 2010)

 

How well do we ever really know someone? This question emanates from the center of Summers's (Some Girls Are) searing, at times surprisingly humorous novel narrated by 17-year-old Eddie Reeves. Eddie's father committed suicide two months ago. She's the one who found him after he jumped from the roof of the dilapidated Tarver's Warehouse. Milo, Eddie's best friend since second grade, is the one who finds her, laying next to her dead father. Eddie's father became famous in his 20s for the anonymous photographs he took all over town: "Secrets on City Walls," as they came to be known, signed "S.R." (for Seth Reeves). When a celebrity announced she wanted to collect his every photograph, Seth retreated to the tiny town of Branford to "give his art back to himself." He met Eddie's mother when he was 45 (she was 20) and they eloped. His death brings out intense feelings. Eddie's mother, Robyn, wears Seth's housecoat all day and all night and hardly speaks. Robyn's best friend, Beth, moves in to help "organize" the house, but she and Eddie are like oil and water. Some of the book's funniest moments stem from Eddie's resentful thoughts about Beth and her ideas for extracting Robyn from deep within her shell of a person ("One of those Sounds of Nature CDs is filling up the entire house. We now live in a rain forest"). Eddie's peers tiptoe around her. Even "normal" exchanges with Milo make Eddie sad because she realizes how rare they are now ("Sometimes I'm afraid my dad's death has stolen whatever sparked between us back in the second grade"). Eddie slips out of her upstairs bedroom window each night to bike to Tarver's and search for clues. She needs to know why her father killed himself.

Through Eddie's narrative we witness how raw she is. We see what she says--or doesn't say--and how it contradicts what she's thinking. The way she pushes people away with her words, then reels them in. At Tarver's one night, she meets Culler Evans, a 20-year-old student of her father's. He is handsome. His photos are stark, sensual. He, too, wants to know why Seth Reeves jumped from the roof of Tarver's Warehouse. Eddie finds herself fantasizing about Culler; at the same time Milo makes romantic overtures to Eddie. Culler shows Eddie where Seth carved his initials on the door to the roof at Tarver's: "S.R."--exactly the way he'd signed his photos for "Secrets on City Walls," at his peak. A legacy of six photographs that Seth left behind sends Culler and Eddie on an odyssey together. Their shared mission makes Eddie trust Culler, while she's beginning to question Milo's honesty. Milo is keeping from Eddie details about the night he discovered her with her father, and her mistrust grows. Summers creates a mystery that begins with Seth but ends with Eddie herself. A riveting journey.--Jennifer M. Brown

 


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