Sonny Mehta, editor-in-chief of Alfred A. Knopf and chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing by the London Book Fair next month, the Bookseller.com reported. The award, which "celebrates an individual's career dedication to breaking down borders in international publishing," is sponsored by SBS Association and in association with the Publishers Association.
"I am honored to accept this award from the organizers of the London Book Fair and flattered to be following in the footsteps of such distinguished past recipients," said Mehta. "As I see it, my job has always been to champion the work of the authors I publish. And so, on this occasion, I would like to sincerely thank all the writers who have become such an important part of my life, both personally and professionally."
Gail Hochman, president of the Association of Authors' Representatives and LBF advisory board member, said that Knopf "has long been a leader in publishing books of lasting quality, and at its helm Sonny Mehta has been steadily an international tastemaker, innovative publisher, and believer in the power of the written word."
Author Kazuo Ishiguro added: "I know I am only one of many, many authors around the world applauding this recognition of Sonny's magnificent and trail-blazing contribution over the decades.... He's been an unfailing friend to the writers he's believed in, and he has permanently changed and shaped the culture we now work in for the better."
Nice! Antigone Books,
Tucson, Ariz., which calls itself "a zany bookstore with a feminist
slant," has gone solar and now gets all of its power from solar panels.
The store says, "We are the first 100% solar powered bookstore in the
Cool idea of the day. First Books & Books opened a store in the
Cayman Islands--a location we still believe needs onsite inspection. Now
the store has come up with another venture we want to cover: it's
co-sponsoring a film and literary cruise August 2-14 that sails from
Amsterdam to St. Petersburg with stops in Stockholm, Helsinki,
Copenhagen, Tallin (Estonia) and Berlin (with a little land travel
involved). On board the Celebrity Constellation: Debra Dean, author of The Madonnas of Leningrad,
who will lead a tour of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and
discuss its role in her novel; her husband, poet and actor Cliff Dean;
and Shelly Isaacs, film expert and commentator who will host a series of
contemporary and classic foreign films that will be shown during the
cruise. Books & Books hopes to co-sponsor two cruises a year, owner Mitchell Kaplan said.
Congratulations to Cathy Jesson, co-owner of the Black Bond Books
stores in British Columbia, who has won the Business Person of the Year
award by the Chamber of Commerce in South Surrey/White Rock, where
Black Bond has two stores and its head office.
The Chamber wrote:
"With the onslaught of 'big box' stores and the advent of e-books and
the Internet, Cathy and her business partner, Mel Jesson, have made a
conscious effort to adapt the business to meet the needs of the book
buying consumer. While Cathy loves mentoring her booksellers, she
strongly believes in giving management ownership of their individual
stores--a philosophy that has worked in this family-run business since
1963. Black Bond Books regularly donates to schools and fundraisers, as
well as the Feed the Mind initiative, which provides free books to
community food bank clients."
The original store opened in
Manitoba nearly 50 years ago, and Black Bond Books now has 12 locations
in B.C. and the third generation of family is involved in the company.
Like many of his indie colleagues, Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., "isn't about to dance on any store's grave, big or small, but he isn't crying either," KULR-TV reported.
"We weren't huge fans of their aggressive expansion," said Mulvihill. "They knocked a lot of independent stores out of business. That said, we're still here, as are I think 40 bookstores in San Francisco and 200, 250 in northern California.... People are surviving. We still have 500 people walk through the doors everyday, even though they can find some of the things online cheaper.... I think people, especially in the Bay area realize if they don't shop at their mom and pop store, be it a hardware store or a book store or anywhere else, they are going to disappear."
To kick off the new updated, expanded and revised Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book by Jeff
Kinney, which goes on sale May 10, Abrams's Amulet Books is sponsoring a
Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Comics Contest.
Readers up to 16 years old may enter by mailing in an original cartoon. One lucky winner
will receive $500; a signed library of Wimpy Kid books; and $1,000 for the
school or public library of his or her choice. Kinney will announce the winner
at ALA in New Orlean on June 25.
This new edition includes the only published full-color
comics by Kinney, including the collected cartoons of Greg Heffley and Rowley,
as well as Rowley's own journal. With more than 47 million books in print in
the U.S. since the publication of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in April
2007, the books have also been sold in more than 30 countries. The 2010 movie
adaptation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid
grossed more than $60 million; the second movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, hits theaters on March 25.
The organizers of National Reading Group Month are inviting publishers to participate in the Great Group Reads 2011 program, a resource for book clubs and reading groups to plan discussions; and for bookstore and library recommendations. Titles are selected on the basis of their appeal to reading groups. The selection committee focuses on under-represented gems from small presses and lesser-known midlist releases from larger houses, looking for books with strong narratives and fully realized characters.
Preliminary submission guidelines:
- Genre: fiction (novels, novellas, short stories) and memoir published between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011
- Submissions: limited to two titles per publisher or imprint
- Format: all eligible, including trade paper reprints published within the designated timeframe
- Restrictions: previously submitted titles are ineligible
The selection committee will read from April through July, with the final decision to be made early- to mid-August and formal announcement made to media outlets early- to mid-September. Titles for consideration should be submitted on or before Friday, March 18. Publishers are asked to contact Roz Reisner, Great Group Reads Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Great Group Reads 2011).
A bookstore sidelines favorite for many years, Moleskine is about to explore new product territory. In April, the company will launch a Giulio Iacchetti-designed collection of bags, pencils, pens, reading glasses, computer cases, a rechargeable reading light and an e-reader stand for "the modern-day nomad." The Writing, Travelling and Reading collections will be presented April 11 during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, and in May at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.
"Can you be a devoted reader and not care much about books as objects?" asked Ian Crouch in "Confessions of a Book Slob" on the New Yorker's Book Bench blog. Citing an Apartment Therapy post last year offering five tips on caring for books, he confessed that "sometime in the past few years, I’ve gone from someone who cared for his shelves--organizing books by author and theme (if never alphabetically) and standing back from the clean rows with arms crossed in satisfaction--to an inattentive owner, as likely to re-shelve a book where it belongs, or even to find it a shelf, as I am to attend to other optional matters of household hygiene."
Crouch does not necessarily see hope for himself in the comparably pristine world of e-books: "I suspect that though my Kindle, Nook, or Cranny (surely out soon from someone) would not suffer the indignity of bite marks, it would likely be dinged, scuffed, and scratched within days of being taken out of the box."
Books-as-dominoes video of the day. The Huffington Post featured the latest in tumbling tomes, created for Library Ireland Week.
Nominations are now open for the 2011 Forbes Fictional 15, the magazine's annual ranking of the richest fictional characters. Last year, Twilight's Carlisle Cullen topped the list with an imaginary net worth of $34.1 billion. Other literary frontrunners were Artemis Fowl (11th with $1.9 billion) and Jay Gatsby (14th with $1 billion). To qualify, candidates must be "an authored fictional creation, a rule which excludes mythological and folkloric characters. They must star in a specific narrative work or series of works. And they must be known, both within their fictional universe and by their audience, for being rich," Forbes wrote.
To celebrate Pancake Day yesterday, the Guardian featured a Pancake Day children's books quiz "to find out how much of a taste for pancake stories you have."
This week's not-so-elementary literary mixtape is for Sherlock Holmes. Flavorwire wrote that legendary sleuth "delights in chaos and can’t bear to be strangled by regulations or even, sometimes, moral codes--though he is a patriot--and prefers to spend his time thinking about the task at hand, solving it by any means necessary and puffing on his signature pipe. Here’s what we think Holmes would ponder, intuit, and call things 'elementary' to."
Book trailer of the day: My Name Is Not Alexander
by Jennifer Fosberry (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), which shows the process
of creating one of the illustrations from pencil to print.
Ali McCart, owner of Indigo Editing & Publications, has added Kristin Thiel as a new business partner. In addition to editing services, Indigo runs the annual Sledgehammer 36-Hour Writing Contest, publishes the quarterly Ink-Filled Page literary journal and hosts monthly writing workshops. McCart said the new partnership will allow Indigo to further develop these endeavors while still catering to its expanding client base.