Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Grand Opening for Parnassus Books
Congratulations to Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., owned by Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes, which will hold its grand opening party this Saturday.
In an interview with StyleBlueprint, the ownrs were asked about the best advice they had been given for their venue. Patchett said: "Many booksellers stressed the importance of putting the children's section in the back of the store, so that when the children make a run for it, the parents will have time to catch them before they get through the door. I'm sure that sounds like a joke but it's not. I thought it was brilliant advice. One of my favorite booksellers, Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, told me that people were crazy to buy anything that was hanging from the ceiling. Unfortunately our ceilings are too high to implement that advice."
Hayes noted that she has "received so much help from so many people. Independent booksellers are a huge support to one another, and everyone that I've called has given me some little tidbit of advice that has helped move the store forward. There are several people in town who have been incredibly helpful, including Karen Davis, one of the founding owners of Davis-Kidd, and Andree LeQuire, the realtor who, among countless other things, helped Ann and me find the perfect location for our store."
Whenever customers visit Parnassus Books, Hayes said she would like them to "already be looking forward to their next visit to the store as they are walking out the door."
Cool idea of the Day: The Bookstore Speakeasy
Today Williams & Graham Booksellers opens in Denver, Colo. The store will stock "cocktail books, the works of famous drunken authors (think Hemingway) and bar tools," Westword reported. More important than the titles, however, is a bookcase with a hidden handle that opens into a hallway leading to a "Prohibition-inspired speakeasy." There will be no signage or other indication that the bookstore is mainly a front for a bar.
Williams & Graham hoped to open earlier this year but had construction and liquor license delays. "There are still some finishes that need to be done, and we've got about 1,000 books coming in in the next day and a half, but we're opening," co-owner Sean Kenyon said. "I would bartend on a sawhorse if I had to."
Williams & Graham is located at 3160 Tejon St., Denver, Colo. 80211.
Outwrite Looking for New Site
Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Atlanta, Ga., is closing its current location and plans to reopen elsewhere in the city, the store said yesterday. "Our landlord has been extremely cooperative and has worked with us longer than expected," owner Philip Rafshoon wrote. "Our departure is amicable. The bottom line is simply we can no longer afford to rent this desirable space regardless of what business model we try to engage."
The store is several months behind in rent and the lease ends in "a few months," Rafshoon told Georgia Voice. He plans to keep Outwrite open in its current location through the holiday season "unless we find a new space."
Earlier this year, Rafshoon told customers that the store was "in jeopardy" and was working on changing its business model (Shelf Awareness, May 26, 2011).
Amazon's New Kindles Shipping Early
Amazon.com began shipping the Kindle Fire yesterday, one day ahead of schedule, and will start shipping the new versions of Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G today rather than November 21, as previously announced.
PaidContent.org called the revised release dates "a move that surely has nothing to do with the impending launch of the Nook Tablet" on November 18, and noted that an Amazon spokeswoman said the Kindle Fire will be in stores today and the Kindle Touch devices on Wednesday.
By the way, in an NPR Planet Money discussion of Amazon's new Kindles and the Fire, Eduardo Porter, author of The Price of Everything, compared Amazon's strategy of selling e-readers at below cost with bars in the mid-19th century U.S. that offered a free lunch if customers paid for drinks. "There was a lot of salt in the meal," he noted.
Ad-Supported Kobo Touch Breaks $100 Barrier
Kobo has taken an e-page out of Amazon's playbook with its $99.99 Kobo Touch with Offers, which trims $30 off the retail price and includes "sponsored screens and valuable offers when your device is powered off or in sleep mode, and in other discreet places that are always outside of the reading experience, like on the bottom of your home screen," according to the company's website. Kobo Touch with Offers is scheduled to begin shipping in the next two to three weeks.
Obituary Note: Bob Carrier
Bob Carrier, former head of the rep group the Book Carrier and founder and first president of the National Association of Independent Publishers Representatives, died last Monday, November 7. He was 71.
He was head of the Book Carrier, which represented publishers to accounts in the Mid-Atlantic region, from 1975 to 1991. When he left the business to become a real estate agent in Florida with his wife, Jennifer, longtime Book Carrier reps Bill Hoar and Ted Wedel founded Chesapeake & Hudson, which continues to serve the book trade in the Northeast. In 1989, Carrier organized a meeting of rep group heads at the ABA show in Washington, leading to the formal establishment of NAIPR that December.
Contributions in Carrier's memory may be made to NAIPR.
World Book Night Launchs Website, Social Media
World Book Night in the U.S. has launched a website and Twitter and Facebook pages.
"With the U.K.'s ongoing and wonderful support, we adapted their website template to our needs," executive director Carl Lennertz said. "We especially wanted to highlight links to all of our sponsors, and we will soon have downloadable bookseller and library promotional materials, as well as, of course, news of the book picks and the book giver registration process starting in December."
Lennertz added that with the help of some red wine, he plans to write some rambling blog items on the website for booksellers and others who miss his Random Rambling Reports of yore.
World Book Night's Facebook and Twitter accounts are being managed by students at the NYU-SCPS Center for Publishing who are studying for masters of science in publishing. Center director Andrea Chambers proposed the idea for the students to contribute "their remarkable ingenuity and social media expertise" to World Book Night.
Image of the Day: King of New Orleans
Last Saturday, Octavia Books, New Orleans, La., hosted an event at the Academy of the Sacred Heart's Nims Fine Arts Center for Stephen King, who read from his new book, 11/22/63 (Scribner). King drew some 1,300 fans, who either bought a copy of the book or purchased a ticket. Among the books sold were 250 signed copies.
King told the crowd that it was his first visit to the Crescent City and that he had enjoyed eating po-boys and beignets, the Examiner wrote. King began 11/22/63 in the 1970s but decided to put it aside. The time is right now, he continued, because, as the Examiner wrote, "the presidencies of Kennedy and Obama have so many things in common. For example, he believes that Kennedy's presidential decisions could have taken the country one way or the other, as could Obama's. He also found other similarities in their presidencies."
Photos: Tom Lowenberg
Book Trailer of the Day: From Yesterday to Today
From Yesterday to Today: Six Decades of America's Favorite Morning Show by Stephen Battaglio (Running Press). The author is on the Today Show today.
'Rubik’s Cube' Library in Germany
The recently opened Stuttgart City Library has become a focus of attention for both avid book lovers and architecture fans. Home Designing noted that the new structure, which was designed by architect Eun Young Yi, "looks like a complicated two color Rubik's cube puzzle from the outside! But step in and you will be surprised at its simplicity."
SCB to Distribute Bluewater Graphic Novels
SCB Distributors is becoming the exclusive distributor of graphic novels by Bluewater Productions, Vancouver, B.C. Diamond Comics Distributors will continue to distribute monthly Bluewater comic book issues.
Ojakii Heads Special Sales at S&S
Sumya Ojakli has been named senior director of special sales for Simon & Schuster, and will be responsible for special sales of all S&S titles, including distribution client titles, to channels that include premium, mail order, retail wholesale and custom publishing.
Since 2003, Ojakli has been a consultant in a variety of industries, including publishing, helping to create and implement marketing, brand and business development strategies. Before that, she was v-p, general manager, of Golden Books and held senior sales and marketing positions at Imagine Media, Digitas and Universal Entertainment.
Michael Selleck, executive v-p, sales and marketing, commented: "With her entrepreneurial vision and wide network of contacts in publishing, media and consumer products, she is ideally suited to help us grow our traditional special markets business, and to create exciting new opportunities for special sales in the digital arena."
Media and Movies
Media Heat: Molto Batali on Rachael Ray
This morning on Good Morning America: Regis Philbin, author of How I Got This Way (It Books, $25.99, 9780062109750). He is also on NPR's Fresh Air today.
This morning on the Today Show: Jamie Oliver, author of Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast (Hyperion, $35, 9781401324421).
Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Kim Kardashian, co-author of Dollhouse (Morrow, $24.99, 9780062063823).
Also on the Today Show: James Patterson, author of Kill Alex Cross (Grand Central, $14.99, 9781455510207).
Tomorrow on the View: Diane Keaton, author of Then Again (Random House, $26, 9781400068784). She will also appear on the Daily Show.
Today on Rachael Ray Show: Mario Batali, author of Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours (Ecco, $29.99, 9780062095565).
Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Andrew Graham-Dixon, author of Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane (Norton, $39.95, 9780393081497).
Tomorrow on Fox's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren: Mark Kelly, husband of Gabrielle Giffords and co-author of Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope (Scribner, $26.99, 9781451661064).
Tomorrow night on Conan: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, author of Confessions of a Guidette (Gallery, $25, 9781451657111).
Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Chris Matthews, author of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero (Simon & Schuster, $27.50, 9781451635089).
Movie Trailer: The Hunger Games
Lionsgate released its first trailer for The Hunger Games, which will be released March 23, and "it did not disappoint," Entertainment Weekly's Karen Valby observed. "I don't care if you thumb your nose at YA literature in general, if you don't know your Mockingjay from your President Snow, and if you're fed up with all of EW's panting over Collins' trilogy. Surely even the most determined haters felt their pulse quicken in that final countdown, before 24 children of Panem set off to fight to the death in front of television cameras. 3. 2. 1! I can’t think of a more brilliant way to end the trailer to director Gary Ross' movie than watching a terrified Katniss and Peeta, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, racing for their backpacks and the protection of the woods."
Movie: The Descendants
The Descendants, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, opens tomorrow. George Clooney stars as a Hawaiian landlord who, along with his two estranged daughters, seeks out his wife's secret lover after she suffers a terrible boating accident. The movie tie-in edition is available from Random House ($15, 9780812982954).
Atlas Winced: Ironic Title Sheet Recalled
Atlas Productions, producer of the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the movie Atlas Shrugged Part 1, has offered to replace the title sheets for 100,000 copies because they were "packaged with an inaccurate synopsis," according to the Atlas Shrugged Movie blog.
The back of the movie's packaging contains the description: "AYN RAND's timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life...." The title sheet was supposed to read: "AYN RAND's timeless novel of rational self-interest comes to life...."
"As we all well know, the ideas brought to life in Atlas Shrugged are entirely antithetical to the idea of 'self-sacrifice' as a virtue," said Harmon Kaslow, CEO of Atlas Productions. "Atlas is quite literally a story about the dangers of self-sacrifice. The error was an unfortunate one and fans of Ayn Rand and Atlas have every right to be upset... and we have every intention of making it right."
A web page has been set up for consumers of the DVD to request a replacement title sheet.
Under the headline "100,000 Atlas Shrugged DVDs Recalled for Perfectly Hilarious Reason," Gawker observed: "Self-sacrifice is for idiots, duh! Ayn Rand used to mock poor beggars for being so poor. 'Self-interest' is more like it. The good news is that Randroids who've already purchased this sacrilege consumer product can fix it themselves, just like Dagny Taggart would."
Books & Authors
Awards: Guardian First Book Shortlist
Finalists have been named for the £10,000 (US$15,905) Guardian First Book award, which recognizes the best new author in any genre published in English during the past year. The shortlisted titles are:
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed
The Submission by Amy Waldman
IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites
From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins (Atria, $26, 9781451626339). "Fans of Ellen Hopkins know that her young adult books tackle tough issues without sugarcoating them. Her first adult novel is no different. Triangles is a hard look at three women and the paths they chose or blindly followed, and how those choices may change as they approach middle age. Written in Hopkins' signature poetic voice, this steamy entrance into the adult fiction genre will create a new generation of fans." --Cathy Allard, BayShore Books, Oconto, Wis.
The Train of Small Mercies by David Rowell (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399157288). "Old and young, black and white, nuns and bikers, girls in bikinis and men in military uniforms, all gathered to pay homage to Robert Kennedy as his funeral train passed by. This novel depicts a day in the lives of six characters who are looking for hope in an America overcome by grief. All ask the same question: Who now will stand up for those who need championing? A stunning debut!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.
Sea Change by Jeremy Page (Penguin, $15, 9780143119845). "Guy lives on an old barge, trolling around the North Sea's coast, lost in more ways than one. Five years earlier, his young daughter was killed in an accident and his marriage did not survive long after her death. Every night Guy sits in his boat and writes a diary of what might have been, each entry far more real to him than the physical world. A chance encounter with another woman and her daughter gives him a glimpse of a possible future. The question is, has that glimpse has come in time?" --Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.
For Ages 7-10
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg (Amulet/Abrams, $14.95, 9780810984240). "Eight-year-old Eleanor is devastated when her babysitter, Bibi, moves away during the summer before second grade. In this chapter book, written in verse, Sternberg beautifully captures the overwhelming importance of the small events often overlooked by grown-ups as Eleanor learns about friendship, loss, and love." --Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, Fla.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]
Queen of America
Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea (Little, Brown, $25.99 hardcover, 9780316154864, November 28, 2011)
This epic novel (496 pages) finishes the life of Teresita Urrea, the life begun in The Hummingbird's Daughter, the true story of the author's great-aunt. In 1873, amid the political maelstrom of dictator Díaz's Mexican republic, Teresita was born to a 14-year-old Indian girl. Her father, Don Tomàs Urrea, eventually owned up to fathering her, took her into his home and exposed her to the niceties of a life lived indoors--a bath now and then, books and conversation. Teresita also became a curandera, with healing powers and a personal and mystical relationship with God.
At the turn of the century, after the bloody Tomochic rebellion, Teresita Urrea, by now a beloved healer called the "Saint of Cabora," is perceived as dangerous to Díaz, and is ultimately driven out of Mexico.
She and her father seek safety in Arizona--this is where Queen of America begins. Teresita travels, with and without her father, across the United States to San Francisco, St. Louis and finally to New York. At every stop, she is hailed as a saint, heals people, and wonders when and how it will end. Her life is a paradox: on the one hand, she is privileged to be an instrument of God; on the other, she is trapped in a life she doesn't want. She longs for "normal."
When Teresita is lonely, having left her father, she sends for an old friend, to be her translator in America. They fall in love, live as a married couple and have two children together. He is a roustabout and a drinker, jealous of Teresita's fame, but still protective of her, mostly because she is his cash cow.
She becomes the toast of the town in New York, feted, fed and pampered by wealthy socialites looking for a pet. Who better than a saint? But she is moving away from her roots, from her connection to God and from her purpose on earth--"The higher I climbed, the farther I strayed." Until this time, she has not been reflective, just cranky and disappointed about her lot in life. With the inspiration of the curandera who taught her, Teresita reprioritizes her life in the hope of a better outcome.
It's a grand story, an adventure filled with the hilarious antics of Don Tomàs and his friends--drinkers, womanizers, gamblers, practical jokers, renegades and romantics--and a woman coming to terms with the conflict she feels between being an instrument of God and her desire to be live an ordinary life. --Valerie Ryan
Shelf Talker: The continuation, to the end, of the life of Teresita Urrea, the author's great aunt, a healer hailed as a saint.