Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 8, 2012: Maximum Shelf: Little Boy Blue
Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Illustrator Jane Dyer Recovering from Attack
Award-winning children's book illustrator Jane Dyer suffered a brutal attack July 26 in her Cummington, Mass., home, where a 14-year-old male gained entry and struck her violently with a shovel. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that Dyer "continues to recover" from the beating, "which left her with blunt-force injuries and a wound to her head requiring about five surgical staples that were removed Monday afternoon."
Dyer "has no idea why the juvenile entered the house nor why he attacked her, except that he seemed to think she was someone else," the Gazette noted. "She said nothing was taken from the house and robbery didn't seem to be a motive."
Currently under arrest, the teen is charged with home invasion, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person 60 or over, and assault to murder a person 60 or over. He pleaded not guilty and is being held on bail. The District Attorney's office issued a statement Monday extending sympathy to Dyer and sending "wishes for a speedy recovery," the Gazette wrote.
Kepler's: New Lease for a New Life
The "reinvention" of Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, Calif., reached another milestone yesterday. On her Facebook page, Christin Evans, co-owner of the Booksmith noted: "Breaking news: Kepler's has a new lease. Signed for the 'current' location at 1010 El Camino Real--we now start work on the remodel/refresh. My job: figure out how to make the 1980s office complex feel fresh and new."
Singularity & Co.'s Sci-Fi Bookshop with a 'Big Idea'
"In a universe where bookstores are being swallowed up whole, it's fantastic news when a new one materializes", Tor.com reported. Singularity & Co. plans to open its new bookstore tomorrow at 18 Bridge St. 1G in Brooklyn.
While that is a big idea for Singularity's owners--"a team of time traveling archivists longing for futures past"--it's just part of their "Big Idea." The mission: "We're going to open a bookshop, both online and in real life, in Brooklyn, N.Y. where we live and work. It doesn't have to make much money. It doesn't have to make any money at all, since our day jobs cover our rent.
"But what it will do is let us choose one great out of print work of classic and/or obscure sci-fi a month, track down the people that hold the copyright (if they are still around) and publish that work online and on all the major digital book platforms for little or no cost. Every month on this website visitors will get to vote on the next great but not so well remembered work we will rescue from the obscurity of the past."
B&N Collegiate Superstore at Rutgers University Opens
The new three-story, 46,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble Collegiate Superstore at Rutgers University has opened on Somerset Street. The New Brunswick Patch reported the bookstore "is next to a walkway that leads to the New Brunswick Train Station from Somerset Street, which also opened this past summer. The store is accessible from the walkway, which leads to the southbound platform of the station. Both are considered part of the Gateway Transit Village project that also includes the adjoining 'The Vue' high rise apartment complex."
Chris Paladino, president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation, "said the new store will also play into a redevelopment project of College Avenue that will completely renovate the campus between Bishop Place and Hamilton Street," the Patch noted. A grand opening is scheduled for September.
YA Rules: NPR's 'Best-Ever Teen Fiction' Poll
Readers are passionate about their favorite books. More than 75,000 people voted in NPR's Best-Ever Teen Fiction poll, and while it was "no surprise to see Harry Potter and the Hunger Games trilogy on top, this year's list also highlights some writers we weren't as familiar with. For example, John Green, author of the 2012 hit The Fault in Our Stars, appears five times in the top 100," NPR Books noted. The list was compiled from more than 1,200 nominations, which were whittled down to 235 finalists.
In an Atlantic magazine essay headlined "Why Do Female Authors Dominate Young-Adult Fiction?" Meghan Lewit observed: "Of those 235 titles, 147 (or 63%) were written by women--a parity that would seem like a minor miracle in some other genres. Female authors took the top three slots, and an approximately equal share of the top 100. As a comparison, you'd have to scroll all the way to number 20 on last summer's Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy list to find a woman's name (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley)."
Image of the Day: A Graveyard for Empty Coffins
True crime author Gregg Olsen's first YA novel and the launch of his Empty Coffin series, Envy (Sterling), was chosen as the official selection for the Pavilion of the States by the State Library of Washington for the 2012 National Book Festival. To celebrate, the author (fifth from right, in a light blue button-down shirt) led a group of bloggers and book lovers on a tour of Port Gamble, Wash., the setting for his Empty Coffin series. The tour included the town cemetery, pictured here.
Boston's Best Bookstores
Congratulations to the Harvard Cooperative Society's Harvard Coop, Cambridge, Mass., which was named best bookstore in 2012 by Boston magazine, which wrote: "With independent bookstores (and even national chains) falling by the digital wayside, it's all the more impressive that this classic soldiers on. The four-story Harvard Square behemoth peddles both bestsellers and literary classics, as well as arcane treatises on history, philosophy, music, and science--precisely what you'd expect from a store founded by Crimson scholars in 1882."
And congratulations to the Children's Book Shop, Brookline, Mass., which won best children's bookstore. The magazine wrote: "Books are alive and well at this charming Brookline shop, where owner Terri Schmitz helps kids of all ages find the perfect rainy-day escape, sans batteries. Catch her when the little ones are fully engaged and reminisce about all the authors you loved as a child."
Cool Idea of the Day: 'Owner's Birthday Sale'
A belated happy birthday to author, performer and bookseller Garrison Keillor, who turned 70 yesterday "in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Queen Mary," according to an e-newsletter from Common Good Books, St. Paul, Minn.
To celebrate, the bookstore is holding an "Owner's Birthday Sale" through Friday, during which any two books originally published in 1942 can be purchased for $19.42. In addition, patrons receive (as long as the supply lasts) a signed copy of "Two Birthday Sonnets" by "the owner." The qualifying books include:
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
The Shooting Star (Adventures of Tintin) by Herge
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Lowery
The Secret Life of Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali
How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher
Embers by Sandor Marai
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston
Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner
The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
Pierrot Mon Ami by Raymond Queneau
Dialogue with Death by Arthur Koestler
Winter's Tales by Isak Dinesen
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
Black Orchids by Nero Wolfe
Book Trailer of the Day: Psychic Blues
Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium by Mark Edward (Feral House).
Media and Movies
Media Heat: Sheila Heti on KCRW's Bookworm
This morning on Mancow's Morning Madhouse: Pat Cooper, author of How Dare You Say How Dare Me! (Square One, $24.95, 9780757003639).
Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life (Holt, $25, 9780805094725). As the show put it: "Neo-feminist Sheila Heti is an active member of the Toronto art and fiction scene. She is also the editor for the Believer magazine's interviews. It's fascinating to hear her sometimes intuitive, sometimes foundering stream of post-consciousness. Her novel, How Should a Person Be?, is a novel and journal, a how-to book and a philosophical treatise. Heti wants to undo coherence and as this interview shows, in many ways she has."
Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Quinn Cummings, author of The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling (Perigee, $23.95, 9780399537608).
Tomorrow on a repeat of Tavis Smiley: Buddy Guy, author of When I Left Home: My Story (Da Capo, $26, 9780306819575).
Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith (Free Press, $14, 9781451699685).
Movie: Hope Springs
Hope Springs, the film starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a long-married couple who try to rekindle their marriage with the help of therapist Steve Carell, opens today nationally. Two scenes in Hope Springs were filmed at Breakwater Books, Guilford, Conn. (Shelf Awareness, December 1, 2012).
Music: Fifty Shades of Grey--The Classical Album
In an announcement that should please bookstore sidelines buyers and display managers the world over, EMI Classics will release Fifty Shades of Grey--The Classical Album, a 15-track recording that features music personally selected by E.L. James and referenced in her Fifty Shades trilogy. The album will be available in the U.S. and Canada digitally August 21 and on CD September 18. It will be released internationally in both formats September 17.
Books & Authors
Awards: The Age Book of the Year Shortlist
Judges have shortlisted 15 books in three categories (fiction, nonfiction and poetry) for the Age Book of the Year awards. Category winners will receive $2,500, with the overall winner netting $10,000. The awards will be presented August 23 at the Melbourne Writers Festival. You can view the complete Age Award shortlists here.
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:
The Collective: A Novel by Don Lee (Norton, $25.95, 9780393083217). "In this sometimes heartbreaking, at other times hilarious novel, Eric Cho contemplates the life of Joshua Yoon, the Korean novelist with whom he, along with provocative visual artist Jessica Tsai, once formed the 3AC or Asian American Artists Collective, first in college and later in Cambridge. What may have led Joshua to commit suicide--or was it?--by running into the path of an oncoming car? Lee once again tackles identity themes, but this time through the lens of the college novel. A triumph!" --Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.
Shine Shine Shine: A Novel by Lydia Netzer (St. Martin's Press, $24.99, 9781250007070). "Sunny Mann is nine months pregnant and the mother of an autistic four-year-old. Her mother is dying. On top of all this, her husband, Maxon, is on his way to the moon to colonize it with robots. Yet Sunny manages to pretend that her life is 'normal,' until the aftermath of a minor car accident forces her to confront her perceptions and redefine who she is. Shine Shine Shine is a love story unlike any you've ever read, told in lyrical prose that will have you re-reading paragraphs simply to enjoy the author's voice and her way with words." --Carla Ketner, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, Neb.
The Return of Captain John Emmett: A Mystery by Elizabeth Speller (Mariner, $14.95, 9780547737409). "It is in particular stories of war that we are forced to see the cost of one life lost and how that loss affects so many others. Speller's novel of the aftermath of World War I is such a story. After his military service has ended, John Emmett is found dead, an apparent suicide. His grieving sister Mary calls on Laurence Bartram, an old schoolmate, to help her understand what has happened. As he delves into the circumstances, Bartram realizes that others involved with Emmett in a disturbing wartime event have also died violently. This is a compelling story with a sympathetic protagonist who finds that there are seldom easy answers, few happy endings, and no good wars." --Laura Keys, Blue Elephant Book Shop, Decatur, Ga.
For Ages 4 to 8
My No No No Day by Rebecca Patterson (Viking, $16.99, 9780670014057). "Have you ever had a day when your cookie broke, somebody else got to be the princess, the peas were too hot, and your bath was too cold? And then your favorite book made everything alright? Then you, along with preschoolers and mothers everywhere, are going to love Bella!" --Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]
Book Brahmin: Joshua M. Glasser
Joshua M. Glasser is the author of The Eighteen-Day Running Mate: McGovern, Eagleton, and a Campaign in Crisis (August 1, 2012, Yale University Press). He works as a researcher at Bloomberg Television in New York and is a graduate of Amherst College, Eagleton's alma mater.
On your nightstand now:
I have been trying to catch up on the popular nonfiction that I missed while at work on my book. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg are at the top of my list. I have also been pushing myself to read more fiction, and I've been enjoying it. On this front, Jonathan Franzen's Freedom is up next. I just finished The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, and I highly recommend it--especially for its compelling portrayal of how one, albeit fictional, character experienced manic-depression in the period shortly after my book takes place and how the illness was treated at that time.
Favorite book when you were a child:
When I was very little, the Arthur books by Marc Brown. In my middle school years and beyond, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Interestingly, George McGovern's dog--a Newfoundland retriever--was named "Atticus."
Your top five authors:
Robert A. Caro, Joseph J. Ellis, Philip Roth, Theodore H. White and Tom Wolfe.
Book you've faked reading:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I had to read it in high school and didn't have enough time to do a thorough job. I ended up skimming most of it.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Lately, it's been Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I've been telling all my friends to read it, if they haven't yet already. It's a brilliant character study pinned to the historical context. And it offers a phenomenal conception of so many fascinating businesses and industries that have shaped our society, culture and lives today.
Book you've bought for the cover:
The first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, in fifth grade, before it became a hit.
Book that changed your life:
The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse. It was my first real exposure to the journalists and politicians of '72, and it drove me to explore the era further.
Favorite line from a book:
Oddly enough, it's the opening line of Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I did get that far....
Also, "We see on the theater of the world a certain number of scenes which succeed each other in endless repetition.... The past should enlighten us on the future: knowledge of history is no more than an anticipated experience." It's originally from Charles Pinot Duclos' Histoire de Louis XI, but I read it quoted in Carl Becker's The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers. I guess lines stand out more when you haven't read the whole book.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Anna Karenina. Come to think of it, I should add it to my nightstand.
Children's Review: The Templeton Twins Have an Idea
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One by Ellis Weiner , illus. by Jeremy Holmes (Chronicle, $16.99 hardcover, 232p., ages 9-12, 9780811866798, September 1, 2012)
Meet the Narrator, an intrusive fellow who is funny and enlightening--and most definitely in charge. "Would I like you if I met you?" he asks. "I'm not so sure I would." The Narrator starts the prologue three times, begins chapter two twice, and just when readers think the book will never begin... it does.
Something important does happen in the prologue, however: a good-looking young man arrives at Professor Templeton's office to protest his failing grade--the only time the professor had given an F. Their interview comes to an abrupt close when the secretary announces, "The babies are coming!" The first peek we get at the professor is through the hospital's nursery window in Jeremy Holmes's (There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly) blueprint-hued illustrations. The artist foreshadows the family's preoccupation with gadgets via a contraption that feeds and rocks the twins in their hospital cradles.
Ellis Weiner's (Yiddish with Dick and Jane) pacing is like clockwork. He then introduces 12-year-old twins Abigail and John Templeton as precocious and polite, being raised by their widowed father, a professor and inventor. We meet them as they strategize about how to convince their father to let them get a dog--and not for the first time. They make their request for a fox terrier via a photo delivered by a contraption described in detail by the Narrator. Thus readers discover how smart and inventive the twins are. Abigail loves solving cryptics (the Narrator snidely explains how they work), and John loves to play drums. Holmes portrays them at their leisure activities in terrific back-to-back illustrations. The talents associated with their hobbies come in handy when that handsome failing student (from the prologue) kidnaps Abigail and John in exchange for credit for (and the proceeds from) their father's invention, the Personal One-Man Helicopter (or POMH). How they attempt their getaway makes for a page-turning and funny tale.
The Narrator litters the story with fascinating words, tongue twisters ("I suggest you say the words 'particularly ridiculous' four times very quickly") and "Questions for Review," which may or may not be related to preceding events. The inviting design embeds the occasional word balloon in the body of the text, highlighting that chapter's theme, as well as cameo appearances (of Cassie the dog and others) in the margins.
Aimed at slightly younger readers than the audience for A Series of Unfortunate Events, this entertaining series will win over word lovers, mystery and puzzle solvers, fans of gadgets and those who previously had not thought of themselves as readers. --Jennifer M. Brown
Shelf Talker: The impudent Narrator of this mystery involving resourceful twins and their professor-inventor father will win over even the most hesitant reader.