Shelf Awareness for Monday, April 23, 2007


Penguin Press: Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

Graphix: Dog Man and Cat Kid (Dog Man #4) by Dav Pilkey

Ecco Press: Varina by Charles Frazier

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick and Marc Rosenthal

Quotation of the Day

News

Notes: A B&N Resignation; More Rowling?; Manhwa

Michael N. Rosen of the law firm Bryan Cave has resigned from the board of Barnes & Noble, where he was secretary.

Early this month, Rosen was blamed in part for the misdating and backdating of B&N stock options, which amounted to $45.5 million during the past 10 years (Shelf Awareness, April 4, 2007). In a report by a special committee formed by B&N to look into the issue, B&N executives said they had received erroneous, oral advice concerning stock option dating from Rosen. Rosen told the special committee that he "did not specifically recall giving such advice," but said that he would have given it if asked.

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From Saturday's New York Times: several Q&As with Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson:

Q. So where is Scholastic bound after the last Harry Potter book? Can we believe it's the last book?

A. We can believe this is the last book on Harry Potter. . . .

Q. Going back to [the question about the last Harry Potter book], I noticed you emphasized the words Harry Potter when you said Ms. Rowling's last book on Harry Potter. Do you have a first option on any other series she might be doing?

A. No, but we refer to ourselves as her U.S. publisher and she's very loyal to us and we're very loyal to her. We'll keep working together. It's less likely we won't get it. It's more likely it won't be another Harry Potter.

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Business Week surveyed manhwa, Korean comics, which, long in the shadow of manga, are "poised to become a household word among fanboys and pop culture mavens alike."

The magazine continued: "According to one manhwa publisher, comics accounts for about 25% of all book sales in South Korea, while more than 3 million Korean users access paid online manhwa and 10 million read free webcomics. And, thanks in part to a comics industry that tends to cede more control to artists, manhwa allows for a level of individual expression, in storytelling and style, that is not always found in manga."

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With a focus on local house HarperSanFrancisco, the San Francisco Chronicle looked at Christian publishing and the attempt by many major houses not to be left behind as sales of Christian titles rise.

One example: Harper's May launch of Avon Inspire, a line of Christian inspirational fiction for women. Editor Cynthia DiTiberio called the line "gentle reading, safe reading. They end with a kiss and a proposal . . . It's Sex & the City without the sex."

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Andy Harbison is opening Cornerstone Books & Music, a Christian bookstore, in State College, Pa., in mid May, according to the Centre Daily Times. It will be the area's only Christian bookstore following the closing last year of the Morning Star.

The store will feature books, music, gifts, clothing and greeting cards. Harbison plans to open a café eventually. The store will have free wi-fi, an area with tables and chairs and live music on Friday evening. The goal, the paper said, is "to create a space where people come to spend time, meet friends or gather for Bible study."

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Barnes & Noble is planning yet another simultaneous opening and closing, this time in Ridgeland, Miss., near Jackson. In March 2008, the company will open a store in Renaissance at Colony at I-55, Old Agency Road, Highland Colony Parkway and Steed Road. The day before this store opens, B&N will close its outlet at the County Line Plaza Shopping Center in Jackson. 

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Borders has announced three store openings:

  • A 22,000-sq.-ft. store in Papillion, Neb., near Omaha, at the end of May. The store will be in the Shadow Lakes Towne Center, an open-air hybrid shopping center at 72nd Street and Nebraska Highway 370.
  • A 23,500-sq.-ft. store at the intersection of Morton Taylor and Ford Roads in Canton, Mich., at the end of the summer. Canton is near Ann Arbor, where Borders's headquarters is located.
  • A 23,000-sq.-ft. store in the Village Walk at Eastlake, a new town center at the intersection of Eastlake Parkway and Fenton St., in Chula Vista, Calif., near San Diego, in June.

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has purchased an estate in Beverly Hills for nearly $30 million, according to wire reports. The 12,000-sq.-ft. house has seven bedrooms and seven baths, a gym, an office and a media room--presumably with a good Internet connection. The grounds feature a pool, sunken tennis courts, a veranda and patio.

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They paved paradise and put up a spa. . .

Most of the Tattered Cover's former space in Cherry Creek North will be taken over by the upscale Pura Vida Club and Spa, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Tattered Cover moved its flagship store to the former Lowenstein Theatre on East Colfax last year.
 


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


The O.C. Locks Out Books for Inmates

An Orange County, Calif., policy that allows shipments of books for inmates in county jails to come only from publishers or distributors is upsetting many families who speak Spanish as well as local booksellers, according to the Los Angeles Times. The policy has been on the books for years, but has been enforced only recently.

A county sheriff spokesperson said that the policy exists for security reasons. State and federal prisons allow shipments of paperbacks without such restrictions--although they often sift through the books or require them to come from a bookseller. One odd tidbit from the story: Utah apparently accepts shipments of books for prisoners only from Barnes & Noble.

Books returned recently by the Orange County penal system include Spanish-language religious and motivational titles that are published in Mexico and Colombia, which makes it difficult for families to arrange for the books to be sent from approved sources.

Rueben Martinez, owner of Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery in Santa Ana and Lynwood, told the paper that 25% of his Santa Ana business has historically stemmed from jail shipments. But in the last six months that number has dropped to 5%.

"All of a sudden, they sent back the envelopes with a stamp that says it must come from the publisher," he said. "Our clients won't go to publishers for these books, most of which are in Spanish. Our business could grow more if they made it friendly to the inmates."


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


¡Ajá, Leyendo!: Latino Book Month

May is the AAP's fourth annual Latino Books Month. To help celebrate, the association is offering free Latino Books Month resource kits to booksellers, librarians, educators and others. The kits contain a summer reading list of books for adults and children in English and Spanish; a Publishing Latino Voices brochure, with samples of titles by and for Latinos; Get Caught Reading/¡Ajá, Leyendo! posters featuring Gloria Estefan, Maya and Miguel, Jorge Ramos, Dora the Explorer and others; a how-to sheet on starting a Spanish-language reading group; and contact information for booking Latino authors for appearances. For more information, e-mail the AAP's Christina Rodriguez at crodriguez@publishers.org or visit the AAP booth at BEA.

In addition, AAP publishers are sponsoring a reading by Latino authors at BEA on Friday, June 1, 3-4 p.m., in Room 1E06 of the Javits Center. Speakers include:
  • Ana Castillo, author of The Guardians (Random House)
  • Michelle Herrera Mulligan, editor of the anthology, Juicy Mangos: The Best Latina Erotica (Atria)
  • Julia Alvarez, author of Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA (Viking)
The event will be hosted by New York Times journalist Mirta Ojito, author of Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus (Vintage Español). Following is a reception for Latinos in Publishing, which will discuss diversity and recruitment efforts in the book industry for Latinos.


Quirk Books: My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lust, Delusion and Power

This morning on the Today Show, former Wall Street Journal reporter Pamela Druckerman sheds light on Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee (Penguin Press, $24.95, 9781594201141/1594201145).

Also on Today: Michele Borba, author of 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know: Getting Back to Basics and Raising Happy Kids (Jossey-Bass, $15.95, 9780787980962/078798096X). She also appears on the show tomorrow.

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Today the Early Show shapes up with Minna Lessig, author of Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom: Tighten and Tone Your Body in as Little as 10 Minutes a Day (Rodale Books, $18.95, 9781594865626/1594865620).

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Today on the Martha Stewart Show: model Paulina Porizkova, whose debut novel is A Model Summer (Hyperion, $23.95, 9781401303266/1401303269).

Also gracing the Martha Stewart Show: Linda Kaplan Thaler, who taps into The Power of Nice: How to Conquer Business World with Kindness (Currency, $17.95, 9780385518925/0385518927). The book includes a foreword by the Tonight Show's Jay Leno.

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Today on Fresh Air with Terry Gross: la Repubblica journalists Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe D'Avanzo, authors of Collusion: International Espionage and the War on Terror (Melville House, $23.95, 9781933633275/1933633271).

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Today on the Oprah Winfrey Show, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons reveals the secrets of his success. Simmons is the author of Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success (Gotham, $25, 9781592402939/1592402933). He will also appear on the Colbert Report and the Charlie Rose Show tonight.

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Tonight on the O'Reilly Factor, Richard Dawkins discusses The God Delusion (Houghton Mifflin, $27, 9780618680009/0618680004).

Also on O'Reilly: Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 9780060846701/0060846704).



Books & Authors

Award: The Bancrofts

The winners of the 2007 Bancroft Awards, for books of "exceptional merit in American history, biography and diplomacy," have gone to:
  • Robert D. Richardson, a former professor of English at the University of Denver, for William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Jack Temple Kirby, professor emeritus of history at Miami University of Ohio, for Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South (University of North Carolina Press)
The prizes carry $10,000 awards.


Image of the Day: Teams Coben

Harlan Coben, whose The Woods (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525950127/0525950125) was released last week, sponsors five teams in his hometown of Ridgewood, N.J.--and gets a little free generic publicity ("Harlen Coben's Thrillers"). Last weekend, some of Coben's baseball and softball players paraded through town, making for a thrilling lineup.

Mandahla: Baseball Haiku Reviewed

Baseball Haiku: The Best Haiku Ever Written About the Game edited by Cor van den Heuvel and Nanae Tamura (Norton, $19.95, 9780393062199/0393062198, April 1, 2007)

Baseball is uniquely American, haiku uniquely Japanese, and they fit together like a perfect catch on a flawless summer's day. "While haiku gives us moments in which nature is linked to human nature, baseball is played in the midst of natural elements . . . as haiku happens in a timeless now, so does baseball, for there is no clock ticking." In this literary form, nature must be invoked by a prescribed season word, or kigo. American haiku poets are less strict, but still evoke the tradition, as in this gem by Helen Shaffer, who masterfully combines nature, a hint of a season, and baseball strategy in only eight words:

drooping flag . . .
the visitors' manager
moves a fielder

One of the great pleasures of baseball is listening to it on the radio; in fact, it's the only way I can iron with any equanimity. Ed Markowski and Mathew V. Span capture the magic and even poignancy of airwave baseball:

rainy night
a hole in the radio
where a ballgame should be
radio static
somewhere in the muggy night
a ballgame

A more definite season, mixed with childhood dreams, is evoked by Cor van den Heuvel:

baseball cards
spread out on the bed
April rain

And Edward J. Reilly writes of childhood's dashed hopes:

the boy not chosen
steps over home plate,
picks up his books

Masaoka Shiki is known as the first modern haiku poet, and in 1890 created the first baseball haiku. When he played, his favorite position was catcher, even though he was left-handed. He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

spring breeze
this grassy field makes me
want to play catch

Yotsuya Ryu, echoing David Carkeet, speaks of the eternal with a poem that would be a fitting epitaph for a baseball fan:

until raised to Heaven
I'll go to fields of green
carrying my glove
--Marilyn Dahl


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