Shelf Awareness for Friday, September 9, 2005


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

House of Anansi Press: The Break by Katherena Vermette

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

News

Bookstore Tourism Rolls Up the Coast

Bookstore tourism proved so popular in San Diego August 27 that the Southern California Booksellers Association is planning to do another bookstore tour November 19 in Los Angeles.

"It was great fun," SCBA executive director Jennifer Bigelow told Shelf Awareness. And most of the nearly 40 participants shopped heavily. One woman spent $100 at each of the five stores on the tour.

The guest speakers included Kathleen Krull, author of various Harcourt "Lives of" books, who did "a great presentation at Yellow Book Road" in La Mesa, Bigelow said. Christopher Wright, a "nice, warm man," and author of The Patriots Club, spoke at lunch. San Diego Union-Tribune book critic Arthur Salm discussed how books are reviewed.

Amy Pickell of Warwick's in La Jolla, one of the stores on the trip, talked about each store before arriving at it, and in one long stretch discussed the importance of independent bookstores and how they give back to the community.

SCBA's Los Angeles trip will likely be even more ambitious. Two buses will start from different parts of the county and visit five stores at different times but meet up for lunch. In addition, a bus may bring book- and bookstore-lovers from San Diego.

Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: The Land Beyond by Leon McCarron


Tucson's Reader's Oasis to Close

Reader's Oasis, the Tucson, Ariz., store founded five years ago, is closing on October 22, the Arizona Daily Star reported. Co-owner Jeff Yanc said the lease expires in October and declining sales, including an 11% drop between 2003 and 2004, led to the decision. The small store focused on promoting local authors and events.  "The problem, " Yanc said, "was turning those people into long-term customers. "

Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


Bookselling Notes: Ottaker's in Play

HMV, owner of Waterstone's, has made a bid for Ottaker's of four pounds forty pence a share,  topping the most recent offer from Ottaker's management, according to the BBC. HMV said that investors holding 30% of Ottaker's shares back the bid. A combined Waterstone's-Ottaker's  would have 23% of the market,  which competition authorities might find objectionable.

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Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in Plainfield, Ind., near Indianapolis, in March 2006. Stocking nearly 200,000 book, music, DVD and magazine titles, the store will be in the Metropolis LifeStyle Center at 2540 Futura Parkway.

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A KQED program on the closing of Kepler's, Menlo Park, Calif., aired yesterday may be heard online. Panelists included owner Clark Kepler, Cody's Books owner Andy Ross, Book Passage co-owner Bill Petrocelli and David Weich, director of marketing and development at Powell's Books.

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


Books & Authors

Midnight by the Canal of Good and Evil?

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, book buyer at Costco, has chosen The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (Penguin Press, $25.95, 1594200580), author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, as her Pick of the Month in Costco Connection, the magazine that goes to the wholesale club's membership.

She said that the story "begins with Berendt researching the 1996 fire that destroyed La Fenice Opera House [in Venice]. He fleshes out the story by writing in a style typically reserved for fiction, full of rich dialogue and crazy characters. Through Berendt readers meet a prominent poet, a contemporary Venetian surrealist painter and outrageous provocateur, the master glassblower of Venice and others--including crazy Americans, stool pigeons and hustlers."

Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Rising Tide and Other Flood Titles

Noting the newfound popularity of Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry (S&S, $16, 0684840022) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, USA Today quoted the author as saying, "I'm heartbroken by it. The attention I've been getting, every call I get from the media, just breaks my heart. This is not the way to sell a book."

The paper also said Vintage has done a 15,000 reprinting of Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast by Mike Tidwell ($14, 0375725172), a prescient title that Octavia Books co-owner Tom Lowenburg cited in August to Shelf Awareness as his handselling favorite.

Man Booker Shortlist: 'Shocking, Simply Shocking'

The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, which honors the best novel of the year from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, consists of the following six titles:
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
  • The Sea by John Banville
  • A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Accidental by Ali Smith

Barnes is a favorite, according to press reports. The other gossip: shock that Salman Rushdie, J.M. Coetzee and Ian McEwan, all former winners, did not make the cut. The winner will be announced on October 10.

September Book Sense Notables: Nonfiction; Mysteries

The following are the September Book Sense nonfiction and mystery/suspense Notable Titles with commentary by booksellers. Yesterday we highlighted the nonfiction and mystery/suspense lists. For the top 20 Book Sense Picks for September go to the Book Sense Web site.

Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!

Nonfiction

A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan by Nelofer Pazira (Free Press, $15 paper, 0743281330). "This is the moving story of a young woman's life of hardship in war-torn Afghanistan, and of its history of violence and war."--Bess Moye, Cabbages and Kings, Chatham, Mass.

The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved
by Alan Dershowitz (Wiley, $22.95, 0471743178). "A strong case for a binational solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Though strong disagreement is certain to come from those who question this approach, Alan Dershowitz presents a must-read for anyone with a deep interest in solving the Arab/Israeli problem."--Ray Stateham, Bohannons' Books With a Past, Georgetown, Ky.

His Oldest Friend: The Story of an Unlikely Bond by Sonny Kleinfield (Times, $24, 0805075801). "This is the touching story of a friendship between 20-year-old Elvis, a Dominican Republic native, poor and despairing, and Margaret, a resident of a Jewish nursing home who loves opera, books, and cultural activities, but who is 'stuck' in her room. Elvis is hired to spend a few hours a week with Margaret, and the relationship blossoms into true friendship as Margaret carefully offers words of wisdom to Elvis, who is 'stuck' in a no-future life."--Nancy Davis, Millrace Books, Farmington, Conn.

Last Coach: A Life of Paul 'Bear' Bryant by Allen Barra (Norton, $26.95, 0393059820). "Allen Barra shows why he is one of America's foremost writers in this enthralling biography of the most famous coach in the history of collegiate athletics. His investigative skills and hundreds of interviews reveal the full story of Bryant's dramatic life, as well as revelations behind the scenes of 'amateur' sports."--Jake Reiss, The Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, Ala.

Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army by Kayla Williams with Michael E. Staub (Norton, $24.95, 0393060985). "Rough and immediate, at times shocking, this is the account of one woman's tour of duty in Iraq. Williams survives anguish, depression, alienation, loneliness, and physical and mental torment to perform her job. A very important story for us at home."--Megan Wolfer, Table Mesa Gifts & Books, Boulder, Colo.

A Man With No Talents: Memoirs of a Tokyo Day Laborer by Oyama Shiro, translated by Edward Fowler (Cornell, $21, 080144375X). "A Japanese 'salaryman' falls off the corporate ladder to become a day laborer and then a homeless writer and lover of literature. The author's insights into his own situation and into the human condition make this a great book."--Karen Maeda Allman, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

The Truth Book: Escaping a Childhood of Abuse Among Jehovah's Witnesses by Joy Castro (Arcade, $25, 1559707879). "This book is a horrifying tale of abuse justified by fundamentalist religion. Joy Castro tells the heart wrenching tale beautifully."--Amanda Voss, Eclipse Coffee & Books, Montevallo, Ala.

Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins (Bantam, $25, 0553804510). "Robbins' latest is part travelogue, part essay, and it is filled with short stories, poems, art criticism, and loving tributes to the author's greatest influences. Whether traveling through Tanzania, dancing to The Doors, or musing on the meaning of life, Tom Robbins never fails to convey enlightenment on every page."--Brian Good, The Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, Pa.

Mystery/Suspense

Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride (St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95, 031233995X). "MacBride's latest is a standout. On his first day back at work, Detective Sgt. Logan McRae--barely recovered from the near-fatal stab wounds he suffered on his last case--is reluctantly plunged into the high-profile case of a brutally murdered child."--Karen Spengler, I Love a Mystery, Mission, Kan.

Splintered Icon by Bill Napier (St. Martin's, $6.99 paper, 0312936680). "An effort to translate an Elizabethan text turns into murder when the discovery of a Christian icon causes all the evil of mankind to manifest. Excitement and suspense abound."--Ellen Perry, Browsing Bison Books, Deer Lodge, Mont.

The Trudeau Vector by Juris Jurjevics (Viking, $24.95, 0670034371). "The Trudeau Vector is a great read for medical thriller fans, but it's more than that. Jurjevics describes the beauty and vulnerability of the Canadian Arctic, as well as the heroism of scientists who work there. A solid, well-written debut novel."--Rita Moran, Apple Valley Books, Winthrop, Me.

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