Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Putnam: Dracul by Dacre Stoker & JD Barker

Workman: Disturbingly Dangerous Elements by Sean Connolly

Gibbs Smith: Books & Mortar by Gibbs Smith

Thomas Nelson: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Tor: The Darkest Star by Jennifer L Armentrout

Harper Children's: My Father's Words by Patricia MacLachlan

News

Notes: Bookstore/Deli in Alaska; Lexicon Legalities

Finally. Now one can have a bagel and a schmear with one's favorite books in Anchorage, Alaska . . .

Marty's New York Bagel Deli is opening a 2,000-sq.-ft. shop, its second, in Title Wave Books in Anchorage. In an announcement, Title Wave co-owner Julie Drake said, "Many of our customers know and love Marty's, and are excited at the chance to get their favorite bagels at their favorite bookstore."

Marty's also serves sandwiches, soups, desserts, coffee and espresso drinks and will open early for breakfast.

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In commentary on the Harry Potter Lexicon case, the Wall Street Journal wrote: "Ultimately, the judge has to wrestle with the law, specifically the copyright doctrine of fair use. The doctrine entails a four-factor balancing test that takes into account the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyright work, the amount of the work copied, and whether there is a proposed commercial use.

"A key issue is whether the new work is 'transformative'--whether it merely contains verbatim copying and therefore may not deserve protection, or whether it alters the original work with new expression or meaning, in which case it could be protected. Prior cases don't offer definitive guidance, lawyers say.

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Thomas Nelson has let go some 10% of its work force, about 60 people, and plans to publish just half of the number of titles it published last year--350 instead of 700--according to the Tennessean. As the paper put it, "The move is the latest cost-cutting effort by Nelson, which last week said it would no longer attend two major book industry trade shows after being forced by the economic downturn to re-evaluate how it spends marketing dollars."

The Tennessean added: "Publishers of Christian and general interest books are reducing their number of titles as sales are being more concentrated in fewer, best-selling books, industry observers said. There is also more competition for shelf space as some retailers reduce the number of books in stores to counter a spike in sales online and elsewhere.

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Booksellers at Children's Book World, Los Angeles, Calif., shared their picks for young poetry readers with the Los Angeles Times blog, the Homeroom.

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"Where are the good parenting books for fathers?" asked the San Francisco Chronicle's baby blog, aptly called the Poop. The goal was to discover "if there are any good books for dads out there, books that don't assume it'll be a miracle if dad keeps the baby alive for three hours without maternal intervention."

The appeal generated plenty of responses and some great reading suggestions, as well as few dubious recommendations, like the reader who wrote, "I learned everything from The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete."

 


House of Anansi: Blue Rider by Geraldo Valerio


Rowman & Littlefield Buys Bernan

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, which owns National Book Network, has bought Bernan Associates. Bernan, which includes the UNIPUB division, publishes and distributes books produced by the U.S. government via its authorized printer, the U.S. Government Printing Office, and by foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Trade Organization. Bernan Press also publishes reference books and owns the Kraus Curriculum Development Library Online, an online database that provides information on educational curricula to schools of education and others involved in K-12 school curricula.

Founded in 1952, Bernan had been owned by the Kraus Organization since 1977. Most of its customers are academic, public, special and law libraries.

In a statement, Jed Lyons, president and CEO of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, commented, "The addition of Bernan and UNIPUB, which are household names in the library community, to our own Government Institutes and Scarecrow Press, which have served the library community for 35 and 58 years, respectively, underscores our continuing strong commitment to this vital market segment."

By coincidence, Bernan's headquarters are in Lanham, Md., where Rowman & Littlefield and NBN are located. The company has moved into Rowman & Littlefield's offices. Twelve of Bernan's 30 employees made the move, among them managing director Dave Williams--who is the former head of Rowman & Littlefield's Government Institutes--and director of marketing Bruce Samuelson.

Bernan's new address for editorial, marketing and accounting is: 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, Md. 20706. Phone numbers remain the same: 301-459-2255 or 800-416-4385; fax: 301-459-0056.

The new address for orders, customer service and credit and collections is: 15200 NBN Way, P.O. Box 190, Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. 17214. Phones: 301-459-7666 or 800-865-3457; fax: 301-459-6988 or 800-865-3450.

For returns: 18212 Shawley Dr., Hagerstown, Md. 21740; 301-745-6653.

 


University of Minnesota Press: The Contest: The 1968 Election and the War for America's Soul by Michael Schumacher


Bookselling in the Recession: Horizon Shines

"We've always had a saying that books are recession-proof," remarked Amy Reynolds, sales manager of Horizon Books, which has three locations in northern Michigan--a flagship store in Traverse City and outposts in Petoskey and Cadillac. "It's a wonderful thought." And so far it's been borne out at Horizon Books, located in a state that has been hard-hit economically.

"We haven't really seen a decrease in sales or a slowing of traffic," Reynolds said. "Maybe it's still coming and the other shoe will drop, but right now we haven't seen the effects." During a 30-year career with Horizon Books, Reynolds has dealt with dips in the economy before. "We've always weathered them well," she added. "I've always felt that our biggest defense is to run the best business we can."

As much of a concern for Reynolds as the state of the economy are the ever-changing dynamics of the book business. "We're always looking at the competition and wondering, What is the future of books? What is the future of buying trends?" she noted. "We're always looking at the e-book and watching Amazon. There is a kind of competitiveness that's inherent in the industry, and I haven't seen it tied that closely to economics specifically."

For now, Horizon Books customers are getting their fill of fiction, the stores' bestselling category. Kate Mosse's Sepulchre is the top fiction hardcover and Tony Hillerman's Shape Shifter the top fiction paperback. Inspirational titles are also selling well, led by the Oprah Book Club-anointed A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle and by Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, also promoted on Oprah as well as on an hour-long Diane Sawyer special (Shelf Awareness, April 21, 2008). "We're scrambling to keep up with interest," said Reynolds of the latter. "Very often at Christmas we see a huge response from media exposure for titles, and that has been continuing through the winter. The most recent one is The Last Lecture."

Whether it's escapist fiction, inspiration or the myriad other tomes on Horizon's shelves, Reynolds believes there's a simple reason why books might be recession-proof. "When you look at other forms of recreation," she said, "books are a great value."--Shannon McKenna Schmidt

 


KidsBuzz for the Week of 6/18/18


Rough Guides on BEA: Leaving LAX

Between now and the beginning of BookExpo America, which starts May 30 in Los Angeles, Shelf Awareness will present tips from Rough Guides about how to navigate and enjoy Southern California. Our first focuses on the what to do when you're ready to leave Los Angeles International Airport aka LAX.

"And You May Ask Yourself--Well . . . How Did I Get Here?"

Depending on how you travel, arriving in Los Angeles can place you at any number of locations scattered across the city--from the train and bus stations downtown to LAX by the Pacific, to the freeways that cover everything in between. The unending sprawl of L.A. can be a source of bewilderment even for those who have lived in the city for years. But don't panic! Every beast has its weakness, and L.A. is no different! With a little planning L.A. can be handily managed and even easily navigated (if not necessarily tamed).

Arriving at LAX

Bus Service:

Free 24-hour shuttle buses (look for the "C" line; lines "A" and "B" serve only the parking lots) connect with the LAX Transit Center, where you can pick up local buses.

The most convenient way into town is to ride a minibus such as LAX Chequer Shuttle (800-545-7745) or SuperShuttle (800-554-3146, supershuttle.com), which run to downtown, Hollywood, West L.A. and Santa Monica and have signs on their windshield advertising their general destination. Fares vary depending on your destination, but are generally around $25-$30 (plus tip). The shuttles run around the clock from outside the baggage reclaim areas (you shouldn't have to wait more than 20 minutes); pay the fare when you board. Journey times average around 30 to 45 minutes.

Taxi Service:

Taxis from the airport charge at least $35 to West L.A. or Hollywood, $90 to Disneyland and a flat $38 fare to downtown. A $2.50 surcharge applies to all trips from LAX, for more info check out taxicabsla.org. Unlicensed taxi cab operators may approach you with other flat fares. They are best avoided as well as anyone who offers to "make you a star."

Metro System:

Using the Metro system to get to your destination from LAX is difficult. The nearest light-rail train, the Green Line, stops miles from the airport. The overall journey involves three time-consuming transfers before arriving downtown. If you live for challenges like this, there is shuttle service at the lower level that will take you to the Aviation Station Metro stop. No, that isn't George Clooney riding next to you, so stop staring!

Next week's topic: Driving and car rentals. And you thought NYC cabbies were intimidating!

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For more L.A. travel tips, check out your official BEA travel guide, The Rough Guide to Los Angeles, or visit roughguides.com. Also, access Rough Guides from your iPhone at http://iphone.roughguides.com.

 


HMH Children's: Path to the Stars by Sylvia Acevedo


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Kinsley Urges No Calm

This morning on the Early Show: First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna discuss their new children's book, Read All About It! (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780061560750/0061560758).

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This morning's Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., features interviews with:

  • Bobby Cole, author of The Dummy Line (Context Publishing, $24.95, 9780980017106/0980017106)
  • Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, author of Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too (Penguin, $14, 9780425221341/0425221342)

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at thebookreport.net; the archived edition will be posted this afternoon.

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On MTV today: tying in with Earth Week, MySpace founder Tom Anderson talks about the new book MySpace/OurPlanet: Change Is Possible (HarperTeen, $12.99, 9780061562044/0061562041).

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Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Roger Mudd, author of The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News (PublicAffairs, $27.95, 9781586485764/1586485768).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Devin Alexander, author of The Most Decadent Diet Ever (Broadway, $19.95, 9780767928816/0767928814).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Ariana Reines, author of Coeur de Lion (Mal-o-mar, $15, 9780615181349/0615181341) and The Cow (Fence Books, $15, 9780977106479/0977106470). As the show puts it: "This astonishing young poet--still in her twenties--is surely destined to be one of the crucial voices of her generation. Here, she talks about the importance of recovering the 'I' of the poet in American writing, and how the tradition of courtly love poetry is turned upside down in her Coeur de Lion."

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Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Michael Kinsley, author of Please Don't Remain Calm: Provocations and Commentaries (Norton, $25.95, 9780393066548/0393066541).

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Tomorrow on Oprah: the Roloff family discusses their new book, Little Family, Big Values: Lessons in Love, Respect, and Understanding for Families of Any Size (Fireside, $24, 9781416549109/1416549102).

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Tomorrow night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Marilu Henner, author of Wear Your Life Well: Use What You Have to Get What You Want (Collins, $24.95, 9780060393656/0060393653).

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Tomorrow night Charlie Rose focuses on Havanas in Camelot: Personal Essays by the late William Styron (Random House, $23, 9781400067190/1400067197).

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Tomorrow night on Larry King Live: Jesse Ventura, former wrestler and Governor of Minnesota whose new book with Dick Russell is Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95, 9781602392731/1602392730).

 


Ingram: Children's Institute


Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Ackerley Shortlist Includes Self-Published Book

Who Is It That Can Tell Me Who I Am? by Jane Haynes--described by the Guardian as "an unflinching journal" of her life as a psychotherapist--has become the first self-published book to make the shortlist for the PEN/Ackerley Prize for memoir and autobiography.

The other finalists for the £1,000 (US$1,996) prize are The Islamist by Ed Husain, In My Father's House by Miranda Seymour, The Presence by Dannie Abse and Family Romance by John Lanchester. The winner will be announced on June 10.

 



Book Review

Book Review: Somebody's Always Hungry

Somebody's Always Hungry: Essays on Motherhood by Juliet Myfanwy Johnson (Nell Books, an Imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie, $24.95 Hardcover, 9781932279924, May 2008)


 
Although the subtitle of this charming book is slightly misleading--rather than essays on motherhood in general, it is more a memoir of Johnson's experiences with her own children, Nathan and Emma, from their births to age five--its emphasis on the personal doesn't detract from its universal appeal. Like all mothers of toddlers, Johnson's focus is necessarily trained on the immediate--those key events in the early years when every day is a time of wonder and discovery, a time when children take initial steps toward individuality and independence. But by avoiding sweeping philosophical statements on the nature of motherhood and wisely allowing the children themselves to do the talking, Johnson creates a simple, eloquent narrative.

There is a great deal of both humor and sweetness in Johnson's account of the mundane but momentous events in early childhood to which any reader can relate. For example, the demise of a pet tortoise forces an explanation of death, which is further complicated when a replacement bunny also expires. Story time at the library turns into an impromptu lesson on social skills when Nathan leaps on top of his sister, who is sprawled at the storyteller's feet. The first day of pre-school is traumatic for Nathan but a welcomed event for Emma, who is just as fearless about learning to swim. Both kids are immensely appealing, and Johnson has captured their sweetness and innocence perfectly. It would take a stone heart not to smile when Nathan loses his first tooth and exclaims, "MY TOOTH! I BLEEDED!'" or when Emma unceremoniously tosses her dead bunny into what Johnson calls "the Death section of the yard." Johnson's own personality, which shines through these pages, is equally sunny and ingenuously quirky, occasionally giving rise to some truly odd (but nonetheless endearing) metaphors. For example, as a newborn, Nathan is described as both a "pile of spent birthday candles" and "a meatloaf" and Emma becomes at one point "a hard butter stick of love." If there is any complaint to be made about this breezy, short collection, it is that there is some unnecessary repetition that more judicious editing could have prevented. Nevertheless, Johnson never belabors any point long enough for this to cause too much of a distraction.
 
Other than the sheer delight and awe she takes in mothering, Johnson doesn't have an angle--no side she wants to take in the Mommy Wars and no revelations on child rearing. Nor is this needed; the universality of her experience will touch all mothers, even (perhaps especially) those whose children have long grown beyond those precious, fleeting first five years.--Debra Ginsberg

 


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