Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Workman Publishing: What a Blast!: Fart Games, Fart Puzzles, Fart Pranks, and More Farts! by Julie Winterbottom, illustrated by Clau Souza

Berkley Books: Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert; Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea; Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo

Kensington Publishing Corporation: The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman

St. Martin's Press: Wild: The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, Adventurer, Lover by Graham Boynton

Bloomsbury Publishing: Girlhood by Melissa Febos

Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West


Notes: Paterson Succeeds Scieszka; Here Comes Apple

"I think of all the joy reading has given me. It is not just because it is good for you, but because it is good," Katherine Paterson, the Newbery-winning children's novelist who will succeed Jon Scieszka as the national ambassador for young people's literature today, told the New York Times.

In her new role--a joint appointment by the Library of Congress's Center for the Book and Every Child a Reader, a nonprofit group affiliated with the Children's Book Council--Paterson "will speak at Children's Book Week in New York in May and at the National Book Festival in Washington in September, and will travel the country to speak to children, parents, teachers and librarians," the Times wrote.

"I want people to be reading about children of other places and other races and religions," she observed. "I think novels are a wonderful way to do that because you get in somebody else’s psyche and you see things quite differently than the way you see things simply through your own eyes,"

James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress who officially appoints her today, called Paterson "kind of an extraordinary spirit. Wherever she goes, I think she's likely to say something that will not just be what she said the time before."


The Apple tablet rumor mill has gathered further momentum--the Wall Street Journal reported that the company "will unveil a new multimedia tablet device later this month, but isn't planning to ship the product until March.... While the device's ship date hasn't been finalized and could still change, people briefed on the matter said the new product will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen."

The Journal added that Yair Reiner, an analyst for Oppenheimer & Co., had said "in a research note last month that the tablet would be priced at about $1,000, citing sources. . . . Richard Doherty, director of technology consulting firm Envisioneering Group, said such a price could include a subscription to a nationwide wifi wireless service such as those run by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless"


In its profile of publishers Phaidon, Taschen, Steidl and Assouline, and their recent ventures into retail, Newsweek observed that "publishers of large-format, illustrated literature--once pejoratively dismissed as coffee-table books--have found that they are creating luxury products."
Phaidon "is one of a number of art-book publishers that are borrowing the retail tactics of the luxury-goods trade and opening high-end monobrand stores. That may seem counterintuitive at a time when independent bookshops are closing and big chains are hawking bestsellers. But inspired by an 'explosion of interest' in art books, Phaidon CEO Richard Schlagman has decided to use the downturn to try to sell directly to customers and control the retail experience," Newsweek reported.

"It was not something that we were desperately keen to do, but we are enjoying it," he said. "We are getting very good reactions and people are enjoying seeing the whole collection together; we do a lot to make our books very desirable, and a lot of that is lost with chain-store groups."


David Del Vecchio, owner of Idlewild Books, New York, N.Y., told USA Today that during the holidays, "Our top sellers by far were New York-related gift books and international short-story collections."


Half of the independent bookstores in the U.K. surveyed by the Bookseller reported a sales gain during the Christmas season compared to 2008. "Of the current survey respondents, just 22.7% reported that sales had been down, with 27.3% stating that sales were about the same," the Bookseller wrote.

What are the expectations for 2010? "As with 2009, I will take every day as it comes, try to be more imaginative with what I sell both in books and non-book stock," said Sarah Rees of Cover to Cover bookshop, Swansea. "I will also watch with interest how the e-book develops. The main threat comes from online bookselling and e-books. The main opportunities come from continually thinking of imaginative ideas to draw customers into a real book shop."


Book trailer of the day: It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, edited by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser (Harper Perennial, $12, 9780061719431/0061719439).


Obituary notes: The Guardian asked several contemporary authors, including David Lodge, Carol Ann Duffy, Colm Tóibín, John Banville, Margaret Atwood, Edmund White and Ian McEwan, to celebrate the work of some of the great writers who died during the past decade.


Book reviewers for the Guardian offered their picks for "the best of the publishers' lists for the first six months of the new year."


At Sterling Publishing:

  • Frances Gilbert has been promoted to v-p, publisher, Sterling Children's Books, which includes Sandy Creek Press, Begin Smart and Flash Kids. Gilbert was previously v-p, editorial director, Sterling Children's Books.
  • Margot Schupf is joining the company as v-p, Sterling Innovation, effective January 25. She was formerly senior v-p, editorial director, digital publishing, for the Morrow/Avon/Eos group at HarperCollins. She was also acquiring nonfiction for Morrow, focusing on lifestyle, diet and health.
  • Harold Lee is joining the company as v-p, finance, effective January 7.


Effective January 16, Parthian Books, the Welsh independent press, will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Independent Publishers Group.

Parthian's publishes the Library of Wales imprint, which includes titles such as Raymond Williams's Border Country and Dannie Abse's Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve. The house won the Wales Book of the Year in 2009 with Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful. Parthian's 2010 list includes Into Suez, a new novel by Stevie Davies, who was long-listed for both the Orange and the Booker prize for previous work with Orion.


Beaming Books: Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, illustrated by Deann Wiley

Crystal Ball: The Future Is Now... & Soon

As the new year and new decade begin, the volatile state of the publishing industry brings out the Nostradamus in most of us. Recently several industry leaders polished their crystal balls and made observations about the road ahead for the book trade.


"Decades from now, when we look back at the book business in 2009, it seems likely that we’ll see it as a threshold year, one in which all of the signs were there for what followed," wrote HarperStudio's president and publisher Bob Miller in his blog post "It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times...".

In the spirit of the season, Miller offered his thoughts on 10 trends and counter trends, including number one: "Trend: The large publishing houses will continue to reduce overhead as profits shrink in the years ahead. Counter trend: Publishers will be looking for mergers and acquisitions to compensate for those shrinking profits. The Big Six could be the Big Three within five years."


Richard Curtis, literary agent, e-book publisher and industry blogger, shared eight predictions for "Book Publishing 10 Years in the Future" at GalleyCat, including: "First and foremost I predict that the size and price of Espresso print on demand will come down to the point where POD kiosks will be installed in non-bookstores like supermarkets, libraries, pharmacies and the like. Which means that... the grip of Barnes & Noble as the go-to bookseller will be loosened. You'll be able to buy a book at Publix, Duane Reade, or Starbucks. You'll have a selection of millions of titles, not just what can be packed into the shelves and tables of a brick and mortar bookstore."


On the Idea Logical Co. blog, founder and president Mike Shatzkin offered a "baker's dozen predictions for 2010," observing in number 13: "Book publishers will have to admit to real confusion about what the product is that they produce. The big meme coming out of 2010 will be 'What is a book?' Publishers will increasingly be releasing productions that contain video, audio, animation, slide shows, and interactive game elements. Movie, TV, and game producers will see an alternate marketing and revenue channel available through 'e-bookifying' content they have and moving it through book channels like a 'tie-in.' Where one stops and the other begins will become increasingly difficult to see (and increasingly irrelevant)."


George Walkley, who has begun compiling a table on his Life as a Beta Geek blog to aggregate predictions of publishing industry experts, observed: "It’s interesting at this stage to see consensus on relatively few of these points."


KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.16.22

110/110: Anniversary Celebration

This week we're reprinting pieces from 110/110 (Shelf Awareness, January 4, 2010), the book that contains 110-word contributions from 110 authors, poets and graphic novelists on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of University Book Store, Seattle, Wash., which falls this Sunday, January 10. Our second excerpt is the piece by Molly Gloss, a novelist and poet who lives in Portland, Ore., whose most recent book is The Hearts of Horses.


What We Will Do On Our Last Day

We'll gather at a table, all of us,
a table laid with fragile china plates,
old silver handed down on someone's wedding day,
yellow iris in a painted vase
brought back from Mexico or France.
There will be summer salad,
tomatoes warm from someone's garden,
ice cream we've cranked by hand.
We'll raise a glass to friends already gone,
speak of books we ought to have read twice,
say again the poems that bespoke our lives.
And as the dusk begins to deepen,
the candles stuttering in their cups of beveled glass,
we'll lean in to one another, our shoulders touching,
and none of us will face the dark alone.


Blackstone Publishing: Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Two Lives of Sara
by Catherine Adel West

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel WestWhen Sara King arrives in Memphis in the 1960s, she's unmarried, pregnant and on the run from a harrowing past in Chicago. She finds respite at The Scarlet Poplar boarding house, where she'll help Mama Sugar cook mouthwatering Southern food and pursue a second chance for herself and her baby son. Laura Brown, senior editor at Park Row Books, recommends this to readers of Kaitlyn Greenidge's Libertie and Dawnie Walton's The Final Revival of Opal & Nev. "We're finally starting to see more historical fiction that doesn't center the white experience," Brown adds. Rich with research into segregation and the civil rights movement, this vibrant novel pairs a wrenching portrait of an unwed mother with a joyous celebration of African American culture in the South. --Rebecca Foster

(Park Row, $27.99 hardcover, 9780778333227, September 6, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Media and Movies

Media Heat: The Good Karma Divorce

This morning on Good Morning America: Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (Morrow Cookbooks, $27.50, 9780061658198/0061658197).


Today on Talk of the Nation: Dan Hurley, author of Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It (Kaplan, $26.95, 9781607144588/1607144581).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Jean Chatzky, author of Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved (Harper, $16.99, 9780061798696/006179869X).


Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Susan Piver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love (Free Press, $23, 9781416593157/1416593152).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Michele Lowrance, author of The Good Karma Divorce: Avoid Litigation, Turn Negative Emotions into Positive Actions, and Get On with the Rest of Your Life (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780061840692/0061840696).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Jim Wallis, author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street (Howard Books, $24, 9781439183120/1439183120). He will also appear tomorrow on CNN's American Morning.


Ace Books: The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

Television: Return to Cranford; Twilight Reality Series

Airing this Sunday, January 10, and the following Sunday, January 17, at 9 p.m. (EST) on PBS's Masterpiece Classic, Return to Cranford is based on the stories of Victorian era-author Elizabeth Gaskell and is a sequel to Masterpiece Classic's Cranford, which aired in 2008. The two episodes are hosted by Laura Linney and star Judi Dench as Matty Jenkyns. The Cranford stories explore the effect of the Industrial Revolution on 19th-century rural England.

The series is a coproduction of BBC and WBGH. The tie-in book is Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (Penguin, $14, 9780143039419/0143039415).


The town of Forks, Wash., has already gained considerable notoriety and an influx of tourists because it serves as the setting for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. Now producer Zig Gauthier has begun casting a potential reality series set in the town, but "don't expect to see Forks townies pretending to be vampires and werewolves," the Wrap reported.

"We're not going up there looking to cast people who have claims to the supernatural," Gauthier said. "We want people who have a true connection to the community. We want to avoid people with outlandish claims." He added that the goal of the project is "to peel back another layer of the onion that is Forks and see what the real people there are like."

The Wrap also noted that "possibilities for the structure of the show include focusing on a group of high-school students (the real life Bella!), following one or more families who live in the town or a Real Housewives model, in which cameras tag along with several interesting personalities in the town."


Movies: Sherlock Holmes Sequel Not So Elementary, Perhaps?

Robert Downey, Jr.'s mischievous sense of humor may have trapped his Sherlock Holmes character--not to mention director Guy Ritchie's sequel to the current hit film adaptation--in a quandary from which there is no escape.

On the Late Show with David Letterman recently, Downey "hinted at a homoerotic subtext in the relationship between his character and Jude Law's Dr. Watson," according to, which reported that these "comments have infuriated Andrea Plunket, who controls the remaining U.S. copyrights to the Holmes story, and she's threatened to withdraw permission for a follow-up if Ritchie suggests the detective is more than just friends with his sidekick."


Books & Authors

Awards: Costa Book Awards

Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn won the Costa Novel of the Year award over a shortlist that included Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. The Guardian called Tóibín "one of the most highly regarded Irish writers of his generation, loved by his readers and admired by his peers, but when it comes to major book prizes he is something of a bridesmaid."

"It's just great but I'm very surprised," said Tóibín. "Wolf Hall was a wonderful book."

Brooklyn was one of five category winners that will compete for the overall Costa Book Award, which will be announced January 26.

Other category winners were Beauty by Raphael Selbourne (first novel), The Strangest Man by Graham Farmelo  (biography), A Scattering by Christopher Reid (poetry) and The Ask and the Answer--Chaos Walking, Book Two by Patrick Ness (children's). Each author receives £5,000 (US$8,075) for the category honor, while the overall winner will earn £25,000.


Book Review

Mandahla: How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist

How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World--At No Cost! by Nicole Bouchard Boles (Workman Publishing, $10.95 Paperback, 9780761155041, November 2009)

Losing weight, working out, forgoing reality TV in favor of meditation--all worthy goals, but many of us also long to do the right thing, if we could only figure out what would be. With global, national and local problems so overwhelming, where do we start? In the cusp between determination to honor our New Year's resolutions and wondering how to save the world comes this practical and inspiring little book.
Nicole Bouchard Boles says, "Use what you have, not what you earn." And what you have is not just your belongings and recyclables, but your talents, your decisions and your awareness. She starts with your body: volunteer to read for blind and low-vision people through Read This to Me; see if you can get your salon to donate hair clippings to Matter of Trust, which recycles them into mats to absorb oil spills; or be a hospice volunteer or walk for a cause or be a guerrilla gardener. In the chapter on using your family, she writes about charitable lemonade stands, a site for kids to send postcards to military personnel (Let's Say Thanks), and even signing up your pet as a blood donor. Using your computer is an easy way to donate to a cause, and Boles cites the easiest way to harness the Internet--click to donate. The programs are quick and easy, and while each donation is not large, they do add up. And did you know that with each Hotmail e-mail or instant message you send, Microsoft will share a portion of ad revenue with a charity of your choice? Go to Options, Mail, Customize Your Mail, I'm Making a Difference and choose your cause.
Another way to use this book is to think of something you have, go to the index and find out ways to use the item. You could donate hiking boots for the WildiZe Foundation's Boots for Rangers program, which provides boots for African park rangers. Or you could give your old running shoes to Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program, where they will be turned into surface material for playgrounds, running tracks and basketball courts. Once you've made room in the closet for more shoes, try TOMS, and get some really cool shoes--for every pair purchased, a pair will be given to a child in need.
From donating blood to working with hospices to saving heirloom seeds to helping free modern-day slaves, Nicole Boles has found many ways for individuals to get involved and take action. It all starts at home.--Marilyn Dahl
Shelf Talker: Both practical and inspirational, How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist will help people figure out how to get involved in their community, their country and their world.


Deeper Understanding

Making Noise for Hush, Hush

From the moment Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing won debut author Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush and its sequel, Crescendo, at auction in September 2008, there was no keeping it quiet. The story may be as irresistible to teen readers as bad-boy fallen angel Patch is to heroine Nora Grey. But with so many distractions out there, how to focus readers' attention on a debut novel?

Luckily, for starters, key accounts got excited about the book. "We planned to publish Hush, Hush in spring 2010," said v-p and deputy publisher Anne Zafian. "We accelerated the publishing schedule at the behest of our major customers." Then, through Fitzpatrick's connections, such as with "the 10'ers" group (authors whose first book was scheduled as a 2010 pub), and because of ads that S&S ran for ARC giveaways, the publisher also caught the attention of the online community. "In the last year to two years, we've seen the impact and importance of book bloggers," Zafian noted. "It's become critical as traditional news outlets have gone away." Senior marketing manager Elke Villa noted that after that initial contact with bloggers through the ARC giveaway, she has fostered these relationships: "We offered them signed copies after the book was bound and created limited-edition posters for them to use and offer as giveaways on their sites. We also reached out to Twilight fansites." One such fansite, Twilight Moms [], announced last month that it will feature Hush, Hush as its March 2010 book of the month.

Another immeasurable power at work here is, a fan site for Hush, Hush launched before the book's on-sale date by two sisters, Rebecca Sutton, an aspiring author, and Jennifer Martin. Sutton was one of those who won an ARC through a giveaway from S&S. She loved the book, passed it on to Martin, and asked Martin (who has website experience) if she wanted to launch a fansite together. The two sisters are Twilight fans and have spent some time around fansites, so they knew what they liked--and didn't like. "We realized firsthand how important the fan sites are to the fans and how much of an impact they have," Martin said. "Hush, Hush is such a great book that we felt there would be lots of fans looking for a place to connect after reading it." The two  wanted to get Fitzpatrick's approval, so they contacted her early on to get her "thumbs up."

As a result, Sutton and Martin have the cooperation of both Fitzpatrick and S&S. On their site, the sisters feature an interview with James Porto, the photographer for the cover of Hush, Hush, and also with Drew Doyon, the model who posed (with the aid of a trampoline) as Patch Cipriano. Doyon even stars in a trailer on the site, recommending the book as a holiday gift. Last month, Sutton and Martin met Fitzpatrick at NCTE in Philadelphia, and they will host the author for a live chat on next Monday, January 11, at 9 p.m. (EST). They've already drawn more than 30,000 visitors to their site.

S&S has continued the post-publication momentum with a Hush, Hush trailer that ran in movie theaters in four cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Sacramento) at the November 20, 2009, opening of New Moon (the second in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga). Villa said they also gave hardcovers to movie theaters in 10 markets, and National Amusements promoted the giveaway to those who purchased tickets to the midnight showing of New Moon. S&S ran an ad in the two weeks leading up to Christmas on Perez Hilton's site. Since the publisher's first printing, the book has been back to press seven times, according to director of publicity Paul Crichton.

It helps, too, that booksellers embraced the book: Hush, Hush was chosen as a winter 2009 Kids' Indie Next List Top Ten pick, and it was the first teen book ever selected as a B&N First Look Book Club title (club members receive ARCs in advance of pub date), plus it's B&N's number one pick for Best Teen Books for 2009, and, as of last week, was #28 in B&N's overall top 100 list. This month, Fitzpatrick will tour Texas, including several Barnes & Nobles, Legacy in Dallas, Book People in Austin and Blue Willow in Houston. In February, she will join fellow S&S author Lisa McCann (author of Wake, Fade and Gone) for appearances at, among other locations, Changing Hands in Phoenix, Ariz.; Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif.; Mrs. Nelson's, Los Angeles; and Sam's Club, Long Beach, Calif.

But here is the remarkable thing: Hush, Hush, published last October 13, made its debut at #10 on the New York Times bestseller list on November 1 (as of December 13, the book was still in the Times top 10). It's hard to determine how much any one of these factors has helped crank up the volume on Hush, Hush, but each contributor clearly hopes to keep it building to a fall 2010 Crescendo.--Jennifer M. Brown

KidsBuzz: Katherine Tegen Books: Case Closed #4: Danger on the Dig by Lauren Magaziner
Powered by: Xtenit