Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Take a Storytime Adventure into the World of Jessie Sima


Notes: Kirkus Revived; Blio Arrives

Kirkus Reviews has come back from the dead.

Memos from Kirkus managing editor Eric Liebetrau (see DailyFinance) indicated that the review publication has restarted because "there is a buyer in the works." Until the deal closes, in "probably 2-3 weeks," Kirkus will "resume business as usual under the Nielsen umbrella."

Late last year, Kirkus owner Nielsen Business Media shut the publication and Editor & Publisher at the same time it sold some other magazines (Shelf Awareness, December 10, 2009).


In partnership with K-NFB Reading Technology, Baker & Taylor is officially unveiling Blio, the e-reader software that uses color and sophisticated audio (Shelf Awareness, October 14, 2009), at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

B&T chairman and CEO Tom Morgan called the technology "leaps ahead of black-and-white reading devices" and said it will "open the floodgates for entire categories of e-content--like children's books and textbooks--that can only thrive in a rich media environment."

B&T is distributing content for Blio. Publishers in the Blio program include Elsevier, Hachette, HarperCollins, Random House, Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Wiley.

Popular Science has a photo of a page on Blio, which was designed by Ray Kurzweil.


Amazon has launched the Kindle DX internationally. Retailing for $489, the Kindle DX for the global market ships January 19 and allows wireless delivery in more than 100 countries. Amazon launched the Kindle DX last October--it is larger than the Kindle and is intended to make reading newspapers, magazines, textbooks and other documents easier.


Book trailer of the day: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow (Algonquin). Go to fun fact 46 to see the video!


News reports this week have compared the following story to everything from You've Got Mail to David v. Goliath (with a happier ending). British supermaket chain Tesco agreed to help Linghams bookshop when owner Eleanor Davies appealed to the company's CEO, Sir Terry Leahy, "after reading an interview in which he expressed guilt about forcing small shops out of business," the Guardian reported.

Linghams is located across the road from a Tesco store, and Davies said this presents "a very big problem--people come in and say 'I saw that book for half price in Tesco.' My husband was reading the article and said 'I bet he isn't really worried about small businesses--you should e-mail him and see if he can put up an advert for you.' "

The unexpected result was that "the Heswall branch of Tesco now has three signs in its books section advising customers that a wider range of titles are available across the road in Linghams, where specialist booksellers are also on hand to advise."

For other booksellers considering this route, however, a Tesco spokesman cautioned: "It was a local decision taken at store level and there's no indication it will be happening elsewhere."


Perhaps the least surprising headline of the new year appeared on CNET News: "Kama Sutra most pirated e-book of 2009."

The manual "for so many things sexual managed to beat out another manual of fundamental interest to a pirate's survival on the tossing tempests of this world: Adobe Photoshop Secrets," CNET News added.


Effective July 1, Interweave Press books will be sold and distributed to the U.S. and Canada by Perseus Distribution. Perseus will also handle distribution to the world market, excluding the U.K., Europe and Australia.

Focusing on art and crafts, Interweave, Loveland, Colo., has more than 300 books in print and publishes 45 titles a year. Interweave also publishes 17 magazines, operates more than 30 websites, runs consumer trade shows and produces instructional DVDs and online classes.


Effective immediately, books from CAB International (CABI), the nonprofit agricultural and environmental organization, will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Stylus Publishing.


Congratulations to Steve Rosato, who has been promoted to event director of BookExpo America, effective immediately. He has been associated with the show since 1998, most recently as director of industry development and strategic accounts. He is a 15-year veteran of Reed Exhibitions.

Among other things, Rosato built up the Global Market Forum program, which featured Books and Publishing in the Arab World in 2009; expanded librarian attendance at BEA from a few hundred to several thousand; and formed a partnership with the International Digital Publishers Forum. He also has been responsible for the International Rights Center, sponsored by the Association of Author Representatives.

Rosato replaces Lance Fensterman, who became group v-p for Reed Exhibitions's pop culture shows.


Scott Lubeck has been appointed executive director of the Book Industry Study Group. He was most recently v-p of technology for Wolters Kluwer Health, Professional and Education, where he led the transformation of the medical publisher from print to a more customer-centric approach featuring new products, new business models and new technology.

BISG co-chair Dominique Raccah praised Lubeck for his "expertise in strategically re-positioning technology and media related businesses as well as entrepreneurial leadership in developing these kinds of new business opportunities."

Lubeck has more than 30 years of experience in publishing, particularly in technology and digital initiatives. Besides Wolters Kluwer, he has held executive positions at Harvard Business School Publishing and Newsstand, Perseus Books Group and National Academy Press.


Kate Rados is joining Chelsea Green Publishing as director of digital initiatives, a new position. Rados was most recently director, digital markets, at Sterling Publishing, where she developed the company's digital platform across sales, marketing and editorial. Before that, she worked at the Food Network and MTV Networks.


Sterling Publishing informs us that the full title for Margot Schupf, who joins the company January 25, is v-p, publisher, of Sterling Innovation. Her move was mentioned here yesterday.


Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

S&S Cuts Sales Force, Adds Telemarketing Group

Simon & Schuster's sales and marketing group has created a new telemarketing group that will operate from New York headquarters, serve more than 400 independent booksellers, distributors and educational wholesalers, and be in place by February 15. At the same time, the company is letting go about half of its field sales reps, and remaining reps will focus on regions where sales are strongest, "urban areas with a large base of key independent retail, wholesale and educational accounts."

In a memo outlining these and other changes, Michael Selleck, executive v-p, sales and marketing, called the effort necessary "to meet the challenges of today's changing marketplace." The move reflects sales force cuts made by some other publishers in recent years.

The new telemarketing group will be directed by Frank Fochetta, v-p and director, field and special sales, and managed by Jonathan Earls, director, retail development.

The field sales organization will be supervised by Michael Croy, director, field sales. Under the new arrangement, reps "will now manage a more targeted account base, allowing them more time to meet with their buyers and concentrate not only on selling titles, but also on maximizing our opportunities for backlist, merchandising, and in-store events across all divisions of our company. Simultaneously, we will reduce the amount of time our reps spend travelling across large geographic regions so they can better serve the needs of our customers in a more timely and efficient way."

The seven remaining reps are John Muse, Tim Hepp, Leah Hays, Michael Smith, Amy Schoppert, Kelly Stidham and Laura Webb.

In other changes, Brian Kelleher will now manage educational wholesalers in Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Kansas, including Hertzberg, the Booksource and Southwest Book. He remains the children's and educational specialist for the field channel.

Bobbi Schlatter-Cable will continue to manage Ingram and is adding key CBA national accounts such as Family Christian and Lifeway. Lauren Rouleau will now manage the Revelation commission rep group that sells into the CBA field accounts as well as other commission sales groups.

In marketing, Wendy Sheanin, Lucille Rettino, Sarah Lieberman and the company's marketing teams will continue to provide marketing support for all personnel who serve this channel, including the field, telemarketing and telesales groups. (Telesales remains in Riverside, N.J.) They will continue to work closely with independent booksellers, the ABA, regional bookselling associations and the IndieBound program.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

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 third excerpt is the piece by Mary Daheim, a native of Seattle and graduate of the University of Washington who writes mysteries and historical romances. She is married to playwright David Daheim.

Had I but Known...

I graduated from high school in 1956. Out of 600+ seniors, I was in the Top Ten with all As and one B. Three of my best friends had straight As and were awarded big scholarships. The others got scholarships, too. I got zip. My parents were appalled--several recipients' families were far better off financially. Mom called the high school to express her displeasure. The vice principal apologized, but said the University Book Store had a one-year scholarship. Back then, I never thought that some day I'd be signing mysteries at UBS venues. Whenever I go to one of your stores, I feel grateful. When you ask me to do an event, I'll always show up--because you didn't let me down.

Cool Idea of the Day: Reader's Retreat

Squam Art Workshops is holding a Reader's Retreat September 1-5 at the Rockywold Deephaven Camps in Holderness, N.H., on Squam Lake. (We know personally how beautiful this spot is.)

Participants will have "the chance to sink into long, uninterrupted hours of reading" during "four luxurious days focused on the art of reading. It's books, books, books-- nothing but the love of books." There will also be discussions, including a "Chapter Break" from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Evening salons will feature such literati as Bethanne Patrick, Robert Birnbaum, Lauren Cerand and Laini Taylor.

The retreat is the brainchild of Michele Filgate, events coordinator at RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H., and Elizabeth MacCrellish, director of Squam Art Workshops. Filgate said she and MacCrellish discussed the idea, and "the rest is history."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Elizabeth Gilbert, Barbara Kingsolver

This morning on Fox and Friends: Eric Fettmann and Steven Lomazow, authors of FDR's Deadly Secret (PublicAffairs, $25.95, 9781586487447/1586487442).


This morning on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough Radio and Fox & Friends: Republican Party chairman Michael Steele, author of Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda (Regnery, $27.95, 9781596981089/1596981083).


This morning on the Today Show: Ron Insana, author of How to Make a Fortune from the Biggest Bailout in U.S. History: A Guide to the 7 Greatest Bargains from Main Street to Wall Street (Avery, $26, 9781583333648/1583333649). He is also on CNBC's Power Lunch today.


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Atul Gawande, author of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Metropolitan Books, $24.50, 9780805091748/0805091742).


Tomorrow on the View:  Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz, authors of You: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy (Free Press, $26.99, 9781416572367/1416572368).


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage (Viking, $26.95, 9780670021659/0670021652).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Lacuna (Harper, $26.99, 9780060852573/0060852577). As the show put it, "What do Leon Trotsky, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have to do with an invented author of Mayan and Incan historical romances? In this conversation, Barbara Kingsolver explores the gaps between biography, art and history that are central to her new novel, The Lacuna."


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: James Fowler, author of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316036146/0316036145).


Movies: Dune Redux

Pierre Morel (Taken) will direct a new adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic novel Dune for Paramount Pictures. Variety reported that Morel "is a longtime fan who brought his well-worn copy of the novel with him to meetings at Paramount."

Although the novel remains a bestselling sci-fi classic, the previous film version, directed by David Lynch and released in 1984, was neither a financial nor critical success. 


Books & Authors

Awards: Goodreads Choice

Winners of the first annual Goodreads Choice Awards have been picked by Goodreads members in 13 categories. In the All-Time Favorite category, the winner is Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins. See all the winners here.


Book Brahmin: Michael Gates Gill

The son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, Michael Gates Gill was a creative director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, where he was employed for more than 25 years. He is the author of How Starbucks Saved My Life and has now written How to Save Your Own Life: 15 Lessons on Finding Hope in Unexpected Places, published this month by Gotham. He lives in New York within walking distance of the Starbucks store where he still works and has no plans to retire from what he calls the best job he's ever had.

On your nightstand now:

Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now is a surprising and helpful book. He shows that the best way of meditating is not to concentrate on a mantra or try to focus on a specific peaceful visual but simply not to think at all. I find his new idea very refreshing.


Favorite book when you were a child:

Babar the Elephant
was a book and a character I loved when I was young. Whether he was confronting challenges in Africa or Paris, Babar always seemed to have a happy way of dealing with everything.

Your top five authors:

Virginia Woolf in her brief book The Waves gives a beautiful description of a daylong sea vision. F. Scott Fitzgerald created the most musically written prose--almost like a sustained symphony--about the inherent conflicts in the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. James Joyce wrote my favorite short story in "The Dead." He showed how heartbreak, if truly felt, can lead to deeper understanding. Thomas Jefferson, as author of the Declaration of Independence, proved that words if crafted with care could create a culture and a country. Ernest Hemingway showed all writers how dialogue can convey more with less.


Book you've faked reading:

I never read Darwin's The Origin of the Species although I like to talk about evolution all the time.

Book you're an evangelist for:

I am always telling people who wish to write: read Anne Lamott's wonderful Bird by Bird.


Book you've bought for the cover:

I noticed a book called The English American. It had a cover that pictured a young woman holding an umbrella with the flags of America and England. The visual seemed to capture the title so dramatically I had to pick it up and start reading. From the first sentences to the last the whole book gave me an amusing story full of true love and laughter. A great cover revealed a great book!


Book that changed your life:

After reading Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises I decided it sounded like fun to get drunk and run in front of the bulls in Spain. That almost cost me my life.


Favorite line from a book:

Molly Bloom's last sentence taking many pages from James Joyce's Ulysses ending with the words: "yes, I said yes, I will YES."


Book you most want to read again for the first time:

I keep going back to read the Bible and I find that each time I read in it, I find a new idea of how to live.

Book you would like to have with you if you were alone on a desert island:
I would like to have a book full of blank, lovely white pages. This could become a journal that I could keep as the sun went up and the sun went down. Even more than reading, I find that writing at least a few words every day helps me experience my life in a more aware way.

Book Review

Children's Review: Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Harper, $17.99 Hardcover, 9780061726804, March 2010)

What would you do if you could live your last day over again? That is the central question for narrator Samantha Kingston in this stunning first novel. Author Lauren Oliver's finely tuned ear keeps the narrative and the dialogue firmly in the voice of a high school senior who wants to change the course of events that lead up to the crash that kills her. Sam was riding shotgun in the front seat of the Tank--the silver Range Rover driven by Sam's friend Lindsay, the queen bee of Thomas Jefferson High in Ridgeview, Conn., with their friends Ally and Elody in the back seat. Sam takes us step by step through that fateful day: she awakens on February 12, Cupid Day, when popularity manifests itself in the number of roses one receives. Lindsay gets the most, of course. But Sam doesn't do too badly either. Sam's boyfriend, Rob Cokran, on whom she has had a crush since sixth grade, gives her a rose (the two plan to have sex that night, while his parents are away). Kent McFuller gives a rose to Sam, too. He's had a crush on her since they innocently kissed in third grade, and he's hosting the party that Sam and her friends are departing from when they crash. Then there's Juliet Sykes, aka "Psycho," to whom Lindsay has given a rose with a card, "Maybe next year, but probably not," a cruel joke she's repeated since their freshman year. Each of these characters plays a part as Sam relives Cupid Day seven times.

Part mystery, part character study, the novel reveals more of Sam each time she relives that day. The first time that she wakes up after the crash to discover it's February 12 again, she's in denial. Maybe she's simply experiencing déjà vu. But after she realizes she really is reliving the same day, she pursues different strategies--she tries to change the outcome of the events (convincing her friends to have a sleepover rather than go to Kent's party); she acts out, believing it will make no difference (she tells Lindsay exactly what she thinks of her, and she makes out with her hot math teacher). In the course of these seven days, she learns more about the roots of the tension between Lindsay and Juliet ("One person shoots up and the other spirals downward"); that there may be more to Kent than she'd given him credit for; and that Rob may not be all that she'd thought he was. She also wonders "if it's ever really possible to know the truth about someone else." But here is what she learns: "hope... is the only thing that keeps you alive." Sam discovers a compassion within herself that she'd paved over somehow. Over these seven days, she grows up, and the intent of her life becomes greater than the outcome.--Jennifer M. Brown

The Bestsellers

Top Titles in Chicagoland Last Week

The following were the bestselling titles at independent bookstores in and around Chicago during the week ended Sunday, January 3:

Hardcover Fiction

1. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
3. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
4. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson
2. True Compass by Edward Kennedy
3. Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin
4. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
5. Open by Andre Agassi

Paperback Fiction

1. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
2. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Paperback Nonfiction

1. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
2. Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
3. I Am America (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert
4. How to Take Over teh Wurld by Professor Happycat
5. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson


1. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
2. Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1 by Jeff Kinney
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4: Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
5. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

Reporting bookstores: Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove; Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock; the Book Table, Oak Park; the Book Cellar, Lincoln Square; Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest; the Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka; and 57th St. Books, Seminary Co-op, Women and Children First, Chicago.

[Many thanks to the bookstores and Carl Lennertz!]

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