Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Blue Box Press: A Light in the Flame: A Flesh and Fire Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Irh Press: The Unknown Stigma Trilogy by Ryuho Okawa

Other Press (NY): The Rebel and the Thief by Jan-Philipp Sendker, translated by Imogen Taylor

Holiday House: Welcome to Feral (Frights from Feral) by Mark Fearing

Charlesbridge Publishing: Too-Small Tyson (Storytelling Math) by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Anastasia Williams

Berkley Books: Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft


Notes: More Aid for Haiti; Amazon Ups E-Royalty Ante

In a particularly creative and generous move to help relief efforts in Haiti, this Saturday and Sunday, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., is donating 10% of all sales before tax to the American Red Cross. In addition, co-owner Rebecca Fitting will match the contribution of any customer who will donate an amount equal to the store's donation--the 10% of the weekend's sales.

In an e-mail, Fitting explained: "At Greenlight we have been very fortunate in the short life of our new bookstore and we are mindful of it every day. We are thankful for our store's good fortune, and for our own personal fortune for living in a part of the world that has an infrastructure and amenities that are sorely lacking elsewhere. The past week's news about Haiti is an especially tragic event and it makes us want to give back in return."


Effective June 30, is offering authors and publishers who use the Kindle Digital Text Platform another royalty option that will give them 70% of list price for each book, net of delivery costs, Reuters reported. The company will continue to offer its standard royalty option, which on average is about half the new option's rate. Delivery costs will be set at 15 cents per MB of file size.

Amazon is requiring participants to set prices on titles between $2.99 and $9.99 and at least 20% below the lowest list price for the physical book. The e-books need to available for sale in all territories in which the author or publisher has rights. In addition, the company said, "Books must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices. Amazon will provide tools to automate that process, and the 70 percent royalty will be calculated off the sales price."


Got cabin fever? VPR's Vermont Edition advised: "It's the time of year for kicking off your boots in front of a crackling fire and disappearing into a good book." Claire Benedict of Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, and Penny McConnel of the Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, talked about "what's flying off the shelves this winter.


The Pueblo, Colo., Chieftain profiled the Bookery bookshop and owner Faith Bent, who bought the business in 2005, "and purchasing it is a decision Bent said she's never regretted."

"I was coming in to buy a book and there was a little note on the door that it was for sale," she recalled. "I asked how much and it was exactly the amount that was in my investment account. I thought about it for two weeks and ran the figures, then bought it.... The store's been here forever; people know where it is. [Mesa] Junction is a destination. People come here to shop, to eat in the restaurants, to go to the bakery. It's easy to get here from any place in town. All streets seem to lead here."


Photographer Peter Ross told the Morning News (via Boing Boing) how he came to shoot "William Burroughs's Stuff," noting that the author "lived for many years in the former locker room of an 1880s YMCA, on the Bowery in New York City. The almost windowless space was known as the Bunker. When he died in 1997, his friend and mine, John Giorno, kept the apartment intact, with many of Burroughs's possessions sitting as they were."



Minotaur Books: A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #18) by Louise Penny

Obituary Notes: Robert B. Parker, Erich Segal

Robert B. Parker, the much-beloved author of the Spenser series, died of a heart attack on Monday while working at his desk at his home in Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 77. Besides his detective fiction, he wrote westerns and YA books, more than 60 in total.

The New York Times offers a long obituary, and Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind blog has an extensive listing of tributes to Parker.


Erich Segal, the classics scholar best known for his bestselling 1970 tearjerker Love Story, died on Sunday of a heart attack in London. He was 72.

Besides Love Story, his popular work included a Love Story sequel, Oliver's Story, and the screenplay for Yellow Submarine, which Segal co-wrote. He was also the author of several works of scholarship and was a professor at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Oxford. The New York Times has an obituary.


GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

Image of the Day: Fallout

Here's an early look at the cover for Fallout, the final chapter in Ellen Hopkins's bestselling Crank trilogy, which will be published on September 14 (S&S/McElderry, $18.99, 9781416950097/1416950095). It moves from the story of Kristina Snow, who became addicted to crystal meth (aka crank, "the monster") in Crank, and whose story continued with Glass, to the next generation. Hunter, Autumn and Summer--three of Kristina Snow's five children--live with different guardians and go by different last names. What they share is an absent mother whose real love for the past 20 years has been crank. The novel shifts among their three narratives and incorporates news items that also shed light on their family history--one riddled with the ravages of addiction.

Barefoot Books: Save 10%

AAP November Sales Rise 10.9%

Book sales in November rose 10.9%, to $808.5 million, at publishers who reported to the Association of American Publishers. Sales for the year through November rose 4.9%.

Among categories:

  • E-books exploded 199.9%, to $18.3 million.
  • Audiobooks jumped 69%, to $18.4 million.
  • Adult hardcover rose 26.9%, to $204.4 million.
  • Higher education rose 24.2%,, to $197.1 million.
  • University press hardcover rose 21.9% to $5.4 million.
  • El-Hi basal and supplemental K-12 jumped 18.4%, to $136.9 million.
  • University press paperback climbed 2.7%, to $4.2 million.
  • Professional and scholarly rose 2.7%, to $57.1 million.
  • Children's/YA paperback inched up 1%, to $43.9 million.
  • Religious books were flat, at $48.7 million.
  • Adult paperback fell 3%, to $92.3 million
  • Adult mass market dropped 9.8%, to $53.2 million.
  • Children's/YA hardcover fell 13.5%, to $63.9 million.



Ginger Fox: Free Freight and a Free Book Lovers Mug

HarperCollins Digital Formed

HarperCollins has formed HarperCollins Digital, which will work with operating divisions to "create content, marketing reach, products, communities, and consumer knowledge" and "to increase focus while enhancing our ability to provide quickly what authors need today to reach book consumers online." HarperCollins Digital will have three teams: author services, consumer products and business development.

The HarperCollins Speakers' Bureau becomes part of the author services group.

Among key appointments:

  • Carolyn Pittis becomes senior v-p, HarperCollins Digital, global author services. She has been senior v-p, global marketing strategy and operations.
  • Joe Park, currently CEO of BibleGateway, a division of Zondervan, and a former Amazon executive, becomes senior v-p, HarperCollins Digital, consumer products.
  • Leslie Hulse continues as v-p, digital business development.

HarperCollins has also created the Digital Technology Services Group, which will be headed by Mike McGinniss, who becomes senior v-p of the group. He was formerly v-p of emerging technologies.

The new group combines the Emerging Technologies Group  with some of the resources from the Internet Development Group and aims to provide "strategic technology solutions across HarperCollins and support our global digital initiatives." Projects already underway include converting and packaging e-books and enhanced e-books for delivery to mobile platforms like the iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones as well as syndicating author and book-related content (video and audio assets) to author sites, consumer sites,, booksellers and other partners.

In some related appointments:

  • Mike Yacullo becomes senior manager of digital technology development. He was formerly senior application architect.
  • Christina Cillo, who has acted as a consultant, has joined the project management and business process design team.
  • Greg Mucci, another consultant, becomes director of digital technology operations.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Antiques Roadshow; Save the Deli

Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Jim Wallis, author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street (Howard Books, $24, 9781439183120/1439183120).


Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Marsha Bemko, author of Antiques Roadshow Behind the Scenes: An Insider's Guide to PBS's #1 Weekly Show (Touchstone, $16.99, 9781439103302/1439103305).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Rudolph Wurlitzer, author of Flats/Quake (Two Dollar Radio, $17, 9780982015148/0982015143) and Nog (Two Dollar Radio, $15.50, 9780982015124/0982015127). As the show put it: "When Flats and Quake were published, the '60s were ending, and these novels can be said to chronicle the death of a dream. Wurlitzer speaks about his collaboration with Sam Peckinpah on Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, as well as how American culture changed as the '70s took their toll."


Tomorrow on the Book Studio: David Sax, author of Save the Deli (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780151013845/0151013845)


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: John Gillespie and David Zweig, authors of Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions (Free Press, $27, 9781416559931/1416559930).

Also on Diane Rehm: Joseph E. Stiglitz, author of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (Norton, $27.95, 9780393075960/0393075966).


Tomorrow on the Ellen DeGeneres Show: Valerie Bertinelli, author of Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life Without Opening the Fridge (Free Press, $26, 9781439141632/1439141630).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: John Farmer, author of The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 (Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594488948/1594488940).


Howl Opens the Sundance Film Festival

Howl, a movie based on the infamous Howl trial, starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, is making its premiere tomorrow at the opening night at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film is directed by Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and also stars David Strathairn, Alan Alda and Jeff Daniels. Telling Pictures, the creators of the film, made the Academy Award-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk.

City Lights has not done a tie-in title for the film, but Howl and Other Poems is still in print--and remains the press's bestselling title.

The house has a related 2006 title, Howl on Trial: The Battle for Free Expression by Bill Morgan and Nancy Peters, which gives the inside story of the publication and defense of Howl in correspondence, documents and photographs.


Incidentally during the festival, Dolly's Bookstore in Park City, Utah, is hosting seven author events, which the Park Record has listed.

Each year, the paper wrote, manager Sue Fassett "sifts through the festival catalog and picks out films that are based on or inspired by books. She reaches out to publishers and agents, letting them know that the bookstore likes to feature authors who may be stopping through Park City."

Movies: Successful Marketing Revamp for The Lovely Bones

The film version of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones was initially released December 11 and positioned "as an awards contender, targeting adults. Few bit and the title seemed doomed," according to Variety, which reported that, with support from director Peter Jackson, "Paramount was able to do an about-face and completely revamp the marketing campaign and go after young femmes. The studio abandoned plans for an awards campaign and decided to wait until after Christmas to begin advertising in earnest."

Delaying nationwide release until January 15 apparently worked, as the film "stunned box office observers in coming in No. 3 for the four-day weekend, grossing an estimated $20.5 million from 2,563 theaters for a total cume of $21 million. Of the audience, a full 72% were female, while 40% were under the age of 20," Variety wrote.


Books & Authors

Awards: Edgar Nominees

The Mystery Writers of America has chosen its nominees for the 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, TV and film published or produced in 2009. View the full list here. The awards will be presented to the winners at MWA's 64th gala banquet, April 29 in New York City.



Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, January 26:

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (Dial, $17.99, 9780803733961/0803733968) is a fantasy novel set in an immense prison.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin (Portfolio Hardcover, $25.95, 9781591843160/1591843162) is the latest from the popular business author, speaker and blogger.

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers: A Novel
by Thomas Mullen (Random House, $26, 9781400067534/1400067537) follows sibling bank robbers during the Great Depression.

The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life by Meg Whitman and Joan Hamilton (Crown, $26, 9780307591210/0307591212) gives steps for success from the CEO of eBay.

Mark Twain: Man in White: The Grand Adventure of His Final Years by Michael Shelden (Random House, $30, 9780679448006/0679448004) chronicles Twain's last five years alive.

Book Brahmin: Andrea Busfield

Andrea Busfield is a former journalist. In her previous life, she worked for the Sun and the News of the World before leaving London for Kabul. After two-and-a-half years living in Afghanistan she penned her debut novel, Born Under a Million Shadows (Holt Paperbacks; February 2, 2010). She lives in Austria with her boyfriend and her dog--both of which she acquired in Kabul.

On your nightstand now:

Lord Lucan: My Story
by William Coles. First up, I have to confess this is written by a former colleague of mine from the Sun newspaper. But it is no less entertaining for that. Showing fabulous literary conceit, Coles 'edits' the memoirs of the 7th Earl of Lucan--and provides a gripping account of what happened following his disappearance in 1974 after he mistakenly bludgeoned his children's nanny to death. Lucan meant to do away with his wife. I'm only seven chapters in, but so far enjoying the ride.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Magic Faraway Tree
by Enid Blyton. This was the first book I remember picking up and never wanting to put down. Unsurprisingly, there's a tree involved, and it's magic. Actually, just thinking about it now, I can feel the excitement of discovery coursing through my veins. Although Moonface did creep me out a bit.

Your top five authors:

Ouch. I don't know about 'top five'; this can change with the day of the week. How about five authors whose work I regularly look out for? Louis de Bernières (genius), John Irving (um, genius again), Colin Bateman (always entertaining), Terry Pratchett (always funny), Isabel Allende (always a pleasure).

Book you've faked reading: 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
by Robert M. Pirsig. I tried. Believe me, I tried. But I was 17 years old and simply looking for something cool to read. I think I was fixated with a biker at the time. I haven't had the courage to go back in case this defeat had nothing to do with age and everything to do with intellect.
Book you're an evangelist for:

A Kestrel for a Knave
by Barry Hines. Twenty years ago it took me two hours to read this wonderful tale about a troubled boy--and it's still the only book that has managed to move me to tears. This slim novel packs such power it's humbling.
Book you've bought for the cover:

Zorro by Isabel Allende. It was so lush, so vibrant, so promising--and, thankfully, the writing lived up to the front. As a result, I became an Allende follower, regardless of cover.
Book that changed your life:
Can a book change your life? I'm not sure it can. I think it can influence the way you think for a time, but it's usually people and events that create change. There again, I suppose it could be argued that the Bible and the Quran have changed billions of lives. Not to mention The Da Vinci Code. Is it any surprise I couldn't finish Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? However, in answer to your question, a book that made me stop and think was Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Oh, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And then there was Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. Man, I'm rubbish at this....
Favorite line from a book:

"Rumour is of all pests the swiftest."--The Aeneid by Virgil.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I love Heathcliff. No, truly. I do.

Book Review

Children's Review: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 Hardcover, 9780316070164, February 2010)

This deceptively simple picture book from the husband-and-wife team behind Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra explores the idea of peaceful protest that brings results. What began as a silent statement by four African-American college students at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., on February 1, 1960, blossomed into a "sit-in" that spread to four more states in the South. Andrea Davis Pinkney crafts a text as spare as poetry and circles back to a refrain as simple and clear as the four friends' request: "They didn't need menus. Their order was simple. A doughnut and coffee with cream on the side." But no one will take their order because of the color of their skin. Brian Pinkney portrays the four friends in jackets and button-down shirts; two wear ties. David, Joseph, Franklin and Ezell sit silently while everyone else gets served. An African-American waitress keeps her back to the four young men as she serves a half-dozen white people at the other end of the drugstore counter.
Even though the four African-American students' serene faces and calm seated positions recall a meditative pose, the ink outlines and watercolor wash in rosy tones swirl with movement. Their portraits communicate the energy at the root of their stillness. "They sat straight and proud. And waited. And wanted. A doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side." A policeman comes in, holding a billy club, but lets them be ("No crime in sitting. No harm in being quiet. No danger in looking hungry"). So the "Woolworth's man" closes the store, and the four go home to dinner, "where they are served first." As the author describes other students, both black and white, joining the sit-ins across the South, the artist extends the lunch counter, which serpentines across an entire spread. A backlash develops in response to the movement's success, and Brian Pinkney represents the opponents' anger as a purple tempest of finger pointing and angry expressions muted by the peaceful faces of the protestors in the foreground. Pull quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a timeline of milestones in the civil rights movement and an author's note clearly demonstrate for young readers the injustice that prompted the sit-ins and their context within the civil rights movement. On this 40th anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins, this book is a powerful and eloquent reminder of the role of young people as the instrument of change and the impact they can continue to have on society at large.--Jennifer M. Brown

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