Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Little Brown and Company: The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis

Grove Press: The Heavens by Sandra Newman

Quirk Books: Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank, adapted with Tim Heidecker, illustrated by Manuela Pertega

Other Press: Wanderer by Sarah Léon, translated by John Cullen

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie, illustrated by Lizzy Doyle

Flatiron Books: Save Me from Dangerous Men (Nikki Griffin #1) by S.A. Lelchuk

Berkley Books: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

News

Samsung eReader Teams with B&N

Samsung "dove headlong into the electronic book market" yesterday with its introduction of the $299 Samsung eReader and announcement of "a relationship with Barnes & Noble which allows the eReader to access B&N's arsenal of more than a million e-books and e-magazines as well as access to Google Books," PCWorld reported. The new device also allows users to take notes in the margins and share content with other Samsung eReaders.

"Reading can be as personal or as social as you want it to be," said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung's consumer electronics division.

Kevin Frain, executive v-p of e-commerce operations at B&N, did not see this as a conflict with the Nook, saying, "We want to enable e-reading everywhere."

The Samsung eReader will be available soon at major retailers, but will not be sold at B&N's stores.

 


Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book: Easy for You to Say by Stuttering John Melendez


Notes: Books@BEA to Debut; BookCourt's Lit Journal

Above the Treeline and BEA are partnering to introduce "Books@BEA," an online catalogue of new titles on exhibit at this year's show in New York City. Books@BEA will be created using Edelweiss, and participation in the online catalogue is free to all book publishers exhibiting at the show. 
 
"We're thrilled to debut Books@BEA because it's yet another added value to both attendees and exhibitors and demonstrates BEA's commitment to keeping pace with the evolution of the industry," said BEA events director Steve Rosato. "Our partnership with Above the Treeline will make it easier for booksellers and the media to find exciting new titles and authors and for publishers to promote and sell their books."

Above the Treeline noted that for titles from publishers who are not current Edelweiss customers, Books@BEA will be open to catalogue readers for a limited period preceding and following the event. For more information on Books@BEA, contact Mike Carlucci at mcarlucci@reedexpo.com.
 
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BookCourt bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., is launching a new literary journal, Cousin Corinne's Reminder, a biannual publication that "will feature more than 150 pages of fiction and photography from local and international artists and authors, as well as a graphics section curated by Brooklyn comic book author Dean Haspiel," the Daily News reported.

"It seemed like a natural step, with all of the great ideas that flow through this establishment," said Zack Zook, BookCourt's general manager and the journal's executive editor.

In addition to a collaborative piece by Haspiel and Jonathan Lethem, the first edition of Cousin Corinne's Reminder will feature work by James Frey, who "said he wanted to give back to BookCourt for its support, even after the 2006 controversy over the truth of bits of his best-selling memoir A Million Little Pieces and his resulting feud with Oprah Winfrey. Plus, he said, he's a fan of independent bookstores," the News wrote.

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Amazon will issue $25 gift certificates to some customers who took advantage of a data error last weekend that temporarily offered deep discounts on many comics and graphic novels (Shelf Awareness, March 9, 2010). TechCrunch reported that while Amazon will "honor some of the orders," it doesn't have enough books in stock for all of them and "is looking to smooth things over with some $25 gift certificates."

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In the Huffington Post, Judith Schwartz, author of The Therapist's New Clothes, wrote about the changing landscape of publishing for authors as well as her experience publishing a book independently on the Espresso Book Machine at Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, Vt. "Not that I'm against conventional publishing," Schwartz wrote. "It's just that, same as with therapy, you've got to know when it's working for you and when it's time to go your own way."

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How to design a book cover in less than two minites. Lauren Panepinto, creative director of Orbit Books, shared her process for designing the cover of Gail Carriger's Blameless (Orbit) in a time-lapse video that "takes us through intense Photoshop compositing and retouching, type tweaking in Illustrator, keyword image research, double checking the cover brief form in Microsoft Word, and the painstaking revisions process," design:related.com wrote.

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The book doctor will see you now. Send a photo of your bookshelf to the New Yorker, then "Lie back, relax, let the good doctors at the Book Bench analyze the contents of your bookshelf."

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Princeton University's "semester-long pilot of Amazon.com's Kindle DX electronic reader" has earned mixed grades from students and professors, according to eSchoolNews.com, which reported that while "students reduced the amount of paper they printed for their classes by nearly 50%, some students and professors said they felt restricted by the device."

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Book trailer of the day: Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts: 23 Original Quilt Designs (STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books).

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NPR's What We're Reading list for March 9–15 includes Angelology by Danielle Trussoni, Next by James Hynes, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch and The Midnight House by Alex Berenson.

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Liz Edelstein has joined Macmillan Audio, formerly Audio Renaissance, as digital content and marketing manager. She was previously an online book marketing specialist and earlier was a senior program manager at AOL/Netscape Communications. Under a pseudonym, she has published 12 romance/scifi novels.



Graywolf Press: Scribe by Alyson Hagy


Fire Petal Power: A Bookstore Blooming in Utah

Michelle Witte has an unusual business model: she is asking her community in Centerville, Utah ("about 10 minutes north of Salt Lake City," she said), to help her make her children's bookstore, Fire Petal Books, a success... and a reality.

She has picked out the space, she knows where she wants to hold her teen and tween writing workshops, she knows where the bookshelves will go. (You can take a virtual tour of the future Fire Petal Books.) But she does not yet have the funds to stock the shelves and open the doors. The community, however, is indeed coming together to help her realize her dream. Not just the Centerville community, but the social media nation of booklovers. And it's all because of Twitter.

Witte (pronounced "witty") began her fundraising efforts with KickStarter ("a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers," as its Web site explains), but, she said, "It wasn't working." Then one of her Twitter friends suggested she hold an auction and donated the first item: a one-on-one phone manuscript critique. That Twitter friend is Molly O'Neill, assistant editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books. "Children's books has this recent history of auction success, the Robert's Snow [for Cancer's Cure] auction, and around Christmastime there was another auction to raise money for schools that had lost their budget for book buying. A lot of editors and agents had offered to give manuscript critiques. I sent [Michelle] a link to that auction and said, 'What about this?' and she ran with it," O'Neill said. "It's kind of the stone soup thing: 'I've got some carrots!' That give-and-take is the Internet and social media at its best."

Witte "met" O'Neill when she started on Twitter as a way of connecting her Utah base with other editors and agents in publishing, who tended to be based on the coasts. (The two have never met in person.) Witte also joined YA LitChat (#YALitChat on Twitter), which has some 900 members--agents, editors and mostly YA writers, both published and aspiring. Witte herself is working on a YA novel. "Every Wednesday night they hold a LitChat at 7 p.m. my time, 9 p.m. Eastern, and I've gotten to know a lot of people through these different venues. It's snowballing," Witte said. "It started with just a few people. I announced on Twitter I wanted to open a bookstore. Sara Zarr started tweeting about it, others started commenting and it went from there." Zarr, a fellow Utah resident, also contributed a critique for the cause.

Neil Gaiman had also been following Witte on Twitter--"I have no idea why," she admited. "I direct-messaged him, and he volunteered an autographed copy of Beowulf: The Script Book." The book is based on the 2007 film Beowulf, cowritten by Gaiman and Roger Avary. Fellow Utah resident Shannon Hale donated an autographed set of her Bayern series (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets and Forest Born), and Witte recently met author Chris Cleave at a signing in Provo, Utah, and he contributed an autographed copy of his Little Bee for the auction. YA author Julie Wright donated sponsorship of a teenager to the 2010 Teen Writers' Conference "Living the Writer's Legacy" in Ogden, Utah, and the conference organizers got wind of Wright's generosity and also decided to sponsor a teen.

Witte will be accepting bids until Saturday, March 20, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Check out the complete list of auction items, and follow her progress on Twitter (@firepetalbooks) or join her Fire Petal Books fan page on Facebook. On Monday, Witte announced that she's pushing back her anticipated bookstore opening to April 29, due to a bout with bronchitis: "She's not dying, just exhausted," Witte tweeted.--Jennifer M. Brown

 


Yale University Press: The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World by William D. Nordhaus


Image of the Day: What's Cooking in Brazil?

"It's not just a project, it's a belief in Brazilian culture," chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz said of The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook (Kyle Books) at a party last Thursday to celebrate the book's publication. The soirée was co-hosted by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York City, and guests sampled food made from Schwartz's recipes. Schwartz (c.) is pictured with Anja Schmidt, publisher of Kyle Books, and Ron Longe, account director, Media Masters Publicity.


Soho Press: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

According to Susan Kamil, Random House executive v-p and publisher, Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss is "for readers of A Man Called Ove or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, novels where one feels the central character will never overcome their own emotional shortcomings or burdens, but, miraculously do." Curmudgeonly Cambridge professor of Economics P.R. Chandrasekhar does not, at first, appear capable of miracles, or even of changing his mind. But he is--and he does, thanks to a run-in with a bicyclist and a doctor's charge to follow his bliss. Author Rajeev Balasubramanyam wields considerable humor, the perfect antidote to our polarized and exhausting present, while crafting a tender and thoughtful tale. This is an absolute gem of a book. --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers

(Dial Press, $27 hardcover, 9780525511380, March 26, 2019)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER
#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Culture Is Our Weapon

Today on Morning Edition: George Soros, author of The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University (PublicAffairs, $16.95, 9781586488857/1586488856).

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Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Patrick Neate, author of Culture Is Our Weapon: Making Music and Changing Lives in Rio de Janeiro (Penguin, $14, 9780143116745/0143116746).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Stephen J. Cannell, author of The Pallbearers (St. Martin's, $25.99, 9780312557294/0312557299).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Part two of a two-part interview with Patti Smith, author of Just Kids (Ecco, $27, 9780066211312/006621131X). As the show put it: "We hear about Patti Smith as a bookworm. You probably know about her love for Rimbaud, but did you know she worships the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov and his great novel, The Master and Margarita? A voracious reader, Smith has written three unpublished novels and has created hundreds of visual pieces. She speaks of her unbounded appetite for creativity."

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Tomorrow on Oprah: Michael Pollan, author Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (Penguin, $11, 9780143116387/014311638X).

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (Basic Books, $26.95, 9780465014910/0465014917).

Also on Diane Rehm: Mitt Romney, author of No Apology: The Case for American Greatness (St. Martin's, $25.99, 9780312609801/0312609809).

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Tomorrow on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Gregory Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion (Free Press, $25, 9781439153024/1439153027).

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Tomorrow on the Book Studio: Pat Choate, author of Saving Capitalism: Keeping America Strong (Vintage, $15, 9780307474834/0307474836).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Eamon Javers, author of Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage (HarperBusiness, $26.99, 9780061697203/0061697206).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: David Aaronovitch, author of Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History (Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594488955/1594488959).

 


Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana by Danny Danko


The Pacific: Third Wave of Tie-in Books

Two more tie-ins to HBO's miniseries The Pacific, which begins airing this coming Sunday:

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath by Michael and Elizabeth Norman (Picador, $18, 9780312429706/0312429703).

I'm Staying with My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone
by Jim Proser with Jerry Cutter (St. Martin's Griffin, $14.99, 9780312611446/0312611447).

 


Television: Secrets of Eden & More

Chris Bohjalian's Secrets of Eden is one of four books whose TV movie rights have been acquired by Craig Anderson Productions, Variety reported.

"Chris writes interpersonal stories which are very, very easy to relate to," said Anderson, who also noted that he is "fascinated by people who have lives we think [are] normal, but there are actually sort of demons in their closets."

CAP has also acquired the film rights to The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere and Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage by Dina McGreevey (former wife of ex–New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey). In addition, Anderson is developing a film version of Acceptable Victims by Rachel Lloyd.

 


Movies: 20 Times a Lady Becomes What's Your Number

Anna Faris and Chris Evans will star in What's Your Number, based on Karyn Bosnak's novel 20 Times a Lady. Bosnak wrote the original adaptation, which has since been rewritten by Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan, Variety wrote, noting that before landing at New Regency, the project was at New Line, then Sony. Director Mark Mylod will begin filming in May. 

 


Books & Authors

Awards: AJL Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards

Winners of the 2010 Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards have been named by the Research Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections Division of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL).

The reference category award went to The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 by Dr. Geoffrey Megargee (Indiana University Press, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) .

In the bibliography category, a Body-of-Work award was given to Joseph (Yossi) Galron-Goldschlaeger, head of the Hebraica and Jewish Studies Library at the Ohio State University Libraries, in recognition of his lifelong contributions to the field of Hebrew bibliography.

The awards will be presented July 6 in Seattle at AJL's 45th Annual Convention.

 


Children's Review: Two Science Beginning Readers

Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework by Nadja Spiegelman, illustrated by Trade Loeffler (TOON Books, $12.95 paper-over-board, 9781935179023/1935179020, 40 pp., ages 4-up, April 2010)

Pandas by Anne Schreiber (National Geographic, $3.99 paper, 9781426306105/1426306105, 32 pp., ages 5-7, February 2010)

Nadja Spiegelman, daughter of Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, here proves that she's inherited her parents' creative genes. She uses an effective hybrid of fact and fiction to emphasize subtle wonders of the natural world in a graphic novel format. Two aliens--Wikki, a pea-green fellow who resembles a walking television set, and furry, brown, one-eyed Zig--land on Earth while attempting to retrieve a "pet" for Zig's class zoo. When something lands on Zig's candy, Wikki's screen lights up with helpful information: "FLY tasting: flies taste with the hair on their feet, so they can tell when they land if food is good." The otherworldly pals learn about Earth's food chain, too, as a dragonfly devours the fly, a frog gulps the dragonfly, and a raccoon pursues the frog. Trade Loeffler varies the pacing with multiple-panel sequences and full-page images. When Wikki's screen displays info about Earth's creatures, the artist cleverly employs a photographic image and brief caption to play up the science (the snapshot of "frog eating its skin" is particularly realistic). The book ends with a delightful surprise, then a page of "Wikki's fun facts," with additional amusing tidbits and photographs (check out the larvae!).

The photographs that make National Geographic a literal force of nature illuminate the world of Pandas described in Anne Schreiber's economical text. The opening spread sets up the furry fellow's lineage: "Look! Up in the tree! Is it a cat? Is it a raccoon? No! It's a Giant Panda!" A glorious photo shows the creature with one hind paw in the vee of a tall tree, as snow lightly falls in "the highest mountains." Large type makes the words easy to read, though some are a bit more challenging: "In China, pandas are sometimes called daxiongmao (dah shee-ONG mah-oh), which means "Giant Bear Cat." One full-spread photograph clearly labels the panda's body parts and unique characteristics, while a series of inset photos chart the growth of a cub. Many pages feature a punny joke ("What do you call a father bear?" "A panDAD!") in tune with early elementary humor, and "Bear Word" boxes define new vocabulary mentioned in the text (e.g., "Habitat: An animal's natural home."

With this pair of books, readers will be having so much fun, they'll barely notice how much they're learning.--Jennifer M. Brown

 


Book Brahmin: Danielle Trussoni

Danielle Trussoni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of the memoir Falling Through the Earth. Viking published her debut novel, Angelology, yesterday. She splits her time between the U.S. and France.

On your nightstand now:

I have a tower of books stacked on a Windsor chair next to my bed. If I lean over--I'm writing this in bed so it is easy to read the spines--I can see Paris by Andrew Hussey; The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester; The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelem Brillat-Savarin; Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie; and The Templars by Michael Haag.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I used to read anything I could find. I distinctly remember reading all of my mother's Danielle Steel books, but--growing up as I did in rural Wisconsin--I also liked the Little House on the Prairie series. It seems to me now that these writers are quite a strange mix. What does one get when one crosses Danielle Steel and Laura Ingalls Wilder? Sarah Palin?

Your top five authors:

If only Rob Fleming (Nick Hornby's list-making hero of High Fidelity) were here to help me make these choices! O.K., my top five authors in no particular order are: Colette, Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe and pre-Magical Thinking Joan Didion. My previous top five list would have been: George Sand, Baudelaire, Virginia Woolf, Morrissey and Sylvia Plath. It strikes me that my taste could be deteriorating with age.

Book you've faked reading:

War and Peace by Tolstoy. I love 19th-century Russian writers, and I've read Anna Karenina, but I have yet to get through War and Peace. For some reason writerly pride never allows me to admit this.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
by Susanna Clark. This novel is magical and meandering and addictive. I've read it three times.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I can't remember the title! It is a very thick graphic novel with a beautiful yellow and red and black cover. I bought it for my son, who is an obsessive reader. When he saw that there were no words inside he promptly shelved it. Oh wait, I remember the title now: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Book that changed your life:

A book of Edgar Allan Poe's collected stories that I read in high school. I skipped school to read it and realized that I was destined for truancy.

Favorite line from a book:

"I confess, this was unpleasant for me."--From The Gambler by Dostoevsky.

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

Orlando by Virginia Woolf. I love the surprising, effortless transformations that that Orlando undergoes. This novel is as timeless and as delightful as Ovid's Metamorphoses and makes me wish I could slip into the book and become a character.




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