Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 18, 2010

University of Texas Press: Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating Loss by Lisa Keefauver

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!

Berkley Books: The Hitchcock Hotel by Stephanie Wrobel

Queen Mab Media: Get Our Brand Toolkit

Ballantine Books: Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me by Glory Edim

Ace Books: Rewitched by Lucy Jane Wood

Graywolf Press: We're Alone: Essays by Edwidge Danticat

St. Martin's Press: Runaway Train: Or, the Story of My Life So Far by Erin Roberts with Sam Kashner

Quotation of the Day

Booksellers Are Still the 'Most Significant Route to Market'

"Our current sales are funding the changes in your future business models. Don't lock us out. We want the opportunity to trade in these new formats. Bookshops and booksellers are still your most significant route to market and retailing diversity is important to our future.… Google are looking to create a world where they receive protection from being sued, and can only be paid. Or having your cake, eating it and charging everyone for the privilege of the meal. Even as a bookseller, this was not my understanding of copyright.... We should support publishers and authors in keeping their businesses profitable and helping them to reach the widest consumer market. These challenges to intellectual property and rights-holding undermine us all equally."

--Blackwell's Sharon Murray, president of the Booksellers Association, in a speech at the
2010 Book Industry Conference in London (via 


BINC: Click to Apply to the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships


Notes: Presidential Book Sales; One-Stop E-Book Shop in France

Barack Obama's income, "propelled largely by sales of his two books," rose to $5.5 million during 2009, up from $2.7 million in 2008, according to the president's tax returns, the Seattle Times reported. The tax forms also showed that he received $225,000 for an abridged version Dreams from My Father, which will be targeted at young readers.


Three leading publishers in France will "pool their resources for distributing digital books in order to provide booksellers with a one-stop shop," according to the, which reported that Eden Livres, Eplateforme and Numilog "will bring the single access point on stream partially in mid-June and fully at the beginning of September.... Distributor Epagine will also participate in the venture."

The publishers noted that the increased presence of digital books in France "requires a rapid solution to permit all bookstores to display a single catalogue with all the available digital titles and for customers to have a single shopping basket," the Bookseller wrote. The decision comes in response to a planned October launch of portal for independent booksellers--by the Syndicat de la Librairie Française, the French booksellers association.


A Kindle for Android devices app will be available this summer from Amazon.


Barnes & Noble is featuring a bricks-and-mortar e-book cross-promotion called Fun and Free eBooks. During the next five weeks, customers who bring their Nook or iRex DR800SG--or any device enabled with BN eReader software--to a B&N store will receive a special access code for that week's free e-book.


Selling an English-Spanish dictionary of automobile parts might not seem like the key to keeping bookstores in business, but for Rainy Day Paperback Exchange, Bethel, Conn., the advantages of marketing online have paid dividends.

"We sold it to a Chrysler dealership in Venezuela. They sent us a note that said 'this is just what we were looking for to train our mechanics,' " owner Nora O'Neill told the Danbury News-Times, which featured several local online booksellers, some with--and others without--bricks-and-mortar locations.

"I miss the contact with the public and the people, but I've gotten used to this and it's kind of enjoyable," said Robert Feinson, owner of the Old Bookshelf, which is an online-only operation. 


Shaken, the seventh novel in J.A. Konrath's Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels mystery series, will be published by Amazon's publishing imprint, AmazonEncore, which will release a Kindle edition in October followed by a print version in February 2011.

On his blog, Konrath posted the press release, followed by a Q&A for readers in which he explained his reasons for choosing this option rather than a traditional publisher.


Has the iPad's launch increased the number of pirated e-books? Wired explored the numbers at BitTorrent and reported that the "answer was a resounding 'kinda.' While almost none of Amazon's top 10 appeared on public torrent trackers, six out of 10 books in the business category were available. When TorrentFreak checked the before and after numbers, it found that the number of BitTorrent book downloads grew by an average of 78% in the days after the iPad went on sale. Even so, the numbers were still tiny compared to the traffic in movies and music."

One potential problem is that "where geeks go first, the general public will follow." Wired concluded that blaming the iPad "is stupid, though. If it causes a rise in book piracy, it is only because it is driving demand."


At the Queens Library branch in Bayside, manga has gained a following among a diverse group of young readers who "come from all over the ethnic patchwork of this neighborhood of modest-to-fancy brick houses and square green lawns: East Asian, South Asian, Caribbean, African-American, Jewish. (Only one speaks Japanese at home.) But at the library, they identify as otaku--Japanese slang for manga aficionados--and their divisions run purely along manga lines," the New York Times wrote.


Is Scottish publishing an endangered species? reported that "ambitious, challenging and unconventional voices--the type of writing that made Scottish publishing the envy of the globe--are at risk of being sidelined and overlooked as the whole industry is squeezed."

Derek Rodger, head of Argyll Publishing, said he doesn't "want to see the past through rose-tinted glasses, but this is the worst we’ve ever seen it. You ask, how do you sell books now? Well, with great difficulty."


"Did you know that George W. Bush and Karl Rove used to have a reading contest every year?" asked the Huffington Post in a feature headlined "11 Presidents' Favorite Books."


Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

BEA Preview: 'Get Caught Listening' on BEA Soundstage

"Get Caught Listening," a joint initiative of the Audio Publishers Association and the Association of American Publishers, will present several events on the Midtown Stage at BookExpo America next week. The schedule includes:

May 26

10 a.m. Nelson DeMille and Scott Brick discuss the interactions between author and narrator in the audiobook recording process. Scott recorded the audiobook for DeMille’s upcoming novel, The Lion.

12 p.m. Jennifer Egan is the author of three novels, including National Book Award finalist Look at Me and soon-to-be-published A Visit From the Goon Squad.

2 p.m. A Galaxy Press radio drama performance featuring Martin Kove (The Karate Kid, Wyatt Earp), Bo Hopkins (American Graffiti, White Lightning), Josh Thompson (celebrity impersonation, Galaxy Explorers Club performance), Lee DeBroux (Gunsmoke, Bonanza) and Jesse Kove (Bare Knuckes, Ballistica).
May 27
10 a.m. Katherine Kellgren, a recent Audie winner for her portrayal of L. A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack young adult series will perform a selection from an upcoming audiobook title.

12 p.m. David Pogue, New York Times technology columnist, CBS correspondent and author of technology-oriented manuals, has also written a new children’s book, Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power.

2 p.m. Children's author Lenore Look and Disney star Everette Plen perform and discuss Look's Alvin Ho series, including the newest book, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes.  


Image of the Day: Early Father's Day

After meeting for the very first time, author Sherry North and illustrator Marcellus Hall posed with their new book, Because You Are My Daddy (Abrams Books for Young Readers, May 2010). Forty people came out to hear the book read and see illustrations made on Saturday, May 14, at Best Bargain Books, Centereach, Long Island. This is their second book together; the first was Because You Are My Baby.


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Remember You Will Die
by Eden Robins
GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

Despite the title, Eden Robins's Remember You Will Die is a joyously enlivening masterpiece. Only dead people inhabit the pages of this novel, their stories revealed predominantly through obituaries ranging from deeply soulful to hilariously delightful. As Christa Désir, editorial director for Bloom Books at Sourcebooks, promises, it's "a book about life and art and loss and being human and messy." By 2102, the singularity has long happened, and an AI called Peregrine learns that her 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, is dead. Unraveling this requires a three-century excavation of relationships, cultures, science, history, and brilliantly sourced etymology. Désir predicts "a cult classic" that readers will want to "immediately pick back up... to find more Easter eggs and clues." Eden Robins could have the singular bestseller of the year. --Terry Hong

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99 paperback, 9781728256030, 
October 22, 2024)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Russell Brand on Letterman

Tomorrow morning on Imus in the Morning: Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781439101193/1439101191).


Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Dan Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (Scribner, $30, 9780743277020/0743277023).


Tomorrow on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations (Free Press, $27, 9781439157312/1439157316).  She will also appear tomorrow on Fox Business News' Stossel Show.


Tomorrow night on Larry King Live: Laura and Lisa Ling, authors of Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062000675/0062000675).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Russell Brand, author of My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up (It Books, $14.99, 9780061857805/0061857807).


Movies: Winnie; The Song of Names; A Long Way Down

Filming is set to begin May 31 on Winnie, the movie version of Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob's Winnie Mandela: A Life that will star Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard. Reuters reported that the film has encountered some legal entanglements, however, with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's lawyers contacting the filmmakers and "threatening to block it" because she "had asked to see and approve the script before the picture went ahead, but that its backers had refused."

"A lawyer's letter came some weeks ago," said producer Andre Pieterse. "It was a benign letter and yet it contained the threat of an indictment, an interdict that could stop the picture. She (Madikizela-Mandela)... would like to see the script and approve. (But) the film will be made based on a screenplay that was well researched and without any interference. If the film maligns her in any way then there will be legal basis for her to take action."


Dustin Hoffman and Anthony Hopkins will star in The Song of Names, adapted from Norman Lebrecht's novel. The film will be directed by Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) and Jeffrey Caine (The Constant Gardener) is writing the screenplay, according to the Hollywood Reporter.


Producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey (An Education) are developing A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Variety reported that the movie "is set to shoot in the U.K. next spring. Scribe Jack Thorne has nearly completed adapting the screenplay." The director and a cast have not been chosen yet. 


Theater: Book Banning Takes Center Stage


In Adam Rapp's play The Metal Children, the town of Midlothia's school board bans a novel that had been added to its high school curriculum. The controversial book becomes "the catalyzing agent of a play about what happens when a self-involved writer encounters naïve and biased readers and discovers the unintended consequences of art," the New York Times wrote.

Opening Off Broadway tonight at the Vineyard Theater, The Metal Children stars Billy Crudup as novelist Tobin Falmouth, "the brooding, troubled lead character, and in the play he travels to Midlothia to confront a feverishly divided populace."

Rapp is also the author of seven YA novels, including The Buffalo Tree, which was removed from the curriculum at Muhlenberg High School in Pennsylvania by the school board in 2005. The Times noted that the "episode was naturally distressing to Mr. Rapp, who sent a box full of copies of the book to the teacher who had assigned it so the students could keep reading it if they chose."

"I was so excited by that," he said. "That I was doing this illegal thing, defying the system and buying them books, and that they were secretly reading them."

Rapp's response grew more complex when he was later invited to Muhlenberg and found himself moved by opponents of his book as well.

"I was really disturbed by how little of the book I actually remembered," he said, "and I started to be haunted by what your relationship to your own work is as it gains history. I don’t know what our moral obligation is for the work we produce. If it’s affecting people in a certain way, are you responsible for their feelings? For the actions inspired by those feelings? I don’t know."

Books & Authors

Awards: James Tait Black Memorial Prize FInalists

Fiction and biography shortlists for the £10,000 (US$14,419) James Tait Black Memorial Prizes, which were founded in 1919 and are judged by literary scholars and students, include: 

Strangers by Anita Brookner
The Children’s Book by A.S Byatt
Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Selected Works of T.S Spivet by Reif Larsen
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey
William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies by John Carey
Muriel Spark: The Biography by Martin Stannard
A Different Drummer: The Life of Kenneth MacMillan by Jann Parry
The English Opium Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey by Robert Morrison

Winners will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing on Tuesday, May 25:

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307269997/030726999X) is the final entry in the Millennium trilogy.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton, $16.99, 9780525423843/0525423842) follows a 13-year-old with an affinity for law who becomes an integral part of a murder trial.

Blockade Billy
by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster, $14.99, 9781451608212/1451608217) takes place in the spring of 1957, when a quirky baseball player achieves stardom.

Sidney Sheldon's After the Darkness by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe (Morrow, $25.99, 9780061728303/0061728306) is about a New York socialite who marries an elderly hedge fund manager.

Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin's, $17.99, 9780312599072/0312599072) is a supernatural story, about immortal vampire slayers.

The Bible of Unspeakable Truths by Greg Gutfeld and Penn Jillette (Grand Central, $24.99, 9780446552301/0446552305) is a collection of random rants against pop culture and other subjects.

Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One by Zev Chafets (Sentinel HC, $25.95, 9781595230638/1595230637) chronicles the antics of the conservative radio host.

The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa by Sasha Polakow-Suransky (Pantheon, $27.95, 9780375425462/0375425462) examines the history of relations between Israel and South Africa.

Now in paperback:

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown, $12.99, 9780316087360/031608736X).

The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman (Plume, $16, 9780452296299/0452296293).

Drink This Not That!: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution
by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding (Rodale, $19.99, 9781605295398/1605295396).

Silent Scream by Karen Rose (Grand Central, $7.99, 9780446538367/0446538361).

Shelf Starter: Ginger and Ganesh

Ginger and Ganesh: Adventures in Indian Cooking, Culture and Love by Nani Power (Counterpoint, $25, 9781582435442/1582435448, May 11, 2010)

Opening lines of a book we want to read:

Please Teach Me Indian Vegetarian Cooking! (Northern Va)
I will bring ingredients and pay you $10/hr for your trouble.
I would like to know about your culture as well.

In a simple desire to learn Indian cooking, I placed this ad on Craigslist not knowing how much it would change my life. I wanted to cook real Indian food. I didn't want the sterile environment of a restaurant or the studied air of a professional teacher. I craved the person-to-person teaching of yesteryear amidst the homey-ness of a real kitchen. I wanted to learn the art of curries and chutneys through the senses, not just through the measuring and timing of a cold cookbook.

You see, I'm not really American, at least in terms of my palate. I seem to be hard-wired with South Asian taste buds, a person that craves the burn of chilies and mustard seed, the warm heat of ginger, cumin, and cinnamon, and the bitterness of asafetida and black salt. I don't know why. I have been like this as long as I can remember.--selected by Marilyn Dahl


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