Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 3, 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

Quotation of the Day

No. 1 List of the Day

"If they had too much in common, it would be really boring. This is not an aesthetic grouping. The group is a group of promise, enormous promise. There are people in there that are very conventional in their narrative approach, and there are people who have a big emphasis on voice. There are people who are in some way bringing you the news from another culture."

--David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, speaking with the New York Times about the New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list, comprised of 20 writers under age 40 "worth watching."
They are "10 women and 10 men, satirists and modernists, from Miami and Ethiopia and Peru and Chicago," the Times noted. The list appears in Monday's issue.


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


Notes: Digital Skirmishes; Karp Joining S&S

Target will begin selling Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader next Sunday at stores across the U.S. after it was test-marketed in selected stores in Minnesota and Florida during April. AFP reported that "Target is the first brick-and-mortar retailer to carry the Kindle, which Amazon has previously sold only through its website."

"Response to Kindle has been overwhelmingly positive," Target senior v-p Mark Schindele observed.


The Independent Online Booksellers Association is protesting Amazon's "price parity policy" that requires booksellers on its site not to sell books for less elsewhere, the Bookseller reported.

In letters to government authorities in the U.K., France, Germany and the EU, the association, which represents 250 online book retailers, called the policy an "anti‐competitive measure by the dominant online marketplace for new and used books designed to undermine smaller competitor websites and even independent booksellers’ own websites." The association pointed out that costs for booksellers who sell on Amazon are higher than costs when selling from their own sites or others' sites.


In a front-page article today, the Wall Street Journal examined digital self-publishing, calling it "a technological disruption that's loosening traditional publishers' grip on the book market--and giving new power to technology companies like Amazon to shape which books and authors succeed."

The growth and low prices of many e-books as well as 70% royalty rates on many self-published authors' books on the Kindle and iPad are key parts of this development.

"It's a threat to publishers' control over authors," Richard Nash, formerly of Soft Skull Press and now head of Cursor Inc., told the paper. "It shows best-selling authors that there are alternatives--they can hire their own publicist, their own online marketing specialist, a freelance editor, and a distribution service."


No. 1 list of the day: the New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list, comprised of 20 writers under age 40 "worth watching," consist of "10 women and 10 men, satirists and modernists, from Miami and Ethiopia and Peru and Chicago," the New York Times wrote.

New Yorker editor David Remnick told the Times: "If they had too much in common, it would be really boring. This is not an aesthetic grouping. The group is a group of promise, enormous promise. There are people in there that are very conventional in their narrative approach, and there are people who have a big emphasis on voice. There are people who are in some way bringing you the news from another culture."

The list will appear in Monday's issue.


Jonathan Karp (l.), head of Hachette's Twelve imprint, will replace David Rosenthal as publisher of Simon & Schuster, according to multiple stories--and word from S&S authors.

Rosenthal has been with S&S for more than a decade.


During the past year, the story of Linden Tree Children's Recordings & Books, Los Altos, Calif., which had a "cliff-hanging, final chapter under owners Dennis and Linda Ronberg, ends on a happy note," according to the Town Crier, which reported: "In a tanking economy, the Ronbergs' July 2009 announcement that their bookstore at 170 State St. was for sale prompted no prince to step forward to save it. By year's end, the Ronbergs had all but given up hope the store's legacy would continue."

The happy ending occurred when longtime customers Dianne Edmonds and Jill Curcio entered the tale. "For me, it was when I saw the story in the Town Crier," Edmonds said. "At that point, it was, 'How sad.' I thought, if someone is going to carry this on, they have to know what to do from a business side."

Edmonds, who has a background in corporate finance and inventory management, teamed up Curcio, who had established the library at her children's school and worked several years researching and purchasing books.

"I would never have considered it to do on my own," Edmonds said. "Dennis and Linda will always be here in spirit, if not here physically. We want to preserve their legacy."


Cool idea of the day: reported that Russo's Books has sold hundreds of Eat. Sleep. Read. T-shirts "to the local book-loving community" and is inviting customers to come to the bookshop this Saturday "wearing an Eat. Sleep. Read. T-shirt and you will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate, a free Eat. Sleep. Read. tote, a paperback book ($10 max), and you get your choice of two Advanced Readers copies." At 3 p.m., Russo's will take a group picture of everyone wearing their Eat. Sleep. Read. T-shirts, which will also be available for purchase for those who don't have one yet.

"Wear your T-shirt, participate in everything!" Russo's advises. "Don't wear your T-shirt, and the world will laugh at you. This is going to be a day of fun. Come rub shoulders with other Bakersfield book lovers, pick up a few of your summer reads, meet that quirky guy that posts on the Russo's Books Facebook page, and enjoy that atmosphere that only a local bookstore can provide."


Cool Hay Festival idea of the day: The Guardian asked, "What does it take to bag a book bargain? In the first of our Hay festival bookshop challenges, Andrew Dickson packed artist Grayson Perry off with a tenner to the Hay Cinema Bookshop to see what he could find on the shelves."


Fast Company featured a "Guide to E-Readers" and concluded that the best device "for bookworms" is the "Lumiread, Acer's Kindle-esque e-reader, which should be out next month." Their verdict on Apple's world-conquering device? "Best if you're not that into books: All right, I'm going to say it--the iPad."


NYU Local has pictures of the new NYU Bookstore, which opened yesterday at 726 Broadway at Waverly Place in New York City. The store has a Think Coffee cafe, a "fine gifts" counter and a "kids' corner," among other new amenities.


Price cut for the Nook: through the end of June, buyers of the Barnes & Noble e-reader, whose basic price is $259, receive a $50 B&N gift card.


Book trailer of the day: Shadow Boxers edited by John Gattuso, foreword by Joe Frazier (Stone Creek). Originally published in 2005, the title is being relaunched for Father's Day.

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

BEA: Bytes & Bits

Using a new way of measuring attendance--verifying the presence of all attendees rather than just non-exhibitors--BookExpo America announced attendance numbers for the 2010 show that were down significantly from previous years but are much more accurate and will now be used at all future shows.

Last week, total attendance was 21,919, consisting of 8,047 exhibitors and 13,872 other attendees, who included book buyers, press, licensing and rights professionals, authors, etc. Had the old system been used and the attendance of exhibitors not verified, attendance this year would have been 27,211, down 2,712 from 29,923 in 2009. BEA attributed this drop to having a two-day trade show instead of the usual three-day show.


Speaking of BEA, check out show director Steve Rosato's post called "BEA splits baby down the middle!" about how and why the management decided to return to a three-day format in 2011.

He wrote in part: "There are certainly some participants who favor the two-day format. But there are also many exhibitors who favor the three-day format and for these exhibitors it is not just a question of "like or dislike"; these participants made it very clear that they critically need the additional day to complete their business and this genuinely impacted the value of BEA for them. This was both international exhibitors and smaller to mid sized publishers. We consulted with ABA and AAP as well to share with them the concerns we were facing and they both understood and endorsed the need to go to the three-day format. The main reason BEA was compelled to make this decision quickly was to secure the participation from so many of the international collective stands who would have refused to re-new their space for 2011. BEA without participation from Spain, Mexico, France, the U.K., Italy, China, and so many more of the international collective stands would be a greatly diminished event for everyone."


Our mention of BEA no longer being a place where booksellers buy books from publishers elicited tales of at least two stores that have happily bucked the trend. Maybe it's something in the water by the Bay.

Pete Mulvihill, an owner of Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., wrote: "Indeed, as I handed out dot-matrix, green-bar print-outs of backlist orders and ordered frontlist from a few vendors, I got a few raised eyebrows."

And Peter Maravelis of City Lights, also in San Francisco, who gave an order to Chronicle Books' Liza Algar, said similarly: "Yes, have to admit, I got a thrill seeing the look on people's faces when I'd pass them the p.o."


And concerning another aspect of BEA that becomes more essential every year, Jack Covert, president and founder, 800-CEO-READ, put in a plea for affordable, reliable Internet access. He wrote: "BEA this year had just dreadful wi-fi. I appreciate the fact that the Javits has its own wi-fi and BEA is/was stuck with it, but there has to be an alternative to $30 per day. I understand from people that actually paid the fee that the connection speed was also very mediocre once they connected."


Q. Do e-books and enhanced e-books enhance revenue?

A. "You've got to ask that in a year. We don't know what we’re doing with e-books yet, let alone enhanced e-books."--Maja Thomas, senior v-p, Hachette Digital, at the panel, "Books Plus: The Creative and Business Questions Surrounding Enhanced E-books."


It Takes a Village Books: A Celebratory Memoir

On June 20, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., celebrates its 30th anniversary, which co-owner Chuck Robinson is celebrating with a memoir. It Takes a Village Books: 30 Years of Building Community, One Book at a Time, is being published June 10 by Chuckanut Editions, Village Books's press, and will be printed on the store's Espresso Book Machine.

Robinson writes just as he acts in person: he's unfailingly good natured, very funny, gregarious, impassioned and modest, much of the time telling stories with good or thoughtful punch lines. As might be expected, in the whole book, we found just one truly snarky comment. (And it was well deserved.)

In It Takes a Village Books, the bookseller turned author and publisher tells the story of how he and his wife, Dee, went from teaching special education in Illinois in the late 1970s to founding a bookstore in the Pacific Northwest (they were restless and wanted to try something new); how they built the store into one of the premier independents in the country; how bookselling and the book business have changed in the past three decades. Along the way, Robinson tells entertaining tales of meeting and befriending all kinds of authors, including politicians and celebrities. Typical stories:

When walking onto the stage with Jimmy Carter before introducing him to a 1992 ABA Book & Author breakfast, the crowd gave a standing ovation. Carter grinned and said to Robinson, who had just taken the helm of the ABA: "You're a very popular president."

Just before introducing Alice Walker to another large breakfast audience, he asked if she had gotten used to public speaking. "No," she responded. "Just as I think I'm really relaxed, I realize my thighs have totally tightened up on me."

Robinson outlines the principles of what makes a solid independent bookstore. First, there are the matters of what the store offers: for many years, Village Books has had a cafe and a sidelines store; it's added used and remainder books; it puts on enough events so that people don't ask if an event will be held but what the event is; it sells off-site; it hosts the monthly radio show The Chuckanut Hour; and most recently it has installed an Espresso Book Machine. There were a few failures along the way: a short-lived second location and a bookmobile, for example. But throughout their time in the business, the Robinsons have innovated, always trying new things and continually putting an emphasis on providing what customers want and need.

Just as important are the many ties that the Robinsons have made with the community and with a range of community organizations that include local businesses, environmental, literacy and educational groups and more. They're also been deeply involved in the industry and industry issues, serving on the boards of the American Booksellers Association, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. (One significant censorship battle started in Village Books in 1989, when an anti-pornography activist ripped up four copies of Esquire magazine and was arrested.)

The book also chronicles the day-to-day challenges and joys of being a bookseller. As expected, the Robinsons seem to have reacted to any potential setbacks or delays with a good-natured shrug of the shoulders. They also have a knack for good relations with the staff and stand out among employers in any industry for such things as thanking long-time employees by giving them free trips to places that interest the employees. (These have included trips to the Galapagos, England and Hawaii.)

Especially for those in the business, It Takes a Village Books is a great way to catch up and be reminded of all that has changed in the world of books the past few decades but where several very important things remain constant: the wonderful people the book world tends to attract and the joy of being around authors and books, good writing and smart people.

For an interview with Robinson about the book, go to the store's website.--John Mutter

BEA: Librarians Shout It Out

At the second annual Book Shout and Share panel last Thursday, seven librarians--Jason Honig, San Francisco Public Library; Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library; Nora Rawlinson,; Miriam Tuliao, New York Public Library; and several staffers from Library Journal: Barbara Hoffert, "Pre-Pub Alert" editor; Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes" columnist; Neal Wyatt, editor of "RA Crossroads" and "The Readers Shelf"-- touted their top finds from the BEA show floor. Barbara A. Genco, collection management editor, hosted the session.

Here are some of their suggestions:

Exley by Brock Clarke (Algonquin, October 2010), the story of a nine-year-old boy struggling to make sense of his father's disappearance, is "the first great find of the new season" for Barbara Genco--one that reminded her of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. "It's a fascinating book about the Iraq war--what it means to families and what it's like to live in a military town," she said.

Another title Genco highlighted is Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian (Nan A. Talese, October) by Avi Steinberg, who recounts his stint working in a Boston prison library.

A standout for Barbara Hoffert was The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant (Gotham, September), which she recommended for book clubs, sports fans, animal lovers and anyone looking for a story about "the meaning of being human and morality."

Jason Honig gave a shout-out to Scott Spencer's Man in the Woods (Ecco, September), a "beautifully written" story that features the characters Kate and Ruby from A Ship Made of Paper.

The title of Elisabeth Tova Bailey's The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (Algonquin, August) was enough to pique Douglas Lord's interest. In its pages he discovered a "wonderfully written" memoir about a year the author spent confined because of illness and her unusual companion: a snail living in a terrarium at her bedside.

Reading Noam Shpancer's debut novel, The Good Psychologist (Holt, August), "is like sitting through your own personal therapy session," said Robin Nesbitt. It's the story of what happens when the boundary between personal and professional begins to blur between a psychologist and his exotic dancer patient.

Nesbitt also encouraged her colleagues to order up Jon Stewart's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race (Grand Central, September). "Supporting that guy is the best thing librarians can do," she said.

Hearing the "dynamic" Rebecca Traister speak about Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women (Free Press, September) sold Nora Rawlinson on the writer's book, an analysis of the 2008 presidential election and its implications for women.

Miriam Tuliao suggested the debut novel Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel (Harper, August) as the perfect beach and book club read. Set in South Florida, this portrait of a marriage "starts out pretty and dazzling and then gets dangerous."

For readers who "prefer more cheerless locales," Tuliao recommends Moscow Noir (June), edited by Natalia Smirnova and Julia Goumen. The latest volume in Akashic's Noir series is, as Tuliao noted from the editors' introduction, "an attempt to turn the tourist Moscow of gingerbread and woodcuts, of glitz and big money, inside out; an attempt to reveal its fetid womb and make sense of the desolation that still reigns."

According to Neal Wyatt, Michael Korda's Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia (Harper, November) "has blockbuster written all over it."

A number of titles were spotlighted by more than one panelist, including Doug Dorst's story collection The Surf Guru (Riverhead, July). "It takes you places you don't expect," said Honig.

Other titles with multiple nods were Cleopatra: A Biography by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown, November)--paired with Adrian Goldsworthy's Antony and Cleopatra (Yale University Press, September)--and Paul Grossman's The Sleepwalkers (St. Martin's Press, October), a mystery featuring a Jewish detective in Berlin as the Nazis come to power.

A trio of titles--Simon Winchester's Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories (Harper, November), Mary Roach's Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void (W.W. Norton, August) and librarian Nancy Pearl's Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Sasquatch, October)--garnered cheers from the audience.--Shannon McKenna Schmidt

photo by Mike Rogers, Library Journal

Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Waters's Role Models

Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Juliet B. Schor, author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594202544/1594202540).


Today on Fresh Air: John Waters, author of the memoir Role Models (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 9780374251475/0374251479).


Today on Talk of the Nation: Lee Kravitz, author of Unfinished Business: One Man's Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things (Bloomsbury USA, $25, 9781596916753/1596916753).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show: Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (Scribner, $30, 9780743277020/0743277023).


Tomorrow on CBN's 700 Club: S.E. Cupp, author of Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity (Threshold Editions, $24, 9781439173169/1439173168).


This Weekend on Book TV: God Is Not One

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Tuesday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, June 5

7 a.m. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, discusses his book The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future (Basic Books, $23.95, 9780465019380/0465019382).

11 a.m. From BookExpo America, last Thursday's Book & Author breakfast moderated by Jon Stewart with Condoleezza Rice, John Grisham and Mary Roach. (Re-airs Sunday at 1 a.m.)

3:30 p.m. From BEA, an interview with Christopher Hitchens, author of Hitch 22: A Memoir (Twelve, $26.99, 9780446540339/0446540331). (Re-airs Sunday at 11:30 p.m.)

5 p.m. From BEA, an interview with Pat Conroy, author of My Reading Life (Nan A. Talese, $25, 9780385533577/0385533578, November release).

8:45 p.m. At an event at Capitola Book Café, Capitola, Calif., Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern (Bloomsbury Press, $25, 9781608191659/1608191656), talks about his latest book of essays. (Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Sally Quinn interviews Stephen Prothero, author of God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter (HarperOne, $26.99, 9780061571275/006157127X). Prothero contends that trying to blur the differences between religions may heighten political discord and hamper international relations. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Liaquat Ahamed discusses his book Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World (Penguin, $18, 9780143116806/0143116800), which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for history. (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

Sunday, June 6

12 p.m. In Depth. Martha Nussbaum, author of 16 books including Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton University Press, $22.95, 9780691140643/0691140642), joins Book TV for a live interview. Viewers can participate in the discussion by calling in during the program or submitting questions to or via Twitter (@BookTV). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

4:15 p.m. Photographer Andrew Moore presents Detroit Disassembled (Damiani/Akron Art Museum, $50, 9788862081184/8862081189), a collection of photographs of Detroit that depict parts of the city in decay. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and Monday at 6:45 a.m.)


Movies: Howl; The Imperfectionist

Outfest, Los Angeles's gay and lesbian film festival, has chosen Howl, the Allen Ginsberg biopic, to be its opening night film on July 8. Variety noted that "Howl is the debut narrative feature from documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and stars James Franco, Jon Hamm and David Strathairn."


Brad Pitt's Plan B production company has acquired screen rights (through Reliance) to The Imperfectionist by Tom Rachman, a novel published this spring by Dial Press. reported that "Reliance makes quick buying decisions and lets its producers move quickly. For instance, Pitt and [Dede] Gardner just hired Alfonso Gomez-Rejon to write and direct its recently acquired Jonathan Lethem novel Fortress of Solitude, also bought with Reliance money."


Books & Authors

Awards: Ben Franklin Winners; Guardian Children's Fiction Prize


The winners and finalists of the Benjamin Franklin Awards, sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association and given in 50 categories to honor excellence in publishing, were awarded May 24 in New York City. For a full list, click here.



The longlist for the 2010 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize includes Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin, Now by Morris Gleitzman; Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes; The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson; Sparks by Ally Kennen; Lob by Linda Newbery, illustrated by Pam Smy; Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver; and White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick. The winner will be named in September.


Pennie Picks Pearl of China

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Pearl of China by Anchee Min (Bloomsbury USA, $24, 9781596916975/1596916974) as her pick of the month for June. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"There is something absolutely delicious about stories where real people and places are mixed with fictional characters. That's the case in Anchee Min's novel Pearl of China.

"The titular Pearl refers to the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck, who spent most of her life in China. Min imagines a fast and true friendship between Buck and Willow, the only daughter of a poor Chinese family. Min traces this fictional friendship from their early thick-as-thieves days to the post-revolution years, when Willow is punished for maintaining a friendship with an imperialist.

"This is a lovely and engaging read that had me eager to learn more about one of America's seemingly forgotten literary treasures."



Book Review

Book Review: High Financier

High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Press, $35.00 Hardcover, 9781594202469, June 2010)

Niall Ferguson (The Ascent of Money) does not exaggerate when he refers in his subtitle to the "lives" of Siegmund Warburg (1902–1982), who overstuffed his 80 years with constant motion and fanatic activity. A member of the merchant banking Warburg family that founded M.M. Warburg & Co. in 1798, Siegmund trained in the family business in Hamburg (then Germany's financial center), in New York at the prominent Kuhn Loeb banking firm (where Warburg relatives held sway) and in England. After leaving Germany in 1934, he resided primarily in London; as Ferguson notes, "The reality was, of course, that in many respects Siegmund Warburg remained throughout his life an uprooted German."

Ferguson had access to Warburg's personal papers (his detailed diary began in 1933) and captures the man in all his fascinating contradictions: he was ascetic, perfectionist, self-critical, risk-averse and controlling; in the German Romantic mode, he regularly came under the spell (platonically) of new favorites and was always in search of a surrogate son. He read voraciously and judged people by their literary tastes; he could have been a character out of a novel by his much-beloved Thomas Mann.

Rich in detail and insight, this biography is a treasure trove for students of 20th-century economic history and banking. Among the many topics that Ferguson attacks with his customary intelligence is Warburg's lifelong promotion of radical change as a means to reverse societal decline. In Germany in the early 1930s, for example, Warburg perceived the appeal of Hitler to his fellow Germans (and to himself) as lying in his promise for a clean sweep from the disastrous economic policies of the Weimar Republic. That hope for constructive change was soon dashed, and Warburg fled Germany.

The appeal of radical change for Warburg reemerged in Great Britain with better results, however. Feeling that new management and an infusion of foreign capital were necessary to reinvigorate British industry, he masterminded the hostile takeover of British Aluminum in 1959 and created a financially rewarding niche for himself as the go-to guy for future corporate raiders. Skilled at spotting new business opportunities while others snoozed, he next spearheaded what would grow into the booming Eurobond market. As Ferguson writes, "Today Eurobonds comprise around 90% of international bond issues."

Not content to be merely a successful innovator, Warburg was also a devastating critic. Based on examples of Warburg's excoriating wit on the shortcomings of others that Ferguson includes here (recoiling from American financial practices he observed in the 1940s, Warburg sniped that Wall Street was "a market of gamblers and not investors," "Monte Carlo without the fun of it"), we can only imagine the op-ed articles he could have written recently.--John McFarland

Shelf Talker: A monumental work, both biography and economic history, about a man who obsessively avoided publicity but had his hand in so much that was newsworthy during the 20th century.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles in Chicagoland Last Week

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in and near Chicago the week ending Sunday, May 30:

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
2. Innocent by Scott Turow
3. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
4. Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
5. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The Big Short by Michael Lewis
2. Get Capone by Jonathan Eig
3. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
4. War by Sebastian Junger
5. Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre
Paperback Fiction

1. Tinkers by Paul Harding
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
4. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
5. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
Paperback Nonfiction

1. The Naked Roommate by Harlan Coben
2. Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
3. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
4. Nudge by Richard Thaler
5. Hopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

1. The Red Pyramid by Percy Jackson

Note: there was "no consensus" on children's bestsellers beyond No. 1.

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 booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

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