Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone: Start your entrepreneurial journey with affordable packages, starting from $1,566

Candlewick Press: Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara González Hoang

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Big Picture Press: Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution by De Nichols

Callaway Arts & Entertainment: The Beatles: Get Back by The Beatles, photographed by Linda McCartney

St. Martin's Press: The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

Quotation of the Day

Game Time for E-Books

"A lot of people have said, 'You're kind of late to the game,' and I'm saying, 'the game actually just started.' "

--Borders Inc. president Mike Edwards, in a Reuters story about Borders's new e-bookstore and digital strategy. Edwards estimated Borders could gain 15% of the e-book market.


Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier


Image of the Day: $10,000 for Charity


At a celebrity authors event held at a private estate near the Columbia Gorge in Oregon and organized by Kristina McMorris, author of the forthcoming Letters from Home (Kensington), 10 couples paid $1,000 per couple to attend, with proceeds going to the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation. In addition, a guest was chosen at random to provide a character name for McMorris's upcoming novel. The group included (l. to r., back row): Robert Dugoni, author of Bodily Harm; Phillip Margolin, author of Supreme Justice; James Lynch; Chelsea Cain, author of Heartsick; Courtenay Hameister; Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt; Susan Wiggs, author of The Ocean Between Us; Lisa Jackson, author of Without Mercy; Nancy Bush, author of Blindspot; Linda Yoshida; (front row) McMorris; William P. Young, author of The Shack.


Paraclete Press: Mr. Nicholas: A Magical Christmas Tale by Christopher de Vinck

Notes: Quiet on the Bookstore Set

Lights, camera, bookstore.

Yesterday and today, Next Chapter Bookstore & Bistro, Northville, Mich., is serving as the set for Scream 4, the latest in the horror series directed by Wes Craven.

The store opened only this May, and location scouts for the movie came by as owners Dan and Kathy Comaianna were still setting up, the Detroit Free Press reported. The deal to rent out the shop to Scream 4 became especially welcome after June 4 rains flooded the shop. Rather than cancel the shoot, Scream 4 producers saw it as an opportunity to rebuild the store.

According to the blog OnLocationVacations, the scene in the store involves a booksigning. Weirdly, the crew apparently bought some books to be used in the scene from a nearby Barnes & Noble.


Nebraska Book Company has bought Jayhawk Bookstore, Lawrence, Kan., and will take over operations July 15, according to the Lawrence Journal-World & News. Store owner Bill Muggy had run the store, which is near the University of Kansas, for 33 years.


Rebecca's Books, Berkeley, Calif., "the homey little community-oriented poetry bookshop," as the Berkeley Daily Planet described it, is closing. The store was founded in 2007 by Mary Ann Braithwaite, who said. "Everything's for sale--books, artwork, fixtures and furniture. I'm here until I'm gone."

But she vowed to return, adding, "Berkeley hasn't seen the last of Rebecca's Books!"


The Webster's Bookstore Cafe on S. Allen St. in State College, Pa., which is closing, as noted here yesterday, has been behind on its rent, the Centre Daily Times reported. Owner Elaine Meder-Wilgus told the paper that she was starting to refinance to be able to catch up on the rent, but that the landlord terminated the lease. She still plans to reopen eventually in another location. Her other store will stay open.


The Naperville Sun highlighted Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., which this year won two Chamber of Commerce awards: Small Business of the Year and Outstanding Retail Business.

Owner Becky Anderson commented: "We offer a personalized service, and our ability to build community around us continues to keep us going. We also have the most incredible booksellers--people that are amazing readers who can recommend from personal experience the perfect book or gift for someone."

Publicity coordinator Candy Purdom added, "There are hundreds of customers that are very loyal to us, and we feel that the community and the store work well together. We have popular author events, and we partner with the schools. We've now added a gift shop in the past year, and the network is strong."


I'm reading as fast as I can! PC World reported that a recent study by Dr. Jakob Nielsen, of the Nielsen Norman Group, "compared the reading times of 24 users on the Kindle 2, an iPad using the iBooks application, a PC monitor and good old fashioned paper. The study found that reading on an electronic tablet was up to 10.7% slower than reading a printed book. Despite the slower reading times, Nielsen found that users preferred reading books on a tablet device compared to the paper book. The PC monitor, meanwhile, was universally hated as a reading platform among all test subjects."


"What classics will the children of 2050 be reading when their future parents are incapable of skimming through anything longer than 140 characters? The world's great stories, then, will amount to nothing but low-tech interruption," observed Milisuthando Bongela of South Africa in the Mail & Guardian after an inspirational visit to a "a bookshop, a dusty little island of treasures owned by an aged European man."


Effective September 3, Jenn Northington joins WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y., as event manager. She is currently manager of breathe books, Baltimore, Md., and earlier was marketing and event manager at the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah. She can be reached at

In this week's breathe books newsletter, owner Susan L. Weis bid gracious adieu, writing in part: "Please join me in wishing [Jenn] lots of luck and success in her new job. She will be missed but I also know this is a great opportunity for her to be in New York at the center of the literary world." The newsletter also has information about openings at breathe books.

Northington continues as a regular columnist for Shelf Awareness and will be working with another Shelf Awareness columnist, Stephanie Anderson, manager of WORD, which may well become the best-covered bookstore in the country!


Berkley Books: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bill Clegg on the Today Show

This morning on the Today Show: Bill Clegg, author of Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir (Little, Brown, $23.99, 9780316054676/0316054674).


Tomorrow on NPR's The Roundtable: Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, author of The Art of Devotion (Gallery, $15, 9781439153949/1439153949).


Tomorrow on NPR's A Chef's Table: Evan Fraser and Andrew Rimas, authors of Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations (Free Press, $27, 9781439101896/1439101892).


Tomorrow on C-SPAN's Washington Journal: Reza Kahlili, author of A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran (Threshold Editions, $26, 9781439189030/143918903X). He will also appear tomorrow on the Jim Bohannon Show.


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: John Waters, author of Role Models (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 9780374251475/0374251479), and Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $15, 9780374532185/0374532184), talk about their favorite books. As the show put it: "Favorite books! Imagine the Bookworm's surprise to discover that four out of five of cult film-maker John Waters' favorite books are also Bookworm favorites. He gives a passionate description of these favorites (Jane Bowles, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Denton Welch, Christina Stead). And for good measure, Elif Batuman gives a lively count-down of her favorite Russian novels."


Tomorrow on All Things Considered: Lauren Belfer, author of Fierce Radiance: A Novel (Harper, $25.99, 9780061252518/0061252514).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Marilynne Robinson, author of Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (Yale University Press, $24, 9780300145182/0300145187).


Tomorrow night on Last Call with Carson Daly: Chuck Palahniuk, author of Tell-All (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385526357/0385526350).



Television: Eat Pray Sell


HSN plans to make the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love "a major fixture on the home shopping network next month with three days of programming themed around the film that stars Julia Roberts," Variety reported, adding that "the promotion is the first time that HSN has helped Hollywood market a movie. But it's not likely to be the last, as the cabler is already looking for other opportunities to tie in with films."

HSN describes its Eat Pray Love programming as a "complete takeover of its network," with 72 hours of airtime devoted to the movie. According to Variety, the focus will begin August 6, "with each day revolving around products that relate to one of the three countries [sic]--India, Italy, Bali--that Roberts' character visits in a quest for self-discovery following a divorce." The movie is scheduled for an August 13 release.

"We're a television network and series of platforms and we work at creating compelling experiences that makes a woman want to watch and extend her length of tune in with us. Those are the same principles traditional networks use," said Bill Brand, HSN's executive v-p of programming, marketing and business development.



Movies: Vampire Academy

Don Murphy (Transformers) will team with Michael Preger (Village of the Damned) to produce a film version of Richelle Mead's six-part Vampire Academy series for young adult readers, Variety reported.

"The joy of these books is that in the wake of Twilight they offer a chance to create a movie franchise that guys will want to see as well as girls," Murphy said. "Michael and I plan on positioning the films as something both sexes will enjoy together, expanding the genre of sexy young vampires to a whole new audience. We are beginning discussions with studios immediately."


Books & Authors

Awards: Caine Prize for African Writing

Olufemi Terry of Sierra Leone won the £10,000 ($15,154) Caine Prize for African Writing for his story "Stickfighting Days" (Chimurenga, volume 12/13, Cape Town). Fiammetta Rocco, the Economist’s literary editor and the chair of judges, called the work "ambitious, brave and hugely imaginative" and noted that Terry "presents a heroic culture that is Homeric in its scale and conception. The execution of this story is so tight and the presentation so cinematic, it confirms Olufemi Terry as a talent with an enormous future."

In addition to the prize money, Terry "will be given the opportunity to take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, Washington DC, as a 'Caine Prize/Georgetown University Writer-in- Residence.' The award will cover all travel and living expenses," according to organizers.


Book Brahmin: Jamie Freveletti

Jamie Freveletti is a trial attorney, martial artist and runner. Her debut thriller, Running from the Devil, was chosen as a Notable Book by IndieBound and nominated for a Macavity Award for best first mystery and as best first novel by the International Thriller Writers. Her second novel, Running Dark, was released in June 2010 by Morrow. She lives in Chicago. She stopped running long enough to answer some questions for us.

On your nightstand now:

I'm writing my third book, so I avoid thrillers. I just finished The Bag Lady Papers by Alexandra Penny and am headed to The Big Short by Michael Lewis after rereading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Nancy Drew series. She was smart, free to run around solving mysteries and took matters into her own hands. I still wonder why she wore "rompers" and pumps, but there you have it. She was my hero, and I have a tattered first edition of The Secret of the Old Clock.

Your top five authors:

Robert Browning: the poems. Specifically, the sick ones--"My Last Duchess" and "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister."

Dorothy Dunnett: The House of Niccolo series kept me going for years and fed my love of historicals.

Robert Ludlum: He made me want to be a thriller writer.

Edgar Allen Poe: Twisted and scary. What more can you ask for?

Alexandre Dumas: I always loved a good swashbuckler! Still do.

Book you've disliked reading:

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Read it after law school and shudder to this day.  

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Roaches Have No King by Daniel Evan Weis. It's a science fiction thriller where the protagonist is a roach. It's brilliantly written, and the twist ending is astonishing and perfect. I think it's out of print. I found it in the stacks at the Chicago Public Library.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Never bought a book for the cover, but I have passed on a book due to the cover.

Book that changed your life:

See Nancy Drew above.
Favorite line from a book:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Yes, I'm another female Jane Austen lover. Pride and Prejudice.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Bourne Identity
by Robert Ludlum. Great premise and great execution.



Book Review

Children's Review: Touch Blue

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic Press, $16.99 Hardcover, 9780545035316, August 2010)

Get ready for a great summer read: Cynthia Lord, whose Newbery Honor–winning debut novel, Rules, traced 12-year-old Catherine's challenges with her autistic younger brother, here explores with humor and poignancy a modern-day situation in the author's home state of Maine. As year-round island residents struggle to keep their schools filled after the summer visitors head home, Reverend Beal on Bethsaida Island comes up with a plan: if the residents who remain take in foster children, they will have enough students to keep the school open.

Eleven-year-old Tess Brooks is excited by the idea of 13-year-old Aaron Spinney joining her family. Her best friend, Amy, moved to the mainland ("It takes two people to be best friends, and lately, I think I'm the only one who still cares") and Tess is lonely. She hopes Aaron will be more like Anne of Green Gables and less like the Great Gilly Hopkins. But not all of her family embraces the plan: while Tess's mother, the one-room schoolhouse's teacher, would like to remain on the island, her lobsterman father believes he can fish as easily from the mainland. And five-year-old Libby can hardly leave Aaron alone for want of a fellow Monopoly player. Despite the slight tensions within the Brooks family, they are a loving bunch hoping to make Aaron feel welcome. But cruel Eben Calder reveals to Aaron the islanders' motive for taking in the foster children, and only adds to Aaron's growing skepticism.

Lord smoothly follows Tess's ups and downs as she tries to forge a friendship with Aaron. The heroine's optimistic nature sometimes causes her to overlook clues to Aaron's inner emotions, but other times she's completely keyed in, as when she hears him play the trumpet for the first time: "He makes that trumpet sound both beautiful and hurt." Behind the scenes, Tess precipitates Aaron's musical performance at the 4th of July picnic and plants a seed for Aaron's mother to attend the island's talent show at summer's end. Through the course of the novel, Tess and Aaron learn a great deal about each other and themselves, and not in the ways they'd expected. Lord crafts a moving story of making your own luck and creating a sense of belonging from the inside out.--Jennifer M. Brown

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