Congratulations to Carla Cohen, co-owner of Politics & Prose,
Washington, D.C., and her husband, David, winners with two others of
this year's Abraham Joshua Heschel Awards, which are sponsored by Jews United for Justice, a Washington-area organization that aims to pursue "justice and equality in our local community."
The awards will be celebrated Sunday, October 24, at Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.
Cohen was cited for her role at the bookstore, "a gathering place for
people to discuss the world as it is and as it should be."
Cohen was cited as "an advocate and strategist on major social justice,
political reform and war and peace issues working with social movement
groups for over 50 years as an organizer, lobbyist, coalition builder
and founder of organizations. His many writings on advocacy have been
translated into 15 languages."
More on Barnes & Noble's creation of larger sections in stores to sell the Nook e-reader:
• The company says "a majority" of Nook sales take place in its stores.
B&N loyalty club members who have purchased Nooks have bought 20% more
combined digital and physical items--and more than 70% more "on a
• A quarter of Nook users are new to B&N.com.
Sales of e-books at Random House in the U.S. represent 8% of revenue and should hit 10% next year, CEO Markus Dohle told Der Spiegel (via Reuters).
predicted that e-books sales in the U.S. will be between 25%-50% in the
next five years but not overtake printed books in that time. Concerning
Random's decision not to sell titles on Apple's iPad via the agency
model, he commented: "The question is if publishers know how to find the
right retail price... This hasn't been our job in the past."
Webster's Bookstore Cafe, State College, Pa., which has had to vacate its main location because of late rental payments (Shelf Awareness, July 6, 2010), has found other quarters, at least temporarily, according to the Centre Daily Times. The store began moving yesterday.
Olga Bof wants to open a children's bookstore in downtown St.
Petersburg, Fla., later this year, and is looking for seed money in an
unusual way, but one that makes sense in an era when small business
loans have practically dried up: she is competing for a $50,000 grant in
the August round of the Pepsi Refresh Project. Under the program, Pepsi
gives away millions of dollars in a variety of categories--in Bof's,
the category is neighborhoods for $50,000, about a third of what she
needs. The grant is awarded based on the highest number of votes for the
nominated projects, so anyone wanting to help Bof and her Cheeky
Monkeys can vote here or via text: Text* 101443 to Pepsi (73774). Warning: Pepsi does ask basic information about voters.
For an introduction to Bof and the idea, go to YouTube.com.
is asking supporters to vote every day and add the voting information
on their websites and blogs and on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.
Ben, "the iconic Colonial figure" that has been standing watch outside Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass., for 37 years, was toppled by a car last month, the Cape Cod Times reported.
"We're just grateful no one was hurt," said Vicky Uminowicz, the bookstore's manager. Ben, however, wasn't so fortunate.
"Right now he's broken away at the soles of his shoes and has a busted knee," said Ralph Titcomb, whose son, Ted, crafted the metal statue as a school project in 1973. "I thought about calling an orthopedic man, but that won't work."
The Titcombs hope to have Ben back on his feet for the autumn season, but at present he is flat on his back by the roadside. "He's so heavy we can't move him," Uminowicz said.
"Are Vikings the new vampires?" asked the Boston Globe
, suggesting that "the ferocious, globe-trotting rapists, pillagers, and marauders who traveled the known world of the Middle Ages as far as the Charles River--you have doubtless seen the Leif Erikson tower in Waltham--may be popular culture's latest object of fascination."
Kenny Brechner, owner of Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers
, Farmington, Maine, credits Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy with helping to reawaken interest in Scandinavian literature. The bookshop's website even features a Scandinavian Crime Writers Interactive Map
. Viking momentum may be a natural outgrowth of this fascination.
"The Vikings knew what gave life meaning, behaving well under duress," said Brechner, "Their emphasis on integrity of character, stark and unflinching, still calls out to us with the allure of an enchanted mirror."
Evidence cited by the Globe
of a Viking invasion included Brian Wood's Northlanders graphic novel series; the reissue by NYRB Books of Frans Bengtsson’s The Long Ships
; and news that Bernard Cornwell "plans to start writing the fifth volume of his best-selling Saxon Tales shortly."
Peter Hodge considered the reader's dilemma of our times--Is there a reading life after e-books?--in the Sydney Morning Herald
"Actually, I can manufacture plenty of reasons to shun e-books," he wrote. "Most of them will be resolved, or simply matter less over time.... Even fumble-fingered old farts like me will adjust to e-books when a tipping point is passed, and we realize they are the key to our intellectual stimulation. When that day comes, my world will have changed, perhaps not for the worse, but changed nevertheless.... Grudgingly, I must adjust my habits, continuing to suck the marrow from my p-books, while opening my mind to the possibilities e-books present."
What do Harry Potter and Ben-Hur have in common? They both made the Huffington Post
's slideshow of the "15 Biggest Bestsellers EVER After the Bible."
Book trailer of the day: Displaced Persons: A Novel
by Ghita Schwarz (Morrow).
In his War on Error tech blog
John E. Dunn offered a critique of e-books, which have made books "no
longer interesting as objects (how could they be?)" and made books
"controlled by their creators, sellers and distributors. Right now the
readers look like shadows at the party."
Concluding with a
reference to Gutenberg, he wrote: "It's hard to imagine the inventor of
movable type having to worry about which format his books were printed
in or whether the readers would be able to 'unlock' the text. What makes
paper books so powerful is that they exist as independent objects with a
life of their own, answerable to nobody."
By the way, Dunn's brother is Robin Dunn, director of the SJC Bookstore at St. John's College, Annapolis, Md.
Obituary note: The Rev. Lawrence Boadt, a Roman Catholic priest, publisher and Bible scholar long associated with Paulist Press, died last Saturday, the New York Times
reported. He was 67.
Literary Death Match, Bookslam, To Hell With the Lighthouse, the Firestation Book Swap--According to the Guardian
, "Up and down the country, particularly in the previously unfashionable areas of densely populated cities, in the spare spaces of pubs, clubs and restaurants, in arts centres and at micro-festivals, a new breed of literary event is flourishing."
A half-century after the obscenity trial for Lady Chatterley's Lover
, fear of ridicule has apparently trumped fear of censorship for authors writing about sex. Man Booker Prize chair of judges Andrew Motion told the Guardian
that fewer authors seem to be writing about sex these days and even offered a theory: "It's as if they were paranoid about being nominated for the Bad Sex Award." He added that this curious literary sexual abstinence has resulted in "a lot of people writing about taking drugs, as if that was a substitute for sex."
Edward Knappman and Elizabeth Frost-Knappman of New England Publishing Associates and Roger S. Williams of the Publish or Perish Agency
have merged into a single entity, with Williams as owner and managing director. NEPA currently represents approximately 150 authors and more than 500 titles. The Knappmans will both be agents emeriti at the new agency, which will operate from the POPA offices near Princeton, N.J.
In a joint statement, Frost-Knappman and Knappman said, "We are pleased that we have been able to develop a transition plan that will be beneficial to both parties, our current publishing partners, and most especially, our clients. We are confident they will be very effectively represented by Roger and his team."
Williams added that he is "very honored to carry the NEPA traditions into a new era of publishing. For at least a few years, we will continue to operate NEPA, as NEPA. We have sent information to our clients and we will begin work with publishers on the transition process."