Because of the national debate about the building of an Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center, a possible Koran burning this Saturday and Islam in general, Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet, Deepak Chopra's fictional biography of the Prophet Muhammad, has gone on sale in e-book form, two weeks before the hardcover's pub date of September 21, the New York Times reported.
This is the first time HarperCollins has sold an e-book edition before the printed version of the same book. In a statement, Michael Morrison, president and publisher of HarperCollins's general books division for the U.S. and Canada, said, "Books spark conversations, and in this case a national conversation has erupted. As the publisher, we want our titles to be available in a timely manner to meet consumer demand and increase readership for our authors; digital publishing allows us to react quickly to achieve these goals."
In a partnership between TOON Books and Candlewick Press, TOON Books is launching on October 1 as an imprint of Candlewick. TOON Books will publish five new titles annually.
Candlewick senior v-p of sales John Mendelson commented: "Since its founding in the spring of 2008, we have admired TOON Books and how the list has been received by booksellers, librarians, and teachers. TOON's mission to get kids reading through the accessible vernacular of comics paired with Candlewick's deep sales and marketing relationships within the children's books community will bring a renewed focus to the imprint in the both the retail and school and library channels."
TOON Books founder, publisher and editorial director Françoise Mouly--who is also art editor of the New Yorker and publisher and editorial director of RAW Junior, the children's book branch of RAW Books & Graphics--said, "TOON Books' radical approach, putting to use all the sophisticated tools one can find in good comics to hook kids on reading, could only find support at a house that is as daring and comfortable in its own groundbreaking track record as Candlewick is. Joining forces, we will publish the new classics, the visually literate books that will tickle the fancy of, delight, inspire, and inform the children of the twenty-first century."
On tour in the Great Lakes region for her novel, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb made a stop in Cable, Wis., at Redbery Books. As she recounted in Duluth Superior magazine, Redbery "is a beautiful bookstore located in a cool old building full of nooks and crannies where great books are on display. I love bookstores where the staff really knows their stuff, and Redbery is one of those. The staff here knows books and will help you find what you’re looking for… and things you didn't know you were looking for. After my reading, I left with a bagful of books--it's impossible not to find a great read here.
"The other thing I loved about the store--it's connected to a restaurant featuring wood-fired pizzas, fine wines and microbrews. It's like a bookstore in heaven! If I lived closer, I'd be there every day."
Roxanne Coady, owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., is such a fan of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen that the store is offering free shipping on it through this coming Sunday. In the store's e-mail, Coady wrote: "I get what all the fuss is about: it's a 'big' novel--big in page count and big in scope. I had the same reaction to Freedom that I had to his previous blockbuster, The Corrections. Some parts of the novel feel like much ado about not enough, but I was always drawn back to the book. Why? There's a lot Franzen really gets right about marriage and parenting: the highs and lows, how a seemingly enviable marriage can hit a rut and fall apart, how kids can do an abrupt 180 and turn into strangers--all with a smart satirical eye on American culture today. The New York Times was right--it is a 'big, Updikean picture window on American middle class life.' "
Cool idea of the day: this Saturday, Boulevard Books & Cafe, which opened in May in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., is hosting a karate workshop in the lower level of the store.
Will Ron Burkle "fade away?" Forbes
blogger Mark Lacter examined Burkle's recent investment history and
concluded that the man challenging Len Riggio for control of B&N
"will always talk a good game at first, but then he tends to fade in the
follow-through.... looking at his history, Burkle shows little
inclination to actually take over a business. Even now, in the midst of a
proxy fight, he's not proposing any alternative, other than to have
him, through his Yucaipa investment arm, control one-third of the board
seats. Most likely, that won't be enough to convince shareholders on
September 28. All of which means that Burkle might just end up calling
it a day--just as he has done so many times before."
E-deal or no e-deal? Noting that Amazon is now offering second-generation refurbished Kindles in its warehouse deals program (Kindle for $159.99 and Kindle DX for $289.99), CNET asked whether they are worth buying instead of the third-gen Kindles.
unclear exactly what condition these Kindles are in, but we presume
they're basically indistinguishable from new product, and may, in fact,
be extra stock that was left over when Amazon announced the new Kindle
at the end of July," CNET wrote. "They may also be Kindles that
customers returned shortly after learning that a new Kindle was on the
The to-buy verdict was "probably not" for the 6-inch model,
but where "it gets a little trickier is with the refurbished Kindle DX.
Except for the new black, Amazon kept the design the same, but the new
DX's screen has better contrast (darker lettering). If you've really
been hankering for a DX but thought the price was too steep, $289.99
seems more reasonable."
Here's 2day's recipe from Workman's Eat Tweet by Maureen Evans (1020 rcps @ 140 chars each) culled from Twitter's @cookbook:
Lemon Pork Chops
Dredge4chop in flr/s+p. Brwn2T oil; put in bkgdish. Boil2T lem/½c h2o&ketchup/T brsug; cvr chops. 45m@350°F.
Book trailer of the day: The Perfection Point: Sport Science Predicts the Fastest Man, the Highest Jump, and the Limits of Athletic Performance by John Brenkus (Harper).
Obituary note: Elizabeth Jenkins, "a novelist and biographer
of exceptional quality, who was sometimes the victim of her own
diffidence," died recently, the Guardian reported. She was 104.
Charlie Higson, author most recently of The Enemy, selected his top 10 horror books for the Guardian.
"What constitutes a horror book?" Higson asked. "A black and red cover?
A primary objective to scare the shit out of the reader? A plug from
Stephen King on the back? Most of the books on my list would probably be
categorized in other genres first, but then--is Alien a sci-fi film or a horror film, or both? Is Wuthering Heights a ghost story? Is Jane Eyre the mother of all psycho-in-the-attic stories? And Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is in many ways a haunted house story. I might well have put it in here if I'd ever actually read it."
Although "greatest" may be a debatable word choice, the Daily Beast featured a rogues gallery of "History's Greatest Book Burners."
Books of Wonder, the New York City bookstore that just celebrated its 30th anniversary, is hosting an exhibit of art from 23 major children's book artists that will be sold via a silent auction to benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The pictures, some created just for the auction, will go on display this Sunday, September 12, and stay there until Wednesday, September 29. All proceeds from the Carle Honors Art Auction go to the museum.
Participating artists are Quentin Blake, Eric Carle, Raul Colon, Pat Cummings, Leo and Diane Dillon, Denise Fleming, Marla Frazee, G. Brian Karas, Beth Krommes, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Besty Lewin, Grace Lin, David Macaulay, Barry Moser, Jon J Muth, Jerry Pinkney, Majorie Priceman, Peter Reynolds, Uri Shulevitz, Art Spiegelman, Bob Staake and Dan Yaccarino.
The nonfiction winner of the Queensland Premier Awards in Australia was The Blue Plateau by Mark Tredinnick, published here last year by Milkweed Editions. The book is also on the shortlist for the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression is holding a raffle for a free trip to the international writers conference sponsored by Books & Books and Florida International University's MFA program in creative writing that will be held in Grand Cayman, October 21-23 (Shelf Awareness, August 9, 2010).
The raffle winner will receive round-trip transportation to Grand Cayman, three nights at the conference hotel, the Sunshine Suites, and free conference registration. Raffle tickets are $25 and may be purchased through the ABFFE store or at 212-587-4025, ext. 12.
The program includes nine daily classes in all genres, afternoon editing and publishing symposia and evening readings. Besides a range of writers, faculty include Daniel Halpern of Ecco and literary agent Marly Rusoff. Co-directors are Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books and Les Standiford, director of FIU's MFA in Creative Writing.