Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Henry Holt & Company: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Shadow Mountain: Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom by Jerry Borrowman

Central Avenue Publishing: All Dogs Are Good: Poems & Memories by Courtney Peppernell

Berkley Books: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Candlewick Press: The Heartbreak Bakery by A R Capetta

Other Press: Home Reading Service by Fabio Morábito, translated by Curtis Bauer

Quotation of the Day

'A Sorting-Out Period' for Pricing

"What we are seeing is a sorting-out period as a new, very vibrant market for book content begins to develop with multiple platforms, multiple formats and multiple retailers. Ultimately as the competitive market develops and e-books go mainstream, pricing norms will develop. But that really hasn't happened yet."--David Steinberger, CEO of the Perseus Books Group, in a New York Times story on the occasional phenomenon of an e-version of a title costing more on Amazon than its printed version.



Berkley Books: The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka


News

Image of the Day: Vampires in Vero Beach

 

Late last month, Heather Brewer, author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series (Dutton), visited with students at Forest Grove Middle School in Vero Beach, Fla., and then met with a group of delighted fans in the Vero Beach Book Center Teen Loft to sign copies of Twelfth Grade Kills.

 

 

 


Carolrhoda Lab: Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez


Notes: Popoff Back on at Borders; Booksmith Livestreaming

Borders Group has re-hired Kathryn Popoff as v-p, merchandising, in charge of promotion and merchandising of adult trade and bargain books. She had joined Borders originally in 2002 as director of multimedia; became director of merchandising, adult trade books, in 2004; and was promoted to v-p, merchandising, a position she held until she left in November 2009.

At the same time, as part of what the company called an investment in a "talented merchant team," Larry Norton has been promoted to senior v-p, business development and publisher relations, where he will focus on "strategies to strengthen the book sector, including partnering with publishers and e-book provider Kobo to develop digital content with the overall goal of aggressively growing the company's e-book business. He will also work with publishers on initiatives directly related to lowering costs and increasing efficiencies within the supply chain network." A 25-year veteran of Simon & Schuster and William Morrow, Norton joined the company August 2009.

Children's merchandising director Renee Rockwood will now oversee gifts and stationery, children's toys and games and Borders's expansion of adult games and puzzles. She continues to manage children's merchandising and promotion.

Joanna Goldstein has been promoted to v-p, non-book merchandising, and will oversee digital devices and accessories as well as calendar, newsstand and multimedia.

In a related move, announced last month, Mike Ferrari has joined the company as merchandising director, trade books, after serving at Barnes & Noble, most recently as director, digital content, for B&N.com.

CEO Mike Edwards commented: "We recognize that traditional bookselling is a core part of our business and one in which we will continue to invest both talent and resources. At the same time we see strong growth potential with key non-book categories like digital, gifts and stationery and toys and games--products that complement our book offerings."

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Barnes & Noble has officially joined the self-publishing ranks: yesterday it launched PubIt!, which allows publishers and authors to distribute e-titles through B&N.com and B&N's eBookstore. Already, according to B&N, "tens of thousands" of titles are available on the service from "thousands" of publishers and authors who registered for the service since it was announced in May.

The payment structure rewards titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99: the royalty for them is 65% of the list price. For titles priced below and above that, the royalty rate is 40%.

PubIt! titles will be promoted in various ways, including a PubIt! bestseller list and via selections appearing in e-mails, newsletters and throughout B&N.com.

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The Booksmith, San Francisco, Calif., is partnering with beNOWtv to livestream its author events. Seven events are being livestreamed this month, starting last night with Tao Lin.

Christin Evans, co-owner of the Booksmith, commented: "Our partnership with beNOWtv is helping us further realize our goal of becoming a bookstore for the 21st century. Livestreaming high-quality video of our author events over the Internet to viewers in San Francisco, nationally and globally allows us to enhance and extend our community of authors and readers."

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One way to track how fast Apple is manufacturing iPads is to watch where they are being sold, according to Fortune, which noted that since the device's April launch "in a couple hundred U.S.-based Apple Stores and, in very short supply, at some Best Buy outlets," it has sold so well that it "wasn't until late August that supplies caught up to demand. By then Apple was selling the iPad in 19 countries and was set to expand sales to five South American countries and China, where it would be sold at Apple's four stores on the mainland and selected China Unicom outlets. Then on Sunday the iPad arrived at Target's 1,743 U.S. outlets, roughly doubling its retail presence overnight."

Fortune suggested that "there are still 82 shopping days until Christmas, plenty of time to expand some more."

MacRumors.com reported that in addition to the new Target placement, "several readers have also reported to us that Amazon has begun offering the iPad directly through its own store. Availability is limited to the 32 GB and 64 GB Wi-Fi-only models for the time being."

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The first of Algonquin Books' new series, Booksellers Rock!, focuses on Stephanie Anderson, general manager of WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y., who is an occasional contributor to Shelf Awareness, too. Our favorite of the q&a's:

If I weren't selling books, I'd be:

A happy middle-school English teacher, a dissatisfied East Asian Studies scholar, or a miserable lawyer.

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Here is another entry in the Secretariat field--that is, for the movie opening on Friday: Secretariat by Raymond Woolfe, Jr. (Taylor Trade/Derrydale Press, distributed by NBN, $24.95, 9781586671174/1586671170), which was published in paperback this summer. It's a biography and chronology of the Triple Crown winner that features Woolfe's pictures of the horse, its trainers and owner Penny Chenery. The hardcover edition, first published in 2001, sold more than 60,000 copies in eight months.

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Book trailer of the day: Trail of Blood: A Novel of Suspense by Lisa Black (Morrow), which stars forensics scientist Theresa MacLean and is based on the Torso Murders in Cleveland in the 1930s.

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New York Comic Con will be held at the Javits Center in New York City this weekend, October 8-10, and publishers and book industry professionals qualify for professional badges. These allow holders to attend trade programming and to get into the show during professional hours, Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Programming includes Marketing Your Graphic Novels; The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators; and Why Graphic Novels Should Be in Your Library.

Advance tickets are available until 1 p.m., Wednesday, via nycomiccon.com: weekend pass, $50; Friday pass, $30; Saturday pass, $40; Sunday pass, $30. Tickets bought onsite: weekend pass, $65; Friday pass, $40; Saturday pass, $45; Sunday pass, $40.

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Bellevue, Tenn., hopes to get "a much-needed economic boost" sometime next year from the proposed addition of a restaurant and a bookstore--McKay Used Books--on Old Hickory Boulevard, the Tennessean reported.

"We haven't had a bookstore in Bellevue in years," said Denise Full, Chamber of Commerce president-elect. "Residents have constantly asked for more sit-down restaurants, so this is a boost for our community. Things were stalemate for a while."

Real estate broker Richard Jones added that the bookshop's owner, Ann Jacobson, who will move from her White Bridge Road location to Bellevue if the Metro Council approves rezoning the land in November, "wanted interstate identity, so the Bellevue location would give her that." Construction on the bookstore is expected to begin in early 2011.

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"Does The Independent Bookstore Have A Future?" asked Treehugger.com's Lloyd Alter, who explored the Bookery on Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland, to show "how important the small independent retailer is to a viable main street and a walkable community."

Owner Russell Floren told Alter that he thinks the key point for the future of indies is "curation, the shop has to be special, different, and a reflection of the curator. The audience is attracted by the choices, the idiosyncrasies of the owner; Russell says he probably couldn't give away a John Grisham book to his user base. He sells a lot of poetry, saying. 'that's not something you want to read on a Kindle, you want to feel it.' "

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Second Story Books, Louisville, Ky., "has the look and feel of a cozy, disheveled, bohemian living room," according to the Courier-Journal, which noted that this is appropriate because the used bookshop "is also Jon Ashley's new home. He lives in the apartment upstairs. His living space is off-limits to customers, but they're welcome to plop down on a chair in the shop and read.... He wants patrons to feel at home--just as he did when he discovered the now-closed Twice Told Books on Bardstown Road, where Ashley once worked."

"When I first started wandering into Twice Told Books, I didn't have a lot of other places to go," he recalled. "C.S. Lewis said, 'We read to know we're not alone,' and I feel there's a lot of truth to that."

 


Peachtree Publishing Company: Hey! a Colorful Mystery by Kate Read


Kim-the-Poet-from-L.A.

For Kim Dower, known in the book world as Kim-from-L.A., this is an "exhilarating and strange" time, as she put it. That's because Dower, a hard-working, astute, funny book publicist and media advisor for many years, has just published her first book of poetry, Air Kissing on Mars, with Red Hen Press.

With this collection, only now are many people are learning that there is another side to Dower, that she is a thoughtful, impassioned poet, too. While she had told some friends in the business about her poetry and even though "there are so many of us who are also writers or aspire to be writers," she said, "to have a book of poems published feels different and makes it real and makes me feel a little shy. For many people it's been surprising."

Although she had kept poetry and her work as Kim-from-L.A. separate, she is proud of both careers, saying, "Poetry adds to my work as a publicist in many ways, ways one couldn't imagine."

It's a strange time in another way. "I have control over my work as a literary publicist," she said. "I try to control what gets out there and when. Now I have some control, but it's not the same."

Dower's work as a publicist is coming in handy. "Kim-from-L.A. and Kim the poet are meeting and are doing for a book of poems something that is rarely done: I'm trying to get publicity for it." She is also, she said, "forcing myself to do what I tell my authors and clients to do: that is, be able to talk about many different things of interest, be flexible, and eventually what you really want to talk about--the book--will come out." For example, she booked herself onto the Ronn Owens Show on KGO in the Bay Area. "He's a big talk radio guy who obviously doesn't want to talk to a poet. Instead he wants to talk with Kim-from-L.A. about the business and how to get a book out there. I'm happy to talk about that because eventually I'll talk about my book. I'll get poetry into the conversation."

Dower also has some more straightforward stops on her tour. Sunday night she had her first bookstore appearance, at Book Soup in West Hollywood, where 60 people attended, Dower read and 55 copies of Air Kissing on Mars were sold. Today she goes to Portland, Ore., for the Wordstock Festival and will appear at Powell's. A few days later she will be in the Bay Area, where she will read at the Books Inc. shop in Berkeley and Book Passage in Corte Madera. She also will appear at the Beat Museum with mystery author Stephen Jay Schwartz, who is in town for Bouchercon.

Other appearances this fall include local spots Vroman's, Skylight Books, the Borders in Westwood and the UC Irvine Bookstore. In some ways, her biggest event will November 22 at the Barnes & Noble on Broadway and 82nd Street in New York City, just a few blocks from where Dower grew up. Her 80-year-old aunt and her piano teacher from years ago will be there, as well as many friends from the publishing world.

"I'm surprised and grateful about how many people are receptive to having me in their stores and on their shows," Dower said. She's also happy to hear from many people that "they are moved by so many of the poems in Air Kissing on Mars," she said. "I was afraid to read because I worried that the people who knew me as Kim-from-L.A. wouldn't like them. But they are liking them." This just adds to the exhilaration of the experience of having her poetry published: only recently has she realized, she said, that "having people read my poetry is my goal."

Dower studied creative writing at Emerson College in Boston and taught creative writing there for two years after graduation. (In the first class she taught, one student was Dennis Leary. "I thought he was an amazingly talented 18-year-old poet," she said.) She soon moved to Los Angeles and worked for Jeremy Tarcher, where she learned, she said, "everything from writing catalogue copy to pitching very difficult books on the phone." She went on her own as Kim-from-L.A. in 1985.

Although she didn't write poetry for two decades, she wrote other things, including several screenplays, a few books as a ghost writer and, as a co-writer, Life Is a Series of Presentations: Eight Ways to Inspire, Inform, and Influence Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. During that time, she said, "poetry was always just tucked inside me, waiting, listening, getting ready to be ready." Then four years ago, when her son went away to college, "a dam burst" and poetry came back "suddenly and ferociously," she said. "Before all my time was filled." With her trademark laugh, she added: "Try writing a poem instead of packing a lunch."

Dower showed some of her work to poet Thomas Lux, who had taught her at Emerson. He counseled her to "get back to the craft and immerse herself in it." As a result, over the past four years, she has been a busy poet: she takes a workshop every Saturday morning in Los Angeles, attended the Palm Beach Poetry Festival in Del Ray Beach three times, and she participated in the Sarah Lawrence College summer writing workshop twice.

The happy ending--or beginning--is Air Kissing on Mars.--John Mutter

 

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jane Seymour

This morning on Good Morning America: Jane Seymour, author of Among Angels (Guideposts, $14.99, 9780824948504/0824948505).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Len Berman, author of The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99, 9781402238864/140223886X).

Also on the Today Show: Siobhan O'Connor, author of No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products--and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics (Da Capo Lifelong, $14.95, 9780738213965/0738213969).

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Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Harry Hamlin, author of Full Frontal Nudity: The Making of an Accidental Actor (Scribner, $24, 9781439169995/1439169993) and Lisa Rinna, author of Starlit (Gallery, $24.99, 9781439177617/1439177619). The authors' reality show, Harry Loves Lisa, makes its debut tomorrow night.

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Tomorrow on Last Call with Carson Daly: James Ellroy, author of The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women (Knopf, $24.95, 9780307593504/0307593509).

 


Movies: City of Bones

Screen Gems is developing Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series "into a possible film franchise, starting with the series' first installment City of Bones," Variety reported. Jessica Postigo is writing the script.

 


Macmillan Launches Film/TV Unit

Macmillan Films, a new division of Macmillan Publishers, will be headed by Brendan Deneen, a former Hollywood development and production executive for Scott Rudin and Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Deadline.com reported that Deneen "will start the venture while continuing as an editor at Thomas Dunne Books."

The initial project for Macmillan Films is the result of a deal with Summit Entertainment for Tempest, "a manuscript by Julie Cross that is meant to be the first in a trilogy. The book about a 19-year old time traveler who witnesses his girlfriend's murder just as he jumps back two years," Deadline.com wrote. The novel will be published by Thomas Dunne.

"We are mostly looking to develop book ideas that work both as novels and movies and TV shows," said Deneen. "We will develop the ideas in-house, and hire writers who'll share in the success of the projects. We will retain all rights and hopefully set them up." Deadline.com also noted that "ideas and concepts need approval from Deneen's boss, Thomas Dunne, to make sure the properties will work as books."

"It's a new way to control intellectual property because in this changing world, he who controls IP wins," Deneen said. "Books will always be the core business here, but if you can be attached to the movie, the videogame and the Happy Meal, why not?"

 



Books & Authors

Awards: Thurber Prize for American Humor Winner

Steve Hely won the 2010 Thurber Prize for American Humor, sponsored by the Thurber House, for How I Became a Famous Novelist (Black Cat/Grove Press). Runners-up were Jancee Dunn for Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask and Rhoda Janzen for Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (a Memoir of Going Home).

The awards were presented last night at a celebration at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, a Thurber admirer, was the emcee. The winner received a $5,000 prize and a commemorative crystal plaque.

A writer for the Office, Hely has written for other TV shows and is co-author of The Ridiculous Race. How I Became a Famous Novelist is about a slacker who sets out to write a bestselling novel. Thurber House called it "a hilarious send-up of literary pretensions and celebrity culture, with dead-on parodies of genres, bestseller lists, and even the writing process itself."

 


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Monday and Tuesday, October 11 and 12:

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374128951/0374128952) makes many of the South African leader's personal letters and diaries available for the first time. Includes a foreword by President Obama.

Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me
by Condoleezza Rice (Delacorte, $16.99, 9780385738798/038573879X) discusses the childhood of the Secretary of State under George W. Bush.

Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions by Vicki Myron (Dutton, $19.95, 9780525951865/0525951865) includes nine stories about loving cats who improved their owner's lives.

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30, 9780374278724/0374278725) chronicles a series of adventures in Russia's most desolate areas.

The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today by Paul David Pope (Philip Turner/Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95, 9781442204867/1442204869) is about the family that made the National Enquirer into a tabloid giant.

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy (Harper, $27.99, 9780060883522/0060883529) explores the life of the baseball legend.

In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story by David McCullough (Shadow Mountain, $19.99, 9781606418314/1606418319) tells the story of FDR and Churchill's first meeting after Pearl Harbor.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (Hyperion, $18.99, 9781423113393/142311339X) begins a new series set in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians universe.

Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780061235924/006123592X) is a picture book for young readers.

 


Book Review

Book Review: Claude Lévi-Strauss

Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory by Patrick Wilcken (Penguin Press, $29.95 Hardcover, 9781594202735, October 2010)

Patrick Wilcken triumphs in tackling the daunting task of tracing the development of the ideas of French intellectual Claude Lévi-Strauss over more than 60 years. In 1935, Lévi-Strauss, his wife and others were invited to São Paulo, Brazil, to teach at a just-founded university. Excited to be in a country still boasting outposts of indigenous peoples, Lévi-Strauss searched out a few of the remaining tribes and made forays to their villages for short periods of time to observe their daily lives. His fieldwork, brief as it was, formed the basis for the groundbreaking studies that revolutionized the study of anthropology in the 1940s and 1950s.

Dropping in on a series of tribes rather than taking up residence for an extended stay with one tribe was a radical research approach for the times, and his colleagues would grouse about it later, yet Lévi-Strauss followed his own plan. Wilcken nicely summarizes his particular genius: "He combined rapid assimilation of situations and ethnographic materials with boldly intuitive model-building.... Lévi-Strauss captured a culture through fragments, filling the gaps in his mind, conjuring models as if from thin air."

Lévi-Strauss once famously said that his three intellectual mistresses were geology, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, and Wilcken points out that principles he distilled from those "mistresses" led Lévi-Strauss to believe "that surface reality deceives, that truth lies in an undergirding of abstraction." Meeting Russian linguist Roman Jakobson (they were fellow exiles in New York during World War II) brought unexpected inspiration for reaching the level of abstraction Lévi-Strauss desired. Jakobson's descriptions of structural linguistics mirrored Lévi-Strauss's sense that patterns existed in human groups irrespective of geographical location and distinct-appearing cultures, and set him on the course to develop his own brand of structuralism, which was articulated in his book Les Structures élémentaires.

In 1955, his fame spread far beyond rarefied academic and anthropological circles with the publication of Tristes Tropiques. Combining anthropological detail from the field, literature, memoir and travel writing, Lévi-Strauss produced a popular work that was smart, fresh and bristling with provocatively memorable lines like, "The tropics are less exotic, than out of date." After the success of Tristes Tropiques, however, he virtually isolated himself to study myth and create abstruse models to plot their common underlying patterns. As Wilcken shows, his life of the mind was as rich, idiosyncratic and long (he lived to be almost 101) as that of any of the great 20th-century thinkers.--John McFarland

Shelf Talker: A rich and satisfying intellectual biography, of special interest to anthropologists and readers who thrilled to the discovery of Tristes Tropiques.

 


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles on AbeBooks in September

The 10 bestselling books on AbeBooks.com during September:
 
1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
2. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
3. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson
4. Night by Elie Wiesel
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
6. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
10. Operation Dark Heart by Anthony Shaffer
 
The 10 bestselling signed books on AbeBooks.com during September:

1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
2. Room by Emma Donoghue
3. C by Tom McCarthy
4. Our Kind of Traitor by John Le Carre
5. Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
6. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
7. Heartstone by C.J. Sansom
8. Ape House by Sara Gruen
9. Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
10. The Time of Our Time by Norman Mailer

[Many thanks to AbeBooks.com!]

 


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