Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Forge: Mr Katō Plays Family by Milena Michiko Flašar, translated by Caroline Froh

Ballantine Books: The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Island Press: The Jewel Box: How Moths Illuminate Nature's Hidden Rules by Tim Blackburn

Berkley Books: Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Berkley Books: The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne

Quotation of the Day

'Good News' About Children's Picture Books

"In my classroom today I've loads of picture books and the kids love for me to read them and to read them again and again on their own. Twenty years ago I focused pretty much exclusively on chapter books. So while kids seem to be reading chapter books younger they are also enjoying picture books when they are older. Good news, I'd say.

"Now the good news about form. It may be that traditional picture books are a harder sell these days, but how about those in new forms? I understand the anxiety associated with e-books, but I also am intrigued by what folks are doing digitally. The iPad seems to have gotten some creators revved up about new ways of presenting text and art together for children. I'm a fan of graphic novels and am thrilled to see more being created for younger kids. Kids love novelty books, the kind with flaps, things to move, pop-ups, and such. I'm delighted that there are more of these than ever. I'm excited about where books of all kind are going these days whether they are the kind made of paper or something else. Good news all around, I say."

--Monica Edinger in the Huffington Post, where she responded to last week's
New York Times
article about the decline in picture book sales
(Shelf Awareness, October 8, 2010).


William Morrow & Company: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs


Image of the Day: Best Birthday

Laura Numeroff (r.), author of Otis & Sydney and the Best Birthday Ever (Abrams Books for Young Readers) with Suzanne Perry of Secret Garden Books, Seattle, Wash., where at the beginning of the month more than 50 people attended an event for Numeroff--and a birthday cake was served. The appearance was the conclusion of a week-long tour in the Pacific Northwest that drew 25-150 people at each event.



William Morrow & Company: A Death in Denmark: The First Gabriel Præst Novel by Amulya Malladi

Notes: Seminary Co-op's Move; Ingram/Springer Deal

By the end of next year or early 2012, the original Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Chicago, Ill., will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in "a new, dramatically better space" one block east of its current location at 5757 S. University.

In a letter to the bookshop's members, customers and friends, general manager Jack Cella said the Co-op's new space "will comprise the first floor of the building (owned by the University of Chicago) and a portion of the basement. Our new store will allow us to improve what we do now and open possibilities to do new things not possible in our current situation.... The new store will have windows (imagine that!), will be completely accessible, and will have operational temperature and air circulation controls. We may bring a pipe along for the occasional customer who feels nostalgic for a place to bump his or her head."

Cella added that "the cost of the move--necessary rehabilitation of the 5751 S. Woodlawn building, architectural work, build-out in the new space, and the move itself--is being borne by the University of Chicago. Working with the myriad of people at the University involved in this project, from the administration, the faculty, and the staff, has been a genuine pleasure for those of us at the Co-op, and a stimulating, energizing experience. That one of the world's great universities is putting this much effort into finding a new, better home for the Co-op highlights the value the University places on our independent, customer-owned and locally grown bookstore."


Under a new agreement effective January 1, Ingram Content Group will manage warehousing, fulfillment and print on demand for science, medical and professional publisher Springer in the U.S. Ingram will hold Springer's current inventory and as those copies sell down, the companies will move some to a POD-only basis, when it makes economic sense.

The model is similar to but more comprehensive than one concluded less than a month ago with Macmillan (Shelf Awareness, September 22, 2010). Under that agreement, Ingram is providing POD and fulfillment for Macmillan's "long tail" or slower moving titles and taking over the current printed stock on those titles.

Eric Schmitt, Springer's executive v-p, customer service, fulfillment and logistics, commented: "This agreement allows us to better serve our users and readers by combining physical and digital book distribution, thereby shortening the time to market. Working with Ingram is part of our continued and ambitious move to focusing on what we do best."

Ingram president and CEO Skip Prichard emphasized that the company has "continued to invest in the newest print-on-demand technologies, physical and digital distribution and worldwide market reach, so publishers can focus their attention on content creation, the foundation of their business."


Apple's iPad may give Amazon an advantage in the e-book wars. According to a report from Cowen and Co. on the digital book market, "not only are sales of the Kindle device expected to grow 140% this year to nearly 5 million units from 2009, but digital book sales via the Kindle store are on track to grow 195% to $701 million in 2010.... Greasing those book sales are Amazon's Kindle app for iPhone and iPad, which are the digital equivalent of little storefronts," the Los Angeles Times wrote. The survey also found that "one in five people who buy digital books from the Kindle store don't own a Kindle device."

Cowen analysts Jim Friedland and Kevin Kopelman observed that the "iPad is not having a negative impact on Kindle device or e-book sales. In fact, we think the adoption of tablets will boost Kindle e-book sales."

The study indicated that this year "Apple will have 5% of the market for digital books, compared with Amazon, which is projected to have 76% of the market, But by 2015, Cowan estimates Amazon will have 51% of the market and Apple with 16%," the Times reported.


The Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association has opened its search for a new executive director to replace Lisa Knudsen, who is retiring. The notice reads:

"The Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association seeks an energetic, technologically savvy, well-organized and self motivated individual with a passion for bookselling to lead our regional trade association during a period of transition in the organization and the industry. Qualifications should include experience and knowledge of the book industry, including current issues affecting booksellers specifically, and independent business generally. For more details click here. MPIBA asks interested parties to e-mail your application with resume to no later than October 22, 2010 and use 'ED Position' in your subject line."


A tax credit for small businesses that, in effect, helped save the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah (Shelf Awareness, September 20, 2010), has been underreported by the media, according to the Huffington Post, which noted that the bookshop's co-owner, Betsy Burton, "is frustrated. No one seems to know about the tax credit that has helped her, and the media doesn't seem to be covering it much."

Because she has become an outspoken advocate for the tax credit, Burton was invited by the White House recently on one day's notice to meet with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and accompany President Obama to an event in Virginia.

"Within 24 hours she was in D.C., interviewing with Secretary Sebelius and in the backyard in Virginia with the president," the Huffington Post wrote. "When her turn came to ask a question, she told him about her dilemma and asked him why more people didn't know about the tax credit? Obama turned to the press covering the event and said, 'I hope that all reporters will record what you asked.' (You can watch the C-Span coverage of this event and Betsy's question at minute 32....) Both Obama and Sebelius have been talking about health reform's benefits almost nonstop for months. Secretary Sebelius was as incredulous as Betsy as to why the issues don't seem to stick with the public." A bookseller at heart, Burton also offered President Obama a copy of David Malouf's Ransom.

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," said Burton. "I don't think the media conspires not to cover this issue. But I just don't understand why we always have to have a tragedy, a disaster, or some other sensational story to get information out to the public. I definitely fault the media for not helping get this story out."


Barnes & Noble plans will close its University Park Village store in Fort Worth, Tex., in December rather than renew its lease, the Star-Telegram reported.

"Unfortunately, we were unable to reach terms to extend our lease that were acceptable," said David Deason, B&N's v-p of development.


Is the late Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy on its way to becoming the Millennium quintet-minus-one? The New York Times reported that Larsson’s brother, Joakim, told CBS, "I got an e-mail from Stieg 10 days before he died, where he said that book four is nearly finished. To make it more complicated, this book Number 4--that’s book Number 5. Because he thought that was more fun to write."

Knopf's Paul Bogaards "said he believed the unpublished manuscript existed but did not know whether it was intended to be the fourth book or the fifth," the Times wrote, adding that the mystery deepens further with the controversy over who owns the manuscript--Larsson's family or his longtime companion, Eva Gabrielsson, who will not surrender the laptop in her possession that may contain the only copy (Shelf Awareness, August 24, 2010).


The book that was thrown at President Obama during a campaign rally in Philadelphia Sunday was apparently less an assault with a deadly tome than a poorly conceived marketing ploy. CNN reported that Secret Service spokesperson Ed Donovan said the book-thrower "was an over exuberant person who wrote a book that he wanted the president to read."

Secret Service agents detained and interviewed the proactive author, then released him. "A book isn't considered a dangerous object so we're not going to start prohibiting books or any inanimate objects," Donovan said. "The person threw a book on stage and our agents acted appropriately."


Cool idea of the day: the new reading series First Person Singular at Pegasus Books, Oakland, Calif., features local actors and performers reading a narrative, first-person short story in character. The next one, tomorrow night, features actor and artist Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk on Twin Peaks, reading from the works of Sherman Alexie. As Pegasus president Amy Thomas said, "We offer a wee pour and a bite and treat our customers to some wonderful stories."

Pegasus is also working on a sequel to its Booksellers Are Superheroes video.


An Independent slide show highlighted the 50 best bookshops in the U.K.


The number one choice in Honolulu magazines "Field Guide: Sandwiches" feature was Covenant Books and Coffee. Manager Dave Yoshimura said, "We use local produce and, in addition to the soup, all of our sandwich spreads are homemade, too."


On Sunday, 10/10/10, the L.A. Times Jacket Copy blog got a jump on the end-of-year "best-of" lists by showcasing "the 10 Best 'Best of' books of 2010."


Former President George W. Bush's memoir, Decision Points, will have an initial print run of 1.5 million copies when it is published November 9 by Crown, the Associated Press reported, adding that the publisher will also produce an enhanced e-book edition "featuring video highlights of Bush's presidency, photographs not included in the hardcover book and personal correspondence."


Book trailer of the day: Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus (Harper Perennial).


Author video of the day: Emma Donoghue reacting to a display at Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, Wis., for Room. The display featured early reviews, announcements of Donoghue's appearance and a diorama of the room, all surrounded by copies of the book. Owner Lanora Hurley wrote: "The display was incredibly effective, and we've sold LOTS. I still have many signed first editions, so here's hoping she wins the Booker!!"


Publisher video of the day: Harvard University Press has begun a series of audio slideshows highlighting jacket designs. The first features art director Tim Jones talking about how he created the jacket of Roosevelt's Purge by Susan Dunn. A blog post explains the series.

Greg Kornbluh, the press's web content associate, added: "Besides being a fun thing to do and a (hopefully) interesting thing for people to see, we think this can serve as a little rejoinder to the parties out there who'd have people believe that publishers don't add value."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 02.06.23

Obituary Note: Carla Cohen

Very sad news.

Carla Cohen, co-founder of Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., died yesterday morning. She was 74. "For all of us here at Politics & Prose, it is difficult to believe that someone larger than life is gone, and I will deeply miss my friend and partner," wrote co-owner Barbara Meade on the bookshop's website. A funeral will be held at Tifereth Israel, 7701 16th Street, N.W., at 1:30 p.m., tomorrow, October 13. You are also invited to share condolences, tributes and memories of Carla here.  

In a letter to members, Lucy Kogler, president of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, observed, "When I think of Carla I think of a lioness. Not in the protective sense of shielding, but in the noble sense of dutifully doing the work of teaching her bookselling progeny, feeding them and the bookselling community with the ideas and examples of a leader passionately committed to her job and chosen role within her profession, within the pride.... Her legacy to us is legion: mentor, role model, friend, and advisor.  A woman with impeccable and varied tastes in literature, she kept independent bookselling in front of the nation in the capital of our nation."
And longtime Politics & Prose bookseller Mark LaFramboise recalled, "When I was considering making the move from Colorado to D.C. to work at Politics & Prose, Carla told me, 'Just stay at our house until you find an apartment.' So I packed up two cats, a computer, and a suitcase of clothes and headed East. I knew Carla from various ABA dinners and 'large store roundtables' so I knew she was well-read, intelligent, and opinionated. I would come to learn, though, how generous and big-hearted she was. She nurtured authors as well as booksellers and shared her love of her favorite books with everyone she encountered.
"Carla has had a profound impact on my life, as mentor, a colleague, and a friend. I will miss her terribly, but I take comfort in being part of what she created. Being in the bookstore, one need only look around and see Carla in every part of it. She lived big, with overflowing generosity and unmistakable passion."

The Washington Post called Carla "an exuberant force behind the evolution of Politics and Prose from a simple storefront into an institution that defined Washington's literary scene.... Politics and Prose distinguished itself as the purveyor of public affairs books, literary nonfiction and other genres not known for impressive sales figures. The collection has been embraced by a particularly Washington mix of customers: journalists, think-tankers and other book-hungry types drawn by the intersection of literature and big ideas."

"It's a place where books are not commodities--they're something else," said Washington reporter Susan Stamberg. "You feel you're with like-minded people, people who share your passions and your interests."

In Carla's obituary, the New York Times wrote that "Politics and Prose became a cornerstone of the community, a humming salon for the wonky and the literary alike and a neighborhood institution for those looking for a cup of coffee, a comfortable chair or just a good book recommendation--often courtesy of Mrs. Cohen herself."



G.P. Putnam's Sons: Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon

The Novel! Live!

Starting yesterday morning, October 11, in a "stunning, never-before-attempted marathon of literary wonder," 36 Northwest authors began writing a novel that will be completed in just six days. The story will take on 36 different lives during the week, reflecting each author's unique sensibilities. David Lasky will draw his section. During his slot, Kevin O'Brien will be killing off a character, whose name Nancy Pearl auctioned off at the Sunday kick-off party at Elliott Bay Books. Susan Wiggs is writing the ending, so someone will fall in love (or at least get laid).

Fans can watch and cheer on favorite authors like Garth Stein, Jamie Ford, Elizabeth George, Erica Bauermeister, Jennie Shortridge, Erik Larson (and others) as they take their turns at the keyboard at Seattle's Hugo House (complete with happy hours and drink specials). Yesterday kicked off with Jennie Shortridge (When She Flew) on a stage, screen to her left, ample coffee and water to her right, and an audience. The authors have a story map and an individual goal, but it was up to Jennie to set it all in motion. And while she typed, the audience called out suggestions. Early on, she asked the audience for help with teenage Alexis's skin tone.



She decided on "latte creamy."

The she wanted to set the tone for a mortuary visit:

"If it's any time except August or September, it's pretty much rain."

"Yeah, we must have rain."

 At 10:40, she wondered why she ever threw in a pirate named Ursula.

"If Alexis is wearing a black wool sweater, does she go to a Catholic School?"

"She might."

"St. Joe's!"

Later, in an on-line chat, someone mentioned that Jennie had awesome command of the backspace key.

"Fig Newtons?"

"In Seattle it should be Fig Newmans."

A bit after 11, Jennie needed a lifeline, so she called author Marisa de los Santos for help: "I introduced a crow--do I keep it?" Yes. "I need a name for the mother." Edith.

Authors Denise Banker and Joyce Yarrow synopsized Jennie's story for the next writer, Teri Hein, who took over at noon. Go to The Novel! Live! for more information and to watch the novel progress as it streams live with an author cam, chat and words flowing (and backing up) across a page. If you've ever wondered how an author actually writes, here it is in all its flow and pause, inspiration and staring at the screen. Watch this space for more coverage of the event as it unfolds, with happy hour updates and more.

Net proceeds (including the character names auction and very nice T-shirts) from The Novel! Live! go to Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools program, which places professional local writers in public classrooms to spark interest and develop skills in reading and writing, and to 826 Seattle, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center dedicated to helping kids ages six to 18 improve their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.--Marilyn Dahl



Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Walter Mondale on the Diane Rehm Show

This morning on Good Morning America: Susan Whitman Helfgot, author of The Match: Complete Strangers, a Miracle Face Transplant, Two Lives Transformed (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781439195482/143919548X).


This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Gideon Rose, author of How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781416590538/1416590536).


This morning on the Today Show: Hoda Kotb, author of Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781439189481/143918948X). She will also appear today on the Martha Stewart Show and the Joy Behar Show.


Today on Live with Regis and Kelly: Condoleezza Rice, author of Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me (Delacorte Books, $16.99, 9780385738798/038573879X). She will also appear tonight on Larry King Live and tomorrow on Tavis Smiley and the Daily Show.


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Walter Mondale, author of The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics (Scribner, $28, 9781439158661/1439158665).


Today on Access Hollywood: Rick Springfield, author of Late, Late at Night (Touchstone, $26, 9781439191156/1439191158). He will also appear this morning on Good Morning America.


Today on Fresh Air: C.J. Chivers, author of The Gun (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9780743270762/0743270762).


Today on the Rachel Maddow Show: Willie Geist, author of American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures (Hyperion, $23.99, 9781401323943/140132394tk). He's also on the Today Show tomorrow morning.


Today on Your World with Neil Cavuto: Laurie Puhn, author of Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In (Rodale Books, $24.99, 9781605295985/1605295981). She will also appear today on Good Day New York.


Tonight on Larry King Live: Karen Shanor, co-author of Bats Sing, Mice Giggle: The Surprising Science of Animals' Inner Lives (Totem Books, distributed by Consortium, $17.95, 9781848311978/1848311974).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Eric Cantor, co-author of Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders (Threshold Editions, $15, 9781451607345/1451607342). 


Tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Judah Friedlander, author of How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion (It Books, $17.99, 9780061969775/006196977X).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Mark Bittman, author of The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781439120231/1439120234).

Also on Today: Susan Hernandez Ray will discuss Southern Living 1,001 Ways to Cook Southern: The Ultimate Treasury of Southern Classics by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine (Oxmoor House, $34.95, 9780848733117/0848733118).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Clinton Kelly, author of Oh No She Didn't: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them (Gallery, $25.99, 9781439163160/1439163162).


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Eugene Robinson, author of Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385526548/0385526547).

Also on Diane Rehm: Myla Goldberg, author of The False Friend (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385527217/0385527217).


Tomorrow on the Martha Stewart Show: Bobbi Brown, author of Beauty Rules Fabulous Looks, Beauty Essentials, and Life Lessons for Loving Your Teens and Twenties (Chronicle, $24.95, 9780811874687/0811874680).


Tomorrow on the View: Russell Brand, author of Booky Wook 2: This Time It's Personal (It Books, $26.99, 9780061958076/0061958077). He's also on the Today Show tomorrow morning.


Tomorrow on Chelsea Lately: Lauren Conrad, author of Sugar and Spice: An L.A. Candy Novel (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780061767623/006176762X) and Lauren Conrad Style (HarperCollins, $19.99, 9780061989148/0061989142).


Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano

Movies: Red

Red, based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner (WildStorm, $14.99, 9781401223465/140122346X), opens this Friday, October 15. Bruce Willis stars as a former CIA operative who assembles his old team when the CIA tries to kill them for knowing too much. The film also stars Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, John Malkovich and Richard Dreyfuss.


No HP-3D Glasses Needed: Deathly Hallows Part 1 in 2D Only

A new movie in 2D may not seem like headline news, but for Warner Bros., it is something of a concession. The company will not be releasing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in 3D as previously announced "after deciding that it could not complete a successful 2D-to-3D conversion in time for the movie's release next month," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Plans still call for the final installment to be in both 2D and 3D when it is released next summer. 


Books & Authors

Awards: Nobel Peace Prize; Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

Literary critic, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China," the Nobel committee said, adding, "For over two decades, Liu Xiaobo has been a strong spokesman for the application of fundamental human rights also in China. He took part in the Tiananmen protests in 1989; he was a leading author behind Charter 08, the manifesto of such rights in China which was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 2008. The following year, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for 'inciting subversion of state power.' Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China's own constitution and fundamental human rights."

Yu Jie, a friend of Liu Xiaobo and author of Wen Jiabao: China's Best Actor--a book critical of the Chinese Prime Minister--told AFP "he stayed up late to find out who won the award--and cried when he learned that Liu had won."

"Twenty years ago Liu Xiaobo said that China needed someone with moral clarity about what China needs. Now he has become just that person, that he himself was looking for," Yu said. "It will actually be much better for people like me and other critics and activists, because China will think twice before they put another person like Liu Xiaobo in prison."


Michelle Paver won the 2010 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for Ghost Hunter, the final book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. The Guardian reported that Paver collected "the £1,500 [US$2,395] prize for the only children's award in which authors are judged by their peers."

"It's relatively rare for a book late in a series to win a major prize, but the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is such a towering achievement, as a whole as well as in terms of the individual books, that it was our unanimous choice," said Julia Eccleshare, chair of the judges.


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:


The Bells: A Novel by Richard Harvell (Shaye Areheart Books, $24, 9780307590527/0307590526). "Young Moses Froben sings like an angel and possesses an otherworldly sense of hearing. These gifts carry him through a life rich in opportunity, while burdening him with unimaginable pain. Set in the Swiss Alps and Vienna in the mid-18th century, Harvell's first novel is a feat of storytelling and rich, descriptive writing. Most striking is his ability to describe sounds and music--an achievement that brings the story and characters to vibrant life in a unique way."--Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating: A True Story by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Algonquin, $18.95, 9781565126060/1565126068). "This slender volume is packed with peacefulness--I truly felt myself relaxing as I read it. Perhaps slowing to a snail's pace? The story centers on a woman confined to bed rest because of an odd neurological illness. She receives the gift of a woodland snail as an unlikely companion, living in a potted plant by her bedside, and so begins a wonderful tale of natural history and human nature. This is one sweet story of the importance of taking time to notice our connection to nature."--Gail Wetta, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill.


The Wrong Blood: A Novel by Manuel de Lope (Other Press, $14.95, 9781590513095/1590513096). "Reading The Wrong Blood was similar in experience to the first time I read a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Every sentence is alive with emotion and complexity, and the underlying passion in the author's prose made me want to linger over every page. Manuel de Lope writes about nature and memory in concentric circles, leaving readers with a vertiginous view of the world around us."--Michele Filgate, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H.

For Teen Readers

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan (Scholastic Press, $17.99, 9780545052368/054505236X). "Two teen girls enact a phony plan of abduction and rescue to set themselves apart from other nationwide student applicants and guarantee their place in an elite college. The tension and suspense quickly build as their scheme begins to unravel. Eireann Corrigan has written an original story that had me wishing for more."--Linda Goodman, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, Mich.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Book Review: The Deeds of My Fathers

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 Book, $24.95 Hardcover, 9781442204867, October 2010)

Generoso Papa disembarked at Ellis Island on May 17, 1906. He was 15 years old, didn't speak any English and carried $10 worth of lire. When he found that the one person he knew in New York didn't live at the only address he had, he spent the night on a park bench with his most valuable possession: ambition. By 1929, he was the owner of Colonial Sand & Stone (a powerhouse player in New York's skyscraper-building boom) and local Italian-language newspapers; he also had moved his family into a 22-room apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue, across from Central Park.

Although ambition and hard work were part of this immigrant success story, Paul David Pope reveals the cunning, ruthlessness and connections at work in his grandfather's rise. Mob kingpin Frank Costello, Mayor Jimmy Walker and power-brokers from Tammany Hall had important roles in Generoso's march to monopoly power over concrete deliveries in Manhattan. It wasn't pretty, but it was excellent money in everyone's pockets. It also makes a sensational and irresistible story about how business was done in New York City at the time.

At home on Upper Fifth Avenue, it was neither pretty nor excellent. Catherine Pope (Generoso Anglicized his last name when he became a U.S. citizen) was not happy, and she had good reasons. Generoso was seldom home, and she knew it wasn't all work that kept him out late with politicians and showgirls. They fought and glared at each other at every opportunity; until her husband's dying day, her rage was ferocious. Near the end in his hospital room, as he was being attended to, he heard her say, "What's the point? He's dying." With her husband buried, she then double-crossed her youngest son, Gene, to drive him out of the family businesses. She was, after all, the woman who told Gene when he was 13, "You! You are the abortion I should have had."

Gene Pope, Jr., however, could not be stopped. He was single-minded, indomitable, hardworking and smart, his father's son. When he decided to buy a failing newspaper by the name of the New York Enquirer and, penniless, try to start over, he remembered his father's advice to him before he died, "If you have any problems, go see Uncle Frank." Frank Costello came through with the cash for his godson--and what eventually became the National Enquirer, the first of America's tabloids, was launched. Fans of The Sopranos have been waiting (without realizing it) for this multi-generational family saga, equal parts Medea and The Godfather. Don't get in their way unless you want to get hurt. --John McFarland

Shelf Talker: A page-turning, multi-generational family saga featuring immigrant success stories and dysfunctional American family blood-letting.




MBA Honor Book Mash-Up

In last Friday's issue, there was an unintentional author/title mash-up in the column about the Midwest Booksellers Association trade show.

Kathy-jo Wargin, who said, "The indie bookseller is, without a doubt, the sustaining heartbeat of a community," is the author of Moose on the Loose (Sleeping Bear Press, $15.95, 9781585364275/1585364274, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello), which was a Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award Honor Book in the children's picture book category.

The poetry Honor Book, Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press, $16.95, 9780977945894/0977945898), is edited by Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart and Pamela Mittlefehldt. Our apologies.


AuthorBuzz: Berkley Books: Lemon Curd Killer (Tea Shop Mystery #25) by Laura Childs
AuthorBuzz: Nonlinear Publishing LLC: Moral Code by Lois and Ross Melbourne
Powered by: Xtenit