Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Workman Publishing: What a Blast!: Fart Games, Fart Puzzles, Fart Pranks, and More Farts! by Julie Winterbottom, illustrated by Clau Souza

Berkley Books: Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert; Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea; Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo

Kensington Publishing Corporation: The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman

St. Martin's Press: Wild: The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, Adventurer, Lover by Graham Boynton

Bloomsbury Publishing: Girlhood by Melissa Febos

Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West


Image of the Day: Potato Chip Science

During "a crazy, fun day" at the King's English, Salt Lake City, Utah, Allen Kurzweil, author of Potato Chip Science: 29 Incredible Experiments (Workman), drew all kinds of mad scientists in training, including Jack Lyons (c.). On the right: Rachel Heath, marketing manager at the King's English.



Beaming Books: Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, illustrated by Deann Wiley

Notes: Texas Book Festival at 15; Books to Your Door


"Look around you at this festival. And all you people are here to pick up these incredibly good books.... There is more high-quality--not quality writing, but high-quality writing--being done now than ever before in the history of the world. I just pulled that out of my head, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true," Ben Yagoda, author of When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It, told an audience at last weekend's Texas Book Festival.

The Dallas Morning News reported that an "estimated 40,000 people, 10,000 more than last year, turned out under sunny skies Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the 15th annual festival. Venues large and small were at capacity, whether the topic was race, science, fiction from small towns, Barack Obama or grammar. About 80,000 books were sold. Each day."


"I wouldn't have a career without them," Jane Urquhart--author most recently of Sanctuary Line--told the Vancouver Observer regarding indie booksellers. "Away was my so-called 'breakthrough' novel. Not a single chain bookstore took that book. Because it was considered--well--it was a book of mine. It was my third novel, and I hadn't sold any books. Why would they want it? It was hand sold by independent booksellers, and it stayed on the Canadian bestseller list for 138 weeks.... We really needed to support the independents more than we did. It was tragic. It was absolutely tragic what happened to them. And there would not have been a Canadian literature without them. They kept Canadian literature alive at a time when you just couldn't buy a Canadian book anywhere else."


New Zealand bookseller Peter Rigg, co-owner of Page & Blackmore Bookstore, cited the Harvard Book Store's bicycle delivery service as inspiration for Dobbin, "a former butcher's bike that would be used to deliver books in style to customers who lived in flat areas around Nelson," the Nelson Mail reported.  

"In a way we've gone backwards," said Blackmore, who likes "the eco-friendly nature of the delivery service and the idea of using the mix of new technology--the Internet--with the older technology of Dobbin."


BuzzFeed showcased some unusual bookstore section headings, and noted that "bookstore employees have a lot of time on their hands. Especially the Brits. And the anarchists."


Square Books, Oxford, Miss., is offering members of its Signed Firsts clubs the opportunity to obtain broadsides based on the books selected for Signed Firsts. The broadsides will be signed and numbered by the author and printed in letterpress in 150-copy editions.

Signed Firsts subscribers who receive 18 books a year will be given two free broadsides a year and may buy others at a 25% discount off the $20 price. Signed Firsts subscribers who receive 18 books a year can buy any of the broadsides for 20% off.

The first broadside is from John Brandon's latest novel, Citrus County, and was printed by critique/strategy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y. Click here to see a video of the making of the broadside.


Book trailer of the day: High Society: The Central Role of Mind-Altering Drugs in History, Science, and Culture by Mike Jay (Park Street Press).


Scott Henry has joined Borders Group as executive v-p and chief financial officer. He was formerly president of S.D. Henry Strategic Services, a consulting company. Before that, he was CFO and senior v-p, finance, at Las Vegas Sands, and held senior management positions at ABN Amro, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers.

Mike Edwards, president of Borders Group, commented: "We are confident that Scott Henry, with his strong corporate financial management and investment banking expertise, is the right choice for Borders. Scott has a strong track record of going beyond the pure accounting function to add strategic depth to finance to drive significant results. I look forward to his taking an important role in re-positioning Borders as a leader in retail."


Gene DeFelice has joined Barnes & Noble as v-p, general counsel and corporate secretary. He was formerly senior v-p, general counsel and secretary at Savvis, Inc., and earlier held a similar position at Spacelabs Medical.


Effective tomorrow, Leah Wasielewski is joining Harper as marketing director, with responsibility for all Harper imprints, including Harper, Harper Business and Broadside Books. She was formerly a senior publishing manager at Simon & Schuster and earlier worked in publicity at S&S and the HarperCollins Children's Group.


KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.16.22

The Novel! Live! Ends Its Live Run!

Garth Stein challenging the word count of Mary Guterson.

As we reported last week (here and here), over the course of six days, live and online, 36 Northwest authors wrote a novel. It was completed Saturday evening and will be published as an e-book by Open Road Integrated Media. Fans watched the novel being written--and, in one case, drawn--added their comments in person and via live chat, and had a grand time bidding during various auctions. Over 72,000 words were typed (the goal was 50,000), and thousands of online viewers spent 165,000 minutes watching The Novel! Live! unfold. While most viewers were from the U.S., there were also hundreds from Australia, Canada, the U.K., India, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Austria, New Zealand and Spain. And even better, nearly $10,000 was raised for literacy (hint: you can still donate and push that number over $10K).

We checked with one of the instigators of this project, author Jennie Shortridge, and asked her for statistics of the kind we are really interested in:

  • Most words typed: Mary Guterson: 4,560
  • Least swearing in text:  Suzanne Selfors: 0 curse words
  • Most breaks from writing: Erik Larson: 2; he also wins for most coffee consumed, 4 cups
  • Most freakish and horrifying incident for an author: a stuck "delete" key during Jarret Middleton's turn at bat--it cost him five paragraphs of text (which he replaced overnight, so he gets the best-natured author award as well)
  • Most remote author contribution: Kit Bakke from Shanghai
  • Most valiant effort by an author: Maria Dahvana Headley, who typed via Gmail chat from her sickbed with a 102-degree fever
  • Best channeling of a non-human character: Stephanie Kallos, who wrote from a crow's point of view
  • Highest bid for an auction item: $450 for the name of the protagonist's long-lost father, online from Isabella in New York
  • Mostly unlikely auction item: a replica of Habib the crow, who dangled above the stage on the last day, went for $100. (We sent a volunteer out into the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday morning to find a crow, and after no luck at various stores, actually encountered a man with a fake crow on Pine Street, and haggled him down from $60 to $30). Runners-up: plastic skulls named for dead authors, which brought in as much as $40 each in online auctions, and many signed (and re-signed) books
  • Longest distances traveled by authors to participate: Jamie Ford from Montana and Mary Guterson from Los Angeles
  • Longest distance traveled by a volunteer to participate: aspiring 19-year-old author Rachel Kelly from Gresham, Ore.
  • Erik Larson and auctioneer John Roderick, lead singer and guitarist in the band The Long Winters.

    Most costume changes by an author: 4 by Susan Wiggs, who morphed from Viking princess to pajama-ed author to sequined goddess to queen of hearts during her two-hour stint
  • Most catch-up sleep required by organizing Seattle7Writers' members: a tie between Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge

Check out The Novel! Live! and watch the book being created. Congratulations to everyone who made this happen with such enthusiasm and panache, from the writers to the volunteers to the food suppliers to the fans, and to Hugo House for providing a cozy venue (and a bar).--Marilyn Dahl




Blackstone Publishing: Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard

GLiBA Show Bids Jim Dana Farewell

Matt Norcross, owner of McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey Mich., and a Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association board member, shared his thoughts on the GLiBA trade show, held recently in Dearborn, Mich.

"The Regionals" are facing challenges like they've never seen before and these challenges seem to become magnified during the fall shows. Are the publishers happy? Are the members happy? Is the hotel convention center happy? Add to that the introduction of a new executive director even as we give the outgoing executive director/founder his moment in the sun, and things can get a bit harried. That said, I'm proud of this year's event.

Jim Dana's final show as executive director was quite a success on several levels. Attendance was up at least 12% over last year; bookstore owners and booksellers had fun mingling; the educational seminars were packed; the lineup of authors was fantastic; publishers left happy, feeling they had successfully promoted key titles; and the authors had fun with our redesigned post-show floor signing and cocktail hour.

We had some of the best author presentations I've ever heard. Saturday night Masha Hamilton and Kathleen Kent had the entire banquet captivated. Then Mary Doria Russell really brought the house down (I had no idea what a lively and funny woman she is), and even stayed on until after midnight playing an intense round of "Quiz Bowl" with the members (and yes, her team won while mine came in fifth).  

There were several changes to the show which we felt livened things up and created a much better experience for everyone. Some of the key changes were:

  1. We let publishers and attendees purchase their drink tickets in advance and this was much used and appreciated.
  2. We've never had such a busy post-floor (after the floor had closed for the day) signing session. We feel this was due to making it an end-of-the-day cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres. This caused many more people to linger and socialize with the authors.
  3. We restructured Sunday's events dramatically and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. In a nutshell, we ditched the children's breakfast as a starter and placed a children's brunch at the end. This caused many more people to attend the education and roundtable sessions in the morning and have a nice entertaining brunch with which to wrap up the whole weekend.  

All in all, it was a great show, none of which would have been possible without associate director Joan Jandernoa, whose astounding organizational skill is responsible for much of GLiBA's fall show success. Deb Leonard, our new executive director, was also amazing. Everywhere I looked, there she was--shaking hands and creating connections with members from all over.

Most important for myself and other board members, it was a great sendoff for Jim Dana, who has been with GLiBA from the beginning and has been so important to bookselling in our region. At the Friday evening banquet, he spoke about the Bookman, the store that first got him into this world; and about the threat of censorship that led him to form the GLiBA in 1981. He also talked about the lifelong friendships he now enjoys because of the organization he founded. In a weekend of amazing presentations and talks, there was probably no other speaker I'd have liked to go over their allotted time than Jim.

But all good things must come to an end, trade shows included. As the board said goodbyes during our post-show meeting on Sunday, it seemed for the first time no one was really too anxious to "get on the road." It was obvious many of us weren't quite ready to let Jim go. Thank you Jim, for doing so much for bookselling in general and this bookseller specifically.


Ace Books: The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Two Lives of Sara
by Catherine Adel West

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel WestWhen Sara King arrives in Memphis in the 1960s, she's unmarried, pregnant and on the run from a harrowing past in Chicago. She finds respite at The Scarlet Poplar boarding house, where she'll help Mama Sugar cook mouthwatering Southern food and pursue a second chance for herself and her baby son. Laura Brown, senior editor at Park Row Books, recommends this to readers of Kaitlyn Greenidge's Libertie and Dawnie Walton's The Final Revival of Opal & Nev. "We're finally starting to see more historical fiction that doesn't center the white experience," Brown adds. Rich with research into segregation and the civil rights movement, this vibrant novel pairs a wrenching portrait of an unwed mother with a joyous celebration of African American culture in the South. --Rebecca Foster

(Park Row, $27.99 hardcover, 9780778333227, September 6, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Eighteen Acres w/Mall Vu

This morning on the Early Show: Jane Leavy, author of The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood (Harper, $27.99, 9780060883522/0060883529).


Today on All Things Considered: Robert Dallek, author of The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953 (Harper, $28.99, 9780061628665/0061628662). He's also on Charlie Rose tonight.


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Nicolle Wallace, author of Eighteen Acres (Atria, $25, 9781439194829/1439194823). She is also on Hardball with Chris Matthews and the Sean Hannity Show tomorrow.


Tomorrow on Ellen: Jeff Foxworthy, author of Hide!!! (Beaufort Books, $17.99, 9780825305542/0825305543).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Readers' Review of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.


Tomorrow night on Larry King Live: Jon Stewart, author of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race (Grand Central, $27.99, 9780446579223/044657922X).


Mystery!: Sherlock Holmes in Contemporary London

Beginning this Sunday, October 24, Masterpiece Mystery! is showing three episodes of a new BBC production of Sherlock Holmes that is set in contemporary London. The first episode is A Study in Pink, based on A Study in Scarlet, the Arthur Conan Doyle story that introduced readers to the brilliant, eccentric detective. On October 31, The Blind Banker airs; November 7 is The Great Game.

Benedict Cumberbatch (l.) stars as Holmes, Martin Freeman is Dr. Watson and Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade. A discussion guide for book and film clubs is available online.


The Hunger Games: Difficult to Digest for Film?

Entertainment Weekly's Shelf Life blog called Katniss Everdeen of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy "the new tween It Girl," and noted: "With a protagonist as appealing as Ms. Everdeen, it's no surprise Hollywood has come courting. Besides, with both the Harry Potter series and the Twilight Saga winding down, the studios desperately need a new young-skewing franchise with a rabid fan base."

In spite of the "vividly cinematic language" of the series, the Hunger Games won't be easy to adapt, according to EW, which "has seen an early copy of the script, which includes a note-by-note retelling of the Games. How can the studio show brutal kid-on-kid violence and still pull off a PG-13 rating? 'It's always going to be an intense subject matter, but you can tell the story with some restraint,' says producer Nina Jacobson, who praises the books for appealing to both girls and boys. 'The only people these books are not for are those under 12. The movie will be the same.' "


Books & Authors

Awards: Toronto Book Award

Mark Sinnett's novel The Carnivore won the $15,000 (US$14,755) Toronto Book Award, which honors "books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto," the Globe & Mail reported.  

"The Carnivore is a captivating story of how memories can shape and define a marriage," said Jane Pyper, the Toronto Public Library’s chief librarian. "Readers will also enjoy the evocative descriptions of a 1954 Toronto caught in the maelstrom of Hurricane Hazel."

Finalists for this year's award included The Prince of Neither Here Nor There by Seán Cullen, Valentine's Fall by Cary Fagan, Where We Have to Go by Lauren Kirshner and Diary of Interrupted Days by Dragan Todorovic.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 26:

Life by Keith Richards and James Fox (Little, Brown, $29.99, 9780316034388/031603438X) is the autobiography of the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist.

The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385528047/0385528043) follows a man trying to save the person wrongly convicted of his crime from execution.

The 39 Clues: The Black Book of Buried Secrets by Rick Riordan (Scholastic, $12.99, 9780545285049/0545285046) is the latest entry in this series for young readers.

The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307272089/0307272087) explores how people with impaired senses handle, and even excel at, everyday life.

Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips
by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9780307238764/0307238768) focuses on simplifying meals without sacrificing quality.

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 9780374158576/0374158576) examines the relationship between FDR and his wife.

Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe (Threshold, $29.99, 9781439187197/1439187193) outlines the economic ideas of the Fox News pundit.

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas (St. Martin's, $16.99, 9780312605865/0312605862) explores the sudden fatherhood of a bachelor after he becomes the guardian of his deceased sister's daughter.

Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Roc, $25.95, 9780451463654/045146365X) is a collection of short stories related to wizard/private investigator Harry Dresden.

Misguided Angel by Melissa De La Cruz (Hyperion, $16.99, 9781423121282/1423121287) is the fifth book in the Blue Bloods fantasy series.

The Corpse Wore Tartan by Kaitlyn Dunnett (Kensington, $22, 9780758238795/0758238797) is the fourth Liss MacCrimmon mystery.

Now in paperback

Holiday Magic
by Fern Michaels, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter, and Terri DuLong (Zebra, $7.99, 9781420108354/1420108352).

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan
by Greg Mortenson and Khaled Hosseini (Penguin, $16, 9780143118237/0143118234).


KidsBuzz: Katherine Tegen Books: Case Closed #4: Danger on the Dig by Lauren Magaziner
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