Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Algonquin Young Readers: the Beautiful Game by Yamile Saied Méndez

Berkley Books: Books that will sweep you off your feet! Enter Giveaway!

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber


Notes: Newbery, Caldecott Winners; Further Frey Fray

The ALA announced its major book awards yesterday at the midwinter conference in San Antonio:

The John Newbery Medal, for "the most outstanding contribution to children's literature," went to Lynne Rae Perkins for Criss Cross (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $16.99, 0060092726).

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for "the most distinguished American picture book for children," was awarded to Chris Raschka, illustrator of The Hello, Goodbye Window written by Norton Juster (Michael di Capua/Hyperion, $15.95, 0786809140).

For Honors winners and winners of other awards, see below.


Now the "emotional truth" of A Million Little Pieces, James Frey's memoir, is under attack.

Today's New York Times reported that a former counselor at the Hazelden center where Frey was treated and others who have worked there or are familiar with it say "his portrayal of his experience there grossly distorted reality." The counselor, several times a guest on Oprah, had relayed her concerns to producers of the show more than three months ago.

Among the incidents in question: "Mr. Frey's claims of being physically abused by other residents of the treatment center, of being left to sleep on the floor of a common room overnight after an altercation, of regularly vomiting blood and having his nose rebroken and set by a doctor."

The counselor and others said they are speaking publicly because as one stated, "Why would anybody want to send anyone to a treatment program where they would be treated like this?"


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have named Harlan Ellison a Grand Master and William F. Nolan Author Emeritus for 2006. The pair will be honored at the Nebula Award Weekend in Tempe, Ariz., May 4-7.


Reviewing how chain bookstores in southern Mississippi are faring in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Biloxi Sun Herald noted that a Books-A-Million in Biloxi and Barnes & Noble in Gulfport will rebuild and reopen this year in their original spaces. A Waldenbooks in Biloxi will be rebuilt as a Borders Express.


Following up on our items yesterday about George Bush and Osama bin Laden's recommended titles, Richard Nash at Soft Skull Press (which incidentally published William Blum's memoir, West Bloc Dissident), passed along an item from Der Spiegel about Joschka Fischer, the former foreign minister of Germany, being greeted at a gala dinner in Israel late last year. Hugging him, Bill Clinton said, "Joschka, I've already been up all night with you."

Clinton then explained to the confused Fischer that he had been reading Paul Berman's Power and the Idealists: Or, The Passion of Joschka Fischer, and its Aftermath (Soft Skull, $23.95, 1932360913).


Woodland Pattern Book Center, the 25-year-old nonprofit bookstore in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wis., will host its 12th annual poetry reading marathon this coming Saturday, January 28, according to On Milwaukee. Each performer is required to raise at least $25 in pledges; attendees pay admission. Last year, the marathon drew 106 writers and raised $11,6000. This year Woodland Pattern hopes to raise $13,000, with a "fantasy" goal of $15,000, executive director Anne Kingsberry said.

The marathon runs from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Besides poetry, participants can read fiction or prose or perform art or music.


Blackstone Publishing: Rogue Community College: A Liberty House Novel by David R Slayton

Josefowicz to Retire as Borders Head

Greg Josefowicz, president, chairman and CEO of Borders Group, plans to retire within the next two years and will stay in his role as needed "to assure an orderly transition," the company announced yesterday. The board has already formed a committee of independent directors to find a successor.

The move comes at an intriguing time for the company. Holiday sales were higher than expected, and as many as four private equity firms are reportedly interested in buying Borders and taking it private (Shelf Awareness, January 12).

Josefowicz, who is 53, joined the company in 1999 as president and CEO and became board chairman in 2002. He previously had spent his career at Jewel-Osco, working his way up through the ranks to become president of the grocery and drugstore company. (Incidentally it was announced yesterday that Jewel-Osco's parent company, Albertson's, will be bought by Supervalu, CVS and a group of real-estate investors, who will split up the company.)

In a release, Amy B. Lane, presiding director of the board, commented: "Greg has done an outstanding job of moving the company forward during his more than six years as CEO and we have no doubt that he and his team will continue to manage the company well during this time of transition. The strategic direction put in place under Greg's leadership, with its emphasis on continued growth of the Borders brand around the world, will remain in place and the company will continue to move forward under the current business plan."

For his part, Josefowicz said, "I have been proud to work with the team at Borders Group to build the Borders brand as a global leader in bookselling and to drive value for our shareholders. Over the next two years, working with the leadership team and the Board as appropriate, I will continue to focus on key business initiatives and work to maintain the momentum we've established.  I am committed to making this a smooth transition."

During Josefowicz's tenure Borders has expanded dramatically abroad; continued to open superstores in the U.S.; shrunk and transformed the Waldenbooks division (adding Borders Expresses); outsourced some functions, including the Web site, which is administered by; introduced category management into the book world; hired sales and marketing people from other industries; bought PaperChase, the stationery company; and remodeled and updated many of its stores.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
A Forty Year Kiss
by Nickolas Butler
GLOW: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler is a passionate, emotionally complex love story that probes tender places within the heart and soul. When 60-somethings Charlie and Vivian--married then divorced in their 20s--reunite after four decades, they are swept up by the very best of what their romantic relationship once offered. "Anyone who has ever thought about what might have been will find this book fascinating," says Shana Drehs, senior editorial director at Sourcebooks Landmark. "The story is a brilliant exploration of a second chance at love, always realistic but never saccharine." As Charlie and Vivian build a bridge from past to present, their enduring love paving over potholes, Butler (Shotgun Lovesongs) raises questions about how life changes people--or does it?--and delivers another heartening, unforgettable novel. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

(Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 Hardcover, 9781464221248, 
February 4, 2025)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported

Media and Movies

Movie Tie-ins: Nanny McPhee, Tristram Shandy

Movies opening this Friday:

Based on the Nurse Matilda tales, Nanny McPhee stars Emma Thompson. Related titles are:

Nurse Matilda: The Collected Tales by Christianna Brand, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (Bloomsbury, $16.95, 1582346704).
Nanny McPhee: Based on the Collected Tales of Nurse Matilda (the movie tie-in edition) by Christianna Brand, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (Bloomsbury, $7.95, 1582346712).


Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. As the filmmakers put it: "director Michael Winterbottom (Jeremy Northam) attempts to shoot the adaptation of Laurence Sterne's essentially unfilmable novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman." Steve Coogan aka media buffoon Alan Partridge plays the title role.

The Penguin edition of this essentially readable title retails for $11 (0141439777).

Media Heat: Cosmopolitanism in the Modern World

This morning on Good Morning America, Emily Kaufman, also known as "The Travel Mom," takes viewers down the road of planning a vacation with children, as discussed in her new book, The Travel Mom's Ultimate Book of Family Travel: Planning, Surviving, and Enjoying Your Vacation Together (Broadway, $14.95, 0767920635).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show, Deborah Tannen talks about her new book, You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation (Random House, $24.95, 1400062586). She will also converse today on NPR's Morning Edition.


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:

  • Gary Berntsen talks about tracking Osama bin Laden, as recounted in his Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander (Crown, $25.95, 0307237400).
  • Lisa Fugard, the daughter of South African playwright Athol Fugard, gets to the point about her new novel, Skinner's Drift (Scribner, $25, 0743272994).
  • Jonathan Kaplan, who talks about his book Contact Wounds: A War Surgeon's Education (Grove, $25, 0802118003).


Yesterday on NPR's Talk of the Nation, Princeton professor Kwame Anthony Appiah presented a middle ground between accepting the values of all cultures or sticking to an absolute moral code: a philosophy he calls cosmopolitanism. He outlines the approach in his new book, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Norton, $23.95, 0393061558).

Books & Authors

Mountains & Plains Regional Book Awards

The Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association's 2006 Regional Book Awards will be presented and the authors will speak at a banquet at the Marriott Denver Tech Center in Denver, Colo., on Friday, February 24. The banquet is open to the public at $35 per ticket; the fundraiser will benefit MPBA's Literacy Grant Program. The winners are:

Adult Fiction

A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher (Random House). MPBA called this first novel "a vivid and revelatory novel based on actual events of the 1847 Oregon migration," a book that "follows two characters of remarkable complexity and strength in a journey of survival and redemption. . . . Alive with incident and insight, presenting with rare scope and intimacy the complex relations among nineteenth-century traders, immigrants, and Native Americans, A Sudden Country is, above all, a heroic and unforgettable story of love and loss, sacrifice and understanding."

Adult Nonfiction

109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos by Jennet Conant (S&S). The judges said that "in this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues [her grandfather was a Manhattan Project administrator], Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament."

Young Adult

Bear Dancer: The Story of a Ute Girl by Thelma Hatch Wyss (Margaret K. McElderry Books). In 1860, the Ute girl of the title is captured by Cheyenne warriors, becomes a slave and sees white men for the first time. Wyss was cited for having "crafted a moving story based on the life of a real girl. It is both a gripping personal adventure and a compelling look at two cultures confronting each other at a pivotal time of change."

The Arts

William Henry Jackson's 'The Pioneer Photographer' by William Henry Jackson, with Howard R. Driggs, edited by Bob Blair (Museum of New Mexico Press). The judges noted: "Famed for photographs that led to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, William Henry Jackson had an as-told-to memoir published in 1929, which provides this volume's foundation. But this is virtually a new book because it collects 136 black-and-white and 24 color images and reconciles Jackson's recollections with ancillary information about the Ferdinand Hayden geological surveys of the 1870s."

The Spirit of the West Literary Achievement Award for an author "whose body of work captures the unique spirit of the Mountains & Plains region" goes to Robert M. Utley, one of the founders of the Western History Association, a historian and preservationist and author of Custer and Me: A Historian's Memoir, The Story of the West, The Lance and the Shield and After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific, among many other works.

Newbery, Caldecott Honors and More

The four Newbery Honors titles were:
  • Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Scholastic, $19.95, 0439353793)
  • The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury, $16.95, 1582349932)
  • Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott (Putnam, $16.99, 0399237496)
  • Whittington by Alan Armstrong, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Random House, $14.95, 0375828648)

The Caldecott Honors winners:

  • Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman (Atheneum, $16.95, 0689826427)
  • Rosa illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni (Holt, $16.95, 0805071067)
  • Song of the Waterboatman and Other Pond Poems illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin, $16, 0618135472)
  • Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, $16.95, 0439339111)

The Michael L. Printz Award for "excellence in literature written for young adults" went to Looking for Alaska by John Green (Dutton).

The Coretta Scott King Author Award for an African American author of "outstanding books for children and young adults" went to Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue by Julius Lester (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion).

The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award was won by Rosa, a Caldecott Honors book (see above).

The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award went to Jimi & Me by Jaime Adoff (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion).

The Pura Belpre Illustrator Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose "children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience" was won by Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Hear illustrated by Raul Colon, written by Pat Mora (Knopf).

The Pura Belpre Author Award went to The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales (Lamb/Random House).

The Schneider Family Book Award for "books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience" went to:
  • (ages 10 and below) Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg, illustrated by Colin Bootman (Peachtree)
  • (ages 11-13) Tending to Grace by Kimberly Newton Fusco (Knopf)
  • (ages 13-18) Under the Wolf, Under the Dog by Adam Rapp (Candlewick Press)

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for "the most distinguished beginning reader book" was won by Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson (S&S Books for Young Readers).

The Margaret A. Edwards Award for "lifetime achievement in writing for young adults" went to Jacqueline Woodson, author of, among other titles, I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, Lena, From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, If You Come Softly and Miracle's Boys.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for "most distinguished informational book for children" went to Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker (Carolrhoda).

The Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video was won by Michael Sporn, of Michael Sporn Animation, and Paul Gagne and Melissa Reilly, of Weston Woods Studios, producers of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, based on the book by Mordicai Gerstein.

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award for "an outstanding children's book translated from a foreign language and published in the U.S." went to Arthur A. Levine Books for An Innocent Soldier, originally published in German in 2002 as Der Russländer, by Josef Holub and translated by Michael Hofmann.

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