Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 1, 2011


Little Brown and Company: Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

Other Press: Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia

imon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Becoming Rbg: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner

Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders (Second Edition, Revised) by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, Dylan Thuras

Magination Press: Snitchy Witch by Frank J. Sileo, illustrated by MacKenzie Haley

Sourcebooks Explore: Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Wittingham

News

Image of the Day: French Foodie Fest

 

Last week, at an event called "the Perfect Pairing," Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffeehouse, San Diego, Calif., hosted French sommelier Olivier Magny (l.), author of the new book Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi (Berkley), and master chef Bernard Guillas, co-author of Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World (Sunbelt Publications). The SRO event had an hour-long q&a that touched, bien sûr, on France, food and wine.


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby


Notes: BAM Nabs Another Borders Site

 

Books-A-Million has opened a store in the Meadowbrook Mall in Bridgeport, W.Va., in a 6,600-sq.-ft. space occupied until earlier this year by a Borders Express, the Herald-Dispatch reported.

Just last week, the owner of the Meadowbrook Mall, Cafaro Company, said that BAM is opening later this year in another of its malls, the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, W.Va., in one of the 399 Borders stores that is now liquidating (Shelf Awareness, July 26, 2011).

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Customers at a Borders closing in Davenport, Iowa, are being given leaflets urging those who want to keep a bookstore in the area to contact Books-A-Million. Quad Cities Times columnist David Burke is enthusiastic about BAM and wrote that if the company has no interest in opening in the area, residents should appeal to Half Price Books and Hastings Entertainment.

And there are no other alternatives?

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Bluestockings, the radical "bookstore, fair trade café, activist center," has reopened after a three-week makeover, according to the Bowery Boogie. The bookstore is on the Lower East Side in New York City and opened in 1999.

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The Saratogian profiled 40-year-old Lyrical Ballad bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where co-owners John and Janice DeMarco "have been working to ensure their customers are satisfied" despite challenging times for indie booksellers.

"We fight every day. The economy isn't great, e-books are becoming more popular and people love ordering online," said John said, adding, "We try to make our store unique. We have a very broad selection."

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The Frugal Frigate to the rescue! The children's bookstore in Redlands, Calif., is helping the local Fire Department raise money to buy a new firetruck, according to the Contra Costa Times. The department needs to raise $160,000, which is 20% of the cost of the vehicle. (The federal government is paying the rest.) During August, the Frugal Frigateis donating a portion of every sale to the drive, and as part of fundraisers at the store, firefighters will do readings every Saturday morning. Store manager Jessica Ackerson told the paper, "It's going to be a blast." (But first, please hose down that metaphor!)

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Book trailer of the day: 500 Acres and No Place to Hide: More Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale (NAL), the followup to the author's 2008 memoir, Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl.

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In the New York Post, Nancy Bass Wyden, co-owner of the Strand Book Store, recommends four of her favorite New York books: New York Stories edited by Diana Secker Tesdell; Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser; The Fran Lebowitz Reader; and New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd.

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Rainn Wilson (The Office; Super) shared "10 favorites from my sci-fi and fantasy bookshelf" on the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex blog, where he observed: "When I was growing up in the '70s in suburban Seattle, I had a secret obsession. I was a science fiction and fantasy nerd. This was waaaay before it was ever halfway cool to be one.... I have many fond memories of poring over the outlandish sci-fi and fantasy book covers at the University Book Store in Seattle and choosing a stack to bring home with me to devour. I have managed to, over the many decades since the late '70s, hold on to a good deal of my collection and I'm proud to share with you now some of my favorite authors and their covers from my bookshelf."

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This item give whole new meaning to the phrase "hang ten." Agatha Christie may have been one of the U.K.'s first "stand-up" surfers, according to researchers who discovered that the creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple "was something of a pioneering and diehard wave-rider. At a time when many of her contemporaries were chugging cocktails in Blighty, Agatha Christie was paddling out from beaches in Cape Town and Honolulu to earn her surfing stripes," the Guardian reported.




GLOW: Farrar, Straus and Giroux BFYR: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski


Pennie Picks The Hangman's Daughter

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch (Mariner, $18, 9780547745015) as her pick of the month for August. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I love everything about this month's book buyer's pick, Oliver Pötzsch's novel The Hangman's Daughter. The cover is intriguing; the title captured my interest before I ever thumbed through the book. And then there's the story itself: The town hangman, Jakob Kuisl, is determined to prove the innocence of a midwife accused of murdering several children.

"Kuisl is easily my favorite character. He's strong and determined--necessary traits in his line of work, I imagine--yet he's also a loving father and husband. And he proves himself to be an honorable friend and fair mentor.

"Reading this novel felt very much like watching a film. Each scene unfolds fluidly and vividly as Kuisl, his oldest daughter, Magdalena, and a family friend race against the clock--or the hangman's noose--to solve the mystery."



Blue Rider Press:  One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Gene Weingarten


Happy Birthday, Harry!

Harry Potter and the Magical Quill. Yesterday was Harry Potter's birthday, as well as registration day for J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website (Shelf Awareness, June 24, 2011). Visitors to Pottermore were greeted by the following message: "Those of you who would like the chance to gain early access to Pottermore must find the Magical Quill and then submit their registration details. Each day, from 31 July to 6 August, a clue will be revealed here. Solve the clue and you will be taken to the Magical Quill. Be quick, the Magical Quill won't be there for long and registration will only be open while spaces are still available each day."


Pottermore is "the most significant development in transmedia (and in storytelling in general) this year, and perhaps ever," Jeff Gomez, a transmedia expert, told Forbes magazine

"What Pottermore.com does is that, for the first time it brings the Harry Potter brand from its basis in being a repurposed or repeated story world, into being a true transmedia brand," said Gomez. "Transmedia is signified by interactivity: the audience feeling not only an intense relationship with the storyteller (they already have this with J.K. Rowling), but a feeling that their input will have some kind of impact on the story world itself. That's what I believe is happening with Pottermore. It is designed to be a two-way portal between all of us and the Harry Potter universe. It will promote participation by validating and celebrating community, dialog and user-generated content. It exists not just to sell e-books, but to nurture and ultimately expand the canon of Harry Potter itself. That's historic in many ways."


 Peachtree Publishing Company: Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today (Revised) by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinso


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tony Hsieh Delivers Delivering Happiness

Today on Fox's Father Albert Show: Laurie Puhn, author of Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In (Rodale, $24.99, 9781605295985).

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Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Melanie Benjamin, author of The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb (Delacorte, $25, 9780385344159).

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Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Humiliation (Picador, $14, 9780312429225).

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Today on the View: Danielle Steel, author of Happy Birthday (Delacorte, $28, 9780385340304).

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Today on the Joy Behar Show: Denise Richards, author of The Real Girl Next Door (Gallery, $26, 9781451633214).

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Tonight on the Colbert Report: Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose (Business Plus, $23.99, 9780446563048).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Don Van Natta, author of Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316056991).

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Tomorrow on CNN's Situation Room: Senator Bob Graham, author of Keys to the Kingdom (Vanguard, $25.99, 9781593156602).


imon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble (Max and Ruby Adventure) BY Rosemary Wells


Movies: The Hedgehog; The Mysteries of Lisbon

The Hedgehog, based on The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, opens this Friday, August 5. Garance Le Guillermic stars as a lonely little girl who befriends her apartment's seemingly irritable concierge (Josiane Balasko). Directed by Mona Achache.

The Mysteries of Lisbon, based on the 1854 novel by Camilo Castelo Branco, also opens August 5. Raoul Ruiz directed this 4 hour and 26 minute epic about an orphan, a businessman and a countess.

 


Mirror, Mirror: Snow White vs. Snow White & the Huntsman

Who's the fairest Brothers Grimm fairytale film heroine of them all? In a photo slide show, the Hollywood Reporter chronicled the ongoing rivalry "between Relativity's Snow White project, with Lily Collins in the title role, and Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart." Both films are scheduled to be released next summer.

 


Book Review

Book Review: Domestic Violets

Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman (Harper Perennial, $14.99 trade paper, 9780062065117, August 9, 2011)

No doubt about it, 34-year-old Tom Violet has hit a bad patch. He's got a novel in his drawer that he has worked on secretly for five years, finished, but is now afraid to show to anyone. He's mired in a job he loathes: writing copy for a corporation that does he knows not what. The bright spot there is his colleague Katie, a 23-year-old hottie. That has its downside, too, because Tom is married and the father of a much-loved five-year-old daughter. His wife, Anna, smart, fit and trim, is being flirted with by one of her gymmates, a married banker. To top it off, Tom and Anna have a problem in the bedroom; yes, the one that has given rise, pun intended, to all those TV commercials. What a mess.

As the story opens, Curtis Violet, Tom's father, has arrived in his gorgeous Porsche, hungover, smelling like pot and announcing that he will "just spend the night." Turns out that he has split from his fourth wife. On the very day that he arrives, his agent calls to announce that he has just won the Pulitzer Prize. Yes, Curtis Violet is a very famous author, cut out of the same cloth as a Saul Bellow or a Philip Roth. He has very good luck with his books, having won every prize there is, and very bad luck with his personal life. Tom hero-worships him, not as a father, because he was a lousy one, but as an author, so he is glad to see him. Also, he owns the house that Tom and his family live in.

Matthew Norman's debut novel is a tour de farce of grand proportion. He takes on academia, the literary life, the world economy, corporate bull, adultery--and has his way with all of them. He is such a witty writer that you will laugh out loud at least five times and smile and chuckle a lot. His witticisms aren't just one-liners; they are carefully thought out takes on the human condition. His is the humor that depends upon real intelligence and insight, not shtick.

How Tom resolves all his problems is a story sweetly told with a snapper at the end that is absolutely original. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: Tom Violet is in a peck of trouble; at home, at work and in his very soul. Norman's debut novel is funny and incisive, and hard on sacred cows.

 

 



The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles in St. Louis

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in and around St. Louis, Mo. During the week ended Sunday, July 24:

Adult

1. Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
3. Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo
4. Bright's Passage by Josh Ritter
5. The Light Bringer by Chris DiGiuseppe and Mike Force
6. The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
7. Overbite by Meg Cabot
8. Insatiable by Meg Cabot
9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
10. Founding St. Louis by Frederick Fausz

Children's

1. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5. Abandon by Meg Cabot
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
7. One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss
8. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
9. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
10. Ash by Malinda Lo

Reporting bookstores, all of which are members of the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance: Left Bank Books, Main Street Books, Pudd'nhead Books, Subterranean Books, Sue's News.

[Many thanks to the booksellers!]


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