Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Brown and Company: Haven by Emma Donoghue

Berkley Books: The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

Sourcebooks: Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod by Casey Sherman

Candlewick Press (MA): Arab Arab All Year Long! by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi

Jy: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

St. Martin's Press: The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Legendary Comics YA: Enola Holmes: Mycroft's Dangerous Game by Nancy Springer, illustrated by Giorgia Sposito


Image of the Day: The Change Maker

Monday night the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in Los Angeles hosted Al Checchi for the launch of his memoir, The Change Maker: Preserving the Promise of America (Open Road). Lightning Source supplied print versions of the original e-book for attendees who didn't have e-readers on hand. Here is Checchi with B&N community relations manager Lita Weissman--and Nook and print versions of the book.


W. W. Norton & Company: Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet

Bookstore Sales Slide 4.2% in July

July bookstore sales fell 4.2% to $982 million compared to July 2010, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have dropped 0.5% to $8.03 billion.

Total retail sales in July rose 6.3% to $391.8 billion compared to the same period a year ago. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 7.9% to $2,660 billion.

So far this year, bookstore sales have been erratic, falling 4.6% in January, but then rising in February, March, April and May, and falling in June by 1.9%.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales.


Harper Voyager: Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

E-Reader Shipments Rising 167%

E-reader shipments will increase 167% this year compared to 2010, according to the research firm IDC. reported that the company, which "bases its projections on e-readers 'shipped into sales channels,' " estimated the Kindle's market share for the second quarter of 2011 at 51.7%, with the Nook at 21.2%.

A total of 5.4 million units were shipped during the period, IDC estimated, adding that it expects 27 million e-reader units to be shipped in 2011, up from a previous projection of 16.2 million units.

"We expect major vendors to offer their current-generation black-and-white e-readers for less than $100 by the holidays," said IDC's Tom Mainelli. "We're also expecting Amazon's much-rumored, color LCD-based device to ship later this year. Because we expect it to run a customized version of Android that ties its use to Amazon's content services, we expect the device to more closely resemble Barnes & Noble's Color Nook than Apple's iPad 2. As a result, our current plan is to count it as an e-reader, and that will also help drive shipment numbers."

Mainelli told that although IDC's first-quarter report, released in July, indicated that Nook shipments were outpacing Kindle shipments, this no longer appeared to the be case.


KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.23.22

Mike Edwards Looks Back at Borders

In the Detroit News, Mike Edwards, the former CEO of Borders Group, offered a post-mortem on the collapse of the country's second-largest bookseller. He called the period from last Christmas, when holiday sales had dropped yet again and the company stopped paying vendors, through the summer, when the company decided to shut down, "like the Cuban missile crisis." He was focused, he said, on "any and all possible options to save the company." He worked seven days a week for six months without a break.

"It was like finding out your best friend has cancer and there's nothing you can do," Edwards said. "If only we had three or four years to restructure, and a patient investor, and the publishers were willing to cooperate, it could have been done."

Edwards said that when he joined Borders in 2009, "it was really presented to me as a classic turnaround." The company, he added, expected to be acquired, and Edwards himself wanted some kind of merger with Barnes & Noble, which consistently showed no interest in a hookup with Borders.

Edwards told the paper that he thought Borders could have thrived as "a smaller chain of about 200 stores that could generate $1 billion annually" with stores that were between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet. (Two years ago Borders had nearly 700 stores, most of which were in the 25,000-30,000-sq.-ft. range.)

Edwards said that the Kindle and iPad "turned the world upside down. No one foresaw what e-books would do to physical book sales," he said. "You can be the best ice salesman in America until the refrigerator comes." Still, Edwards said that bricks-and-mortar bookstores have a future. "At the end of the day, you need physical bookstores to sell books."

Edwards said he harbored no ill will toward publishers, who doubted he and his team could stage a turnaround, or the Najafi Companies, the private equity firm that backed out of buying Borders at the last minute.

Edwards described his announcement at Borders headquarters to staff that the company was closing "the hardest, most humiliating moment of my career. I felt sick." When he and CFO Scott Henry took the stage, he said, "All 400 stood up and applauded. I lost it. I couldn't speak." He added that he tried to make the final week at headquarters festive, "with job fairs, résumé writing workshops and champagne parties."

Edwards said he has received job offers from companies impressed by his handling of the Borders bankruptcy.

La Casa Azul Goes for the Green

Aurora Anaya-Cerda, who founded La Casa Azul Bookstore online in 2008, has launched a campaign to raise $40,000 in 40 days to open a bricks-and-mortar store in East Harlem in New York City. A donor will match the money raised.

The 40K in 40 Days campaign is intended to finance inventory, fixtures and café equipment and, most important, provide the deposit for the retail space, all of which would allow La Casa Azul Bookstore to open its doors next year. Incentives for the campaign, which is being conducted on, include gifts such as autographed books, T-shirts and naming a bookshelf. All donors will automatically become Founders' Circle members and their names will be added to the store's donor wall.

For 10 years, Anaya-Cerda has worked and volunteered in six bookstores, taken many business classes, attended two booksellers schools and traveled around the country studying bookstores and meeting with authors and publishers. The bricks-and-mortar store, she said, will offer author signings, book clubs, story times for children and a community meeting space. The store will sell new and used books, coffee, pastries, art, clothing and locally made cards and gifts.

Since the online store was established, La Casa Azul Bookstores has hosted more than 60 events in local cultural institutions, schools and cafes. The bookstore also established the annual East Harlem Children's Book Festival and works with schools and non-profit organizations to promote literacy.

On her website, Anaya-Cerda wrote, "I need your help to get this project off the ground. Help me establish La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem to continue connecting people, books, and the ideas they bring together. I can't do this work without you."

40 Years of Community in Brooklyn

Congratulations to the Community Bookstore in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., which is marking its 40th anniversary Saturday as one of the hosts of a Brooklyn Book Festival bookend event. The reading at a nearby church will feature Jonathan Safron Foer, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Mary Morris and Joe Scieszska.

The Wall Street Journal offered a glowing tribute to "the humble shop's idiosyncratic warmth." Catherine Bohne, who has owned the store since 2001, is selling to freelance journalist Ezra Goldstein, a ghost writer of Holocaust memoirs, and Stephanie Valdez, a loyal customer. "You can replace the butcher's and the bakery with a grocery store, but a bookstore is very hard to replace," Goldstein said.

Customer Nicole Krauss commented: "My younger son goes in once a week to pull lots of books off the shelf and pet the cat. It's a kind of sacred place."

BookFest @ Bank Street

The 40th annual BookFest @ Bank Street, "devoted to the celebration, discovery, and discussion of books for children and teens," according to Lisa Von Drasek, the children's librarian at the Bank Street College of Education, and the new director of the Children's Literature Center, will be held Saturday, October 29, at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Phantom Tollbooth's publication, author Norton Juster, illustrator Jules Feiffer and critic and scholar Leonard S. Marcus will delve into the impact this work has had on young readers across the globe. Kate McMullan (author of the newly rereleased Myth-o-Mania series) will moderate a discussion of how one approaches classic Greek tales for modern with fellow panelists George O'Connor (the Olympians series), Donna Jo Napoli (The Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters) and G. Brian Karas (Young Zeus). Rounding out the program will be Chris Duffy, editor of Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists, who will lead a conversation about graphic format and how it is breathing new life into familiar stories. There are also small discussion groups on timeless classics, transitional readers, books that are now movies and YA topics.

To register, click here.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Second Death of
Edie and Violet Bond
by Amanda Glaze

GLOW: Union Square & Co.: The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond by Amanda GlazeGet ready for a gratifyingly spooky historical fantasy with thrilling acts of female rebellion. Twins Edie and Violet Bond are powerful mediums traveling with a group of spiritualists who, in shows that purport to channel the dead, covertly promulgate their socio-political opinions. Laura Schreiber, executive editor at Union Square & Co., was delighted to work with debut author Amanda Glaze: "Amanda's ability to depict 19th-century misogyny and the reclaiming of female power feels so relevant to our current dialogues surrounding young women's mental states, autonomy and right to speak for themselves." The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond is transportive, in every sense of the word. --Emilie Coulter

(Union Square & Co., $18.99 hardcover, ages 12-17, 9781454946786, October 4, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Christina Foxley Is Moving Uptown

Effective next Monday, Christina Foxley is joining Random House's Crown Archetype division as marketing manager. She is currently director of store events and marketing at the Strand Book Store, New York City, where she has worked five and a half years.


Book Tour Disaster: AWOL Auteur

French author Michel Houellebecq has disappeared while on a book tour. According to Reuters, he "failed to show up for a scheduled reading tour of the Netherlands and Belgium and cannot be reached by his publishers."

Barbara Simons, a spokeswoman for the organization that arranged the tour, said, "We really don't know what is happening. It's bizarre. There has been no news and he hasn't arrived."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Hot Property on Good Morning America

Tomorrow on Good Morning America: Michele Kleier, author of Hot Property (Harper, $24.99, 9780061127663).


Movie Titles: Things Fall Apart for Rapper 50 Cent

Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's objection to the working title for rapper 50 Cent's latest movie has caused a name change from Things Fall Apart to All Things Fall Apart. The Guardian reported that 50 Cent "spent much of 2010 shooting a film of the same name, the story of an American football player diagnosed with cancer." Directed by Mario Van Peebles, the movie premiered at the Miami film festival last March and is expected to be released soon.

When Achebe's legal team contacted him, "50 Cent allegedly offered $1 million to hold on to the title." The offer was, as might be expected, declined.

Television: Mommy-Track Mysteries

CBS has put in development a series adaptation of Ayelet Waldman’s Mommy-Track Mysteries, which feature Juliet Applebaum, a public defender turned stay-at-home-mom and private investigator. reported that Waldman will write the adaptation, with Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper serving as non-writing executive producers.

There are six novels in the Mommy-Track Mysteries series includes: The Big Nap (2001), A Playdate With Death (2002), Death Gets a Time-Out (2003), Murder Plays House (2004), The Cradle Robbers (2005) and Bye-Bye, Black Sheep (2006).

This Weekend on Book TV: Michael Moore

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Tuesday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, September 17

12 p.m. John Ferling, author of Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free (Bloomsbury Press, $30, 9781608190089), presents a history of America's decision to declare its independence from British rule in 1776. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 a.m.)

1:15 p.m. Paul Finkelman, author of Millard Fillmore (Times Books, $23, 9780805087154), recounts the tenure of the U.S. president who took office following the death of President Zachary Taylor in 1850. (Re-airs Sunday at 2:15 a.m., Sunday at 10 p.m. and Monday at 6:30 a.m.)

4 p.m. Will Kaufman, author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical (University of Illinois Press, $29.95, 9780252036026), examines the folk singer's political activism throughout his life. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m.)

7 p.m. For an event hosted by Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., Willard Sterne Randall, author of Ethan Allen: His Life and Times (Norton, $35, 9780393076653), discusses the life of the Green Mountain Boys leader during the Revolutionary War. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

8 p.m. Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore, author of Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life (Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446532242), recounts his life, from starting his own newspaper in the fourth grade to his Academy Award speech in 2003. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 a.m. and Monday at 4 a.m.)

9:30 p.m. Shannen Rossmiller, author of The Unexpected Patriot: How an Ordinary American Mother Is Bringing Terrorists to Justice (Palgrave Macmillan, $25, 9780230102552), talks about becoming a self-taught terrorist hunter and the sting operations she carried out with the FBI.  

10 p.m. After Words. Gillian Tett interviews Sylvia Nasar, author of Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (S&S, 9780684872988). Nasar, who also wrote A Beautiful Mind, chronicles the history of economics. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m., and Sunday at 12 p.m.)

11 p.m. Irshad Manji, author of Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom (Free Press, $26, 9781451645200), explores the impact of Islam in the U.S. over the next 10 years.  

Books & Authors

Awards: Ambassador Book Winners

The winners of the English-Speaking Union Ambassador Book Awards are:

American Studies: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Poetry: Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman
Biography: The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley
Fiction: The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg by Deborah Eisenberg

The award for a book of special distinction went posthumously to The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt, and Janet Malcolm won the lifetime achievement award.

Book Review

Review: The Destiny of the Republic

The Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard (Doubleday, $28.95 hardcover, 9780385526265, September 20, 2011)

Candice Millard (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey) paints an indelible portrait of the 1876-1882 period, when the United States was still reeling from the Civil War, advances in science and medicine upset long-ingrained superstition, and politics was a blood sport. People believed in forces at work beyond human knowledge. James Garfield, the 20th president, wrote that he could have died of exposure at 16 but God had something greater for him to accomplish. Charles Guiteau, a lawyer and skip-artist, also believed that, having been spared in a steamship collision in June 1880, he had been given a divine mission. These two men, survivors who believed in Providence and divine missions, did have appointments with destiny--but not as they expected and in a way that would shatter the nation.

Nowhere was the age's tendency to allow accident to prevail over action with intention clearer than in the election of James Garfield in 1880. Garfield did not want the Republican Party's nomination, and he refused to campaign; while others who wanted the office chewed each other up in desperate battles at the nominating convention, he went on to win the election. Millard writes, "Garfield could not shake the feeling that the presidency would bring him only loneliness and sorrow," and he was so right.

Despite the assassination of Lincoln 16 years earlier, the presidency still operated within old traditions. Anybody could walk into the White House; the president traveled without a single security guard; legitimate petitioners and pesky eccentrics had equal access to the president to make requests for government appointments. The clearly unqualified Charles Guiteau, for example, campaigned for ambassadorships to Paris and Vienna during frequent visits to the White House. Denying this particular madman his wishes had serious consequences. In Washington, Guiteau purchased a gun, his first ever, and on July 2, 1881, in the Baltimore and Potomac train station, he fired two shots into the president at close range.

Millard's vivid telling excels on two important points: establishing Guiteau's insanity and describing the medical treatment Garfield received for what should have been a nonlethal wound. "Had Garfield been shot just fifteen years later, the bullet in his back would have been quickly found by X-ray images, and the wound treated with antiseptic surgery," she writes. At the trial during which he used an insanity defense, Guiteau argued that "General Garfield died from malpractice." Guiteau may have been insane, but he was right about that, as the damning autopsy results showed. --John McFarland

Shelf Talker: A brilliantly written account of the tragic time when James Garfield, Civil War hero, pioneering congressman and 20th president, was mowed down by a madman as his administration began.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles in Florida Last Week

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in Florida during the week ended Sunday, September 11:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. In My Time by Dick Cheney
3. Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
4. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6. The False Friend by Myla Goldberg
7. Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo
8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
9. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
10. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

Reporting bookstores and their handselling favorites:

Books & Books, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Bal Harbour: The Last Resort by Norma Watkins
The Book Mark, Neptune Beach: Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
Inkwood Books, Tampa
Vero Beach Book Center: Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

[Many thanks to the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

Top-Selling Titles in Chicagoland and Milwaukee Last Week

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas during the week ended Sunday, September 11:

1. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
3. The Language of Flowers by Vaness Diffenbaugh
4. That Used to Be Us by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
5. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
6. Good Graces by Lesley Kagen
7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
8. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
9. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
10. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra  Fuller

The reporting bookstores and their handselling favorites:

Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove
Book Cellar, Lincoln Square: The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka: A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Book Table, Oak Park: Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam
Books & Co., Oconomowoc: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee: I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship by Wade Rouse
57th St. Books, Chicago: How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive by Christopher Boucher
Lake Forest Books: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Next Chapter, Mequon
Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock
Seminary Co-op: The Submission by Amy Waldman
Women and Children First, Chicago

[Many thanks to the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

KidsBuzz: Schiffer Kids: Big P Takes a Fall (and That's Not All) by Pamela Jane, illus. by Hina Imtiaz
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