Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 22, 2011

Crown Publishing Group (NY): Here One Moment Liane Moriarty

Minotaur Books: Betrayal at Blackthorn Park: A Mystery (Evelyne Redfern #2) by Julia Kelly

Tor Books: Blood of the Old Kings by Sung-Il Kim, Translated by Anton Hur

Del Rey Books: The Book of Elsewhere by Keeanu Reeves and China Miéville

St. Martin's Press: You'll Never Believe Me: A Life of Lies, Second Tries, and Other Stuff I Should Only Tell My Therapist by St. Martin's Press

Watkins Publishing: A Feminist's Guide to ADHD: How Women Can Thrive and Find Focus in a World Built for Men by Janina Maschke

Quotation of the Day

'It's Now. It's Us.'

"We are an industry in transformation. This is the most important thing that has happened in any of our professional careers. This is the transformation of the object and idea that we love and value, the book, with all the inherent risks and possibilities.

"It's now. It's us. It's not going to be our kids or our grandchildren.

"We're developing the systems, processes, models and relationships that will be the track of the future. And so the work we're doing today is the most important work any of us who love books have ever done. 'It's us' is all of us--every lover of literature, of the culture of books and authors and readers. Every parent, teacher, editor, publishing professional, agent, librarian, bookseller, reviewer, blogger, in short, everyone who cares about the future of books.

"Sometimes in the day-to-day rush it helps to remember. It's now and it's us."

— Dominique Raccah, president and CEO of Sourcebooks and chair of the Book Industry Study Group, in remarks at BISG's annual meeting on Tuesday.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Shame on You: How to Be a Woman in the Age of Mortification by Melissa Petro


B&N Objects to Some Borders IP Privacy Recommendations

Saying they are "overreaching and unnecessary," Barnes & Noble, winner at auction of most of Borders Group's intellectual property assets, yesterday filed strenuous objections in bankruptcy court to several recommendations made by Michael St. Patrick Baxter, a consumer privacy ombudsman who was asked by the court to address privacy issues in the matter. "Implementing all of the recommendations contained in the CPO Report would destroy the value of the transaction," B&N said. The court is scheduled to address the IP auction today.

Among sticking points for B&N: a recommendation that B&N obtain opt-in consent from people on the Borders list since before May 27, 2008, to be able to transfer their information, which B&N said, "effectively means the information would not be transferred to Barnes & Noble (as it is completely unrealistic to expect customers to affirmatively respond to a request from Borders, a company that has gone out of business)." It also called having different privacy policies for different groups on the list "administratively difficult, if not impossible." B&N would accept an opt-out provision, but doesn't think it's necessary for the 31% of Borders customers who are already B&N members and have accepted its privacy policies.

The other point involves potentially sensitive movie purchases. B&N said it accepts that it not be provided the titles of videos bought by Borders customers but objects to the "exclusion of genre information and other details, which it needs so that it may best serve the needs of its customers." It noted that neither B&N nor Borders have sold videos in genres "considered pornographic or particularly sensitive."

B&N said that it didn't see the privacy recommendations until after the auction was concluded and said "the withholding of that information was not appropriate, significantly altered bid dynamics, and ... the proposed restrictions would materially reduce the value of the customer list."

B&N also said that "the protection of privacy and security of personal data is an important priority" for it and argued, "Having these assets sold to a highly reputable U.S. company engaged in the same line of business as Borders and with a comparable privacy policy should provide a high degree of comfort to the Court, applicable regulatory authorities and customers, both in its own right and when contrasted to other potential U.S. or overseas purchasers not engaged in the same line of business and that may not have the same high degree of commitment to privacy as Barnes & Noble."

Harpervia: The Alaska Sanders Affair by Joël Dicker, Translated by Robert Bononno

Unbanned Books of the Week... Sort Of

By a 6-0 vote, a southwest Missouri school board has restored two books--Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer--that it had previously banned from public schools for being contrary to teachings in the Bible (Shelf Awareness, August 9, 2011), Reuters reported.

The novels will be "available to students for independent reading as long as they are kept in a secure section of the school library. Only parents or guardians can check them out." Under the policy adopted by the board in July, "teachers still cannot make the books required reading nor read them aloud in school. The old policy had removed the books from the school altogether," Reuters wrote.

Amazon Promises Chill in Pa. Warehouse

After taking a lot of heat following the Allentown Morning Call's recent expose regarding harsh summer working conditions in a Pennsylvania fulfillment center (Shelf Awareness, September 19, 2011), Amazon has promised to install air conditioning at additional fulfillment centers. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Amazon "acknowledged that while facilities in hot parts of the country like Arizona are air-conditioned, the Lehigh Valley warehouse that was the focus of the article was not."

"We have several procedures in place to ensure the safety of our associates during the summer heat, including increased breaks, shortened shifts, constant reminders and help about hydration and extra ice machines," Amazon said in a statement. "We haven't historically had air conditioning in our east coast fulfillment centers. We're in the process of adding air conditioning to additional FCs so that we're prepared in case what we saw this past summer becomes the new normal."

Nook Finds Niche at Radio Shack

Effective October 3, Radio Shack will sell Barnes & Noble's Nook at its more than 3,000 stores in the U.S. Besides B&N, Nook retailers include Books-A-Million, Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax, Fred Meyer and P.C. Richard & Son. Radio Shack also sells Amazon's Kindle and several other e-readers.

War of Words over Notting Hill's Travel Bookshop

The battle to save London's Travel Bookshop (made famous in the film Notting Hill) has opened on a new front, after a campaign by residents and writers failed to prevent its closure at the end of August. Now the Book Warehouse has acquired the lease to half of the building from the Travel Bookshop's founder Sarah Anderson, the Bookseller reported.

Book Warehouse managing director James Malin said he anticipated a September 22 or 23 reopening, "probably" under the name the Notting Hill Bookshop. He also noted that the bookshop would maintain a focus on travel while stocking other subjects.

"This is such an iconic bookstore, and so well-loved even prior to the film, we did not want to see it close and yet another coffee shop open," he said. "We want to continue it pretty much as it was but to extend the range. It will still have the same look and style."

But Simon Gaul, who bought the Travel Bookshop from Anderson in 1991 and controls the lease on the other half of the building, is less than pleased by the development: "Book warehouses are just that; a place where remaindered books, cards, calendars, magazines etc are found. Worthy though such enterprises are, 'the Book Warehouse Notting Hill' has no association whatsoever--despite its occupying a part of the old location of the Travel Bookshop--with that 30-plus year old enterprise."

Poet and journalist Olivia Cole, who led the campaign to save the shop, agreed, telling the Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle that the Book Warehouse "are claiming they have rescued the Travel Bookshop and responded to the campaign. In fact they have not rescued it, they are destroying it. They are turning this special, quirky, spirited independent bookshop into a junk shop."

Book Warehouse's Malin observed: "Sadly bookselling has become an endangered profession, but we are doing our best to preserve the art. We hope the Notting Hill community and tourists from around the world will continue to support us."


Image of the Day: Celebrity Book Party Crasher

On Saturday, Books & Books in Bal Harbour, Fla., hosted an event for celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and his new book, The Boy with Pink Hair (Celebra Children's Books). During the signing, actor Christian Slater (l.) came in and introduced himself to Perez.


Happy Birthday, Watchung Booksellers!

Congratulations to Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, N.J., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Saturday with children's music; an appearance by Jane Kelley, whose new book is Girl Behind the Glass; a poetry reading as part of the 100,000 Poets for Change global poetry reading; and cake, cupcakes and a champagne toast.

Check out a interview with Watchung Booksellers owner Margot Sage-EL, who talks about the store's history, the community, curation, the future of books and more.


GBO Picks Who Am I? And If So, How Many?

The German Book Office in New York's book of the month pick for September is Who Am I? And If So, How Many?: A Philosophical Journey by Richard David Precht, translated by Shelley Frisch (Spiegel & Grau, $16, 9780385531184).

GBO described the book as "an entertaining tour of the biggest philosophical questions and their relevance to our daily life... Precht draws on neuroscience, psychology, and history to elucidate the questions at the heart of human existence (such as, what is truth? does life have meaning? why should I be good?)."

Precht is a German philosopher, writer and journalist who lives in Luxembourg. Frisch has translated many books into English from German and won the Modern Language Association Translation Prize for a Scholarly Study of Literature.

Former Summer Intern Makes Very Good

Matthew Boyd has been promoted to publishing manager and manager of special marketing initiatives for Penguin Group. He was formerly publishing coordinator, a position he's held since 2009.

Among other things, Boyd has helped negotiate with and make partnerships with other companies, launched an online book club and writers conference with, pioneered social media and digital marketing for Penguin and its authors, created book trailers, coordinated between publishing imprints on a variety of issues.

In 2005, Boyd was a summer intern in Putnam and Riverhead marketing. He began working full time that year, first as marketing assistant, then marketing coordinator.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Priscilla Warner on Learning to Breathe

Today on CBS's the Talk: Molly Shannon, author of Tilly the Trickster (Abrams, $16.95, 9781419700309).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Priscilla Warner, author of Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life (Free Press, $23, 9781439181072).


Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Andrew Scott Cooper, author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781439155172).


Tomorrow night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Michael Moore, author of Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life (Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446532242).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Caroline Kennedy, co-author of Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy (Hyperion, $60, 9781401324254).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Florence Henderson, author of Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond (Center Street, $25.99, 9781599953885).

Harry Potter Featurette: Ron and Hermione's 'Epic First Kiss'

The Hollywood Reporter offered a sneak peek at a bonus featurette on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 DVD, which will be released November 11. The video explores "the epic first kiss between Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson). It was a kiss a decade in the making. And if fans thought that it was huge for them, it seems like the experience was just as major for Watson. She had never done an on-screen kiss before that."

According to Watson, "I was like, Do I use tongue? Do I not use tongue? Do I cover my teeth? What do I do? Do I go first? Oh my God!... I ended up pouncing on Rupert. I was so desperate to get it over. After the first take he was like, 'Whoa, there! Where did that come from?' I was like, 'Sorry!' "

Trailer for Season Two of Boardwalk Empire

See HBO's trailer for season two of Boardwalk Empire, based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson (Plexus Publishing, $16.95, 9780966674866). The first show of this season airs this coming Sunday. Starring Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire won an Emmy last Sunday: Martin Scorsese garnered the drama directing award for the show's pilot.


This Weekend on Book TV: National Book Festival

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday 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 24

8 a.m. Kevin Mitnick, author of Ghosts in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316037709), recounts his three years on the run from the FBI after drawing attention for his illegal access to major corporations' computer networks.

10 a.m. Book TV features live coverage of the 11th annual National Book Festival from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Programming includes event coverage from the history and biography pavilion, author interviews and national viewer phone calls with authors, including Sarah Vowell, Eric Foner and Jim Lehrer. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

7 p.m. Anthony Bradley, author of Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development (Wipf & Stock Publishers, $19, 9781608995967), applies Christian moral teachings to an array of subjects.  (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and Sunday, October 2, at 1 a.m. and 9 a.m.)

8 p.m. Eric Greitens, author of The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780547424859), talks about joining the SEALs after doing humanitarian work and earning a Ph.D. from Oxford University. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

9 p.m. Benjamin Runkle, author of Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to Bin Laden (Palgrave Macmillan, $27, 9780230104853), presents a history of manhunts launched by the American military and intelligence agencies. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 1, at 4 p.m. and 11 p.m., and Sunday, October 2, at 5 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger interviews Jim Lehrer, author of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates from Kennedy-Nixon to McCain-Obama (Random House, $26, 9781400069170), who shares how he developed his debate questions and kept them secret. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

11 p.m. Joe McGinniss, author of The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin (Crown, $25, 9780307718921), discusses Palin's family background, her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and as governor of the state, and her social and political beliefs. (Re-airs Sunday at 9:15 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

Sunday, September 25

11 a.m. Richard Brookhiser discusses his book James Madison (Basic Books, $26.99, 9780465019830). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m., Saturday, October 1, at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and Sunday, October 2, at 4 a.m.)

1 p.m. Book TV's live coverage of the 11th annual National Book Festival continues. Featured authors include Siddhartha Mukherjee and David McCullough. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

Book Review

Review: Changó's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes

Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes by William Kennedy (Viking, $26.95 hardcover, 9780670022977, September 29, 2011)

In the latest novel in his Albany Cycle, Pulitzer Prize-winner William Kennedy (Ironweed) tells the somewhat convoluted story of Daniel Quinn, an Albany journalist trying to fill the large shoes of his historian grandfather and numbers-running father. The story begins with Quinn hanging out in Havana in the 1950s, vying for an interview with the rebel Castro hiding from Batista in the same hills where his grandfather once pursued the 1890's machete-wielding Mambí Cuban revolutionary fighters.

Havana in the '50s is a wild, musical place--a hodge-podge of gamblers, whores, politicians, soldiers, revolutionaries, gangsters and wealthy sugar plantation owners. Quinn runs into Hemingway drinking rum at the infamous El Floridita. There, "Dr. Hemingstein" introduces Quinn to the hot and beautiful Renata--20 years Quinn's junior and a rebel sympathizer. Their conversation follows in the stilted declarative shortcuts of Hemingway prose, even as the writer's advice pours out: "Keep [exaggerating] and soon you'll have a novel... remove the colon and semicolon keys from your typewriter... shun adverbs, strenuously." Rarely does a serious novel get an opportunity like this to make fun of all the Hemingway writing clichés.

An early rebellion against Batista fails, and Quinn marries Renata to take her back to Albany. Kennedy then jumps to 1968, the year of Bobby Kennedy's killing, when New York's racially divided capital city has become a battleground. Through the words of the brilliant character of Quinn's father, the dementia-addled George, Kennedy is able to bring to life the history of the city, against which the plot takes on the heat of local revolution. Ultimately a homeless black man with a gun and a defrocked radical priest band together to prevent a riot, "the pair of them on an odyssey of Franciscan politics and leftover jazz."

With such a broad stage of characters and a story crossing 20 years of social struggle in two countries, Kennedy works to tie all the loose ends together. That he largely succeeds is perhaps the result of all his years of journalism and fiction--years spent practicing many of the very same Hemingway precepts that he ironically mimicked in the first chapters. –-Bruce Jacobs

Shelf Talker: Pulitzer Prize-winner William Kennedy mixes Hemingway, Castro and Santería spirits in Havana with Black Power and Bing Crosby in his well-worked home city of Albany.


The Bestsellers

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 18:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. Jacqueline Kennedy by Caroline Kennedy and Michael Beschloss
3. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
5. That Used to Be Us by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
6. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
7. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
8. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
9. Good Graces by Lesley Kagen
10. Rock the Casbah by Robin Wright

The reporting bookstores and their handselling favorites:

Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove
Book Cellar, Lincoln Square
Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka: That Used to Be Us by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
Book Table, Oak Park: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Books & Co., Oconomowoc: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee: The Cradle in the Grave by Sophie Hannah
57th St. Books, Chicago: Nairobi Heat by Mukoma Wa Ngugi
Lake Forest Books: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Next Chapter, Mequon
Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock
Seminary Co-op: That Used to Be Us by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
Women and Children First, Chicago

[Many thanks to the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

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