Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Scholastic Press: Beastly Beauty by Jennifer Donnelly

St. Martin's Essentials: Build Like a Woman: The Blueprint for Creating a Business and Life You Love by Kathleen Griffith

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Bramble: Pen Pal Special Edition by J.T. Geissinger

Sourcebooks Landmark: Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Soho Crime: Broiler by Eli Cranor

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft


Notes: Consumer Confidence Wobbles

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index for February dropped, reflecting consumers' downbeat sentiments about the next six months even though they remain cheerful about current economic trends. Lynn Franco, director of the Board's research center, told the Wall Street Journal: "Consumers are growing increasingly concerned about the short-term health of the economy and, in turn, about job prospects."

In other general economic news, the housing market continued to soften: sales of existing homes fell in January for the fifth straight month and the number of unsold homes grew. David Lereah, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, told the Journal: "The boom is over. Investors are pulling out in a lot of the nation's hot markets, and that's adding to the cooling."

On the other hand, inflation remains within the Federal Reserve's target range, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis boosted its estimates of 2005 fourth-quarter growth to a 1.6% annual rate, up from an initial estimate of 1.1%.


The Tattered Cover will move its flagship store from its longtime space in Cherry Creek to the Lowenstein Theater (Shelf Awareness, January 27) in one day, the store has said. Tattered Cover will close the Cherry Creek store at the end of the day on Saturday, June 24, and reopen in the new location on Monday, June 26.

The Tattered Cover has pictures of the renovations underway at the Theater and will update the site regularly as work progresses. Click here for early shows of the Tattered Cover at the Lowenstein Theater.


Among tenants of a New York City warehouse closed in the last week because of an anthrax case--the man apparently became sick from unprocessed animal skins he used to make drums--is Mehatem Ashenaffi, who with a partner runs an online bookstore. He told the New York Times that his business had been crippled. "If the doors aren't open, we can't sell."


A Barnes & Noble in Fort Gratiot, Mich., and the Friends of the Burtchville Township Library are teaming up to help stock the shelves of the new township library, which should be completed this summer, according to the Port Huron Times Herald. Customers can buy a recommended title or a title they choose at a 20% discount and donate it to the library.


University of California Press: May Contain Lies: How Stories, Statistics, and Studies Exploit Our Biases--And What We Can Do about It by Alex Edmans

'Retail Personality' David Roche to Head Borders UK

David Roche, most recently part of a group seeking to buy Ottakar's, the British bookstore chain that will likely be bought by HMV and Waterstone's, has been named chief of executive of Borders UK, effective today.

Phil Downer, who had been managing director and chief operating officer of Borders UK, has become retail director, with responsibility for operations and property, and will report to Roche. Also reporting to Roche: commercial director Cathy Ferrier, HR director Beverley Newman and IT director Gary Mudie. Operations director Rob Farnworth has left the company.

Roche last year joined a group led by Ottakar's founder-managers James Heneage and Philip Dunne that made a bid to purchase the company. A higher bid from HMV, owner of Waterstone's, was accepted by Ottakar's independent directors, but it is being scrutinized by the Competition Commission. (Yesterday Ottakar's said that Roche's appointment to Borders will be "of benefit to the book industry as a whole.")

Before joining Ottakar's, Roche had worked at HMV and Waterstone's, joining Waterstone's from HMV as product director in January 2002 and working at the bookseller until August last year. Roche was also elected president of the Booksellers Association in April 2005 and earlier had chaired the BA/Publishers Association Liaison Group.

Roche was named Retail Personality of the Year at the Bookseller Retail Awards last September.

In a statement, Rick Vanzura, president of Borders Group International, commented: "David Roche has made an outstanding contribution to British bookselling and has extensive experience in music and DVD retailing and store operations." He added that "Philip Downer has done an excellent job of developing the company over the past three years and we are delighted that he will continue to apply his operational talents on our behalf."

Since beginning operations in the U.K. in 1998 and purchasing Books etc., Borders has grown to 36 superstores and 33 small-format stores, primarily in downtowns and airports. Like other British bookstore companies, Borders UK had a difficult 2005.

GLOW: becker&mayer! kids: The Juneteenth Cookbook: Recipes and Activities for Kids and Families to Celebrate by Alliah L. Agostini and Taffy Elrod, illus. by Sawyer Cloud

Year of the Dog Has Its Day at Kepler's

This coming Sunday Kepler's Books & Magazines, Menlo Park, Calif., is putting on an event that is an example of the revived store's emphasis on activities to entertain and draw readers. In celebration of Chinese New Year, the store is holding the Year of the Dog Festival, a "Family Day" event that will run from noon until four.

During the festival, authors, guide dogs and a company that makes dog shirts will be on hand. Kepler's will provide animal crackers for children. Attendees will be able to consult a Zodiac calendar and make puppets of their sign and animal.

Emily Scott Pottruck will read from her Tails of Devotion, about the bond between people and their pets.

Oliver Chin will read from his newest book, The Year of the Dog, and share manga and cartooning techniques. (Chin, author of The Adventures of WonderBaby from A to Z and The Tao of Yao: Insights from Basketball's Brightest Big Man, also conducts comics workshops, reviews for Comics Buyer's Guide and is a columnist for Comics and Games Retailer.)

Last but not least, Sir Wrinkles, top dog of Sir Wrinkles the Bulldog and Sir Wrinkles Goes to School by Alice Kalomas and Lenora Kerr, will offer "pawtographs."

Laura Pesavento, special events manager, told Shelf Awareness that Kepler's aims to have at least one family day event a month. Since reopening last fall, the store has held some special membership days as well as a "sweetheart's night," during which coffee, tea, chocolates and other refreshments were offered people shopping for Valentine's Day gifts.

In the near future, Kepler's will stage a range of gardening and travel events, "because that's what our readers want," Pesavento said. The store is also planning a big children's concert offsite later this year.

All this is in addition to the store's wide range of traditional author appearances.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Scribblers and Infamous Scribblers

This morning on the Early Show, conservative Bruce Bartlett continues to promote his new title, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, $26, 0385518277).


This morning on the Today Show:
  • Annabelle Gurwitch shares some of the amusing stories compiled in her new book, Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed (Touchstone, $19.95, 0743289854)
  • Adrianne Frost tells why readers should like her new book, I Hate Other People's Kids (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, $9.95, 1416909885)
  • Judith Levine tries to sell her book Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping (Free Press, $25, 0743269357).

This morning on Good Morning America, Michael F. Roizen gives tips culled from his new book, co-written with Mehmet C. Oz, YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment (Free Press, $14.95, 0743293010).


Today World Talk Radio's Antoinette Kuritz talks with Laura and Tom McNeal, authors of Crushed (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15.95, 0375831053), and Robert B. Parker, whose latest book is Sea Change (Putnam, $24.95, 0399152679).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show, Pulitzer Prize-winner Sonia Nazario discusses the perilous journey thousands of Central American children take each year to enter the U.S., as outlined in her new book, Enrique's Journey (Random House, $26.95, 1400062055).


Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Eric Burns, famous author of Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism (PublicAffairs, $27.50, 158648334X).


Tonight the Daily Show with Jon Stewart offers a rerun of last week's show with Roger Ebert, who talks about his new book, The Great Movies II (Broadway, $29.95, 0767919505).

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Appearing next Tuesday, March 7:

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153446). A quest for the Holy Grail linking two women, one from the 13th century, the other living now.


The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult (Atria, $26, 0743496701). The father and family of a 14-year-old girl pass through many levels of hell after she accuses her former boyfriend of rape.


Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads: Coping with the Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Counselors Who Can Rule--or Ruin--Your Child's Life by Rosalind Wiseman with Elizabeth Rapoport (Crown, $25, 1400083001). From the author of Queen Bees and Wannabees.


The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner: A Powerful Plan to Finish Rich in Real Estate by David Bach (Broadway, $19.95, 0767921208). The automatic millionaire puts down speculative roots.


The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World
by Billy Graham (W Publishing Group, $24.99, 0849918324). Words from the reverend.

AAUP's Books for Understanding: Iraq

The Association of American University Presses has updated its Books for Understanding Iraq bibliography, which was originally published in June 2002. (A lot has happened since then, including the U.S. invasion.)

The updated bibliography, available online, lists 35 titles dealing with the invasion and its repercussions. Other topics include sectarian violence, the realities of occupation, international security post-Saddam--all reflecting "much new scholarship . . .  that gives new perspective on Iraqi history, the people of Iraq, and present and future security in the region."

Among new titles listed:
  • The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib edited by Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
  • Reaching For Power: The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World by Yitzhak Nakash (Princeton University Press, 2006)
  • Iraq from Monarchy to Tyranny: From the Hashemites to the Rise of Saddam by Michael Eppel (University Press of Florida, 2004)
  • The Last Jews in Baghdad: Remembering a Lost Homeland by Nissim Rejwan (University of Texas Press, 2004)
  • Building Sustainable Peace edited by W. Andy Knight and Tom Keating (United Nations University Press and University of Alberta Press, 2004)

Book Review

Mandahla: Zero to the Bone Reviewed

Zero to the Bone: A Nina Zero Novel by Robert Eversz (Simon & Schuster, $24.00 Hardcover, 9780743250177, February 2006)

Zero to the Bone is the fifth book in an edgy, tough series about Nina Zero, a young ex-con who works as a paparazza for a gossip rag, the Scandal Times. The story opens with her first gallery show of photographs staged to look like lurid shots of Hollywood pulp scenes. She nervously makes small talk with potential buyers, and "they cawed with laughter and [she] barked back, two personal injury lawyers and a tabloid photographer, fellow scavengers recognizing each other across the species barrier."
One of Nina's young models fails to show up for the opening, and she discovers why after receiving a package with a snuff film starring the missing woman. Determined to find the killer and get a few choice shots for the paper, she finds herself tangled up in past-life regression therapy with bondage, phone sex companies and movie producers with too much money and S&M tastes. Providing both help and hindrance, the sharply-drawn characters include Nina's wild teenage niece Cassie, Nina's estranged and abusive father, a sexy detective and a toothless Rottweiler named Baby. Los Angeles is also a major player, painted with a chilled brush: "The cool, smog-tainted emptinesses of the city by night harmonized with my spirit far more than the glare and bustle of daily life, as though I felt more at ease with the negative image of things than with the things themselves."
One of the best scenes, and most astute observations, is set in a bar. At a table with young women, Nina picks up her digital camera and becomes the center of attention--the girls mug shamelessly for the camera. "The digital revolution has put the world onstage, making us all actors in the theatrical performance of our lives. We're all on camera all the time and more vain than ever. This can be a disaster for a photographer seeking the quiet truth of an unguarded moment. When I want to be ignored, I pull out a film camera. Film takes too long to be developed for anyone to care what you shoot."
Like Los Angeles, Nina Zero is fascinating and flawed, and the story is a wild ride through the city. Along the way, there is much to enjoy with Eversz's prose: A model wears a dress that "clung to her with the fierce grace of a tango dancer." If you haven't already discovered Nina, Zero to the Bone will send you straight to a bookstore for the first four in the series.--Marilyn Dahl

Powered by: Xtenit