Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 2, 2006

Simon & Schuster: Register for Fall Preview!

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves

Soho Crime: Exposure (A Rita Todacheene Novel) by Ramona Emerson

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao


Notes: Unhappy and Happy Endings; Mixed Signals

The Senate yesterday neared passage of renewal of the Patriot Act in a form that the leaders of the battle to protect civil liberties have called insufficient. By a vote of 85-14, the Senate voted to end Senator Russell Feingold's filibuster and may pass the revised bill as early as today.

According to the AP, amendments passed by the Senate yesterday will:

  • Allow recipients of subpoenas for information in terrorist investigations to challenge the requirement that they not tell anyone else about the subpoenas;
  • End the requirement that a recipient of a National Security Letter give the FBI the name of any lawyers consulted about it;
  • Clarify that most libraries are not subject to demands in National Security Letters for information about suspected terrorists.

Feingold complained that in practice the measures will be meaningless.


Surveys conducted on the occasion of World Book Day, which is today, have found that most readers love a happy ending to a novel. The "runaway favorite of a perfect ending," according to the Guardian, is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Second- and third-place finishers are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Speaking of To Kill a Mockingbird, British librarians said that Harper Lee's title was the book every adult should read before he or she dies, as reported by the Guardian. Second- and third-place finishers are the Bible and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Cool idea of the day: Slate is creating a book club that will reach "members" via audio online. In the near future, Slate critics Stephen Metcalf, Meghan O'Rourke, and Katie Roiphe will discuss the first selection--Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking--"at a cozy bookstore/cafe in New York's Soho neighborhood." The discussion will posted March 15 as part of Slate's regular podcast feed or as a free download from the site.


Nice for retailers, but how long can this go on?

Consumer spending in January rose 0.9%, the biggest jump in six months, while incomes rose 0.7%. The personal savings rate was -0.7%, continuing the negative savings trend of last year, when for the first time since the Great Depression, the country's savings rate was negative for the year.

The gains in income came in part from cost-of-living adjustments for people on Social Security, the new prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients and pay raises for federal workers. In addition, the economy added 193,000 new nonfarm jobs in January.

Spending also benefited from global warming. The month was the warmest on record in a century, which encouraged shopping.


Hastings Entertainment, which sells books along with music, games, movies and other media, has upped the credit line on a secured revolving credit facility to $100 million from $20 million. The amendment to the facility, with Fleet Retail Group and CIT Group/Business Credit, also will lower interest rates and extending the maturity date by four years to August 29, 2011.

"The amended facility enhances our liquidity and operating flexibility," president and CEO John H. Marmaduke said in a statement. "We believe the new facility, together with internally generated funds, will be sufficient to fund our capital requirements, including new store growth, for the next five years."


The Long Beach Library Foundation has picked My California: Journeys by Great Writers (Angel City Press, $16.95, 1883318432) as the community book for the city's Book Week, which will be held March 12-18. The 2004 anthology contains work by 27 writers, including Michael Chabon, Aimee Liu, T. Jefferson Parker and Thomas Steinbeck, who, along with the editor, publisher and printer, donated their work. All proceeds from the book's sales benefit the California Arts Council.

As part of Book Week, the city is also holding art workshops, several essay contests and book events. In addition, the Port of Long Beach has given $25,000 to print a special edition of My California for Long Beach schools and libraries.


Rat Bastards: The Life and Times of South Boston's Most Honorable Irish Mobster (Morrow, $24.95, 0060837160), a memoir by John "Red" Shea, who worked for vanished mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, is already under surveillance in Beantown. Yesterday's Boston Globe noted that Mark Wahlberg wrote the introduction for the book and has optioned film rights on the book.

With Rat Bastards's official pub date falling just before St. Patrick's Day, the publisher is considering staging some events at Irish pubs in Boston and New York, where rather than read, "Red" will tell stories about his life, perhaps becoming a kind of Frank McCourt of the underworld.


Effective yesterday, Manic D Press, San Francisco's "eclectic alt-lit publisher of fine poetry, fiction, art, comix, travel guides, cultural studies, and a whole bunch of other swell books" headed by the delightful Jennifer Joseph, is being distributed in the U.S. by Consortium Books Sales and Distribution. Manic D has been distributed by PGW.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Koen-Levy Keeps on Trucking Books In

Koen-Levy Book Wholesalers, Moorestown, N.J., continues to add titles and now, after 90 days in business, has some 40,000 titles in its warehouse, according to senior sales and marketing manager Jim DiMiero. The company's near-term goal is to have at least 75,000 titles in the warehouse, which can handle as many as 85,000-90,000 titles, and eventually grow to those levels. (The company also has more than 40,000 titles on order and titles active in the system.)

As Koen Book Distributors used to do with smaller publishers, Koen-Levy is buying more titles in smaller quantities but "going deeper" into frontlist and backlist from larger publishers, DiMiero said. Sheila Kowalsky, who is in charge of purchasing, and other buyers "are working feverishly with publishers reps large and small," DiMiero added. The goal, he continued, is to boost fill rates on orders to at least an 85%-90% rate when Koen-Levy is the first wholesaler in a bookseller's ordering cascade. "We understand booksellers have to work budgets and shuffle cascades every day to meet minimums and other requirements from our competitors," DiMiero said. "So when it's our shot and we're No. 1 in the cascade, whether it's every day or every two days or every three days, we want to make our first call count. There's no sense in asking to be No. 1 if we can't fill the order."

Koen-Levy is basing some ordering on what titles booksellers are ordering that it can't fill. "It's a fine juggling act," DiMiero said, "but it's also a quicker way of building the title base without killing yourself by bringing in hundreds of each title." He added that especially when the company comes close to its 90,000-title limit, "We can't please everyone, but within reason we want the right mix."

Koen-Levy is also making other changes. It has spruced up its Web site so that once customers sign in, they can check stock status with up-to-the-hour information. Koen-Levy is also promoting topical and seasonal lists, such as Easter and Passover titles, St. Patrick's Day, summer reading and more. The company will blend in some of the old Koen catalogues, such as Koen Kids and Loose Canons, which Levy bought when the old Koen went under.

The company will likely send out combination printed and e-mail lists of upcoming titles and will have weekly e-mails with updates and rotating genre information, including pop culture, African-American, gay and lesbian, general and children's (some 25% of titles in stock are children's).

As for working with Levy and its mass merchandising accounts, so far Koen-Levy has enlisted to help out Levy's business supplying some military bases. Concerning larger Levy clientele, DiMiero said, "We're not going to be shipping regional Targets from here. What we do will involve more of Levy's non-big box business."

For the last month, DiMiero and general manager and v.p. Bob Koen have been on the road, visiting bookstores in the company's core one-day shipping territory. "The idea is to get out and see as many of the stores we can, letting them know we're back and giving the good news of where we stand," DiMiero said. "We're assuring them that we're here for the long haul and thanking them for coming back."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.22.24

Media and Movies

This Weekend on Book TV: Francis Fukuyama in Depth

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 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 Web site.

Saturday, March 4

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1992, Robert Cwiklik talks about House Rules: A Freshman Congressman's Initiation to the Backslapping, Backpedaling, and Backstabbing Ways of Washington (Random House), his account of the first year in office of newly elected Nebraska Congressman Peter Hoagland, whom Cwiklik followed around for much of 1989.

9 p.m. After Words. Rep. Lamar Smith (R.-Tex.), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, interviews David Vise, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Washington Post, about his new book, The Google Story (Delacorte, $26, 055380457X). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, March 5

12 p.m. In Depth: Francis Fukuyama. A three-hour interview and call-in show. A professor and director of the International Development Program at the Nitze School at Johns Hopkins and chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest magazine, Fukuyama has published many books about political and economic development, including The End of History and the Last Man (Harper Perennial, $15, 0380720027), State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century (Cornell University Press, $21, 0801442923) and his latest, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy (Yale University Press, $25, 0300113994).

7 p.m. Public Lives. In an event hosted by the Kansas City Public Library, Jack Cashill, executive editor of Ingram's magazine (not the Ingram we all know--this is a business magazine for Kansas City area), talks about his new book that sticks it to the Greatest, Sucker Punch: The Hard Left Hook that Dazed Ali and Killed King's Dream (Nelson Current, $24.99, 159555033X).

10 p.m. History on Book TV. At the Vail Symposium about the Tenth Mountain Division, a unit of elite troops recruited by the National Ski Patrol during World War II, Charles Sanders, music industry executive and professor at New York University, speaks about his title on the subject, The Boys of Winter: Life and Death in the U.S. Ski Troops During the Second World War (University Press of Colorado, 0870817833). In the book, Sanders focuses on four members of the unit. Includes Q&A.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Media Heat: Mailers Young and Old

Today on CBS's Early Show: Lisa Quinn, interior designer and author of $500 Room Makeovers (Clarkson Potter, $22.50, 1400097797).


Today on the Today Show, Judith Levine keeps trying to sell her new book, Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping (Free Press, $25, 0743269357).


Today on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Carl Reiner hems and haws about his NNNNN: A Novel (S&S, $21, 0743286693).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show, Michelle Singletary outlines techniques for financial compatibility in a relationship in her new book, Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich (Random House, $19.95 1400063787).


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:

  • Caroline Moorehead, speaks about her Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees (Holt, $26, 0805074430).
  • Dana Spiotta, who talks about her new novel, Eat the Document (Scribner, $24, 0743272986).
  • Norman Mailer and his son, John Buffalo Mailer, chat about their big joint work, The Big Empty: Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America (Nation Books, $14.95, 1560258241).

Today on KCRW's Bookworm: David Foster Wallace, author of Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316156116). As the show describes the segment: "David Wallace insists on a conversation where what can be said must be said honestly (along with a sidebar defining honesty), sincerely (ditto defining sincerity), and with full consideration of how media affect honesty and sincerity (ditto media). Given these requirements, we discuss Wallace's new collection of essays with an eye to how he attempts the nearly impossible task of telling the truth."

Books & Authors

B&N Finds Great New Writers

Winners of the 13th annual Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Awards are:


First place: Beasts of No Nation (HarperCollins), Uzodinma Iweala's first novel about an African boy forced to become a soldier early in life. Fiction jurist Carrie Brown commented: "For its breathtaking portrayal of the survival of the human spirit in the face of suffering and cruelty, Beasts of No Nation would be a remarkable accomplishment for a writer practicing at the height of maturity and skill. Uzodinma Iweala was only 23 years old when he published this novel, but it is unmistakably an imaginative tour de force. [He] has found a voice for young Agu, an African child soldier conscripted into a brutal guerilla army, which is both harrowing and heartbreaking. The novel is testament to the profound ability of literature to show us horror, dismantle it and identify its parts, and arrive in the silent ether of the aftermath with something utterly unforgettable and, most importantly, worth cherishing."

Second place: Kitty Fitzgerald's first novel, Pigtopia (Miramax Books).

Third place: Catherine Tudish's short-story collection, Tenney's Landing (Scribner)


First place: One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick (Houghton Mifflin), a memoir of the author's Marine Corps service. Nonfiction judge Tom Groneberg said, "One Bullet Away is about two wars in different places.  It's about . . . [a] fight to become a Marine officer . . and . . . the fights on the streets of Iraq and in the countryside of Afghanistan, the battle within a young soldier to do the right thing despite what the textbooks or his superiors might command. . . . While the book's subtitle might be: 'The Making of a Marine Officer,' ultimately, [Fick's book] heralds the making of a truly powerful new writer."

Second place: Martin Moran's memoir, The Tricky Part (Beacon Press)

Third place: Louise Brown's groundbreaking foray into a world of dynastic prostitution, The Dancing Girls of Lahore (Fourth Estate)

First-place winners receive $10,000 and a year of additional marketing and advertising support. Second-place winners receive $5,000, and third-place winners nab $2,500. All finalists are also given Tiffany awards and were honored yesterday at a private ceremony and read from their works in the evening at the Lincoln Triangle B&N in New York City.

The awards honor the best of the 70 authors featured in B&N's Discover Great New Writers program last year.

AuthorBuzz: St. Martin's Press: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center
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