Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ballantine Books: Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

John Scognamiglio Book: In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp

Charlesbridge Publishing: Forever Cousins by Laurel Goodluck, illustrated by Jonathan Nelson

Aladdin Paperbacks: Return of the Dragon Slayers: A Fablehaven Adventure (Dragonwatch #5) by Brandon Mull

Norton Young Readers: Children of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo

Union Square & Co.: Wait for Me by Sara Shepard


BAM to Open 41 New Stores in November

Books-A-Million will open 41 new stores in early November (see the complete list of new BAM locations here). During the third quarter, the company also closed 21 "underperforming" locations. It's likely the busiest season ever for the company, which is increasing its net store count by about 10% and expanding far outside its traditional Southern base.

Some 14 of the stores are former Borders sites BAM won in bankruptcy court and many others were obtained from former Borders landlords.

"Our expansion into these markets represents a substantial opportunity for our company," said president and CEO Terrance G. Finley. "We have been working diligently in the last several months to find ways to keep a number of former Borders store locations in operation under the BAM brand, and these store openings are the culmination of that work. These 41 stores will also benefit local economies by providing and sustaining jobs in and around our new locations. To BAM, it's about forging a lifetime partnership with all bookstore lovers."

Soho Crime: Blown by the Same Wind (Cold Storage Novel) by John Straley

Puerto Rico Charging Amazon with Discrimination

A new battle with a government looms in Puerto Rico. According to, the commonwealth's Consumer Affairs Department is preparing to file a lawsuit charging Amazon with discriminatory practices over shipping policy.

In August, Amazon stopped offering free shipping on purchases of $25 or more to customers in Puerto Rico, a feature that had been offered for a decade but had been available only because of "a glitch in its computer system," the company said. Amazon policy is to offer the shipping savings only to U.S. states and excludes territories, including Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Marianas.

Amazon isn't the only company being investigated. Created in September, Puerto Rico's Anti-Discrimination Commercial Office of the consumer watchdog agency known as Daco, has contacted 250 "stateside" retailers and companies that don't ship to Puerto Rico or include it in activities like sweepstakes and asked them to justify the lack of "equal treatment." Director José Miguel Talavera said, "If they aren't real reasons based on issues like excise tax costs, or federal or local regulations, we will move forward with imposing fines for violating the administrative order that created the division."

Talavera added: "It is surprising to see the number of companies that operate in the U.S. mainland, from which local consumers buy, that do not ship and fail to treat us the same as they do Alaska and Hawaii. They classify us as an international destination or sometimes fail to include us at all."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.08.22

Amazon's Book Depository Acquisition Approved

The Office of Fair Trading will approve Amazon's acquisition of U.K. online retailer the Book Depository (Shelf Awareness, July 5, 2011), despite charges from industry organizations--including the Booksellers Association, Publishers Association, the Bookseller Group and Independent Publishers Guild--that the merger would create a monopoly.

The Bookseller reported that the OFT "decided there was limited pre-merger competition between the two companies and found that competition within Amazon Marketplace would continue to be strong after the takeover. It said the Book Depository only accounted for between 2%-4% of the online market for physical books, and that TBD had most of its growth in overseas markets rather than the U.K."

OFT chief economist Amelia Fletcher said the "the U.K. book market has a significant number of bestseller and deep-range suppliers both online and off-line and that existing levels of competition will be preserved after the merger. Therefore the acquisition will not be referred to the Competition Commission for further investigation."

Nigel Roby, the Bookseller Group's managing director, called the decision "a disappointment. The Bookseller Group's position has been that the OFT should use this opportunity to look at Amazon's existing competitive position. It was never about Book Depository per se, which sells overseas primarily. The ruling says that 'Amazon's share of the U.K. online book market is strong' which as understatements go will take some beating as a 75% share seems likely."
Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association, told the Bookseller that "Amazon now has even more power to put its bookseller competitors out of business and, having done that, it will be in an excellent position to increase prices and/or reduce choice.... The numbers of high street bookshops are currently declining, producing, in effect, less competition for Amazon. The suggestion by the OFT in its judgment that sellers on Amazon Marketplace offer competition to Amazon, when the latter takes a commission on every sale, is difficult to understand. Any deal that threatens their survival on the high street still further should receive proper scrutiny by the government and competition authorities. In any review of competition issues, we think that the public interest aspects should play an important part.”

Berkley Books: City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita

Carrie Kania Co-Owner of New Bookstore in London

Carrie Kania, who this summer left publishing in New York to become a literary agent in London has added yet another profession to her resume: bookseller. While continuing as an agent, she is co-owner of the Society Club, a new combination bookstore, gallery and café in Soho in London.

Kania's partners in the venture are Robert Pereno and wife, Babette. The three owners sell "only goods they love," according to the London edition of the Daily Candy. Stock ranges from "vintage furniture to first-edition books, homemade jam, limited-edition prints, mustache wax and dog food. A communal table runs through the centre of the shop, aiming to bring like-minded people together and encourage the 'intellectual cool' to mingle over tea, coffee, pastries and cakes."

The Society Club has book launches, poetry readings, storytelling and live music sessions. "The last event was a Q&A with Andy Warhol's friend and The Factory's in-house photographer, Leee Black Childers," the Daily Candy wrote.

Until this past August, Kania was publisher of Harper Perennial and Harper paperbacks and is now an agent at Conville & Walsh in London (Shelf Awareness, July 26, 2011).

The Society Club is located at 12 Ingestre Place, London W1F OJF; 20-7437-1433;


Image of the Day: Cookies & Beer

Last Saturday, Stacy Adimando was the star of a cookie tasting, demo and book signing at the Brooklyn Kitchen, Brooklyn, N.Y., to promote her book, The Cookiepedia: Mixing, Baking, and Reinventing the Classics (Quirk Books). She demonstrated how to make Pistachio Butter Cookies and Chocolate-Dipped Espresso Shortbread. Brooklyn Brewery provided beer for the event. Lucky attendees got to sample cookies, drink beer and have the author sign their copies of the book.


Book Trailer of the Day: That Is All

"The Deranged Millionaire," starring John Hodgman with cameos by, among others, Justin Long and Dick Cavett on behalf of Hodgman's That Is All (Dutton), the final book in the trilogy of complete world knowledge that appears on Tuesday.



Bitchin' Video of the Day: 'Snooki Takes Over S&S'

"Confessions of a Guidette: Snooki Takes Over S&S: The Director's Cut" in which the Jersey Shore star inspects her publisher's offices to see if the staff has followed her Guidette tips as outlined in Confessions of a Guidette (Gallery). See publishers, including executive v-p and publisher Louise Burke, go from "freakin' farty old grandmas" to "bangin' hot bitches."

Warning: tomorrow is National Guidette Day.

10 Myths About Bookselling

On her Bookseller I'd Like to F*** column on, Lacey N. Dunham lists 10 myths about bookselling, starting with our all-time favorite: "booksellers spend all day reading." (Just about as much Shelf Awareness editors do.) Other myths: "booksellers are literature snobs," "booksellers just want to sell you something" and "that cute bookseller you've been flirting with won't date you."


The Spy Who Loved to Sell Books

Q.R. Markham, author and owner of Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers, Brooklyn, N.Y. shared "9 ways that spy novels made me a better bookseller" in the Huffington Post. Markham noted that his love of mysteries and thrillers eventually inspired him to write in the genre (his first novel, Assassin of Secrets, will be published November 3 by Mulholland Books) and he "began to notice certain similarities between my day job and my night-time work."

Consortium Adds Trio of Publishers

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution has added three new publishers, effective with the spring season:

  • Founded in 2001, MCCM Creations, Hong Kong, publishes visual culture books related to architecture, art and design in Hong Kong and neighboring regions of East Asia as well as illustrated fiction and picture books for children and young adults. Most titles are published in English or Chinese and English. The lead spring title is Hats on the Streets of Tokyo, about Tokyo hat culture.
  • Promopress, Barcelona, Spain, specializes in illustrated source books on design for creative professionals, design students and artisans of all types. Upcoming titles include Moving Graphics, a book and CD that explores new trends and advances in motion design, and Eco Architecture, which has 1,000 tips and ideas from 100 architects on creating stylish and ecologically sound buildings and design.
  • Founded in 2008, Nobrow Press, London, England, publishes comics, illustration and graphic arts titles that have an artisanal quality. Upcoming titles include Klaus, featuring an existentialist cat, and Blexbolex's No Man's Land, his first full-length graphic novel.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Hal Rubenstein's 100 Unforgettable Dresses

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Juliane Diller, author of When I Fell From the Sky (Titletown Publishing, $22.95, 9780983754701).


Tomorrow on the View: Hal Rubenstein, author of 100 Unforgettable Dresses (Harper, $35, 9780061151668).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Jackie Collins, author of Goddess of Vengeance (St. Martin, $26.99, 9780312567460).


Tomorrow on Charlie Rose: Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food (Knopf, $25.95, 9780307593450).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Tom Brokaw, author of The Time of Our Lives (Random House, $26, 9781400064588).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Nile Rodgers, author of Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny (Spiegel & Grau, $27, 9780385529655).

This Weekend on Book TV: Once Upon a Car

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, October 29

1 p.m. Lewis Sorley, author of Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780547518268), recounts the career of the general who led American forces in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968. (Re-airs Saturday at 9 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m. and Monday at 2 a.m.)

2 p.m. 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 (S&S, $28, 9781439155172), discusses the impact of a deal for oil made by the Ford Administration in 1976. (Re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m. and Monday at 7 a.m.)

7:45 p.m. John Grisham accepts the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and talks about the role law plays in contemporary fiction with a panel that includes novelists David Baldacci, Linda Fairstein and Thane Rosenbaum as well as Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, lawyer Robert Grey Jr. and Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Re-airs Saturday at 7:45 p.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council and former Missouri governor, interviews Bill Vlasic, author of Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America's Big Three Automakers--GM, Ford, and Chrysler (Morrow, $26.99, 9780061845628). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. For an event hosted by Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C., Touré, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now (Free Press, $25, 9781439177556), speaks about race, identity, politics and the concept of "post-blackness." (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.)

Sunday, October 30

12 a.m. Sara Fitzgerald, author of Elly Peterson: 'Mother' of the Moderates (University of Michigan Press, $29.95, 9780472117871), recalls the political career of the former Republican senator and first female chair of the Michigan Republican Party. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

1 a.m. For an event hosted by Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., Ron Suskind, author of Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President (Harper, $29.99, 9780061429255), examines the inner workings of the Obama administration and its handling of the economic crisis. (Re-airs Sunday 10 p.m.)

Movie Trailer: Hugo

A new trailer has been released for Martin Scorsese's film version of Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Entertainment Weekly noted that Hugo "represents an interesting marketing challenge: It's a film for children with a nice holiday gloss, directed by a director better known in recent years for the freakish Shutter Island and the bullet-in-the-brain ballet known as The Departed. The newest trailer for Hugo shifts from youth-group whimsicality into pure spectacle, while also spending a little bit more time with Ben Kingsley."

Books & Authors

Awards: ReLit; DSC South Asian Literature Shortlist

Winners of the 2011 ReLit Awards, which honor the best new work released by independent publishers in Canada, are:

Novel: Blood Relatives by Craig Francis Power (Pedlar Press)
Poetry: Sweet by Dani Couture (Pedlar Press)
Short Story: Ravenna Gets by Tony Burgess (Anvil Press)


Finalists for the $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which was created to "acquaint readers to the rich diversity of South Asia's myriad language traditions," are:

Bharathipura by U.R. Ananthamurthy
A Street in Srinagar by Chandrakanta
Monkey-man by Usha K.R
Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka
The Thing About Thugs by Tabish Khair
The Story that Must Not Be Told by Kavery Nambisan

The winner will be announced January 21 at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival.

Book Review

Review: Lisbon

Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45 by Neill Lochery (PublicAffairs, $27.99 hardcover, 9781586488796, November 1,2011)

During World War II, António de Oliveira Salazar had one overriding goal as Portugal's dictator: to maintain the neutrality of his small, poor, vulnerable nation. The deals made, the compromises accommodated and the consequences tolerated to achieve that goal come into clear view in Neill Lochery's lively, accessible and hair-raising history of a time and place that many have chosen to forget in order to save face. "Double dealing was to become heavily institutionalized during the war years as Lisbon sought to reverse its slow decline and state of decay," when all sectors, high and low, tried to make a few extra escudos playing one side against the other; nobody emerges from this retelling of that harrowing time smelling like a rose.

Portugal was geopolitically well positioned to maintain its neutrality at the same time it did business with both sides: Germany wanted to continue buying its supplies of wolfram (tungsten), and the Allies were counting on obtaining use of the Portuguese-controlled Azores for their sea and air purposes. Lisbon, located at the western edge of continental Europe, also was a last stop for refugees fleeing the Nazis before embarking for new homes elsewhere. All these factors made Lisbon, formerly sleepy and neglected, a hotbed of international intrigue as soon as the war began.

The tides of refugees that flowed through Lisbon have long captured most of the coverage from that period and included celebrities like Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst and Arthur Koestler--and even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who got special treatment. But Lisbon was also the scene of desperation as many Jewish refugees waited for exit papers to get them out of Europe. The sheer numbers of international travelers and the knowledge they might be carrying created work for the Portuguese secret police and a new local business: spying. "At times, it appeared that almost everyone in Lisbon was either a spy or pretending to be one," Lochery writes. The real money, however, was in the wolfram trade with Germany. Salazar's eventual demand that Germany pay for the wolfram in gold led to a network to camouflage the flow of payments that has soiled all involved (including Switzerland, Brazil and even the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima). Nobody, it seems, escaped the taint of conducting business as usual in such times under the guise of neutrality. --John McFarland

Shelf Talker: A lively, accessible and hair-raising history revealing every sordid detail of Lisbon during World War II--a time and place that many have chosen to forget in order to save face.

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, October 23:

1. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
2. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
4. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
6. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
7. Tension City by Jim Lehrer
8. Maman's Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan
9. At Home by Bill Bryson
10. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

The reporting bookstores and their handselling favorites:

Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove
Book Cellar, Lincoln Square
Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka: Tension City by Jim Lehrer
Book Table, Oak Park: Zone One by Colson Whitehead
Books & Co., Oconomowoc: If Jack's in Love by Stephen Wetta
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
57th St. Books, Chicago: The Great Big Book of Horrible Things by Matthew White
Lake Forest Books: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Next Chapter, Mequon
Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock
Seminary Co-op: Medieval Cats by Kathleen Walker-Meikle
Women and Children First, Chicago: Green Girl by Kate Zambreno

[Many thanks to the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

AuthorBuzz: St. Martin's Press: Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
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