Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 6, 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

Quotation of the Day

'Much More Than a Bookstore'

"I never understood why I was supposed to get this bookstore, but what I've come to know is that everyone needs healing, and if you are not giving love, then you need love, and this shop has given me the opportunity to work with everyone, in whatever way they need to be worked with. A lot of people feel it is a place where they can drop in and feel comfortable. It is much more than a bookstore."--Elaine O'Regan-Lloyd, owner of the Annie's Book Stop in Orleans, Mass., in an article in the Cape Codder.

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


Books Win Big at the Oscars

Among book moments at the Oscars last night, when accepting the award for best adapted screenplay, Larry McMurtry, screenwriter with Diana Ossana of Brokeback Mountain, based on Annie Proulx's short story, thanked "all the booksellers of the world," from "the humblest paperback exchange" to chains. Booksellers, he continued, are "contributors to the survival of the culture of the book."

Although in a bit of an upset it lost out as best picture to Crash, Brokeback Mountain also won in the categories of best director (Ang Lee) and best original score.

In another big book moment, Tsotsi, based on playwright Athol Fugard's only novel, which was written in the early 1960s but not published until 1980, won for best foreign film. Grove has just published a paperback tie-edition ($13, 0802142689).

The many other winners with movie tie-ins include March of the Penguins for documentary feature. The National Geographic Society put out several beautiful tie-in editions. Philip Seymour Hoffman won best actor for Capote, based on the Gerald Clarke biography. Rachel Weisz won best supporting actor for The Constant Gardener, based on John le Carre's novel. George Clooney won best supporting actor for Syriana, loosely based on See No Evil, the memoir by former CIA agent Robert Baer. Memoirs of a Geisha, based on the Arthur Golden title, won best art direction and best costumes honors. And The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the C.S. Lewis work, won for best makeup.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.22.24

Notes: LongPen's Short Debut; Book Soup's 'Space'

Via the Internet, the Guardian in the U.K. reported on the "appearance" at the New York City bookstore McNally-Robinson of Canadian Margaret Atwood, who from London signed books with the LongPen "robotic arm," created by a company she founded for the purpose.

By way of explanation, she told the Guardian, "You're talking to the person who was heading for Los Angeles when they had that earthquake, was heading for New York on the morning of 9/11, and set out to do a book tour in Japan when the SARS episode hit. I'm the person whose limousine broke down on the New York freeway, green stuff and smoke came out of it, and I hitched. I was actually rescued by the marines." Atwood also said she believes the invention will allow authors to "appear" in bookstores in towns authors on tour don't usually visit.

But like so many demonstrations of new technology, the inaugural use of the LongPen encountered a glitch, and the ink did not flow from London to New York.


Cool idea of the day: Book Soup, Los Angeles, Calif., has its own MySpace page. Check out the store's "personality," likes and dislikes and more at

[Thanks to Jeff Yamaguchi, Web guru at HarperCollins and "blog guide" for Carl Lennertz!]


The Wild, which opened last October in Noblesville, Ind., is moving and expanding as of April 1, according to the Noblesville Ledger. Co-owner Jane Mills told that paper that in the "larger, more visible" location, the children's bookstore will have more space for author signings, special events, pre-school Spanish classes and specialty offerings.


Using the University of Wisconsin's College Library in Madison as an example, the Capital Times checks out trends in college libraries, particularly the removal of books to create more space for comfortable spaces where students study, read, work in groups, hang out and even sleep; the opening of cafes in libraries; and the proliferation of computers, both fixed terminals and laptops lent to students.


Not your developer's developer. The Seattle Times profiles the effort by Ron Sher, owner of Third Place Books, co-owner of Elliott Bay Book Co. and a major developer, to add apartments to the Crossroads mall in Bellevue.


Different kind of 'Crash.' On Friday, a car driven by a 75-year-old woman who mistook the gas pedal for the brake drove into the front window of Maxey's Discount Bookstore in Saginaw, Mich., according to the Saginaw News. This time the categories crushed were--of all things--health, self-help and religion. Luckily no one was injured.


Thriller reading. Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam notes that Harvard Business School professor John Deighton has updated his James Patterson case study and chronicles some of Patterson's unusual approaches to the business of writing and marketing his own titles.


Paul Haskins, who worked at Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., for 17 years and was a trade book buyer, has founded Adventures NW Publishing, which is publishing the first issue of Adventures NW, a free quarterly outdoor adventure magazine. Adventures NW aims to provide "individuals and families--nature-lovers, novice or elite racers, serious outdoor enthusiasts, and even armchair adventurers--with inspiration to get outside, be active, explore and have new and exciting experiences."

Free copies will be distributed in the region at outdoor retailers, libraries, parks departments, bookstores, restaurants, visitor centers, financial institutions, newsstands and coffeeshops. It's also available by paid subscription.

For more information, go to

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

The Store of the Future Now at CAMEX/NACS

The CAMEX show and National Association of College Stores convention in Houston, Tex., which opened last Friday, draws to a close tomorrow. Among the highlights so far of the event that attracted some 7,000 people, including 2,000 booksellers:

The board approved a new strategic plan that outgoing president Debbie Harvie of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver called "a major reworking, not a minor tweak." She explained that because of the association's decision to focus on "the store of the future," parts of the old plan were somewhat out of date, resulting in the need "to look at the industry in a new and different way." The plan--and new thinking--grew out of a June 2004 meeting at which 70 people from the industry did "scenario planning for 2015."

As envisioned by the plan, over the next decade, NACS aims to help its members have "a major role in the distribution of digital course materials and to strengthen their role in the distribution of traditional course material," Harvie said. The association will also "help college stores use new and existing retail technologies to increase efficiencies." Stores will try to be "the premier source of retail merchandise and services for campus communities. We want to make stores dynamic campus resource centers."

Quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, "It is today we must create the world of the future," NACS CEO Brian Cartier, too, emphasized that envisioning the store of the future and helping members thrive in a challenging time is the association's key task at the moment.

He noted that in 1998, course materials represented 70% of college stores' business while today that figure is down to 65%--"and a precipitous drop in those sales will increase in the near future." He compared the situation with a roller coaster car "that has come to the top of the hill. I firmly believe that the transition that we as an industry and you in your stores are going to experience will be accelerating very, very rapidly. We are in for quite a ride."

Besides developing a new strategic plan "more in alignment" with the needs of the store of the future, the association has taken several steps in the past year to help with the goal of "making you a vibrant part of that campus community and making you indispensable." These include hiring Mark Nelson as digital content strategist, hiring a general retailing strategy consultant and organizing a summit this summer with associations representing college and university libraries and research libraries as well as college and university IT departments about how those groups can work together to address digital content and delivery issues and develop new business models.

Cartier called the opening of the association's Washington, D.C., office two and a half years ago "serendipitous," particularly because of the General Accountability Office's research and report on textbooks that was released last year and the many legislative initiatives on the federal and state levels regarding textbooks and textbook prices that have sprouted in the past several years. "We were very, very fortunate to be able to have input on the GAO study," he said. "In the months ahead, there will be more and more legislative activity," and he urged members to get involved on a grass-roots level.

He also underscored the importance of the association's certification program--there are now 90 certified collegiate retailers--in boosting the stature of college retailers in educational institutions.

In other association news, Cartier called the annual financial report for fiscal year 2005 "favorable" and said, "We're looking at a very successful year in 2006 as well." NACS is proposing to raise dues--for the first time since 1991, likely a record in the book world. (Currently only 12% of the association's revenues come from dues; CAMEX, the NACSCORP wholesaling subsidiary and alliance programs supply much of the rest.) During the year, total revenues rose 7% to $8.4 million.

Speaking of NACSCORP, president and COO Len Jardine reported that the wholesaler had its third profitable year in a row and praised the subsidiary's agreement with Ingram, which allows a kind of cross merchandising of NACSCORP and Ingram inventories.

And speaking of Ingram, the NACS Foundation gave its Distinguished Service Award to one of our favorite reps, Art Carson of Ingram Book Co., who, it said, has helped the foundation in a range of areas and "done it all with a smile on his face and an encouraging word for everyone."


As always, the show's panels ranged over a variety of topics, from nuts and bolts issues of bookselling to the latest in RFID, how to get into e-commerce and the overriding issues of how digital content and delivery and the Internet continue to change the world of college retailing and what form the college bookstore will take in the future.

In a departure that literally added students' voices to the debate, teams from the University of Houston and Texas Southern University debated the issue of whether digital books would elminate traditional textbooks in five years. The consensus seemed to be that a digital wave was inevitable but may take longer than five years and likely would not completely replace paper texts.

The show drew a range of sterling authors. At the opening breakfast, Mike Wallace, who was promoting his new memoir, Between You and Me (Hyperion), entertained with tales of interviews of famous people and provided a wonderful example of how vigorous, curious and lively a person can and should be at age 87. Ever the interviewer, during the Q&A period, Wallace called one questioner to the dais and asked her several questions.

Paul Rusesabagina, the man whose amazing accomplishment of saving the lives of more than 1,200 people during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 was chronicled in the movie Hotel Rwanda, spoke eloquently and passionately about the context of the "100 days," his experience of it and how one person can make a difference in extraordinary circumstances. Rusesabagina's An Ordinary Man (Viking) appears this month.

The Sunday Book & Author Breakfast featured Dava Sobel, whose new book is The Planets; Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season and the more recent Wickett's Remedy; Jeffrey Eugenides, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Middlesex; and Ron McLarty, whose The Memory of Running languished in his desk drawer until he made an audiobook version, which Stephen King listened to and wrote up as "the best book you can't read." Kismet, alignments of the stars and lucky breaks were themes of their talks.

More on panels and authors in this week's issues of Shelf Awareness.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mark Patinkin Up and Running

On a morning of Oscar recaps, a few authors made appearances nonetheless:

On the Today Show: Adrianne Frost, the sweet author of I Hate Other People's Kids (Simon Spotlight, $9.95, 1416909885).

Also on Today: Mark Patinkin, author of Up and Running: The Inspiring True Story of a Boy's Struggle to Survive and Triumph (Center Street, $22.95, 1931722498).


On Good Morning America, to go with coffee, Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea (Viking, $25.95, 0670034827).


Today the View loads up on advice from Jillian Michaels, author of Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life (HarperResource, $24.95, 0060845465).

Books & Authors

Awards: NBCC, Lambda, Oddest Title of the Year

The winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards, presented Friday evening:

  • Fiction: The March by E.L. Doctorow (Random House). (Doctorow also won an NBCC Prize in 1989 for Billy Bathgate. The March has won the PEN/Faulkner fiction award and was shortlisted for the National Book Award.)
  • General Nonfiction: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich (Dalkey Archive Press)
  • Biography: American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Knopf)
  • Autobiography: Them: A Memoir of Parents by Francine du Plessix Gray (Penguin Press). (This is a new category for the NBCC awards.)
  • Poetry: Refusing Heaven by Jack Gilbert (Knopf)
  • Criticism: The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin by William Logan (Columbia University Press)

The NBCC also gave the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Henderson, founder of the Pushcart Press, editor of the annual Pushcart Prize anthology and trumpet player extraordinaire.

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing went to Wyatt Mason, a contributor to Harper's, the New Yorker and the New Republic.


The Lambda Literary Foundation has chosen finalists for the 18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) books published in 2005. The awards are in the categories of anthology, belles lettres, biography, children's/YA, erotica, gay men's fiction, gay men's mystery, gay men's poetry, humor, lesbian debut fiction, lesbian fiction, lesbian mystery, lesbian poetry, LGBT studies, nonfiction, romance, SF/fantasy/horror, spirituality and transgender/gender queer. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 18, on the eve of the BookExpo America. For more information, go to the Lambda Literary Foundation's Web site.


Here's an odd distinction: the Bookseller, the U.K. book trade magazine, has "honored" a Red Wheel/Weiser title with the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year. The winner is People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It by Gary Leon Hill (Weiser Books, $16.95, 1578632978).

Hoping that this prize just might be third only to the Booker and the Whitbread in prestige and fame, Michael Kerber, president of Red Wheel/Weiser, said that People Who Don't Know They're Dead is "actually quite a serious book about the paranormal." In it, Hill, a playwright, tells "the story of how his Uncle Wally and Aunt Ruth came to counsel dead spirits who had taken up residence in bodies that didn't belong to them." Hill writes that "being dead is so much like being alive that many people who die suddenly or violently don't know they're dead. In many ways this book examines the theory, research, and practice that informs such television shows as Ghost Whisperer and such movies as The Sixth Sense."

For his part, Bookseller deputy editor Joel Rickett called the book "a lively practical guide to dealing with the undead. Its triumph draws attention to the oft-neglected field of occult and paranormal publishing."

Booksellers who want to know more about People Who Don't Know They're Dead should go to Weiser Books's Web site.

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman (Ballantine, $24.95, 0345462130). "Half ghost story, half historical novel, The Ghost Orchard tells the story of a series of tragic events at a storied artists' retreat, and it features an eccentric group of artists and writers. There are mediums and tricksters and mischievous children that just won't rest in peace. This is a perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night."--Terry Lucas, The Open Book, West Hampton Beach, N.Y.

Incendiary Circumstances: A Chronicle of the Turmoil of Our Times by Amitav Ghosh (Houghton Mifflin, $25, 0618378065). "This collection of essays on topics such as the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the effect of a tsunami on an island community, and the violent upheaval after the death of Indira Gandhi are lyrical, sympathetic and thoughtful accounts of life during turbulent times."--Karen Maeda Allman, The Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, Wash.


Frangipani by Célestine Hitiura Vaite (Back Bay, $12.95, 0316114669). "This sentimental story of a mother's love for her challenging daughter, set in Tahiti and told with spirit and humor, is sure to be a favorite among reading groups."--Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, Mich.

For Teen Readers

Dancing with Elvis by Lynda Stephenson (Eerdmans Books, $17, 0802852939). "For older readers, this is a funny book set in Texas featuring a scheming teenage girl, a naive do-gooder mother, resistance to school integration, and a lovable girl who is the president of the Elvis Presley Fan Club, West Texas Chapter."--Joanne Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, Mass.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (FSG, $16, 0374320918). "One morning, Liz finds herself waking on a boat heading for Elsewhere. She learns that she has died in a bike accident, and she mourns the loss of her experiences as a teenager. How will she ever get a driver's license, have a first kiss, go to college? Zevin has created an amazingly imaginative version of the afterlife in a novel full of love, laughter, and tears."--Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

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