Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Forge: Mr Katō Plays Family by Milena Michiko Flašar, translated by Caroline Froh

Ballantine Books: The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Island Press: The Jewel Box: How Moths Illuminate Nature's Hidden Rules by Tim Blackburn

Berkley Books: Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Berkley Books: The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne


WI7: So Far, So Lively

Many of the 500 booksellers who are attending the seventh annual American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in New Orleans, La., came to the opening reception last night at the Cabildo, the Louisiana State Museum, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Among topics of conversation: strong holiday sales, which are continuing into January at some stores, as well as the importance of trying a beignet while in the Big Easy.

WI7 begins this morning with a plenary session featuring author and new bookseller Ann Patchett as well as Ingram CEO Skip Pritchard. At lunch, James Patterson speaks about how the industry can encourage young readers, and later Douglas Brinkley talks about the recovery of New Orleans. In the afternoon, the first wave of Winter Institute sessions focuses on information gleaned from Book Stats, the Census and ABACUS, the ABA's own membership survey of financial information.

William Morrow & Company: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs

World Book Night: Germany Joins the Fun

Germany has become the second international partner (along with the U.S.) to participate in World Book Night, which began last year in the U.K. On April 23, a million books will be given away in association with the newly created "Friends of Reading" campaign, which is launching in Germany as part of its existing World Book Day. This will be a joint initiative of the Stiftung Lesen (Reading Foundation), the Boersenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (Association of German Publishers and Booksellers) and German publishers in partnership with WBN.

"It was always our dream to see World Book Night happen all over the world and having it as part of Weltag des Buches and in such an important country is tremendously exciting," said WBN founder Jamie Byng. "We hope it is an enormous success and that it achieves its aim of getting more people to read and share their passion for great books. And the prospect of three million books being given away in this dynamic and pro-active way is wonderful."

Dr. Gottfried Honnefelder, head of the Association of German Publishers and Booksellers, noted that 20 publishers "are joining together to spread a passion for reading. World Book Day has for many years been a celebration of reading. With the 'Friends of Reading' campaign, we're expanding the scope of our engagement in order to make clear that reading is a fundamental and enriching part of life."

William Morrow & Company: A Death in Denmark: The First Gabriel Præst Novel by Amulya Malladi

Amazon Sales Tax Battle Moves to Fla.

The Florida legislature is exploring the potential for collecting sales tax on online transactions, with at least three different e-tax bills "in play" in Tallahassee. The Miami Herald reported that if "any of the pending online sales tax bills make their way through the redistricting-focused legislative session this year, Florida would join the growing group of states that collect sales taxes on all Internet retailers."

Under current law, only companies with a physical presence in the state must pay the 6% sales tax. The National Conference of State Legislatures projects that Florida will lose more than $1.4 billion in revenue in 2012 due to the online sales tax loophole.

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't have a potential customer come in and say 'How much is that? Well, I can get it from Amazon for a cheaper price,' " said Carla Jimenez, co-owner of Inkwood Books, Tampa. "They start every transaction with a price advantage."

Although attempts to collect taxes from online retailers began nearly a decade ago and died because "most elected officials, until recently, saw the e-tax as a new tax on consumers," the Herald noted that this "sentiment is beginning to thaw as states across the country seek to boost local businesses and increase tax revenue by going after online retail giants like Amazon and"

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 02.06.23

Bad Time for Best of Times Bookstore

Best of Times Bookstore, Red Wing, Minn., will close its physical shop January 28 and its website January 31 after more than seven years in business. On the store's website, owner Leslie Hakala noted that the decision was made "after several years of struggle," citing as primary factors for her decision "the trifecta of a poor economy, a street full of empty storefronts and people who think Amazon's Kindle is the next best thing."

In the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association e-newsletter, Hakala said, "We know we made a difference. We know we were well-loved. We just had to be more well-loved.... We have to educate people about the value of shopping at independent stores."

She added that it "will take a long time to get bookselling out of my system. It will be hard to see a good book and not order it, and I'll miss everyone I've met through MIBA and ABA over the years."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon

Obituary Note: Nancy Clarke

Nancy Clarke, author of the recently published book My First Ladies: Twenty-Five Years As the White House Chief Floral Designer (Sellers Publishing), died January 14. She was 66.

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo


Image of the Day: Clowning Around

The 12th annual Girlfriend Weekend, hosted by Pulpwood Queen Book Club empress Kathy Patrick, owner of the Beauty and the Book bookstore/hair salon, took place in Jefferson, Tex., this past weekend. Authors in attendance dressed appropriately for the Author Dinner, which had a circus theme. In her typical reserved style, Patrick reported that the event was "THE GREATEST BOOK SHOW ON EARTH!"


Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano

Aussie Indie 'Re-Framing' Bookstore Model

Perimeter Books was launched last year in Melbourne, Australia, by Dan Rule and Justine Ellis, who feature a "personal selection of titles" in their inventory of "over 500 small press and independent titles from all over the world, across the subject areas of design, architecture, art and photography. Rule and Ellis are purveyors of unusual and beautiful books and their collection reflects this," SmartPlanet reported.

"We offer a well-curated niche selection of things that have not been well represented or even represented at all in Australia," said Ellis, adding that in their curatorial approach, every title is accompanied by a blurb. "It's not just about books being slotted onto the shelves. We wanted to create a platform that was conducive to small press art books."

Perimeter also serves as a gallery, online shop and will soon launch a collaborative publishing house, Perimeter Editions. The shop is operating on "a business model that has proven financially viable thus far. Rule says that Perimeter, like many others of its kind, is 're-framing' what it is to be a bookshop," SmartPlanet wrote.

"You see that overseas where studio spaces bleed into retail," Rule observed. "In Melbourne, the Compound Interest is a classic example... pulling together small resources to make something a lot bigger. It's so removed from the traditional business model it's hardly a business at all. Not having expectations of making any money. It's part of a wider suite of thing that we do.... Every aspect of community feeds off each other, opening the store helps people make books, and people making books, helps us sell books."


Kodansha Resumes Frontlist Publishing

After a two-season hiatus, Kodansha USA said it will resume publishing frontlist books with a "small, select list" for fall 2012. The company's core publishing functions have been shifted from Tokyo to New York. Forthcoming titles will be published under the Kodansha USA imprint, as will backlist books as they come up for reprint. Oxford University Press will continue to serve as Kodansha's U.S. distributor.

Farley Joins

Dan Farley has joined education technology platform that offers free services to colleges, their stores and students--as a principal and executive v-p for business development.

Farley was most recently the president and publisher of Henry Holt & Co. and the Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Prior to that, he was head of the consumer publishing division at Harcourt. He has also held senior positions at Little, Brown, Simon & Schuster and Penguin.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ismet Prcic on KCRW's Bookworm

Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Hendrik Hartog, author of Someday All This Will Be Yours: A History of Inheritance and Old Age (Harvard University Press, $29.95, 9780674046887).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Ismet Prcic, author of Shards (Black Cat/Grove, $14.95, 9780802170811). As the show put it, "This first novel, Shards, follows the narrator who just happens to be named Ismet Prcic from Bosnia to America, from a radical theater group to a creative writing program. The shards are the pieces of personality Prcic left behind in Bosnia. The novel chronicles the fragmentation caused by war and the formation of a new identity."

Movies: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Coriolanus

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, opens nationally this Friday, January 20. Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Max von Sydow, James Gandolfini and Thomas Horn star in this story of a nine-year-old searching New York for the lock opened by a key belonging to his father, who died on 9/11. A movie tie-in edition is available from Mariner ($14.95, 9780547735023).


Coriolanus, a modern reimagining of Shakespeare's play, opens this Friday, too. Ralph Fiennes directs and stars as the title character, a Roman soldier banished from the city for his extreme political views. Also stars Gerard Butler, Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain. The official companion is Coriolanus: The Shooting Script (Newmarket Press for It Books, $19.95, 9780062202574), which includes the screenplay, a foreword by Fiennes, introduction and scene notes by screenwriter John Logan and 21 film stills and behind-the-scenes photos.


Target Stores to Unveil Scene from Breaking Dawn, Part 2

Calling the promotion "one way to get people to attend a release party," Entertainment Weekly reported that on February 10, Target will extend hours in nearly 500 stores across the country to host a DVD-Blu-ray event for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, which will be released at midnight.

The key to the promotion, however, will be an 11 p.m. screening of "the exclusive world premiere of a scene" from Breaking Dawn, Part 2, which hits theaters in November. EW noted that the "scene will not be available on Target's exclusive Limited-Collector's Edition DVD. That does, however, come with an authentic prop flower from Bella and Edward's wedding scene."

EW also cautioned that "before you try to bribe Target employees into telling you which scene will be shown, EW is told that no one at Target will know the answer to that question until that evening." Participating stores can be found at

Books & Authors

Awards: Sydney Taylor Book Awards

The Sydney Taylor Book Awards, honoring "new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience" and sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, have been announced. The winners are:

Younger Readers: Chanukah Lights by Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda (Candlewick)
Older Readers: Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein by Susan Goldman Rubin (Charlesbridge)
Teen Readers: The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (HarperTeen)

The judges also named eight honor books and 18 notable books. The winners will receive their awards at the AJL convention in Montreal June 17-20.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, January 24:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Crown, $26, 9780307352149) uses psychology, neuroscience and plentiful anecdotal evidence to show how introverts are as good or better than extroverts in many situations.

Honey Badger Don't Care: Randalls Guide to Crazy, Nastyass Animals by Randall (Andrews McMeel, $14.99, 9781449419653) is a nature book parody based on popular YouTube videos.

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate (Delacorte, $15.99, 9780385742610) contains four Valentine's Day themed stories set in the world of Fallen, a supernatural series for young adults.

Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian (Delacorte, $24, 9780345530875) continues the paranormal romance Midnight Breed series.

Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane (Doubleday, $27.95, 9780385534611) explores how all natural and social constructs strive for maximum efficiency.

Book Brahmin: Jason Heller

Journalist and political raconteur Jason Heller's work has appeared at the A.V. Club, Village Voice Media, Alternative Press, and Weird Tales. His debut novel, Taft 2012 (Quirk Books, January 17, 2012), explores the 2012 presidential campaign of William Howard Taft. Heller lives in Denver, Colo.

On your nightstand now:

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave and My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte. I love books by musicians. Especially in those rare instances where they don't suck.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, the first of many books to render me voraciously awaiting the sequel.

Your top five authors:

J.G. Ballard, Michael Moorcock, Lester Bangs, China Miéville, Umberto Eco. Moorcock, however, is the one who seems to age most gracefully. Chalk it up to the archetypes.

Book you've faked reading:

Moby-Dick. I've spent far more time reading books about that daunting classic--for instance, Dan Beachy-Quick's superb A Whaler's Dictionary--than trying to finish Melville's original itself.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Crystal World by J.G. Ballard. Sharp, cruel, merciless psychedelia of the highest order.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Pretty much all of them. Most recently, though: The Silent Land by Graham Joyce. (Spoiler: As stunning as the cover is, the insides are better.)

Book that changed your life:

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I still can't tell if the book sculpted my burgeoning sense of perversity or merely nourished it. Either way, I wish our surname were more than a coincidence.

Favorite line from a book:

"Now, as he sat on the balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months." --J.G. Ballard, High-Rise

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville. An utter revelation. I wouldn't have become a novelist without it.

Book Review

Children's Review: Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia C. McKissack, Frederick L. McKissack, Jr., illus. by Randy DuBurke (Chronicle, $19.99 hardcover, 134p., ages 12-up, 9780811857499, February 1, 2012)

The McKissacks' (Black Diamond) outlandish but true story of African American cowboy Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick, feels tailor-made for a graphic novel treatment.

The action begins in 1902 Denver, with an African American porter who grabs the reins of a runaway horse, and saves a child in its path. One of the passengers recognizes the man's skills: "Deadwood Dick! I knew it was you," the man says. He turns out to be Billy Bugler, a longtime friend that Nat Love met in 1869 when he was but a 15-year-old "cowpuncher," delivering horses and cattle to market and to ranchers across the West. Bugler, now in publishing, invites his buddy to submit some cowboy stories about "the Old West." The authors, who based their account on Love's own autobiography, thus create a segue into the man's reflections on his past. He discusses his birth into slavery, being freed shortly after the Civil War, and then working to support his family. He found his calling breaking colts at 10 cents each.

Through his predominantly black-and-white ink-and-acrylics sequences, with just a dash of color, DuBurke (Malcolm X) hastens the story's pace. When Nat Love connects with the horses, the artist zeroes in on the hero's face, his hands when he grabs the reins, and his foot when he clears the horse, then opens up the panels' borders and conveys the speed with which the horses travel in full-bleed pages and spreads. He contrasts these scenes beautifully with the tranquility after the horse is broken. DuBurke makes expert use of the panels again to depict a thunderstorm's effect on a herd of steers the cowboys are driving to Dodge City, and also when the hero earns the name "Deadwood Dick" in Deadwood, South Dakota's "Great Cowboy Games," for being the first to rope a wild mustang and also the best shot. At times, key characters' faces appear a bit inconsistent, but DuBurke gets the atmosphere of the Old West and the action sequences exactly right.

The McKissacks' selection of milestone moments gives readers insight into Nat Love's character. He narrowly escapes a buffalo stampede, and is captured by Yellow Dog and his tribe and escapes. But the authors also depict other tools that kept Nat Love alive: he could read, thanks to his father, and he always treated others with respect. His story will keep readers turning the pages, absorbing a fascinating period in history--the aftermath of the Civil War--and meeting a remarkable man in the process. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: This succinct and gripping graphic-novel biography brings a formidable African American cowboy hero to the fore.



AuthorBuzz: Berkley Books: Lemon Curd Killer (Tea Shop Mystery #25) by Laura Childs
AuthorBuzz: Nonlinear Publishing LLC: Moral Code by Lois and Ross Melbourne
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