Shelf Awareness for Monday, April 9, 2012

Hanover Square Press: Before the Coffee Gets Cold series by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Del Rey Books: The Book of Elsewhere by Keeanu Reeves and China Miéville

St. Martin's Press: You'll Never Believe Me: A Life of Lies, Second Tries, and Other Stuff I Should Only Tell My Therapist by St. Martin's Press

Watkins Publishing: A Feminist's Guide to ADHD: How Women Can Thrive and Find Focus in a World Built for Men by Janina Maschke

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

W. W. Norton & Company: Still Life by Katherine Packert Burke

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey


Bunch of Grapes Moving--Across the Street

Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, Mass., is moving across the street into somewhat smaller space by Memorial Day, according to the Martha's Vineyard Times.

Dawn Braasch, who has owned Bunch of Grapes since 2008, told the paper that financial considerations led to the move from the store's current space of 5,000 square feet on two floors to the new space of 3,300 square feet on one floor.

"The book world has been hard hit in the past few years," Braasch said. "Since I bought the book business, between the bottom falling out of the stock market and summers not being what they once were here, and e-books, we were hit especially hard."

The smaller space will be less expensive to lease and staff, Braasch said, but "the nature of the business and range of books offered will not change."

The current Bunch of Grapes building is owned by Ann Nelson, longtime owner of Bunch of Grapes.

W. W. Norton & Company: Still Life by Katherine Packert Burke

Competitive: '10.5 Ways Local Bookstores Beat Amazon'

Promising not to give "another save-the-bookstore rant," nor to "wax nostalgic about an almost-extinct breed of shopping destination or beg you to support it as an act of charity," the Boston Globe's Christie Matheson offered "10 (and a half) reasons why you’ll get a lot more than books if you buy from local stores":

1. They entertain your kids.
2. They stock literary treasures.
3. They bring celebrities to town.
4. They educate you.
5. They have real people on hand to help you.
6. They offer great book groups.
7. They can help you write.
8. They keep you in the know.
9. They reward loyalty.
10. They support your community.
10.5. They sell online, too.

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

Amazon: Patron Saint or Patron Devil?

Another week, another feature. looks at's program of giving grants, usually $25,000 each, in an effort "to make friends in the book world" at a time when "much of the literary world is in full-throated revolt against Amazon's dominance." Grant beneficiaries include the Brooklyn Book Festival, the PEN American Center, the Los Angeles Review of Books, One Story, Poets & Writers, Kenyon Review, 826 Seattle, Girls Write Now, the Lambda Literary Foundation, Voice of Witness and Words Without Borders. The program is estimated to amount to $1 million a year, or about 40 grants per year, and is said by some recipients to provide "crucial--if ironic--support." Under the terms of the program, begun in 2009, Amazon requires a brief acknowledgment and a short press release sent to supporters and members of the project.

Salon's conclusion: "In the future, publishers large and small may be forced to live in an Amazon world in which the company produces most books and sets whatever prices it wants. Everyone else, meanwhile, will fight for crumbs from one of Amazon's $25,000 grants. These grants may continue to buy bits of gratitude and goodwill expressed in tight smiles, but it is unlikely to result in genuine affection for its corporate soul."

Romancing the Romance Reader

Sourcebooks is launching an online bookstore/community site focused on its romance titles, the Wall Street Journal reported. Called, the site will offer "a curated selection of its digital romance novels" and allow access to authors via comments and live chat. Sourcebooks will offer six-month subscriptions for $9.99 that include a choice of one book a month from a selection of four offerings. Members may buy more titles beyond that at a discount.

E-books will be sold without DRM, allowing owners to use them as they wish. Sourcebooks publisher Dominique Raccah said that the DRM-free approach, which the publisher is offering as a trial, "gives real ownership to e-book readers."


Image of the Day: Diesel Hangs Up Shingle in Malibu

The Diesel bookstore in Malibu, Calif., recently unveiled new signage for its location in the Malibu Country Market, which opened last October. The store had closed in February because of construction problems and a change in landlords. About the new site, events coordinator John Peck said, "We are loving it there."

Incidentally, in honor of National Poetry Month, Diesel is featuring online one poetry video a day each day in April. The series is already underway and can be seen on Diesel's website.


Happy 30th Birthday, Brewster Bookstore!

Brewster Book Store, Brewster, Mass., is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a 20% off sale everything in the store and refreshments for customers, according to

The store was founded by Nancy Landon, who died last year and whose husband, John, has kept the store open. Day-to-day management is done by Jean Mackenzie, her sister-in-law Jane Mackenzie (both of whom have worked at the store since its opening in 1982), and Valerie Arroyo (who has worked at the store "only" 10 years).

A general store with an emphasis on children's books and Cape Cod titles, Brewster Book Store has survived "probably because we're filling a service," Jean Mackenzie said. "There are few places around doing that. We love to help customers. We do the help you don't get at a big chain."

Arroyo cited "the care we take in selecting books. Nancy was passionate about that. And there is a growing buy local movement so people are more aware about supporting their local bookstore. We have some of the most loyal customers. And you can support the local bookstore even if you have an e-reader."

Making Information Pay: 'Age of Big Data'

"Beyond 'Business-As-Usual': The Age of Big Data" is the theme of the Book Industry Study Group's 2012 Making Information Pay conference, to be held Thursday, May 3, at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York City.

The keynote speaker is Charles Duhigg, an investigative reporter for the New York Times and author of the new book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Random House). The conference will feature "data-focused presentations from innovators revolutionizing how we think about and operate in modern business."

For more information and to register, go to


Cash Mob in Jacksonville

Another cash mob has lit up sales at a bookstore: this time it was Chamblin's Uptown Book, Jacksonville, Fla., where 25 people appeared on Saturday, according to

Organizer Mike Fields said, "Small businesses here in Jacksonville are the backbone of our economy, and for us to be able to lift ourselves out of the recession, we should take it upon ourselves to support those who support our city."

Owner Rob Chamblin appreciated the gesture and noted, "We're up 20% in sales over last year, so it's looking good for us. I think time is on our side. We just need more neighbors. We need more businesses down here."

Cool Idea of the Day: The Medium Is the Message

Appropriately for the subject matter, City Lights Publishers is launching Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media Are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands and Killing Traditional Media by Rory O'Connor with a virtual book tour Wednesday evening, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific. O'Connor will talk about "trends in social media and explore what tech visionaries, media makers, political advisers, and businesspeople are saying about the meteoric rise of the various social networks." RSVP for the viritual book tour here.

Later in the month, O'Connor starts a more traditional author tour, with stops in California and on the East Coast.

Nettleton to Head Pelican

Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton has become publisher and president of Pelican Publishing Company, following in the footsteps of her father, Dr. Milburn Calhoun, who died in January. She was formerly assistant to the publisher.

She worked in the house's sales department during high school and college and joined Pelican fulltime in 1983, becoming promotion director in 1985 and assistant to the publisher in 2008.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Damn Yankees on Talk of the Nation

This morning on Fox & Friends: Jim Karas, author of The Petite Advantage Diet: Achieve That Long, Lean Look. The Specialized Plan for Women 5'4" and Under (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062025456).


Today on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show: Rep. Tim Ryan, author of A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit (Hay House, $19.95, 9781401939298).


Today on CNN's Starting Point: Kirk Lippold, author of Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole (PublicAffairs, $27.99, 9781610391245). He will also appear on Fox Radio's Kilmeade and Friends.


Today on Hannity: John Stossel, author of No, They Can't: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed (Threshold Editions, $27, 9781451640946).


Today on the Rachael Ray Show: Rachel Dratch, author of Girl Walks into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle (Gotham, $26, 9781592407118).


Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Rob Fleder, editor of Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (and Hated) Team (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062059628).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Tim Weiner, author of Enemies: A History of the FBI (Random House, $30, 9781400067480).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: A.J. Jacobs, author of Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781416599074). He will also appear on Dr. Oz and ABC's Nightline.


Tomorrow on Fox's Cavuto: Jim Karas, author of The Petite Advantage Diet: Achieve That Long, Lean Look. The Specialized Plan for Women 5'4" and Under (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062025456).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Richard Hersh, co-author of We're Losing Our Minds: Rethinking American Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan, $25, 9780230339835).


Tomorrow night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Rachel Maddow, author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (Crown, $25, 9780307460981).

The Hunger Games: District 12; Hipster Games

Want to visit the real District 12? Last Friday, in a segment titled "Home of the Hunger Heroine: Inside the Real-life Forest of The Hunger Games," NBC's Today Show reported on the sudden popularity among tourists for several North Carolina locations where scenes from the blockbuster movie based on Suzanne Collins's novel were filmed.

Pilgrims are flocking to places like the Henry River Mill Village, an abandoned mill town near Charlotte that served as the setting for Katniss's house and Peeta's bakery.


If your Hunger Games obsession is so intense that mere tourism isn't enough, Henry River Mill Village is up for sale and can be yours for $1.4 million, the Guardian reported. "I'm getting too many visitors," said the property's owner, 83-year-old Wade Shepherd. "Day and night, they're driving through, taking pictures, getting out and walking. I'm just bombarded with people." The Guardian noted that "Shepherd may be hoping to cash in by selling Henry River Mill Village to a film industry buyer."


If you've had enough of--or are too cool for--the Hunger Games frenzy, however, you may be ready for The Hipster Games.

Books & Authors

Awards: Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor

Finalists have been named for the $15,000 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, which honors the best book of humor written by a Canadian. The winner will be announced April 26. This year's shortlisted titles are:

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
On the Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby
Happiness Economics by Shari Lapeña
Most of Me by Robyn Michele Levy

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:


The Professionals: A Novel by Owen Laukkanen (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399157899). "This is a top-notch debut thriller with an unusual plot, terrific characters, and non-stop action. It has been a while since I started a book and couldn't stop until it was finished. The Professionals is one of those books. The bad guys don't seem too bad at first and the cops chasing them don't seem to be too capable. That all changes by the end of the book when both the criminals and those enforcing the law show that they are true professionals--willing to sacrifice everything." --Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.

Forgotten Country: A Novel by Catherine Chung (Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594488085). "On the day of her sister's birth, Janie is told by her Korean grandmother that one girl child in each generation dies. This statement sets the stage for Janie's 'disappearance' and 'reemergence.' Laced with Korean folklore and culture, the story moves seamlessly from Korea to Middle America and reflects the travails of an immigrant family both culturally and emotionally. The writing in this debut is poetic, spare, and exquisite. It would be a great pick for a book group." --Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, Del.


Grace: A Novel by T. Greenwood (Kensington, $15, 9780758250926). "I dare you to read the first chapter of this book and then try to set it aside. It's impossible not to devour the mystery of why Kurt aims his rifle at the back of his only son's head. As their story unfolds you will understand and sympathize with each character. Grace is a thriller, a heartbreaking account of bullying, and a beautiful story about an imperfect family and the love that must save them all." --Cathy Allard, BayShore Books, Oconto, Wis.

For Ages 4 to 8

I've Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic (Greenwillow, $18.99, 9780062014573). "More than 100 poems grace the pages of Prelutsky's newest gem. It's part Dr. Seuss, part Doug Florian, and part Shel Silverstein, but all Jack Prelutsky. You'll be laughing, grossed out, charmed, and groaning at all of the silliness, puns, and unique stories presented in each poem. Children of all ages will read this collection over and over again. Urbanovic's illustrations are the perfect addition to this must-have volume." --Jeanette Sessions, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Waiting for Sunrise

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd (Harper, $25.99 hardcover, 9780061876769, April 17, 2012)

William Boyd (Any Human Heart; Brazzaville Beach) is a dynamite storyteller, and Waiting for Sunrise is no exception. If Graham Greene were this novel's author, he would likely call it one of his "entertainments"--those novels of not quite cosmic significance, usually thrillers or tales of espionage. In Boyd's hands, this thriller with psychological undertones is both important and entertaining.

It is 1913 in Vienna and Lysander Rief, a young English actor-the Shakespearean allusion to the confused young hero of A Midsummer Night's Dream will prove quite apt--has come seeking psychotherapy for a troubling and very personal ailment. He sees Dr. Bensimon, a student of Freud, and through the application of Bensimon's "Parallelism" technique and a little help from a friend, he is cured. (Freud even makes a cameo appearance, in which he discredits Bensimon's theory--which Boyd has made up out of whole cloth.) Basically, Bensimon teaches Lysander that when something bad has happened to us and caused us to become neurotic, we simply revisit that event and change the script. A neat trick, one which Lysander employs to great benefit.

He meets Hettie,  a beautiful, enigmatic, high-strung sculptor, at Bensimon's office and begins an affair with her. She is living with an artist; when he finds out about Hettie's infidelity, she accuses Lysander of rape. The charge is taken seriously, Lysander is jailed and the real story begins.

Lysander is spirited out of jail, and out of Vienna, by mysterious British diplomats who, back in England, offer him an opportunity to repay his debt by engaging in espionage. The scenario appeals to his actorly persona, but he is unprepared for brief military service that results in actually killing combatants, so must use "Parallelism" once again to re-think that episode. The labyrinthine plot thickens considerably until Lysander does not know who is on whose side. Hettie suddenly appears in England, telling him that he has a son he will never see and that she "forgives" him for leaving her. How she got to England, and what she's doing there, is an additional layer to the mystery.

In this mesmerizing book, Boyd creates Vienna on the page--its look, sound, fashion, cuisine and ambience--then moves the reader seamlessly to England and the First World War. Waiting for Sunrise is a tour de force that keeps the reader guessing and enjoying the game. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: A young British actor goes to Vienna for psychotherapy and ends up spying for England in a well-plotted, thoroughly entertaining tale.


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