Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Simon & Schuster: Launch a Reading Star With Ready to Read Campaign

Bramble: Pen Pal Special Edition by J.T. Geissinger

Sourcebooks Landmark: Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Soho Crime: Broiler by Eli Cranor

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings


Notes: HMV Gets Green Light; Borders's New SF Store

The U.K.'s Competition Commission has given tentative approval for the takeover of Ottakar's by HMV, owner of Waterstone's, Reuters reported.

The Commission said that "in the few locations where Waterstone's and Ottakar's stores are close together, we found the range of books and quality of service were similar to their stores located in other areas. So the effect of competition between Waterstone's and Ottakar's at the local level seems limited."

The Commission will take eight weeks to make a final determination.

HMV's original takeover offer has expired, and because Ottakar's financial picture has slid since the original offer, a new HMV bid will likely be less expensive.


Borders Books & Music will open a 20,000-sq.-ft. store on the fourth floor of the expanded Westfield San Francisco Centre and operate a newsstand in the mall's concourse next to the Powell Street BART station, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The center also includes a Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Century Theatres, among other shops.

The new store will be very close to the Cody's Books on Market and Stockton, which opened last year, and Borders's own store on Union Square.


Doris Muscatine, a writer about California cooking and wine, died last Saturday at her home in Berkeley, the New York Times reported. She was 80 and had suffered major injuries in a fall earlier this month.

A friend of Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame, Muscatine wrote such titles as A Cook's Tour of Rome and A Cook's Tour of San Francisco as well as historical books like Old San Francisco: The Biography of a City from Early Days to the Earthquake. Until her fall, she was promoting her most recent book, The Vinegar of Spilamberto and Other Italian Adventures with Food, Places and People (Shoemaker & Hoard).


Louisa Solano is selling the tiny but significant Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge, Mass., which she has owned for 32 years. She told the Boston Herald that she needs to catch up on 30 years of sleep and give her apartment a thorough cleaning, adding, "I haven't dusted my own books in quite some time."

Ifeanyi Menkiti, a poet and professor of philosophy at Wellesley College, will be the new owner of the Grolier, Judith Rosen reported in PW Daily. He said he will be a "facilitator" more than an owner; the only change he plans to make is to stock more poetry from around the world, especially Africa.


A fire early yesterday morning destroyed the Texas Christian University bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble College, which was undergoing renovations, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reported. Because of the renovations, all merchandise was in trailers elsewhere and thus was not damaged. The fire department estimated damage at $1 million.


Nightbird Books, a new bookstore opening this weekend in the Mill District of Fayetteville, Ark., is featuring food from La Maison des Tartes and will serve wine, too, according to the Northwest Arkansas Times. Owner Lisa Sharp will host a weekly band event. Nightbird is located at 557 S. School Ave.

--- has joined a group of Princeton University students in a program to help rebuild the New Orleans Public Library System. From now until May 5, every time a financial donation is made to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation at, books will be added to a symbolic levee on the Princeton campus.

People wanting to support the Katrina Project can buy a pledge for $8.95 at and suggest a book for the library's collection. Pledges will be delivered to the Foundation. The project kicked off yesterday at Princeton with the participation of poets Paul Muldoon, C.K. Williams and Yusef Komunyakaa and novelists Gabe Hudson, John McPhee and Chang-rae Lee.

Hurricane Katrina floodwaters damaged all the New Orleans Public Library's 13 buildings and destroyed eight. Total damage has been estimated at as high as $30 million. Five libraries are open.


Incidentally yesterday the ALA presented $100,000, the first donation from its ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund, to the Louisiana Library Association during the association's state conference.


The Broomfield Enterprise profiles the Old Possum Bookstore in Broomfield, Colo., whose owners since November 2004 have been Ryan and Sarah Osborne. Some 90% of the store's stock of 40,000 books is used.


This weekend Pittsburgh holds its fourth annual convention of Japanese entertainment culture, called Tekkoshocon 4, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The fair drew 1,400 people last year. Among the attractions: manga and anime.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart

Tower Fortifies Books Online; Adds More Books to Stores

Tower Records, which has 89 stores, including four Tower Books stores, has added books to its Web site. More than 500,000 titles will be available, and all adult hardcovers will be priced at 40% off and shipped "at rates lower than our competitors,' " the company said. For a view, click here.

The number of books in Tower Records stores over the years has grown and contracted regularly. Now the company says it is "in the processing of expanding the book and magazine sections in many of our stores nationwide." The company is also adding video games and personal electronics at most stores and online.

In other company news, Tower, which in recent years has restructured several times and filed for bankruptcy in 2004, opened two stores last year, in Tempe, Ariz., and Henderson, Nev., and plans to make "refurbishments and improvements" in all its stores. As of this month, all Tower stores have TouchMedia Digital Media Stations that allow customers to preview CDs and DVDs. The company has also launched a podcasting network, created in conjunction with Outhink Media, that allows users to create music-intensive, copyright-compliant podcasts that are free for users.

Also . . .  the company has reportedly hired an investment bank to find a buyer.

Florida Bookstore for Sale: Email

Media and Movies

Book TV: Shelby Steele in Depth; Virginia Festival of the Book

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. In addition, Book TV will air extensive programming from the Virginia Festival of the Book during the day on Saturday; click here for more information about the Festival.

Saturday, April 1

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1997, LeAlan Jones, a freelance writer for N'Digo Weekly Magapaper, talked about Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago (Scribner), which he wrote with Lloyd Newman and was based on the NPR documentaries "Ghetto Life 101" and "Remorse: The 14 Stories of Eric Morse."

8:10 p.m. Public Lives. At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Pulitzer Prize-winner Ted Morgan discusses his memoir, My Battle of Algiers (Collins, $24.95, 0060852240), about his experience fighting on the side of the French during the French-Algerian War in the late 1950s. He tells why the war in Iraq is "unwinnable" and addresses the use of torture and its effectiveness in both Algeria and Iraq. Includes Q&A.

Sunday, April 2

12 p.m. In Depth: Shelby Steele, research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Steele's first two books, The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America and A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America, dealt with race and race-related social programs in the U.S. His latest, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060578629), will be published in May. Viewers may call in during the three-hour, live program by calling in or e-mailing questions to (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m. and Saturday, April 8, at 9 a.m.)

8:10 p.m. History on Book TV. Historian David Hackett Fischer, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington's Crossing, Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas, The Revolution of American Conservatism: The Federalist Party in the Era of Jeffersonian Democracy and Paul Revere's Ride, delivers the Irving Kristol Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner in Washington, D.C., after receiving the Institute's Irving Kristol Award. In his talk on the theme, "American Leadership: The Invention of Tradition," Fischer argues that the open and flexible leadership skills of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt were the key to their successes.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Media Heat: Gen. Zinni Reports for Publicity Duty

Miraculously Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., is finding time to make it to the Today Show this morning to talk about his new book, Crazybusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap!--Strategies For Coping in a World Gone ADD (Ballantine, $24.95, 0345482433).

Also on the Today Show this morning: Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, $12.95, 1416915060).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Jorie Graham, author of Overlord: Poems (Ecco, $22.95, 0060745657). As the show describes it: "Jorie Graham, whose work is known for its depth and complexity, makes a plea for moral action. She reads a poem that centers on the problem of human responsibility and talks about the desire for poetry that affects our behavior in the world."


Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show unveils Molly Bruce Jacobs, author of Secret Girl (St. Martin's, $22.95, 0312320949).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving or Missing Sleep? (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060736011).


Tomorrow on the View, wildly bestselling televangelist Joel Osteen of the Your Best Life Now series.


Tomorrow night on 20/20: Michael F. Roizen, author of You: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment (Free Press, $14.95, 0743293010).


NPR's Weekend Edition scouts Scott Gray, whose new book is The Mind of Bill James: How a Complete Outsider Changed Baseball (Doubleday, $23.95, 0385514646).


On Meet the Press on Sunday, retired General Anthony C. Zinni, aka Tony Zinni, launches The Battle For Peace: A Frontline Vision of America's Power and Purpose (Palgrave Macmillan, $24.95, 1403971749).

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Books & Authors

Book Brahmins: Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie

Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie are the authors of Don't Look Down (St. Martin's, $24.95, 0312348126), which is being published this coming Tuesday. Here the pair respond to a series of questions we occasionally ask people in the business:

On nightstand now:  

Bob: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian James. But I'm feeling better now. Really.

Jenny: Why We Love by Helen Fisher (the great mystery of the moment for me) and Bride's Companion by Susannah Marriott (because the book we're writing now has a wedding in it).
Favorite book when you were a child:  

Bob: The Lord of the Rings.

Jenny: Green As Spring by Rosalys Haskell Hall. Hall probably had more influence on my voice than anyone else because I read her book so much. It just felt right to me.
Top five authors:

Bob: J.R.R. Tolkien. Larry McMurtry. Richard Russo. Michael Connolly. And that genius Jennifer Crusie. Because I'm not dumb.

Jenny: Margery Allingham, Michael Gilbert, Carl Hiaasen, Terry Pratchett. And that master of the adventure novel, Bob Mayer. Because I'm not dumb, either.
Book you've "faked" reading:

Bob: Ulysses. And badly. I never picked it up.

Jenny: Moby Dick. I have a master's in 19th century American lit so I tried to read it three times. The fish parts always put me to sleep.
Book you are an "evangelist" for:

Bob:  April 3. Don't Look Down. Because I ain't stupid.

Jenny: Don't Look Down. Trust me, I'm telling EVERYBODY about it.
Book you've bought for the cover:  

Bob: Hyperion by Dan Simmons.

Jenny: The Art of the Motorcycle edited by Thomas Krens. And I bought Expecting Someone Taller by Tom Holt for the title.
Book that changed your life:

Bob: First Blood by David Morrell. Well, I went there and did that.

Jenny: The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I've lived on the water ever since. When the time comes, I'm gonna be ready.
Favorite line from a book:

Bob: "The cold passed reluctantly from the earth and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills resting."--The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Jenny: "Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."--Terry Pratchett in Reaper Man

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

Bob: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

Jenny: Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. Or maybe Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. Or Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett. Choices, too many choices.

Book Review

Mandahla: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips Reviewed

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (Revised) by Michael Morpurgo (Scholastic Press, $15.99 Hardcover, 9780439796613, April 2006)

In the fall of 1943, twelve-year-old Lily Tregenza and her mother and grandfather have to abandon their farm in a seaside English village because the Allied forces need the spot to practice for the D-Day landing. After they move in with her uncle, her beloved cat, Tips, disappears, but she can't search for Tips because the entire area is dangerous and fenced off with barbed wire. Fortunately Lily has made friends with Adie and Harry, two black American soldiers from Atlanta, who say, "We'll find that old cat for you, and that's a faithful promise."
The bare bones of the plot do not convey the richness of both the story and the characters. At first, I thought the narrative and the people to be clichés--the grandfather who doesn't want to leave his farm; the widowed Jewish teacher who fled Holland; Barry, the "townie" from London who moves in with Lily's family; the black soldiers who come by with hot dogs for a feast ("They didn't just bring us sausages, they brought us real happiness. Then they drove away into the darkness"); and, of course, the cat. But I realized that to a young reader, these are not stock characters, this is not a formulaic story, and I became caught up in Lily's life. This is an engaging book with a gratifying ending, and really, it's not just for kids.--Marilyn Dahl


Sylvia Browne's Third Publishing Medium

In our item yesterday about the Wall Street Journal's story on Sylvia Browne, quoting the paper, we said that Browne has two publishers, an unusual situation in adult publishing. In fact, it's more unusual than that: Angel Bea Publishing, distributed by IPG, also works with her. She's done two books with the house, and a third is coming out this fall.

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