Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Arlo Needs Glasses

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 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


Anderson Family Withdraws BAM Buyout Offer

The Anderson family has withdrawn its previously announced non-binding proposal to acquire all of the outstanding publicly-held shares of common stock in Books-A-Million for $3.05 per share. According to BAM, the Andersons made the decision not to pursue the proposed acquisition at this time after discussions with the special committee of the company's board of directors, which had been formed in May to evaluate the offer.

The Wall Street Journal reported that BAM's stock "gained roughly 24% after the deal was announced in April, and closed Tuesday at $3.17, above the offer price of $3.05."

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

Schumer to DoJ: Drop Apple Suit

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal today, New York Senator Charles Schumer called on the Justice Department to drop its suit against Apple and five publishers over the agency model for e-books. It's a striking position for a Democratic leader of the Senate to take on a case brought by the Justice Department in a Democratic administration.

Using language reminiscent of that used by many people in the industry, he wrote in part: "While the claim sounds plausible on its face, the suit could wipe out the publishing industry as we know it, making it much harder for young authors to get published. The suit will restore Amazon to the dominant position atop the e-books market it occupied for years before competition arrived in the form of Apple. If that happens, consumers will be forced to accept whatever prices Amazon sets. All of us will lose the vibrant resources a diverse publishing universe provides."

Schumer also called on the administration "to reassess its prosecution priorities. Justice Department officials currently have comprehensive guidelines in place to determine when they should challenge mergers, but they have no such guidelines for non-merger investigations. It's time to come up with some. These new guidelines should take a broad, pragmatic view of the market as a whole. As the e-books case shows, this kind of perspective is sorely missing today."

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

Bookstats Survey: Publishing Industry 'Seems to Be Robust'

The growth of digital books was underlined again with the release of a new Bookstats survey showing that net revenue for publishers from e-book sales in 2011 hit $2.07 billion, compared to $869 million in 2010, the New York Times reported, noting that e-books accounted for 15.5% of publishers' total revenues. The annual survey, conducted by the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers, includes data from nearly 2,000 publishers.

Children's books grew 12% in 2011, to $2.78 billion from $2.48 billion in 2010. Print sales declined 8.3% in the wake of the digital surge, falling to $11.1 billion in 2011 from $12.1 billion the previous year. Overall, publishers' net revenues in 2011 were $13.97 billion, up from $13.9 billion in 2010, an increase of 0.5%.

While online retailing increased to $5.04 billion in 2011 from $3.72 billion in 2010, "brick-and-mortar stores remained the largest sales channel for books, the survey found. Many in the publishing industry worried that the disappearance of Borders would have a significant effect on the overall business, but analysts said it appeared that many of those customers had moved to other retailers," the Times wrote.

"I would never dare to call an industry healthy, but it certainly seems to be robust," said Dominique Raccah, the publisher of Sourcebooks and BISG co-chair. "We, as an industry, appear to be getting books into more hands."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 02.06.23

'New Plan' for the University of Missouri Press

The University of Missouri Press "and most of its functions will be kept alive" by the University of Missouri-Columbia, which plans to start its own academic press and "intends to restructure its operations with a model that relies on student labor and faculty employees who also teach courses," St. Louis Today reported. The school said in May that the press, which had been a unit of the four-campus UM System, would be phased out beginning July 1.

On Monday, UM administrators outlined the new plan and named English professor Speer Morgan, editor of the Missouri Review, as director of the UM press, the Columbia Daily Tribune wrote. One of his first steps will be hiring an editor-in-chief, a managing editor and a marketing director.

"There's going to be teaching involved with all of the positions because part of the idea of this press is to integrate it with the campus and integrate it with the teaching function of the college," said Morgan. "The editor is going to be directing the press in terms of all the important things, such as managing the book list. A faculty board will serve as peer review for manuscripts, and editing will be done, in part, by graduate students, with assistance from interns in the creative writing and journalism programs.

In the Riverfront Times, Aimee Levitt observed: "This decision does not come close to appeasing the 4,737 people who signed a Save the University of Missouri petition, nor the 2,442 members of the Save the University of Missouri Press Facebook page, nor the others who petitioned Mizzou system president Tim Wolfe, including department chairs from UMSL, the director of the Kansas City Libraries and the author William Least Heat-Moon."
The New York Times noted the UM president "acknowledged that he had never spoken to or consulted employees of the current press, and none of them were involved in the creation of the new model." Current UM Press editor Clair Willcox said the administration "seemed unaware that the press already was doing the supposedly new things described in the plan." He added that his staff was "enraged" by the announcement: "They were looking at descriptions of what they already did. It suggests that somehow they weren't doing a good enough job over here."

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

B&N Unveils Nook for Web

Barnes & Noble has unveiled Nook for Web, a browser-based platform that allows people to read B&N's digital titles on their PC or Mac computers. No sign-in, software download or Nook account is required to begin reading. The company also noted that support would be coming this fall for Internet-enabled tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

To promote Nook for Web, B&N is offering six Nook books that can be downloaded free on any browser through July 26: Map of Bones by James Rollins, Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell, The Vow by Kim Carpenter, The Boxcar Children Summer Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner, Brave by Tennant Redbank and Perfect Island Getaways by Patricia Schultz.

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

OverDrive Opens Aussie Hub

E-book and audiobook distributor OverDrive has opened an office in Melbourne, Australia, "to strengthen partner relationships," ARN reported. OverDrive will provide offerings from, an Australian e-book company it acquired in March, as well as Australian New Holland Publishers, Text Publishing Company and NewSouth Books. It is also working with Softlink to expand its digital content services for schools in Australia.

"From our base in Melbourne, we're supporting relationships and further extending OverDrive's services for libraries, publishers, booksellers, and readers," said Claudia Weissman, international sales v-p.

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

Obituary Note: Philip Fradkin

Philip Fradkin, who wrote 13 books "often focused on the legacy of environmental destruction in the West and who took aim at what he and others viewed as the persistent misunderstanding and simplification of the region and its culture by many in the East," died last week, the New York Times reported. He was 77.


Olympic Smackdown: London Mayor's NYC Bookshop Diss

"I do hope that you will fan out around London and you will discover a city that has twice as many bookshops as New York, and about a quarter of the murder rate, by the way," claimed London Mayor Boris Johnson in a speech opening the Olympic media center.

Best not to mention the bus service for Olympic athletes. Hope they had some good books to read during their four-hour, 24-mile trip from Heathrow to the Olympic village.


The Avid Reader's New Location Is 'Active'

Since June 1, when Alzada Knickerbocker--owner of the Avid Reader bookstore, Davis, Calif.--opened the Avid Reader Active, an expansion of the original location, just down the street, "business has been going well. She said that new customers are discovering the store every day," the Davis Patch reported.

"We're adding things all the time," Knickerbocker observed. "I've had a chance to expand the things that I feel comfortable with [like] books, while at the same time it's been liberating to be able to bring in more stock, such as cards.

"It's gratifying as an owner to see customers responding to something that you think will work. It's also a beautiful store. You don't know aesthetically how an idea will work out, but when you see it come to life in 3-D, it's gratifying."

Although the new store doesn't carry as much inventory as the original, Knickerbocker anticipates it will eventually: "The original store is still the anchor, but the new location is moving up."

top photo by Mike Graff/Comstock's magazine

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jim Krusoe on KCRW's Bookworm

This morning on Imus in the Morning: Jeanine Pirro, author of Sly Fox: A Dani Fox Novel (Hyperion, $26.99, 9781401324575).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Mary C. Neal, author To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story (WaterBrook Multnomah, $14.99, 9780307731715).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Jim Krusoe, author of Parsifal (Tin House Books, $15.95, 9781935639343). As the show put it: "Can a new knightly quest heal our global chaos? The hero of Jim Krusoe's quest novel, Parsifal, is a modest fountain-pen repairman named Parsifal who journeys into a forest outside someplace like Cleveland in search of a metal cup very much like the Holy Grail. Broken in spirit and incompetent, he experiences a fantastical war between the sky and the earth--refrigerators and stoves drop from above, fires blacken the sky with smoke. Can this sacred fool rescue the globe from destruction? Well, says Krusoe, nothing else has worked so far."


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: James Fallows, author of China Airborne (Pantheon, $25.95, 9780375422119).


Tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, author of Gorilla Beach (Gallery, $25, 9781451657081).

TV: The Last Ship; Those Who Kill

TNT has greenlighted a pilot order for The Last Ship, an action drama series based on the novel by William Brinkley that will be executive produced by Michael Bay (Transformers and Bad Boys movie franchises). reported that the project is written by Hank Steinberg (Without A Trace) and Steven Kane (The Closer).

"The book The Last Ship is a gripping page-turner that has all the makings of a terrific television drama, including a great premise, memorable characters, intense situations and heart-racing action," said TNT's head of programming Michael Wright.


A&E Network has secured U.S. format rights to ordered a pilot for Those Who Kill, a Danish crime series based on the books by Elsebeth Egholm. reported that Imagine Television and Fox 21 will produce the pilot from a script by Glen Morgan.

Books & Authors

Awards: Strand Critics Winners; Forward Poetry Shortlist

The winners of the Strand Critics Awards are:

Novel (tie):
Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder (St. Martin's)
The Cut by George Pelecanos (Reagan Arthur Books)

First Novel: Sister by Rosamund Lupton (Crown)

Lifetime Achievement: Joseph Wambaugh and John Sandford


Finalists have been named for the £10,000 (US$15,644) Forward Prize for Poetry and the £5,000 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, the Guardian reported. Winners will be announced on October 3. This year's shortlisted books are:

Best Collection
White Sheets by Beverley Bie Brahic
Place by Jorie Graham
Naked Clay: Drawing from Lucian Freud by Barry Hill
Odi Barbare by Geoffrey Hill
People Who Like Meatballs by Selima Hill

First Collection
The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman by Loretta Collins Klobah
Clueless Dogs by Rhian Edwards
Stalker by Lucy Hamilton
81 Austerities by Sam Riviere
Breaking Silence by Jacob Sam-La Rose

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:


Shout Her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780547634524). "From the first page, this extraordinary collection of short stories grabbed me by the throat and would not let go. Each one is filled with poignant, thought-provoking observations on the tenuous, yet unbreakable, bond between mothers and daughter. Serber has given readers a remarkable, heartfelt book to be savored, shared, and passed on from one generation to another." --Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.

Juliet in August by Dianne Warren (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $25.95, 9780399157998). "This quietly lovely story of people finding joy where they can is set near the Little Snake Hills sand dunes of the Canadian West, where small town lives can be as dry and brittle as the prairie grasses or a rich as the history of the area. Among the characters are a man and a woman with an old drive-in theater and a missing camel named Antoinette; a couple and their children getting deeper in debt; and a lost Arabian horse who helps a man discover what to do with his life. Highly deserving of Canada's Governor General's Award." --Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, N.M.


Miss Fuller: A Novel by April Bernard (Steerforth, $14.99, 9781586421953). "One of the great things fiction can do is pluck a historical figure from obscurity and introduce her to a new audience. April Bernard accomplishes this with flying colors when she gives Margaret Fuller, a 19th century transcendentalist and feminist, posthumous life, and modern readers are richer for her efforts." --Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.

For Ages 9 to 12

Kepler's Dream by Juliet Bell (Putnam, $16.99, 9780399256455). "Here's a book that manages to deal with some of the weighty issues that can threaten modern childhood--divorce and a parent's serious illness--while still acknowledging that life, in all of its whacky glory, does go on. Kids still love Fruit Loops, they still tell little white lies, they worry about bad haircuts, and they can't resist solving a mystery when one drops in their laps. Delightful, authentic characters make this a fine summer book for middle readers." --Susan Scott, the Secret Garden, Seattle, Wash.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Brahmins: Claire and Mia Fontaine

Claire and Mia Fontaine are the co-authors of two memoirs, Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back (2008), and Have Mother, Will Travel (Morrow, July 17, 2012). Their new book explores the mother/adult daughter relationship, mid-life/20-something trials and tribulations, and women's lives, all while on a madcap global scavenger hunt through 11 countries and 18 cities in three weeks, followed by a magical summer in Provence. Mia lives in New York City; Claire divides her time between France and the U.S.

On your nightstand now:

Claire: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean.

Mia: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (same guy who wrote The Men Who Stare at Goats). I love quirky nonfiction reads and the way he turns what could be a disturbing and depressing subject into something that's funny, irreverent, touching, and thought-provoking is brilliant.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Claire: Any Dr. Seuss book.

Mia: It's a tie between The Black Stallion by Walter Farley and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I grew up a tomboy who loved animals and nature (yet was a pet-less girl living in a city apartment), and these books let me live out my fantasy.

Your top five authors:

Claire: Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Cormac McCarthy, David Sedaris, William Shakespeare.

Mia: Mary Roach, Erik Larson and Laura Hillenbrand because I so admire their writing careers, Barbara Kingsolver because The Poisonwood Bible was such a masterpiece, and Alain de Botton because his observations about life and the world are so interesting that I want to camp out in his head.

Book you've faked reading:

Claire: I can't think of one--not because there isn't one, there are probably many, but my memory for what I have read, as late as last week, is terrible.

Mia: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I wanted to love them because practically everyone I know does but I just couldn't get into either. I've also never read anything by Hemingway, which I've never admitted because it's embarrassing!

Book you're an evangelist for:

Claire: Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, which swept me away completely. When I took Mia to tour colleges, I kept sneaking off from campus to finish reading it--rather shabby of me. Aside from the sheer brilliance and power of the writing itself, it's flawless in all aspects--character, plot, theme, tone, arena.

Mia: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I could read that book once a year and still find it as wise, enthralling and haunting as the first time I picked it up.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Claire: I have a design and art history background, so I'll go into a bookstore just to look at book covers, but I can't say I'd buy merely for the cover (though arguably, having picked one up for a cover does make a sale more likely). On the other hand, I've bought and read many great books with downright bad covers.

Mia: I honestly can't think of anything! 

Book that changed your life:

Claire: As a girl, it was any Nancy Drew book. They made me feel that a girl could do anything, that we could be clever and powerful, that we could break into crumbling ruins, dash through the woods at night after bad guys, and make daring escapes in our cool roadster, all while wearing a satin ball gown and fabulous shoes. Between Nancy and John Wayne, I got my never-say-die, can-do 'tude.

Mia: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I'd never considered vegetarianism, but one road trip trapped inside a car while my dad played the audio book, and I never ate meat again. Sometimes I almost wish I hadn't listened, however, because it ruined some of my favorite meals!

Favorite line from a book:

Claire: I'm going to be shabby again and use two lines, because I need an extra line to set it up. It's from The Hours by Michael Cunningham, in Virginia Woolf's first section: "It is more than the sum of her intellect and her emotions, more than the sum of her experiences, though it runs like veins of brilliant metal through all three. It is an inner faculty that recognizes the animating mysteries of the world because it is made of the same substance, and when she is very fortunate she is able to write directly through that faculty." It's one of the most beautiful, and accurate, descriptions of those rare moments when the words come singing out of you from God knows where.

Mia: For the most part, I skimmed Shakespeare only enough to pass the test, but this line from The Tempest always stuck with me: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life, is rounded with a sleep."

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

Claire: Now that I've written that, The Hours by Michael Cunningham.

Mia: Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The twist at the end of that book was one of the best that I'd read in a while, and that's the kind of thing that can surprise you only once! 


Book Review

Children's Review: Drama

Drama by Raina Telgemeier, color by Gurihiru (Graphix, $23.99 hardcover, 240p., ages 10-14, 9780545326988 ($10.99 paper 9780545326995) , September 1, 2012)

Middle school itself is a drama, and Raina Telgemeier points this out in no uncertain terms through the daily routines and passionate interests (love- and theater-wise) of Callie, her seventh-grade heroine. Like Telgemeier's Eisner winner, Smile, this book's roots start with the author-artist's own experiences, though she did more ensemble work front stage than Callie, queen of backstage and set design.

The graphic novel cleverly begins with an overture (replete with burgundy velvet curtain and an orchestra that would make Broadway pit players jealous) and unfolds in eight acts with one intermission. Callie loves all things theater. She covets an oversize volume about Broadway history, published in 1932 (and reprinted 34 times) in Longacre's bookstore. Her best friend, Liz, designs costumes (though she is afraid of the costume vault and often recruits Callie to accompany her to the dark cellar), and her friend Matt works the spotlight. Callie has the inevitable offstage crushes. Her first heartthrob is Greg, older brother to Matt. In a moment of weakness, having been jilted by Bonnie Lane, Greg kisses Callie, fortifying her crush. But Callie learns the very next day from Matt that Greg and Bonnie have reunited. And, the worst part is, Bonnie auditions for the school musical, Moon over Mississippi, and... she's talented! Ugh!

Luckily, a pair of handsome twins decides to get involved in the production, and quickly enlist Callie's help. Will their interest in her remain platonic? Or will romance bloom? With one, or both? Both can sing, but only one craves the spotlight. The other decides to work on sets with Callie. Why is Matt treating Callie so badly? And will Logan, the stage manager, allow Callie to shoot a real cannon for their play, her fervent wish?

Telgemeir builds both emotion and suspense through her panel illustrations. When Callie shows one of the twins her favorite Broadway book, the artist depicts the duo dancing on its pages. Later, Callie nervously composes a text to her chosen twin with the intent of asking him to the eighth grade dance, only to wimp out and ask him to the bookstore instead ("A seventh grader can't ask an eighth grader to his own dance!" she reasons). Then an entire page of panel illustrations shows her plummeting mood as her text goes unanswered. Raina carefully choreographs the painful rhythms of middle school. Twice Callie learns the tough lesson: Be careful what you wish for. But the beauty of Callie's drama is that the show must go on, and we applaud her throughout the ups and downs of her ordeal. Encore! --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: Raina Telgemeir delivers a star turn with her graphic novel follow-up to Smile, with this tale of Callie and her middle-grade drama (double entendre intended).

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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