Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012: Maximum Shelf: False Memory

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Take a Storytime Adventure into the World of Jessie Sima

Quotation of the Day

Internet Sales Tax Collection Bill Finding More Support

"Let me be clear. I am a Republican governor that does not believe in increasing taxes. This discussion isn't about raising taxes or adding new taxes. This is about states having the flexibility and the authority to collect taxes that are already owed by their own in-state residents."

--Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, speaking on behalf of the National Governors Association at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday on the Marketplace Equity Act, as quoted by the Business Journals in a story called "Internet Sales Tax Bill Gains Momentum in Congress."

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima


Forbidden Planet Moves, Expands 70%

Forbidden Planet, the New York City comics and toy store, moved this past weekend to larger space just a few storefronts away from its old location and now has 3,400 square feet of space, compared to 2,000, according to The 31-year-old store reopened yesterday.

Manager Jeff Ayers said, "All of our lines will expand. We'll have more science fiction, more graphic novels, more toys, games, comics. We'll have more of everything that people want."

Forbidden Planet plans a grand reopening party later this summer.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Word Up Stays Popped Up, at Least Through August

Word Up, the pop-up bookstore in New York City that wants to stay popped up permanently, has received an extension on its lease through August, the Daily News reported.

The store had been on an indefinite month-by-month lease since opening last year. After its building in Washington Heights was sold, it was told it had to leave the space by the end of this month.

Organizers have been looking for new space and want to keep the store open.

Mysteries to Die For Bookstore Closing

Mysteries to Die For bookstore, Thousand Oaks, Calif., will close its doors for the final time this Saturday after 19 years in business. Alan Chisholm, who has owned the small bookshop since 2008, told the Ventura County Star that customer responses to news of the impending closure "really took me by surprise. This store stirs up a lot of feelings because this is where they go to meet their need."

He cited the financial toll of dwindling sales and the cost of necessary improvements among factors leading to his decision. "I always said I'd do this as long as I don't lose money," he said. "I don't know how to keep it going."

Banned Books Week: Net Read-Out

As part of Banned Books Week, which will be held this year from September 29-October 6, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will help booksellers make videos of people reading from banned books and post them online, which has quickly become the centerpiece of the Week.

Last year, ABFFE promoted the Internet read-out to booksellers, who produced more than 90 videos. Altogether they and others posted more than 800 videos of people reading from banned books on YouTube, which, ABFFE said, "helped attract unprecedented press attention to Banned Books Week."

ABFFE provides tools for booksellers, including written instructions and a how-to video. It will also handle the editing and posting of the videos. Details are available at Booksellers who are interested in participating should contact ABFFE president Chris Finan at

Finan noted, "Booksellers told us their customers really enjoyed it. They also said that it was easy to shoot and upload the videos."


Image of the Day: Gr8 Time w/ Walter the Giant Storyteller

While touring the Bay Area to promote Wumbers (Chronicle), Amy Krouse Rosenthal met with Walter Mayes, the former sales rep famous as "Walter the Giant Storyteller." One of the most entertaining people in the book business, Walter is also librarian at the Girl's Middle School in Palo Alto, a consultant and speaker on children's literature and an author.


Cash Mob of the Day: St. Mark's Bookshop

"In a neighborhood filling up with iZombies, we need this bookstore more than ever," noted Jeremiah's Vanishing New York in its report on last weekend's successful Cash Mob at St. Mark's Bookshop in New York City.

Co-owner Terry McCoy called the event "a big success," adding that it is "going to help us with the cash crunch we're in right now.... There was a line at the register extending all the way to the stairwell door, something that usually only happens on Christmas week. Saturday's total business was increased by more than 30% from what we've been doing lately, so that was very welcome.... the neighborhood came through for us. We're all very grateful, not only to you for your efforts, but to all the people who came by and laid their money on the line for us."

On Demand: Hotel Replaces Bibles with Fifty Shades of Grey

Newcastle's Hotel Indigo may have already been flirting with a few circles of Dante's hell when it announced it would feature a Kindle loaded with a copy of the Bible in each of its 148 rooms.

But Wayne Bartholomew--manager of Damson Dene Hotel, Crosthwaite--has upped the eternal damnation ante considerably by replacing the Gideon Bibles in his rooms with copies of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey, the Westmorland Gazette reported.

"I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinet and that includes the men too," Bartholomew said. "They are as desperate to get their hands on a copy as the women.... The Gideon Bible is full of references to sex and violence, although it's written using more formal language, so James's book is easier to read."

Rev. Michael Woodcock, the local vicar, commented: "It is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel. The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful."


Personnel Changes at Chronicle

Chronicle Books has made the following changes in the operations department:

Mercury Ellis has been promoted to senior distribution client coordinator from distribution client coordinator. He has helped to launch and increase the sale of Moleskine products.

Graham Barry has joined the company as a distribution client coordinator. He was formerly an operations manager for more than 10 years at Amber Lotus Publishing.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: László Krasznahorkai on Bookworm

Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: László Krasznahorkai, author of Satantango (New Directions, $25.95, 9780811217347). As the show put it: "When we learned that László Krasznahorkai would be in America, Jim Krusoe and Michael Silverblatt flew to San Francisco to speak with him. The Hungarian novelist collaborated with global master filmmaker Béla Tarr on his last five movies. Satantango, the novel and basis of their first film has finally been translated (brilliantly) into English. Susan Sontag said of this seven-hour cinema masterpiece that she would gladly see every minute of it, yearly, for the rest of her life. The author speaks about the novel form, the meaning of suffering, and Hungarian music--the saddest music in the world."


Tomorrow on Fox Business' John Stossel: Michael Brooks, author of Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science (Overlook, $27.95, 9781590208540).


TV Project: The Last Policeman

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura's company, di Bonaventura Pictures, is "in negotiations" to acquire the rights to Ben H. Winters's novel The Last Policeman "with the intention of turning it into a TV series," reported. David Borgenicht, president and publisher of Quirk Books, will also be a producer. The recently published book is the first in a trilogy.

Movie Visuals: Hobbit Video Diary: Anna Karenina Clip

Peter Jackson, director of The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey, released his latest video production diary from the New Zealand set. It "mostly chronicles the final days of shooting," but also includes "a charming prologue at San Diego Comic-Con, capturing the whirlwind of interviews and signings for The Hobbit folk like Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, and Andy Serkis before their massive panel in Hall H," Entertainment Weekly reported.


A six-minute clip from Joe Wright's film adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was released, featuring a sequence that "moves with a fluidity we don't get all that often, running from a beautiful ballroom--with a ceiling that opens to show a fireworks display, in a particularly great shot--and ending in Anna's chambers, where she has a bracing conversation with Alexei.... It feels like one of the great costume dramas of yore, but with a interesting contemporary flavor and approach," Indiewire reported.

Books & Authors

Awards: Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel

Scottish author Denise Mina won the £3,000 (US$4,659) Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for The End of the Wasp Season, the Bookseller reported. In addition to the cash prize, she will receive a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons brewery. Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, called the novel a great example of "tartan noir" as well as a "hugely atmospheric and haunting book."

Book Brahmin: Liza Klaussmann

Liza Klaussmann, a great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville, grew up in Brooklyn. She received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Barnard College, then reported for the International Tribune in Paris. She wrote for the New York Times' DealBook for more than a decade. She recently completed an M.A. in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway in London, where she now lives. Klaussman's debut novel, Tigers in Red Weather (Little, Brown, July 17, 2012), is set on Martha's Vineyard, where she spent her summers as a child.


On your nightstand now:

To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild; Everybody Was So Young by Amanda Vail; Sister by Rosamund Lupton; Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I need to have a good mix of fiction and nonfiction to dip into. Some, like To End All Wars and Everybody Was so Young, are arguably work, but what work it is.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The complete Grimm's Fairy Tales. This monster is a good 850 pages, singled-spaced. Of course, when I was very young, many of the stories were read to me. And I'm still fascinated and haunted by the strangeness and violence of these tales, like "The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs," "Snow White and Rose Red" and "Little Snow White," at the end of which the evil queen is forced to don iron slippers and dance on hot coals until she drops dead. Fabulous.

Your top five authors:

That's a tough one, because on my list of favorite authors there's no real hierarchy. So I'll go in alphabetical and just stop when I've reached five: Margaret Atwood; Charles Dickens; Joan Didion; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ernest Hemingway.

Book you've faked reading:

Well, Moby Dick. For a long time I'd only read part of it. But I recently ploughed through the whole thing. It's not the easiest read I've ever encountered, but it is pretty damn magnetic.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. I'm rather fascinated by her story, as well as the book, which is just melodrama at its best and most exciting. Kind of the poster-child for guilty pleasure.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Can't think of one single instance where that's happened.

Book that changed your life:

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. It made me realize that implicit storytelling could be the most effective and moving and it also made me pack up my things and move to Paris.

Favorite line from a book:

There's a line from Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald in which he describes this magical moment at an al fresco dinner party the Divers are giving that encapsulates perfectly the whole world he is trying to conjure: "The table seemed to have risen a little toward the sky like a mechanical dancing platform, giving the people around it a sense of being alone with each other in the dark universe, nourished by its only food, warmed by its only lights."

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

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens. Anyone who's read it knows why.


Book Review

YA Review: Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan (Knopf, $16.99 hardcover, 336p., ages 12-up, 9780307931887, August 28, 2012)

David Levithan (Will Grayson, Will Grayson) here invents a completely original and thought-provoking premise: a 16-year-old named A, neither male nor female, of undetermined race and ethnicity (though A speaks English exceptionally well and understands a couple other languages) wakes up every day in a new body. Each midnight, A's essence enters someone else.

A's motto is essentially, "Don't disrupt the life you're living in." The narrator attempts to access the person's memories to try to behave as the host body would in any given situation. A has woken up as Hugo on Gay Pride Day; as a hardworking, Spanish-speaking 16-year-old maid; and as Ashton Ashley, with a face and body that resembles Beyoncé's. A makes it clear that even a seemingly ordinary person is not ordinary. So many details make a life meaningful: "Knowledge is the only thing I take with me when I go."

But on day 5994, when readers first meet A, the narrator wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love. Rhiannon, Justin's girlfriend, has qualities that A has never experienced before. It starts simply: "I want to be the one who lives up to her hopes, if only for the time I'm given." But over the next 40 days, we watch A's increasing desire to confide in Rhiannon, to share what this life of 24-hour experiences has been like, and to convince her to go on this journey together.

This is a love story of the most unusual kind--and it will make readers think about how the core of the soul never changes, no matter what body A inhabits. People respond differently to A in a body like Beyoncé's than they do to 300-pound Finn Taylor's--even Rhiannon, as open-minded as she is, admits to feeling affected by A's outer trappings. In A's pursuit of Rhiannon, A breaks the first of several rules, and this leads to an e-mail from one of A's hosts. This exchange reveals that A may not be the only one who moves from host to host. And what would it mean if A could stay in one body and could have a future with Rhiannon?

Levithan creates a voice that's poetic, philosophical and provocative. A speaks of faith, love, dreams and death with a wisdom derived from thousands of lives visited over 16 years, and firsthand proof of how much humans share rather than what sets them apart. A knows from experience that relationships require work, whether between parent and child, boyfriend and girlfriend, boyfriend and boyfriend, platonic or romantic. Ultimately, A comes to understand that love "isn't the question... but it's not the answer either.... Love can't conquer anything. It can't do anything on its own. It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf." A's story is suspenseful and moving and surprising, and impossible to stop thinking about.--Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: In this extraordinary and moving story, a 16-year-old soul moves from human host to human host every 24 hours, and risks the possibility of a lasting love for the first time.

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